Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ribbon Wands

diy ribbon wand project001 DIY Project Ribbon Wands

This fabulous project is from Polka Dot Bride and will teach you how to make gorgeous Ribbon Wands…

What you need:
  • Dowel cut into 30cm lengths
  • Acrylic paint
  • Glue gun
  • Sandpaper
  • 24mm wide stain backed ribbon in 3 different colours (I used 27 metres of each colour for 65 wands)
 What to do:

Cut your dowel into 30cm lengths and sand the edges, then paint the dowels or just leave them as is. I painted mine ivory using kaisercraft acrylic paint. 
Cut the ribbon into 40cm lengths and using the glue gun, attach three colours together at one end.

Apply glue to the dowel and wrap the ribbons around and secure with more glue.

To finish, heat-seal the edges of the ribbon so they don’t fray. To do this, carefully wave the edge near a candle flame so that the heat of the flame slightly melts, but doesn’t burn the ribbon.

Flatten with your fingers if it curls up. For a touch of glam, add a little rhinestone to the top of the wand.

Visit Polka Dot Bride for more great tutorials like this one

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Arty home decorations

Wood shims are not just for door and window frames anymore. Use this very versatile material to make some unusual cheap art. This affordable art made of shims requires less than 15 minutes total construction time and the cost is well under five dollars, which makes it officially cheap enough for any budget.

Things You'll Need:

  • Bundle of wood shims
  • Hot glue gun
  • Water base polyurethane
  • Silk flowers
  • Self-adhesive picture hanger
  1. Decide how large the finished cheap art will be. Arrange the shims as desired, making sure the "dress" side of the shim (the side less rough) is face down for now. Use 3 or 4 wood shims as back braces to connect the cheap art wood pieces. Dribble hot glue onto the brace shims and hold firmly in place on back.

  2. Turn over the cheap art piece so face side is up. Apply two coats of water base polyurethane, letting dry well between coats. Attach a self-adhesive picture hanger to the back of shims.

  3. Hot glue a sprig of silk flowers to the front and hang. Switch out the flowers on this cheap art piece to match the seasons. Peel the glue easily from the shims and reattach a new bunch.

    Visit eHow

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Easter Crafts for Kids

A great Easter project for kids is Jewelled Easter Eggs. They are fun to make, so will keep the kids entertained for hours, and the kids will love showing off their handiwork afterwards! The following tutorials are from Kaboose.

What you'll need:

  • Boiled or Chocolatescape Eggs (see tips below)
  • Glitter paint with tip (on bottle)
  • Flat sided jewels in multiple colors and sizes
  • Egg cartons, empty
  • Tweezers, optional
  • Ice pick (if using Chocolatescape Eggs)

How to make it:

If using Chocolatescape Eggs:
Click here for directions on how to make Chocolatescape Eggs.
You will need to let the eggs dry once you decorate them. Use the ice pick to poke a hole in the parts of the egg carton that stick up (dividing the eggs). You can then place the stick through this hole to allow your decorative egg to dry.
If using boiled eggs:
You will need to decorate only one side of the egg at a time. Let dry either on egg cartons turned upside down or a cooling rack. Decorate other side when first side is dry.
  1. At the top of the egg, make a scalloped circular design with the glitter paint, if desired. Make sure there is a "puddle" of paint on the top. Place a jewel on the top of the egg in the puddle of paint.
  2. Make a "puddle" of paint on the side of the egg. Place a jewel in the "puddle". (Note: You can make the "puddles" as small or as large as you wish, just make sure it is large enough to hold the jewel in place.)
  3. Repeat as many times as desired around the egg. (Reminder: If this egg is not on a stick, you will need to leave one side empty until it is dry.)
  4. Let dry as described above.
  5. Place on a decorative plate, an Easter basket, or make an arrangement for your table.


