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How to Easily Create Awesome (and Cheap) Dessert Platters and Cake Stands

diy party dessert platter cake stand tutorial

Have you  gone shopping for a cake stand or dessert platter recently? Well, I did since lil miss was turning one…and I HAD TO HAVE A PARTY 🙂 because that is just how I roll. I scoped out Target, Walmart, and Amazon. You know what…not one had a dessert platter or cake stand for less than $15.00…and you can bet it sure did not match my décor scheme. Oh and with that price, I couldn’t buy multiples either, which I would surely need for my dessert table plans I had in mind 🙂 That means I had some seriously big dessert plans!

This is where I took matters into my own hands. I came up with a way to make 5, yes 5, platters for a little more than 3 dollars each. And this was with buying cans of spray paint, which will last for many more projects to come. If I already had the paint at home, or if I actually calculated the price to make the platters based on the amount of paint I used from the can, the price to make each platter would be even lower! Oh yeah, and even better, these platters matched my décor and color scheme perfect..

Where to Buy the Most Economically Priced Materials to Build Dessert Platters and Cake Stands

The first thing you will need to do to whip these little guys up, is take a trip to the dollar store. I purchased candle holders, and platters. Another good place to find large, good quality platters is Michael’s or A.C.Moore, especially after holidays. I scored some platters from their Christmas clearance. They were a buck each, and really ugly, but I didn’t care because I knew I was going to paint them anyways!

I then took my endeavors over to Walmart. It is the cheapest place I have found to purchase spray paint. You can customize these platters in a variety of ways, just by the paint you choose.I got the colors I wanted, which happened to be bright spring colors. Rustoleum has some awesome finishes, like metallic if you are after a faux metal look, or the looking glass finish, which provides a mirrored surface! Both super cool. See, the possibilities for your platters really are endless!

diy party dessert platter cake stand tutorial supplies

 

Step-by-step Guide to Creating Designer Cake and Dessert Platters in Less Than 15 Minutes

Now that we have our supplies, the most important step is to prepare the items for painting. I used rubbing alcohol and wiped down each platter and candle holder. They need to be very clean so the paint will adhere and there are no little texture bumps. Items from the dollar store can be dusty some times, so this step really is critical to obtaining a beautiful finished product.

Next, I go down into the scary cave below my house, OK, actually its our basement! I have set up a board as my painting station. It is not anything glamorous, as you will see in the pictures, but it does the job. Not to mention, it is going to get covered in paint. 🙂 Make sure your work area is clean and free of any dust particles, dirt etc. Also make sure you lay a painters tarp on the floor under your work surface. Let’s just say, I may have forgotten to do this in the past one or two times, and the mister was not very happy about my over spray….

Place the items to be painted on your work surface. I started by spraying the candle stick. Apply an even coat of paint. More the spray can in a wisping motion. You do not want to make thick layers of paint. That gives the potential for drips. It is much better to do multiple thin coats. I walk around the candle holder as I paint it to make sure I have painted all the crevices. You only need to paint the exterior of the holder.

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Once the first coat of paint on the candle holder is complete, spray the platter, either the same color or an accent color. Whatever is your preference. Again, use the same wisping motion for the paint application Thick coats of paint are not your friend! I am talking from experience here people!

diy party dessert platter cake stand tutorial painting

Now, go back and do another coat on the candle holder. Repeat, going back and forth between the two pieces until a total of three light coats of paint have been applied. Do a final once over and make sure the items have even coverage. If there are any thin spots add a little more paint.

Let the items dry, at least over night. You could go back and paint the bottom side of the platter now if you want. No one was going to see my bottom side, so I did not bother to do that.

diy party dessert platter cake stand tutorial drying

Once everything is dry, put hot glue on the top of the candle holder and place the painted platter on top of the candle holder. Make sure the platter is centered. Firmly press the platter onto the candle holder and continue to hold for about two minutes.

Set your platter aside and let the glue cool completely. I recommend not to use your  platter for at least another hour, however, it is now fully assembled and ready for use.

diy party dessert platter cake stand tutorial painting

 

Display and Usage Tips for Your New Cake Stands and Dessert Platters

I have a few platter tips that I want to share with you since you are making these bad boys to help up your platter game even more!

    -Use a doily to dress up the platter and make it look a little more fancy

    – A doily is also great if you have concerns about the food directly touching the painted surface ( I recommend serving

      things that are already in wrappers on these platters, such as cupcakes, mini pastries, cakes, etc)

    -To create the illusion of various height platters, place Styrofoam blocks under some of the platters. I was able to do this

     and hide the Styrofoam in my decor so no one even noticed I had given them a little lift.

    -For a different look, glue 2 completed platters together to obtain a multi-tier platter. These look great with mini cupcakes!

And there you have it. An easy 15 minute project that is easy on the wallet and creates designer looking cake stands and serving platters! The best part about this tutorial is I love how customizable these platters are, making them so versatile for all types of decor.

Oh, P.S. If you need to make those unicorn and cloud cookies (and don’t we all :)), the tutorial is here! And, the unicorn cupcake tutorial will be coming shortly, so stay tuned!

