April 27, 2017

Baby Name Blocks | DIY Nursery Decor

Recently, I've come across so many adorable baby toys and nursery decor ideas while perusing Pinterest and Instagram. One of my favourites being the traditional wooden baby blocks. I love how classic and timeless they are and how you can spell out your baby's name to display in the nursery. There are so many companies and Etsy shops that sell gorgeous custom sets of these blocks but they can be upwards of $50! So instead I thought I'd DIY my own, which allowed me to really personalise them and save a lot of money too.

Supplies Needed:

  • Wooden Blocks
  • Acrylic Paint & Brush
  • Masking Tape
  • ModPodge (Optional)

I went to the Michaels Craft Store and picked up 3 of these 2.5-inch wooden blocks for $1.60 each. Talk about cost effective! I already had white acrylic paint, a brush and masking tape at home, so this whole project cost me less than $6 total to create. Of course, if you want to do the whole alphabet or are spelling out a longer name, it will cost more.

First I planned out the design and picked bold, graphic patterns that could represent water or the sea since that's the meaning behind his name. I also chose to have his name in English and Japanese. You can draw the designs on by hand or I've seen people use letter stencils or letter stickers that they paint over and then peel away to reveal the image. I used tracing paper for the letters and kanji to make sure they were consistent in size and style. I then transferred it to the block with graphite paper. For the waves and other patterns, I cut them out of washi tape (masking tape) so that I could repeat the patterns and just paint over the tape to create a clean design. I would tape all three blocks together when I was doing a pattern that I wanted to extend across all the blocks in order to keep them straight and aligned. I took inspiration from the simple colour palate of white and the natural wood found in these two block sets here and here (pictured below) and tried to recreate it myself.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with how they turned out. It was time-consuming but a fun project and it will make for a lovely keepsake. I'm thinking of sealing in the paint and wood with ModPodge to give it a nice final finish. Keep in mind that these blocks should be strictly for decor only while your baby is in the "putting everything in their mouth phase". Since I used acrylic paint, I don't want my baby to chew on these and possibly consume anything toxic! I'll wait until Kai is older before he can play around with them.


April 05, 2017

Layered + Long | Baby Name Necklace

Working in a jewellery store I help many mums with buying personalised jewellery to represent their children. Whether that be a necklace with the child's initial, a zodiac sign, an engraved name necklace or birthstone pendant. I always loved this idea and thought it to be so sweet and sentimental!

Now that we know that our baby is a boy, and his name will be Kai, I wanted to treat myself to a dainty necklace to represent him. I love the idea of zodiac signs or birthstones but because he's due early July, I can't be certain exactly what sign or birthstone he will have. I had been searching online for a simple and minimalistic silver necklace that could be engraved and I couldn't find anything that was just right. Either it was too bold, too expensive or only in gold (seriously there a lot of companies out there that work solely in yellow gold!). I took to Etsy and found this perfect jeweller called Layered + Long. They have a huge variety of beautiful everyday jewellery that can be customised in all sorts of ways. You can choose the length, colour of metal (gold, silver or rose gold), the size and number of pendants, and even the font! I gravitated to the delicate bar style and chose to have it made with two pendants, one engraved with Kai and the other Shinji. I really like the look of them together and it's nice to represent my two boys! Although I do feel a little guilty not including Sam our cat - he's one of my boys too! But I think that's my crazy cat lady self coming out. 

I was so pleased that just as much care and attention was put into the packaging as was the necklace. It came with beautiful instructional cards, a polishing cloth and a hand written - thank you! It made for a beautiful presentation. I enjoy layering the necklace with my another favourite piece by Leah Alexandra. It's called the Sunny Necklace in silver and labradorite, and I think they pair really nicely together. Whether you're on the hunt for personalised jewellery or not, I really recommend Layered + Long. Their collection includes a wonderful array of pieces that (as the name suggests) all layer easily together for an effortless look. And the best part is, is that they're all made with high-quality materials made to last. Goldfill and sterling silver are used and they're at a really affordable price point for the quality of the items. My two engraved bar necklace was around $50 CAD. 


April 02, 2017

Kai's Nursery | Shibori Wallpaper by Milton & King

Ta-dah! The Shibori wallpaper installation was a success! Shinji took on the project like a pro and installed it seamlessly. We're both wallpaper newbies and let me tell you that it ain't a cake walk to apply wallpaper. First, we had to remove the floating shelves from the wall (you can see the before photo in this post). The previous owners had installed them and we didn't know what a mess they'd be to remove. The screws left large holes and the first layer of the dry wall peeled away when the shelves were pulled out. It's important to prep the wall properly so that the wallpaper has a smooth and clean surface to adhere to. So we patiently sanded down the wall, puttied the holes and then sanded them down again smooth after it dried. In order to have a uniform surface, Shinji painted over where the shelves had been with a white paint. After that was all said and done we were ready for the paper!

We took a weekend to complete the project so on day two we measured the wall and cut the paper to size. The Milton & King wallpaper was easy to place, pull up and place again because of its thick weight and a durable texture. This allowed us a few attempts to line up edges straight. The paste was easy to wipe off from mistakes with a damp sponge that also worked as a smoothing tool to remove any bubbles.

Creating a feature wall with wallpaper is a decorating investment so I think it's perfect for small spaces like our nursery, a powder room or entryway to add a fun statement. Milton & King is a luxury paper with a price to match but I think it was worth paying a little extra for a quality paper that will be durable for many years to come. Especially after all the hard work put in to installing it! I really think it has created a special and unique atmosphere to Kai's Nursery! I would say his Nursery is pretty much done now. I'm still needing to hang the art work above the dresser and we have a Keekaroo Peanut changing pad to be placed on top of the dresser to make it into a changing table. We also just bought the Nook Crib mattress, hence the plastic still covering it - but that will be removed shortly! Maybe we'll add a mobile above the crib if we find one that works with the space, but I'll update you with any additions! UPDATE - I did make a mobile and you can see how it was made by clicking here.

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