“you maki me happy” sushi card

February 9, 2011 § 7 Comments

If you share the love of sushi with the love of your life, this greeting card craft is designed for you!

Sushi is one of those foods for which I acquired the taste quite late.  I remember my first experience of sushi as a child, around the age of seven, an era long before sushi catapulted into trend status.  I was impressed by a plate of such pretty and colorful food.  But one big bite had me wondering if there was a tragic mistake!  My then seven year old palate assumed it was to embark on a gastronomy of pure candy and had little ability to equate an appealing sight with the taste of fish.  I wonder now if my parents explained what it was made of (I’m pretty sure they did), but I failed to listen, mesmerized by the prettiest food I did see.  I remember deviously pretending to wipe my mouth with a napkin in which I tucked away my half-chewed maki.  I avoided sushi for nearly fifteen years until one afternoon in the Toronto subway, a friend insisted in sharing her packed deli sushi for the long commute.  I declined repeatedly as much as she insisted repeatedly, and I now thank her for it.  My life just wouldn’t be whole without sushi.

To create the sleeve of this card:

1. Cut a 7″ x 9-1/2″ piece of cardstock.  Score and fold at 3-1/2″ and 8-1/2″.

2. Print the chopstick holder template I whipped up for you here.  You may superimpose a message using a photo editing program.  Cut the shape.  Score along the length, 1/4″ from each edge, and fold the edges up, printed side down.

3. Using double-sided tape, affix the top of chopstick holder to the bottom edge of the 3-1/2″ section of cardstock.

4. Fold the sleeve and affix the bottom of the chopstick holder to the top edge of the 1″ section of cardstock.

To create the inner card:

5. Print your greeting on a 7″ x 9-3/4″ piece of cardstock.  Score and fold at 3-7/8″ and 8-3/4″.

6. Punch out six 1″ circles of each: black cardstock and white cardstock.  Trim the white circles by 1/8″ using a pair of scissors, creating a more organic shape.  Cut small squares of pink and green cardstock.

7. Arrange the circles and squares on the front of the card to make six maki.  Break apart a pair of disposable wooden chopsticks.  Using white glue, affix the top of the chopstick along the top seam and the bottom of the chopstick along the bottom seam.

Insert the inner card into the sleeve.

Now go and maki someone happy this Valentine’s Day!

“keys to my heart”

February 2, 2011 § 62 Comments

Here’s the key to expressing your fondest feelings this Valentine’s Day.  Why not harvest the keys of an old, unwanted keyboard to devise a message filled with warm words for your loved one?

This simple project allows you to customize the color as well as create duplicates of keyboard keys.

You will need:

a. Keys from a keyboard.  You can easily pry out each key using a flathead screwdriver or a letter opener.

b. Spray paint for plastic.  I used Krylon in Fairytale Pink.

c. Letraset dry transfer letters.   I used 3/8″ Helvetica.

Paint the keys with two to three coats of spray paint.  To seamlessly adhere your letters, make sure you cut out separate letters from your sheet of Letraset.  The keys are curved and if you transfer directly from the sheet, parts of the adjacent letters will be transferred to the edges of the keys.




heart ties and baubles

January 25, 2011 § 12 Comments

I have a couple of heart ice cube trays I picked up at the dollar store years ago.  I finally found a different purpose for one of the trays other than, well, ice cubes or molded chocolate.  I decided to make these heart ties and baubles by molding some plaster and doodling away.

If you have a little girl, they’re going to love designing their own hair ties and baubles.  There is a more durable variety of plaster you can use for this purpose.  As for me, I think I’m going to use these to accent some small boxes for my Valentine.

You will need a heart ice cube tray, unused hair ties, plaster, disposable bowl, disposable spoon, and permanent markers.

1.  For baubles, you will need to cut open two hair ties.

2. Mix plaster as directed on the package.  Carefully spoon into mold.  While plaster is still wet, place the hair ties in the mold.  For baubles, you will need to place two cut hair ties.   Make sure the hair ties are upright.

3. Doodle your desired pattern using permanent markers.

You can really personalize these by writing names and initials.

I can even see the baubles being used as napkin rings for a Valentine wedding – one heart having the initial of the bride and the other, the groom.  Or they can be used as favor tags for a small box of truffles.

candy heart coasters

January 17, 2011 § 14 Comments

Here’s a conversation piece for your coffee table — conversation candy heart coasters.  It’s the perfect time of year to make and use these.  You will not be able to get your hands on any of the candy after next month (and after you’ve forever set them in silicone rubber).

You will need:

a. A paint stirrer or anything disposable with a flat edge for spreading.

b. If I had the budget to buy resin, I would have.  But for now, the best I could do is clear silicone rubber caulking.  You can get a tube at the hardware store for about $3.  It doesn’t give the best clarity.  Even though it is labeled as “clear”, it is translucent (foggy).  Rubber will not dissolve the candy into a pool of sugar, unlike water soluble adhesives such as clear glue.  Please NOTE: this is not a craft for kids.  Uncured silicone rubber is malodorous and may cause irritation.

c. Conversation candy hearts.

d. Plastic lids.

1. Spread a generous layer of silicone rubber on lids (1/8″ thick)  Carefully smooth out until even.  The smoother, the less bubbles and holes.

2. Arrange your candy hearts, right side down — if you want the letters to show, they should be facing the plastic (left example); if you want only the heart shape to show, the letters should be facing up (right example).

3. Generously cover all the gaps and candy with silicone rubber.  Carefully smooth out until even.  Let dry for 24 hours or as suggested on packaging.

4. After the rubber has cured, turn the lid over and trim away the lip (only if you have the type of lid with a recessed lip).  The rubber will be cured on the plastic and cannot be removed without being destroyed.

The top of the coaster will be the plastic side and the bottom, the rubber side.  Conveniently, these coasters are non-slip!

Just don’t forget to save some candy on the side, because once they’re set in, they are there for good!

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