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DIY Modern Halloween Spider Web Wreath

I know I know. Spiders. But they just scream Halloween to me without being too scary. Well, scary for my kids. I swear the fake spiders kept moving. Also, in theme with simplicity this is as easy and simple as they get.

I was tempted to not really decorate but seeing my kids faces get so excited seeing all the spooky things around is what makes it worth it. Keeping things magical and full of illusion for the kids even when it is as simple as putting up some cobwebs and fake spiders. Continue reading DIY Modern Halloween Spider Web Wreath

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DIY Shibori Napkins and How to Keep Them Stain-Free

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WorryFreeMessFree #CollectiveBias

I looked on in horror as my young son wiped his spaghetti sauce mustache on his sleeve. Nooooo!! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told him not to do that. Wait, I can. About 3489257489284920583092 times. Yep. I mean the napkin was within his grasp but I guess his sleeve was closer. I thought, it’s a good thing I don’t have nice napkins or I’d internally flip if he stained those. As I was washing the dishes I remembered a story I heard about a woman that had a beautiful pearl necklace. She put them in a safe place so they could never get lost or ruined. She never wore them for fear of something happening to them. She passed away never having worn that precious necklace she valued so much. While I don’t go to that extreme, we use our china several times a year, I realized my mistake. I CAN have nice things. Yeah some might get ruined because we are a young family. But, I can also take more steps to protect my “nice” things. Thank you Scotchgard™ Fabric & Upholstery Protector for existing!! I don’t want to be worrying about things getting ruined because they are being used. Helloooo!! Napkins are supposed to be used to wipe off spaghetti sauce mustaches. They are supposed to wipe off chocolate after a fun fondue night. That is their purpose. My logic was all wrong and I decided to do something about it. I finally bought myself some nice cloth napkins and wanted to personalize them by using the shibori method of dyeing. It’s just a glorified version of tie dyeing (throwback to summer camp). And it was fun to get all messy crafting up a storm. And you sure are bound to feel pretty awesome looking at your new creation and confidently saying to yourself, I freakin’ made these. So you wanna make some of these yourself?? After some trial and error and some more error, here is a way to make these. Take note that every dye is different and while your napkins will don the same hue, each method of tying results in something different. I like to think of it as unique and personal. I love when they are imperfect because well, we all are imperfect and beautiful. Alright, enough with the sappiness and bring on the mess.

Materials:
100% Cotton Cloth Napkins
Navy Blue Dye
Disposable Gloves
1 Cup of Salt (optional)
Bucket (I lined mine with a trash bag so it wouldn’t dye it)
Tools: rubber bands of various sizes and widths, cardboard, string, paper towel tube, etc.
1 Cup of White Vinegar
Scotchgard™ Fabric & Upholstery Protector (coupon for $1 off here!)

What To Do:

  1. If you are using new napkins, make sure to wash them to remove any chemicals that might alter dye. Leave them damp.
  2. Using various tools like rubber bands, string, tubes, tie damp napkins using various methods. Or you could use the same method if you want them all similar. Here are a couple of links to help you with different tying methods.
  3. Every dye has slightly different methods so make sure to read their specific directions. I used a combination of colors: navy blue and royal blue dye. Then I filled a bucket with hot water. Add a cup of salt and mix really well. You could also just use a singular dye.
  4. Make sure your napkins are still damp. This helps to soak in the dye. Depending on how big your bucket is, place the napkins into it in sets. I did 6 an 6. Insert into dye and agitate the dye every 5 minutes. The amount of time you let it soak will determine the intensity of the color. I would recommend letting it sit for at least 30 minutes. I accidentally learned this haha! Dyeing is a unique technique because even if you use the same method all the results slightly vary.
  5. Once time is up, remove the napkins letting the excess dye drip off. I wouldn’t recommend using a white or porcelain sink to wash off dye or it could stain it. Without removing the ties, let cold water run through napkin until the water is clear-ish.
  6. Once the water isn’t an intense color, remove the ties and run under cold water until the water runs clear. Run the remaining napkins under cold water.
  7. Once they are all done, put into washing machine. Don’t mix with any other clothing. Wash it (no detergent) with 1 cup of vinegar in cold water.
  8. Wash again using detergent in cold water.
  9. Dry using low heat. Once dry, iron. Or not. Ironing really isn’t my jam but it makes it look crisper.
  10. Using Scotchgard™ Fabric & Upholstery Protector, shake bottle really well. I recommend using a test swatch to make sure color doesn’t rub off. Holding the can 6″ away, lightly spray one coat onto fabric, front and back. Make sure to be in a well ventilated area and cover your work space. (watch video here on how to apply)
  11. Reapply a second coat once first coat is dry.
  12. Once dry, it’s ready to use! Because napkins are frequently used, you’ll have to reapply every few months. But now you can use them without any worry! And they won’t change the feel or look so spray away.

