Valentines day garland card

My mom lives a couple of hours away from us, which means we don’t see her as often as I would like. So, I thought it would be nice to send her a little Valentine’s Day garland to reminder her that she is loved and that we are thinking about her.  What I like about this project is that not only is it a visual reminder of our love but on the back of each of the photos there is also a written message stating our love. A Valentine’s Day garland + card all in one.

The first step is to gather your photos.  Photos you have on hand or Instagram photos work well but if you don’t already have photos that you want to use, it can be a lot of fun just grabbing your camera and taking some selfies. Do this near a window with lots of indirect light coming in. Then print out your photos and trim them to the size you would like. I cropped mine to 3.75 x 3.75 inches and printed them at home on 4×6 photo paper because I wanted a white border around my photos. Then I trimmed the sides to create a 4×4 inch photo.

Cut note cards out of card stock the same size as your photos. You will need one note card for each photo. I cut 5 note cards from white textured cardstock to 4×4 inches each. I made a heart stamp by hot gluing a wood heart to a cork. Then I stamped a red heart in the middle of the note card near the top. Next I used a felt pen to draw a black border.
Write a sentiment on each of the note cards. These could be messages from each of the people in the photos, poems,  or an I Love You because… on each of the cards. It will depend on who the garland is for and of course, who the garland is from, but have fun with it. Then attach a note card to the back of each of the photos with double sided tape keeping in mind the order of the photos and the order of the note cards.

I used 1/2 inch red gross grain ribbon for the garland. I laid the ribbon out and played with the placement of the photos, chipboard and hearts before cutting it to the final length. I ended up with two lengths of ribbon for a double hung garland, but you could also hang everything on one length of ribbon for a single hung garland.

I used chipboard letters to spell out “You Are Loved” and punched some hearts in two sizes from a scrap piece of printed overlay. Printed patterned paper or solid cardstock would look great too

For the large sized heart, I used a standard hole punch to punch two holes near the center at the top and threaded it onto the ribbon. My chipboard letters had very sticky backs and stayed on the ribbon fine on their own, but I have used lots of chipboard that was not very sticky, in which case you could either hot glue or sew the letters in place. Tip: If you want to remove the stickiness from the back of your chipboard letters before gluing or sewing them in place, sprinkle a bit of baby powder over the sticky side and then remove any excess.

I used 3/4 inch black binder clips to attach the photos to the ribbon and tucked a few small hearts here and there. After I arranged everything on the ribbon I cut it to its final length and used washi tape to hang it on the wall.

I plan on wrapping this garland up and sending it to my mom for Valentine’s Day, so I’ll add a roll of washi tape to the box, so she can hang it on her wall. In the mean time I’m enjoying it on mine:)


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Hanging ice votives diy

ce votives are so easy to make, cost essentially nothing and can be used over and over again. I love that I can make these way in advance, keep them in the freezer or on the porch, if you are having fringed winter weather like us, and pull them out when the occasion calls.

For our Sledding Party I made some to place on the Hot Chocolate Bar to provide some light as the evening grew darker. Afterward, I moved them to the porch off our living room, where they look pretty lit when we have company, or even when we don’t.

1. You’ll need two plastic or metal containers, one larger container the size you would like your votive and a smaller container to make the hole to place the candle in. Make sure the candle you want to use fits inside the smaller container. I used a 500 ml yogurt container and a single serving pudding container.  Fill the larger container, almost to the top, with water. Then place the smaller container in the center, level to the top and tape in place. I used packing tape. While holding each end of the tape I stuck it to the top of the small container, then  pushed the small container into the water and wrapped the tape down the sides of the larger container. Then I added a second piece of packing tape perpendicular to the first. Place in the freezer or outside, if it is cold enough, until frozen.  2. Once frozen remove the packing tape.  3. Remove the small container and release the ice from the large container. If the containers don’t remove easily, you can let it sit at room temperature until it removes easily or run cool water over the container to loosen it. Be careful though, if the water is too warm the ice will crack.  4. Drop in a candle.  5. And light.

I also wanted to hang some of the votives, so I made a hanger out of wire to slip the ice votives into. I used 30 gauge hobby and flower wire because that’s what I had on hand, but you could use a heavy gauge wire too.

