DIY: Felt ball mobile

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DIY:: 3 easy phone cases

Here are 3 super simple DIY phone case designs that take no time at all to whip up. Perfect for those who like to change their phone cases on a whim to match seasons, outfits, occasions etc. I picked up these clear phone cases for only $2 each on sale at K mart but they can also be found at dollar stores and online. Cheap as chips.

Watch my video tutorial on how to create these phone cases here

 

Design one: Washi tape

The possibilities are only limited to how many roles of washi tape you own… I know i definitely have a few more than I will be able to get through in a while. Here I have gone with a simple vertical stripe design but you could go horizontal, diagonal, zig zag.

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All you will need is 

  • 1 plain phone case
  • washi tape
  • scissors
  • craft knife
  • mod podge and paintbrush (optional)

Design two: Glitter dots

Dead easy to make but such a pretty result. You could do this with your eyes shut… almost.

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All you will need is

  • 1 clear phone case
  • glitter glue
  • paint brush (or your finger will also work just fine)
  • hole punch
  • coloured paper of your choice

Design three: Water marble 

This one requires the most effort but yields a beautiful result. I only used two colours but you can go to town with as many colours as you like. A metallic accent colour would also look beautiful! A few air bubbles on your final result is kind of unavoidable, just pop these with a toothpick before it dries. I decided to cover these up with a few rhinestones but if you think it adds to the hand made uniqueness of your creation then leave it  as is🙂

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All you will need is

  • 1 phone case
  • an old plastic container (not too much bigger than your phone case)
  • a toothpick or bamboo skewer
  • room temperature water
  • nail polish (make sure it isnt too dried out and gluggy)
  • mod podge
  • paint brush
  • rhinestones (optional)

DIY easter treat- mini donut chocolate nests

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I’m currently going through a bit of a baked donut obsession. It started with watching a ton of videos and pinning recipes, then i HAD to track down the donut tins and now I’ve made hundreds of donuts. I came up with this mini donut birds nest idea while trying to fall asleep one night and am super happy with the way it turned out. They are so simple to make. Its almost as easy  as making pancakes! They also take no time at all to decorate but still look like a bit of effort went into them. The only special equipment you need is a mini donut tin but trust me, once you realise how easy baked donuts are to make you will be making them ALL the time so its money well spent. I found my tin in a specialist kitchen store where I live but if you aren’t having any luck finding one you can find them online here and here.

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The recipe I used was a vanilla donut recipe adapted from a find on pinterest 

To make about 3 dozen mini donuts you will need

  • 1 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 cup butter melted
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 80g granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • melted butter or cooking spray for the tins

To decorate 12 mini donuts you will need

  • 1/2 cup melted chocolate
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 36 mini chocolate eggs

I recommended decorating no more than 12 donuts at a time to prevent the chocolate from hardening before you can get around to using it.

Watch my video tutorial on how to make these donuts here

Method

  1. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together into a medium bowl and give a quick whisk to ensure everything is evenly combined.
  2. In a large bowl combine melted butter, vegetable oil, sugar and vanilla bean paste and beat until combined.
  3. Add egg to wet mixture and beat until combined.
  4. Add your flour and milk to wet mixture in 2 or 3 parts, mixing well after each addition until batter is smooth.
  5. Pour batter into a piping bag (or a zip lock bag) and secure.
  6. grease your donut tin with melted butter or cooking spray.
  7. Pipe the batter into each donut cavity  and fill to about 2/3
  8. Tap the donut tin onto the counter a few times to even out he batter.
  9. Bake at 215 degrees celsius for 5 to 6 minutes.
  10. Allow donuts to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes before removing with a teaspoon.
  11. Transfer donuts to  a wire rack and allow to cool completely before decorating.

