Friday, April 30, 2010

Cherry Blossom Canvas

We found this great DIY Cherry Blossom Canvas tutorial at Eckersleys. All of the products used in the project are available at Eckerslys Art and Craft Stores.

Level: Beginner Time needed: Approx. 2 hours (excluding drying time)

What you need: 

Jasart Décor Craft Canvases (12” x 30”)
Reeves Acrylic Paints (75ml) – Lemon Yellow, Cerulean Blue, Titanium White
Artograph Tracer Junior
Jasart Round Palette
Jasart Brush Bundle
Soft Pastel Pencil - light colour

Step One Find a photo of cherry blossoms in a magazine or on the internet and use a Artograph Tracer to project that photo onto the canvas. Use a light coloured soft pastel and outline the projection of the photo onto your canvas.

Step Two Repeat step one for the second canvas.

Step Three Mix a turquoise paint colour by combining equal quantities of Lemon Yellow, Cerulean Blue and Titanium White paints. Paint the background using this colour. Wait until dry. 

Step Four Paint the cherry blossoms Titanium White.

Step Five Leave to dry fully before hanging. 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mother's Day Idea

We found this great tutorial for a Mother's Day Flower Arrangement on the Home Life website. It's very easy to make and the results are simply stunning...
Show mum how you really feel with this simple, pretty, heart-shaped arrangement. The flowers last beautifully, and your gift will linger in memory long after standard bouquets have faded. This project would work with many small blooms, such as roses, but we love classic chrysanthemums.

What you will need
  • Heart-shaped florist foam with plastic base (available from florists);
  • One bunch each of pale pink and dark pink chrysanthemums;
  • Scissors
How to make the heart-shaped flower arrangement
  1. Place the heart-shaped foam in the sink and gently pour water over the foam until it is completely saturated. Drain any excess water that collects in the base.
  2. Trim the stems of the flowers, leaving about 3cm of stem attached to the flower head. Starting at the centre of the top, insert the dark pink flowers around the perimeter and the sides to create a border.
  3. Starting at the same point, fill the centre of the heart with the pale pink blooms.
Visit for more great Mother's Day Ideas

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Travel Changing Pad

This DIY Travel Changing Pad by Prudent Baby is practical and easy to make, not to mention cute! The easy to follow step by step instructions by Prudent Baby are below:

This is the simplest of sewing DIY's and a perfect first project for oilcloth. ThanksRachel for the suggestion! Find the full {and crazy easy} DIY for a Travel Changing Pad after the jump.

What you need:
• 2 pieces oilcloth 12"x27". I used two different prints but if you use one print, you can get what you need from 1/3 yard of this 55" width oilcloth. I used Heather Bailey Nicey Jane Oilcloth in Hop Dot Cream and Picnic Bouquet Gold, both sold by our lovely sponsor,
• Approx 2.5 feet coordinating single fold bias tape (or ribbon)
• 3 Pieces 8.5x11" thin quilt batting.
• Basic sewing supplies.

What to do:
1. Cut the two 12x27" rectangles. The size is not very important. You might want a shorter and wider pad, especially if this is for a newborn. This one is for a tall toddler.

2. Align your fabrics, right sides facing and pin in just a few places and along the very edge as pins leave marks in oilcloth.

3. Sew with a straight stitch 1/4" from the edge all the way around the rectangle except for 1/2 of one of the short sides.

4. Snip all four of the corners.

5. Reverse your piece right side out.

6. The edges will be curling in (as seen above.) Use a knitting needle or chop stick to push the corners out clean and pointy.

7. Slide a small square of light card stock (a greeting card works well) inside the piece and use it to push the edges out while you iron them flat*. With oilcloth, use an additional piece of fabric (light batting in my case) between the oilcloth and the iron. I've heard that you can't press oilcloth, but with the additional buffer, I've had great success. *Test your fabric and iron first.

8. Fold your piece in thirds and mark your folds. I thought I was being smart and used permanent marker thinking it would just wipe off but it stained my yellow thread. Use disappearing ink, or tape.

9. Measure your first third, the one furthest from the opening. Mine was just under 9"x11.5.

10. Cut a piece of batting slightly smaller than the first third. I cut mine 8.5"x11"

11. Slide the batting into the hole and position it in the third furthest from the opening.

12. Just below the end of the batting (where your original one-third marks are) give yourself some kind of a cheat line either with disappearing ink or tape.

13. Sew straight down that line. You may find the oilcloth sticking in the foot of your sewing machine and might have to help it along as it stitches.

14. Repeat from step 9 for the center section and again for the third section.

15. After you insert the batting for the third section, fold the seam of the opening in, iron as instructed above and topstitch across entire length, 1/8" from edge, closing up the opening.

16. When you get 1/8" from the end of the side, leave your needle down and turn piece 90 degrees. Continue topstitching along remaining 3 sides. Add a few back-stitches at the end.

17. I used single fold bias tape for my tie so I folded it in half and ironed it flat. You can skip this if using ribbon or another fastener.

18. Measure 1/2 way down the first third of your changing pad (approx 4.5") and pin the tie in place, centered on the outside of the changing pad.

19. Starting at the end of the string, begin sewing the tie flat. (make sure your string is NOT twisted.)

20. When you get to the changing pad, continue sewing straight through all layers, attaching tie to changing pad. Then continue to the end of the tie, sewing the rest of the tie flat.

21. Tie the ends of the tie in knots or fold over twice and hem.

And you're done! Fold the changing pad in thirds, then in half the other way, and tie the strings in a little bow!

Visit for more great projects

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Air Plant Chandelier

We found this great tutorial for making an Air Plant Chandelier at The Zen of Making blog. The Air Plant Chandelier is very simple to make and visually stunning - the perfect low maintenance addition to any home.

