Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Decorative Paper Lanterns

Want to jazz up some plain paper lanterns? This tutorial from Make Grow Gather shows a simple technique for adding some flair to lanterns. The best part is they looking stunning both during the day and at night!

What you'll need:

• Glue sticks or a glue gun (if you have one, lucky person).

• Sheets of colored tissue paper cut into approximately 6-inch squares, no need to be exact here. I went with three colors and used about four sheets of each color, for a total of twelve sheets of tissue paper for each lantern. You can feel free to use as many colors as you'd like or stick to a single color.

• Three objects with round, flat ends that range from 2 to 1 inch in diameter. You'll be using these to form and glue down the tissue so objects you can wash with soap and water are best since the glue can seep through the tissue. I ended up using the top of a bottle of mouthwash, the end of a large plastic knitting needle, and a tube of mascara. (The mascara runs, so this is the most useful it's ever been.) I also considered votive holders, Crayola makers, empty vitamin bottles and the handles of wooden spoons from my kitchen.

• A few paper lanterns. The ones shown here are 8 inches in diameter. (If you don't have any lanterns to repurpose you might want to keep in mind buying in a color that would work well as a background color. I found that the colorful tissue filters light so this isn't something you should necessarily embark on a quest for.)

• A free afternoon and a few friends. I suspect three people could finish six lanterns in the amount of time it takes for the sangria to soak, which obviously you'll need to sip frequently to be certain.


1. Let's just take a moment to learn from my mistakes. Before you start make sure each of your lanterns actually work. Overall this isn't a difficult project but you might find yourself a wee bit upset if you discover, after multiple changes of batteries and light bulbs that came from working lanterns, that your frilly new lantern is simply a dud. I am, ahem, speaking from recent experience.

2. Decide which order you want to apply your colors. I found that the color put on last is the most prominent, so I went with orange first and yellow last.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Decorate with Paper

Looking for ways to transform a neutral living space? Better Homes & Gardens have some great tips for updating you living space with paper - simple, easy and effective...

Exotic Oriental papers transform the neutral furnishings and blue walls of the apartment above from bland to beautiful. The first project: Add glam to an inexpensive lampshade by attaching a wide band of colorful paper with glue. Smaller bands of paper around the top and bottom edges give it a finished look.

Create artwork to ooh and aah over by covering inexpensive 12-x-12-inch artist canvases with attractive paper patterns. Wrap the canvas like a present with a 1- to 2-inch overhang. Attach the paper to the front with double-stick tape, and secure the excess paper to the frame's back with electrical tape.

A clear acrylic tray provides a window of opportunity to showcase a paper print, bringing a dose of much-needed color to this coffee table. Attach paper to the underside of the tray using double-stick tape or, to keep your options open, simply lay the paper inside.

Paper just isn't practical for some purposes, such as soft and comfy throw pillows. Enter heat-transfer paper, which allows you to tattoo your favorite paper designs onto fabric. A copy center will reproduce a paper image onto an 11-x-17-inch sheet of transfer paper for less than $4. Transfer the design to fabric using an iron and following the paper manufacturer's instructions. For an eye-catching change of scale, the patterns used on these pillows were enlarged by 250 to 400 percent before being copied to transfer paper.

Don't forget to dress your accessories in personalised designs. It took just five minutes to wrap this journal with a paper belt and a few seconds more to slip a leftover paper scrap into a photo pocket on the album.

Visit Better Homes & Gardens for more ideas on decorating with paper.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mini Make-up Bag

This  mini makeup roll from the
Em Ay Kay Ee {Make} blog will hold your on-the-go makeup needs, like mascara, lipstick and touch up foundation. This tutorial is fairly simple and straightforward and the results are a fantastic combination of practical and pretty!

What You Need:

 • Six 5 inch x 5 inch squares of fabric.
• Lining fabric x 2
• Light fusible interfacing
• Ribbon


• Choose your six squares of fabric.

• Cut 1.5″ off 2 of the squares.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Warm and Fuzzy Felt Slippers

Add a touch of warmth to your winter with these felt house slippers from Homelife. Felt is traditionally a non-woven fabric, formed when wool or fur is subjected to heat, moisture and pressure or agitation. Soap helps the felting process, as heat and moisture cause the outer scales along the wool’s fibres to open, while soap allows them to slide easily over one another and become irreversibly entangled.

Felt is still an important fabric in many parts of the world, especially in areas with harsh climates. In Mongolia, nomads live in felt tents, while in Turkey, rugs, hats and other items are made of felt. Nomadic tribes in Asia use felt for tent coverings, rugs and blankets, and in Scandinavia and Russia, felt boots are produced and widely used.

