‘You Are My Sunshine’ Birthday – DIY Bird and Sunshine Garland

You Are My Sunshine Birthday DIY Bird and Sunshine Garland

In March, we celebrated our daughter’s second birthday. The house was decorated with a ‘You Are My Sunshine’ photo birthday banner, strung using patterned paper covered clothes pins. To brighten things up a bit, we made a few strings of bird and sunshine garland using patterned scrapbook paper and thread.

Patterns:

birds and sunshine

Five patterns of colored (non-yellow) scrapbook paper were used to cut 15 each of birds and wings. To mix things up a bit, 5 birds were cut facing one direction and 10 the other direction. Three patterns of yellow scrapbook paper were used to cut 12 each of suns and 2″ circles.

assembled birds and suns

Birds and suns were assembled using a glue stick, making sure each bird and sun had two different patterns.

Bird and Sunshine Garland

The birds and suns were strung on both using a needle and thread in a pattern (1 sun, 1 bird, 1 sun, 2 birds), 6 inches apart. Tape was applied over the thread in the back to secure each bird and sun in place. Both horizontal and vertical garlands were made.

Since similar paper was used for the photo banner, the garland was a great compliment. The light-weight garland was was hung using Scotch tape – easy to put up and remove.

The kids loved the garland and photo banner so much, we left both up through the Easter holiday. We are just taking it all down today, almost a month later! The decorations will be saved so some will be modified for our daughter’s room when she transitions from her crib to a bed in a few months.

‘You Are My Sunshine’ Birthday – DIY ‘You Are My Sunshine’ Photo Birthday Banner

DIY You Are My Sunshine Photo Birthday Banner

Our daughter turned TWO on Sunday. She is fun, sweet and joyful – full of curiosity, and quirky humor. She is a delight to be around and we are blessed by her every single day.

Before she was born, I bought her a sign for her wall that said “You Are My Sunshine” for her bedroom wall. And it is so true! She brightens up every room, and every face in it.

Even though she’s only two, I wanted to honor her by creating a few decorations. If you know her, you’ll agree that ‘You Are My Sunshine’ is a fitting theme for the girl who truly is…our sunshine.

I am convinced that every child (and adult) needs is a birthday banner in their honor. It is a simple and inexpensive, yet personal touch for their special day. The couple’s shower banner, simple birthday banner and dinosaur party banners I’ve shared in the past have been created using patterned paper and stenciled letters.

But this time I wanted to do something a little different.

I am one of those annoying moms who is always chasing their children with the camera…so with the hundreds (no, let’s be honest, thousands) of photos from the past year, I had plenty to choose from to make a photo banner. I wanted to pick one picture for each month of the past year. This way we can display some of our favorite memories of Adelyn and highlight how she has changed as she grew from one to two.

The biggest problem? Picking just one photo per month!

Pictures were selected that captured various facial expressions, and could be printed in black and white. Photos were printed on white cardstock using our home printer (P.S. remember to select grayscale printing if you don’t want to drain every ink cartridge on your printer), then cut to 8×8″.

The words to “You Are My Sunshine” were typed out using PicMonkey online photo editor (easy to use and free) using ‘Animatic Small Caps’ font (one of my favorites). I took some liberty modifying the rhyme to suit a birthday theme (just imagine singing it to the melody of the song):

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy…when skies are gray. You’ll never know, child, how much we love you. Happy Birthday, to you, today.

You Are My Sunshine Banner Flags

The text was divided between 8 flags to hang between the photos and was also printed on white cardstock.

At first, the white flags and black and white photos were hung using plain clothes pins. Excited to see it, I was disappointed by it’s lackluster and drab appearance…not exactly what I was going for with a sunshine theme.

So, I decided to use some patterned scrapbook paper to brighten things up. First, I made patterned paper covered clothes pins. Since I was short on time, my helpful mom cut the flags and lined them wtih patterned paper. We used Scotch tape for a quick application. She then labeled each photo with the month the photo was taken in. The labels were printed on scrapbook paper and glued onto the photos using a glue stick.

Pretty soon, the once coloress banner looked bright and sunshine-worthy.

Labels

The labeled photos and modified flags were re-hung on twine using the newly decorated clothes pins. 3M Command hooks were used to suspend the banner across our kitchen.

There were two very excited children when they came down for breakfast on Wednesday. They noticed it immediately.

Giggles, and a half jumping, half running-in-place ‘happy dance‘ ensued (hysterical, and has been repeated several times now).

Many of our friends have said there is no need to decorate for a 2-year-old’s birthday. And, they’re right…she wouldn’t miss the decorations…But the joy on both our son’s and daughter’s faces was worth every effort and would have been missed by me.

Completed banner

Happy Birthday Adelyn Joy. We love you!

‘You Are My Sunshine’ Birthday – DIY Quick and Easy Patterned Paper Covered Clothes Pins

Sunshine Birthday DIY Quick and Easy Patterned Paper Covered Clothes Pins

I recently made a photo banner for our daughter’s ‘You Are My Sunshine’ birthday party. I wanted to hang the photos using clothes pins, but after hanging them up, I found the black and white photos and tan clothes pins looked a little drab.

I decided to use some of the bright-colored paper used on the banner to decorate the clothes pins.

This was a quick, inexpensive project using materials I already had on hand. The finished clothes pins provide a much-needed pop of color and can be used long after the banner is taken down. With a little focus, I made 21 of these in under 15 minutes.

