diy cupcake liner flowers

DIY Cupcake Liner Flowers

I figured I’m really overdue in posting about my crafting endeavors, so I thought I’d share about these sweet little flowers I made last Saturday.

I love having fresh flowers in the house, but we’re still months away from any cutting flowers growing in our garden. When I came upon some cute yellow polka dot cupcake liners for $1, I decided I could make my own flowers to brighten up our dining room.

This whole project probably took about 15 minutes, and it was started and finished while Luke was coloring and playing with stickers, so I was kind of figuring it out on the fly and using what I could easily grab.

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Supplies:

  • cupcake liners
  • felt (or fabric/paper and drinking straws)
  • glue
  • floral wire
  • scissors

IMG_6391The first step is to take two liners. Flip one inside out – so the pretty part is on the inside – and stick it in the other one. It gives it a double-sided look and some fullness.

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Then just pinch the middle together to form a point.

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For the felt, I just used some triangle shaped scraps I had (like I said, I was working fast!). They were about 7 inches tall, and the bottom edge was about 3 inches wide. They made for pretty short flowers, so I’d cut a taller triangle if I was actually cutting out a piece – at least 10 inches. You could also use other fabric or scrapbook paper, you’d just need to wrap it around something like a drinking straw. The felt is thick enough that it forms a good stem simply by wrapping around itself.

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Okay, so take the narrow tip of your felt and wrap it around the point of your cupcake liners. It might be super helpful to have something like a glue gun, but I made it work. Make sure you grab enough of the liners to get a good hold on it, then tightly wrap the floral wire around both the felt and the liners. Don’t worry too much if your liners are getting a little wrinkled, because they’ll unfold and cover that part up.

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Once you’ve gotten it started, just keep twisting the wire around the stem, and keep twisting the felt around itself.

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The stem will get thicker as you work downwards, since it’s cut in a triangle shape. The wire makes it sturdy but bendable.

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Now it’s time for the center. Take another cupcake liner and squish it into another point.

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Unfold the base flower that’s already attached to the stem and add a dab of glue (again, hot glue would be super helpful). I just squished and pinched until it felt secure.

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Unfurl and primp and do what you need to do to make it look pretty! Make a few more and you have a sweet little bouquet that won’t go bad in a few days!

You could totally try making all kinds of flowers – I stuck with the one inner bloom because I thought they looked a bit like daffodils. But you could fill them out more and try all sorts of variations!

IMG_6403Makes me excited for spring.

Speaking of spring, I’ve added a few spring-y things to my etsy shop, like this fun mini bunting garland.

The bright colors just cheer me up.

Happy flower making!

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12 days of crafting: paper punch christmas tree

12 days of crafting handmade christmas gifts handmade christmas decor From December 1-12, I’ll be blogging about some fun ideas to create a handmade Christmas. Hopefully you will be inspired to craft some Christmas gifts or decor for your own home!

Day 12: Paper Punch Christmas Tree


Paper Punch Christmas Tree

Well, here we are on day 12! I’m going to leave you with this sweet little tree that only took 15 minutes or so to make. If your kiddo is old enough to safely craft with straight pins, this would be a fun craft for them – it doesn’t need to look exactly like mine, there are lots of ways that this festive little tree can be made!

PPaper Punch Christmas Tree

Supplies:

  • 1″ circle paper punch
  • styrofoam cone (whatever size you want)
  • straight pins with some sort of head to them – I had these fun colored ones, but the white ones could look pretty too!
  • scrapbook paper, light cardstock, or re-purposed Christmas cards

This is seriously easy. First punch a bunch of circles, then start pinning them at the base of the tree. I pinned my circles right in the middle, and I started the first row so that it overlapped the bottom of the sytrofoam cone.

Paper Punch Christmas Tree

Then you just keep working up your tree, overlapping the circles so that the whole thing is covered.

Paper Punch Christmas Tree

My cones were flat on top, so I pinned a row of circles right at the edge, then I put a small wad of paper towel (hey, it was handy) in there and pinned the last row to it.

IMG_5815 Paper Punch Christmas Tree

Once that was done, I finished it off by taking a few circles, bending them and sticking them in the top center of the tree to fill it out a bit (and hide that chic paper towel).

