Father’s Day Portrait Gifts

It’s so fun to get the boys involved in a creative project for Father’s Day. Remember when we made the mugs and aprons? Or even these simple cards?

This year, the boys and I created these portraits for Steve and their grandfathers. You know by now that I have an endless supply of scrapbook paper, which I used to create the letters. The boys were really good sports (they aren’t always!) with taking the pictures, and I love the final products.

I printed individual pictures and put them in a frame with three openings and a matte that the boys signed.

And you couldn’t take pictures of three boys and a rascally pup without some outtakes!

Wishing the best to all the hard-working and loving fathers out there!



“I Love You” Collage

Here’s a fun DIY art project that you can customize so many ways. I added names to ours.

And for my sister-in-law’s wedding, I put the bride and groom and their wedding date:

You can get creative and use not just letters but pictures of objects or patterns. Can you spot the keys I used for the letter “I” or the clock for the letter “o”? Depending on the space, I switched up the wording. Variations include:

  • I love you
  • Love you
  • Love
  • I love u
  • etc.

What other ways would you customize this?


Kids’ Upcycled Easter Garland

We had a great time celebrating Easter with my sister’s family last year. I had wanted to make a garland with the kids, and a stack of drawings was the perfect starting point! Why leave all those creations hidden in a pile when we could hang them up to enjoy?

Kids' Upcycled Easter Garland | Jewels at Home

I made two templates out of cardboard: an egg and a bunny face. With older kids, you could add more shapes, but our three- and four- year olds barely managed with the egg, so this was perfect for us.

J and his cousins chose drawings and created some new ones. We traced the shapes and then cut them out. I made two small vertical slits at the top of each egg or bunny, and we threaded some ribbon through.

It was great to see these preschoolers practicing their fine motor skills and helping each other to put together our Easter decorations.

Kids' Upcycled Easter Garland | Jewels at Home  Kids' Upcycled Easter Garland | Jewels at Home

Hoppy Easter!


Ideas for Handmade Romantic Gifts

So, it was just Valentine’s Day and we’re going to Steve’s sister’s wedding in a few weeks, so I’ve been busy searching for the perfect romantic gifts with a handmade touch.

Here are my favorite ideas. I’ve tried some of them and can’t wait to try the rest!

1. Printed pillowcases


I love this and all the other whimsical designs from ZCreate on Etsy, and how perfect that this business is run by a couple!
2. “I love you” collage


I made this collage for our family a few years ago. It took a lot of time and work, but it’s not technically difficult, and it’s almost free! You could customize this with a wedding date or other details.
3. A year of dates
This is what I actually ended up giving Steve for Valentine’s. One activity for each month, some at home and some out on the town, including some local adventures I have been waiting to try!

4. Personalized wine or bar glasses

I love these vintage monogrammed glasses I found for our Mad Men party a few years ago. You could also make your own with Glass Etching Cream.

5. Personalized wine labels


What a fun way to personalize a gift of wine, with these milestone labels available from Label the Occasion and other sellers on Etsy. Or design your own and print on blank labels.

7. Message written with paper mosaic

I used Chinese characters (love, double happiness, and family), but you could do this with an English phrase, too. I printed out the template in reverse, glued one inch squares onto the back side of the paper, then cut out the template and glued it on a background.

8. String art heart

string art heart

You can buy this from Etsy or make your own with some wood, nails, and red embroidery floss. I’ve been wanting to try this for a while!

9. Personalized luggage tags


I made these luggage tags and other art projects out of wedding invitations. I found the self-laminating tags here.

10. Framed wedding invitation art

You could also do this with a birth announcement. It’s  special way to preserve your friends’ favorite images.


Hope you’re in the mood to create something special for the ones you love!


DIY Wedding & Anniversary Art

It’s wedding season, which also means it is anniversary season!

A long-time friend of ours just tied the knot, and I wanted to make something special to help preserve the memories for the happy couple. It’s a perfect time to create something to celebrate Steve and my anniversary, too!

I used pictures from our friends’ wedding announcement to create this simple piece of paper art (I LOVE paper!!). DIY Wedding & Anniversary Art | Jewels at Home  DIY Wedding & Anniversary Art | Jewels at HomeThis year is the big 2-0 for me and Steve! Back in the olden days, when we got married, there were no fancy photo cards, but I combined some of my favorite pictures with more fun scrapbooking paper to create this piece of art for our room.DIY Wedding & Anniversary Art | Jewels at Home

DIY Wedding & Anniversary Art | Jewels at Home Another fun project I made using wedding invitations were these luggage tags. Nicola and her husband had stunning custom cards incorporating images of the Golden Gate Bridge and a San Francisco cable car. I repurposed some of them into these luggage tags, which are getting a lot of mileage!


