Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Alice In Wonderland Free Printable!

We hello to you all. I hope you are all safe and well.
Today I have a free download for you and a short tutorial on how to make these cute triangular pouches (I'm not sure if they have a proper name!).
So you can get your download by clicking on the picture below and saving it to your computer or click here to get a PDF (remember you'll need Adobe Reader to view PDF files).
And now, how to make them. They are a little tricky at first but once you've done one you'll quickly get the hang of it.
So, to create an aged vintage look, I first coloured my paper with teabags! I'm sure you've all tried this before even if it was when you were at school. But for those who haven't, simply use a wet teabag to "paint" your paper and stain it. Allow to dry and then press under some heavy books to flatten out. You could also try ironing it! It needs to be flat to go through your printer but I do suggest you try a sheet first as printers can be temperamental sometimes ;-) You can also print onto cream coloured paper or simply keep the nice crisp white look - they all look nice.
Print the design on to A4 paper and then cut out. Next, use some double sided sticky tape and apply to the back leaving a 1cm gap on the opposite side to the tab. This will make sense once to start to stick together!
 Before gluing the tab, roll the paper into a cylinder (this will make it easier to glue together).
Apply glue to the tab down the edge (a glue stick is best here). and then stick both ends together to form a cylinder.

If you look carefully, you'll see some small marker lines at the top and bottom of the pouch. Pinch the cylinder together at the bottom using these marker lines as a guide as shown below. Remove the backing from the tape and seal together.

Half fill the pouch with sweets and then repeat the step above with the top edge of the pouch. You should have something like this below. You may wish to trim along the top and bottom edges to neaten up. 
I do hope you enjoy this free download and have fun making them. Like I say they are a bit tricky and I'm sure how well I've explained the process but hopefully the pictures will help! To open, I just tear along the top.
Take care
Hugs, Suz x

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Chocolate Marshmallows & Chocolate Bananas

Good Morning!
Today I have another tutorial for you to show you how to make chocolate covered marshmallows and bananas. It's a really easy tutorial and a great one to do with the children.
OK, so the list of ingredients you'll need: a bag of marshmallows, chocolate (I prefer using supermarket value chocolate rather than cooking chocolate), sprinkles, banana, cake pop sticks (or you could use kabab skewers) and lollipop sticks. I also used my cake pop stand and the end of some polystyrene packaging to stand the finished articles in to set.
First thing is to melt the chocolate.
The best way to do this is in a glass bowl over a pan of hot water. I'm sure you're all familiar with this technique. I used my microwave but you need to be careful and hot heat in 10 second bursts as the chocolate will burn otherwise.
For the marshmallows you can simply push the cake pop sticks into the bottom. They are pretty sticky on the inside and this holds the sticks in place well. I'll talk you through the banana pops later.
Now you can start dipping your marshmallows. You can just dip the tops or you can cover them entirely in chocolate - it's really up to you (or the kids!).

Before adding sprinkles, it's best to allow the chocolate to set a little to avoid them running off. After a few minutes, add your chosen sprinkles.
You could also use writing icing to decorate once the chocolate has set completely.
Now to the bananas. I used cake pop sticks but these didn't work very well. I have made chocolate bananas before and used lollipop sticks which worked much better. So my top tip - if you can, have a trial run before your party so you can identify any problems beforehand - you'll have enough to think about on the day of the party!
So firstly, dip the lollipop stick into the chocolate and then push into the bottom of the banana. Allow the chocolate to set.
Once set you can carefully dip the bananas. I strongly advise you to cover the entire banana or it will start to go brown very quickly. Another couple of tips here - add a teaspoon of oil to the chocolate before dipping - it will make the chocolate easier to work with and will coat the bananas more evenly. Second, make sure you have plenty of chocolate so it's nice a deep and you can submerge the banana entirely and coat in one go. Do be careful as the bananas are very slippery and may slide off the stick. Once coated, hold the banana over the bowl and gently twirl the stick. This will help to avoid drips and give a smooth finish. You can now add sprinkles if you wish in the same way as you did the marshmallows and allow to set completely before serving.
And finally.... Enjoy!!
I hope you have found this tutorial helpful. Please feel free to contact me with any other tips or ideas you may have (
Take Care
Suz x

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

How To Make Paper Flowers

Good evening. I hope this post finds you all well.

Today, I have a step by step tutorial on making paper flowers which can be used to decorate your party table, your home or given as a gift. It uses origami techniques and is fairly simple to do. If you use your search engine and look for "origami flowers" you'll find lots of pages with different types of flowers but I really like this variety.
You can make these flowers different sizes. I've made two sizes which use 3 inch and 4 inch squares of paper. I used plain colours for these flowers but patterned paper would look lovely too. So to start, cut your paper into the size of squares you want to use. You will need 5 for each flower (I used 6 on one of the smaller flowers).
Next fold the square in half diagonally.
Now fold the corners up to the centre. Do this on both sides.

