9 Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

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I was wrapping gifts the other day and realized that I have published some fun eco-friendly gift wrapping ideas here on DIY Inspired and on Inheriting Our Planet as well.  Since the holidays are just around the corner, I thought I’d share nine easy ideas from both sites. Make sure you check out the links for all the pictures and full step by step tutorials!  Here we go!

Recycled Food Containers & Dyed Coffee Filter Flowers

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I made these for my Twin God Daughter’s on their first birthday. Recycled food boxes worked out perfectly because their clothes were so small!

Brown Paper Bag with Neon Color Gift Wrapping

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These are a bright mix of fun neon colors mixed with the simplicity of the brown paper bag.  This wrapping is perfect for stocking stuffers and small gifts.

Dyed Book Page or Newspaper Flowers

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I used good old newspaper to wrap this present but gave it a colorful kick with some dyed water colored book page roses.  Check out the full tutorial.

Recycled Box Gift Bags

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I loved making these!!! And they were quite a hit with the recipient. All you need is boxes, scrapbook paper, ribbon, and decorative tape.                                                                                                                           

Recycled Food Box Gift Bags IOP

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On Inheriting Our Planet, I made similar ones for a Hello Kitty themed gift for my daughter’s best friend’s birthday.

Recycled Coin Wrapper Gift Embellishment

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These were the result of a challenge from one of my friends who works at a bank and handed me several rolls of coin wrappers.  These cute little flowers are perfect for embellishing gifts, especially at this time of the year.

Repurposed Coffee Can Gift Set

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This one was a quickie! I drink so much coffee that I always have these little buckets handy.  They are perfect as gift boxes.  You can paint and decorate them any which way you wish!

Recycled Baby Food Jar Gifts

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I made these on Inheriting Our Planet recently. These are perfect for an upcoming Christmas party for favors.  So ask your friends with little ones to save those jars for you!

Pringle’s Can “Pull Me” Gift Kits

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Last but not least! Another one from Inheriting Our Planet; these fun gift kits are great for anyone on your list and are fun to open too!

Gift Card Pairing Ideas for the Holidays

by Dinah Wulf

Gift Card Pairing Ideas is sponsored by Ralph’s.  All opinions are 100% my own.

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I’ve often heard people say “gift cards are so impersonal”.  On the contrary, gift cards allow the recipient to buy what their hearts desire without the hassles and hurts of playing the return and exchange game. I’ve put together a fun list of creative gift card pairing ideas to make the “impersonal” a thoughtful and stand out holiday gift. Oh! And of course I had to throw in my own upcycled DIY tutorial!

My husband and I went to Ralph’s and were inspired by so many ideas.  We searched the aisles to look for creative gift card pairing ideas… and I must say we were EASILY inspired! We came up with several ideas to fit many different types of people like, co-workers, picky family members, and fellow Moms. More on this later… I want to share with you what I ended up buying my in-laws along with a gift card from Ralph’s.

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My in-laws are coffee drinkers like me, so we bought two recycled eco-friendly Aladdin coffee travel mugs, a bag of their favorite Starbucks coffee, and some Private Selection Carmel Sea Salt hot cocoa.

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I decided to make my own gift box out of a recycled food box. I cut it to size leaving the top open.

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To cover it, I used:

  • Recycled burlap coffee bean sack
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • Paper (optional)

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The burlap I used was a little see-through, so I covered the box with paper to hide the writing.  I had this burlap coffee sack left over from when I made my recycled coffee bean sack pillows. I used a glue gun to secure the burlap in place.

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I stuffed the inside with some extra burlap scraps and placed my items gift card inside.  It turned out quite sturdy and cute!

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Here are some other gift card pairing ideas we came up with while inspired by walking up and down the aisles of Ralph’s:

  1. Dessert theme:  ice cream cones, sprinkles, chocolate and caramel sauce, and cherries
  2. Baby theme: any baby products along with your gift card
  3. Nail theme: nail clippers, nail file, nail polish, cotton balls
  4. Spa theme: face mask, wash glove, loofa, sponge, lotion
  5. Mixed drink theme: any of the Bonny shakers, corckscrew, jigger, or cocktail strainers, and a bottle of liquor
  6. Wine theme: bottle of wine, wine charms, wine bag, and corkscrew

The list goes on and on but those are our favorites.  We wanted to give a big THANK YOU to Ralph’s for sponsoring this post and inspiring us!

