September Coffee Break

Taking a few minutes to slow down, catch up, and share some thoughts about home, life, baby and more!

Hi Guys! As I’ve hinted at here and there, I’m tweaking the format of my monthly project round-ups to a new series I am calling “Coffee Break.” For a while now, I’ve realized my THIHM Around the Web posts weren’t the most fun, exciting, or interesting posts for you or me; AND I’ve been craving a way to just chat more informally here on the blog about the house, our family, the baby, our life, etc without feeling like it has to fit neatly into a project tutorial or house update. I’m not yet sure if these will be monthly or just when I’m feeling chatty; but hopefully you all will enjoy this glimpse into our life, and it will allow us all to connect and get to know each other a bit more!

Bump Update

Oh you guys – we are just one giddy and excited household over here as we wait and prepare for Baby. I’m 27 weeks tomorrow (starting my third trimester already?!?!?), and I can’t believe how fast time is going! I’m pretty sure I can thank having a busy 5 year old, a busy blog business, and a “new” house for filling up all my time! Is it really October tomorrow? (Oh gosh – that means I need to start thinking about Halloween costumes!) I remember with Henry that I was very content waiting all 40 weeks for him to arrive; then he came 3 weeks early, and I was actually a little bummed to miss those last 3 weeks of pregnancy. This time around though, I feel very impatient. I’ve got a few big projects I really want to finish before he gets here (more on that in a bit), but I find myself just wanting him here now…not because I’m done being pregnant. Rather because I just can’t wait to see him and see how Henry reacts to him. If how Henry acts toward Baby now is any indication (he is always snuggling up and talking to him in my belly), I think my heart is going to burst. I told Henry the other day that I wanted Baby here now, and he said to me, “Mom, you will just have to wait. He’s not ready yet.” Hmmmm – wonder where he’s heard that before?!?

In general, I am feeling pretty good. I’m a little bummed out that I don’t feel quite as fit, limber, and overall fine as I did when I was pregnant with Henry. I guess 6 more years in age will do that to you. I am definitely feeling more of the typical aches and pains of pregnancy (heart burn, swollen feet) and feel like I put on weight so much faster this time around (which is why you most likely won’t see a baby bump picture here or on social media). But Baby is healthy, wiggling, and growing, and I’m still so thankful he’s coming…so I’ll happily take on whatever else this pregnancy brings!

Nursery Plans

One of the big projects that I want to get done before Baby arrives is the nursery. I have been plotting and planning and fabric selecting and paint testing for the last few weeks, and I am so darn excited at the direction we are going! Kids’ rooms are my favorite to work on because you can really go wild with color and pattern. Don’t worry – you are not going to have to wait long to see – nursery posts and projects will kick off one week from today.  Beyond just being excited for Baby though, it’s also been really fun to get back into a “room makeover” frame of mind. So much of the last few months has been trying to fit and tweak our existing stuff to work in this new home…which is good and valuable and interesting in its own right. But it has been so refreshing to start from scratch and just brainstorm, plan, and have fun!

Random But Helpful…

This is so random, but each and every week when I’m doing it, I think “I should share this on the blog.” It’s not all that revolutionary (and something I am sure some of you are doing too), but it’s changed our laundry routine so much that I thought I’d share.

For almost our entire marriage (almost 11 years), I have folded our clean laundry on Sunday nights while watching TV. We’d move all the loads through during the day, then make a huge pile on the floor, and I would unwind from the weekend by folding it all and loading it into person-specific baskets. Not always but quite often however, laundry would STAY in the laundry baskets all week…clean and folded…just not put away. For whatever reason, that final step was hard for all of us to carry through on on Sunday nights at the end of a long weekend.

Then a few months ago, Greg started throwing the piles of clean clothes onto OUR bed as they came out of the dryer. So I would then go in there throughout the day and fold whatever was clean and dry and stack it up in piles on OUR bed. Wouldn’t you know that it is SO much quicker and easier to fold and put away laundry when you are in the same room it eventually goes in? Plus…we can’t go to sleep without putting all the laundry away first. So not only does it save us time by skipping that middle basket step, but the laundry actually gets put away each and every week! It’s worked so well for us that we’ve now started folding Henry’s cloths in his room, making piles on his bed. He can now go in and put everything away all by himself! It’s the little things, people!

