Desk Decorating: D.I.Y Vintage Inspired Magazine Holder

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I have just started doing Correspondence School. One of the nice things about starting full time studying is that you can have a pretty desk. Sometime I will have to go shopping for cute stationary and accessories. Typo has the cutest ever vintage inspired decor accessories!

I made this magazine/workbook holder out of an old biscuit box. It was the size of a cereal box…to give you a general idea of size! You could buy plain cardboard magazine holders and cover them the same as this tutorial, but I started from scratch (or from a biscuit box!).

Blogging1.Cut off any top flaps on the box (like the ones pictured). 2. Cut a curved corner slanting downwards. Do it as deep as you like. 3. Cover with paper. I added a strip of black and white paisley paper too, going down the middle of one side. 4. Hot glue gun lace or embellishments on.

The Things I Used:

1 Biscuit/cereal box

Scissors

Glue sticks

Hot glue gun (optional)

2 Sheets of standard square scrapbooking paper

One extra strip of coordinating paper for embellishment

Lace

Pen

I chopped off the top flaps. I sliced a curving corner in the box. I then coated 1 sheet of cute scrapbooking paper in Purple Glue (I love coloured glue sticks! The same as a normal glue stick except it goes on vivid purple and dries clear.)

One square covered exactly half a box, including enough paper to fold over the top edge and bottom, so that it’s finished nicely.

Smooth away any bubbles.

Coat the other sheet of paper in glue. Coat the box in paper. Proceed to smooth away bubbles again. You may have to add some more glue to the edges and corners where it is lifting up.

Now you have a basic covered biscuit/cereal box.

Proceed to decorate as you please!

I added the black and white paisley strip, and lace hot glue gunned to each side of that. I love lace. And so I added more lace to the narrow, short front. The edge with the corner cut away. It needed it.

You will also probably want to glue some metal or something heavy-ish to the bottom of the box, of your box is light, like mine. It topples over when I put my books in it! Ah so annoying!

Now it sits on my little round table (because poor little me has to make do with a little round table while my younger sister has a lovely little desk that my dad made her, for her art! The unfairness! I should confiscate her desk and call it my own…haha).

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It is a cute round table, though. It looks even cuter with this holding my books!

P.S: do you like my cute as sparkly jar? Here’s my blog post on making these!

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5 Minute Peppermint Creams

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For those days when your craving something sweet and you’ve run out of everything yummy. I often whip these up before we watch a movie, when we don’t have anything else tasty.

 This takes 5 minutes, requires no cooking, and doesn’t need overnight setting in the fridge before you can eat them! Drizzle chocolate sauce over for an easy peppermint-choc taste, or dip these in real chocolate and make your own creamy after dinner mints!

5 minute peppermint creams

(all ingredients are estimates. You sort of keep adding icing sugar until the consistency is how you want. It’s very easy!)

 -1 tablespoon butter, softened

-dash of milk

-1-2 cups icing sugar

-peppermint essence to taste

In a small bowl, cream all ingredients together. Keep adding icing sugar until you reach the desired consistency. (firm and mouldable, easy to shape into balls or roll out)

Roll out on a floured surface and cut into squares or triangles. You can also use mini cookie cutters to get cute flowers or hearts.

If you want to make as little mess as possible, and you want to eat these as soon as possible, just break off bits of mixture and roll into balls.

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Have it with chocolate sauce and chocolate chips.

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I used my homemade Chocolate Coffee Syrup, which works great as a dessert topping and dip as well as for coffee.

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They are creamy and addicting without the chocolate too, though! Enjoy this very easy, delicious treat!

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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Easy and Healthy: Hair Gloop

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I’ve been reading this book, (it’s really great by the way, you should read it) and for ages I keep thinking I need to try out the way for washing your hair it tells you.

I know shampoo is horrible. I know it actually makes your hair far worse over time, and you should use gentle, homemade soap instead.

