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4 Simple DIY Wreath Ideas For Spring

Hey there! It is officially Spring, in fact I just celebrated my birthday last Thursday on the first day of Spring so that’s one date I never forget. I love this time of year (you too???), but it’s not very warm yet where I live so I’m at home a lot doing some low key stuff and planning for my balcony and wintergarten spruce-up which will take place sometime in April. I can’t wait because nothing feels better than evenings out on the balcony with some Rosé and a friend! Am I right or am I right girls?

SO! Today I want to show you some simple and cute wreaths for Spring that I made before my birthday. I’ll admit right now that I’m not the Martha Stewart of wreaths in any sense (oh hell no), but I bet a lot of you are which means that you can use my ideas as sort of a template or springboard to make your own, way cooler, versions.

My wreaths are super simple and cute and can be done in under 30 minutes. That means you can make a few while you Netflix. Also, you can even make them with your children, because they are totally easy enough for a child to make. Yeah, yeah, I know that doesn’t say much for my crafting competence, but whatever (ha ha). Let’s get started.

4 Unusual DIY Wreath Ideas For Spring

THE CRAZY BOHO

RECIPE:

  • 1 gold hoop from the craft store (mine is from Sostrene Grene)

  • off-white yarn

  • scissors (duh)

  • leather string in natural

  • some beads in natural, dark gray and white (mine are from Sostrene Grene)

  • nylon transparent cord (the kind you use for making necklaces)

  • 3 white paper ferns (from my DEPOT collection, or make your own by tracing a fern with pencil and cut it out carefully)

TO MAKE:

Make a pattern on the hoop using your yarn, in anyway you like! Do your thing! Then, add some leather cord with beads on it. You can add more than one cord, again, be creative. On the bottom, hang your ferns in different lengths using nylon cord. Could this be any easier?

4 Unusual DIY Wreath Ideas For Spring

THE GARDEN PARTY

RECIPE:

  • Metal hoop, just the cheapest because you cover it anyway

  • grosgrain ribbon (looks fancy)

  • butterfly from craft store (or anything you want to use here to “embellish”

  • dried flowers

  • wire (that bends easily, is easy to work with using bare hands)

  • wire cutters (please don’t use your scissors)

  • scissors

  • Dried flowers (I’ve used baby’s breath that was dyed first in rainbow colors)

TO MAKE:

Starting at the where you determine the bottom to be, wrap the hoop with ribbon all the way to the top and tie. Then wrap the other side and tie at the top. On the bottom, use wire and create small bouquets of dried flowers in your hand, wrap them with wire, then wire them onto the hoop, slightly layering one “bouquet” over the other. Add three long ribbons to drape, and a butterfly. That’s it.

4 Simple DIY Wreath Ideas For Spring

THE SWEETIE

RECIPE:

  • Ribbons you love, a good mix

  • Fabrics, cotton (thin) that tear easily

  • Scissors

  • leather cord

  • beads

  • Hoop (something cheap, doesn’t have to be pretty, you will cover it anyway)

  • small piece of slim white yarn

TO MAKE:

This is the most time-consuming out of the 4 wreaths in this post, but it still only took me exactly 30 minutes and a few “F” bombs because the stupid ribbon and wrapping it… well it’s kinda a pain until you get the hang of it and sometimes I’m not that patient. OK. First, wrap ribbon around the hoop, I’ve used satin and found it really easy to wrap. Once the wrapping is finished, determine the length of the fabrics and ribbons. You may need to hold the hoop where you plan to hang it because the furniture around it may determine the length for you. Regardless, once you have an idea of how long you’d like them to hang, start cutting and securing to the hoop. Then, add some leather cords - place some beads on them, and tie at the end in a double knot so the beads don’t slip off (sorry, this is sooooo common sense here, but you know, there is always someone…. ha ha). Next, tie a loop of white yard at the top and hang on a nail. DONE.

4 Unusual DIY Wreath Ideas For Spring

THE MINIMALIST

RECIPE:

  • nylon transparent cord (the kind you use for making necklaces)

  • grosgrain ribbon in a color you love

  • 2 white paper ferns (from my DEPOT collection, or make your own by tracing a fern with pencil and cut it out carefully)

  • matte gold hoop (silver looks cheap)

  • scissors

  • hot glue + gun

TO MAKE:

  • Apply the two ferns with hot glue, layering them slightly

  • Add ribbon to the top

  • hang from the ceiling on nylon transparent cord so that it moves around a little, which can be strangely pretty and calming

If you try these out, show me on Instagram by using hashtag #MYDECOR8 - I’d love to see how you’ve used my recipes above in your own unique way. Also want to note that my lovely friend Gabi from Mooi Moin in Hannover helped me with the Minimalist wreath shown above, that’s her modeling for me!

