My first ever DIY blog posts appeared in Sunset magazine’s now defunct blog, homebysunset.com. Because Sunset is no longer hosting these projects, I’m making revised and updated versions available here at Crafty Nest. This post comprises Long-lasting cut flowers, Part 1-2, originally published July & November 2007.

CarnationsPhoto by rangerx/iStockphoto.com

I have a love-hate relationship with cut flowers. I love how beautiful they look and smell the first couple days. Shortly thereafter, love turns to hate. That’s when the wilting and stinking phase kicks in.

Worse, my former roommates never changed the water, and they kept the poor, dying blooms around long past their prime. Inevitably, I faced droopy flowers in mucky, reeking water on the dining table while I ate my morning oatmeal. Not appetizing.

Chrysanthemums in a vase

Then I discovered that some flowers last much longer than others. I received a mixed bouquet for my birthday. Over the next few days, I removed each dead flower and changed the water. Soon, all that was left were a bunch of lavender mums. I checked them day after day, and they continued to look beautiful. After I had them for a month, I took the picture above.

That got me thinking. What other flowers are long lasting?

Tips and photos after the jump. Read more »

Orange fabric flower headbands

Fabric flower headbands

As some of you may recall, I saved last year’s yo-yo crafts for this year’s girls camp. The girls with patience and determination loved making yo yos. For others, hand sewing was a bit arduous. So, I came up with an easier alternative: fabric flower headbands. It was a hit. (I just added pictures of some of the fabulous yo-yo headbands the girls made. Check them out here.)

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

Moss and log centerpieces

My friend Holly and I spent last week making centerpieces for our church women’s conference. What an undertaking! We had 20 round tables, 3 food tables, and 2 registration tables to decorate. Our theme was “In this life I shall have joy,” and the colors were magenta and yellow. I wanted to think beyond standard bouquets, so I searched the web for springtime centerpiece ideas. When I saw these moss centerpieces at The Handiwork Chronicles, I became obsessed with moss.

Two moss centerpieces

We wanted the centerpieces to be as natural and earthy as the inspiration photos, so we used a burlap fabric overlay, logs, and rocks. We added the “joy” flags and bright mums to bring in color. We wanted to use what Moss Mountain calls cupcake moss, also known as pillow moss or cushion moss. But heavy snow storms on the East Coast delayed its availability. So we bought the next best thing: a mixture of cupcake moss and mood moss, also known as bear fur moss, from Patrick’s Floral Studios. Mood moss grows in larger clumps than cupcake moss, but it worked well enough for our purposes.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

Zappo Bz floral paper lanterns

Hi everyone! Bet you thought I fell into a hole somewhere. Nah, just job hunting now that I’m done with school. Anyone want to hire me? :) Anyway, I attended the San Francisco International Gift Fair last Saturday, and I ran across these flower-covered paper lanterns at the zappobz booth. I begged to take a picture so you can see them. I still like my floral paper lantern best, but I thought the bright colors were fun too. By the way, my favorite booth at the fair was roost. Love, love, love their stuff.

DIY paper lanterns — flowers and pom-poms

I planned to make a flower-covered paper lantern for months. Not until I found a white poinsettia garland at a Michael’s after-Christmas clearance did it become a reality. Normally, I’m not a fan of artificial flowers, but I think this is a great way to use them. After making the floral paper lantern, I had some leftover pom-pom fringe, so I festooned the second lantern with pom poms. Now I can’t decide which one I like best. I bought these white 12-inch paper lanterns at Ikea years ago. Raise your hand if you don’t like the cheap white paper lanterns that Ikea and World Market sell these days. Me too. Read more »

Drilled pumpkins

I’ve been dying to try drilling pumpkins for two years, and I finally did it. It’s fun, but after drilling three pumpkins, my hand got tired from holding the drill. But it was worth it. Those daisies are sitting in a jar full of water inside the pumpkin. How, then, did I light the pumpkin, you ask? Glow sticks. Lots of them. Click here for last year’s pumpkin carving ideas. BTW: These would also make a great holiday centerpiece. Read more »

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