Monday, March 20, 2017

DIY: Learn how to dry flowers with the laziest method of all

Hello! So happy to be kicking off one of my favorite seasons with you: Spring!! (insert flower emoji here)

My crazy schedule has kept me away from here these days and having a couple of projects that went wrong didn't help, but hey, let's say I'm a little wiser now ( and I should probably share some of the lessons learned, right?)

Anyway, for this special day (and been the crazy flower lady that I am) I wanted to share a very simple flower project and while going through my brainstorming process I started thinking in how fast flowers turn from fresh and colorful to sad and pale.

I though in those special flowers that I've received in my life, like the first bouquet I got from my boyfriend and a beautiful arrangement I got in my last birthday at my previous job, I'd have loved to keep both of them, and the fact is that I actually would've been able to do it, if I'd dry them!

I went full research mode on techniques to dry flowers, there are zillions of them, from pressing them with an iron, keeping them pressed in the middle of a large book and even found a weird tool that looks like a torture device but I wanted something simpler (and less dangerous), so this is how this post was born.

DIY: Dry flowers (lazy style)

Difficulty: Extremely easy  
Time required: 5 minutes to prepare/ A couple of days to get your flowers dried
Supplies needed:

  1. Flowers (any kind)
  2. Rubber bands

Let's do this:

Step # 1: Let's take them out of the water

The best time to dry your flowers is when you notice that your flower petals start getting brown, don't wait too long after that to get a better result.

I'd also recommend to cut any damaged petal, branch, etc with some scissors to get a cleaner flower.

Step # 2: Let's hang them

Using the rubber band take your flower from the seam and tie it to a bar, a hanger or any dry place where you can leave your flowers rest for a couple of days 

To tie it just pull the rubber band around to keep the flower secured.

Try moving the base to assure that the band is tight enough

Step # 3: Let's be patient (the most difficult step)

I kept my flowers tied to a window for some days until they were completely dry, in this step just be patient and try to avoid touching your flower because your petals are too fragile.

And you are done now!

I wanted to use my dried flowers to decorate a gift, I only needed a brown bag and some rope:

You can see below the final result, not bad right?

The good news are that I'll be able to keep ALL the flowers I get (YAY!), the bad news is that this idea is not necessarily compatible with my declutter goals so I'll find a way to assure that these flowers are being used and not just being accumulated.

Oh and I also tried an even lazier method, I left some flowers just laying flat for some days, and to be honest, I don't think that the results are what I expected as you can see below, so I'd strongly recommend to hang them instead.

I hope you liked today's simple idea, if you have a crazy easy method that I could use next time please let me know (Sharing is caring!)

Have a great week and a Happy Flower Season!!


Monday, February 27, 2017

DIY: Create a Mandala Coloring Pouch in 3 steps (and get ready to relax)

If you like spending your weekends browsing Pinterest like me (and maybe pining projects that are kept in hidden boards for years) you probably noticed (or maybe even got infected with) the Mandala fever.

A "Mandala" is a geometric figure that represents the universe in Hindu & Buddhist symbolism and has been associated with healing and relaxing properties, these days is very common to find Mandala's everything: coloring books, wall art,  mobile apps, etc.

In a related note, last year I finally visited Chichen Itzá along with other Mayan ruins and found a book with Mayan Mandalas that was simply too pretty and unique that I felt the urge to get it.

I love this book so much because it reminds me of that amazing trip, but also because is a mix of Mexican heritage and designs screaming for color but the moment I got it I felt the need to find a way to use it avoiding  the sensation that I was destroying something sacred. (I got issues, right?)

While I was thinking that I really wanted to use my book I was listening to a friend telling me she needed a new pouch and it just hit me, I'd make her a pretty pouch with a Mayan Mandala print, in that way this could be a useful object (which is always a must in my DIY projects) that would also serve as a Coloring "book" that would proudly represent the Mayan art (Win-win-win)

DIY: Mandala Coloring Pouch 

Difficulty: Medium  
Time required: 60 minutes
Supplies needed:

  1. Fabric (I used cotton)
  2. A4 paper
  3. Spray Adhesive
  4. Mandala Design (I scanned mine from my book but you can find a lot of free designs in the web)
  5. Computer/Printer (not pictured)
  6. Sewing Machine (not pictured)
  7. Zipper
  8. Matching thread
  9. Scissors 

Let's do this:

Step # 1: Let's prepare our canvas

Start by cutting your fabric, placing the A4 paper above then cut around it, this doesn't have to be perfect, just make sure that the fabric has a similar size.

