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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Blossom Boxes

Spring Favors: How to Make the Blossom Boxes

These favors are made using just four different flower punches. Punch flowers from white card stock; trim the edges of the large blooms with mini pinking shears to resemble cherry blossoms. Stamp centers of the large and medium-size flowers. We had rubber stamps made with two designs; you could also draw in a design with fine markers. Attach two or three flowers to each box. Some are affixed flat on the box using adhesive dots; others are attached with adhesive foam disks so they're raised.
The flowers and birds on traditional wagashi are believed to bring happiness and good fortune to the recipient. Package wagashi no more than one day ahead, placing in a paper liner, then in the box. Mix and match -- put bird sweets in blossom boxes, for example.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Aqua and Red: Peekaboo Favors

Framed windows allow a look-see into these fanciful paper packets filled with jelly beans. The envelopes are inexpensive and easy to customize; all you need is a craft punch and rubber stamp. Look for narrow ribbons in a variety of patterns to tie the tops; as long as the colors coordinate, they'll go nicely together. Set out the favors on a table for guests to help themselves -- they will form a colorful and inviting display.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Stitched Stationery

With warm and fuzzy yarn accents, a plain stationery set becomes wedding worthy. Make tiny dots where you want holes for stitches to be (or have them printed, if you can). Choose a textured stock and matching envelope (we lined ours with gift wrap), and a soft ink color to make cards refined.

Yarn Invitation How-To
Punch holes with a Japanese hole punch. Thread a single strand of yarn on a yarn needle; knot one end, stitch accents; knot again at end. Each 5-by-7-inch invitation requires a 7-inch length of yarn for each side, stitched in a short/long pattern and tied in a bow at the center. For 3 1/2-by-5-inch reply cards, use two 2 1/2-inch lengths of yarn; for 4-by-5 1/2-inch programs, use one 17-inch length of yarn.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

No-Stitch Cross-Stitch

You don't need to spend hours to re-create the designs of early American samplers. We used a paint pen to "stitch" designs onto glass, imprinting leafy motifs on large candleholders for a centerpiece and monograms on votive holders for favors.

Cross-Stitch How-To
Download templates (below), and print. Enlarge template to desired size on a photocopier; cut out. Position template inside vessel using tape. With an extra-fine-tip paint pen, trace pattern onto glass. (If you make a mistake, wipe with a damp paper towel while paint is wet.) To repeat pattern around glass, shift the template inside vessel, and trace again. Let dry.

Template One

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Flower-Wrapped Favors

Flower-Wrapped Favors


1. Fill a 3 5/8-inch-high acetate cylinder with candy.

2. To make flower, cut a 9-by- 30-inch piece of tissue paper. Fold, accordion style, in 5-inch-wide layers. Cut petals in smaller end; unfold and lay on flat surface.

3. Place cylinder on paper with bottom about 1 inch from uncut end, and roll; tape sides and bottom with double-sided tape. Tie ribbon above top of cylinder.4. Gently peel petals down to open flower. If you use a shorter cylinder, reduce height of paper; for a multicolored blossom, wrap a second layer of paper around cylinder after first is secure; secure with ribbon.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Origami Containers

Filled fith flowers or favors, these origami boxes are multifunctional little dreams. Use a large one in lieu of a ho-hum vase (set a deep four-inch plastic plant liner inside) and voila: You've got a glitzy centerpiece on the cheap.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Paper Basket

A pouch folded from colorful paper is a pretty alternative to a traditional basket; add a ribbon handle and bow, and it's ready for the flower girl's important role. We used vellum, so any moisture on flower petals won't damage the basket. It's so easy, your young attendant might like to help you make it.

Basket How-ToYou will need a 12-inch-square sheet of colored vellum, a hole punch, 1/2-inch-wide ribbon, and a hot-glue gun.

1. Fold paper in half diagonally to form a triangle. Place so that the triangle's longest side is at the bottom.

2. Fold right corner over as shown, creating a flap (the flap's top edge should be parallel to bottom of triangle).

3. Fold left corner over to form another flap, aligning its top edge with the top of the right flap.

4. Fold one layer of top section down. Secure with double-sided tape.

5. Turn basket over (this will be the basket's front). Fold other layer down. Tape.

6. Punch a small hole near the basket's top through all layers. Thread ribbon end through front hole, and knot inside; thread the other end through back hole, and knot.

7. Hot-glue a ribbon bow just below handle at front.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008



Showering the bride and groom with confetti as they exit the ceremony is a twist on a time-honored tradition, but it can create a mess. With biodegradable paper, the problem literally disappears: The confetti disintegrates once it gets wet. These tiny pieces come in all sorts of colors and shapes, including stars, bells, and hearts. Sew them inside glassine packets, and guests can tuck them away, then tear them open later.

