DIY Custom Props for Family Christmas Pictures

Grab some chipboard and your Cricut Maker and make your own custom props for family Christmas pictures this year!

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Don and I have had the greatest joy this year of sponsoring five Plebes (freshmen) at the Naval Academy. The kids stay with us almost every weekend and have taken over our lives in the craziest, best ways possible. They refer to each other as sister and brother and have built a bond we couldn’t be prouder of. We went from a family of two to a family of seven almost overnight (plus - of course - Baloo) - so we decided to celebrate with a family photo shoot just in time for Christmas! And yes - Don and I are 100% going to send these out as our actual Christmas cards. :)


This project was so fun to make - the kids even helped me paint the letters before the photo shoot. What a great way to have the whole family involved in the process!

The possibilities for these are endless. Create your own custom words and phrases props for family reunions, weddings, birthday parties and more.


  • Cricut Maker

  • Cricut Knife Blade

  • Cricut Strong Grip Mat - 12x12 or 12x24

  • Cricut Chipboard (you will need one sheet for each letter)

  • painter’s tape

  • paint (I used FolkArt Acrylic paint in Titanium White)

  • foam brush


1. Type your word (I used the Martha Stewart - Mirror Droplet font but you can use any font you like).

2. Ungroup the word then select all of the letters and adjust the height to 10.5 (why this doesn’t work before you ungroup I’m not sure!). Check each letter and make sure none of them are wider than 10.5. Larger letters like W or M will need to be adjusted to fit. Once you have sized all the letters you are ready to cut!

DIY Custom Props for Family Christmas Pictures - Kingston Crafts

3. Tape down your chipboard before you begin. Don’t forget to move your star rollers all the way to the right if you haven’t already! NOTE - I used a 12x24 Strong Grip Mat so I could make the process go a little bit faster because I was able to tape down two pieces of chipboard at once, then just flip the mat to cut the next letter.

DIY Custom Props for Family Christmas Pictures

Cut one letter per piece of chipboard then remove any tape as necessary.

DIY Custom Props for Family Christmas Pictures - Kingston Crafts

Paint each letter as desired.

Gather the family and start creating fun memories!


Wood Spoon Garden Markers

This post first appeared over at The Crazy Craft Lady where I'm a contributor. With some inexpensive spoons and acrylic paint you can create colorful wood spoon garden markers for your garden that are practical as well as pretty!

wood spoon garden markers - Kingston Crafts


These wood spoon garden markers are the perfect way to bring a little creativity to your garden! I love color - and this was a great way to use some of my "leftover" paints.

Want an inexpensive way to store those acrylic paints? We turned a cabinet door in to the perfect paint shelf. {FTC disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links which means I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you.}


wood spoon garden markers - Kingston Crafts


1. Wrap washi or painters tape around the base of each spoon.


2. Use a foam brush to paint each spoon (I chose the paint colors to “match” the vegetable/fruit).

wood spoon garden markers - Kingston Crafts

3. Let dry. A tall cup easily fit six spoons at once! Paint a second coat if necessary.

wood spoon garden markers - Kingston Crafts

4. Cricut has a cartridge called Freshly Picked that has over a dozen different plant names ready to cut - so it took me less than five minutes to create these. Don't have a Cricut? Stickers would work just as well.

wood spoon garden markers - Kingston Crafts

5. Remove tape from spoon and add plant names. PS...normally I would use transfer tape for vinyl, but these were small enough that I just peeled them right off and applied them to the spoon.

wood spoon garden markers - Kingston Crafts

5. Add a layer of outdoor Mod Podge to each spoon.

wood spoon garden markers - Kingston Crafts

These colorful wooden spoon plant markers will help you identify the plants in your garden and get you ready for the riot of color that your fruits and vegetables will bring! Happy planting!

wood spoon garden markers - Kingston Crafts


Create Custom Home Decor with Cricut Adhesive Foil!

Cricut has hundreds of different materials and colors to choose from - and one of my all time favorites is Adhesive Foil! It comes in a variety of colors and finishes and is the perfect material to add a little extra glam to your project. Today we're turning a plain wood lid in to a custom hostess gift just in time for Thanksgiving!

