Pinterest Christmas: Toddler Fingerprint Tree Cards {Linky Party}.

Welcome to week one of the Pinterest Christmas series for 2015! I am SO excited to share my projects with you this month!

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First up is a {pretty} simple project I did with Eloise. I like to include her in cards I send out, like her feet in the shape of a heart for Valentine’s Day last year, or her footprint on her birthday thank you notes. This was the first time we used paint on her fingers, & I am glad the paint was non-toxic…

Toddler Made Christmas Tree Cards:

{original Pinterest link – Toddler-Made Christmas Cards}

Supplies:

  • {white} cardstock – for the cards; I cut each one into quarters
  • Paint – I used acrylic craft paint in 5 colors
  • Sponges (optional) – I picked up some cheap ones at the grocery store
  • Green paper – for trees; I used one dark green & one light green sheet
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Marker – I used a fine point Sharpie which is my go-to!
  • Wet wipes – to clean up messy hands!

This project is pretty straightforward, albeit messy, & I would suggest doing it with your toddler right after mealtime, or when he or she is the happiest!

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First, I cut out all of the trees. I started by cutting my green paper into three strips (they were 12 x 12 sheets) & then eye-balled a good triangle shape. Then I cut out all of the trees. {In hindsight, I should have waited to cut the triangles out & let Eloise paint these longer strips. There may not have been as many “ornaments” on each tree, but she is little enough I think this would have been a better route.}

Then I cut my white cardstock into quarters. I was originally going to do a 4×6 or a 5×7 card, but it seemed so wasteful!

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Next, I opted for painting. I squeezed a small blob of paint onto the sponge – three on one & two on the other. I let Eloise dip her pointer fingers into the paint (with some help) & then helped her press her fingers onto the trees. I tried to get about three or four prints on each tree. She was super interested in the sponge (so I gave her a clean one to play with in an attempt to keep paint from getting everywhere!) & also wanted to eat the paint. Big surprise. It was difficult for me to see her eat that paint (well, lick her fingers) because it definitely wasn’t organic, edible paint, but oh well!

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Because there was paint, well, everywhere, I placed each completed tree on newspaper to dry. Once dried, I glued three trees on each card, alternating the light & dark green trees. Finally I added “Love, Eloise 2015” on the bottom of each card.

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I saved one of the cards for our fridge (& it will ultimately go into Eloise’s baby box for safe keeping!) but the entire point of these cards was to include them with our holiday cards. We don’t have a lot of family that lives close by, so I think it is fun to send a little something special in the mail when we can!

Thinking about making this project? Feel free to leave questions in the comments or link your own in the Linky Party below! Also be sure to check out Kendra’s Pinterest Christmas projects over at The Gilbertson Family.

What are you DIY-ing for the holidays? Do you include your kiddos?

M

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Here are the instructions if you are a new to linky-party:
•click on the blue button at the bottom of this post – the one with the frog
•add a link to your Pinterest Christmas blog post in the URL field (please do not link to your home page but the specific post page)
•for “name” write a short descriptive name for your post
•if you would like to put the Pinterest Christmas button on the bottom of your post, we would love to see it there!

Pinterest Christmas 2015 {Join our Linky Party}.

The Pinterest Christmas blog series (in its fifth year!) started as a motivation to actually do some of the DIY projects we pinned on Pinterest & a way to share them with friends & family. Over the years other bloggers have joined & we have spent the month of December DIYing & sharing our Christmas projects. Sometimes the posts are tutorials with step-by-step instructions & other times it is simply sharing a completed project! You can check out past Pinterest Christmas projects here!

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This year we’d love you to join in on the fun of Pinterest Christmas! Kendra {from The Gilbertson Family} & I will be hosting a Linky Party set up for the entire month of December where you can share your own Pinterest-inspired projects & discover what bloggers are sharing too. And, we’d love to see the Pinterest Christmas graphic included in your posts!
Here is what you can do now to get started:
(1) Get on Pinterest & pin those holiday projects! (See our Pinterest Christmas board here)
(2) Get your craft on! If you want to do a tutorial, make sure to take pictures during each step.
(3) Write up your Pinterest Christmas blog post.
(4) Join in on our Linky Party! Click on the blue button below to add your blog link beginning December 1st! Feel free to add as many links as you’d like.
(5) Come back and see what other bloggers are creating.
(6) Tag your projects on FB, Twitter, Instagram with the tag #PinterestChristmas2015

Happy crafting!