So go take a stroll through Target and grab some supplies. Not gonna lie, my Target stroll not only included grabbing the Scotchgard™ product. A few other things jumped in my cart, too. #sorrynotsorry I finally found them in this aisle on the third shelf…not that I minded perusing every aisle to see what else I “needed.”

Now go spray your sofa, sofa pillows, other table linens…all the things. Actually first read on back what you can spray. And then stop worrying about it and just live your crazy awesome life.

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DIY Scallop Picture Frame

Raise your hand if you have been using the same picture frames forevvverrr. Raise your hands if your style has changed since getting said picture frames. Ok, me too guys. Frames can be so expensive and getting new ones is actually annoying. You can go to thrift stores and get pretty good ones but very rarely can you find a pair that match. I just want something simple with a tiny but of personality to it. Especially when you have something coming up and you just need to hang something up now.
I designed this simple frame that you can make as a place holder until you can find something sturdier and more long term…or you can use them until you change your style. Because for very little cost you can make some pretty cute frames.

Materials:
Cricut Explore 2
5×7 scallop frame file
8.5×11 piece of thick sturdy chipboard + extra for back
paint and paint brush
glue/double sided tape
magnet tape
string/ribbon/chain
hot glue gun

What To Do:
1. Download image file onto your desktop and open Cricut Design Space
2. Open new file and insert image. Select layer and duplicate it.
3.Using the rulers on the screen, stretch the images so they are slightly larger than 5×7 but no larger that the inside of the frame is 5×7.4. Place chipboard on mat making sure to press down hard so chipboard doesn’t move around.
5. Insert into machine and set knob to “custom.”
6. Press continue on the computer screen and select drop down frame to “chipboard.”
7. Press the Cricut button to begin cutting.8. Using the spatula remove the chipboard without bending it. 9. Using double sided tape or glue, glue both frames together to make it even sturdier and thicker.10. Paint one side of the frame the color of your choosing. I painted 3 white coats.
11. Using the hot glue, glue a piece of string (I used a piece of chain from a broken necklace) onto the frame.
12. Cut a piece of chipboard slightly smaller than the frame to go on the back.13. Using the magnet tape, cut 4 pieces small enough to go on the corners of the scallop frame and tape one on each corner of the frame. Cut 4 more pieces and tape them onto the backside piece.
14. Place picture in between the frame and backside piece and you’ve got yourself an interchangeable frame. You amaze me DIY master.
I think my next one I will use really thick chipboard and a stronger magnet tape. While it works for now, it may not hold up another move. I think I will also get 12×12 chipboard that way I can make these frames big enough to hold the 8×10 artwork my kids bring home. You can personalize them by color or having the kids draw on their own frames. These will work until I can complete my gallery wall with thinner and lighter colored frames. Plus it is easy to change photos so I can change the prints as the holidays and seasons change.

What projects are you interested in learning to make with your Cricut? Let me know!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

Comments submitted may be displayed or featured on other websites owned by Cricut.