What you will need:

• Slipper template – download the base and upper template - then photocopy and adjust to fit your foot size, allowing for a 1.5cm seam allowance
• Industrial-grade felt (ours is a dark grey felt from Felt Distribution)
• Fabric scissors
• Fabric pencil
• Wool
• Upholstery needle
• An old newspaper


• Place the template on to the felt and cut out pieces. Soak felt pieces overnight in water - this will loosen the fibres, and make it easier to sew the slippers together by hand.

• Use your fabric pencil to make dots at 20mm intervals around each slipper's sole piece, 10mm in from the edge (these points mark the places your needle should sew through).

• Thread wool on to your needle and begin sewing sole and top of one slipper together, starting at the front and working towards the heel on both sides.

• Once you have sewn to the heel, continue up the heel seam in a zig-zag pattern. Repeat with remaining slipper pieces. Stuff shoes with newspaper to help retain their shape then set aside to dry.

Visit Homelife

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fabric Covered Lampshade

Give a boring light shade a makeover by covering it with fabric, with this tutorial by Better Homes & Gardens. This is a quick and easy way to liven up your home...

What You Need:
• Purchased shade
• Fabric
• Clothespins
• Heavy-duty spray glue
• Cording (optional)
• Fabric glue or hotmelt adhesive
• Cloth measuring tape
• Chalk
• Contrasting fabric

• Using a purchased lampshade cut a piece of fabric that's 2 inches longer than the circumference of the widest point of the shade (in case your drum shade angles slightly).
• Using clothespins, start at the front of the shade and wrap the fabric around the shade.
• Once the fabric is smooth around the shade, use a piece of chalk to mark the top and bottom edges. Remove the clothespins and fabric from the shade.
• Cut the fabric to the shape of the chalk lines, making sure to add a little extra for the back seam.
• Using heavy-duty spray glue, spray the shade generously.
• Lay the fabric on the shade, beginning at the center front and working around one side to the back. Repeat for the other side. At the back seam, turn the fabric under about 1/2 inch, finger-press, and use fabric glue to secure the seam.
• Complete the shade by making either double cording or bias tape from a contrasting fabric; glue it to the top and bottom edges.

Note: Many shades have a plastic-like backing that melts when you use hot glue on it. If you're using hotmelt adhesive to attach the trim, use only a small amount on the fabric side.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Flouncy Ribbon Cushion

We love this flouncy cushion from Ucreate. Not only would it make a beautiful addition to any lounge room or bedroom, we think it would also make a gorgeous ring cushion for a wedding - simply make a smaller version in you wedding colours...

What You Need:

• 3/4 yard of a solid color for the foundation fabric and the back
• 6-10 yards of ribbon (depending on width, how gathered you want it, and size of your pillow. color should coordinate with the foundation fabric but doesn't need to match exactly.)
• Pillow form
• Ruler
• Fabric marking pen
• String (if you're going to follow my steps to turn a square pillow form into a circle)
• Sewing scissors
• Sewing pins

Cutting the Front Foundation Fabric and Back Pieces:

• Take out your foundation fabric, iron it, and cut out a square an inch or so longer on each side than your pillow form is wide (hint: the original tag should show the dimensions. If not, just measure across one of the center lines you have marked). Once you have the square cut, fold it in half and then again in half the other way. Now you should have a square of material like this.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sewn Gift Tag Tutorial

Yesterday we featured aquamarine and ruby bird gift tags. Today we are taking a look at a simpler style of gift tag, which has a gorgeous sewn detail. These Sewn Gift Tags by The Adventures of Bluegirl are perfect for adding the final touches to your wedding bomboniere/favours...

What you need:

• A piece of cardstock 
• A scrap of fabric 
• A punched out piece of decorative paper,
• A little ribbon. 

Step 1. Cut a rectangle out of cardstock and one from a fabric scrap 3 1/2 inches long and 2 3/4 inches wide.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Glittery Bird Gift Tags

These gorgeous Glittery Bird Gift Tags by Think Crafts are a sweet way to add a personal touch to gifts. They would also work beautifully as favour/bomboniere tags or place cards! Think Crafts have used a Red and Aquamarine colour scheme, but these little birds will look cute in any colour, so play around until you get the perfect match for your wedding or event!

What you need:

• White shrink plastic
• Colored pencils
• Big & Glitzy Glitter Glue (I used Aquamarine and Ruby)
• Scissors
• Hole punch
• Ribbon
• Your oven


1. Print bird pattern. Lay it under shrink plastic. Trace with pencil. You should get two birds out of a sheet of plastic.

2. Color birds with colored pencils. Put the kids to work, have them color! Cut out the birds. Use hole punch to punch a hole in the top wing.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Frog Baseball Cap

With the school holidays approaching you may be looking for crafty projects to keep the kids entertained - especially for the inevitable rainy days of the June-July holidays. This cute Frog Baseball Cap tutorial from Crafts by Amanda is easy to make - the kids will love  creating it with you and love wearing it even more!

