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Two Kinds of Hearts

Valentine’s Day is coming up and it’s time to turn these cold, snowy days all warm and fuzzy! Whether you’re decorating for a party or just bringing a little festivity to your home, these paper heart garlands are an adorable way to celebrate love. Add to that: simple, inexpensive, and mess-free? You’ve got yourself a winning craft.

 

There’s two fun ways to create your garland; one involves the outline of a heart (much like a paper chain), the other involves a solid paper heart. For the chain, you’ll need cardstock (red, white, pink—your choice), scissors, and a stapler.

 

First, cut lots of even strips of cardstock—it’s best to measure. To create your hearts, there are a few methods. Be sure to check out the tutorial links below each photo for ideas. Here’s one basic variation: Grab four strips and staple them together. Pull the bottom two down and together to form a heart. Add two more strips and staple together at the point. Repeat this process until you’ve got the desired length of your garland. Stick to one size and color or feel free to experiment. Try alternating colors or cutting shorter strips to create smaller hearts within the larger ones.

 Paper Heart Garland

Photo (and tutorial) via Blog a la Cart

 

 Double Heart Garland

Image (and tutorial) via Posed Perfection

 

For the second method, you’ll need cardstock, a heart punch, scotch tape, and string (baker’s twine, ribbon, fishing line—up to you). Use your heart punch to punch out tons of hearts from the cardstock. Cut a piece of string (however long you’d like) and tape your hearts to the string. You can hang it horizontally or make lots of garlands and hang them from the ceiling. This would also make such a cute photo backdrop.

 

 

 Hanging Hearts

Photo (and tutorial) via Hank & Hunt

 

 Ombre Hanging Hearts

Photo (and tutorial) via The Sweetest Affair

 

Your valentines are sure to love these sweet garlands. How do you like to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Any decorations or traditions you look forward to each year?

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Kid-Friendly Mocktail Bar

Perhaps the most quintessential tradition of New Year’s Eve is the champagne toast, but what about everybody who doesn’t participate in a sip of bubbly? Whether you’re under age or prefer to abstain, you deserve a fun and fancy drink to toast with at midnight. That’s why we love a good mocktail—or cocktail without alcohol. With a well-stocked mocktail bar, you can mix and match ingredients to create tasty kid-friendly drinks.

 

Cranberry Kiss Mocktail Image via Eat Drink Pretty

 

In fact, we think all these fun possibilities are even more delicious and interesting that traditional bubbly. With a few basic ingredients, you can make so many combinations. Use your creativity to whip up some yummy drinks that’ll have all your guests saying, “Champagne who?”

 

To create well-balanced mixed drinks, you need a few key components—mainly something bubbly and something sweet. Of course, you don’t need carbonation, but it is New Years, after all. Customize any ingredients you want to make your bar more sophisticated (cucumber, black currant, fresh herbs) or childproof (orange slices, fruit punch, crazy straws). Here are the key components to creating a fabulous mocktail bar:

 

A bubbly base: Ginger ale, sparkling cider, Sprite or Sierra Mist, seltzer—these clear sodas are the perfect vehicles to add a little spritz to your glass. Pick your favorite or have a few kinds available.

 

Juice: Orange, cranberry, pineapple, lemonade, peach nectar… these fruity liquids add sweetness and pack the flavor punch for your mixed drink. Stock as many as you like, but a good base is usually three different options.

 

Fresh fruit: Whether it’s muddled or used for garnish, fresh fruit is delicious and gives your glass a festive touch. Doesn’t it just feel fancier? Berries and citrus are usually best—raspberries, blackberries, lemons, and limes, etc—but feel free to try any other favorites.

 

*Another fun tip: Try freezing berries to create a tasty alternative to ice. They’ll keep drinks chilled without watering them down and look prettier, too!

 

Fresh Herbs: This is optional, and perhaps for the more adventurous, but some fresh herbs can really bring your mocktails to the next level. Mint, thyme, basil, and rosemary all add deep and complex flavors to an otherwise simple drink. If you’re looking to ease your way in to adding a little green to your glass, try starting with mint.