M

diy crib rail covers.

shortly after eloise got her four top teeth (this winter) I noticed a few gnaw marks on one end of her crib rail. it is something I had always heard about, but never really thought of. but lo & behold, pinterest was filled with crib rail covers! luckily, Amanda also did a short write-up/tutorial about making custom crib rail covers for her daughter some time ago.

as with my quilt post, I am not making this a “tutorial” post because I definitely shouldn’t be showing anyone how to make these covers! they turned out well in the end, but I spent A LOT of time (really too much time) going back & fixing mistakes that I had made. basically this is a pretty straight-forward project, but for whatever reason I had a little more trouble with it. (I am blaming it on the fact that I have been elbow-deep in three different sewing projects!)

I didn’t want these covers to stand out a lot in eloise’s nursery & since everything in that room is pretty neutral, I followed suit when fabric shopping. I figured out white fabric would be best since her crib is white. then I used some left-over fabric from her balloon mobile to add to the ends, & a little red ribbon to give a small pop of color (& one that is already present in the space). I am really happy with how these turned out; they aren’t too matchy-coordinated, & don’t stand out too much.

I didn’t see any more teeth marks on the crib railings before these covers went on, & haven’t noticed eloise gnawing on the covers lately, but it gives me some piece of mind that she won’t completely destroy the crib. I have a mama friend who has teeth marks all over her daughter’s crib from another baby (& the ironic part is that, at the time, her daughter didn’t have any teeth!) – so there’s that! {UPDATE: so before this blog post is even going to go live, I noticed teeth marks on one of the side rails… guess I am making two more covers. thanks eloise!}

maybe someday I will get around to sewing some cute crib sheets! (also, you can see that we dropped the mattress enough that I no longer need a crib skirt! maybe for a future nursery.)

M

diy triangle quilt for eloise.

we decided not to go overboard with presents for eloise when she turned one which is pretty much our gift-giving philosophy for our kids. we did the same at Christmastime – just a few small stocking stuffers and one bigger gift. this helps because not only do we not have the space for lots & lots of toys, but we like the idea of toy minimalism, other people are very generous at birthday time, & eloise is too young to really know about new toys (& we are taking advantage of that for as long as possible!). maybe we will change our mind in later years, but for now this is pretty awesome. {we did get her this cute little IKEA cart & this first mobile phone.}

but, I did want to do something special for eloise, & by “do something” I mean “make something.” & what I ended up making her was a quilt. it was my first one (well, other than this quilted playmat that I made her in the spring, but I really don’t consider that a quilt, especially after making this one!).

the idea of a quilt has been around for quite a while & it started when I picked out my wedding dress. yep. my dress had this tremendously long & gorgeous train. I knew that some day I wanted to have quilts made out of it for our future children, so I kept the train but not the dress. I honestly thought I would have to find someone to make a quilt for me since the fabric of the train is silky, but I challenged myself to give it a try first, especially since there is so. much. fabric.

I scoured Pinterest to find a simple quilt pattern & quickly found this triangle one. it was perfect! the pattern was simple & I loved the ombre. (I realized that I had my choice to do ombre or not, but I really liked the look of this original quilt). when I was buying fabric (at Jo Ann since I have trouble buying fabric online – I like to see it, feel it, & look at it along with other fabrics) I was less than excited about the color choices in solid cotton. I was really wanting to do a coral ombre & grey, & ended up having to go way pinker than originally intended. that said, in the end, I really like the pinks with the cream color of my train. instead of white fabric I used my dress train along with dark pink, pink, light pink, grey, small grey dots, & larger grey dots (for the back).

