Yo-Yo Flowers

These simple, yet adorable flowers have been around for ages, and they have recently come back into style in a big way! They are great accessories, and look cute adorning headbands, bobby pins, alligator clips – even on clothes and bags!

Yo-yo flowers are super quick and easy to make, and they’re a great project for beginners. Try stacking them for a fun look, and get creative by using them  to embellish napkin rings, t-shirts, decorative pillows, picture frames, or gift bags!

Materials:

-Paper (can be scrap paper)

-Pencil

-Needle

-Scissors

-Strong thread

-Fabric

-Button or beads

Optional to create “slide-on” back for the yo-yo flower:

-felt

-fabric glue or hot glue

 

Directions:

Trace a circle on a sheet of paper – this will serve as the pattern template for your yo-yo flower. Any size circle will work, just keep in mind that the pattern circle you make should be at least twice as big as you want the finished yo-yo flower to be. For example, I traced a 5 3/4″ diameter circle for this tutorial, and the finished flower was 2 1/2″ in diameter. If you don’t feel comfortable free hand drawing the circle for the pattern, try tracing something circular onto the paper – soup cans, cup rims, bottles, jars – there are tons of items around the house that can be used!

Cut the circle out.

Trace the paper circle onto the wrong side (the back) of your chosen fabric. Cut the circle out. Hold  fabric face down (wrong side up) and fold back the right side of the fabric, about 1/8″ – 1/4″ folded back (see picture below). Use strong thread to make small gathering stitches (long stitches that aren’t tight), working your way around the circle.

When you’ve stitched around the entire circumference of the circle, pull the gathering stitch you just sewed, which will gather the center of your yo-yo into the middle of the circle.

 

 

 

 

Add a few stitches to secure the yo-yo, and cut your threads. Sew a button (or anything decorative you choose for the center) into the middle (covering up the hole), making sure to sew all the way through the yo-yo to secure everything into place. Congratulations! The flower is complete!

Now you can use it to accessorize anything you choose. You may want to use the yo-yo flower as a hair accessory – keep reading below to learn how to add a “slide-on” to your flower that will allow it to simply slide on to any headband or hair clip, so that you can use your yo-yo in a variety of different looks. By using this easy slide-on, you can change up the way you wear your yo-yo and switch it between any of your hair accessories, without having to permanently attach it to anything!

You’ll need a small rectangular piece of felt (smaller than the yo-yo you plan on attaching to) – for example, for the 2 1/2″ finished yo-yo that I created for this tutorial, I used a 1 1/4″ x 1 3/4″ rectangle of felt.

Fold the felt rectangle in half lengthwise, and cut two small slits large enough to slide your clips/headbands through – see picture below.

 

 

 

 

With hot glue or fabric glue (my personal favorite is Liquid Stitch), glue around all four sides of the rectangle, but do NOT put any glue in the center. Glue on to the back of your yo-yo flower.

When the glue is fully dry, your flower is ready to slide on to any clip or headband you choose.

 

Pink Summertime Sangria

This quick and refreshing sweet sangria is perfect for outdoor entertaining!

Summertime Sangria

Ingredients:

1 Bottle of White Zinfandel

8 ounces of Strawberry Daiquiri Mix (non-alcoholic)

6 ounces of Peach-Flavored Mixer (such as Fuzzy Navel – non-alcoholic)

8 ounces of pineapple juice

16 ounces of pineapple rum

Assorted fresh fruits: strawberries, pineapple, lemons, limes, oranges, or peaches (any combination)

 

Combine the wine, fruit juices, and rum in a pitcher. Cut up any fresh fruit you’d like and put into the pitcher. Chill in the refrigerator, and serve over ice.

Handmade Envelope

Create your own custom handmade envelopes to coordinate with cards you make! You can use any color or pattern of paper for your envelope, so it will stand out and truly be one of a kind! Try using paper that has a pattern printed on each side – your envelope will look great inside and out!

Materials:

-Envelope template {download template here}

– Card stock or scrap booking paper

-Scissors

-Double sided adhesive squares or glue

Directions:

Download and open the envelope template.

**Before printing, make sure that in the Print Dialog Box, the “Page Scaling” option is set to “None”.  This will ensure that the template will print large enough to create an envelope that will hold a 5″x7″ card. If the lines don’t reach all the way to the edge of the paper when printed out, you may want to use a pen or pencil to extend the lines all the way to the edge of the page.

On the printed template, cut along the solid lines, which will remove small portions of each corner.

Trace this shape onto your patterned paper, then cut your paper along the lines you just traced.

Use the template’s dashed lines as a guide to fold in the two flaps on the sides (marked #1 on the template). Use double sided tape (or glue) on the folded-in flaps, and then fold the bottom (fold #2) up, attaching it to the flaps.

Fold the top flap down (fold #3).

Your envelope is now ready to hold a card! When you are ready to seal the envelope, just use double sided adhesive squares/tape to secure the envelope closed.

