giving the gift of memories...with Instax and Heidi Swapp

Wouldn't it be awesome if we could give people the perfect gift? One that is beautiful and that they'll cherish? 

Here's a little attempt at how I've tried to do just that...

So, my 12-year-old daughter recently decided it was time to start redecorating her room...making it a little more mature...a little more "her." 

And while I'm happy to let her do most of the work herself (let's face it...our tastes aren't exactly the same...and I've been trying to pick my battles...grrrr...), I did want to have some input on what's going on the walls.

She's at the age now where her friends are becoming increasingly important to her...and taking photos of EVERYTHING (especially herself) is something she loves to do...

So I decided to surprise her with a fun little Instax wall...filled with her favorite photos. This is where it started...

This Light Banner Kit from Heidi Swapp was exactly what I needed to get started on giving Kinsley the gift of memories. Seriously...glitter, tassels, gold foil and lights? Yep. Perfect.

I grabbed a few other things I needed...some baker's twine & seambinding - to help mount photos, some extra clips, and some washi tape and stickers from a few of Heidi's other collections and some of the stickers from her other Instax collections. 

Next, I used my Instax Printer (which I'm pretty sure I could no longer live without) to print off some of the photos I'd taken from her phone. 

**Side note: honestly - if you're looking for a gift that will be used over and over and over, consider an Instax Printer. It prints photos from your smart-phone gallery (using a downloadable app that works with the printer) they can be fully edited and cropped...but it prints them on that amazing Instax polaroid film. There's just something about that little plastic card-size photo...OH! And you can even add text to the bottom of your photos before you print! It's so awesome...**

And then the fun part started. I took each of my at a time...and decorated them using the items from the Light Banner Kit and the other stickers and stuff I grabbed. This was so fun. Dressing up little tags like this is the's like creating little mini-layouts...

You can see in the photo on the left above how I added the title "Beauty & the Beast 2015" to my photo before I printed (so awesome!). Then I added that little strip of washi - "THAT ONE TIME..." - from Heidi's washi packs at Michaels. And finally I covered the photo with one of the gold glitter frames from the Light Banner Kit. Easy peasy...and QUICK! 

For the little tag on the right, I simply layered a few of the mini pennants (again from the Light Banner Kit) on the larger pennant and added a little mint-foiled paper bow (from Heidi's Color Story Sticker Collection at Michaels). 

For the rest of the photos and pennants I did basically the same thing. I took a photo, added a sticker or strip of washi, layered on a pennant and DONE!

I headed up to Kinsley's room and got to work putting up the banner. She already has these great framed corkboards she's putting up...they made adding photos super easy. And I love the way they look.

**Another side note: the corkboards were really fun to put together. We built a few, but there are some we bought - like the one shown here - at Home Goods. I covered the cork with a window shade I found at Goodwill (it had been from IKEA and was basically a roll of this beautiful dark textured paper). I LOVE the dark background on her light walls...**

I started by hanging the light string/baker's twine/seambinding...and then I just grabbed my little decorated photos and tags and got to work adding them...

The light string that comes in the kit works on batteries and comes with a little strip of double-sided adhesive foam. I stuck mine to the side of the corkboard's easy to get to here, and it's out of the way.

Because I had so many photos I decided to fill up one of the corkboards as well. I strung some more baker's twine and added a few to that. And the rest went up with pushpins.

I even rested one of Heidi's new Instax Wood Blocks on top of a large picture frame and added a photo there.

I'm so happy with the way this turned out! I think what I love most is that nothing is permanent. The photos can all be changed out...and in most of the cases, I didn't adhere the embellishments to the actual photos (I used the bulldog & paper-clips to keep the pieces together), so they can be used again, too.

I think Kinsley loves it, too. When she walked into her room after school I heard her say "YES!!!" I'm so happy she's happy with it. It was the perfect gift from me to her. 

And working on this kind of got me thinking...maybe I should start focusing on giving all the people I love gifts that are more meaningful. Maybe instead of impersonal, over-priced stuff I should work to give people the gift of memories...

That is going to be my personal challenge...and it's something I challenge you to think about doing as well. We can't forget that our memories, no matter how goofy, silly, fun, scary, sad or awesome, are vitally important.

I'd love to see how you're giving the perfect gift...tag your photos #givethegiftofmemories on social media so we can all see and be inspired...

SUPPLIES: (all supplies now available at Michaels Stores) Fuji Instax Wireless Printer and Film, Heidi Swapp Instax Light Banner Kit, Heidi Swapp Instax Planner Kit, Heidi Swapp Instax Flip Album Kit, Heidi Swapp Instax Wood Blocks, Heidi Swapp Instax Sticker Set, Heidi Swapp Sticker Collection (bows, washi tape, wooden words), Pink Paislee Cedar Lane (feather paperclips), striped paperclips, seambinding, baker's twine.

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