Tuesday, December 25, 2012

New Year 2013 Soda Can Tab Charms

Celebrate the New Year with 2013 charms made from recycled soda can tabs and punch-out circles.  These glittery charms are so easy to make, you can do them with your kids.   Save those cans!

You will need recycled soda cans, at least four tabs, Elmer's® Clear Glue, hole punch, top can opener, glitter glue, and a sharpie (sorry, forgot to include in picture).

Start by laying a glitter background with glitter glue.  Glue from the outside and then fill in then center.

Use a can opener to open the top of a soda can.  Carefully punch out small circles from the side of the can with a hole-punch.  Use a sharpie to write a number from "2013" on each circle.

Once the glittered can tabs have dried, drop the circles onto the tabs, number side facing up.  Coat each number with a dollop of Elmer's® Clear Glue.  Allow to dry and attach the charms to your bracelet or necklace.

 Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Monogram Gift Box

There's still time to wrap those last minute gifts.  Personalize your gifts by adding monograms made from recycle paper and wire ties.  It is important that prior to starting the project, wrap your gift and leave a space for the monogram.  This will help in planning the letter size and location.

To create the letter, I recycled twisty tie from my kids toys as the core.  (Yes, they opened their presents before Christmas!)  You can also use any small wires.  Other materials are recycled strips of paper from an old book (1/2 inch widths), Mod Podge®, and Elmer's® Clear glue.

Wrap the strips of paper tightly around the wire, working at a angle and moving downwards.  Continue until the end of the wire and trim off the paper.  Apply Mod Podge® generously over the wrapped wire and shape into a desired letter.

While the letter is still wet, affix onto gift box.  The letter may still be white - this is fine as the Mod Podge® will dry clear.

As the letter dries, it will adhere to the box but will still be slightly tacky.  Using your fingers or toothpick, apply a coat of Elmer's® Clear glue.  This will give the letter a shine and also take away the tackiness.

Allow the letter to dry and your gift is ready for giving!  

Monday, December 17, 2012

Crystal & Organza Angels

Create these beautiful angels for tree or home.  They require only a few materials to make.

The angels have crystal bead head with flowing organza ribbon bodies. (You can use any type of bead for the head.)

Thread a pipe cleaner through the bead to use as the body and twisted once.

Begin wrapping ribbon at the base of the bead to cover the pipe cleaner.  Form a bow through the pipe cleaner and twist once.
Wrap the ribbon around the rest of the pipe cleaner to cover it.  Layer the ribbon vertically three to four times.

Tie a small ribbon right below the wing.  Fold the pipe cleaner in half for a smaller angel.

It's as simple as that!

This post is dedicated to the beautiful souls who are now angels in heaven.  May God provide peace and comfort to their friends and families.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Snowflake Suncatcher and Window Art

When I was growing up, the craft supplies we had were construction paper, a plastic bin filled with miscellaneous crayons, and a bottle of white glue.  Of all those, I used the glue the most.  The wackiest thing my friends and I liked to make with glue were fake nails.  Well, I won't be making those anymore.  Today, I'm going to make sun catcher and window cling.

I originally thought of using white glue and pouring glitter over it.  I went shopping for supplies and, lo-and-behold, a whole section of glue at the craft store.  Change of plans!  I bought a bottle of glitter glue and puffy paint to experiment with.  I printed a snowflake pattern from Autumn Carpenter blog site  but you can also create one relatively easily.  Snowflakes are so diverse, you can't go wrong as long as they are symmetrical.  If you are an expert cookie decorator, you can even freehand the snowflakes.

Lay a sheet of wax paper on top of your pattern and tape the sheets down.  Turn the glue bottle upside down and tap a few times to get to glue down to the tip to remove any air bubbles.  Open the cap and squeeze steadily over the pattern.

Once done, you can go over any area that may not have enough glue.  Remember, you will be peeling the snowflake out so you want to have a thick piping.  With the delicate pattern I used, I could also fill in areas to create and more solid snowflake.

Here's the puffy paint snowflake.

The hardest part is waiting patiently for the glue to dry.  I kept watching it and checking on it.  I did add a few drops of glitter glue here and there  because the glue thins out as it dries.  The best thing to do is to leave it overnight to allow the glue to completely dry.  Then you are ready to slowly peel and decorate.  

Just to see how it would work, I tried adhering the glitter glue to the window.  Glitter glue flattens as it dries and is not as tacky as puffy paint so it did not stick as well but it still looked beautiful.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Chocolate Drizzled Pretzels

I have been wanting to make simple homemade gifts that I can mass produce (30-50 pieces) and give out to anyone I see during the holidays.  One year I baked a cake in a jar but I could not produce enough to give to everyone.  I thought about baking cookies but that does not keep for very long.  After much pondering, I decided to make chocolate covered pretzels.  I like the pretzels drizzled for a more subtle chocolate taste.  This is a matter of preference.  It's something I have seen and always wanted to try.  

For variety, I used, milk chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, caramel chips, and peppermint candy cane.  I also put a few drops of peppermint extract to flavor the white chocolate.

About 1/2 cup of chocolate chips was placed in a ramekin and microwaved for 30 seconds.  You do not need to be exact on measurements.  After the first 30 seconds, I stirred and then repeated to microwave for 10 seconds, stirring after each heating,  until a nice smooth consistency was achieved.  The chocolate should flow off the utensil in a nice continuous ribbon.

Working quickly, drizzle the chocolate over the pretzel.  You can also choose to dip the pretzel into the chocolate, in which case, you will need a larger container.  Or you can use a spoon or spatula to spread the chocolate evenly over the pretzel, leaving a small section at one end uncovered for mess-free eating.

To add a little seasonal taste, I crushed a candy cane for sprinkling over the pretzels.


The white chocolate was melted in the same way  as the milk chocolate.  A few drops of peppermint was added, to taste, to brighten up the flavor.  As for the caramel, I had to add 1 Tbsp of butter to about 1/2 cup of caramel for a soft consistency.  The caramel came with recipe ideas which called for adding of water when melting but I did not give that a try.

That's it!  All there is now is to wrap them and tie with ribbons.  Leave them in a pretty basket by the door and give them to neighbors, friends, or unexpected guests that show up at your door during the holidays.