Things I’m Loving Right Now

*affiliate links

  • Apple Music – I’ve been frustrated with Pandora for a while now, so Greg and I went looking for something new and decided to give the 3 free month trial a try. We are totally hooked since we can pretty much play any album from the iTunes library at any time. Lately – I’m jamming to Neil Diamond! So random, but it makes me think of home and my Mom.
  • Fruit and Tart Candy – Lately, I’ve been loving the taste of jelly beans, gummies, and other fruit and tart candy. I’m pretty sure pregnancy has everything to do with it since I’m usually a “don’t even bother unless it has chocolate in it”-type girl. My Dad came to visit last weekend and had some fruit-flavored Mentos with him. I haven’t had them in forever, and man, those were the best!
  • Powerbeats Wireless Ear Buds – I bought these for Greg last year for Christmas, but I have been using them every day for my walks in recent months. We have tried a lot of wireless ear buds over the years, and we BOTH love these….to the point where we might need another pair! They pair really easily to my phone, fit snug, and never fall out. #notsponsored – just something we really love!

THIHM Around the Web!

Last but not least, I still plan to link up all the articles and projects I’ve created for other sites each month at the end of these Coffee Break posts. In many ways, my free-lance work allows me to create content here on THIHM, and I do think some of the projects and topics will continue to interest you (I hope!). As usual, these posts/tutorials will never appear here on THIHM, so just click on the picture to head straight to the articles!

Things to Check Before You Sign Your Lease Ways to Ensure You Get Back Your Security Deposit Things to Do After You Move Into Your Next Rental Clever Spots to Carve Out More Storage  DIY Chore Chart School Work Display Frames DIY Monogram Key Chains

Alright….with that, I’m going to sign off for the week! I’d love to hear what you think of this new casual post and/or if you have any great tips/tricks that have rocked your daily life lately? Share in the comments below!

Next week: a look inside our kitchen drawers AND nursery plans! See you then!

Megan Signature

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Cricut Explore for Home Decor | Part 4: Mastering the “Attach” Function

*affiliate links used

When I am brainstorming blog topics/ideas in general, I often find myself saying “Why bother writing a post about that, there are so many out there already.” This Cricut Explore for Home Decor series definitely fell into that category because there are indeed SO many great resources and tutorials already published on the web. Despite that, however, these posts are becoming some of the most popular on my site, and I have been getting questions and requests to cover different aspects of working with the Cricut Explore and in Cricut Design Space. One of the main questions I get (and have seen on other tutorials and message boards) is how to get your images/text to cut/write exactly as they appear on the design screen in Design Space. It seems like it should be an easy thing (and it is!), but it’s not an obvious or intuitive part of the design process. Today, I am going to teach you how to master the “Attach” function in Cricut Design Space so your projects turn out just right, every time!

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

The “Attach” function in Cricut Design Space (Cricut’s online design platform) is best explained and understood through a series of different projects. Here we go!!!

How and Why to Use the “Attach” Function in Cricut Design Space

I was recently making some quick labels for our identical kitchen trash cans to help Henry out. I picked out two symbols (trash and recycling), as well as two circle borders to go around each one.

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

I then used the “Align” functions (right there on the toolbar) to center the symbols inside the circle frames.

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

When everything was spaced to my liking, I clicked the green “Go” button to send my design to the cutter.

Uh oh!!!!

On the cut preview screen, my spacing is completely undone; and each element is going be cut individually rather than as a single image (which conserves vinyl and makes for easier transferring).

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

Raise your hand if this has happened to you, and you’ve grown exasperated trying to fix it!!! Well, my friends…the solution is easy, albeit not very intuitive. In order to get your images to cut all together as you have them designed:

  • Select all the images you want cut together
  • Right click
  • Select “Attach”….