Paper Punch Christmas Tree

Make little adjustments as necessary and ta-da! You’ve got yourself a little tree!

Paper Punch Christmas Tree

Thanks so much for joining me for 12 days of crafting! It’s been so fun to share some ideas with you, and a special thanks and shout out to Laura, Janelle, Carrie and David for their contributions as well!

In case you missed it…
Day 1: Christmas Kissing Ball
Day 2: Vanilla-Infused English Breakfast Tea
Day 3: Iris Paper Folding
Day 4: Paper Circle Garland
Day 5: Rice-Filled Neck Warmer
Day 6: Felt Stacking Tree
Day 7: Painted Wooden Message Boards
Day 8: Paper Dot Notecards
Day 9: Simple Sewing Projects
Day 10: Stamped Candles
Day 11: Little Man Workbench

12 days of crafting: paper dot notecards

12 days of crafting handmade christmas gifts handmade christmas decor From December 1-12, I’ll be blogging about some fun ideas to create a handmade Christmas. Hopefully you will be inspired to craft some Christmas gifts or decor for your own home!

Day 8: Paper Dot Notecards

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As promised, here is another craft that uses the paper circle punch. I think a stack of handmade notecards tied with a pretty bow or some raffia is always a nice gift, and these are pretty simple to make. I’m not going to go into great detail because they are pretty straightforward, but I’ll let you peak in on my card making session, aka crafting with a toddler…

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Supplies:

  • cardstock or re-purposed Christmas cards
  • notecard & envelope (you can get packs at any craft store – plain or colored or patterned. Fred Meyer also sells plain white ones for pretty cheap!)
  • paper circle punch
  • glue or glue tape
  • stamp & stamp pad (optional)

I had to make a couple cards, and I thought it might be fun for Luke to help (he likes playing with the paper circles). So I whipped out the first one, shown at the top. Just a simple card – you can arrange the dots so many ways, it’s hard to go wrong.

While I was making that one, Luke was playing with his little plastic animals in a bit of water in his high chair tray. I say that to explain why he is running around in only a diaper and socks in the following photos. After about 5 minutes of splashing around with his animals, he was ready to move on. So we got started on his card for his GiGi (my grandma).

I punched out some circles and put adhesive on the back, then I handed them to Luke one at a time and asked him to stick them on the card.

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Sorry the photo is blurry, but this kid moves fast and it was the only shot I got. And lest you think that he sat there diligently gluing on his circles, let me assure you that this activity was punctuated with random running throughout the house – often with paper circles or card in hand.

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Eventually we got 5 of the 10 circles on the card (I think 2 are still MIA in my house somewhere…) and I added the “Thank You” part where it seemed to fit best. I think it actually turned out pretty sweet.

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Luke then took some time to examine and nearly destroy his handy work…

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So there you have it, our paper dot notecards.

While we’re on the subject, let me talk a little about crafting and how I fit it into my life as a mom. I’ve had a lot of people express surprise at how much crafting I do these days. I’m here to debunk any thoughts that I “do it all” or that Luke sits quietly by my side while I spend hours crafting each day.

I love to make things with my hands, so of course I find time to craft – just like other parents find time to read, go for a run or play soccer, watch a movie, hang out on facebook, etc. I find slivers of time to do it – before Luke wakes up in the morning or after he’s gone to bed. Luke is full of energy and curiosity, so for most of my projects, it’s not a great idea to work on it with him around – we’d both just end up frustrated. So I just use the bits of free time after my other tasks are completed. Sometimes those times are easier to find, in other seasons it just doesn’t happen as often.

I imagine that those slivers of time will become more elusive as our family {hopefully} expands in the future. And that’s okay. I love making things – it helps me slow down and relax, it energizes me,  and it’s my creative outlet that makes me feel more myself. But it’s a bonus, an extra – it’s not where my joy comes from. I love creating stuff, but it’s just an expression of joy. When I’m fully rooted in who I am in Jesus, that’s when I’m getting filled up. And that means serving him in lots of different ways – raising a little person, working, showing Ian kindness and love, and all the other things that fill my day. It’s not always fun or easy, but it’s what really matters.

