Friday, March 30, 2012

DIY: Printed Paper Garlands

Create a vintage feel to your wedding ceremony and reception with these easy DIY garlands. Use the garlands for photo booth backgrounds, hanging mobiles, or simple wall and aisle decorations. 

Used book (a vintage journal or old sheets of music)
Clear Tape 
Hole Punch or circle cutter

How To
Pinwheels: Tear or cut the book pages into narrow strips, where the thicker the strip, the larger the pinwheel. Evenly fold each strip in an accordion fashion, then tape together the two ends while fanning out the strip. Secure the centre with clear tape, or glue a small button on each side, also using the printed paper. Once pinwheels are secured (glue will take a few hours to dry), puncture a hole through the center of the pinwheel, making sure not to crush the folds. Thread the twine through the hole and tie a knot to keep the pinwheel in place on the garland. 

Flags/Pennants: Cut out isosceles triangles of equal size. Fold the base edge of each triangle over the twine and secure with tape. 

Circle Confetti: Use a hole puncher or larger circle cutter to create the paper confetti. Take two circles and glue them back to back with the twine in between.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rich Chocolate Easter Egg Tart

If your having family and friends over this Easter be sure to have this delicious chocolate Easter egg tart on the menu. It's guaranteed to be a winner!

Ingredients (serves 10)
250g good-quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces
200g butter, chopped
6 eggs
1/3 cup caster sugar
200g mini chocolate Easter eggs (or speckled eggs), for decoration
cocoa powder, to serve  

Sweet shortcrust pastry
1 2/3 cups plain flour
3/4 cup pure icing sugar
125g butter, chilled, chopped
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon chilled water  

1. Make shortcrust pastry: Combine flour, icing sugar and butter in a food processor. Process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg yolk, vanilla and chilled water. Process until pastry just comes together. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Pat into a 10cm disc. Wrap in greaseproof paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm enough to roll out.
2. Preheat oven and a large flat baking tray to 190°C. Roll pastry out between 2 sheets baking paper to a 34cm round. Use round to line base and sides of a 2.5cm-deep, 26cm (base) fluted loose-based tart pan. Trim excess pastry. Freeze pastry case for 15 minutes or until firm.
3. Line pastry case with baking paper. Three-quarters fill with dried beans or uncooked rice. Place on hot tray. Bake for 10 minutes or until firm to touch. Remove paper and beans. Bake for a further 8 to 10 minutes or until pastry base is light golden. Remove from oven. Reduce oven to 180°C and return baking tray to oven.
4. Meanwhile, place chocolate and butter in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every minute with a metal spoon, or until melted and smooth. Using hand beaters, beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl for 4 minutes or until pale and thick. Pour in chocolate mixture. Beat until well combined.
5. Pour chocolate mixture into pastry case. Place on hot tray and bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until just set. Cool to room temperature.
6. Arrange mini Easter eggs on tart. Dust with cocoa powder and serve.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Creative Seating Cards & Displays

We came across these simple and creative ideas for seating cards and displays on Martha Stewart. With over 50 ideas to inspire you, you are sure to find one that will match perfectly to your wedding theme and style. Here are our favourites…

Escort Flags
Decorate each of your tables with with a different runner that matches the fabric on each of the escort flags.

Envelope Table Assignments   
Miniature envelopes holding stamped table assignments are pinned to a fabric-covered board then propped on an easel on the lawn or entrance to your reception. 

Lavender Seating Cards 
For an aromatic seating card, place two strips of paper (with the guest's name printed on one end and the table number on the other) tied with satin ribbon to lavender wrapped with floral tape.

Seating Card Sacks 
Pair a tag and a bag (with whatever goodies you choose inside) for an easy and economical favor that also serves as a seating card. Use rubber stamp to give muslin bags a border that fits your theme, print tags with guests' names and table numbers, cut out with an oval craft punch, then punch hole at top of tag and thread drawstrings through.

Use petite handmade quotation books as seating cards. Fill the miniature books with your favorite sayings about life and love and bound them in card-stock covers with thin brown satin ribbon.

Floral Display
Greet your guests with an inviting display of single blooms in glasses bearing tags with each guest's name and table number. Finish with ribbon or twine.

Monday, March 26, 2012

How To Make Easter Gift tags & Cards

Homemade DIY cards and gift tags are a lovely way to dress up gifts at Easter - edible or otherwise! 

What you will need
Ready-made blank cards
Cutting mat
Patterned paper
Souble-sided tape
Ric-rac braid
Craft glue
1. To make the egg template, draw an oval onto a piece of plain paper. It should be slightly wider at the base and narrower at the top, then cut out.

2. Trace the template onto the front of the card. Place the card open on the cutting mat, then, holding securely, use the scalpel to cut the egg shape out.


3. Turn the card over and use strips of double-sided tape to secure a rectangle of patterned paper over the oval opening. If you want to use ribbon or ric-rac braid to decorate the egg, stretch it across the opening and use normal sticky tape to secure at either side before placing the patterned paper over the top. 

4. To make the matching gift tags, take the egg-shaped cutout from the cards. Use glue to stick patterned paper to the cut-out, then leave to dry. 