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Introducing Cricut Air 2 + Easy Faux Stamped Gold Foil Art Print Tutorial

I remember laying in the hospital, starving and watching infomercials. Infomercials are what kept me from going crazy from hunger. Because of an upcoming emergency surgery I wasn’t allowed to eat to get my pancreas related levels low. I remember seeing the Cricut Expression in action and knew I needed to have it. A cutting machine that could intricately cut paper for me? My creative soul could see so many projects I could make, especially since I love throwing parties. It’s a good thing Santa ended up getting it for me for Christmas. And as much as I loved the Expression, it lacked more customization which as a graphic designer I felt I needed. Continue reading Introducing Cricut Air 2 + Easy Faux Stamped Gold Foil Art Print Tutorial

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Recipe: Kid Friendly Pizzas+ Adding More Counter Space in the Kitchen

kid friendly pizzas We moved several months ago into a smaller house- not by choice. In my old house I had this magnificent counter in the kitchen. It was glorious. In this new place my counter space was about an 18″ slab between the sink and stove. I was going a little haywire and felt like I couldn’t cook anything! I needed extra counter space if I was going to be able to accomplish anything in this kitchen.

I scoured on Craigslist, on our our Buy Nothing Facebook group, and other yard sale type groups hoping to find something in our price range. You already spend so much money on a move it was hard to fork out some more money. My husband suggested we use this cabinet type thing the owners left in the garage. At first I said no because it looked too scary. Really I was afraid a gazillion spiders would climb out and haunt my house. But because I realllly didn’t want to spend more money I told him I would fix it up if he cleaned it out. He hates fixing stuff so he thought it was a great deal. Continue reading Recipe: Kid Friendly Pizzas+ Adding More Counter Space in the Kitchen

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Girls Shared Nursery: Minimalistic and Whimsical Room

Minimal Whimsical Shared Girls NurseryShared rooms are difficult to decorate, right? I mean, how do you mesh two (or more) personalities into a cohesive and coordinating room?

girls shared nursery room minimal dresser stylingikea dresser, knobs, mid century elephant bank (similar), you are my sunshine print, video monitor c/o levana (similar), monogram letters (love this one!) minimalistic gallery wall for girls whimsical roomAfter having 2 boys, I didn’t mind a little pink in my life. But not too much pink. Or frill. Luckily my daughter loves pink, purple, fancy….and fun and quirky. I like that. She likes it all and most of all, likes to be bold. I took that and tried to mix it in with the soft natured personality of her baby sister.

framed cat (diy), dream big print c/o belle pivoine, magnifique print, blanket (diy) with fabric I designed

how wonderful life is blanket designed by brenda bird girls-shared-nursery-room_0282 Minimal Whimsical Shared Girls Nursery cat garland in minimalistic girls room Minimal Whimsical Shared Girls Nursery

I took a little bit of each and added a touch of minimalism- I am on this declutter phase thanks to the KonMari method. So instead of more stuff I just tried to add fun and bold colors. I didn’t want to impose too much of my style on their carefree personalities so I tried to design a few items that meshed the two…or three together. I think the key is just to focus on similar colors. I used a lot of whites to offset the colorful patterns and colors.

best sheets for kids- quick zip promo code Brenda10 for 10% off

girls-shared-nursery-room_0281

pillow bold pink floral fabric designed by meMinimal Whimsical Shared Girls Nursery

girls-shared-nursery-room_0268house bookcase, swivel nursing chair, ikea shelf, swan print, flying pig (similar or this is a cheaper one)girls-shared-nursery-room_0279diaper pail c/o Ubbi, Sounds for Silence Sound Machine (c/0) The First Years

girls-shared-nursery-room_0280 Minimal Whimsical Shared Girls Nurseryikea toddler bed, quickzip bed sheets c/o quickzip promo code Brenda10 for 10% off purchase, blanket (diy), cat garland (diy)girls-shared-nursery-room_0278 Minimal Whimsical Shared Girls Nursery modern bow holder + cat jewelry hangerbow holder (diy), cat necklace jewelry hanger (diy)

girls-shared-nursery-room_0276  Minimal Whimsy Girls Shared Nursery Roomikea gulliver crib, quilt c/o stitched, crib sheet c/o little wife powerhouse, giraffe bust, jesus loves me print c/o latter day home, new day art print, tassel wall art (diy)

I want to thank the wonderful companies who graciously donated items to complete this nursery:

QuickZip sheets are awesome. We have the velour top one on this toddler bed for that extra warmth during the colder months. My daughter is in a toddler bed, which uses a crib mattress, which makes it easy to interchange with my baby’s crib sheets. It is so easy to change the sheets when all you have to do is unzip. We have them for each of the kids’ beds. They really are the best sheets for bunk beds and cribs you know, when the sides are hard to get to?! My boys have bunk beds and changing sheets is never fun but this makes it easier!