 

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Behind the Scenes: DIY Unicorn Cake Decorating Tutorial from a Professional Baker

 

Unicorn cake tutorialHello, Hello!

Last time we chatted, I shared how to make an easy an amazing 6 layer rainbow cake. Well, I sure wasn’t going to leave you hanging. I am back to tell you how to turn that awesome layer cake into a beautiful unicorn!

If you are not familiar with my past life, I will let you in on  a little secret. I grew up in a bakery family. My father ran a bakery  long before I entered the scene until just last year. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with him from the time I was 15 until I graduated college. It was a great experience. The quality time I got to spend with dad was simply priceless. I didn’t know it at the time, but I sure do now…It’s crazy what living over a thousand miles away from your family and a few years of wisdom will really help you to appreciate. As an added bonus, I also learned some mad cake decorating and baking skills.

With dear old dad retiring from the family business, it made me nostalgic for all those times we shared together in the bakery. Learning life lessons, hard work, and the importance of a good sense of humor. Little miss just turned one, so I decided Momma needed to whip up an epic birthday cake. No way was I going to do store bought for my little lady, when I know my finished product will taste and look a million times better than what I can get at most stores around here.

So for all my fans, who have actually made it this far through my reminiscing, I want to share with you how to create your own professional unicorn birthday cake. Everyone will be asking who your baker is and where they can purchase one for their next event and you will get to smile and say “I did it!” You will feel so proud and accomplished.

Homemade Frosting Tips

icing frosting rainbow pastry bags
© Klublu | Dreamstime.com – Beautiful Color Pastry Bags Photo

 

In full disclosure, I did have to call dad and get a few last minute tips on how to pull off this unicorn cake feat at home. There is a big difference in the types of materials a commercial bakery can purchase vs what the home enthusiast can get their hands on. Good thing for me, dad is well versed in this and was able to give me some great substitutions so that everything will work out. Below are a few tips from my dad’s mini cake making pep talk that might pertain to your baking adventures, too. Just wanted to share the love! <3 <3

  • Buttercream frosting will not be white if you make it using only butter.
  • Buttercream frosting will not taste very good if you use basic shortening (ex: Crisco)
  • Bakeries make buttercream using cake shortening and butter: Typically a 2:1 ratio in order to have optimum taste as well as white color. Note, it is very hard to order small quantities of cake shortening, and it is somewhat expensive in comparison to the other ingredient options.
  • Using a jar of marshmallow fluff in homemade buttercream will give it a nicer flavor, especially if you are using Crisco as your shortening
  • If you use Crisco and butter combination for homemade buttercream use a 1:1 ratio and add the marshmallow fluff.
  • If you make buttercream just using butter, I still add the jar of marshmallow fluff.
  • The slight yellow tint from frosting made just using butter will not effect your ability to color the frosting, but you will not have a true white color.

Making Fondant Cake Accents

For this particular cake, I used fondant to make a few accents. It is important to plan ahead of time and make sure you make your accents a few days in advance so they have time to harden and be painted, with food paint of course. : ) I purchased Wilton’s pre-made fondant Note, always sprinkle your work space with confectioners sugar prior to working with the fondant.

Unicorn Horn

To make the unicorn horn, start by taking a piece of fondant and kneading it like dough. You want to soften it and make it pliable.

Next, roll a snake shape ( like you did as a kid with Playdoh). Tapper the two ends of your snake shape. The center should be the thickest part and the two ends the skinniest.fondant unicorn horn DIY

Bend the snake in half having the two tips meet. Twist the two ends together working your way down until you get to the bottom of the unicorn horn.

fondant unicorn horn DIY

Take a skewer and put it into the unicorn horn and push it about 3/4 of the way up the horn. This will help support the horn when it is placed into the cake.

Lay the horn on a pan and let dry for at least a day. Two to three days is ideal.

Once the horn is dry, use gold (or whatever color you want) food paint and paint your horn. Stick the horn skewer in Styrofoam to allow the paint to dry. Now your horn is ready for the cake!

Unicorn Ears

Knead and make the fondant pliable. Roll the fondant flat.fondant unicorn horn DIY

I used a heart cookie cutter to cut out the ear shapes.  The top part of the heart was placed off of the fondant, so I only used the bottom half of the heart to make the ear shape. I used the cookie cutter to make sure the ears were uniform in size. Alternatively, you could also just cut out triangles. Cut out two ear pieces.

fondant unicorn horn DIY

Take the ear piece and pinch together the bottom of the triangle.

fondant unicorn horn DIY

Place the ears on a pan to dry. Remember, a day is the minimum and a little longer than that is even better :).

Once the ears are dry, I used a couple drops of pink from the Wilton color system and thinned it with a teaspoon of vodka. I then painted the centers of the ears pink.