5. Place gift tag on the cutting board, pattern-side down, and use the scalpel to cut around the card. Punch a hole in the top of the card and add a piece of ribbon. 

Visit Homelife

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Caramello Egg Brownies

Give this chocolate brownie recipe an Easter twist by topping each brownie with a gold-wrapped Caramello egg - because at Easter time you simply can't have enough chocolate!
¾ cup butter
1 ¼ cup sugar
2 tspn vanilla
3 eggs
¾ cups self raising flour
½ cup cocoa powder
Pinch of salt (optional)
12 Cadbury Caramello eggs 
1. Preheat oven to 180°C
2. Lightly grease a slice tin (33 x 23 cm) with butter and line it with baking paper. 
3. Melt the butter on the stove or in the microwave. 
4. Using a mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together, add vanilla, flour, cocoa, salt (optional) and the melted butter next. Mix this together and gently pour the mixture into the tin.
5. Unwrap the foil from the Caramello eggs and place them at even intervals into the mixture.
6. Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes at 180°C. You can test if the brownies are cooked through by inserting a wooden skewer into the centre of the tin. If it comes out clean, they're ready to be taken out of the oven.
7. Let the brownies cool and dust with sifted icing sugar.   

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Shoe Storage

Shoes are close to many a gal's heart, so why hide them in boxes when they could be out on display? Many people don’t understand the need for lots of pairs of shoes, but everyone knows you need somewhere to store them. With a few basic DIY tools and this great step-by-step guide from Better Homes & Gardens, you can make shoe storage shelves that will ensure your fave flats, pretty pumps and brilliant boots can be appreciated, every day. 

What you will need…
Shelf sides (2) 1800 x 400 x 19mm plywood
Shelves (5) 600 x 275 x 19mm plywood
Front stops (5) 20 x 20 x 600mm quad beading
Heel stops (5) 20 x 20 x 600mm pine (optional)
30mm nails
Nail punch
Protractor and sliding bevel
Timber filler
Paintbrush and foam roller
Dulux Prepcoat primer sealer undercoat
Dulux Gloss Enamel in Vivid White 

How to…
1. Cut all shelf pieces to length. Glue and nail quad beading 2mm back from front edge of each shelf, to make a quirk that gives shape to the joint. Tap nails home, then finish cleanly with a nail punch.
2. Measure 200mm across top of one shelf side from back, and join mark to bottom front corner. Cut to shape. Then, from bottom back corner, measure 350mm along bottom edge and 300mm up the back edge. Join marks, and cut off bottom triangle, to form a 5-sided truncated wedge shape. Repeat to make an identical second side.
3. Measure 100, 400, 700, 1000 and 1300mm up back edge. Using a protractor, set a sliding bevel to 55° and draw in lines to mark tops of 5 shelves. Use a straight edge to extend lines to front edge.
4. Mark a parallel angled line 10mm under each shelf top line and drill 4.5mm clearance holes 50 and 240mm from the front edge.
5. Clamp 1 shelf side to bench so front edge overhangs, allowing you to access front screw holes. Glue and screw top shelf to side so front edge of shelf is about 5mm back from front edge of side. Make sure bead is right way up. Repeat until all shelves are attached by 1 screw, then turn side around so back screw holes are accessible, clamp and screw on from underside so that each shelf has 2 screws on one side.
6. Glue and screw second side on tops of shelves. Align each shelf with lines and gap to front edge, and fix first screw in each shelf. Then go back and put in final screws.
7. Most shoes will be happily supported by the front bead, but you might have a few pairs that need a stop to support the heels. On 1 or more shelves, you can add a simple heel stop about 150-180mm up the shelf from the bottom. Pin in place with 30mm nails.
8. Fill all screw holes with timber filler. Allow to dry, then sand smooth. Paint with a coat of primer sealer undercoat. When dry, apply 2 coats of gloss enamel in the colour of your choice using a foam roller. Now your leaning shelf is complete.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Marbled Easter Chocolates


Giving chocolates at Easter time can be almost as much fun as eating them - especially if you make them yourself.

100g white chocolate, roughly chopped
100g good-quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1. Melt white and dark chocolates in separate heatproof bowls over simmering water, making sure the bowls do not touch the water, then allow to cool slightly.
2. To fill the moulds, place 1 teaspoon of white then a teaspoon of dark chocolate in each mould and use a wooden skewer to swirl the chocolates together. Give mould a few taps on the counter to dispel any air bubbles, cool completely and refrigerate for about 1 hour or until firm. 

Visit Taste

Monday, March 12, 2012

Kitchen Storage Idea

A well-stocked kitchen or pantry rests on two key things: good shopping and lots of storage. Homelife have come up with a quick and easy way to make a note of what you’ve stored, and when. 

1. Collect jars – Gather a range of simple glass storage jars (preferably with secure, rubber seals). 
2. Paint – Then create a mini-blackboard on each jar with blackboard paint (Homelife used White Knight Chalkboard Paint). 
3. Write – Keep a box of chalk handy, and simply note the contents and expiry date each time you fill the jar.

The beauty of this system is its endless flexibility – details can be changed with a quick wipe, and the label will never wear out.  

