The Perfect 1st Birthday Gift

As you guys saw throughout my weekly updates, every week of Stella’s first year of life I took a picture of her on a different blanket. See the full year’s worth of photos here! I’m pretty stoked with how the project turned out, though I’m still trying to figure out what to do with all of the pictures. πŸ™‚

At any rate, the Week 52 picture is on the one and only fabric that I bought especially for this project, and I really wanted to do something special with that fabric after I was done. Then I saw Heather’s postΒ and thoughtΒ perfect!!! I did not take pictures of the process at all as I am definitely not a DIY blog (ha!), but following are a few pics of the final product. I’m still looking for some plain wooden alphabet letters (since the pattern is so busy) that I will also make magnetic for the board. This is a great toy for Stella’s room – she hangs out and plays in there when I’m getting ready for work in the morning since our bedroom and bathroom are right outside her door upstairs, and since our fridge isn’t magnetic, it’s nice to have somewhere in the house that she can play and rearrange things like this. I think it turned out pretty sweet!

*ETA – McMissis brought up a good point below about the dangers of kids swallowing 2+ magnets. Please make sure you cut the magnets big enough to not be swallowed by your kid! I didn’t trust the sticky on the magnets to hold up against little fingers, so I also hot glued them to the wood, and cut them as large as possible!


The scene – Stella’s magnet board corner of her room. I still need to re-center the mirror and art board since Charlie built the wall and enclosed the room. The fact that they’re off center right now drives me nuts!


STARRRRSSSS. The big stars are always the first pieces she pulls off. Girl is truly a RockStar!


Photo bomb by Chief!


She’s a big fan of the animals.


The perfect birthday gift that keeps on giving (and I’ll never stub my toe on it or curse when I step on the pieces). Score!

Thanks so much for the great idea, Heather!


  1. What a cute idea! Thanks for sharing. I have visions of covering L’s closet door with magnetic and chalk board paint when he’s old enough. I’ve always been in love with magnets myself!

    1. I really want to find an old wooden kiddie table that I can paint the top with chalkboard paint to draw on. I’m NOT an artsy crafty person, but I see so many cool ideas on my friends blogs that it makes me want to try!

  2. Saw the one that Heather made for Aiden and loved it then too…. and also love Stella’s!!! You moms and your crafting. I keep wanting to do these kind of things, but never do! πŸ™ Although I did think about making this one but right now we just have no space to put it anywhere. For now, Alidia will have to make due with the fridge! πŸ˜‰ Love this idea though and it looks like Stella is loving it!!!

  3. manymanymoons · · Reply

    What a cool idea. That could keep a baby busy for hours!

  4. Great idea! And I love that first picture of Stella! It’s like she’s saying Tada!!! Look what my mommy made me! πŸ™‚

  5. This. Is. Awesome.

    I am stealing the shit out of this idea!

  6. Those oil pans are great! I think I might try to pull this off in our kitchen, once Emie is a little older… I think it would be a good place for them to play while we do dinner… just to keep them close, but not in our way.

    Stella looks like she loves it! How did you hang it?

    1. My husband just got a couple of long screws and screwed right through the fabric into the wall. πŸ™‚

  7. This turned out so great!! I saw Heather’s post on it and thought it was such a cool idea! Sofia LOVES playing with the magnets on the fridge and since she’s learned that they stick to other things (the legs of the table, the door frame to our patio, etc.) I will find magnets all over!

  8. You did such a great job, the fabric choice is AWESOME! Stella looks like she loves playing in her room too. I told my mom to look for other “sets” of animals (zoo, cars, buildings, numbers, letters) and then eventually I want to rotate them weekly. That way Aiden keeps playing with it and won’t loose interest. I’ve had a few play dates come over that just LOVE the magnet board too!

  9. Haven’t eased the comments yet, but had to come in and say Chief’s photobomb is really good πŸ™‚

  10. Great project idea! It turned out beautifully πŸ™‚

    Warning: obsessive, over-protective comment ahead: if anyone asks you for more info on how to make it, can you please make sure they know to keep the magnets big enough to not be swallowed (even if kiddo rips the magnetic part off the pretty part)? Every few years, there seems to be a mini-epidemic of kids swallowing magnets (from toys or random thing around the house). Swallowing one won’t do any more harm than swallowing any of the myriad of things kids swallow on a regular basis, but if you swallow two, they snap together in their bowels and cause SERIOUS damage or worse.

    Yours truly,
    Debbie Downer

    1. LOL, i was actually thinking that when I looked at that pic of Stella looking at the backs of the magnets. I didn’t trust the sticky on the magnets when I was attaching them to the wooden pieces, so I also used hot glue to really stick them on there. I’ll double check them all tonight though to make sure the magnets are all big enough on the backs of the pieces to not be swallowable though!

      1. Good idea with the extra sticky. I think yours look big enough (esp with those corners!). I can’t see anyone swallowing those corners hahaha

  11. Gosh, I know that Stella is only five months older than Alexander, but it seems like a lifetime! She is such a big kid compared to him : )

  12. Wow! I love it Josey! What a fantastic idea. My girls room is super small, and I was wondering how I”m going to fit a play table or something in there. I’m totally going to do this little activity board thing too one day. πŸ™‚ Good for you for getting crafty!

    I love the pink color on her walls, it is so cheery and bright. What are the cards/banner that you can see in the mirror on the other wall? Looks like fun decor!

    Stella is darn cute!

    You could do a printed photo book like YHL. Now you’ve got me thinking I might want to do this photo project.

    1. I printed out all 52w of her photos into 4x6s and strung them up for the party. I couldn’t just throw them, so I hung them up in her room now. πŸ™‚

      1. Can I see a picture of the photo banner? Sorry. Overdue pregnant lady here with nothing to do.

      2. — I didn’t take a great picture of it, but there ya go. πŸ™‚

  13. Okay, I just checked out all her weekly pics and I’m sold. I’m doing this. πŸ™‚ Can you please let me know how you put the weeks on the onesie? What program did you do that in?

    1. I used Photoshop – just created the first week PSD and then copied it each week per the YHL tutorial. I can send you my base file if you want so you don’t have to create it (if you have Photoshop Elements).

  14. Oh, there’s the birthday pics! Thanks for sharing.

    Yes, please do send me the photoshop template. I have photoshop on my work laptop. πŸ™‚


  15. Oh my gosh it is so cool to look at the whole series of weekly pictures!
    It is so awesome that you managed to do that every week for an entire year!

    1. how hard was it to find a different “blanket” for the background each week?

      1. Not too bad for a long time, and in the end I borrowed a few blankets from family. We randomly have a lot of blankets in our house though, and a lot of people gave us blanket when Stella was born, plus we used random surfaces (like my parent’s deck and the airport carpet) for weeks as well. It was so worth it!

  16. I can’t understand how you have time to do these things AND work AND spend time with Stella and Charlie AND do the PAIL stuff AND have a social life, ect. Did you find a secret key to stopping time?

    1. Ha, that board took like 10 minutes to make. That was the beauty of it!!

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