a reusable plastic garland is my fave

September 5, 2013

Today’s post is from Sharon, the party genius behind Cupcakes and Cutlery.

diy plastic garland

Greetings! Today I have a super simple reusable garland idea for you.
Once you create the initial garland, you just use a dry erase marker to change the sayings. Boom. Easy.

diy plastic garland

If you are thinking you want to make this, you should buy your plastic sheets online right away. If you have a larger art supply store in your area, you may be able to find them there. I am not sure if your local craft stores carry this so you might need to do a little checking.

You will need Plastic Craft Sheets (mine were 6″ x 9″ but any size will do as you cut them down anyway), a paper cutter, paints and paint brushes, string, a hole punch and a dry erase marker.

The plastic sheets come with an easy to remove coating on each side to keep them from getting scraped up. Leave the coating on (that is what is making them look blue in the pictures, the plastic sheets really are clear). Using a paper cutter, cut the sheets in to whatever size you want. Because my sheets were 6″ x 9″, I first cut them in half at the 3″ mark and then made cuts on each of those at the 4.5″ mark. One sheet gave me 4 rectangle pieces.

diy plastic garland

Remove the protective backing from one side only. Choose what color paint you want to use for your banner and paint each rectangle as you see fit. I went with some fairly girly colors. I have two little boys and sometimes I need to infuse my life with pastels.

I was not careful or thorough with how I painted them. I like that some areas were a bit more transparent than others. Also because you left on the protective cover on the other side, you don’t have to be so concerned about how neatly you are painting them. Yeah!

diy plastic garland

Paint all of your rectangles and let them dry.

Peel off the protective layering from the other side.

Use a hole puncher and punch a hole in the two top corners.

String the plastic rectangles on to whatever string you have chosen to display your garland on. Make sure that all of the shiny sides of the rectangles are facing the same direction.

diy plastic garland

Hang your garland so that the rough, painted side is laying against the wall. The shiny side should be facing out as that is the side you will write on with the dry erase marker.

You can use the dry erase marker to write anything you want. And then erase it and write something else.

diy plastic garland
Cool, right? And yes, my handwriting does look like that of an elementary school child.

diy plastic garland

Would be kind of awesome in a photo booth too.

See more from Sharon on Cupcakes and Cutlery

tiny teepees are my fave

September 4, 2013

Today’s post is from super crafter and cute mom, Amelia of The Homebook. These would make great tabletop decoration for a cowboys and indians themed party. 

diy mini teepees

I don’t know about you, but I seem to have an enormous collection of used, crumpled party hats leftover from various parties stuffed into my craft storage. It seems like such a shame to throw them away, but my collection was borderline ridiculous. So, I decided to do the old reduce, reuse, recycle routine and turn a few of them into tiny teepees, since they seem to be all the rage these days. It’s a quick little craft, and you probably have most of the materials hiding in your craft stuff. I think they’d be cute at each place setting at a party, or just a fun new place for a kiddo’s toy animals to hang out. These teepees are small and cute—you can’t go wrong, no matter what you decide to do with them.

diy mini teepees

-a few party hats
-fabric scraps
-Mod Podge
-foam brush
-wooden skewers

Step 1: Disassemble one party hat so it lays flat. Trace the shape of the hat onto a scrap of fabric with a pencil.
Step 2: Cut out your fabric, leaving a ½ inch border around what you traced.

diy mini teepees

Step 3: Glue your piece of fabric onto a still assembled party hat with Mod Podge. Let dry.
Step 4: Snip the tip of the hat to create a small hole. Trim any excess fabric.

diy mini teepees

Step 5: Cut 3 skewers to your desired height, about 8 inches long. Tape each skewer to the inside of the party hat, leaving a few inches poking out of the hole you created at the top.
Step 6: Wrap a 10 inch piece of yarn around the point where the skewers meet at the top, and knot.
Step 7 (optional): Cut a vertical slit at the base of the hat and fold back, to create a small door for your teepee. That’s it!

diy mini teepees

diy mini teepees

Now, go find your sad, forgotten, leftover party hats and give them a new, cute reason for living.

See more from Amelia on The Homebook

a doggie themed first birthday is my fave

September 3, 2013

We celebrated my little guy Teddy’s 1st birthday party with a who let the dogs out themed bash because he is obsessed with (you guessed it) dogs! I didn’t want to go too insaneo with an all-dogs-all-the-time vibe so I kept the dog part simple. I based the colour scheme on Teddy’s stuffed dog Andy, a real cute grey pup stuffie who wears a red and white striped shirt and has blue paws.

