Category Archives: Handmade

Upcycle Tin Cans: Quick tutorial

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My daughter Ivy is turning 7 soon and we have started to make some of the decorations for the party. These are some old tin cans we have decorated with decoupage, to match the party theme colours of pink and aqua. The cans can be used to hold things like straws, cutlery and flowers. 

 

Decoupage is the art of embellishing an object by gluing paper cutouts onto it, to give a painterly appearance. I remember doing quite a bit of decoupage as a teenager – using the old fashioned technique of applying paper cutouts, then many coats of varnish and sanding in between. This process would take weeks (lots of drying time). But here I’ll show you the quick version using mod podge and napkins. 

 

My daughter enjoyed getting involved with some aspects of this project, particularly the painting. Do be careful with kids though – as scissors and sharp edges from the tin can be a hazzard.cans_steps

 

Materials: 

 

Empty tin cans (make sure there aren’t any protruding sharp edges that could cause injury)

Acrylic paint

Paintbrush

Sponge

Mod Podge (matte finish) – from stores such as Spotlight and Art Friend

Small nail scissors

Napkins with images suitable for decoupage 

 

Method:

 

1. Get your materials together

2. Using the paint brush paint the can with the acrylic paint. We did three coats of paint, allowing each layer to dry before applying the next layer. 

3. Use the sponge to dab the wet paint to give it a nice texture

4. Cut out images from napkin. Separate the napkin layers, keeping the top layer where the image is visible.

5. Once the paint is dry, apply some mod podge to the surface of the tin and carefully stick on the napkin image. Dab the image gently with your clean fingers to make it adhere to the tin, making sure you don’t drag the image – it can distort easily.

6. With a clean brush, carefully dab some mod podge on the image and the rest of the can to seal in the image and paint. You may wish to give the can a couple more coats of mod podge to finish off. 

Colour in Cookies Tutorial

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Happy Easter everyone! I have a very quick tutorial to show you, for what I am calling ‘Colour In Cookies’.

 

I made a gift for a friend and her family and they loved it. So I am sharing it with you all. I think it would make a great gift or just a fun baking activity for kids. My kids had lots of fun with them. 

Here are the basic steps.

1. Make some sugar cookies and cut out with cookie cutters. There’s lots of recipes for ‘sugar cookies’ on the internet. 
2. Cover with fondant and allow to air dry for about an hour or two.
3. Using cake decorating tools or utensils found around the house, create a pattern or image to colour in. 
4. Get your ‘edible ink pens’ ready.
5. Get the kids coloring.
6. Admire the handiwork.
7. Eat.

Recycled Craft Series for Young Parents Magazine

It’s been really exciting working for Young Parents Magazine again. They comissioned me to create a three part ‘recycled craft’ series. The January edition was Chinese New Year Inspired, with hobby horse, pineapple rattle and a fish lolly box. February was about Valentines Day, where I made heart crayons, a candle holder and paper heart decorations. The March edition, which was just released, included crafts for kid’s bedroom interiors.  

The team at Young Parents are uber professional and I loved how the photos turned out. Great to see our ideas come to life. And of course a huge thrill to see it all in print! young parents March 2014youngparentsfeb2014youngparents_Jan2014

Ivy’s 6th birthday party: Little Red Riding Hood

I am finally getting around to posting the photos of Ivy’s 6th birthday party and a little write up. You can see more images here on facebook.

 

We had a great afternoon, with lots of guests. Our generous friends gave us free reign of their big back yard for the party, as I wanted a garden to fit in with the Little Red Riding Hood theme. Guests commented that it felt like a carnival with the crowd and all the different ‘stations’ – we had a manned hot dog stand, a jumping castle, face painting and tattoos, balloon sculpting, a craft room and the food area. As suspected, the Singapore weather wreaked havoc with my outdoor plans. It threatened to rain all morning and then an hour before the party, there was a downpour. Then it stopped raining…and became hot! Really really hot! Boy, were we all sweaty…

 

Now about the theme – Little Red Riding Hood was a fun theme to work with. Red is an easy colour to find decorations for and I paired it with white and green as the secondary colours. It was a good unisex theme with lots of creative options to play with.