while I normally add a tutorial with my DIY posts, there is no way I qualify to write a tutorial for making a quilt. I learned SO much on this project, but spent SO much time re-doing a lot of the aspects of this quilt. the sewing of the triangles went pretty well & I used a basting adhesive spray to help keep the train material from slipping in my machine. it worked well keeping fabric together but was really sticky on the fabric; I had to wash the front of the quilt twice to get the adhesive off. {a sewing friend told me later to use tracing paper on top of the fabric to keep it from slipping & then rip it off once the stitches are in place – this is an awesome trick!} once I started quilting the triangles (the white dots & the grey), I realized that the batting I was using was WAY too thick (I used the same thick batting as the quilted playmat) but kept on quilting. & then I got 90% done & decided I didn’t like it, so I ripped all of the quilting out! I asked Amanda about what quilt batting she uses (see her quilts for us here & here) & ended up taking her advice, using this batting at her recommendation. quilting went so much better & looked so great! then I got to the binding & it was a lot more ripping of seams. I used pre-made binding (rather than making my own) but I had no idea what I was doing & ended up buying binding that was too thick. after binding one side, I ripped it out & trimmed the binding down by half. it went much better the second time around, though I wish I would have hand-stitched the second set of stitching on the back of the quilt (the idea of hand-stitching sounded so awful & tedious at that point!) but oh well. I am still really happy with the quilt. & there is SO MUCH fabric left fo future children’s quilts!

eloise was pretty pleased with the quilt when I first showed her & she pointed out the colorful triangles – it melted my mama heart!

have you made a quilt before? any tips you want to share?

M

this post contains affiliate links.

eloise {first birthday party DIYs}

now that I have shared eloise’s first birthday party pictures, I thought I would share all of the party-planning details & the DIYs (since a lot of you have asked!).

first birthday parties have become huge events, thanks mostly in part to pinterest. (yep, I am totally blaming pinterest for this one!) I have a girlfriend who likened a child’s first birthday party to a wedding… sometimes it seems that way, right? I LOVE to decorate for parties, but had to set realistic expectations for what eloise’s party would be like because it would have been so easy to get super carried away. plus, eloise is only going to remember this party from photos. first birthday parties are for parents moms (& same with nurseries!) so I was determined not to go overboard.

of course I had a pinterest board (it was secret though!) & I honestly started pinning ideas of things around the time she was 6 months old. once we got closer to the actual event, I decided on a theme: polka dots. I knew it would be easy & simple, & it was something that eloise loved too! for me the theme was one of the trickier parts because I am not a fan of party décor that is super matchy-matchy. I think blogs & pinterest has created this idea that every single thing at a party (food, decorations, invitations, etc.) have to be perfectly on theme. but I prefer a more subtle theme, so dots were perfect.

color was the very first thing that I thought of & I pinned a few different colorways before I found the perfect one (see below). I wanted something that was fun, a little girly, & sophisticated, & this was right on! the colors I ended up with were all of my favorite colors: navy blue, mint green, grey, hot pink, teal, & gold. {& if I would have had time to make those paper party blowers, I would have! next time.}

{image via}

I started with the invitation since that would be the first thing everyone would see &, let’s be honest, I adore paper goods. just like Christmas cards, I designed the invitation (using photoshop & illustrator), had them printed at my favorite local printers (Girlie Press if you live in Seattle!), & snail-mailed them to our guests. while sites like Paperless Post & Evite are really great (especially for managing RSVPs), there is something really special about a mailed card that you can hold in your hand & hang on your fridge. plus, after perusing the Paperless Post site for a few minutes, I quickly decided I would be so much happier if I just made my own invites since nothing seemed quite perfect. the other great thing about having designed the invites is that I could later make party signs that followed the same theme.

{sorry this is so pixelated!}

& since I was doing paper invites, I also decided I wanted to line the envelopes. this is a little something extra that I think is really fun & I never get to do with our Christmas cards since it would be so time consuming! after shopping around at a few craft stores, I opted to design a stripey pink envelope liner (& then the hot pinks matched perfectly!). in order to save time, money, & paper though I made the inserts half size so that they didn’t go down inside the entire envelope. it ended up working perfectly & I could even print two liners per page! since I did the liners later, I had them printed at my local Kinko’s (the online printing service is pretty cool!).

when it came to décor, I knew I wanted to DIY a few things, but I wanted to keep it simple. garlands, balloons, party hats. that was pretty much it!

