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How-To’s

Holiday Decorations, How-To's, Mother's Day

DIY Mother’s Day Craft: How to Make a Floral Hot Air Balloon for Mom

April 23, 2015

Pink and Orange Hot Air Balloon Place SettingMom does so much for the family throughout the year: No matter how long her to-do list is, you know you can always count on her for anything. Because she means so much, let her sit back and enjoy herself on Mother’s Day, and show her how appreciated she is. Treating your mom to a nice brunch is the best way to make her feel like a queen bee: Since you’ve already taken care of everything, Mom doesn’t have to lift a finger. To make her day even more special, pick a fun and truly original theme for your luncheon: hot air balloons!

This beautiful hot air balloon arrangement adds a whimsical take-me-away touch to any Mother’s Day table setting. As soon as she sits down, Mom will feel like she’s floating among the clouds without a care in the world! This Mother’s Day craft is really simple to make, so you can make a big, loving statement with minimal effort. Here’s how to make a floral hot air balloon for Mom on Mother’s Day! Continue Reading…

How-To's

DIY Apple Dessert Bar with Caramel & Chocolate Covered Apples

November 19, 2014

A do-it-yourself caramel and chocolate apple bar is a fun idea for any gathering this time of year and it works for kids and adults alike! Using apple slices instead of whole apples makes it easy for guests to create different combinations. Plus, it’s easier to eat one slice at a time anyway. No double dipping allowed!

Here are the basic steps to get you started. Just remember to have fun with it and make it your own! Fresh fruit, whether dipped or not, is a great gift to send as well.
chocolate-covered-apples-buffet

Materials Needed:

* Apples (Different Kinds Are Welcome)
* Chocolate for Melting (White, Milk & Dark is Always a Fun Option)
* Caramel
* Head of Iceberg Lettuce
* Kale
* Container to Hold the Chocolate Dipped Apples
* Skewers
* Crunchy Options for Dipping (We Used Crushed Toffee, Walnuts & Toasted Coconut)
* Apple Corer
* Lemons
* Signs to Explain to Guests (i.e. Label the Macintosh Apples as “Macintosh”)
* Various Display Dishes

Preparing the DIY Apple Dessert Bar:

* Choose a few different varieties of apples.
* Wash apples before coring and slicing.
* Core and slice apples.
chocolate-covered-apples-slices

* To prevent the apples slices from turning brown, put the slices in a bowl and squeeze a lemon or two over the slices. Gently mix the slices with a wooden spoon so that they are coated with the lemon juice.

chocolate-covered-apples-with-lemon

* Prepare the container that you will be using to hold the skewered apple slices on the buffet table by compactly filling it with a head of lettuce. For a fancier look, use pieces of kale to cover the lettuce.

lettuce-kale-dessert-bar

* Insert a wooden skewer into the bottom of each apple slice.

chocolate-covered-apples-skewer

* Place the other end of the skewer into the cabbage and continue adding apple slices until you have filled out the container.

chocolate-covered-apples-diy

Chocolate Dipping Dishes:

Start with the “glue” – melted milk or white chocolate or caramel sauce. Use microwave safe dishes and pop them in right before serving. I recommend having an extra set of the melted dips so that you can quickly replace them as they start to cool off, rotating them out throughout the party. You could also keep the melted chocolate or caramel sauce on the buffet table in a small crock pot or keep the individual bowls on a warming tray.

chocolate-covered-apples-dipping

Next is the crunch. The choices are endless! We used crushed toffee, walnuts, toasted coconut, and turtle crunch. Fill up bowls with the topping and have spoons available for easy coverage!

chocolate-covered-apples-toppings

Setting Up the Buffet

With All the Bells & Whistles
Thinking about the idea of an apple for the teacher, I went for a bit of vintage school house charm here. An old wooden framed blackboard sets the tone; To carry it through, the topping signs and apple ID tags were made to look like chalkboard signs but were actually made on the computer!

