How to Make Paper Pinwheels – The Easy Way

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I have been meaning to do a tutorial on these paper pinwheels or medallions, however you prefer to call them, that served as the backdrop for Hazel's sunshine birthday party. When I was figuring out how to make these, I found there are already plenty of pinwheel tutorials out there, but I'm going to give you some shortcuts and tricks that you won't find elsewhere. So if you want to make a bunch of medallions relatively quickly, that are going to look great, actually stick to the wall, and not require precise measuring – read on!

Supplies for Paper Medallions 

  • Colorful scrapbook or wrapping paper (the larger the sheets, the bigger the pinwheels you can make)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Double sided tape
  • Hot glue
  • Stapler
  • Cardboard scraps

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How to Make Paper Medallions (the Easy Way!)

1. First cut a strip of your paper however wide you want it (this will determine the 'radius' of the pinwheel). Somewhere between 5-10 inches wide works well. Just eyeball it. Then use your ruler to start marking off a few folding guides. The wider the paper, the more space you want between the guides. So for a 10 inch wide strip of paper, the folding marks might be 1 inch apart, while a 5 inch wide strip of paper might have marks 1/2 inch apart. You can play around with it.
 
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2. Here's a big shortcut – a lot of tutorials tell you to measure out folding marks along the entire length of the paper and then score them. That takes way too long, and there is no need to be that precise! I just made 4-5 marks and then started folding the paper accordion style (just like you used to do in grade school to make a fan). I used the marks as a guide to start folding and then kept folding the paper back and forth over each other until it looked like this:
 
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You'll notice that the paper isn't lined up perfectly (like it would be if I scored each fold in advance), but that is totally ok!
 
3. Then snip off one end at an angle to make pretty points on the medallion:
 
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It will look like this when you unfold it. Repeat the same process by making two more of these (be sure to cut the same width of paper and make the same sized folds on each of them). 
 
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4. Once you have 3 pieces of accordion folded paper, attach them together using double sided tape. The pinwheel starts to take shape!
 
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5. Another tricky step that the tutorials I read didn't do a great job explaining is how to get the pinwheel to hold together nice and tightly in the middle. I found that stapling a few of the folds together on the backside of the pinwheel did the trick. You'll be covering up the center of the medallion with a circle so the staples will never show:
 
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6. Here's the best trick of all! I owe my husband for coming up with this genius idea for how to create a flat, sturdy surface for the pinwheel to adhere to the wall. As you can see the folds of the pinwheel don't make for a great surface. You could try putting a bunch of masking tape on the back and hope it sticks, but there's a good chance it will fall off the wall at some point during your party.

So what we did was first cut 3 small strips of cardboard and stapled them to the back side of the pinwheel and then folded them over:

 
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We then put a piece of double-sided tape and hot glue on top of each, so we could adhere a bigger piece of cardboard to create a flat hanging surface:
 
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From here you could just put a couple big loops of painters tape or masking tape and hang on the wall! Mine stayed up on the wall for several days before I finally brought myself to take them down. They are so pretty, I think they would make a neat permanent arrangement in a nursery, dining room, office, etc.  If you plan to do something more permanently, you might want to try something more like 3M Command Strips.
 
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7. Finally, on the front of the medallion, I hot-glued a circle of card stock to form the middle:
 
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And that's it!  You can see I purchased a few tissue paper fans to incorporate into the paper ones I made.  I just hot-glued a card stock circle in the middle of those as well:
 
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Post by Haeley : Design Improvised

Monster Grocer: Hoxton Street Monster Supplies

Post by Aimée Lowry & Bettijo B. Hirschi from PagingSupermom.com
Monster Grocer

I was recently browsing Pinterest looking for party favor ideas for my annual Halloween dinner party, and I came across the very clever Hoxton Street Monster Supplies, East London’s premier purveyor of everyday goods for the living, dead and undead. According to their website, they stock a pharmacopoeia of different types of fear, a complete range of edible human preserves and everyday household essentials like Fang Floss and Zombie Mints. Sort of reminds me of this book, which is one of my favorite Halloween picture books.

I wish I could visit their store — but I’m afraid I don’t get to London much (or ever!) I fell quickly in love with the entire, clever concept of it, and if I ever have a monster supply store (you know, because there is such a big market for it), I would do it exactly like this.