As you can see from my images, I was mass producing unicorn horns and ears to top the birthday cake, smash cake, and all the cupcakes! That was a lot of horns and ears ;P

fondant unicorn horn and ears DIY

Steps to Decorate Cake as a Unicorn

So, lets get started.  Place your cake on a cake turntable. The first thing you will need to do, after you have assembled your layers, is it to give it a crumb coat (or not…read on for more info about that).  A trick that I love to use for frosting cakes is if you have the time and space, is to stick your cake in the freezer for a few hours or even overnight. A chilled cake is so much easier to work with and will prevent you from ending up with tons of crumbs in your frosting. To be honest, when I start with a frozen cake, I don’t even do a crumb coat unless I am going to cover it with fondant. If it is frozen, I tend to just go for it and frost it.

Prior to frosting the cake, decide what color you would like the base of the unicorn head to be. I used a true all butter buttercream recipe for my unicorn cake. Due to the high concentration of butter in my frosting, it has a cream color as opposed to white. This is perfect for the look I wanted, so I didn’t even need to color my frosting. If you would rather have a different color for the head, then color your frosting before you start.

Once your frosting is the color you desire, we will start by frosting the sides of the cake. I use a flat icing spatula to apply frosting to the cake. While holding the spatula parallel with that of the cake sides, I spread the frosting, using gentle pressure, until a smooth coating of frosting all the way around the cake is achieved. Make sure that none of the cake layers are peaking through the icing. It is too thin if you can see any of the layers and you need to add additional icing.

Once the sides are covered, I then plop some icing on the top of the cake and spread that out evenly using the same spatula. I make sure to spread all the way past the edges.Some icing may even drip onto the sides. That is totally OK.

Next, I grab the icing smoother. As I spin the cake on the turntable, I hold this parallel to the cake and use slight pressure. This tool is taller than the layer cake and will smooth the frosting

Once the sides are smooth, I go back to smoothing the top. I use the flat icing spatula and spread the icing from the edge of the cake toward the center. I do this working all the way around the cake.

To get any additional remaining lines removed from the top of the cake I will let you in on a secret. Boil a pot of water and keep it boiling. Place your spatula in the hot water for about 15  seconds. Now, slowly drag across the top of your cake. This melts the icing just enough to smooth it and remove any spatula marks. We used this tip at the bakery all the time.

Next, I placed the fondant unicorn horn in the top of the cake and one ear on either side. Note, you should make the fondant horn and ears a few days ahead of time to make sure that it has time to dry and harden.  Instructions for making the unicorn horn are at the end of this post.

Once the fondant pieces are in place I began making the mane. I prepared five pastel colors of frosting: pink, purple, blue, yellow, and green. The pink and purple were put into pastry bags with a regular size rose tip (104). The blue was put into a mini rose tip (102). Green was put into a leaf tip (352). Yellow was put into the closed star tip (35)

I made roses and covered the front top of the unicorn head in a triangle shape. Next, I filled in gaps between the roses with the star tip adding little yellow flowers, as well as adding leaves to all of the roses.

I then added flowers in the same manner around the ears. On the back of the head I used flowers to create the mane and had them go down the back side of the cake too. I even had some flowers wrap around the bottom of the cake towards the front on the cake board to extend the mane slightly. I then sprinkled gold star sprinkles and little white pearl sprinkles throughout the mane to add a little extra dazzle.

The finishing touches to decorating the unicorn are adding the eyes. I painted on the eyes using a small paint brush with the black food coloring from the Wilton Color Right Performance Color System. Do not dilute the food coloring or it will run and drip, ruining all that hard work. We sure don’t want that to happen. Ta-da! Unicorn cake complete!

 

 DIY Rainbow Unicorn Birthday Cake

Phew! Glad you made it through the LONGEST POST EVER! Sorry about that. I just had so much good info to share with you. Hope it helps and you can use it on some of your next cake frosting endeavors. If you have questions or need more frosting (or general baking) feel free to post in the comments and I will get back to you ASAP. Happy cake decorating!

I am linking up with these parties!

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How to Create the Perfect Rainbow Layer Cake

 

6 layer rainbow cake tutorial

This year we celebrated our daughter’s first birthday. I love birthdays, parties and decorating! And you know what, I love to do it even more when it’s for my sweet little miss! Her party was rainbow unicorn themed. So, what else is this mom to do, but whip up a 6 layer rainbow unicorn cake?! Well, that is just what I did! Read on to learn how to easily make a rainbow cake for any occasion.

Start by whipping up a double batch of your favorite vanilla cake batter. I used a family recipe. Use your favorite go to white cake recipe, or even a box mix. If you use a box mix, you will need two. I actually made my batter in batches as well. I made one batch, the equivalent to one box mix, and split that into three separate bowls.

Then I colored each of the bowls an individual color. The first batch I did pink, orange, and yellow. You do not want to over mix your batter or you risk your cake becoming slightly tough. I stir the food coloring in just until I reach color uniformity, or very close to it. I use Wilton’s  Color Right Performance System.

Next, grease three cake pans and add the batter. I used this cake layer pan set from Wilton. It worked fabulous! Bake according to your recipe’s directions, but check your cake a couple minutes earlier than normal. These layers are slightly thinner than a typical cake layer.

Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes. After this time, flip the cakes out of the pan onto wax or parchment paper.

rainbow cake layers

During the time the first batch is baking, I whip up and color the second batch of batter. This time it was green, blue, and purple.

Sometimes cake layers will slightly dome at the top during baking. So,after all the layers are baked and cooled, use a bread knife to flatten  each of the layers so they will lay even when you put them together, if needed. Now, take your favorite cake filling, or frosting recipe and stick each layer together.  One of my favorite filling combinations is to use red raspberry jam and buttercream frosting. Put a thin layer of jam on one side of the cake and on the other layer a thin layer of buttercream. Now sandwich the two sides with filling together. Repeat this for each layer until you reach the top. If you are looking for a great buttercream recipe I highly recommend this Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting by Amanda Cupcake . It is simply delicious!

Once you have assembled your layer cake than you can decorate it. Always remember to do a crumb coat prior to frosting your cake, even if you are going to use fondant.

A fun alternative would be to make an ombre layer cake. Shades of pink or shades of blue for the layers would make an awesome gender reveal cake! Green ombre would be awesome  for St. Patrick’s day, frosted up like a pot of gold. The possibility with colored layers is endless!

I finished off my cake by frosting the whole thing with that delicious marshmallow buttercream. Then decorated it up as a unicorn. I made the horn out of fondant and added a beautiful floral mane. For the full tutorial on how to decorate the cake like a unicorn check out this post.

And here is a peek at what it looks like when you cut into the rainbow layer cake.

unicorn rainbow layer cake

 

And here is the cake all decked out like a unicorn! Isn’t it magical!  I would love to see your rainbow layer cake if you bake one up!

unicorn cake party dessert table

 

 

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The Ultimate Guide to Easy DIY Cookies on a Stick

DIY cookie on a stick tutorial

As promised, here is the first of many tutorials, Easy DIY Cookies on a Stick, that are the result of my daughter’s EPIC unicorn first birthday party…and my it was epic!  My goal, is to help anyone who may want to recreate this unicorn party for their family and friends. This party theme lends itself nicely to kids birthday parties as well as baby showers. It is such a universal and fun party theme. The sky is the limit with the creativity surrounding this type of a party.

One of the most important elements of a good party is good food. In my opinion good food also means fun food! And seriously, what could be more fun than food on a stick.  Think about it. Those super fun experiences in life always seem to have food on a stick…the circus you can get cotton candy, fairs and carnivals always have yummy snacks like corn dogs and meat on a stick…yeah, really what it boils down to is food on a stick IS THE BEST! So, of course for my little sweet’s party, we had to have cookies on a stick.

Although the idea of making cookies on a stick may seem daunting, it really isn’t bad at all. I have been making all types of pastries, cookies, sweets, and desserts since I was about 12 years old. Growing up, my family had a very popular German bakery, so really, baking is in my blood! Now, I am here to share my wealth of baking knowledge and teach you the tricks of the trade to make you baking so much easier!

How to Make a Cookie on a Stick 

First things first! Start by whipping up your favorite batch of cut out sugar cookie dough. If you are feeling like taking a short cut, you can even use a box mix to whip up your cookies. I won’t tell anyone if you do 😉

Once you have prepared your dough, you want to roll it out and cut out your shapes. The key with cookies on a stick is that you need to roll your dough a little bit thicker than normal. I personally roll my dough 1/2 inch thick for cookies on a stick, but you can get away with  3/8 inch. I use this rolling pin with guides to help make sure that my dough is the correct thickness. Super helpful, as the dough thickness is what will make or break these cookies. If you do not have thick enough dough, the stick will fall out of the cookie and then you will have a crumbled cookie not on a stick. 🙁

After your shapes are cut out (I made unicorn and cloud cookies) you want to place them on a cookie sheet.  Make sure to leave room to insert the stick ( this happens post baking). My cookies were approximately 2 inches and I was able to fit 5 on a pan for baking. Once you have the cookies on the pan, bake per the recipe’s directions.

Now, once the cookies are done baking, as soon as they are removed from the oven you need to place the stick in the cookie. You want to insert the stick from the bottom of the cookie and slide it up inside the cookie about 3/4 of the way. DO NOT MOVE THE COOKIES OFF THE PAN. If you do, this will cause the sticks to fall out. As the cookies cool, the dough wraps around the stick and helps secure the sticks, but while the cookies are warm, the sticks have not yet been secured. These are my favorite sticks for cookies!

cookies on a stick

I let the cookies cool on the pan for about 7 to 10 minutes. Then I move them to a cooling rack. I use a spatula to carefully move the cookie from the pan to the cooling rack.

unicorn and cloud cookies on a stick

I recommend waiting at least 2 hours for your cookies to fully cool before preparing to decorate them and use royal icing. It is super quick to whip up. You can check out my go to recipe here. I prefer to make my royal icing  one consistency that has the ability to outline and flood a cookie. Some bakers prefer to make icing with a slightly runnier consistency for flooding cookies. I find this time consuming, especially when icing cookies, but if this method works for you, than go for it! There really is no wrong way to decorate a cookie! Ultimately, you are going to eat it right?! 🙂

