Design and Unwind » A DIY Lifestyle Blog

Masthead header

I wanted to talk a little bit about invites and cards. I LOVE a great invite, don’t you?! I’m not sure if some of you knew that before I started blogging I ran a full time photography/graphic design studio. So as  a professional photographer running a full time studio is one of the things I made sure to research carefully and look at were invites. I made sure that not only did our customers have unlimited options but quality, customer service, various designs, turn around time and samples were key. Especially when you are working with families and brides trying to coordinate colors and making sure every last detail is perfect. One of the many things I love about Basic Invite is the ability for you to select your design and change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options. Talk about getting your card down to the littlest detail.


Around this time a year we are in need of holiday party invitations, office Christmas party invitations and your personal deluxe holiday cards. You also have the option to choose from over 40 different color envelopes to make a statement before they even take a peek inside. Now we all remember licking all those holiday card envelopes, YUCK! No need to do that here because all their envelopes are peel and stick and can be quickly sealed closed. You had me at peel and stick! LOL


When I met with my clients to go over the sessions we would talk about wardrobe options, locations and overall feel for the shoot. My clients would always receive a gallery to view their images before sitting down to make their final selection. So why not have the option to order custom samples. With Basic Invite you have the ability to order a printed sample of your actual card. No guessing here whether you’re going to like the colors and/or paper quality. This feature by far makes it worth ordering all my invites and cards as samples.


Once, me and my mom decided to do our holiday cards together. Ok, at the time this seemed like a great idea! I love my mom don’t get me wrong, but the woman had like 500 people on her mailing list. No joke guys, seriously. We had to either write each address on the envelopes or type them into the computer and lay it all out to print out the labels. Sometimes they worked and sometimes not. This is where the feature offered by Basic Invite would have been so helpful. They offer an address capturing service and offer address printing at no cost to you on all Christmas card orders.


Make sure you head on over and take a look at all the amazing options they have available and these are just to name a few. Right now they are also offering 30% with coupon code: holi30. What are some of your favorite holiday cards?

This post is in partnership with Basic Invite and all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design & Unwind running.


I wanted to put together a wrapping party. A small get together to enjoy laughs, drinks, chocolates, wrapping gifts and making hang tags. Naturally, I had to make it fun! The idea came to me to call it “Really… It’s all about the gifts!”. Because you know when it really comes down to it, we all love to look at all the pretty paper, embellishments and toppers. I have been known to wait to open my gifts right away because I absolutely love the toppers and gift wrap and would just rather keep those! LOL

First, I enlisted the help of my friends over at Rubber Stamps to create my custom stamp. Not only was I able to create my own stamp file and send it over but the process and customer service was next to none. They had multiple size options and a variety of pre-made stamps available for me to choose from and  just about every occasion. What is better than that you ask, that if you do not find what you are looking for they can make it for you. They also carry self-inking and pre-inked stamps including embossers which I can’t wait to get my hangs on. I plan to make a few custom stamps for my family and friends as gifts this year.

Now for my color theme I decided to go with pink, red and silver. I wanted a festive feel but sometimes I like to use regular wrapping paper and accent with holiday embellishments. I was thrilled at how it all turned out.







Begin by choosing and downloading your hang tag designs.

Once you have made your selection you will want to measure and lay out your hang tags. I wanted a variety of shapes and sizes.

At this point you will send your hang tags to cu using your Silhouette.

Now you can start by grabbing your stamps and making sure you press down on your stamps and apply ample ink to each one.

Then you stamp your designs onto your hang tags and you are ready to start gifting.

The stamps were sharp and clear and I just love how they turned out!





What is your favorite part of gift wrapping?