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String

by Dinah Wulf

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My older brother told me that when I was little I used to sing “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music and I would mess up the words. For example I would sing, “When the bee bites, and the dog stings.” I often think of that time and age in my life when I’m stressed out. Being creative is very therapeutic for me. Sometimes it’s just the little things like wrapping presents for friends that make me happy.  Many times (if not all) when I’m “crafting” there really isn’t an exact plan.  Things just happen and fall in place.  Anyway, I decided to wrap these brown paper packages tied up with string to relieve some stress of the holiday season this year.

This was my process… just picture me staring at the boxes and raiding my craft room in between each step wondering what to do next.

I started with these boxes.  You can’t see what’s inside because it’s for two of my best friend’s birthdays coming up and I don’t want them to see it!

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Because of “My Favorite Things” I wrapped them in brown paper.

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I looked in my cabinet filled with all different types, colors, textures of ribbon and pulled out this super thick lace.

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I also found some pretty pink satin ribbon.

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I finished them off with some twine, a felt flower, and I used a craft punch to make the tags.

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I know I know… not a crazy tutorial or upcycled DIY project today… but just taking a moment to enjoy simple things like wrapping presents for friends that make me happy!

How to Upcycle a Vase with Paint

by Dinah Wulf

How to Upcycle a Vase with Paint is sponsored by Elmer’s. All opinions are 100% my own.

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I had the honor of testing out a fun craft product, Elmer’s Paint Markers.  They are great because you can use them on wood, metal, glass, ceramic, and even fabric.  When I received these markers I knew immediately what I wanted to try with some recent thrift store finds. 

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Here is a short four minute video tutorial I did on How to Upcycle a Vase with Paint.

How to Upcycle a Vase with Paint

Before and After Painted Vase

Materials:

Instructions:

I purchased these glass vases at a thrift store for $2-$3 a piece.

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Step One:

Once you remove your Elmer’s Paint Markers from the package, shake them well.  Remove the cap and press the tip down onto a piece of scrap paper for approximately 60-90 seconds to allow the paint to bleed through.

Step Two:

Fill your glass with a generous amount of paint.

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Move and shake the glass until the paint coats the entire inside of the glass.  This takes time and patience!   Allow the paint to dry overnight.

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Step Three:

Apply an adhesive stencil to your vase.  Feel free to free-hand your design instead of using a stencil.

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Fill in the stencil with the desired Elmer’s paint Markers color.

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Remove the stencil.

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Here is another clear glass vase that I painted green and added polka dots with the metallic markers.

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Here is another vase I found at a thrift store that was already green in color. I painted a flower trim with the markers.

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There you have it!  The possibilities are endless.  Try these markers on canvas, metal, and wood too!

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Thank you to Elmer’s for sponsoring this video and post!

Thrift Store Apothecary Jars How To

by Dinah Wulf

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Apothecary jars are so beautiful and can serve several display purposes.  You can use them for candy, holiday decorations, or even display your collections. They look pretty on a mantel or kitchen island or even a bathroom filled with sponges or shells.  I like to use them for candy on a candy bar dessert table for parties. Apothecary jars start at about twenty dollars apiece for the small ones, I decided to try a little do it yourself thrift store apothecary jars project.

I found a box of four glass canisters at a discount housewares store for twelve dollars.

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On one of my recent thrift store ventures, I found some candle holders for $1.50 apiece.

Additional materials needed are:

  • Spray paint of your choice
  • A strong adhesive

In my case, I chose a metallic silver spray paint and Gorilla glue.

Before you start, make sure your jars candle holders are clean and free of wax especially if you purchased them at a thrift store.  When you spray paint them, every little bump will show (I learned this the hard way).

