The Thought That Counts

After a brief holiday hiatus, I’m back with another post! Sorry for the delay, but in the rush of Christmas, New Years, and heading back to work it’s been difficult to find time to post.

This Christmas I decided to make my mom something special to show her how much she means to me.  As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to appreciate the thoughfulness of a handmade gift.  It is so nice knowing that someone took time (as well as money and other resources) to create something just for you.  Anyone can go buy a gift–it’s truly special to make something for someone.

With that in mind–and an ever growing Pinterest addiction–I found the perfect project:  a word punch collage!  (You can find the original pin here.)  A quick trip to Goodwill and a few hours of my time later, I had a gift my mom loved.  Here’s how I did it:


  • Picture frame
  • Photo mat
  • Old book or dictionary
  • Paper punches (one for the words, another for the accent square at the end)
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Two-sided tape
  • Glue stick
  • Small paint brush (optional)
  • Paint for frame (optional)

I picked up the picture frame (which included a photo mat) and an old dictionary from the Goodwill down the street.  I purchased the paper punch (a small square with scalloped edges) from Michael’s; you can use any shape punch you want–just make sure it is large enough to get your entire word.  Scrapbook paper, glue stick, paint brush, and paint I already had at home, though you can grab those at your local craft store.

First, I painted the picture frame black.  This step is completely optional–the frame I bought was a lighter wood that DEFINITELY wouldn’t have matched my mom’s bedroom.  I anchored the scrapbook paper (a burgundy color to match my mom’s bedroom) to the photo mat with two-sided tape..

Then came the most helpful part–I punched out some “test” squares to see how many I needed to fill my frame.  This was extremely helpful as it gave me the number of words I needed to punch out as well as helped me get my lines straight before I started gluing.  If y’all are anything like me, don’t skip this part–I didn’t want to make my mommy cross-eyed because I can’t make a straight line.

Once I knew how many words I needed, I proceeded to the most fun part–going through the dictionary and finding things to describe my mom.  I frequently describe her as a “badass”…but I couldn’t find that word in my dictionary.  I did, however, find things like fearless…warrior…kind…foster (since she was a foster parent)…and the list goes on.  I honestly could have done this forever; my mother is such a wonderful person and there are a thousand great adjectives for her.

After the punching was complete, I laid out my squares; I rearranged the words a number of times to make sure I didn’t have a bunch of words that started with the same letter near each other, I didn’t make any weird phrases, etc.  I then proceeded to gluing the squares to the scrapbook paper;  just rub the back of the square on the glue stick and place it where you want.  This part actually went fairly quickly; I did one row at a time to make sure they stayed straight.  I also made an “accent” square at the end of the last row (just one of my test squares and a flower from another paper punch) for a little pizzazz.

Once my frame was dry, I reassembled and voila!  An easy, affordable, handmade gift for the most important lady in my life.  This wasn’t the only gift I gave her–she’s had her eye on a new blender for quite some time–but she truly seemed to appreciate it.  It is already hanging in her bedroom next to a collage I made her years ago for Mother’s Day.  🙂  Check out the finished project on my Pinterest page!

Christmas should be a time of togetherness, of good cheer, of peace on Earth.  Please remember the real reason we celebrate–not for gifts, but for the birth of God’s son and the gift of everlasting life for those who believe in Him.  Remember this each day, love one another, and be blessed!