Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wash Your Hands Printable

I think I am turning into a germophobe!  Every couple of years I get a sinus infection that lasts for months.  The best way to beat this disease is to not get sick in the first place.  I also have a son who needs to avoid antibiotics, so I am pretty careful about making sure that switchplates and doorknobs are wiped down.  All fall I have been putting signs on our doors and on the kitchen counter reminding us to wash our hands. 

I bought this chalkboard at a great little store called RodWorks.  The best part about it is that not only can I use it as a chalkboard, but I can slide 8.5 x 11.5 sheets of paper down into it! This is a wonderful little device that I have enjoyed.

I use Chalk Markers on my board.  They write beautifully and wash off easily with a rag and some water.  I had no luck finding them in any retail stores, so I bought my set from Amazon.
Anyway, we all know that once we get used to seeing something, we ignore it.  Consequently, I have made new signs every couple of weeks.  I wanted something bright and colorful for the beginning of 2012, so I made this Subway Art Printable that reminds us to wash our hands.

You can download your free copy HERE.  I printed some full size for my doors and some half size for the bathroom mirrors.  With three teenage boys, reminders are always a good thing.

And here's a reminder to you:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Make-Your-Own Computer Backgrounds

This is a very simple idea, but one that so many people overlook.  I don't know about you, but I spend a LOT of time looking at my computer screen.  I have a large monitor that sits on a desk in my kitchen, so it has impact.  I like to change up my backgrounds every month.  Sometimes I use photos, but lots of time I will just whip something up on Photoshop. Since my New Year's background is only up for a week or so, I don't get too strung out about it.

It's easy to personalize a background if you have a photo editing program. 

1.  Find your monitor size. (Directions for Windows 7)
  • Click on the Windows button in the lower left hand corner of your screen.
  • Click on "Devices and Printers"
  • Double click on the icon for your monitor.  It should then show you the resolution of your screen.  Mine says: 1920x1080p resolution
2.  In your editing software, set up a blank document in the apropriate size.  For my monitor I make the document 1920 pixels wide and 1080 pixels tall.  I usually set the resolution at 100dpi (which means dots per inch) for backgrounds, but if you are going to want to print your background for any reason, use 300dpi.

3.  Import pictures, artwork files, and text to make something that will be pleasing to you.  I like to include a calendar because I never know what day it is!

4.  I like to save my files to a document folder called "backgrounds."  If you always save things there it will be very easy to change out the backgrounds.

5.  To change your background:
  • Click on the Windows button in the lower left hand corner of the screen
  • Click on Control Panel
  • Click the "Change Desktop Background" in the Appearance and Personalization area.
  • Scroll to the area where you saved your file.  The same folder will pop up automaticaly next time, so that's why it's great to save all your backgrounds in one place.

Not ready to try it yet?  Give these simple backgrounds a try!

New Years Background
January 2012 Background  Thanks to The Graphics Fairy for the use of the birds and snowflake.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Party Hats

I love party hats.  They are so cute and festive.  They can help make any event a celebration!  When you search online, there are lots of patterns that produce tiny hats for small children.  I wanted hats that would fit my teenage children and my adult friends and that could be made out of 12x12 scrapbook paper.  Since I don't have a 12x12 printer, I wanted to make a pattern that could be printed with a regular printer and easily reproduced.  And since I never want to make this pattern again, here it is.

Large/ Adult Sized Party Hat Pattern (print 2)

These are so easy to make!
1.  Print two copies of the pattern and cut them out.  You only need the gluing tab on one piece, so you can just trim it off on the second piece and have a straight line.

2.  Tape the two pieces together to make the pattern.

3.  Use the pattern to cut a hat out of your choice of 12 x 12 paper. 

4.  Curve the hat so that the two straight edges meet.  Use hot glue or some other quick-drying, substantial glue to hold the hat's seam together.

5.  You may want to add some elastic straps or ribbons to help hold the hats on the head.  You can staple, glue, or tie fasteners on.  If you punch holes to tie the ribbon or elastic onto the hat, use some reinforcing circles or extra paper on the inside of the hat.

6.  Now decorate the hats for your event.  Printed stickers, crepe paper, garland, feathers, and paper embellishments can really dress up party hats. These pictures show a sticker that I made with Photoshop and printed several on a full sheet of labels.

Monday, December 12, 2011

12 Days of Christmas with tags and poems

(***I know this may seem late for this year, but if you can get to a WalMart and a Dollar Store- you will have no problem putting it together!)

I love doing the 12 Days of Christmas for special people who benefit from knowing someone is thinking of them everyday.  But, I wanted to do something different this year!  I didn't want to base it on the song and go the whole pineapple slices for 5 golden rings kind of thing.  I know there are a lot of suggestions across the web, but none of them were what I wanted.  That is not that unusual for me-  I apparently love to re-create the wheel!!! 

This 12 days gift set can be put together for $20 or less. . . or you can add more expensive items.  Most of the items are available at a dollar store.  The first two items are for the first and last days.

Here's how to do it:

1.  Pick your gifts.  You can pick any 12 of the following items.  These items already have hokey poems written to go with them, so if you pick other items you may need to adjust the poems. 
  • Pear scented hand lotion
  • Amaryllis or Paperwhites ($5 at WalMart)
  • A homemade banner or small decoration for the home ($1 at WalMart)
  • Small can of nuts
  • Crossword puzzle or wordfind book
  • Packet of cocoa
  • Candy (Orange Sticks or Chocolate Covered Cherries)
  • Butter Cookies- small can
  • Note pad (I covered $.68 notebooks with scrapbook paper)
  • Scarf
  • Candle or Battery-Run Candle with Timer
  • Bookmark
  • Emery Boards
  • Sugar-Free Candy
  • Hand lotion (if you can't find pear. . .)
  • Sewing Kit
  • Gift cards
2.  Print the hokey poems*.  I have them in a larger font because I usually do this activity with older people.  Cut them out (cut the "This is for a Bookmark" off, too!) and use a small piece of tape to attach them to the item.

3.  Wrap your presents.  Wrap the poem inside the gift.  I love the look of presents wrapped with brown kraft paper (shipping paper) and tied with hemp string or any kind of string, but you can use any kind of paper.

4.  Print the tags*.  You can print them on cardstock and just cut them out or you can print on paper, glue onto cardstock, and add some glitter to dress them up.  I love glitter, so that's what I did.  Plus. . . my new printer can't handle cardstock.  I advise you to punch a hole in the tags and tie them on.  Taping them didn't work nearly as well.

5.  Print the introductory poem*.  There is one for "brown paper packages tied up with string" and one for other wrapping paper.

6.  Start delivery on December 13 and enjoy the fun!  Our family does the 24th as a family and we don't run away when we ring the doorbell.  Instead, we sing a carol and give hugs to our recipient.

PLEASE. . . do not re-post these on your website.  I am happy to have people use them, but I would like to have them come here to download them.  Feel free to share a link!

*To print these items you will be re-directed to  You will have to create a log-in, but it is a safe company.  If you have any problems, please leave a comment.  I make mistakes sometimes!