DIY Seed Bombs – I’m not sure what the weather’s like where you live but in Victoria spring is definitely in the air. The trees are full with cherry blossoms, the fields are covered in daffodils and tiny tender green leaves are poking out of the bushes. It’s hard not to be in a good mood when you can look outside and see the plant world waking up from a long winter’s sleep. To help ring in this beautiful new season we’ve decided to make seed bombs. Seed bombs are a fun way to add beauty to hard to reach and neglected green space. This is a great project for kids and is super easy to do. Noelle and I made them in about half an hour and then it took about 48 hours for them to completely dry. We have a steep and difficult to navigate hill in our back yard that we’ll be bombing with our seed bombs this weekend.
Seeds – a collection of seeds of your choice – we used mostly wildflowers but added in some extra seeds as well (note: the larger seeds don’t always stay in your seed bomb easily so use smaller seeds if possible – I used some sunflower, nasturtium and sweet pea seeds that were pretty big and I had to work hard to keep them in the seed bomb)
Colored paper torn into pieces – 2-3 pages (I used 3 pages of paper; red, orange and pink)
Newspaper torn into pieces – 2-3 pages
Silicone mold – if you don’t have a mold you can also just form into balls with your hands
2 cups of water
After you’ve torn up all your paper, put the pieces into the blender.
Add 2 cups of water to blender and blend everything until pulverized.
Place a strainer over a small bowl and pour the entire contents from the blender into the strainer. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes so the water can drain out of the pulp.
Scoop a handful of paper pulp out of the strainer and add a small spoonful of seeds to your pulp.
Gently mix up the pulp and seeds and squeeze out any excess water over a bowl until the seed bomb is fairly compact.
Press the mixture into a mold, squeezing out any excess water and draining it from the mold. Continue until you’ve used up all the pulp.
Finally, using a paper towel, press down on each seed bomb to soak up any left over moisture in the seed bomb – we want to remove as much water as possible to prevent the seeds from germinating.
Allow seed bombs to dry for 24-48 hours and then gently remove from mold.
Easy Rainbow Loom Perler Bead Bracelet Video Tutorial
Easy Rainbow Loom Bracelet with Perler Beads Video Tutorial – I’m so excited about this post. This is my first ever Dabblesandbabbles.com video tutorial. I’ve been wanting to do a video tutorial for a while now but I was waiting for the perfect project – I think I found it. This video tutorial is on how to make rainbow loom bracelets with perler beads. I have no idea if this has already been done before or not but I thought I’d give it a go. I played around with the elastics and beads until I found something that worked. These bracelets are very easy to make and great for beginners to the rainbow loom.
To get going on this project you’ll need a rainbow loom (and hook), rainbow loom elastics, and perler beads. All of these items can be found at Michaels. Once you get the hang of it, you can make these fun bracelets in about half an hour. Give them to your friends, family, teachers, and coaches – they’ll be a big hit!
Easy 3 Strand Crochet Headband – Over the Christmas holidays my daughter Noelle was generously showered with lovely gifts, including some great new outfits.
What does a girl with new outfits need… chic accessories of course? I created this three-strand headband pattern and I’m quite pleased with how easy it was and how well it turned out. It can be made by anyone with a minimal understanding of basic crochet stitches.
This fun crochet headband can be made in under 15 minutes and uses very little yarn making it a great scrap buster crochet pattern.
3 Strand Crochet Headband Pattern
3 colors of yarn (or you could do all the same color if you’d like) – I used a mix of yarns: Redheart Soft in white, Caron Simply Soft in light and dark purple.
Crochet Hook – US I9/5.5 mm.
Ch = chain, sl st = slip stitch (U.S.)
Measure the head of the person you are making the headband for.
Leaving at least a 6″ tail of yarn, using the chain stitch, make a chain 3″ less than your desired length. Keep your tension consistent along the entire chain – medium to firm tension.
Now add in your new color, making sure to leave at least a 6″ tail of yarn (if you aren’t sure how to add in a new yarn color into your stitches please watch this great video tutorial here – the video shows how to change colors using a single crochet stitch but the concept is the exactly the same for the chain stitch). Once you change to your new color, cut off you end of yarn from the first chain you made so that there is at least a 6″ tail.
Chain the new colour until it’s the same length as the first ( to check, grab the end where the 2 colors were joined, hold the cut ends and fold the second color over so that the 2 chains are now side by side).
When the 2 chains are the same length, connect them by making a slip stitch into the last stitch of the first chain.
Add in the third chain color by following steps 3 – 5.
Trim the final color yarn end so that there is at least a 6″ tail.
Take the 3 loose cut ends and braid them together and then tie off with a knot on the end. Repeat again on the other end.
Tutorial on how to make a photo into a vector silhouette image.
How to Make Vector Silhouettes from a Photo – Silhouettes are always a nice touch in any composition and they’re actually really easy to create from a photo. To clarify for everyone, vector images are images that will scale to any size without losing their sharpness and clarity – some people refer to them as clipart. Make sure that you choose a photo that doesn’t have a busy background and has a significant contrast between the item you want to convert into a silhouette and the background behind it. I’m using this tranquil heron photo I took this summer on a foggy day at the beach. I use this trick often in my work as a graphic designer and thought this would be a great design tip to share.
This tutorial requires a high resolution photo, photo editing software (I use Photoshop CS6) and Adobe Illustrator (CS6).
Open your selected photo into Photoshop or some sort of photo editing software. Our goal is to make the photo have as much contrast as possible without totally distorting the image. There are a few different ways to accomplish this task and I’ll show you two different methods. Feel free to use what you’re comfortable with.
METHOD 1: Go to IMAGE > ADJUSTMENTS > LEVELS. Grab the tiny triangular input sliders and slide them around until you have a very light background and a dark image that will become the silhouette. Generally that means that you’ll move the sliders on the left slightly towards the right, the middle slider will go very slightly to the left and the right slider will move in to the left quite a bit. You’ll have to eyeball this a bit and see what looks best. The goal here is to make the background as light as possible without washing out any black while making the dark areas darker.
METHOD 2: Go to IMAGE > ADJUSTMENTS > BRIGHTNESS/CONTRAST. Move both sliders to the right until you achieve your desired outcome (high contrast without washing out the image you want to become the silhouette).
Once you’re satisfied with the colour settings, crop your page to select the part of the image you want for your design. Save your image.
Open Illustrator and open your photo. Select your photo using the SELECTION tool (black arrow) and you’ll notice that in the properties bar at the top, a LIVE TRACE button will appear (or IMAGE TRACE depending on which version of Illustrator you have). Click on the LIVE TRACE or IMAGE TRACE button. (If you’re not super happy with the results, you can click on the white arrow to the left of the IMAGE TRACE button and play around with the various settings – I find the Black and White Logo setting can work well too). Once you’ve clicked the LIVE TRACE or IMAGE TRACE button you’ll notice that it now says EXPAND. With your image still selected, click on the EXPAND button.
With the image selected, right click your mouse and toggle down to UNGROUP and click on it. Now, click on a white area of the drawing so that it’s selected and then go to SELECT > SAME > FILL COLOUR and all the white in your image will be selected, hit the DELETE button. Your goal here is to get rid of all the white sections of your image.
Select all the black items on the canvas, right click your mouse and toggle down and click on group. Now your sketch is all grouped together. (Don’t bother with this step if you’d like to move the various elements of the image around on the page or modify them individually).
At this point you can get creative, add colour and use the vector on top of backgrounds, photos, etc. Use your silhouette to create or enhance your very own work or art.
I created this printable page for the tutorial and you’re welcome to download and print it. Download here.