{FTC disclaimer: I received free product in exchange for this post, which contains affiliate links. So I might make a few pennies if you order something - at no extra cost to you!}

Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker
Standard Grip Mat
Adhesive Foil (I used Gold)
Weeding tool
Transfer Tape
XL Scraper
Mod Podge Furniture Satin
ceramic jar with wood lid

Measure your lid, select an image in Design Space and size to fit. I selected two images and "attached" them so they would cut as one single image - you can find the file here

Once you've cut and weeded your image, apply transfer tape and place image on lid. The XL scraper is perfect for projects this size because you can cover the entire area in just a few strokes.

And voila! A customized gift in no time. I brushed a few layers of Mod Podge Furniture Satin to the lid for a little added protection from wear and tear.

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Wood lids are "in" this season - I also found these cool concrete candles at Target and decorated the lid with white vinyl and another wreath image. So many possibilities!

{photos by Catrina Anne Photography}

Want to see more great adhesive foil projects? Head on over to the Cricut blog for a round up of some of my favorites!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut . The opinions and text are all mine.

Customized Wedding Gift Topper with Mod Podge!

This wedding topper was SO easy to make - start with a wood or chipboard base, then customize to your heart's desire with FolkArt paint, Mod Podge and a little glitter (ok - a lot) to add that special sparkle.

We're celebrating all sorts of things this weekend...Don and I are headed to a wedding with our extended family, and Mod Podge is turning 50! I combined both festivities in to one project because, let's face it, when you are "crafty" you have to make sure that your present is the coolest looking one of the gift table! :) I used gold paint and sheer giltter to coordinate with my giftwrap and ribbon. Let's do this! {FTC Disclaimer: I received free product in exchange for this blog post - but the opinions and ideas are mine all mine! This post also contains affiliate links so if you buy something I might make a few pennies.}

chipboard or wood phrase or shape (mine is from Hobby Lobby)
Mod Podge Gloss
FolkArt Brushed Metal Acrylic Paint in Brushed Antique Gold
two (2) plastic cups or paper plates
foam brush
disposable work surface (I used white butcher paper) - not pictured

Paint surface of chipboard/wood shape. Be sure to paint the edges but don't worry TOO much about getting full coverage. Nobody is going to be looking that close! :)

Apply thin layer of Mod Podge, then quickly add glitter. I did my phrase in "sections" - I added Mod Podge to a few letters, then added glitter, then moved on to the next few letters, added glitter, etc.

Let dry for about 10 minutes, tap off excess glitter (I collected it in one of the plastic cups and reused it throughout the project) and repeat layers of Mod Podge and glitter until you reach the desired look, then top off with a final layer of Mod Podge.  I did three layers of glitter total - but I think I would have been totally fine with just two!

Don't forget to join the fun over on the Plaid Crafts Facebook Page all day long for project ideas, new techniques, prizes and more. Scroll down for a few other great Mod Podge projects from some of my fabulous friends - Happy National Mod Podge Day everybody!

And for even MORE ideas using Plaid Crafts products check out these fun projects!

Customizing Wood Easter Eggs from Michaels

The time right before any holiday is very dangerous for me...because the craft stores discount all of the holiday stuff and I must buy ALL of it and frantically make a bajillion projects!!! Last night it was a bunny wreath for my front door, today it is these wooden eggs from Michaels that will look perfect on our mantle! {FTC disclaimer: I received some of these items for free, and this post contains affiliate links. So I might make a few pennies if you buy something!}

Cricut Explore Air and Design Space
Light Grip Mat
Basics Tools Set
Cricut Vinyl - Linen
Transfer Tape
Plaid FolkArt acrylic paint - Titanium White
foam brush
washi tape
Michaels wooden egg easels

Remove the stickers from the wooden eggs and wrap the edges with washi tape.

Paint the edges of each egg and let dry, then repeat with a second coat.

In Design Space, type "easter egg" in the search bar and you will find TONS of options! I just picked my three favorites - one for each egg.

Resize the egg images to fit the eggs, then "attach" the images (they will turn the same color) so you can cut them all on one piece of vinyl.

Cut the images and weed out the excess vinyl. Apply the transfer tape to the images, then the images to each egg. And voila!

Need more Easter decorating ideas? Check out these fun projects!

