#GivingTuesday: 5 Nonprofits to Support this Season


GivingTuesday #GivingTuesday: 5 Nonprofits to Support this Season

With Thanksgiving under our (growing) belts and Cyber Monday a not-so-distant memory, let’s take a break from the holiday frenzy and focus on giving back. In honor of #GivingTuesday, we sat down with our own BuildASign.com Giving Program to get their take on the best organizations to donate time, money, and resources to this year.

GivingProgram #GivingTuesday: 5 Nonprofits to Support this Season

Meet the BuildASign.com Giving Program!










The Giving Program launched in 2008 as the philanthropic arm of our parent company, BuildASign.com. In just seven years, the program has awarded over 1.3 million dollars in in-kind donations, supporting nonprofits in nearly every U.S. state.

With over 2,700 nonprofits served since its inception, choosing just five nonprofits to highlight was no easy feat. But, after considering community impact and their own personal experience, each Giving Program employee provided a heartfelt recommendation below.


Dorelia Miller, Giving Program Manager

Chosen Nonprofit:
Ronald McDonald House Charities

Nonprofit Mission:
To create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and wellbeing of children.

Dorelia’s Reason for Choice:
When my daughter was 3 months old she had a minor surgery that required an overnight stay at the hospital. Thankfully, it was one night and we were able to stay in her room with her, but that is not the case for many of the families we met during our stay.

Children facing a serious illness or injury spend extended time receiving care. The ability to remain close together is crucial to the well-being of the entire family. The Roland McDonald Home is a “home away from home” that provides a place of rest and stability for families. You can donate money or items on the Family Room Wish List and Most Needed Items.


Meghan Gatewood, National Partner Coordinator

Chosen Nonprofit:
American Cancer Society

Nonprofit Mission:
To eliminate cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service.

Meghan’s Reason for Choice:
While my grandmother was battling cancer, she stayed in one of American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodges. Hope Lodges around the country allow those undergoing treatment away from home a place to stay free of charge. This is a huge help for families going through treatment because sometimes it can take weeks, which could be an expensive hotel bill. My grandmother said it was a place where she could connect with people going through the same thing she did, and being there actually made her feel “normal.” Visit http://www.cancer.org/ and join the fight against cancer.


Amanda Villarreal, Giving Program Associate

Chosen Nonprofit:
Con Mi Madre

Nonprofit Mission:
To empower young Latinas and their mothers through educational and support services that increase preparedness, participation, and success in post-secondary education.

Amanda’s Reason for Choice:
Growing up, I was lucky enough to have support to be successful in receiving a college education, but many of my friends and family members were not. I volunteer with Con Mi Madre in Austin, Texas by advising a high school senior girl and her family through the college application process, which can be very overwhelming and confusing even for people who are experienced with it. I help her stay on top of application deadlines, essay editing and brainstorming, and financial aid navigation.

Con Mi Madre addresses the important cultural considerations to assure academic success for this growing demographic. Donate and get involved at: www.conmimadre.org.


Hannah Lapin, Giving Program Associate

Chosen Nonprofit:
Anti-Defamation League

Nonprofit Mission:
To secure justice and fair treatment to all.

Hannah’s Reason for Choice:
While we have come a long way in progress for tolerance for all, there is still so much hatred in the world. Especially after the recent terrorist attacks in France, it is crucial to support an organization dedicated to combating hate and advocating for equality. The Anti-Defamation League has programs on a global scale committed to taking action against hatred and providing the resources for education and outreach. To learn more about their efforts and to get involved, visit www.adl.org.


Arielle Scherr, Giving Program Administrator

Chosen Nonprofit:
Girls Inc.

Nonprofit Mission:
To inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, providing more than 140,000 girls across the U.S. and Canada with life-changing experiences and solutions to the unique challenges girls face.

Arielle’s Reason for Choice:
Full disclosure, I used to work at Girls Inc., which gave me an inside look into how they implemented their goal of empowering girls to be strong, smart and bold. We taught the girls to stand up for themselves and what they believed in, to understand their emotions, and to build their self-confidence. They learned how to manage money and met professional women working in fields that inspired their own career aspirations.

The girls learned to be critical of the messages the media sends them about girls’ bodies, behavior, and role in society, and created their own television programming focused on girls’ issues. For many of the girls, Girls Inc. was a safe place where they could be themselves, get access to the services they needed and connect with a diverse group of female role models. Visit http://www.girlsinc.org/ to learn more and support the cause.


We hope that you enjoyed these suggestions from the incredible women behind the BuildASign.com Giving Program! If you work with a nonprofit in need of affordable signage or t-shirts, be sure to submit a BuildASign.com Giving Program Request. If your nonprofit is in need of canvas prints, please complete an EasyCanvasPrints.com Giving Program Request. Our team would love to help out!

For other ways to get involved in the global #GivingTuesday event, head on over to http://www.givingtuesday.org/.

Posted in Company, Holidays, News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The Six Do’s & Don’ts of Holiday Decorating

6 Dos Donts The Six Dos & Donts of Holiday Decorating
Get your red velvet thinking cap on, it’s time to start putting your best holiday decorating ideas into action. But before you begin hauling boxes full of holiday cheer down from the attic, let our list of decorating do’s and don’ts save you from getting grinchy.


Do Be Safe
unnamed 5 The Six Dos & Donts of Holiday Decorating
Frayed wires on light strings, cords that are trip hazards, or any decor item that blocks your home’s entryways are definitely not some of our favorite things. Check lights for loose bulbs and wires that protrude or appear broken. Follow all manufacturer’s recommendations for use, and limit the number of connected strands. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends plugging no more than three strands into a single extension cord. Also make sure that cords are safely secured and out of reach of any curious four-legged family members.