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

“Attach” essentially means you are attaching the selected shapes to each other. The instinct for many is to “Group” the items rather than “Attach” them. (Grouping is only used when moving, sizing, copying items in the design screen and does not translate to how a design is cut). However, once the images are attached to each other and you hit “Go,” you end up with your images ready to cut exactly as you designed them!

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

Why is this such a big deal? Well…if your image(s) are cut in separate units, it will be up to you to transfer each one individually to your final project. Not only is this a bit more work since you will be transferring one item at a time, but you’ll have to eye-ball your spacing to get it right. Also…it uses up extra material since the images are more spread out.

With your images attached and everything cut as a single unit, all you have to do is weed out the excess vinyl and transfer your image once, leaving all your perfect spacing in tact! (Click HERE for some help with weeding and transferring vinyl!)

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

Using the “Attach” Function to Make Patterns

The “Attach” function ultimately ensures that the spacing you set in the design screen is translated to your final cut. This is especially helpful when trying to make patterns.

Let’s say you want to cut out 30 hot pink vinyl circles to do a wall decal project.

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

The Cricut Explore is automatically set to conserve material, so if you send one circle to be cut, you can adjust how many you want/need in the cut preview screen. By typing in a number and hitting “Apply,” the program will automatically determine how to cut out the circles in order to save space.

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

This method is ideal if you are going to randomly place your circles onto your final project by hand (like I did on my Dot Wall here). And even if you need to work around specific prints or space on your cutting mat/materials, you can drag and drop the circles to different places right on the cut preview screen.

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

But let’s say you want your circles to be in a very specific pattern. Sure you can drag and drop in the cut preview screen, but it’s pretty hard to get the spacing precise. So instead, you spend the time to perfectly space each circle and line everything up back in the design screen…

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

Once you hit “Go” though, all the circles yet again lump together to conserve space on the cutting mat.

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

BUT….if you go back to the design screen, select all the circles, right click, and select “Attach,”…

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

…your spacing will translate to the cut preview screen and ultimately your project!

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

So now you might be wondering…

“Do I need to ‘Attach’ my images every single time?”

Not necessarily…it all depends on the nature of your project. My dresser project from earlier this year illustrates this perfectly!

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

Here is the pattern I designed for the dresser:

Design a Vinyl Pattern in Cricut Design Space

If you look closely, you can see the basic shapes I used to create the pattern. Let’s look at the red first. The first row has 4 of the same flower-frame shape all in one line. I then rotated the shape 90 degrees and offset them for the next line. Although this pattern was created out of dozens of the same shape, I wanted them cut in this very specific arrangement (so I wouldn’t have to place each one by hand). As such, I “attached” all the red images to each other so that the entire design was cut (and eventually applied) in a single iteration.

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

But now let’s look at the blue flowers inside each red frame. I knew that trying to apply all the blue flowers just right during a single application (so that they ended up in the centers of the red frames) would be frustrating and near impossible. Plus it would waste a TON of vinyl since the blue flowers are so spread out in the final design. As such, I decided NOT to “Attach” the blue flowers to each other and just let the machine “autofill” them on my mat.

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

This meant I had to place each flower individually (which was actually easier than trying to apply all of them at once)…since the machine did not preserve my designed spacing.

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

So whether it is to conserve your material, control your spacing, or control how you apply cuts to your final project, there is certainly a use for both the “Attach” and non-attached function!

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

Using the “Attach” Function with Text

A majority of the questions I get regarding the Cricut Explore is about text: “When I design my project in the design screen, my text is on top of my shape. But when I send it to cut and write, it’s not in the right place! How do I get the text to write right on my shape?”

Any guesses to the answer? Yep!!!! You have to “Attach” the text to the shape!

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

Last Spring, when I made these simple labels for my craft room baskets, I designed the labels and text in Cricut Design Space and used the machine and the Cricut pens to do the entire thing (rather than the Print and Cut feature). Here is my design screen for the labels…

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

I carefully centered all of my words on the white circles and even selected to “Group” them, which really only allows me to move these items around the screen and/or size them all together. Even though they are “Grouped,” you can see in the side panel that the circle and the text are still two separate elements.

