Sprucing Up For Spring

Large Memo Pads

Spring has officially arrived according to the calendar and with sunnier days ahead it’s a great time to tackle some home improvement projects. Whether you are organizing your garage, undertaking a bit of spring cleaning or working more organization into your home, proper planning is key. Creating lists of needed supplies and jotting down the step by step process is always helpful when tackling a big project. Our handy memo pads were just what our colleague Traci needed when she tackled two adorable organization projects for her son’s room.

With her son’s love of books and stuffed animals came the potential for clutter, but Traci turned an opportunity for mess into eye catching room décor! Traci used rope, hobby wood and hooks to create an adorable hanging swing for her son’s stuffed pals.

Stuffed Animal Swing

And here she used fabric, dowel rods and curtain rod brackets to create colorful storage for all kinds of books!

Hanging Book Display

With the help of our small memo pads, Traci was able to gather her supplies with ease and create amazing projects for her home! What projects are on your list for this spring?

For complete instructions for these great organizational projects, read the links here:

Hanging Book Display
Hanging Toy Storage

How to Personalize Your Spring Party

Party Favor- Candy Tin

Spring is in the air, and to kick off this colorful time of year, we, at Expressionery.com, want to share fun tips on how to personalize your party. From tea parties to birthdays or any other celebration it’s easy to add a personal touch with custom stamps.

The Party Favor: What better way to say Thank You to your guests than with a fun party favor. Small tins and party bags can be purchased at just about any craft store and filled with candy or goodies of your choice. For our green and yellow spring celebration we added a polka dotted ribbon and a simple round label with a fun stamp to the top of a tin and filled it with candy. Voila: a perfectly easy party favor!

Party Gift Bag

The Gift Bag: It’s easy to update gifts and gift bags with a stamp on the tissue paper and the gift tag, or in some cases, the bag itself.

Party Checklist

The Notepad: Create your own personal stationery with colorful paper, a ribbon or twine and your stamp in the bottom corner. No matter the size, this stationery is fun for any party planner or a fun and functional gift.

Party Plate Setting

The Place Setting: There’s no better way to liven up your dinner table than with personalized place mats and table settings. To create the place mat you just need craft paper, ribbon and a stamp to customize for your party theme or for each guest at your table. Utilize your stamp even further by creating customized napkins and a favor for the after dinner snack.

Spring Party Thank You Note

The Thank You Note: A handwritten thank you note is appropriate for any celebration. Make it easier on yourself, and your wrist, by stamping your return address on the envelopes. P.S. You can use these on your invitation envelopes too. ;)

How will you personalize your next party?

Click the link below to see other fun stamp uses for parties and more from the PSA Stamp Camp blog. Happy stamping!

Preparing for back to school

The first day of school is coming soon - are you ready?

The first day of school is coming soon – are you ready?

Summer may be in full swing, but the new school year is fast approaching. Time for backpacks, school supplies, lunch boxes, homework and sports gear. This year, I am joining the ranks. My daughter will begin kindergarten this fall.

It’s hard to imagine that she has reached this stage; it feels like she should still be crawling around the house, learning to talk. But alas, Pre-K graduation has past, and kindergarten is on the horizon.

To be 100% honest, I don’t know if I will be ready. My daughter asks every day, “When do I get to go to kindergarten?” So obviously, she is raring to go.

In order to make sure she is as prepared as possible, we have invested in a few kindergarten workbooks. You can find these at retailers (such as Walmart or CVS) or bookstores, where they have all grade levels, as well as books to focus on certain subjects. And the best thing about these books is that she loves them!

Kindergarten workbooks

Kindergarten workbooks

And it isn’t ‘Back to School’ without school supply shopping. Every year, stores have stands covered in school supply lists for various grades and schools in the area. Rather than passing by without a second glance, I will have to grab a cart and fill it with crayons, tissues, notebook paper and all the other necessities required for the classroom.

Personally, I remember being able to fit all my supplies in my backpack for the first day; now you need a wagon or wheelbarrow just to get everything in the door. I will definitely be stocking up on personalized labels to keep my daughter organized.

But it doesn’t end with crayons and paper. Gotta shop for backpacks, lunch boxes, clothes, shoes, etc. Personalized back to school supplies

Even though she’s only 5, my daughter definitely has her own opinions and sense of style. I cannot count the number of times I have been informed that something doesn’t “match” or just isn’t right. Did I mention she’s only 5? What am I going to do when she’s a teenager?

Tax Free Weekend and Back to School sales are already on my radar. I have already begun to plan my next order of luggage tags to attach to all her school and activity bags.

I also know that I will be completely scatter-brained trying to keep track of everything. Between school functions, cheerleading and dance classes, I will definitely be using weekly calendars. They’re perfect for organizing my week either by activity or by child.

I am also one of “those” moms who are not afraid to ask the teacher exactly what’s going on at any given moment. So, personalized note cards and memo pads are perfect for getting my many questions to and from school.