Who else is in love with the new Hearth & Home with Magnolia collection at Target? I could have bought about every single piece of their new collection home. One of my favorite little pieces were these house cookie cutters. As soon as I saw them I knew I wanted to use them to make Christmas ornaments, cookies & hang tags to match the nesting houses I also purchased from the new collection. LOL You have so many possibilities with these cutters. The nesting house ornaments will make a new addition to my colorful Christmas this year. You may have seen the DIY Modern Holiday Tree & Ornament project I worked on recently? I wanted these to coordinate with that design. These ornaments would make a great holiday gift idea or gift hang tags. You could also paint them white and have the person your gifting them too finish the ornaments as they wish. Another idea is to paint them and add their names or a holiday message on them as I did “Home For The Holidays”. I could not stop there so I added the smaller houses in vinyl to bring it all together. I just “LOVE”. how these turned out.

The acrylic paints from Moth & Moon Art Supply have been my new favorite crafting must have!




SUPPLIES for Tags/Ornaments:

  • Air Dry Clay – Joann’s
  • Stainless Steel House Cookie Cutters – Target
  • Clay Roller
  • Clay Knife
  • Wooden dowel
  • Wax Paper
  • Acrylic Paints – Moth & Moon Art Supply
  • Foam Brushes
  • Paint Brushes
  • Rose Gold Metallic Vinyl – Silhouette
  • Silhouette Studio – Design ID #232470
  • House Design – Download (HERE)
  • Vinyl Tools
  • Vinyl Transfer Paper
  • Scissors
  • Silhouette Cameo 3 – Silhouette






Begin by rolling out your air dry clay on wax paper. Make sure to put a little lotion on your hands as this will help keep the clay from sticking to your hands. I wanted the ornaments to be a little thick and go to a thinner thickness as you got to the smaller house.

Remember that when your rolling out your clay you may have imperfections in your clay. Just use a small amount of water to smooth out the clay, this could increase drying time.

Once you have done that you will want to start cutting your house shapes out of your clay in all 3 shapes and set aside.

At this point you can punch a small hole with your wooden dowel on each house to be able to hang them from your tree and or gift.

Make sure you let them dry based on the instructions on your clay.

Now you are ready to paint your hang tags/ornaments. I painted all of mine white first with a few coats and let dry before I started to paint my solid colors. I used two coats on each color. Set aside to dry.

For the vinyl tags/ornaments you will want to layout your design as you wish and ensure you measure a few times before cutting your design.

you will then use your transfer paper and apply your designs to your tags/ornaments.

It’s that simple! Even better, the possibilities are endless.


IMG_9169PINIMAGEIMG_9192PINIMAGEWhat are some of your favorite Christmas ornaments?


Fall is a perfect time a year to curl up with a blanket, favorite treats, drinks and that special someone. You have all seen the amazing bags, totes, baskets and so much more with poms and tassels. Now for this amazing wire leather basket/tote, I instantly fell in love with it! Is it not amazing! I wanted to have my very own take a long basket for a shopping day, a special date, a fireside get together and accessorize it with my favorite colors of the season. Once I got it home I started thinking about how to make it fun! I began making different size poms and color combos that would match this amazing ribbon I have from Cream City Ribbon which curls beautifully and knew it would make a great addition. This ribbon is uniquely unwoven and sure to get noticed!

This basket is the perfect size for me and I loved how it turned out! My first outing was to the Farmers Market and I was stopped often by many inquiring about my fun basket. The Basket and goodies you see below were for a simple get together. As you can see I filled it with a warm blanket, IZZE Sparkling Pomegranate flavored juice, plates, napkins, glasses and a box of chocolate truffles and cookies. I also added ribbon to my goodie box. Now all you need is a warm fire, special someone and your all set to go!







Begin by making multiple poms in different sizes and color combos. Then you will want to start tying off and securing each pom to your basket in whatever design and or layout you wish. You just want to make sure everything blends perfectly.

Once you have done that you will want to start adding your ribbon in-between your poms with coordinating ribbon to enhance the look and design.

At this point you can start curling all your ribbon as you wish. Cream City Ribbon looks amazing curled!

Now you have your very own Pom & Ribbon Take A long Basket!




What would your color combo be on your basket?