Posts Tagged ‘easy’

Mug favour title

Gosh, Thursday already?! Which means it’s time for another Polka Dot Bride tutorial.

Find out how to design your own illustrated mugs to use as inexpensive wedding favours or gifts.


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Loyalty cards before

After yet another trip to Mitre 10 and not being able to find my customer discount card, I decided it was time to organise our loyalty cards once and for all.

A little while ago I had the genius (ahem) idea to punch holes in the corners and loop together on a split ring…. until I realised that it would render useless all the cards with magnetic strips.

Loyalty card book

So in a more predictable (and happily not completely counter-productive) approach, I picked up this cute stripey business card holder on sale at Target (no, this isn’t a sponsored post, I really do shop there!).

We still keep the frequently used cards in our wallets, but this is great to keep together all the rarely-used items such as interstate public transport cards and library cards.

Loyalty card book

I tucked it in the gift card storage box on the side of the fridge so all of our penny-pinching resources are together.

Do you keep all your loyalty cards on you at all times or just the frequently used ones?

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jewellery box

Well, this turns out not to be much of a ‘before & after’ since the before photo file was corrupted (grr!), but you can see a peek in the corner of this pic.

I took my childhood jewellery box (a sixth birthday gift from my late grandparents) and gave it a few coats of paint and varnish to give it a fresh look. The aqua paint ties into my new throw rug and was already on hand, making it a free project (gotta love that).

Sure, it may still have a ballerina inside, but at least it looks a bit more grown up on the outside.

Have you got any decor items from your childhood that you’ve given new life?

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Easy lemon curd meringues

The Man and I don’t do Valentine’s Day, but it is a good excuse to have a nicer than usual dinner at home and even indulge in dessert.

Being mid-week though, it needs to be simple, plus it’s really hot this week here so a no-cook dessert is definitely the way to go.

I bought these pre-made mini pavlova nests and filled with lemon curd (I had a homemade batch in the fridge – what, don’t you? – but you can buy it from gourmet supermarkets) then topped with blueberries.

Ready in two minutes flat, it’s the perfect dessert for V-Day tonight or for any summer dinner party where you’re short on time.

Whatever your plans, I hope you have a lovely night!

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green tea ice cream

Keen to get back into socialising after our time away from home, The Man and I invited some friends over for dinner on the weekend. The couple is mad about anything Japanese so it’s become a bit of a tradition to have themed dinner parties.

I’m generally a fairly confident cook but Japanese is definitely a gap in my culinary expertise, so it’s always a fun challenge trying new things. This time, I wanted to concentrate on the main course (I was cooking tuna for the first time) and just have a simple summer dessert.

I used some green tea ice cream from the local Asian grocer, topped with crushed ginger nut biscuits and served with sesame snaps (and sake, naturally). The combination of flavours and textures worked really well. (Although I have to admit to being more excited about using my new Anthropologie bowls than the actual dessert!)

Do you have any store-bought desserts that you tizz up to present to guests?

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As you know, I run my stationery business from home. With it comes a whole bunch of packaging and shipping supplies which I keep in one side of the buffet cabinet in my office. The shipping gear on the bottom shelf was working quite well, but the packaging on the top shelf? Not so much.

On more than one occasion I had ordered more cellophane bags, thinking that I’d run out, then finding I had them all along but they were buried. Or worse, I had gone to start packaging up some products in their cellophane bags, only to find I had actually run out.

packaging storage before packaging storage after

After a quick trip to Ikea, I added a couple of the Rationell Variera shelf inserts and my cello bags, labels and note card boxes are now divided up so I can easy see and access everything.

Only a quick and cheap hack, but anything that saves me time searching for things and makes my business run that bit smoother gets a huge tick in my book.

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Akimbo painted jar centrepiece

One last post to squeeze in before the long weekend. Head over to Polka Dot Bride to see how to make these recycled jar vases, the perfect budget-friendly centrepiece for weddings… or perhaps a last-minute Easter brunch? You never know, you might even have all you need already on hand like I did.

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Paint chips before

Do you come back from the hardware store with fistfuls of colour chips every time you embark on a new painting project, even though you know you’ve probably got half of them at home already? By any chance does it have something to do with the fact that they’re all in a big jumbled mess like mine were?

Paint chips after

I grabbed some hinged rings and a hole punch and ten minutes later, voila! Paint chips all sorted into their colours and brands so next time it will be easier to flip through to select. Bonus points


foiled lined paint tray

Painting’s not so bad, it’s the clean-up that’s annoying, right? Well, not any more if you use this nifty trick of lining your paint roller tray with alfoil.

See this and other clever painting hacks at Martha Stewart.

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Atypical Type A - Cake bunting 1

I have a super quick and easy project to take a regular cake and make it suitable for a special occasion (in this case my mother in law’s birthday). You might even have everything you need on hand already.

Atypical Type A - Cake bunting materials

You will need:

  • Coloured paper cut into strips
  • Wooden skewers
  • Sticky tape
  • Scissors

Atypical Type A - Cake bunting tutorial 1

1. Fold your paper in an accordion style.

2. Cut about three-quarters up the bottom of the accordion, making the cuts close together.

Atypical Type A - Cake bunting tutorial 2

3. Unfold the paper.

4. Tape one end of the paper to the blunt end of the skewer. If you are making bunting, repeat on other end of the paper and you’re done. If making starbursts, continue on to the next step.

Atypical Type A - Cake bunting tutorial 3

5. Roll up the rest of the paper strip and secure with sticky tape.

6. Tease out the paper ‘fronds’ until you get a nice full shape.

Atypical Type A - Cake bunting 2

Oh, and the cake itself? Best. Cake. Ever.

I used this recipe for hummingbird cake with cream cheese icing. Many commenters noted that it produced an enormous amount of icing. I chose to ignore their advice of reducing it because I believe there is no such thing as too much cream cheese icing. Turns out they were right, but that was easily fixed by making a quick batch of cupcakes to send off to The Man’s work.

Akimbo birthday sale

Check out examples of my work or drop me a line to enquire or place your order.

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A collection of pretty meets practical ideas to inspire a happier home

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