Tag Archive: crafts


WordPress has just informed me that today is the first anniversary of this blog! To celebrate, I shall introduce you to my new blog, Sweet Wanderings. I will be moving to London for a year whenever I am granted a visa, most likely sometime in July-ish or August maybe, and I will be blogging my journey and experiences there! I may still post some crafty things over the next year, but probably not nearly as much because I will be busy seeing as much of London and Europe as I can while I’m there, and I can’t lug all my crafty stuff with me!

Looking back over the past year, I’ve written several posts on Smashbooks because I love them, and I’ve completed two of them. I started this Smashbook last fall and posted about the beginnings of it. Now I’ve been to a few more places, and it’s all filled up!
Travel Smashbook

Travel Smashbook - New York City

NYC – Julie Andrews book signing and Broadway show

Travel Smashbook - Paris

Paris day trip from London on my birthday

Travel Smashbook - New Zealand Bungy

Bungy jumping in New Zealand

Travel Smashbook - Portland

fun times in Portland, Oregon

Travel Smashbook - Muir Woods, SF

Muir Woods, a beautiful redwood forest across the bay from San Francisco

Travel Smashbook - San Francisco

beautiful San Francisco

Travel Smashbook - Los Angeles

Warner Brothers Studio/Los Angeles

Travel Smashbook - Los Angeles

Hollywood, California

Travel Smashbook

I love my Smashbooks! I bought a big red one to fill during the next year or so, since I figure I’ll need a lot of room with my adventures living in London. 🙂

If you liked this post, check out my other Smashbook posts: Smashbooking and 2012 Smashbook – Complete!

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Every year, my office has at least one holiday contest for our Christmas Pitch-in and party. Since I’ve been here, we’ve done desk decorations, ornaments, and ugly sweaters.

Computer Part Ornament

My entry for last year’s computer-themed ornament contest

This year, there’s a challenge to make your own ornament with a superhero theme. I won a cake boss contest a couple of months ago with a s’mores cake (I’ll post about that at some point!), but I have tried and failed several times to win a holiday contest. This year, I am trying again!

The person who won last year had an ornament that could light up, which seemed to wow everyone. So I figured that was the key. The nerdy boyfriend of mine came up with the idea of Green Lantern so it would make sense for it to light up, and I liked the idea and ran with it. Even if I haven’t yet seen the movie. It even fits with holiday colors!

Here’s how I made it:

  • plain plastic/glass ornament
  • mini LED lights with battery pack
  • AA batteries
  • green tissue paper
  • mod podge
  • foam brush
  • Green Lantern logo

First, I checked to make sure the lights worked (I learned the hard way that you should do this from putting lights on our office tree only to find out the whole strand was out!) Then, I stuffed the little lights into the ornament one by one.

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Next, I tore up the tissue paper into small pieces. I glued it on by brushing the mod podge only on the spot where I wanted to put a piece, placing it there, and continuing to the next spot until the ornament was covered.

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Then I printed out the Green Lantern logo, cut right around it, and mod podged that on, too. I picked an exact spot with a light so the lantern would light up. Finally, I added a ribbon to hang it up, and it was done! The lights blink, too, which is super fun!

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I didn’t have a lot of competition, but I did win the contest. 🙂

Movable Mini Mummies

I loved this idea from Camilla Fabbri for movable mini mummies and thought they were so cute that I wanted to make one. It was tough tracking down the supplies, but this weekend I ended up making two.

Poseable Mini Mummy

What I used:

  • muslin (a type of fabric – ordered a scrap from ebay)
  • flexible plant tie wire (found this at Lowe’s)
  • wire clippers (the boyfriend had these, which was handy)

Wire Clippers, Muslin, and Flexible WIre

First, I shaped the wire into a person-like frame. If you can find thicker wire or wire covered in more rubber/plastic, I recommend using that, but I had to work with what I could find. I just ended up with a skinner mummy. (Also, I ended up giving my mummy more of a torso after I took the below picture, but you get the idea.)

Shaping WIre Mummy

Then, I cut my muslin into strips about half an inch wide (in some spots more and others less). I started out cutting a little ways and then ripped the rest of the strip to speed up the process, as Camilla suggested. With those I began to wrap my mummy, tying the strips’ together as I went and trimming off the ends.