Once cut, paste the fabric over the same A4 paper using the spray glue, let it dry for some minutes and once dry  cut the exceeding fabric.

Your canvas is ready.

Step # 2: Let's print our design

Once you've selected your design, adjust it to the A4 size using Paint or any design program you have, make sure to center your design both horizontally and vertically.

Once ready print your design on your canvas and let it dry.

Step # 3: Let's sew this pouch

Start by sewing/gluing the zipper to one of the edges.

Now sew/glue a 1/2" seam in both edges of your pouch by folding your fabric in two keeping the printed area inside.

I initially though in removing the paper we glued but now I think that keeping it there will avoid coloring "leaks" trespassing to the other side of the fabric.

Turn it around and sew/glue the other side of the zipper, If yours gets as wrinkly as mine just press a warm iron on it and it'll be perfect!

Now it's only matter of grabbing some colors, playing some music to enjoy the calm of your afternoon/night after a crazy day at the office.

If you are not really into sewing you can simply print your design, color it and put it in a picture frame to be used as wall art ;)

Hope you liked today's project, I'll probably make one for me as well and will think on other options to use these beautiful designs.

Thanks for stopping by, wishing you a very productive and relaxed week!



Monday, February 13, 2017

DIY: Valentine's prettiest flower arrangement in 3 (easy) steps

I must confess that I'm guilty: I'm a victim of Valentine's day, I love seeing people everywhere being corny, carrying balloons, choosing flowers and simply being happy about this day.

The best thing is that this day is not only for people in relationships but for everybody that want to celebrate the joy of honest and fulfilling friendship, cheers to that!

This week I wanted to create an easy project that could be a nice gift for that special friend that is always there for you, because honestly, nothing says I love you like spending some time crafting something unique for that person specially if manual work is not your biggest strength.

DIY Valentine's Prettiest Flower arrangement

Difficulty: Incredibly Easy  
Time required: 20 minutes
Supplies needed:

  1. A recycled container/box (mine was a body lotion can)
  2. Floral Oasis (cut to fit your container)
  3. Your favorite flowers
  4. Scissors 
  5. A bowl with watter
  6. Optional: Rope

Let's do this:

Step # 1: Let's prepare the container

Start by removing any sticker or label from your container, if yours gets difficult to remove just soak a piece of cotton in acetone and rub it on the sticker.  it will be removed very easily.

As my container used to have body lotion it was already "water-proof" but if you had chosen something like a cardboard box or a wood box then you can just cut a piece of plastic from a plastic bag and place it in the bottom.

Step # 2: Let's soak the oasis

Take your floral oasis and put it in a bowl with water, leave it there for some minutes to let it absorb enough water to keep your flowers fresh.

Once wet place it inside your container, if needed, pour more water on the oasis.

Step # 3: Let's add some roses

Cut your flowers' stems long enough to fit your container, no longer than the width of your oasis:

Now start placing them on the oasis one by one:

I found it easier to do if I placed each rose right next to the previous one to make sure that there were no spaces between them:

This is how it will look once you have placed all the roses (don't you love it?)

Optional: Let's tie some rope

If you want to add an ornamental detail you can tie some rope around, maybe a ribbon, whatever you have in your house:

And voilá, this is the final result!

I really loved doing this, it was incredibly easy and I won't be afraid of floral arrangement crafts anymore.

The best part is that I have my gift ready for one of my closest friends, I hope she likes it.

Thanks for stopping by, I would love to know that you'll give it a try to this project, you saw how easy it was to put everything together, you need just a small bouquet of flowers and the container can be a recycled box/can that you probably already have.

Wishing you a great Valentine's week!


Monday, February 6, 2017

DIY: Saint Valentine's Healthy treats

What's not to love about Saint Valentine's day? Specially since that is the day you get permission to be the corniest  in the world, what can I say? I'm a helpless romantic.

I was so happy thinking about how I loved sharing candies and flowers with friends and my special guy (of course) until I realized that I recently started a clean-eating program (created by me, of course) and thought that maybe, just maybe, sweets and candies are not exactly in the list of recommended food.

