The Ultimate Dorm Move-in List

Hey, momma.

You’ve made it through senior night – maybe more than one. You’ve survived graduation and all of the celebrations (and simultaneous heartache). I bet you thought more than once that you couldn’t cry any additional tears.

But for many moms, there is at least one more post-senior year of high school transition to make, if your kid is headed to stay on campus next fall: 

Dorm Check In.

To help you keep your cool and get that dorm decor organized, I modified a list from my new friend Amy. She dropped her son off for summer workouts and shared her dorm room essentials list with all of her IG friends, including me. This list is an amazing compilation of “all the things” pertaining to dorm room decor that her son could possibly need as he settles into dorm life. 

If you’re looking to personalize the space even further, check our our number collages, giant wall letters, or an oversized monogram for your baby girl.

Hopefully this move-in list will help ease some of the stress! 

You’ve got this, momma! Let me know what else should be on this list in the comments below!

See you next time!


p.s. And there is one thing I forgot to put on the list, but that is something for you: tissues. Hugs!

The Importance and Impact of Personalizing Your Home

Guest blog by Laura Hinton of Lifestyled You (originally published to www. on April 16, 2019)

Hi Everyone! My name is Laura Hinton with Lifestyled You and I am SO thrilled to be guest blogging for the Collage and Wood Shop! I’m an Interior Design Coach who helps women discover the life + lifestyle of their dreams through creating a home they LOVE! But more about that later!

I’m here today because I wanted to discuss the importance and impact of personalizing your home. Think about what our world would look like if every home looked identical, pretty dang boring and soulless! Imagine how it feels when you are staying in a hotel. Might look nice and provide you with what you need, but does it ever really feel like home? Probably not since it is lacking any personalization or little pieces of you in the space.

In my coaching business, I created a 5 Pillar Design Process that takes women through all the necessary steps to create a successful home that serves them properly and brings them joy. As I see it, your home is your little piece of this big, crazy universe that belongs specifically to YOU. Therefore, it should be a reflection and representation of your and your family’s personality and it should be full of things you love! It shouldn’t look exactly like any other home on the planet, it should be as distinct as you are, and I imagine you are pretty special!

Laura Hinton with "Lifestyled You" is sharing tips + tricks to help you love where you live!

My 5th Pillar, ‘Make It You’, teaches exactly that – the simple ways to make your house a home which is unique and special to you and your family. A nicely designed space can feel like a showroom vignette until it is sprinkled with a little bit of personality and your unique vibe. The room could have everything going for it, but until you personalize it, it can seem a bit sterile, uninviting, and just “off”. When you walk into your home, it should feel like YOU, have your vibe and your energy, and be filled with items that light you up! The best compliment someone could give me is “wow, your home really feels like you!” 

Your space does not need to look exactly like your best friend’s, a photo you saw on Instagram, or the set of your favorite tv show in order to be “cool or pretty”. You can certainly find inspiration from those things, and if you truly love the exact details of an image, of course you can replicate it if that suits you. However, if you feel weird because you really love colorful paintings of birds but you doubt putting it in your space because that’s not the top trending look on Pinterest, who cares?!?! If a rainbow parrot painting brings YOU joy, then by all means, put it in your space. It will make you smile every time you see it, and that’s what matters because it is YOUR home, not anyone else’s.

I’m collaborating with Crystal because I’m so inspired by what her company and products represent in this part of the design process. The ability to create a one-of-a-kind sign of your child’s name to hang on their nursery/bedroom wall is the ultimate form of personalizing a space specifically to your family. Your family name or monogram used on the front door or entryway would be stunning. Adding your own treasured photos to your space is a simple and effective way to infuse a bit of you into any room. Crystal’s photo collages are a really creative way of displaying photos. She takes that concept and turns it into something even more custom and artistic. So brilliant!

Here is a checklist of solutions to help you put a little of YOU into your space:

□ While a lot of us might be drawn to similar styles, looks, or trends, there are bound to be special items that speak specifically to you which is what makes your space unique.

□ Display things you’ve picked up through your travels, specific books you love, family heirlooms that celebrate your heritage and your history, etc.

□ Display photos of you and your friends and family and the amazing adventures you’ve had.

□ Incorporate pops of YOUR favorite color(s) into your home even if they may not be what’s “popular”.

□ Candles/scents are a great way to personalize your space. Just like your signature perfume, your house should have it’s own smell too.

□ Artwork is highly personal because it is all based on aesthetics as opposed to function, so go crazy in displaying the art that speaks to you. (Especially customized art like Crystal’s!)

□ Other people don’t need to live in your home, YOU do, so cater it to the things YOU enjoy and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing! That’s the no-fail method to creating a home you LOVE!

Laura @Lifestyled You, Interior Design Group Coaching Experience, 'Stylize Your Home'.

If you are interested in learning more about my innovative Interior Design Group Coaching Experience, ‘Stylize Your Home’, you can read about it here. I’m also available for 1-on-1 coaching to help you discover the life + lifestyle of your dreams through creating a home you LOVE!


Exclusive Tutorial: Making a Photo Collage With Our Wooden Letter

  Hello! Welcome to my blog on how to make a collage in the shape of a wooden letter! You can purchase a variety of wooden letters, numbers, and shapes that are perfect for collaging from! The best thing about our letters and numbers is that they are custom made for you – so if you have a shape, size, or font in mind that you don’t see, just send us a request and we will make it special, just for you! Please let me know what you think and if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below!

Step 1: Order Your Collage Kit from Collage and Wood

 Buy your kit at … These letters are 1/2 thick and you can’t get our custom fonts in any craft store! We will also print out your pictures for you on high quality paper! We make DIY beautiful!!!

