What Do You Get When You Cross A Paper Napkin With Decoupage? Spring Chickens…

 

Are you like me?  Do you go into quaint little boutiques and ooh and ah over everything but then leave without spending a dime?   I bet those shop owners just love to see people like us walk in the door.  But seriously, how can a girl who loves to shop at second hand stores ever in her right mind spend a wad of money on cute little home décor items that she knows she can make herself for pennies?

This project will require you to search out a few inexpensive items but I think you’ll have fun doing so.

First, you will need small piece of wood.  I used a 5 1/2” x 4 1/2” piece of pine (3/4” thick).  You will also need a fun or pretty paper napkin.   I happened to have these  funky chicken napkins on hand that I absolutely love.  You will also need a small bottle of acrylic paint (I used ivory) and a small paint brush,  a piece of fine grit sandpaper, a pair of scissors, and  bottle of Mod Podge

Paint the front side of your piece of wood with your paint and let it dry.  Once the front side is dry, paint the back side and edges.  Remember to rinse your paintbrush because you will need it later in the project. When all paint has completely dried, lightly sand the edges with the small piece of sandpaper to give it a weathered look.

Cut out the portion of the napkin that you want to use for your project.  I cut the napkin and then separate the layers once I’m done cutting.  This makes it easier. 

With that previously rinsed out paint brush, now apply a coat of Mod Podge on the front of your painted piece of wood.  Carefully lay the colorful top piece of your cut out napkin in place and apply a thin coat of Mod Podge over it.  I like to use a slightly wet brush while doing this so I keep a little dish of water nearby.  You have to be very careful not to over wet the brush though. I work the bubbles out with the brush and I go.   Once the first layer of Mod Podge has been applied let it dry thoroughly.  Proceed to apply three more coats (drying completely) between each application.

This particular project can be displayed on a table, shelf, or window sill.  And if you’re looking for a piece of inexpensive wall art just add a small picture hanger on the back and there you have it!

Imagine the possibilities.  Monogramed letters, quotes, shabby chic floral designs, and yes, funky spring chickens!

Looking for another clever decoupage project by The Joy of Caking?  Click here

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Holiday Ornaments – Personalize Your Gifts

I love making my own ornaments to use on packages and boxes of cookies that I share each holiday season.  This year I was looking for a new idea and I decided that these little glitter deer were the perfect answer.

I found a couple deer patterns and morphed them into a deer figure that I liked.  Then I drew and cut out my template, traced them onto a  thin piece of 1/4” Luan plywood, and had hubby cut them out on his jigsaw.  After he cut them out I took back over.  I painted them white, sprinkled a multi-colored gold, white and silver glitter on top, and I finished them off with cute little gingham bows and hangers.

If you make these ornaments and don’t want to share, I can relate!  Just go ahead and decorate your tree with them.

Are you gearing up for the holidays?  What is your favorite thing to do to prepare for them?  Are you most happy shopping, baking, decorating your house, crafting, or none of the above.

Making Gifts to Give

Yes, it’s almost that time of year, and yes, they have already started playing holiday music in the stores.  I prefer to skip the chaos in the stores this time of year, and spend my time in my craft room and kitchen instead. 

Personal and homemade gifts are perfect for just about anyone on your list, but they are especially nice for the teachers, bus drivers, neighbors, co-workers, hairdressers, mail persons, and the paper boys on your list.

I picked up these plastic containers at a dollar store – 3 for $1.00.  With a little scrapbooking paper, embellishments, and a rubber stamp, I made these cute little paper bows and gift tags to decorate them with.  Very inexpensive to make, yet bright and festive.

And of course you need to fill the little boxes, so I  found a perfect recipe for that too.  I made these Chocolate Peanut Butter Crisp Bars from a recipe in the Kraft Food & Family Holiday 2006 Magazine.  I will be sharing the recipe with you in a later post, so make sure you don’t miss it.

The secret to making your own gifts to give, is giving yourself enough time to make them.  Start your projects now so that you won’t be overwhelmed trying to do it at the last minute. 

Do you like to shop till ya drop, or do you like spending time making your own gifts to give?  Or, do you like to do a little of both?

TJOC DIY Wine Charms

I like to know that the used wine glass I pick up at a party is the same wine glass I originally set down, and I can imagine that most everyone else feels the same way.

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I think the easiest way to keep track of your wine glass is by using wine charms.  These are usually inexpensive to buy, but I love making them myself.

For this batch, I used my Cricut.  I cut out several small tags, added a few stickers, and finished them off by putting a small piece of waxed jute through the hole of each tag so they can later be tied to the stem of each wine glass. 