Reduce the risk of a holiday fire by using only heat-safe candle holders, and remember to extinguish all candles and turn off all lights before leaving the house and at bedtime. In case you still wear a nightcap and live in the 19th century, please don’t decorate your tree with real burning candles.


Don’t Be That Neighbor
unnamed 6 The Six Dos & Donts of Holiday Decorating
Every neighborhood or apartment building has one–that neighbor who leaves their musical light show set to the theme of “Here Comes Santa Claus” blasting and blinking all night long. Yes, it is the season of overindulgence, and your neighbors probably do enjoy the way you decorate with gusto. But be a pal and turn the strobe lights off at a respectable hour. Please.

A 24-hour light show is also a true waste of energy. Even if you can afford the power bill, the environment can’t. You don’t want your holiday home decor to be this year’s biggest contribution to global warming. That’s a one-way ticket to the naughty list, after all.


Do Be Creative
unnamed 4 The Six Dos & Donts of Holiday Decorating
















Who says your Christmas decorations can’t be pink and brown? Display a forest of brown metallic trees throughout your home and accent them with stars covered in pink glitter if it makes you happy. The key to festive decorating isn’t in the color choice, it’s in the repetition of your theme.

Yes, there are traditional colors for the winter holidays, but no rule says you have to follow tradition. Add a splash of yellow to your blue and silver Hanukkah or a punch of puce to your Yule. Your creative spirit might even inspire some new holiday decorating ideas among family and friends.


Don’t Set Yourself Up for Failure
unnamed 3 The Six Dos & Donts of Holiday Decorating
Dreams of the perfect holiday home decor can quickly turn into a nightmare if your expectations are too high. Bulbs break, trees have a bare side, and gingerbread houses crumble. Don’t miss out on the joys of the holiday because ornaments aren’t all facing the right way. Relax, let the kids help and keep in mind that minor disasters sometimes make the fondest holiday memories.


Do Get Fancy
unnamed 2 The Six Dos & Donts of Holiday Decorating
If now isn’t the time for using Grandma’s good china, when is? Whether you’re hosting a family meal or a swanky cocktail party, there’s no need to rack your brain for holiday decorating ideas; look on those high shelves where you store the things you want to keep safe. Skip the paper plates and dust off everything that shines and sparkles.

You don’t have to have Martha Stewart’s resources to set a beautiful table; you don’t even need plates that match. Tie all your treasures together by using coordinated table linens. For example, if your best pieces are a mishmash of colors and patterns, choose elegant white cloth napkins and a matching tablecloth to give the table a cohesive look. On the flipside, if your special occasion dishes are understated, go for bold linens and table decor that will add the holiday glamour you’re looking for.

If some of your favorite items are so precious that you can’t even think about passing them around the table, but you’d still like to display them during the holidays, use them as part of your decor. Imagine the charm of an antique silver chafing dish filled with pinecones or a set of crystal glasses lined up on the mantle, each holding a single red glass ornament. Adorable!


Don’t Commit a Storage Fail
unnamed 8 The Six Dos & Donts of Holiday Decorating
Tangled light strings and boxes of broken ornaments stacked in the garage? Not on our watch! When it’s time to put everything away, do it right. Investing in special storage containers for all of your Christmas decorations helps protect them year after year. Take a few extra minutes to repair anything that broke, make a separate pile of items you no longer want, put things away neatly, and label containers clearly. With a little care, next year’s holiday decorating will be as easy as jingling a bell.

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9 Fun Family Photo Ideas for Holiday Cards

SnowAngels 9 Fun Family Photo Ideas for Holiday Cards
It might be hard to believe, but the 2015 holiday season is in full swing! Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s, and countless other winter holidays are right around the corner. If you are considering sending out a family photo holiday card, be sure to check out the following creative options. No matter what holiday you and your family celebrate, we have a holiday greeting card idea that is sure to impress recipients. So get ready to smile, get ready to cheer, and be prepared for the camera’s flash … it’s time to make your holiday cards!


Merry & Bright Christmas Card Photo Ideas
Presents 9 Fun Family Photo Ideas for Holiday Cards


    • 12 Days of Christmas — Take 11 unique photos of your family to create a mock “12 Days of Christmas” calendar. On the final day, write your holiday greeting. This is a fun photo idea that can capture your family in all that they love to do. From poses with the turkey to action shots from a soccer game, the photo options are limitless!
    • Waiting for Santa — Do you celebrate Santa in your household? If so, create a “waiting for Santa” card by taking a picture of your children staring up the chimney. Place a plate of cookies by their side with a note that reads: “For Santa.” This cute holiday card is perfect for children young and old.
    • Tree on a Toddler’s Car — To create this adorable Christmas card, simply place a small Christmas tree on top of your child’s Little Tikes Cozy Coupe or another large toy car. Next, have your child sit at the driver’s seat, and voila you have an adorable Christmas card that can be customized with your chosen holiday message.

Hanukkah is Calling … Time to Create a Festive Holiday Card
Hanukkah 9 Fun Family Photo Ideas for Holiday Cards


    • Gather Around the Menorah — To stage this Hanukkah photo, place candles in your menorah. Next, have your family gather around with long matches in their hands. Set the timer on your camera, quickly light the matches, and have your family place the matches near the candles without lighting them. This beautiful photo will help you celebrate the holiday and create a visually stunning holiday greeting card.
    • Hanukkah Themed Sweater Photo — Instead of attending an “ugly sweater party” this holiday season, don your favorite Hanukkah-themed sweater and take a nice family photo. Whether you choose to stand in front of your home, by the fireplace, or outside in the yard, the background options for this simple, yet festive holiday card are endless!
    • Color-Coordinated Family Photo — Create a Hanukkah card that features the holiday’s colors of blue and white. Ask your family to wear both colors to create a visually stunning photo. Just make sure that similar shades of blue are chosen, so that you can truly have a color-coordinated holiday image.