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Kitchen Message/Menu Board

Give new life to an old picture frame by painting and re-purposing it as a fun message board for the kitchen that can display the your menu, wine selections, inspiring quotes, or anything you’d like. This creative board uses dry erase markers, so messages can be easily wiped clean and replaced!

When choosing a materials for this project, keep a few things in mind: choose a frame that is appropriately sized for the place in your kitchen you’d like to display it (I used an old 8×10 frame for mine), and make sure the frame has glass (to write on with the dry erase markers). Also, when choosing decorative paper to go behind the glass, pick a one with a pattern and color scheme that are not too dark or bold, so that the messages you write will be readable.

Materials:

  • Old picture frame (any size – this example uses a 8×10)
  • Sandpaper (fine)
  • White spray paint (for a base coat)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Small paint brush
  • Decorative paper (scrap booking paper, wall paper, wrapping paper… any type of pretty paper will do)

 

Directions:

Choose the frame you want to use, and take it apart, being sure to save the glass and any inner cardboard.

Sand the frame and wipe off all dust and debris so that you’ll have a clean painting surface.

Spray a light, even coat of white spray paint over the frame. *Tip: I used spray paint because it’s quicker than hand-painting a base coat; if you don’t have spray paint on hand, you can always paint a base coat with your chosen acrylic paint.

Allow paint to dry. Lightly sand wipe off any dust from the sanding.

Apply an even layer of your chosen paint to the frame.

Let dry, and if you want a distressed or weathered look, sand again and dry brush or use a rag to rub on another layer of paint.

Cut your decorative paper (or fabric) to fit, and put it into your frame (be sure to clean the glass before reassembling).

Your message board is ready to be written on with dry erase markers – your family and guests will love getting to see what’s for dinner! 🙂

*If you like the way mine turned out, here’s the specific paint and techniques I used:

After spray painting, I brushed on an even coat of Delta Creative Ceramcoat in Maple Sugar Tan. After it dried, I lightly sanded it, wiped it off, and used a rag to quickly apply Delta Creative Ceramcoat in Black Green, not being too careful to apply evenly so that some of the color underneath was still visible in spots. Lightly sand again – the more you sand, the more distressed it looks.

 

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Red, White and Blue Coffee Filter Wreath

Celebrate America with a fun and festive red, white and blue wreath that’s made from colored coffee filters! Get the whole family in the patriotic spirit by getting the kids involved in this project (under adult supervision, of course)!

Materials:

  • White coffee filters
  • Blue food coloring
  • Red food coloring
  • Plastic cups
  • Newspaper
  • 7″ inch Styrofoam ring (any size will work, 7″ is the size used in this tutorial)
  • Straight pins OR hot glue gun
  • Pipe cleaner

Directions:

Put red food coloring into plastic cup, and add a small amount of water. Test the color intensity by dipping coffee filter into cup. To enhance color, add more food coloring to cup (in this example, I used 1 bottle of food coloring diluted in about 4 tablespoons of water). Repeat with blue food coloring in second cup.

Fold coffee filters into triangular shapes and dip into cups of food coloring. To save time, fold many filters together and dip. Lay flat on newspaper to let them dry.

After filters are dry, pinch the center of each filter and twist tightly to create a small tail, but still leaving the outer part of the filter full and un-twisted  (as pictured). *This is  a great step to get the kids involved in – it’s fun for them, and it makes the process go much more quickly! 🙂

Begin constructing the outer ring of the wreath by pushing a straight pin through the twisted “tail” of the filter and into the outer rim of the Styrofoam ring. Alternatively, you may prefer to use hot glue instead of straight pins, which will work just as well.

Do the same to create a ring of white filters and red filters, working in to the middle of the ring. You may need to add an extra ring of red in the inside of the circle, to cover any visible Styrofoam.

Cut a pipe cleaner in half, bend it into a U-shape, and push the ends into the Styrofoam, creating a hook to hang your wreath from. A dab of hot glue on each end will help to secure the pipe cleaner hook into the wreath.

Hang and enjoy your patriotic decoration!

*FYI: If you’re wondering how many coffee filters you’ll need for this project, here’s what I used:

For the 7″ styrofoam circle, I used 52 blue filters on the outer ring, 25 white filters for the middle layer, and 55 red filters on the 2 inner rings.

Blooming Frayed Fabric Flower

These gorgeous and funky flowers are the perfect accessory for headbands, hair clips, hats, purses, backpacks, shirts, cardigans… there are limitless possibilities!  Follow this simple tutorial and start creating!

 

There are tutorials for these flowers on tons of blogs and websites; below the method I’ve found to be the easiest way to make them that yields the prettiest results:

Materials:

– Fabric (to create flower)

– Felt

– Thread

– Needle

– Scissors

– Ruler

– Pin back

-Hot glue (or any type of fabric glue)

Directions:

Measure 2 inches of width in fabric and tear to create a long strip, approximately 2″x45″. Tearing the fabric instead of cutting is what gives the edges a frayed look.


