05/04/2017

DIY: Envelopes! With free printable templates

This easy and fun DIY is for the true paper lover! Making your own envelopes is loads of fun – especially when you use fun and interesting paper. I used to collect vintage nature books for collage when I was in art school. For the samples we’ve made here I dug around in my boxes from moving to find some true gems to use. You can use any kind of paper you’d like! From magazines, to old books, to different colored paper you may have around – the list is endless! Let’s get started.

Materials needed:

+ Printable envelope templates I’ve made! (see below)

+ A good pair of Scissors

+ Glue stick

+ Fun paper

Step 1Download your free printable envelope templates here!

This is a dropbox link to a zip folder which contains three separate PDF files for different size and shaped envelopes (and also a multi-page PDF if you prefer to print them all at once). One is a tiny one, perfect for little notes, gift cards, giving money to someone, keeping postage stamps, coins, tiny treasures. So cute! The other two are both standard A2 size (the size of our greeting cards) one is a fun rounded-flap design I made myself, and the other is modeled off of a vellum envelope I had laying around.

Step 2: Print off the templates on your home computer on 8.5 x 11 standard printer paper. Note: when printing, keep it at scale – do not alter the scale at all if you want the envelopes to be the correct size! Some of the template may not print – mine did fine, but every printer is different! If it cuts off, it’s not the biggest deal – you can connect the lines – it’s pretty intuitive.

Step 3: Cut out your templates along the outside solid black line. The dotted lines are visual guides to show you where to fold! Trace on the back side of the paper (the side you want to be on the inside of the envelope) with pencil. No need to erase really, unless you want to. Then, simply cut along the lines and fold into envelopes! Secure all flaps besides the top one together with glue. Take care not to glue the flaps to the inside!

Wahoo! You made your first one. It’s so cute! It’s so fun! You’re jumping with joy! These little mini ones are my favorite. They happen to be the same size as our mini note sets, and also business cards. I love having them around to put tiny things in because it makes my tiny heart feel a tiny bit more happy.

Check out some more examples we made below:

03/24/2017

5 Easy Modern Ways to Decorate Terra Cotta Pots

It’s almost plant potting & repotting season! Did you know it’s best to re-pot in the spring? In the spirit of potting, and also our new Spring and Summer collection (which is undoubtedly botanically inspired), I wanted to do a post on some fun ways to fancy up some plain terra cotta pots. A painted pot with a plant inside makes a great gift with a personal handmade touch! I’m going to be repotting quite a few pots this spring as some of my plants have gotten much bigger, so these ideas are easy and perfect to add a little variation and pops of contrast. My small team and I had such a fun time doing this! I love doing DIY projects together, it felt so fun to just sit around and paint things.

The pots used here are simple and super cheap, and can be found here from IKEA –  I love that they are flat and smooth – and all supplies are simple and were found at Michaels. Before we started going to town on all of these, I came up with some super quick concept sketches shown below. Aww.

All pots: Step 1 – Spray the outside AND inside with a clear acrylic matte spray (found mine at Michaels, any craft store is a good bet).

Pro Tip: You may want to do a few coats, as terra cotta is pretty porous. *Note, by sealing the clay you lose its porosity a bit, so water your plant as if it were in a plastic or glazed pot and don’t depend as much on terra cotta’s “breathability” if you are used to it!

Well let’s get started! Below are 5 fun and easy ways to decorate a terra cotta pot at home with simple materials.

1 /// Rubber Stamped Terra Cotta Pot

Materials: Decorative rubber stamps*, Black archival ink pad.

*The rubber stamps were used here are all from our shop! We have a lot of fun and decorative stamps. Leaves, moons, eyes, hearts, shapes. Check out this link to our our modern decorative rubber stamp collection.

Directions: Simply stamp the pot in a roll-on fashion. (Does this give you anxiety? Me too! But, no worries! Test it out by taping some paper around the pot to test and perfect your stamp-rolling skills. Note: My assistant declared that she had no formal stamping experience and she made the pot below beautifully!)  Pro Tip: Dip your stamp in ink evenly and multiple times to make sure it’s fully coated. I think a repeating pattern makes for a nice look.