So that’s how I do it – I fit it in when I can. If you’re frustrated that you don’t have time for these projects, just chill – seriously, they are just crafts! You’re probably in one of two places – first, you might be in a season where it just isn’t possible to have any free time to yourself – new baby, life transition, busy work schedule, etc. I feel for you! Everyone loves a moment for themselves. But what you are called to do is way more important, so I hope you can experience joy and fulfillment in that. (And whatever you do, don’t compare yourself to others! It’s silly to compare myself to someone who has grown kids, or for a mom of 3 to compare themselves to me. You are called to be where you are at, so embrace it!)

Or second, you choose to spend your time on other stuff – perfectly fine! If you want to use your 15 minutes of down time to read, by all means, go for it! Or maybe you choose to play soccer or watch TV or fill your schedule with activities – it’s your life, and crafting may not make the list. Lots of things I like don’t make my list, like reading for fun – I do love to read, but I can’t remember the last time I read a novel! I could use my time to read, but I choose to do other things, like make a spur of the moment stuffed felt dolphin for Luke. That’s just how I roll.

I’ll wrap up my ramblings now. 🙂 Enjoy your weekend!

In case you missed it…
Day 1: Christmas Kissing Ball
Day 2: Vanilla-Infused English Breakfast Tea
Day 3: Iris Paper Folding
Day 4: Paper Circle Garland
Day 5: Rice-Filled Neck Warmer
Day 6: Felt Stacking Tree
Day 7: Painted Wooden Message Boards

12 days of crafting: paper circle garland

12 days of crafting handmade christmas gifts handmade christmas decorFrom December 1-12, I’ll be blogging about some fun ideas to create a handmade Christmas. Hopefully you will be inspired to craft some Christmas gifts or decor for your own home!

Day 4: Paper Circle Garland

paper circle garland, paper punch garland, diy paper garlandYou can never have too many garlands! This one is quick, easy and fun to make!

paper punch garland, paper circle garland, diy paper garland

Supplies:

  • paper circle punch (mine is 1″, but you could do any size you want)
  • double-sided cardstock (or do what I did – glue two one-sided papers together! Thank you Joanns $1 section for carrying 12×12 Christmas paper packs!)
  • sewing machine
  • thread

A quick note about the paper circle punch: if you don’t have one, get one! They are SUCH a handy craft tool to have around. When I first learned to make bottle cap magnets, I borrowed a friend’s and fell in love with it. The next time I made the magnets, I bought my own and I use it all.the.time. In fact, there will be two more craft ideas in the 12 days series that use the 1″ punch, so get your Joanns or Michaels coupons and go get one!

Okay, back to our project. It’s so easy. First, punch a bunch of circles – you can decide how many you need based on the size of the punch. There will be about a  1/2 inch gap between each circle, so you can estimate how many circles you’ll need for your desired garland length (with my 1″ circles, it took about 8 to make 1 foot of garland).

paper punch garland, paper circle garland, diy paper garlandOnce you’ve punched all your circles and your toddler has dumped the bowl out at least twice – that might just be me – get out your sewing machine and put in whatever color thread you want. I went with white, but a bold, festive color would be cool too.

All you do is feed these puppies through the machine, one at a time. Let the machine run a little bit after each circle – mine seemed to do a certain amount and then stop feeding, about 1/2″, which was perfect. This part is so fun, it comes together so fast! Ian walked by and thought it was pretty crazy (crazy good, I’m assuming).

paper punch garland, paper circle garland, diy paper garlandThat’s all there is to it! Isn’t that sweet?

paper punch garland, paper circle garland, diy paper garlandThe photo above illustrates two things NOT to do. First, keep the garland away from your coffee. A few of my circles went for a quick dip. Second, see that pile on the upper left? Oh, it’s a happy pile now, but pick that thing up and hastily try to hang the garland while keeping it out of your toddler’s hands? Bad idea. I had the tangled mess of the century. After a few minutes of trying to untangle it while standing on a chair, I decided to go with my original plan of hanging vertical pieces of the garland (thus cutting apart my loooong tangled garland into manageable 2 foot pieces). This mess could have easily been avoided by either being more careful or wrapping the garland around something like a toilet paper tube or water bottle or something that would keep it untangled.