Vanishing Confetti How-To

You'll need a 5-by-71/2-inch piece of card stock, 5-by-71/2-inch glassine sheets, a ruler, art paper printed with date and couple's names and cut into 3/4-by-6-inch strips, confetti, and a sewing machine.

1. To make a guide for folding glassine, fold card stock in thirds and crease. Lay glassine on card stock. Lay ruler in crease to help hold steady, and fold glassine.

2. Turn glassine over; center strip on top.3. Sew one end shut (3/4-inch seam allowance). Fill with confetti. Sew other end.4. Trim ends with scalloping scissors.


Tossed alof by your guests, perfumed confetti will leave a delicate floral scent in your wake. Punch kraft or construction paper using a decorative hole punch. Spread the confetti pieces out on waxed paper. Mist very lightly with a favorite scent. Collect into small glassine bags. Seal the bags, while attaching a label, by sewing the top edge.

p.s. I'm going to use these ideas to fill in the sweets or other thin things into it.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Paper Fan

Flutter fans were common giveaways in bygone years. Bring them back with this favor. Choose a template and enlarge 250 percent. Trace and cut as directed. Glue one piece of decorative paper to one side of the pieces of card stock, using craft glue. (Spread the glue thinly with a scrap of card stock.) Once the glue has dried, punch a hole in each piece. Stack the pieces, and slip a paper fastener through to join them.

Paper Fan Templates
Photocopy these templates at 250 percent. For a wedge-shaped fan, trace template A twice onto both card stock and a decorative paper, then trace template B once each onto card stock and decorative paper with a different pattern. For a diamond-shaped fan, trace template C five times onto both card stock and papers. For a heart-shaped fan, trace template D three times onto both card stock and papers.

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Stationery Themes

Stationery will be woven throughout your wedding celebration, from the moment family members and friends open the pristine invitations until the day you mail your last thank-you card. There are several ways to design your wedding stationery so that all the components -- save-the-date cards, invitations, reply cards, maps and directions, programs, seating cards, menus, matchboxes, favor tags, and thank-you cards -- are rendered in the same visual language. Continuity can be expressed through a recurring icon, monogram, or graphic pattern, through paper or ink color, even through a unique typographical style. It requires forethought -- if you'll be sending save-the-date-cards, you'll need to decide on the style at least four to six months in advance -- but having a theme for your wedding stationery is powerful. It helps create a lasting impression, allowing the event to become engraved on our memories.
Green Calligraphy
Dots and Lines
Wreath and Monogram
Contrasting Colors
Fall Leaves

Stationery Themes: Green Calligraphy

A relaxed and festive handwritten script was used to create each element of this stationery wardrobe, then reproduced in two shades of green ink using inexpensive offset printing; this strategy is a great way to achieve a handmade look for less money. The matchbox and program bear monograms in the same style of calligraphy. The favor cone, filled with sweets, is inscribed with an old Irish toast. Green ribbon is threaded through the place card, invitation, and program, then tied in bows.

Stationery Themes: Dots and Lines

A graphic pattern decorates this lighthearted yet sophisticated stationery. The design is slightly different on each piece, but the tight range of shapes and the vibrant red-and-coral color palette keep the papers harmonious. On some of them, such as the thank-you and reply cards, the colorful bands continue onto the back cover. The color scheme is carried out in other details as well: Coral grosgrain ribbon binds the program booklet, and envelopes and place cards are written in a lively, ornate coral script.

Stationery Themes: Wreath and Monogram

In this formal, hand-engraved set, an embossed Georgian-style wreath and monogram connect the different items. Some of the icons are inked in gold, and others are blind-embossed. On the invitation, menu, and place card, the gold is picked up in the beveled edge of the card stock. Stationery that guests will see before and during the ceremony features the bride's and groom's initials; those cards guests will encounter afterward, such as the thank-you note, have the couple's combined monogram.

Stationery Themes: Contrasting Colors

Clean typography and pale-blue and cream tones unite this elegant grouping. A cream invitation is tucked inside a blue envelope, and the cream pages of a ceremony program have a blue cover, for example. The stationery was printed using the letterpress method, which yields a textural effect (the result is an impression in the front of the paper). To vary the presentation, some elements, such as the menu and place card, are calligraphed in the same gray tone as the printed type.