 

 Rosemary Citrus Spritzer

Image via The Kitchn

 

These kid-friendly bar basics will ensure tons of fun drink creations. Let the little ones play mixologists and come up with their own delicious concoctions. Keep in mind you can always tailor this to your friends’ and family’s preferences. If you’d like some recipes on hand, here are a few great suggestions:

 

Rosemary Citrus Spritzer from The Kitchn

 

Rudolph’s Nose from NCADD

 

Cranberry Kiss from Eat Drink Pretty

 

Strawberry Crush from La Fuji Mama

 

Alcohol content certainly doesn’t have the market cornered on festivity. Upgrade your cup of soda or juice this year and make a fancy drink worthy of starting the New Year with. Cheers!

Posted by Andi Thea, on December 31st, 2013 at 3:28 pm. No Comments

Category: adults,food art,holiday,kids Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Gingerbread Real Estate

Did you know gingerbread houses became popular in Germany during the 1800s after Hansel and Gretel was published? That’s pretty spectacular considering that in the fairytale, the beautifully edible house is used to lure two abandoned children into a witch’s trap. One wouldn’t think that makes a great selling point for creating confectionery cottages, but it seemed to really catch on and become a Christmas tradition. After all, that witch was on to something—she knew Hansel and Gretel couldn’t resist an enchanting gingerbread house… how could we expect anyone else to?

 

 Sweet and Simple Gingerbread House

Image via Shopgirl

 

This tasty craft comes in an array of sizes, shapes, and levels of difficulty. For those who need a bit of a head start, there are kits available to help create the basic structure. Others love starting from scratch and baking their own gingerbread. Some people take gingerbread houses so seriously that they create life-size structures or participate in competitions. Whatever your approach, this is definitely a fun and delicious activity to try on your own or with the whole family.

 

 Pretzel Log Cabins

Image via Worth Pinning

 

 Rice Crispy Cottages

Image via Land O Lakes

 

And don’t feel limited to gingerbread! Some folks have started branching out and using other delicious treats to build their homes’ foundations. Try pretzel rods to create the effect of wooden logs. Or use rice crispy treats to suggest stones or stucco. These houses can be as elaborate or simple as you want. Don’t underestimate the beauty of simple gingerbread and white frosting. For those who like a little more opulence, grab colorful candies and make a full-on edible estate! Piped icing, nuts, cereal, and candy canes also make excellent decorating supplies.

 

 Gingerbread Mansion

Image via Cake Central

 

What gingerbread house approach is your favorite? Clean and simple, cozy and colorful, or grand and luxurious?


Snow Times Two

Winter may not technically arrive until December 21st, but once November ends, it seems that everybody begins embracing the holiday season. One of the biggest and most recognizable symbols of winter is undoubtedly snow. Now, no matter where you live or what the weather is like, you can bring a little snowfall inside your home with two different, fun decorating techniques.

 

For both of these tutorials, you’ll need a sewing needle and thread or fishing wire. The first technique also requires white paper and scissors. For the second, you’ll need cotton balls and glue (optional).

 Paper Snowflakes

Image via Paper & Stitch

 

The first technique is a classic with a twist. Paper snowflakes have been around forever, but usually you see them taped to windows. For a crafty update, try turning those paper flakes into a curtain of snow by hanging them in strands. First thing’s first: grab some white paper and cut out circles in different sizes. Trace things like plates, bowls, and cups for variation.  Then fold each circle and cut shapes to create snowflakes. You’ll need a lot of snowflakes, so feel free to get the whole family involved! Once you have your snowflakes, take a needle and thread and sew them together in strands; just a few stitches per flake will do it. Try varying the sizes for a more haphazard look. Once each strand is the length of your window, hang it from a curtain rod (or tape it to the head of the window) until the window’s width is covered. The resulting effect: falling snowflakes. Gorgeous, right?

 Cotton Ball SnowflakesImage via Flickr

 

Next up—a real oldie, but a goodie:  the cotton ball technique! This uses the same concept as above, but requires zero scissor work. Cut a piece of thread the length of your window and knot one end and thread the other. Separate your cotton balls into different sizes; puff some up so they look bigger, break others into equal parts and roll them so they’re smaller. String the cotton balls onto your thread, alternating the sizes for a natural look. Underneath each ball as it’s threaded, either make a knot or dab a tiny bit of glue so it stays in place. Be sure to leave space between each cotton ball so it resembles falling snow. Once one thread is full, hang it up, start your next thread, and repeat until the width of the window is covered. Again, the whole family can get in on the fun and the decorating will go that much faster!