Stitched is a great way to customize quilts without actually having to cut out squares and sew them on your own. You can pick a template or make up your own. I made up my own pattern using the colors in the girls room. I love it so much- I just don’t have time to make a quilt so this is the next best thing. And the backing is that minky fabric that is so so soft.

LatterDay Home has such beautiful art to hang throughout the house. I fell in love with this whimsical and youthful Jesus print.

Little Wife Power House has beautiful modern designs for kids rooms. This happy bird print (I just love our last name!) is just perfect for my baby girl. She is so smiley and loves birds.

Belle Pivoine is an amazing illustrator. I want everything in her shop. She illustrated this beautiful picture of Adelle and it came in such pretty packaging. I need to get one for Madeleine now!

Ubbi is the nicest, most effective and best diaper pail out there. It has a great design, a lock so kids can’t open it and it really really does keep the stink in. Another thing I like about this is that you can use your own trash bags.

The First Years sound machine plays white noise as well as music from the machine or from your iphone/ipod, etc. Adelle loves it and it helps her go to sleep, especially during nap time. I think the silence makes her nervous….we do have a full house so it is understandable!

Levana video monitors are a game changer. I didn’t have a video monitor before and would try to check on my kids without waking them up- fail. I have one in the nursery and one in the playroom. It also has a speaker system so you can talk through the monitor- I use it as an intercom system to diffuse any arguments or call them up for dinner.

girls-shared-nursery-room_0277

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10+ Rainy Day Activities + Free Shadow Puppet Printables

rainy day activities with plushrugsphotos by christina judd

We spend most of our time in the living room and the playroom. I think we all prefer the living room because we crave that natural light. Having wood floor throughout the main floor can make it seem a little cold and not so cozy. Seeing as we spend lots of time here we needed to add cozy which means we needed a rug. Most of you know my kids are allergic to dust mites and other allergens so we have to be super careful with rugs. I could only get synthetic rugs due to the fact that they do not retain allergens like wool does. I searched on and partnered with PlushRugs.com.I found that I could search materials and could select the specific material I wanted. Having eliminated a huge load of rugs, this narrowed my search significantly and less overwhelming. We found the perfect black and cream plaid nylon rug (courtesy of PlushRugs) from Safavieh that cleans pretty well and has resisted the normal wear and tear of a household of 6. It added that coziness and warmth that we needed in the living room as well as the padding needed when we stay indoors away from another day of rain.nylon rug. best for allergies

We lived in the desert for 8 years- hardly any rain. And then we moved to the rainiest city where sunny days in the fall and winter are scarce yearned for. Our first summer here we stayed indoors for a couple of days before we got cabin fever. This cannot be my life! Then I soon learned that life goes on here- rain or no rain. We even play and cheer on soccer games in the rain. It is what it is. But day after day of rain can get a little depressing so once in a while we will stay in and have lots of fun indoors. Staying indoors doesn’t have to be confining.

