no-fuss paper roses

January 30, 2011 § 68 Comments

I promise these are the easiest paper roses you’ll ever make!

The ornamental design of paper doilies is what makes these roses so naturally exquisite.  Because the beauty is intrinsic in the material, these paper doily roses require little fuss to look beautiful.

1. Take an 8″ red paper doily and cut a straight line to the center.

2. Roll the doily, making sure the wrong side faces up.

3. Twist the end.

4. You may use floral tape to create a stem, but I used what I found at home — green painter’s tape.

5. Optional: you can cover the stem with ribbon for a more polished look.

There you have it — a paper rose in seconds!  These paper doily roses are not only simple to make, they are also very inexpensive.  I managed to pick up half a dozen red paper doilies for $1 at the dollar store.

A bouquet of these is certainly a stunning substitute for bows when wrapping gifts, but, with the help of some glue and magnets, I also fancy having a beautiful collection of paper roses on my fridge!

high heel treat box

January 14, 2011 § 34 Comments

Here’s a sweet step to a sugar high in preparation for Valentine’s day — a paper shoe filled high in the heel with candy treats.

Perhaps you’re beginning to catch on to my obsessive need to design boxes after the itsy bitsy spider box for Halloween, Thanksgiving’s harvest candy corn boxes, and the crazy Christmas advent lego-inspired boxes ( which may have led you to the conclusion that I may experience lapses in sanity).  :p

Conveniently, all I had to do was some digging into the coffers for Valentine’s.  I designed the first version of this high heel box almost a decade ago — I was still doing my undergrad in architecture, not yet knowing that my future will not be as an architect but as a stationery designer and crafter (oh, if my old self could talk to me now…she would not talk to me).  Thanks to Leo Mascariñas who helped me style and photograph the above shot a couple of years back, which meant today, I only had to worry about the tutorial pictures!

Download the high heel favor box template right here.  You will see there are two parts.

1. Trace the heel template onto black cardstock.  Cut, score, and fold according to the lines.

2. Fold in all four trapezoids and adhere with double-sided tape.

3. Your heel box will look like this.  Set aside.

4. I added a small gingham graphic pattern and name directly on the sole template file before printing on cardstock.  You can print just the template if you want to use scrapbooking paper for the sides of the shoe (the circles) and write or stamp the name instead.

5. Take a circle and tape under the shoe, with the pattern facing out.  Repeat for second circle.

6. Punch a hole on each circle, close to the top middle edge.  Tie with ribbon.

7. Tape the sole to the inner wall of the heel, opposite the lid.

8. I would suggest creating a brace for the bottom of the shoe to prevent any flopping around.  Instead of a brace, you can even make a small, shallow “shoe box” to sit the shoe on as a brace…just randomly thought of that now and wish I did before I took the pictures…

Since my life has revolved around the wedding industry this past half a decade, the box was tweaked for bridal showers.  But now, I’d like to give it new breath for Valentine’s.  Or a Sweet 16.  Or a super-stylish-sexy Sex and the City party.  There are many, many ways to celebrate women.  However way you choose to celebrate, don’t let your guests walk away without these shoes!

leopard potato prints

January 9, 2011 § 18 Comments

You know, potatoes are getting sleepy-eyed, bored by their star-stamping existence.  I empathize with the potato’s woes.  There’s much more to potato prints than that.  And so, right here, right now, I’d like to give the plain potato a chance to be in vogue, turn heads, and catch(more) eyes.

When leopard print made its comeback on the runways three years ago, I really didn’t anticipate it would hit the shelves and racks of mainstream shops as pervasively as it has.  To my shock, leopard is massive these days (I thought the big trend would be velvet, but I’ll delve into that another time).  You can find the print on nearly anything that has a surface.

Here’s how you can convert every known object into a lovely leopard.  Take some small, skinny potatoes (I used russets, which were conveniently growing sprouts in my cupboards, yearning to be used as stamps), and cut them into blobs and blotches that look like the above.

