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.
Rules to extend the life of flower arrangements:
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.
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.
Trim the stems so that the flowers are able to absorb the water better
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.
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp bleach
Dissolve the sugar in water.
Dissolve sugar in water
Add lemon and mix well.
Add lemon and 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?
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
“Shrinky Dink*” type plastic from Daiso $2
Pack of $7 ring base from Lai Guan at People’s Park Centre
$10 Oven toaster from Cash Converters
Katrina Alana Flower Pattern (optional)
Sealants like Modge Podge, Diamond Glaze, clear embossing Powder, clear nail polish or spray acrylic sealant (optional)
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.
Draw your design on the Shrinky Dink plastic. I used Sharpie markers to trace my design on the shrink plastic.
Place your template underneath the shrink place and trace or make a free-hand design
Line the tray with crumpled aluminium foil.
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.
After baking it shrinks to less than 40% of it’s original size
Take out the shrunken piece using a pair of tweezers.
Use tweezers to remove the shrunken plastic to avoid marking the design or getting burns
Place the ring that is lined with baking paper on both sides in the middle of a heavy book to flatten it.
Line the shrunken piece with baking paper and use a heavy book to flatten it
Take out the ring after a minute and wait for it to cool completely before handling it with your hands.
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.
Attach the Shrinky Dink piece to the ring base using a bit of E600 glue.
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.
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
Black Marabu Porcelain Painter Marker from Art Friend $8
Daiso Mug $2
Dish washing soap and sponge (not in the photo)
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.
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.
Do you need a fake cake as a prop? I made this simple fake cake for our cake topper display using styrofoam, grout and acrylic paint. I was in a rush to do this since we needed it for the Pandora Market fair that we did on Mother’s Day that I didn’t have the time to take pictures of each step. Posted by Instagrate to WordPress
Styrofoam Cake Dummy
White Acrylic Paint
Mix the grout powder with water according to the instructions on the box.
Use a wood stick to stir until you get the right consistency recommend by the grout manufacturer. Do not use more water than recommended so that you don’t get any cracks when the faux icing dries.
Use the cake spatula to spread the grout around the styrofoam dummy until you’ve covered it. I didn’t add any fancy cake decoration on the cake since I wanted it to look rustic and home made.
Wait for your cake to dry overnight. If you find any cracks, mix more ground and use it to fill the cracks.
Paint the dried grout with white acrylic paint.
We were under a tent for the whole day but sometime in the afternoon, the sun was shining directly on the fake cake and it held up. You can store it in a plastic container and it will keep for a long time.
What do you think? Does it look like the real thing? Just make a comment on this post if you have any questions.
The original blog post is in Portugese but you can translate it to English using Google Translate. This project would be perfect for a children party with a circus theme or a bachelor’s party giveaway. What do you think?
I tend not to throw out calendars because of the high quality of the gorgeous images in them. It seems like a waste even when the years over. I have discovered that the back images are the perfect size for pendants. I make them with scrabble tiles but any size or shaped pendant would do.
glue (I used mod podge and tacky glue but most clear, strong glues should work)
1. Hold your tile firmly to the page and cut around it. You can also make a template with a square you don’t want to use if you find it easier to cut holding paper to paper.
2. Brush an even coat of glue (mod podge) over the tile and secure the paper over it.
3. Glue (tacky glue) the bail onto the back of the pendant. Hold for a few minutes to make sure it sets properly.
4. Evenly spread diamond glaze over the top for a great glossy finish! I let it set for about a day to make sure the glaze is no longer tacky but it seems to be dry within a few hours.
Enjoy! xoxo Lorelai
About: Lorelai M.
Lorelai aka Lloralye is a crafter, blogger and web designer. She loves her boyfriend, animals, travelling and video games. Get to know more about Lorelai thorough her blog which features health, fitness, beauty and featured finds.
We had a craft party with Etsy folks and friends at Marie’s place. Marie and I thought that it would be a fun way to get together aside from our regular meet-up where we discuss issues for small businesses over coffee with other members. With all team events, we welcome members and guests. Joining us for this event are: