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I dug into my ever-growing stash of paper straws to make Paper Straw Easter Bunnies in a wall hanging.

I created this peep-like bunny as my template. You can click to save it to your computer. Resize it so it’s about 6 inches tall (but you can do any size you wish).

Cut out the bunny template.

…and cover it with double-stick tape. Then start sticking on the straws. The straws should go over the edges. Start with the middle section, covering the part in between the ears.

It is easier to stick just a few sections of straws on at a time to cut. Use scissors to cut the straw along the curve at the top of the head and along the ears, as well as along the bottom curve.

The straws started to get unwieldy and would fall off as I cut, even with the double-stick tape. So I taped them together with painter’s tape.

When you’ve got most of the bunny done, peel off the cardstock template, which you can use again. Use smaller scissors to clean up your cuts, particularly at the neck and ears.

Now continue with the other colors. I have a pink and yellow one, which represent each of my girls. The grey one is Grandpa. Hehe.

If it looks like you can add more “cheek” or “hips” to the sides even though you followed the template, go ahead. It’s ok to do some manual shaping to make it look more like a bunny. The straws I used were 3 different brands, and the grey ones in particular were smaller. Plus, the stripes faced different directions so I alternated them to create a chevron-ish effect.

Choose a frame that fits all your bunnies. Here’s a mock-up of my bunnies in a thrifted frame with a burlap background. The fabric at the bottom is my “Hoppy Easter” sign.

I painted the frame with two coats light pink paint.

I found a piece of cardboard and fit it to the frame, then I covered it with burlap. Then I used another cardboard piece to make sure my bunnies were all lined up. I also marked the center on the cardboard so that grandpa is also centered in the middle.

Cover up the bunny with hot glue, all over the side without the painters tape. This layer will dry, and keep the straws together.

Then add another layer of glue on the top of the first layer, and quickly flip it over and position it in place. Press down. Check if it really did stick in a little bit, then you can add more glue if certain spots are still loose. Remove the tape which should reveal your finished bunny. Repeat with the other two bunnies.

For the sign, I stenciled letters onto some canvas fabric with a paint pen, and wrapped that around some cardboard. Then I hot glued the sign underneath the bunnies.

The finishing touch – cotton tails! I snipped some off some thrifted pom pom trim and hot glued them on.

All done. I displayed mine next to more thrifted treasures, and made a little paper straw star with the scraps.

Hoppy Easter!

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Originally Posted: September 28, 2013

Last week, Sophie requested Grandma’s Salmon Cakes and I said “Sure!”, thus volunteering my mom to cook her signature appetizer. She also makes a yummy avocado dip to go with them, so I will be sharing how to make both today.

Let’s start with the herbs. Chop up some parsley, cilantro and scallions. Add those to a big bowl.

Take your salmon fillet, remove the pin bones, and poach it for just a minute in about two inches of boiling water.

You’ll remove the fillet when it just starts to turn color, and the inside is still raw (but if you prefer, cook it longer; just remember you’ll be cooking the fish again once you form the patties).

If you have skin on your fillet, it’s easy just to scrape it off at this point. Or, you could have your fish person remove it for you when you buy it.

Then chop the salmon into small cubes…

…and add it to the bowl with the herbs. To bind everything together, add eggs, mayonnaise, salt/pepper, and dijon mustard.

You’ll also add some Panko breadcrumbs, and mix it all together. The Panko will seem to disappear into the mixture at first.

Sprinkle more breadcrumbs to the bottom of a plate, and use a spoon to scoop up dollops of the salmon mixture and place on top of the breadcrumbs. You can make them any size…I like to make mine like the size of a slider.

Then sprinkle some more breadcrumbs on the top of each dollop, and then use your hands to form them into patties. Transfer the cakes to another plate. 

Add oil to a pan and cook the cakes until they are golden brown on each side. 

The avocado dip is super easy. Just put an avocado (or two) into a food processor along with garlic, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, lemon juice, and salt/pepper. If you have a seasoning mix (like garlic salt with other herbs and spices) you can add a sprinkle of that too. Give it all a whizz (or just mush it in a bowl with a potato masher if your avocados are on the ripe side).

Serve it up all together…

…and enjoy! Mmmm…

 

Thank you Grandma for teaching Mama how to make your yummy salmon cakes! Grandpa you better grab one before we eat them all!

