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DIY Stocking Stuffer Ideas

12 Dec

If you can believe it, Christmas is less than two weeks away!

But no worries, there is still time to pull together some inexpensive but thoughtful stocking stuffers for the members of your family.  Here are some of our favorite ideas from some of our favorite blogs:

The following are fun ideas to make the magic of Christmas even more fun for the Toddlers in your life:

Minnie Mouse Button Hair Clips from Architecture of a Mom:

http://www.architectureofamom.com/2013/04/minnie-mouse-button-hair-clips.html

minnie_hairbow (6)

Gingerbread Playdough from The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle:

http://www.sweetsugarbelle.com/2011/12/gingerbread-playdough/

Gingerbread Playdough

Cozy car caddy from Homemade by Jill:

http://homemadebyjill.blogspot.com/2009/12/cozy-car-caddy-tutorial.html

cozy car caddy

Busy Bag: Velcro Sticks from The Tip Garden

http://www.thetipgarden.com/2013/02/busy-bag-velcro-sticks.html

Busy Bag - Velcro Sticks

Here are some fun tips to stock the stuffings for the Tweens/Teens in your life:

Cord Rollup Project from Brit & Co.

http://www.brit.co/cord-roll/

Cord Rollup Project

Pipe Cleaner Pencil Topper by Chica Circle:

http://club.chicacircle.com/pipe-cleaner-pencil-topper-crafting-extravanganza/

Pipe Cleaner Pencil Topper

Ribbon Bookmarks from The Partiologist:

http://www.thepartiologist.com/2013/08/back-to-school.html

Ribbon Bookmarks

Fabric Scrap Key Chain from Craftiness is not Optional:

http://www.craftinessisnotoptional.com/2011/06/scrap-your-stash-guest-post-living-with.html

Fabric Scrap Key Chain

These last suggestions are appropriate gifts for Anyone on your List:

Felt HandWarmers from Henry Happened

http://www.henryhappened.com/diy-heart-hand-warmers.html

Felt HandWarmers

Washi Tape Pencils from The Pink Doormat:

http://thepinkdoormat.blogspot.com/2013/06/decorate-your-pencils-with-washi-tape.html

Washi Tape Pencils

Cord Bracelet from Thanks, I Made It:

http://www.thanksimadeitblog.com/2012/05/diy-cord-bracelet.html

DIY Cord Bracelet

Poured Glitter Tin Candles from Something Turquoise:

http://somethingturquoise.com/2012/11/16/diy-poured-glitter-tin-candles/

Poured Glitter Tin Candles

Hot Chocolate on a Stick (yum!) from About.com:

http://candy.about.com/od/christmascandy/r/Hot-Chocolate-On-A-Stick.htm

Hot Chocolate on a Stick

Do you have any ideas for DIY stocking stuffers that you can share with us?  Please let us know by leaving us a comment.

This family friendly blog is provided by www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in high quality, affordable Baptismal gowns, rompers & suits, First Communion dresses, girls headpieces and boy’s suits.  In addition, we have a full line of Confirmation robes for churches to choose from with sizes to fit any size Confirmation candidate.

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere!

14 Nov

Between jack-o-lanterns for Halloween and pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, it seems like pumpkins are everywhere for the months of October & November…. Growing up I thought they were just for Halloween, but the older, more mature (?) me appreciates so many things about pumpkins…  Here are just a few of those things:

Decorating With Pumpkins

There are SO MANY ways pumpkins can be dressed up for the season.

Here is a link to our post on How to Make a Pumpkin Planter

how to make a pumpkin planter

How about these pretty pumpkins?

pretty pumpkins collage

You can carve your Pumpkins…

carved pumpkins collage

Cooking with Pumpkins

Make a Pumpkin Shake:

2 scoops of vanilla ice cream

1/2 cup of milk

3 tablespoons of pumpkin purée

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Tastes just like pumpkin pie in a glass!

pumpkin pie milkshake

Pumpkin Bites – see our previous post for how to make them

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Roast Pumpkin Seeds:

2 cups pumpkin seeds

1 1/2 TBSP butter

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp garlic salt

2 tsp c

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Clean and dry to seeds.  Melt butter in saucepan and stir in salt, garlic salt & Worcestershire sauce.  Add seeds and stir to coat.  Spread seeds on a single layer on a large un-greased cookie sheet.  Cook for 60 minutes stirring at the 15, 30, 40 and 50 minute marks.  Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

roasting pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin Soup (courtesy of Allrecipes.com)