Wrapping Mini Mummy

The wrapping process was kind of trial and error for me. I learned that the tighter you go, the better, and if I ended up with wider strips I cut them down more so they could better wrap the small frame. When I was done, I just dabbed on some hot glue to finish it off (but you could use another strong glue) and dabbed some more hot glue in spots that looked looser.

My finished mummy is very charismatic and was ready for a photo shoot.

Poseable Mini Mummy

He can do all kinds of yoga poses.

Mini Mummy Yoga Pose

I also made a tall, dark, and handsome chummy mummy friend for him.

Poseable Mini Mummy Buddles

Their names are Yummy Mummy and Mummy’s the Word.

Poseable Mini Mummy

I brought them to work, and I think I’m going to give one to a friend once she gets back from vacation. Here’s Mummy’s the Word hanging out at my cubicle.

I’ve gotten multiple comments that they look like they’re made out of medical or masking tape, but nope – they’re real fabric. Dummy mummies. 🙂

In honor of the season premier of Doctor Who a couple months ago, I felt the need to make Dalek cakes. The BBC recipe was my inspiration, but I couldn’t find “dariole moulds” (who has those?!) so I looked at a couple of other versions of daleks and came up with my own thing. It was so much work and frustrating enough that I only made one I was happy enough with, but I thought I’d share it with you:

Chocolate Dalek Cake

Not very exciting, I know, but it does resemble a dalek and is delicious.

Ingredients for Dalek Cake

I used all of the above to assemble my dalek. First, cupcakes baking.

Chocolate cupcakes

Then I stuck the cupcake upside-down using a bowl for a stand, attached a chocolate donut and mini muffin on top using frosting between them, and frosted the whole thing. Then I added the chocolate chips for the button things on the bottom and head and broke up pocky for the arms and eye. The hardest part was attaching all these and trying not to have them fall off!

At our series premier party, we had this cake and other chocolate cupcakes I made, fish fingers and custard, and blue Tardis juice. 🙂

Also, I made over a Guess Who game using the stuff the brilliant Karen Kavett put together for Guess Who: Doctor Who Edition. I basically just printed all her great templates out, cut out the cards and faces (and cut them to be smaller since this modern version has smaller plastic frames), and put them in the Guess Who board. I used a more modern version of the game and didn’t paint it, because I was going for more of a fun factor than professional-looking.

Doctor Who Guess Who

Then I printed out her outside and taped/glued that to the box, adding black where the design didn’t cover due to the different box size.

Doctor Who Guess Who box

It is really fun! I played it with my friend Aryn and we loved it. In what other game can you ask “Are you a human?”

Tea Variety Wreath

Tea! My friend Aryn loves it even more than I do. And I saw this great idea by kojo designs to make a tea wreath for your kitchen, allowing you and your guests to see all at once all the different kinds of tea you have. I pretty much had to make this for Aryn for her birthday.

Tea Kitchen Wreath

I used:

  • about 12×12 in. of cardboard (for mine it was a cardboard amazon package)
  • scissors
  • enough clothespins to cover it
  • various kinds of decorative paper (I used 3 sheets of one kind to cover the wreath and about half a sheet of two other designs for the clothespins)
  • tape
  • hot glue
  • glue stick
  • tea

First, I cut my cardboard into a roundish shape that measured fairly evenly across, then used a bowl to trace a circle for the middle and cut that out as well. Then I taped some decorative paper over that. The back looks rather messy with various paper taped all over it, but that doesn’t particularly matter since you will be hanging it to only show the front.Covered Tea Wreath

Next, take a different design of decorative paper and measure it to be about the same width as the clothespins, then cut them into strips.Measuring Paper for Clothespins

Then, glue the strips onto your clothespins with your glue stick. I cut the strips to be slightly longer, glued them on and let them dry, and then finally trimmed them to the edge of the clip to be more precise.Gluing paper to clothespins

Use hot glue to attach the clothespins to the wheel. I arranged mine how I wanted them before starting to glue.Tea Wreath with Clothespins

Another thing I’ve realized with hot glue is that you often don’t need very much. I started out doing a line of hot glue on each one, but soon found that just 3 small dabs on each clothespin make them stick great.Tea variety wheel

Finally, hot glue on a ribbon, attach your tea, and hang it up to display your goodies. I added a bunch of tea I had, but left space for Aryn to add hers too.