Place some of your icing into a pastry bag and use x tip.  Add the remaining frosting into a squeeze bottle. For each cookie, start by tracing around the edge of the cookie using the icing in the pastry bag. Then, take the squeeze bottle and fill in the cookie with icing. If you have small bare spots you can use the tip of the squeeze bottle to help direct the icing. I recommending doing two cookies at a time. If you do more than this, the icing used to edge the cookie will not blend in with the fill icing. The two cloud cookies on the top left in the image below show where I did the edge of too many cookies before flooding the inside of the cookie and had this issue happen.

frosting unicorn and cloud cookies on a stick

Since my base color for both the cloud and unicorn cookies was white, I  went ahead and did all the cookies. Depending on your cookie design, use the appropriate  food colors to tint your icing and apply a base layer of icing on the cookie. Once you have a base layer, than go back and add in the details.

How to Decorate Unicorn and Cloud Cookies

To finish up the cloud cookies, once the initial layer of icing has slightly dried (approximately 15 minutes) I went and did a swirly border around the edge of the cloud. I also piped a little heart in the bottom, right corner of each cloud.  For the detailed cute little cloud faces, I used these awesome food markers, called FooDoodler. They work like a dream and enable precision design. So glad I bought this set, and it was a steal at only eight dollars on amazon. Finally, I used gold food paint, also scored on amazon, to paint the little hearts and add a little bling to those cutie clouds! My party theme accent color happened to be gold, so I incorporated it into the cookies. I may be bias, but I think they came out super cute!

The unicorn cookie details were a little more challenging, in my opinion. I colored three portions of royal icing, one each, pink, blue, and green. Next, I layered the colors in one pastry bag and used a writing tip to decorate the tails and manes. I was hoping to get a multi-color effect for the mane and tail, which I did. However, when the pink and green colors mixed they, did get a little bit muddy. The execution and theory of how I did it works. I have done it in the past, and will also show how I did it in an upcoming post for my rainbow meringue ‘unicorn poop’ cookies. My issue was in color choice. Next time, I won’t use the green.

I used the same multi-color icing to also pipe a small heart on the unicorn’s side as well as pipe the hooves. I also went back and added an accent strand of hair in the mane and tail of each unicorn. By waiting and doing this a little bit later the accent strand was slightly raise up above the rest of the mane. I then busted out that gold food paint again and painted the hooves, heart, and accent hairs gold. After that, I used my food markers again to add a cute little eye. Voila! Unicorns on a stick!

frosting unicorn and cloud cookies on a stick

If you want to duplicate my cookies you can get the unicorn cookie cutter from SheyB.com and the cloud cookie cutter from Amazon.

 

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Throw Your Own Epic DIY Unicorn Party Series

unicorn birthday party cake

Well hello, hello! It has been a little time since I have popped into the blog. Life got a little crazy with the travel and the holidays, but I am back and have a treat for everyone!

Little miss just turned one (yes seriously…already; I may be on the verge of tears) *sniff sniff* but I will prevail with this post 😀 To celebrate her first trip around the sun, we decided to throw her a unicorn themed birthday party! It was  just as magical as her first year was for us!

My over-zealous, super craft happy excited self had created a laundry list of stuff to make for this party. I did so many projects (meaning I went WAY overboard), but the great news for you is that  I am going to do an entire “throw your own epic mystically magical unicorn party” series chock full of DIY tutorials!  These tutorials will cover decor as well as fun unicorn themed foods! I can’t wait to share. A few of the tutorials that will be coming your way include:

  • DIY unicorn party hats (headbands)
  • DIY sky scene setter background and fluffy puffy clouds
  • Fast and easy no sew rainbow ruffled table skirt
  • Unicorn cupcakes
  • Unicorn Meringue “poop” cookies
  • Unicorn rainbow cake

There are so many more in addition to those listed above, but I want to keep a few surprises for everyone! So stay tuned, as the epic DIY unicorn party series starts later this week!! Below is my little unicorn, who passed out right in the middle of her first birthday party! It was HER party, and she slept if she wanted to! 🙂

unicorn birthday party

 

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Baby’s First Bumpkin Holiday Art

baby bum pumpkin art

Happy fall ya’ll!   I felt the need to make some seasonal art and I always love to incorporate tiny humans! Then it came to me, I will make a bumpkin!  What is a bumpkin, you ask?! Well, you are in for a treat!  A bumpkin is a pumpkin crafted by using the tiny bum of an adorable little human.

To make a fall bumpkin painting you will need a few materials:

  • Tiny adorable human bum
  • orange paint (non toxic, child safe of course)
  • paper
  • additional paint or markers for adding a little pizzazz to that bumpkin (I used copics)
  • foam sponge brush (or your fingers)
Supplies needed to make Mistletoe baby art print.

I suggest executing this project in a place that is easy to clean.  since it tends to get little messy. Nakedness and orange paint on their bum, boy do they squirm! 🙂  I suggest you wear old clothes too! The mess factor is really up there with this project.

