Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Aloha Cupcakes

These gorgeous Aloha Cupcakes are by Bakerella - perfect if you are hosting a tropical themed wedding or  if you are just dreaming of a tropical getaway!

These are Pineapple Mango Cupcakes. All tropical like. With graham cracker crumbs for sand and fondant flowers for the leis. They’d be super cute for a luau party. They’re really pretty easy to make once you have all the pieces and parts.

First start with the cupcakes:
Pineapple Cupcakes
• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 3 eggs, room temperature
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
• 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple, drained and pureed*

• Preheat oven and line cupcake tray with 24 paper liners.
• Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
• Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer for several minutes. Add the eggs one at a time scraping down the sides of the bowl with each addition. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
• Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture in three additions with the milk in two additions (flour, milk, flour, milk, flour) Mix until combined with each addition
• Add the pineapple and mix until combined.
• Fill cups about 2/3 full and bake for about 15 minutes.

* I pureed the pineapple in a food processor. I’m not a big fan of fruit chunks. Flavor yes. Chunks. Not so much.
Mango Frosting• 1-2 Mangoes
• 1 cup butter, room temperature
• 1 lb box of confectioners’ sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• Cut mangoes

• Place mango pieces in food processor and puree enough so you have about 1/3 cup.
• Beat butter and vanilla until creamy.
Add confectioner’s sugar in several additions. beating until well combined with each addition.
Add 1/2 cup of mango puree and beat until completely combined.
Spread frosting on cooled cupcakes.

So that’s the cupcakes. But what about the fun stuff. Who’s ready to play? Visit
Bakerella for the full decorating instructions, including how to make the fondant leis, sand topping and aloha signs!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Quilled Owl

A very simple DIY today, great for sprucing up your home living area or a children's room! Kim from the Save That Pickle Jar blog has been looking through old craft magazines and craft books lately - this is a quilled owl that she has made based on a picture in an old craft book… Hang on the wall as unique wall art or from the ceiling as a mobile.

You’ll need:

• (2) 4” strips coiled and glued to make the eyes. (Leave a little tail of paper at the end of the coil to make the “cheeks”).

• (1) 2” strip formed into a circle and glued to make the body.

• (1) 7/8” Strip to make the “forehead”.

• (1) 5 1/2” strip to make the hoop.

• (1) 4” strip tightly coiled to make the “hanger”.

Assemble to resemble the picture and there you go! Happy Crafting!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Turn Wallpaper into a Style Statement!

Don't toss that scrap of wallpaper; turn it into a smashing style statement. Try these creative projects from Better Homes & Gardens, using a single roll of wallpaper or less!

Make over a hand-me-down side table with decoupage. Paint the table with two coats of metallic paint and a coat of metallic glaze for extra shimmer. Let dry. Cut a scrap of wallpaper to fit the top. Coat the table with decoupage glue, position the paper, and cover it with several layers of decoupage glue. (Allow each coat to dry before applying the next.) Finish the top with a spray sealant.

After removing the shirred fabric and rods from the panels of these hinged, decorative shutters, we gave the frame a fresh coat of paint. Then we tacked wallpaper-covered plywood panels onto the back to make a zippy privacy screen.

A discarded display cabinet gained new life with lipstick-pink paint and sections of punchy damask paper inside and out.

We used floral paper to rejuvenate the drawer fronts of a tired dresser. And the lampshade project is a snap. Just cut paper slightly larger than the shade. Adhere, pressing firmly to smooth wrinkles. Once dry, simply slice off the excess paper with a craft knife. Use the same technique to cover artist's canvasses with coordinating papers for instant art.

Visit Better Homes & Gardens for more wallpaper ideas.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Craft & Quilt Fair Melbourne

Attention all DIY and craft lovers: the Craft & Quilt Fair is on in Melbourne this weekend!

The Craft & Quilt Fair is Australia's favourite craft event. Under one roof, in just one day, you can shop with craft specialists from all over Australia, see magnificent displays and learn in free workshops.

See inspirational displays of quilts and other crafts such as embroidery, beading, scrapbooking, patchwork, knitting, sewing, doll making and more.

There's a huge program of workshops everyday at the fair where you can get hands-on or listen and learn. Make the most of this opportunity to share the knowledge and skills of so many well known craftspeople - all under the same roof!

At the fair - it's craft shopping heaven! Find specialist products you won't see anywhere else. There are over 200 exhibitors at the fair this year bringing you the latest products in a tantilising variety of crafts. And, as more than 30 of them are new exhibitors, you'll find lots of fresh ideas and great new products.

The Craft & Quilt Fair will be in Canberra in August, Brisbane in October and Adelaide in November. Sydney, Perth and Hobart will have to wait until 2011!

