All it takes to propagate African violets is a large healthy leaf, cut in half. To turn the leaf into a pretty gift, snip it into the shape of a heart. Using clean, sharp scissors, remove a leaf with 1 inch of stem from a plant, and shape the leaf. Fill a small pot with fresh potting soil, and poke a hole in the soil with a pencil. Insert 3/4 inch of stem, pack soil firmly around it, and water well. (While rooting, the leaf should be covered with a glass jar or a plastic bag and removed from bright light to keep it moist.) A new plantlet should emerge in 6 to 8 weeks.
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Add extra charm to your holiday packaging with a little help from the great outdoors. Simply attach tiny pinecones -- pristine or spruced up with metallic floral spray -- to store-bought tags and cards using glue. The pattern can be anything from a mini wreath to a pretty cluster. For the pine-needle tree, use a fine paintbrush to coat the needles with craft glue; then place them carefully with tweezers.
Tags and mini envelopes, from Paper Presentation
Tamarack pinecones, from Winter Woods
SourceMartha Stewart Living, December 2009
Embellish holiday parcels with mistletoe made from felt leaves.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, December 2007
Fill old-style specimen jars with water, and add enough food coloring to produce a suitably supernatural tint. Arrange lotus pods, poppy pods, and coneflower heads within. No evil will darken your doorstep with these eerie elixirs on display.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, October 2009
What was good for Christmas is even sweeter for Easter.
Fill glass food jars with bulk candy arranged in colorful layers. Or create an Easter basket effect by nestling a white-chocolate bunny or lamb in green paper "grass." Finish with ribbon and a tag, or attach a note to the lid using double-sided tape.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, April 2010
Give pretty spice or candy containers a new life in seconds by turning them into refrigerator magnets. Place a small, powerful magnet inside the back of an empty tin, which makes the tin itself magnetic. (Nonmetallic containers will work if you stick an adhesive magnet on the outside.)
SourceMartha Stewart Living, March 2011
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