How To Make Tissue Paper Flowers

My favorite plants are those that you don’t have to water. So rather than fill my house with cacti, I thought I’d play around with these paper flowers.

Tissue Paper Flowers

They are really easy and cheap to make and would also make great party or wedding decorations. Or just a way to decorate a bedroom.

Tissue Paper Flowers

All you need is tissue paper, scissors, and a stapler or piece of string.

Stack about six sheets of tissue paper.

Tissue Paper Flowers

Then begin folding the tissue paper in one inch segments.

Tissue Paper Flowers

After one fold, flip the papers over and do the same fold on the other side.

Tissue Paper Flowers

The point is to make an accordion. Make sure you flip after each fold.

Tissue Paper Flowers

Once it is all folded, it will look like this…

Tissue Paper Flowers

Try to slide it under a stapler to staple it right in the middle. If you can’t get it lined up so the staple is straight, you can tie a string or piece of wire around the middle to hold it together.

Tissue Paper Flowers

Trim the edges with a rounded cut.

Tissue Paper Flowers

You can also do a sharp pointed cut to create a different style of flower.

Tissue Paper Flowers

Then stretch out the folded part,

Tissue Paper Flowers

and then carefully pull each piece of tissue paper out until they are all spread apart.

Tissue Paper Flowers

Do that to both sides and you are done!

Tissue Paper Flowers

You can experiment with the sizes, too. The smaller you go, the more time it takes to separate. If you are patient, it is worth it because the small flowers make adorable gift toppers.

Tissue Paper Flowers

If you want to make stemmed flowers, you can take a stick and hot glue it into the flower.

Tissue Paper Flowers

Put it into a vase filled with pebbles and you have a seriously low-maintenance bouquet of flowers!

Tissue Paper Flowers

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You Are Special Today Plate

Does this plate look familiar to anyone?

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When we were little, we were allowed to use this plate on our birthdays and on a big occasion like graduation. It wasn’t an option to use it other times (at least, I don’t remember asking to). It was truly for special occasions.

For that reason, it really did make you feel special sitting there, usually beaming, with the bright red plate at the dinner table.

I know they still make these plates, but I thought I would experiment to see if I could make my own.

There are many tutorials out there regarding this and many of them suggest different things. Some say a regular Sharpie works fine while some say you have to use a porcelain paint pen. Since I already owned colored Sharpie markers, I decided to experiment with those first before buying anything new.

My assistants and I did a test run on a couple old pieces.

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To get started, you will need some Sharpies or porcelain pen markers and a plain porcelain plate. I bought mine at the dollar store.

Draw on the surface with your markers and let dry completely. You can use a stencil template or just draw free hand.

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Place in oven and THEN turn oven on to 350 degrees. These pieces can be delicate and you don’t want to shock the piece. This allows it to slowly heat with the oven.

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Let bake for 30-45 minutes.

Leave in oven to cool completely. Don’t take out to cool. They will be HOT.

Wash well with soap and water. Dry. Enjoy.

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Here are my findings.

Sharpie will work just fine but if you hand wash the items, you cannot use an abrasive sponge. It scratches off the marker. Hand washing with a regular soft sponge is fine. I tested mine in the dishwasher and it started to fade. I recommend hand washing only.

I’m conflicted on the toxicity factor. On one hand, it is permanent and doesn’t wash off without abrasive scrubbing so I am not worried about it rubbing off onto food. And since this plate will only be used a couple times a year, the exposure level would be low.

Ideally, you could do this project with a mug and only draw on the outside of the mug. Problem solved.

But for this project, I just played it safe and mainly drew on the outside of the plate, leaving the food area clean.

This would be a fun project for the holidays. Buy some cheap mugs or plates at the dollar store and let each of your guests have their own personalized place setting.

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Have Fun.

Decorative Paper Clips

Office life doesn’t have to be boring. With a few simple steps, you can spruce up any document.