When: July 22 - 25, 2010
Where: Melbourne Exhibition Centre
Tickets: Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. There are a range of ticket options available, including single day, two day passes, and family tickets.

Visit www.craftfair.com.au

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stop and Smell The Flowers Printable

"Stop and Smell the Flowers" is a delightful free printable on offer from Shauna at Lemon Drop Studios. This 5 x 7 print is a sweet way to add a little flair to your home, whether you use it in your living area, or for a child's bedroom.

Feel free to print as many as you'd like. You may frame them, give them away as gifts but may not sell them for your own profit.

To get the "Stop and Smell the Flowers" free printable visit Lemon Drop Studios, where a full sized, print quailty version is available (the image above is a smaller, web version).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ice Cream Cone Cake Pops

These delectable Ice Cream Cone Cake Pops are by Bakerella. We recently featured their How-To on Toy Story Cake Pops, and we couldn't resist sharing these Ice Cream Cone Cake Pops with you! The good news is, Bakerella have released a book called Cake Pops filled with recipes and ideas! The full instructions for these Ice Cream Cone Cake Pops are in the Cake Pops book, but a basic rundown is provided here and at Bakerella.

• The insides are cake! A basic recipe can be found here. All you need is a packet cake mix and a can of frosting.

• The cones are waffle ice-cream cones that have been cut down, so they are small and cute!

•Assemble your cooked cake and cone, and then dip in the frosting. Don't worry about getting it perfect. the drips add a touch of realism!

• Decorate your Ice Cream Cone Cake Pops with sprinkles, chocolate frosting - anything that comes to mind! Bakerella have used red peanut M & M's  as the cherry on top!

Visit Bakerella

Monday, July 19, 2010

Printables for your DIY Projects

To help you along with your DIY projects, we have sourced these great printables, from great stickers to note cards, labels and cupcake decorations! All you need to do is print! The images shown here are just previews. To get the print quality versions, follow the links through to the creators websites, where you will be able to download larger versions suitable for printing.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hair Vine

We love this hair vine by Cut Out & Keep. A hair vine is a wire with beads on it that you put in your hair in lots of different ways. You can attach hair clips, elastic, wind it round a bun - the options are endless. A home made hair vine is a great way to perfectly colour match your hair accessories with your wedding colour scheme.

• Get your tools, wire, beads and tape measure together.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Paper Bird Painting

This gorgeous Paper Bird Painting is by Ashley Ann Photography, and we think it's so sweet! It would be equally perfect for a newborns nursery or an elegant living room!

Step 1: Draw the basic design on the canvas (I messed with this picture in Photoshop to make the pencil marks show up…it isn’t really a big gray bubble)

Step 2: Cut out random scrapbooking papers for leaves and the bird (I used Amy Butler paper)

Step 3: Glue down the paper. I applied Mod Podge to the back of the paper and then stuck them on the canvas. Just do a thin layer of glue to prevent bubbling. I also did a thin layer of Mod Podge on top of the paper and around the edges.

Step 4: When gluing the paper down some of my paper bled, so I lightly went over the white areas of the canvas with white craft paint.

Step 5: Paint on your branches

Step 6: Seal the canvas. I just used Mod Podge since it was already on hand.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Felted Pouch for Kids

We have featured a few DIY projects aimed at kids in the lead-up to the school holidays, and now that the holidays are finally here we couldn't resist this simple tutorial for a felted wool pouch by Quince & Quire. Quince & Quire have done this with kids at Outdoor Art Day for two years now, and it is always a popular project.
What You Need:

• Wool roving
• A smooth, fairly flat rock
• Liquid soap or dish washing liquid
• Scissors
• Nylon pantyhose
• A basin for water
• A washboard or woven mat

• Choose a rock and select your first color of roving.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

CraftLovers Turns Pink for Breast Cancer Support

We’re excited to announce that for the next four months CraftLovers.com will be donating $1 of every product or subscription purchased through the CraftLovers.com Megastore to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF), and we’d like to invite you to join us as we celebrate life and support this fabulous cause!

As a long-time supporter through Scrapbooking Memories Magazine, CraftLovers.com decided to increase their donations this year and raise much-needed funds for research into prevention and finding a cure.

Starting from July 1, 2010 and continuing right through until October 31, 2010, $1 from every product or subscription purchased through the CraftLovers Megastorewill be donated to the NBCF. So, if you’ve been thinking about subscribing to any of the wonderful craft titles, or purchasing any of the craft products, now is the perfect time to do so!