Makes 8 to 10 servings6 cups chicken stock1 1/2 teaspoons salt

4 cups pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

5 whole black peppercorns

Directions

  1. Heat stock, salt, pumpkin, onion, thyme, garlic, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.
  2. Puree the soup in small batches (1 cup at a time) using a food processor or blender.
  3. Return to pan, and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir in heavy cream. Pour into soup bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.

pumpkin soup

And finally, you can always store your false teeth in them!

pumpkin with teeth collage

This family friendly blog is provided by www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in high quality, affordable Baptismal gowns, rompers & suits, First Communion dresses, girls headpieces and boy’s suits.  In addition, we have a full line of Confirmation robes for churches to choose from with sizes to fit any size Confirmation candidate.

Make an Autumn Wreath

7 Nov

Make an autumn wreath

Make an Autumn wreath

Now that Halloween is over, you can put away all the ghosts and jack-o-lanterns until next year.  The Autumn season is still in full swing so now is a perfect time to make a beautiful wreath that celebrates the colors of the season.

 

A grapevine wreath is very easy to work with and has the perfect natural look to go with the Autumnal colors.  Your choice of flowers and a bow can dress up or down the look of your wreath.

 

Prep the flowers and leaves for your wreath by cutting them off the longer stems:

Autumn wreath - prep

Now is the time to make the bow for your wreath.  Our How-to guide can be found in this post:

Autumn Wreath - make the bow

Dry-fit all of the pieces on the wreath until you get the look you want.  We recommend you take your time with this step so that you are truly happy with the final look.  Remember, there are no wrong answers here, and you can’t make any mistakes.  Enjoy this step and let your creative juices flow!

Autumn wreath - dry-fit

Once you are happy with your wreath, now is the time to hot glue all the pieces together:

Autumn Wreath - put it together

That’s it!  Your Autumn wreath is all finished.  Now all you have to do is hang it and enjoy!!!

 

This family friendly blog is provided by www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in high quality, affordable Baptismal gowns, rompers & suits, First Communion dresses, girls headpieces and boy’s suits.  In addition, we have a full line of Confirmation robes for churches to choose from with sizes to fit any size Confirmation candidate.

How to Make a Pumpkin Planter

17 Oct

how to make a pumpkin planter

Some of my favorite things about this time of year are pumpkins – and mums – so I thought it was the cutest thing ever to put them together!!!

Most of the supplies that you will need to make this planter are pretty obvious – a pumpkin, and a plant.  You can certainly use any plant you would like, but I think the mum is the seasonal favorite…  You will also need something to cut the pumpkin with, something to scrape out the pumpkin with (forgot to put this in the pic below), and the supplies to make a bow – or use a pre-made bow.  Instructions for making a bow can be found in last weeks post: https://baptismalgownsplus.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/step-by-step-how-to-make-a-bow/

pumpkin planter - supplies needed

Step 1:  Cut the top off the pumpkin and clean out the guts.  It took me a little while to get the diameter of the circle right so that the pot fit in the pumpkin snugly.  Start a little smaller than you think and gradually make the hole bigger until you’ve got it right.

pumpkin planter - clean the pumpkin

Step 2:  Bleach the inside of the pumpkin to attempt to keep the mold away… and hopefully keep the planter from rotting right away.

One note of caution – to avoid the pumpkin from rotting prematurely, take the pot out of the pumpkin before you water the plant.  Let the excess water drain away for just a few minutes and then replace the flower pot back in the pumpkin.

pumpkin planter - preserve

Step 3:  Put it all together

Once the inside of the pumpkin has dried out a little, and once you made your bow – come on, you can do it – here are the instructions…  https://baptismalgownsplus.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/step-by-step-how-to-make-a-bow/

Put the flowerpot in the pumpkin – add the bow – and put it somewhere where you can enjoy it for the season!

pumpkin planter - put it together

What do you think?  Will you try to make one of your own?  Please share what type of planter you will make and where you will put it in the comments section.

Anne-Marie Dunn is the Owner of www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in Baptismal, First Communion and Confirmation Apparel for both boys and girls.

