Jan 10

Nepali Ceiling Hanging DIY

by Brittany Watson Jepsen

When I was in Nepal for a special project in June I stumbled upon some beautiful hangings cascading down the staircase of the architecture school in Kathmandu. Since they appeared to be made of paper I kept it in my memory bank and thought I’d give it a try here. The ones in the staircase were about 1 story high and twice the size, but I think these mini versions are more to scale for a home party.

Keep reading for the easy instructions!

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Jan 5

2011 Year in Review | Oct-Dec

Here is the last post looking back at 2011. It is sort of therapeutic looking back through everything. I had a realization earlier this year. I was sitting on the floor of my apartment late at night listening to the radio while I was making a pinata, and I was so happy. I know making pinatas isn’t fulfilling for everyone but I was so happy because I was making things. I feel so grateful I’ve found what I love to do. Thank you for all your support in 2011! I’m beyond excited for 2012. (You can see all the 2011 Year in Review posts right here.)

Mini Masterpiece Favors

Paul launched his new painting site.

Giant Confetti DIY

Macaron Research in the Tuileries

Mini Pinata DIY

Caramel Apple Kit by Kimberley

Chocolate Letter Placecards

We featured this gorgeous Anniversary Party

Repackaged Candy Favors by Joke

Envelope Templates by Amanda

Free Photobooth Props Set

Glass Jar Typography

Alphabet Pasta Pie Topper by Chiara

DIY Floral Party Hats

Glittered Flatware DIY by Jenny

Two free printable Advent calendar designs here and here by Amanda

Watercolor Confetti by Joke

We shared the Watercolor wedding invitations we made.

A Progressive Dinner around Paris

Genius Candy Lights by Brittany

Mini Present Garland by Jenny

Free Holiday Photobooth Props

Falling Snowflake Garlands by Chiara

Sequin Photobooth DIY

Jan 3

2011 Year in Review | APR-JUNE

May marked the 5th year anniversary of my blog and a big redesign by Erin Jang and programmed by Mark Allen, two very talented people. Another new thing for me was this year I’ve experimented with having contributors. I’m so lucky to have such talented people to work with. Here are some of my favorites from April through June.

Confetti Egg Game by Rebecca

Ombre Table Cloth by Brittany

Easter in Normandy

A Fringey Monogram by Michaela

A trip to see the tulip fields in Holland

An Envelope Surprise Project

Photobooth Props

The fun Anthology Article came out

Piles and piles of peonies

We shared pictures of our San Francisco apartment

A postcard project with Shanna Murray

And a Giant Polish Chandelier DIY.

Look for July through September tomorrow!

Dec 19

Wallpaper Gift Bags DIY

by Brittany Jepsen

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Growing up, my mom’s exuberant gift wrapping skills often received more attention than the gift itself. And for good reason–she had a way of turning ordinary materials into beautiful works of art. One of her many tricks was taking scraps of leftover wallpaper and turning them into gift bags. I teamed up with the fine folks of Ferm Living (thank you!), my fellow Copenhagen neighbors, to use their lovely graphic wallpaper line and recreate her little secret just in time for the holidays. It’s cheaper and a whole lot more fun than buying store bought, (but then again, isn’t it always?!)

Materials Needed: box (here I use a traditional Danish Christmas candle box) to use as a form for the size of your gift, wallpaper large enough to wrap around the box, contrasting ribbon as handles, double-sided tape, scissors, whole punch, cardboard (optional)

Step 1: Cut around the size of your desired box as if you were wrapping a present leaving plenty of space around.
Step 2: Fold down about 2″ on the horizontal side. This will act as the top of the bag.

Step 3: With the folded part placed at the top of the box, continue to wrap the box like a normal gift. Go back and give a good crease to each bend in the wallpaper. This will help give shape to the bag. With the double-sided tape, tape the edge down.
Step 4: Fold the bottom of one side in, but leave the other side open.
Step 5: Take the box out of the now formed wallpaper bag and squeeze the front and back together so there’s a crease on each of the sides. Again, this will give shape to the bag and make it more sturdy.

Step 6: If you want to really secure the bag’s shape, cut a piece of cardboard to the size of the bottom of the bag (not shown).
Step 7: Decide what type of ribbon formation you’d like. There’s the traditional handles with one on each side, or a central ribbon, which I show here. I punched two holes about 3/4″ apart at the top of the bag on the front and back.
Step 8: Slide the ribbon through starting on the front, going through the back and then returning to the front again. Then tie your ribbon. Voila!

Tips: For large packages, I’d recommend cereal boxes or laundry detergent boxes. For smaller shapes, I used tea boxes. For medium boxes you can use books. Try a variety of sizes to experiment with the fun shapes you can create. Enjoy!

Photos by Hilda Grahnat

Dec 1

DIY candy lights

by Brittany Jepsen

My mom always had new and exciting ways of transforming our house during the holidays. One of the most memorable transformations was a real-life candy land. I specifically remember her singularly putting up these candy garlands on the second story of our house, which now, years later, I see deserves major applause. She took simple materials and created a sweet wonderland any gingerbread man would be jealous of.

Materials Needed: corsage boxes, string of lights, scissors, wire or pipe cleaners to fasten, wire cutters, cellophane rolls in different colors, tape

Step 1: Cut a piece of cellophane about 18x 18″.

Step 2: Wrap the string of lights in the cellophane piece making sure you leave the beginning and end of the string out so it can connect to your power source and/or the next piece of candy. This will create the “crackle” of the candy.

Step 3: Put the package of lights into the corsage box and secure it closed.

Step 4: Wrap a larger piece of cellophane around the corsage box making sure there’s enough left over on each end to create the candy shape. Tape it close on one side.

Step 5: Using the wire or pipe cleaners, twist to secure at each end of each side of the corsage box.

Step 6: Leave a few lights in between each “piece” of candy and then repeat until the strand runs out. Use as many strands as you’d like for the space you intend to use.

Step 7: Plug in and watch your candy come alive!

photos by elove photos