Maya Road Signed Sealed Delivered Kit

Those of you who were around for "the good old days" of scrapbooking probably know Maya Road. A family owned company that has been around for almost 15 years - we became friends when our booths kept ending up near each other at consumer shows across the country - remember those? Gaaaaaaahhh!!! The industry may have changed but Maya Road's creativity and the quality and uniqueness of their products continue to be amazing. They've just launched a new website and sent me one of their card making kits to celebrate - so I made everything BUT cards with it! Well ok - I made two cards - and you know what? I loved it! Today I'm sharing instructions for SIX projects I made with the kit goodies, and there were PLENTY of leftovers for more! {FTC disclaimer: I did receive this kit for free, but the projects are mine all mine! This post also has some affiliate links - so I might make a few pennies if you buy something!}

Layered Border Card
items from kit:
patterned paper
yellow pom pom trim
blue ribbon
small kraft clock
white lace
thinking of you stamp
additional items:
black ink pad
acrylic block
double sided tape
foam tape
die cutting machine and border dies (I used Diamond Press)

Cut assorted strips of patterned paper and run some through border dies.

Stamp thinking of you image on to patterned paper and trim – leaving small border.

Apply double sided tape about 1” from the bottom of the card and adhere pom pom trim. Cut off excess.

Use foam tape and double sided tape to layer strips, blue ribbon and borders to card front.

Adhere kraft clock, small piece of white lace and stamped image as desired.

Mini Pallet
items from kit:
patterned paper
blue flowers
yellow pom pom trim
crystal heart
burlap flower
flower pin
small kraft clock
additional items:
4x4 mini pallet (Maya Road now carries 6x6)
strong adhesive (I used Xyron 3” Sticker Maker)
die cutting machine and hello die (I used Diamond Press)
Stickles (I used yellow)

Cut paper in to 7/8” x 4 1/16” strips and adhere to mini pallet.

Cut hello die and set aside.

Trim flowers from stem and set aside.

Put adhesive on either side of kraft clock. Starting on the outer edge, wrap yellow trim around clock in a circle until it is filled in. Trim excess and adhere crystal heart to center.

Apply flowers, pin and hello to pallet as desired.

Outline visible portions of patterned paper with Stickles and let dry.

Sending Sweet Wishes Card
items from kit:
patterned paper
large kraft clock
typewriter pin
sending sweet wishes stamp
additional items:
black ink pad
acrylic block
white pen
black cardstock
die cutting machine (I used Cricut Explore Air)
acrylic paint (I used FolkArt Aviary Blue)

Cut intricate lace image and adhere to top of card.

String twine through two tags and tie in a bow. Add adhesive to back of both tags and adhere to card – off set to one side. Trim excess tag.

Doodle around edges of tags with white pen.

Stamp sweet wishes image on to patterned paper and trim – leaving small border.

Adhere kraft clock, small piece of lace, stamped image, typewriter pin and silhouette as desired.

Floral Frame
items from kit:
patterned paper
pink flower
tulle flower
wood hearts
additional items:
frame with glass removed (check out this blog post for how I created the distressed pink glitter look with Rust-Oleum Glitter Spray Paint)
acrylic paint (I used FolkArt Baby Pink)
pearl embellishments

Paint small heart and set aside to dry.

Put adhesive on larger heart and apply patterned paper, then trim to fit.

Trim patterned paper to fit frame and add to frame – do not replace the glass.

Adhere pink flower, tulle flower and both hearts as desired.

Bottle Cap Magnet
items from kit:
heart bottle cap
patterned paper
small kraft clock
blue flower
additional items:
acrylic paint (I used FolkArt Aviary Blue and Baby Pink)
magnet strips (I used Xyron Magnet Tape)
pearl embellishments

Paint two silhouettes (paint so they will be facing each other) and set aside to dry.

Snip blue flower from stem and set aside.

Use back of bottlecap to loosely trace heart outline and cut from patterned paper, then continue to trim until it fits inside bottlecap.

Adhere heart to bottlecap, then layer small kraft clock and small piece of lace on top.

Adhere silhouettes, then add flower and pearls as desired.

Add magnet strips to the back of the bottlecap.

Chipboard Heart Ornament
items from kit:
patterned paper
blue ribbon
medium kraft clock
burlap flower
metal clip
scalloped frame
additional items:
acrylic paint (I used FolkArt Color Shift in Blue Flash)
die cutting machine (I used Cricut Explore Air)
strong adhesive (I used Xyron Creative Station Lite)
liquid adhesive (I used Glossy Accents)

Cut ¾” x 1” oval from patterned paper and adhere to scalloped frame. Fill with liquid adhesive and set aside to dry.

Paint silhouette and set aside to dry.

Cut four 5” hearts from chipboard and apply adhesive to one side of each.

With adhesive side facing up, layer two hearts, then apply tulle around second heart.