going with the polka dot theme, these paper dot garlands were perfect. I have seen a lot of different versions in my pinterest feed, but I liked the ones with the same size dots just in different colors. I chose the colors based on the paper supply at Michael’s & ended up with a glittery gold (but the glitter didn’t fall all over!), grey, hot pink, & mint green. I decided on a 3 inch circle (I traced the lens hood on our camera which was the perfect size) & traced & cut out all of the dots. it took some time (a few evenings of White Collar) & I had cramped hands afterwards, but I didn’t want to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a 3 inch paper circle cutter just for these garlands! once I had the dots all cut out, I sort of randomly arranged them in order making sure there weren’t two dots of the same color together, or too much of a pattern. then I just sewed them together using a slightly longer stitch than I normally would for fabric. I left a long thread on both ends of the garland & used a white cotton thread (my go-to) to sew the dots together right down the middle of the dot. I didn’t leave room between the dots (though I could have) & found that putting down two pieces of washi tape on my machine helped to line up the next dot. {see dot garland pictures below with the ONE balloons!}

I also wanted to make a small garland to hang on the chalkboard. I found this great cardstock with gold polka dots at Michael’s & grabbed a few sheets since it was so on-theme! I ended up using some of it to make half of the chalkboard garlands (the other half I used plain cardstock). I like the look of little flags, so I used a simple rectangle & cut out the bottom triangle to make it a flag. I cut little slits with an exacto knife & then thread each flag onto white twine (with a gold glitter thread).

I ended up deciding pretty early that I wanted to make party hats since most of the kids at the party would be around eloise’s age. while a regular-sized party hat would have fit, I like the look of a slightly smaller party hat, especially on little kids. so I found this party hat template on Oh Happy Day! & printed it at 75% (or so). then I traced & cut out seven party hats out of plain cardstock, & one out of the gold polka dot cardstock (for eloise). I originally wanted to glue paper dots onto each hat using the same paper that I had used for the big dot garlands, but once I started one hat, it looked terrible. I could have probably painted dots onto the hats & it would have looked cute, but I opted at that point to leave the party hats plain. to make the hats look a little more festive, I added a small tissue pom pom to the top. there are lots of tutorials on how to make tissue poufs on pinterest & the interwebs. I used 5 sheets of tissue paper that were like 2 or 3 inches (small) & used very thin floral wire to wrap around & keep the pom poms together. I left the wire long on each pom pom so that I had something to tape onto the inside of the hat. I used gold & teal tissue for most of the party hats & hot pink for eloise’s polka dot hat. {sidenote: though these party hats were mostly intended for kids, they really weren’t super kid friendly. we didn’t have any issues with the hats, but the elastic & floral wire made them slightly dangerous. I made sure we had supervision while wearing the party hats.}

the other theme of the party (other than polka dots) was ONE since that was the age eloise was turning… so I thought it would be fun to have big balloons that spelled out ONE after seeing this adorable set-up with letter balloons. I ordered the O and N balloons from the Oh Happy Day! Party Shop in the large size (34 inches – they were huge!) because that was what was in stock. I was able to find the exact same balloon on Amazon for the letter E. there was a bit of a fiasco though once I had the balloons filled & while things didn’t go according to plan, I was able to make it work & was really pretty happy with it in the end. so if you are thinking about using giant letter balloons, learn from my story: on thursday evening before the party (which was saturday afternoon) I decided to run out to our local party store to have the balloons filled while aaron put eloise to bed so that I didn’t have to go out on friday & try to wrangle eloise plus three giant balloons. I was able to get the balloons filled (with helium) & home with no issues. I begged aaron offered to help me hang the balloons & the dot garland once I got home so we could check that off of my to-do list. we quickly figured out that filling the balloons with helium wasn’t ideal since I wanted them to hang near the top of the window, but didn’t want strings hanging down in order to keep them floating in the right place. so we taped them from the top of the window & weighted them down at the bottom with metal nuts (actually a really genius move by my husband!). all was well until 7 am on friday morning when I heard a POP! yep, the E balloon burst right at the seams & I was left with balloons that spelled out “ON.” perfect. Amazon Prime can get stuff to us quickly, but not that quickly, so I headed back to the party store later that afternoon (& luckily my mom was in town by that time so she watched eloise). while I was assured at the party store by multiple employees that the E balloon didn’t burst due to overfilling (I still question that, but I was picking my battles at that point!) they did make sure to tell me that the balloons sold on Amazon have about a 50% failure rate. that would have been nice to know. luckily this party store sold the same gold numbers, & the number 3 backwards looks a lot like a letter E. right before I was getting the 3 filled though, I noticed that it was a slightly different gold color than the original balloons. uh oh. but do you know what? the number 0 & the letter O are identical & I figured it may look somewhat purposeful if the O & the E were a different color than the N so I went with it. I also was talking thru the weighting process with the balloon fillers & they told me all of my problems would be solved if I just had the balloons filled with air. duh! so for the same price as helium (what?) I had the 0 & 3 balloons filled with air. once I got home, we took down the letter O & hung up the 0 & backwards 3. it was perfect (well as perfect as it was ever going to be!) & you couldn’t even tell the color difference! so all of that to say, if you are going to buy letter balloons, don’t buy them off of Amazon & buy a few extra just in case!

