Monday, November 10, 2014

5 Reasons to Request Gift Receipts for Your Baby Shower Gifts

5 Reasons to Request Gift Receipts for Your Baby Shower Gifts - lemonandmint.ca

1. Duplicates

People aren't memorizing your list, and end up getting you items in multiples, no matter how hard you try to avoid it.

For instance, I received 3 tubes of nipple cream. I understand my nipples will get sore, but I really hope one is enough to start! If my nipples hurt enough to make it through 3 tubes in the first few months, I'll likely be looking for other solutions and different brands, or (gasp!) give up on breastfeeding altogether!

2. Sales

This reason isn't for everyone, as it requires some patience and some work, but it can really pay off.

People often buy full price, as they think of buying you a gift a week or two before your shower. If you have the patience to go back to the store with the item and the receipt when these items go on sale, you can save a huge amount. The newborn diapers on my registry are $14.99/pack at Toys'R'Us. Yet they often have them on sale for $8.49/pack. With a little organization, I can get two packs of diapers for the price of one; that's 6 days of diapers versus 3! Did I mention diapers are expensive?!

The week after my baby shower, all of Aden & Anais went on sale for 20% off at Chapters. My girlfriends had purchased a set for me from there at full price, but had given me the gift receipt. I was able to go in and get the difference back in gift cards, to put towards another purchase. That's almost $20 to spend on a book or other cute baby item of my choice in store or online! And I know they were genuinely happy I was able to do this, one of them even told me about the sale.

3. Lowest value for returns without gift receipts

Many stores, in particular Toys'R'Us have a policy of giving you only the value of the lowest price they ever charge for that item. Say your child is born huge and never fits into newborn diapers? You get only $8.49 for that pack, even if they are currently being sold at full price, and even if they were purchased off your registry at full price.

With the number of people who use Toys'R'Us for their registries, even knowing they don't have the best prices, you think they would have the technology to help you return items purchased on it at the price that was paid. But what's their incentive to do so? They know you're going to spend money there anyway, and that you have no choice but to return or give it away if you can't use it. If you return something without a gift receipt, which was paid for full price, Toys'R'Us is actually making money for not selling you something.

4. Baby may never fit into certain clothing, diapers, etc

I'm keeping the tags on most of my newborn-sized items until baby comes, in case he never fits into them. Diapers can also stay in their sealed box or bag. Every baby is different, and there's no guarantee they'll ever fit into anything newborn. Wouldn't it be nice to exchange these for items a size bigger and not lose money on them in the process?

5. It's a question of taste... 

This is a controversial one. If you really don't like something you received, and don't plan to use it, should you keep it? Would your family and friends prefer feeling good that they made a great choice selecting a gift for you, or would they prefer you get something you love and really need?

You'll have to use your judgement on this one, but it'll be difficult to even contemplate this if you don't have the gift receipt.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Ombre Elephant Nursery Art

DIY Incredibly Easy Ombre Elephant Nursery Art using Martha Stewart Craft Punch - lemonandmint.ca

This was an incredibly easy, 10 minute project. The best part is that I was able to reuse paint samples I had picked up from Benjamin Moore when deciding which colour to paint the Turquoise antique dresser, so this art perfectly matches the nursery.

I previously punched out elephants from paint samples, as you can see in my previous post, Colourful Elephants using Paint Samples and Martha Stewart Punch, which is what inspired me to do this project. 

Instructions


Cut out the backdrop

Use the paper insert from the frame as a guide, as you can see in the picture below.

Cutting out the backdrop to fit the frame

Cut out your shapes

I used 4 different paint samples (Benjamin Moore 2043, 2044, 2045 and 2046) which each had 4 shades of a single colour. I punched an elephant from each shade on each sample to end up with 16 elephants.
Elephants, ready to go!

Line up the shapes on a grid

The easiest way to ensure that they line up is to use a grid. I used a cutting mat for this, but even simply lined paper will go a long way to helping you space these out evenly.

Line up elephants using a grid to space out evenly

Use the foam dots to glue on the shapes, one row at a time

Placing the foam dot on the back of the elephant
Sticking elephants to backdrop one at a time

Finished product, prior to framing

Ombre elephant nursery art, ready for framing

And here's a sneak peak of the next frame I'll be making...
Yellow ombre elephant nursery art

If you decide to do this project, email me a picture! I'd love to see what you come up with!

Materials

Cardstock or paper for backing
Paint samples matching your nursery, one for per row
Double-sided adhesive foam dots, I purchased a package of 100 for $1.50 at Michaels
Craft punch in an interesting shape - Martha Stewart makes punches with butterflies, ladybugs, hearts!
Shadow frame, I used an old Ikea Ribba 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" but any shadow frame will do

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Baby Shower Favours using Chinese Take-Out Containers

DIY Chinese Take-Out Favours using Martha Stewart Craft Punch and Recollections Gift Tag Punch - lemonandmint.ca

What to give

I invited mostly women of all ages, so I picked a gift I thought would have the broadest appeal and also be useful. You can search Etsy for inspiration, just search for "Baby Shower Favours" and "Bridal Shower Favours" and see what inspires you!

I found a few great examples of small handmade soap sets which I loved. To support local and save on shipping, I emailed Shannon from the Littlest Bird Workshop that I'd met at a craft show earlier in the year to see what she could do.
Tip: If you don't know an artisan in your area, you can filter Etsy shops by location. You can contact any seller directly to ask questions, and many are happy to provide custom orders!
Pre-cut soaps from Littlest Bird Workshop
Shannon suggested a perfectly adorable set of three of her bestselling soaps in my theme colours, blue and mint:
She pre-cut them all to size, and would have even bundled them up beautifully, but I decided to go the extra mile and package them up to go with the theme of my baby shower.

Packaging

I already had about 40 Chinese take-out containers that I'd picked up at a garage sale for $1 two years ago, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to make use of them! The model I used is the Foldpak 8 oz, but in retrospect a size larger would have better accommodated any favour so if I was purchasing containers for a similar project I'd probably pick a slightly larger size.

How the little soaps measure up for size!
Soaps bundled into Chinese take-out container

I also purchased a roll of blue ribbon from Michael's, and used up different colours of narrower ribbon I already had around the house. Don't be afraid to mix multiple shades of similar colours to achieve the overall effect you're looking for! After measuring the ribbon for your first container, measure and cut all of the ribbons at once to save you time.

Pre-cut ribbons to assemble faster
Containers filled with soap

Gift tags

I used two sheets of card stock from Michaels to cut out tags using the Recollections Lever Punch Tag and a tiny star punch and then stamped the back, less shiny side with a Thank You stamp, also made by Recollections.

Gift tags stamped with Thank You on the reverse side

Using Martha Stewart's Elephant Punch, I punched out paint samples and some scrapbooking paper to make a variety of elephants and hearts to glue on top. Don't be afraid to mix and match shades of similar colours, it lends more interest. 

Gift tags with elephants and hearts

Final product!

I love how these turned out, and especially how the mix of colours added interest to the dessert table at the baby shower.
Baby shower favour wrapped in a Chinese take out container


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