DIY Cupcake Wrappers & Toppers

April 22, 2010 | | 0 comments

They're sweet, little and round - have you ever met anyone that hated cupcakes?  I haven't - how could you?  I love making cupcakes for celebrations!  Whole cakes are impressive, but cupcakes are the perfect serving size and they come in a sweet little wrapper.

One way to kick them up a notch is with your own wrappers and toppers.  You can download the template by clicking here.

All you need to do is cut out the wrapper template and trace it on your own paper.  Cut them out and tape the ends together to make a cone-ish shape. 

On the downloadable template (above) I also included some circles and squares to use for toppers.  If you have a Cricut, you could also cut out fun shapes like the flower above.  I simply glued the shapes to party picks with a small dot of hot glue.

You would never guess that underneath those cupcake wrappers were old Christmas-patterned cupcake liners... Just for fun, what's your favorite flavor of cake?

A Front Porch Makeover: The Reveal

April 14, 2010 | | 8 comments

The alternate title to this post was "I Pimped My Porch," but I was worried that my language choices might offend some.  I've been hard at work for the last six weeks or so, sprainting (that's shorthand for spray painting, you heard it here first) just about every object on my porch - from the big pieces (wicker chairs and table) to the small accessories (flower bucket and lantern). I've burned through at least 7 cans of spray paint!  Oh, the ozone layer is loving me I'm sure!

Here is a picture of my pathetic front porch, just a few short weeks ago.  Complete with Thanksgiving welcome mat, piles of firewood and pine cone swag.

These were my wicker chairs before.  I got a great deal on these at Target a few years ago, but unfortunately they were what I call the "non-color." A blah grayish, tan that just kind of blends in to whatever is around it.

Our house also used to be the "non-color" until we painted it a rich taupe last summer. The non-color is troublesome in Oregon - it's the same color as the winter sky.  I felt like my house just disappeared in the winter.  I hated it.  However, when we painted our house taupe, in addition to the creamy trim, we also added espresso brown as an accent color and I thought the wicker chairs would look really sharp in brown.  They are a resin (not wood) wicker, so I had to coat them with spray paint plastic primer before I could paint them brown.  I could have used spray paint made for specifically for plastic, but they didn't have the right brown, so I went this route.

I shopped high and low for the perfect cushions.  One middle of the night that I couldn't sleep I spent a couple of hours shopping online.
Ultimately I picked the Kensington Indigo Wicker Chair Cushions from Walmart.  Walmart has some exciting colors and patterns online this year.  Wicker chair cushions can be expensive, but at $32 for the set, these were a total steal!

Remember these TV trays?

I sanded two of them down and painted them fun colors.  I painted this one Aqua from Rustoleum's American Accents line.

 Geez, if I had a dollar for every time I mentioned Rustoleum's American Accents line on this blog, I might be able to quit my job!  I won't show it here, but I also painted one of these TV trays in Colonial Red (also from the American Accents line!) and put it in my son's room next to his rocking chair.

I found this adorable flower bucket on clearance at Michael's craft store for $5.  It was cute as is, but I thought it would be kind of fun to either paint the bucket, or the wire cage.  I debated for a while, but ultimately decided to keep the bucket in it's galvanized state, and just paint the wire cage. 

I used leftover Aqua spray paint from the tables and hung it on the wall next to the front door.  She's just waiting for some fresh flowers!

I bought this $6.99 lantern from IKEA, and I showed you how I painted it yesterday.

I tend to go very safe and neutral inside my home, so I've had a lot of fun adding a pop of color to my front porch!  It's a little out of my comfort zone but I'm thinking about adding some fun springy colors to my living room as well! 

This front porch redo isn't 100% complete, but I thought I would share my progress.  As we get further into the growing season I plan to add some pots or planters with flowers.  I'm also trying to come up with a unique wreath or door swag for the summer season, so as soon as I have a brilliant idea, I'll post a tutorial!

How do you transition your front porch to spring?

Ikea Candle Holder: A Preppy Before & After

April 13, 2010 | | 11 comments

I don't like spending a lot of money on accessories because I change my mind about what I like so often (decorating ADD)... but when shopping for a lantern for my new blue and brown spring front porch, I wanted something unique that would add a pop of an accent color.  I had an idea to try and paint preppy white and yellow stripes on an outdoor candle lantern, and the $6.99 Borrby lantern from IKEA looked like a good victim.  I figured that if I ended up totally ruining it, I was only out $7 (I had the spray paint on hand from past projects), which wasn't too bad!

Honestly, the whole time I just kept thinking that it wasn't going to work... but in the end it turned out so cute!!    In fact, it's sitting in my living room right now... our street is kind of busy and I was afraid someone might spot it and steal it.  That's probably a completely irrational fear, but I'm not taking any chances!  I thought I could chain it to the table, but then they might steal my cute table too...

I started by removing the glass windows from all four sides.  Inside the lantern are some flimsy metal tabs that hold the windows in place.  They were easy to bend back so I could remove the glass.

Next, I spray painted the entire thing with Summer Squash spray paint from the Rustoleum American Accents line.  It took several coats to cover up the black.  I also let the yellow paint really cure for a few days since I was going to be taping and painting over it with white (Heirloom White, that is!).

I put tape on the lantern in a striped pattern.  Even though I was painting white stripes on the outside, I wanted the inside to stay solid yellow, so I made sure to cover the vents at the top with painters tape from the inside.  I also put newspaper on the open windows so that no white paint would get inside the lantern.