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Friday, March 9, 2012

How To Decorate Easter Eggs

You create these impressive modern decorative eggs with a few other items from the craft box and your own freehand artistic style. Choose a colour palette of a few similar colours to keep the theme and unify the different looks. Try blowing your own eggs first and then letting loose with a few paints, stickers and decorations.    

You’ll need 
Blown eggs
Alphabet stickers
Chalkboard paint
Decorative felt strips (with sticky back)
 Metallic pencils
 White and/or silver ink or paint pens
Also required: newspaper or old sheet; paintbrush, candle and wooden skewer
Personalised eggs 
1. Use the alphabet stickers to spell out a name.
2. Twist one end of a wooden skewer into the top of a candle until it stands straight up by itself. Now place the egg on the other end through the larger hole to create a stand. Follow the instructions on your spraypaint can and spray the egg until it’s the desired colour.
3. Once dry, carefully remove the stickers. If you want the inside to be a different colour to “natural eggshell” carefully colour in the sticker part with a white paint pen. You can try painting it a different colour before you put on the stickers and spraypaint, but there is a chance you will peel off the original paint with the sticker.
Fishscale egg
1. Paint the egg black with chalkboard paint using the “egg stand” as mentioned in step 2 above.
2. Once dry, use a metallic pencil to carefully draw a fishscale pattern on the egg starting from the base.   

String-wrapped egg
1. Paint the egg with chalkboard paint using the “egg stand” as mentioned in step 2 of “name eggs”.
2. Once dry, wrap string around the egg and tie off. Place on the “egg stand” again and spraypaint until the colour changes.
3. Once dry, carefully remove the string.
Felt strip egg
1. Spraypaint the egg using the “egg stand” as mentioned in step two of “name eggs”.
2. Once dry, peel off the backing of the felt strip and stick onto the egg. 
Silver handdrawn decorative egg
1. Spraypaint the egg using the “egg stand” as mentioned in step two of “name eggs”.
2. Once dry, use a silver paint or ink pen (or any other colour of your choice) to draw a pattern all over it.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hot Cross Muffins


Kick start Easter in your house with these delicious hot cross muffins. It's a yummy spin on the traditional hont cross buns and they are sure to be a winner!

Ingredients (makes 12)
135g dried cranberries
1 cup (150g) currants
2 1/2 cups (375g) self-raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2/3 cup (165ml) sunflower oil
1 cup (250ml) buttermilk
2 eggs
200g caster sugar, plus extra 2 tbs
80g icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice   

1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease a 12-hole muffin tray and line with paper cases.
2. Soak dried fruit in just enough boiling water to cover for 10 minutes. Drain well, then pat dry with paper towel.
3. Sift the flour, soda and spices into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs and sugar until combined. Add to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Gently stir in the fruit. Divide the mixture among muffin cases, then bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
4. Meanwhile, place the extra 2 tbs sugar in a pan with 2 tbs water and simmer over low heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Brush the glaze over the muffins.
5. Sift icing sugar into a bowl. Add lemon juice and just enough hot water to make a thick, pipable icing. Use a piping bag or drizzle from a spoon to draw a cross on each muffin, then serve. 

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Easter Has Landed at Emerald & Ella!

Emerald & Ella have lots of cute things to make your easter celebrations special this year. From chicken egg cosies to pom pom chick craft sets, stripey bags to spotty twist ties, paper mache eggs to handmade mug cosies. And even better, everything is priced under $25!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rubber Stamp

Don't have it in your wedding budget to hire a calligrapher? Rrder one of these inexpensive calligraphy stamps from Etsy. Theses gorgeous stamps can be personalised with your name and address or even your names and wedding date!

Visit Etsy

Monday, March 5, 2012

Nature-Inspired Paper Project

Transform a white vase into a statement piece with a quick paper transfer. Print a photograph on Lazertran paper, making sure the image prints on the chalky eggshell side. Let it dry for 30 minutes. Cut the image to size. Soak the printout facedown in a pan of water for about a minute. Peel off the backing and place the filmy printout onto a ceramic vase, smoothing out any air bubbles. Once the paper dries, the white on the photo will show. If you want it to be clear, paint one to three coats of polyurethane over the top of the image.

Friday, March 2, 2012

How to Make Paper Flowers

We came across this wonderful DIY tutorial on The Wedding Chicks. These cute paper flowers can be used anywhere… a flower wall backdrop, corsages or boutonnieres for guests, decorations on tables, stationery… the list is endless. 

Pretty Paper
Circle Cutter
Glue Gun
School Glue

Step 1: Cut circles from the paper using the circle cutter. You will need between 7 to 21 circles for each flower, depending on how full you would like them.
Step 2: With scissors cut a slit half way up each circle.
Step 3: Place a dot of hot glue to the left side of the slit. Fold the right side of the slit over the left to create a cone. Repeat.
Step 4: Place a dot of hot glue near the seam of the cone (usually the flattest side). Lay another cone on top.
Step 5: Repeat steps 3 and 4 over and over, making the cones less severe as you go.
Step 6: Smear a circle of glue in the middle of the flower and coat with glitter.