You could apply this idea to other cards, too. One year, I took all the Christmas cards we received and created paper ornaments using the pictures to send back to our friends.

For now, I am looking forward to the next wedding invitation that comes to our mailbox, so I can create a memorable piece of art for someone special!


DIY Paper Art – Heart and Butterfly Silhouettes

Just every once in a while, I plan a project, and then I actually do it!  Yes, really!  I recently collected some fun ideas for art projects involving paper, and now I’m excited to unveil my own paper creations.

I have a great weakness for pretty prints on paper and fabric, and these easy projects were a great way to display them and create inspiration in my craft studio.

Art Hearts

I was feeling girly when I collected these pink and red papers – a mix of scrapbook paper, origami paper, scraps from card, and even some paper I made myself! (second row, center) – and cut out rows of matching hearts.  Very easy – I made a heart template out of scrap paper and then traced and cut out this collection.  I glued them onto a plain background and popped them into this frame I already had.  I had also thought of folding the hearts and making them three dimensional, but I’m happy with how this turned out.

Simple and pretty DIY paper heart art.  A perfect way to enjoy your favorite pretty papers. {Jewels at Home}


Butterfly Collection

No butterflies were harmed in the production of this pretty display piece.  While I have fallen in love with pink and red only recently (some kind of reaction to having three boys), I’ve long had a love for the color blue – in fact, my dad still talks about how much I love blue (do your parents also remember you exactly as you were twenty years ago?).

Anyway, unlike all the identical hearts, I wanted to make each butterfly unique.  Again, I love the mix of papers many of which have stories behind them – an old stationery set, some wrapping paper, and more paper that I hand made (second row, left).  These are mixed with some more scrapbook and origami papers for a soothing and pretty work of art.




Simple and pretty DIY paper butterfly collection.  A perfect way to enjoy your favorite pretty papers. {Jewels at Home}


And now, there is finally something to adorn the blank wall in my “studio.”  Along with my new paper art, I framed a section of the hydrangea wrapping paper that I used for my desk accessories and added some botanical prints from a calendar.

Create an inspiring art gallery with a mix of DIY paper art, framed papers, and pretty prints. {Jewels at Home}


I love how putting something up on the walls makes a space feel like home!


Kids’ Art Gallery Frames

My kids’ art projects tend to accumulate in (not so) little plies all over our house. I’m implementing a new system to organize all of it, but more on that later. I would love to have more of their creations up on display, but I get around to it so seldom that the few pieces that are hung are completely outdated. I’ve been looking for a solution that makes it easy to change our our display, and I knew I had found it when I spied these frames with clips from Shanty 2 Chic.

I decided to make mine with fabric, rather than paper, backgrounds. The fabric matches these DIY picture mattes I made. I’ll show you how to make your own!

Change our your art easily with these DIY frames.  Jewels at Home.


  • frames – I used NYTTJA frames from Ikea, which are perfect, because the front is plastic that has a protective film on it for packaging. I left the film on, so that if I ever want to use these are regular frames, it will be easy to peel off the fabric.
  • fabric or decorative paper
  • magnetic bulldog clips


  • Take apart your frame and spray the glass (or in this case the plastic) with spray adhesive. I think you could also use a glue stick, if you spread it thinly. (top left picture below)
  • Cut out a piece of fabric (or paper) about 1.5″ wider than your glass in all directions. Lay the glass, adhesive side down, on the back side of the fabric. Cut the corners diagonally, to reduce bulk. (top right picture below)
  • Fold over the fabric and tape it in place securely. (bottom left picture below)
  • Reassemble your frame. (bottom right picture below)

Change our your art easily with these DIY frames.  Jewels at Home.

  • The last steps are to hot glue the bulldog clips in place and add your art! (pictured below)

Change our your art easily with these DIY frames.  Jewels at Home.

Here is the kids’ new art gallery in their room. I can tell already that I will be using these frames a lot! Also pictured are the DIY travel-themed pencil tins I made for them.

Change our your art easily with these DIY frames.  Jewels at Home.

Kids' gallery wall with DIY initials and frames with clips to change art easily.  {Jewels at Home}

DIY  frames with clips to change art easily.  {Jewels at Home}


Next up: I’m getting started on some projects for Christmas!


