DIY Inspiration


Sara Blanchard| Guest Contributor | @sarayoko

My home office is the space where I write, where I brainstorm and create retreats and workshops, where I conduct my business video conferences. And since getting back from my Summer of Simplicity and re-engaging with work, my new-ish home office started driving me crazy.

In particular, I found myself hating on the wall behind my desk. It was filled with what should be anchoring and inspiring items like my college degree, my coaching degree, my Reiki certification, my book cover. But now, the colors felt all wrong, the visual display off balance. And as a huge believer in the energy of things--including Feng Shui--having that sort of wonky energy in my space of creation was not going to work.

When something doesn’t feel right, how long does it take you to do something about it?  Do you default to excuse making, stewing in the negative energy and letting yourself be ruled by something outside yourself?  Or, are you a responsibility taker who isn’t afraid to try a baby step, and is pleased to discover you can actually create change quite easily? 

Confession: I’m not a full on automatic responsibility-taking entrepreneur.  I sat in the negative energy of my office for a few weeks bemoaning that “it’ll take forever to do something about this” and “I don’t know what I want.”  But it turns out once you decide what it is you want, making change doesn’t have to be hard. Vision is the first step.

As soon as I realized I wanted a quote wall, creating a beautifully inspiring space took me just one day. One school day! How?

First, I lay the groundwork by asking my Facebook contacts to send me their best, most inspiring quotes. It takes a village, right? Bonus: I didn’t have to spend time looking them up myself. Can’t beat efficiency and collaboration!

Second, since energy matters to me and I wasn’t sure what “look” I wanted with these quotes, I assessed my space using the Feng Shui bagua, offered by my practitioner Ro Rusnock of Elements and Energy.  By happy coincidence, I discovered the wall I was looking to improve represented helpful people, and called for blacks and grays. Perfect for a quote wall!

Third, I got to it.  I used an app on my phone to turn the best of my friend’s submissions into visually appealing graphics, and printed them all out on cardstock. Once they were printed, I used a paper cutter and turned the 8x11 papers into fabulous 8x8 quotes. A little squishy putty on the wall, and voila, done before it was time to get the kids from school! 

Now, every time I walk into my office, I am inspired. Every time I hop on a video conference with these quotes at my back, I feel supported; and visually, it just looks and feels fabulous!

Want to do something like this to your décor, too? Check out my Pinterest board for free downloads of these beauties, or create your own!

Here’s how:

(1)  Prep: Grab your phone and download the best quote-making app ever: WordSwag.

(2)  Prep: Compile a list of your favorite quotes. In my case, I asked a whole bunch of friends (thank you, Facebook) to send me their most uplifting, inspirational quotes, and I copied them all into a file and highlighted my favorites.

(3)  Prep: Pick your favorite color scheme.  Consider looking at your space’s Feng Shui recommendations and creating a unified look according to what works best for that area.


(4)  Do: Clear out a few hours and set yourself up to be creative. Play around with a balance of fonts and backgrounds on the app; square quotes tend to look nicer printed out, so crop the backgrounds into square before you get started. Save each quote onto your phone when you feel it’s done.

(5)  Do: Print and cut out the quotes. I find 8x8 works if you’re using “typical” printer-sized cardstock paper on your own, instead of having to take them to a print shop.

A few of Sara's favorites. . . . 

A few of Sara's favorites. . . . 

(6)  Do: Use whatever sticky thing you prefer to tack them up to your wall. Tune into your intuition when deciding which ones look best near each other and which need to be spaced out. As in, don’t put too many overly dark prints right next to each other and then have airy white ones all together; you want each quote to stand out and yet have the wall look cohesive and blended. Make sure you have uniform spacing between the quote papers.

(7)  Sit back and be proud of the work you did to create an inspirational wall – and take a moment to appreciate yourself for transforming your space. Sometimes, changing energy just takes making a decision and going after it!      

Much like laundry, Sara Blanchard’s life runs in cycles. After graduating from Harvard, the financial cycle took her to Tokyo, Hong Kong, and New York. The wellness cycle trained her in life coaching and positive psychology. The parenting cycle— not a cycle, more commitment, call it permanent press—led her to realize that moms can still pursue their happiness even while raising their children. Sara coined the term Flex Mom and supports powerful mamas on their journey. Follow her on TwitterInstagram, or Facebook

LifestyleVirginia Santy