Mothers Day D.I.Y – No 7: Making Gorgeous Gift Boxes Quickly

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I think presentation is SO important for a gift. It makes the person receiving the gift feel so special.

If I get a present that I can see has been carefully wrapped, with ribbon and lots of prettiness, I really feel so excited opening it. Even when the present is very simple, the wrapping turns it into something beautiful and very special, somehow.

This box started out looking like this:

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So, as you can see, you can use just about any old box. Big, small, tiny…shoebox, empty teabag boxes, cardboard boxes….

I just got 3 coordinating papers, including some leftover antique music and handwriting papers from my Antique Music Jar Candles. They are so pretty!

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Cut pieces of paper to fit each side, like a collage: (oops sorry about that blurry photo!)

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Use a different paper for each side, overlapping edges so you get a tidy finish.

Do the same for the top, if you have 4 flaps like I have on my box.

If you have a box with a separate lid, like a shoebox, you could do one paper all over or a few, it’s up to you.

As there are just SO many different varieties of boxes out there, you will have to just adjust the design of your box decorating to suit.

Tie with ribbon going all around. Curling ribbon, or satin ribbon, OH, black velvet ribbon would have looked amazing on this box! I wish I had some!

There are just so many ways of decorating boxes. I liked this way because it was very very quick, and works for any box.

Jewels, words, stencils, glitter, rub-ons, fabric, beads…there are so many ways of adding extra embellishment to a box as well.

I can just picture a huge delicious lot of Chocolate Fudge in my box! I will have to make some, I suppose, because now I am craving it.

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And flowers really finish off the look!

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And here I am at the end of my week of mothers day gifts.

It was very fun, and it sure kept me busy thinking of ideas! I did miss one day, as I was away. But I put it on the blog as soon as I got home. It was hard to keep up, doing a craft project every day, even if it was only for a week. I am so glad I did though!

Well, ones things for sure: my mum is going to get a lot of lovely gifts!

Mothers Day DIY – No. 6: Easy Shoebox Scrapbook

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This took about 2o minutes to whip up on a very busy morning! It is a very simple, elegant, and useful gift. A scrapbooking album, a journal, diary, recipe book, sketch book, travel journal…you could use it for all these and more. Decorate the cover with whatever style your mum prefers. Some very simple accents can change the look and feel of this book completely, so I think this is a very reliable and versatile gift idea.

What you need to make this:

Shoebox (or a piece of sturdy cardboard, roughly A4 size.

2 squares of scrapbooking paper

ribbon/twine

a pile of A4  plain printer paper

scissors

glue stick

hole puncher

pencil

embellishments/beads/pictures/etc.  if desired.

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I started with a shoebox. (but you don’t have to be as unsophisticated as me!)

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Chop the bottom of the shoe box into 2 even halves of cardboard. (If you aren’t using a shoebox, just make sure you use quite strong/thick cardboard. You don’t want a floppy cover!)

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Place 1 half of cardboard onto a standard square of scrapbooking paper in your chosen design, for a pretty cover!

Glue on.

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Fold paper over cardboard neatly like your wrapping a present.

Repeat this with the second piece of cardboard and a second piece of standard sized scrapbooking paper.

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Now, get a pile of A4 sized printer paper. You choose the amount of paper you want. Think about how thick you want your book. The thickness of your book will be double the thickness of your pile of A4 paper.

Hold one of your cover pieces over the neatly stacked pile of paper. draw a pencil line across.

Cut the paper along the line. Now cut the other half of paper so it’s all your white paper is even, ready to be pages in your book!

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Glue a sheet of your white paper to each book cover too, onto the messy inside to make them look professional and tidy.

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Now, punch 3 evenly spaced holes in each cardboard cover.

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Carefully place your paper pages underneath one of the covers and, using the punched holes as stencils, mark where the holes need to go on your pages.

Stack your pages neatly in between your cardboard covers, like a sandwich. Line up all the holes.

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Thread some pretty ribbon or twine through each hole and tie in a knot or bow, depending on what your style is.

You could loop the thread through each hole, like tying a shoe, or do each hole with their own separate ribbon and bow.

That’s what I did, just to be different.

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took this photo before I remembered to crease the book, so it looks a bit, erm, flat.  – But still cute.

Mothers Day DIY – No. 5: Delicious (and easy) Chai Tea mix

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If your mum likes tea, try this easy spicy chai tea mix.

I got this adorable tea pot for my birthday, from my brother and sister in law.

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They also gave me a little bag with a delicious Chai Tea mix in it.

It’s so good, I can tell I am going to get through it quickly, and I wont end up buying more, and then I realised:
“I bet it isn’t hard to make!”

It isn’t hard to make at all. You only need a few basic spices (and some fancier ones if you want) and loose black tea.