To get started, get some large paper clips.

decorative paper clips

Make sure that you put your embellishments on the top of the paper clip away from the inside clip that comes down onto the paper. Otherwise, your embellishment will be in the way.

decorative paper clips

For this ribbon design, just cut a piece of thin ribbon and fold it in half.

decorative paper clips

Place the folded area inside the paper clip and pull the end through it. decorative paper clips

decorative paper clips

You can glue chipboard letters on….

decorative paper clips

..which can make a fun filing system.

decorative paper clips

You can also glue buttons together,

decorative paper clips

and then sandwich your paper clip between your buttons with hot glue to make a button clip.

decorative paper clips

decorative paper clips

This can make a cute money clip,

decorative paper clips

or clip for your business cards.

decorative paper clips

This is an easy way to stand out (any salespeople out there?) or just add a little color to your office.

Have fun!

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Design Your Own Umbrella

I don’t know about you but somehow we have accumulated about a dozen umbrellas over the years. And considering I usually just sprint from the car to wherever I’m going if it’s raining, most of them have never been used.

Since they all looked alike, I thought it might be fun to decorate a couple. For the type of smaller design I wanted to do, I decided that a fabric marker would be the best choice. It would adhere well and the marker would give me good control.

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If you wanted to do a larger pattern or something using more paint, you could use acrylic paint with a paint brush.

Here are my umbrellas before.

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First you will want to wash them well with water and mild soap and let them dry completely.

Here is where you can get creative. Do you want to do polka dots? A striped pattern? Animals? Raindrops?

For my first umbrella I decided to make ladybugs along the edge. I just used an old toy to use as a template for the body.

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I traced the toy and then colored it in. I did two coats for a brighter look.

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Then I just drew the head and legs on freehand with the white fabric marker.

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Easy, easy.

On my other umbrella I did polka dots. I used the lining of stickers to give me a template.

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I peeled the backing off and cut them into pieces to place on the umbrella. Then I just colored inside the sticker for uniform dots.

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If you have any college age kids (or you’re in college) you can personalize it with your school’s letters or your sorority letters. I just traced a stencil template.

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This would be a fun project with older kids. Let them each design their own umbrella so there is no fighting in the morning. 🙂

If you have a clear, cup shaped umbrella, it would be adorable with a painted design.

Lots of options with this…enjoy!

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My Repurposed LifeYoung and Crafty, Five Simple Things

 

Fun Way to Display Newspaper Announcements

If you have ever had your child’s birth or another event announced in the newspaper, you know that sometimes it gets totally lost within all the other words on the page.

This is a fun way to make your event stand out and a nice way to display your announcement rather than stick it in a memory box.

Just pick a frame and cut out the section of the paper with your announcement to fit the frame. I suggest photocopying it because it makes the background brighter and then you can save the original.

Using a marker or whatever paint you have on hand, draw a flower or heart around your announcement.

Display Birth Announcement

Let dry and put into your frame.

Display Birth Announcement

This would make a cute new baby gift by using the hospital announcement from the paper. You could also do this with an engagement announcement, short article, meaningful comic strip, or anything else in the newspaper that is special to you or a loved one.

Display Birth Announcement

There are a lot of different ways to use this idea. Hopefully, this will just get you started. 🙂

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Pine Cone Holiday Projects

With the sunshine, air conditioning, and trips to the pool, it’s hard to start thinking about Christmas already. But now is the perfect time for this holiday project because your materials (pine cones) will be free. Plus, cleaning and sun-drying them is easier, and having this done will give you one less thing to worry about when the holidays do come around!

First, collect some pines cones that have fallen to the ground, clean them in a bucket with water and a tiny bit of bleach. You can also collect the sweetgum balls that have fallen, which are those ping-ping sized balls with spikes on them that fall from trees.

Pine Cone holiday crafts

Lay them in the sun to dry (all day). You many want to turn them and dry them the next day as well. You want them completely dry.

Pine Cone holiday crafts

Then spray them with spray paint. I used red and silver but could you do blue for Hanukah, gold, white or any color you want!