 

Both of these delightful DIYs bring a little winter magic inside your home. Which technique are you excited to try?


Thanksgivikkah Menorah

As you’ve probably heard, this year’s first night of Hanukkah falls right on Thanksgiving. This is an incredibly rare overlap in the Hebrew and Gregorian calendar that will only happen once in a lifetime. In fact, double holiday has unofficially been dubbed Thanksgivikkuh!

 

For those celebrating both holidays, it can be a lot to prepare for at once. As you get ready for Thanksgiving next week, don’t forget about Hanukkah!

 

To start things off, why not try making a recycled cardboard menorah?

 Cardboard MenorahImage via Chiro Mommy

 

You’ll need eight toilet paper tubes and one paper towel tube, paint, glue, decorating materials (stickers, glitter, whatever you want), and yellow tissue paper.

 

First, paint all of your cardboard tubes. Keep in mind that the taller one will serve as the shamash in the middle (if it’s a little too tall, trim it with scissors). You can paint them traditional Hanukkah colors (blue and white), Thanksgiving colors (brown, red, orange, yellow), a combination, or any colors you desire! Once the paint is dry, attach the tubes together with glue. Glue four tubes on one side of the shamash (paper towel roll) and four on the other. Finally, add decorations to your menorah!

  Wrapped Cardboard Menorah

Image via Making Friends

(Great alternative to paint: cover the tubes in wrapping paper or magazine pages.)

 

On the first night of Hanukkah, or the only night of Thanksgivikkah, display your creation proudly and use yellow tissue paper to create flames for the shamash and first candle. Add a tissue paper flame to a new candle each night of the Festival of Lights.

 

 Recycled Menorah

Image via Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish

 

Are you excited for Thanksgiving and Hanukkah to overlap? What fun ways can you think of to commemorate this unique occurrence?


Turkey Take 2!

Let’s keep the Thanksgiving momentum going with another fun turkey craft! If you missed yesterday’s variation, take a look here. Today’s turkey gets a beautiful, natural twist by using dried autumn leaves. It’s the perfect way to celebrate both the holiday and the season!

 

You’ll need leaves (dried and flattened), cardboard or brown cardstock, glue, and crayons. If you’d like to make some substitutions (synthetic leaves, googly eyes, construction paper, markers), go right ahead!

Leaf Turkey Image via Baby Center

 There are several ways you can approach this project, depending on your desired final product, so feel free to put your own stamp on it. Cut out a brown cardboard or cardstock circle for the turkey’s body. Then cut out a smaller circle to use as the head and glue it to the body. If you’re mounting this to a piece of paper, glue the body to your paper and leave a little space unglued at the top for leaves. Start arranging your leaves by sliding then behind the turkey’s body (in the unglued space) and gluing them down.

  Leaf TurkeyImage via My Creative Stirrings

 If you’d prefer to leave your turkey freestanding, just glue the leaves to the back of its body. Finally, add some facial features to your turkey’s head—cut out leaves to make a beak and waddle and use crayon or marker to draw its eyes.

 Leaf TurkeyImage via 366 Days of Pinterest

 So cute, right? And it not only celebrates Thanksgiving, but really honors this beautiful time of year. Make sure to hang your turkey somewhere special as Thanksgiving approaches! What other Thanksgiving crafts are you looking forward to trying?


Creepy Cuties

It’s just not Halloween until there are some sweet treats around! Save the wrapped candy for trick-or-treaters and add a little homemade flair for October festivities.

 

These spooky sweet treats are sure to be a hit!  All featuring marshmallows, they’re easy to make and more cute than creepy. With a few bags of marshmallows and some other simple ingredients, you can create your own rice krispies jack-o-lantern, chocolate and marshmallow witch, and marshmallow ghost.

 

These fun snacks provide the perfect balance of spooky and sweet—they’re festive without being scary—great for younger kids. Plus, since they mostly just require assembly, little ones can help you in the kitchen. They make perfect classroom snacks, Halloween party favors, or just festive desserts. For specific ingredient lists and directions, check out the source links.

 

 

Use the marshmallow as a binder for these deliciously sweet pumpkin rice krispies treats.

 Pumpkin Rice Krispies TreatsPhoto via Food Family Finds

 

 

No baking or cooking required! Just gather ingredients and assemble these spooktacular witches.

