Thursday, February 12, 2015

FREE PRINTABLE: Valentine's Day gift certificates

If your family is anything like ours, you'll sometimes feel like you're drowning in stuff. And most of that stuff is made up of toys.  Toys from Christmas, toys from birthdays, trinkets from birthday parties and fast food happy meals . . . it sometimes feels like we have stuff coming out of our ears.

We like to get our kids gifts, and I've always loved Valentine's Day in particular, because it's not one of those times that they're ASKING for things.  They don't make Valentine's Day lists like they do Christmas lists or birthday lists. We usually just get them something small and they love it, because they aren't expecting anything in particular.

As I began to think about this Valentine's day, I was hard pressed to come up with something.  None of them need more toys, and we've got plenty of books to keep them reading for years. Electronics are unnecessary and out of the price range of what we usually spend. I also didn't want to get junk that they'd play with for a day and then I'd have to stick in the garage sale box.  We don't have money to just throw away like that.

After talking with my husband, we decided we were going to give them gift certificates!  The certificates for my kids are good for things like 30 minutes of screen time on a school night, a date night with Mom, one-on-one breakfast with Dad, etc.  Never have I been more excited to give them something because these are things that I know they'll LOVE and will result in zero clutter and waste.

I made these cute little gift certificates as a free printable for you.  The fields are editable (you will need to install this font if you want the fonts to be the same on the editable portion) so that you can give these to anyone and make them good for anything!  Or just delete the text and write in your own message after you print them.  There are crop marks for each certificate to make even cutting easy.

PLEASE NOTE:  You'll need to SAVE IT and install this font to edit the text.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

FREE PRINTABLE: ORANGE you glad we're friends Valentine card

Once again we've established that for as long as I have 4 young children, work a full time job and run a business, free printables will always be posted at the last minute. I've mentioned this before. Maybe we could just say it's really early for Valentine's Day 2016. Whatever. I've made my peace with it.  I hope we can still be friends.

So, when my oldest was in preschool, we started the tradition of doing little non-candy gifts for his friends.  We did plastic bugs one year (love bugs), both of my boys have given rubber balls, and then last year we gave out toothbrushes upon request from my second born.

This year we decided to give clementine oranges (after an extended conversation about how giving his classmates each a new Batman watch just isn't within our budget).  

If you go onto pinterest and search for "printable orange valentine", you'll probably see a dozen or so for orange valentines that say, "Orange you glad we're friends?" or "I think you're a CUTIE."  So if you're not crazy about this design, you have many options.  This is a pretty cute option, though, if I do say so myself! 

Even if you don't want to give oranges, you could use these toppers for more than just oranges.  Crayons, candy, plastic toys, etc.  Go crazy.

When trimmed, these measure just shy of 4" across and are 4" tall (to be folded down to 2"tall).  They're designed to go at the top of a 4" cellophane bag, but you can use them on anything you see fit.  Print them, trim them and sign them.  To attach them to the bags, most people staple them, but I prefer to keep pokey edges away from 4 and 5 year old kids.  Instead, I run them through my Xyron sticker maker  and stick them to the tops of the bags.

Just click here to download the printable file.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Vote for Claire! A FREE PRINTABLE for election day!

ADDED on 10/29:  I realized that the original download didn't have the name on these formatted as "editable."  I've fixed that so that you can customize it with your child's name.  All links have been updated.

Are you as sick of political ads as I am?  Here's a way to make election day more fun for everyone!  Download this free printable and let your future leader make a case as to why we should vote for him or her!

The candidate was not all that cooperative for her photo shoot, and her running-mate was waking up from her nap and hungry, so I didn't have much time to elicit cooperation.

Anyway,  this is editable, so that you can add your child's own "platforms" in the bottom right. 
Download it, edit it and post it proudlly for all to see!  Be sure to share it with my facebook page so that I can see, too!  You can also click here to download it.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Halloween pumpkin decals

I still remember driving home from the supermarket a few years ago with a pumpkin in my trunk, trying to develop a strategy for the best way to help my kids make jack o'lanterns. 

At that time, they were 4, 2 and 9 months, so I knew that I would be doing most of the work, while they sat, watched, and made a mess.  I couldn't let them use sharp objects, and chances are they'd lose interest after about 20 minutes . . . if I was lucky.

We had been to the pumpkin patch to pick pumpkins, but I had to purchase a separate pumpkin from the store for carving.  I like to leave my pumpkins out until Thanksgiving, so if we made them all jack o'lanterns, we wouldn't be able to leave them out that long.