You will need:

• green baseball hat
• acrylic paint: black, white, spring green, foliage green
• textile medium
• round stencil sponges
• black Sharpie marker
• toothpick
• 3"x1" piece of red felt
• instant grab glue


• The textile medium will turn your acrylic paint into fabric paint. So if you ever need to wash your hat, you can. However, keep in mind that the tongue probably won't survive and you may need to create a new one should the need arise to launder it. To mix, use one part texile medium and 2 parts paint.

• Dip large round applicator in foliage green paint and gently scrape off excess. Press applicator onto hat above the bill, gently turn the applicator in a circular motion to make the circle larger. Do this on both sides for the eyes.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Glass Etching by Make It & love It

Looking for a way to add a little extra decoration to some glass? This tutorial from Make It and Love It shows how to permanently etch glass with a decoration of your choice. Etching glass is a great way to create your very own, one-of-a-kind glassware. It's also a great idea to personalise glassware for gifts!

Note: This technique permanently etches your glass. You cannot remove it once you're done. With that said, your creation will not rub or wash off, and will stay put as long as the dish lasts.
What you need:

• Piece of vinyl with an adhesive back
• Craft Cutter or Utility Knife and cutting board
• Transfer Paper
• Glassware
• Etching agent/cream


• First, you'll need a piece of vinyl with an adhesive back, like the vinyl you buy for vinyl wall decor. You can buy rolls or sheets of it at craft stores (if you must have some today) or you can buy some great vinyl much cheaper from one of my sponsors, Expressions Vinyl. If you don't have a craft cutter of some sort to cut the image for you (like I did), then you can trace an image, shape, or letters on the vinyl and then cut it out with an exacto knife, or utility knife. (And I haven't tried this but I think you may be able to do the glass etching technique with a piece of contact paper, if you're going to be cutting out your shapes free hand with an exacto knife.)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

One Dozen Long Stemmed Fabric Roses

These beautiful long-stemmed fabric roses by Snowy Bliss are perfect to add flair to a country style wedding, or to add a little pizzazz to your home. They are simple to make, requiring only basic sewing know-how. If you would like to use them to decorate your wedding, why not get your girlfriends together for a sewing bee!


1. Cut fabric (selvage to selvage) in 5" strips. (approximately 5"x 45" long strips).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pretty iPad Case

The iPad has hit Australia's shores! There are a great range of accessories available to protect your new iPad, but why not stand out from the crowd and hand-make your own iPad cover. This tutorial from Made by Heidi shows how to make a very sweet protective iPad cover...

What you need:

• 2 pieces of 9 1/2 X 12 1/2 inch outer fabric
• 2 pieces of 10 X 13 inch batting
• 2 pieces of 17 X 12 inch inner fabric
• 11 1/2 inch zipper
• Sewing machine
• Needle & thread
• 1 binder


• Cut the binder as shown.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Origami Gift Box

These cute Origami Gift Boxes by Cut Out & Keep are a great homemade bomboniere box idea. Your guests will love the thoughtfulness of the homemade touch and they will add decorative flair to your table-settings.

They may look fancy, but it's really all based off of 8 simple folds.

• Start out with 2 sheets of computer paper. Make the largest square possible out of each one, and put everything but one square aside.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chalkboard Table Numbers

Chalkboards are a popular way to add a personal touch to your wedding decorations, as they are great for creating seating plans and table numbers. This tutorial from Flights of Fancy shows you how to create a prettier version of chalkboard table numbers: faux chalkboard table number cards.

What you need:
• White Card Stock
• Ruler
• Stanley or X-acto Knife
• Cutting Mat
• Coloured Paper
• Corner Punch - plain or decorative (optional)
• Chalk
• Roll-On Double-Stick Adhesive or Glue


Step 1: Using your color printer, print the free template on white cardstock (click on this link to download the template). Once printed, trim the backer card along the cropmarks using a ruler and x-acto knife. Be sure to use a cutting mat – it cushions the x-acto blade and saves your surfaces from nicks and scratches.

Step 2: Cut a piece of colored paper to 3.5″ x 4.5″ – this will be your “chalkboard” surface. Of course, darker colors are better since you will be writing the numbers in white chalk.

Step 3 (optional): You can use a corner punch to give the “chalkboard” rounded corners. You could even use a more decorative corner punch to make it a bit more fancy if you’d like.

Step 4: Next, write the table number on the colored paper with chalk.

Step 5: Adhere your “chalkboard” surface to the backer card, using the lines on the template as a guide for the correct positioning. I always prefer to use a roll-on double-stick adhesive rather than double-sided tape or glue… it’s easier and less messy.