I made some super cute dog faced cake toppers for Teddy’s cupcakes and Melanie invited me to share a tutorial for them here! So here ya go – dog faced cake toppers!

You will need:

- Craft paper in cute colors to match your party theme. I used grey, blue, green and yellow, and black paper for the ears.
- Two circle craft punches in a large and small size (I used a three inch round and a one inch round). Or you can cut your dog faces out with scissors.
- A fine tip black pen or fine tip Sharpie for drawing doggy faces
- Wooden BBQ skewers
- Gluestick
- Tape
- Scissors

Here we go!

1. Punch out a large circle and a small circle in different colours. Using scissors, cut out two “dog ear” shaped oblong ovals and a small oval for the mouth.

2. Using a gluestick, adhere circle for eye patch and oval for mouth! Glue on the ears, too.

3. Using your fine tip marker, draw on eyes, a little nose, mouth and those freckly whisker things on the dog’s cheeks! Using scotch tape or washi tape, adhere the dog face to a wooden skewer.

4. Keep on working on dog faces and soon you will have a family of adorable woofers ready to jazz up your party!

Here’s the stuffed dog I based the party on. My mom gave it to Teddy the day he was born so it has sweet significance, too!

The birthday boy with Andy the pup! I am obviously holding something on top of my head for him to look at me so he doesn’t crawl away while I snap the photo. Party decor – I punched out a bunch of colourful craft paper using circle and square craft punches and had a seamstress friend help me run it through the sewing machine.

And the dog cake toppers in action! I made a dog faced cake, too, with the same eye patch and smile. I also made some ruffly fringed garlands following Oh Happy Day’s tutorial. And yes, we served hot dogs! It was tons of fun!

Cakes, tutorial and photos by Lyndsay Sung of Coco Cake Land

a marriage timeline is my fave

August 29, 2013

On Monday Ryan and I celebrated seven years of marriage (hip, hip!). Months ago we were reminiscing and it was hard for us to remember what events happened when so Ryan suggested we create a timeline. He probably quickly forgot the idea but I put it in my back pocket and an anniversary seemed like the appropriate time to whip it out.

diy marriage timeline

diy marriage timeline

diy marriage timeline

I used this accordion kit and printed the events from each year on flat cards (thanks to my friend Kirsten for designing it all), using pva glue to adhere them to each page. Then I covered the bead board with fabric. Needless to say, it was a hit. Even if some years I couldn’t remember anything memorable so I had to improvise with events like Ryan getting a professional haircut (instead of cutting it himself). My hope is to add a page each year.

PS The last event listed for 2013 is The Trip. We’re headed to Europe tomorrow! This is major for us since we’ve only been on one real vacation since we’ve been married and that was our honeymoon. Wish us luck for the long plane ride with Beck in tow and check out my instagram (so I can feel like Carmen Sandiego).

homemade push pops are my fave

August 28, 2013

homemade push pops

I guess if the beginning of summer deserves a party, the end of summer should too. One last hurrah before we’re bombarded with pumpkins. I will call it the end of summer bummer (thanks for the idea Topaz and Arrow) and it will involve these two step homemade push pops.

homemade push pops

Step one: Fill push pop containers (I found these in the cake section of Michaels) with icy treats of your choosing and throw in add-ins if you’re so inclined.

homemade push pops

Step two: Cover the outside of the containers with patterned paper backed with double stick tape then freeze those puppies until party time.

homemade push pops

a pop art portrait is my fave

August 27, 2013

diy pop art portrait

Ah, decoupage. One of the first craft supplies I experimented with when I was a tween (and made something pretty tragic with I’m sure) but it still holds a fond place in my heart. And now Martha Stewart Crafts has introduced a premium multi-surface decoupage product line so now I can experiment all over again. Here’s the first of my projects, a mini pop art portrait.

pop art portrait

To make your own you’ll need:
- a small canvas (I used a 5×5)
- fabric
- a photo (a favorite human, animal or object)
- Martha Stewart Crafts Decoupage, Fabric to Fabric
- paint brush
- scissors

Step one: Trim your fabric down to roughly the size of the canvas, leaving edges to wrap around the sides. Brush the entire front side of the canvas with the decoupage glue and adhere the fabric. Smooth it out to get rid of any bubbles. Then top with a layer of glue. Wrap the edges of the fabric around canvas and adhere with glue too.