Fold in the raw edge of both ends of the strip and iron.

Fold the strip in half lengthwise, and iron.

Create the center of the flower by folding the strip back and forth (like an accordion) 3-4 times and secure the folds by running the needle &thread through the bottom (the folded side – not the raw, frayed side) of the folds. Be sure to pull the thread tight to make sure the folds will stay in place.

To form the rest of the flower, use the needle and thread to make a gathering stitch.


Pull your gathering stitch tight,  and start wrapping the strip around the center. I find it’s easier to work in small sections, doing 4-5 inches at a time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make sure your stitches are tight and each new “row” of the flower is secured. The back is not going to look pretty, but don’t worry – no one will see it when you’re finished 🙂

Cut a circle of felt that is about the same size as the bottom of your flower. Hand sew the pin back to the felt circle. To make sure the pin back is secured tightly to the felt, sew through each hole in the pin back 3-4 times.

Use hot glue (any fabric glue will work, I just prefer hot glue) to glue the felt circle and sewn on pin back to the bottom of the flower.

Cut a small piece of felt that will fit over the area of the pin back that you just stitched, and hot glue it on.

Hand-fluff the layers of the flower, and trim any loose or unwanted strings.

Your flower is complete!

Pledge of Allegiance Printable

Use this free printable to display your patriotic spirit this summer! It is sized to fit in an 8×10 frame, and would look great displayed on a food table at your party,  but it could also be used for any other crafty Fourth of July, Memorial Day or Labor Day decorating ideas.

DOWNLOAD FREE PRINTABLE HERE!

For best use, print on high quality photo paper or white card stock.

Printables are for personal use only. By downloading, you agree to the Terms & Conditions of Use.

Red White & Blue Coffee Filter Flowers

Decorate your summer table with these fun and patriotic flowers that kids can create and decorate!

Coffee Filter Flowers

Materials:

  • White coffee filters
  • Red and blue food coloring
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Water
  • 2 plastic cups
  • Newspaper
  • Vase or container to place finished “bouquet” in

Directions:

Put red food coloring into plastic cup, and add a small amount of water. Test the color intensity by dipping coffee filter into cup. To enhance color, add more food coloring to cup (in this example, I used 1 bottle of food coloring diluted in about 4 tablespoons of water). Repeat with blue food coloring in second cup.

Fold coffee filters into triangular shapes and dip into cups of food coloring. To save time, fold many filters together and dip. Lay flat on newspaper to let them dry.

To create different looks for your flowers, try the following techniques:

  • Use a small paintbrush to dip into the food coloring and dab onto the filter to create spots or polka dots.

  • Take the triangular coffee filter and fold in half (see picture below). Dip the center into one color (which will create a “stripe”, and then unfold to triangular shape and dip one end in the other color.

After filters are dried, create the flower by stacking 3 coffee filters, pulling them together in the center, and twisting the center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrap pipe cleaner tightly around the twisted area to create a stem.

Add shape and fullness to the flower by carefully separating each filter.

Arrange flowers in vase or container and place on your table to admire!

 

 

Fourth of July Fizzy

This fun and fizzy refreshment will be a hit with the kids (and it looks great, too)!

The layered effect of the drinks is due to the differences in each beverage’s sugar content; the higher the sugar content of a drink, the more dense it is. So for our fizzy, the drink with the highest sugar content goes first (with the ingredients used here, the cranberry juice had the highest sugar content), followed by the drink with a lower sugar content (in this case, the Gatorade), and finished with the least amount of sugar (the diet soda). Be sure to use diet soda, since it has no sugar and will “float” well on top of the other drinks.

 

Ingredients:

-Blue Gatorade

-Cranberry Juice

-Diet Lemon Lime Soda

-Ice

Directions:

  1. Fill clear glasses (or plastic cups) with ice cubes.
  2. Pour cranberry juice into cup, filling about 1/3 of the cup.
  3. Pour Gatorade next; be sure to pour VERY slowly and pour onto an ice cube so that the drinks don’t mix together.
  4. Fill the remainder of the cup with diet lemon lime soda, again being careful to pour slowly and onto an ice cube.
  5. Garnish with a fun straw and enjoy!

 

Red, White and Blueberry Fruit Tray

This sweet treat is super-simple and healthy, and will look great on a red, white and blue themed table!

Ingredients & Materials:

  • Fresh strawberries
  • Blueberries – fresh or frozen
  • White mini-cupcake papers
  • Toothpicks
  • American Flag stickers
  • Stars cut from colored card stock
  • Glue

Directions:

1. Wash strawberries and cut off stem end, so that the strawberry will be able to stand up.

2. Place strawberries in mini cupcake papers.

3. Wrap flag stickers around tops of some of the toothpicks and glue stars to the tops of the rest of the toothpicks (be sure to leave enough room on the lower part of the toothpick for blueberries and the strawberry).

4. Push 2 blueberries onto a decorated toothpick and stick into the top of a strawberry. Continue until tray is full.

Enjoy!

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