First off happy (almost) Valentine’s Day! Do you have any special plans? We’re big fans of Vday at RAOP – after all, it is the most pink holiday of them all! We love the day of love so much in fact that this year we’re going to be rolling out a whole month of fairytale-inspired, lovey dovey content.
But with our own twist.
There are so many kinds of love in this world – friendship, family, love of food and feasting, pet love (which many argue falls into the family category) and most importantly, self love. I know, I know, it’s cheesy as can be, but if the last few years of adulthood have taught me anything, it’s that there’s nothing more dazzling then giving yourself a constant supply of love, compassion, patience, and care.
When HP asked us to put together a Valentine DIY project for someone we love using the HP Deskjet 3755 printer, I automatically racked my brain for someone who needed the love… and in the end, I decided that was simply ourselves. Our in-house craft expert Jo got to work creating some different ways to frame your HP photo prints, and each of us submitted a handful of images that make us feel happy, or in other words, feel the love. Together, they create a gallery wall designed to put a smile on everyone on our team’s faces.
Here’s a little bit about why we each chose what we did:
We’re only a month into 2017, but oh have I ever learned a lot. In so many ways my trip has been amazing, life-changing even, but it’s also shown me my weak spots with glaring clarity. Though I used to be a very happy introvert, somewhere along the way I’ve forgotten how to be by myself. I’ve jumped from relationship to relationship, breakfast event to evening soiree and back again, and looking back I haven’t really truly spent time with myself in years.
My picture picks all celebrate things that make me happy, regardless of how many people are around – bubble baths, tea, sweet treats, inspiring women in my community (even if that means just keeping up with their blogs) and long walks with my pup Honey are just a few of the things I can do almost anytime, anywhere to make myself feel positive. They’re simple, but they work every time, and sometimes when it feels like the world is falling apart, finding stability in yourself is all you really need to get through.
When I think of self care I think about the things that make me happy no matter how bad I’m feeling, even when I have a jam packed schedule and $5 in my bank account.
The one constant in my life is the need to travel. Literally nothing in this world can make me happier than a hotel booking or a flight confirmation, and so many spontaneous trips (and a fair amount of debt) have all come from the comfort of booking a new adventure.
When I’m not able to fly far away, I usually make an appointment to get my hair done. It truly is the ultimate pick-me-up (shoutout to Jaymi @ Good Day Hairshop for making it happen.)
Most importantly, spending time with my closest friends is the ultimate self care, because I wouldn’t be myself if it weren’t for the incredible people I surround myself with. They are truly my Valentines!
My favourite way to take care of myself is to keep my hands and brain busy making things. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I pretty much always have my hands busy painting and drawing, but over the last couple years working here at RAOP I’ve been able to hone skills I never thought I would.
Since the job is ever-changing, the skills I’m learning closely mirror the landscape; from coding, marbling, cake decorating and wreath building… the list is always growing. The best part? Sometimes I get to share the fun things I make with you! Like this pastel gallery wall DIY.
Speaking of, scroll down for the full DIY!
This HP Deskjet 3755 is the perfect addition to the RAOP office space. We’re all about minimizing clutter this year so the fact that the printer itself is only the height of an iphone is pretty convenient! It’s ideal for quick and easy print jobs and especially photos, the paper tray clearly marks out and accepts sheet sizes of 8.5” x 11”, 5” x 7” and 4” x 6” – all your standard photo sizes. So while my Valentines (TeamRAOP) are away I’m relaxing on the couch, wirelessly printing and putting together a wall of our favourite moments.
What you’ll need //
Acrylic craft paint
Spray paint (if your frames are metal)
Coloured and/or patterned craft paper
Scissors or a paper cutter
First decide on a colour scheme, I chose pink, rose gold and gold, and a little pink glitter for extra Valentines spirit. You’ll want to pick up a couple different colours of acrylic craft paint to use as well as some different corresponding paper colours to use as mattes.
Then you’re off on a vintage frame treasure hunt. Value Village, or other thrift stores are the best place to find inexpensive but fun and unique frames to DIY, I got a bag of 4 for $1.00 and some larger ones for under $5. Look for frames that are wood as opposed to plastic if you’re planning on painting it and keep an eye out for ones with mattes inside you can also paint and repurpose.
Once you have your frames and supplies plan out which photo you’d like in which frames. Measure each frame and print your photos accordingly. If you’re adding a coloured matte behind leave an inch all the way around the photo and the frame. You can use the backings from the frames to trace around your coloured or patterned paper to use as backgrounds. Try a double matte with a solid colour and a glitter paper! The options are pretty endless
Make sure you’re frames are clean and sand off and finishes that may be on them, start painting! It may take 3 or 4 coats to get even coverage. If you’re frames are metal I recommend spray paint instead. Your frames should be fully dry before you start adding photos.
If one of the frames came with a matte you can create this half and half look below.
Take apart the frame, carefully remove the glass and set aside somewhere safe. Place the matte back inside the frame and tape in place, turn the frame over and measure the middle. Draw a line across and remove the matte. Use a piece of painters tape to block off one half and give the frame and the matte a few coats. Once it’s dry carefully remove the tape and put your frame back together.
Hang up all your masterpieces together paying attention to shape and size, it’s easiest to build out from the middle. You’ve made yourself a monument to good memories! The best part is with our HP Instant Ink subscription we can print and re-print new memories each season with brand new ink cartridges delivered to our door each month!