And what else brings a smile to the teacher – a pretty bunch of flowers! To match the rest of the look I combined red roses, spray roses, and rose hips in a simple mason jar tied with a red gingham bow.

chocolate-covered-apples-bar

How-To's

Take Home A Treat

November 12, 2014

As soon as I spotted this fantastic old wooden crate at one of my favorite antique spots, I knew that there were tons of fun ways that I could use it!

I had friends over recently for our first fall get-together and treated my guests to a pretty bunch of flowers at the end of the party. They had to wait until they were leaving because I used the crate with all of the paper bag bouquets as a decoration on one of the buffet tables!

How to Make a Paper Bag Vase

paper-bag-bouquet-decoration

What You’ll Need:

* Fresh Flowers
* Kraft Paper Bags
* Cellophane Bags
* Floral Foam
* Raffia or Ribbon
* Water
* Floral Scissors or Shears
paper-bag-bouquet-supplies

Step-by-Step:

floral-foam-supplies
Step 1. Cut a third of the brick of floral foam.

Step 2. Put it in a sink or a bowl filled with water and gently drop the foam in, allowing it to naturally absorb the water. Wait until it is completely soaked before removing.

Step 3. Place in a cellophane or plastic bag that will fit into the paper bag and completely cover the foam.

Step 4. Insert the flowers one at a time giving each one a fresh cut, on an angle, before inserting into the wet foam. You only need a couple of stems for this casual bouquet.

Step 5. Place in paper bag.

Step 6. Tie with ribbon or raffia.
DIY Paper Bag Vase - Flowers in Floral Foam and Cellophane

Step 7. Share with a friend to make them smile!

paper-bag-bouquet

Entertainment, How-To's

Create Your Own Dramatic Candle Centerpiece

December 30, 2012

Think Fire and Ice

Why purchase a centerpiece when you can create your own dramatic candle centerpiece?  This is a fabulous look for any special occasion during the winter and creating the dramatic effect of fire and ice couldn’t be easier.

Here’s what you need:

  • Double sided tape and/or spray adhesive
  • Glass votive candleholders
  • Plain clear glass beverage glasses
  • Container of stardust glitter

For the raised candle centerpiece, first I sprayed the outside of the votive holders with spray adhesive and then dusted them with stardust glitter. After I sprinkled faux snow on the glass top of a pastry stand and placed the candles in a line down the middle of the stand. For a little more sparkle weave a strand of crystals around the candles. The flickering light of the candles reflects in the crystals – the look is stunning. It’s so simple, yet so elegant.



Create coordinating vases by placing a band of double-sided tape around a beverage glass and sprinkle the tape with the glitter. Drop a few stems of white tulips in the glass and you’re good to go! Place several of these beautiful vases around the dining or buffet table for maximum impact. When the party is over and you need drinking glasses, simply remove the tape and they’re as good as new!

Sophisticated Soiree

For a look that is clean, elegant and sophisticated, use a single variety white flower such as the tulip, a lot of sparkling clear glass vases and candle holders, and add a couple of chandelier crystals. The result is breathtaking. This is a perfect look for celebrating the start of a brand new year with all its limitless possibilities.

A Meaningful Memento

Since ancient times, evergreens have been a symbol of life, rebirth, and the stamina needed to endure the winter months. Use sprigs of evergreens tied with silver ribbon and a sparkle monogram to create a place card with a message.

Wishing you good health and peace in the New Year – remember that every day is a gift to be cherished!

Fall Decor, How-To's

Make Your Own Fall Wreath

October 15, 2012

Wreaths can be used in so many different ways to decorate your home and are very easy to make. Here are three options, in three different sizes, using three different bases. Which one are you going to create this Thanksgiving? Maybe you’ll do them all!

Grapevine Chair Wreath
Here’s an unexpected touch for your Thanksgiving table (or chair in this case).