Spray paint your candlesticks holding the can about 12 inches away in a well-ventilated area.

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When the paint is completely dry, approximately two hours, glue the candlestick to the canister. I let the glue set overnight before picking it up, just to be safe.

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Voila! Instant DIY apothecary jar! Fill it with whatever you like… pinecones, peppermint sticks, or ornaments for the holidays are perfect for this time of year.

Vintage Themed Baby Shower

by Dinah Wulf

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FINALLY! I get to share the vintage themed baby shower that I have had the honor of working on for my best friend’s brother and sister-in-law.  It was a beautiful day and my friend had the perfect back yard for it.

I know I already shared:

I had such a great time decorating for this party.  I bought some flowers and arranged them all before I left.  I loaded the car and brought all my decorations including the thrift store shelf I made over.  I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to decorate because I had no idea how the venue would be set up.  There were five tables, so I needed five centerpieces.  I brought some toys, vintage books, small decorative suitcases, several handkerchiefs I bought while antique shopping, and of course the flowers.

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I also had the food table to decorate.  I layered the table with boxes to create some height.  I also brought some cupcake stands I made. The table was quite the hodge-podge, but I think I made too many decorations!

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I ended up using my thrift store shelf to place the favors on.  I brought my DIY pedestal trays, some antique books, and more handkerchiefs. I c small flower boxes from the craft store and put chocolates inside.

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I wish I took more pictures of the backyard in total but I forgot!  There was too much going on and I was trying to enjoy myself.  Oh well!

Fun and Easy Baby Shower Decorations

by Dinah Wulf

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There is so much that goes into decorating a baby shower…well, at least when I decorate for one!  Last week, I shared a couple decorations I made; a fabric scrap bunting and recycled jar flower vases I made for a vintage inspired party. I’ve been on a roll with making these fun and easy baby shower decorations, and sometimes some of the work and details are missed when you only show the final product, so I thought I’d share a few more.

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I bought these wooden frames from Michael’s and Mia and I painted them different colors.  I bought some onesies and baby socks and hung them from twine.  I embellished each end with lace and ribbon in different colors and textures. They turned out so cute.

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Here’s another tiny flag banner made out of scrapbook card stock, twine, and mini clothes hangers. I will string this inside a vintage suitcase as part of one of the center pieces (I think… We’ll see how it actually turns out the day I decorate. I always end up moving things around).

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I made this banner using doilies I found in the dollar bin. I simply folded them in half and secured it with double sided tape.

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I’m getting really excited for this shower! I’ve pulled a bunch of thing together that I already have, I’m just going to bring it all and wing it that day. I think I’ll bring my up cycled blue thrift store shelf to put the drinks on. We’ll see! The shower isn’t for a couple weeks. Can’t wait to show you!

Whimsical Navy and Yellow Wedding

by Dinah Wulf

My baby cousin got married!!! Woo hoo! I’m so happy for them…they are seriously PERFECT for one another.  With their permission, I just HAD to share some fun DIY wedding ideas for this very sweet, very whimsical navy and yellow wedding.

Ceremony

This was a very small and intimate wedding. It was the perfect size, if you ask me. There were about fifty or sixty guests.  The center aisle was lined with lanterns adorned with painted wooden yellow hearts with a navy background.  Simple white paper flower flowers graced the alter.

Table Setting

Covered in navy linens and yellow napkins, the table was beautifully done with wooden boxes.  Each box had three bottles of yellow and white flower bouquets.

The bride and groom had special Mr. and Mrs. Wooden letters on their chairs.

There were also special bottles of wine gifted by the groom’s father. Each bottle had a personalized number of years labeled on it and a silver pen attached.  Each guest wrote a special note on the bottle for the bride and groom to open on the corresponding year.

Decorations

Lanterns and lights were strung across the entire dining and dance floor.

The bride crafted recycled bottles spray painted in a textured gray spray paint as pretty vases scattered on the food, gift, and favor tables.

The bride also upcycled a hutch she found for five dollars and used it to display cupcakes.

