For a homey craft, here’s an idea I’ve been percolating on for a week or two until I came up with the right solution for our own, personal look: I took a white wooden welcome sign that I’d purchased on sale; it was originally decorated with Easter-themed wooden flowers and dangles of eggs and birds, so I removed all the extra bits except the five small loop head screws. If you can’t find such a sign, you could make one with cardboard, hardening it with a couple layers of paper machè before painting it your base colour and attaching the screws.
The sign, I covered by paper machèing it with the inside of a few security envelopes (the kinds you get bank statements and bills in). Most of the paper beads are also made from the same envelopes. [If you want to find an addictive craft, paper beads will do it!] I laid the sign upside down on the outside of the opened envelope and traced the letters, cutting out the paper before glueing it on. The design can be seamlessly augmented with the security motif, as the sign is longer than the length of an opened envelope laid flat… my seam is overlapping onto the “e” after the “w”, and you can’t see it.
For the dangles, I made the security paper beads, and one bead is made from a magazine picture of the sun; I strung them onto nylon thread (“fishing line”), and used silver beads, cap-beads, crimp beads, and silver charms at the ends. I then strung a length of black satin ribbon to hang the sign on our door, making sure the length allowed for viewing through the peephole. I secured the ends of the ribbon to itself with crimp bead covers (also crimp beads, but a “C” shape to clamp around crimp beads).
[If you’re interested, I got all of the jewellery findings and beads online, at Aliexpress.com.]
This is a trick I’ve been doing for years; I have a proper honing steel, but a mug works just as well for most common knives and household scissors that need a quick perk.
Take any mug that has a rough ceramic rim around the base; in the illustrations I’ve used a local coffee mug. In a similar technique as using a honing steel, except that you’ll run the knife on a single surface rather than alternating sides (see video here to understand what I mean). As he points out in the video, make sure you run the knife or scissor blade from the base to the tip, to get even sharpening the entire length of the blade.
Always keep your fingers away from the sharpening surface! Apply just a bit of pressure to get the best effect; a bit of practice will teach better than I can explain it. It usually only takes me 10-15 passes of each blade to get a pair of scissors back in top form, and the same with a knife.
Whether you entertain guests frequently, cater for dinner parties or weddings, or simply want to put an elegant touch on your table, here are 9 great ideas for folding cloth or paper napkins! Just click on the photo below to see a quick video of how they’re done!
Here’s a quick video to show an easy way to make apple swans; it looks complicated, is easy to actually do, and will look impressive as a centerpiece, as part of a desert, or just a fancy lunch surprise. To watch, just click on the photo below.