You cant just go and use any old soap, or any old water. You should read the book if you want detailed explanations though. basically, If you have been using shampoo, your hair shafts will be brittle and the soap will all catch in it; it will be a mess.

Here is a way to use any old soap, though:

Elizabeth Francke say’s to put your soap scraps in a mug. Put some boiling water in, and let it go into a sludge. I added lemon and lavender essential oils. These are good for oily hair, dandruff, and all sorts of other vile things.

You can leave this cup of sludge in the shower, and keep adding little scraps of soap, and you will never run out. This is free, easy, and it is actually very very good for your hair. You can keep topping up the water in the shower, too.

To use the sludge, tip your head down, and put the mug of sludge on your head, and rub it around until you have enough. carefully take the mug off again, quickly though, so none gloops out.

You can shampoo (or soap) it twice. It wont hurt like shampoo.

Finish it off by rinsing with diluted cider vinegar. I didn’t like this idea at all, but when I tried it, it made my hair silky and the smell disappeared as it dried.

I asked my sister Emem what my hair smelt like, and she said it smelt nice and lemony. That’s that great lemon essential oil!

Oh, and if your hair feels strange the first couple of times you try this, don’t worry, this is because it need to adjust. It is used to being washed with harsh chemical shampoo.

Well, that was very long, but I hope not too boring.

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Oh, and also, the homemade soap we have is a secret recipe. Some very special friends of ours gave it to us, and now we make our own soap too. It is so, so much better than the bought stuff. It hasn’t been stripped of all the goodness. 🙂 We love our secret recipe!

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Adjust the strap on your handbag to ANY length

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I like handbags with longish handles, but I found this adorable red one for $5 at an opshop. It had a short handle, which some people may adore, but alas, I don’t.

And I couldn’t resist buying it (as usual), and started planning on fixing up the strap. But the only reason I actually got around to fixing up the strap, was because this blog was waiting for more updates!! So I have this blog to thank, really, for the nice shiny handle on the nice red handbag sitting next to me.

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Here is the handbag with the old strap.

Here are the supplies I used:

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I snipped off the stitches on each side loop, that held the old handle on.

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Well, that photo is of when I tried using a knife that was close by to cut the threads. It didn’t work that well, so I went and found some scissors! They worked much more successfully.

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Here is my chain. You would never know it was actually 2 dog collar things I got from a pet shop….gasp! They were so cheap, though, only $1.50 each, and they were the right size!

So I joined them together, hooked them onto the loops I had unstitched, and then stitched the loops back on with red thread.

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and that was that! So easy, and I am very pleased. I know… I didn’t need another handbag, but I thought I WANT A RED HANDBAG, OOH CHEAP!, and then OH YES, AND IT WOULD BE A GOOD THING TO PUT ON MY BLOG (or was that and excuse?).

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ribbon and pegs picture frame

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How to turn an ugly picture frame into something adorable 🙂

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Paint it. Any colour I suppose, but I love a nice clean white, which goes with everything. But a aqua blue would look lovely too, with white walls. Think what kind of wall it’s going to be on.

I painted mine Fairy White, which is a slightly pinkish white. I used that because I love the name!

Then I left it outside for a few days…I forgot about it!

But it was ok when I rescued it, apart from a couple of muddy paw prints. Cats!

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I got the idea from pinterest, and they had used old fashioned string, the kind you could picture wrapping brown paper parcels. I love that idea, but of course I couldn’t find any string or twine.

So I used ivory ribbon, and I am really pleased with it. I cello-taped it on, and that was all it needed, no messy glue, or staples. It held very well.

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I lay out the photos and ribbon how I pictured it first, to get an idea of how many rows of photos I could fit.

Then I cut the ribbon, and cello taped each end onto the back of the base board.

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I pinned on photos as I went, and the great thing is you can change the photos around whenever you want, because you don’t put any glass over the top. It’s very versatile, and it looks so cute!

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I used plain black bulldog office clips ($1.80 for 24)

I got the photos on a 3o free prints special!!! Yay

Ribbon was $2.50 for a roll, and I only used a tiny bit.

