Spring and Mother's Day are just around the corner and these paper flowers make a great spring decoration or a centerpiece for your Mother's Day brunch. The great thing about these bouquets is that they last longer than live flowers and since you will probably have most of the supplies around your house, they will be cheaper too! If you don't have the supplies at home I will provide a supply list for the Dollar Tree and Amazon, so you can choose where you want to shop.

You can make paper flowers out of just about any paper you, different patterns and colors allow for variety in your bouquet.  The bouquet pictured above has a few types different paper flowers in it, some that are folded Origami and the ones we will learn how to make in this tutorial.

As I was researching online, I found many tutorials on how to make the bloom of the flowers but no one included how to attach a stem. This tutorial includes both parts of the flower, the paper bloom and a wire stem.

Amazon Supplies:

Dollar Tree Supplies:

Creating the bloom:

Step One: Choose your paper

Step Two: Cut circles of varying sizes out of your paper.

Step Three: Cut a spiral from the outside of your circle to the center leaving an area in the center for the base of the flower.

Step Four: Roll your flower from the skinny outside point to the center, starting your roll around a very small dowel or bamboo skewer.

Step Five: Once you have your paper flower rolled to the center, let the flower expand to the desired size. After you have your desired size, place a circle of hot glue on the base of the flower and press the center into the hot glue to hold it in place.

Adding a stem to your paper flowers:

Step One: Cut your desired length of crafting wire (cut them longer than you think you need so you can trim to adjust the height of your flowers as you arrange them in your vase)

Step Two: Roll one end into a tight spiral

Step Three: Bend spiral to a 90 degree angle

Step Four: Place a circle of hot glue on the base of your flower

Step Five: Press the spiral into the hot glue and then place more hot glue over the top

Step Six: Hold until dry

To arrange my paper flowers I filled a small vase with glass marbles and then inserted my wires stems into the glass marbles, moving them around until I created the desired arrangement.

For more tutorials and inspirational encouragement visit www.bethericksondeisgns.com.

Painting SuppliesPaper Crafts Supplies

Drawing Supplies

I am in love with coffee mugs! Okay, not as much as I am in love with my hubby. I love handmade mugs, ones with eye catching designs or ones that remind me of places I have been. Mugs I was given as gifts and others that I have just always had. I have also been known to share my love of mugs with those around me. I think they make perfect gifts and all the better when they contain a cake mix intended to be baked in that very mug.

Everyone uses mugs, from soup to coffee or tea. They are part of everyday life. I have never been in a kitchen, office, apartment, or dorm room that didn't have a mug! This makes the idea of mugs as a gift perfect for almost anyone! You can make them gluten free, sugar free and low-fat, if needed. They are cost effective and simple to put together.

I rely on mug cakes when I want a one-serving sweet dessert with no left-overs. So, why not make it into a simple gift idea that works for almost anyone. In this weeks tutorial I will outline the supplies and steps needed to complete this wonderful gift idea.

Supplies:
• Microwave safe mug of choice
• A mini wooden spoon or wire whisk (optional)
• Clear/patterned cellophane treat bag
• Ribbon/twine/string
• Scissors & hole punch
• Recipe ingredients (listed below)
• Color printer (For FREE gift tag download as seen below click on the recipe name)

Step One: Purchase the perfect mug for the recipient (You can purchase some beautiful hand-painted mugs on Etsy, one of my favorite shops is www.etsy.com/shop/MaryElizabethArts, her mugs are microwave safe and I love her designs. I don't own any of her mugs yet, but I am certain they would be a good purchase.)

Step Two: Combine the dry ingredients only in a bowl, mix well and place in the cellophane bag. Here are a few recipes:

Chocolate Crazy Cake in a Mug (CLICK for download)
(This recipe does not call for eggs, milk or butter.)

(Combine these ingredients in the cellophane bag)
5 Tablespoons flour (all-purpose)
4 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cocoa (unsweetened)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Dash of salt

(These ingredients are on the FREE download)
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons vegetable oil (or canola)
4 1/2 Tablespoons water

Spray the inside of the mug with non-stick cooking spray. Put the cake mix in the mug, mix well. After mixing well, make 3 depressions in dry ingredients. Pour vinegar in one depression, vanilla in the other and the vegetable oil in third depression. Pour water over top. Mix well until smooth using a fork.  Place in microwave and cook on high for 1-2 minutes, uncovered. Check with toothpick to make sure it comes out clean. Be sure not to over cook.