Stationery Themes: FallLeaves

Three different leaves adorn these pieces. The icons and typeface were created by letterpress. Paper and ink in shades of brown enhance the autumnal feeling and further unify the group. To keep costs down, one folder was designed to house the ceremony program as well as the invitation and inserts. Printed stickers and tags decorate favor boxes and menu scrolls.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Candy-Rock Favors

They may look like the real thing, but candy pebbles in small galvanized pails are a sweet and delightful favor for an outdoor wedding; a note lets guests know they're for eating. The candy shown here is marzipan and chocolate-covered dried fruit in disguise. Print your message onto paper, cut into strips, wrap around the pails' handles, and secure with double-sided tape. Set the pails in trays filled with turbinado sugar.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Yarn Cards

An event that comes but once a year deserves a special card. Match the singularity of a birthday or an anniversary with a homemade card "drawn" in yarn. Don't be shy about your artistic ability: You'll need to sketch only simple outlines -- the colors and the body of the fibers complete the picture -- so they are easy to make.
When designing cards, include only the details necessary to make the image recognizable. A cake, for example, requires only a few shallow curves, and a woolen spiral easily renders a flower. Make rough sketches on scratch paper first; lightly pencil a clean version onto a blank card or a piece of card stock folded in half. Trace the drawing with craft glue in a fine-tip dispenser. Carefully place yarn on the glue. Let dry, and then snip away excess.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Felt Cases

Protect small electronics and other essentials with cases you can whip up in minutes. Wrap an item such as a camera or a pair of glasses in felt. Measure and add 1 inch to the width and 3/4 inch to the length. Trace the shape using a ruler and a disappearing-ink pen, then cut it out with scalloping scissors. Topstitch along three sides with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. To make an MP3 player case, use the template.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Beaded Flower Necklace

Flowers & feathers add a touch of whimpsy to simple chain necklaces.

Tools and Materials
Bead stringer
Wire clippers
2 pair chain-nose pliers
Craft glue
Fabric glue
Seed beads (sizes 6/0 to E)
Spool of 24-gauge wire
3 small feathers
Floral tape in complementary color
Small scrap of leather, cut into 1/2-inch circle
Jump ring
Necklace chain
Wire cutters

Beaded Flower Necklace How-To
Make the Flower
1. Fill the spinner bowl of the bead stringer 3/4 of the way to the top with seed beads.
2. Pull out an arm's length of 24-gauge wire from the spool.
3. Create a hook shape at the end of the wire by bending it around the metal center of the bead stringer.
4. Rotate the spinner while dipping the wire hook into the bowl to send the seed beads up the wire. Continue until you have strung about 1 yard of seed beads.
5. Twist the cut end of the wire to "knot" it.
6. Push beads toward the spool, leaving 4 inches of wire between the last bead strung and the knot.
7. Starting with the bead closest to the knot, take a length of beads twice the height of the desired petal; make a loop and twist twice at base. Repeat along the length of the beads, making petals as close together as possible. Sixteen to 20 loops will make a flower with about a 2-inch diameter.
8. Make 3 small petals at the end, which will act as connector loops between the flower and the necklace. Clip wire off spool 4 inches from the last petal.
9. Starting with the end with the large petals, coil petals around each other and twist together ends to create the flower's stem. (The metal wire is pliable enough to break if it is overworked, so don't over-twist).
10. Cut a 10-inch length of wire from the spool and string the center focal bead onto it.
11. Bend this wire into a U shape, with the focal bead at the bottom of the U, and twist the ends of the wire together. Incorporate these twisted ends into the flower's stem.
12. Manipulate petals around center bead to create a flower shape.

Add the Feathers
1. Peel fluffy down from feathers to expose about 1/2 inch of shaft.
2. Cluster together three feathers and dab a bit of glue to shafts to hold them together.
3. Wrap feather stems to flower stem with floral tape. Trim the entire stem to 1/2 inch.
4. Using chain-nose pliers, fold the stem in half, tucking the stem within the flower so it is as hidden as possible.
5. Use fabric glue to secure a 1/2-inch circle of leather or felt over the folded stem.

Add Flower to Necklace
1. Decide which direction you want flower and feathers to hang. Direct two small petals up or out according to the desired direction of the flower.
2. Bend a jump ring open using 2 chain-nose pliers (one held in each hand).
3. Thread open jump ring through one small petal and the end loop of the chain.
4. Use 2 chain-nose pliers to close the jump ring.

All supplies and completed necklaces are available at Special thanks to for giving our studio audience a bead stringer.

Special Thanks
Special thanks to designer and artist Stephanie Bodine, who runs the online store Bocage, for showing us this beautiful craft.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Paper Roses

A few strokes of water-color paint transform basic coffee filters into beautiful paper roses.