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

As such, when I send them to be cut…my spacing is not maintained.

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

But if I go back, select the white circle and the word I want on it, right click, and select “Attach,” you will notice they become an attached item in the side panel. Once I attach each word to each circle…

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

…the machine will write and cut the labels exactly as I designed them!

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

If you want to see how these labels come together, click HERE!

Attaching Images to one another is one of the easiest yet most misunderstood functions when using the Cricut Explore. This tutorial explains whey, how, and why to use to perfect your projects!

The “Attach” Function Summarized

I hope these few project examples help fully illustrate how to use the “Attach” function to get your projects to turn out right. In summary, here is how I determine if I need to “Attach” my items or not:

Use Attach When…

  • You want your images to cut exactly as it is designed on your Cricut Design Space design screen, with all of the sizing and spacing perfectly maintained
  • You want text written directly onto a specific shape and/or in a specific place
  • Things are the same color and can/should be cut together (by attaching two images, both shapes will be cut from the same color)

Don’t Use Attach When…

  • You need (many) cuts of the same (or different!) shape in the same color, but don’t need the spacing/pattern maintained because either:
    • You are going to place cuts individually, by hand, onto your final project
    • You are trying to conserve your cutting material
  • You want an image cut in a very specific spot on your cutting mat. Instead, drag and drop the image to where you want it on the CUT PREVIEW screen.

Cricut Explore for Home Decor Series!

I realize there are so many great Cricut Explore tutorials and resources available on the web…many of which I use. However, I’ve picked up some useful tips, tricks, and shortcuts along the way, and this series is all about sharing and explaining these skills! If there is something you want me to cover, be sure to leave me a comment! Otherwise, be sure to check out all the posts in this series by clicking on the images below:

A Cricut Explore can be used for SO much more than paper crafts! Check out these awesome 30 home decor projects that you can make with a Cricut Explore! Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make home decor? This post breaks down the essentials you need to get started! Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl! One of the best features of the Cricut Explore is that you don't have to buy every image you want to cut! This tutorial shows you exactly how to import and cut your own images!

I hope this post clears up a very simple yet often-misunderstood function of the Cricut Explore! Once you master it, getting your project spacing to turn out just right will become quick and intuitive!

I hope your week is off to a great start…I’ll be back here on Thursday with my end-of-the-month recap which will include a pregnancy update, moving-in update, and more! See you then!

Megan Signature

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A Kid-Friendly Command Center

I always think it’s interesting to see which projects I feel compelled to tackle first when we move into a new space. While I certainly have my mind on prettier and more exciting decisions, time and time again I usually end up tackling the function and flow of a space first. And without fail, that usually means assembling some sort of “drop zone” somewhere in the house. I’m not sure if it’s just become habit when we move into a new home, or I simply find myself craving a way to tackle the piles of stuff that don’t yet have homes…but I’ve done it each and every time (check out our North Carolina and Kansas versions!) This time around, our “command center” looks a bit different, as it’s tailor made for Henry and his things!

A bulletin board, picture ledge, and set of hooks come together to make the perfect drop zone for any kid space!

Usually our command centers are setup right inside the front door. In this home however, I’ve been craving less stuff out in the open, meaning more stuff is moved to their proper homes and we’re relying on less open storage systems. I have been using the main coat closet down on the main level to tackle most bags and shoes; however, it quickly became apparent that some of Henry’s stuff was having a hard time finding a good and proper home. So…I setup a little command center just for him in his room. Come on in and take a look!

A bulletin board, picture ledge, and set of hooks come together to make the perfect drop zone for any kid space!