As for the dreaded first day, I’m sure I will be an emotional wreck. I will be enjoying the parent’s breakfast the school provides (the Boo Hoo Breakfast) and counting down the minutes until the day is over. And when the day is done, and she is excitingly describing her entire day, I can relax – until it’s my son’s turn.

80 Cheap summer activities for kids

cheap summer activities for kids

Summer Fun 101

Inside summer kids activities

  • Go to the movies – many theaters around the country show kids’ movies once or twice a week, and tickets are cheap.
  • Check out a museum you’ve never been to before – you can often use other memberships to get in free.
  • Bake cookies or cupcakes – don’t forget tubes of colored icing and sprinkles so you can decorate them together.
  • Explore the treasures in your own attic (or Grandma’s, if you don’t have one).
  • Make your own candy – try old-fashioned favorites like rock candy or taffy.
  • Have a girls’ “spa day” with nail polish, facials and massages from Mom.
  • Make your own musical instruments – coffee cans make great drums; the top of a soda bottle makes a funny buzzer.
  • Camp out inside – whether you use folding tables and sheets or get more elaborate with large cardboard boxes, forts are always a hit. Don’t forget the flashlights and some microwave s’mores!
  • Have a pajama day – everyone stays in pj’s and hangs out in the living room. Works well with campout day!
  • Research the family tree with relatives or the internet.
  • Make your own ice pops with fruit juice.
make your own ice pops
  • Join a local moms group so your kids can play with other kids their age. You can often get group discounts when you go together to museums, parks and more.
  • Have a tea party with fancy dishes, scones and tea (or special juices and colorful paper plates for younger kids).
  • Download free coloring pages and have a coloring contest.
  • Make bag puppets and put on a show.
  • Do science experiments together.
  • Make your own pizza.
  • Clean out your closet and stock a dress-up box – it’s also fun to add cheap finds from your local dollar store or garage sales.
  • Download free songs and have a karaoke sing-along.
  • Introduce them to the public library – little ones will enjoy story time, while older kids will be thrilled to get their own library card and check out a few books.
  • Make your own play dough.
  • Tour a local factory – from Blue Bell to the U.S. Mint, many places are happy to take groups of kids on a tour.
  • Help older kids set up their own blog.
  • Send them to a free Lowe’s or Home Depot kids workshop.
  • Find them a pen pal.
  • Try new restaurants – many let kids eat free.
  • Volunteer – there are thousands of opportunities, from cleaning a beach to volunteering at an animal shelter. (Your kids will be more excited if they get to help choose the activity.)
  • Call your local fire department and see if they will let you bring your children for a brief tour to meet the firemen.
summer kids fun

Outside summer kids activities

  • Set up the sprinkler and let them run through it.
  • Visit a national park on one of their free entrance days.
  • Ride bikes through a nature trail.
  • Go to a new playground across town.
  • Fill your sandbox with “fossils” (painted rocks) for your kids to dig up – grab some magnifying glasses and gardening tools.
  • Check out the zoo – if you have a Bank of America credit or debit card, many zoos and museums offer free admission the first weekend of each month.
  • Freeze little plastic toys in a big tub filled with water. Once it’s frozen solid, remove the tub and let your kids excavate the toys out with spoons and sandbox shovels.
  • String up sheets as curtains (hang from trees or a clothesline) and hold a neighborhood talent show.
Talent show
  • Go to a parade.
  • Have a picnic in your own back yard.
  • Feed the ducks at the park with old bread.
  • Check out a local festival – many offer free admission before a certain time on opening day.
  • Check out a farmer’s market.
  • If you’re lucky enough to live in the country, have your own campfire. Sing silly songs, toast marshmallows and count stars.
  • Set up a scavenger hunt.
  • Sign them up for swimming lessons.
  • Check your local newspaper for outdoor concerts or plays.
  • Have a hula hoop or jump rope contest.
  • Hand them measuring cups, pie plates and a few seldom-used spices so they can make mud pies.
  • Have a water balloon or squirt gun fight.
summer kids water fun
  • Make your own slip and slide with a shower curtain – throw on watery shampoo to make it extra slippery, set it on the grass, and set up a hose or sprinkler to keep the water flowing.
  • Plant a garden together – even little ones will love watering the plants.
  • Go bowling – you can get free passes from AMF.
  • Have a garage sale and let your kids keep the earnings for their old toys.
  • Visit other garage sales so your kids can afford some real treasures with what they’ve earned!
  • Make edible crayons – freeze water with food coloring using tube-shaped molds, then let young kids “color” with them outside.
  • Try geocaching – a hobby where people leave small treasures called “geocaches” all over the world, with coordinates so you can find them.
  • Open a lemonade stand and raise money for cancer by joining with Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
  • Set out folding chairs and watch a sunset together.
  • Go fly a kite.
summer kite
  • Blow giant bubbles.
  • Set up a “car wash” for the kids – have everyone bring over tricycles, ride-on toys and scooters, fill buckets with soapy water and sponges, and let them suds everything down.
  • Skim rocks at the lake.
  • Make a bird feeder and watch for visitors.
  • Create an obstacle course with obstacles like a balloon-filled swimming pool to jump over and a rope climb up a tree.
  • Catch fireflies.
  • Set up a water table – fill sand buckets, plastic dishes or even a plastic pool with a few inches of water and lots of fun toys – boats, bath toys and squirt guns. It’s even more fun with food coloring, but make sure kids are wearing old clothes since it stains easily.
  • Research constellations and see how many you can name in the night sky.
  • Visit a local orchard and pick strawberries, cherries or other summer fruits.
summer berries

