How to Create a Video Collage with Music.

Last week Abby and I participated in the Lyme Disease Challenge, which just so happens to be going on through the whole month of March. It’s a campaign to increase awareness around the this terrible disease that devastates so many lives and raise funds for more research, better testing, and more effective treatments. If you haven’t taken part in the challenge and donated, I urge you to do it today!

The challenge is to take a bite out of a lime, post a picture or a video of yourself doing just that, include a fact about Lyme disease, link to, and make a donation. So, Abby and I recorded each other taking the challenge and I made a fun collage to post to Instagram. Here’s how it turned out. Just click play to start the loop and click the image to stop play.

A video posted by Jenny (@theoilyinstitute) on

I really love the way it turned out, with it’s modern Brady Bunch feel. It was really easy to create right on my iPhone 5, and I had some people ask how it was done, so I thought I’d share it here.

Here’s how to create a video collage on your iPhone…

1. Record your videos on your iPhone.

2. Take screen shots of the images that you want to use in the boxes that will not be filled with video. Crop them down to square sized images in an app called Afterlight. (I love this app… use it on a daily basis to filter, crop, and frame all of my images.) Save them to your camera roll.

3. Go into the PicFrame app and choose the foursquare collage, click on each square separately and place your images and videos from your camera roll.

How To Make a Video Collage

Save the entire collage to your camera roll when you are done.

4. The last thing to do is to add music to your collage. Go into the PicPlayPost app and chose the single square layout since you now have one single collage image.


5. Choose music, then add music. You now have the option of buying music or using your own music that you have already downloaded to your phone. You can choose whether to loop it for the entire video or not.

How To Make a Video Collage

6. Touch your image and touch the preview button at the bottom right of the screen to preview your video. If you love it, then touch the share button to save it to your camera roll or share it!


How To make a video collage

That’s all there is to it! Have fun with it and let me know how it goes in the comments!

DIY Ninja Costumes.

Maybe you’re getting a little bit anxious because Halloween is right around the corner and you don’t have a costume for your little ghoul yet. That’s where I was at this point in the month a couple of years ago, but lucky for me Luke and Levi wanted to be Ninjas! You know I’m all about making things EASY.  The most popular post on my blog is my DIY Superhero cape tutorial which requires no sewing at all.  Apparently there are other moms out there who likes things easy too because it has been pinned thousands of times!  I thought I’d share another super easy costume idea with you all (and it’s no-sew too!)…

My boys love ninjas, so when they asked if we could buy ninja costumes I said what every craft blogger would say, “No…but we can make them!”  So I set out to find the pieces that I would need, black pants and black shirts (because ninjas are stealthy).  You can sew the shirt or pants yourself if you are so inclined, you’ll find a great pants tutorial here and an awesome shirt pattern here.  For the sake of time, I went to Walmart and bought the shirts and pants super cheap.  I spent about $13 on each boy’s costume… not bad compared to store bought ninja costumes that will run you well over $20 each!

All you need to make awesome ninja costumes is a pair of black pants (soft and comfy is the name of the game) and two long sleeved black t-shirts.  What makes the outfit is the “hood”.  It’s created by one of the long-sleeved t-shirts, by tying it around your child’s head like so…

This could not be easier to do.  Your boys will think you are the coolest when you show them how to make a ninja hood out of a t-shirt!  Paired with the black pants and black long-sleeved t-shirt you have the perfect ninja outfit.  I would suggest putting the clothes on first, then the doing the hood.  If you want to you can create a throwing star to accessorize!  I cut two out of cardboard and painted them with a few coats of silver spray paint.

Here’s Levi, my littlest ninja!

DIY Ninja Costume Tutorial at

DIY Ninja Costume at
DIY Ninja at

Levi thinks he is the absolute coolest in this outfit!  I love that it’s an easy dress up play outfit and that he can wear the pieces by themselves any day of the week!  Bonus! One thing to remember is that if this costume is being worn on Halloween, and you trick or treat after dark, you will definitely need to add some reflective tape.  I think it would look cool integrated into the outfit by adding some to the bottom of the shirt and a stripe down each side of the pant legs.  That way your little ninja will be visible while he’s out knocking on doors.

Thanks for reading!  Have a great time with this costume and don’t forget to check out more Halloween projects at The Southern Institute.

Easy DIY Fall Banner.

Last month I was invited by a friend to lead a local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group in a fall craft.  I’ve never done anything like that before… there were going to be about 45-50 women attending.  I was pretty sure they would be excited about any kind of project.  If you have or have ever had a preschooler you know how it is, you’re just happy to be out of the house!  So I didn’t feel TOO much pressure, but I still wanted to bring them a project that they would be proud to take home with them at the end of the meeting.  I wanted it to be something that they would actually display, so I brought the supplies to make this DIY Fall Banner.

DIY Fall Banner from The Southern Institute

This was an idea that was inspired by a banner that I saw at Whole Foods, of all places.  They had done one for Halloween, a bit bigger, with different stencils and different colors, but the same thing pretty much.  I just made it “fallish” for the season.  I thought I’d share the quick tutorial with you.

There are just a few supplies that you’ll need for this project:

  • 12×12 patterned paper, cut longways into halves.
  • book pages that will fit the width of the patterned paper, leaving a little bit of margin on the sides and a good bit of a margin on the top.
  • fall themed stencils
  • dark brown craft paint
  • paint brushes or spouncers
  • glue stick
  • twine


Step One:

Divide each 12×12 paper into two, directly down the middle from top to bottom.

Step Two:

Use your gluestick to adhere a book page to each piece of patterned paper.  Allow more room at the top than the bottom, leaving room to fold over the top edge for hanging.


Fall Banner Tutorial at The Southern Institute


Step three:

Grab a stencil, your brown paint, and a spouncer stencil brush.  Get to painting.  It only takes a little bit of paint.  Allow to dry.

I created my own stencils with my Silhouette machine.  I searched the shapes I wanted at the Silhouette store and purchased them.  I did this mainly because I needed about 36 stencils cut for the MOPS group and I wanted to keep costs down as much as possible.  You could easily draw your own on card stock or trace a shape from any kind of source.

DIY Fall Banner from The Southern Institute.

DIY Fall Banner from The Southern Institute.

Step four:

Turn your paper over.  Fold the top edge of the paper over to the back to create a crease.  Open it up and line the crease with glue, then put some glue on the inside top edge of the paper as well.  Fold it over, making sure that it sticks well.  If not, add more glue.  Repeat with the rest of the panels, spacing them out as you wish.

DIY Fall Banner from The Southern Institute

Here’s photo of a few of the moms crafting and sharing.  They totally LOVED this project!  It was quick and easy… even for those who professed to be “uncrafty”.  I beg to differ.

DIY Fall Banner from The Southern Institute

Your banner is done!  

All that is left to do is decide where to hang it in your home.  Our mantle was the perfect place.

DIY Fall Banner from The Southern Institute

 What do you think?  Could you find a place for a cute little fall banner in your home?  What stencil shapes would you choose?

Thanks so much for coming by and spending some time with me.  Check out some other fun fall crafts while your here!  The tutorials tab at the top of the page has a seasonal section full of great seasonal crafts!