She also make DIY cupcake stands with candlesticks and plates.

Games

There were several games for guests to play under a beautiful gazebo with cushioned seats.

Favors

Last but not least, there were personalized navy and yellow pinwheels for each guest to take home and place in their garden to remind them of this special day.

This was one of the best weddings I have attended… congrats again to Mr. and Mrs. Brian and Jenny Fusco! Love you guys!

Vintage Themed Baby Shower Decorations

by Dinah Wulf

I have been working on this vintage themed baby shower that I have coming up for a friend and I just wanted to share a couple of the decoration ideas I have already started. You know how I love upcycling so I started saving sauce and dressing jars to use as flower vases. I also had some fun vintage inspired baby fabric from my swag bag from the SoCal Social event I went to last year… I knew it would eventually come in handy!

Here are the materials I used:

  • Recycled Jars and Bottles
  • Fabric
  • Lace ribbon
  • Ribbon
  • Paper Craft Flowers
  • Burlap
  • Pearl Ribbon
  • Hot Glue
  • Double sided tape

Here are a couple more pictures.  I will use them for the flower arrangements for the shower.

I also used the scrap fabric to make a banner.  My daughter, Mia helped with this one! I cut all the fabric I had into strips.

I also cut a few pieces of left over lace ribbon.

One by one I tied on each strip, alternating the colors and patterns to some rope that I had left over from some thrift store rope vases I made a long time ago.

It turned out so cute!

I can’t wait to show you the shower.  It’s coming up soon!  I’m never sure exactly how things will turn out until the day of the event but I know I am using some things I already have for decorations like vintage suitcases, antique books, vintage handkerchiefs and baby books I bought while antique shopping, and some other things! Until then!

UPDATE! Here are some more fun decorations I made!  Oh! And also some free Vintage inspired printables!

12 Easy Paper Flower Crafts

by Dinah Wulf

Paper flower crafts are fun and easy to do.  Over the past couple years I’ve noticed that I’ve done quite a few of them. I decided that I had to stop at a dozen! I tried to pull from old posts from when I first started blogging. It’s amazing how much I feel like I have grown through this creative blogging journey.

Here are a few ideas for crafts, gifts, or party ideas.  All the links have full step-by-step photo tutorials.

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Easy Paper Flower Crafts

I used many of the following projects for gift embellishments and home décor. All of these are made from recycled materials like book pages, coin wrappers, and coffee filters.

Easy Coffee Filter Flowers

Water Colored Book Page Roses

Recycled Phone Book Origami Paper Flower

Recycled Coin Wrapper Paper Flower

Book Page Paper Flower Magnet

 

Paper Flowers for Gifts

These crafts and gift ideas are fun to do with the kids.  Make a back to school gift for a teacher or an easy paper flower ornament made out of a toilet paper roll.

Back to School Teacher Bouquet

Coffee Filter Flower Gift Wrapping

Toilet Paper Roll Flower Ornament

 

Paper Flowers for Parties

These crafts are great for party decorations because they are fun, inexpensive, and easy to do.  The standard accordion flower tutorial can be used as paper flowers or medallions to fit any party theme.  Just change the patterns and colors of paper to fit your theme.

Accordion Paper Flower Tutorial

How to Dye Coffee Filter Flowers

Animal Print Accordion Flowers for a Tween Birthday

Paper Flowers Made from Napkins

I hope you try some of these out! Easy Peasy! 

Alice in Wonderland First Birthday Party

by Dinah Wulf

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I know! I know! I’m a little late in posting this Alice in Wonderland First Birthday Party.  I originally mentioned it when I dyed those coffee filter flowers for the Red Rose Queen of Hearts bush and then again when I made the paper flowers with faces on them. Well, it’s finally here and I’m SO excited about the fantastic job my best friend Jenny did on this party! If you don’t know, Jenny is the Queen of theme parties.  Two of the most popular posts she has shared here on DIY Inspired are her Circus themed party and her Candy Land party Part One and Part Two.