Regardless, I’m happy with the result!

paper punch garland, paper circle garland, diy paper garland
paper punch garland, paper circle garland, diy paper garlandI’m even quite fond of how it looks on the tree, and Ian liked it too. So I may be whipping up some more for our tree.

paper circle garland, paper punch garland, diy paper garlandIsn’t it cute? You can use them for so many things – hang them in different ways or cut them apart and wrap them around your gifts.

Don’t have a sewing machine or time to make one? There are lot of fun ones on etsy!

Paper circle garlands. Love them. End of story.

In case you missed it…
Day 1: Christmas Kissing Ball
Day 2: Vanilla-Infused English Breakfast Tea
Day 3: Iris Paper Folding

12 days of crafting: iris paper folding

12 days of crafting handmade christmas gifts handmade christmas decorFrom December 1-12, I’ll be blogging about some fun ideas to create a handmade Christmas. Hopefully you will be inspired to craft some Christmas gifts or decor for your own home!

Day 3: Iris Paper Folding

iris paper folding, recycle wrapping paper, recycle ribbon cardstock, gift tag, paper ornament, ribbon ornament

Today’s handmade Christmas craft is brought to you by my good friend Laura! We were roommates in college, and her fun little crafts were always so creative. She’s made me tons of fun stuff over the years, and one of my recent faves is the mobile she made for Luke – you can catch a glimpse of it from afar in this post. Anyways, I loved it so much that I asked her to share her technique in making what I called her “ribbon art” – come to find it actually has an official name! – and so here she is to explain iris paper folding!

“This is a great way to recycle leftover Christmas scraps of ribbon, wrapping paper, or Christmas cards and can be used for a variety of crafts! The official name is iris paper folding. You can find hundreds of templates online, and can also make your own. It is a great way to add a homemade touch to your Christmas decorations or gifts without a large investment of time or money! This project usually takes about 1/2 hour once you have your supplies together.

iris paper folding, recycle wrapping paper, recycle ribbon cardstock, gift tag, paper ornament, ribbon ornament
Supplies:

  • Exacto knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Scissors
  • Card stock paper
  • Tape
  • Glue stick
  • Ribbon, wrapping paper, or other lightweight paper

Here are the basics:  Pick a Christmas themed shape such as a Christmas tree or Christmas stocking. Pick your ribbon or wrapping paper that you will use for your craft.  You can do it with one color of ribbon or paper, or pick a couple of colors and alternate. Pick a contrasting color of card stock paper for a backing.

Use a pre-made template, or cut your own out of card stock paper.  Then trace this template onto your card stock and cut out your shape with the knife. You will then flip over the template and work from the back.

Have your template or wrapping paper cut into long strips. You will essentially start in a triangle, taping your strips down. Keep working in concentric triangles towards the center. This is where it is easiest to have a pre drawn template, because it guides you just like working on a paint by number like you did as a kid.

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Always remember that you are working from the back, so you want to see the ugly side of everything. When you make it to the middle add some extra tape strips to secure everything.

iris paper folding, recycle wrapping paper, recycle ribbon cardstock, gift tag, paper ornament, ribbon ornament
Then flip over, and voila, you’ve created something new! You can then back your creation on a card for a homemade greeting card, or another piece of card stock for a gift tag, Christmas ornament, or whatever strikes your fancy!”

iris paper folding, recycle wrapping paper, recycle ribbon cardstock, gift tag, paper ornament, ribbon ornament

Thanks Laura! I am super excited to try this – really, when she said it was like “paint by number,” I said “I’m in!” And for reals – I might give this ornament pattern a try for some gift tags and Luke would flip out if I made this dolphin for him. You can totally think beyond seasonal tags and ornaments and make a gift out of your creation – Laura also made me an awesome squirrel a few years ago. She framed it in a picture frame and it was such a fun gift to receive! He still sits happily on my desk. So go get your paper and ribbon scraps and give this craft a try!

