DIY: Simple Handmade Paper Heart Cards with Flower Seeds Inside

The sun has made a couple of appearances, and when the sun comes out all I want to do is make paper. Why fight it?

I decided to take the opportunity to make a bunch of plantable heart cards, using flower seeds and a simple pour-over paper making method (instead of my usual dip method featured here and here.) The pour-over method uses paper scraps and things that you probably have around the house; making this an awesome, kid-friendly, activity for a sunny afternoon.

Pour-over Paper Making Supplies

• Shredded scrap paper Mix your favorite color and white paper for the best results. You can use a shredder, scissors, or your hands to tear the paper into manageable bits.
• Smallish flower seeds I felt several packets of seeds before settling on a combination of chamomile, viola, and alyssum seeds. You can also give it a cooking theme by using tiny herb seeds.
• A “Deckle”- This will be the template for your sheet of paper. I used an inexpensive, wood, heart-shaped picture frame that I picked up at the craft store.
• 2 screens, slightly larger than your deckle- I used small pieces of window screen material from the hardware store. I have also had some luck with sheer curtain material and other porous fabrics.
• A blender
• A large bowl (or two)
• A wire cooling rack for support
• A rectangular cake pan to catch the runoff.
• A sponge or absorbent rag
• A couple of flat absorbent rags larger than your intended paper size.


Step 1: Making Paper Pulp

To make the pulp for your paper, first soak the shredded paper in water for a little bit. Typically I will dunk them all in water while I’m getting all my supplies together. Once they are saturated put a handful into your blender, with about twice that amount of water.

Then pulse your blender to pulverize the paper pulp. (If you feel like your blender is having trouble, add more water to your mix. The paper pulp quickly becomes thick sludge that’s harder to cut through. It’s better to err on the side of too much water.) When your mix is starting to look like a disgusting smoothie, open it up and take a look at the mix. I like to stop when the mix is a little bit chunky, but mostly liquified.


Step 2: Preparing your Mould

Stack the cooling rack, screen, and deckle on top of your cake pan. This is where you’ll be pouring your pulp in a minute.


Step 3: Mixing in the wildflower seeds.

Transfer your pulp from the blender to a pouring bowl. You will be using several batches of pulp, so pour just a little bit of your flower seed into the bowl and stir gently with your fingers.


Step 4: Pouring the Pulp

Slowly pour your pulp mixture into the deckle. The water from the pulp will run through the screen and leave you with saturated paper fibers in the shape of your deckle.

Fill the space completely by pouring, and (if needed) gently pushing the pulp into the corners of the frame with your finger.

Very gently, lift the deckle directly up towards the ceiling. (A note: One of the best parts about paper-making is that almost any mess up can be fixed by dumping the sheet back into the pulpy water, breaking it up with your hand, and starting over again. So if your shape doesn’t look right, or your get a tear or a bubble, just dump it back in and try again!) You will have a nice pile of wet paper mess.


Step 5: Drying the Paper

The final bits are all about drying the paper. Although much of the water falls through while you’re pouring, the fibers hold on to a lot of moisture. First, place your second piece of screen on top of the pulp and absorb as much of the water as you can by pressing gently with a sponge. This will flatten the pulp into something that looks more like a sheet of paper. (You can wring the sponge out into your pulp bowl, and dump the excess water in there that runs into your cake pan.)

The sheet is still delicate at this point.
Transfer it to a flat absorbent rag by flipping the whole screen onto the rag, and gently peeling back just the screen.

Next, place another rag on top, and press the paper gently with your fingers or a rolling-pin. You should start to see water in the shape of your card.

Use the same flipping method to transfer your sheet onto a surface that it can remain on to air dry. (I like to cover my dining table with bath towels.) Once you’re done making paper, you can dump the remaining pulp and water outside.


See! Paper!


An army of plantable paper hearts!

Usually the paper will dry overnight, but may take a little more time in a damp or cold room. Once they are completely dry, you can decorate them however you please.

Since Mother’s Day is coming up, I decided to use one of my sheets as a card. I used the seed packets as inspiration and wrote a little message on the back, including directions for planting the card.