First, let me please introduce the two guests of honor, Jamie and Brooklyn!!!  Jenny dressed them in yellow t-shirts, white suspenders, and red tutus representing Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. How adorable are they???

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When you first enter the backyard area, Jenny hung a WONDERLAND banner she made from scrapbook paper.

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Her table centerpieces were very whimsical and colorful, with a mix of flowers with googly eyes, teacups, little mad hatter hats, and lanterns.

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The kids table looked amazing, complete with the centerpiece I made for her.

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The backyard was transformed completely with painted frames in the bushes, tissue and paper flowers with faces, and floating lanterns above.

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Near the food area, she made an eat me sign, an oversized clock from the white rabbit, and a beautiful cake to match the theme.

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She also had an area with A Royal Croquet Court that paid homage to the Queen of Hearts herself! She used the skirt I made for Halloween as a table skirt. She also painted large wooden playing card guards to watch over the game.

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This was such a GORGEOUS party full of inspiration!

You may also like a this Vintage Inspired Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter Tea Party!

Picnic Themed Retirement Party

by Dinah Wulf

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My best friend Jenny attended a retirement party recently and was kind enough to get the permission and share the hostess’s adorable picnic themed party decorations, invitations, and cupcakes.  Perfect for spring or summertime, these retirement party ideas include recycling old ornaments and Mason jars, making handmade burlap invites, and sculpting with clay.  The main colors were red and white with watermelon and a little army of ants used throughout.

The hostess made handmade and hand sewn burlap invitations embellished with plastic and paper flowers and colorful yarn.  She printed the invite with a watermelon design to fit the red and white picnic theme and inserted them in to a burlap envelope.

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She also made a cute retirement sign for the table.  It is decorated with scrapbook embellishments and says, “Happiness is Family, Friends, Love, and Retirement.”

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Wild flowers were displayed in scrapbook and ribbon covered Mason jars atop a red and white checkered tablecloth to fit the party theme.  She used several different types of textured and patterned red and white ribbon.

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The tables and cupcake stand was absolutely adorable and had little ants she made from old ornaments that she had.  She also made clay food to make it look like the ants were carrying the food away!

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The cupcakes were also adorned with chocolate ants and a gummy watermelon on top with green icing.

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This summer picnic themed retirement party was so sweet and clever.  A big thank you to Jenny for allowing me to post it!

Recycled Food Container Gift Wrapping

by Dinah Wulf

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Who says cereal and cracker boxes can’t be pretty?  I don’t know about you, but I hate spending money on gift boxes.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most people do to, because at every party I’ve been to in the last few years have gift tables, filled with gift bags with tissue paper hanging out the top. Am I right?  So, I decided to use what I already had available and came up with recycled food container gift wrapping.

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A very special birthday came up recently for my beautiful twin baby God Daughters.  Since it was their first birthday, I went all out and bought matching clothes and a couple other things.  Since the clothes are still so very cute but tiny, food boxes are the perfect size for their little outfits. 

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Oh yeah… I better wrap them.  I made some coffee filter paper flowers and decided to die the paper flowers as well.  After they were dry, I trimmed the ones that went on the smaller boxes with scissors. It was sort of like trimming a real flower. I cut out green leaves out of card stock and hot glued the flowers on, and added ribbon.

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Here is a photo of the gift assembled all together.  My God Daughter, Jamie is the pink package and her sister Brooklyn gets the purple package.

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I bought the chairs at one of my favorite stores, Homegoods.  They just happen to have one purple and one pink so I couldn’t resist!  Here is the back.

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The actual party isn’t for a few weeks, but I can’t wait to show you the Alice in Wonderland extravaganza that I know it’ll be!

Alice in Wonderland Theme Party: Red Paper Flowers

by Dinah Wulf

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My best friend is having an Alice in Wonderland theme party for my twin God daughters for their first birthday.  Needless to say, I wanted to help her decorate for the festivities.  The twins have two older sisters and their birthday parties were amazing.  Check out this Candyland themed party and this circus themed party. So, we started brainstorming ideas.  I recently made these coffee filter paper flowers (see below) and I thought they would be perfect for the painting red roses scene when Alice meets the Queen of Hearts.