Henry has always done really, really well with hooks. We’ve had them in all of his bedrooms, and by the time we had moved out of our Kanas house, he was getting really good at hanging things up (jackets, bath towel, hats) rather than just throwing them on the floor. Without any hooks in his new room, things were ending up…you guessed it…right on the floor. Add to that the artwork coming home from school and the Lego creations that have been building up at rapid speed lately, and all his bedroom surfaces were cluttered. By re-purposing items we already had, I was able to make a super cute and functional kid-friendly command center to catch his things!

A bulletin board, picture ledge, and set of hooks come together to make the perfect drop zone for any kid space!

Let me clear all the stuff off and show you what all we have here…

A bulletin board, picture ledge, and set of hooks come together to make the perfect drop zone for any kid space!

This mini command center is comprised of three items: a bulletin board, a picture ledge, and a set of hooks. The ledge was mounted directly under the bulletin board so it looked like a single piece, and the hooks were installed just below to complete the whole arrangement.

A bulletin board, picture ledge, and set of hooks come together to make the perfect drop zone for any kid space!

As I said, we already had everything you see here from previous homes. They were just given a new paint job and/or purpose to meet a new need in this home! Those of you that have been reading the blog for a while probably recognize all of the elements.

The dot bulletin board was one of the first projects I made in Kansas, and it hung in Henry’s room the entire year…

A bulletin board, picture ledge, and set of hooks come together to make the perfect drop zone for any kid space!

The hooks were a clearance find at IKEA last summer. In our last home, they were painted bright colors and hung in our entryway

A bulletin board, picture ledge, and set of hooks come together to make the perfect drop zone for any kid space!

A bulletin board, picture ledge, and set of hooks come together to make the perfect drop zone for any kid space!

To adapt them for this new space, I just removed all the colored pegs, spray painted them black, and re-assembled the whole piece!

Lastly, the picture ledge was from waaaaaay back in early versions of my North Carolina craft room where they held art and supplies…

A bulletin board, picture ledge, and set of hooks come together to make the perfect drop zone for any kid space!

And then held my mom’s artwork in our Kansas kitchen…

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

To make it work with the bulletin board and hooks, we cut the 6 foot picture ledge down to size with a circular saw (the benefits of making things out of real wood!), sanded down the rough edges, and gave it a new coat of white paint!

Hung all together, we got some things out of the garage and created a great drop zone for Henry!

A bulletin board, picture ledge, and set of hooks come together to make the perfect drop zone for any kid space!

Instead of dropping everything in our entryway each day, Henry and I head straight upstairs where we empty his backpack and hang up his latest schoolwork on the bulletin board. Any papers for me come back down and get placed in our Schoolwork and Activities Binder.

A bulletin board, picture ledge, and set of hooks come together to make the perfect drop zone for any kid space!

His rotation of hats, various bags for soccer, gymnastics, and school, and bath towel all get hung on the hooks. When temps get a little cooler, I hope sweatshirts and sweaters will land here too!

A bulletin board, picture ledge, and set of hooks come together to make the perfect drop zone for any kid space!

Henry has been really, really into his Legos lately and has been wanting to display them after they are built. However, leaving them on his dressers meant they were often knocked off (and therefor broken) on a very regular basis. When I discovered most of his Lego vehicles fit the ledge perfectly, it became an obvious addition. He pulls these down to play with almost daily, but during clean up time, we now have a safe place to put them!

A bulletin board, picture ledge, and set of hooks come together to make the perfect drop zone for any kid space!

A bulletin board, picture ledge, and set of hooks come together to make the perfect drop zone for any kid space!

I assembled this whole little setup while Henry was at school one day, and he was pretty excited when he walked into his room and saw it! Not only do I love that it gives us some dedicated places for the things that most often land on the floor, but also fills up this blank section of wall quite nicely!

A bulletin board, picture ledge, and set of hooks come together to make the perfect drop zone for any kid space!

Oh!!! And for those of you who saw our awesome new DIY Chore Chart last week and were wondering where it ended up “for real,” here you go! After rotating it around the house for a week or so, we realized it was most convenient in his bedroom. After clearing off a shelf he could reach, I used some command strips to stick the frame to the bookcase to keep it from falling over. At bed each night, he can easily move up the magnets for any chores he’s completed; and on Sunday nights before we say prayers, we add up his magnets and pay him his allowance!

