Sunday, December 18, 2011

DIY No-sew Ribbon Wreath

I needed a little something for a homemade gift exchange, so I made this ribbon wreath.  I'm whatever level is below novice in sewing, so I made this diy no-sew version.

I started by covering the wreath in ribbon.  I secured the final bit of ribbon with a dressmaker's pin.

I used all of these (each was 3 yards), but a couple of coordinating yards I had at home.  Ribbon ain't cheap, so bring your coupons or wait for a good sale.  I ended up with a lot of ribbon that was narrow (3/8 in) which means you use a lot more of it to fill up the space.  My grand total was 23 yards of ribbons for this one!

Update:  Made a second wreath using the same colors and ornaments.  However, I used primarily 7/8 inch ribbon and used less than half of each spool.  This is a way more cost effective way to fill up the space.  I also recommend getting a couple of spools of ribbon with wire.  They poof nicely and fill up space also. 

I cut the ribbon into 6.5 inch strips.  Then I made a loop.

Press the loop flat.

Add two or three loops per pin.

Using dressmaker's pins, attach the loops to the wreath.  Keep going and going and going.  When inserting pins on the outside of the wreath, keep the length of the pin in mind.  You don't want them poking out of the back.  Instead, insert them at an angle.  

To hang the wreath, I took a longer piece of ribbon and tied it around the wreath.  I secured it with pins and then filled in around it.  

I attached some ornaments with hot glue to fancy it up.  

Friday, December 16, 2011

Let It Snow

Thought I'd share some more pictures from my mom's snowflake birthday party.

Spooky Halloween tree with a makeover with some ribbon and snowflake ornaments. 

Party City got some snowflake paper goods in stock like they knew the party theme.  

A super inexpensive embellishment for plastic wine glasses--cut out snowflakes attached with glue dots.  They also served as wine charms.

It worked out well because my mom had snowflakes hidden throughout her house already.

Snowflakes on the mantle.  

My aunt, the other birthday girl, makes the most amazing fudge ridiculously good.  So we tricked her into making white chocolate fudge for herself.  This is your portion.

This is mine.  One pan accidentally didn't get cut up for the party.  Oops.  What am I going to do with this extra pan?  

Chocolate snowflakes for cupcake topping.  Here's how I made similar toppers.

Christmas light garland.  There's a tutorial after the jump.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Snowflakes, No Two are Exactly Alike

How adorable is this picture?  It's of my mom and her twin sister, Gretchen.  Since the two of them were having a milestone birthday (good manners prevent me from telling the number), we threw a snowflake-themed birthday party.  

I used the picture of them to make snowflake napkin rings.  It was fun to see who was carrying around which twin.  A lot of guessing who was who.  Can you tell?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Countdown to Christmas

I had the realization this week that part of what I love about Christmas is getting ready for Christmas.  The countdown is so much of the fun.   

My mom made these stockings for my niece, Corinne, spending her first holiday-countdown at college.  Each stocking was filled with treats...Zone bars; gum; chocolate; holiday Pez; and my favorite, magazine money for the flight to see us all.

How do you countdown to Christmas?

Friday, December 2, 2011

DIY: Strawberry Shortcake Pinata

I was asked to make a Strawberry Shortcake pinata, and this is what I came up with.  I wanted it to show Strawberry sitting on a strawberry.

Want to make one yourself?  Here are my steps...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gobble, Gobble!

I have a little bit of guilt that I'm ignoring Thanksgiving as my anticipation for Christmas grows.  Hostess with the Mostess had a super cute party for kids recently, and it's getting back in the creamed corn/mashed potato mood.

I particularly adore the tissue fan behind the forks.  I particularly adore any easy, low cost projects that make things look adorable.

Since we're on the topic, one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is singing the "fat turkeys" song.  My sister taught me this song years ago and singing it never gets old (even when you throw in the fact that I'm a vegetarian and kinda wish the turkeys were there for living).

Sung to the tune of "The More We Get Together"

Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble.  
Fat turkeys, fat turkeys.
Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble.
Fat turkeys are we.

We're not here for living,
We're here for Thanksgiving!
Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble.
Fat turkeys are we.  

What are you doing (eating, singing) for Turkey Day???

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Little Man Shower: DIY Bowties

So excited to say that Ethan is almost here!  One of my favorite people is having a little boy, and I decided since our lives are so jammed packed full of princesses and dance classes that her shower would celebrate the manliness!

The first thing I knew I needed were bow ties.  Since the shower will be held where we both work and there are only women, we needed to suit up (as Barney Stinson would say) to get in the right mood.  

I picked four fabrics in what resembled tie-friendly prints.  Each bow tie was attached to an invitation.  

Step by step instructions on my bow tie factory...

Snowflake Curtain

13 days till Black Friday.  13 days till I can stop pretending I'm not already listening to Christmas music.  Got the new She & Him album, and I adore (like love, love, love) it.  So let's embrace it and get in the holiday spirit!

My sister-in-law and I made a snowflake curtain for her grandmother's store.  I used my Cricut to cut all of these out (but I think I'll remake one with my 4th grade class and have them cut out the snowflakes).   It's such a super easy way to festive-up a window/wall/whatever.

The snowflakes were stitched together, but a little fishing wire and Scotch tape work wonders if you're not a sewer.

If you're going with a snowflake theme this Christmas, check out the Better Homes and Gardens Christmas craft section.  This snowflake garland is the same idea and super adorable.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dia de los Muertos Marshmallows

Tomorrow's the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos.  Sugar skulls are more traditional, but I'm making a marshmallow version.  I bought the jumbo marshmallows, and they're JUMBO.  My original idea was to stick them on cupcakes, but considering how much sugar we've consumed recently I may just skip the cupcakes.

