Tag Archives: DIY

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!

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.

DIY Fake Cake

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.
From our Instagram Feed:
Posted by Instagrate to WordPress

Materials:

  • Styrofoam Cake Dummy
  • Grout Powder
  • Wood Stick
  • Cake Spatula
  • White Acrylic Paint
  • Brush

Steps:

  1. Mix the grout powder with water according to the instructions on the box.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Wait for your cake to dry overnight. If you find any cracks, mix more ground and use it to fill the cracks.
  5. 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.

DIY Father’s Day Chocolate Bouquet

I was happy to see that Teresa from Lume Brando used our mustache templates to come up with a wonderful and quirky Father’s Day present called Daddy’s Mustache. She let us feature this project that she originally made for Paper and Cotton which is a arts and crafts magazine.

Daddy's Mustache Father's Day DIY Chocolate Project

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?

Guest Post: DIY Washi Tape Silhouette Portrait

I love washi tape. They just make everything instantly pretty. Washi Tape + Silhouette = You own artwork.

This is a great project and it will only take you an hour to complete. Check out our guest post at Lloralye on the detailed steps on how to make your own Washi Tape Silhouette Portrait.

NOTE: Lloralye has changed her blog. Please click here to go to her new blog Seams Unbiased.

Guest Post: DIY Calendar Pendant

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.

Supplies:

calendar backs
scrabble tiles
glue (I used mod podge and tacky glue but most clear, strong glues should work)
bails
diamond glaze

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.
    


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Christmas Craft Party

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:

1. Katrina and Lex (Katrina Alana)
2. Marie (Etincelle Studio)
3. Claire (fellowfellow)
4. Lisa (florigamigirl)
5. Melani (magsbeadscreation)
6. Susan (tiramisuzi)

We’re planning on having another craft party by January for Valentine’s Day. We will be announcing the date earlier so more people can join.

Melanie, Claire, Lisa, Marie and Katrina

Susan already left before we remembered to take the photo at the end of the session. Time passed so quickly and before we knew it, three hours had passed.

Talking about our activities for the day

We planned to make cards, wrap gifts, make tags  and make tree ornaments. Everyone was busy working on their individual projects.

Craft supplies for everyone to use

We chatted a bit about business and everyone helped each other with some craft advice.

Just a few of the stamps available for everyone to use

We had a drinks, cake, biscuits, watermelon plus these cute cupcakes as refreshments

Susan’s project

Susan’s stamps were so popular with everyone. I used them to make the gift tags for our Christmas presents.

Lisa’s present for her husband

Marie’s projects

Gift tags for presents for the family

My present for Goodie with handmade gift wrapper