General Holiday Greeting Cards
BlowingSnow 9 Fun Family Photo Ideas for Holiday Cards


    • Create Giant J-O-Y Letters — Grab your stencils and get ready to create a festive J-O-Y holiday greeting card. Once you have created the letters out of canvas, wood, paper, or another sturdy material, you can begin painting the letters with an unlimited array of colors. Gold, silver, red, blue, and green are all festive holiday colors that can help spread good cheer (and, of course, joy) this holiday season. Once your J-O-Y letters are complete, grab your family, get the camera ready, and proudly display your artwork and heartfelt message for all to admire!
    • Happy Holidays Hanging Letters — Instead of hanging stockings from your mantel, hang a festive “Happy Holidays” message. Gather your family around the fireplace and strike a pose. Whether you choose to all smile or to point up at the sign while laughing, this beautiful holiday greeting card will be well-received amongst family and friends.
    • Blowing Snow — This classic winter photo can be achieved with either real or fake snow. Choose a nice setting outdoors (such as your backyard, front yard, or patio), spread fake snow on the ground (or if real snow has already fallen, make sure that it is spread evenly to cover all of the grass), kneel down in the snow, pick up a handful, and just as the camera is about to take the photo — blow the snow outwards. This photo is fun, festive, and the perfect backdrop for a holiday greeting!

With these fun family photo ideas in mind, you will be ready to create holiday cards for family, friends, and colleagues. Once you have taken your holiday photo, don’t forget to write a heartfelt message and truly make it yours. Before you know it, the holidays will be here and your cards will be hanging from bookcases, mantles, and on refrigerators at your family and friends’ houses. For an extra special addition to your own home, use the photo for a new canvas print!

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Thanksgiving Crafts, DIYs, & Activities for the Whole Family

CraftTime Thanksgiving Crafts, DIYs, & Activities for the Whole Family

Football, parades, distant relatives, and way too much food – Thanksgiving is a time to indulge in the flavors of the season, embrace a house full of guests, and relish your good fortune. Whether you’re hosting a small gathering or a rabble of relatives, the goals are the same: you want the turkey to be moist, the in-laws to be kind, and the kids to be happy. We can’t do much about the turkey, but when it comes to keeping your crew off their smartphones, we’ve got you covered. These 10 Thanksgiving crafts and activities are the perfect antidote to squirrelly children, tipsy grandparents, and distracted teens.


Turkey-Themed Crafts to Prepare for the Main Course
Pay homage to Thanksgiving’s most important guests with turkey crafts that can double as your table centerpieces.

IMG 7361 1024x717 Thanksgiving Crafts, DIYs, & Activities for the Whole Family

Image Credit: Growing Up Bilingual; growingupbilingual.com

Still have some mini pumpkins gracing your front stoop from Halloween? Put them to good use with these adorable pumpkin turkeys from Growing Up Bilingual. Send the little ones out to collect some fall leaves while you gather the rest of the goodies: a glue gun and glue sticks, red felt, yellow and brown craft foam, and of course, googly eyes. Reserve the job of hot-gluing for older children or perhaps a sober adult. Get the detailed instructions for making these cuties here.


fun kids crafts...paper fan turkey 900x552 Thanksgiving Crafts, DIYs, & Activities for the Whole Family

Image Credit: A Girl and a Glue Gun; agirlandagluegun.com











If the thought of pumpkins, foam, and googly eyes is just too intimidating, try these critters made from construction paper, tape, and white glue. You can throw them together in minutes, and even the smallest kids will want to get in on the action. As an added bonus, these turkeys will make great little place cards for the Thanksgiving table. Ready to give these guys a go? Get the full instructions from A Girl and a Glue Gun.


handprint turkey 5 Thanksgiving Crafts, DIYs, & Activities for the Whole Family

Image Credit: Glued to My Crafts; gluedtomycraftsblog.com

Holiday cards are a mainstay around the world, but have you ever given or received a Thanksgiving card? Me neither – which is why I’m including this next turkey craft. Give the kids an opportunity to get messy and create a new fad. You’ll have to pop these Thanksgiving cards in the mail a bit late, but nobody will mind; you’ve broken the mold. Learn how to make the Gobble-Gobble Thanksgiving cards over at Glued to My Crafts.


Celebrate the Season With Autumn-Inspired Projects
We know it’s not all about the turkey. Fall is a beautiful season and the inspiration for the next few craft projects.

P9232607 Thanksgiving Crafts, DIYs, & Activities for the Whole Family

Image Credit: Pink Stripey Socks; pinkstripeysocks.com

This first project is easy, but it’s more of a two-day affair. The best part? These watercolor leaves will look beautiful whether they’re created by your toddler or your grandmother. Kids and adults can spend Wednesday afternoon painting the leaves with liquid watercolors. Let them dry overnight and string them up in your entryway for an eye-catching fall display. Get the scoop at Pink Stripey Socks.


DSC00170 Thanksgiving Crafts, DIYs, & Activities for the Whole Family

Image Credit: Make It Your Own; make-it-your-own.com

The sky’s the limit with this fall-inspired wall hanging. You can use bits and pieces of whatever you have on hand – fabric, felt, paper, and pinecones. Use your imagination and make do with what you have. This unique wall hanging can grace your wall through Thanksgiving and beyond. It’s the perfect transitional decor, embracing the remnants of fall and the promise of winter. Find out the details at Make It Your Own.


scrawcrow craft 3 Thanksgiving Crafts, DIYs, & Activities for the Whole Family

Image Credit: Somewhat Simple; somewhatsimple.com

This one might require a trip the craft store, but I promise it will be worth it. These darling scarecrows can be put together by the youngest set, and they make a great keepsake to pass on to the grandparents. Head on over to Somewhat Simple for full instructions.


Games, Activities, and Boredom-Busters for the Whole Family
It’s easy to get caught up in the craziness that revolves around the holidays, and just as easy to forget to be thankful for what truly matters.

thankbucket2 Thanksgiving Crafts, DIYs, & Activities for the Whole Family

Image Credit: The Idea Room; theidearoom.net


















This activity will remind everyone to count their blessings while bringing them together to share in the beauty of the holiday. Prepare the buckets beforehand, so that all you have to do on Turkey Day is pass them out with paper and pens. Visit The Idea Room to find out more.


What a fun Thanksgiving game Turkey ring toss.  Thanksgiving Crafts, DIYs, & Activities for the Whole Family

Image Credit: Hands On As We Grow; handsonaswegrow.com

















The next activity is perfect for toddlers and young children, promoting hand-eye coordination while keeping them busy for hours. Make the game the day before so that the glue has time to dry, and you’ll be turkey-tossing in no time. Get the scoop at Hands on as We Grow.


tree1 Thanksgiving Crafts, DIYs, & Activities for the Whole Family

Image Credit: Crafts by Amanda; craftsbyamanda.com












Lastly, a child’s Thanksgiving tree made out of traced handprints and embellished with words of thanks. Recruit the kids or all of your guests to help create this lovely tree, then display it for everyone to admire. Get the detailed instructions for this easy project at Crafts by Amanda.


It’s a special day – full of parades, football, and way too much turkey. But also a day of crafting, family togetherness, and giving thanks, which is why we celebrate in the first place! Embrace the holiday spirit this Thanksgiving with crafts and activities for the whole family.

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12 DIY Decoration Ideas for the Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgivingcanva 12 DIY Decoration Ideas for the Thanksgiving Table
With less than two weeks until turkey time and relatives arriving by the car-full, it’s time to start thinking about Thanksgiving decor. For hosts, adding a festive, personal touch to the table goes a long way towards making your guests feel at home. For guests, contributing to the tablescape will help ring in the holidays and take some pressure off the host. And that’s always a good thing!

Have no fear: there’s no reason to max out your budget or spend all day with the glue gun to create excellent table decor. From centerpieces to place cards, we’ve compiled plenty of easy and affordable DIY ideas from around the web. Your attendees will love the decor so much, no one will notice if the turkey’s a little dry…again.


Table Runners
Good news: you don’t have to own a sewing machine to create the perfect Thanksgiving table runner. Between the decadent food and festive home decor, sometimes an understated table runner can really balance out the rest of the table.

The two options below are made with inexpensive, readily accessible materials. So, no need to worry about spilling on Grandma’s fancy tablecloth! A little gravy won’t stop these simple DIYs from leaving a lasting impression.

Kraft Paper Table Runner

Kraft Paper Table Runner 5 12 DIY Decoration Ideas for the Thanksgiving Table

Image Credit: Dawn Nicole Designs, bydawnnicole.com





















It doesn’t get much easier than this. Grab Kraft paper, a pencil, a marker, and an eraser to create a personalized table runner for less than $10. Full instructions here.


Easy No Sew Burlap Table Runner

burlap table runner with twine 12 DIY Decoration Ideas for the Thanksgiving Table

Image Credit: On Sutton Place, onsuttonplace.com






















If you’re looking for all of the elegance with none of the stress, this Thanksgiving table runner is for you. Who knew burlap could look so lovely? Full instructions here.


Place Cards
Keep Uncle Steven and Aunt Jane from arguing, put a little distance between Grandma Sally and the wine rack…sometimes the devil really is in the details. Thanksgiving place cards to the rescue!

Whether you’re going for a more formal look or a playful addition for the kids, below are several DIY place card options that will both guide and delight your guests. Nothing says “welcome” like seeing your name in writing. Just make sure it’s spelled correctly, of course.

Rosemary Sprig Place Cards

rosemary place cards diy 12 DIY Decoration Ideas for the Thanksgiving Table

Image Credit: Spoon Fork Bacon, spoonforkbacon.com

Your dinner guests will feel like they’re at a five-star establishment with these fresh, chic place cards. No one has to know how simple and affordable they were! Full instructions here.


Turkey Feather Place Cards

turkey place card 2 12 DIY Decoration Ideas for the Thanksgiving Table

Image Credit: Almost Makes Perfect, almostmakesperfect.com











This colorful homage to the main course is made from everyday items you probably already have. One less trip to the craft store, right? Full instructions here.


Burlap & Glitter Thanksgiving Place Cards

Thanksgiving Place Card 3 12 DIY Decoration Ideas for the Thanksgiving Table

Image Credit: Typically Simple, typicallysimple.com

Sometimes you just need that little extra sparkle. Here’s another appearance from the oh-so-versatile burlap material, this time as a fun backdrop for leaf cutouts. Full instructions here.


Napkin Rings
There’s just something about napkin rings that radiates order and elegance. Especially if your napkins are on the plainer side, a little extra flourish might be just what you need. Both of the ideas below require minimal effort for wonderful results.

Simple Fall Themed DIY Napkin Rings

Holders 800x608 12 DIY Decoration Ideas for the Thanksgiving Table

Image Credit: Live Craft Love, blog.darice.com

Choose berries, leaves, or both! Whatever your preference, you can’t go wrong with this quick and easy addition to your Thanksgiving tableware. Full instructions here.