Lots of love to you all, and happy Spring to you!

Holly

(Photography: HOLLY BECKER)

Cupcake Cases DIY: Wall Decoration For Christmas

I love trying fun new ways to decorate for every season, and in winter there are so many options for the holidays and also because you are indoors more during the cooler months. I don't know about you, but being inside more puts my focus on how my home is looking. I start to notice the curtains that no longer look so good or the boring tabletop arrangement, or that I really should water my plants more regularly! Today, I want to show you a really fun and clever little craft idea for your holiday decor that will take you maybe 10 minutes or less!

My friend  Pamuk  shown above.

My friend Pamuk shown above.

This idea can be found in the Scandinavian-inspired decorating story in, Decorate For a Party, and it can be made with cupcake cases or small candy cases in any color or pattern. To keep it very simple, we went with white. You can use white ones and paint the rims in metallic gold if you like, or inside of each case, place a colored dot, or a circular photo of a family member (like your kids). I like too from Meri Meri - they'd be perfect for this project if you want a more traditional, festive look in red and white. 

Here are a few simple instructions on how to make this easy little tree for your wall.

DIY CUPCAKE CASES WALL DECORATION

Tools: You will need approximately 34 cupcake cases, double-sided tape, 1 long dark string, washi tape for the star.

STEP ONE: Start with the top case and stick to the wall using double-sided tape. Drop a dark string below it using a piece of tape to use as a guide to keep your rows straight as you work. Cupcake cases should go on each side of the string, for instance.

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STEP TWO: Beneath the single top case, you should begin to create rows using double-sided tape, cases and space them evenly from one to the next. I started by using the string in the center and put cupcake cases to the left and then to the right, of the string, to keep them neat and even.

To create rows like mine, here is the recipe: Top case, row 1: 2 cases, row 2: 4 cases, row 3: 6 cases, row 4: 8 cases, row 5: 10 cases.

STEP THREE: Once all of your cases are in place, remove the string you'd used as a guide. Now add your tree base using 3 cases.

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STEP FOUR: Finish with a washi tape star. Cut 4 strips of equal length and hang from the side of the table. Directly above the top case, place the first strip of tape. You will be making a cross shape. Next, place another piece of tape over the first one to create a cross. Next, tape your 3rd piece of tape and place it on a diagonal to create an "X" on top of the cross shape along with the final piece of tape. Now you have your star.

Decorate For a Party , Available in English, German, French and Italian and available where all fine books are sold.

Decorate For a Party, Available in English, German, French and Italian and available where all fine books are sold.

Decorate For a Party is available in GERMAN, FRENCH and ITALIAN and of course in BRITISH ENGLISH and also AMERICAN ENGLISH. It also available in Australia via Murdoch Books and Hardie Grant.

Love,

Holly

(Photos and Text: Holly Becker)

DIY Minimalist Paper Christmas Tree For Small Spaces or Tabletops

If you have a small space or simply want to decorate a tabletop in a new way, then this non-traditional Christmas tree just may be your new favorite DIY project. Not only is it super cute, but I have the DIY "recipe" for you below along with very good news -- it's super cheap to make and looks lovely!

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This tree is just so sweet and I like it because my dear friend Leslie Shewring made it for the Scandinavian-inspired decorating story in our book, Decorate For a Party, and it can be made with paper in any color,  or even a monochromatic theme with the same color or use many colors and turn it into a rainbow tree! You can decorate it as you wish too, perhaps with white twinkle lights, colored lights, ornaments or anything else that catches your eye. You can even make several smaller versions in green and craft a woodland-theme party for a child's birthday - trees are not only for Christmas. Make it your own!

Here are a few simple instructions on how to make this paper fringe tree. This DIY can be found directly in our book in the holiday craft party section, complete with our playlist of songs to put you in a mood that is merry and bright!

DIY PAPER FRINGE TREE

Tools: You will need a hot glue gun, glue sticks, cardboard, black paper, lightweight white paper, black tape, scissors, craft knife.

ROW ONE (left to right)

STEP ONE: Cut the cardboard to your desired triangular tree shape.