2 /// Chalkboard Painted Terra Cotta Pot

Materials: Painters tape & Black chalk paint (we used Martha Stewart chalk paint, found at our local craft store and online for 2.29 here).

Directions: Focus on only one edge of the tape, as shown below. Due to the tapering of the pot, the tape won’t go around all flat, so focus on the edge you want to make with one edge of the tape, and let the other edge get crinkly. We wanted ours to look like it was dipped in paint. One side is straight diagonal, and the other side is wavy. Paint two coats waiting in-between coats to dry for an hour, and remove the tape once it dries. Wait 48 hours before attempting to use chalk or chalk marker on it (or just leave it black!)

3 /// Geometric taped-off shapes

Materials: Masking tape, Acrylic paint (we used white).

Directions: Simply start putting tape on your pot in strips at different angles, creating shapes in the negative space. Remember, the negative space shapes is what is going to be painted. Get wacky and have fun with it! Paint two coats, waiting an hour between each, and remove the tape once it dries.

4 /// Hand painted easy strokes

Materials: Flat paint brush, Acrylic paint.

Directions: The simpler the better. Come up with a simple stroke/mark and create a pattern out of it. I did short thick lines but would also recommend dots, lines in different directions, wiggly lines, stripes, whatever you want! It doesn’t have to be perfect, but trying to be consistent in your mark making will make the decoration look cohesive. It helps to turn the pot upside down, as shown below. I didn’t add a second coat on this because I liked the way the brush strokes looked textured. This finished pot paired with a Pothos plant shown above was gifted at a Galentine’s Day gift swap! Eek!

5 /// Nail Polish  Marbling

Materials: Tooth picks, a large bucket/pan, plastic storage bin or bowl that you don’t mind ruining, and ha, yep, you heard me correctly – nail polish. What the what? There are lots of videos online of nail polish marbling (watch this video to see it in action) and it seemed like the easiest way to marble on a pot, so we gave it a go (and by a go I mean like ten go’s) Tips and tricks below.

Directions: Prepare your bucket with cold water. Make sure your bucket is deep enough to both fit part of the pot in and also not spill over. Pour some nail polish in slowly, as to not make a whole clump come out and sink to the bottom. Warning! Nail polish will start to harden a bit quite quickly (I learned this the hard way) so once you pour the nail polish, IMMEDIATELY start swirling it with the tooth pick(s). More swirling will happen if you have multiple colors, we just used white because I like to keep things simple. Once it looks all wonderful and marbly, “roll” your pot along the surface of the water as if you were rolling it on hard surface. The nail polish will magically cling to the pot. It’s craaazy!

The pot above on the left was made by dipping it right-side-up into the water, giving it a streaky marble effect. The one on the right was made by rolling it. We weren’t 100% thrilled with the result, but I think it gets better with practice. This one honestly is mostly about having fun and not about achieving a perfectly dreamy pinterest-worthy marble. I am sure this is totally different each time!

I got a little water inside the pot, so I think next time I’ll try to roll it on the surface a little better and try to not let it dip in too much. I kind of can’t wait to try it again.

That’s all, folks!

These were all super fun and easy, and I hope you’re inspired to try one sometime! This activity makes for a perfect ladies night, or solo project for little plant gifts (um, can you say mini decorated terra cotta shower or wedding plant gifts?! I know I can!)

As if this post couldn’t get any longer, I can’t leave out the fact that this idea was brought to you by our ever-growing collection of potted-plant themed designs. I love drawing plants and drawing in general, so it’s no surprise that the two come together in my work. In the potted plant print & card designs below you can see how much fun I have thinking of patterns and designs for pots. Can somebody please make me a real life version of the eye one?! All of these items and more from our brand new spring and summer collection can be found on the Worthwhile Paper Shop.

12/08/2016

DIY: 5 easy mason jar gifts

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The spirit of gift-giving is upon us, and one of my favorite types of gifts are those which you can make (with love) yourself! I adore the use of mason jars for small and fun gifts. When I designed our new gift sticker sets, I realized they fit perfectly on top of a wide-mouth mason jar lid! This sparked lots of inspiration for all sorts of mason jar ideas, so one day I surprised my asssistants Maxine and Brenda with a DIY marathon where the three of us spent the morning in the kitchen creating five lovely and easy mason jar gifts to share for the holidays. These gifts are perfect go-to’s for anyone in your life, and also great to make in bulk to give to everyone at a family gathering or as favors for a holiday party. In other words, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get started!