 

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When my girls started preschool (i.e. Fall 2010), the school requested an open-top cloth grocery bag-type tote as their school bag. I had one week to make them and meant to make a simple, lined tote and asked the girls what color they wanted. They kept changing their minds, naming every color they could think of. So I thought hey why not incorporate all those colors? So I made them each a patchwork pocket tote bag, personalized with their names and a special applique on the back.

As in my sketches, I planned to make a smaller, lower pocket and the applique up top.

In the end I decided to put the name up top (The girls requested that I make a bag for myself too. Don’t ask my why MAMA has an H at the end. Well, perhaps it sounds whinier, so maybe that is in fact the correct spelling in this house).

And as I further played with the design, I liked the proportion of a bigger pocket.

So I put the applique on the back. This way, if the totes are turned around, I can tell whose tote is whose.

I would discover later that my girls appreciated this too. They still can’t quite recognize their names yet, and because they chose their own applique, they now can recognize their own bags that way as well. “I’m Sarah, and I have the sun!” “I’m Sophie, and mine is the heart!” Okay, on with the tutorial.

How to Make a Patchwork Pocket Tote Bag

Original Post Date: Fall 2010

Supplies for the Pocket

  • Six different fabrics for the patchwork part, cut to 2×7 inch strips
  • One piece of fabric for the top of the pocket where the name will go, cut to 9×4.5 inches
  • Fabric scraps for the name and applique
  • Fusible webbing such as Steam-A-Seam2
  • Medium weight interfacing, cut to the same size as the pocket (the total size of the strips plus the top of the pocket sewn together, about 9×11 inches)
  • One piece of fabric for pocket lining, cut to the same size as the interfacing
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and self-healing cutting mat and ruler/straight edge
  • Not pictured: Sewing machine, thread, tear-away stabilizer

Supplies for the Tote Bag

  • Two pieces of fabric for outside of tote (I used duck cloth), cut to 15×18 inches
  • Two pieces of fabric for lining (I used a vintage sheet), cut to same measurements as above
  • Two pieces of fabric for straps, cut to 4×20 inches
  • Not pictured: Sewing machine, thread

Directions for the pocket

For the pocket, I used a 5/16″-inch seam allowance (the edge of my presser foot).

1. Line up all your color strips in the desired order.

2. Sew together the six strips

3) Press the seams to one side

 4. Sew the top of the pocket to the top of the strips. I used a vintage sheet here as well as for the lining. Press the seam to one side.

5. Cut out your letters for the top of the pocket with fabric and fusible webbing. Click here for more detailed instructions on one of my previous tutorials, or just follow the directions on your fusible webbing package.

6. Center the letters onto the top of the pocket and fuse, following the directions on your fusible webbing package.

Inspection…

Approved!

7. Fuse the pocket lining with the medium-weight interfacing. With right sides together, pin the lining/interfacing with the front of the pocket and sew together, leaving a hole for turning.

8. Turn the pocket right side out and press

9. Position the pocket onto one of your duck cloth panels. I centered it and then raised it an inch or two because you’ll be squaring the bottom of the tote which will lower the center, if that makes sense. Pin with big pins. Be sure all horseys and piggies are cleared away before pinning.

10. Top-stitch the pocket to the duck cloth panel, first along the edge and then about 1/8 inches away (I followed the tick marks on my presser foot). Leave the top open for the pocket and back stitch at the ends to secure.

A peek at the inside of the pocket.

I’m glad I made the pocket big. It’s big enough for this book! We now put our items for sharing time in the front pocket (easier access=less frustration).

10. Sew the applique on the other duck cloth panel. You can use anything, but I quickly made my shapes with cookie cutters and a jar of pomade. I used  fusible webbing to fuse the pieces together as well as to fuse them to the back duck cloth panel, and with a piece of tear-away stabilizer in the back, I sewed a satin stitch around all the edges.

Directions for the Tote Bag

First, pin the two duck cloth panels right sides together and stitch around the sides and bottom, leaving the top open. Do the same with the two lining panels. For the duck cloth panels, make sure the pocket and applique are facing the right direction!

Then square the bottom of the tote by pulling the two sides apart at the bottom and matching up the side and bottom seams. Mark about 2 inches from the corner and draw a line. Stitch along the line. Do the same with the other corner as well as with the lining.

Make the straps by pressing the two ends towards the middle and folding it closed. Top stitch it closed, and then top stitch the other side.

Now we’ll sew all the pieces together…turn the lining right side out and stuff that inside the duck cloth which is still inside out. Pin them together with right sides together. When you get to about 2 inches from the sides, pin the straps in place. Sew all the way around, leaving an opening for turning up top.

