valentine’s day diy: sparks card & date night jar.

to wrap up my valentine’s day diy {just two days away, eek!}, i have two small projects to share.

first up is a card which is loosely based off of a card i have seen before in stores.


  • short matchstick
  • cardstock or blank card
  • thin wire
  • marker or pen – i love the thin sharpies
  • construction paper/paper/envelope
  • washi tape – optional

i cut out a folding card from plain white cardstock. i put the fold on the top edge, but you could put it on the side edge too. then i laid down the matchstick where i wanted it on the card – a bit off-centered – & punched two tiny holes on both sides of the matchstick. then i thread a short piece of wire thru the holes, looping around the matchstick, & putting the ends thru the back of the card. i twisted the wire to secure the matchstick.


then i wrote out “sparks fly” on the outside of the card, & “when we’re together” in the inside. simple as that.


the last project i have to share is a fun valentine’s gift for aaron – a date night jar. we have been talking about the fact that two-and-a-half years into marriage that we don’t go on dates really anymore. at least not like we used to. so, i thought it would be fun to compile some ideas so that when we find ourselves looking for something fun to do, we could skip past the brainstorming & move right to the date!

there are lots of “date night jars” on pinterest so definitely search there if you want some more versions of this idea.


  • short glass jar – i used a mason jar
  • fat popsicle sticks
  • acrylic paint – i used festive red & pink 
  • sharpie or marker
  • felt
  • twine or string

i started out by brainstorming & writing out all of my date ideas. i tried to make half of them free dates & half of them pay dates. i was with some girlfriends during this process which helped the idea-flowing tremendously, but i tried to think of all of those things that we always say we want to do or only do when out-of-town guests are visiting. then i painted the ends of the sticks {both sides} – red signifying the pay dates & pink the free ones.


then i put all of the sticks in the jar, painted side up. i traced a heart out of felt & tied it onto the jar with some string.


it’s not too late to whip up a fun something for your valentine! do you craft or buy for valentine’s day?


a shower for baby garner-ballard.

one of the reasons we picked the weekend before last to take a trip to the midwest was so that i could attend meg’s baby shower. {sidenote: meg is a cousin of one of aaron’s cousins, but that is just semantics & i consider meg family!}

one of the really fun parts about the shower is that kendra & i kept our trip on the DL, & showed up as surprise guests for meg. so fun!

aaron’s aunt & cousins – sharon, abbi, & maggi – threw the shower & they did such a wonderful job. the décor was so adorable & i was loving the color scheme. meg knows that she is having a boy, but i love that the shower didn’t scream “BOY!”


{those cake pops were delish // a fun sign for baby GB}



{stripey straws for the drinks // fun colored candy}


{maggi, meg, kendra, & kenley // mama & daughter}


{meg was spoiled with lots of love in the form of presents!}


{meg opening presents with her sister kait by her side // kenley wanted in on the present-opening action}


{meg enjoying a handmade card // i made some art of meg’s nursery}


{love you meg & happy shower!}

where is the farthest you have flown for a baby shower?


p.s. maggi, abbi, meg, & kendra all have blogs, so if you aren’t already a reader, you should definitely check them out!

diy baby shower gift: baby swaddler.

when it came down to the gift that i wanted to give amanda at her baby shower, i knew i wanted to make something. amanda is one who loves things handmade – you should see the beautiful cards she makes! – plus, i liked the idea of hand making something for the new baby (seems more personal).

this could be considered another pinspiration project because i found the idea from pinterest!

from the very little that i know about infants, i do know that swaddling is a way to help them feel like they are back in the womb. however, amanda & her husband are first-time parents & the process of swaddling a baby seems, well, difficult. a wailing infant with flailing arms & legs? no thank you.

so, why not a swaddler. an infant-sized sleeping bag that allows those arms & legs to be gently velcro-ed in. genius! {sidenote: i really hope this was a thoughtful present after all, meaning that i hope it really works!}

*update: the little babe i made this swaddler for was only about 7 pounds when she was born, so the size of this swaddler is too big. if you know how big the baby is, you can adjust the size accordingly.*


{original tutorial: snuggler}

{sidenote: the gal’s blog who posted the original tutorial makes an amazing amount of things by hand. if you want some inspiration, definitely check out her blog!}


  • pattern printed {updated link!}
  • instructions (attached to the pattern pdf)
  • 1 yard fabric – fun fabric for outside of swaddle (i used fabric from pacific fabrics)
  • 1 yard fabric – flannel or soft cotton fabric for inside swaddle (i got organic cotton flannel from this etsy seller)
  • pins
  • fabric scissors
  • fadeout marker (the type of marker that either has disappearing ink or disappears with water)
  • velcro
  • thread (i used white)
  • iron
  • sewing machine
  • ruler (i used it to help me transfer the dart pattern)

{sidenote: please excuse the bad lighting in the last set of photos. i was taking them in the evening without sunlight, so the color is funky. the real color of the green fabric is mint green & is best seen in the first part of the tutorial.}

this was the first time i made something from a pattern, so i was a bit nervous. plus, it was intended to be a gift to a crafty girlfriend who was expecting her first baby – no pressure! after my first read-thru (& second & third!) i found some of the instructions a little confusing. my remedy was to just go ahead & start, & i would work out the finer details as i came to them; turns out, this was a pretty good method!

first, print out, cut out & tape together the pattern (there are two main pieces). then iron your fabrics (after pre-washing them in hot or warm water to prevent later shrinking!).


fold the printed fabric in half & pin the patterns to the wrong side of the fabric, lining up the folded edge to the inside of the pattern (there is a note on the pattern where it should line up with the folded edge). cut out the fabric along the pattern.


before removing the pins, trace the dart pattern onto the wrong side of the fabric. i placed a pin at the top point of the dart triangle (so that i could lift the paper to expose the fabric) & then used a ruler to draw very faint dotted lines onto the fabric with my fadeout marker.


the instructions also tell you to transfer dotted lines where the velcro strips will be placed. {sidenote: i did this, but in hindsight i think it is unnecessary. the velcro “placeholders” that i made were much bigger than the velcro i ended up using & so there was a lot of blotting with water to remove the ink from the fadeout marker. i think that once you are at the point where you add the velcro – later in the tutorial – you can look back to the pattern to determine where the velcro strips should be sewn on.}


sew the darts into place. this was my first time sewing darts, but it is a fairly easy process. you basically fold the fabric in half (the middle dart line becomes the fold) & pin. then you run a seam towards the raw edge of the fabric. then you cut off the extra fabric.



{darts completed on both fabrics. you can see the remaining ink lines here; i blotted the ink with a damp washcloth to make it disappear before i sewed the pieces together.}

repeat all above steps with the flannel fabric. then, you should have two identical pieces, one in printed fabric & the other in flannel fabric.


then you place the flannel piece (inside out) into the fabric piece (inside out) & pin the pieces together. then attach the pieces by sewing around the half moon piece, as well as along the arm pieces, leaving a couple inches at the bottom of the left arm open (to flip the fabric). trim the seams.


flip the swaddler right-side out. i used a chopstick (clean, of course!) to help turn the corners & edges.


then hand sew the remainder of the edge shut.


grab your velcro & lay out the pieces. cut three lengths of velcro (both pieces!) a couple of inches long. one piece goes on the front half-moon piece (middle picture) & two go on the outside left arm/inside right arm (far right picture). i sewed the rough piece of velcro to the front half-moon & also to the front side of the left arm; the soft velcro pieces are placed accordingly so that the velcro will properly close.




{the final swaddler!}

what do you think of handmade baby shower presents? also, to my readers who have infants or kids, did you swaddle?