Chocolate Chip Mug Cake (CLICK for download)
(Combine these ingredients in the cellophane bag)
• 4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 2 Tablespoons brown sugar (lightly packed)
• 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 2 Tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips

(These ingredients are on the FREE download)
• 3 Tablespoons low fat milk
• 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/2 Tablespoon vegetable oil

Spray inside of mug with non-stick cooking spray. Then, put cake mix in the mug.  Stir in wet ingredients. Use an 8 oz. mug and it should just reach the top when finished cooking. Mix with a small, sturdy whisk until a smooth batter forms and no lumps remain.
Stir in the chocolate chips. Cook in microwave for about 1 minute. Let cool a few minutes before eating.

Step three: Close the cellophane bag with your choice of ribbon, twine or string. (I have put some tissue paper in the bottom of my mug to make it look full.)

Step four: Print and trim the mug cake tag, punch a hole in the top, attach to the mug with ribbon, string or twine. Also tie the mini wooden spoon or whisk the the handle of the mug.

That's all it takes, 4 easy steps and your Mug Love gift is ready for the recipient.

Visit my Etsy store www.bethannerickson.etsy.com to find other ideas for Mother's Day.

Bonus Idea:
Mugs can be used to hold more than just mini cakes! Fill your cellophane treat bag with anything from their favorite tea, instant soup & crackers, candy or hot chocolate mix. Then make your own gift tag on the blank tag included in the free download and your personalized gift is ready to go!

Coming Next Week: A Review on my cold brew coffee filter, using if for coffee and tea!

Happy Wednesday! This week I want to share with you how to create your own mason jar gift basket! Gift giving is an art and to give the perfect gift you must think about the person you are giving it to and what they might enjoy. What could be more perfect than filling a mason jar with gifts chosen just for that person.

In the following tutorial I will give you a few ideas on how to create a mason jar gift basket. But the sky is the limit, well actually the size of the mason jar would be the limit, have fun and think outside the box, or should I say jar.

Step One: Purchase your mason jar in any size you would like to fill. Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and Wal-Mart, among many other stores, are good places to find these. If you are like me you already have dozens around your house.

Step Two: Visit www.bethannerickson.etsy.com to purchase a pre-designed mason jar wrap. The wraps are instant downloads that you print at home and then wrap around the outside of the mason jar to help set the tone of your gift.

Step Three: Trim the print to the correct size, tape one end to your mason jar and wrap around until it meets the other end and tape together to hold in place. (At the time of writing this tutorial our mason jar wraps did not fit around the quart size jars, we have now added a 14 inch file to all the listings on Etsy, but you will need a printer that can print on larger paper than 8.5x11 to be able to use them.)

Step Four: Fill your mason jar with the appropriate gifts for the recipient.

Examples :

Pedicure Kit: Nail polish (1-3 bottles), nail clippers, nail file, toe separators and any other nail care items you think they might enjoy.

Shaving Kit (Men): Small bottle of shaving cream, new razor and blades, small bottle of aftershave and any other useful shaving items.

Movie Night (Men and Women): Candy, popcorn, popcorn seasoning shaker, gift card to purchase a new movie.

Coffee Lover (Cold Brew Set): Cold brew Mason jar kit (Can be purchased at www.etsy.com/shop/CoffeeSockCo. A special thanks goes out to CoffeeShock Co. for offering to send me a ColdBrew filter to try out. As soon as I receive it I will post a blog about how it works and pictures of a completed Coffee Lover Gift Set.), coarse ground coffee, mini bottles of coffee syrups or simple syrups. (There are various recipes online for making your own simple syrup coffee flavors. They are also sold on Etsy.)

Tea Lover: Nut bag Tea Filter (for sun tea), Loose leaf tea, tea bags, instructions for making sun tea (www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/sun_tea), honey sticks (Can be purchased on Etsy or other local retailers.)

Date Night: movie tickets, restaurant gift card, pre-Movie date activities (search online and write them on colorful pieces of paper).

Artist: Mini Colored Pencils, mini sketch pad, small tubes of watercolor paints, watercolor pencils, watercolor brushes

There are so many more ideas; I could go on and on. I am sure you can come up with your own unique ideas. The key to the art of giving: It’s all about the recipient! Who are they? What are their hobbies? What do they enjoy? Focus on them and your gift will turn out perfect.

Thank you so much for reading our tutorial and don't forget to sign up to receive the blog in your inbox each week and we will send your a discount code good at our Etsy shop. Visit www.bethericksondesigns.com//beth-ann-erickson-designs to sign up!

BONUS IDEA:

Another wonderful use for mason jars to save money for special trips and/or purchases as shown in the example here of our Road Trip Fund Jar.

Coming Next Week: Mug Love: Mug Cakes as Gifts & more (WITH A FREE DOWNLOAD).

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