Simple Cheap Photo Backdrop

Hi everyone!!

I actually really wanted to sleep early but I think I’m going to post on my blog “really quickly”. Last week I was super busy with a mini-conference put together for my team. We had an evening event and there wasn’t any entertainment so I thought a little makeshift photo booth area would be fun with a DSLR and backdrop and props. Well, being exhausted and not wanting to man the photo area the whole time, I decided to drop the DSLR idea and keep everything else. Our evening event was luau/Hawaiian-themed and I was hoping to find a backdrop or decorations at Party City. However, I was stuck and couldn’t find anything Hawaiian-themed that would be usable.

Instead, I bought a couple rolls of streamers in bright tropical colors for the backdrop. Here was the final product!

Backdrop1 Backdrop2

I know it’s really simple, but it was perfect for a small work event. I swirled streamers and taped them down with blue tape (tacky but it worked!). Would’ve looked a little nicer but I had to use tape along the length of the streamers because it was really windy outside. For the photo booth props, I got printables from the Creative Juice blog. I printed them on cardstock and taped them to candy/cake pop sticks (Party City) and put them in a vase I had lying around my room with a bit of tissue paper as a base.

I hope you enjoyed this little post. I had fun prepping it and it almost made me feel like a party planner. I’ll post my favorite pic of the night with my work buddy from ATL 🙂

Backdrop3

Until next time!

Much love,
AMANDAMLIM

Great Grandma’s Birthday

Hi everyone!!

I meant to post this last weekend but there’s just been a lot going on. Anyway, two weekends ago, there were two birthdays that I wanted to post about. Both were memorable in their own ways. I’ll start off with the very special, 95th birthday of my great-grandmother. Yes, 95!!!! I’m so excited she’s been able to stay with us for this long and would love for her to stay for more years to come. She’s one of the sweetest (and strongest) women I know.

Since this year was a special birthday, I wanted to make her feel extra special. We normally gift her things like blankets, massagers, or heat pads…things that might just remind her that she’s old and all she gets are things that make her feel less pain or make her more comfortable. This year, I wanted to do something different. I decided that something sentimental would be more meaningful. Two days before her birthday dinner, I rounded up my cousins to do a quick photo collage that said a message. We’re all separated for the most part; some of us are in the Bay Area, a couple in LA, one in Hawaii, but we got it together within 2 days. Here is the final product:

“Happy Birthday Bok Bok! We love you!”

If you ever need an idea on what to get an older relative, this might just be the perfect idea for you. I uploaded these photos onto Walgreens since there was a deal on photo gifts going on and decided on a photo collage. Walgreens’ photo editor randomizes the photos and layouts depending on how many photos you have so it took a while to find a layout that would work with the message we were piecing together. (P.S. “Bok Bok” is what we call our great-grandma in Chinese.) I bought the frame from Target on clearance.

We also decided to take many photos together since lots of my family was together which is rare. I decided to make simple “photo booth props” but instead of mustaches and masks I printed out phrases in Chinese so that my great-grandma could understand what they said. Here is what they looked like in our pictures:

The signs above from left to right say:

  • Happy Birthday!
  • I am 95 years old!
  • I love my great-grandma.

Other signs I made (just to give you more ideas) were:

  • I love my grandma.
  • I love my mom.
  • 4 generations.

These were simple to make. I took full pieces of white cardstock paper, printed the phrases on the bottom half of the paper, folded them in half, and taped a popsicle stick in between the folded paper.

I hope these simple ideas come in handy if you have any birthdays coming up. I know they’re simple, but sometimes simple is enough for someone to feel special and loved.

Stay tuned for the second birthday of that weekend!

Much love,
AMANDAMLIM

DIY Grad Ribbon Leis

Hey everyone!!

Wow has there been a lot going on lately. I know it’s been a while and I haven’t been updating lately but I promise there are a BUNCH of posts that are overdue. I have lots of recipes I want to share and other random stuff. But for this post I want to focus on what consumed my life for the past two weeks!! That’s right. TWO WEEKS. And I’m not joking either. This took about 5 trips to Michael’s and all my time outside of work.

Some of my dearest friends graduated this past weekend and rather than buying flower leis or flowers, I decided to make ribbon leis using tutorials online. If you remember what I did last year, I made simple ribbon leis featured in this blog post. However, I wanted to step it up a notch this year. And man, was it a lot of work. But it was totally worth it for the people that I love!!

Alright, enough small talk. Let me go through all the ribbon leis I made and how I did it and how much each cost.