I do my baby art projects in the kitchen on the floor. Take the foam brush and apply orange paint to your tiny person. You can squeeze the paint onto the brush or you can put the paint on a paper plate and dab it onto the brush (or smear it with your fingers; lets be honest that is the easiest way). Gently dab the paint onto the cheeks of your little one. You want to stay to the exterior of the bum (don’t get too close to wear the cheeks meet). Once you have adequately applied paint to those little cheeks go ahead and sit your little one on the piece of paper. Lift the baby straight up off of the paper to get a nice bum print! Basically, you are using baby’s bum as a giant stamp! Enjoy the cuteness overload.Yes, you have a bum print! Now make more! Revel in how cute your tiny one is! And also in the fact that when your tiny human is 16 you are going to have some awesome embarrassment potential with this little art piece.

Next, bath time is in order for that little person! Make sure you pay extra special attention to cleaning off that little bumpkin of yours!  While that fun tubby time is going on your bumpkin print is drying.

Once your print is dry you can embellish it.  I got a little crazy and added some crazy curling vines from the stem and a shadow, too! I also make sure to include the date to commemorate the art. Since this is my little lady’s first bumpkin I  titled it with not only her name, but also that it is in fact her first bumpkin. You can see my design for the beautiful Miss Ellarose’s bumpkin below. Feel free to get creative and add even more to this art or leave out what doesn’t suit your tastes. This is a great starting place, but definitely customize it and make it your own!

Now, you have a precious little bumpkin keepsake to give as a gift or cherish and keep forever. If you make a bumpkin I would love to see how it turns out! This is my all time favorite baby painting craft I have done so far. Baby bums are uber cute!

 

Happy Painting!

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Mistletoe and Holly: Baby Holiday Art

DIY baby christmas footprint art tutorial

Happy December! My favorite season is upon us, and what better time than to make a little holiday art using your tiny human. I want to commemorate my little darling and all her adorableness…so why not make some mistletoes?! What, you ask?! Well, you are in for a treat!

Making baby art is super easy and super fun. I used my tiny human’s sweet little feet.  My little lady loves it and giggles and laughs the entire time!

To make a baby mistletoe painting you will need a few materials:

  • Tiny adorable human feet
  • green paint (non toxic, child safe of course)
  • paper
  • additional paint or markers for adding a little pizzazz to those sweet toes (I used copic markers)
  • foam sponge brush (or fingers)
  • baby wipes (to remove excess paint)

It is important to take on this project in a place that is easy to clean as it can get a little messy. Those little humans tend to be quite wiggly and I swear the wiggle factor increases exponential when they have green paint on their feet! 🙂  Also, make sure you are wearing old clothes and it helps to have the little one completely naked.

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I usually conduct this entire process while sitting on the floor. It makes it much easier and reduces the mess factor. Take the foam brush and apply green paint to it. You can squeeze the paint onto the brush or you can put the paint on a paper plate and dab it onto the brush. Alternatively, and to be honest, what I actually do, is just smear it on her feet with my finger. 😀 Gently dab the paint onto those tiny little feet (after you give them a few kisses of course). You do not want to use too much paint, as you will not get  a nice print. Once the feet are ready, place the baby’s foot onto the paper!  I find it easiest to do one foot at a time. Basically, you are using baby’s foot as a giant stamp! Enjoy the cuteness overload. Eeeekkk! Revel in how cute your tiny one is! What an awesome keepsake, or holiday gift for a grandparent!

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Next, take that paint covered little human and go give him/her a nice little bath. We love tubbie time in our house. It is always filled with giggles, laughs and splashes!  Actually, the family fun that we have with this project is the best part! While that fun tubby time is going on your mistletoes print is drying.

Once your print is dry you can embellish it. I like to add holly and berries. I also make sure to include the date to commemorate the art. Since this is my little lady’s first mistletoes (and Christmas for that matter) I also title it with her name! You can see my design for the beautiful Miss Ellarose’s mistletoes below. Feel free to get creative and add even more to this art or leave out what doesn’t suit your tastes. This is a great starting place, but definitely customize it and make it your own! One of my favorite tips, if you are using baby as a stamp, make a few as they make great gifts for grandparents!

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Now, you have a precious little baby foot keepsake to give as a gift or cherish and keep forever. If you make some mistletoes I would love to see how it turns out! They are just the cutest little craft in my opinion!

Stay tuned, next week I will be posting another tutorial for tiny human holiday art! I can’t wait to share! Christmas is by far my favorite holiday and I am so excited to share my first Christmas with my tiny human!

Life is good! Enjoy every moment!

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Ribbon Resources for Adorable and Affordable Ribbon

Ribbon Resources

Some of my favorite projects revolve around ribbon. They are so beautiful and  versatile. There are so many uses, colors, and styles out there these days. I can’t lie, I must confess, I am a ribbon hoarder.  That and glitter, I hoard that stuff, too, if I am being totally honest, but shhh don’t tell anyone 🙂  Oh yeah, and maybe sequins…and anything sparkly and shiny! With the Christmas season upon us, that is even more of a reason to get out the ribbon and everything that is glitzy and glimmers.

