DIY Homemade Fabric Flowers

Do you have left over fabric laying around that you don’t want to throw away?  Well, don’t throw it away!  Use it to make these cute versatile flowers.  I had some fabric from my first project, the Magnetic Board.  They were scraps, so couldn’t be used for much of anything else.  Here is how you make them.  I was inspired by my Better Homes and Gardens magazine subscription.

1.  Figure out the size of flower you want.  I found my Aromatherapy bottle to be of the right size.  Then, I trace the circle 8 times on the back of the fabric.

2.  Cut

3.  Fold the circles in half, then into fourths.  Glue.  Then fold in eights and glue again.  They should look like this; little pieces of pie.

4.  I cut out a circle from my left over homemade paper from my previous post to glue these onto. Glue on a small button in the center.

5.  At this point you can attach a magnet or the pin backing if you want to wear it on clothing.  Also, you could make a headband;  buy a plain headband, then hot blue this onto the side.  You can use this for many applications.  And how chic!

DIY Homemade Gift Tags

From my previous post DIY Homemade Paper I showed you how much Christmas paper trash I saved from going to the landfill.  I made a couple of batches of homemade paper to use for other crafts.  I came up with one great idea that can save you a little money and also make your gifts look chic.  Homemade Gift Tags!

1.  Collect all of your homemade paper.

2.  Decide on the size of tag you want, and trace circles all over your paper.  If you have any blemishes on the paper, or wrinkles cut around them.  Only use the best parts.  Save the rest for another batch of homemade paper.

3.  Cut out the tags.

4.  Use a paper hole punch to cut the holes for the ribbon.  I used my makingmemories Instant Setter tool to make the holes.  I got this a long time ago but I want to learn what all it can do.  I couldn’t find my hole punch and I like the size of the holes this tool made so I just used this.

5.  Finished.  Now you can adorn with ribbon of your choosing.  I suggest just slipping it into the ribbon you are already using for your wrapped package.  Or some nice twine or hemp string would look organic.

You can use these tags for bags, or wine bottles for a hostess.  You can use it for any holiday or birthday.  This was a fun and easy project.  I hope you consider saving some Christmas paper from the trash to make these nice tags!

DIY Cherry Cordials

I didn’t make as many gifts as I would have liked this Christmas, but I am going to dedicate a large portion of 2012 in making my own gifts for next year.  However, I did have difficulty finding gifts for my mom this year but I remembered she used to always have a box of Queen Anne’s cherries in her fridgerator.  I decided to give making my own a try this year.   I found a recipe that I thought was at my culinary skill level and got busy.
First the recipe; courtesy of veronicascornucopia.com

2 (10-oz) jars maraschino cherries (you’ll need 40-50)
¼ c butter, softened
2 ¼ c powdered sugar
1 T reserved cherry juice
½ t vanilla extract
¼ t almond extract
1 (12-oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
¼ cake paraffin wax, shredded OR 2 T vegetable shortening

*I replaced the chocolate chips and shortening with Baker’s Chocolate.

First step is to get the cherries out of the juice.  I drained it with a colander and saved the juice.  (Do not rinse) I plan on using the cherry juice for something else.  Possibly cherry infused vodka or brandy for another gift.  I placed the cherries then on a paper towel to rid the excess juice.  This helped when wrapping the fondant around them.

In the meantime, cream the butter with 1 cup of the powdered sugar, then add 1 T reserved cherry juice, the extracts, and the remaining sugar; stir until mixed. You may have to knead it with your hands as it will be firm like dough.  I ended up adding about another tablespoon of non-butter (the kind in the tubs) to give it a dough like consistency as I kneaded it.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Take small pieces of fondant, about 1 or 2 teaspoons, and press them flat on your palm. Wrap around the cherries, pinching off the excess before rolling them smooth and placing on the wax paper. Repeat until all cherries are covered with the fondant. Set in the freezer until well chilled. I did this step a day in advance and proceeded with the dipping the following day, so they were frozen hard.

Melt the Baker’s chocolate until smooth. Dip each cherry in the chocolate using a fork, drawing fork across rim of pan to remove excess coating. Drop coated cherry upside down onto waxed paper, swirling a thread of coating from fork across top for a decorative touch.  Once all are coated, place in the refrigerator until the chocolate is set; check bottoms and reseal with additional melted coating, if necessary. You want every part of the fondant covered or it will start to leak out as it liquefies.  Store in a cool place (do not refrigerate) for 2 weeks to form cordial.

I tried mine about 5-6 days after making them and they were not ready yet.  Make sure you give them enough time to liquefy.

Place in a nice tin with tissue paper.  No other wrapping needed.  You don’t want to use wrapping paper that will just get thrown away, do you?  This year I ended up doing all of my wrapping with reused wrapping paper from previous years, bags or tins like for these delicious treats.  Everything can be reused or repurposed.  Hope you all had a Merry “Green” Christmas!

Homemade Magnetic Board – Versatile Gift

My inspiration for this project is a cute little magnetic board that I have at work.  It is a 5×7 size photo frame wrapped in metal and it came with cute magnets.  My friend really wanted one and I couldn’t find where I could purchase one.  So I decided to make one.

Step 1:  Purchase a picture frame.  In order to be green I bought one at the local thrift store, and this one was already damaged.  Who would buy it anyways?  Cost $2.99

Step 2:  Demolition.  You have to take it apart to make it pretty.

Step 3: Voilà.  Not done yet!

Step 4:  Prime.  I used a low VOC primer so it’s more earth friendly.  However, it does still stink.  I primed because the frame was glossy and I wanted my final paint to stick.  Sorry for no picture.  But you didn’t really need a picture exactly as above but in white, did you?

Step 5:  Cut metal to fit frame.  I bought a piece at Home Depot about 12 x 20 inches.  Larger than the frame but not too huge for the trunk of my car.  When you buy metal make sure to pick a metal that is magnetic.  I bought iron.  I also brought in a magnet just to be sure.  I cut the metal with tin snips that I had on hand.  Jagged edges = beware!

Step 6: Iron the fabric.

Step 7:  Cut fabric so there’s enough to wrap around the metal.  I also taped the cut edges of the metal so it wouldn’t cut the fabric after it was all assembled.

Step 8: Glue the fabric to the metal.  This took the longest because I had to wait for the glue to dry before I started the opposite side.  I am a bit of a perfectionist so I folded down the edges so you can’t see any fabric fray.  Tip: This is awesome glue.  I wanted something industrial for the magnets, that I also made for this project, but also that I could use to glue the back of this metal.   It’s low VOC glue and it dries fast.  I couldn’t even smell it.  Awesome purchase.  I remember in my interior design classes we had to buy this 9000 crap which you had to use a gas mask for.  Awful stuff.  Not this!  Two thumbs up!

Sometime between Step 4 and Step 9 you have to paint the frame the color of your choice.

Step 9: Assemble gift.  Just put the frame back together.  Minus the glass.  I also painted the back to this so it looked professionally made.  See the cute magnets?  They are just buttons glued to strong magnets I purchased at the craft store.

My friend who is receiving this gift loves the color blue, so I had to pick a fabric just for her.  You can also personalize this by different size frames, different fabrics and even stamp on some letters to be specific to the receiver.  Your friends will love the homemade-ness of this gift.  I think a boy may even like this!  Pictures of cars and girls I would suppose.