A great tip when carving the center: use your knife to mince the center and a butter spreader knife to scoop it out.  The butter spreader knife has a great edge for this purpose: not too dull that it can’t scoop and not too sharp that it will accidentally destroy the areas that you need.

You’re ready for stamping!  When stamping, I first used my large blob stamp, randomly placing it on the page, using brown paint.  Then I used my small blob to do the same thing.  Then I went over the large blobs with my large blotch stamp, using black paint.  I finished it off with my small blotch stamp.  And it’s done!

Now, excuse me while I go on a stamping-spree!!!  Over the next few days, I’ll post found household items roaring for a leopard identity.

date stamp gift wrap

January 4, 2011 § 49 Comments

Happy New Year!  Another year of merriment has begun!  There are many special dates to celebrate this year: birthdays, anniversaries, and of course, all of our favorite holidays.

Excited for what’s to come in 2011, I’ve moved the year forward on my printy-dater as you probably have on yours, too.  I figured, why not commemorate our most special occasions this coming year with date-stamped gifts?

There will be lots of gift-giving in store this year, so wrap those gifts in these very custom, personal gift wrap stamped with the celebrant’s or occasion’s special date.  I’ve made some samples to show you just how charming date-stamped gift wrap could be.  Even on very modest kraft paper (I picked up a generous 12-ft roll for $1 at the dollar store), patterns like stripes, grid, blooms, and herringbone look very well put together.

I have to admit, the fussiest pattern is the herringbone, so you have to give yourself time when creating it.  I lightly drew 3/4″ x 1/4″ guides with pencil just to be sure I kept my printy-dater aligned.  The simpler patterns are the grid (I drew 1″ square guides), stripes (lines are 2″ apart), and the blooms (which I stamped on randomly).  Just one tip: use the index finger of your opposite hand to press the foot of the printy-dater to keep it in place when stamping.

Of course, the fun part is you can make any pattern on any type of paper you choose.  Enjoy all the wonderful days to come in 2011!

push pins for bright ideas

December 21, 2010 § 19 Comments

For those moments of “Eureka!”, pin up your bright ideas with these adorable push pins in the likeness of 1” miniaturized light bulbs.  I made them from materials I found in my crafting drawers, a couple of items from the hardware store, and a simple, bright idea.

I was motivated to make these in time for the New Year — isn’t it always our collective resolution to work harder and strive for better each coming year?   I hope these little pins will push forth forces of creativity in 2011.  I made and packaged this set for O.T., who is always brimming with bright ideas himself.

You will need:

a. If you don’t have a miniature light bulb (they’re hard to find now that everything is LED), you can use a marble and a 16×3/8″ socket set screw (it’s a screw that has a socket instead of a head).

b. Play-Doh

c. Plaster, a sandwich bag, and a disposable spoon.

d. Thumbtacks

e. An emery board or sand paper, yellow acrylic paint, silver paint or broad-tip silver marker, and Mod Podge gloss.

1. Glue together the marble and the socket set screw to create a light bulb shape.

2. Roll out the Play-Doh to about 1/2″ thick and cut into ten sections. 

3. Press the light bulb shape and pull carefully to create a mold.  Repeat on each section of Play-Doh.  You will notice that pressing the light bulb causes distortion in the shape of the dough, which is why it is best for the dough to be cut in sections for individual molds.  This prevents distorting the previously pressed shape.

4. Place three spoonfuls of plaster and one and a half spoonfuls of water into the sandwich bag.  Mix together by kneading the bag.  You may need to add a couple of drops of water to make sure the mixture is smooth and creamy and can be piped easily.  Cut the tip of the bag.

5. Pipe the plaster into the molds, working quickly as the plaster dries quickly.  Make sure to carefully tap each mold on the table several times to even out the plaster and to ensure there are no air bubbles.  Do not overfill.

6. Press a thumbtack into each.

7. Pipe a small amount of plaster around the tack.  Once more, carefully tap the mold on the table several times to even out the plaster and to ensure there are no air bubbles.

8. Let the plaster dry for an hour.  Remove the plaster from the molds and wipe away any residue of Play-Doh using a paper towel.  Make sure to get all the tiny spaces along the threads of the bulb.