we had two cakes at the party – one for adults & party guests, & a small smash cake for eloise. the big cake was a vanilla one from Whole Foods & while I am certain it had the highest quality ingredients, aaron & I decided early on that we didn’t want to introduce eloise to sugar (just yet!). so I made her a little smash cake that was banana & blueberry with whipped coconut milk frosting. I really wanted some kind of cake topper too & made two sets (one for each cake) using this cake topper as inspiration. it was really simple to make. I cut different widths of paper strips (using the same paper as the big dot garlands) & glued them onto a wooden BBQ skewer (which I cut down in length after the flags were on it). once all of the paper strips were glued on, I cut out the little triangles from the ends, making each flag a different length. I added the writing with a gold paint pen, & added the gold-thread twine (which is the same I used to hang the chalkboard garland).

because of the smash cake photo op, I wanted to decorate eloise’s highchair a bit. nothing too elaborate, but I did make two little garlands that hung on the front of her tray. the first one was a tiny version of the dot garland. I used a small circle cutter that I have (it is about an inch and a half) & then sewed the small dots together just like I did with the bigger garland. the other garland used the same little cardstock flags as the chalkboard garland, & I added ONE to the middle three flags.

while perusing pinterest for party ideas, I came across a few pins for a party time capsule. I instantly fell in love with the idea & knew I wanted to do some type of time capsule for eloise to open on her 18th birthday. I found this great gold polka-dotted box at Home Goods & knew it would be perfect. the idea is that I am saving things from eloise’s first birthday party, storing the box, & giving it to eloise to open on her 18th birthday. pretty fun, huh? so far we’ve got all of her first birthday cards, the cake toppers, eloise’s party hat, the garlands from the highchair, the 3 balloon (since it doubles as an E for eloise!). plus, I thought it would be fun for each guest (well adult) to fill out a card for eloise so she could have all of them to read in 17 years (see picture below). I am hoping to add her ONE onesie that she wore on her birthday & for her first year photoshoot (still waiting on pictures from the photographer), a string that is the same length as her at one year, & perhaps some printed photos from her party & photoshoot.

& finally, I always put a Kraft paper tablecloth out on our dining room table (where we serve food) whenever we have a big group of people over. it gives me peace of mind that the table won’t be destroyed by water or food, & it makes clean-up so easy! plus, it usually goes with the party décor since I almost always incorporate Kraft paper somehow. I keep this huge roll of Kraft paper around for occasions such as these (& use it to make table runners, signs, wrap gifts, the possibilities are endless!). for this party, I also added some confetti to the table that I picked up here (apparently it is the BEST confetti ever!).

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{this is the only photo we have of the table – birthday party aftermath!}

I had SO much fun planning eloise’s party! &, if I do say so myself, think I did a pretty good job managing the décor & not going too crazy.

did you plan a first birthday party for your kiddo(s)?