If you’d like any more information on breast-cancer research, or would like to make a donation yourself, visit the NBCF website www.nbcf.org.au

Your contribution is very much appreciated, not only by CraftLovers.com and the National Breast Cancer Foundation, but also by anyone who has been affected by breast cancer.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Toy Story Hamm Pops

Kids will be thinking pink when they feast their eyes on these cute Hamm cake pops, modeled after the dutiful piggie bank pal of Toy Story fame. Bakerella created these great recipes for Disney...

You'll need:
• 1 box cake mix (bake as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)*
• 1 16 oz can of readymade frosting
• Wax paper
• Baking sheets
• Pink candy coating
• Jumbo heart sprinkles
• Black sugar pearls (eyes)
• Pink colorstick sprinkles (mouth and broken in half for ears)
• Black edible ink pen (eyebrows)
• Pink edible ink pen (snout)
• Toothpicks
• Paper lollipop sticks
• Styrofoam block

1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into a large bowl.

2. With a large spoon, mix thoroughly with about 3/4 of the can of frosting. You won't need the rest.

3. Roll mixture into quarter-size cake balls and place on a wax paper-covered baking sheet.

4. Place cake balls in the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm up. You can transfer them to the refrigerator to keep chilled and avoid freezing.

5. When they are firm, mold the cake balls into a pear shape. Then gently rub the smaller end on the wax paper to flatten.

6. Return the cake pops to the refrigerator to maintain firmness.

7. Melt pink candy coating in a heat-proof plastic bowl so that the coating is at least three to four inches deep for easier dipping. Melt in the microwave in 30-second intervals on low, stirring in between. Repeat until melted and smooth.

8. Remove a couple of cake balls from the refrigerator at a time to work with.

9. Dip the tip of a lollipop stick into the melted coating and insert into the bottom of Hamm's head. Then, grab two jumbo heart sprinkle ears and dip the rounded side into the melted candy coating. Attach the ears to the top/back of the cake pop and the coating will set like glue.

10. Place in a styrofoam block to dry.

11. After a few minutes, you can carefully dip the entire cake pop -- with ears attached -- into the bowl of melted candy coating. Dip and remove in one motion without stirring. Make sure the entire cake ball is covered. Using a deep bowl is helpful here. If your coating is too thick, you can add a few drops of vegetable oil or shortening to help thin it and make it easier to work with.

12. Remove and allow any excess coating to fall off the pop and back into the bowl.

13. Place in a styrofoam block to dry.

14. When dry, use a toothpick to dot a tiny amount of coating in position for the eyes and attach one black sugar pearl sprinkle for each eye.

15. Use the same technique to attach the colorstick sprinkle mouth and broken colorstick sprinkle pieces for the ear details.

16. When dry, use a black edible ink pen to draw eyebrows and a pink edible ink pen to draw tear drop shapes for the snout.

17. Let dry completely in a styrofoam block.

18. When dry, use a black edible ink pen to dot the eyes and draw eyebrows.

19. If you'd like, print out Toy Story 3 movie poster tagsand cut a slit in the top and bottom of each big enough to slide the cake pop stick through. (You can print the tags in black-and-white if you don't want to use too much of your ink.)

20. You can wrap in treat bags tied with a ribbon and/or store them on the counter or in an airtight container.

21. Enjoy!

Using lighter color cakes work better with lighter color candy coatings. The color of the cake is less likely to show through any thinly coated areas.
Americolor Gourmet Writing Pens are easier to work with on candy than some brands.

*Note: One cake makes about 48 cake pops. If you don't need that many, then cut the cake in quarters and freeze any cake sections for another day. You'll need about an ounce of candy coating for each Hamm cake pop.

Visit Bakerella and Disney

Monday, July 5, 2010

Ceramic Photo Tiles

This gorgeous and very simple Ceramic Photo Tile tutorial comes from the Let's Make It Ours blog. The Photo Tiles are so easy to make and look sensational when complete! They make great gifts for family members, or fantastic accents for decorating your home.

What You Need:

• 1 6x6 white ceramic tile
• 1 photo cut to slightly smaller than 6x6
• 1 easel stand of your choice.
• Matte Mod Podge
• Foam craft brush


1. Using your tile as a guide, trim your photo to slightly smaller than your tile size so that you will have a small border of white tile showing through.

2. Brush a thin layer of Mod Podge onto the tile. Place your photo on to the tile and make sure the edged are aligned evenly. Making sure that no glue is seeping out the edges, carefully place a heavy book on top of the tile for 10 minutes. This will make sure the photo sets with out any warping or curling edges.

3. Using a foam brush, brush a thin layer of Mod Podge over the photo. Make sure you are brushing in one direction only and try not to get glue drips on the sides of the tile. Let the glue dry for at least an hour.