Pine Cone holiday crafts

red pine cones

Once these are dry you can put them in holiday bowls or display them on plates or other containers. I found this old, gold mirror and just updated it with white paint.

gold mirror

I just used painter’s tape to cover the mirror and used a basic white spray paint.

Pine Cone holiday crafts

I just put a few of the cones on the mirror for this look…

Pine Cone holiday crafts

and glued some on wine corks for holiday wine stoppers. These would be cute for holiday parties and would also make cute gifts.

Pine Cone holiday craftsYour centerpiece could hold the table’s wine…

Pine Cone holiday crafts

While we are setting our holiday table, let’s make some napkin rings. Just tie a ribbon around the pine cone.

Pine Cone holiday crafts

Just pull it through the little tabs in the cone so the ribbon knot is hidden tight inside the cone.

Pine Cone holiday crafts

Wrap the ribbon around your napkin,

Pine Cone holiday crafts

and tie in a bow in the back.

Pine Cone holiday crafts

And there you go.

Pine Cone holiday crafts

Pine Cone holiday craftsNow, go treat yourself to a margarita by the pool. You deserve it. You just saved yourself time and money for this coming Christmas!

 

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Bag for your diaper bag

If you’re a mom with young kids then you know how many bags it takes just to leave your house. Being able to condense anything is a huge help.

I was getting frustrated trying to run errands because I hated lugging a diaper bag and my big purse. But then if I put my wallet and phone in the diaper bag, they would just fall to the bottom, never to be seen again. I just wanted something that was the perfect size to hold the essentials from my purse and still fit nicely in the diaper bag.

You may be wondering why I don’t just get a diaper bag that was made in this decade, one that has all the upgrades like…. pockets.

This is my diaper bag.

make your own zipper bag

It has no pockets, no frills, and the zipper is broken, but I love it and I’m sticking with it. I just needed to solve this one, small problem.

If you don’t have this problem or don’t use a diaper bag, you may still like making these little bags. I’ve found they are actually nice to have around for all kinds of things.

All you need is a zipper (which is like $2.00 at Wal-Mart), some fabric, and felt or leather (if you want).

Cut your fabric into pieces about the size you want the bag to be. I used felt strips to have at the bottom of the bag for support. Suede would look nice, too.

make your own zipper bag

If you do want to have felt or leather at the bottom, line the pieces up with the right side of your fabric, pin in place and sew along the edge.

make your own zipper bag

When you open it up, the seam will be hidden and it will look like this. Do the same thing to your other piece of fabric and felt.

make your own zipper bag

Line one side of your zipper up to the right side of the top of your fabric piece, pin in place and sew.

make your own zipper bag

Add your other piece of fabric and felt to the other side of the zipper, pin and sew.

make your own zipper bag

Unzip the zipper a little if you like. It will make it easier in a bit. Then stich the three remaining sides (with the right sides of fabric facing each other) and trim excess fabric.

make your own zipper bag

Turn bag right side out and you’re done.

make your own zipper bag

I made one that was shorter and wider as well.

make your own zipper bag

Now I can just put my essentials in this bag for easy access.

make your own zipper bag

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Hemp Bracelets (Throwback Jewelry)

I saw this great shirt on Etsy and immediately got nostalgic for my days at OU.

i miss athens

While thinking of Athens brings back all kinds of great memories, I can’t help but reminisce on all the hemp jewelry I made while I was there. I haven’t worn hemp since college, but I thought I’d play around with it again since I was feeling so nostalgic.

If you want to give it a try, you will need hemp, beads, scissors, a safety pin and pillow.  Hemp is a natural fiber sold in spools at any craft store. You could also use colored thread or even leather cords.

You’ll want to cut two long strands. I usually do one and a half arm spans for each strand. How’s that for precise?

Then hold the two strands together and fold them in half.

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Loop the folded part to create a loop and knot.