Paint was free. My aunty gave us a whole lot of little samples, because she works in a paint shop. It didn’t use much paint at all, either.

I rescued the frame, my mum was going to give it to the op shop.

You can find all sorts of interesting frames at op shops, for a couple of dollars. If they are ugly, paint them!

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I think this would be really nice if you used only black and white photos. It would also be really nice for wedding photos. You could also stencil words onto the frame (Friends, Family, Love, etc.) Or a bible verse, or poem!

It was so much fun to make…I glued and cello taped to the soundtrack of Taylor Swift singing…:) This is already hanging on the wall…now I cant wait till my bedroom gets fixed up and redecorated. This is going to look amazing.

UpGrading: DIY lace neckline

I’ve been wanting to try this for a while now, ever since I saw a few of these types of ideas on Pinterest.  (the ideas on there are endless…)

It’s a rainy day. And I have a cold, which is annoying, but it means the perfect lazy day for trying this out.

I found a nice, bright top:

A nice bright red top

And some lace:

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And I folded the top in half to get the center line, and pinned a bit of lace on like this:

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I stitched this on, just a basic straight stitch with my old, clunker of a sewing machine. It did a good job. 🙂

Next line of lace, above it, is slightly wider. Pin this on, stitch it across, and gather it slightly.

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Make sure you fold each end of lace under, so that you don’t have and rough cut bits.

And also be careful to curve the line of lace slightly, in the same curve as the neckline of the top. This will make it look a lot softer and elegant, rather than just straight, choppy lines.

Put the third line of lace on:

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Gather this slightly too. It looks so much nicer gathered.

And then the last one. I had a bit of trouble with the last one; I made one side too long and it looked very lopsided.

I had to unpick that bit and cut some of the lace off! So annoying! Well, if I wasn’t lazy I would have taken the time to measure out everything first, but, well, I hate pinning and measuring. I usually roar ahead and sew and sometimes it turns out great, and other times…well, other times I hide it away or give it to my sisters. 🙂

Here’s the last line of lace:

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Gather this one slightly, ever so slightly, sew over that top one again, to make sure it’s secure, and cut off all your threads.

Your done!

It took me only about half an hour to make, but I didn’t get any big problems so that made it quicker than usual lol.

Remember that lace is very easy to fix up. If you have it sticking out a bit far on one side, sew another row of lace over and stick that one out just as far on the other side!

Well, I am very pleased with this top: I’m so gonna wear it. Which means it passed the test and my sisters wont get their hands on it!

Floating Candle Boats and A Wedding After Party

This is a very cheap, easy way for amazing lights at a party! We had an after party for my brothers wedding, and my Amazing friend Ruth helped us decorate in a beautiful, elegant, budget friendly way.

Ruth is a florist, and she helped us make the most BEAUTIFUL flower arrangements, using flowers and greenery from our garden. We added some huge pink lily’s from our local growers Market ($12 for 6 stems) and that made it look AMAZING!

At least 20 bouquets for only $12

At least 20 bouquets for only $12

As the party was a BBQ by a pond, with willows and water lilies and lots of beautiful trees, we wanted something lanternish and glowing, but affordable.

This is what my friend Ruth came up with:

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Get a plastic plate, one of those cheap picnic ones, and glue tea light candles onto the center. A hot glue gun holds them on and is waterproof.

We put hydrangea flowers around the edge, to hide the ugly plastic plates! We made about 50 of these boats, and when it was dark we floated them on the pond. It looked amazing! There were enough candles on each plate to get a bright glowing light, instead of little single candles.

They didn’t sink, either! The kids had lots of fun lighting them and floating them out on the pond, and we put a few around by the tables and chairs like lanterns.

One did have a sad death when the plate actually caught on fire. It threw out a plume of black smoke as it sank into the dank brown depths of the pond.

As its on water, though, its very safe.

Safe, easy, cheap, and beautiful!

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