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a Sweet Treat Party!

Welcome to Day 26!
the photos in this post are from a retail display that i created
one Valentine's Day in a vintage boutique... 

i was inspired by my own 8th birthday party
[one of my favorites, and i remember it in great detail!]
from the pink streamers overhead to the kitchen setting,
and the strawberry 'ice cream' to the pink 'cake',
[some of my original 'FooFooFauxFood'TM designs]
so i had a lot of fun putting this together!

first, here's a look at the whole 'party':
second, some of the details:

 * a pink child's skirt is the lampshade cover, with a sweet ribbon bow to hold it in place.
     *  'ice cream' in bowls is made from chenille bedspreads and topped with fuzzy white yarn
 * 'ice cream cones' are Christmas ornaments in vintage paper cones with crepe paper ruffles

* party hat is a dollar store purchase, dolled up with vintage papers & ribbons
 * 'bon bons' are tiny Christmas ornaments in cupcake liners
 * stacked glass plate, casserole lid, and footed bowls create a pedestal to hold the bon bons

 * round notepads with pink design look like cookies on a cookie sheet in the open vintage oven
 * the 'cake' is a round tin, covered in chenille from a bedspread and a lace doily
 * sweet favor flags (and banner on back wall) are made from sheet music and stickers

 * this photo [up in my February banner image and used a few times in other posts]
was taken in this display setup, too...
the chair hung on the wall, to the right and above the white vintage stove.

shared online:

project inspire{d} | cupcakes and crinoline

Happy Weekend!
now go create somethin' !


Think Outside the Box!

back in November, i was rummaging through my Mom's holiday decor stash,
 and i found a bunch of old ornaments inside
a Miller's Outpost box, shown in the photo above

ok, i'm REALLY going to date myself here by saying that 'back in the day', 
Millers was THE place to shop for cool clothes.
it was like H&M or Abercrombie are today. it was COOL.

but looking at this old, faded, tired-looking 25-year-old box, you'd never know that.
i decided that even though [or maybe especially because] it was OLD, 
this survivor of a Millers Outpost box had some redeeming qualities
[not the least of which is the faded vintage paper color]
and needed to be re-purposed into something else.
well, i couldn't figure out a single thing to make out of it at Christmas...
but shortly afterward, i had a brainstorm:

those red stripes would be perfect on hearts & tags in February!

continue reading for not one but TWO 'Fast, Cheap & Easy' tutorials:
how to turn a shirt box into gift tags and hearts!
[and shirt boxes are FREE with a purchase from department stores,
so even if you don't need one, get one as craft supplies! ]

continue reading for the tutorial...


The Lollipop Guild

every year, the sweet-faced girl shown below
chooses an equally sweet theme for her 'Farm Chicks' antique show.
in 2011, she chose a candy theme - and i loved the graphic so much
that it was my inspiration for the little gift i made her
[just to say thank you for having me as a vendor]
i found some red and white cording at the fabric store, and used it to make two little lollipop pins.
i cut some words out of vintage sheet music and added them to the pins
['serena' was actually 'serenade' on the sheet music]
then i nestled them in a tiny box and embellished it with vintage trims.

this craft is so very simple, and makes a perfect accent on a gift tag, place card, 
or greeting card. here's how it looks on a manilla gift tag:

 and here's the easy 1-2-3-4 to make your own:
i used cotton baker's twine for the tags. a drop or two of glue is all it takes!
make 'em small for tags and larger for pins, like the ones i made for serena.
just cut out a circle as the backing for a pin, instead of using the whole tag.


It's a Wrap

make easy seasonal changes to your clear glass vases with paper

whether you use an assortment of vibrantly colored wrapping paper as shown here,
or the subtle tones of vintage sheet music and book pages,
it only takes a minute - and makes a big impact.

 the two papers used here are the remains of a roll of Christmas wrapping paper
[red on one side, and white with red polka dots on the reverse]
and a piece of 1970's era heart-print gift wrap that was unearthed in an old box

 there are two methods:
* cut a piece of paper to fit INSIDE the glass vase if you are using silk flowers or twigs
* cut a piece of paper to fit OUTSIDE the glass vase if you are using a candle or real flowers in water
a few small pieces of double-stick tape will hold the paper in place

[the small hearts shown on two of these vases 
were cut from the opposite side of the paper and taped in place]

 you can also use ready-made paper items:
these small vintage-look cupcake/candy cups fit perfectly 
the outside of small glass flowerpots,
creating a sweet setting for a tealight candle

one more idea:
after you've inserted the paper INSIDE the vase for use with faux flowers,
place a white heart-shaped doily between the glass and the paper
[or perhaps a special love note or photograph!]