Supplies – Wire and one washer for each votive. I used 1 inch washers.

1. Cut four lengths of wire and bend in half. I cut my wire in 35 inch lengths which worked well for the container I used. If you are using a larger container you will need to cut longer lengths.  2. Thread the bent end up through the center of the washer.  3. Bring the ends around and through the loop.  4. Pull to tighten around washer.  5. Repeat with the remaining 3 lengths of wire, spacing evenly around washer.

6. Separate the wire strands in each group.

7. Taking one strand from one group and one strand from the group next to it, twist the two strands together part way up from the washer. The idea is to have this twist fall on the ice votive about midway up

8. Repeat with each of the other strands, creating four new groups.

9. Now repeat this step again, creating another round of twists roughly equal distance from the first twists, that they are from the washer.

10. Creating a little basket for the ice votive

11. Bring the ends together, they don’t need to be even just make sure the washer sits nicely straight down, and twist together (about 2 inches worth).  12. Loop around and twist, creating a hanger.

13. Slip the ice votive in the wire hanger, hang and light.

Place some ice votives in hangers and place some right in the snow, along a path, up the front steps, at an outdoor seating area…Well you get the idea.

They are a pretty addition to any outdoor winter party.

Hope you enjoy them!


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Shop talk favor bag labels

The night of our Sledding Party, it was snowing quite heavily, so in order to save the cookies that I planned to have at our outdoor Hot Chocolate Bar from getting soggy, I made up some treat bags. These were super fast to put together, I simply tucked a couple of cookies into a treat bag and added a 2″ food topper/tag from the Let It Snow Printable Party Collection.

Then I added them to a basket alongside the cups for the hot chocolate. They looked cute and it was nice for everyone to have a little treat to open up.

But what made them so easy to pull together, at the last minute, was that I printed them on Avery 2″ Round Labels (22807) and simply stuck them to the front of the bags.

This may seem to be a small detail, but I am pretty excited about it, because making favor bag labels or treat bag labels just got a lot easier. Most of the collections in the shop come with 2″ food toppers/tags, which you can print out on cardstock and punch with a 2″ circle craft punch, to use in a variety of different ways. But in the newest collection in the shop, the Let It Snow Printable Party Collection, the 2″ food toppers/tags and the 2″ Thank You tags are compatible with Avery 2″ Round Labels (22807).

That means you now have a choice. You can print on cardstock and punch out – this is a good option for food toppers, like cupcake toppers. Or, you can print them out on Avery 2″ Round Labels (22807) and use them like a sticker. Perfect for favor bags or treat bags!



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Spiked hot chocolate swizzle stick diy

It’s not just kids who enjoy hot chocolate, adults love their hot chocolate too. So, at the Hot Chocolate Bar, at our Sledding Party, I decided to offer up a spiked version for the grown ups in the group.

At the hot chocolate bar, guests were invited to add shots of Kahlua to their hot chocolate. But, I thought it would be fun to dress up the spiked hot chocolate a little, especially for those who didn’t want theirs with roasted marshmallows.

So, I made swizzle sticks that were perfect for stirring in the Kahlua and set them out in a mason jar. You can even add some mini marshmallows to the swizzle sticks for those who want just a bit of that marshmallow goodness.

The swizzle sticks were so easy to make. I just hot glued a smallish white pom pom to the top of a wooden skewer that I had cut to fit nicely in the cups we were using. The pom poms were just slightly larger than 1/2 inch and the wooden skewers I cut to be about 2 inches taller than the cups we used. Then, I added a straw flag from the Let It Snow Printable Party Collection.

The trick to adding the mini marshmallows, is to use a clean, slightly damp cloth to wipe the stick just below the flag (be careful not to wet the flag) all the way to the bottom. This makes the marshmallows slide nicely along the stick. Then, wipe after each additional marshmallow.

The swizzle sticks can be made up way ahead of time, adding the marshmallows on the day of the party. I’m all for doing as much ahead of time as possible, to lessen the stress on party day. Although, one of these might do the trick too!



