Unique, Handmade Valentine’s Day Card + A Free Printable!

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I realize than many people dislike Valentine’s Day, but I am not one of them. I’m all about the love, the chocolate, the hearts, the flowers, and especially the cards! I think one of the reasons a lot of people don’t like this holiday is because of the perceived pressure to spend, spend, spend. I totally get that, and I’m here to tell you that really, the best Valentine gift for your sweetie is one from the heart. A simple, handmade Valentine with a heartfelt sentiment will no doubt be appreciated beyond an expensive dinner in a restaurant or pricey jewelry. Read on to find out how I made this unique bouquet card for Valentine’s Day

When ProFlowers invited me to participate in their DIY challenge to create a beautiful handmade card, I was definitely up for it! I wanted to put a little bit of a twist on my card, and I have to say — I’m quite pleased with my project!

ProFlowers Valentine Card Challenge

The selection of Valentine’s Day flowers at ProFlowers is full of beautiful choices. It was not easy picking something to work with — my head was spinning with dozens of ideas! But I ultimately hose a bouquet of 18 long-stemmed red roses because I wanted something classic. Because I absolutely love roses anytime of year, but especially on Valentine’s Day, I decided to make the flowers part of my card. ProFlowers has some really cute vases to go with their Valentine bouquets, and I absolutely fell in love with the Rustic Heart vase. Not only does it fit right into my home decor, but I immediately knew how I could personalize it.

The first thing I tackled was the vase. It looks like a heart carved into a birch tree, so it seemed obvious to make sure my husband’s and my initials were on there! I cut them them out of silver vinyl using my Silhouette Cameo, but you could easily use stickers or even a paint pen!

ProFlowers Valentine Card Challenge

ProFlowers Valentine Card Challenge

ProFlowers Valentine Card Challenge

ProFlowers Valentine Card Challenge

ProFlowers Valentine Card Challenge

Next was to create the card. As I arranged the roses in the vase, Shakespeare popped into my head. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!  There was my inspiration! I made a simple folded card out of cardstock and scrapbooking paper. Then, I lettered the beginning of the sonnet. 

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The rest of the “card” is hanging off the roses themselves. I cut tags out of black cardstock and ran a silver paint marker around the edges.

ProFlowers Valentine Card Challenge

Then I wrote out one through eighteen on one side of the tag. I used my favorite oblique holder, a Zebra G nib, and Dr. P.H. Martin’s Bleedproof White ink, my favorite white!

ProFlowers Valentine Card Challenge

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On the other side I wrote down why I love my husband. I tried to include a mix of silly and sappy reasons. I knew that I would enjoy finding each hand-lettered tag and spending time reading over every one of them.

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Then I looped baker’s twine through the holes and attached each tag to one of the roses.

ProFlowers Valentine Card Challenge

ProFlowers Valentine Card Challenge

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If you’d like to recreate this bouquet card but don’t have calligraphy skills, don’t worry! You can write the numbers in cursive and then thicken the downstrokes to create “faux calligraphy.” Or, you could print out these free tags on cardstock, cut them out, and write your own messages on the back! 

Free Printable Number Tags

Download your free tags here!
Numbers one-nine and numbers ten-eighteen.

I hope you’ll give a homemade card or gift a try. If you do, please make sure to share a photo or a description of your project with me! I want to hear all about how you are going to make it a handmade Valentine’s Day this year!

In order to facilitate this post, ProFlowers provided me with a free floral bouquet and vase. I received no further compensation. All opinions are my own.

Erin Condren Seasonal Surprise Box Review

Is there anything as exciting as coming home from work and finding out that happy mail has been delivered? I’m not talking about bills, of course. I’m talking about fun packages like this one…

First EC Surprise Box

Ah, yes, the classic Erin Condren box! Hard to miss. At the end of December, I got an email about a brand-new Seasonal Surprise Box that they were launching. According to the description, it would be an $80 value. The price was just $35 (including shipping)! So I took a chance. My surprise box finally arrived today! Spoiler alert! This blog post includes photos, so if you haven’t gotten yours, yet, be warned.
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Free Hourly Stickers for your EC Vertical

 

Well it’s been quite a while since I offered up a printable, and it’s one of my blogging goals for the year to start creating more, so here is my first set for 2017! 

Free EC Printable

This year I went back to a Vertical Erin Condren Planner after using the Hourly for almost a year. Lately I’ve found myself missing the structure of the hourly, probably because we are entering a very busy season of life and I feel like sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day! I considered purchasing another Hourly planner, but thought better of it because really, that would be wasteful and I’m not sure I want to commit to that format again in the long-term. The solution? Simply making my own 8 a.m.-8 p.m. hourly stickers that fit over two of the daily boxes!

Here’s an example of how I am using them:

EC freebie

EC freebie

I like the idea of having the hourly section, but also having that blank space underneath. In this example, I simply put down some MAMBI “To Do” checklist stickers, but you could use it for notes, meal planning, whatever works for you. Hope you enjoy this freebie!

Download my FREE By-the-Hour Sticker Printable
Sized for the Vertical Erin Condren Planner

Free EC Printable

 

As usual, my free planner printables are for personal use only and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Use an electronic cutting machine like a Silhouette Cameo to cut your stickers, print them out on regular printer paper and then cut and paste into your planner using a tape runner, or else print them on full-sheet labels and just hand-cut the stickers. I always appreciate being tagged (@planwithcarol) in your IG pics if you use any of my free printables in your planner!

