Plant a tree the year your baby is born, then take pics if them with their tree each year on their birthday! {Sawdust and Embryos}
One Board Challenge ~ 3D Illusion Wooden Mosaic Artwork! {Sawdust and Embryos}
Simple wrap pinafore dress for little girls and toddlers {Sawdust and Embryos}

DIY Newborn Photography Prop {Moon Prop}

A few weeks ago, I was talking to Molly (at Molly Long Photography) about photography props and how expensive they could be, and she mentioned that she really wanted a wooden moon with a place to put a newborn. This got my wheels turning, and I saw an opportunity to play with power tools and use up some scrap wood!

Tutorial on building a moon prop for newborn photography {Sawdust and Embryos}

This is KIND OF a tutorial. But not super thorough… because I’m sure there aren’t a ton of you that have been dying to make a big wooden moon. But maybe it’ll get your creative wheels turning for something completely different! WHO KNOWS!

After doing some figuring, I decided the moon should be about a 3’ diameter circle, so I used an old vinyl tablecloth and cut the circle out to use as a template. Since I’ll need to cut two moons for the front and back side (technically it’s totally reversible!), I wanted to make sure I used a template so both moons would be identical in shape and size.

DIY Infant Photography Mon Prop {Sawdust and Embryos}

Then I cut a scrap strip of wood to 12”, screwed in a drywall screw just far enough that the point of the screw was sticking through the other side. The point of the screw helps me keep one side of the stick in place while I slide the other side in a circle motion and trace to make another smaller circle. Then I cut it out and have my moon template!

Moon template for moon prop infant photography {Sawdust and Embryos}

I grabbed a ton of pieces of scrap wood from our scrap pile… all different widths and thicknesses. I laid them out over my template. Then I traced out the moon shape onto the boards, and cut them one at a time with the scroll saw (you could also use a band saw or jigsaw for this). You can see in the pic below, I’ve got several of the boards cut to the shape already.

Photography moon prop tutorial {Sawdust and Embryos}

What’s that? You’re wondering where baby Cypress is while I’m doing this? Allow me to pan out a bit.

Sawdust and Embryos

All together now… awwwwwww.

So once I had all these individual planks cut to the shape of the moon, I routed the edges of each board to be rounded and smooth.

Tutorial on building a photography moon prop {Sawdust and Embryos}

Then I cut a piece of cheap 1/4” plywood into the shape of a slightly smaller moon, and glued/nailed each plank onto it one at a time from the back side with my AirStrike. I don’t have a pic of this step, but it’s pretty self-explanatory.

For the second moon that will go on the back (which isn’t really the back since it’s reversible), I decided to just use a piece of plywood with a 3/4” thickness. I simply laid my template over the plywood, traced with a pencil, and cut with a jigsaw!

moon prop

Since this photography prop is reversible, I asked Molly what colors she would like either side painted… and she said pale yellow for one, and pale blue for the other. DONE! I painted them before I went any further, because I wouldn’t want overspray with it being two different colors.

Then I started building a little perch where the baby would lay. I cut two boards to act as rails for the other boards to rest on. Does this make sense?

Infant Photography Moon Prop {Sawdust and Embryos}

Infant Photography Moon Prop {Sawdust & Embryos}

As you can see above, I cut 2” strips of wood so that this little perch could go with the same shape of the moon.

Then I just added a few braces (maybe 4 or 5) inside using pocket holes to make the whole thing sturdy and stable… and this sucker’s done!

Photography moon prop tutorial {Sawdust & Embryos}

I forgot to take a pic of the yellow side, but luckily Molly had my back. Would you look at this adorable tiny newborn? I’m confident Cypress was NEVER that small.

Newborn Photography Moon Prop Tutorial DIY {Sawdust and Embryos}

Doesn’t it make for such amazing / dreamy newborn pics? Of course it doesn’t hurt that Molly’s an insanely talented photographer. When she did Cypress’ Newborn Pics, I named her ‘The Baby Whisperer’.

I’m not gonna lie… there’s a part of me that wants to snuggle up on that fluffy moon and fall asleep myself.

Which reminds me… have you seen those moon shaped toddler beds? Hold on, let me google…


ADORABLE toddler bed ideasource

So similar right?! You could use the same concept from this prop tutorial to build something like this for your tot, and just used the crib mattress / dimensions!

Anywho… hope you’re feeling inspired and creative, and go build/make something awesome this weekend!