STEP TWO: Start about 5cm (2 inches) from the bottom of the tree and cut approximately a 5cm (2 inches) wide strip of white paper to a length just wider than the width of the tree.

STEP THREE: Glue the top edge of the strip of white paper to the cardboard and then trim the width to the angle of the cardboard.

ROW TWO (left to right)

STEP FOUR: Create a fringe along the bottom edge of the white strip of paper you just glued down. Make the cuts about a 1cm (1/2 inch) apart.

STEP FIVE: Repeat with more white strips, making sure to overlap each one over the previous one.

STEP SIX: Finish by adding a black strip of paper to cover the exposed 5cm/2 inches of cardboard along the bottom of the triangle. Use black tape to wrap around the sides of this base, or just wrap the black paper around.

Decorate For a Party , Available in English, German, French and Italian and available where all fine books are sold.

Decorate For a Party, Available in English, German, French and Italian and available where all fine books are sold.

I love Holly and Leslie’s new book. Page by page with new and chic party ideas, all using inexpensive materials. Happy party everyone!
— Paul Lowe, Founder, SWEET PAUL magazine

Decorate For a Party is available in GERMAN, FRENCH and ITALIAN and of course in BRITISH ENGLISH and also AMERICAN ENGLISH. It also available in Australia via Murdoch Books and Hardie Grant.

See you again tomorrow everyone with a little decorating project from my home to share.

Love,

Holly

6 DIY Scandinavian Style Holiday Napkin Ideas

Would you like to learn how to make lovely stamped napkins for your holiday table this season? Well first, hi everyone and a very Happy Friday to you! Today is the 1 Advent and whether you celebrate the holidays or not, no doubt you will entertain this month in some way.

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These patterns are very holiday-neutral I guess you can say, yet if you tie them up with pine or something Christmas-y, they instantly look very much in the Christmas spirit. I love these napkins because Leslie made them for our book, Decorate For a Party, and they can be used for all types of parties, year round.

Imagine stamping them in different colors for a playful birthday party, in pastels for a kids' party, or in white against deep blue linens for a more boho look? The great thing about crafting and making by hand is that the sky is the limit - your creativity can take you where you'd like to go. 

Putting together a party can be overwhelming, especially when you have no idea where to start. Decorate for a Party breaks it down both logistically and visually and helps you decipher your party style. Whether planning a big bash or an intimate gathering, it’s an essential to have on hand for all your upcoming festivities.
— Joy Cho, OH JOY!

Here are a few simple instructions on how to make each napkin that you see above. This DIY can be found directly in our book in the holiday craft party section, complete with our playlist of songs to put you in a mood that is merry and bright!

White Napkins 6 Ways:

ROW ONE (left to right)

1. SINGLE TRIANGLES - We used sticky-backed foam sheets from the craft store for our stamps. Simply cut out your desired shape, then peel back the covering and stick it to another piece of foam that is slightly larger than your stamp shape. We started with a triangle in a random pattern. (Note: You can also stick the foam to wooden blocks or use a potato to cut your shape, but we found the foam worked best for this project.)

2. SQUARES - This is a quick design to execute. Use a small square cut from the foam sheet and repeat.

3. STARS - A soft matte fabric paint is used to create these designs as the paint washes nicely and has a softer feel. Be careful not to use the harder dimensional fabric paints. A star is cut from the foam and repeated. We used a square-edged paintbrush to touch up in a few places.

ROW TWO (left to right)

4. BARS - Create this fun linear design by placing four foam strips together on one stamp.

5. SPOTS - For this design, we’ve used a round sponge stamp from the craft store.

6. DOUBLE TRIANGLES - We created two stamps and each had two different triangle foam shapes. Don’t be afraid to touch up your design with a small square-edged paintbrush to sharpen some of the edges of the design when necessary.

NOTE: For some of these patterns, you can make them more holiday-themed by altering the designs just a little bit. For instance, the triangles could be stacked to look like Christmas trees by stacking 3 on top of each other from example 1. The spots, example 5, could be stacked in threes to form a snowman. You can also mix and match prints. The bars and spots together could be created to read Ho Ho Ho.

Decorate For a Party , Available in English, German, French and Italian and available where all fine books are sold.

Decorate For a Party, Available in English, German, French and Italian and available where all fine books are sold.