For my basic Chai tea mix, I used:

1 tsp ground Cinnamon

1 tsp ground Ginger

1/2 tsp ground Cloves

1/2 tsp Cardamom pods, crushed

1 Star anise, crushed

1/2 cinnamon stick, crushed

4 tablespoons loose black tea

In a mortar and pestle, crush all the whole spices, add the powders, and grind it all together.

Put in a pretty jar, and mix the black tea in.

Shake it together.

Now think what a lovely present that would make for your mum…or for you.

My teapot holds 500mls of water. I put 2 teaspoons of Chai mix in, filled it to the top with freshly boiled water, and let it brew for 5-8 minutes.

Warm enough milk for 1/2 cup of milk per person in a pot on the stove, or in the microwave. That’s if your one of those poor people like me who don’t have a nice coffee machine with a milk steamer!

Fill half of each tea cup with hot milk, and put in the chai.

Add sugar to your taste. Chai is usually quite a sweet tea.

This amount of tea gave me 5 little cute tea cups of tea, or it would do 2-3 mugs of tea.

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I had a lovely day today, sharing this tea with my very special friends, even though my sister made the tea luke warm!!! It was still delicious.

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Mothers Day DIY – No. 4: Chocolate Coffee Syrup

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This is so easy to make, looks really fancy, and tastes delicious! If you don’t have a coffee maker, using this syrup and hot milk, and a basic coffee plunger, you can make a totally delicious and easy Mocha.

I found this recipe online a couple of years ago. Back then, I never thought about saving where I got it from, so I just printed it, and used, and loved, this recipe.

Sadly, I have no idea where I found it online! All I know is that it is an AMAZING recipe, very easy, using only basic ingredients.

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 Chocolate Coffee Syrup

1/2 cup cocoa powder (not ground chocolate)

1 cup sugar

dash of salt (improves flavour but only use a very little!)

1 cup water

2 tsp vanilla

Mix the cocoa and sugar together in saucepan. Heat on medium high, leave it there, for a minute or two. (No more – you don’t want to burn it!)

Add the water slowly, mixing well in between.

Add a dash of salt. Once mixed completely, the mixture will probably be boiling, so lower heat to medium. Let it boil for 5-8 minutes, mixing constantly.

Boil till mixture thickens. When you move spoon fast through mixture, you can see the bottom of the pot. This means it’s done. Turn off heat, add vanilla, stir thoroughly,  let cool for a few minutes, pour into sterilised jar.

Soak jar in boiling water to sterilise.

To make a delicious mocha,

1. fill 1/4 to 1/2 cup with coffee (plunger/filter/instant – whatever you like)

2. stir a teaspoon of Chocolate Syrup in.

3. Top up with warm milk (frothy if you like!) Microwaves work really well for quickly heating milk up. Not healthy, but quick. 🙂

4. Drizzle more mocha syrup over the top.

5. Enjoy you easy, delicious, homemade mocha!

Make a pretty label for your chocolate sauce, put it in a cute jar, and you have a delicious mothers day present. Or a present for anyone, really! You could also use this as an ice-cream sauce, add it to milk shakes, iced mochas, make yummy chocolate milk….

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Mothers Day D.I.Y – No. 3: Infinity Scarf in 3 steps

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Here’s a very easy upgrade. An Infinity scarf seems kind of nicer than a normal scarf, doesn’t it? And it’s very easy to change a normal scarf into an infinity scarf. With winter coming along,  I’m starting to wear scarves all the time. I love scarves! I have a rather large (and growing) scarf collection…

Infinity scarves are my new favourite. 🙂

1.To change a normal scarf into an infinity scarf, you cut off any tassels on each end of the scarf.

2.Then you sew a single fold hem over one end, just so it wont fray.

3. Now, sew one end onto the other, with the hemmed end on top. 🙂

And there you have your infinity scarf. 🙂

This might be more of a craft project for you, rather than a mothers day gift. But I had a busy day today! No time to make a completely mothers day oriented d.i.y.

so todays DIY is a bit of both. 🙂 Enjoy.

PS: did you see the cow in the background of the top photo? hehe

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Mother Day DIY Gifts – No. 2: Tied Chair Cushion

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This is such a great gift. You can choose any kind of fabric. (upholstery fabric always looks impressive)

Cut 2 squares of fabric for the cushion. If you have a chair in mind for this cushion, maybe check how big you need to make it.

WIth right sides together, stitch 3 sides of the squares. Turn right way out, and stuff. Stuff it nice and full, because you want a lovely comfy seat, not a pancake cushion. Rolling the stuffing into tight little balls before putting it in makes the cushion stay plump and comfortable for longer.

Once stuffed, carefully hand stitch the open side of the cushion. Yes, hand stitching is annoying and slow, (for the impatient like me) but when your agonising over every little invisible stitch, think about the fact that this is a GIFT and it should really be good quality.

. Then sew 4 or 5 “dimples” into the cushion. Just sew straight through cushion and stuffing, back and forth like your sewing on a button.

