Category Archives: DIY

Calligraphy Christmas Cupcake Topper

Calligraphy Christmas Cake Topper

Calligraphy Christmas Cake Topper

Last week I gave away some Christmas cupcakes at work and I wanted to personalize it for each recipient in order to show my appreciation for each person I’ve worked with. Unfortunately, due to our busy schedule and since we’re not able to bake in the kitchen of our apartment, I ordered the cupcakes from a nearby bakery.

The cupcake in this photo is from The Marmalade Pantry, which we bought from Oriole during Public Garden’s Christmas Markets.

I wanted to combine my fascination with cupcake toppers and my love for calligraphy, so I came up with this Christmas Cupcake Topper which is quick and easy to make. This project can be made and enjoyed by the whole family, however, we do not recommend letting children operate the hot glue gun as it may cause burns.

Materials:

  • Triangular Die Cutter or you can cut triangles yourself
  • Star Shaped Die Cutter
  • Green Paper
  • Yellow Paper
  • Yellow Calligraphy Ink
  • Bamboo Forks from Daiso
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue Stick (not in the photo)

Steps:
1. Cut triangle shapes from the green paper to form the tree shape.

Paper Christmas Tree

Use a die cutter or cut out the triangles yourself

2. Cut star shapes from the yellow paper.

Yellow Paper Stars

Use a die cutter or cut out the stars yourself

3. I decided to use a bamboo fork instead of a regular toothpick since the top a has a flat side where I can securely attach the green paper tree. A tooth pick would not look neat and it may move around while the cupcakes are being transported.

Calligraphy Christmas Cupcake Topper

Personalize each Christmas Cupcake Topper with Calligraphy

Write your calligraphy on the body of the tree and stick the yellow star and bamboo fork using a hot glue gun.

Calligraphy Christmas Cupcake Topper

Assembly complete!

We hope you enjoy this simple DIY project and please share photos of your own Christmas Cupcake Topper by sharing a link below or by tagging us in Instagram.

Little Yellow Owl Tutorial

We want to share this owl tutorial from the workshop we conducted at the Yellowren Arts Festival last August. We were experimenting with the newly released Hyperlapse app and decided to shoot a video.

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5601/15269489937_7f341d767d_z.jpg

Little Yellow Owl Tutorial

We displayed a few designs for participants to choose from, however, most people wanted to finish making the paper craft in under 30 minutes. We came up with this simplified owl tutorial design.

Owl Tutorial

Breakdown of the design

Materials:

  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Scissors
  • Kokoru Ichi
  • Kokoru Hachi
  • Pair of Tweezers

You can make the corrugated paper rolls by taking a thin strip of Kokoru Ichi and making a paper spiral. Glue the edge using hot glue gun instead of regular glue since you will need something that bonds quickly. Use the tweezers to hold the small pieces of paper so you can put hot glue on it without burning your fingers.

When working with hot glue gun, children should not be allowed to use this tool unsupervised since it is a burn hazard. In our workshop, we had to operate the hot glue gun ourselves and assist the kids with sticking the parts together so we would suggest to do the same if you’re doing this craft with kids.

I hope you enjoy making this owl tutorial or a similar design with these materials. Please share a link in the comments below and we would be glad to feature selected designs.

Keep Flowers Fresh

Keep Flowers Fresh

I’ve grown to love having fresh flowers at home. When I was younger I always saw them as a waste of money even on Valentine’s Day. Maybe I was spoiled by the fact that my mother had a lovely orchid garden or that I could go places with a lot of greenery whenever I felt like that it wasn’t something that I missed.

Now that we live in the city, have something green in our space brightens up the room. I try to make the flowers last as long as possible since it is still a luxury to have fresh flowers on a regular basis. Knowing how to keep flowers fresh allows you to enjoy a bouquet for weeks and weeks on end.

Wild Flower Arrangement in Singapore

Rules to extend the life of flower arrangements:

  1. Ask your florist for advise on which type of flowers last long. We prefer to buy flowers that can be left to air dry and stay pretty for weeks.
  2. Make sure that the water has some plant food mixed in. Make sure that the water remains fresh and free of bacteria. Check the water level every 2 days and change the water if necessary.
  3. Trim the stems so that the flowers are able to absorb the water better
Plant Food Ingridients

Make your own plant food from simple home ingridients

You can buy some flower food solution from your florist but I prefer to make my own using basic household ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp bleach
  • lukewarm water

Directions:

  1. Dissolve the sugar in water.
  2. Make your own fresh flower food solution

    Dissolve sugar in water

  3. Add lemon and mix well.
  4. Fresh Flower Plant Food

    Add lemon and bleach

  5. Add bleach.

I didn’t want to rust my tin pail so I keep the plant food in the plastic cup and placed that in the pail.
I trim the stems before placing flowers in a vase or container and help it absorb the plant food.

