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Posts in “DIY”

11 Favorite Books for the Baby + DIY Book Container

Saturday, January 6, 2018

favorite baby books DIY book toy container no sewing1

If you come to our place, you’ll see the books of my kids everywhere. Brent and I love to read books to our kids, especially before naptime and before bedtime. It’s part of our kids’ routine and it’s one of our favorite bonding time activities. Books have been my life saver too when my two toddlers need to have quiet time or a calm-down moment (this is also to help me 😉 ). Since my baby is turning 5 months, he’s showing some interest at the pages of the books I’m browsing through and reading to him.

Here are 11 of our favorite books for our baby, which my two toddlers loved when they were babies too.

  1. Can you choo choo!
  2. Good night Moon
  3. I love you stinky face
  4. First 100 Words
  5. Red Truck
  6. The very hungry caterpillar
  7. Dear Zoo
  8. Baby Einstein: Mirror Me!
  9. Toes, Ears, & Nose! A Lift-the-Flap Book
  10. Peek-a-WHO?
  11. The Beginner’s Bible All Aboard with Noah!: A Lift-the-Flap Book

favorite baby books DIY book toy container no sewing 2

I also thought to make a book/toy container out of an Amazon box without sewing. I have a thing with cardboards, it’s hard for me to let them go. 😉 Check out my other works using cardboards such as DIY Playhouse, DIY Play Kitchen, and more.

Materials:

Box

Fabrics (for outer part and for the inside of the box)

Natural Jute Rope

Glue Gun and Stick

Scissor

favorite baby books DIY book toy container no sewing 5 favorite baby books DIY book toy container no sewing 7

Instructions:

Start by folding the upper flap of the box inside and seal with tape. Choose the main fabric you want for the outside of the box. Cover it with that fabric and trim the excess. I did some folding as shown in the image shown above. Make sure to pull the fabric as you stick it with hot glue so it won’t get loose.

For the interior, I used a free canvas bag that Brent brought home. I removed the zipper part and handle, and covered the inside of the box with it. Again, trim the excess fabric. I left about a ½ inch of fabric to glue over the top edges of the box

Lastly, use a natural jute rope to put an accent and add natural charm to the container. That’s it! You can also use this container for diapers or small toys.

favorite baby books DIY book toy container no sewing

I hope this tutorial inspires you to recycle some boxes and make them useful at home. :)

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Dream Big, Pray Big. Free 2018 Calendar.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

free 2018 calendar

Hope everyone had a great New Year’s Eve! My family and I a had a totally great one with our good friends from church, although we didn’t stay up late until midnight. We watched fireworks and had a great meal prepared by the Bilnoski family. Speaking of New Year’s Eve, it’s so funny to know that most of my American friends on Instagram had no plans to wake up their kids or let their kids stay up until midnight. On the other hand, most of my Filipino friends on Instagram planned to celebrate with their little ones. If you haven’t seen how the Philippines celebrate New Year’s Eve, here’s a video taken in Manila.

Since it’s the first week of 2018, I wanted to share to all my readers a simple and inspiring calendar, to use for the new year of 2018! It says “Dream Big, Pray Big” and encourages me to trust God more this year. I also included a Bible verse too! This printable calendar is nice to use for your workspace, post on the fridge, on your school binders, or you can attach it to a clear clipboard like I did.

What you need:

FREE printable of 2018 Calendar

Clear Clipboard

Corner Rounder Punch

 

free 2018 calendar 2

All you have to do is print out the free printable 2018 calendar. Then, use a corner round punch to have it perfectly fit a clear clipboard. That’s it! I love having this in my workspace!

free 2018 calendar 1

Dream Big. Pray Big. Whatever your dreams are, use the most powerful tool you have: praying and trusting Him. God knows what is good for us, and in His time.

Happy New Year, friends! I can’t wait to see how 2018 is going to be!

 

CATEGORY DIY, Faith
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Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Merry Christmas Hello Island Mama Photo Card DIY hello island mama Christmas family photo 2017 a

Merry Christmas everyone! I can’t believe there only 2 days to go before Christmas. I hope everyone finds peace and embraces the season with loved ones, even if it’s one of the busiest time of the year. Since I rarely post my whole family’s faces on my blog and Instagram to set some boundaries, here are my beautiful boys who always make my day so alive (starting at 6:30 AM or earlier…) and my man. Having family and kids makes my Christmas more meaningful and exciting! One of the other reasons I love Christmas now is that we can have a family photo session, even though it is quick (like I shared some editing tips in my previous blog post). Obviously, our baby was photoshopped since he sleeps unpredictably. 😉

Thank you for continuing to stop by my little blog. I hope everyone has a safe trip if you are traveling for Christmas.

Have a wonderful Christmas time with your family and loved ones!