Fall Napkin Rings

FallNapkinRings8 SondraLynatHome e1384296191811 12 DIY Decoration Ideas for the Thanksgiving Table

Image Credit: Sondra Lyn at Home, sondralynathome.com

Repurpose gift wrap tubes and wired ribbon for this especially thrifty DIY. Add in embellished pinecones for some extra flair, and you’ve got a napkin holder fit for even the pickiest of in-laws. Full instructions here.


If nothing else, every Thanksgiving spread deserves a festive centerpiece. They’re at the center of the table, after all. Get the family involved for a fun afternoon activity, and you’ll have the finishing touch to your table in no time. Now all that’s left is to cook the food…

5 Minute Autumn Centerpiece

Log Centerpiece 1 562x800 12 DIY Decoration Ideas for the Thanksgiving Table

Image Credit: Jenna Burger Design, jennaburger.com




















Don’t let the drill intimidate you- this beautiful Thanksgiving centerpiece is worth the extra effort. For the power tool shy, we hear a little pecan pie bribery goes a long way in getting assistance. Full instructions here.


DIY Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Centerpiece2 12 DIY Decoration Ideas for the Thanksgiving Table

Image Credit: Celebrating Every Life, celebratingeverydaylife.com

Head to the grocery store for this fresh centerpiece filled with some of our favorite fall staples. Bonus: this DIY also features miniature pumpkin place cards. Full instructions here.


Cinnamon Stick Candles

cinnamon stick candles 2 12 DIY Decoration Ideas for the Thanksgiving Table

Image Credit: Home Stories A to Z, homestoriesatoz.com

As if the smells of Thanksgiving dinner weren’t enough, this cinnamon stick centerpiece is sure to get your tummies rumbling with the holiday spirit. Better yet, this DIY can be completed in under 20 minutes. Full instructions here.


Bittersweet Centerpiece

BHG Bittersweet 144 12 DIY Decoration Ideas for the Thanksgiving Table

Image Credit: Karin Lidbeck-Brent, yourcozyhome.blogspot.com















Collect bittersweet and pumpkins for this quick addition to the Thanksgiving table. If you’re feeling extra inspired, the bittersweet can even be used to create glass ball place cards. Full instructions here.


Happy Camper Tablescape

IMG 0822 12 DIY Decoration Ideas for the Thanksgiving Table

Image Credit: Sweet Something Designs, sweetsomethingdesign.blogspot.ca

This camp-inspired Thanksgiving table setting will bring out the kid in all of your attendees. The gourds, pumpkins, and pinecones centerpiece is complemented by a vintage fall blanket and chalk stone place cards. You’ll be reminiscing in no time. Full instructions here.


We hope that these fast, easy, and fun table decorations take the stress out of getting your table ready for the occasion. Warning: with all this amazing Thanksgiving home decor, you might be asked to host again next year!

Posted in Decorating Ideas, DIY, Holidays, Holidays, Home Decor, Party Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hosting for the Holidays? Here’s How to Stay Sane.

ThinkstockPhotos 81266332 Hosting for the Holidays? Heres How to Stay Sane.
Stress can take the fun out of any event, especially during the holidays. Who wants to be fretting over a too-crumbly pie crust while everyone else is outside enjoying a walk through crisp fall leaves? If you want to host a party or dinner this holiday season, but want to stay sane while doing it, you’re in luck. We have the stress-free holiday entertaining tips you’re looking for.


Set a Budget
ThinkstockPhotos 492308936 Hosting for the Holidays? Heres How to Stay Sane.
We know it’s boring, there’s no glitter or cinnamon sticks or Pinteresting involved, but setting a budget is the first step to successful holiday entertaining. What you serve, what type of entertainment you’ll provide, and the entire tone of your party all depend on how much money you can invest in the event. Keep in mind that for most home-hosted holiday events, about fifty percent of the budget will be spent on food alone.

Hosting a party can get very expensive very quickly, and overspending on entertaining is definitely not the way to reduce holiday stress. Don’t worry if your budget is modest. There are several ways to limit costs and still host a super-fun get together. For example:

  • Instead of a huge party, keep the guest list small – close friends and family only.
  • Serve an impressive “mocktail” or a single signature cocktail instead of setting up a full bar. Or, serve only wine and beer.
  • Ask invited family members to bring one of their signature holiday desserts or let them contribute a dish to the main meal.
  • Skip the disposable paper goods, plates, and utensils. Shop the thrift store or dollar store for extra servingware if you need it. In many cases, you can purchase real goods for less than the cost of disposables.


Plan the Action
ThinkstockPhotos 492046416 Hosting for the Holidays? Heres How to Stay Sane.
It doesn’t matter if this is your first or twenty-first time hosting a party, writing up a plan will help ensure everything goes smoothly. It’s also extremely satisfying to cross items off as you sail through your to-do list in record time. Don’t bog yourself down by starting with too many small details. Begin with a general outline of what needs to be done and work your way to the finer points. Think of your organizational plan as having three steps:

  1. Create a timeline that includes everything from the date you need to send out invitations to when you will shop, clean house, cook and decorate. Remember that the holidays are a busy time filled with social events. Send out invitations four weeks in advance if you want guests to attend.
  2. Make a to-do list for every major chore on your timeline. For example, if you’re sending traditional paper invitations you’ll need to purchase them, purchase stamps, get everyone’s address, fill out the invites, and put them in the mail. “Send invitations” sounds easy, but in reality it requires several steps and outings. Individual to-do lists will give you a better estimate of how long each chore will take to complete and when you should start working on it.
  3. Make a special list of tasks that need to be completed early. These kinds of chores might include ordering an organic turkey from the specialty store, renting extra tables and chairs, or having flowers delivered to your home. Any party planning detail that involves a vendor should be arranged several weeks in advance.