NEW!!! Erin Condren Surprise Boxes!

 

A photo posted by Carol Bancroft (@planwithcarol) on

You guys!!! Did you see this today? Erin Condren sent an email to their VIP list and let everyone know that they have seasonal surprise boxes starting in January! According to the website, it will contain $80 worth of goodies, but it only costs $35, which includes shipping. I think that is quite a deal, so I jumped on it. Supplies are limited, so once it’s gone… it’s gone. If you want to get a code for $10 off your first order, sign up using my referral link! And be patient. First you’ll get a code for 10% off, but after you finish your registration you will get an email with a code for $10 off. If you’ve been wanting to check out EC’s products, this would be a fantastic way to get a variety for a good price. And who doesn’t want a little pick-me-up in the middle of January?

Free Printable | Scalloped Event Stickers for Your Planner

 Free Scalloped Event Stickers for your Planner

While I definitely love using cute, decorative stickers in my planner, basic functional stickers are my go-to. They add pops of color, but also draw attention to important events or notes. One way to make a basic box a little more exciting is simply by making the edges scalloped. I created these myself in bright, cheerful colors. Here’s an example of how I used them in my Erin Condren Life Planner:

 

A photo posted by Carol Bancroft (@planwithcarol) on

The width is 1.5-inches, so it is a perfect size for the EC Vertical layout. It also works well in the hourly and I’m pretty sure they will fit the MAMBI Happy Planner, too.

Download my Free Scalloped Events Stickers

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As usual, my free planner printables are for personal use only and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Use an electronic cutting machine like a Silhouette Cameo to cut your stickers, print them out on regular printer paper and then cut and paste into your planner using a tape runner, or else print them on full-sheet labels and just hand-cut the stickers. I always appreciate being tagged (@carolwrites) in your IG pics if you use any of my free printables in your planner!

Planner Freebie | Banner Event Labels

Free Banner Event Labels | puresugar.net

Happy Monday! It’s been a while since I got a planner freebie up here and today I was reworking some of the stickers that I love to use in my own Erin Condren planner, so I thought I would share. 

This time of year is always crazy with school concerts, field trips, appointments, and various activities. Add to that my work schedule (I am back to working part time at a local library), and just all the usual everyday things that need tending to and it doesn’t leave much time to decorate my planner. I’ve been relying on my two favorite labels: the colorblock hourly stickers and these banner event stickers. In the hourly planner, they take up approximately an hour’s worth of time. Of course, they would also work in other planners, too! I used colors that coordinate with the current EC hourly and horizontal scheme (though I think it will be slightly different for the 2016-2017 editions).

Download your free printable right here:

FREE Printable Banner Event Stickers for your planner

Free Banner Event Labels | puresugar.net

As usual, my free planner printables are for personal use only and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Use an electronic cutting machine like a Silhouette Cameo to cut your stickers, print them out on regular printer paper and then cut and paste into your planner using a tape runner, or else print them on full-sheet labels and just hand-cut the stickers.

2017 Erin Condren Life Planner Sneak Peak

Can you hear me singing, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year?” OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration but I always get excited for the launch of the new line of Erin Condren planners. I have been using an EC since 2011 and over the years there have been many changes and many additions. This year is no exception, so let’s get on with it, shall we?

First of all, I think the biggest change is the addition of a neutral color scheme option. If you work in a professional environment, the blacks and grays will definitely look slick. (But there’s also just that hint of color, so it’s not boring.) Also, this choice is great for people who love to decorate (me!), but don’t always want to match the pre-selected color scheme. For example, in my currently hourly planner the month of July has a green color scheme, but I’m going to want to do red, white, and blue the week of 4th of July, so I’m going to have to cover every bit of green. If I go with a neutral next year, I can do what I want! And what about that handlettered font? This one just might be calling my name…

 Neutral Erin Condren colorway

Of course, there is still an option for bright, cheerful colors. I’m not in love with the watercolor splash along the top. I know it is very trendy right now, but it seems a little 80s to me. Probably because I am old enough to remember them, LOL! Also, as you can see in both colorway photos, there are three options for layouts: classic vertical, horizontal, and hourly. Currently I have an hourly planner, but as I have gone “back to basics” I’m once again considering a horizontal. I have plenty of time to decide, though, since my current planner runs through the end of the year.

 Bright Erin Condren colorway

Another change this year is you can choose your coil: silver, gold, rose gold, and black. I’m kind of excited about the black coil, but I’m concerned about paint chipping off — this has been an issue for the metallic coils in the past. I am also a curious what the upcharge will be.

Now, let’s talk about covers. There are so many new covers this year, including several new metallics. In addition to these Life Planner covers, there are some new designs from the launch of the Teacher Planner. I have no idea how I’m going to choose! Good thing they are interchangeable so I can pick several!

 New Erin Condren Covers for 2017

 New Erin Condren Covers for 2017

The new planners will be available for purchase on June 1If you’d like to save $10 off your purchase, sign up through my referral link and then check your email for the code. I’m not sure what pricing will be this year, but in the past, a basic planner sold for $50. I can’t wait to see what other goodies will be announced!