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Dying coffee filter paper flowers is extremely inexpensive and easy to do.  Here are the materials you need:

  • Bowl
  • Red food coloring
  • Water
  • Coffee filter paper flowers
  • Rubber gloves
  • Newspaper

To make the actual paper flower, check out the tutorial here.  Once your flowers are made, here are the two easy steps to dye them.

Step One: Depending on the hue of red you desire, mix several drops of food coloring and about three tablespoons of water in a bowl.

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Step Two: I tried two different ways. Dipping the pre-made flower and dipping the individual filters.  Wearing rubber gloves carefully dip the paper flower (or individual filters) into the color mixture and set it aside to dry on the newspaper.

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Here are pictures of each.  I let them dry overnight.

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When they were dry, I noticed that the dipped flower had a nice deeper red color on the edges while the filters that were dipped individually were not.  Here is a photo.  It’s very subtle, but I like the former better.

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Here is a photo of the coffee filter rose and a real rose from my garden next to one another. Not too shabby! Can you see the difference?

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Here they are in the bush that we will use for the party.

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Feeling inspired by Alice?  Check out these posts!

You may also like a this Vintage Inspired Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter Tea Party!

Do you have any Alice in Wonderland party ideas for us? We’d love to hear them!

 

DIY Pedestal Bowl

by Dinah Wulf

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One of my thrifty obsessions is to walk through the local Goodwill shop on the weekends, particularly because of the half off sale.  Throughout the day, they announce a color and the price tags labeled in that color are half off.  It never fails, each time the make the announcement they assure you that you will find that color label in every department.  Naturally, you will always find me by the home goods and furniture section.  This trip I found a nice white ceramic beaded ramekin and a short pewter candlestick all for less than three dollars.   I had to marry the two together and make a DIY Pedestal Bowl.

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I’ve made something similar to this for my daughter’s birthday party last year.  For her cupcake decorating station, I made party platters made out of plastic serving trays and candlesticks.  I still have them today and have used them several times since then.  This project is quite simple and doesn’t really need too much explanation, so here are just a few tips that may help you out.

Tip #1: When looking for candlesticks, look for the shape you want.  You can always paint them.

Tip #2: The wider the candlestick the sturdier.

Tip #3: Consider wine glasses or champagne flutes instead of candlesticks.

Tip #4: Use a strong bonding agent like E6000 and let it dry for 24-48 hours.

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Tip #5: Consider spray painting them to fit your theme or décor.  Protect the surface with a doily or decorative paper if you are using it for food.

There are several uses for this easy project.  Use them for displaying desserts or appetizers for parties and entertaining.  Use a small pedestal bowl for jewelry or a larger one to hold toiletries in your bathroom.  You can also use them to display flowers or favorite collections.  Make several in different heights and group them together for a unique display.

 

Cardboard Box Photo Booth

by Dinah Wulf

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I know Easter is officially over (hope you had a great one!), but I wanted to share this fantastic Cardboard Box Photo Booth idea from a friend of mine.  This is such a great upcycle and it’s perfect for any party, especially for kids.

My friend had a box from a large flat screen TV which was the perfect size for a photo booth for small children.  She saved it and realized that she could make a two sided photo booth for an upcoming spring party she was planning.  The larger the box, the better, of course!  She cut out one side, and covered the entire box in white paper.

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On one side, painted an Easter theme with a bunny, egg tree, grass, and Easter eggs and cut out holes for your head in the shape of a balloon and an Easter egg.  She painted more Easter eggs and glued them on to add dimension.

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On the other side, she cut out two sections and used two picture frames as a border.  She decorated it with bows and pinwheels from the dollar store.

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The party guests had a great time posing for pictures.

This Cardboard Box Photo Booth could go with any type of theme party, the possibilities are endless!  Consider draping it with material, covering it with patterned gift wrap, or painting it.  You can also place a box or basket of photo props like hats, boas, funny glasses, and masks.  I may have to steal this idea for my daughter’s birthday party this year!