To decorate

  1. Sprinkle a single layer of coconut onto  baking tray and bake at 180 degrees celsius for about 5 minutes or until the coconut reaches the desired shade of brown.
  2. Melt chocolate in the microwave using a microwave safe bowl at 50% power for 1 minute, followed by 30 second bursts until melted. Alternatively you can use a double boiler.
  3. Dip the top of each donut into melted chocolate and shake off the excess.
  4. Before the chocolate hardens arrange 3 mini chocolate eggs in the centre of the donut.
  5. Sprinkle the toasted coconut around the edges of your donut and leave to dry completely.

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Package your mini donut creations in cellophane for a friend or enjoy them yourself with a hot cup of tea.

DIY Valentines day gift: Heart Piñata Cookies

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_DSC5063What’s better than a cookie? A cookie with mini candies and a love note inside!

I first came up with these cookies for Valentines day last year and made some for my hubby. I originally decorated these cookies with royal icing but decided to wing it and try working with fondant this time. I think I still prefer the taste of royal icing but I definitely prefer  the process of decorating with fondant and gel food colour more. It requires far less coordination and less time waiting around for it to dry.

The little note inside is just what makes these cookies extra surprising and awesome! If this sounds a bit too cheesy for you, then you can always just leave it out. Surprise candy is still fun!

You will need large and medium heart shaped cookie cutters. Each piñata cookie requires 3 layers of cookie. Cut 3 large heart shaped from the dough. Reserve 1 for the base and 1 for the top of the cookie. Use your medium cookie cutter to cut a hole in the centre of the 3rd cookie to create a heart shaped frame. This goes in the centre and holds all the goodies!

Here is how to make the sugar cookies

Ingredients

  • 110 grams butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 25g egg (about half)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Method

  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined
  • Mix in flour and baking powder until everything is combined
  • Knead dough into a lump, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins
  • Roll out dough onto a well floured surface
  • Cut out your shapes and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper
  • Bake at 175-180 degrees celsius for until the edges just start to turn brown… about 8 minutes.
  • Allow to cool on a wire rack before decorating

 

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To decorate and assemble the cookies you will need

  • white fondant
  • water
  • gel food colouring in whatever colours your heart so desires
  • clear alcohol (I used vodka)
  • Edible metallic powder (optional)
  • mini candies (mini M&M’s, nerds etc.)
  • melted chocolate (white, milk, dark, whatever you’ve got in the cupboard)
  • Pen and paper for a cute li’l note. Use edible rice or wafer paper and an edible marker if they are handy to you.

Method

  • Roll out a thin layer of fondant (if your surface sticks to the fondant, sprinkle it with corn flour)
  • Cut heart shapes using the same cookie cutters
  • Gently pick up the fondant heart and brush the back with a little bit of water
  • Carefully place the fondant onto the “lid” of the piñata cookie.
  • Smooth fondant onto the cookie with your hand or a fondant smoother if you have one
  • Dilute a drop of gel food colouring with clear alcohol. Vary the amount of alcohol to get different shades of colour
  • Get creative and paint whatever you like onto your cookies.
  • Mix an edible metallic powder with a few drops of clear alcohol to add metallic accents to your cookies.
  • Pipe a thin layer of melted chocolate around the edge of the “frame” cookie and carefully place it onto the “base” cookie
  • Fill the cookie with your candy and love note.
  • Pipe another thin boarder of melted chocolate around the edge of the cookie and secure the “lid” in place.
  • Lastly, package them cutely in a tin or cellophane bag.

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Mini Minecraft Birthday Cake

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My husband’s birthday : ) yet another excuse to have a go at cake decorating.  I decided to go mini sized, and ended up being pretty thankful because after cutting out and sticking on 288 individual fondant squares I was seeing everything in pixels. Some of the standard sized Minecraft cakes out there use over 1000 squares.

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It was also a complete fluke that I managed to fit the squares perfectly onto the cake (I’m not really one to get technical with pre measuring before starting a project). From my research, the majority of the Minecraft cakes tended to have a row of half size squares to fill in leftover space so I was fully expecting to run into that problem. Not quite sure how I managed to avoid that one.

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So here is how I made my chocolate Minecraft cake

I did not take any measurements for this cake while I was making it. I am only taking measurements now for the purpose of this blog and anyone who might be researching how to make a Minecraft cake.