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Hot chocolate with roasted marshmallows

When I was planning our Sledding Party, there were two things I knew I wanted to include – a Hot Chocolate Bar and a bonfire. When you have a hot chocolate bar, the hot chocolate is kinda the star of the show, so I wanted to do something that was fun and that we hadn’t tried before.

I also thought, what better way to incorporate the bonfire with the hot chocolate bar than to have Hot Chocolate with Roasted Marshmallows. This turned out to be a big hit. It added a fun, interactive element to the hot chocolate bar and gave the guests the added enjoyment of gathering around the bonfire and roasting marshmallows together – not to mention to staying warm.

I placed a sign at the hot chocolate bar encouraging guests to grab a marshmallow and roasting stick, roast their marshmallow nice and golden and add it to their hot chocolate. Having a sign is a nice touch because, besides providing some simple instructions, it makes guest feel at home and comfort helping themselves – which of course is the whole point.

I used this recipe for the hot chocolate. It works well for large batch hot chocolate, like we did here, or to keep on hand for individual hot chocolate throughout the winter.

Maybe for your next hot chocolate, you’ll try adding roasted marshmallows – it’s delicious!


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Sledding Party Invitation

A sledding party is a fun, kid-friendly way to get together with other families and enjoy the winter together. And, even though this is a casual affair, handing out an invitation is a special touch that makes the event something to look forward to, for your guests.

For our Sledding Party invitation, I used the Let It Snow Printable Party Collection, filled out the party details and then made my own envelope to coordinate. Full instructions for customizing, printing and cutting are included in each printable party collection download. You can also refer to this tutorial on how to customize your printable party collections.

Step {ONE} Invitation

Customize, print and cut out as many invitations as needed. I printed mine on Bazzill Criss Cross Texture Cardstock in Lily White to add some texture.

Step {TWO} Envelope

1. I chose two patterned papers from the collection (the blue and white stripe for the outside and the white with blue snowflakes for the inside). I printed the first pattern on a sheet of bright white 28 lb printer paper (it’s a little heavier than standard printer paper), using borderless printing. Then, I reloaded the same paper back into my printer tray and printed the second pattern on the other side, creating an 8.5” x 11” double sided sheet of patterned paper. Each printer loads differently, so you just need to make sure the side you want to print on is facing the right direction. For my printer, the side facing down is the side that the printer prints on, so I reloaded the paper with the blank side facing down.

2. To print the free envelope template, I reloaded the double sided patterned paper back into my printer tray with the pattern I want to have on the INSIDE of my envelope facing the direction of printing. Again, for my printer the side facing down is the side that is printed on, so I reloaded the paper with the pattern I wanted on the inside of the envelope (the snowflake) facing down. Then I printed the envelope template on top of the patterned paper. Cut along cutting line #1, creating an 8.5” square. Then cut along cutting line #2.

3. Score, fold, then unfold along each of the remaining guidelines. With the cut off corner downward, fold in the two sides. Then fold up the bottom flap with the cut off corner and secure with double sided tape.

Step {THREE} Finishing Touches

With the envelope constructed, I slid the invitation into the envelope.

Then, I used a corner rounder to soften the pointed edge on the envelope flap.

And to finish my envelope off, I added the family names using my Dymo Label Buddy, a wood veneer snowflake that I held in place with a glue dot and then I tied it all together with some red and white bakers twine.

And there you have it, a sweet invitation for a winter get-together. Get out and enjoy winter!


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Hot Chocolate Bar

We added a hot chocolate bar to our new year’s eve Sledding Party this year. It was a big hit with all age groups and so simple to make. I knew I wanted the bar to have a rustic feel, kind of cabin like. After all we were tobogganing and hanging out by the bonfire and lots snow was falling – it seemed to fit the scene. My husband attached two pieces of barn board together and we simply placed it on top of a flattened snow bank. Then, we stuck two logs in the snow, one on either side.

The logs gave me a place to hang the garlands. The Hot Chocolate Banner, from the Let It Snow Collection, and a pom pom garland that I made. For the Hot Chocolate Banner I simply tied the bakers twine to the log poles.

And for the pom pom garland, I zig zagged it back and forth from one pole to the other, a few times.