9. Using an emery board or sand paper, carefully file away any uneven edges.

10. Paint the bulb using yellow acrylic paint.  I prefer using the tip of my fingers to paint so there are no brush strokes left behind.  Let dry.  Paint the screw with silver paint or broad-tip silver marker.  Let dry.  Seal with Mod Podge for a glossy finish.

Of course, if you don’t have a cork board and prefer to use a magnet board or the fridge for notes, simply skip the part about the thumbtacks and, after the plaster has dried, glue on magnets instead. 

 Happy creating!

christmas stocking cards

December 2, 2010 § 4 Comments

Yesterday’s darling no knit mini stockings may seem a wee bit without purpose considering they can be filled with no more than a Hershey Kiss or two.  However, I think they are the perfect messenger for your most noteworthy greetings this holiday season.

What I have for you today are several Christmas card ideas using the mini stockings from yesterday’s no-knit tutorial.

Fill the stockings with cheer:


Fill the stockings with love:


And best yet, a card filled with a whole lotta giving (now, who doesn’t want some of that?):

phantom pumpkin seed place cards

October 24, 2010 § 5 Comments

ghost-faced pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin week begins with my last Halloween craft for your upcoming party.  I’ve found an amusing way to turn those pumpkin seeds into ghost-faced creations.  These pleasant phantom pumpkin seed place cards are sure to charm your guests.

Grab a bottle of glue, glue stick, and the following:

a. Pumpkin seeds and a permanent marker for drawing the eyes and mouth.

b. 2-1/2″ place cards printed from your printer.  Using MS Word, I made black boxes with white names placed closer to the right edge, to allow for the ghost to be placed on the left.  I used my favorite Halloween font: Chiller.


c.  Foam miniature pumpkins.  Many craft pumpkins are available at crafts stores and dollar stores.  I got a pack of 10 from my favorite dollar store, Dollarama.  Using an X-Acto knife, cut a slit at the top to hold the card.  Of course, there’s no need for pumpkins.  You can make the usual tent cards instead.

d. Circle punches in 2″, 1-1/2″ and 1″.  If you don’t own these, your pair of scissors can still do wonders.

You are welcome to design and hand cut your own version of the ghosts’ bodies if you only need a handful of cards.  I used circle punches for efficiency in creating large amounts.  This way takes mere seconds to make each ghost:

1. Using the edges/scraps from your sheet of place cards (always make the most use of your paper),  punch a 2″ circle.

2. Punch a 1-1/2″ circle up to the middle of your 2″ circle to form a crescent

3.  Punch a 1″ circle out of one of the tips of your crescent in order to shape the arms.

fairytale wedding invitations

October 12, 2010 § 11 Comments

It was a busy and memorable Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.  My good friends were wed at the historical Casa Loma in Toronto.  Not only was I honored to stand in at their wedding as part of their bridal party, I was also granted the delightful task of designing and producing all of their wedding stationery.

It was a welcome experience.  From the start, my friends were certain the castle would be the focus of their wedding invitation.  They, a winsome pair, were positively set on a charming and cheeky design and I was put to the test.  What resulted were the following: a battlement containing all invitation inserts, a door concealing the bride and groom, and three inserts in three gradations of blue, which when put together display the entire height of the castle’s tower.  This invitation set is one of my most cherished works in my five years of stationery design, and for good reason — they are for cherished friends.

casa loma wedding invitation

casa loma wedding invitation

‘print-while-you-party’ photo cards

October 5, 2010 § 8 Comments

Two weeks ago,  I assisted in hosting a surprise bridal brunch for a friend.  We wanted to thank the guests with a memorable favor.  It became unanimous that we would take a group photo right after the surprise, run the camera to the drug store (conveniently across the restaurant) for 1-hour photo finishing, and have the photos given to the guests before parting.  We wanted the photos inserted into something more personal than store-bought picture frames.  So I proposed to make thank you card frames instead.  They were uncomplicated, practical, and definitely surprised the guests and bride-to-be.

bridal shower thank you card photo frame

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