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Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial

Monday, December 18, 2017

Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 5

My husband Brent has always been a fan of Star Wars. I remember the first year we were married, he tried to have me watch Star Wars and I fell asleep… 😉 There is a new Star Wars movie out this month, and I will accept his invitation to watch it with him. I think that will be my gift to him. 😉  With the new movie out, I wanted to share a Star Wars inspired gift wrapping tutorial on my blog. You can use it this Holiday season for your presents to loved ones, who are avid fans of Star Wars. Whether you’re wrapping a gift for Christmas, anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, etc., this idea is totally fun and easy to make.

Materials:

Kraft Paper

Darth Vader Photo (saw this free printable from this site and made a layout (See below) for you to print for your gift wrapping)

Scissor

Twine

Tape

Red Straw

Black Paper

Glue

Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 1

STEP 1 Wrap your presents with kraft paper and seal with tape.

STEP 2 Use this FREE printable Darth Vader layout with a standard sized paper and cut the image out. It comes in two sizes, so that it will work with small or large gifts.

STEP 3 Glue the Darth Vader print out and place on top of the gift wrapped item.

Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 2

STEP 4 For the lightsaber, cut the red straw in half and cover the bottom with a piece black paper, using glue to stick.

Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 8

STEP 5 Wrap twine around the gift wrap and stick on the DIY Darth Vader lightsaber.

Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 3

Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 4

STEP 6 This is optional: You can paint the initials of the person you are giving the gift to on the bottom of lightsaber, to serve as the name tag.

Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 7 Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 9

Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 6

That’s it! Easy and fun to create for Star Wars fans out there.

Have you watched the new Star Wars movie already? Please convince me to watch it. 😉

Check out more of my DIY gift wrapping ideas: Christmas Wreath Inspired / DIY Christmas Wrapper / Santa, Reindeer, Star Wars 

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Baby’s First Christmas Shoot + Photo Editing Tips

Saturday, December 16, 2017

babys first christmas shoot photo editing tips (3)

Our baby will be celebrating his first Christmas in the next few days!! Since our baby arrived last summer, he has given us so much joy, especially for his older brothers. Having another baby taught Brent and me to be more mature, though it is really hard most of the time. However, we can’t wait for all of them to play together next year!! It will be awesome… And loud! 😉

We had our Christmas family photoshoot last week and it was the quickest shoot ever (less than 15 minutes). I wanted to share with you all a DIY Christmas box that we used as a prop with the boys. My friend Sabine suggested wrapping a box to use as a prop, for a family shoot. It was a great idea for the toddlers to make sure they stayed in the same place. Since I love doing fun and creative photo manipulation, I thought to apply some editing for our baby’s photos. I thought it was cute!

Here is a simple and quick DIY gift box to try for your Christmas family shoot.

babys first christmas shoot photo editing tips (4)

Materials:

Kraft Paper

Ribbon

Scissor

Hot Glue

Tape

I used a medium sized box in which ideally, my baby would fit inside. I did not put him inside though and I don’t recommend that you actually put your baby inside either. :) Wrap up the box with kraft paper or any Christmas wrapper of your choice. I wrapped the box on the inside as well just in case the camera can see the inside of the box. I used thick ribbon and hot glue to make sure everything was set for the shoot. That’s it!

babys first christmas shoot photo editing tips (1)

babys first christmas shoot photo editing tips (2)

If you ever use Photoshop or are planning to learn about this software for your Holiday card, here are some tips from yours truly:

  1. Take a lot of shots of you and your props from different angles. I also use a tripod and remote to make sure everything is in the same frame and to make the shoot fast and easy (before the boys wake up!).
  2. Take photo of you and your baby in the same location to get the same lighting.
  3. I like to use a vector mask so it’s easy to remove the background or to undo it. Sometimes, I also use the pen tool.
  4. I consider the shadow of my baby as well to make it more realistic, when I overlap him onto the main image.

babys first christmas shoot photo editing tips (5)

babys first christmas shoot photo editing tips (6)

P.S. I also love to style myself, wear a pretty sweatshirt from Pink Blush, and put some makeup on (I love this brand! 100% natural that works! ). Santa hats are also cute to add for the shoot! :)

I hope my little man brightened your day today! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram.

God bless, friends!

 

 

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Christmas countdown 2017 (opening a book)

Friday, December 1, 2017

Christmas countdown 2017 opening a book Christmas countdown 2017 opening a book 2 Christmas countdown 2017 opening a book 4

Cheers to the first day of December! It’s that time of the year again for the Christmas countdown with my kids. Last year, we would open a paper bag with notes inside and draw one out of the bag everyday until Christmas. Each note contained a Bible verse about Christ and activities for the day (see our Christmas countdown last year) to teach them more about the true meaning of Christmas. This year, I decided to start the countdown by opening a book each day, which has been used by some moms and grandparents out there for kids. I’ve been looking for Christmas themed books that talk about the birth of Christ and/or about sharing and giving. I was able to see fine a few of them online. I’ve also included non-Christmas themed books that still talk about kindness and giving, as we as parents try to teach these values to our kids. My two and three-year-old boys love to listen during storytelling and I’m sure they will be excited to do this every morning, especially unwrapping the books. Here are a few books that are perfect for Christmas reading.

