Monday, February 13, 2012

Heart Wreath - Tutorial

Let me begin this post by saying I have never written a tutorial before. This is just a really great idea that simply needed to be shared. There are two parts to this post, how to make the wreath form, and some tips on cutting circles faster.

DIY Heart Wreath Form

Plumbing Insulation
Bailing Wire (about 50")
Wire Cutters
Duct Tape 

I am somewhat of a late-in-the-season crafter. I like to make seasonal decor, but by the time I get around to it, the supplies are often sold out from stores because everyone else wanted to make the same thing. This year, I wanted to make one of the adorable heart wreaths I have seen popping up all over pinterest, but all the heart wreath forms were sold out well over a month before V-day. Enter my awesome (and brilliant!) friend Kendall. She showed me this brilliant idea that has also been popping up everywhere. Not only is it way cheaper to make your own wreath forms, just think of the shape possibilities!

Transforming my dollar's worth of piping into a stunning heart was not as easy as I hoped, but not terribly difficult either. Start with a 24" length of plumbing insulation, and cut as shown in the diagram above. I love that you can cut it with scissors. Then thread your bailing wire through the entire length of tube and sort of wrestle it into a heart shape. The inner support is necessary to hold the right shape, but it is hardly visible once the wreath is finished. Just wrap any excess wire around your wreath form to keep it out of the way. After I began decorating my wreath I noticed the top didn't want to stay put, so I secured it with criss-cross strips of duct tape on the front and back. I tried hot glue, but the result was only frustration and burned fingers. The duct tape held perfectly though. I was also a little concerned about the kinks in the top of the heart, but once covered they weren't noticeable.

The second half of my great idea - How to cut out a million circles without going crazy.

1 yd Felt (72" wide, or equivalent)
Rotary Cutter
Cutting Mat
T-Square or Cutting Edge

If I made this wreath again, I would probably just use squares of felt instead of circles. It would save a TON of effort and it is still plenty cute.But if you insist on having circles, here are some tips from me:

Fold your felt in half and cut two layers at once. Use your rotary cutter/mat setup to cut out as many 3" squares as you can. You will need more or less squares/circles depending on how tight you pack them. I used every single circle I cut (from 1 yd) and had to rearrange a little to fill my wreath.

Once you have a pile of approximately a billion squares, it is time to start the circle step. Fold each square in quarters and cut off the corner as shown. It takes a while to get a feel for the best curve to cut, but don't worry, you will have plenty of practice. Don't worry about your circles being too smooth, you won't even notice once your wreath is complete.

My original inspiration for this project came from The Idea Room, so once you have all your pieces collected head on there, or here, for instructions on how to put your wreath together. You will want to pick up a package of straight pins to finish your wreath. I balked at the idea of using pins on a finished project, but it was so easy and I don't know how else I would have done it.

All said this wreath cost $6.
I think it was well worth it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

An Affair to Remember

I don't really know what piqued my interest in party planning, but I have a feeling it something to do with my sister. We weren't particularly close growing up since we are ten years apart, but now we live within minutes of each other and hours away from the rest of our family and she has become one of my best friends. The thing about Emily is she loves a good tea party. She has two of the most adorable tea sets I have ever seen, and loves to have an occasion to use them. She introduced me to all the essentials of a proper tea. We have had proper crumpets, scones with clotted cream, tarts, cucumber sandwiches, asparagus roll-ups, high tea, noon tea, big parties, and small. The first time I ever hosted a gathering by myself I knew I wanted it to be just like Emily's tea parties. I borrowed her tea set and had a few girls over to join me.

Forgive the odd photo editing, I was new to the process.

These are the easiest tarts to make, and so pretty!

Yum. I think I need to make these again soon!

Tasty cucumber sandwiches.

These pictures are from April 2010 (I think)

Friday, April 8, 2011

What's Up Doc?

Carrots anyone?  I saw this post a few weeks ago, and I was immediately obsessed with the idea of throwing a carrot themed party. Ridiculous? Absolutely. But fun anyway. I got the idea for these carrot napkins here.

Carrot napkins with plastic cutlery inside.

Can to hold the carrot napkins.

More carrot napkins.

Carrot box to hold the wicked awesome prize for the winner of the egg bash.

Even though I have no problem holding a party just for decorations I like, I thought it might me a good idea to have a reason for people to come besides cute decorations. The party is in honor of the annual Easter Egg Bash! What on Earth is an egg bash you say? I'm glad you asked.

An egg bash is when you take two eggs, preferably boiled and decorated, and slide them together, tapping twice and on three crash them together. One breaks, the other wins. We play double elimination tournament style, so each person needs two eggs. When I say we, I mean the Hecker clan. I have no idea how or why this tradition started, but you better believe it is a big deal at the Hecker house. There is a very official bracket and the winner gets to keep their egg on the window sill above the kitchen sink until they are done with it (or until my mom sneakily throws it out). There isn't usually an official prize for the winner, but I wanted to make a carrot box. Plus, I thought since we were including non-Heckers it might help their enthusiasm for the sport.

Apparently they do something similar in Berne every year, but I think they hold the eggs rather than sliding them along a table. Berne Egg Bash.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Book Cover - Final

I only made a few minor adjustments from the printout, but here is the final version of my book cover assignment.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Rules

The rules are complicated. And hard to find. I made a really awesome inspiration board for my birthday party (I know my birthday isn't for another 2 months, don't judge me) but I don't think I am really allowed to post the pictures here, but I am not really sure. I realize the number of people who read this blog combined with how much money would (not) be made by posting the pictures makes it a pretty sure bet I wouldn't get sued, but I am scared of angry people so . . . well here are the colors I picked anyway.
Also, it turns out my favorite flavors are consistent with my favorite colors, so I have a flavor palette too. Chocolate, almond, and blackberry. Yum. I guess the rest of my ideas will just have to be a surprise!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Book Cover Print-outs

I originally thought I would create this using a mash-up of photos, but the harder I tried the worse it looked. After changing my method, I am fairly pleased with the result.

I love the lotus graphic I found (don't panic, it is public domain), but I am not sure I like the way the falling lotuses look on the book cover. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

When I am old . . .

This was a total whirl wind experience as far as party planning goes. I was only a small part of the process, and my amazing sister-in-laws did the rest!

Salad and pomegranate 7-up followed by amazing soup and breadsticks.

There were cards for the guests to guess how many candies were in each jar, but they all contained 60 candies in honor of the birthday girl.

The cupcakes were chocolate, filled with raspberry curd and then topped with raspberry buttercream - yum!

Happy Birthday Nana!