When you’re ready to toss out this card, plant it instead! It has a mix of viola, alyssum, and chamomile seeds– just cover with a little soil, water, and you might find yourself  with a few new blooms.

Since every card needs an envelope, I decided to make a simple one from a paper grocery bag.

Simple Envelope Supplies

• A paper bag
• Your handmade paper deckle
• A Pencil
• A Ruler
• Scissors or craft knife
• Glue


Step 1

Open up the paper bag by cutting until you have a flat sheet. Place the deckle in the center and trace the inside with your pencil.


Step 2

To make your envelope guide, draw a box around your deckle shape, leaving about a quarter of an inch of space on each side. Extend the lines out from the box (as shown above).


Step 3

Cut the corner portions out of the form you drew, leaving a plus sign shape with your heart-shape in the center. Fold along each of the straight lines, and trim the flaps so that they overlap about a half an inch.


Step 4

Fold in one of the side flaps, then apply glue to the other side flap, fold it over, and do the same with the bottom flap.

You should have the perfect envelope for your card! Just slip it in, seal the last flap and send it to somebody special. (Remember that oddly shaped envelopes require more postage. Check with your post office for more details.)



I’m really happy with the way my card turned out, and glad that I was able to come up with another way to recycle materials I had already.

Now I have a nice stack of paper hearts packed full of flower seeds- what should I do with the rest of them?


DIY: Watercolor Mother’s Day Card + Free Printable

DIY: Watercolor Mother's Day Card + Printable

Mother’s Day is coming up and I’ve been itching for another watercolor project to play with so I decided to try making a fun little “MOM” painting that could double as framable art or a greeting card. I invite you to make your own version using the steps below as a guideline. I’m also offering a free printable greeting card for download!

Step 1: Sketch Letters

Using a ruler, pencil and eraser lightly sketch out letters ” M O M “.

DIY: Watercolor Mother's Day Card + Printable

Step 2: Paint flowers

Then with a fine tip watercolor brush, fill the letters with little flowers and leaves. Take your time with this (I worked on it while watching Alias on Netflix). To start, I painted a few flowers first, then filled the areas around the flowers with leaves and vines.

DIY: Watercolor Mother's Day Card + Printable

Continue this process until you’ve filled in all three letters.

DIY: Watercolor Mother's Day Card + Printable

Click Here To Download A Free Printable Mother’s Day Card

Download the PDF and print out onto white card stock. Cut out and fold in half where indicated on the template. Pair with an A1 size envelope and give to your mom for Mother’s Day!

10 Handmade Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is coming up and that means it’s time to start brainstorming gift ideas. We believe the best gifts are handmade (especially when they’re for mom). We’ve dug through our archives and gathered 10 DIY projects we know our moms would love to receive. We hope you’ll find inspiration in these ideas and make something your mom will truly love and appreciate!

1. Sweet Slumber Tea Blend

Because who can resist a hot cup of their favorite tea. Mix together a custom blend using your mother’s favorite herbs!

2. ‘Cat Nap’ Eye Pillow

Every mother needs time to rest and relax. Help her find peace of mind with her very own eye pillow. Bonus: Cat loving moms everywhere will love this!
DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

3. Pressed Herb Candle

Make a beautiful pressed-herb candle using your mother’s favorite scents.
DIY: Pressed Herb Candles #gift #handmade

4. Hand-Printed Gift Wrap

You’ve found the perfect gift, all you need now is the perfect wrapping. Add some extra love and make your own hand-printed gift wrap.
Hand-Printed Gift Wrap

5. Paper Fringe Flowers

Who doesn’t love flowers? Try making these paper fringe flowers using recycled materials and show mom how resourceful you are.
DIY Fringe Flowers

6. Mermaid Bath Salts

Bath salts are easy to make and give. Pair it with a bottle of her favorite wine and she can enjoy an ultimate night of pampering. Earn extra brownie points by offering to clean her bath tub!
DIY: Mermaid Bath Salts