  Marshmallow & Chocolate Witches

Photo via Taste of Home

 

Keep things extra simple with these creepy-cute ghosts. All you need are marshmallows and an edible food pen (consider gel icing as a substitute).

 Marshmallow Ghosts

Photo via Cook Play Explore

 

What are your favorite Halloween treats to make?


Around the Globe

Happy (almost) Columbus Day, Scribblers! How are you planning to enjoy your long weekend? This holiday marks the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival to America in 1492. Everyone knows any good explorer always has a few tools on hand and a definite crucial one is a map.

 

It seems only right to embrace the adventurous spirit of the day with some fun DIY inspirations involving globes and maps! This is a great way to use souvenir maps from past trips or vacations, old atlases, and road maps; or breathe new life into broken or shabby globes with these exciting updates. Have fun exploring these cute and timely crafts on your day off!

 

 

Take half a globe and turn it into a unique bowl. Globe Bowl

Photo via Better Homes and Gardens

Spread “peace” on earth with contact paper and spray paint.       Peace on Earth globe

Photo via Endlessly Inspired

Grab some maps and some modpodge and spruce up a piece of furniture with decoupage.

Decoupage Map Dresser

Photo via Shelterness

Decoupage Map ChairPhoto via Roddy & Ginger

Save souvenir maps from vacations and cut them into shapes to display. Try butterflies or hearts.Map Butterflies

Photo via Image Surgery

 

 

Are you going to give any of these projects a try? How would you transform your old maps or globes?

 

Have a great Columbus Day everyone!


Little Monsters

If you have younger kiddos, you know that Halloween is super fun, but can also mean tempering some of the extra scary stuff. Well, kooky meets spooky with these adorable tissue box monsters! If you want a great Halloween craft for some little ones that’s festive without being frightening, this is the one for you.

 

 Tissue Box Monster 1

Photo via A Girl and a Glue Gun

You’ll need empty tissue boxes (one per monster), but after that the decorations are up to you! A good decorating base is: some paper (construction, wrapping, computer, any will do), paint, glue, and scissors. For the creatures’ eyes, you can use cut up egg cartons, pom poms, paper, or googly eyes. Feel free to throw some glitter, stickers, feathers, markers, or pipe cleaners in the mix—whatever you have on hand will do.

Tissue Box Monster 2

Photo via Spoonful

Once you have all your materials set up… assemble! The box’s opening (once for tissues) should serve as the monster’s mouth, but how you align it is your call. Start by decorating the box, which serves as the creature’s base. If it needs to dry once it is complete, let it do so before adding eyes, arms, and legs.

Tissue Box Monster 3

Photo via Danielle’s Place

Explore colors, patterns, and shapes—they all add to your monster’s personality. Make it friendly! Or angry!  Be as creative or outrageous as you like. See if you can add fun details like hair, eyebrows or lashes, a tongue, moles, and teeth.

 

Once these crazy guys and gals are all finished and dry, you can play with them or add them to your Halloween display (or both!). Just Boo-ti-ful!


Cute Candy Corn

Now that October has arrived, Halloween is on the horizon. That means costume planning, spooky decorations, and of course… candy and treats! Since it’s only the beginning of the month, one way to slowly start gearing up for the holiday is to incorporate things that work for both fall and Halloween.

 

The perfect solution: a little candy corn décor! This quick and easy craft is perfect for setting the tone for October… plus it has pretty fall colors! Bonus: it’s simple and safe enough for kids to work on, as well.

 

 Yarn Candy Corn

Photo via Danielle, My Life as I Pin It

 

You’ll need yarn (white, yellow, and orange), scissors, glue, and a foam cone (in a pinch, you can create your own cone with some poster board and tape).

 

Start at the bottom with your yellow yarn. Glue the end to the foam (you may also be able to just tuck it in the back… depends on your cone) and start wrapping! Once you’ve gotten about a third of the way up, cut the yarn and glue or tuck in the end. Next up: orange! Repeat the process with your orange yarn, and finally finish up with white to the top. Tada!

 

 Yarn Candy Corn

Photo via Sarah, Thrifty Décor Chick

 

These candy cuties add some festive fun to any room without going too overtly “Halloween” too soon. But as the month goes on… look out! More delightfully spooky projects to come.

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