A bulletin board, picture ledge, and set of hooks come together to make the perfect drop zone for any kid space!

This kid-friendly command center marks the first “project” I’ve tackled in our new home…I even got to pull out some paint and a paint brush…if only for a few minutes…and got back to one of my favorite hobbies (painting furniture). Here’s hoping it continues to be a functional and useful spot for Henry (and us!) as we continue to figure out how we use and live in this house!

A bulletin board, picture ledge, and set of hooks come together to make the perfect drop zone for any kid space!

I hope you guys are having a great week! My computer hard drive “crashed” yesterday, so I will be spending today at the Apple Genius Bar (hopefully) getting it fixed. Cross your fingers for me that it’s nothing too catastrophic (or expensive!), and I am able to get back to work without skipping a beat! Coming up next week: the next iteration of the Cricut Explore for Home Decor series and a “new” version of  my monthly recap! See you then!

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3 Fun Ways to Make Personalized Key Chains!

Every time I walk into the craft store…every.single.time…I always check out the aisles that carry the wood shapes and die-cut embellishments. I’m not really sure why! They’re just kind of my “thing” right now, and my brain is always churning up fun and unexpected ways to use them. In the past, I’ve used them to make gift tags, basket labels, toy box labels, “sentiment sticks,” wine charms, and cake toppers (flowers and stars!)…and my latest project has been to transform them into a variety of personalized key chains for Henry and his little friends as back-to-school gifts! I couldn’t really decide what I wanted to do using the variety of shapes and letters I’ve accumulated over the years (which is a lot!)…but after some playing around, I came up with three different (yet all equally as easy!) ideas. I’ve shared two of them as contributor projects on other sites already, but wanted to share the final tutorial here because they turned out too cute not to! Let’s get to it!

Ever see all those fun wood shapes and letters at the craft store and wonder what you could do with them? Learn how to easy it is to transform them into personalized key chains!

Over the years, I’ve accumulated a good little stash of wood shapes and letters. I pick them up for projects here and there and then always end up with leftovers. Even though I’ve had most of my supplies for a while, I am pretty sure all of them are still available now. If you want to do a similar project, I recommend just going to your favorite craft store (they all have slightly different offerings) and picking out the things you like the best! For these three key chains, I started with wooden tags, three different sizes of letters, and a thin piece of craft wood.

Ever see all those fun wood shapes and letters at the craft store and wonder what you could do with them? Learn how to easy it is to transform them into personalized key chains!

Wooden Name Key Chains

Henry is at an age where he gets a kick out of things with his name on them. Additionally, I loved these itty bitty letters and thought they would produce a neat 3D effect on a key chain. Using just some slats of wood, the wood letters, paint, and a key chain clasp…

Ever see all those fun wood shapes and letters at the craft store and wonder what you could do with them? Learn how to easy it is to transform them into personalized key chains!

…I was able to pull together some adorable name key chains. These are certainly best for shorter names, but can be painted and decorated in any colors and styles you wish. To make your own, check out the full tutorial HERE!

Ever see all those fun wood shapes and letters at the craft store and wonder what you could do with them? Learn how to easy it is to transform them into personalized key chains!

Simple Monogram Key Chains

For longer names, a monogram key chain might be better. I really liked the way these medium letters fit onto the wooden tags and decided to dress them up with some simple paint and patterned paper.

Ever see all those fun wood shapes and letters at the craft store and wonder what you could do with them? Learn how to easy it is to transform them into personalized key chains!

These are super quick to pull together, making them something easy to make for the entire class, troop, or team! This same concept could also be used to make gift tags for packages at holiday and birthday time! See how they come together using the full tutorial HERE!

Ever see all those fun wood shapes and letters at the craft store and wonder what you could do with them? Learn how to easy it is to transform them into personalized key chains!