In case you missed it…
Day 1: Christmas Kissing Ball
Day 2: Vanilla-Infused English Breakfast Tea

diy valentines decor

Thank you, Dollar Tree, for having the exact little sparkly hearts I was envisioning.

Happy February! Every year I forget how busy my job is in January. It is always such a relief when February arrives and I can breathe a little easier (figuratively, but also literally – I had a lame cold the last two weeks of January. I’m still relishing Luke sleeping through the night most nights – ticks me off when a cough keeps waking me up!).

So far, February has started out amazing – the weather has been gorgeous (sunshine, nice to see you again!), Luke got to see both of his grandmothers last week, and I’ve gotten in some small crafting projects. I also like being able to slow down and enjoy the small moments, like peeling carrots for Luke’s food while he played next to me in his jumper this morning. Now he’s watching intently as Ian makes some cookies.

Valentine’s Day is only a week away, so I thought I’d post some pics of my super easy DIY decor.

I made this yarn-wrapped wreath a couple years ago when we were still remodeling our house, so it must have been quick. The foam wreath is the more square variety (that they happen to sell at Dollar Tree). I just wrapped her up in yarn, embroidered a little felt heart and called it good.

yarn wrapped jar valentines diy valentines decor

I just threw together this little ensemble. I had the ideas floating around in my head, and this is what emerged. I’d like to add something more to the mason jar… maybe some flowers from a certain special someone? 🙂 I wrapped the mason jar in yarn awhile ago and figured out the rest a few days ago. Fun fact: the “Love never fails” was stenciled with my Tupperware stencils from my childhood.

diy valentines decor yarn wrapped jar heart garlandIt’s fun coming up with seasonal decorations for the half wall between our dining area and the piano room. I put in some simple scrapbook paper into the photo frame, set out some candle holders and hung a heart garland.

yarn wrapped jar felt heart diy valentine decorSo remember these yarn-wrapped jars from Christmas? Yep, took me about 5 minutes to cut out some felt hearts and tie them to the jar with some yarn. I’ve seen lots of mason jars with doilies and paper hearts tied around them on pinterest and other blogs, which is definitely cute, but I didn’t want to have to buy doilies so this worked for me.

yarn heart garland diy valentines decorThis yarn heart garland was inspired by a mini-version that I pinned here. Again, I didn’t want to have to buy supplies (the thinner yarn and smaller crochet hook) so I just used the heart pattern and used some regular yarn I had on hand. Then I used a yarn needle to thread a piece of yarn through the backs of all the hearts. The hearts crochet up super fast – maybe 5-10 minutes? – and so this was a quick, easy project too.

There you have it! Some little valentines crafts to decorate your home, enjoy!

like the shore and the sea

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but there’s this guy I’m kind of crazy about.

Sentimental side note: this photo was taken in the coffee shop / bookstore where we had our first date.

We just celebrated six years of marriage, and it seriously gets better every year. He’s the best listener, is super supportive of me in so many ways, makes me laugh, is such a sweet dad, and he’s also pretty manly:

Hilarious side note: I happened upon this picture in iPhoto while looking for something else – Ian had put it alone in its own album titled “Ian Conquered the Stump!”

Anyways, he is pretty much the best and I am so thankful for our marriage and love for each other. My most recent craft endeavor is a reflection and reminder of that love.

It started to bother me  that we have so many bare walls in our bedroom, so when inspiration struck in the form of a Jon Foreman song last spring, I decided to go for it and create some wall art!

And then… life happened. Luke happened. And I started the project (way back here) and it sat for awhile. And then last week, I just made up my mind to bust it out. So I did. It took a couple re-directions, but I’m very pleased with the end result:

I think the total cost was around $5… garage sale & dollar store frames + stuff I had on hand. I printed out the text on cardstock using a font I found, then cut out the letters with an exacto knife. I originally thought I might just use the stencil to print the letters, but it ended up being too stark… so what you actually see are the stencils themselves, painted maroonish and mounted on brown cardstock. Yeah. Whatever works, right?

The lyrics are taken from Jon Foreman’s song “In My Arms.” I really like his seasons albums.

I love making our home more and more our own! What could you add to your home decor to reflect you or your family?