AIM DIY: Corked Display Box

From 2014-2016 I chronicled my crafty endeavors on the site Adventures-in-Making. I’ve selected a few of those DIY’s, Recipes, and other posts to share on the site.

When you’re setting up a shop, or a booth for the first time, it seems like everyone has advice. What they don’t tell you about  is the agony, exhilaration, and frustration that is display.

I think that I could spend every waking hour working on display pieces in my store, and never be done– and yet, I love putting together something unique that shows off the artist’s work (and my cleverness.)

I’d been using this stripped-down silverware box for display, but didn’t feel like if was as useful as it should be. I starting thinking about buying a piece of cork board to hang jewelry pieces from the back- then realized I was ignoring a free material right at my fingertips, those wine corks someone had been hoarding. (Just so you don’t worry about me being crushed in a pile of old newspaper and wine corks, I wasn’t the one saving them; and this project used up almost all of them.)

I decided to line the back of the box in little slivers of cork. So I laid each cork out on a cutting board, and

cut it into four pieces. (It’s not an exact science. I wanted the cork backing to be a little uneven, like old masonry.)

After I had cut a whole bunch of corks, I got ready to glue.

I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue to glue each cork sliver down, packing them in tightly to fill the space.

At the edges, I cut the cork slivers in half to fill in where needed.

Once I filled in the whole back, I let it dry overnight, before filling the bottom portion with dry rice. (Rice is a display staple, not just a food!)

I pressed straight pins into the cork to hang jewelry. (I’ve found that the less fidgety a display is, the more comfortable people are using it. The pins are easier to pull earrings off of than clips.)

One more display case down.

(The jewelry pieces seen here are from Christine Stoll jewelry, available at the So There store, and her shop

AIM DIY: Nearly Free Fringe Flowers


From 2014-2016 I chronicled my crafty endeavors on the site Adventures-in-Making. I’ve selected a few of those DIY’s, Recipes, and other posts to share on the site.

When I saw what my new Shredding Scissors could do, I started brainstorming, and pulled out my handy dandy paper flower book. (Paper to Petal: 75 Whimsical Paper Flowers to Craft by Hand)

Most of their flowers use crepe paper, but I decided to try out a basic fringed flower with catalog pages that I had nearby to make multicolored, Nearly Free Fringe Flowers. (I usually use instruction books like this for inspiration and reference rather than following their tutorials.)

They were quick and easy, and I like the edgier look of the printed paper (compared to the bright soft dyed flowers I usually make.)


• Fringe or Shredding Scissors – You could also fringe with regular scissors, but where’s the fun in that?
• Colorful Catalog pages from the recycling bin
• Regular Scissors
Floral Wire
• Wire Cutters
Floral Tape
OPTIONAL – Some sort of base. I used a baby food jar and a square of fabric or paper.

Droopy Flowers

I cut one catalog page into a 4″-5″ strip, then folded that strip in half. (I tried to choose pages that were heavy with one color on the front and back, so that the flower had a more consistent coloring.)

I used the fringing scissors to cut towards the fold, and left about 1/4 inch of the fold uncut.

I then cut a length of wire (about 24″) and folded it half gently to leave a little loop of wire at the top.

Starting at one end, I began to wrap my fringed strip of paper around the loop…

pulling it tight as I went.

Once I rolled the whole thing up, I secured the bottom of the paper with floral tape.

(A word on floral tape- if you haven’t worked with it before, it can be a little tricky. Most typed only become sticky when they are stretched, which means as you wrap it around the stem, you will want to pull it taut. If you’re having trouble, cut the tape and try holding it a different way. I typically hold the roll of tape in my left hand, and pull it firmly while spinning the flower stem in my right hand. Also, not all brands of floral tape are created alike. this one was a recommendation from a flower pro.)

I kept wrapping the stem all the way to the bottom, and voila…

a droopy paper flower! (Instructions for the base to follow.)

Puffball Flowers

To make the fluffier flowers, I started much the same way, with a 4″-5″ strip of paper. Again I fringed it, leaving a little uncut in the center.

I left the strip unfolded, and rolled it up.

Once it was completely rolled, I secured the center with a length of wire (Approx. 24″). I twisted the wire to tighten it around the paper roll.

Then I fluffed up the paper to make a poof, and wrapped the whole stem in floral tape.

I happened to have a few clean baby food jars around, so I used them as a base. I just cut a square of fabric (or wet paper) and pulled it firmly up around the jar and flower. Then I secured the top with wire.

IMG_5416They turned out very whimsical, and I won’t feel bad about tossing them when it’s time to dust.


I especially like the way they look with these pieces by Kate Endle.

IMG_5541See! Fun, Fringed, and nearly Free!

AIM TOOLBOX: Shredding (or Fringe) Scissors are too much fun.

From 2014-2016 I chronicled my crafty endeavors on the site Adventures-in-Making. I’ve selected a few of those DIY’s, Recipes, and other posts to share on the site.

My Christmas list is getting kinda boring. Well, not boring to me, but maybe to anyone who wants to get me something other than a book (on making stuff) or a tool (to make stuff with.)

This year I got a big ole pair of Shredding Scissors.

Also called “Fringe Scissors” in the crafting/scrapbooking community, these suckers are basically 5 pairs of scissors bolted together. Practically, they can be used to shred documents (without using an electric shredder). Less practically you can (and will) turn anything…

into confetti.

I got them for the ability to fringe paper quickly and consistently for my crafty projects. (Example coming soon.)

Things to love

• It’s pretty easy to get a consistent fringe by eye.
• Turns colorful trash paper into a craft supply!
• Gives you more control than a paper shredder. Plus it’s smaller, quieter and easier to store. (I’ll be using these to shred paper for paper making.)
• They seem pretty heavy duty, and the blades line up almost perfectly.
• The sense of power you get from using 5 sets of scissor blades at once. Also, Edward Scissorhands themed imagination trips.


Things to Hate

• They do seem to get plugged up pretty easily. Most of the pieces can be pushed out by closing the scissors all the way, but a few will have to be pulled out with your little fingers.
• Cutting with 5 sets of scissor blades takes as much force as cutting with five pairs of scissors. My hands got tired pretty quickly. They are also pretty heavy to hold in your delicate artist hands for a long period of time.

All in all, they are a hit! I love having another multifunctional compact tool to use, and I’ve already got another tutorial headed your way.