How to trim stems:

It is best to use a pair of gardening shears or a sharp knife to trim the stem by 1-2 inches. It is not advisable to use a pair of scissors since it tends to crush the stems. Unfortunately I only had a pair of scissors handy so I had to make do.

Cut the stem at a 45 degree angle

Once you have trimmed the stem, submerge it in water immediately so that air bubbles do not have the opportunity to form in the stem and possibly impede your flowers from absorbing nutrients from the plant food solution.

Make sure that there are no foliage that is submerged in water. Removed any leaves or small branches since they tend to rot quickly in water and this will encourage bacteria growth.

We would love to hear about how you keep your cut flowers fresh. Do you have any tips you’d love to share with us?

Shrinky Dink Craft Series: Flower Ring

I’ve been toying with Shrinky Dinks for the past few months because I wanted to release a series of Shrinky Dinky DIYs on our blog. A few weeks ago, I was hired to teach at a children’s party. During the planning stage, I proposed some crafts that are appropriate for girls from the ages of 3-12.

One of the crafts that came to mind was making Shrinky Dink* jewelry. Although this project was not picked to be included in party, I thought I’d share it here because I love how it turned out.

What you need for this project

Materials:

  • “Shrinky Dink*” type plastic from Daiso $2
  • Pack of $7 ring base from Lai Guan at People’s Park Centre
  • E600 glue
  • $10 Oven toaster from Cash Converters
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie Markers
  • Aluminium Foil
  • Baking Paper
  • Tweezer
  • Katrina Alana Flower Pattern (optional)
  • Sealants like Modge Podge, Diamond Glaze, clear embossing Powder, clear nail polish or spray acrylic sealant (optional)

Safety:

  • Work in a well-ventilated place since using a heating device and the baking process might release fumes.
  • Be careful of sharp edges. Make sure you cut or sand down any sharp corners before heating your piece so you don’t have sharp edges on your final piece.
  • Use tweezers or tongs to remove the aluminum foil so that you do not accidentally touch any hot surfaces.
  • Get a cheap oven toaster on sale to use for your crafts. We prefer to keep our craft materials and equipment separate from items we use for food preparation.

Steps:

  1. Draw your design on the Shrinky Dink plastic. I used Sharpie markers to trace my design on the shrink plastic.
  2. Place your template underneath the shrink place and trace or make a free-hand design

  3. Line the tray with crumpled aluminium foil.
  4. Before baking

  5. Bake the Shrinky Dink in an oven toaster according to the instructions of the manufacturer. The plastic will twist and warp as it shrinks.

    The plastic will move and warp as it is shrinking.

    You can take the piece out once the plastic stops warping and it has reduced to about 40% of the original size.

  6. After baking it shrinks to less than 40% of it’s original size

  7. Take out the shrunken piece using a pair of tweezers.
  8. Use tweezers to remove the shrunken plastic to avoid marking the design or getting burns

  9. Place the ring that is lined with baking paper on both sides in the middle of a heavy book to flatten it.
  10. Line the shrunken piece with baking paper and use a heavy book to flatten it

  11. Take out the ring after a minute and wait for it to cool completely before handling it with your hands.
  12. This step is optional. You can use a sealant and coat the surface of the ring so that the design does not get scratched off easily. Make sure that the sealant that you use is non-toxic. I did not seal my ring because I like the matte texture and I am still testing different types of sealants.
  13. Attach the Shrinky Dink piece to the ring base using a bit of E600 glue.

Finished piece

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and if you decide to make a ring using this tutorial, we would love to see a photo of your ring or hashtag us #katrinaalana. *Shrinky Dink is a brand of shrink plastic. We are not using the Shrinky Dink brand of plastic however since the company name / product is more well-known than the material, we refer to Shrinky Dink as shrink plastic.

DIY Painted Mugs for Valentine’s Day

For you and me

I wanted to make a set of handmade couples mug for Lex and me for some time now. I saw a lot of these Sharpie mug tutorials floating around the net and thought I’d post a tutorial on how I made ours. This handmade mug idea is perfect for Valentine’s day if you’re stumped on what to give your loved ones.

What you need

Materials:

  • Black Marabu Porcelain Painter Marker from Art Friend $8
  • Daiso Mug $2
  • Alcohol Wipes
  • Dish washing soap and sponge (not in the photo)

Steps:

1. Remove any stickers or adhesive on the mugs. Thoroughly wash and dry them. Be careful not to touch the part where you are going to draw your design on.