I used Wilton's Food Writers.  They're edible color markers with a relatively fine tip.  I'm thinking I need to bring them around more often to try to encourage my children to eat new food.  You color it, you eat it.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin Chili

Tonight we'll be heading over to some wonderful friends' house for a Pumpkin Carving/Chili Cook-off.  I decided to take a chance this year and prepare a chili I'd never tried.  It turned out super yummy and very festive! Let's hope I win!

The recipe is from Trader Joe's, which features their products.  However, I think you can recreate it using things from any store if there's not a Trader's nearby.

Pumpkin Chili
3 lbs. ground beef (I'm using three packages of fake ground beef)
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 can canned pumpkin
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 16 oz. jar chipotle salsa (substitute your favorite salsa with a kick)
1 32 oz. container Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup (substitute tomato soup and a dash of red pepper)
2 cans pinto beans, drained
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cumin

In a large pan, cook ground beef, onion, and bell pepper until meat is no longer pink.  Drain.  Add remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for one hour.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Build a Bear Party Treats

You know how the party's done, and then you've got hours of clean up to do?  Not for everyone.  Some people are smarter than I am and have parties outside of their home and let someone else do the work.  Build-a-Bear, Chuck E. Cheese, Scooter's Jungle...I'm talking about you.

Happy Birthday, Little Dude!

My sweet nephew just had his 4th birthday party at Build-a-Bear.  I made these teddy bear cookies as favors for his guests to take home.  

The cookie post-decorating.  

I used Wilton's Stackable Cookie Cutter to make the cookies.  The three cookie cutter-set is $3.99 on their website.  Super hot deal.  

  If you doesn't come across in the pictures, this sucker is huge.  I cheated a little and used pre-made cookie dough to make the cookies.  With each tube of cookie dough I made 6 bear cookies.  You could probably stretch it a little by making thinner cookies, but I'm trying to ensure my sweet tooth gets passed to the next generation.  


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Halloween Cake Ideas for the Decorating Challenged

No time to channel your inner-Martha and blow everyone away with your adorableness and mastery of the pastry bag this Halloween?  Here are some less-tricky treats this Halloween:

Make a cute cake topper out of paper.  I cut this out on my Cricut using the Mini Monsters cartridge.  The tree and house are two separate pieces.  I'll be sticking them in stacked round cakes.

Even simpler?  Do an image search on Google, print your favorite on card stock, cut out, attach BBQ skewers (or toothpicks if it's short).

More treats coming up...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tangled Desserts

Rapunzel wished desperately to leave her tower to see the floating lights that floated in the skyline every year on her birthday.  Considering the 18 years she spent trapped there, it most certainly needed to be represented at Georgia's Tangled party.

One tower-themed dessert were powdered Donettes on a stick.  I was trying to decide how large the cone tower needed to be so I tried Googling the size of Donettes.  Shockingly, I found nothing.  Who cares about the calories?  I want to decorate with em!  My poor children had to deal with eating a box of Donettes the week before the party so I could use some as models.  Poor things.

I ended up making a 4-inch circle, slit the circle, and formed the cone.  I used my hot glue gun to attach the cones to the stick.  Since I didn't want to fill the entire stick (the parents might kill me) with donuts, I tied a bow at the bottom of the third donut.

Santa worked hard last Christmas to find this out of stock tower for Georgia.  It doubled as cake stand for her party.  

I used my Cricut Cupcake Wrapper cartridge to make the purple crown wrappers.  I've found using the "Fit to Length" feature with the size set to 8-inches fits standard-sized cupcakes.   

Rapunzel Party Dress

Georgia's Rapunzel dress (and getting her hair did by her aunt Honey)
So what do you do if your mother-in-law isn't an amazing seamstress who will make you an appropriately-themed outfit for each birthday party?  You buy one on Etsy!  Here are my favorites:


Sizes: Up to 6, but larger can be ordered for additional fee


Sizes: 6 months to 6x

Playful Princesses


It's a custom order, but I bet you could totally get one.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Glittered Candle Holders

When you're four, your bling is glitter.  Glittery nail polish, glittery chapstick ("makeup"), even glittery stickers are so much better than the plain.  I found this tutorial for glittered votives at the Glitter Guide and knew I needed to glitter up Georgia's party.  

I think she approves.  

I started by harassing everyone on the planet who currently has a baby to acquire enough jars.  

To make the jars with stripes, I used double-sided tape and Martha Stewart's fine glitter in yellow & purple.  

To make the jars covered in glitter (which I prefer), I used Martha Stewart's glitter glue, but I don't see why Elmer's wouldn't have worked.  I covered the part I wanted sparkly in a thin layer of glue and rained glitter upon it.  

In the original tutorial, they used candles to light em up.  Since my party was mostly children, I opted for battery-operated flameless candles.  They were $20 for 24 at Michael's, but I had my handy dandy 40% off coupon.  Expect to see those again.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tangled Party Hair Bows

When the princess is known for her hair, you definitely overlook the locks of your party guests. The pros over at Disney have a super cute tutorial for these rosette rubber bands.  Check it out here.

Since I have younger guests, I decided to hot glue the leaves to clips, rather than putting them on rubber bands.  I displayed them on a yellow yarn braid.

 Hair bows for our guests.

A close-up of the flowers.  

Tangled Party Banners

My sweet princess, Georgia, turned 4!  
Here are my favorite pictures of her in front of the banners with Maximus (apple-loving member of the Royal Guard) and her cousin, Cooper.

Want to make your own?  Here's how...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

DIY Tangled Pinata

Rather than buying a generic princess pinata, I wanted to figure out how to make a Tangled pinata.  I love that the materials are mostly things I have at home already!