DIY


Anthropolgie at Home: Paper Flower Wall

Anthropologie is the greatest, right? I don’t even mean their clothing selection, but rather their curated atmosphere.  They always have amazing window displays and in store installations. One thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of their installations take everyday materials and make them interesting through repetition or color choice.  I decided to give it a try and I made a really amazing art piece for less than $10! It took a really, really, REALLY long time and required a lot of patience, but the result is beautiful.  If you are interested in learning how I did it, keep reading.

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Materials:

  • Newspaper – I collected free weekly newspapers every day when I walked Zuzu. I ended up using a lot of newspapers. In total I think I used 10 papers.
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • 3 Foam Boards – I got mine from the Dollar Tree
  • Scissors
  • Tape
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Directions:

1. Sort through the newspaper and look for sections with text only.  Cut those sections into squares and follow the tutorial I made for paper flowers here. Instead of using hot glue, I used tape to hold the flowers together.  I could have used hot glue, but I kept burning my fingers, so I resorted to tape.

2. After making a large pile of flowers, begin gluing them onto foam boards.  Make sure to follow an organic shape instead of trying to glue them in neat rows.

3. Continue making and gluing flowers until you have covered all three foam boards.  After it dries, shake the board upside down to look for any loose pieces.  Secure those pieces with extra glue.

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I’ve hung my installation over the sleeper couch in our office/spare bedroom.

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Now I have a little piece of Anthropolgie at home with me.

Yeti Piñata

My friend got the idea of making her husband a yeti piñata for his birthday from something she saw on Pinterest. She asked me to help her recreate it, and of course I jumped at the opportunity. Piñatas are so much fun.

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Before starting, I did my research and found the original piñata that my friend had seen. It was made by Marissa Land for a craft fair.  You can see the original here.  Full credit to Marissa for making such a cool piñata.  Mine is a little different, but looks very close to Marissa’s original.

If you want to make your own yeti piñata, just follow my instructions below.

Materials:

  • Flour
  • Water
  • Balloon
  • Newspaper
  • White Crepe Paper Streamers
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue
  • Construction Paper
  • Strong Cord

Instructions:

1. The first step is to make the paper mache paste.  Mix one part flour and two parts water. Stir it until it creates a paste. If needed, add more flour.

2. Inflate a round balloon.  Place it in a pie tin to keep it from rolling around.

3.  Cut newspaper into strips. Dip each strip in the paper mache paste and place it on the balloon. Work until the entire balloon is covered. Then let the newspaper dry.

4.  Add two more layers of paper mache to the balloon, letting each layer dry in between applications.  I started my first layer at night and let it dry overnight.  In the morning, I completed my second layer before going to work.  When I got home from work, I finished the third and final layer.

5.  Make arms and legs by rolling up 4 sheets of newspaper.  Using hot glue, affix the arms and legs to the balloon.  It will end up looking sort of like a Thanksgiving turkey.  To make sure the arms and legs stay attached, I suggest adding anther layer of paper mache over the joints.

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6.  Cut  a small flap in the top of the piñata.  This is where you will stuff the candy.

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7. Poke 4 small holes in the top of the piñata and run strong cord through the holes. Make sure the cord is long enough for hanging.

8.  Now it’s time to decorate! Take the crepe paper streamer and begin making small fringed incisions. It’s best to unroll a long strand of the streamer, and then fold it over several times before making the cut. That way you can cut multiple incisions all at once.

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9. Use a hot glue gun to glue the unfringed edge of the streamer to the paper mache body.  Start with the arms and legs before moving from the bottom up.  It’s easiest to turn the body upside down to glue the bottom half.

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10. When you are almost at the top, stop and add your candy to the opening.  Then finish by adding the fringe to the top of the head.

11. The last step is to make a face. Joey used Adobe Illustrator to create a cute face that we printed and glued to the piñata.  If you aren’t lucky enough to have a graphic designer as a  husband, don’t stress–you can easily make a face out of construction paper.  You just need an oval for that face, circles for the eyes, and triangles for the teeth.

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Isn’t he the cutest?!?

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I love Mr. Yeti! In fact, I feel kind of sad that his head is going to get bashed in.

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But I love candy, so Mr. Yeti is out of luck.

Sushi Cake

Disclaimer: Much to the chagrin of my meat obsessed, Nebraska reared family,  I’m a vegetarian; however, I will make exceptions every once in a while, especially if my friend Ale is cooking, because she is an amazing cook.  Today, I’m sharing her recipe for Sushi cake, which she made for us a few weeks ago.  It is most definitely not vegetarian, but is so delicious I had to share.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Jasmine Rice
  • 3 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • 4 1/4 Cups Water
  • 1/4 Cup Soy
  • 4 Oz Whipped Cream Cheese
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 3/4 Cup Shredded Carrots
  • 1 Large Avocado or 2 Small Avocados
  • 2 Limes
  • 1 1/4 Lb Imitation Crab
  • 4 Sheets Nori Seaweed
  • Furikake Rice Seasoning
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Directions:

1. Combine 4 cups of water and 2 cups of jasmine rice in a saucepan.  Stir in 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar and 2 tbsp sugar. Bring it to a boil and let boil until the water level is even with the rice.  Turn the stove to low and cover.  Check after 15 minutes. If it is done, then let it cool.

2. Peel the cucumber and cut it in half lengthwise.  Remove the seeds and cut the cucumber into small strips.

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3. Slice and peel the avocado.

4. Cover the inside of a bundt cake mold with saran wrap.

5.  Wet your hands before grabbing a handful of rice.  Press it into the bundt cake mold. Continue pressing rice into the mold until it is fully covered.

6.  Cut the nori seaweed into strips and press them on top of the rice layer. Then put a layer of cucumber, carrot, avocado and imitation crab. Cover with 2 oz of whipped cream cheese.

7. Continue layering the cucumber, carrot, avocado, imitation crab, and whipped cream cheese until the bundt cake is full.

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8. Once the bundt cake mold is full, cover the top with any remaining rice.

9. Flip the cake over and carefully remove the mold.  The cake should easily separate from the saran wrap.

10. Sprinkle the top of the cake with Furikake.

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11. To prepare the dipping sauce, mix the juice of two limes with 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup soy sauce.

12. Slice the cake using a wet knife and serve.

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Picnic Suitcase

Up until this weekend, the weather in Seattle has been abnormally spring-like.  It’s been perfect picnic weather, so I was inspired to make a picnic suitcase.  What’s a picnic suitcase, you ask?. Well it’s just what it sounds like, a picnic basket in a suitcase. I finally finished it this weekend and low and behold, the rain came back.   Oh well, once the weather improves, I’ll be ready.

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I started with a plain suitcase from Goodwill Outlet.

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After disinfecting it, I tore out the inner lining. I spent a lot of time figuring how to re-line it.  In the end, I decided to use poster board as a backing.  I cut the poster board into strips, as shown below.

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Then I covered the poster board in scrap fabric that I had from an old shower curtain.  I just sewed the fabric directly onto the board.  I used fabric from one of Joey’s old shirts to fashion a pocket to hold the utensils.  To keep the glasses and plates in place, I sewed elastic strips.  I also attached a ribbon to tie the blanket with.

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Because I didn’t measure the poster board accurately, the seams had some unattractive gaps.  I covered those gaps with some blue ribbon.

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I was initially a little worried about the durability of the elastic to keep the table settings in place, but the plates and utensils are all from Goodwill and the glasses are from Ikea, so it’s not a big deal if they break.

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Now I just need some good weather.

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