DIY: Mini Flower Press

Written by Olivia Kanaley

Even the smallest buds and blossoms don’t go unnoticed those first few weeks of spring, so why not make them last a little longer by drying them in a flower press. This mini, DIY version doesn’t take long to fill with seasonal sprigs—plus, it’s sized just right for use as a gift or favor; you can even tailor it to match your springtime gathering with a custom label.

Supplies:
Makes one flower press
• Two 4-inch plywood squares (1/8″ thick)
• Sandpaper
• Acrylic paint, water, brush, and rag
• Printed flower-press template
• Masking tape
• 3/16″ drill bit and drill
• Cardboard
• Printer paper
• Scissors
• Eight #10 flat washers
• Four #10-24 wing nuts
• Four #10-24 2.5″ machine screws
“Pressed Petals” custom label

Steps:

1. Lightly sand the wood pieces to remove any splinters and smooth edges. If desired, brush all sides of the wood pieces with diluted acrylic paint and wipe away excess with a rag. You can repeat to deepen the color. Set aside to dry completely.

2. Layer the printed template over the two wood pieces and secure all three layers together using pieces of masking tape. Drill four holes using the template as a guide (it’s OK to drill through the paper).

3. Using a pair of scissors and the printed template, cut cardboard into 3.5″ hexagons. You will need 7 for each flower press. Repeat this process with computer paper—you will need 10 printer-paper hexagons for each flower press. Stack the cardboard and paper pieces so that two paper hexagons are between each cardboard hexagon. When you use the flower press, place flowers and leaves between these pieces of paper.

4. Place a washer on each of the four machine screws and insert each into the four holes on one of the wood pieces.

5. Add the stack of cardboard and paper from Step 4 and the top wood piece.

6. Finally, add another washer on each of the screws, followed by a wing nut. Finish with a custom label.

Tips:
• The easiest way to load and unload the flower press is to loosen all the wing nuts gently and remove one of the screws. You should be able to slide out the stack of paper and cardboard to add flowers and greenery.
• Flowers with less bulk, like hydrangea blossoms or violets, tend to work best.
• Flowers should be left in the press for about one week. Drying time can vary depending on flowers and environment.

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DIY: Modern Christmas Ornament Advent Calendar

Written by Olivia Kanaley

For the young and the young-at-heart, nothing quite tops the anticipation of Christmas morning. What’s more fun than counting down the days with an advent calendar? This one is easy to make and you can reuse it year after year.

Supplies:
• 1″ glass ball ornaments (24)
• 1/2″ brass cup hooks (24)
• 16″ x 20″ or larger piece of wood (we used a wood painting panel)
• Paint
• 1/4″ vinyl number stickers
• Foam brush
• Drill and 1/16″ drill bit
• Pencil
• Scissors
• Printed template (print on letter paper and tape together)

Steps:

1. Print template on four sheets of letter paper, tape the edges together, and cut out. Center the template on top of the wood and tape in place. Using a pencil, mark the three corners of the triangle on the wood board.

2. Using the black dots on the template as a guide, pre-drill holes for the cup hooks (drill right through the paper template).

3. Remove template and use pencil dots as a guide to tape off the three sides of the tree.

4. Add number stickers 1-24 securely about 1/2″ below each of the pre-drilled holes. You can go in numerical order or randomly apply them.

5. Apply paint to taped off area and let dry completely.

6. Carefully remove the tape and vinyl numbers. Screw in cup hooks. Now you’re ready to add one ornament to your tree on each day of December to count down to Christmas.

 

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DIY: Watermelon Piñatas

Written by Olivia Kanaley

Savor the final days of August with these sweet slices. Watermelon-shaped piñatas come together easily from that ubiquitous summer-serving staple: the paper plate. Dessert-sized plates make watermelon slices sized just right for place settings or favors.

DIY Watermelon PinatasDIY Watermelon Pinatas

Keep reading for the step-by-step instructions

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DIY: Carnival Ticket Printables

Written by Olivia Kanaley

Sometimes it’s the little details that really bring a party theme to life. Whether you’re hosting a backyard carnival, an outdoor movie, or a circus-themed celebration, we think these printables are just the ticket. Click through to download and print them!

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DIY: Screen-Printed Felt Flags

Written by Olivia Kanaley

These collegiate-inspired felt flags are a noteworthy way to celebrate your favorite graduate. And in the spirit of learning, I thought I’d explore a new-to-me printing technique and break it down into a handful of easy steps. This project is more involved than our usual DIYs but if you’ve every been curious about screen printing, this is the perfect introduction. Make several “Congrats” flags to wave at the commencement ceremony or DIY them for a festive wedding send-off.

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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DIY: Retro Paint Can Favors (with printable)

Written by Olivia Kanaley

Inspired by retro packaging designs, these printable labels are designed to fit mini paint cans that you can buy online. If your child’s next birthday bash will involve paints and palettes, fill these with pint-sized art supplies so guests can keep the creativity going at home. Or, if the paint’s finally dry in your new home, fill these with tasty treats for a clever housewarming favor. However you choose to use these, let the party begin!

Keep reading to download the printable and see full instructions

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Roundup: Artful Easter Eggs

Written by Olivia Kanaley

This time of year, egg decorating becomes an art form all its own. There are still a couple days before Easter, which means there’s still plenty of time to take an ordinary egg from mundane to masterpiece with one of these inspired ideas from around the web.

1. Avant-garde // Sweet Paul Magazine
2. Dip-dyed // Oh Joy
3. Indigo // tuts+
4. Gilded // Freutcake
5. Typographic // Lovely Indeed
6. Marbled // Varpunen

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DIY: Knotted Fabric-Wrapped Favor Boxes

Written by Olivia Kanaley

Take some cues from the soft textures and subtle hues of springtime and package up favors for your next event using this wrapping technique. Mismatched florals and tidy knots create a look that is feminine, tailored, and oh-so-sweet.

Supplies:
• 3″ or 4″ square favor box
• Fabric (these prints and more here)
• Scissors
• Ruler
• Double-stick tape (optional)

Steps:

1. Measure and cut a 15″ square from fabric (cut a 20″ square if you are using 4″ boxes).

2. Place fabric face down on work surface with the favor box on top. Pull opposite corners of the fabric around the box and cut away corners, leaving just enough material to meet at the top of the box. If desired, you can use a piece of double stick tape to secure the fabric here as you keep working.

3. Fold fabric over the sides of the box, just as you would wrap a gift with paper. Pinch with index finger and thumb where shown, pulling fabric taut around the sides of the box.

4. Working with one side at a time, continue to pinch fabric taut, while bringing the fabric “tail” up over the top of the box.

5. Cross the tails around each other as shown, creating 90 degree angles.

6. Tuck each tail under the knot once more as shown, and pull taut. For a tidy look, gently conceal the unfinished ends under the gathered fabric.


 

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DIY: Retro Painted Ornaments

Take some cues from the bright colors and iconic ornament shapes of a mid-century Christmas and make this colorful collection of glass baubles for your tree. To make this project easier, you can start with solid colored ornaments and use the spray-bottle technique to decorate them.

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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