  1. Exercise. Have your kids tried kids yoga? My kids love it. LOVE it. We do it at lease once a week and not just on rainy days. It is great for everyone. We love Cosmic Kids Yoga because she tells a story while they do coordinating poses. The kids are very eager to find out what happens next!
  2. Look at photo albums. We always joke that our kids are vain because they love looking at themselves on the phone and in our photos. I have been pretty terrible about making scrapbooks for my kids but a couple of years ago we started using Chatbooks. They print all of our instagram pictures into an album. It’s perfect because it’s a subscription- one less thing I have to keep track of. I get one automatically after every 60 pictures posted. If you haven’t tried them you can use this Chatbooks promo code: 4T2YPUYK for your first book free: The kids love seeing themselves as babies and love hearing stories about themselves even more!
  3. Play games: Some games can be complicated for little kids. We like tic tac toe. It’s simple. And my kids don’t even care if they lose- they just like putting the pieces down. I have a DIY of our last tic tac toe board– I got a new one because our old one is out of commission. It was loved a little too much. Once it is fixed (I know, I’m a procrastinator) we will have two and kids won’t fight so much over taking turns. This one I got at Ballard Consignment. It’s virtually unbreakable and the pieces aren’t that small for baby to choke on. wood coffee table educational puzzle Rainy day activities with kids
  4. Puzzle time! We did lots of puzzles a couple of years ago but they always took up the whole floor and it started to bug me so we cooled off on the puzzles. Then I saw this wood coffee table puzzle. This & That Etc. was kind enough to send this to us to play with. It is compact, a beautiful design and educational. My 4 year old can put it together. Granted she can’t read the states names but she knows where they all belong! My 5 year old and 8 year old put this together at least once a day. Proud mama moment.  Rainy day activities with kids
  5. Build a fort. My kids love building forts and castles. We used to build them out of blankets and books and pillows. They’d fall apart and the kids wrath was heard loud and clear. We got this fort building kit (two actually) for the kids last Christmas and it has been very well received. It’s pretty sturdy and holds blankets without it slipping off.
  6. Get crafty. You know me. I like anything crafty. And thankfully my kids also love creating. One of our favorite things to do is to create artwork inspired by famous artists. The more abstract the better- kids don’t have inhibitions so they create from their heart.
  7. Play and learn with play-doh. I have a love-hate with this. The meshing of the colors gives my OCD heart a mild heart attack while my creative side says “just go with it and see what happens!” Taking a little bit of control of the activity can save the headache like printing out letters and having them make a copy with play-doh. Dried beans also work well with tracing letters. Can get messy but it’s ok for the sake of education, right?
  8. Build masterpieces. My son is super into building with the mega bloks. We have a couple of sets so he can build pretty complex edifices and I love his attention to detail and his creative uses of ordinary items to add on to the building blocks. Castles, forts, super hero homes, silly forests, etc. are no strangers to the playroom floor. Our new favorite toy are the magnet building and constructing sets given to us by GeoSmart. These magnetic shapes are perfect for creative imaginations. My son likes to build what he sees on the cover of the game but then also likes to experiment with the strength of the magnets to see how high they can go. Being able to build sideways and almost defy gravity is what keeps him interested. We have the Lunar Rover which has 30 pieces including 2 sets of wheels. I’d recommend buying a larger set like this one so you can create larger things as well as let brother or sister play.  rainy day activities like playing with magnetic construction sets by geosmart
  9. Bake or cook yummy treats. Entertain the kids while making something delicious. Win win in my book. We love making pizzas and chocolate chip cookies. Those are pretty simple and not super messy with kids. Plus I think they appreciate the hard work put into that single cookie!
  10. Have a puppet show. Don’t you just love the crazy and incoherent stories kids come up with? They are so funny. Give them a few key objects and they come up with quality material. Just go with it I say. Let their creativity roll. If you want to have your own  show I’ve included these Free Christmas puppet printables. All you have to do is print, cut and tape on a Popsicle stick. Fun doesn’t have to be complicated.Rainy day activities with kids + free printable puppets pillow + textile design by brenda bird gallery wall
  11. Go outside anyway. Put on some rain pants, coats and boots and explore. Jump in puddles. Get a little muddy. And then come back home for some hot chocolate. A little rain never hurt anyone. 

wood map puzzle. awesome educational gift for kidsecclectic living room with fun gallery wall, plaid nylon rug, eames chair, modern feminine pillowsTell me one thing you like to do on rainy days!

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DIY Modern Halloween Decorations- 3D Geometric Frames

DIY Modern Halloween Decorations- 3D Geometric Frames

“Mom, can we decorate for Halloween?” Has this been asked yet at your house? I think I have guilt from last year where I didn’t really do much….except have a baby. But really, I wanted to decorate more but I didn’t. This year I am decorating but not too much since for some reason having too much stuff makes my chest tighten up and makes me want to konmari my whole house. So, I am going for touches of Halloween without actually freaking myself out with fake spiders….in Seattle you can never tell if they are real or fake. It’s terrifying.

Since it has been a while since I’ve crafted I thought I’d give my hands a little project. I dusted off my Cricut and looked through my non konmari’d stash of supplies. Oops. Why do I have 1000 black stirrers? Who the crap knows. But this is what I made with them and I feel like a crafty ninja now.

