Sweet Paul’s Orange and Cranberry Cake

See the original recipe and more inspiration from Sweet Paul here.

Serves 8 
3/4 cup dried cranberries 
3/4 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped 
1 cup orange juice 
1 1/2 stick (150g) butter, softened 
1 cup sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
4 large eggs 
2 cups plain flour 
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk 
grated zest of 1 orange 
powdered sugar 
water

  1. Heat oven to 350F, 180C.
  2. Place cranberries, apricots and orange juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Let mixture simmer until almost all the orange juice is gone.
  4. Cool.
  5. Beat butter and sugar until light and creamy.
  6. Add vanilla and the eggs, one at a time.
  7. Add flour and baking powder, stir well.
  8. Stir in the milk and the cranberry/apricot mixture.
  9. Spoon the batter into a buttered bundt pan.
  10. Bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until set.
  11. Cool and turn the cake over on a large platter.
  12. Mix powdered sugar and water to a frosting and pour it over the cake.
  13. Sprinkle with orange zest and serve.

Bring the sweet scent of Cranberry into your home year-round with a Soy Candle Tin.

 


Vintage Pie Tin Stand from Paul Lowe of Sweet Paul Magazine

Turn inexpensive pie tins into a charming display for homemade goodies. Arrange cookies and mints on each level to really impress your guests at the end of a dinner party. Best of all? This DIY is easy as pie.

Materials & Tools

  •  3 Vintage pie tins in different sizes
  • 2 Long vintage wooden spools
  • 4 Small brass balls or cap nuts
  • 120 Grade sandpaper
  • Super glue
  • Pencil

Instructions

  1. The four brass balls go on the bottom of the largest tin and will serve as the feet of the stand. Decide where to place them and mark the locations with a pencil. Then, sand the spots marked. This will help the glue stick to the vintage tin.
  2. Glue brass balls in place, allowing the glue to dry according to the label’s instructions.
  3. Flip the bottom tin right-side up and mark the center. Sand the tin and glue the first spool in that location. Allow to dry completely.
  4. Repeat step 3 to place your second and third tiers. Make sure the stand is as level as possible. Then, fill your new stand with cookies or other treats and admire your work!

Tips for inspiration: Pie tins and wooden spools can be found at flea markets, thrift stores, or online. For a floral centerpiece with a vintage touch, fill each layer of the stand with flowers. 

For a little Home-Grown. Inspiration, start shopping now.

Wood Burned Cutting Board from Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge

Plain wood cutting boards can be a little dull. So add a modern edge with a wood burned design. All you need is a wooden cutting board and a wood burning tool. Then your options are limitless!

Materials & Tools

  • Cutting board
  • Wood burning tool
  • Wood burning tool attachment kit
  • Pencil (optional)
  • Wood scrap (optional)

Instructions

  1. Plug in your wood burning tool with the original angled attachment bit and allow it to heat up fully (up to 3-5 minutes). If you’d like to practice a bit, make a few test marks and impressions in your wood scrap to get used to the feel of the tool.
  2. Plan your pattern or trace it onto your wood using a pencil. Start by outlining your pattern using the original angled attachment.
  3. Switch to a wider burnishing attachment (it looks like the angled top of a tube of lipstick) and begin to fill in your pattern, moving slowly and allowing the surface of the wood to turn dark brown or black.
  4. Once you’ve finished your pattern, wash your board with soap and water. Now chop away!

For a little Home-Grown. Inspiration, start shopping now.

Tin Can Herb Planters from Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge

Reroute your tin cans from the recycling bin and upcycle them instead! You’ll channel your inner artist as you use seed packets to transform those cans into pretty planters for fresh herbs.

Materials & Tools

  • Tin Cans
  • Herb plants
  • Seed Packets
  • Decoupage matte adhesive
  • Precision knife
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Paint
  • Marker
  • Paintbrush
  • Potting Soil
  • Nail
  • Hammer

Instructions

  1. Empty your tin cans and remove all labels and remaining adhesive. Flip the cans upside down and, using a nail and hammer, make at least 5 holes in the bottom of each can for water to drain.
  2. Tear (or cut) the seed packets into small pieces which you’ll combine to cover the cans. Dip your brush in the decoupage and coat small sections of the tin can with glue and then apply the seed package fragments. Apply another coat of decoupage on the outside of the seed packages to seal them.
  3. Once your can is covered, make sure all of the seed package paper fragments have been coated with decoupage on the outside so they are water resistant. After it dries, place a bit of potting soil in the bottom of the can and plant your herb, making sure the plant base is no more than 1 inch below the top of the can.
  4. To create the plant markers, paint the tops of popsicles sticks or dip them in paint.  Once the sticks are dry, you can use a thin marker or stamp to add the name of your herbs. Place inside your planters and you’ll have a handy reminder of what’s growing on your windowsill.

For a little Home-Grown. Inspiration, start shopping now.

Shelf-Top Ironing Board from Maxwell Ryan of Apartment Therapy

Not much room in your laundry room? This DIY lets you ditch your bulky ironing board and replaces it with a space-saving, shelf-top solution. So grab a staple gun and some heat-resistant batting and let’s get started!

Materials & Tools

  • Storage furniture - should be around 36”-46” height, depending on how tall you are; must have flat top with overhang; best if you can remove top.
  • Heat-resistant batting
  • Fabric (cotton duck or canvas is recommended; also denim or tightly-woven, tighter cottons or linens)
  • Bleach pen
  • Staple Gun

Instructions

  1. Use the bleach pen to create your own clever designs on your fabric. Use scraps to get the hang of your pen and to see how long you’ll want to let the bleach dry before you wash it.
  2. After letting the bleach sit for a while (ours took about 30 minutes to get nice and white), launder your fabric. This is a very important step - do NOT iron on unwashed bleach.
  3. Cover your shelf top with several layers of heat-resistant batting. For a little extra protection, you can add a layer of aluminum foil.
  4. Cover the batting with your designed and washed fabric, trim excess around the edges, and then simply staple it to your shelf top.

Tips for inspiration: You can use different colors of cotton, denim or canvas. Or use fabric paint instead of bleach. Try simple dots or designs, or choose your own mantra (like “Waste not, Want not”) to write on the fabric.

For a little Home-Grown. Inspiration, start shopping now.