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Pull it tight to have a small loop and a knot. This will give you four strands coming from your knot. Trim off one of the strands right at the knot so that you only have three strands.

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Now pin this to a throw pillow to hold it in place while you weave.

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Your center piece stays in one place and you’ll do the weaving with your right and left strand. Bring the left strand down like an L and cross it over the middle strand. Then do the same thing with the left strand but in reverse and underneath the other strands. Then pull the strands up and tight to create a square knot.

pull left string down L and right down L

Continue creating square knots (alternating strands you start with) until you are ready to add a bead. Place a bead down the center strand and wrap the side strands around it in the same manner you would for the square knot.

add bead

tie knot after bead

Continue with the square knots adding beads wherever you like.

When you reach the end, use a different bead that fits into the original loop that you made. This is going to create a clasp.

Put your clasp bead (I used a plastic pearl) on the center strand and tie it in place under the bead. Tie the right and left strands together as well to tie up all the strands.

pearl bead clasp

Then trim all excess strands right at the knots.

trim around clasp

Then place your clasping bead through the loop and your bracelet is complete.

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I made some with gold and pearls to see if I could bring hemp into my current life 🙂

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I think I like it. What do you think? These also make great friendship bracelets for kids.

This project gave me a chance to get my future bobcat ready. He looks good in hemp 🙂

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Note: The I Miss Athens image was used with permission from http://www.etsy.com/people/IMISSMYCOLLEGE. Check them out! They have shirts for almost every school.

Button Headband

I recently enjoyed a post from Buttons and Birdcages on a button headband. I thought it was so cute and could not wait to try it out.

I’ll share how mine turned out because I added a few extra things, but please check out her page for the full tutorial. These are super easy and so fun!

To start, you’ll just need a headband, two pieces of felt, buttons, glue and anything else you may want to use to embellish it.

materials

For mine, I twirled yarn around (gluing along the way) to make flowers.

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Then I arranged the flowers and buttons how I wanted on the felt and glued them down. Then I just glued the headband in between the two pieces of felt and that was it!

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Thanks, Buttons and Birdcages for the adorable idea!

Knit cell phone case (that you don’t have to knit)

I don’t know about you, but the idea of putting my $600 lifeline into a pile of mints, pencils, coins and lotions makes me a little nervous.

make your own cell phone case

Even with a protective cover and case, I still wanted just one more layer of protection on my phone, something that was soft and easy to take on and off.

I thought a knit case would be nice but since I didn’t want to actually knit one, I just used the cuff of a sweater. My smart phone fit (almost) perfectly inside.

If you want to try this, just find an old sweater that you no longer want and cut the cuff off so you have a piece that is about one inch longer than your phone.

make your own cell phone casemake your own cell phone case

This will leave you with a tube of sweater. If your phone fits perfectly in the tube, great! If not, just cut along the seam to open it up. (don’t mind how crooked I cut it)

make your own cell phone case

If you want to add embellishment to your case, I suggest doing it while your cuff is opened up. It’s much easier to sew when it’s open like this. Just figure out how wide you need the case to be for your case to fit snugly and trim it so you know where the center of your case is for your artwork. Remember, a lot of these knit cuffs will have some stretch to it.

make your own cell phone case

You can use fabric, felt, buttons…anything you want to make it fun. Sew it on the front of one of the sides and you’re ready to finish.

Now fold your cuff in half (long ways) to sew the seam back up. It will be inside out at this point.  You’ll also need to sew across the bottom to close it up, leaving only the one opening at the top.

Now just turn it right-side out and you’re done!

make your own cell phone case

I also found this pair of my daughter’s mittens that she never wore, but I hung onto to use for something, someday.

make your own cell phone case

They actually fit my phone perfectly, so there was no cutting or sewing needed.

make your own cell phone case

I just got off the cord and decorated it and it was ready to go!

make your own cell phone case

Now I can just throw my phone into my bottomless pit of a purse and not have to worry!

make your own cell phone case

make your own cell phone case