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Gift Ideas for poor creative souls (7)

Posted by: Cathy

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With most of Europe having glorious weather, I'm sure many of you will be having the obligatory bbq's and garden parties.  It stays light much later but when we're having fun, we soon stay outside well into the night.  These are a wonderful way to be able to add sparkle to your party and not difficult to make.  I love the fact that they are made from recycled tins and you don't need to paint them if you don't want to.  This tutorial comes courtesy of Crafts for all Seasons

Materials Needed:

  • Empty vegetable or soup cans, cleaned out and labels removed
  • Water
  • Nail
  • Hammer
  • Scrap paper
  • Ruler
  • Tape
  • Spray paint in red, white, and blue

1.  Begin the tin can luminaries by filling the cans up to the top with water, then place them in the freezer until the water is frozen solid.  This will allow you to hammer a nail into the side of the can without the can denting.

2.  Next, think about some designs you want to punch into the sides of the can.  I chose to punch the letters USA, a star, and some fireworks.   Cut out your templates, place on the can, and trace around them with a permanent marker (or draw freehand).

3.  Continue making the tin can luminaries by using a nail and hammer to punch out the design.  Start at one end of the pattern and place the nail along the line.  Gently pound the nail in with a hammer.  The nail will go through the can into the ice.  Continue working around the pattern until the design is punched out.

4.  Allow the ice in the can to melt, and dry the can completely.
5.  Next, you can paint the cans if you wish although I think they look great plain silver too.  Spray the bottom portion of the cans blue with the blue spray paint.  Protect your work surface with newspapers and use good ventilation (preferably outdoors like I did).

6.  When the cans are completely dry, cut a piece of scrap paper to wrap around the can.  Make it 1/3 the height of the can.  The cans I used were 4.5 inches high, so I made my first strip of paper 1.5 inches.  Wrap the paper around the bottom part of the can, covering the blue painted area, and tape it closed.

7.  Now take the cans outside again and this time give them a good spray of the white spray paint, and allow the cans to dry well.  When they are dry you can remove the paper strip.

8.  Next, make another paper strip 2/3 the height of the can.  In my case, I made the strip of paper 3 inches wide.  Secure around the blue and white portions of the can, leaving only the top portion exposed, and secure with tape. Take the cans outside again and this time spray the top section with the red spray paint, and allow to dry.  Remove the paper strip and you will see the pretty red, white, and blue stripes.

9.  If you want to further decorate the tin can luminaries, this is the time to do it.  If you would like the designs you punched to show up better you can paint them a different color, such as black.  When you are ready to illuminate, add a little sand to weigh down the cans and add a tea light candle.  Your guests will love them!

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Gift Ideas for poor creative souls (6)

Posted by: Cathy

Tagged in: Untagged 


You know how it goes, a friend calls you and invites you to dinner at the last minute.  OMG! What gift can you take?! You scrabble around the cupboards trying to find a box of chocolates or a bottle of wine but find that most of the chocolates have been eaten and the wine has gone.

I thought this was a wonderful idea. You could make a few of these and keep them to one side for just such an occasion.  You don't need many materials for this and it looks relatively simple to do. Even I could attempt this so I'm sure anyone else could too.


  • Patterned paper-one 12 x 12" sheet. Single or double sided
  • Green patterned paper or handmade paper for leaves (optional)
  • Create your own petal template from the images
  • 2 pieces of florist wire (I use 16 gauge, 18" long)
  • Green floral tape
  • Tacky Glue
  • Ink for distressing petal edges
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Bamboo skewer or chopstick

These directions will give you one flower. Once you complete one rose, you can play around with the amount of petals to get the look that you are after. Note: If you can find the grain of the paper, cut the petals on the lengthwise grain so that you are working with the paper not against it (optional).

  • 1. Cut 3 each of size 1 and size 2 (the smallest petals)
  • 2. Cut 5 each of sizes 3 and size 4
  • 3. Cut 6 of the largest, size 5 (you may need more of these)

4. Ink distress the edges of all the petals, front and back.

5. Crumple sizes 3, 4 and 5 to make the petals more supple and resistant to tearing.

Tip: For single sided paper. If you want a white rose, then place the pattern facing away from the wire. If you want the pattern to show, then place it facing towards the wire.

6. Start from smallest petal to largest petal. The wire will protrude about 1/2 an inch into your petal from the bottom. Roll one of the smallest petals tightly against the wire, then wrap with floral tape starting above the junction of the paper and the wire and extending down the stem a few inches.

Note: Florist tape is stretchy, just play with it and pull gently but firmly as you move down the stem. It's fun.

7. From now on you will add a little glue to the inside lower part of the petals for some extra holding power. Be careful to keep the glue on the lower one third of the petal so that the upper petals can be pulled down during shaping. (Glue is optional. I use it because the scrapbook paper is thick and may not stay put with floral tape only. Continue the sequence of adding a petal, then using floral tape.

Note, you will have to play around with the height of the petals, and where on the petal you start your tape. In general, keep you petals even with the top of the first petals, or a little above them when you are placing them. Tape more rather than less of the petal from below. If you want a peony look, then tape close to the bottom of the petals instead.

8. Work in sequence. Add all the size one petals first, then the size two petals and so on. When adding a petal, place the new one over a gap between two previous petals (staggered). You see the gap in the photo, your petal will go right on top of that gap to cover it. This is how petals of a real rose look. Once I finish placing my size one petals, I can place two petals at a time, then wrap with floral tape.

9. After you place about 3 of the size 5 petals, start to pull your rose petals open. To do this, place your thumb under the petal, your two fingers above and gently pull down. Take your time so you don't tear the petals. Place the remaining rose petals to make your rose look beautiful.

10. Using a bamboo skewer or chopstick, curl the edges of the petals down. Be asymmetrical with this process, just like nature is. Add florist tape down the whole stem, finishing off by covering the bottom of the wire and then moving back up the stem a little.

11. Optional. You can add a leaf by cutting two leaf shaped pieces of your leaf paper, putting glue on the insides of each leaf, then place a piece of short wire between them. Cover the wire with floral tape, bend and attach to your rose stem with floral tape. Play around with this one. I just added one leaf to my rose, but if you look at real roses, you'll get more ideas.

12. (Optional) Embellish your rose with glimmer mist. Wrap it in tissue paper and tie it with a ribbon. Enjoy!


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Gift Ideas for poor creative souls (5)

Posted by: Cathy

Tagged in: Untagged 


These are more gift wrap ideas. The sky is the limit really on how you package your gifts. You could make simple cookies or sweets and put them in a beautiful tin.  Who would not love to receive something like that?

Keeping it neutral with plain white paper and all kinds of bits and pieces that you may find or have lying around.

Cutting out shapes from paper and attaching them with string is an inexpensive way to make a simple brown paper gift look glorious.

Again using brown paper, simply attach lots of ribbon or colored cotton.



Everyone loves making pompoms!  So cute.

Any leftover scraps of fabric you may have lying around would make a great gift wrap.  Not only that, but the next person can keep it and re-use it.  A great eco-friendly gift wrap.

Any old tins you have lying around can be covered with some lovely paper and ribbon.  Great for putting in home-baked goodies.

Happy creating!

If you do make any of these or have other gift wrap ideas, please show me and I'll add them here. :-)


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