Pull the lining and the duck cloth all the way through the hole and stuff the lining inside. Press the seam, and top stitch all the way around, closing the opening. Note: A more detailed tutorial to make a lined tote bag will be posted soon, which you can use to make this tote.

And we have two tote bags for two preschoolers.

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Like all kidful households, we’ve got a mountain of paper with crayon scribbles and I just can’t bring myself to throw it out. So I took a little bit of it to make decoupage kids’ art beads, from which I made a fun dress-up necklace for each of my girls plus some for myself!

How to Make Kids Art Covered Beads

Original Post Date: Spring 2010

Supplies

  • Kids artwork: They used washable crayons, on regular white paper .
  • Mod Podge: For this project, I used the glossy kind.
  • Wood beads: These are round beads, about 1/2 an inch in diameter. They were purchased at Michael’s.
  • Ribbon: The holes in the beads are rather large, so I was able to use 1/4” ribbon.
  • Anti-Fraying Glue, for ribbon ends
  • Also, a craft knife, self-healing cutting mat, a sponge brush (any small brush is fine), sand paper, 2 wooden skewers, rubber bands, and a jar for holding skewer upright.

Directions

The wooden beads are round 1/2” in diameter, and about 2 inches in circumference around the equator. I made a rectangular template a little bit bigger than that (so 2 1/8” by 3/4”). Find a spot on your kids art with colors that you like. Using a craft knife or scissors, cut around the template.

Every 1/8 inches or so, make a little slit along the edges on the long sides of the rectangle. This will help the paper lay flat along the curvature of the bead.

Put a light layer of Mod Podge onto the wrong side of the paper.

Twist a rubber band around a wooden skewer and place this into a jar. This will be your 3rd hand to hold the bead while you decoupage. Lightly sand the bead, then thread the bead onto the skewer and put a light layer of Mod Podge all over the bead.

Center the paper on the bead and wrap it round, joining the two short ends.

Then use your fingers to push down the long end of the paper around the holes of the bead. The slits will lay on top of each other. Use your fingers to gently smooth out the paper as best as possible (there will be wrinkles but I think it’s ok).

Allow to dry for one hour. Seal the outside with another thin layer of Mod Podge.  Allow to dry for another hour. 

Thread onto another skewer to dry and start your next bead. As before, allow to dry for an hour, and put another thin layer of Mod Podge on top. Allow to dry for another hour.

Now to make the necklaces.  For my girls’ dress-up necklaces, I used velvety pink and yellow ribbons for my necklaces. Cut enough ribbon to make a necklace that would easily go over their heads. Cut the ribbon at an angle and thread it through a bead. Center the bead in the middle and tied knots on each side, pushing the knot as snugly as I could to the bead. Thread a bead on either side and tie more snug knots. Tie the ends together and use anti-fraying glue on the ends. {Remember to supervise your little ones when they wear their necklaces.}

I wanted to make a necklace for myself to wear with them when we play dress-up, but I wanted to incorporate both pink and yellow. The ribbon is one-sided, so I used my Xyron machine to apply adhesive to both sides. You could also use a glue gun.

Layer one ribbon on top of another.

And now you have double-sided velvet ribbon!

But I was a total dingbat and didn’t cut enough ribbon to make a necklace to just throw on over my head. So I tied the ends to this chunky chain I had, trimming the ends off right at the knot and using more anti-fraying glue on the knot. Then at the other end, I wire-wrapped some pearls to attach the clasp. Note: a tutorial on wire wrapping will be added soon.

Hmm what to do with the remaining beads…make a keychain, or make a fancy schmancy necklace? Fancy schmancy necklace it is. Note: a tutorial on how to make the fringy beads will be posted soon.

All of our necklaces together.

 My babies in 2010. Sigh.

Happy Kid Crafting – Steph

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When my twin girls were but a twinkle in my eye (or two twinkles in my eye?), I had my own wedding jewelry business for two fun but very busy years. One of my favorite things to make were these hairpins that look like blossoms on little branches. Brides usually requested them with clear beads and/or pearls for themselves, and colored beads for their bridesmaids. One asked for a single blue bead as her something blue, which I replicated in the first photo below.

But even if you’re not planning a wedding anytime soon, this is still a great technique to learn…all you have to do is change up the beads and you’ve got a completely different look for everyday.