Add third heart (adhesive facing up).

Adhere fourth heart to back of patterned paper and trim to fit, then apply to third heart.

Punch holes in top of heart and add blue ribbon to create hanger.

Layer kraft clock, burlap flower, metal clip, scalloped frame and silhouette as desired.

One Paint Three Projects with Rust-Oleum Glitter Paint

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The Kingstons have a garage full of spray paint that we use for furniture makeovers, but this month I was challenged by Rust-Oleum to use a can of their Rust-Oleum Glitter Paint in Bright Pink to turn items I had around the house in to something special. I loved it so much I did three projects instead of one! {FTC Disclaimer - I received the glitter paint for free but with no requirement to create this blog post. I do what I want. ;) This post does contain some affiliate links so if you buy something I might make a few pennies!}

If you love Target like I love Target then you might already know about these. If not - you're welcome, or I apologize. Either way. These are concrete jar candles and not only do they look cool...they smell AMAZING. If you live in the Elizabethtown area I can already tell you the Mahogany Embers scent is not available because...ummm...I bought them all. They are also re-useable so make great pieces of home decor. But I digress!

I wanted to create something for my girlfriends that they'd love but also had a personal touch for Galentine's Day. Thanks to my Cricut Explore Air, a scrap of vinyl and some acrylic paint I made a custom stencil and then added some glam with my glitter paint!

To create this project, remove the rope from the lid, then sand it, paint it with acrylic paint, and set aside to dry.

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In Cricut Design Space add a heart image and size to fit your project. Before you select "go" to begin cutting, move your heart image close to the center of your vinyl scrap (mine was 4x8). It does not have to be exact, you just want enough extra vinyl to "mask" your project.

Once cut, remove the heart image from your vinyl and peel the large vinyl piece from the backing and adhere to the candle. I mean - it looks like a HOT MESS - but as long as the heart stencil is flat you don't need to worry about the rest! Use a dauber to apply the acrylic paint to the stencil and let dry, then cover the rest of the candle with painters tape and spray glitter paint until you achieve the desired amount of glittery awesomeness. Don't forget to add glitter paint to the lid too! It dries almost instantly so it is great for those of us who are impatient!

Add a piece of bright ribbon to the lid and you are ready for some Valentine's Day gift giving! I was so giddy with how this turned out I wanted to try a few other quick projects:

I bought this cute little frame from the "dollar section" at Michaels - but you could use any frame you've got at home. To create my distressed glitter look I sanded down the frame, sprayed it with Rust-Oleum primer then applied several coats of the glitter paint until I had the effect I wanted.

Did you know painted heart rocks are a thing? Oh yes they are (warning - you can EASILY get sucked in checking them out on Pinterest)! Don and I brought this rock home from our last trip to Washington State - one of our favorite places in the WORLD - and I had been waiting to paint it but was scared to do it by hand. With the same stencil technique I used on the concrete candle I was able to turn my rock in to a special memento in just a few minutes.

The verdict? Rust-Oleum Glitter Paint is easy (and fun) to use and adds the perfect amount of sparkle with minimal drying time and no loose glitter or sticky glitter glue to mess with. It does not give full coverage though, so if you want to create a look like the concrete candle or painted rock you'll need to paint your project first with a coordinating color. Now - go out there and glitter something!

Want more spray painting goodness? Check out these past projects:

Custom Gift Boxes with Cricut Explore Air Gold

I WANT to be one of those people who plans far enough ahead to bring beautifully packaged and coordinated gifts to parties - but I would always get frustrated when I couldn't find the right size box in the right color and just end up wrapping it in brown paper and adding some ribbon. Don't judge me. ;) Now thanks to my Gold Cricut Explore Air from Jo-Ann (with this cool square glitter image from my friend Oleander & Palm) and some Plaid paint I can turn any old box in to something I am proud to give. Yup - that's right fellow party-goers...I made this! {FTC disclaimer: This is a sponsored post from Cricut but the opinions are mine all mine! This post contains affiliate links which means I may make a few pennies if you buy something!}

Cricut Explore Air and Design Space
Cricut Standard Grip cutting mat
Cricut Tools Craft Basic Set
Cricut Vinyl
Cricut Transfer Tape
Plaid Acrylic Paint (I actually used fabric paint because I loved the colors!)
foam brushes
assorted gift boxes
craft knife
hot glue gun
felt balls

Paint each gift box as desired (you may need two coats). Allow to dry.

