DIY Family Celebrations Board
The weather has been quite crazy this year and since, oftentimes, it has actually been too cold to head outside, I’ve been racking my mind trying to come up with fun indoor activities for me and the kids. Playing with the same toys gets old quickly and practicing school material tends to get “boring” (as per the kids), so we’ve been doing quite the good amount of arts and craft projects lately. Last time around the kids did a massive canvas painting that now hangs proudly in our home. Whenever we have company over, the little ones love to chat about how awesome THEIR art piece is, and rightfully so. Now that we’ve finally got all of our furniture moved in, however, giant art projects don’t work well between the kids, the mess, and furniture that I’d prefer to keep nice. Lately, we’ve been dabbling in smaller activities and, while many have been for school projects, we have a pretty fun one that I’d like to share with all of you.
How many of you have heard of or seen the “family birthday board” craze? Personally, I’ve seen these going around for quite some time now but the time involved in making one was always a bit intimidating. On the other hand, as beautiful as some of the work that I’ve seen was, I had always refused to buy one knowing that, instead, I could easily make it. Thanks to the insane amount of cold weather that we’ve been having, and knowing that we’d be stuck indoors for quite a while, I finally caved and decided to give it a go. Even with the help of two little ones, it was actually much easier than I had originally thought. Here’s the run down…
First, you’ll need to gather your supplies:
- One piece of wood roughly 24” x 8” (we purchased ours from Michael’s)
- Hanging wood pieces (we chose circles and hearts but any shapes would work)
- Acrylic paint and paint brush(es)
- Eye hooks and jump rings (sizing depends on your choice of hanging pieces)
- Drill and drill bit (just a tad bigger than the thickness of your jump rings)
- Stencil (or vinyl lettering if you want to get super fancy)
- Wooden “Family” wording
- Paint pens
*Note – eye hooks, jump rings, and hearts not photographed (hubby was on a Home Depot run for us and the kids grabbed the heart pieces to paint first)
Once we had all of our supplies together, we split the work duties. The kids jumped all over the task of painting the individual hanging pieces and wooden “Family” wording while I opted to take care of the lettering on the wood piece itself. Please don’t mind the lack of photos in regard to the paint process; trying to keep a watchful eye over two little ones while handling a task of your own and somehow managing to quickly catch a cat and prevent him from tracking yellow paint throughout the house, well, that’s quite tricky after all. Helpful hint – having kids paint items inside a small box (gift box, shoebox, etc.) keeps the mess pretty well contained. Genius!
Now, back to the board itself… I opted to make our version a celebration board as opposed to a birthday board. Doing so allowed me to add in things like anniversaries which, of course, are what led to all of the happy birthdays. After deciding that I wanted to go that route, I scanned through my computer for a font that caught my attention. After settling on one that the kids gave the okay for, straight to the printer it went. I ended up having to spit the text in half since it was a bit too lengthy for one sheet of paper. After two sheets, I trimmed the excess, positioned the text properly, and taped them to the piece of wood.
*Note – Don’t mind the green scribbles, they were courtesy of an “I’m done painting now” toddler.
From there, the tracing began. Normally, I would’ve used the mirror image technique but since the text was lengthy and needed multiple pages, this would’ve been a bit tricky. As for the tracing, it can be a bit of a pain (literally, due to pressure needed) and time consuming but it will get the job done. The idea here is to trace the desired text with a pencil while being sure to do so with enough pressure that it will leave a slight indentation in the wood.
After you’ve finished tracing, remove the paper and lightly go over the indents once more. This will help you to make out the text from the wood later on. Once you have it to where the text is visibly legible, then you can begin filling in the area. We used a paint pen for ours since, typically, they are much easier to use than keeping a steady hand with a fine-tipped brush. After finishing up the text, I chose to freehand the months below it.
From there, simply label each hanging piece in accordance to birthdays, anniversaries, or whatever it may be that you’ve chosen to celebrate and display. I opted to freehand these as well. Once you get all of your pieces labelled, you can begin hanging them. This is where the power tools come in! The eye hooks can be screwed in by hand but the holes on the individual hanging pieces need to be predrilled. Drill one hole into the top and one hole into the bottom of each piece. This will allow you to, both, hang up each separate piece as well as add additional pieces to hang below them.
Once you’ve gotten all of your pieces in order, just hang them up and… voilà!
*Note – He decided to surprise me by taking a wood burning pen to the text and sealing our board with a clear coat of poly after the fact, and while it surely enhances the look of the piece, it is not a necessary step.
All in all, I am quite pleased with how our brand new celebration board turned out. It was great fun being able to put this together with the kids and I love that we now have a cute little decorative piece showing off all of our own favorite celebrations!