Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Upcycled Pringles Can - Make Your Own Pretty Planters

What's summer without some major greenery around to feast your eyes upon? As the days started getting warmer I got busy getting a few plants and sprucing up our apartment balcony some. I have regular plants pots of course lined up on the floor, but I also wanted to beautify one plain wall with flowery plants. 

If you hadn't read the title of this post, would you have guessed that this planter, in it's former life, was a salty addictive snack container? :D

I still had 3 empty Pringles cans saved over from last year which I thought would make interesting hanging accents on the balcony wall. Here's what I gathered to get that done.

1) Empty Pringles can
2) Plastic bag (the size that's usually at vegetable counters at grocery stores)
3) Sticky tape
4) Fabric or paper for planter cover
5) Mod Podge
6) Tools - Scissors, X-acto knife, Paintbrush, Nail + Hammer for making holes
7) Ribbon for hanging it up

1) Start by removing the lid and placing the plastic bag inside the can. I put my hand right to the bottom of the can to make sure I'd got it all the way there to create a waterproof surface. 

2) Place the lid back on, spread the remaining plastic bag over on the outside of the can (much like a veil) and then tape it down to the outer surface.

3) Draw a rectangle on the can about 2" from either end and 3" across. 

4) Cut the rectangular piece out with the X-acto knife by going through the outer layer of plastic and the cardboard of the can. Then pull out the bit of excess plastic through the opening created.

5) Snip away this excess plastic with scissors to create a longish hole.

6) Tape down the inner plastic to the outer plastic across all the edges of the rectangular opening to create a nice waterproof lining for the Pringles can.

7) Now we're ready to cover the can. Cut a circle out of your fabric (or paper) slightly larger in diameter than the circular sides of the can. Glue the circle down and make tiny snips all around the circle every couple centimeters so that the fabric can be glued down the sides of the can. Repeat for the other circular side.

8) Then proceed to cover the entire can and make sure to get a little extra fabric over the sides of the rectangular edges. Finish by adding a layer of Mod Podge to the entire surface to seal it well. 

9) Leave to dry several hours or overnight. Then use the nail and hammer to make 3 holes along the bottom of the can. I poked a ballpoint pen through the holes I bored to make them a little larger for any excess water to drain.

That's it! Now just fill up the can with soil, plant your flowers, tie a ribbon around the sides and hang up your beautiful planters!

Monday, June 15, 2015

An Ice Cream Birthday Party for a Cool, Sweet Boy!

It's true what they say about raising kids - the days are long but the years are short. My little baby is already a friendly, fearless, funny 3 year boy!

I really wanted to have friends over for a open air birthday picnic at a local lake/park and was mulling over the theme. I chose 'Ice Cream' for two reasons:
1) Over the years he's grown into a sweet kid and he's pretty cool, so.
2) More importantly and less philosophically, he's LOVES it. (Which kid doesn't, right?)

We've got to start with the birthday cake of course. (It just HAD to be blue, for the boy who is so obsessed with the color that one day he told me 'I don't want brown hands, I want blue hands, Mamma!'). A shout out here to my friend Priti who is an expert cake decorator and together with her husband creates unbelievable confections. She patiently answered all my queries regarding fondant, frosting and all things cakey. I baked two chocolate cakes - one round and the other rectangular, which I cut into a cone shape. I cut both pieces in half horizontally for a homemade caramel sauce filling. Then I  piped chocolate ganache onto the cone for the criss-cross ridges and used blue frosting with m&ms and sprinkles for the scoop of icecream. I've never been able to do a very neat job of frosting so this was a perfect project where blotchy and lumpy is not only fine, it's more authentic! :D. (I'm clever like that, hehe).


Also among the edible crafts were these chocolate chip popsicle cookies which I baked by spreading out cookie dough in longish shapes and sticking popsicle sticks in them.

Moving on to only slightly edible crafts - these are ice cream cone string decorations which are made this way:
1) Wrap colorful tissue paper around a crumpled ball of waste paper 
2) String together real wafer cones using a needle and thread and leave a bit of thread in between each cone and on either side of the first and last cone for handing up
3) Glue the ice cream scoop balls on the cones

Next, I hit upon the idea of using colorful paper lanterns for making large ice cream cones for handing up on a tree at the picnic. 
1) I cut out a quarter circle shape out of brown paper (not by any specific measurement, just by rolling it up against the paper lantern and then cutting approximately)
2) I drew the criss cross cone lines with a sharpie (black because I didn't have a brown one on hand)
3) Then I trimmed the upper edge of the cone as required and taped it to the lantern!

Lastly, the party favors. I found this vibrant, fruity fabric print and decided to use it as a popsicle applique against a white canvas cloth with colorful zippers to make summery looking pencil cases. A multicolored chevron printed cotton went perfectly well together for the lining!

All told, we spent a fun few hours together with friends, which is the whole point of these parties anyway. Although the day turned out to be a little chillier than we'd hoped, it was still ok thanks to my friend's portable grill that let us enjoy hot veggie burgers and samosas among other goodies. Needless to say, the kiddos all got to slurp on yummy popsicles and it turned out to be a sweet and sticky 3rd birthday party for my little boy!