We tried using glitter glue but found that it was much runnier than the glitter paint. You could dye or color (if using Chocolatescape Eggs) the eggs before using the glitter paint and jewels. (Don't dip Chocolatescape Eggs in dye!

What you'll need:

  • White poster board
  • Pink construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Tacky glue or school glue
  • Tape or stapler
  • Easter stickers, optional
  • Markes, crayons, or colored pencils; optional

How to make it:

  1. Cut a strip of poster board about 2" wide by about 24" long.
  2. Cut out 2 ears out of poster board each about 8 1/2" long x 3 1/2" wide.
  3. Cut out 2 smaller ears out of pink construction paper.
  4. Glue the pink ears inside the white ears.
  5. Glue the ears inside the band, positioning to fit behind the child's head.
  6. Let the child decorate the head band with stickers, markers, crayons, or colored pencils if they wish.
  7. Tape or staple the band to fit the child. Cut off any excess.

What you'll need:

  • Cotton balls
  • Foam (polystyrene) egg
  • White chenille stem (pipe cleaner)
  • Thicker pink chenille stem (pipe cleaner)
  • Wiggle eyes
  • Small pink pom-pom
  • Thin wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Fabric or lace

How to make it:

  1. Glue cotton balls on a foam egg for tail and feet.
  2. Bend white pipe cleaner around a thicker pink pipe cleaner for the ears. Stick a pair at the top of the egg. 
  3. Add wiggle eyes, a small pink pom-pom nose and thin wire whiskers.
  4. Place on a cardboard circle with hole cut out for base of egg to rest in. The cardboard can be covered with fabric or lace.


Tacky Glue is better for crafts than hot glue, which kids can easily get hurt using; it's thicker and tackier than white craft glue and dries quickly.

For more great Easter craft projects visit:

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cane, Wicker, Rattan and Bamboo…

 Give your weathered wicker, cane and rattan furniture an instant update with a quick lick of paint to create a relaxed outdoor setting that evokes the style of steamy colonial plantations.

Cane and rattan furniture is much easier to source second-hand thanks to its popularity in the ‘70s and ‘80s. It is also generally inexpensive, reassuringly sturdy and crying out for a makeover.

Colour is the quickest, and prettiest, way to gussy up furniture, and spray-paint is the best way to achieve a smooth, even finish on bamboo, cane and rattan. Soft tones can be difficult to find – most manufacturers seem to lean towards a garish palette – but there are some lovely shades available. White is always a winner, especially for outdoor pieces, and soft, muted greys, blues and greens are perfect for updating bent cane and bamboo.

Add some fat cushions in muted shades, opting for classic stripes for a ‘summer in the Hamptons’ look, or botanical prints to carry though a plantation theme. Black, charcoal grey and deep reds are modern and dramatic and bright shades of lilac, orange and green give a fresh air to modern wicker.

What you will need
  • Cleaning product such as a sugar-soap solution and sponge;
  • Soft brush;
  • Vacuum;
  • Acrylic / undercoat primer;
  • Spray-paint;
  • Drop-sheet
How to paint wicker, cane, rattan and bamboo
  1. Before you start, clean the piece thoroughly, second-hand buys especially. Brush briskly all over with a soft brush – one from a dustpan set works well – then vacuum (using the brush attachment) to remove loose dirt and grime from hard-to-reach places. Wipe the whole piece down with a sugar-soap solution and then leave to dry completely.
  2. Apply a layer of undercoat or acrylic primer. This helps create an even surface and reduces the amount of spray-paint required for each piece. You can buy spray-on primers, but a standard acrylic primer applied with a soft brush will work just as well.
  3. Once the primer is completely dry, begin to apply the spray-paint. You will need to work in a very well-ventilated space or, preferably, outside in a protected area that’s not too windy. Spread drop sheets over the whole area and place the piece in the centre of the sheets. Apply the first coat of spray-paint in a gentle, sweeping motion. To achieve an even finish, it’s best to apply several light coats to prevent drips forming. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the length of time to leave between coats as it differs by brand. 
  4. Once you’ve achieved an even finish over the whole piece, leave to dry overnight and then check the entire surface for any missed areas or uneven patches.
White easychair
Reminiscent of long, lazy afternoons, the laid-back easy chair (main image) was an absolute bargain, snapped up at a household auction for $30. Slightly battered, with a couple of discoloured patches, its dusty appearance disguised a classic chair in sturdy condition. All it took to restore the chair was a good clean and a coat of primer, followed by two coats of white satin enamel spray-paint. Accessorise with a couple of pretty cushions in neutral tones for an ideal outdoor armchair.