Patterned Monogram Key Chains

This last key chain is my personal favorite! I love the chunky wood letter combined with the patterned papers…and since the raw wood edge remains exposed, it’s a fun contrast of materials and textures!

Ever see all those fun wood shapes and letters at the craft store and wonder what you could do with them? Learn how to easy it is to transform them into personalized key chains!

Here is what you need to make this key chain:

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Ever see all those fun wood shapes and letters at the craft store and wonder what you could do with them? Learn how to easy it is to transform them into personalized key chains!

Start by coating one side of the wooden letter with Mod Podge…

Ever see all those fun wood shapes and letters at the craft store and wonder what you could do with them? Learn how to easy it is to transform them into personalized key chains!

Then place the wooden letter (Mod Podge-covered side down) onto the WRONG side of the patterned paper. NOTE – my paper is patterned on both sides, so what you see below is actually the “wrong” side.

Ever see all those fun wood shapes and letters at the craft store and wonder what you could do with them? Learn how to easy it is to transform them into personalized key chains!

Using a very sharp craft knife, carefully trim away all the excess paper along the edge of the wooden letter. Take care to get as close to the edge as you can so that no paper hangs over the wooden letter.

Ever see all those fun wood shapes and letters at the craft store and wonder what you could do with them? Learn how to easy it is to transform them into personalized key chains!

Ever see all those fun wood shapes and letters at the craft store and wonder what you could do with them? Learn how to easy it is to transform them into personalized key chains!

Next, you will repeat the process on the other side! Coat the non-papered side with more Mod Podge, place it down onto the WRONG side of your patterned paper, then trim away all the excess with the craft knife. Once complete, you will have a nice big letter with patterned paper adhered to each side with the raw wooden edge exposed in between!

Ever see all those fun wood shapes and letters at the craft store and wonder what you could do with them? Learn how to easy it is to transform them into personalized key chains!

To make the key chain a bit more durable and weather-proof…coat the entire thing with several more coats of Mod Podge (allowing ample dry time between coats).

Ever see all those fun wood shapes and letters at the craft store and wonder what you could do with them? Learn how to easy it is to transform them into personalized key chains!

Once dry, use a drill to make a hole in the wooden letter. If the paper tears away, clean it up and add more Mod Podge to seal the edges. Finally…add the key chain hardware!

Ever see all those fun wood shapes and letters at the craft store and wonder what you could do with them? Learn how to easy it is to transform them into personalized key chains!

These are so fun, quick, inexpensive and easy to make! Henry loved surprising his best little friends with them!

Ever see all those fun wood shapes and letters at the craft store and wonder what you could do with them? Learn how to easy it is to transform them into personalized key chains!

These are great attached to any backpack, lunchbox, purse, or gym bag…and would also be great to adorn birthday/holiday presents. If you need a quick and fun little gift for any occasion, give these key chains a try!

Ever see all those fun wood shapes and letters at the craft store and wonder what you could do with them? Learn how to easy it is to transform them into personalized key chains!

These personalized wooden key chain projects are a great way to unwind and have a little crafty fun! I’d love to hear if you have you come up with any fun or clever uses for these fun yet inexpensive craft supplies?

See you back here Thursday with a mini command center project!

Megan Signature

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FREE Printable Chore Chart Stickers!

Making a fun and easy-to-use chore chart for your kiddos is now even easier using these FREE printable Chore Chart Stickers!

Ever since I launched The Organization Toolbox and started asking for suggestions, there have been many requests for some sort of printable chore chart for kids. I really, really wanted to make one for you all, but I was having a hard time figuring out a useful system that also lent itself to a “printable” format. As such, the “Chore Chart” sat on my idea list for a good long time and simmered in the back of my brain. Well…fast forward to these last two months when Henry learned the connection between helping around the house, earning money, and being able to spend that money on whatever he wanted. Suddenly, he was asking for jobs to do (in order to earn money, of course), and Greg and I were left scrambling to identify chores, track the chores, and pay him (consistently!) for the things he did do. After brainstorming and playing around with options as a family (seriously, this was a group effort!), we came up with an adorable, fun, and super user-friendly chore chart that we are ALL loving!