You can get as fancy as you’d like, or keep them as plain and simple as you like.  Remember to decorate them so they each have their own individual look – you’ll need to do this so (hopefully) everyone will remember which one is theirs.

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So go ahead, dig through your craft supplies and see what you can come up with.

PS:  If you haven’t already done so, check out BeBetsy.com.  Their readers (including me) share some cute DIY projects there.  And a big thanks to Fox News Magazine for publishing my wine charms on their very cool on-line lifestyle magazine.

 

Just Bee Cause

We all have people our lives that we appreciate but most of the time we forget to tell them so.

And if we do remember to tell them, how do we do it?  Usually in a way that makes us most comfortable. 

I like making homemade treats to share.  That’s my way of showing my appreciation.

Since Blair Candy Company sent me some samples of their delicious sugary confections to try I decided to pay it forward. 

I made DIY candy packages to share with those that I appreciate.

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A stamp, colored pencils, some bright colored paper, and phrases printed from the computer helped me pull this DIY project together.

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There is very little expense in making these tokens of appreciation; just a little creativity. 

How do you show your appreciation?

Thanksgiving Day Table Decorations

A recent trip through Michaels inspired me to create some cute cards that will sit on guests plates on Thanksgiving day until those plates become loaded with roast turkey and all the fixings.

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This project is quick, easy, inexpensive, kid friendly and will add color to your holiday table.  I had all of the materials on hand with the exception of the cute little felt turkeys – which I purchased in a pack of 7 for $3.24 at Michaels. 

To make this project you will need: an ink pad, stamp, brightly colored card stock, glue stick, brown marker, and ribbon.

First, cut the card stock into the size you want your card remembering you will fold it in half.  Next, affix your turkey on the card (these turkeys had an adhesive backing) and then draw his perch.  Stamp your greeting on the remaining space, and finish it off by gluing small bow made out ribbon on the front of the turkey.

You can also monogram each card with the initial of your guests,  you can leave a personal message inside for your guests to read, or you can leave it blank and let everyone write what they are thankful for on the inside.

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Do you prefer to decorate your table with flowers, candles, something else, or just good old-fashioned food?

Black & Blues

Summer is whizzing by us like the speed of light; before you know it fall will be upon us.  And while I love the fall, it is one of my favorite seasons,  I love the summer too.  I’ve been trying to preserve as much of this summer as I can.   I’ve lost myself in a couple of good books, hubby and I have finally launched a sailboat we bought a few years ago and never managed to get into the water for one silly reason after another.  At some point in  life everyone comes to  realize that life is too short, and it’s just not a cliché you’ve heard a thousand times before.  You have to find the money, re-prioritize, and make time to enjoy yourselves.  And that is why our sailboat has finally made it into the beautiful water of the Finger Lakes.

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If you haven’t noticed, I have not spent much time baking or blogging this summer.  I  miss both.   While I have been taking lots of pictures, and I’ve written two freelance pieces, the extreme temperatures haven’t really given me much incentive to step into my kitchen and turn on the oven.   Since the extreme heat we’ve been seeing isn’t just a local problem I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. 

But there is good news. With a bit of relief from the high temperatures  I ventured into the kitchen today to let some of the creativity I’ve got bottling up inside of me out.  To me, there is nothing more inviting than berry and cinnamon filled scones baking in your oven, because of this, there was little debate on what I would make. And regardless of what time of day you make scones, you will not be able to resist sampling them to see if they live up to that wonderful aroma they have just sent wafting through your home.

Since we are in the heart of berry season I decided to mix things up a bit.  I opted to use blackberries and blueberries which seem to compliment each other quite well.  Warning – I did not use them sparingly….

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These scones are lighter in texture than some I’ve made.  I think they are perfect for a summer breakfast treat.

Black & Blue Scones

2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour

1/4 c. quick cooking oats

1/2 c. dark brown sugar

2 TBSP. granulated sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 TBSP. chopped pecans

1 stick of (cold) margarine

1/2 c. milk

1/2 c. sour cream

1 c. blueberries

1 c. blackberries

Cinnamon & Sugar to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet, or use parchment paper.

In a large bowl, add all dry ingredients.  Cut in cold margarine.  In a separate bowl, mix milk and sour cream together.  Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and add milk mixture.  Blend by hand until everything is mixed.  Fold in berries.  On a lightly floured surface shape dough into a 10” round piece, about 1” in thickness.  Using a pizza cutter, cut into even pie shaped pieces and place on cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into center of scone. Sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar while warm.

One final note. I also found some time to work on a few gift tags while the temperatures have been too warm to spend in the kitchen.  Here is what I’ve come up with. These are a great addition to any treat you’re looking to give away.  Leave a personalized message on the back for the lucky recipient.

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Enjoy!