Muska & Elvis

Button crazy, what to do with those excess buttons! Quick DIY


I love buttons, I don’t know what it is about them, but I love them? At one stage the Mister bought me a wallet with a massive button on it (remember that huge Mimco collection?) and button studs and a ring – don’t worry I never wore them altogether, I never actually made crazy button lady status!

If you have been following my post from the very start, I had sewn together a button heart to enter the yearly Kit Cosmetics packaging design competition. My design excitedly made it to the second round and in the top 20 which I was elated about. I ended up using the design as one of my cards, which is still to this day one of my best sellers (there are a lot of button lovers out there) – To see the post click here . To create that design I bought  a bag of mixed buttons in similar tones from spotlight, and 3 years on I’m still using them to create things. One of those was this M. I originally bought this M for a market stall prop, but got a laser one made up instead, so it’s been hanging around.
I found it the other day and how lucky that my daughters name starts with M!

So I’ve put more of those buttons to use! This little project is super easy, inexpensive and you can use any buttons you have lying around. You just need a wood or paper mache’ letter – you can buy these from most craft stores, I purchased this wood M from Typo for about $3, and a hot glue gun – if you don’t have a hot glue gun craft glue is fine too,
it will just take longer to dry and set in place.


I really don’t even need to explain how to you do it, you get the drift, my one tip would be though not to get too crazy sticking them down, after you have stuck one down, place the next few around to see that they fit first, otherwise you might end up with big gaps.
I think it also works well using different sizes for variance.

I did this project when Lil M was sleeping, just a bit here and there, in the end the result is really nice, you could also use it for a table setting at your next party.

Have fun!x




Muska & Elvis

DIY toy box makeover! Turn that toy box frown upside down!


We had been searching for a toy box for months, we had a particular size and shape in mind, as we wanted it to fit in a certain corner of Lil M’s room. We found a hard time trying to find one we liked, and that was the right size. Until one day literally driving by, we spotted ‘the one’ driving through King St in Newtown at a second hand/ vintage furniture store, we had just looked at one at a similar store up the road, and were umming and ahhing about it.

It was the perfect size, in great condition, it was wood with a plastic vinyl finish (not what we wanted but the Mister checked it out and said he could work with it) $35 and we were happy!

All the furniture in Lil M’s room is white or natural, so it was always going to become white. The Mister is a professional painter, so he got to it.

So I don’t paint, as he does, but one thing I have learnt is that you should always use undercoat (prime) most items that you are giving a bit of a makeover, for more reasons than one. If it is going to be used often and it’s not just decoration, that paint is just not going to ‘stick’ or stay on well at all, and the result will not be a great finish. Also if you are trying to paint over something which is a mid – dark colour, underneath is just going to show through. So this is what he used on the original vinyl finish (The original was almost like the finish on a 70’s kitchen cupboard – that’s what ours at home looked like anyhow hehehe)

2 x coats of Dulux quick dry oil based undercoat, then 3 x coats of Dulux Aqua enamel semi gloss. This was done over a Saturday afternoon, left to dry outside, and then last coat done Sunday morning – ready to play with by the afternoon!


This is the original box, just before he put the undercoat on (the horsey above is a surprise, keep tuned)


I bought some of these great reusable wall sticker decals to decorate the box, once painted. To make it look like you have some dots cut away, I just cut them in half with scissors and placed them around some edges.


And voila! Finished, the stickers are great and just added that bit of fun! The great thing is, is that once she outgrows this style, we can just peel them off without damaging the paint underneath.


Don’t forget to unscrew and take off any handles or fixtures before painting and pop them back on when the paint is dry!

Hope you love Lil M’s Dotty Toy Box as much as we do! x

Muska & Elvis

The tiny turns the big one! Part Two – The decorations!

Ok so it’s finally here, Part two – The Decorations

We decided to throw a large do celebrating Lil M’s first birthday, inviting friends and family who have been involved with her and us, in her first year. We love food, and having a filipino mother, celebrations revolve around food and good company of friends and family! Mum ordered the Lechon (big pig) and cooked many filo delights and I baked a cake and cupcakes and cookies, and of course….. I decorated!!!! So today I’m sharing with you everything that put Lil M’s birthday bash together from her outfits (Part one) to how I made most of her decorations – which were all very easy and inexpensive, and I’ve included templates for bunting and party hats! So hold on! This is going to be a big one! x

I will begin with Lil M’s invites. If you follow my blog you will remember the animal illustration I did for her room with her name and animals, you can see it here. Well I based her whole party theme around this, using the lion, elephant and zebra and dots.


I created some card bunting using all these elements. This is very easy and effective. I have included a template below. Don’t worry about printing your design onto the card, you can use my template to cut bunting out of some fun patterned paper/card, that matches your colour theme. How to put the bunting together is here.

Download my bunting template here  MuskaElvis_BuntingFlag_Template_2013

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The best thing is, is after the party we kept the bunting and have hung it up across her bedroom wall!

