Saturday, September 25, 2010

Photo Frame Earring Organizer

So I ran out of space for my earrings (again), so I decided to make another organizer!

This one's super cheap and easy-- all you need is a large photo frame, some plastic netting, and a hot glue gun!

Start with your plastic netting. Mine was from a bag of noodles. I believe garlic usually comes in these types of bags too though. But if you can't get hold of plastic netting, I think fishnet stockings would work quite well too!
Just cut off the top and bottom and make one straight cut down the side to get a rectangle.

Then grab your photo frame (mine was 8.5 x 11"...the size you get will obviously depend on the size of your plastic netting) and take out the glass and the backing.

You'll notice that your plastic netting stretches in just one direction. Lay your netting across the back of your frame, making sure that the stretch goes SIDEWAYS. If the stretch goes up and down, then it will sag when you put earrings on.

Stretch the netting out to almost its maximum, just so it makes a bit of a trampoline effect if you drop a light object on the stretched area. When you have it stretched evenly, secure the netting in place.

Grab your hot glue gun and start gluing one small area at a time. You'll want to kind of massage the glue through the netting to the frame with the tip of your glue gun. Try not to press too hard or long though, otherwise you'll melt the plastic of the netting!

Once you glued around the entire frame, you can cut off the excess netting.

Then grab the backing that came with the frame...

Cut out a rectangle that's about this size proportionally to your frame.

Then cut that in half diagonally to make two triangles.

Grab some pretty tissue paper and cover your triangles with it.

Then glue your triangles onto the back of your frame, hypotenuse facing the frame (who said trigonometry wouldn't be useful outside of math class?)

You're done! The frame should now stand with a slight backwards tilt.

Put it on top of your dresser and stick earrings on it. This works great for dangle earrings as well as larger post earrings. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Gold Curves

I really love how this pair turned out! I actually had no idea in mind when I started making these, but I really liked how the first earring looked, so I just replicated it for the second :)

And I made yet another earring rack, because I started running out of room on my pyramid! Tutorial coming soon :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ribbon Hair Clip

Aren't beautifully wrapped gifts wonderful? Sometimes the packaging is half of the whole gift experience :)
But what to do with leftover pieces of cloth ribbon?

Make a barrette, of course!

Start out by folding about 2 feet of ribbon in half.

Then squeeze the half point down to make a T shape with about half inch loops on each side.

Push the tails to the outsides and clip your ribbon in place.

Then use a thin line of hot glue right under the bend to glue your loops in place.

Make a second loop, about 1/2 inch longer than the first.

And then move that tail out of the way, and glue.

Do this as many times as you want to both sides.

Then cut off the excess and run a thin line of hot glue down the center to prevent fraying.

Glue the barrette clip on.

And then squeeze the loops to puff them out nicely.

Then take one of the little tails that you cut off and make a loop.

Secure it in place with some more hot glue.

You're done!
Super easy recycled hair accessory in about five minutes. Can't go wrong with that, right? ;)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Bubble Tea!

Bubble tea: delicious, but at four to five dollars a cup, it can get expensive. But lucky for you, it's fairly easy to make :)

If you haven't had this before, bubble tea is an Asian drink that consists of a milky of fruity tea drink with large sweet tapioca pearls at the bottom. Usually you'll be given a large straw that the pearls will fit through to drink it with, but I didn't have any, so I settled for a long spoon.

So to start out, you'll need your bubbles. You can get them at most Asian supermarkets. I experimented with different kinds, and found that the cheaper ones are much harder to make (the centers stayed hard even after an hour of boiling!), so in the end I went with a slightly more expensive brand with a five minute recipe. 
Most bubbles will ask you to add 5-10 parts water per one part bubbles in a large pot, bring the water to a boil, stir in the bubbles until they float, and then cover the lid and let them cook.

Meanwhile, you can make the syrup. You will need:
2 cups water
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
drizzle of honey

Heat all of that up in a sauce pan over medium high heat. When it starts frothing, pour your syrup into a container and place it in the refrigerator to chill. It should be about the consistency of maple syrup. 

When your bubbles are done (make sure they are squishy all the way through with no hard centers!), scoop them out and place them in the container with the syrup. The longer you leave them there, the sweeter they will be.

The water from the bubbles should be a bit thicker and cloudy in color. I like to use that to make the tea component. Just grab your favorite tea leaves and pour boiling water over them in a large bowl. Then cover and let it sit for a while as your bubbles cool in the fridge.
Keep in mind that the tea flavor will be diluted by the milk and sweetened by the syrup.

When your tea is done and the bubbles are sweetened to your liking, get a tall glass and start pouring! The ratio I used was...
Fill the bottom of the glass with about two rows of bubbles.
Cover the bubbles with syrup, and then add another tablespoon or two.
Fill the glass a bit less than halfway with tea.
Fill the rest of the way with vanilla soymilk.
You can of course use regular milk too, with vanilla extract, but the soymilk gives it a thicker texture which I like :)

And enjoy your delicious bubble tea! This can make up to 15 servings, with less than the cost of one store-bought drink!
Try serving it warm and cold, or even frozen in popsicle molds. Use blended fruit instead of milk or coffee instead of tea. Have fun with it :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Origami Puffy Star Tutorial

It's been a really long time since I posted an origami tutorial, hasn't it?
This origami star is one of the first origamis that I ever learned, and it has remained one of my favorites :)

If you have special pre-cut strips of origami paper, you can skip to the folding. If not...
Start out with a sheet of paper. We're aiming for a long strip, so I wouldn't recommend anything shorter than the standard computer paper 11 inches. 

Make a straight line down about 1/2 an inch from the edge of the paper...

...and cut along your line.

Then, without creasing the paper, fold it into a v shape.

And then fold the short end over the long end. It looks kind of like one of those cancer awareness ribbons, doesn't it?

Then, line up the edges of your paper and crease.

Here's what it looks like from the back.

Start out with your short end now. Fold the strip along the edge of the pentagonal shape you just made. It's easiest not to follow a specific series of steps, but just let the paper fold in the direction that it wants to go. 

When you get to the end...

...tuck the end in under another fold.

Do the same for the long end of the strip.

You may have to tear off some of the end if it's too long to make sure you can tuck it in neatly.

This is the fun part. Ready to pop it? :)
Center your thumb and forefinger nails in the sides around one of the corners.

Gently press inwards with your nails until the corner puffs up. 

Go around the star and puff all the corners...

Until you get this!