Wipe the mugs with a sheet of alcohol wipes after washing them to remove grease

2. Use alcohol wipes to remove any oils on the area where you will draw the design and let the alcohol evaporate. Draw the design onto the mug.

Press down to load paint onto the tip of the marker

3. Leave the mug to dry for 3 days.
4. Thoroughly wash the mug before using it.

Easy project for Valentine’s Day

This DIY is so each to do that you can supervise your kids and let them make their own mugs. I made another mug using the regular Sharpie Permanent Markers but the design did not hold up to a simple hand wash so I don’t recommend using those.

Hope you a lovely handmade hearts day. Happy Valentine’s Day!

NOTE: If you decide to use other marker brands, check the product information to make sure that they are safe to use with mugs or drinkware.

DIY Bottle Labels

I wanted to make some bottle labels for the repackaged ink we will be using for our calligraphy workshop. We selected some wide rimmed bottles that will be an ideal for fit the nib and holder.

DIY Bottle Labels

Since the labels will change depending type of workshop we will be conducting, I decided to DIY some labels with clear tape and stickers.

Materials:

Steps:

  1. Print the labels in sticker paper. I used a laserjet printer since it prints with a glossy sheen.
  2. Write on the label using a Sharpie or dip pen.
  3. Stick the clear tape over the printed labels.
  4. Cut out each label.

Use clear tape over the sticker labels to protect the writing

If you’re making a few labels at a time, you can stick them directly on the tape and cut it them out.

Be careful not to leave air pockets  between the paper and tape.

If you’d like to make your own labels with our printable template, you can download them for free here for your personal use. Link with love!

Christmas Crafts and Calligraphy

I was able to make some rubber stamps this week for some Christmas crafts at the office. It took me about two hours to carve this reindeer stamp using the free printable gift tag designs for last year’s Christmas freebie here in our blog. I’m happy how it turned out.

Made some greeting cards using carving rubber and ink pads

As part of our holiday tradition, we usually make handmade wrapping paper to spend some quality time together and to save money. I do hope that that statement didn’t sound too pretentious. I make stuff because I enjoy crafty things.

Gift tags for my family written in my own hand using a Brause Nib

We usually wrap our presents before flying home but I don’t think we will have time to do that tomorrow before our flight on Sunday.  I’m glad I found some time to make some gift tags for my family and in-laws’ gifts so at least there will be a handmade touch to our presents.

Gift tags for my in-laws

What Christmas crafts are you doing for your loved ones?

Mavi’s Birthday Party

My godson’s first birthday party was last month and since I’m all the way here in Singapore, I was glad that I could contribute something to this special event. The theme for the party was Mustache Man and I made the custom graphics and cake topper just for Mavi.

Our Little Man, Mr. Mavi turned 1

My friend Melissa is a pastry chef based in General Santos City and she owns Mavilous Cakes and Pastries with her husband Meiji. She baked all these and styled the entire event. The tablescape has cheese blondies, cupcakes, cake pops and blueberry mousse.

Yummy yummy baked goods

Meliza made a lot of DIY for this event and planned the party months in advance. I just love the bottles with the googly eyes. Isn’t it adorable?

Custom goodie bags and giveaways

Credits:

Get Crafty: Paper Standees

Our bird’s nest DIY or Paper Standees was featured in The Straits Times column Get Crafty by Keziah Toh. We wanted to share a printable template so you can copy the exact design and make your own Kokoru birds. Send us photos of the birds you make using our template and we will feature them here.

Share and Care: Please link to this blog post and not to the download link. All Rights Reserved.

Sponsored Post: Kokoru Corrugated Paper

We were asked to review the Kokoru Corrugated Paper by toprint.com.sg, the local distributor. We were given several packs of Kokoru Ichi, which are long strips of colorful paper, and Kokoru Hachi, which comes in A4 size, to create 3d creations. You can create so many objects by combining the basic shapes.

Gnome Garden

You can copy the designs from the back of the packet but we decided to make our own garden themed creations just to see if it was really easy to come up with an original design.

Bird’s Nest

The most difficult part is coming up with the design. Once you have a design in mind, you can easily execute it if you built the design using basic shapes. All you need is a pair of scissors, pencil, hole puncher, and hot glue gun to bring your creation to life.

The Flower and The Bee

When doing this project be extra careful of the hot glue gun. We managed to burn ourselves with the melted hot glue a few times because we got a bit careless.

Overall we had fun making the models. This is a great activity for kids but you need to be careful with the hot glue gun. You can buy Kokoru products at Evergreen stores.