Then, just before the party, I started setting up the bar. I set out a large thermos of hot chocolate along with hot beverage cups, a pail of large marshmallows for our Roasted Hot Chocolate, as well as a smaller pail of mini marshmallows. We also had chocolate chip cookies for an added treat and Kahlua for the grown up crowd.

I made a sign to encourage guest to help themselves and try making a Roasted Hot Chocolate. A fun twist on regular hot chocolate, which incorporated roasting marshmallows by the bonfire and our hot chocolate bar.

And, because our Sledding Party was at night, I also made ice votives that I placed on the bar and hung from the trees, so guests could see while serving themselves.

The Hot Chocolate Bar was a really fun addition to our Sledding Party. I love that it encouraged guests to make themselves at home, get involved, mingle and enjoy a fun treat. We will definitely be setting up another hot chocolate bar before the winter is over.
I hope you give it a try too.


P.S. All the printables used for the Hot Chocolate Bar are from the Let It Snow Printable Party Collection. You can find this collection along with others in the shop.

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Pom Pom Garland

If you’ve spent any time here on the blog, you may have noticed that I have a bit of a thingfor garlands. I love them. They are delightful, they dress up any celebration, and they make me smile when I walk into a room.  I have been known to leave them hanging looong after the party is over. One thing I especially like to do, is hang multiple garlands. Different garlands mixed together. So, for our Sledding Party, I decided to hang two garlands at our Hot Chocolate Bar –  a Hot Chocolate Banner along with a pom pom garland.

Pom pom garlands are so easy to make. Just choose some pom poms that are suitable for your theme or decor. I chose the blue and white pom poms because they reminded me of snowballs. I liked that they were different sizes and had a bit of sparkle to them.

Then, with a needle and thread start stringing the pom poms by sticking the needle right through the centre of the pom pom. If you have kids who are able to safely work with a needle, they can help out too. And, if they aren’t quiet old enough for needle work, they can certainly pull the pom poms along the thread while you work the needle.

Continue randomly threading pom poms until you reach a length you are happy with. And if random isn’t what you are after, then you can also thread them in a pattern.

A couple of tips. 1. I left the thread attached to the spool so I could make the garland longer as I went. You could also pre-cut the thread to whatever length you need. 2. To reduce the amount of tangling, I used painters tape to attach the garland to walls, tables, whatever was around me, as I worked. 3. If you want to work in shorter lengths or if your thread does get tangled, just cut it and tie smaller garlands together, placing the knot close to a pom pom.

Make it, hang it and most of all enjoy it.


P.S. If you are making this, or any garland for a party, make it and hang it a few days before the day of the event. Because it’s something you can do ahead of time (reduces stress on party day) and because it will make you smile when you walk into the room.

P.S.S. Send me pictures if you make one:)

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Sledding Party

Do you remember what you did to celebrate the new year in 2000? Do you remember all the hype and uncertainty of what would happened as the year switched over. Well, it was that year that we started having an at home family friendly New Years Eve Sledding Party. And we haven’t looked back since.

A lot of memories have been made with this tradition. Old friends who have come every year. New friends who have joined us along the way. And the kids…they have all grown so much. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate not just the new year, but also a group of friends we are so grateful to have.

It’s a casual affair. Pretty go with the flow once the night begins, but we do follow a bit of a traditional routine that includes cocktails, dinner, tobogganing by Christmas lights, a kids countdown with fireworks and then the real countdown at midnight.

This New Years we added a hot chocolate bar to the tobogganing portion of our party. It was a cold and snowy, windy and dark night. Perfect for wrapping your hands around a cup of hot chocolate and warming up by the bonfire but not so perfect for taking pictures. So, I don’t have many unfortunately.

But a family friendly outdoor activity with a hot chocolate bar is a great way to enjoy time with friends. We had a lot of fun and I think you would too, so over several posts I’ll go through the steps we took to set up our sledding party. After all, getting outside and enjoying some friend and family time in the snow is what winter is all about.

Oh, and if you don’t have kids, grab a few friends and give it a try anyway, because nothing brings out your inner kid like playing in the snow and drinking hot chocolate.

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