M

this post contains affiliate links.

eloise {first birthday party!}

eloise turned ONE & we had such a fun time at her party! we were surrounded by family & friends to celebrate the first year of our daughter, & it meant so much to us that everyone came over. surprisingly, I wasn’t as emotional at all about eloise turning one (even on her actual birthday!) & I really thought I would be a mess. lots & lots of people have been asking for party pictures, so here you go. {warning: there are a lot of photos!}

{we had lawn flamingoes & a dot garland to welcome guests (to our very dry lawn!). I meant to get the big flamingoes, but ended up ordering miniature ones instead (no longer available)!}


{this was a time capsule that I am doing for eloise’s first birthday. I asked each guest to fill out a card to include in the box. more details to come!}


{eloise’s smash cake & other birthday cake.}


{just brushing her teeth & playing with mama’s phone at her party.}


I didn’t take the words of advice to really limit the guest list because we wanted this to be a celebration that included all of the family & friends that are important in eloise’s life. however, I did want to keep things casual & not have a strict schedule of events, so we just did two things: a fortune telling & the cake smash.

in the Korean culture, first birthday parties are a very big deal – traditionally & in the modern day. one of the birthday traditions – the Dol – is that a child is set in front of objects & picks one. the object that is chosen is supposed to be representative of that child’s future. since eloise is half-korean, we thought it would be fun to do at her party. we also incorporated a voting portion & each guest put his or her name in a cup to vote on which object eloise would pick. once she had picked an object, I drew a name from that cup & had a little prize. I tried to stick to the traditional objects & keep the number minimal so she didn’t get overwhelmed. needless to say, she was overwhelmed & got upset at the beginning! (funny thing is that another kiddo who had a Dol at her party also cried when she had to pick!) at first eloise went for the thread/yarn, but after getting some reassurance from her papa, she ended up choosing the book. big surprise! so, eloise is going to be a scholar in her future!


{we had the objects set out so guests could see them & vote for which one eloise would pick! you can also see a shot of the slideshow we had going on the TV – all of eloise’s weekly & monthly pictures.}






{she set out for the thread first, but before she grabbed it she stopped, looked up at everyone, & started to cry. aaron gave her some snuggles & then sent her back on her way. she picked the book & was pretty happy with her choice in the end!}

after the Dol we decided it was time for some cake. I got a simple vanilla cake from Whole Foods for the guests to enjoy, but aaron & I didn’t want to introduce eloise to sugar, especially in that quantity, on this occasion. {sidenote: I realize that I won’t be able to keep eloise away from sugar forever, but I might as well while she has no idea what it is!} so I made a sugar-free banana & blueberry cake (it was similar to a banana bread) with a whipped coconut milk frosting. the recipe made two 9 inch cakes which was way too much & I ended up cutting two small circle cakes out of one of them & stacking them on top of each other (& I froze the other cake). in hindsight, I should have made a whipped cream cheese frosting instead since this was the first time eloise had coconut & she didn’t seem to be a fan. she wasn’t super interested in the cake (which was a huge surprise to us all) & I think it was because of the coconut. I gave her just the plain cake later & she gobbled it up!











{these smash cake pictures are like the many faces of eloise!}


{I am not sure which one of these family photos I like the best. & I love that eloise’s feet are blurry because she was wiggling!}

& a huge THANK YOU to our friend jess & my brother-in-law ben for taking pictures at the party! I made sure to leave our camera out (thanks for getting some snaps jess!) & asking ben to bring his camera to take photos so that I didn’t have to worry about taking the photos during the party. plus, it means that aaron & I are in them which is really special!

happy happy first birthday eloise!

M

diy matchstick holder.

this project has been on my {insanely long} to do list forever, but I finally did it! & this is such an easy DIY that I feel silly even having a step-by-step tutorial. seriously.

I am not a huge candle burner (it scares me to death that I will accidently leave a candle burning!) but I do like having candles as décor. on the off-chance that I do want to light a candle though, I wanted a matchstick holder that looked nicer than a matchbox.

{pinspiration via The Organised Housewife}

yep, this is a tutorial for gluing a strike pad on the bottom of a glass jar!

supplies:

  • glass jar or container (I used a small Diptyque candle)
  • box of matches – you will need the strike pad & matches (you could also probably use sandpaper)
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • glue

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{after finishing the candle I cleaned out the wax using boiling water // I liked the green-tipped matches}

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{cut out the strike pad // trace & cut to fit to slightly smaller than the bottom of the container}

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{glue the strike pad down & let dry // add matches}

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voila! easiest DIY ever & it looks so much better on our bathroom vanity.

are you a candle lover?

M

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