 

Dessert Table:

I gave the dessert table a bit of a woodland feel, with the backdrop, trees and burlap tablecloth. I made the rag bunting from fat quarters sold at Spotlight. The bunting is simply made with a rotary blade to cut the strips and then tied evenly to a rope. So easy and striking. Most of the presentation items and props you see are available for rent from us in Singapore.

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This year, I decided I didn’t have to be a matyr and enlisted some help! Partners in Cake made the adorable cookies and I dressed them up with the packaging (tissue paper, cello bags and ribbon). Cute hey?! Very popular with the kids!

LRRH_Party_Red_Carousel05Toffee apples…remember these as a little kid? My husband was so excited when I had a brain wave to make these the night before. Recipe here
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The cake…I made a chocolate fudge cake which withstood the heat thankfully. Good old fondant! I had fun giving the cake a little bit of a vintage feel with the wallpapered house, peeking grandmother, bunting and muted colours. 

LRRH_Party_Red_Carousel09Little jars filled with hard candy – these disappeared very quickly. I purchased the candy in bulk and put them in the jars (from Daiso). 
LRRH_Party_Red_Carousel12Kit Kats wrapped with custom wrappers designed by moi.
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Below – drink bottles decorated with lace tape and straw toppers. Drink bottles wrapped with cutom water bottle wrappers (from our LRRH printables collection).LRRH_Party_Red_Carousel15 LRRH_Party_Red_Carousel16 LRRH_Party_Red_Carousel17 LRRH_Party_Red_Carousel19

I made the cupcakes and Partners in Cake made the toppers.LRRH_Party_Red_Carousel20 LRRH_Party_Red_Carousel23 LRRH_Party_Red_Carousel24

Party favours filled with Little Red Riding Hood finger puppets and other cute nic nacs.LRRH_Party_Red_Carousel25 Handmade party hats. LRRH_Party_Red_Carousel32

Decorations available from Red Carousel shopLRRH_Party_Red_Carousel34 LRRH_Party_Red_Carousel35 LRRH_Party_Red_Carousel36

Jumping castle from Bouncy Castles in Singapore.LRRH_Party_Red_Carousel38 Playhouse for hire from Red Carousel. LRRH_Party_Red_Carousel40

Handmade Pinata

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My husband, the big bad wolf!LRRH_Party_Red_Carousel65

Credits:

Concept, design and styling by Red Carousel. Party props and decorations available for sale and hire from Red Carousel including handmade fabric bunting, tablecloth, drinks dispensers, platters, backdrop, paper decorations and balloons (www.redcarousel.com). Cake and a selection of desserts by Red Carousel. Cookies and cupcake toppers by Partners in Cake. Kids tables and chairs by Party Whizz. Jumping castle by Bouncy Castles. Photography by Allen Chong. Little Red Riding Hood party printables here: http://www.redcarousel.com/product/little-red-riding-hood-party-printables

Homemade Apple Pinata

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I tried my hand at making a pinata this week, for Ivy’s 6th birthday party. Not a bad effort, right? :)

 

I followed the tutorial from here. But instead of using a balloon, I used a rice paper lantern from our shop. I wrapped the lantern all over with glue and strips of newspaper, as per the paper mache tutorial. The top was left open, so that I could remove the wire once the glue dried. Then I covered the opening, painted pinata with acrylic red paint, decorated with tissue paper and strung it up with the metal hooks already there. The leaf is made of paper and the branch is made of felt (both contain a bit of wire inside to hold them up).

 

Looking forward to filling the pinata up with goodies for the kids. My daughter loves them!

pinata collage

Party Planning: Red Riding Hood Party

red riding hoodMy daughter, Ivy, is turning 6 and her birthday party is scheduled for some time in Septembe.  We have decided on the theme Little Red Riding Hood. There is a plethora of inspiration out there for this fun theme, so I have started a Pinterest board here. Check it out if you’re interested in ideas. 

 

I have started Ivy’s outfit and of course, first up is the red hood! I used the pattern from here. It’s a great pattern, really easy to follow and quick to make. 

 

I also decorated a wooden apple with paint and matching polka dot fabric. Not sure where this will go yet – perhaps the dessert table…watch this space for more updates!