Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Whip It Up Wednesday: Easy Paper Lanterns

Here's another super quick, easy and fun party decorating idea! 
I whipped up a stack of these for our engagement party - what fun!

What You Need:
* Scrapbook or craft paper
* 2 split pins/brads
* Optional: LED tea light candle

Hole punch, scissors.

What To Do:
Cut strips of paper that are equal in length and width. About 2cm wide seems to work well. The length will determine how big your lantern is. I made mine in varying lengths, from shorties at 10cm to ones almost 30cm long. 

Tip: Bigger lanterns will look 'fuller' and better with more strips, smaller lanterns need fewer strips. 
Experiment and see what works for you.

Use your hole punch to pop a hole in both ends of all of your strips. If your hole punch is strong enough, stack all (or half, whatever works) of your strips and do them all in one hit. This has two benefits - 
1) It's fast! And I'm lazy so fast = a very good thing
2) It ensures that your holes are in the same position on all of your strips.

Stack all of your strips and put a split pin or brad through the lot of them.

Secure the strips, then repeat at the other end.

Now, gently spread your strips out to form a ball! 

If you have one handy, you can pop an LED tea light candle inside! 

It looks very cute in real life, sorry I fail at photography, you'll just have to trust me ;)

To hang them up, just tie some wire or fishing line around the split pin/brad at the top.

These are SO easy you'll be able to make a stack of them really quickly, and they look very effective hung together in groups of mixed colours and sizes!

Happy creating!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Whip It Up Wednesday: Berry Lemon Cupcakes

I'll tell you this right now, these babies went down a TREAT! I took them with me to family tea and they were goners! Now that's what I like to see ;) These are definitely on the engagement party food list - which is this weekend by the way :D

I found the recipe here at Vixen Made and altered slightly - I used raw sugar, raspberry swirl yoghurt and I used canned mixed berries instead of raspberry puree. If you use canned berries, just pick out the best looking ones and mush them with a fork - you still want the same amount of "mushed berries" as you would pureed raspberry. I also modified the method slightly to use fewer bowls because I'm lazy - less washing up!

Berry Lemon Cupcakes
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup raw sugar
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp grated lemon zest
31/4 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup raspberry swirl vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup mushed berries

What To Do:
Preheat oven to 180C (350F).

In a large bowl, whisk sugar, butter, and egg. Add yogurt, berries, lemon zest and juice and beat until smooth.

Add salt and baking power and stir well. Add flour a bit at a time and beat until smooth.

I made mini cupcakes and this filled a 24 cupcake tin AND a 12 cupcake tin. 
If you make big cupcakes it probably makes 12 normal sized cupcakes.

Line your tin(s) with cupcake liners and divide the mixture evenly between the liners. 
Bake for 20 minutes (about 5 minutes longer for normal sized cupcakes).

Let cool and enjoy :D

I topped mine with cream cheese icing (my favourite! Found at the bottom of this recipe) that had 1 drop of red food colouring. Then I added cachous because they're pretty :D

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Whip It Up Wednesday: Paper Roses

These paper flowers take a bit longer to make than some of the others I've shared but are totally worth the effort! They're not hard, just need a leeeettle bit more patience :)

What You Need:
* Coloured paper (scrapbook or craft paper works well)
* A wooden skewer

Scissors and a glue gun

What To Do:
Cut out a bunch of petal shapes! As usual, I winged it and just took one thick strip of paper, folded it up a few times and then cut a petal shape out. I forgot to take a photo of this step using the purple paper, but here's an example in pink (I cut rounder petals for the rose too, see the picture below!)

To make a rose you will want to make a few large petals and a few slightly smaller.

When you've got your petals it's time to shape them. First, roll the petal up from the tip to the base and then unroll it again. This makes the petal more pliable and gives it a bit of  shape.

Now gently roll the top edges inwards diagonally, like so:

Do this for all of your petals.

Time to assemble our rose! Take one of your smaller petals, run a bit of glue along the bottom of the petal and glue it onto the top of your wooden skewer, rolled corners facing outwards:

Now take another petal and repeat the process, attaching the second petal opposite the first one.

Continue using this method to add petals and build up your rose. For your first layer we just used two petals, but each layer will need more and more petals. 

Stagger the petals so they slightly overlap at the edges. Use the smaller petals first, then the larger petals for the outside of the rose. Shape the petals as you go.

Just for comparison, here's the pink rose I made using the same technique but 
without rolling or shaping the petals before attaching them: 

I think you'll agree that the rolling/shaping of petals is worth it!

Happy flower making! :D

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bringing The Outside In...

Fresh flowers make me happy! So when I found these lovely little bottles and vases at the op-shop I knew exactly what I had to do!

Bring a little of the outside in! Just a few snippets from our garden, some water with (wait for it...) aquarium plant food in it and there you have it! The aquarium plant food did wonders, a couple of snippets that were wilting perked right up again!

This definitely makes me happy. Time to put fresh flowers in again now though. 
Might have to raid a neighbour's garden for a bit of variety ;)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Whip It Up Wednesday: Crepe Paper Poinsettias

I originally found these sweet Crepe Paper Poinsettias on Martha Stewart's website and now I love them! You'll love them too because they're just SO easy to make!

What You'll Need:
* Crepe paper
* Wooden skewer
* 3 small beads for the centre

Scissors and a glue gun

What To Do:
Cut a diamond shape from your crepe paper. Mine is kind of square-like... :-/ Diamonds are better ;) Also, try to make sure the grain of the crepe paper goes from top to bottom (again, unlike mine!) as this will make twisting and shaping your petals much easier.

Bunch your diamond in the middle and give it a twist to hold it in place. Make 3 of these.

Don't you love my imperfect petals? Oh dear! But actually the flower turns out really well anyway, these are very forgiving! Glue your three sets of petals together like so:

Glue three beads in the centre of your flower:

Now we're going to attach our poinsettia to a wooden skewer. 
Grab a small rectangle of crepe paper and your skewer.

Run a strip of glue along the bottom edge of your rectangle and then roll it around your skewer. 
You should end up with something like this:

Use your scissors to make three snips in your crepe paper, then pull the edges back

Place glue on each of the three 'tabs' you've just made, then press it into the back of the poinsettia.

Now you're done! Nice work ;D

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