shared online:

Be Inspired Fridays by Common Ground


Paper Swedish Hearts Tutorial

many years ago, a sweet and very excited little artist came home from school
and showed her sisters, brother, and mommy how to make hearts out of paper.
bright construction paper was precisely cut and folded and woven together,
just as she had been taught at school that day by her artistic teacher.

that was the day my third-grade daughter taught ME something!
we had hours of fun making hearts, used them on our Christmas tree,
and then kept the red and white ones up as decor in our home until Valentine's Day.
(i still have those hearts in a box)

ever since, i've used woven paper hearts in my Valentine's Day decorating...
[traditionally known as Swedish Hearts
instead of making them from construction paper, 
now i use vintage papers from books and sheet music

 they tuck into flower arrangements, dangle from ribbons, dance across inspiration boards,
and make perfect gift tags or holders for VERY tiny gifts
this is an excellent craft to do with kids of all ages !

 continue reading for my tutorial...


Tag! You're It!

i made these personalized tags from manilla tags and scrabble letter tiles.
in about three minutes! 
the only other thing you need is
double-stick tape, hot glue, or glue stick to adhere the letters to the tag.

spell out a name, a nickname, an endearment, a question ("will you?")
for your gift, a table setting, or perhaps a floral arrangement

this is so easy it should be illegal...
[you can find old scrabble games at thrift shops]


Top Tips for 'Vintage'-look Florals

I'd like to welcome guests arriving
from DEEconstructed's blog post!
 this post about working with flowers
originally appeared on HOMEWARDfoundDecor in February...
I hope you enjoy it!

 Welcome to Day 18!

 along with chocolate, the number one Valentine's Day gift is flowers.
and as much as i love a huge bouquet of fresh roses (white, please),
i really love using vintage florals in my decor. but they can be pricy!
over the years of styling retail displays and creating products for sale at vintage shows,
i've discovered a few tricks for using flowers in a way that makes them look more 'vintage'...

 * bunch 'em up into an old fashioned 'tussy mussy'

this bouquet (also shown in the top photo in this post) is a mix of about 20 fabric/silk flowers
and MOST of them aren't old. 
grabbed for pennies at garage sales, thrift stores, and even the dollar store,
those flowers form the 'base' of the bouquet, packed tightly into a bunch.

then the actual vintage flowers are inserted so that they sit above the others and at the edges of the bouquet
those are the flowers that you focus on when you look at the bouquet
[the white sweet william and deep pink mini roses, for example]

the stems are held tightly together with rubber bands,
then are wrapped up in a large vintage white doily. 
the top edge of the doily is left loose and looks like a collar around the flowers.
i also wound some vintage seam binding and ribbon around the stems,
finishing them off by dangling a cubic zirconia engagement ring and a vintage crystal.

 * create a domed arrangement

a styrofoam or floral foam ball is shoved tightly into a vase as the base of this arrangement.
snip flower stems to @ 2-3", and begin inserting them into the ball along the vase edge. 
work upward and place those flowers very closely together
[your flowers should all be the same type for this to look best - all roses, or tulips, for example]
the roses in the arrangement shown above were not vintage,
but here's a trick to making them LOOK vintage:

1. put on some gloves, and create a bleach solution of 1/4 cup bleach to 2 cups water. 
2. mix in a plastic spray bottle with a 'fine mist' spray option on the nozzle. (not 'stream')

3. take your new fabric flowers outside, and prop the flowers up in an bucket or paint can.
[you want them to be sitting as they will be when displayed]
4. sit the bucket of flowers on a large piece of cardboard or dropcloth to catch the overspray.

5. VERY LIGHTLY spray the bleach/water mixture over the flowers from @ 12" away.
spray from the TOP, and let the mist of bleach/water fall down onto the petals. 
6. let them dry, then repeat. 
7. for the second spray, move in a bit closer and focus on the ends of the petals of the large flowers.
[you may have to remove the stems from the bucket and hold each one]
8. let dry. then use in your decor!

this method will cause the flower petals on the outside of the blooms to fade and wrinkle a bit,
just as they do over time in vintage flowers.

* you can make even cheap fabric/silk flowers look more 'real':

when placing your flowers into containers, tweak the stems...
bend them and twist them just as real flowers do when growing in a garden.
have some facing downward, some reaching upward.

pull a few of the blooms open - stretch out the outer petals
[hair spray will stiffen them up so they hold]
and pull a few petals off of one bloom... scatter them on the table below the arrangement. 
it just looks a bit more 'real' that way!