Where we had the party had a lot of space to decorate, so I also made some tissue paper tassel garlands, I had been wanting to make some for ages and this was the perfect opportunity, these were super easy and every now and then I would make a few when I could, then when I thought I had plenty I strung them altogether. I followed these super easy instructions from The tomkat studio

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Now we were having a feast! So we needed plenty of cutlery (I usually use eco wooden cutlery that I buy in bulk from Ebay – I like the natural look, rather than plastic) and places to hold them, I didn’t have enough spare glass jars, usually I do, so I bought 6 for $5 from the reject shop. I used ribbon to wrap around the jar secured with double sided tape, and stuck a cookie gift tag circle on either side with double sided tape – so simple, yet so effective!

This one was holding pretty paper straws – you can buy these from most places nowadays – if you look online you can find some awesome patterns – I think that Emerald + Ella have the best selection I’ve come across so far! I bought these plain coloured ones from The Base store and had some previous ones from Christina Rae.

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It’s not a kids party without party hats!!! These were so much fun to design and make – I made a special one for Lil M to match her outfit, but we forgot to put it on her, and when we did realise she didn’t want to wear a party hat anymore! I printed my design onto A4 card – you don’t need anything to keep them together, they have a lock tab at the back, and I hole punched the sides and used metallic elastic which I bought from Lincraft and from Art Riot. Download the printable plain party hat template here – use it to trace around some fun patterned card!


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If you follow my posts you know by now that I love to make gingerbread, but over the years it has become maybe somewhat predictable that I’m going to make little iced hearts and package them in cute little jars or bags (because they do look so cute!) so I decided to make gingerbread cookie sticks :) Basically I made the gingerbread as usual, iced the circle with fondant, then cut out little hears in fondant to put on top, and as soon as the cookies come out if the oven I carefully but quickly pushed a lolly/cake pop stick through the middle ( I had many fails – much to the pleasure of the Mister and his work mates). I used lolly bags to cover them, sealed them with tape and ribbon, with a thank you tag.

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I needed a way to display them… I had found some long smalls boxes from Bunnings, you know the recycled ones by the counters. I covered them with brown kraft paper, designed  a strip to stick around the edges (which hides the wrapping where you have sticky taped it also ) and then using a pen (not too thick or they will fall too low) I stabbed hopes in the top for the sticks to go through, and there you go a really inexpensive and cute stand. I made 3 of these and  they also decorated the cake table. You can use some nice wrapping to cover it also, the possibilities are endless!

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Talking about cake!!!!! Ok so I was going to outsource the cake – I wanted it to match the whole theme, but I decided that if I can kinda bake, Im making her cake for her first birthday! I did do a trial first to see how I would go and it wasn’t too bad, so I figured Lil M will love it no matter what so I’ll just do it! I made a vanilla buttercake, and marbled it cream and pink to match the theme. I used white choc ganache and gel food colourings to colour ready made fondant icing, and here we have it! It’s not perfect, but I think it went well on the day, it didn’t last long once it was cut and M liked it very much, which is all that mattered :)


I didn’t know if the cake would be enough for everyone, so I made the same vanilla marbled butter cake cupcakes, with a butter cream icing and of course a cherry on top!


Oh and the stands are great, this cardboard re-useable cupcake stand I bought a few years ago for the Mister’s birthday from Domayne and this is the 3rd time I’ve used it, it pulls apart and stacks flat, I also bought a pink polka dot cardboard cake stand from The Base store.

I don’t have a proper pic, but in the cake pic, you can see the pink, brown and cream fabric table runner? I made these for all the white tressle tables to dress them up a bit. I bought 4 meters of fabric (I think it came to something crazy like about $8) , halved them width ways, then length ways to get 4 runners, and I just rolled over the edges and ran them under the sewing machine!

I like to track most of Lil M’s milestones, and I’ve been putting a book together for her first year, but I thought it would be nice to share with all the guests, so I designed a board tracking most of her milestones in chronological order, and I backed it onto mounted board to hang up – this is also going up in her room.


Another little project I had going on last year was Lil M’s weekly photos. I only started it at 5 weeks old, but every Friday I sat her on her rocking chair in her room for a photo. I am so glad I did this, as going through them you can really see the changes in her face and body as they year went on, going from a teeny newborn to this burst of energy can’t keep still on the chair toddler! I printed them out polaroid style and hung them in order on 2 of the walls, just using twine and little wooden pegs. Our guests really enjoyed seeing her changes and chatting about how they remember her at certain weeks. Week 8 was by far the most popular as no one really remembered how much of a little chubster she was hehehe! Im actually continuing on this project, but it is now a monthly pic.

(sorry about the pic – having so much fun at the party this is the only pic I took via my phone just before it started!)


And that my friends is a wrap! Time flew by so fast, not only the party but the whole year! Lil M is such an awesome little person to be around and we wish we could celebrate like this every day,
(we still do, but we do it with cuddles and fruit biscuits hehehe)

I hope this post has inspired you for your next party and that the templates, and shopping tips and DIY tricks help you out for your next party. Decorating doesn’t need to be expensive, you just need a bit of an imagination! xx