And then, as I was driving, it hit me.  Stickers.  They could use stickers.  Stickers were safe, easy and relatively quick.  And I could peel them off after Thanksgiving.  I got home and started playing with the black vynil that I had and thought, "mustaches might be cute."  An idea was born!

These things are still true a few years later:

1.  Pumpkin stickers are cute and fun for the little ones
2.  Pumpkin stickers are fast.
3.  Pumpkin stickers leave little clean up.
4.  Pumpkin decals have no sharp edges.
5.  Pumpkin decals extend the life and usefulness of your pumpkins.

What's not to love?  Click here to get yours!

Monday, May 5, 2014

FREE PRINTABLE Teachers Appreciate Week seed tags (and baby shower favor tags)

I am super, in-over-my-head busy these days so this will be a quick, quick, quick no-nonsense post to provide you with a few freebies.

Attach these sweet little tags to seed packets for the perfect teacher appreciate week gift!  I wrapped mine in vellum and tied some twine around them, but you could do whatever you'd like!

Click here to download the "Teachers help children bloom" tags.

I originally used these as favors for a baby shower/farewell party last week and used tags that said "May good things grow."  I loved this because it fit the baby shower and the farewell theme perfectly!  I've added two free printable versions of this tag . . . one in the original gray stripes and aqua and one in a pink blooms design.

Click here to download the "May good things grow" striped tags.

Click here to download the "May good things grow" pink blooms tags.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Frozen birthday party invitation

I don't work with character art in any of  my designing, but I can normally work within the style of any given theme.  So, when my niece decided on a Frozen-themed birthday party, I came up with this invitation:

Friday, February 28, 2014

Cue the confetti for 2nd birthday party ideas!

My daughter's birthday is the day after Christmas.  Last year we tried to have a party ON her actual birthday, but we were all very sick and had to postpone it.  Even if we hadn't been sick, we discovered that throwing a party on the day after Christmas is difficult and stressful.

So this year, we waited until February, and I'm so glad we did.  I didn't really have a theme, but we used confetti and flowers for decorating.  The invitation had a chalkboard look to it.  It's one of my favorites!

I used a photo of Claire on the back.  Yes, she is putting a gummy bear into her mouth . . . they really are the best bribe for getting kids to look at the camera.

I included confetti that I punched out of gold and pink tissue paper in each envelope, and then used the rest of it on the tables. 

We catered the dinner through Qdoba and I kept the party decorations super simple because it's been a somewhat stressful winter for us and I'm pregnant with my fourth child . . . I just wasn't up to anything spectacular! I used pink carnations in glass lanterns with the confetti scattered around each bouquet.  Super simple and easy.  It would have been super cheap, too, had I not ordered them for delivery on Valentine's Day!

Side note: Carnations are so underrated.  I worked at a florist for two years in high school, and no one every wanted to give or send carnations because they were considered the "cheap" flower.  But I LOVE them.  There are no thorns to deal with, they last for weeks and weeks, they have a pleasant scent, they come in really vibrant colors and they're inexpensive.  What's not to love?  They make beautiful round boquets and they're tied with tulips for my favorite flower.  Anyway . . . 

I didn't set the table like I usually do, because the pink plates I bought kind of clashed so I thought they'd do better on the buffet table.  Oh, well.  I liked the clean look of the tables, anyway.

The dessert table just had cake, ice cream and cotton candy party favors with printable thank you tags.

I think my favorite part of the party decor was this sign, hand drawn by my friend Julie at Blue Heaven Signworks. I sent her details on Claire at 2 years old and she turned it into this masterpiece:

Overall, it was a very simple party, but one of my favorites because of how relaxed it was.

Oh, and here's one of the birthday girl!

Side note: she received those sandals as a gift that day . . . we don't normally let her out of the house in sandals WITH socks on 10 degree days.  Or ever.

OH!  And water bottle labels.  I didn't take a single picture of the water bottles, but matching printable labels are available here.  Click here!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Arrrgh! Ben's pirate birthday party!

Here are a few pictures from my 4-year-old's pirate birthday party!  You can get all of the printable items in my shop right here.

The invitations are available as printed cards or a printable file.

We served hot dogs (turned into pirate ships), jello and oranges (also turned into pirate ships).  We added "pirate jewels" (grapes), "fish and chips" (potato chips and goldfish) and more!  I turned down the tops of large paper grocery bags to hold a few of the treats.  I used cut vynil to label our food table as "grub and grog".  It was removable, so it came off clean and didn't leave a mark!  I added a matching bunting banner to make it a little more festive.