Retro Travel Art and Accessories for Kids’ Rooms

Every time I walk into Lavish in Hayes Valley, I find a great piece of wrapping paper to use for a new project. At just $4 a sheet, these provide a lot of creative bang for the buck. First, there was the graphic red print I used to line J’s nursery bookcase. Next, I found a sweet hydrangea paper for my craft studio. Most recently, I was inspired by this retro air travel print from Cavallini & Co..

Retro air travel paper from Cavallini a& Co.

Retro air travel paper from Cavallini a& Co.

I didn’t originally plan a themed bedroom for our older boys, and I still want to keep it pretty neutral. The travel theme evolved first from these beautiful retro-style city posters by Karen Young of Loose Petals.

Retro-style city art prints by Karen Young of Loose Petals.

Retro-style city art prints by Karen Young of Loose Petals.

When I saw the wrapping paper, I knew it would tie in perfectly. I framed a section of paper as art – easy! – and then used more for DIY pencil tins and magnets for our DIY racing stripe magnet boards.

Upcycled DIY pencil tins with cool retro air travel paper.  From Jewels at Home.

Upcycled DIY pencil tins with cool retro air travel paper.

Upcycle advertising magnets with some fun paper.  Jewels at Home.

Upcycle advertising magnets with some fun paper. Jewels at Home.

Here are those new items pictured in the boys’ room.

DIY upcycled pencil tins with a cool retro air travel paper.  Jewels at Home.

DIY upcycled magents with a cool retro air travel paper.  Jewels at Home.

DIY upcycled magents with a cool retro air travel paper.  Jewels at Home.


Kids' gallery wall with retro travel art, DIY wall initials and DIY frames with clips to change art.  Click for details and tutorials.  {Jewels at Home}

Kids' gallery wall with retro travel art, DIY wall initials and DIY frames with clips to change art.  Click for details and tutorials.  {Jewels at Home}

And here’s a summary of the fun projects I did with this new paper: pencil tins, magnets, and framed art:

Ideas for fun wrapping paper projects: DIY pencil tins, magnets, and framed art.  Jewels at Home.

There’s still plenty of paper leftover. I’m thinking it would be perfect for luggage tags!

Yay! I’m excited to see the boys’ room slowly coming together!


Art Clips for Kids’ Fridge Gallery

Well, first of all, I never dreamed I would put a picture of our fridge in this blog. The whole kitchen is terribly dated and doesn’t reflect our style at all. However, it works, and given the cost of a kitchen renovation, we’ve decided to live with it for a while.

I’ve been trying to spruce the space up a bit and add some functionality – for example, I got a kitchen island cart that added just enough storage and counter space, as well as a small eat-in area for the kids. If you can’t afford a renovation right now, it’s definitely a good option, and there is a huge range of size and styles.

Sometimes, it’s the little things. It sounds a bit silly, but even though we are living with the pink (yes, you read that correctly) counters and floor and the impractical cabinet layout, we were really missing having a place to display our kids’ art. Like a lot of fridges, ours does not hold magnets. And I only wish this were because it is cool stainless steel – no, it’s 80s/early 90s black.

I will credit hubby for coming up with the idea of using clips to attach art to the fridge. His “beta” version used plain clips and poster putty, which showed behind the clips and lasted about a month before falling off. I decided to take his idea and “Jewels-ify” it with some improved engineering and design.

I started with plastic clips leftover from the temporary shades we had everywhere when we moved in. They are great for this project, because they are small and lightweight. The spring is not as strong as a clothespin, which makes them easier to use when attached to a surface.

I cut out strips from scraps of our Imperial Trellis wallpaper to fit the clips. I think it would have worked to cut random strips, but I tried to make patterns like stripes, “V”s, and zig-zags. This wallpaper went in the powder room and living room bookshelves. It has been the Energizer bunny of home decorating for me – it just keeps going and going! I’m totally in love with the elegant, classic, clean-lined pattern and the glow of the silver.

covered clips

plain plastic clips covered in wallpaper. I used hot glue, because the clips are not flat. (By the way, someone really needs to teach me some photo editing, so I can do proper "before and after"s!)

Finally, I used command adhesive strips from 3M to attach the clips to the fridge, and now we have a place to hang artwork and reminders! Yay!


command adhesive strips to hold the clips on the fridge.

art on fridge

Finished fridge gallery.


Close-up: how happy am I to look at this every day?!

I think these clips would also work on a door, art display board, or wall, not just on the fridge, so give it a try and send a picture of your results!

What a good feeling to have at least one thing in our kitchen that I enjoy looking at!