Archive | December, 2011

Pizza Crescent Rolls

29 Dec

Here’s an appetizer so easy to make, that my 5 year old nephew made them. Only three ingredients, a definite crowd pleaser, and ready from prep to cool in under 30 minutes.

Pillsbury Crescent rolls
String Cheese
Baking sheet
The Pepperoni can be substituted with anything really. Think pizza toppings: sausage, mushrooms, broccoli, ham, peppers, ect…
Then match the approproate string cheese with your topping: cheddar, swiss, mozzarella…We stuck to the basics this time and did pepperoni and mozzarella.
Lay out your crescent rolls flat. Unwrap your string cheese and cut each piece in thirds.
Place your string cheese pieces and pepperoni onto each crescent roll.
Roll up each crescent roll with all your pizza toppings inside.
Follow the directions on the back of your crescent roll container for cook times.
Ours was 10-15 mins on 350 degrees.
Once the cheese is gooey and the crescent rolls are browning, you’re all done! These would be good
paired with a marinara dipping sauce as well.
Thumbs up from the cook.
Perfect, easy app for new years eve!
–Emily Jo

What a Hoot Ornaments

24 Dec
This is about as “Go Green” as it gets. Recycled toilet paper roll ornaments!
Toilet Paper Roll
Acrylic Paint
Next time you reach the end of the roll, save it…
and paint it…
and fold in one end…
Now grab a sharpie…
And decorate your Owl!
These owls fit nicely over a bendable branch on your tree!
Have a great Holiday Weekend and stay tuned for more Winter-y posts!
–Emily Jo

Gift Card Holder

22 Dec

This is for that tough person on your gift list this season that you simply gave up on. Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. You’ve looked all around the store, trying to figure out what size his inseam is, or if she was serious or joking when she said she wanted that hot pink Snuggie. After much deliberation, you just grabbed a gift card and said in your head “Whatever. He can get whatever he wants.”

This project is a really quick and easy way to personalize that plastic that no thought what-so-ever went into.

Gift Card
Cardstock or Scrapbooking paper
Double Sided tape
Optional: Any embellishments: bow, ribbon, buttons, jewels, ect…
First, flip your paper face down so the pattern side is not showing. You guys are lucky because I did some measuring, so there’s no trial and error for you. On the white side of the paper, mark off these measurements for your gift card holder:
7.5″ tall x 5″ wide
Then cut out your long rectangle shape.
Once cut, you need to measure and make small marks at:
3″ from the end…
…and then another 3″ up from that. This will leave you with 1.5″ at the end.
Fold along the 2 small lines you just marked.
Like this!
Now you need to make a little flap to be able to shut your card holder closed with. 
I did this by cutting a half moon shape flap out in the middle of my 1.5″ section.
Now time for that double sided tape!
It’s hard to see because it’s white here…but you want to put 2 very small pieces right above the 1.5″ section. Then fold up the 1.5″ section and stick to the tape so it will close on each end, making a pocket for your gift card.
Fa La La La La La La La Saturated Color.
Tuck your top 3″ section under the little half moon flap you cut and your gift card will be all cozy inside, ready to be gifted.
I added a bow onto the front of mine, obviously personalize it however you would like. You can write your standard “To:____ From:____ “on there as well.
This is a great way to personalize or theme any gift card as well. Is this for your niece’s birthday? Use a section from a Disney Princess poster. Did a couple just buy their first house? Do this out of free paint sample swatches. Your Brother just celebrated his sweet 16 and he’s ready to get behind that wheel? Do the holder out of a road map. The possibilities are endless!
So I hope you now feel a little better about handing someone a gift card this season. It will look like you put more thought into their gift than you actually did.
–Emily Jo

Tile Coasters

18 Dec
So this is actually another Martha Stewart idea and it was so quick and easy that it took me less than an hour from start to finish. The supplies are fairly cheap – the tiles were 33 cents a piece and I had most of the other things just laying around. This would make a great last minute gift for anyone, and to top it off, it can be tailored to any aesthetic!
Tiles – I used ceramic and glass, but really any kind would work
Spray adhesive
Sobo Glue
Spray paint
All the supplies ready to go.
I decided to glue the felt onto the back of the tiles before painting because I didn’t want to have to wait for the paint to dry to handle them afterward.
Then I sprayed the pieces of lace and layed the designs out on the tiles.
The glass tiles ready to be spray painted.
Looking good already!
The white tiles got the pink treatment.
And the black tiles were sprayed with a fluorescent yellow paint that ended up looking green. I could have done a second coat of paint to make it more yellow but I was liking the way it looked with just one coat.
With the glass tiles, there is still a shadow from the paint, which is really pretty and what makes glass tiles stand out in any application. The white ceramic tiles took the color the best and look really sharp. The black tiles have a grungier feel to them and the color can be a surprise. There are really a lot of options on where to take this project and they come out looking pretty impressive.

Cinnamon Ornaments

14 Dec
The holiday season is in full swing and my Christmas spirit is unstoppable lately! Growing up I was always partial to the christmas ornaments on our tree that were homemade and frankly a bit ratty looking; you just can’t buy that type of nostalgia in a store. There was this one ornament in particular, made from a cinnamon dough and shaped like a cow that always intrigued me. This year I stumbled upon a recipe (thanks Martha Stewart!) for cinnamon ornaments and knew I would be testing them out. 
Stencil or cookie cutter
So as you can see, I had tested out a few tree ideas in my sketchbook and settled on the one in the middle with the bubble around it. I had initially thought I would just draw the design out bigger on a piece of cardboard but the shape just didn’t have the same feel to it as the sketch did.