Crafty summer kids activities

  • Make tie-dye t-shirts.
  • Learn how to braid lanyards and friendship bracelets.
  • Make coasters and jewelry with Perler Beads.
  • Try paper mache.
  • Paint pottery, like flower pots.
  • Make paper airplanes and see whose will fly the farthest.
  • Paint canvas tennis shoes.
  • Make masks out of paper plates – then put on a play.
  • Work on a scrapbook together.
  • Make colorful God’s Eyes with yarn and sticks.
  • Make your own pop-up books.
  • Get a big tub of Sidewalk Chalk and create your own “art gallery” in the driveway.
  • Teach them how to knit or crochet. (It’s easy to learn if you don’t know how either!)
kids summer crafts

10 ways to use your PSA Essentials personalized stamp

PSA personalized stamps

A guest post by our friend Libby O from PSA Stamp Camp

Like an old friend, my PSA Essentials personalized stamp has been with me for a long time. With patent-pending Peel & Stick technology and thousands of designs, one personalized stamp and a few Peel & Stick packs go a long way. From getting married to buying a house, getting domestic and celebrating holidays and milestones, there are so many uses for a personalized stamp and Peel & Stick designs. Here are 10 of my favorite ways to use PSA Essentials stamps!

10. If you’re getting married, use your personalized PSA Essentials stamp for your entire wedding stationery suite. From sending out save the dates, to showers, to your wedding invitations – use one personalized outer ring and switch up your inner rings to suit the occasion. There’s a stamp for every occasion to dress up your envelopes.

PSA stamp use 10
  • Save the date stamp from the “Bouquet Toss” collection
  • Umbrella shower stamp from the “Bouquet Toss” collection
  • Cake stamp from the “Mr. & Mrs.” collection

9. Create your own stationery and notes. Use jotter paper on your desk or purchase any of PSA Essentials’ stampable stationery. It’s an inexpensive way to have personalized stationery in a few seconds!

PSA stamp use 9

8. Get crafty and make your own holiday cards. Remove the outer ring of your personalized stamp and use the “Happy Holidays” stamp from the North Pole Peel & Stick pack on your stamper. For your envelopes, put your outer address ring back on, change up the middle to the trees from Tree-O Peel & Stick stamps. Your holiday card is sure to stand out!

PSA stamp use 8
  • Handmade holiday cards

7. Make your own gift wrap. Remove your personalized stamp and switch it up. Add a cupcake stamp from PSA Cupcake, then a flower from PSA Rosettas to your stamper loaded with different color ink cartridges. Stamp randomly and you’ll have beautiful gift wrap in no time!

  • Handmade gift wrap
PSA stamp use 7

6. Get domestic! Switch up your stamp die (no need to purchase a whole new stamp because of the Peel & Stick technology) with a “From the kitchen of” stamp.

PSA stamp use 6
  • Gift tags on homemade goods

5. Host a beautiful baby shower with this DIY project. Have guests write wishes for baby on a card that can be placed in a book for the mom to take home. Use the PSA Little Bunny and PSA Carriage Peel & Stick stamp sets on your PSA Stamper and follow this tutorial to make them.

PSA stamp use 5
  • Wishes for baby

4. Serve dessert up in style. Dress up cupcakes with these easy toppers. Using your PSA Topiary Peel & Stick stamps, use the Easter Egg and “Happy Easter” sentiment to make these quick and easy toppers during Easter. Change it up for any occasion like birthdays, graduation, 4th of July, Halloween or Thanksgiving.

PSA product use 4
  • Cupcake toppers

3. Create great party favors like these CDs for guests take home. Switch things up on your personalized stamp and have a die made just for your event or occasion – like this “Molly’s 2nd Birthday Party” with “2″ from PSA Vanilla Peel & Stick. Use it to create party decorations too like banners, cupcake toppers, napkin seals and more.

PSA product use 3
  • Personalized CD cases

2. Make memories last forever with scrapbooking. Change up your personalized stamp – add Peel & Stick designs like Fancy Flakes, Vanilla Letters & Numbers, and more to any of your layouts.

PSA stamp product use 2
  • The finishing touches for your scrapbook

1. Stamp all of your envelopes and correspondence, quickly and easily and in-style. PSA Essentials personalized stamps come assembled with black ink included, and are good for up to 10,000 impressions. That’s a lot of stamping!

PSA stamp use 1
  • Stamps for your correspondence