Step by Step – How to Make a Bow

10 Oct
Make a bow - step by step guide

Ever wonder how folks make beautiful bows out of ribbon? Turns out, it’s not nearly as hard as you might think. Here is a step by step guide for you to follow so you too can make beautiful ribbon bows for every holiday or occasion.General things to consider before you begin:
• How many ‘loops’ do you want in your bow? When making a bow, you make it from the center outward (and backwards) – the more loops, the fuller the bow
• What kind of ribbon do you want to use? Wired ribbon can be molded and will keep its shape
• Is your ribbon one sided or two? One sided ribbon means that there is a front side (with a pattern or glitter) and a back side (that is plain). Two sided ribbon is the same on both sides. In the instructions below, two sided ribbon doesn’t need to be ‘twisted’ between loops since both sides are the same. 

make a bow - supplies needed

• Spool of ribbon
• Scissors
• Floral wire – green or silver – I prefer to use the wire that blends the best with the ribbon

Make a loop with the ribbon and then twist the one sided ribbon a 1/2 turn so it's ready for the next step.

Depending on how large you want your bow to be, make the center loop by making a circle with the ribbon that will be proportional and hold it with your fingers (front side of ribbon showing). For one sided ribbon, you will need to make sure that the top of the ribbon is facing upward before you start the next step. Where you are holding the ribbon loop together, you need to twist the ribbon a ‘half turn’.

Make the left side of the loop - like when you make the loop when you are tying your shoes...

This first loop will sit on the top of the bow – next to the center loop – so it should be the smallest of all the other loops. Other ‘left side loops’ will be slightly larger than this loop and will sit ‘behind’ this loop. This loop of ribbon is similar to the loop you make while tying your shoe. Hold the loop with your thumb and pointer finger.

If you are using one sided ribbon, you need to twist the ribbon a 1/2 turn so that when you do the next step the pretty side of the ribbon is face up.

On the back side of the bow (the side away from the center loop), twist the ribbon so that the front side of the ribbon is facing upward and ready to make the right side loop. If you are using a double sided ribbon, you can skip this step.

Make the right side of the loop - remember - like tying your shoes...  and don't forget to twist!

From the back side of the bow, make the loop for the right side of the bow – same loop as when you tie your shoe. Hold the loop with your thumb and pointer finger.

Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 to add as many loops as you would like to your bow - the more loops, the fuller the bow.

Continue to make as many loops as you want for your bow
Repeat steps 2,3, and 4 as many times as you want (left loop – twist – right loop) for your bow.

Make a large loop with the ribbon which will eventually represent the "tails" of your bow.  The loop will be cut in half so make the loop as large as you'd like so that 1/2 it's length will become one "tail".

To make the part of the ribbon that hangs down, you need to make one larger loop from the back of your bow. This single loop of ribbon will become 2 ‘tails’ that hang from the finished bow, so the length of this loop should be twice as long as a finished ‘tail’. Secure this loop to the rest of the ribbon by using approximately a 5 inch length of floral wire. The floral wire should be thread through the center loop of the bow and twisted several times (10x or so) at the back of the bow. The bow can be cut away from the remaining spool of ribbon. Any excess floral wire can also be cut away.

To separate the ‘tails’ of your bow, stretch the bow, press the bottom of the tail flat, fold in half(so there are 4 layers of ribbon) and cut the ribbon diagonally from the center of ribbon toward the outside edge.  If you are working with a wired ribbon, you are cutting from the plain edge toward the wired edge.  When you unfold the ribbon, you will have 2 tails that have a triangular cutout.

To separate the ‘tails’ of your bow, stretch the bow, press the bottom of the tail flat, fold in half(so there are 4 layers of ribbon) and cut the ribbon diagonally from the center of ribbon toward the outside edge. If you are working with a wired ribbon, you are cutting from the plain edge toward the wired edge. When you unfold the ribbon, you will have 2 tails that have a triangular cutout.

Did we inspire you to get creative and make your own bow for something special?  Please share what type of bow or where you are planning to add one in the comments section.

Anne-Marie Dunn is the Owner of www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in Baptismal, First Communion and Confirmation Apparel for both boys and girls.