Decorate For a Party is available in GERMAN, FRENCH and ITALIAN and of course in BRITISH ENGLISH and also AMERICAN ENGLISH. It also available in Australia via Murdoch Books and Hardie Grant.

Have a lovely weekend everyone, I wish you a wonderful start to December!

Love,

Holly

Make, ObjectsHolly BeckerComment
How To Make Infused Sugars: Chai, Vanilla + Lavender
Rachel-Korinek-Flavoured-Sugar-135.jpg

Hello everyone and happy September! I hope you all had a wonderful summer full of lots of fun memories. Every year my husbands family has a huge baking weekend to make Christmas cookies, (which isn’t until December obviously), but we have started to make our own vanilla sugar months in advance to ensure it is well infused for our favorite vanilla crescent cookies. (My husbands family background is Czech so I am sure there are a few of your out there who make Vanilkové Rohlíčky over the holidays!). Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

So it is time, and we have made a big batch of vanilla sugar for the holidays. We also whipped up a batch of chai infused sugar and lavender sugar to add to our favorite baked goods over the coming months. They make for wonderful DIY gifts if that is your thing. Those foodies in your life are sure to appreciative!

Each recipe makes a cup of sugar, and you can either make a big batch now and store it for a couple of months then divide into little jars for gifts closer to the gift giving season. Or add straight into the jars you intend to give. (Which ever you have space for storing I guess!). Any of the recipes can be divided up once the flavors have been added. If you intend to split up the vanilla sugar, just divide the bean up into 3 parts and add the seeds and pod to the sugar. I would stick to 3 small jars for each bean so as to get maximum infusion!

You can totally eat the lavender buds, but I would remove the chai spices before adding the sugar to any treats. I like to keep the chai spices mostly whole so they are easy to remove before using. You can however use a mortar and pestle to break the spices up if you wish. Time to start collecting jars!

Chai Sugar Ingredients 1 cinnamon stick ¼ teaspoon whole cloves 4 teaspoons cardamom pods 4 whole star anise 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1 cup granulated sugar

Directions: Chai Sugar Gently crush or break the cinnamon stick into half. Add the cinnamon pieces, cloves, cardamom pods, star anise and ginger to the sugar. Stir and store in an airtight container for a few weeks. Remove spices before adding to your favorite cookie recipe.

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

Lavender Sugar Ingredients 1 tablespoon culinary lavender 1 cup granulated sugar

Directions: Lavender Sugar Add the lavender to the sugar and stir through. Put into an airtight jar and shake. Store for a couple of weeks up to a couple of months. For finer sugar and lavender buds, you can pulse the mixture in a food processor. Add to your favorite cookie recipe for a floral palate.

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

Vanilla Sugar Ingredients 1 vanilla bean 1 cup granulated sugar

Directions: Vanilla Sugar Slice the vanilla bean lengthways and remove the seeds. Stir the seeds through the sugar. Store in an airtight jar with the vanilla pod for a few weeks or until ready to use. For finer sugar, you can pulse the mixture in a food processor. Add to any baking recipe or holiday cookies (or your coffee or tea!).

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

What’s your favorite infused sugar flavor? - Rachel

TIP FROM HOLLY: These also make for great party gifts for your guests to put near each plate on the table with a little tag with the guest's name on it - they can take it home and it serves as a seating card.

(Photography, Styling, Recipes and Text: Two Loves Studio)

Recipe: Triple Vanilla Ice Cream + Apricot Pie
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Hi everyone! Happy July! For my column this month I am sharing with you an apricot pie with homemade vanilla bean ice cream. Triple vanilla bean ice cream in fact! (It does require an ice cream bowl attachment to your electric mixer, so I hope you have one and if not you’ll be inspired to get one). Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

Apricot pie was my absolute favorite when I was a kid. Nothing else compared. The funny thing was that for me it was a winter dish, we always made it during the cooler months even though apricots aren’t readily available until the summer.

Apricot Pie: Pastry 500g plain, all purpose, flour 250g cold butter, cubed 2 eggs, at room temperature 1 teaspoon salt 5 tablespoons cold water Whisked egg to coat the pastry

Filling 1.5kg tinned apricots, chopped 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean seeds removed. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons corn starch

Fresh raspberries and ice cream to serve

Method Place the flour onto a clean surface and make a well in the centre. Place in the middle the butter, eggs and salt. Using your fingertips mix the butter, eggs and salt together, then slowly draw in small amounts of flour until the mixture resembles a grainy texture. Once mixed, add cold water, two tablespoons at a time, followed by the last tablespoon. Keep mixing the dough until it begins to hold together.