After it was good and dry, I put the windows back in and added my candle!  I just love how crisp the white and yellow look against the blue table... and you'll see my entire front porch redo tomorrow!

In the spirit of IKEA hacks, here are 15 ways to customize a Lack table from Apartment Therapy that I found yesterday.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with IKEA or Rustoleum, and if you click the links above and purchase something... it benefits me in no way whatsoever!

I'm linking this to:


Make a Fabric Texture Book For Baby (Tutorial)

April 12, 2010 | | 7 comments

Here is the tutorial for the Baby Texture Books.

You will need:
  • (1) 10 3/4" x 5 3/4" piece of patterned cotton fabric - this will be your front and back cover.
  • (3) 2 3/4" x 5 3/4" strips of your patterned cotton fabric - these pieces will connect your pages.
  • (6) 4 3/4" x 5 3/4" pieces of solid fabrics in different textures (I used all brown in corduroy, velvet, satin, wool felt, fleece, and flannel)
  • Coordinating thread
  • (12) 3" pieces of coordinating ribbons
Here are the fabric pieces all cut out.

Pick two of your textured panels, and sew them to one of the strips, along the 5 3/4" sides.

Repeat for remaining texture pieces/strips so you'll end up with 3 "spreads" for your book.

Pick one of them (any one!), and pin it to the 10 3/4" x 5 3/4" patterned piece (your cover), right sides together.

Sew using a 3/8" seam allowance, leaving a 3" opening along one of the edges.  Turn right side out (trim your corners first!).  Close your opening by tucking in the edges, and running a stitch just inside the perimeter of the entire piece.

Your cover is finished. Set aside.

Next, cut twelve 3" pieces of ribbon - it's more interesting if you use a couple of different colors or patterns, but you could use all the same.  Fold each piece in half and iron.

Pin the ribbons to one of the two book spreads that you have, as shown.  All the ribbons should be folded in half, with the open side facing the raw edge of the page/folded side of the ribbon facing the center of the page.

Place the last page spread on top of this one, right sides together, pin and sew around the edges with a 3/8" seam, leaving 2 1/2" or 3" open along the center top edge so you'll be able to turn it out.

Trim your corners and turn right side out.

Tuck in the open edges and sew closed by sewing all around the page, just inside the edge.

Now you should have two finished pieces:
  1. Piece with the cover on one side, and two textured panels on the other side.
  2. Piece with four textured panels, two on each side.

Place the cover piece on your work surface, with the cover down (two textured panels up, showing).

Place the piece with the four textured panels on top of the cover piece, and match up the edges.  Sew straight up the center, to secure the two spreads to each other and create a book.

I'm linking this to:
The Girl Creative - Just Something I Whipped Up
The Persimmon Perch - Made It Monday

Sew Much Ado
Fireflies & Jellybeans

Turn a Placemat Into A Little Boy's Toolbelt

April 06, 2010 | | 18 comments

A few weeks ago I saw a cute little boy's tool belt on Make It And Love It. The moment I saw it I knew it was a project I would take on myself. My little guy has his own "Home Depot" work bench complete with hammers, screwdrivers and a slew of power tools (of which currently none have working batteries, thankyouverymuch).  He likes to putt around the house with his tools and pretend to be his Poppy (grandpa).

Also a few weeks ago, Heather from Dollar Store Crafts issued a placemat challenge... and boy, did my little light bulb go on!  Placemat = tool belt!  I didn't get my act together by her challenge deadline (March 31st), but I knew Grady would get a kick out of this, so I made it anyway. (Side note: Heather has now challenged her readers to bust their stash in April in honor of Earth Day... I don't know if I can commit to buying no new craft supplies this month, but I evaluated my piles stash last night and I am committed to making a serious dent!)

This might be one of the simplest projects on this blog to date, but of course I had to take a thousand pictures to make it only look complicated.  Here goes.

You will need:
  • A place mat (mine was from the Dollar Tree!)
  • Two 3.5" x 20" strips of coordinating fabric
  • Coordinating Thread
Here is my placemat.

Fold in half lengthwise.

Fold top 1.5" of front flap inward, pin and press.

To make the ties, fold your fabric strips in half lengthwise and press.  Sew length of raw edges using a 3/8" seam.

Now you will need to press the seams open, and I probably can't totally explain it with words in a way you will understand, so I'm going to rely heavily on these pictures!  You want to press the seam open, and have it line up with the initial seam you pressed (going down the exact center of your strip).

Fold the edge of one of the ends outward about a half an inch and press. (Note to self: make ironing board cover that is less distracting in pictures.)

Turn the tube right side out, and stitch the end closed that you just made the small fold on in the step above.

Insert the raw end of your tie about 1.5" into the folded over edge on the front panel of your place mat and sew to secure the tie in place.  Repeat on the other side of your placemat.  I also ran a stitch down the entire 1.5" of folded over place mat on the front, just to make it secure.

Once your ties are on, you can sew along the two outside edges to make one big pocket.

Lay out your tool belt and place the tools inside, just to see what sizes you need to make your pockets.

I used pins to mark where the seams should go, and then I sewed at those marks to make the individual pockets.

The finished product!

Bonus! Who needs a jewelry roll when you could have a tool roll?!

Thanks, mommy!

I'm linking this to:
Show and Tell Green


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