Tools and Materials
Box of disposable cone coffee filters (8 filters will make one full bloom rose)
Coffee filter rose templates
16-gauge floral wire
Floral tape
Water color paint
Flat brush
Bamboo skewer
Glue stick

Coffee Filter Roses How-To
1. Trace and cut petal shapes through both layers of filters, as per templates.
2. Form rose. With coffee filter No. 1, take four connected petals and poke an 18-inch length of 16-gauge floral wire down through the center of the bottom of one end petal so 1/2 inch of the wire remains sandwiched between two opposite petals.
3. Wrap adjacent two petals tightly around first two petals; wrap with floral tape around base, then 1/2 inch down wire, to secure.
4. When working with floral tape, pull it as you work to expose the sticky part of the tape.
5. With coffee filter No. 2, take four connected petals and sandwich "flower bud" between two opposite petals. On the adjacent petal pair, gently tear the perforation of the base so that you have a strip of 2 side-by-side petals. Wrap this petal strip around the other two petals and secure with tape.
6. With coffee filter No. 3, take four connected petals and gently tear the perforation at the base to create a strip of four petals. Wrap this petal strip around flower bud and secure with tape.7. With coffee filter No. 4, gently tear the perforation at the base of petal shapes to create a strip of five petals. Wrap this petal strip around flower bud and secure with tape. (The folded petal gives rose stability and a more rounded form.)
8. With coffee filter No. 5, place three petals, overlapping slightly on rose and wrap just once (to avoid bulk) with floral tape to secure.
9. Wrap remaining three petals opposite the first three. Repeat for shapes cut from filters Nos. 6, 7, and 8. Use finger and thumb to separate petals, creating air pockets and making petals curve outward from the base. Use 3 or 4 extra single petals to fill in holes and give a rounded shape.
10. To paint the roses, use watercolor paints, mixed with a bit of water. Paint the base color, first doing the bottom, then the top, working from the inside out. Accentuate with a darker color on the tips. Use a flat brush to apply a third color of undiluted watercolor to edges. Let dry overnight.
11. Once painted roses are dry, curl left and right sides of outer petals around a bamboo skewer to create a point. Work your way from the outside to the inside of rose. Curl inner petals just slightly by wrapping top straight down around bamboo skewer.
12. Add five paper sepals secured with floral tape to short stem. Wrap floral tape in a spiral down wire stem several times to create a thick roselike stem. Burnish stem with skewer to smooth tape. Cut 6 paper leaves and sandwich a 4-inch wire between. Use a glue stick to stick 6 leaves together with a 4-inch wire stem.
13. Secure leaves to stem with floral tape.

Special Thanks
Cassie Chappell,

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Flowery Notes

Your personal correspondence will bloom like spring flowers when you make a garden's worth of these note cards. Convert store-bought cards into this pop-up flower stationery, or create your own from lovely patterned papers. Before you send off your spring wishes, adorn each envelope with a matching flower seal.

Note How-To:
To make note cards, use spray mount to affix two different patterned papers of the same size back to back; allow to set, then crease paper in half. Photocopy the flower template, enlarging or shrinking it to a desired size; cut out the shape. Unfold your homemade card or store-bought card and place the template over the middle of the crease; trace half the flower in pencil on one half of the card, abutting the fold. On a cutting mat, use a utility knife to cut out the half-flower. For the flower seals, shrink the template, then cut out the shape. Trace the flower onto paper and cut out; use a glue stick to adhere to envelopes.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Shape Crepe Flowers

Flowers crafted from colorful tissue or crepe paper are graceful, inexpensive to make, and always in season. Arrange them on tables, use as boutonnieres, or create a whole bouquet.

How to Make It
Tissue Bubble Flower: Attach 12 (or 6 pairs) artificial stamens to 24-gauge cloth-covered floral wire by wrapping with green floral tape. Cut five 4-by-2 1/4-inch pieces of tissue paper. For each petal, wrap tissue halfway around 1 1/2-inch Styrofoam ball; twist ends, and remove ball. Attach one end of petal to the base of stamen with floral tape. Add the other petals one at a time, taping in place. Trim pointy ends. Gently pull petals away from the center.

Crepe Paper Lily: Modify these instructions to create a flower of a different color or size, and with more or fewer petals. Cut out 5 petals from orange crepe paper (download template here). Fold the petals in half lengthwise, crease, then unfold. Gently pull each petal outward at widest point to stretch it. Make stamens: Cut 1/2-by-6-inch strip of ivory crepe paper. Twist it tightly between your fingers; knot one end. Cut three 1/8-by-4-inch strips of heavy red crepe paper, and bend each at one end. Attach all strips, with the ivory one in the center, to 18-gauge cloth-wrapped floral wire for a stem by winding floral tape around ends. Attach petals to stamens one at a time with floral tape, spacing evenly.

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