 

How to Make Bridal Hairpins

Supplies

  • Hairpins: U-shaped hairpins are the easiest to work with and you can wear these in an updo. For those with finer hair (or short hair like me) you can use regular bobby pins. Combs, barrettes and tiara forms also work well.
  • 26-gauge wire: I’m using sterling silver but you can also use silver-plated or other metals, plus less-expensive craft wire from your local craft chain store (great for practicing). 28-gauge can be used too (bigger number=thinner wire) but might break more easily. If you go too thick, it will be difficult to work with the wire.
  • Beads: Depending on the look you want to achieve, you can use all the same bead or an assortment.
  • Wire cutters and flat-nosed pliers: Nothing fancy needed.

Directions:

We’ll be making hairpins with pearls and crystal quartz teardrop beads.

For this design, cut about 18 inches of wire. Leaving a little tail at the end (about 3/4 inch), start wrapping the wire around the hairpin. Go around about 3 times. Use the pliers as you go, to tighten the wire around the hairpin. Snip off the tail end and use pliers to flatten the end against the hairpin and scoot the coil over towards the side.

2) Now we’ll start making the branches. Thread one pearl onto the wire and stop about 1 inch above the hairpin. Curve the wire 180 degrees so that the pearl is at the top of the upside-down U. Make sure there’s an equal length of wire going “up” to the pearl as there is going back “down” to the hairpin. The “down” end should be on the opposite side of the hairpin as the “up” end, so it looks like two legs straddling the hairpin. The straddle will help secure the branch to the hairpin.

3) In one hand, grasp the hairpin as well as the “up” and “down” ends of the wire. Then start twisting with the other hand. Twist gently and and with even movements. Keep going until you can twist no more. It does not have to be perfect…trees in nature are beautiful but no two branches are alike! To start the next branch, loop the wire underneath the hairpin curve so that the wire starts going “up” again.

4) Now we’re going to make a branch with three sprigs. One sprig will have a “clover” of three beads.

Thread three beads about 1/8 inches higher than the first branch’s bead, and as before, curve the wire 180 degrees to form a U, with the middle bead at the top. Pinch the two side beads together to form the clover. This time, we’re going to twist only halfway down the wire. Grasp the wire with pliers with one hand and grab the three beads with the other hand. Twist until you reach the pliers and stop.

5) Gently bend the wire up again and create the 2nd and 3rd sprig of this branch. I used a teardrop shaped bead and a single bead. Twist only until you meet the first sprig.

6) To form the supporting branch, straddle the two wires around the hairpin. Grasp the hairpin along with the two wires in one hand. With the other hand, grasp the point where the three sprigs meet and twist until you can’t twist anymore.

 

7) Loop the wire underneath the hairpin. Make two more single branches, making one with a teardrop and one with a clover of 3 beads.

8) To finish, wrap the wire around three times and trim. Use your pliers to straighten and tighten the coils around the hairpin.

9) Gently maneuver the branches and sprigs so that it looks natural. Here’s the finished product!

One of my lovely bridal customers sent me a picture from her wedding. I used Swarovski crystals and pearls and I made about 6-8 hairpins for her, which she scattered throughout her updo.

You could also bunch up just a few hairpins, or wear just one depending on the length and number of branches you make. And you can change up the beads and play with lengths to get different looks. 

Happy Wedding Day! – Steph

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Welcome to The Silly Pearl! Here I am documenting my craft tutorials written from 2010 to present.

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Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!

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Hello Friends, Today will be my last time as hostess of Project Inspire{d}. I’ll be returning to work and traveling a lot so I won’t be able to devote the time needed as hostess. I have been slowly letting go of my blogging obligations over the last few months and it has been heartbreaking but […]

The post My Last Project Inspire{d} Link Party appeared first on The Silly Pearl.

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I love the modern farmhouse aesthetic. These nine ideas from last week’s Project Inspire{d} Link Party capture it perfectly. DIY Lavender Goat Milk Hand Soap from Life-n-Reflection Farmhouse Style Tray from Virginia Sweet Pea How to Make Hanging Mason Jar Candle Holders from Grillo Designs How to Create a Spring and Summer Centerpiece with a […]

The post Modern Farmhouse Decor Ideas appeared first on The Silly Pearl.

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Thank you for coming to this week’s Project Inspire{d} Link Party! Project Inspire{d} is hosted by Cupcakes and Crinoline, Yesterday on Tuesday, and me at The Silly Pearl and begins every Monday at 5pm EST / 8pm PST and ends on the following Thursday at 8am EST. If you’re a blogger, spread the inspiration by sharing […]

The post Project Inspire{d} Link Party Week 222 appeared first on The Silly Pearl.

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