I purchased a small square 10x10cm square cake tin deliberately for this cake but the batter I used was far too spongy and soft so this turned into a total fail when I went to tip it out of the tin..the whole thing crumbled to soggy pieces. I had a bit of cake batter left so I ended up pouring the rest into a 21x21x5cm tin. In only filled the tin about 1/4 of the way up but  the cake rose quite a bit.

Upon searching my house for square objects while my cake was baking I found a coaster which measures 10x10cm. I had a standard round silver cardboard cake-plate so I traced the coaster twice onto the cake plate and cut them out.

Once my square cake was baked and cooled, I levelled off the top and cut it into four quarters. Then I trimmed the edges so that my cakes fit into the cake plate with approximately 5mm of cake-plate showing around the perimeter.

The following morning I attached the bottom later of my cake to the cake-plate using chocolate ganache then continued to layer the remaining 3 squares of cake on top of each other with layers of ganache in total. Then I placed a second 10x10cm cake-plate on top.

Ensuring the edges of the top cake-plate lined up with the bottom cake-plate I started covering my the sides of my cake with ganache, filling up that 5mm gap between the cake and the edge of the cake-plates.

Once all the sides were flat and the corners were sharp, I removed the top cake plate and covered the top of the cake in ganache. My cake was actually a bit higher and a more cube looking when i started out but by the time I finished with the ganace I had probably squeezed some of the air out of the cake.

I used this awesome video as a guide for ganache-ing my cake. There are heaps of Minecraft cake videos on youtube.

Then it was finally time to set about making all my little squares. I made 4 shades of green fondant, four shades of brown fondant and some grey fondant. I was originally going to use a pizza cutter to cut square shapes out of the fondant then remembered that I had a tiny little square cookie cutter which was at the time i thought looked like 1x1cm but upon measuring It is actually 1.3×1.3cm

I rolled out each colour of fondant to about 2-3mm thick and then cut out heaps of little squares with my cutter. I probably made about 500 cause I had NO idea how many I would be using but its better to have more then realise halfway that you need to make more squares. It was pretty tedious. I added tylose powder to my fondant to help it dry faster.

Then I just set to work sticking all my squares onto my cake. I started in a top corner and worked in rows. Somehow 8 of my fondant squares managed to fit perfectly in a row onto my cake.

I was originally planning on making little fondant steve/pig/tnt but by the time all that was done I was pretty over cake decorating so raided my husbands Minecraft lego stash and placed a steve, pig and a creeper on the top instead.

And that is that! If you decide to make a Minecraft cake beware that you will still be seeing squares when you close your eyes.

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DIY Candy: Kracie Popin’ Cookin’ Bento Box

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I stumbled across this Japanese candy kit in a Korean grocery store in Auckland recently. Since I have so much fun watching people make candy out of these kits on youtube I had to buy it and try it our for myself. And of course, make my own youtube video. Thank goodness for youtube videos though because all the instructions are in Japanese.

I had a lot of fun making this candy bento box. Its like finally being allowed to play with your food. I bet grown ups love this stuff more than children do. It makes you feel like a crazy food scientist… seriously, I don’t know whats in those packets but some of those reactions and resulting textures are pretty crazy! Like the rice actually looks like rice. Makes me wonder what Im actually eating.

Some of the flavours and textures are slightly questionable, especially the fried chicken! But I bought this kit to make and not eat so for me it was worth it anyway. It is just a really cool kit and a lot of fun! I’m keen to try out more of the Popin’ Cookin’ kits now.

Planner & Craft supplies haul: Kikki.K, Etsy, Daiso and more

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My Kikki.K planner has been looking a bit sad lately so I brought it upon myself to give it a makeover and search for some cute stickers and sticky notes to fill its pages.

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Kikki K is is one of the few place where I live that sells quality cute stationary for grown ups so I headed there first. I was only planning to purchase a 2016 planner refill but ended up getting caught by the planner dashboard kit. I really only wanted the ruler and zipper pouch in the pack but then realised I actually don’t even have a dashboard in my planner currently so went ahead and bought it. Planner makeover to come!