Everything was labeled with the printable tag package that you can find in my shop.


On the tables, I used Meri Meri pirate ships as centerpieces.  I set them on top of more fish net and more starfish.    We used rolos as our "pirate gold" favors. 

I found the toppers for the cupcakes at Target on clearance.  I so badly wanted to avoid the "skull and crossbones" but it's hard to do when looking for pirate decor.  The printable bunting over the dessert table can be found here.  I rolled down brown paper bags for candy to give it more of a "pirate" look.  The pirate treasure chests were my boys, and I filled them with ring pops and spray painted a simple "X" from Michaels red for "X marks the spot."  I used a red table cloth, with brown paper and lots of cheap fish net.  I also used starfish as a nice "nautical" touch.


I filled a second treasure chest with plastic gold coins and added another "X" on the gift table.  WIth more fish net and starfish, of course.

 For beverages, we served "sea water" and sweet tea.

For the kids, we filled a pool with sand and buried "treasure" for them to put in their loot bags.


After that, we made them "walk the plank" before heading in to swing at a pirate hat pinata!

All of the printable decor you see here can be found in my shop!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Toothbrush Valentine {Free Printable}

On Monday morning, I showed my 4-year-old the valentine that I designed for his brother when he was in preschool.  He was not impressed.

"I want to give toothbrush valentines, Mom."

Um . . . say what?

"I want to give my friends a toothbrush for a valentine."

Challenge accepted.

I found bulk packs of toothbrushes at Target for a reasonable price.  Check.  But what on earth should the valentines say?

We narrowed it down to either, "You take my breath away" or "You brighten up my smile."  After a vote on Facebook, we decided on the latter.

I've made the tags available as a free download.  Just download the file and print it front and back (they line up nicely).  The back side has an editable field that allows you to type your own message.  Or, you can delete the text so that your child can write in his or her own name.

Click here to download the free printable file!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Coming up this week . . .

I had an opportunity to contribute to a special deal on a bundle of printables designed just for planning, organizing and home management (and fun extras, too . . . that's where I came in).   It’s available for purchase this Friday, February 7, right here on my blog.  Mark your calender and check back on Friday after 8 AM to take advantage of this special deal. You don’t want to miss this bundle, because it will be available for one week and then will be gone FOREVER.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Valentine's Day ideas from Less Ordinary Designs

Valentine's Day is just around the corner!  I have several free printables from the last few years listed here

If you're looking for something different, check out the Valentine's Day options in my shop.  I have photo cards, kids' valentines, photo cards, favor bags, washi tape, straws and more!

My instant download valentines are so popular and perfect for those of us who like to wait until the last minute!  There's no waiting for customization or delivery . . . as soon as you make your purchase, it's ready to download.  The signature fields are editable, so you just click and type the sender's name.

If you're wanting to send a Valentine's Day treat to school with your kids, I also have instant download treat bag toppers.  Just download, type the signature, print and assemble.  It's fast and easy.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Free Halloween Printable: Smell My Feet Teacher Gift

Friends . . . I will always, ALWAYS wait until the last minute to figure out what to do for teachers' gifts.  I have the very best of intentions to have it all figured out ahead of time.  Still, I find myself in the same place every year.  My preschooler's Halloween party was today, and I printed these out last night at 11 PM.  Then I dropped him off at 9 and ran to the store to buy the things I wanted to tie them to.  Sigh.

The good news is that if you're like me and wait until the last minute, I've got you covered.

These free printable tags can be tied to foot lotion, a pumice stone, nail polish . . . whatever you'd like (or better yet, whatever you can find on sale).  Just print, trim and attach.  Easy Peasy.

I was in a rush assembling these on the floor of the preschool and made it JUST on time for the party.  Where I went on to realize that my shirt was on backwards.  Three stores.  Half of the Halloween Party.  Shirt on backwards.  But that's neither here nor there.

Anyway, I printed them on orange card stock to give them the "Halloween" feel.  Also, because I was out of white.  Remember?  This was last minute.  My cheap home printer worked beautifully, but you could take them to a copy shop if you felt so inclined.

The download is completely free and is available for download through my Facebook page.

Not on Facebook?  Here's a shortcut.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

First Day of School - Free Printable

I posted a picture of my son holding one of these "first day of school" signs on Facebook last year and . . . WOW!  The feedback was overwhelming, so I decided to share.

Here's the photo from last year:

I've updated them and made a 2013 printable version.  You can download them on my facebook page.

Already started school?  Just go ahead and recreate your first day of school using one of these signs!  I'll never tell.