Step two: While waiting for the fabric to dry, edit your photo by using the threshold feature in Photoshop (or use the free online editing program, Pixlr). Adjust size, print out, and trim.

Step three: Brush glue onto the fabric where you want the image to go and add the image. Top with a layer of glue to seal. Let dry completely before displaying prominently in your home.

diy pop art portrait

diy pop art portrait

This project is part of 12 Months of Martha, one craft a month using products from the Martha Stewart Craft line. 

watercolor favor boxes are my fave

August 23, 2013

favor boxes

Apparently it’s food and favors week here on yamf. I have no fine art skills (7th grade art class was one of my worst grades) but I made these favor boxes presentable in about 3 minutes flat. Good thing watercolor is so forgiving. Get the three step tutorial right here on Julep.

PS If that’s not enough watercolor action for you, here’s a roundup of diys using the same palette.

cookie favors are my fave

August 21, 2013

Today’s tutorial was created by the talented Alana of Humunuku. If anyone can make chocolate chip cookies look even more delicious, Alana can.

chocolate chip cookie favors

Just like Melanie, I’m a fan of the edible favor. Here’s an easy way to package a cookie for the next occasion that calls for a little takeaway.

chocolate chip cookie favors

To make your own you’ll need:

- white card stock
- knife
- ruler
- cellophane cookie bags
- string or ribbon
- waxed paper
- cookies

chocolate chip cookie favors

1. Print pdf at full resolution and use crop marks to cut out squares.
2. Cut waxed paper in the same sized squares as your designed cards. (About 4.5″)
3. Place waxed square over patterned square and slip into cellophane cookie bags.

chocolate chip cookie favors

chocolate chip cookie favors

chocolate chip cookie favors

4. Fill each bag with a cookie & seal bags by folding adhesive flap to the back.
5. Using a string or ribbon adorn each bag as your wish. I tied a bow to each one with black string. Simple and delicious.

chocolate chip cookie favors

chocolate chip cookie favors

See more from Alana on her blog or shop (whale onesie!)

a summer harvest meal is my fave

August 20, 2013

I know I’ve been posting more food than usual but it’s peach, tomato, raspberry and zucchini season. No further explanation needed. Right now is by far my favorite time to cook and last week I came up with the perfect summer meal quadrant using fresh ingredients that are in season now.

summer menu

The meal:
- roasted tomato and ricotta crostini
- grilled zucchini with lemon salt
- mixed greens salad with raspberries, peaches, mozzarella, and candy almonds (topped with raspberry vinaigrette)
- grilled chicken breast

The dessert:
- chocolate zucchini cake (to use up your harvest in the most unhealthy way possible) and homemade vanilla ice cream

summer menu

summer menu

summer menu

Now go treat yourself and anybody else (just pick up some randoms off the street if you must) to this meal and you’ll be greeted by some What About Bob style mmmmms.

PS See that cheery rug under my feet? It’s the happy yellow stripe rug from Dash & Albert. It brightens up the cold slab of cement tremendously.

peach custard pie is my fave

August 19, 2013

Today’s peachy post is from Rebecca of First Mate Photo. I just ate an entire box of peaches in three days so yeah, I need to try this (topped with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream).


Since it’s peach season (did you know it’s peach season?), I have an abundance of delicious juicy peaches and am trying to think of amazing things to do with them. This one is so easy. The most time consuming part is peeling the peaches. The rest is about as difficult as making a smoothie.

Peach Custard Pie

3 or 4 medium size peaches
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar (plus some to sprinkle over the peaches)
1/3 cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
powdered sugar (optional)




Preheat your oven to 350 and butter a 9 inch pie dish. Prepare your peaches! Peel and halve them, and remove the pits, then cut into small slices. Place the peaches in a bowl and pour a little bit of sugar over the top as well, stir. Arrange the slices in a nice spiral pattern in your plate (or don’t, it doesn’t really matter. who are you trying to impress anyways?)

In a blender, blend the butter, sugar, flour, vanilla, eggs, milk, and salt until smooth.

Pour the batter over the peaches in the pie plate. Bake for 40-45 minutes until it’s golden. If you like you can dust the top with powdered sugar to make it look extra fancy. If you’re into that sort of thing.

peaches-01-12 peaches-01-11

See more from Rebecca at First Mate Photo

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