7. Strawberry Pin Cushion

The perfect gift for any quilter. You could also fill it with herbs to make a sachet!
Handmade Strawberry Pin Cushions #sewing #gift

8. Herbal Sachets

Speaking of sachets….
DIY: Herbal Sachet Pillow + Free Sewing Pattern #tutorial #spring #craft

9. Heart-shape Soy Candles

Because you can never have too many. Show mom some love with a heart-shaped soy candle.
DIY Heart Soy Candles

10. Love Letter Book

Bring a tear of joy to your mother’s eye with a sweet little book of thank you’s just for her.
DIY Love Letter Book

DIY: 8 Watercolor Inspired Projects

Since the theme for this month’s April DIY Challenge is watercolor, we decided to dig through our archives to find our favorite watercolor inspired posts. We hope you’ll enjoy revisiting these ideas!

1. DIY Watercolor Affirmation Cards

DIY: Watercolor Affirmation Cards #tutorial

2. DIY Watercolored Business Cards

Watercolored Business Cards

3. DIY Dip-Dyed Treasure Bags

DIY: Dip-Dyed Treasure Bags #craft #gift #dye

4. DIY Appearing Leaf Drop-Dyed Tissue

5. DIY Hand-Dyed Paper Flowers


6. DIY Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland

DIY: Dip-Dyed Paper Butterfly Garland #craft #recycled #decoration

7. DIY: Tie-Dye Tissue Paper


8. Free Printable Watercolor Gift Wrap


DIY: Easter Inspiration

Easter is just a few days away we’re soaking up some inspiration in preparation for Sunday. I usually keep things pretty simple on Easter. Fresh flowers, dyed eggs, brunch and an easter treat are my favorite ways to celebrate. This year I’m hoping to make something new and even start a new easter tradition. How will you celebrate?

DIY: Easter Inspiration #recipes #craft

1. Bunny Topiary Wreath by The House That Lars Built
2. Egg Shell Candles by PunchBowl
3. Flower Napkins by Source Unknown
4. Bird Nest Votives by NaturKinder
5. Pussy Willow Wreath by Better Homes & Gardens
6. Easter Place Cards by Casa e Trend
7. Sugar Cookie Easter Egg Nests by Lovely Little Kitchen
8. Hot Cross Buns by Delia Online
9. Easter Egg Planter by Angenuity

DIY: Scrap Paper Ironwork Letter

IMG_6993I’ve been playing with black card stock a lot lately, which deposited a nice collection of paper scraps in my “use it this week or dump it” pile. I decided to use the Diy Craft Challenge as an inspiration to use them, and play with another thing that’s been catching my eye– quilling. (Although, in typical fashion I looked up a couple of tutorials on You Tube, promptly forgot what I learned, and did things my own way.)


• A 5×7 Frame without glass, painted black to match the paper
• A print of a favorite letter, sized to fit inside the frame (I printed my letter backwards using a setting on my printer called “emulsion side up”. It works just fine to print it the right way round, you just might have to erase your tracing paper lines.)
• Black paper (I used 100# Cardstock)
• Tracing paper
• A piece of cork to pin to (A cork trivet like this works, or a bulletin board or pinning board. Styrofoam also works in a pinch.)
• Straight pins
• A few toothpicks
• Tacky glue
• A craft knife and ruler

First I measured the depth of the frame, and cut a bunch of strips of paper that width using a craft knife and scissors.

I cut the paper against the grain so that it would curl as evenly as possible. (Grain is very important, especially when working with thicker papers. For a little more about grain, and to find the grain on the paper you are using, check out yesterday’s post.) You will use less of the paper than you think, but it’s better to have too many strips of paper than too few! (I used about 15 pieces of 8″ lengths for mine.)

I used tracing paper to trace my letter onto a larger piece of black card stock,

then carefully cut it out with a craft knife.

IMG_6819Next step was to outline my letter with a strip of paper. I dipped a toothpick in a pond of glue and drew a light line of glue down the center of a strip of paper.

Then I slowly wrapped the paper around the letter, holding the piece down to give it time to attach. At sharp angles I either folded the paper (if I could) or tore the strip and started a new one there. This task is finicky, but forgiving. I found that as long as I went slow and worked with the paper, it turned out fine.