Materials:

Steps:

  1. Trace a clothes pin onto the back of the patterned paper
  2. Measure theLxW and draw the pattern on the back of the patterned paper(s) for as many clothes pins as you have
    • I decorated only one side. If choosing to decorate both sides of the clothes pins, make twice as many strips
  3. Cut the strips and set aside
  4. Working quickly, use a paint brush to coat the flat side of a clothes pin withModgePodge, and apply the paper strip
    • Apply liberally since the wood is porous and will soak up some of the Modge Podge
    • Align the paper before applying, as it does not slide easily once applied
  5. Press firmly to
    1. If any glue squished out, simply wipe off with your finger or a rag
  6. Continue, coating and applying paper. I did 2 or 3 pins at a time without the Modge Podge drying
  7. Allow to dry 1 hour
  8. Use a paint brush to apply a thin layer ofModgePodge on the top of the paper (dries clear)
    • Use the brush to smooth out any wrinkles
  9. Allow to dry 1 hour

A Laid-back Open House Couples Shower

A Laid-Back Open House Couples Shower | www.thisgratefulmama.com

Together with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, I was privileged to host a couples wedding shower over Easter weekend.  The shower was for my niece, Brittni, and her fiancé, Justin – such a fun couple! It was our pleasure to celebrate with them as they prepare for their big day!

Justin had never met most of Brittni’s MN family and friends, and they flew in from the east coast for the shower. We wanted to ensure they had a chance to really talk to people who made the effort to come.  Also, since it was a holiday weekend, we decided to have an open-house shower so people had the freedom to come and go as their schedules allowed. The loose structure and flow of people in and out at different times allowed the couple to talk to everyone who came.

Invitations

Invitations for the shower were created using a free online wedding invitation template found on www.WeddingChicks.com.  All text in the template can be changed, so even though it was designed for a wedding, I was able to modify it for a shower. The invitations were printed on card-stock and mailed along with directions and an index card for guests to bring a favorite recipe to the shower.

A Laid-Back Open House Couples Shower | www.thisgratefulmama.com

Relationship timeline

Because some of the guests didn’t know a lot about the couple, we created a relationship timeline to help guests learn more.  Using white crayon, the timeline was written on black construction paper to create a chalkboard look and bordered by patterned scrapbook paper. The timeline included significant relationship events: how they met, first date, first “I love you, the proposal and wedding details. The timeline was posted on the wall throughout the main room where everyone gathered. As people mingled and ate, they read and learned more about the couple. A few of them are shown below.

Relationship Timeline - FIRST DATE | www.thisgratefulmama.com Relationship Timeline - First I LOVE YOU | www.thisgratefulmama.com Relationship Timeline - THE WEDDING | www.thisgratefulmama.com

What they love about each other

Lists of the things Brittni and Justin love about each other were displayed on the chalkboard sides of two IKEA easels.  They were set up near the entryway to draw people into the house as they arrived. How neat is it that they both listed that they love how the other loves the Lord?

What She Loves About Him | www.thisgratefulmama.com  What He Loves About Her | www.thisgratefulmama.com

Open-house friendly food

Food for the open house was intended to be easy for people to serve themselves, and for us as hosts to keep cold and fresh. We served fresh fruit, chicken salad with croissants, chips with salsa, spinach dip and guacamole, veggies and dip, deviled eggs, popcorn and an assortment of desserts. To keep things simple, we served ice water, unsweetened iced tea with fresh lemons and sugar cubes, lemonade, coffee, and sparkling water.

A Laid-back Open House Couples Shower - Beverages | www.thisgratefulmama.com A Laid-back Open House Couples Shower - Food | www.thisgratefulmama.com  A Laid-back Open House Couples Shower - Desserts | www.thisgratefulmama.com

Other special touches 

In the invitation, guests were asked to bring a favorite recipe. They dropped them off by the gift table. There were some ‘secret’ family recipes in the bunch so the couple got some special recipes. In the main room, there was a place for guests to leave a note of encouragement or advice for the couple to read later. A banner was hung across with their names made from the same patterned scrapbook paper as the relationship timeline. We also framed their Save the Date and Wedding Invitations to display them for guests.

A Laid-back Open House Couples Shower - Gift Table | www.thisgratefulmama.com A Laid-back Open House Couples Shower - Notes of Encouragement | www.thisgratefulmama.com

A Laid-back Open House Couples Shower - Banner | www.thisgratefulmama.com

Since the couple was from out of town, most gifts were small in size, making it easy for them to bring everything home on the plane. Some gave gift cards and money, and some wrapped a photo or description of larger gifts purchased from their gift registry and mailed.

Overall the shower was a success!

We had a great turn out, despite the holiday weekend. This couple is well-loved and people did not want to miss the chance to see them! The atmosphere was laid back and relaxing. Many guests stayed a most of time and were able to spend some quality time with the couple.

Hosting this shower was fun, and was such a blessing to me. Since we don’t live near the couple it was special to get the chance to celebrate before the big day. We had the privilege to finally meet Justin, see Brittni, and watch the respectful, joyful and loving way they interact.  The wedding will be in Maine this June so our family will taking a short vacation to attend. We are also excited that our son Aiden will be the ring bearer (aka. polar bear, if you ask him) in the wedding, so fun!

Congratulations, Brittni and Justin!

We cannot wait to celebrate with you on your wedding day this June.

 

Also check out A Couples Wedding Shower for more ideas.