Swell Made Co. | Stationery, Gifts + Decor

Keep it simple, but significant.

How To

How To | Black + White Easter Eggs

How To, Holiday, DIYLesley PocklingtonComment

With Spring officially underway (as of March 20), it's time to think about Easter! Easter is a low-key holiday for us. We celebrate spring by having a family brunch, followed by attending our neighbourhood Easter parade with friends. Of course, the Easter Bunny makes an appearance at our house for the littles. "She" (as it has been determined by our 5 year-old) hides chocolate eggs around the house and yard, weather permitting. 

I love brunch. Whether it's dining out or hosting in, it's the perfect way to celebrate a new season with foods that have been missed over the winter months. Fresh vegetables, greens, breads, carrots, eggs, Mimosas. Coffee, of course. It's the best meal for a lazy day of celebrating. 

Pattern, HOP HOP - a rift on the Six Letter Sentiments Collection, and dots.

Pattern, HOP HOP - a rift on the Six Letter Sentiments Collection, and dots.

Speaking of lazy, this post is about how to create black + white easter eggs. It's so easy, it's not even really a how to. These sweet and simple eggs are an easy project to give your modern decor a fresh Easter look. Plus, the kids can easily join in with no fuss and minimal mess. So, here it goes:

How To - Black + White Easter Eggs:

  1. Boil a dozen, or more, eggs. If you need tips on how to boil the perfect egg, click here.
  2. Let eggs cool completely. Room temperature is best. Tip: Cold eggs from the fridge will sweat, causing smudges.
  3. Grab a variety of black Sharpie pens with varying tip sizes and styles. If you're up for colour or metallics, go for it.  
  4. Start decorating! Try handwriting, simple dots, straight or wavy lines, abstract patterns, precise patterns. This is glorified doodling and there are no limits. Get creative!
  5. Sharpie ink dries quickly, but be careful to let areas of ink dry before handling to avoid smudging. 
  6. Display your eggs in a simple bowl for an Easter centrepiece. Or, create a modern rope basket like the one seen here by Chelsea Foy.
Get doodling on those eggs!

Get doodling on those eggs!

I bet you were expecting to see gold foil eggs, right? Maybe next year! With the combination of two littles on March Break, plus the Easter holiday... I just didn't have the time to go for gold. I love neutral palettes just as well. Just like the pieces you'll find in the shop. Many gold, but not all! Here are a few other DIYs that I've collected for Easter on Pinterest. Happy Spring!

How To | Create a Gold + Black Pumpkin

Holiday, DIY, How ToLesley PocklingtonComment
How to create a gold and black pumpkin by Swell Made Co.

How to create a gold and black pumpkin by Swell Made Co.

BOO! BOO. Halloween is 11 days away and my little pumpkins are starting to get excited. Simple decorating and costume making (and buying) has commenced. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, we picked our pumpkins and I created a no-carve one for you! The rest of our pumpkins will get an old fashioned carving.

This is my "fancy" version inspired by Swell Made Co.'s very own Six Letter Sentiments collection. Here's how to create it yourself, or to create any design you like. It's simple, I swear. So, don't sweat it. Plus, I have included a printable template to help you out.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

  • A medium to large pumpkin

  • Black acrylic paint

  • Large, soft paint brush + small, soft paint brush

  • Sharp pencil

  • Gold acrylic paint (or gold spray paint)


HOW TO CREATE A BLACK + GOLD PUMPKIN:

  1. Clean your pumpkin with water and let dry.

  2. Using your larger paint brush, paint the pumpkin using long brush strokes with the grain (up and down) of the pumpkin. Let dry overnight.

  3. Print the BOO BOO template by Swell Made Co. or any other design you'd like to use. If you want to freehand, skip the next step.

  4. Put the printed design in place on the smoothest part of your pumpkin. Using a sharp pencil, trace the design on your paper. Press firmly to make an impression on the pumpkin's surface.

  5. Use your small brush to paint in your design with gold paint. You'll likely need to do a few coats. Let dry for at least an 1 hour.

  6. That's it! You may also use a sealant to protect your painted pumpkin. This is advisable in cooler climates where the pumpkin may expand or contract during cold nights if left outdoors.

Alternatively, you could create a stencil of your design and use gold spray paint to apply your design. I like to free-hand, but the spray paint would provide a much cleaner and crisp look. Just mask the areas you don't want painted and head outside for ventilation. 

Thanks for following this HOW TO. I hope you and your pumpkins (big and small) have a safe and happy Halloween!

BOO BOO gold painted pumpkin. A DIY by Swell Made Co.

BOO BOO gold painted pumpkin. A DIY by Swell Made Co.

Love It | Moon Phases

Inspiration, Love It, Gifts, How To, DecorLesley PocklingtonComment
LOVE IT | Moon phases for the home with Swell Made Co.

LOVE IT | Moon phases for the home with Swell Made Co.

Similar to our GIFT IT blog series, we're starting a new series called LOVE IT. They're quick, simple lists of things we love right NOW. Edited July 7, 2016.

First up, moon phases. We're still loving them! Live by the sun, love by the moon. What a dreamy phrase. Here are some equally dreamy pieces to grab for your home or cottage (and one for your ears), including some of our best-selling art prints. 