Tip. If you’d like to experiment with finishes and surfaces, interchangeable aerosol nozzles are available, which allow you produce thin, fine lines or cover large surfaces quickly.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Make Your Own Tote Bag with Martha Stewart

Embellished, glued, ironed-on or sewn, here are Martha Stewart's favourite ways to personalise an ordinary tote bag, and even a few ways to make your own from scratch.

Tote bags always live up to their name, whether they're taking towels to the beach, fruit from the farmers' market, or gardening supplies to and from the shed. But there's no reason these humble helpers need to look humble. The addition of a bold initial or vivid pattern can make a canvas bag newly stylish -- and unique to its owner.

Start with a plain canvas bag from a crafts store, and approach it just as you would (suitably enough) a blank canvas. Do you want to add a modern design? Pretty labels? Handy pockets? The ideas here are just a beginning.

Many bags can be transformed with one easy technique: ironing on a design. Vary the art or lettering you affix, and you can customize totes for different family members or specific activities. (Try our Books and Knitting templates, scan art from books, or download from CD-ROMs or the Web.)

Other add-ons involve only simple stitching. Create inside dividers with one quick trick: Sew in a row of pockets from a children's apron. Or fashion outer pockets from fabric. You can spruce up handles, too. Line them with ribbon or replace them with twill tape.

Your tote will hold new appeal -- and not just because of what it's holding.

Iron It On - Tools and Materials 
Iron-on transfer paper (available at office-supply and crafts stores)
Plain canvas tote bag
Twill tape or grosgrain ribbon for handles (optional)

Iron-On How-To

Cut around images cleanly to avoid making jagged edges. Following transfer-paper manufacturer's instructions, print images on transfer paper in black or in color and cut them out. Arrange images on bag, face up, for a preview (keeping in mind this is a mirror image of final design). When you're ready to iron, place images face down. Iron over images, starting at edges of each and using even pressure so the image doesn't slide. When iron-ons have cooled, remove backing paper. Replace bag handles with colorful twill tape or cover them with ribbon, if desired.

Add Pockets - Tools and Materials
12 1/2-by-19-inch canvas
Tote bag
Seam ripper
Fabric for pocket
Measuring tape
Fabric glue or pins
Twill tape or grosgrain ribbon
Children's apron with pockets

Pockets How-To
Begin by removing existing handles with a seam ripper.

1. To make outer pockets: Cut two pieces of fabric 6 inches narrower than width of bag. Cut one of these pieces 2 inches shorter than height of bag. Cut remaining piece 5 inches shorter. Fold over top 1/4 inch of each; hem. Stack small piece onto large piece, aligning at bottom. Center on bag; glue or pin into place. Machine-stitch bottom. For handles, cut two pieces of 1 1/4-inch-wide twill tape twice the height of the bag plus 20 inches. Attach with glue or pins, covering sides of pocket. Attach other handle. Stitch along both sides of each tape. Reinforce handles at top and bottom of bag.

2. To make inner pockets: Cut off apron top. Glue or pin lower portion in place. Fold over top edge by 1/4 inch; stitch into place.