IMG_6830I made sure to outline the whole letter, then I gave it a few minutes to rest and dry.

Once it was mostly dry, I moved to my cork backing. I used straight pins to firmly place my black frame so that it would not shift around on the cork, and decided where I wanted my letter to fit in.

I applied glue with a toothpick all the places my letter touched the frame, then used pins to secure it as well. I set pins up against the letter wherever it felt like it might flex or slide.

Finnicky steps done, now to the decoration!

To make the various curls I used inside the frame, first I ran the strip against my nail to loosen it up a little. (Kind of like curling that terrible plastic curling ribbon) Then I wrapped it around a clean toothpick to get the size curl I wanted. I also played with folding then curling, curling multiple pieces, and curling different ways. I basically went curl crazy.

IMG_6867When I had a nice pile of curls to choose from, I was ready to place and glue them.

Gently I squeezed each curl in place, and used my glue-toothpick to apply glue to any place a curl touched another part of the piece. I left the space around the letter pretty open so that the R would stand out. When I had everything glued in, I let the whole thing sit for an hour to let the glue dry.

IMG_6985bI really love the way these turned out. They’re crafty, but classy, and they are now hanging in our guest room for our two most frequent guests.

I bet you can do even better! You still have a few days to enter our DIY Craft Challenge by March 30th.

DIY: 17 Easter Egg Ideas

Happy first day of Spring! Easter is just around the corner and that means it’s time to start experimenting with egg dying and decorating techniques! There are a million ways to decorate an Easter egg and today we are sharing a round up of ideas and techniques we are dying to try. So take inventory of supplies you might already have on hand, pick up a few special new tools to try, and spend a day decorating eggs that will make any bunny jealous!

DIY: 17 Easter Egg Ideas
1. Watercolor Easter Eggs by A Pumpkin & A Princess
2. Journal Easter Eggs by Alisa Burke
3. Humpty Dumpty Eggs by Confetti Sunshine
4. Pretty No-Dye Eggs by Better Homes & Gardens
5. Calligraphy Eggs by Bon Appetit
6. Naturally Dyed Eggs by The Kitchn
7. Spring Painted Eggs by A Creative Mint
8. Whipped Cream Dyed Eggs by My Baking Addiction
9. Nail Polish Marbled Eggs by Hello Natural
10. Message Stamped Eggs by Brit+Co
11. Galaxy Eggs by Jacks & Kate
12. Hand-Drawn Eggs by The Girl Creative
13. Paint Pen Eggs by Kaley Ann
14. Tie-Dye Eggs by HelloBee
15. Sprinkle Eggs by Studio DIY
16. Temporary Tatto Eggs by Krafts & Kiddos
17. Golden Marbled Eggs by She Knows

DIY: Anti-Pinch Polish for St. Patrick’s Day

Anti-Pinch Polish for St. Patrick's Day
What are your plans for St. Patrick’s Day? I usually wear green clothing and enjoy some sort of green-dyed treat. This year I’m mixing it up with some anti-pinch nail polish. I had so much fun choosing different shades of green polish; I ended up getting them all! Which of course made it necessary for me to gift a few to friends on St. Patrick’s Day.

Anti-Pinch Polish for St. Patrick's Day

All you need is a bottle of green polish, a gift tag and some ribbon or string to decorate your bottles.

Anti-Pinch Polish for St. Patrick's Day

Hope you all have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow!

DIY: Rainbow Shamrock Brooch

DIY: Rainbow Shamrock Brooch #stpatricksday
This tutorial was originally posted on my old blog in 2010. It’s one of the very first tutorials I ever created so I hold it dear to my heart. Since St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, I thought I’d dig it out of the archives to share today!

Supplies Needed:

• Felt (red, orange, yellow, green colors)
• Embroidery floss (red, orange, yellow colors)
• Pinback
• Kraft glue
• Sewing needle
• Scissors
Free template

Step One:

Using the template provided, cut out your pieces.