Grapevine Chair Wreath

  • Start with a 5” grapevine wreath, which you can get at any craft store for under a dollar each.
  • Glue a base of autumn leaves, a bit of berries, and assorted foliage such as eucalyptus and magnolia leaves. I used a hot glue gun.
  • Attach a cymbidium orchid with a dab of floral adhesive.
  • Attach the finished wreath to the back of each chair with a beautiful ribbon that coordinates with table linens.

Magnolia Wreath
Magnolia wreaths have always been popular in the South. However, we northerners are being lured by the dark glossy beauty of the two-tone magnolia leaf (the back of each leaf is brown). Making a wreath using just the leaves with a simple ribbon creates a look that is fresh and sophisticated.

Magnolia Wreath

  • Start with a pre-made wire base or create your own using heavy-gauge wire.
  • Cut the magnolia leaves from the branch.
  • Wire small clusters of 3-4 leaves together.
  • Wire the individual bunches of leaves onto the wire wreath form, making sure to overlap them so that their stems don’t show.
  • Spray your wreath with artist’s fixative or hair spray, and hang it on a wall or door.

Fresh Sunflower Wreath
This wreath is made with a floral foam base and is designed entirely with fresh flowers and foliage. The focal flower is a sunflower, which is perfect this time of year with its chocolate brown center and golden yellow petals.

Fresh Sunflower Wreath

A fresh flower wreath makes a beautiful centerpiece with a pillar candle and hurricane lamp in the center. Follow these simple steps to create your own fresh flower wreath.

    • Thoroughly soak the wreath form.
      Rinse Wreath Form
    • Create the initial shape by inserting short stems of foliage into the foam.
    • Add the sunflowers even spaced around the wreath.
    • Fill in the wreath with the other flowers that you have chosen.
    • Fill in any gaps with oak leaves, raffia, and other assorted foliage such as salal leaves or pittisporum.

 

How-To's

How to Preserve Flowers with Wax

September 2, 2012

Create Your Own Wax Flowers

Wax Roses as Centerpiece Around a Candle on purple table clothJust when you thought your Valentine flowers were done here are two more tricks and tips to make the last few blooms more then just a memory. Waxing fresh flowers is a craft that dates back to the Victorian era. It’s quite easy and inexpensive to do. It just takes a little practice, because the most important part is getting the temperature just right for the types of flower that you are waxing. Almost any type of bloom can be waxed so go ahead and experiment.

Wax Flower Materials Needed:
* Fresh flowers
* Paraffin wax
* Double boiler
* Wax or Parchment Paper
* Empty vases or bottles for drying the flowers
Continue Reading…

Flower Care & Handling, How-To's

Make The Most Of Your Graduate’s Corsage

May 26, 2012

Tips on Choosing Your Grads Corsage!

The summer weather is here and that can only mean one thing; graduation time! Whether graduating kindergarten or college, it is a blissful, bittersweet celebration. This is their day to shine, and what is a better way to make the day even more memorable then giving them a one of a kind wrist corsage that will complement their personality and spirit. Here are a few tips on how to make the most of your graduate’s corsage!

  • Flower buds are good choices when creating wrist corsages. Buds are beginning to bloom retain color and scent for a longer period of time
  • Depending on what kind of look you’re going for, for a dramatic look, one large flower such as the Catteiya, is a classic type of orchid available in practically every color except true blue.
  • The more colors in the corsage, the more lively the corsage will look.
  • Durable flowers, besides the regular roses or carnations are orchids, calla lilies and daisies.
  • Gerbera daisies and carnations are the least expensive, and come in a large variety of colors that make them perfect for any occasion.

Hope these tips help make the most of their (or your own) special day!

How-To's

How to Dry Flowers

March 1, 2012

Create Your Own Dried Flowers

Framed Dry Rose in a White Frame surrounded by beautiful candles

There really isn’t any easier way to preserve flowers then to just let them dry. I think flowers look beautiful when they are dry; they take on such a romantic vintage feel. And while the flowers that your loved one sent you were beautiful, the message that was sent with them is just as beautiful.
Why not frame a few of the flowers that have dried and the sentimental card?
By framing the flowers and card, you are able to get the same good feeling that you had when you first received the gift!

