Tag: arts

Make ornaments from old greeting cards

Original article by Amy Johnson for Maker Mama 

It’s nearly time to start spring cleaning. Some things in life we find hard to throw away, and one of those is holiday and birthday cards received from those close to you.

One way to save them is to use old cards to make paper ball ornaments.

They’re free and easy to make with simple supplies, and would be perfect for your own decor or even as a little gift.

The main supplies you’ll need are some paper and a cutting tool, such as a circle punch.

You can use any paper you have around, but make sure it’s about card stock weight, otherwise it won’t keep it’s shape well. Likewise, if you don’t have a circle cutting tool, you can trace something circular and cut them by hand (double the paper up so it’ll go faster).

Start by cutting out 21 circles in different colours and patterns.

To create your template and start folding your circles follow these steps:

  • Lay out your extra circle piece.
  • Fold it in half.
  • Fold it in half again to make an X in your circle.
  • Fold a small section into the middle.
  • Fold an equal-sized section into the middle, overlapping the first section.
  • Fold the third section over the others, creating a triangle (try to keep the sections as equal as possible).
  • Cut away the flaps leaving your equilateral triangle as the template.
  • Place the template on top of a new circle and fold flaps along the lines.
  • Remove the template and you have the basic piece that will make up your ornament.

Now fold the rest until you have twenty folded triangle-circles (the template makes it go by pretty fast).

Next, bust out your craft glue of choice.

I went for the hot glue gun for the sake of time. I’ve used white glue on previous ones and had to paperclip the flaps together to ensure they stay together, and it took much longer to dry.

Take 10 of your pieces and line them up in a row, alternating the direction they’re pointing.

Next, glue the first and last pieces together.

You should have five flaps facing out on both the top and bottom.

Take your 10 remaining pieces and lay them out for the top and bottom of the ornament.

This time you want them all pointing toward the center, creating a circular shape.

After you glue the flaps together, you’ll have two domed pieces with five flaps on the bottom of each.

Glue the top and bottom pieces together along the flaps.

To hang it up, punch a hole in the top and string some yarn through.

Source: The Kreative Life

Find some big sturdy leaves, that are waxy and veiny because they work the best. Here is my step-by-step tutorial on how to make skeleton leaves.

You will need:

  • Waxy leaves
  • Large pot
  • Water (12 cups)
  • Super washing soda – also called sodium carbonate (2 cups)
  • Metal tongs
  • Colander
  • Bleach
  • Shallow dish
  • Food colouring of your choice
  • Cooling rack

The amount of water and super washing soda will vary depending on the size and amount of leaves. I would suggest using one part super washing soda to six parts water.

Directions
In a well-ventilated room, mix water and super washing soda in pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and add leaves. Allow the mixture to simmer for 2-3 hours. After the 2-3 hours, the water will look very murky.

Using the tongs, place the leaves in the colander and run under cool water. (My leaves were pretty tough, so I don’t know if adding all types of leaves to the colander will work or if you’d have to rinse them individually if they’re more fragile.)

Pour out the murky water and rinse out the pot. Fill the pot with just enough water to cover the leaves. It doesn’t have to be as much used before when simmering them. I added ½ cup bleach. Place the leaves into the bleach water and allow to soak for 20-30 minutes. This will remove as much color from the leaf as possible.

Now, this is where I did things a little differently. Instead of using the brush to remove the skin of the leaf, I placed the leaf flat on my hand and ran it under the sprayer on my kitchen sink. The skin started immediately coming off.

After about a minute under the water, the skin was completely removed. I’ll admit that some of the leaves tore a little, but I still kept them because it added a little character.

Mix water and food color in the shallow dish according to the tint you want. I used a blue and green mixture.

Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Remove from water and place on cooling rack. Allow to completely dry.

After mine dried, I painted a cheap frame and used a piece of scrapbook paper for the background.

Now that you know how easy making skeleton leaves at home is, what will you try next?

DIY coffee candle

Source: Crafting News

At the end of a long day, all I can think about is to unwind in front of my fireplace with a good book and a tall glass of wine. And the mood is always set with a beautifully scented candle that fills the room with the aroma of relaxation and home.

So I thought it was pretty cool when I came across this DIY coffee candle. One thing I also like is the smell of coffee in the morning. It usually wakes me right up, and I can feel all my senses come alive. How cool is it that you can make coffee scented candles? I know some of you could use this in your everyday life. I had to try it out for myself, and the results were beautifully scented, to say the least.

A word of caution
Before I made my candle I had read that there is a chance of coffee beans burning if they are too close to the candle flame. I ended up placing the coffee beans around the outside of the candle so that they are not near the wick, and so far have not had any issues. And if you don’t want to take that risk, you can replace the coffee beans with another scent such as lavender or vanilla.

What you will need:

  • Small bowls or glasses. Collect a few colorful containers you have around the house
  • Candle wax
  • Candle wick
  • Coffee beans
  • Vanilla beans, chopped

Making the DIY coffee candle

The procedure and the tutorial for making the candles is pretty straight forward. It is actually pretty easy and no skill is required, just the skill to have fun.

The basic procedure is to melt the candle wax. Then you hold the wick in the center of the container you want to use. After that you just pour in the candle wax along with the coffee and the vanilla while stirring with a chopstick to evenly distribute the ingredients. Or put the coffee beans in last to keep them away from the wick.

You have to give the candle a few minutes to dry up before sniping of the wick and voila you have your candle. The end result is a beautifully scented candle that will melt away your stresses.

For the full tutorial, click here.

Hobbies have poor shelf lives

The shelf-life of a hobby is one year and two months, according to Brits.

Researchers who polled 5 001 UK adults found almost half have taken up a hobby only to give it up.

Twenty-eight per cent level the blame at work commitments, while 27 per cent said a busy family life prevented them from carrying on.

But this hasn’t stopped them pursuing something new – eight in ten currently have a hobby and dedicate a total of nine days over the course a year to it.

Commissioned by Barclaycard, the research also found 57 per cent believe they are happier and a quarter have acquired new friends – all thanks to their hobby.

Andrew Hogan, Head of Brand Strategy at Barclaycard, said: “Our research shows that in today’s often frantic world, having a hobby can have a huge, positive impact on both our personal and professional lives, as well as our overall health and wellbeing.

“That’s why it’s so important that we overcome obstacles to getting going, whatever that may be.

“We encourage everyone to prioritise their passions and start today.”

The biggest obstacles to spending more free-time doing pursuing hobbies and interests include work commitments, family commitments and not having enough disposable cash.

Although 13 per cent admit they are too lazy to spend additional time doing their hobbies and 22 per cent revealed they tend to procrastinate in their spare time instead.

Regardless of this, 54 per cent are more relaxed thanks to their passion, around a third believe they are healthier and 23 per have seen their confidence levels increase.

And two in five believe their outside interests have given them a more positive outlook on life.

On average, those who have made new friends as a result of their hobby have made 16 new pals.

With one fifth of those who made friends have even meeting a partner.

A third have a hobby they would like to try one day, with ten per cent hoping to give it a go some point in the next 12 months.

And a quarter would like to turn their interest into a career someday.

Over half agree everyone should have a hobby or passion.

Andrew Hogan added: “It’s fascinating to see that so many people daydream of turning their passion into a career – and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t.

“Taking that first step could be as simple as signing up to ukulele lessons or buying a bike.”

https://www.thesun.co.uk By James Cox

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