Visit Martha Stewart for more on this great tutorial

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Emily Blunt's Nourishing Olive Oil Facial

Looking for a rich, hydrating mask for thirsty and dehydrated skin? Emily Blunt has the answer! Occasionally slathering olive oil on her face for deep skin moisturising is an old family secret that Emily's been practicing for years…

1/2 ripe avovado
1/2 ripe banana
1tsp olive oil
2 tbsp natural yoghurt

Mash the avocado and banana and then mix well with the olive oil and yoghurt. Smooth mixture on to face and leave on for 20-30 minutes. Wipe off mixture with a warm washcloth and rinse face thoroughly with warm water.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Diy Paper Mache Boats

This great project is from Ann Wood… We are making  Mediterranean inspired little sail boats with lateen rigging – a single triangular sail on a relatively short mast. 

What you will need:
download pattern here
large cereal box
scotch tape
exacto knife
newspaper- 2 colors
wall paper paste
paint brushes
skewers. dowels or twigs
heavy duty thread
needles – various sizes

1 2

Download the pattern here and cut it out on the dotted line – the solid lines are for scoring -  there are little triangles on one end  – you can fold those back to trace the line onto your cardboard and poke your pencil through the tip of the V on the pattern to mark your cardboard.

4 5 6

Use a ruler to draw the lines as shown on the pattern. I’ve highlighted the lines to score in red. Use the BACK of your exacto knife to score the lines in red and then gently bend the boat into shape……

7 8 10

Bring the edges together and secure with lots of scotch tape – they shouldn’t overlap but just meet and last tape the front tips together.

11 12 13

Trim any  excess  so the back edge is smooth and now you should have a little boat shape. Cut a strip of cardboard that’s about 1 ” by 3″.

Bend that strip into a little triangle shape that fits inside your boat and tape it in , just a little closer to the front (bow ) than the back (stern), this will hold your mast. You’re ready to paper mache – I recommend 2 layers using different papers – so you can see when a layer is complete. You don’t have to let the boat dry between layers but I like to. I start with the inside of the boat closing up the little triangle space – you don’t have to fill it – just close it up.

17 18 23

Notes on paper mache – I find it easiest to do the edges first and  the smaller the pieces of paper the smoother and stronger the finished result.   I use golden harvest wheat paste. Add your second layer of paper, let it dry completely then paint it. I used a mixture of latex and water color.

19 20 21

Now you’re ready for the mast and yard ( part that attaches to the sail) . There are a number of things you can use  – dowels , skewers, twigs – today I’m using a bamboo skewer for the mast  and an 1/8 inch dowel for the yard. I have painted both. Poke a little hole with your exacto knife and insert your mast  ( insert the pointy end of the skewer), secure it with glue and trim the top to the desired length  – this will depend on the size of your boat ( if you have made the pattern larger or smaller) – my mast is 9 inches tall and my yard  is 12 inches long. Use your exacto knife to cut a little notch in your mast about an inch and 1/2 from the top.

22 24 25

The notch will help the button you’re going to tie on stay in place. Tie the button as tightly as you can with your string and secure with a dab of glue.  Place the boat on a large piece of paper and lay the yard in place – we’re going to make the pattern for the sail. Hold the yard in place but slide the boat out and draw a triangle shape for your sail.

27 28 29

I like to make a note on the pattern to remind me which side the mast goes on.  Cut out your sail. embellish as desired and use a heavy duty thread to sew it to the yard.

30 32 33

Poke holes in the boat for attaching buttons for the rigging. This is a pain in the ass and you need to use something very sharp, I used a really big embroidery needle. You can use as many buttons as you like. I like to have lots of rigging options so I used 4.  Once the buttons are on lay the sail on the mast and find the best spot to attach.

34 35 36

Add a length of about 4 inches to the sail where you would like it to attach to the mast  and just wind the string around the button on the mast. Attach several inches of string to the bottom corners of the sail and wind those around the buttons on the boat.  Tie a loop of string the the mast for hanging, secure it with glue and tie an extra piece of string around  to make sure it stays there.