For party favors or treats on Halloween night, fill crepe-paper pumpkin pouches with tiny toys and candy eggs.
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It's a dog's life -- and a cushy one at that. This soft bed, suitable for small pooches, can be refreshed with a quick switch of covers. You'll need 2 same-size dish towels, 2-inch-thick foam (cut 4 inches shorter and narrower than the towels), and iron-on Velcro fasteners. Lay towels on top of each other, good sides facing. Sew 3 sides, about 1/2 inch in from towel edges. Turn inside out, insert foam, and iron the fasteners to the open side. For a neat appearance, fold that end as if gift-wrapping a box and use the fasteners to keep in place.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, May 2007
Wish someone an auspicious new year with a jade plant, Crassula ovata. This easy-care succulent is said to bring prosperity.
To wrap the pot, place it on a square sheet of decorative paper. Bring up two opposite corners, and secure to the pot with double-sided tape.
Fold the other two flaps as shown; tape. Tie gold cord around the pot, and add a tag with a message.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, January 2010
Giving red envelopes filled with coins is a custom at Chinese New Year (which starts January 26), designed to bring good fortune to the recipients. Here's how to share the luck with dinner guests.
1. Rubber-stamp a red envelope with a New Year's greeting -- in any language -- using a gold-ink pad.
2. Fill it with change, and then lay it on a folded napkin wrapped with a band of patterned paper.
3. Tie in back with gold cord.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, January 2009
You won't have to bother washing your paint pan if you line it with heavy-duty aluminum foil before using it. This trick is especially helpful if you're painting with different colors -- for each new hue, throw away the old foil (after pouring excess paint back into the can), and put in a fresh sheet, molding it to the inside of the pan.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, March 2004
The Thanksgiving crowd at the children's table will appreciate these candy cornucopias.
Heat water in a teakettle, and put pointed end of a sugar cone into spout. Let steam until softened, about 1 minute. Gently curve end 1/2 inch from tip; hold for 15 seconds. Steam 1 side of cone's open end; press to flatten (so cone won't roll). Let cool until set. Dip edge in melted white chocolate, and roll in chopped pistachios.
Refrigerate until set. Fill with jelly beans and serve, or store in a covered container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 days.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, November 2008
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