Making a fun and easy-to-use chore chart for your kiddos is now even easier using these FREE printable Chore Chart Stickers!

Right now, I am over on I Heart Organizing sharing all the details on our new Chore Chart system, including how it works and how to make one yourself! I’m telling you friends, this little system has changed the way Henry helps around the house and has saved our sanity on “pay day.” This system might look complicated to make from the onset, but don’t you fret – it can come together in an afternoon because I did all the hard work for you!

Making a fun and easy-to-use chore chart for your kiddos is now even easier using these FREE printable Chore Chart Stickers!

Yep – those are Chore Chart Stickers (that look a lot like my Planner Stickers…which is where I got the idea!). I’ve come up with 36 different “symbols” that would work for a variety of chores and ages and designed them to fit AVERY 6450 1″ round labels. I also included a sheet of blank stickers, so you can add any words or symbols that you want/need on your family chart! And as usual, I am sharing the files with you for FREE!

Printable Chore Chart Stickers - 5 pages, 9 colors, 36 chores, and a full page of blanks! Printable Chore Chart Stickers - 5 pages, 9 colors, 36 chores, and a full page of blanks!

If you would like your own copy of these Printable Chore Chart Stickers, I have them available for download over in The Organization Toolbox right now! If you already have my password, hop on over and grab your copy, then come back to see how to print them out!

If you need access to my Organization Toolbox, simply subscribe to THIHM Newsletter below and The Organization Toolbox Password will be delivered straight to your inbox!

(Pssst – if you’re already a subscriber, the password was delivered in your final welcome email, as well as the latest newsletter! If you just subscribed but didn’t receive the final password email, please check your Spam/Trash folders! The password is case sensitive…please use ALL CAPS!)

Already have access? Visit the Organization Toolbox HERE to access your FREE Printable Chore Chart Stickers!

I wanted this chore chart project to be as quick and easy as possible (for me and for you!), so I designed the whole project to essentially be peel, stick, go! Once you’ve downloaded your files, simply print them out onto AVERY 6450 labels

Making a fun and easy-to-use chore chart for your kiddos is now even easier using these FREE printable Chore Chart Stickers!

…and peel away the paper backing to reveal a bunch of bright, fun, and colorful Chore Chart stickers.

Making a fun and easy-to-use chore chart for your kiddos is now even easier using these FREE printable Chore Chart Stickers!

Making a fun and easy-to-use chore chart for your kiddos is now even easier using these FREE printable Chore Chart Stickers!

Then, hop on over to I Heart Organizing to see how I transformed the stickers into magnets…

Making a fun and easy-to-use chore chart for your kiddos is now even easier using these FREE printable Chore Chart Stickers!

…and assembled an easy-to-use Chore Chart board that our entire family is loving!

Making a fun and easy-to-use chore chart for your kiddos is now even easier using these FREE printable Chore Chart Stickers!

You guys know I have a history for coming up with pretty and fun organizing systems, but then sometimes discover (after they hit the blog, of course) that they didn’t really quite work out as intended. Well, friends. After 2+ weeks of using this system, I can say this one is truly a winner. Henry is responding SO well to moving his magnets as he completes his chores, and Greg and I are loving having a simple-to-use system to determine payment and hold him accountable. Oh…and all the extra help around the house is pretty wonderful too!

Making a fun and easy-to-use chore chart for your kiddos is now even easier using these FREE printable Chore Chart Stickers!

I do hope you’ll pop over to I Heart Organizing to see how this system works and how easy it comes together. If you coming over to visit from Jen’s site, welcome!! I’m so glad you’re here, and I hope you’ll stay and have a look around!

And with that, I’m signing off for the week! See you back here next week (on my regular posting days: Tues/Thurs) with some quick back-to-school crafts and a first look at Henry’s new “command center.”! See you then!

Megan Signature

P.S. Want even more stickers? Make sure you check out my Planner Stickers too!

FREE Ready-to-Print Planner Stickers

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