Tea Variety Kitchen Wreath

And now I shall leave you with a quote from one of my favorite movies, Mary Poppins.

Mr. Dawes Jr.: In seventeen hundred and seventy-three, an official of this bank unwisely loaned a large
sum of money to finance a shipment of tea to the American Colonies… Do you know what happened?

Mr. Banks:  Yes sir, yes I think I do.  As the ship lay in Boston harbor, a party of colonists,
dressed as red Indians, boarded the vessel, behaved rudely, and threw all the tea overboard.  This
made the tea unsuitable for drinking – – even for Americans!

Carcassonne Rubik’s Cube

Combinations of two fantastic things are always fun to me, like when The Doctor says “Expelliarmus!”, the possibility of Anne Hathaway playing Julie Andrews in a movie about the author of Mary Poppins, or song mashups like Michael Jackson and Ghostbusters or Glee’s mashup of two Adele songs.

So a Carcassonne Rubik’s Cube? Of course I was going to make this. I love the tile game Carcassonne, and I happened to have a Rubik’s cube. In case you haven’t heard of this game, it is a game in which you lay down tiles that have to match up – some sides are cities, some are roads, some are farmland, and each side has to match – city to I decided to give it to my friend Erika who is also a nerdy fan of the game.

Finished Carcassonne Rubik's Cube

Here’s how I did it! It’s quite simple.

Materials:

  • Rubik’s Cube
  • Printed Carcassonne tile template
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife
  • Adhesive (I used a glue stick but you could probably use other kinds of glues)

The original maker of this has a fantastic PDF template to download, so I just printed that off on regular paper, cut out one side at a time, and glued them onto the cube, making sure the sides are turned the right way so they match up.

Since the squares are slightly too big, this allowed me to cut between them using a utility knife instead of cutting them out individually and gluing them on in order (which would have taken forever).

Finally, a layer of Mod Podge as a finish (you could also use mod podge as an adhesive).

Mod Podging Carcassonne Rubik's Cube

Let it dry a few hours, and there you have it! You can jumble it up and score yourself like the normal game to have fun with it by seeing how high of a score you can get, or see if you can just match up one side at a time. Portable entertainment!

Tissue Paper Photo Coasters

I’ve already been buying/making/planning for Christmas gifts for a month or two now. My grandparents love anything with photos of their grandchildren, so when I saw an idea for photo coasters from Lee Lala, I thought it was perfect. I ended up combining it with ideas from two girls being crafty, as well. And heck, everyone else in the craft blog community is doing it, so why shouldn’t I? (Just don’t tell my grandparents until Christmas!)

Cute Black and White Photo Coasters

My supplies were:

  • Digital pictures edited to black and white
  • White tissue paper
  • Ceramic or sandstone tiles (I couldn’t find sandstone even though I liked that idea, so I got some super cheap ceramic tiles from Home Depot that were like 10-20 cents apiece)
  • Printer (Many tutorials say to only use a laser printer, but I used an inkjet and just made sure to print in black ink/grayscale ONLY, not the color combination that creates black, so that the colors wouldn’t get all weird.)
  • Mod Podge and foam brush
  • Spray sealant
  • Black felt
  • Hot glue
  • O Magazine (or other easy-cleanup work surface… I had this free copy from years ago to use 🙂 )

The first two steps using the tissue paper are the hardest, because tissue paper is so fragile. First, I printed out each photo on tissue paper in a size to match my 4″ish by 4″ish inch tile. It had to be carefully taped to a sheet of cardstock so it wouldn’t get all bunched up in the printer.

Tissue Paper Photo Coasters

Next, I applied a thin layer of mod podge with the foam brush and quickly but carefully placed the photo on top. There will be wrinkles, as is the nature of tissue paper, but do your best to smooth them out very carefully so the paper doesn’t tear. The wrinkles aren’t as obvious once the coasters are done, but they still help give the photos a worn, unique look.