First thing’s first: The jars. We used 12 oz  jars with a wide mouth for each of these projects, except for the jam, where I used super short and wide jars. Meijer had a great selection of jars! Pro tip: do NOT buy these individual at a craft store – you can get a pack of 12 for almost the same price at Meijer or Target!

Second thing’s second: our die cut gift stickers!

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We have 5 designs to choose from on our online shop. These are obviously not required, but they do make your mason jar gifts look extra special! They are $6 for 10 stickers and make a perfect add-on to your card, print or notebook order. I’d recommend the ‘made with love’ set for the gifts in this post, but I think they’re all pretty cute – get creative! These sets are up for grabs here on our shop.

Let the making begin!

#1: Make your own soy candle

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This was my first time making my own candle – it was so much fun! Candles make great gifts for anyone and you can get creative with scents and even color.

Materials needed: note: I got all of these items on Amazon, and they were pretty inexpensive given the mount of candles you can make with the packs of items and one-time purchase of a $12 pouring pot. Just search for these items on Amazon and you will easily find them and other variations!

+ mason jars

+ hemp wicks

+ stickies for the bottom of the wicks

+ soy wax flakes

+ a candle pot with a pouring lip

+ candle scent or essential oils*

+ a pencil or utensil for each candle you plan on making, to hold up the wick.

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Instructions:

Stick the circle stickies on the bottom of the silver disc on the wick, and press it into the bottom of your jar.

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+ Boil a large pot of water. When the water is boiling, place the candle-pouring pot with the soy wax in it (measure the soy wax by filling a jar or two first!), and wait for it to melt.

+ When it melts all the way, add your fragrance and stir it up.

+ Pour the wax into the jars with the wicks. It helps if you wrap the wicks around a pencil first so they stay straight. (Note! It is important that you wrap the wicks FIRST and not after you’ve poured it – one of ours accidentally came un-stuck and was floating around in the wax and we had to make a new one!) No need to wrap them too tightly – just enough to keep them straight, as shown below:

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In an hour or two, your wax will go back to being a nice natural white color. Wait 24 hours before you light the candle to make sure the wax is totally set.

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*PRO TIP (just kidding, more like a newbie tip, but read on) I thought 100 drops of essential oil would totally do it, but it wasn’t the case. I put 50 lemon and 50 lavender but it really didn’t turn out very scented. I was weary to buy some of the synthetic candle fragrances so I reached out and I got a tip on my instagram from Detroit Rose Ritual (they make the best candles!) – she said to search for a phthalate free fragrance oil, which is one of the least toxic kinds.

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#2: Lavender Salt Scrub

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Ingredients: (enough for two 12 oz jars)

+ 3 cups  of coarse sea salt (or a mixture of coarse and fine). We bought a 24oz container of this from Whole Foods and had to obliterate the packaging with a knife to get it to pour (not recommended, maybe try to find a bag of this on Amazon or in bulk somewhere).

+ 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil

+ Lavender essential oil – amount depends on your preference.

+ A handful of dried lavender (Whole Foods stocks this at this time of year. Mmm.)

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Instructions:

+ Melt the coconut oil to it is easier to mix in.

+ Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and scoop into jars!

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I love how simple this recipe is, and salt scrubs are always so wonderful to make your skin soft in the winter.

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#3: Make your own hot cocoa mix

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Ingredients: (enough for one 12 oz jar)

+ 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

+ 1/2 cup coconut sugar (I love coconut sugar! It’s a heal alternative to regular refined sugar).

+ 3 tbsp powdered milk

+ 1/8 teaspoon salt

*** optional *** a pinch of cayenne, a pinch of cardamom, a pinch of dark chocolate chips, marshmallows, anything you think would jazz up your mix.

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Instructions:

+ Combine all of the ingredients well in a big bowl and transfer to the jar.

+ That’s it!

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Hot cocoa tips!

* Since this mix contains dry milk powder, all the recipient needs to add is hot water.

* Add equal amounts of hot water and dry mix

* Adding mini chocolate chips will make this extra decadent

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The next two recipes are from the book Food Gift Love. I had the pleasure of doing the handmade lettering for this book and when it came out, I purchased one for myself! This book is full of over 100 recipes to make, wrap and share.