Luckily I have an all-in-one printer that I used to copy and enlarge my sketch so I didn’t have to keep trying to recreate it. 

I knew the sketch would leave the limbs of the tree a little too flimsy to work with this type of dough, so I traced the tree a little bit fatter than my sketch.

Using my trusty utility knife, I cut out my stencil. Now this project would have gone probably five times faster if I had just used a cookie cutter, but surprisingly I couldn’t find cookie cutters anywhere that I was in love it. 

I went to the dollar store for the cinnamon and applesauce – I figured quality was not top priority for this dough and didn’t want to use up our cinnamon supply so soon before Christmas.

Here is what the dough looked like. First you add the cinnamon and applesauce together then mix in the glue. I found that the dough was still too dry and crumbly at that point and was adding water little by little until it was a rollable consistency. 

The stencil tracing was the most time consuming part, but look at how cute those little babies are!

All ready for the oven!

Can’t forget to make holes to string them from. Martha used a straw to poke holes, but that was too big for these ornaments, so I just used a toothpick and widened a hole.
So the recipe calls for baking them for 2 hours at 200 degrees, flipping once halfway through. At this point I realized the ornaments were sticking pretty badly to the wax paper. Luckily I had another hour while they finished cooking to come up with an idea to fix them.

Once they were cooled down, I painted the sides with the paper stuck to them white and you would never know that they had a little mess up. In the future I would definitely sprinkle a layer of cinnamon down on the wax paper before baking to try to combat the sticking.

Ready for trimming! I just used some glue and glitter to make the limbs look a little snowy.
Stringing them up looked like it was going to be a bit of a task; the holes were small and the ribbon was fraying at the end. My solution was to tape the end of the ribbon and stick all of them on at once and just cut the ribbon down for each one from there. 

Happy Holidays everyone!

Wrong Holiday Project

12 Dec

I know it is December, but I decided to do this project as a Christmas gift to my sister, who happens to love Halloween as much as I do.  But it is actually pretty easy to convert this whole project to a Christmas tree if you want to be festive. (I actually may do this as Christmas trees too, time permitting. I’ll be sure to post an update with photos if I do.)

Styrofoam craft cones (I found mine at JoAnn Fabrics. $2-$5 depending on size)
Start by wrapping yarn around the base of the cone and work your way up. Try not to show any styrofoam through the yarn
The great thing about this project is that there is no mess or glue involved. Just tuck the end of the yarn strand into a nook between your yarn and styrofoam.
Another great thing about this project is that you can easily do it while watching a movie, drinking coffee, and entertaining your cat (with the yarn…), which is my typical Sunday morning. 
Just keep wrapping…
and wrapping…
until you get to the top. Tuck in your last piece of yarn and paint the open top whatever color your yarn is.  Or if you do a Christmas tree, you could easily cover this with a fun star ornament. 
It’s not October.
Why hello there, candy corn.
If you would like to change this project to a Christmas one, try alternating red and white yarn. Or turn the cones into a tree forest by using green  and placing pins with colored fun ends on them into the cone, like ornaments. 
But for this project, today was Halloween for me.
–Emily Jo

Furniture Facelift

5 Dec
This little shelf unit was redone for my friend’s mom and I was given free range to do whatever I wanted with it, so I was excited to see what I could come up with. This piece was in very rough shape when I picked it up, but I knew I could modernize it and make it functional again.
Sandpaper – a sander helped a ton on this project, but it could also be done by hand
Wood putty
Paint – latex and spray paint
Two drawer pulls
Acetate scrapbook paper
Spray adhesive
Painters tape
Paper towels
Paint brushes
This piece started out looking pretty beat up – a few holes right through the sides, the back was beginning to mold and lots of dings and scratches. So to begin with I took the back completely off and secured the drawer back into place.
After a quick sanding, I began patching up the holes.
Round two of sanding and it’s already starting to look better.
Time to prime!
So I had some pretty grand ideas for a mercury glass-esque faux finish for the top and sides of this piece. I used paper towels to cover the front and back and spray painted the top and sides a shiny silver.
Then I went in and painted the shelves beige and the front white.
Once I had given the faux finish a try, I knew it wasn’t going to come out how I was hoping so back to the drawing board(aka Michaels) I went. I came home with some clear acetate scrapbook paper with a black damask print on it. I also picked up this paper cutter that I’m not sure how I lived so long without. I cut the paper down to 2″x2″ squares so that they would fill the space evenly.
With the cutting all done, I layed out the squares like tiles, alternating the orientation of the pattern.
I was nervous for the gluing part, not knowing how the glue would show through the clear acetate, but ultimately it looked great. So I sprayed enough glue to lay down two rows at a time, making sure the glue didn’t dry out too much before I got to it.
This is the point where I decided I wasn’t loving the beige on the shelves and slapped a couple coats of the white paint on instead.
I also sprayed the top and sides down with a clear gloss, just to protect the squares a bit from lifting up.
Hopefully I can get a few pictures once it is installed in the McKelvey home!
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