    1. WHITE / TEAL
      • Tutorial here
      • Instead of making loops the length of the needle, I created loops 1.5 lengths of my needle. I didn’t realize this til later but this takes longer to measure!! Next time, I’d probably rather buy a longer needle to make this one.
      • *TIP: It’s easier to do this with the ribbon loops bunched up right at the bottom of the needle. Don’t pull the needle and thread all the way through; follow the tutorial and keep the needle at the base near the looped ribbon.
      • White ribbon – 5 spools 3/16in thick, 6yd long – $0.50/spool
      • Teal ribbon – 5 spools 3/16in thick, 6yd long – $0.50/spool
      • Total cost = $5.00, Total time ~6 hours
    1. TEAL / GREEN
      • Tutorial here
      • I made loops the length of my needle.
      • For some reason, with smaller loops, the loops don’t seem to be as randomly placed. So I decided to go with a spiral pattern. Every time you loop, nudge the loops to either the right or left and continue pushing them in that same direction throughout the whole lei.
      • *TIP: It’s easier to do this with the ribbon loops bunched up right at the bottom of the needle. Don’t pull the needle and thread all the way through; follow the tutorial and keep the needle at the base near the looped ribbon.
      • *TIP: If I were to do this style again, I would probably need 2 more spools of each color to make it a longer, fuller lei.
      • Teal ribbon – 5 spools 3/16in thick, 6yd long – $0.50/spool
      • Green ribbon – 5 spools 3/16in thick, 6yd long – $0.50/spool
      • Total cost = $5.00, Total time ~5-6 hours
    2. PINK / CORAL ORANGE
      • Tutorial here
      • I made loops the length of my needle.
      • For some reason, with smaller loops, the loops don’t seem to be as randomly placed. I did this one half spiral half random.
      • *TIP: It’s easier to do this with the ribbon loops bunched up right at the bottom of the needle. Don’t pull the needle and thread all the way through; follow the tutorial and keep the needle at the base near the looped ribbon.
      • *TIP: If I were to do this style again, I would probably need 2 more spools of each color to make it a longer, fuller lei.
      • Pink ribbon – 5 spools 3/16in thick, 6yd long – $0.50/spool
      • Coral orange ribbon – 5 spools 3/16in thick, 6yd long – $0.50/spool
      • Total cost = $5.00, Total time ~5-6 hours
  1.  BLACK / GREEN
    • Tutorial here
    • I tried doing this with 1.5in ribbon and 1/4in ribbon but the color of the 1/4in ribbon barely stood out and I wanted it to. So I opted for 7/8in ribbon and 5/8in ribbon to make both colors stand out.
    • Black ribbon – 2 spools 7/8in thick, 7yd long – $3.99/spool
    • Green ribbon – 1 spool 5/8in thick, 20yd long – $3.99/spool
    • Total cost = $11.97, Total time ~5 hours
  2. BLACK / RED
    • Tutorial here and video here
    • This one is the same style I made last year but I’d say about 2 hours because I used really thin ribbon.
    • Black ribbon – 1 spool 3/16in thick, 6yd long – $0.50/spool
    • Red ribbon – 1 spool 3/16in thick, 6yd long – $0.50/spool
    • Total cost = $1.00, Total time ~2 hours
  3. BLACK / ORANGE
    • Tutorial here and video here
    • This one is the same style I made last year so this took the least amount of time.
    • Black ribbon – 1 spool 5/8in thick, 10yd long – $3.99/spool
    • Orange ribbon – 1 spool 5/8in thick, 10yd long – $3.99/spool
    • Total cost = $7.98, Total time ~30-60 minutes
  4. BLACK / BLUE
    • Tutorial here
    • I made loops the length of my needle.
    • For some reason, with smaller loops, the loops don’t seem to be as randomly placed. I did this one half spiral half random.
    • *TIP: It’s easier to do this with the ribbon loops bunched up right at the bottom of the needle. Don’t pull the needle and thread all the way through; follow the tutorial and keep the needle at the base near the looped ribbon.
    • Black ribbon – 3 spools 3/8in thick, 10yd long – $1.79/spool (on sale)
    • Blue ribbon – 3 spools 3/8in thick, 10yd long – $1.79/spool (on sale)
    • Total cost = $10.74, Total time ~3-4 hours
Well now you know what kept me busy for the past two weeks. It does take time for the more complicated leis, but I feel like a gift says way more when you put more effort into it. Oh and here’s a snapshot of the really simple, quick cards I made for my friends. With leis taking up all my time, I didn’t have time to make anything fancy.
I hope you enjoyed this post and that you find it helpful for future graduation ideas! Also, congratulations to everyone who graduated this spring!!! Here are two of my favorite verses for you all:
“For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Wishing all of you recent graduates all the best!! 🙂
     Love,