 Ok, so all very simple so far. Now you need to fold these flaps down so that the edges line up.

Now this next bit is a little bit trickier. You need to open up the flaps slightly and flatten them out.

Ok, hopefully you got that bit. Your paper should now look like the one above. The next step is to fold down those little triangle flaps at the top of your flower.

My personal preference at this stage is to reverse these flaps and fold them inwards but you don't have to. I'll show what it looks like if you do though.
Ok, so next you need to use the little fold line on each side and fold in the edges as shown.

Still with me? The next bit is to make this folded paper into a petal. I started using a glue stick which works quite well but you need to hold the petal until the glues dries. You could also use PVA glue but only use a small amount and again hold until it dries. If  you have a glue gun this is the easiest and quickest option. Before glueing together, I like to fold the petal into shape as I find it makes it easier to handle once glue is applied.

Apply glue onto one side of the petal, and then fold each side together and hold until glue is set.

And that's your first petal made. Now you need to do it all over again for the other 4 petals! It does get easier each time and before you know it, you'll be as fast as lightning!
So now you've made all 5 petals you need to assemble them into a flower. Apply a small amount of glue on the inner edge of the petal. My photographer had gone up to her bed so I don't have a photo of this stage but I have marked where to add glue in the photo below.
Carefully place a second petal along this line. You don't want the petals too close on the outer edge, which is why you only need a thin line of glue.

Repeat this step for all 5 five petals to make your flower.
I used buttons as centres for my flowers but you could use gems, beads or pom poms. Apply these with either a glue gun or PVA glue. For stems you could use florist wire or pipe cleaners. The first time I made one of these was at about 10 o'clock at night and the only thing I could find was a garden stick (the kind you use to keep your tomato plants straight) so that's what I used. I decided afterwards that it would make a great footpath marker! I think shorter sticks or wooden kebab skewers would work too as the flowers are really quite heavy. For this bouquet I used florist wire which I secured with the glue gun and then wrapped florist tape around the bottom of the flower to neaten it all up (I secured this with glue too as the tape wouldn't stick to the paper).
I wrapped oasis in tissue paper and pushed it into a clean jam jar to display my bouquet.
And here's the final bouquet. This one is green, brown and yellow as it's going to be used at my son's Jungle birthday party but obviously you can use whatever colours you like.
I hope you find this tutorial useful and if you have a go at making some flowers I'd love to see them - drop me a line at
Good night  (I'm off to snuggle up under a blanket to keep warm, brrrr!!)
Take care
Suz x

Monday, 13 May 2013

Most Everyone's Mad Here!!

Well, I haven't gone completely mad (yet!) but myself and all 3 of the kids have gone a little Alice In Wonderland mad as we are planning a Wonderland Tea Party at the beginning of July. The party is an opportunity to get together with friends, who pretty much all have children so having a theme makes things more interesting. Last year we had a Great British Garden Party!! I'm hosting the party jointly with my best friend who will probably be donating her garden for the party and I of course am taking care of anything printable and lots of other ideas.

There are so many ideas out there for this theme and I'm not surprised as it's really such a great theme and can be done lavishly or simply, in a vintage style, kids style or gothic for teenagers or halloween.

At the moment I'm working on some of the original illustrations by John Tenniel. These will then be incorporated into the printables I'll design. I'm working towards a child friendly vintage style for my party.

We've been making lists of things we can do to carry our theme. Here are a few we've come up with:
Tags saying "drink me" to be tied to bottles and the mini jars I've been collecting
Cakes and cake pops with "eat me" iced onto them
Lots of old vintage style teacups, plates and teapots which we'll gather from charity shops
Some photo props to go with my new photo booth frame (Blog on how to make this will follow in the next week or so)
Playing cards to be used as easy and cheap decorations
A paper mache door (obviously quite small) and key. The kids would like me to make huge paper mache tables and chairs too but I don't think that will happen!
I think the first two ideas on the list are must haves for any Alice party. Add in a few playing cards and you could have a really easy themed party (just add tea!! Whaich is always a must in my book!!).
My eldest daughter has been painting some Alice In Wonderland canvases which we'll use to decorate the marquee.
We are also asking that guests join in with the theme and dress up as a character from Alice in Wonderland. I think a few husbands are already been measured for their Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee costumes!!

As this isn't a birthday (it will most definitely be an un-birthday party!!) and we have invited lots of people we won't be doing any favours for each guest to take away (although the party planner in me will probably have to do something, so I'm thinking teabags wrapped in special Alice wrappers might be good!). I will be making some special favour printables for the set though and also include anything else I think will be useful for different kinds of parties.
So for now I bid you all adieu and I'll get back to work on these pictures. Watch out for more posts on this party in the coming months as the preparations take shape as well as posts on my son's jungle birthday party and a "How to" guide on making a large frame for awesome photos.
If you would like something designed just for you and your party then please just get in touch to discuss your ideas.
Take Care
Suz and the kidywinks xx