Annual Fam Camping 2015


First things first? The winner of our RYOBI Jigsaw Giveaway is Korin! Check your email and send us your info Korin!!! And congrats! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Recently, on our Facebook page, I posted this... Well, I’m here to come clean and admit that I was actually asking for myself. And a ton of you piped in and gave some awesome tips... including BRING LOTS OF WINE. You read my mind. If I was a good blogger, this post would be a comprehensive guide to camping with small … [Read More...]

Palm Branch Inspired Art Panels


If you guys take anything away from my blog posts each week, I hope it’s that YOU CAN GLEEN INSPIRATION FROM ANYWHERRRRE! When I post a project... even if it’s not your style, skill-level, or you don’t have the tools, I hope at least it gets your creative wheels turning and you start having ideas and noticing things in your everyday life that that trigger project ideas, little crafts, furniture transformations... ETC! For me, part of the fun of composing a blog post is sharing how I came up … [Read More...]

4-Year-olds and Annual Willow Pics

Plant a tree the year your baby is born, then take pics if them with their tree each year on their birthday! {Sawdust and Embryos}

We’ve had a whirlwind couple of weeks, and I have sooooo many pictures to go through (and corresponding blog posts to write)...but today? It’s important to share that: THE TWINS TURNED 4! Like, they had a birthday. And now they’re 4. And I’m a mother to four-year-olds. And soon they’ll be asking to wear deodorant. And then they’ll move out and I’m ugly-crying right now. Among a few other (small-ish) things, Nick felt it was important for the girls to have a rocket for their … [Read More...]

One-Board Challenge ~ Geometric Art

One Board Challenge ~ 3D Illusion Wooden Mosaic Artwork! {Sawdust and Embryos}

On this day, I’m a little foggy and sleep-deprived. You might assume that it’s directly related to having a 4-month-old baby... BUT NO. Della (4 years old) awoke in the middle of the night CONVINCED there was a kangaroo in her room. We’re talking blood-curdling screeeaming as she flailed down the hallway to find us. Luckily she didn’t wake up Cypress... or Paisley for that matter (who was sleeping 6 feet from her). But after this happened 3 times in a half hour period, I just took my pillow in … [Read More...]

Easy Wrap-around Pinafore Dress or Blouse

Simple wrap pinafore dress for little girls and toddlers {Sawdust and Embryos}

I may be a ‘creative-type’, but nobody ever accused me of being a skilled sewist. Sewer? Seamstress? yes seamstress. Here’s a screenshot of me texting Nick while trying to thread my bobbin. Yet somehow, miraculously, this post I wrote last year demonstrating how to make a wrap blouse (or dress) has been wildly popular. At least a couple times a week, I get an email from someone asking for the PDF pattern... which of course doesn’t exist. I was just proud of myself for sewing … [Read More...]

The sibling connection

dell and cy1

Having twins, we had a unique parenting perspective of having siblings from the very beginning. Sibling love is probably one of the cutest things everrrr. But throwing a new baby in the mix is always a big question mark. Will they love her? Will there be jealousy issues? Will 3 be a crowd? Well, we have the next 17.5 years  to figure all that out. But I’m happy to report that... so far so good. Since Cypress was born in February, I’ve learned a lot about each of the twins and … [Read More...]

Custom Playhouse / Playground {Part 1}


Nick and I have always planned to build the girls a their own custom playground area. But when we found this plastic Little Tykes thingamajig a few years ago on our local ‘for sale’ page, it seemed like a good thing to tide the girls over until we had the time and funds to ‘do it right’. They’ve gotten sooooo much use out of that thing. But these precious toddler days are OVER (collective tearful gasp) We tossed around a few ideas for where the ideal spot on our acreage would be for this … [Read More...]

S’mores Magic Bars

S'more Magic Bars 2

Its Meghan from Cupcakes with Sprinkles! Have you every made magic bars? They have lots of layers and they all melt together into one delicious magic bar. One of my favorite flavor combinations is a S’more. These bars are a sweet, gooey, combination of a s’more but tweaked with the an extra layer of sugar cookie goodness! These are the next thing you have to make so let’s get our ingredients and bake! Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 cake pan with non-stick spray. In a small … [Read More...]

Dahlia Stained Artwork on Dining Table


Doing wood stain art is soooo addicting for me. I wouldn’t call it ‘instant’ gratification, but the transformation happens over the course of a couple hours... and it’s so fun to watch it unfold! If you missed my last Stained Art Table time-lapse video, click here! Shortly after posting that video, I was already having the itch to stain again, and Nick and I fell upon this dining table at a yard sale for $10 buckaroos! I know it appears to be raw wood, but it’s actually a pale … [Read More...]