Practice Makes Perfect
ThinkstockPhotos 490691328 1 Hosting for the Holidays? Heres How to Stay Sane.
Don’t plan on making a recipe for the first time if you’re hosting Thanksgiving or some other important meal. Cooking for a crowd is stressful enough without worrying if the dish will be a flop. If you do want to try something new, practice the recipe once or twice before the big day.

Also practice – at least on paper – the timing of all the dishes you plan to cook. Have you mistakenly planned a menu that requires you to place six casserole dishes in the oven along with a turkey? Now is the time to make changes, add a few no-cook or microwave recipes, or purchase a counter top cooking appliance to provide the extra space you need.


Delegate when Possible
ThinkstockPhotos 76766403 Hosting for the Holidays? Heres How to Stay Sane.
A great host or hostess makes guests feel welcome and provides a pleasant atmosphere with a variety of tasty things to eat and drink. No rule says that you have to complete every detail yourself in order to make that happen. If your budget allows, hire a housekeeping service to get your home in top shape before guests arrive. Ask a friend to play bartender and another to keep the music flowing. Have your main meal catered – there are many restaurants that will deliver an entire Thanksgiving feast to your home. Or, purchase amazing desserts at a local bakery, and serve them on your grandmother’s china.

Guests will have a better time when they see that the person who’s hosting the party is also having fun.

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Canvas Prints for Our Troops

ECP 20151105 Blog Troops2 Canvas Prints for Our Troops
Here at Easy Canvas Prints, we have the opportunity to assist thousands of inspiring customers and celebrate countless beautiful memories. Our parent company, BuildASign.com, has a long history of giving back and supporting our troops. So, in July of this year, we decided to join in and say “thank you” in our own way.

When a service member is deployed, remembering special family moments becomes all the more important. Our new Troops Program provides an exclusive canvas discount to military service members, veterans, and their immediate families. In just the last few months, over 100 families have participated in the program, receiving a total savings of $27,682.

On this meaningful day, take a couple minutes to hear from some of our local military families, and learn a little more about the Easy Canvas Prints Troops Program:

Thank you to all of our veterans for their service and sacrifice. For readers looking to acknowledge the veterans in their own lives, here are Military.com’s 8 ways to express appreciation.

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Get Your Guest Room Holiday-Ready

featured holiday image Get Your Guest Room Holiday Ready
There really is no place quite like home for the holidays. But, having your family return home for the holiday season often requires more than a little bit of preparation! Getting your guest room ready doesn’t have to be a chore when you follow these simple and time-saving solutions for adding a little extra holiday cheer.


Fill the Room with Holiday Fragrance
1 Get Your Guest Room Holiday Ready
This addition is easier than ever thanks to the wonderful range of scented oil products, scented candles, wax melts, essential oils, and other fragrances available on the market. Choose holiday fragrances to mark the occasion and be on the lookout for scents that are of particular importance to your family’s holiday traditions.

If using scented oil warmers, consider styles that allow for alternating fragrances and plug them in within a day or two of your guest’s expected arrival. That way the air will be filled with holiday fragrance when they first enter the room!


Keep Things Cozy with a Holiday Blanket
2 Get Your Guest Room Holiday Ready
Consider a photo blanket. They allow you the opportunity to choose a blast from family holiday past photo or even to share a theme that is important to your family. The warmth of the blanket and the memories it stirs are sure to make your guest feel welcomed.

Another option is to find a cozy blanket with a holiday pattern, or traditional colors of the season. You can use the blanket as a throw for the foot of the bed, or even to drape over a chair in the room. It’s a nice holiday touch meant to warm the heart and the body.


Decorate a Small Tree for Display in the Room
3 Get Your Guest Room Holiday Ready














Christmas trees are an important part of the holiday tradition for many families, though even many non-Christian families decorate a tree for the season. Consider decorating a small tree and placing it in a corner of the room or on top of a dresser. Holiday trees can brighten the room and the mood of your guests after a long day (or days, if driving long-distance) of travel.

The tree doesn’t need to be elaborately decorated and can even be a task you delegate to your children, with a little supervision. Their creation will be a fun touch that brings the warmth of the season into the room in a really big way.


Add a Little Touch of Cheer with String Lights
44 Get Your Guest Room Holiday Ready
Weaving string lights into the headboard of the bed, or even over curtain rods in the room, adds yet another festive touch. These lights are available in a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes. It’s up to you to choose a string that complements the guest room’s existing decor.

Another option to consider is to fill a holiday lantern with string lights, or to weave a garland with string lights that can be hung over the inside of a door. It’s all about adding a touch of light to the room and a little extra holiday spirit.


Fill a Small Gift Basket with Toiletries and Treats
5 Get Your Guest Room Holiday Ready
This simple gesture provides for little things your guests may have forgotten, saves them a potential trip to the store, and makes them feel welcomed and appreciated.

Items like scented lotion, bath soap, small bottles of shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, bottled water, antacids, pain relievers, holiday candy, and even home-baked goods would be a great touch. You might even consider adding a little card telling them how glad you are that they’ve come, and that you hope they’ll enjoy the surprise goodies.

Little touches can make a huge difference for your guests and your holidays. These ideas are practical and fun, and take very little time to put together. Plus, you’ll find that putting them into place helps you feel a little holiday spirit of your own.

We would love to know what’s on your holiday guest room checklist, please share below!

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Canvas Gift Gallery

Personal & creative photo ideas, by interest.

ECP 20151028 Collage v3 Canvas Gift Gallery

When you make your shopping list this season, keep in mind that nothing beats personalized gifts that reflect your knowledge and care for the lucky recipient. As fun as the latest gadget or the hot new toy can be, why not give an affordable gift that can be treasured forever, one that only gets more meaningful with age?