  1. Moon Phases Art Print by Swell Made Co. Our best-selling art print that's perfect for your home or cottage.
  2. Moon Leather Coasters found at Leif Shop
  3. Moon Phase Earrings Set by Species by the Thousands
  4. Moon Phase Dominoes Set by Fredericks and Mae. This playful set is available at West Elm and Urban Outfitters.
  5. Moon Phase Plate & Mug by Rachel Lowe.
  6. Sleep Under the Stars Art Print by Swell Made Co. An art print that rivals the solitude of the night sky.

And to finish off this inspirational list for home, we have two moon phase projects if you're up for some DIY. A simple moon clock from Bambula, and a moon phase marble wall hanging from Almost Makes Perfect (click images for direct links). Visit Swell Made Co. on Pinterest for more DIY and moon loving inspiration.

Enjoy!

How To | First Day of School Printable

How ToLesley PocklingtonComment
First day of school printable by Swell Made Co. 

First day of school printable by Swell Made Co. 

School days, fallen leaves and crisp air are upon us. There are still a few weeks of summer left and I'll enjoy it every minute of it. There is something lovely about the change that September brings. It's a new start with old routines and that is satisfying. 

To celebrate this change, we have a simple and free printable for those of you with kids heading to school (first time, or not). Just choose black or white, print it, frame it and you're done. Get your mini model in place and start snapping those first day photos.

Gasp! My model is not so little now. She's showing the Pre-School print  (for her bro) , but should be holding Senior Kindergarten. 

Gasp! My model is not so little now. She's showing the Pre-School print (for her bro), but should be holding Senior Kindergarten. 

It's minimally simple, but so adorable. The print is 8.5" x 11". I just used a simple black IKEA frame which comes in colours like green (also shown), red, yellow and pink. You and your little one(s) can choose and make it your own.

The PDFs include prints for Preschool to Grade Six. Which kid will allow you take to take a photo past Grade Six? For those of you in Ontario (our home), don't worry! There are JK and SK prints at the end of the PDF. 

Printing Tips - Use a thicker weight of paper like card stock and rich black ink (adjust printer settings for heavy coverage) for best results. You may also have to ask your printer to "fit to page" so it doesn't stretch the artwork. This will ensure everything sits nicely once framed.


WhiteDownload white prints with black type (PDF)
BlackDownload black prints with white type (PDF)

Whatever emotions the first day of school brings for you, enjoy this change. For first time school parents, I feel your mixed emotions. Just give yourself a HUGE pat on the back, you're there! You've been through the trenches with your baby to preschooler (unless they were one of those elusive dream babies) and now your big kid is going out into the world with confidence and independence, thanks to YOU! 

How To | 5 Tips For Pairing Type

Tips, How ToLesley PocklingtonComment
swellmadeco-pairing-type.jpg

Back in June, we guest posted over at Heart + Habit for the Lazy Girl's Guide to Pairing Type while Brandy and her family were on vacation. Here's what we had to say about pairing type. Enjoy!


Creating a typographic palette can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Here are some simple rules for pairing type. Once you've got these 5 tips down, you can bend the rules! When all else fails keep things simple and classic. Have fun!

  1. Simple is Best
    A good rule to live by, in almost any situation, and particularly when pairing typefaces is to keep it simple. Or, don't use too many different typefaces. Try to keep your choices to 2-3 typefaces and things will stay more cohesive. Combined with the rules below (and it's okay to break the rules once you practice them), you'll have it down soon. Shown here - Bebas Neue + Playfair Display.

    In Summary: Combine or pair 2-3 typefaces at most.
     
  2. We Are Family
    One of the simplest techniques for successful pairing is to combine fonts that belong to the same typeface. Typeface families include a set of varying weights (light vs. bold), widths (regular vs. condensed) and styles, and even different type classes (sans serif and serif). This provides harmony and hierarchy, just like a real family. They have similar characteristics (or DNA) that makes pairing a breeze. You can often assign roles to different members of the family (display, headings, subheads, body copy) so every font pulls their weight as a team. Shown here - Archer.

    In Summary: Combine different fonts (weights and styles) from the same family. Examples: bold + light, regular + italic, regular + condensed. 
     
  3. Contrast is Key
    Many successful pairs, feature contrast. Just like so many things in life! For example, a serif typeface goes well with a sans serif typeface. Or, if you have a typeface with a strong, outgoing personality, combining it with something neutral and reserved is the solution. Shown here - Playfair Display + Raleway.

    In Summary: Opposites attract! Think, large + small, light + dark, round + sharp, script + neutral. You get the idea.
     
  4. In the Complimentary Mood
    Does your typeface choice just scream fun? Then pair it with a font that has a complimentary, but cheeky mood. Distant, but complimentary moods will give your design energy. Similar moods just emphasize that feeling you're going for. Shown here - Cubano + Lobster.

    In Summary: Choose a mood and find typefaces that are complimentary. They can contrast or be similar, but make sure they contribute to the same feeling. 
     
  5. Do the Time Warp
    Do you have a piece that's calling for type from a specific time era? Choose a typeface from that era and pair it with similar typefaces from the same historical period. This will give your piece richness a unique edge. For example, Art Deco, 60s Mod, 70s Retro, Nineteenth Century. Just make sure you're being accurate! You wouldn't want to mix eras (styles). Shown here - Metropolis 1920 + Didot.

    In Summary: Pair type from the same historical era while applying the rules above. Do your research!

With these 5 rules in mind, I hope you are excited about pairing your typefaces and creating endless (and oh so, enticing) combinations. Your pairings will create consistency and visual interest that's all your own style. Thanks for reading!