Step 6 (optional): For a finishing touch, use a corner punch to round the corners of the backer card.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Silk Wrapped Votive Candles

Adding a few small, sumptuous details to your table will make your event feel luxurious, even if you aren't spending a fortune! For a bit of sparkle,
Project Wedding wrapped regular, glass votives in small pieces of silk fabric. The result is gorgeous and textured, and once lit, the light bounces of the silk in a really pretty way. Silk is available in an array of gorgeous hues so take a trip to the fabric store and be inspired!

This simple and effective idea from
Project Wedding works well for weddings, engagements, birthdays or even dinner parties!

You will need:

• Silk Fabric (about 1 yard per 20 votives) We used two colors.
• Scissors
• Glass votives
• Double stick tape


1. Wrap a piece of fabric around one candle to see approximately how much you will need per candle. Cut a piece out to size and then use that as a pattern for the rest of the pieces.

2. When cutting the silk, make a small cut in the fabric and then tear the fabric. The raw, frayed edges add a great texture.
3. Make sure the top of the fabric is just below the glass rim of the votive.
4. Secure on the candle with a piece of double stick tape.

Tip: Style the candles in two different colors, in mass or as an accent with floral centerpieces. As always with candles, have your caterer or helper light them right before the event and don't leave them in an unattended room.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cupcake Wrappers

These gorgeous Cupcake Wrappers from Intimate Weddings are surprisingly simple to make! Made from doilies, they are just stunning and you can match them to your wedding or event theme simply by changing the colour or pattern of the doily. 

Here is the free cupcake wrapper template download.

You will need:

• Paper doilies (Mine were just over 11 inches.)
• Pencil
• Scissors
• Glue stick


• Cut out the template. Place the cut out template on the doily.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Fabric Tape

This great tutorial on DIY Fabric Tape is from Simply Modern Mom. Fabric tape is a great way to add  embellishment to invitations, stationary items,  bomboniere and favours, or just to brighten up everyday household items. It also adds an extra-special touch to gifts. You can buy fabric tapes, but if you are looking to closely match the tape with your wedding or event theme, then hand making the tape may be a better option... follow the simple instructions below from Simply Modern Mom:


• Kraft packaging tape. It’s not brown packaging tape - it has a paper backing on it (see image in step3 . Find them online in bulk or at office supply stores)
• Long scrap fabric pieces
• Wax paper
• Mod Podge
• Foam brush
• Bone folder or credit card would work too
• Rotary cutter & cutting mat


1. Pull out a piece of wax paper longer than your fabric pieces.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sock Animal Rattle

It's soft ... it's squishy ... it has chomp-able ears and a nice, soft jingle. It is sure to be your infant's favorite first toy. This Sock Animal Rattle is from Homemade by Jill...


• One sock per rattle
• Polyfill stuffing
• Embroidery thread and needle
• One jingle bell
• Optional: sewing machine, thread, etc. If you use a machine, a ball point needle is very helpful when working with knits (I also like to use my walking foot). This project can be entirely sewn by hand, but I use a sewing machine for the larger pieces to speed the work along.

Also, I'll be showing you two versions of this project. The first version is a straight handled rattle with a small animal head. The second version is a loop handled rattle with a larger animal head. Feel free to mix them up as you choose - the beauty of sock animals are how customizable they are! You can also easily change the ear shape and facial embroidery to make a wide range of animals. I'll only be showing you a bunny in this tutorial.

Straight-Handle Rattle (Version 1)

Step 1: Cut your sock, following the photo below

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cream Felt Flower

This cute cream felt flower by Cut Out + Keep is so easy to make and very stylish - it would make a great table decoration for a wedding - make lots in your wedding colours and scatter them around the tables. It would also make a beautiful accent to your bomboniere/favours or you could use it to embellish your place cards and menus... the uses for this simple-to-make felt flower are endless!

What you need:

• Circles of felt in your chosen colours
• Needle and thread
• Stuffing
• Bead embellishments


• Cut felt.

• Connect all the tips of flower pieces together with thread... as shown below.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Flower Pin

Etsy is not only a great place to buy unique gifts and homewares, it also has some fabulous DIY tutorials, like  this cute fabric and felt pin by Amelia Strader, from the Museum of Craft and Folk Art. It's quick and easy to make and will dress up any outfit, and best of all it costs very little to put together.

Finished Measurements:
Length: 3 ¾” approx
Width: 2” approx

• Sewing needle
• Straight pins
• All purpose thread
• Embroidery floss
• 9" x 12" felt square
• 1 1/4" x 28" strip of cotton fabric (plus approx. 6" x 6" square of the same material)
• Fabric glue
• Scissors
• Fabric marker or tailor's chalk
• Metal pin back
Leaf Pattern

Flower Directions:

1. To create fabric flower, cut a 1 ¼” wide strip of cotton fabric 28” long. Fold the fabric strip into thirds lengthwise, right side facing out.