Knead the dough a couple of times until smooth. Roll the pastry into a disk and refrigerate covered for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the fruit into bit sized pieces and place into a large bowl. Add vanilla and cinnamon and mix well.

In a small bowl combine the brown sugar and corn starch until completely mixed. Set aside. By the way, the props were given to me on loan from Robert Gordon Australia.

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and halve. Keep one half in the fridge. Roll out the first half to 2-3cm thickness. Using a greased pie tin, press the pastry into the pie tin, leaving a sufficient amount of overhang. Prick the entire base with a fork and allow to rest in the fridge for 20 mins. Roll out the rest of the pastry to a 2-3cm thickness. Using a pastry cutter, cut lattice pieces to an even size. (If you are not feeling adventurous you can have a solid top case without the lattice work. Just roll out into a disk and set over the top of the pie once filled).

Remove the pie tin from the fridge and sprinkle one third of the brown sugar/corn starch mixture over the base. Add half of the pie filling, followed by another third of the sugar/corn starch mixture. Add the remaining filling then sprinkle the remaining sugar/corn starch mixture over the top. Place the lattice pieces over the filling from top to bottom. Peeling back every second lattice piece, place your lattice pieces from side to side, alternating to get a cross work pattern. Trim the sides of the top and bottom of the pastry with a pastry knife or sharp scissors so the sides are flush with the pie tin. Place the pie in the fridge to settle.

For those of you feeling daunted by pastry, I can totally understand those feelings I had it for many years too. The turning point for me was this pastry recipe, just fool proof every time. The more you work with it, the most you understand it and there becomes a sense of knowing when it feels right.

Cooking should be fun, so if you aren’t game to try the lattice work, that is totally ok. A simple disk on top of the pie with a small hole cut in the middle is absolutely divine too. Simplicity is perfection right?

If you do feel game for trying the lattice work, because it is actually easier than you think, then my advice for first timers is to make 1.5 times the pastry recipe calls for. (I’ve added some notes at the end of the post). This will give you more pastry to play with whilst you roll, cut and figure out what you’re doing. There might be some pastry wastage, but it ensures your pieces for the lattice are even in thickness and size, not only for cooking the crust evenly but also for your own confidence in cutting the lattice work.

TIP: Need some help with how to create the lattice? Check out this video.

Using the left over pieces, roll into a disk the size of the pie tin. Cut thin strips to make the braided boarder, cut about 9-12 strips. Using three strips per braid, pinch the tip of the strips together, then braid. Once you have braided the length, pinch the end together. You’ll need around 3-4 braids.

Baste the pie with egg wash and place on the braided boarder. Coat it as well with egg wash.

Place in the oven at 180 C for 45-60 mins, or until golden brown.

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

Triple Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

 1 1/2 cups milk (full fat) 3 vanilla beans, seeds removed 4 egg yolks 1/2 cup caster sugar 300mls pure cream

Method In a small saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla seeds and bean pods gently over a medium heat. Once bubbles start to appear around the sides, remove and allow to infuse for a further 5 minutes.

In an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is pale and creamy.

Remove the bean pods and add the cream. Gently stir.

Slowly add the milk/cream mixture to the egg mixture and continue to beat until fully combined.

Store the mixture in the fridge for at least 4 hours or until completely chilled.

Using an ice cream mixing attachment and direction/settings for your machine, add the mixture slowly and churn for the requirements of your machine. Remove once mixture has increased in size and is light and fluffy, and allow to freeze in an airtight container overnight.

Once frozen, scoop and serve with the apricot pie.

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

Notes: Make the ice-cream the day before you are to serve it to ensure it has frozen completely unless you have an industrial ice cream machine.

Ice cream recipe makes approximately 1L. Check your machine for instructions and adjust accordingly.

For newbie pie bakers, make it easier on yourself by making 1.5 times the pastry recipe if your attempting the lattice work:

750g plain, all purpose, flour 375g cold butter, cubed 3 eggs, at room temperature 1 1/2 teaspoon salt 8 tablespoons cold water

Rachel Korinek | Two Loves Studio

This month I’ve shared two recipes with you, firstly because pie and ice cream were made for each other, but also as I will be away in August so I won't have a column up for you again until September. See you again end of summer! - Rachel

(Photos, text, recipes: Rachel Korinek)