handmade birthday gifts
As soon as I received the invitation to Zak & Zoey’s First Birthday Party, I began thinking about a unique gift for them.
I knew they didn’t need more toys, as you can see! This space used to be Steve & Tram’s beautiful formal living room, now turned into a huge play pen. Or as Tram calls, it Romper Room! Kids change your life!
I was searching for something personalized, unique, made just for each of them.
I turned to Etsy. If you don’t already know about Etsy …”Etsy is a website where you can buy and sell handmade or vintage items, art, supplies and so much more. Etsy is the world’s most vibrant handmade marketplace.”
I typed “1st birthday gifts” into the search bar and began strolling through all the possibilities.
The first thing that caught my eye was this personalized chalkboard sign. I immediately sent an email to Tram asking for the twins’ favorite toys and foods and their first words, heights, weights, etc.
She replied, “Aww, you are SO SWEET!!!! We think alike! I’m actually having Steve work on this chalkboard 1 year mark too. I’m sure it’s similar to what you were thinking! I’m sorry to have spoiled your idea if that’s what it was.”
Darn, back to the drawing board.
Next I spotted the party hats! I could not pass those up and absolutely had to order one for each, but that wasn’t a gift they would be able to open, so I needed something more.
Finally, I found this! The best part? I can make this myself! I have a boxful of scrabble letters, I have blue and pink craft paper leftover from Tram’s baby shower and I have glue. All I needed were the shadow boxes.
If you don’t happen to have extra scrabble tiles lying about and you don’t want to break into your Scrabble game to poach them, they can be easily found online, including on Etsy. Just type “Scrabble tiles” in the search bar and you’ll be amazed by all the options.
How to make Personalized Scrabble Shadow Box Art
- Scrabble tiles
- Shadow box
- Craft paper
- Glue stick
- Washi tape, if desired
- Tacky glue
- Any other embellishments desired
The first step is to decide what words you want to use and then line them up in crossword puzzle style to make them all link together.
This is actually the hardest part. Some words are hard to link together without running into each other. Keep at it, adding another word or two to make the words you really need to use, fit together.
Once you have that all laid out and decided upon, measure from side to side and up and down. Add an inch or two in each direction and write those measurement down. Jump in you car and head to Michael’s or Hobby Lobby and search in the framing section for a suitable shadow box.
If you don’t have some sort of craft paper or wrapping paper in the correct theme at home, pick that up at the craft store too. If found the cute little birthday cakes with one candle to add to mine.
Open up the frame and use the glue stick to glue the decorative paper to the inside backing of the frame. As you can see, my sheet of craft paper was not quite big enough, so I tried to cut and paste pieces along the edges.
That looked horrible, so I used some washi tape along the edges to hide it and it looked even better than if it had just been craft paper alone.
Next, lay out the tiles in the pattern on the paper so they fit exactly as you like them. Then use the tacky glue to start gluing them in place.
Let everything dry and then put the frame back together and voilà, a personalized and cute gift for a 1st birthday, an engagement, wedding or whatever!