As I didn't want to avoid one of my favorite festivities I needed to fnd a way to get some sweet while not sabotaging anybody's healthy resolutions (it's only February, right?), and that is how this DIY was born.

DIY Saint Valentine's Healthy Treats

Difficulty: Incredibly Easy  
Time required: 20 minutes
Supplies needed:

  1. Chocolate bar (the highest the percentage of cocoa, the less sugar it contains, mine was 70%)
  2. Cranberries, almonds, shredded coconut, etc
  3. Silicone mold
  4. Microwavable recipient 
  5. Spoon

Let's do this:

Step # 1: Let's melt this

Break your chocolate bar in small pieces and put it inside your microwavable recipient

Once it's all ready place it inside your microwave during 30 seconds and repeat as many times as required to melt it all. 

Step # 2: Let's mold this

Once the chocolate is ready pour it in the silicone mold cavity:

When all the cavities have been filled take your mold with both hands and move it smoothly to assure the chocolate is evenly distributed  

Finally, take your healthy toppings and add them to the chocolate while it's hot.

Step # 3: Let's finish this

Once that all toppings have been added place the mold inside the freezer during 10 minutes:

And your chocolate hearts will be done,  just pop them out of the mold as shown below:

You are ready now to share these delicious guilty-free snacks with your loved ones, or not share them at all (that's fine too)

Did you like today's project? Easy and delicious! Hopefully you'll make more interesting mix of toppings, if you give it a try please let me know how it went, OK?


Sunday, January 29, 2017

DIY: Create a unique log planter for interiors in 3 steps

It's been a while since the last post and I honestly can say that the latest weeks have been incredibly crazy so please believe me when I say that I was missing been here more than you can even imagine.

The end of the year was so demanding that I ended up with a bag full of supplies for all my Christmas crafts that will have to wait for this year's holidays to see the light (insert sad face emoji here)

But anyway, good things are happening now, the days are getting warmer and with that in mind I wanted to work in a home decor project that could help making the house feel cozy now that Christmas decorations are going back to the bottom of the closet.

By now you've probably seen a lot of images of log planters, these beautiful (and huge) logs that are being used as planters being filled with the most colorful flowers, definitely a view I'd love in my house.

The biggest problem with that kind of planter is that is not easy to find those big logs, and believe me, I tried, but simply couldn't find any, the other issue is that logs are not meant to keep liquids inside, therefore those log planters are usually located in patios and gardens where having water leaks won't be an issue.

As stubborn as I am, I needed to find a way to make it happen, specially since I was able to find a small log in a nearby park, and for the flower selection I went with a lower maintenance but equally beautiful choice: succulents.

DIY Log planter for interiors

Difficulty: Easy  
Time required: 60 minutes
Supplies needed:

  1. A log
  2. Succulents
  3. A saw (I used a band saw)
  4. A Drill
  5. Pencil
  6. Spoon

Let's do this:

Step # 1: Let's make it short and stable

As I planned to place this planter on a coffee table I needed the log to be shorter, once decided we simply cut the log using the band saw:

I also wanted to avoid the log to be moving, with the aid of the pencil we marked a line close to the base.

Once marked it was just a matter of getting rid of the bottom to get a more stable base.

Step # 2 : Let's dig that log

Using the drill it took us some minutes to get the wood removed in order to create the space for the plants.

Once completed it looked like shown in the picture below, as you can tell it doesn't have to be perfect as the succulents will cover the entire cavity.

Step # 3 - Let's "succulent" this

Using the spoon take the succulents out of their containers and remove as much soil as needed to assure the plant will fit in the cavity

Once ready place the plants inside

For this log I used 2 types of succulents, leaving one type in the extremes and the other in the middle of the planter, you can arrange them as you prefer, mixing various types of them and in some weeks you'll notice how the plants' roots are tied to the log.

Remove the dirt and you are ready now to place your planter wherever you want!

As mentioned before, these plants don't require lots of care, simply put some water on them once a week and you'll be done. If you feel bad leaving your succulents unattended for a week, you can use an atomizer and spray your plants twice a week (I know, plant-lady issues)

Hope you liked today's project, if the weather in your city allows it go find your log, you'll have an interesting center-piece for all your gatherings and your house will definitely feel cozier with plants inside.