29
Nov

Display your Christmas Cards!

Filed in Christmas

Shipping Pallet Card Holder

Last year I saw a picture of a Christmas card display out of a shipping pallet. I haven’t been able to find that pictures since then. For some reason I didn’t pin the picture when I first saw it.

No matter, I found a few other shipping pallet crafts, including Christmas trees from pallets, and was able to use those as inspiration for my own card holder.

The first trick was obtaining a shipping pallet. There are several places on the web enumerating ways to get free pallets, but fortunately, I had an “in” with a landscaper who regularly discards old pallets.

I cut the pallet in the shape of a Christmas tree, then spray painted it green. One issue I had (and would need to solve if I was making it for anyone else) was the stray nails that were poking out here and there. I pounded them into the wood as much as I could, but wouldn’t feel good about giving it to anyone else that way.

Next I cut out a variety of words from heavy paper using my Cricut. Using those as stencils, I painted them on the dried Christmas-tree-shaped pallet. I alternated the color of each word to make them stand out more. Then I added a star.

Finally, to make it into a card display, I added tiny clothespins.

Here’s my display holder before anyone had sent any cards and at the end of the season last year:
Shipping Pallet Card HolderShipping Pallet Card Holder

A second problem I need to fix is that the pallet didn’t stand terribly well on its own – I ended up leaning it against the wall. I could either add more to the bottom of the stand, or add a hanger to stabilize it on a wall.

04
Jun

Spiffing up some crates

When my office-mate left, he left behind these little crates. They’re cute, but I thought they could be a little cuter.

Plain mini-crates

I drew out a simple pattern consisting of a bunch of rectangles, and rummaged through my fabric stash to see what I might want to use.

Sketch of a plan

The design was simple – a rectangle for each side of the crate at twice the height of the crate so I could fold it over and cover both the inside and outside. Then a single rectangle for the inside base of the crate.

I wanted two different fabrics to show on the outside, so this is what a single side looked like, before attaching it to the base.

One side-panel

With all the sides complete, I attached them to the bottom. I tried to leave a half-inch seam allowance on each corner, which would make sewing the sides together easier.

Four sides attached to base

I also pre-pressed the hem at the top of each side, figuring it would be easier to press them while they were flat than when I had sewn the sides together. Finally, I sewed the sides together to create a box…well, a box without a lid. And sewed my pre-pressed hems.

Sewn side seam

Moment of truth! I inserted the cover into one of the crates and folded over the sides. I think they turned out rather cute, if I do say so myself.

Much better

Finished crates inside

Finished crates

04
Feb

Valentine’s Day Wreath

I wanted to cheer up my workplace a little for Valentine’s Day, so I looked up some wreath ideas. What I found, was this wreath from She’s Kinda Crafty.



The wreath is very easy to make and doesn’t require many supplies, but takes quite a bit of patience. I used a foam wreath form, two spools of wide ribbon (1″ or more) ribbon to wrap around the foam form (so they aren’t really seen), 10 spools of various ribbon for all the loops, and a slew of straight pins.

Step one is to wrap the wide ribbon around the wreath form. I used straight pins to hold it down.

Next, cut the 10 spools of ribbon into 4.5-inch strips.

Then sew those strips into loops. This is kind of fun, because to save time, you don’t cut the thread between each loop, but just continuously thread in loop after loop. In the end you have one long string of loops.

I had a big pile of loops.

2012-01-29 18.20.56

Next, cut the thread between each of the loops to separate them.

Finally, start pinning them on the wreath.

That’s it!

Here’s my final wreath, which is now hanging on my office door. I get a lot of compliments on it, and one coworker even threatened to steal it.

2012-01-29 21.55.54

2012-01-29 21.54.41

25
Jan

Coconut cupcakes

Filed in Baking

Coconut cupcakes

I love coconut cake. I don’t make it very often, but when we decided to host a board game party at our house this past weekend, it seemed the perfect opportunity to make one of my favorite cakes.

At parties, and particular gaming parties, I find cake a bit hard to serve, so I decided to turn the cake recipe into cupcakes. I’d never done that before with a coconut cake recipe, and I wasn’t sure how they would turn out.

I found a recipe from Dixie Caviar (pinned below), which included cake, filling and frosting. To make it into a cupcake, I only made a few small revisions.

The first revision was to the cake itself – instead of cooking it in cake pans, I, of course, used cupcake pans with cupcake liners. I kept the oven temperature the same, but cooked the the cupcakes for only 15-20 minutes (the cake recipe says to bake for 35 minutes).

I still made the filling. However, I replaced the heavy cream called for by the recipe with the rest of the cream of coconut I had bought for the cake batter, which worked just fine. When the cupcakes where cool and the filling ready, I used an apple corer to create a little hole in the center of each cupcake. Then I put the coconut filling in the hole.

Finally, I made the frosting and piped a “swoosh” of it on top. Garnish with a little flaked coconut, and they were done.

The verdict? Yummy!

Coconut cupcakes

Coconut cupcakes

Here’s the recipe I used:



18
Jan

Pinspired: Loyalty card holder

I’ll admit it, I’m a Pinterest addict. I can quit anytime…honest. Actually, I don’t want to quit – there are a lot of great craft ideas there!

My husband and I, like many people, have a huge number of loyalty cards that we carry around in our car. The cards had migrated out of our wallets when their number became a bit unwieldy. But they just went into a small pouch. When we needed one, we had to pull out all the cards and look through them one-by-one until we found the one we wanted, then wrestle the cards back into the pouch. The whole process was annoying.

Pinterest came to our rescue. I found the following tutorial on how to make a case for all those loyalty cards:

It’s a fairly simple project, and a brilliant solution to the loyalty card problem.

Here’s the one I made:
Loyalty card carrier - closed

Loyalty card carrier - open 1

And here it is with cards in it. The best part? There’s room for more!
Loyalty card carrier - filled

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