Make Your Own Tissue Paper Poms

6 Jun

One of the many functions I hold within the Little League Organization in our town is running the annual fundraising dance.  Since the purpose of this event is to get the parents together for a night of fun, it is also ultimately to raise money for the league.  Because of this, I am always looking for easy, but economical – OK, OK, I’ll say it – CHEAP decorations.  This event is held on the back deck of the clubhouse of a golf course in town.  They have a huge covered deck that is perfect for holding 200+ people outside, but is covered in case of inclement weather.

IMG_9743

This year, the decorating committee – all 2 of us – decided to make paper Poms out of tissue paper.  Here’s how you can make them for any event you may be having.

IMG_9386     IMG_9384IMG_9385

Supplies Needed:

  • 12 pieces of tissue paper – one color or multiple colors – cut into 18“ x 20” sections (or whatever size you’d like, just not a square as that’s the most difficult to manipulate into a full Pom).
  • Floral wire (cut into 10” – 12” lengths)
  • Curling Ribbon (ours was cut at a 72” length – depending on where your Pom will be hung, you can make this ribbon longer or shorter.  If you aren’t sure what length you will need, you are better off to leave the ribbon on the longer side.)

IMG_9422

What To Do to Make the Pom Pictured Above:

Step1:  Alternate two pieces of colored paper with 2 pieces of white paper – for a total of 12 pieces of tissue paper.

IMG_9388

Step 2:  With the shorter side of the tissue paper facing you, fold ‘accordion style’ in approximately 1 ¾” inch widths.  The tissue paper we had was uneven at the edges so the accordion fan you end up with will not be perfect.

IMG_9392

Step 3:  Take a length of floral wire and twist it around the center of the tissue paper to secure the tissue paper.  Do not ‘crunch’ the paper in the center – the floral wire is only there to make sure the accordion doesn’t come apart.

IMG_9394

IMG_9396

Step 4:  Thread the length of curling ribbon through the floral wire wrapped around the center of the Pom.  There is no need to knot this ribbon so it stays in place.  Since we were transporting the Poms to a different location and then fluffing them, we did choose to put a quick knot to be sure the ribbon didn’t slip out during transit.

IMG_9398

Step 5:  Trim the ends of the tissue paper.  We cut ours into a triangle, but you can make your edges rounded for a softer look.  You need a good sturdy scissors to trim this since you are cutting 12 pieces of tissue paper that have been folded over many times…  With a triangle shape you can just start from the edge and trim to the middle on both sides using straight cuts.  With a round edge, you need to be careful that you can trim evenly around the end of the Pom.  Trimming the edges makes the Pom appear ‘fuller’ by adding dimension to the edges.

IMG_9401

IMG_9404

This is where we stopped for the majority of the Poms until the day of our event.  We chose to transport them flat to the venue and were going to “fluff” them that day.  If you manipulate these Poms too much, like moving them from location to location before hanging, they will actually flatten out – especially if you can’t suspend them from the ribbon right away…

IMG_9405

Step 6:  Open the accordion fold on one side of the floral wire and make it look like a fan.  Carefully fluff the Pom by separating each layer upward for ½ of the layers in your Pom.  Tip – to get the fullest Poms, you will need to gently work to separate the layers of tissue paper right near the center – near the floral wire.  You may need to play with these layers a little bit to separate the layers.

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Step 7:  Repeat on the other side so it looks like you have a ½ circle of fluffy Pom.  Remember, you are working with tissue paper which is very thin and easily ripped.  You need to be gentle.  Every now and then, you will more than likely put a rip in the tissue paper.  This is OK as you won’t be able to tell on the finished Pom.

IMG_9412

Step 8:  Flip the Pom over and fluff the other side.  Be careful that you don’t completely smash the first ½ you fluffed.  At the very end, you can certainly do a final ‘fluff’ to even out the sides and make it as round as possible.

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Step 9:  Hang your Pom from wherever you are going to and do a final ‘fluff’ to separate the edges and get your final fullness in the sphere.

IMG_9422

Step 10:  Enjoy!

Because the color combinations are only limited by the colors of tissue paper, this project is very versatile for any event you may be hosting.  We think this would be perfect for a Baby Shower, Baptism party or First Communion party!

Take time to try this easy DIY project for your next event or get together and let us know how your Poms come out.  We’d love to hear from you!

Anne-Marie Dunn is the owner of www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com

Please feel free to visit our website or send us an e-mail at Support@BaptismalGownsPlus.com to let us know what you think.