Step Two:

Glue rainbow pieces together with craft glue. Start by gluing the orange piece to the red, then the yellow piece to the orange.


Step Three:

Using embroidery floss and needle, stitch along the edge of each rainbow color using a matching color thread.


Step Four:

Glue the shamrock to the rainbow. (Note: You only want to put glue on the half of the shamrock that will be attached to the rainbow.)

STEP FOUR: Glue the shamrock to the rainbow. (Note: You only want to put glue on the half of the shamrock that will be attached to the rainbow.)
DIY: Rainbow Shamrock Brooch #stpatricksday

Step Five:

Stitch the pin onto the back of the rainbow, making sure to only poke your needle through one layer of felt. (You could also use a hot glue gun to do this).



Wear it on St. Paddy’s day (Next Tuesday, March 17).


DIY: Alphabet Hoop Art

DIY: Alphabet Hoop Art #embroidery #felt #applique #tutorial

Embroidery is one of my favorite hobbies. I always like to have a small lap project when watching a movie or TV show at night and a simple embroidery project is the perfect companion. What I like most is that you can pick it up and put it down at any time.

A close friend of mine is having her first baby and I’ve been brainstorming handmade gift ideas. I wanted to make something decorative for baby Ella’s nursery, so I sorted through my fabric stash and decided to make Alphabet Hoop Art.

Supplies Needed:

• Embroidery hoops (I used small 4” hoops)
• Cotton fabric (choose coordinating patterns/colors)
• Felt (choose colors that match the cotton fabric)
• Embroidery floss (choose colors that match the felt or choose contrasting colors for a different look)
Alphabet template

Special Tools:

• Iron and ironing board
• Sewing needle and pins
• Sewing scissors
• Printer and copy paper
• Craft scissors and x-acto knife

DIY: Alphabet Hoop Art #embroidery #felt #applique #tutorial

When choosing fabrics, felt and floss consider your color palette. I sorted through what I had on hand and settled on a yellow/orange/grey palette. Iron all your fabrics flat.

Download the template and print. Cut out the circle as well as the letters you want to use. You can choose everyone’s first initial if you want to give these as thank you gifts, you can spell a name or do what I did and make a simple A, B, C.

DIY: Alphabet Hoop Art #embroidery #felt #applique #tutorial

Then use the template to cut out your fabric pieces. Cut out a circle from each piece of cotton fabric and the letters from the felt.

DIY: Alphabet Hoop Art #embroidery #felt #applique #tutorial

Disassemble the embroidery hoop and place the circle fabric (right side facing up) over the top of the smaller hoop, making sure it’s centered. Then place the larger hoop over the top, securing the fabric and screwing the hoop tight.

DIY: Alphabet Hoop Art #embroidery #felt #applique #tutorial

Then place your letter at the center of the hooped fabric and pin in place.

DIY: Alphabet Hoop Art #embroidery #felt #applique #tutorial

Cut a nice length of matching embroidery floss and separate it into three strands. Then thread your needle and tie a knot at the end.

DIY: Alphabet Hoop Art #embroidery #felt #applique #tutorial

I used a blanket appliqué stitch to sew the letters to the fabric. When you watch the Youtube video on how to do the blanket appliqué stitch, make sure to pay attention to how she turns a corner (you’ll be turning lots of corners with the letters).

DIY: Alphabet Hoop Art #embroidery #felt #applique #tutorial
DIY: Alphabet Hoop Art #embroidery #felt #applique #tutorial

Note: If you plan to make a lot of these, I’d recommend using a more simple stitch to save on time.

DIY: Alphabet Hoop Art #embroidery #felt #applique #tutorial

Once you’ve finished sewing the letter to the hooped fabric, you can gently pull the excess fabric from the hoop to make the fabric taut. Make sure the hoop is screwed on tight, and then use sewing scissors to cut off the excess fabric.

DIY: Alphabet Hoop Art #embroidery #felt #applique #tutorial

That’s it! I hope that baby Ella loves her ABC hoop art.
DIY: Alphabet Hoop Art #embroidery #felt #applique #tutorial