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Even cooler, the Monster Supply shop is really just a front for the Ministry of Stories, a volunteer organization (partially funded by sales from the Monster Supplies) that assists young people in writing stories and provides workshops and one-to-one mentoring from adult writers. Neat-o, right?!

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Back to the Monster Supplies… the packaging is totally polished and so clever I could just die! You really have to read the labels; they are so well written and will crack you up. Everything is so completely thought out and perfectly executed. It makes me wish I was a monster and needed some Fang Floss!

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And how cute is this?

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Each year I have a tough time finding the perfect party favors for my Halloween party — I want something that is somehow spooky but still fitting for a more sophisticated event. Most of the traditional Halloween favor ideas are too cutesy or childish.

The first year that I did my now annual All Hallow’s Eve dinner party, we gave out these hard-backed Frankenstein and Dracula books — Barnes and Noble used to sell cloth-bound miniatures of the classics that were the perfect size and price to be a party favor. We have also given the Ghost playing cards, a metal candle snuffer and in more recent years I have opted for making something homemade like the poisonous lip balms from 2009.

So clearly I was giddy to see the Hoxton Street Monster Supplies, which are pretty much a gold mine of classy but frightful party favor ideas. Which Monster Supply is your favorite??

Reposted with permission by Aimée Lowry & Bettijo B. Hirschi from PagingSupermom.com

Meet Mimi Kirchner

Today is the target day for the Land Of Nod Holiday catalogs to arrive in peoples’ homes- So now I can shout out the news!

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A target date means that some people already have them and others not quite yet. Luckily I received a special delivery catalog so I’ve seen my dolls on paper and also at the website.

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As you can see, they are producing a fox couple, a kitty couple and a bunny couple. The dolls are being made in India. At the top of the page is a sweet elephant designed by Hilary and on the left are some fantastic Cotton Monster creatures. I will confess that when I was in Chicago in September, I visited the Land Of Nod offices and the Cotton Monster hedgehogs were the ones I wanted to sneak into my bag and take home!

It is hard to understand the scale from these photos, but they are smaller than the ones I make and sell. Here is a photo I took (a YEAR ago!) when I was working on the prototypes-

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In the course of the project, various bits and pieces changed because of child safety or problems with getting the right materials. The finished foxes have not got scarves, shawls, purses… but, if you wanted to, you could make your own, right?

There are also 4 babies- what I call swaddled babies and they are calling Bundle Babies (Love that name!) The Land Of Nod version has an awake side and an asleep side and is also smaller than my art pieces. Here is a photo of the prototypes (asleep side) they sent me for approval last Spring.

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Here is a link to the catalog pages- limeyelloworangered

If you click over to Wee Wonderfuls, you can read how Hilary went to a Land Of Nod store and was able to see a few things in person. She sent me this photo of the doll and also the tag- how exciting is that!

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It has been a long process- more than a year. This introduction is just one more step in a journey that has been all new to me. I am now going to watch with curiosity, excitement, anticipation, how these babies make their way into the world!

Mimi Kirchner is a Boston-based artist who creates original, one-of-a-kind, handmade dolls.

Four Ingredient Chicken Chili

In a nod to football season, crunchy leaves, and limited time for making dinner now that everyone’s back on a schedule this might be the tastiest and easiest “home-made” chicken chili this side of the canned soup aisle.  The highlights of this soup?  It requires four ingredients.  My three year old ate it.  It’s low-fat. My chicken chili loathing husband had three servings.  It takes about 20 minutes to make it and cook it.  It doubles easily. You can freeze it.  It’s delicious!

Here we go:

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You need:

-1 jar of salsa (I like to use black bean salsa because it has more “stuff” in it, thus giving the soup more flavor and texture–but any you have in your pantry will do.)

-1 can of Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed

-2 cups of cooked chicken (I use left-overs from those rotisserie chickens you get at the grocery story.)

-2 cups of chicken broth (Or more….depending on how thin or thick you like your chili.)

Serves about four people.

Step 1:

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Smash 1/2 of your beans to create a paste.

Step 2:

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 Throw everything in a pot together.

Step 3:

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Let it all simmer together.  It will be ready in as little as fifteen minutes but you can absolutely let it simmer longer if you’d like it to really thicken up.

Step 4:

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Top with sour cream, cheese, and avocado and eat, eat, eat.  I served mine with tortilla chips and corn bread and fall goodness was just oozing out of my kitchen.  I think throwing in some canned corn would be a fantastic addition to this chili as well!

Post by Maggie Terryn : Mom Colored Glasses