Tissue Paper Photo Coasters

Then, apply a thin layer of mod podge on top

Tissue Paper Photo Coasters

And let dry for at least fifteen minutes, then add another coat. Wait an hour or two more, and add a coat of spray sealant to help make them waterproof.

Sealing Photo Coasters

Once that dries after a few hours, the main part of the coaster done, so you just need to glue on the felt.

I measured the tiles (since they aren’t exactly 4×4) and cut the felt to the same size, one piece for each coaster.

Measuring Felt

Then, I placed hot glue on each coaster, one side at a time, and stuck on the felt before it dried.

Gluing Felt to CoastersGluing Felt Onto Photo Coasters

Add some ribbon, and you have cute personalized coasters!

Cute Black and White Photo Coasters

For an easier version, you could just use regular paper or photo paper since it doesn’t wrinkle, or just use scrapbook paper for cute ones if you don’t want to put your glass on someone’s face. I know a lot of people have done this, and for some reason I decided to go with the harder-to-work-with tissue paper. But these coasters have character. 😉

Dishwasher Clean/Dirty Sign

I know I’ve been away for a while – I tend to get into something like crafting for a while and then turn my attention to something else (like games or tv or traveling), and come back to it later. But I have some new stuff to show you guys!

Ever have problems telling whether the dishes are dirty or clean? The boyfriend and I sometimes have trouble coordinating the dishes, especially since he washes them before putting them in the dishwasher. So when I saw this cute tutorial on making a sign for your dishwasher, I thought it was a great idea.

First, I tried the method in the tutorial – saved cottage cheese lids, printed out the awesome printable the original poster made onto cardstock, cut them out and got the rest of my supplies together.

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I glued the magnet on the backside of one lid and the lids to each other with hot glue.

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However, when I tried to put it on the dishwasher, my magnet wasn’t strong enough, and it kept falling off. So, I gave up on that altogether and just ended up Elmer’s gluing the clean/dirty pieces of cardstock together with the magnet between them, and it worked.

If you have a stronger magnet than me, feel free to try the lid method, since that would be a more durable sign. But hey, sometimes you just have to use trial-and-error and work with what you have. 🙂

Invitation Ornament

Toward the beginning of my interest in Pinterest, I found this tutorial on making an ornament out of a wedding invitation, which inspired me to make one for my friends Matt and Aryn as a keepsake for their wedding. I also made a similar one out of lines of binary code for a geeky ornament as a holiday contest at the office (which didn’t win because mine didn’t light up, of course).

It’s super simple; here’s what you’ll need:

  • Wedding invitation or other keepsake on paper
  • Scissors
  • Pen or pencil
  • Empty, clear plastic or glass ornament

First, cut the invitation into strips – I stuck to one line per strip. Then (and this is my ingenious addition to this, haha) slide a strip across either scissors or the corner of a surface (as I did below with my glass table) just like you would do to make ribbon curly. This only makes the strips slightly curly, but it kind of primes the paper to make it much easier to curl later.

Then, wrap the strip tightly around your pen or pencil and hold it there for a few seconds.

When you take them off, they will look like this:

I tried some without the scissors-or-corner step and they didn’t curl nearly as tightly. Once you are done, stuff the strips into the ornament, add some ribbon, and there you have it! I love how you can see bits and pieces of the text by turning it different ways.

This particular ornament was for my friend Corinna, which I gave to her last week before her wedding and she loved it! It’s a nice personalized keepsake that can be used for years and display the invitation at the same time. Because really, can you have too many holiday ornaments?

Butterfly Window Clings

I painted these! And it took a few hours, but it was fun. I found an old kit for painting butterfly window clings, and I just decided to tackle it and make some colorful butterflies for my window.

What was interesting was how with this kind of paint, there’s a scooper tool. You scoop the paint on to each section, then use the pointy end to spread it out evenly. There was a paint-by-number guide in the instruction manual. I took a little bit of creative liberty in adding blue to the brown-and-red butterfly, but I probably should have just left it as is; these kit people seem to know what they’re doing. 🙂

You have to wait for it to dry for at least 24 hours, and then take them off the paper backing, carefully cut them out, and voila! You have a lovely clingaling.

I’m giving a couple of these to a friend who loves butterflies, and the rest are colorfying my living room in the mornings!