Archive of ‘DIY & Crafting’ category

Easy Craft: Painted Pots & Sunny Succulents

Succulents 3 Need a late-winter pick-me-up? Today’s DIY project brings a little desert warmth to you. This beautiful blend of modern and rustic is so simple you don’t have to be crafty at all to attempt it, but it will look expertly created once you’re finished.

It’s perfect for wedding favors (it was featured in my Green Weddings article for Second Opinion), party favors, birthday presents, or to keep on your desk at work or windowsill at home.

SucculentsMaterials To start, you’ll need everything in this picture:

-Painter’s tape

-Twine

-Optional: gift tags-I made mine out of brown paper grocery bag for a rustic touch.

-Scissors

-Container of acrylic paint

-Paintbrush

-Terra cotta pot(s)

-Succulent plants, available at home improvement and garden stores. Mine were $3 each. I swear, choosing which variety of adorable miniature succulent to use is the hardest part of this entire project.

Step 1: Using two strips of tape, mark off a off a triangle on one side of the pot, as shown in the picture. Run your fingernail along the inside edge of the tape until it’s secured as firmly as possible. This is important because if you skip this step you will get paint bleed instead of crisp lines. Pay special attention to the apex of the triangle, as bleed is most likely at this point.

succulents 2Step 2: Paint inside the triangle. Use several coats until the paint covers cleanly and completely. I had success with Patio Paint (available at craft stores) in metallic gold. When paint is completely dry, peel off the tape.

succulents 4Step 3: Pot your succulent in the new pot. It’s best if you mix in some sand, rock and gravel to accelerate drainage. Succulents can go a long time without watering, making them ideal plants for the brown-thumbed among us. Drenching your plant about once a month should be sufficient, but it will need lots of direct sunlight, or at least a mixture of fluorescent office lighting and indirect light.

Step 4: Attach your gift tag, if desired, with a twine bow. Gift your plant to the lucky recipient or enjoy it yourself. Gaze at your happy little succulent plant and remind yourself: summer is coming soon!

Love DIY? Check out Quirky Homemade Postcards.

Quirky Homemade Postcards

PostcardI made this as a housewarming note for a friend of mine who lives in another city. I took a large format postcard that was actually an advertisement for a catering company, pasted it on cardstock, trimmed the cardstock to match the size of the postcard, and then covered the address with a blank label. I printed my own caption, then cut and individually pasted the words. On the back (which was solid cardstock), I had plenty of room to write a long message. My friend loved it (duh), even though she didn’t get it for a few weeks because she didn’t know where the mail slot was in her new building.

To make your own postcard, you will need the obvious tools such as scissors, glue and card stock. The hardest thing to find is source material–I was lucky to find such a cute and quirky advertisement. If nothing suitable arrives in your mailbox, you can always print something that you find yourself online. As for the caption, try to channel the ever-witty Anne Taintor, who popularized this retro, self-mocking style of humor with her popular line of gift items. Put aside your inner perfectionist–this is essentially a collage project, so layered paper and uneven edges are part of the charm! Before I mailed my homemade postcard I covered it with a laminating sheet to protect all the layers. One last word of caution–make sure to use enough postage and make sure your creation abides by USPS’s postcard guidelines. Make something cute? Share your creation on The Pink Paperdoll’s Facebook page.

Make Your Own Gingerbread Village

Make your own gingerbread villageGingerbread houses signify the start of holiday decorating to me more than anything else. I remember making miniature gingerbread houses made of gluten free crackers with my brother one year (I was gluten free before being gluten free was cool).

My cookie house decorating skills haven’t progressed much since I was six, but that doesn’t stop me from occasionally busting out the frosting bag and spice drops. I discovered a new gingerbread house kit that quadruples the fun–a kit to not just for a gingerbread house, but to make your own gingerbread village. The kits are available this year at retailers including Bed, Bath & Beyond. If prefer to make your own house, I recommend this silicone baking tray to make life a little easier.

This little village of gingerbread houses is nestled into a snowy hillside. Make your own gingerbread village and display inside for longevity, or get a cute photo opp outside like this:These little sugar chalets look so charming in the snow, don’t you think?

Make your own gingerbread villageOne final note on gingerbread: If the villages and houses are feeling a bit mainstream for you, try this bargain Gingercats Cookie Kit. Yes, it’s a real thing!

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