DIY Kids Birthday Party Favors

Happy Monday! Hoping your weekend was wonderful.

As I mentioned on Friday, our nephew turns three tomorrow!

BE paperie kids birthday party favors

I met little Thomas when he was just over a year old, and watching him grow – especially in personality – has been really special.

For his big third birthday party, my sister-in-law put together a Thomas the Train-themed party that was held on Saturday. I put myself on party favor duty to help out. A friend of mine did something similar to this favor for her son’s class valentines this year, and I thought the idea was just adorable. With a few modifications, I came up with my own!

BE paperie kid birthday party favors

Putting these together couldn’t have been easier.

DIY Kids Birthday Party Favors

What You’ll Need:

  • Photoshop or Pic Lab HD app (see below for instructions)
  • Photo paper (either at home or at your local printing store)
  • Hole punch
  • Lollipops/Sucker candies (any candy with a stick, really)
  • Scotch tape
  • Your camera

Step One: Based on the party theme in mind, take a photo of your child (or overgrown child, as the case may have it) holding his or her hand out or up, as Thomas is doing in the photo above. It’s important that the pose is done in such a way that it looks as if he or she is holding something. If you can, putting the little guy or girl in a corresponding outfit is perfect! Thomas is wearing his train hat here.

Step Two: Using Photoshop, plug in some text for the Thank You note. I kept my text in line with the Thomas the Train party. Tip: If you don’t have Photoshop, the iPhone app PicLab HD is a great download and will overlay text in this fashion for you. And it’s a bargain at only $1.99! Once you download, simply plug in a couple of quick text boxes and arrange them over your photo as you like. You can even choose custom fonts.

Step Three: Save your photo as a JPG file and send it off to a printer. My quick go-to is always Office Max. I recommend asking them to print your photo on a gloss paper with a matte back (12 point gloss is great). My photo is a 4 x 6 inch print.

Step Four: Using a hole punch, punch a hole through the space where your child’s hand is in the photo (I realize this sounds really weird, but there’s just no better way to phrase this one!).

Step Five: Put the stick side of a lollipop/sucker candy through the hole you just punched so that the candy side is touching the side on which your photo appears and the stick is touching the matte side of the photo.

Step Six: Using Scotch tape, secure your lollipop to the back matte side of the photo, and you’re set!

The favors seemed to be a hit, and I hope they will be for you, too!

BE paperie kids birthday party favors


DIY Valentine’s Day Card

Happy day before Valentine’s Day!

I feel like I’ve spent so much time making cards for the shop that I just started thinking about my card for Brett last week! I have a couple of options on tap for what I’ll actually give him, but I ran across this card idea on Pinterest this past week and had to whip one up really quickly.


Super easy, right? All you need is a piece of cardstock, a match book with all but two of the matches removed, hot glue to affix your matchbook, a roll of fun washi tape and a pen!

P.S. I’m loving the wood backdrop this photo and some of my listing photos! Brett built me a mini photo stage this past weekend, and I can’t get enough of it… but more on that in a future post.

Do you have any big plans for the holiday? Brett and I aren’t normally much for Valentine’s Day, but since it’s on a Friday this year and it’s our first one to celebrate as a married couple, we decided to make some plans. Brett is in charge, so I don’t know what’s up his sleeve yet. We’ll see!

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, here’s to hoping you’re spending this weekend with people you love.

DIY Tutorial: Make Your Own Photo Light Box

I built as photo light box last night! I have to say that I’m pretty excited about it.

As I journey into this thing called starting an Etsy shop, I’ve been immersing myself in learning about product photography to try to improve my skills (if you could call them that… Probably not). Given that I LOVE documenting memories, I almost always have some kind of camera on-hand, so the sheer volume of photos I take usually produces at least one “good” (to me) photo from the 25 or so I’ll take in one evening, but even then, results are not guaranteed.

Couple my lack of certified photo skills with the poor light in our apartment, and you’ve got a frustrated me trying to take flower photos every evening. A light box seemed like the perfect answer to taking better shots even after a long day’s work.

This project only took me about an hour excluding shopping time… which usually takes me forever, given the distraction that is the craft aisle, obviously. The total cost of the project for me was about $30.

DIY photo light box from BE paperie

What You’ll Need:

  • A cardboard box – mine was on the smaller side. Adjust according to what you’re planning to photograph.
  • Masking tape, duct tape, clear tape… any kind of strong tape will do.
  • White fabric (the rumor is that tissue paper will work as well, but I wanted something I wouldn’t have to re-do due to tearing). One yard of it will do.
  • Three clip-on desk lamps (I got mine for around $5 each at Wal-Mart).
  • X-acto knife
  • Three 100-watt daylight bulbs
  • Something pretty or something that looks polished for the backdrop and “floor” of the lightbox once it’s finished. I used white poster board, which you’ll see below.

BE paperie photo light box tutorial

Step 1: Tape the bottom side ONLY of your box securely.

BE paperie photo light box tutorial

Step 2:  Cut three rectangles from the three sides of your box, NOT from the top or the bottom of the box. Leave roughly 2-3 inches around all of the sides. Whichever side you leave uncut is going to become your stage background.

This doesn’t have to be perfect (my cuts clearly were not). In the spirit of independence, I did all of the box cutting myself, but be very careful as you do this step, as the box will become more and more flimsy as you go on.

BE paperie DIY photo light box tutorial BE paperie DIY photo light box tutorial

Step 3: Using your something white (I opted for a yard of white fabric I bought for $2.50), cover the rectangles you’ve just made, leaving the top of your box uncovered, as you’ll need that open to be able to stage items.

I did this the lazy girl way and literally just draped and taped my fabric around the box, but you could also cut individual segments for each rectangle if you wanted more precision. You could also cut the flaps off of the box if they’re going to be a pain to work around, I just didn’t find it necessary.

Step 4: I cut a slit in the back of my box, using the tutorial from Oh She Glows. That way, I can drop whatever I’m using as my stage through the slit instead of having to hang anything for the stage. I did attempt said hanging at first, but it did not go well.

BE paperie DIY photo light box tutorial

Step 5: Create your stage. Like I said, I ended up finding that the best solution for me on this was to cut a piece of poster board to size and slide it through the back slit. Err, ignore how that sounds!

You could also try creating the effect of both a back wall and a floor if you wanted a certain effect in your photos, but I wanted to start with plain white for now.

Step 6: Last, add your lights! One goes above the top panel, and the other two go on the left and right sides.

BE paperie DIY photo light box tutorial

Though not the most beautiful thing I’ve ever created, I’m really happy with how my light box is functioning. This weekend, I’ll probably experiment with adding the aforementioned floor and back wall effects, but this will do for now!

BE paperie DIY photo light box tutorial