 Use a big needle, otherwise this can be quite hard work.  You can sew buttons on here too, if you like.

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Now cut a long strip of fabric, about 5cm wide. Fold in half, and sew down securely, into a nice strong tie.  Cut this into 4 strips and zig-zag stitch the ends so they wont fray. Hand sew onto each corner of the cushion.

And now you should be holding a lovely new cushion!! A perfect mothers day gift. And it’s very easy to make.

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Mothers Day D.I.Y Gift – No.1: Antique Music Jar Candles

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Vintage Music Paper Candles

This takes ten minutes and looks amazing! You could make a few or just one, but it would be a great mothers day gift.

I am doing a week of mothers day DIYs, as Mothers Day is coming up (and it’s fun!)

This is the first, and it’s very easy and adorable.

What you need:

old fashioned music/letters (links for great printable ones below)

http://freevintagedigistamps.blogspot.co.nz/2012/01/free-digital-scrapbook-paper-vintage_07.html

http://vintageephemera.blogspot.co.nz/search/label/French

Short glass jar

twine/ribbon

tea light candles

glue

scissors

Cut your music paper to the width of your jar. You might need to cut an extra bit if the paper doesn’t wrap all the way round.

Draw 2 hearts on your paper, aligned to be opposite each other when you stick the paper on.

Cut  hearts out, glue paper strip around jar, put tea light candle inside (or 2 or 3 if your jar is a wide one) and tie the ribbon or twine around the top of jar.

Done!

A lovely (and super easy) mothers day gift.

The printable music papers are really great. they print a full page without being blurry or “home printered” looking, and they are often much prettier than any normal music. You can also use old book pages for your candle.

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Homemade Pesto & Pasta Salad

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For lunch today we made a delicious (and easy) Pasta salad, with olives, the last few teeny cherry tomatoes from our garden, freshly made pesto, and cashew nuts.

Put a pot of pasta on to cook. We used a 500g bag of elbows.

 

IMG_6651   Here are our lovely freshly picked ingredients for the pesto.

– handful of basil

– about 5 leaves of silverbeet

– squeeze of lemon juice

– 1 clove garlic

– 1/2 cup grated cheese

– salt & pepper

– 1/2 cup cashew nuts (or any type of nuts)

 

Blend the basil & silverbeet, add lemon juice, garlic, and cheese. Season with salt & pepper, and last of all add nuts. Only blend nuts for a couple of seconds if you like them to be chunky.  (Sorry about the funny colour of the pesto, I used some red silverbeet in there and it made my pasta and pesto go a bit pink!)

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Pasta Salad:

1/2 cup pitted black olives

1/4 cup grated cheese

a few cherry tomatoes

500gm steaming freshly cooked pasta

1 lot of Basil & Silverbeet Pesto

Mix all ingredients together and serve. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Serves 6

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upcycling old canvas’s

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^ This used to be a really badly done painting I did at a camp once. I’m NOT good at art!!!!

So I gave it to my sister and together this is what we did with it. (she did all the hard work and I had the ideas haha….)  It’s really great so I thought I’d share it on here.

Paint canvas over with 2 soft colours. There are what we chose:

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Supplies: newspaper, glue stick, scissors, paper heart. Oh, and a fine tip sharpy or any black marker, and a pencil.

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Cut out lots of bits of newspaper words.

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Draw a big paper heart, cut out and colour red.

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Glue heart onto canvas. Then do another layer of glue on top of heart.

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Stick newspaper letters on it in a collage.

IMG_6623We did letters going out sideways too, like they were blowing off the heart. Do it however you want.

Add words: we did love, joy peace, because that a special, un corny thing that we love to have on our wall.

There are all sorts of possibilities.

Write in pencil first!! Then go over that in black marker.

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We now need to find a place to hang this picture.

You could also try going over with a decoupage gloss or pearl finish.

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Rocket & Pear Salad

IMG_6570One of the best salads ever.

Usually, magazines have a huge amount or recipes that I never ever have any ingredients for. So I was very surprised when I was randomly looking through an old copy of Better Homes and Gardens, and found it was full of great recipes!!

Here’s one of them, but I have slightly adapted it because I STILL didn’t have exactly all the ingredients.

ROCKET AND PEAR SALAD

2oog baby rocket leaves (or a handful, however much you have)

1 small lettuce, roughly chopped (I used a red lettuce)

1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts

40g parmesan (but I just used finely grated cheddar)

1/4 cup red wine vinegar (originally balsamic)

1/2 cup olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed.

salt and pepper, to season

*****

Combine rocket, lettuce, walnuts, pear, and cheese.

Put vinegar, oil, and garlic in a jar. Secure lid and shake it all up.

Drizzle over salad.

I also tried adding ricotta cheese to it. It was delicious! It put a mild creaminess to the sharp rocket flavour.

Try this salad with pizza…!! It’s perfect.

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