You need: 4 air plants, 4 clear glass containers with a lip around the top (or a handle), flexible wire, twine, a pair of needle-nose pliers, and a pair of scissors.


Cut a piece of wire about 24" long. This length may need to be adjusted depending on the diameter of the container you're using. My containers were 3" across.


Wrap the wire around the container so you have equal length on both ends. Twist like a twisty tie.


Tighten the wire by twisting a few times with your pliers. Stop when the wire is snug, but not too tight.

Additional Option: If you're using heavier glassware, or if you just prefer the look, you can wrap the wire around the lip twice. See the photo below.


Create a loop by crossing the loose ends of the wire.


Using your pliers, wrap the wire around the loop. It's easiest to start at the top on each side, twisting down to the base.


Once you reach the bottom, wrap any extra wire around the base, taking care to squeeze in any loose ends so they don't poke you later.


Measure the twine into pieces that are twice as long as your desired length (you will be folding them in half), then cut three pieces of each length. I chose 4 feet, 3 feet, 2 feet, and 1 foot, but you can use whatever lengths make sense for you.


It's time to braid. Bundle 3 pieces of twine of the same length, and tie a knot at one end. Bring the pieces through the loop, securing the loop at the bottom of the braid.


If you're working with long pieces, secure the container between your feet, then braid up. When done, loop the twine through the second side of the loop, and knot to secure.


To create a hanger at the top, gather all of the twine braids together, and tie a knot with a loop at the end.


Add air plants, hang, and enjoy!


Friday, April 23, 2010

Flower Headband

We found this tutorial for gorgeous flower headbands on the Perry Jayne Handmade blog. The headbands are simple to make, with little to no sewing skills required. The end result is simple, stylish and would look great on adults or children! Perry Jayne has made them in black and white, but they would also look great in vibrant colours - a great contrast to the gloomy winter weather that is approaching!

  • It's best to go on the long side for the strips you use for your headband, because I just tied it in a knot when I was done and snipped off the excess. The braiding gives the headband enough stretch to just pull on & off. I wish I would have measured...but I think I just used the width of my fabric. 
  • On the white flower, I folded the fabric over for the flower, so it was double layered, I used just a single layer on the black one. I think I prefer the single layer, but that's just my preference. The width and length of the fabric you use for the flower will determine its size & fluffiness, so just play with it until you like it. And I really prefer the edges to be raw, but you could hem it if you like.

View the tutorial or visit Perry Jayne Handmade for more great projects. For those who are less crafty visit the Perry Jayne Handmade Etsy Shop.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tools of the Trade!

Cupcake Flair by Miriam recently blogged about the equipment she uses to create her absolutely delicious cupcakes (the BD team cannot get enough of them!). Her blog contains some very useful advice for all you DIY cupcakers out there, and some scrummy pics for inspiration! To view Miriam's mouthwatering cupcakes visit

Cupcake Flair by Miriam's Tools of the Trade:

Every good Cupcake Chef needs a good basic set of tools. Here is a small selection of my favourites.

Piping Bag, Piping Tips, Spatula - Visit your local kitchenware shop or order online from Wilton, they have fantastic starter kits with various piping tips, couplers and piping bags. A few essential piping tips include, star tip, round tip (for writing and vines), leaf tip, petal tip, basket weave tip. For piping cupcake frosting swirls it is best to buy plastic cream horns the metal star tips are simply not large enough to get a perfect swirl.

My Kenwood Patissier Mixer - Fantastic investment, I have tried cheaper brands and it simply not worth it. You really need a mixer with a large motor which can handle 'heavy' mixing.

Cupcake Papers - I must have at least 500 cupcake papers in my cupboard at the moment. I actually really like the papers you can buy at Woolworths and Bi-Lo. For a few $'s you get a mixed pack of 100 papers in approx 5-6 colours.

Cupcake Courier - Makes transporting your cupcakes a breeze. Don't get fooled into buying a cheap version, you need one with plenty of height above each layer to allow room for your frosting and decorations. The cheap versions have thin plastic layers which bend under the weight of your cupcakes and squash the ones beneath.
For more tips and tricks of the Cupcake trade and to view Miriam's mouthwatering cupcakes visit

Giant Cupcake Cake

Kalleen from the fantastic creative blog At Second Street recently blogged about the giant cupcake cake she made for her daughter's first birthday. We are so impressed with the results that we just had to share it with you!

I love cupcakes. I've been wanting to make my baby a giant cupcake for her birthday for a while. Wilton makes a cool pan, I wanted one but couldn't get over the $30 price tag. So I came up with this method instead.

I used two pans. One is 5" and the other is 6" I already had the 5" and the 6" was $6 at Walmart. I didn't mind spending the money since I know I will actually use this pan again.

I made two of the 5" cakes and one 6"cake. (I used one cake mix for all three).

Once they were stacked I measured the hight of the bottom half for my "liner."

I made a batch of my super easy marshmallow fondant found HERE. I rolled it out and cut strips with the paper I used to measure the bottom.

Then I made uneven indentations in each of the strips to create the folds of the "liner."

Next I trimmed the top of the cake till it was the shape I wanted.

I frosted the bottom between layers and all around the outside. Then I attached the strips of fondant. I placed the ends tightly together so that it looked like one continuous piece.

Then I frosted the top. I started by frosting a thin layer over the entire top. Then I used a zip-lock baggie to add big dollopy circles around the bottom of the top of the cupcake. After that, I spread a thicker coat over the rest of the top and blended in the very tops of the dollops.

I added a candle and some sprinkles and was done.

For more creative ideas visit At Second Street