Dinosaur Squares

For those of you who are stay-at-home-mom’s on a budget, you know how hard decorating is! Okay, okay, if you are on a budget PERIOD, it is difficult. I guess being a mommy is my excuse for being so scatterbrained. 🙂

Since I am on a pretty strict budget, most of my projects are Do-It-Yourself, DIY. My own creativity is pretty low on the scale, but thank goodness for the internet so I can borrow other people’s creativity while mine is in training.

Today’s project are these adorable Dinosaur Squares! The wonderful thing about these is you can change them up to be whatever you want. I am using them in Bubs’ room, which is green, hence the cutie patootie dino’s. I got this idea from Design Dazzle, see it here. They used safari animals, which are so cute too.

Dinosaur Squares - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

It doesn’t take too much to do this project. I am lucky to have a sister-in-law that owns a Cricut and loves me SO very much! She even bought the vinyl for Bubs’ birthday. As I was looking through all the stuff on her cartridges, I saw these baby dinosaurs! You know when you see something that totally changes all your plans but it’s so perfect your whole body knows it! Yeah that’s what happened to me. 🙂

I bought the squares at Hobby Lobby. You could probably make them, but the prices weren’t too bad, and if you watch for sales, you could probably get them for even cheaper. I used left over paint from Bubs’ room to paint the squares so the color would be perfect. I learned something very important about paint that day.


(all caps just so you know how important this is for me!)

So you may be wondering why I would be so adamant about this? If I had a picture of the little green footprints walking towards the kitchen, and the little green handprints on the oven door, I think you would know why! 🙂

I knew I had to mix the paint before I used it, so I took the little bottle and started shaking it. That’s when the cap flew off and paint landed on my favorite t-shirt, favorite sweats, the table, and the floor. That alone is terrible. What’s more terrible is my little 13 month old hearing me scream, coming to see what’s up, and then squealing for delight as he played in the paint and mommy hurriedly tried to decide what to do first. It seriously took me 30 seconds to decide. “Do I get some paper towels and leave him to play, or do I grab him?”  Next time, I will NOT be painting while he is awake! 🙂 Oh shhh … don’t tell my husband I didn’t get it all and there is still a little green in the cracks of the floor.

After the paint finished drying, I put my vinyl on. Super, super easy. I needed that satisfaction after the painting mishap! Next was stapling the ribbon on the squares.

I borrowed the stapler from my construction man brother-in-law. Have you ever used an electronic stapler before? Holy cow! It scared the crap out of me the first time (okay, every time). That thing was so powerful! It did bunch up the ribbon quite a bit so that made it difficult to be accurate. You could probably glue the ribbon on first and then staple to ensure the ribbon doesn’t move as much.

The ribbon I used was this fantastic TOD dot ribbon, found here. It matches the room perfectly!

Dinosaur Squares - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

I love how they turned out! Now if I could just do something with that valence! Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. 🙂

Dinosaur Squares - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}


1. Don’t paint while toddler is awake.

2. Staplers are incredibly inaccurate while I am handling them.

3. I should’ve done these earlier! Bubs love them.


fun with embroidery hoops!

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  1. Melissa
    Posted June 1, 2010 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Oh my gosh!! That was hilarious! The plaques turned out beautifully though. Do you think these would work on the small artists canvas squares? I’m thinking I’d rather skip the staple gun and just glue, and the canvases are pretty lightweight.

    • Shirley
      Posted June 2, 2010 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Hi Melissa! Thank you thank you! I love the plaques and my son still loves looking at them and saying “dog.” lol I looked up the web to see if vinyl would work on canvas squares and it certainly would! I found a little tutorial on a blog that I frequent. Here is the where you can find it. Once you finish it, please let me see pictures! I would love to see what you do! 🙂

  2. Posted April 16, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    I love these, they are too cute!!! My mind is running wild thinking of all the things I can do with this project. Thanks for sharing, I have a baby shower coming up and these would be the perfect gift.

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