4. Brush another thin layer of Mod Podge in the opposite direction that you previously used. Now you will have vertical and horizontal brush strokes visible. I like using this technique because it resembles linen when it dries...it makes the brush strokes look intentional.

5. Let everything dry and place on your easel! If you do have glue drips on the side of the tile, 
you can use a utility knife to cut them off.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Lovely Leather Flowers

We all love shoes! But lets face it - finding the perfect shoes for a special event (especially your wedding!) can be very tricky - particularly if you want to coordinate your shoes with your bridesmaids. We can all thank the lovely ladies at
Martha Stewart for this fantastic tutorial on how to create leather flowers that will add flair to even the plainest of shoes!

Tools and Materials:

Leather flower template
• Card stock
• Thin leather (such as pigskin or sheepskin)
• Pen
• Sharp scissors
• Bowl of very warm to hot water
• Paper towels
• Pencils
• Styrofoam block
• White craft glue
• Small wide-mouthed cup, like a teacup
• Craft knife
• Clear grid ruler
• Coil-less safety pin or shoe clip

Leather Flowers How-To:

1. Print leather flower template onto card stock, and cut out shapes. Trace three small petals, three large petals, and one set of leaves onto leather with a pen. Staying inside the pen lines, cut all pieces from leather with sharp scissors.

2. Dip each petal in a bowl of very warm to hot water, one at a time, rubbing between fingers to saturate (the leather will change color when well-saturated). Lay each petal on a paper towel and dab off excess water. Pull each petal to stretch; pinch and organically accordion-fold ends of petals. Open and hang each petal upside-down over a pencil stuck in a Styrofoam block, so it dries in a curved cup shape. Let dry for 8 to 10 hours.

3. Overlap two of the larger petals in an "X" shape and affix with a dab of white glue. Continue securing petals to the center with glue, one more large followed by three small, offsetting each one. Place in a small cup to dry.

4. To create the stamen/center, cut a 4-by-4-inch square of leather. Beginning 1/8 inch from one side, slice leather from top to bottom every 1/8 inch with a craft knife, leaving borders on top and bottom of 1/4 inch (a clear grid ruler makes measuring and guiding these cuts easier). Draw a bead of craft glue along the 1/4-inch borders on top and bottom of wrong side of leather. Fold and match glued edges together, creating a row of loops. Draw another line of craft glue along bottom edge of loops, and roll up tightly. Glue to middle of flower and let dry.

5. Trace leaf onto leather and cut out. Fringe edges of leather leaves with scissors or craft knife.

6. Mix two tablespoons craft glue with one cup very warm or hot water; saturate leaf in glue mixture. Mold leaf around dried leather flower, and pinch tops of each leaf in half to make a main "vein." Place in cup until dry (about 4 to 5 hours). Once dry, glue leaf to flower. Attach a safety pin or shoe clip to back.

Visit Martha Stewart for an accompanying How-To video

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fabric Wall Mural

Wall stickers are a hot decorating item at the moment. They are especially good for decorating children's rooms as they are a non-permanent option that can be easily changed as your child grows. There are many wall sticker designs available, but perhaps you have not been able to find exactly what you want? This fabric wall mural from Sugar Bee is a fantastic solution! It looks great and just like wall stickers it is an easily removable decorating solution! Sugar Bee have used a combination of painted elements (the tree trunk) and fabric (circular leaves), but you could just use fabric if you are concerned about painting the walls.

What you need: 
• Cornstarch goo (instructions below)
• Paintbrush
• Fabric
• Paint ( if you choose to include painted elements on the wall)

What to do:

• Tree murals are all the rage, so I knew I wanted one. Under the stairs is a playhouse so the little room next to the playhouse is like the yard. And what yard is complete without a tree. I browsed lots of great examples of tree murals and saw one with circles - it was just the right amount of whimsy I was looking for.

• I wanted to incorporate fabric on the wall to tie together the color scheme, so some of my leaves are circles of fabric. So a quick how to paint a tree on a wall and use fabric...

• I had help in this - I'm not an artist at all. I had my husband freehand the tree outline and place all the circles. He used our big Tupperware bowl set for the various sizes. I traced the bowls onto the fabric in the sizes we wanted. All the paint was finished first:

• For attaching the fabric to the wall - super easy. I found a great how-to on How About Orange - basically you paint the back of the fabric with goo, put the fabric with goo on the wall, then paint another coat of goo on top once it's on the wall. The cornstarch holds it to the wall and apparently it will just pull off the wall whenever we need it to. 

For the goo recipe I used:

• 1/8 C cornstarch stirred into 1/4 C cold water
• then added that to 2 C boiling water

• You can see how many circles I did, and there was still leftover goo.

• I used 2 different fabrics from the same family - dots and stripes

Visit Sugar Bee