How-To's

How to Preserve Flowers

February 16, 2012

Waxed Flowers

Just when you thought your Valentine flowers were done here are two more tricks and tips to make the last few blooms more then just a memory. Waxing fresh flowers is a craft that dates back to the Victorian era. It’s quite easy and inexpensive to do. It just takes a little practice, because the most important part is getting the temperature just right for the types of flower that you are waxing. Almost any type of bloom can be waxed so go ahead and experiment.

What you will need:

  • Fresh flowers
  • Paraffin wax
  • Double boiler
  • Wax or Parchment Paper
  • Empty vases or bottles for drying the flowers

How to:

  • Melt two blocks of paraffin wax in the top of a double boiler. Using a wax or candy thermometer to measure temperature, heat the wax to 150 degrees, and maintain temperature throughout the process.
  • Cut the flower stem to about two inches. Holding the flower by the stem, dip the flower head completely into the wax. Immediately lift it out, allowing excess wax to drip into pot. Let wax harden 30 seconds, then place blossom on its side on a parchment-lined tray to harden completely for about 5 minutes. For large multi-petal flowers such as a fully open rose, I prefer to place it into a bottle so that it can dry while upright.
  • Repeat the dipping process once more, allowing the wax to fully cool and harden between each step. Be sure to handle waxed flowers carefully to avoid cracking them. Use your waxed flowers to make beautiful arrangements or to decorate a basket or a wrapped gift.

Wax Roses

Dried Rose Framed Art

There really isn’t any easier way to preserve flowers then to just let them dry. I think flowers look beautiful when they are dry; they take on such a romantic vintage feel. And while the flowers that your loved one sent you were beautiful, the message that was sent with them is just as beautiful. Why not frame a few of the flowers that have dried and the sentimental card? By framing the flowers and card, you are able to get the same good feeling that you had when you first received the gift!

Framed Dry Rose

How-To's

Arrange Your Own Bouquet With The Perfect Pitcher!

January 12, 2012

Pitcher Perfect!

Now that you’ve put all of your holiday decorations away doesn’t your home look so plain, empty, and boring? Arrange your own bouquet starting with a simple bunch of fresh flowers! Try it – you’ll be amazed at the difference they make to your home. Pick up a bunch of flowers while you’re out or take a minute and order some online. You deserve it! I’d recommend getting a single variety or a mixed bouquet of loose stems that you can display in one of your own vessels. Make lots of smaller arrangements that you can place all around the house or make just one perfect bouquet that will welcome you home the minute you walk through the door.

One of my favorite vessels to display flowers in is a pitcher. Pitchers are both practical and pleasing to the eye. They are made from many different materials and come in all shapes and sizes. I have lots of different pitchers that I have collected over the years. I’m always pulling one down from the shelf to drop a few stems in and I’m always so pleased with the way they look. Here are a few photos that might inspire you to dust off that old silver pitcher from up in the attic or take the ice tea pitcher from the kitchen cabinet and create your own stylish bouquet!

Silver Pitcher with White Roses

Bronze Pitcher with Peach Roses

Blue Pitcher With Hydrangeas

Green Porcelain Pitcher with Green Roses

European Inspired Pitcher

Clear Pink Pitcher With Pink Roses and Hydrangeas

Simple White Porcelain Pitcher

White Country Pitcher

When choosing flowers to place in your pitcher, I would recommend these three blooms in particular for different reasons (besides being a great value):

Tulips, one of my favorite flowers, are the easiest flower to arrange and they come with their own foliage attached to each flower!

Spray roses have multiple blooms on each stem and come in a wide variety of vibrant rich colors.

Alstromeria also have multi blooms per stem and come in a variety of different colors but the shelf life of a cut alstro makes it a real winner. Alstro will last an average of three weeks as fresh cut flowers!