Toy or craft box for a few dollars!

I hear people saying all the time that they don’t have enough storage for all the bits and pieces they collect. Maybe its fabric scraps, paperwork or toys but the fact is storage costs money and lots of it…….or does it?

Printer paper boxes are very sturdy and they are free! If you don’t have access to any you can ask at businesses or department stores that do lots of printing. For this project I used the printer paper boxes, lids and the laminate you can get from the hardware store, it’s nearly the same as contact for covering books which would also work well I suspect.

I covered all the writing and branding on the box in white paper first because I found it showed through the covering. It just looks better when I paste a few plain sheets of paper on first. I found that one roll covered one box with a bit of overhang to partially cover the inside of the box as well. These boxes seem to fit quite nicely in the popular cube storage you see around AND with the plastic covering they wipe clean!

Surprise! Who doesn’t like a pop up card!

I was playing around with my pretty papers as I often do and as I am cutting and folding I started to look at what was forming in my hands and thought, hey, this could work as a pop up flower inside a card. After some experimenting this is what I came up with…..

Cut 4 squares, each one smaller than the last in coordinating papers. Fold the square into quarters and then fold diagonally across to form a triangle. Hold the triangle at the bulky folded corner and carefully cut a semi circular shape off the top to form a petal. Un fold and fold again all the creases in the opposite way to last time so your flower will bend a shape freely. Manipulate the folds to create a flat shape as seen in the picture. This is crucial as this is what will sit inside your card and pop open. Do the same with the other squares and stack them together. Sew them together in the centre, I added a small wooden bead to hide the thread and stitching.

Now for the card itself. I printed my own card with the message; ‘It’s what’s inside that counts’, just because I thought it was a cute message but you can print or create whatever cover meassge you like. I glued a background piece of paper to the inside for extra wow and prettiness. The next bit is important; Fold your flower up so that the two side petals are flat against each other as seen in the picture above and coat them with a thin layer of glue. Line up the centre (back) of your flower with the centre crease of the card and close the card up so that the glue covered petals stick the flower down. Open up to check it is working and smooth and adjust as needed. When dry, tie with a pretty ribbon.

Surprise! Give this cheery card to a deserving friend, relative or workmate. I think the beauty of this card is the lack of need for words. It’s sure to put a smile on someone’s face without saying anything, perfect for when you don’t know what to write! Happy crafting!

Accessory holder- Putting pretty things on display

Hair clip holders and accessory boards are great for collecting all those little pretty things and putting them on display (and out of reach of little peeps!) I’ve made them for grown up ladies and little ladies and they look very sweet hanging on the wall.  Here’s how I have made some of mine. There are probably better ways but I’m not a fan of glue fumes and sometimes prefer to take the more time consuming approach……                                       

I started with a photo frame and removed the glass and matting, sometimes I even paint them myself. I then cut a piece of fabric a little bigger than the inside frame and a piece of wadding the same size as the backing board. I gathered some ribbons to match my fabric as well as some lace and embellishments. I arranged these until I was satisfied with the layout and cut the ribbons. I decided to machine stitch my ribbons and lace in place for strength. Hand stitching would also work and that is how I attached embellishments such as crochet flowers and buttons. I layered the pieces together and carefully placed them inside the frame pulling the fabric from the back to make sure all the ribbons were nice and tight and the fabric wasn’t puckered. After pushing the metal bits down to secure it in place I used Japanese masking tape to hide all the fabric edges and give it some extra strength. Glue would work here also. Then I carefully screwed in the hooks. I love lace and crocheted ribbons for hanging earrings and different ribbon thickness for different clips.         

Paper Doily Garland, Fast and Fun

Tonight I made a paper doily garland or bunting perfect for decorating a picnic, wedding or party or just for adorning a little corner of your home or office. It really was soooooo simple.

I used twine and paper doilies in two different sizes as well as a little glue in the fold to stop them slipping along the string. Could this be one of the cheapest decorations I have ever made?! Yet it is so elegant in its simplicity. I will definately be making these for parties. It makes me want to host a girly high tea or tea party just so I can hang lots of them in my yard! Maybe I might paint them in watercoloury (I know it’s not a word, but I like it) pinks and yellows for a different look.

Washing line hanging herb garden

I love herbs but they are $$$$$$. When I have tried to grow herbs in the past they have always been eaten by bugs or dug up by visiting animals at night. I don’t like to use snail pellets around my plants as I’m a bit fussy about chemicals in and around the home for health and safety reasons. So what’s a girl to do?………………..

Start my own herb garden using milk bottles hung on my washing line! Wash out 2 or 3 litre milk containers and cut the top out of them leaving just the side with the handle attached. Using a pin or nail pierce lots of holes in the base of the conatainer and line with some newspaper. Fill half way with organic potting mix preferably suited to herbs and veges. Plant your herb seedlings (I will also be doing strawberries when the weather is right, and the possums won’t be able to get them!). Fill in the gaps with more potting mix and gently water.

Use leftover bits of the milk bottle to make labels for your herbs, write on them with permanent marker. With a hole puncher, make a hole in the label and top of the milk bottle and tie together with a zip tie. Use another (reusable) zip tie to loop through the handle and around the washing line to hang. Too easy! This is a great project to get the kids involved with. They will love smelling the herbs and planting and watering them (hopefully eating them too!)