Because Easy Canvas Prints processes hundreds of images every week, we are constantly inspired by creative photos from people like you. To make your holiday shopping a little easier, we thought we’d compile some of our favorite canvas gift ideas from wall art experts and unique customer orders. We hope that you enjoy them as much as we do!

Our canvas gift guide is divided by interest so that you can easily find the perfect present for everyone on your list:

Sports Fanatic   Family Focused   World Traveler

Animal Lover   Music Fan

Sports Fanatic

ECP 20151028 Sports Canvas Gift Gallery

We all have those friends and family members who live for “the big game” and receive ESPN alerts straight to their phone. Here are some photo gift ideas that are sure to be a slam dunk.

  • Sports Venues: From Fenway Park to Rose Bowl Stadium, all sports fan have that one iconic venue of choice.
  • Big Wins: When it comes to sports, you can’t beat a victory. Capture the game-winning shot, the team and coach holding the trophy, or post-win celebrations.
  • Equipment: Try a close-up view of one particular item (ball, glove, goal, etc.), or assemble all of the sport’s gear for a creative photo shoot.
  • Action Shots: Use that zoom feature or splurge on front row seats to capture authentic live shots. Focus on dramatic moments, like the kick-off, or a slam dunk.
  • Favorite Player, or Coach: Your recipient might get inspired by his favorite major leaguer, or his true favorite player may be his son or daughter in little league.
  • Team Portraits: Professional group shots are a great way for your recipient to remember his or her “dream team.”
  • Game Day Garb: Snap a photo of your fan when he’s at his finest – decked out in a jersey and face paint, happily cheering with other fans.

  • Motivational Quote: The sports world is full of amazing quotes. Use a simple design program to add a quote over a solid background, or over one of the ideas outlined above.

GetStarted Canvas Gift Gallery


Family Focused

ECP 20151028 Family Time 2 Canvas Gift Gallery
For many of us, family comes first. Whether your friend has a big family or a family of two, here are some memorable gift ideas that he or she is sure to appreciate.

  • Life Events: Weddings, engagements, birthdays, new babies, graduations, baptisms…every year is filled with special moments worth remembering.
  • Kids & Babies: They grow up fast. Help preserve the memory of when they were young!
  • Family Vacation: Use photos of the family when they’re at their best – relaxed, rested, and enjoying some fun in the sun. Reunion photos are especially meaningful.
  • First Home: There’s something about that first family home. So many memories!
  • Vintage Photos: Scan old photos of your recipient’s relatives for a nice reminder of where he came from.
  • Portraits: Whether professionally done or casually shot in the backyard, portraits are perfect for canvas prints. Order a mix of family and individual shots for a gorgeous wall display.
  • Series: Create a wall display series to show the progression of age, or of relationships. For a couple, you could use a photo of where they met, then their wedding, and finally their new family.
  • Family Crest or Name Art: Help your recipient remember his roots with an image of the family crest, region of origin, or an artistic representation of his family name.

  • Children’s Art: If your recipient has children, scan their best artwork to produce unique, meaningful wall art. Kids love seeing their creations on canvas, too!

GetStarted Canvas Gift Gallery


World Traveler

ECP 20151028 WorldTraveler Canvas Gift Gallery
Even your jet-setter friends have to come home sometime! Help fill their walls with the places they love most. After all, travel photos make the best canvas prints.

  • Maps: Find a detailed map of his or her favorite country, city, or region. For a more interactive gift, create a world map print and instruct the recipient to add different colored dot stickers to indicate where they have been or want to visit.
  • Landscapes & Cityscapes: Another opportunity to highlight one of the traveler’s favorite places, or possibly inspire a future trip.
  • Foreign Food: One of the best parts about traveling is sampling cuisine from around the globe. Vibrant food or market shots are perfect for kitchen and dining areas.
  • Beaches: Nothing says rest and relaxation like the classic beach scene. Bring a little calm into their busy lives!
  • Coordinates: Pick his or her favorite travel destination, or create a homage to “home” with latitude-longitude coordinates. Use the resulting numerals and a brief text description for a unique, personalized image.
  • Group Photos: Your adventurous friend is sure to meet plenty of new people along the way, or to enjoy the company of a travel buddy.
  • Nature: Exotic plants and animals can really liven up a living room. The more colorful and unique, the better.

  • Activities: Travelers often love the outdoors and all the activities therein. Capture them in action, whether it’s fishing, skiing, biking, hiking, camping…you name it.

GetStarted Canvas Gift Gallery


Animal Lover

ECP 20151028 Pets Canvas Gift Gallery
From the goofy to the serious, pets and animals offer plenty of “aww”-inspiring photo opportunities perfect for canvas prints. Here are some wall art ideas for the animal lovers in your life.

  • Pet Portrait: Photos shoots for our four-legged friends are growing in popularity. Try a silhouette image, an action shot, or add a little flair with special outfits.
  • Pets + People: Animals can really bring out the best in us, and vice versa. Use photos of pets when they’re at their happiest – spending time with their humans.
  • Favorite Animal: From tigers to chihuahuas, your recipient may have an animal that he especially enjoys and admires. Put his animal of choice on canvas for an inspiring addition to his walls.
  • Animals in Nature: Take or find pictures of animals in their natural habitat for an image that provides an authentic shot of the animal and a beautiful landscape. Think safari, jungle, or forest settings.
  • Pet Quotes: Spend a few minutes on Google and you’ll find plenty of funny or inspiring pet quotes that would make fun additions to a canvas print. Perhaps your friend has a favorite dog breed that you could reference?
  • Community Impact: If your recipient significantly contributes time or money to helping animals in need, a picture of a pet or animal he has helped would be a great reminder of his positive impact.
  • Baby Animals: As challenging as puppies and kittens can be, they’re only young for so long. Document pets at these cutest of times; your pet lover will really enjoy the reminder.
  • Decorative Pieces: Find fun animal-inspired designs like zebra prints or repeating animal silhouettes for an artsier canvas gift.