So I digressed slightly.  Anyways, I have tons of tutorials I am going to be posting in the next few weeks that incorporate ribbon… a little series I am calling the 12 Crafty Days of Christmas! That means, if you decide to test out some of my projects, you are going to need to score yourself some awesome ribbon. I want to make your life a little easier. So instead of you having to search around to find adorable ribbon for a great value, I did all the leg work for you!

Below I am listing my resource list for all my favorite stores to purchase ribbon and ribbon related accessories. Accessories include things like marabou poufs and trim, feathers, netting, elastics etc. I tend to use a lot of the accessory items in my hair bows I make for the little miss!

I have purchased from all of the companies listed and have had great experiences. Drum roll please:

These are my favorite online shops, and honestly the place I purchase the majority of my ribbon.

And a bonus, my favorite place to buy tulle for all your tutu needs! The Tulle Shop also carries ribbon. However, I have only purchased tulle from them

Next up, my favorite brick and mortar specialty stores. There are good deals  to be had if you shop these locations right. Specifically, I am talking about the chain craft stores:

  • Michaels
  • A C Moore
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Joann Fabrics

I like to purchase holiday ribbon from these shops. Specifically, I wait for the 20%or 30% off your entire purchase coupons to come around. Then, I try to buy the ribbon that is already on sale. This has worked great this past month. I bought a ton of Christmas ribbon at Michael’s that was 50% off and then I used my 30% off my entire purchase coupon. I basically stole that beautiful ribbon!

These stores have had the 30% off your entire purchase coupons two times in the past two months. They are usually only valid for 24 hours. I highly recommend signing up for their text notifications. There is always  a text the day they have an awesome sale. I just grab my craft supply list and run to the store. Yes, I keep a list of supplies I need, like a grocery list, so I can stock up when things go on sale.  Another great thing about these stores is that they match each other’s coupons!

A couple other brick and mortar stores that I frequent are:

  • Dollar stores
  • Walmart
  • Ocean State Job Lot

Now, these stores are very hit or miss. If I am there shopping for something else I might take a  quick peek and see if they have any ribbon that interests me. Sometimes you will strike gold, especially at the dollar store and job lot. I have a few times at both of these stores.

Finally, there is one other place I purchase ribbon. If you need to build your ribbon stash, and especially, if you don’t need large sections of ribbon I recommend checking out eBay. I have  purchased ribbon scrap bags. They are usually sold by weight . I have purchased 1 lb ribbon scrap bags and loved them. The particular bags I purchased were sorted by colors. I purchased bags of purple and silver scraps. Most pieces were at least 18 inches long. Which, was more than enough for my purposes. I love the scrap bags because they allow for lots of variety in my little lady’s hair bow while keeping the costs down.

Ribbon scrap bags are also available on Etsy, but the price is usually significantly higher. I suggest sticking to eBay for them. The downfall of these scrap bags is that they are grab bags. So you have no idea what will be inside. That being said, most sellers have decent pictures of the item so you can get a general ideal.

A few of the online boutiques also offer the ribbon grab bags. They seem like they are a good value, but I have not purchased any, yet. 🙂 I feel it may be in my near future though!

Well, there you have it. You have now been thoroughly updated on where I like to shop for all my ribbon needs. I would love to add to my reference list, so if you have a great source let me know!

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DIY Baby Legs Tutorial: Halloween Edition

quick diy leggings

So its Halloween time and we are getting our costumes ready! This is little Miss Ellarose’s FIRST Halloween! I am so excited to celebrate this with her! I LOVE ALL THINGS HOLIDAY!  Ella is going to be a very girly jack-o-latern. I bought her an adorable pumpkin Jack-o-latern onsie. On this little shopping spree of mine, I also had bought her a different outfit on clearance that is  for New Year’s Eve and it has an AH-MAH-ZING black and gold glittery tutu. Wouldn’t you know, that it is also just perfect for her costume. SCORE!  That left me with one dilemma. How to keep those little baby legs of hers warm (and super duper adorable and stylish)??

Perhaps you have heard of baby legs. Those super adorable leg warmers in all sorts of fun patterns and styles for babies. Well, if you know me, you know I want one of every color…and that is just not in the budget….so instead I have a way to make adorably baby legs for a fraction of the cost. Oh yeah, and its pretty fast too! I made this one pair in about 15 minutes. I highly suggest making them assembly line style (4 or 5 pairs at once) and they go even faster!

Lets get making some baby legs!

First you need to go shopping! Isn’t that the best first step ever?! I love to shop.  Anyways, you need to find some women’s knee high socks (you can use girl’s if you are making these for a baby) in a pattern you like. Buy a few pairs. Trust me, once you start making these you can’t stop, and you won’t want to. You will suddenly be filled with an overwhelming desire to ensure ALL baby legs EVERYWHERE are covered in adorable leg warmers! These make great gifts for those naked baby legs in your life, too!  A few great places I have found to buy socks are Joann’s Fabric, Ocean State Job Lot, Target, and Walmart.

Since this is the Halloween edition of baby legs, the socks I have picked are orange and black striped. I got these at Joann’s for $2.00. These will make the perfect edition to that tiny human’s jack-o-latern costume for sure!