1 The Giving Tree

2 Did I ever tell you how lucky you are? By Dr. Seuss

3 God gave us Christmas by Lisa Bergren

4 The mine-o-saur by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

5 The Pine Tree Parable by Thomas Nelson

Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend!

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My Workspace + DIY Post-It Board

Sunday, October 8, 2017

work-space-diy-post-it-board (4)

I made an easy and affordable DIY Post-it board for my new workspace. Since we just moved here last month, I only now got a chance to organize and clean this area. This is something that I’ve been excited to do. The area serves as my quiet place to unwind when all the boys are napping. I put less stuff on the shelf so it doesn’t look cluttered. On it, you can find a couple of frames, the Bible, and a gift from a friend. I decided to add a couple of items to my workspace that are inspired by my home country: the Philippines. These items include a Philippine flag and a Bingo container, which my siblings, cousins, and I played with when we were young. If you have noticed, the DIY leaf painting on the wall has been moved a couple of times.  You may have previously seen it in the bathroom or master bedroom. I think this painting will stay awhile in my work station, since it symbolizes my blog’s logo. I love how the Post-It board helps me with important reminders, so I don’t forget about things. Even though I have my own planner, I always find it easy to remember things if I write them down on a Post-It and stick it up somewhere. If you’d like to create this kind of Post-It board, here are the materials and steps. So easy!

  • Cardboard frame (less than $2 from IKEA)
  • Twine
  • Glue stick and glue gun
  • Scissor
  • standard paper

Start by gluing the twine in layers around the cardboard frame. I ended up with about 4 layers of twine. When you get to that layer, simply cut the excess twine off.Once you’ve done this, you can cut out more pieces of twine and glue them to the corners to make corners for the frame. Then, use a piece of standard white paper (or any type of design that you’d like to use) as the frame’s background. That’s it! You have a simple, easy, and affordable Post-It board. You can also use a dry erase marker if you’d like to write directly on the board instead of using Post-Its. You could also use both ways!

work-space-diy-post-it-board (3)

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Chair from a garage sale of Impact Church. They have an annual garage sale every March, so follow their page for announcements! work-space-diy-post-it-board (1)

Do you find it more effective to put your reminders on Post-Its, in a planner, or a cellphone calendar?

 

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DIY Baby Mobile Tutorial

Monday, September 25, 2017

diy baby mobile tutorial hero

MATERIALS

Pom Pom

Embroidery hoop

Twine

Thread and Needle

Scissor

Today, I’m sharing a tutorial for a do-it-yourself mobile. You might have seen this baby mobile from my previous post: “6 things you can do while waiting for baby’s new arrival.” This DIY baby mobile is simple, easy, and it is affordable for savvy moms! I was inspired to create this a few months before I gave birth to my third son.  I was browsing through Pinterest, looking for ideas on decorating a changing table area. The materials I used were mostly from Hobby Lobby, where you can find a wide range of art supplies and materials for different DIY projects. Here are the steps I used to make theses baby mobile pom poms

diy baby mobile tutorial 4

First, cut two strands of twine between 18” to 20” long, which can be longer based on preference. Start tying the first strand of twine to the top and bottom of the embroidery hoop. Do the same for the second strand of twine, but tying it to the left and right parts of the hoop. diy baby mobile tutorial 5

Cut another strand of twine, which will be used to tie everything together. This strand will also serve as the top of the mobile, from which you can hang it on the ceiling. You may add a couple of round beads to give the baby mobile a look with some natural charm. Trim excess twine so it looks neat.

diy baby mobile tutorial 3

Now, take another two strands of twine and tie them so that they cross in the center of the hoop. Tie them tightly because some of the threaded pom poms will hang from them. The ends of each strand should be tied to the same places where your previous knots are.  

Once you are done, grab your pom poms and thread them with a needle. You may then start inserting the needles in the pom poms, one by one, and put some space between them. You can measure the thread length you’re going to use based on how long you want it. You can modify any part of this project to suit your style and needs. :)

diy baby mobile tutorial 2 diy baby mobile tutorial diy baby mobile tutorial 6

I created two sets of sizes for thread. The inside part I made longer, while the outer part was made shorter. I tied the longer threads to the cross of twine, and I tied the shorter threads to the actual hoop.

I hope you enjoy this easy and fun tutorial for making a baby mobile! What kind of DIY projects do you love to make for your baby?

 

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Hello Island Mama is a makeup, DIY, design, and lifestyle blog by Em Smith. She is the mother of three boys and a wife, who loves to inspire and encourage others through her works and stories. Originally from the Philippines.

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

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