  • Paw Print: Take a real paw print of your furry friend, or find a stock paw print outline and add the pet’s name and date for an extra personal canvas print.

GetStarted Canvas Gift Gallery


Music Fan

ECP 20151028 Music Canvas Gift Gallery
Whether your recipient is an active musician or just a music enthusiast, there are plenty of creative wall decor ideas to suit his or her style.

  • Instruments: An artsy instrument shot is especially fitting for your musician friends. Try close-ups of crucial elements to the piece, or a full shot in an inspiring setting.
  • Sheet Music: The combination of notes and lyrics on a music score is a classic image of the arts. Ideally, find a section of sheet music from your recipient’s favorite song.
  • Song Lyrics: Similarly, a fun image with a favorite song lyric would be a meaningful addition to your music lover’s space. If he’s a songwriter himself, use one of his original lyrics.
  • Performances: If your recipient is a musician and does performances for groups big or small, snag a shot of him in action.
  • Music Venue: Just as the sports fan has his venue of choice, so does the musician. Snag a shot of your friend’s favorite musical destination, if you can get him in the shot too then all the better!
  • Live Shows: Identify your recipient’s favorite band, or find an especially memorable live show with photos of him enjoying the music, photos of the band playing, or both!
  • Sound Waves: Choose a software that translates spoken words or lyrics into colorful sound waves for an original addition to his studio or other creative space.

GetStarted Canvas Gift Gallery

Posted in Canvas Ideas, Decorating Ideas, Holidays, Holidays, Home Decor, Photography, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Corporate Art Spotlight: Canvas Print Ideas for Your Company Walls

The artwork you hang in your company’s offices does more than adorn the walls. Like people, companies have personalities. So, to get the positive responsive any office manager hopes for, it is important to select images that communicate your company’s unique personality and purpose.

In addition to the impact wall art has on the customers or clients that walk through your door, the prints you choose should be a source of inspiration for your employees. No matter what your key intention, though, the manner in which you present the art is essential to sending the right message.


CORPORATE OFFICE Corporate Art Spotlight: Canvas Print Ideas for Your Company Walls
When choosing canvas art prints for any room, size is an important factor. First, identify and measure the intended wall space for your canvas print. When placing your canvas order, keep that measurement in mind and select a size appropriate for that space.

Easy Canvas Prints has plenty of size options, big or small, but remember: you will need adequate white space surrounding the canvas so that it doesn’t look out of proportion to the rest of the room. If you’re not careful, the size you choose could have the effect of overwhelming the room, or alternatively, getting lost in it. For example, if you hang a canvas that is larger than your desk right above that desk, the effect might be more distracting than inspiring.



unnamed Corporate Art Spotlight: Canvas Print Ideas for Your Company Walls

One of many wall displays in the Easy Canvas Prints office! This one highlights our company values.

Hang commercial wall art in a location that will do the canvas justice! Above all, ensure there is adequate lighting to show it off. Wall art should also be hung so that the center of the canvas is at eye-level, unless you are dealing with a tricky space or an especially tall print.

If you are looking to fill a large wall space, a wall display of photos reflecting your company’s story may be just what you need. Whether you choose a black-and-white theme or go for color photos, you can use a pre-designed arrangement to create an eye-catching display.


COLOR COORDINATED OFFICE Corporate Art Spotlight: Canvas Print Ideas for Your Company Walls
Another way to attract attention to a piece of art is to minimize the colors, textures, and patterns of other items in the room. Consider the carpeting, wall coverings, furniture fabrics, and window treatments. You want the surroundings to complement the artwork without allowing the artwork to completely dominate the office space. When selecting a subject for your canvas, think about how the colors on the canvas could enrich the other colors in the room.


CONTEMPORARY OFFICE Corporate Art Spotlight: Canvas Print Ideas for Your Company Walls
Choose a style or genre that reflects the rest of the office decor, as well as the company culture. If an office is designed in contemporary fashion, go with equally modern artwork. This style conveys a forward-thinking approach and is especially effective for tech companies that rely on staying up-to-date and ahead of the curve. If your office is going for a warmer, homier feel, select images that inspire a feeling of calm and comfort. In general, a coordinated office space reflects conscious thought and effort, something all companies should aspire to for their work environment.


Choice of Photos
OFFICE WALL Corporate Art Spotlight: Canvas Print Ideas for Your Company Walls
Corporate art should especially include photos of employees, to recognize their importance and celebrate their achievements. These prints also allow the public to put real faces to your brand, and they emphasize your company’s commitment to employee well-being. This type of canvas can be a smart addition to a conference room where you meet with clients, business colleagues, and employees.

With their permission, use photos of clients to communicate their importance to your company as well, and to remind employees of the huge impact their work is having on real people. If your company is involved in community service work, volunteer photos are also great additions to office walls. They can help unify the office with reminders of their local impact and the power of teamwork. Plus, they might inspire office visitors to get out into the community themselves!

Canvas art also provides a unique opportunity for highlighting company charts and graphs. Although they make attractive visuals, graphics are more than just visual aids. They represent your company’s results and can be used to recognize especially strong performance or achievements. Graphics create effective advertising or culture pieces in a bold, but not overbearing way.


How is your business incorporating wall art into office decor?

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