Watch my haul video here

I had also been seeing heaps of cute post it notes on Instagram, particularly ones of macarons (which I LOVE to make) so I had to track those down. I ended up going with an Etsy store based in Singapore called Bobby. Tin which was really cheap and my order arrived within a week. They even added in some adorable penguin sticky notes to my order for free!

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If you live in New Zealand and prefer to buy your supplies in store rather than online, I have found that emporium style stores are the cheapest, however not always the best quality. Spotlight is EXTREMELY over priced (thanks to all the non-competition out there) but if the Warehouse stationery has a comparable product to what you are looking for then it will usually always be cheaper.  For example embossing powder is $15 at Spotlight and $10 at Warehouse stationery,  ink pads cost about $25 at spotlight but are $15 at Warehouse stationary.

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Then there is trusty old K Mart which is always has amazing stuff for ridiculously cheap prices! Their range of craft supplies is pretty decent. All of these mini glitters only cost $4 so head there if you are looking to try out a bunch of different glitter colours but can’t commit to buying a large expensive tubes.

  • To purchase coleto pens in my video visit www.tokyopenshop.com as they ship to New Zealand. Otherwise if you live elsewhere in the world they are also available on Amazon
  • Bic Mark it permanent marker available here 
  • Shrink Plastic available here 

Outfit of the day: Spring is in the air 26/09/15

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Today was the day I officially cracked out the old spring/summer wardrobe for a beautiful sunny Saturday. Keep the sunny days coming!

This black skater dress is one of my favourite sunny weather pieces because its so versatile and so much fun to dress up with other layers of clothing. I paired mine with a black and white printed chiffon kimono and a simple high waisted belt. And can we just take a minute to appreciate the existence of the most ADORABLE cat shoes. Cat shoes make me so happy!

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Skater dress by Topshop: Similar dress here

Kimono by JayJays: Similar kimono here

Belt is from a thrift store

Necklace from Napier: Similar necklace here

Handbag by MICHAEL Michael Kors

Cat flats by Melissa: Similar cat flats here

DIY: Upcycled Plastic Bunting Necklace

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This bunting necklace is super easy to make and only took me about 30-45 minutes from start to finish. It makes for a unique and quirky piece of jewellery to spice up a simple outfit and you will get lots of comments asking you where you bought it from!

I used a strip of plastic measuring about 20×4 cm (8×1.5 inches) which I cut into triangles to create my bunting flags. They shrunk down to about 1/3 of their original size in the oven but keep in mind that slightly different plastic may shrink differently. Have a sacrificial triangle to test in the oven first.

Watch my video tutorial on how to create the necklace here

To make this bunting necklace you will need

  • recycled plastic with #6 in the recycling logo (or shrink plastic if it is easy to come by where you live)
  • permanent marker
  • scissors
  • baking paper
  • something flat and heavy like a book
  • jump rings
  • chain
  • clasp
  • pliers
  • embossing powder (optional)
  • oven heated to 300 degrees fahrenheit or 180 degrees celsius

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Other ideas

  • I used a black permanent marker because this is what I had on hand but this could also be done with coloured permanent markers. Alternatively, if you have sandpaper or a nail file, you could rough up the surface of your plastic to enable colour pencil to adhere. Keep in mind that colours will grow in intensity as the plastic shrinks.
  • To create a more personalised necklace, try writing a letter of your name on each bunting flag.
  • Use a glittery clear nail polish to add some sparkle to your bunting necklace and to help seal in the design
  • Use a shorter length of chain to create a choker style necklace_DSC2820

If you choose not to coat your charms in embossing powder, style your necklace to that the permanent maker side is facing your skin and away from the elements. Having your drawings on the back of the charms will help to create a more three dimensional look. The only thing to keep in mind for this is that your pictures will become the reverse of what you draw so take care when writing letters of the alphabet.