Soma Cube Tutorial

Have anyone at your place that loves a challenge? Here’s a fun little puzzle–called a Soma Cube that’s SIMPLE to make and not all that easy to solve. Luckily there are over 200 ways to form these blocks into a square cube, so it just may not ever go together the same way twice!

I’m thinking–perfect gift for all the wise guys in your world…think Christmas.

First step: Grab some unpainted wooden blocks–any size, you’ll need 27 of them. I used 1 inch, but you could go even smaller…or bigger.

Using wood glue– or regular white glue–start sticking your blocks together. I’ll show you the combinations below.

Be sure to wipe off any glue that squishes out–and work really hard to keep the squares even with each other.

There are seven groups of blocks that make up the puzzle. Are you ready?








You are positively welcome to leave your blocks their lovely natural wood color. It makes putting the puzzle together a bit more challenging, but if that’s your goal–then by all means leave them.

Otherwise, paint each set a different color and allow to dry completely.

Cover each set of blocks with a coat of Mod Podge and again, let them dry completely.

Check back tomorrow and I’ll show you how to solve the puzzle…

one of the ways.


Seed Paper Tutorial

I first heard of seed paper–or hand made paper that has real flower seeds embedded in the pulp itself and is actually plantable–about a year ago while browsing through a stationary catalog.  It was the coolest idea I’d ever seen–and so incredibly spring-y!

Well, who knew that you could make this funky stuff all by yourself? And dang we had a good time! These would be just perfect to include with a birthday or Christmas card–don’t you think?

First Step:

Making the Screen Frame

Here’s what you’ll need for the screen frame:

6-12 wide craft sticks–think tongue depressors

Craft glue

1 or 2 pieces of mesh or screen about 6″x6″

electrical tape

Glue four sticks together–like this.

Lay the screen over the sticks and glue in place.

Now glue two more sticks–one on the top and one on the bottom. Cut two more sticks and glue in place like this.

I rested a glass bowl over the frames to hold everything in place until the glue dried.

Your frame should look pretty much like this.

Now wrap the whole frame with electrical tape, making sure to cover all the exposed wood.

Second Step:

Making the paper pulp

Here’s what you’ll need to make the pulp:

4-6 pieces of used white computer paper, construction paper, art paper,  newspaper or junk mail

small flower seeds


hemp twine (optional)

ground cinnamon (optional)

dried petals (optional)

Tear the paper up into 1-2 inch pieces…

and put it in the blender. Pour in enough warm water to cover the paper.

Blend until paper turns to pulp. It looks like white oatmeal.

If you want to add cut up pieces of hemp twine–now’s the time. Whirl it up.

Have your seeds ready–but don’t add them yet. Do not put your seeds in the blender. I probably didn’t need to say that–but you never know. Ok, now fill a 9×13 glass Pyrex dish half full with warm water. Spoon enough pulp into the water to make it like a thin soup.

Now add about a couple teaspoons of the seeds. Add the crushed, dried flower petals and a sprinkle or two cinnamon–if you want.

Stir it all together.

Step #3

Making the seed paper

Dip your screen into the pulp solution. Move it around like you are panning for gold or something, until there is enough on the screen to cover it.

Push pulp from the edges of the frame onto the screen with a spoon or table knife.

Kinda like this…

Carefully tip the frame over–pulp side down…

onto a towel.

With another towel, press down on the screen to sponge out the excess water.

Press for about 1 minute.

Now gently lift off the frame. If you have to coax the paper off the frame just go slowly–nudging with a table knife if you need to.

Let your paper rest on the towel until it’s dry enough to move. Transfer to a pan and allow to dry all the way–overnight is best. If you’re in a hurry you can use a blow dryer set on low.

Once it’s completely dry, tear it carefully in half.

Poke or punch a hole in the top somewhere–more in the middle than mine is–and loop twine through the hole–to use as a bookmark.

Once you are finished with it you can tear it into pieces and plant it in loose, moist soil–about 1/4 to 1/2 in deep.

Now then…don’t you feel clever?

Silk Tie Easter Eggs

Well, we’ve found our absolute favorite Easter egg dyes…

of all time.

No tablets, no food colors, no cups, no drips, no stained fingers or clothes, no spilling—

I could go on and on. But seriously, the best part about this method is that everything you need is right in your kitchen and closet…or worst case—the thrift store. Who would have thought that an old ratty, out of date silk tie could be the gorgeous answer to the annual Easter egg dying ordeal?

Your whole family is going to love this.

Here’s what you’ll need:


Silk ties–look for a tiny tag at the small end of the tie. It needs to say 100% silk. Seriously, this doesn’t have to cost a mint. We picked all these up at the local thrift store–for just a few bucks.  The thinner the fabric the better the transfer. If you’re raiding the closet, please be sure to get your man’s permission before you start cutting things up.  ;} Oh, and if your tie is from China–don’t eat the egg. They have different standard for their dyes and many are not safe. SO, in that case just enjoy the egg and toss it out after Easter. Got that?

An old, white T-shirt–cut it into squares big enough to wrap around the eggs


3 Tablespoons of white vinegar

Pot of water

Vegetable oil

Now then…

Cut open the tie at the back and take out the facing fabric. All you will be working with is the actual colored silk.

Cut the silk into pieces big enough to cover the egg…

Wrap it around your egg. Don’t get to0 nutty about this step, just do the best you can.

Now, roll the egg up with the T-shirt fabric.

The idea is to press the colored silk right up against the egg.

The bald kid and I had a competition to see who could wrap their eggs the purtiest. I totally won.

He’s such a sillyboy.


set the wrapped eggs in a pan of cold water with the vinegar mixed in. Make sure the water completely covers the eggs.

Boil for 20-25 minutes.

Remove the eggs…

and allow them to completely cool.

Now the fun part—unwrapping the eggs to see what you’ve got.

Rub a tiny bit of vegetable on your masterpieces and see how pretty they look.

Even the subtle ones are beautiful.

If you’re like us–you’ll want to make a million more–because it’s so easy and there’s just no mess. You can use the fabric more than once–if you’re so inclined.

Think of the possibilities.

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