Step 2: Purchase These Items: 

1. Mod Podge (I used the glossy version).

2. Foam brushes.

3. Small Jar Black Acrylic Paint.

4. Exacto Knife.

When your kit arrives, proceed to step 3.

Step 3: Paint Your Letter, back, sides, then front.

Paint The Back, Sides, and Front of your Collage and Wood Shop Letter or Number.
Paint The Back, Sides, and Front of your Collage and Wood Shop Letter or Number.

So … a lot of people might think this is all very simple, and it’s true. But I want to stress to you, gift recipients are going to turn your collage over – and you want it to have a finished feel. Acrylic paint dries pretty quickly – so use thin layers and paint the back and the sides. 

It’s a lot easier to do the back BEFORE you do the collage, please take my word for it! Give it a few minutes to dry and then flip over to the front. and paint a thin coat on the front of the number/letter. This allows you to have gaps between your photos without it being too noticeable. While the front is drying, move on to step 3. 🙂 

Step 3: Prep Your Pictures.

Crystal from the Collage and Wood Shop demonstrating how to create a letter collage.

I learned the hard way that using mod podge on my pictures BEFORE handling them and trying to put them onto the wooden letter works best. The mod podge gives them a little extra strength and stability PLUS you don’t have to worry about smearing ink or damaging the photos as you move them around. 

TIP: Use thin layers, and try not to “over-wet” the paper, especially if you are using copy paper. Our collage kit images are printed on a beautiful photo paper. Give the photos plenty of time to dry. 20 minutes is usually sufficient.

Step 3: Cut out Your Photos and Arrange.

This step always takes the longest. When I first started making collages, I just laid them out as I went. I got a lot of great feedback from my early projects, so this method works well.

Arrange Your Photos.
Arrange Your Photos.

Tip: When you are laying out your photos, make sure to trace an outline around the bottom edge of each picture, of where you want them to go onto the letter. I’ve included an example below. That way you can glue them down in the correct place. This ensures you align the photos the way you want them.

Trace Along Bottom Edge of Images.
Trace Along Bottom Edge of Images.

Trace around the bottom edges of each picture, so you have a guide when it’s time to glue it down.

Voila! You have a “map” of where to put the pictures! Make sure to glue the ones at the top first. Use your exacto knife to trim the edges that overlap the sides of your letter.

Step 4: Cover all photos with thin layers of mod podge.

Another important fact that I’ve learned about mod podge is that it is very forgiving – but to maximize its use here, use THIN layers, and let them dry for 3-5 minutes and then apply another thin coat. Three coats minimum has yielded the best for me. With mod podge, less is more, but the greater the buildup of layers, the better the effect. It will really start to look like a puzzle masterpiece!

Let it dry and give your masterpiece as a thoughtful gift or display proudly in your home!

If you follow this tutorial and make your own collage, I’d love to see it! You can post your comments below or email me at if you have any additional questions!
Happy Collaging!

Big People Make You Feel Bigger

Thought of the Day:

I have spent the last few weeks absorbing advice from a variety of podcasts that have led me from one super thinker to another. The first, The Rise podcast featuring Rachel Hollis, has sent me on a personal development scavenger hunt that I didn’t even realize I needed! 

Through conversations in the podcast I was also introduced to Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote the book “Big Magic” which is ALL about embracing your creative self. And not to sell things, or for any other reason than this: that creativity is good for you in the same way that exercise is good for you.

Then I listened to Rachel interview Ramsey personality Christy Wright, and many others, including most recently this week, John Maxwell. WOW. I’m not cool enough for trendy language but I have learned a phrase that I think applies here: FULL STOP. 

This guy was fantastic! (Except for his cursing on the air, which surprised me and made me giggle a bit). If you are a coach, or a teacher, or a leader who struggles with opposition (isn’t that all of us!!!), you have to listen to this podcast. I made this picture graphic of one of the things that he said because it was so powerful.

So anyway, as you “live your best life” and make the world a better place in the process, remember that “Movement causes friction” – John Maxwell. It’s not always easy but it’s always worth it. Find yourself some big people that can help you enjoy your journey to its fullest!

How do I upload pictures for a custom collage?

How do I upload pictures for a Collage and Wood, Inc. senior night collage?

The number one question that I receive from new clients is: how do I get you the pictures? The answer: place your order, and then you will receive an image request via to upload your images. 

Dropbox has a pretty sweet system that allows you to submit images and for me to share your collage design back with you. After you order, you’ll receive an email that looks like this:

Then you will click on the blue “Upload files” button.  That will take you to a screen that looks like this: 

I always suggest to clients that you organize your images in a folder prior to uploading. If that folder is on your desktop, it makes it really easy to “choose from computer”. If you have dropbox, make sure your images are in one folder and then click “choose from Dropbox”. 

TIP TO UPLOAD THE FASTEST: Make your choice of computer or Dropbox and navigate to the folder you want to use. Click the top picture, scroll down to the bottom picture, hold down the shift button and click the bottom picture. Assuming you have moved all of your images to this one folder, this action should highlight all of the images that you want to include in your collage, like this:

Click the blue “Open” Button when you’ve highlighted all of your pictures.

Next you will see this screen, the step where you will actually UPLOAD your images. Click the blue “Upload” button: 

Your images will begin to load and you will get a status bar until your images are 100% uploaded:

Then you will receive a confirmation message that your images have been successfully uploaded to your folder:

At that time you can send me an email and let me know that your upload is complete. I will confirm the number of images I have received and I’ll get started on your collage design. In about a week or less, I will email you the design to approve! You’ll have a chance to look it over and make any changes at that time, before the physical product is made.

Was this helpful? Please let me know, and also let me know if you have any additional questions about the process!



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