In Design Space, size image to fit one side of the box and cut from vinyl, then use the weeder from the tool kit to weed the excess vinyl from the backing so only the image remains. Apply transfer tape over your image, peel off, and transfer to your gift box.

Want to line your image flush to the side/edge of the box? Apply the entire image to the box and before you remove the transfer tape use a craft knife to cut away the excess. Then peel off the transfer tape from the rest of the image.

To add a little extra color to my boxes, I hot glued felt balls to the top of each box lid. This actually saved quite a bit of time because I didn't have to paint the lids!

And voila! Bright and festive gift boxes that would be perfect not just for gift giving, but for party favors or as decorations for bridal/baby showers. 

Check out some of our other favorite Cricut vinyl projects!


Cricut Explore Gold - DIY Glitter Pineapple Clutch

I'm a pretty nice person...generally speaking. But if I see you in the clearance aisle of the Target purse/accessories section then it is every man for herself because I NEED all of the fun plain satchels and clutches and backpacks so I can add glittery stuff to them! Exhibit A - this grey pleather tasseled clutch I grabbed up this Fall. I just needed my Cricut Explore Air and some glitter iron on (it will change your life - seriously) and in about 15 minutes I turned it in to a sparkly accessory that would be perfect for a night out. {FTC disclaimer - I received some product in this blog post free of charge - but the project and opinions are mine all mine! This post also includes affiliate links - which means I might make a few pennies if you buy something!}

Cricut Explore Air and Design Space
Cricut Standard Grip cutting mat
Cricut Tools Craft Basic Set
Cricut Glitter Iron On in Gold
Plaid FolkArt Acrylic Metallic Paint in Pure Gold
foam brush
leather or canvas clutch (with tassel - or you can create your own tassel)

In Design Space, size image to fit clutch and cut from glitter iron on. Remember to select the "mirror image (for iron on)" box! 

The image was originally set to cut in three pieces - here is a quick tutorial on how I used the slice feature to customize my pineapple image and make it easier to cut and apply: 

Once you've cut your image, use the weeder from the tool kit to weed the excess iron on material from the backing so only the image remains. Then iron on to your clutch using a thin towel between the clutch and the iron.

Quick tip: when using glitter iron on sometimes you can end up with tiny bits of glitter ironed on to your project. I simply use my fingernail (or one of the tools from the kit) to loosen and then wipe away with a dry paintbrush.

To add a little extra pizazz to my tassel, I laid out a piece of wax paper and fanned out the tassel, painting about 1 1/2" of each tassel strand with gold paint and rotating as I painted until they were completely covered.

Let tassels dry then throw on something cute and take your new bag for a night out on the town!

Check out a few more of my favorite gold Cricut projects!

No Sew Paper Garlands (and Drafting Table Makeover) with Cricut!

Today is a two-fer project post! I'm tickled to be over on the Cricut blog as part of their "Meet the Maker" series (Don and I took an old drafting table we found at a yard sale and transformed it by creating custom stencils with Cricut) and I'm also sharing a quick tutorial for creating no-sew paper garlands that would be perfect for any theme! {FTC disclaimer - I was compensated for this post but the project and opinions are mine all mine! This post also contains affiliate links so I may earn a few pennies if you buy something!}

Cricut Explore Air or Cricut Maker (with Design Space)
Cricut Light Grip Mat
Three sheets of coordinating cardstock
Coordinating embroidery floss

Select a shape in Cricut Design Space (I selected an arrow from the Bits & Pieces collection and used the layer without the cut out) and cut multiple shapes from each color of cardstock. String each shape on to the embroidery thread with a needle.

Once all of the shapes have been strung you can separate the shapes evenly along the embroidery thread.

These are perfect for party or kids room decor, backgrounds for photos, the possibilities are endless!

I used my garlands as a backdrop for my latest Cricut project - I'm tickled to be over on the Cricut blog as part of their "Meet the Maker" series! Don and I took an old drafting table we found at a yard sale and transformed it in to the perfect table for my studio by creating custom stencils with Cricut and adhering them with my Xyron Creative Station with Repositionable Adhesive refill. Some Valspar and Plaid Crafts paint finished it off beautifully! Head on over for a full tutorial - and be SURE to watch the one minute video where you will see me in all my non-showered, bra strap showing, baseball hat wearing glory. I'm pretty sexy. ;)

Check out some of our other fun furniture makeovers!