#4: Home made jam

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Ingredients: (makes two small jars shown above)

+ 1 1/2 cups of quartered strawberries, cleaned and hulled.

+ 3/4 cup of pure cane sugar

+ 2 tbsp lemon juice

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Instructions:

+ In a medium pot over medium-high heat, combine the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. While the mixture cooks, mash up the fruit bit by bit. Once it begins boiling again, reduce to medium and cook for 10 minutes. Stir frequently to make sure it doesn’t burn. Skim off the foam on top, if desired.

+ Let the home made jam cool for 15-20 minutes. We noticed it was a bit watery, but then when it cooled and set it was much more jam-like.

Note * this is for jam that can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. I am not too familiar with proper canning, but this recipe can be used for that if that’s your jam. (pun intended!)

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#5: Make your own pistachio & arugula pesto:

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Ingredients: (makes enough for one 12oz jar)

+ 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, unsalted

+ 2 cups tightly packed arugula

+ 1 1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic

+ 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp shredded parmesan

+ 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

+ 1/8 tsp fine sea salt

+ 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

+ 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

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Instructions:

+ Preheat your oven to 350 F and roast the pistachios on a baking sheet for 10 minutes

+ In a food processor or blender, add all ingredients including the roasted pistachios and blend until it looks like a good consistency to you

+Transfer into jar, and add an extra tbsp on top of it to preserve the color. Store in the fridge and use within 3 days.
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Enjoy!

XO

 

11/10/2016

DIY: glass ornaments filled with dried foliage

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One person looks in their autumn backyard and sees a mess of dying foliage, another sees a harvest of beautiful details (and a creative opportunity)! This DIY is the kind that will push you to appreciate the small things you might not even know are there. The first year in our house I saw these little empty glass ornaments at the store and they reminded me of little terrariums. I instantly thought of this idea as a fun way to keep the magic alive after summer is gone, and a way to easily and cheaply make some unique and natural ornaments for our Christmas tree. This DIY is for all levels. Use your creativity!

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 MATERIALS NEEDED 

+ Clear glass ornaments. I got both of the styles shown from Target. Here is a link to a 9 count pack of glass ornaments I just bought for this season. Plastic will work too.

+ Boots – you may be walking around through some bushes!

+ A basket, bowl or container (to keep your pretty plant bits in)

+ An attitude of wonder and magic, and an ego check. Worried about people thinking you’re weird for walking around and picking little things off of plants? Oh well, who cares! You’re not weird. You’re creative and awesome and you’re having fun.

+ Tweezers (in case you’d like to poke around and place things in the bulbs once you get them in, or remove them if it didn’t turn out the way you want. It happens).

+ Twine, string, whatever you have that you like. I used natural white twine and would encourage you to let your heart run wild with the twine selection over at Knot & Bow.

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INSTRUCTIONS

+ Simply find an area that has a lot of plants and dead flowers, etc. This could be your back yard, or if you don’t have a crazy overgrown back yard like I do, check out a local park or the woods.

+ Walk up to things to get a glimpse at the details. You seriously never know what you might find! Pick anything that looks interesting and put it in your collection vessel. Some of my favorite types of finds: seed pods, the leftovers from little blooming flowers, herbs, little dried up bits of who knows what that look so pretty.

+ Go back inside and have fun stuffing your findings! The little tops come off of ornaments like these quite easily, and you just need to squeeze the two prongs to fit them back on.

+ Make little loops of string and tie them to the ornament caps to hang them on your tree.

TIPS

+ Think about what will fit in the hole of the bulb, don’t get anything too big unless you think you can stuff it in!

+ Involve your friends and/or family! For me, this is going to become a family tradition.

+ Be aware that some things may not last – colorful leaves are amazing but the ones we did ended up turning brown, which are beautiful in their own way, but still, just something to be mindful of. I’ve found the best luck with things that already look dried up!

+ Another thing I want to do is use some leftovers from my wedding bouquet that I dried! The possibilities are endless.

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Bonus idea: tie longer strings to your ornaments and pick up a branch on your plant-finding adventure to make a simple holiday-meets-nature wall hanging.

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