DIY Modern Halloween Decorations- 3D Geometric Frames

Rather buy some cool stuff at Target than make your own? That’s cool. I did that, too. But since I like to craft and had some time (wha?? I know right?!) I thought I’d try my hand at making some decor that says “Hey, I’m a cool Mom that decorates for Halloween but not too much because I hate putting all this crap away…and I hate kitschy stuff…” or something along those lines. So, if you are like me then this is what you’ll need to make these super awesome halloween decorations. I guess it doesn’t need to be for Halloween- use it for Thanksgiving, too.

Materials:
Black Stirrers
Wire
Washi Tape
SVG Cut Files
Black Card Stock
Cricut Explore One or Xacto Knife
Scissors

DIY Modern Halloween Decorations- 3D Geometric Frames

Directions:

  1. Download svg cut files and using your Cricut or other cutter cut the files onto two pieces of black card stock
  2. Remove and set down.
  3. Start by cutting 8  straws in half.
  4. Thread six of the straws with one end of the wire and then wrap the end around the wire and tuck into the straw’s end.
  5. Repeat for the other side.
  6. Cut 4 pieces of wire about 1″ longer than the straw.
  7. Wrap one end of the wire on a corner of one of the hexagons and insert straw. Wrap around the end to the other hexagon’s corner connecting them.
  8. Repeat on the next corner over and the two top corners. 
  9. Using washi tape (or hot glue) tape the cut file to the bottom.
  10. For added stability, glue or tape a sipper to the paper and attach it to the paper on the other side.
  11. You may have to finagle it a little for it to stand upright.

DIY Modern Halloween Decorations- 3D Geometric Frames

Cool, right? And like I stated earlier, if you just switch out the pictures it can be used for anything. There is no limit to your creativity my friends.

DIY Modern Halloween Decorations- 3D Geometric Frames

DIY Modern Halloween Decorations- 3D Geometric Frames

What’s your favorite Halloween element? Spiders? Skeletons? Zombies?

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DIY Lightning Bolt Marquee Light

diy lightning bolt marquee light for modern superhero roomThis is the last part of the superhero room! You guys- it has taken me forevvvveeer to post this up. Partly because I can’t seem to find the dang pictures of the process….but I did draw up some illustrations for you and partly because I’m busy- haha!

diy lightning bolt marquee light for modern superhero room_2The marquee light trend caught my eye…as did this pricey lightning bolt one. Being the diy-er and frugal person that I am, I tried my hand at making it myself. I had just gotten a mattress so I had cardboard big enough to make my own. I know what you are thinking- get on with it, woman! Here is the tutorial:

What You Need:
LED Ball Lights
Cardboard (sturdy/thick is best)
Xacto Knife
Pencil
Hot Glue
Yellow Acrylic Paint
Paint Brush
String

What To Do:DIY Lightning bolt marquee light directions

  1. Lightly draw your template. You can free hand it or trace one. I kept my lightning bolt at least 1.5″ from the edge length wise.
  2. Then you’ll redraw the template but extending at least an inch bigger on all sides.
  3. Cut the larger template using the xacto knife (where the dotted line is above)
  4. Then cut where the dotted lines are the connect the larger and smaller template.
  5. Fold them together to create a crease.
  6. Mark where you’d like the lights to go and slice “x’s ” with xacto knife.
  7. Using hot glue, glue sides to each other connecting the sides to each other.
  8. Paint 3-4 coats of yellow on all sides (except bottom).
  9. Once dried, gently pull the light bulb from the wire and insert into holes.
  10. There will be leftover string and lights so stuff them in and hold them on the inside with tape.
  11. Make holes on top of lightning bolt and tie string to it. Glue bottom of strings down for extra reinforcement.
  12. Turn on and hang. This makes an excellent night light. And because they are LED lights they don’t get hot.

diy lightning bolt marquee light for modern superhero room_1I seriously love how this turned out. I want to make more custom ones like a kitty for my daughter’s room. The possibilities are endless I tell you!

diy lightning bolt marquee light for modern superhero room