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Using your adorable little model, determine how long your baby legs need to be. Then add an inch. Now get out your scissors and chop up that sock!

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Don’t mind my little assistant there. She likes to help with all my craft projects. That is Beetle aka Little Miss Beet Beet. Yes, her nickname is WAY longer than her real name. I have know idea how that happened, but it did!

Next, make a slit (from the side where you just cut) on each side of the sock. Do this for both socks. IMPORTANT: Do NOT, I repeat, Do NOT cut the top of the sock. It is already finished. That’s the beauty of this. We only have to finish one side!

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Now, turn those socks inside out.

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At the edge you just cut, fold the fabric up 1/4 inch. Then fold it an additional 1/4 inch. Pin the hem in place. Use lots of pins. This is not the time to be stingy with those pins!

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See. I wasn’t shy with the pins. Look how many I have in those socks! Now, it’s time for the fun to begin. Set your sewing machine to the longest straight stitch available. Line up the edge of your hem of the sock with the presser foot on the sewing machine.  Sew the hems on each of the sides of the sock separately, as you normally would, back-stitching at the beginning and ends of each hem.

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Ok, now you are going to pin the two sides of the sock together at the hem. This is to keep the hem lined up. Then, remember those slits we cut, we are going to go to the top of the slit and sew from the edge of the sock just above the top of the slit at an angle down through the hem of the sock. Use a 20 to 30 degree angle. You don’t want to go too steep or it will result in a really tiny open to get that little foot through. Trust me, some one MAY have done that during the trial phase of this tutorial.

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This shows you the angle that I sewed my leg warmers at.

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Once you have sewn  your baby legs, you want to cut off the excess material

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Now for the best part. Turn your baby legs right side out and go find the nearest pair of baby legs you can get your hands on and test these bad boys out!

 

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Seriously, are those not the cutest legs ever?! And it is so perfect mommy is loving making baby legs right now because the tiny human just started to crawl! Baby legs make for great stylish knee protection!

This tutorial works great for babies to toddler sized legs when using women’s knee high socks. If the baby legs you are planning to clad in leg warmers are chubby add a little additional length because as the leggings stretch out they will lose some length. My particular baby is a skinny mini so I don’t really lose any length when she wears them.

Another great variation is to add significant additional length. This will result in a slouchy style legging now and will also allow the leggings to be worn a lot longer as your tiny human grows. The leggings just won’t be slouchy as your child grows. They will become more  fitted instead.

Now, check out my little pumpkin! Isn’t this the perfect first Halloween outfit ever?! Its only missing one thing….a ridiculously loud and frilly Halloween hair bow. Ought oh….I feel another tutorial coming on!

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Ok, your turn now! Go make some baby legs! I can’t wait to see how yours turn out!

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Creative Crochet Style: Fall Hat Edition

Happy fall ya’ll! Hope you are a having a wonderful day and enjoying this beautiful fall weather. With this fall weather and the cooler temperature, I am in the mood to whip up a festive fall hat for the tiny human. What says fall better than an adorable crochet pumpkin hat?! The only thing I can think of is a tiny human wearing it!

easy crochet pumpkin hat

 

See! Seriously, there is nothing better than that! Anyways, I got this pattern from Ravelry. If you are not familiar with this website, it is a community for knitters and crocheters. This site offers patterns, suggestions for yarns, , forums, and social networking among crafters. This site is a fabulous resource.

This particular hat pattern, Pumpkin Harvest Hat, was designed by the talented Cathy Kurtz.

I whipped this hat up in about an hour, after I tucked the little miss into bed. Sometimes that crochet bug bites when I least expect it.  The yarn I choose for this project was Vanna’s Choice Yarn in Terracotta and Red Heart Yarn in true green. I used a 4.0 mm (G) crochet hook, which is the recommended size.

The instructions are clearly written and easy to follow. My one word of caution  regarding this pattern is that it seems to run small. My tiny human is very petite to begin with (ie she isn’t even on the growth chart; don’t worry though, she is growing at a steady rate and super healthy) and this hat is extremely snug on her. I will confess, I do tend to crochet very tightly, so that may have something to do with the sizing.

Following the pattern to a tee, which is sized to fit 6 -12 months resulted in a super snug hat. To provide you a sizing idea, my tiny human is currently 8 months (head circumference in the 25 percentile) and we are talking very snug on that little noggin of hers. If I were to make this hat again, I would definitely adjust it by using the next size up crochet hook. I think that would pretty much solve all my size issues. The nice thing about the Vanna’s Choice yarn is that it had a little stretch to it, so I was able to stretch it out enough so she will be able to wear it for the fall season.

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This hat  makes an excellent addition to any tiny human’s wardrobe. I love that it is festive, but not holiday specific so I can get more use out of it than just Halloween. Little miss receives so many complements on this hat every time she wears it. I have actually been stopped in the grocery store and asked where the hat can be purchased. I call that a momma win!

So what are you waiting for? Head over to Ravelry and get the pattern and whip it up. Your tiny human needs a hat!

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