Category Archives: Ideas

3 Favorite Easter Ideas

8th April 2017

cakesbakedineggs

A few years ago, I baked little cakes inside eggshells. I think I’m going to try it again but with cake mix this year. I originally thought the type of cake might make it less likely to stick to the shell, but now I feel more adventurous.

eastereggdyefoodcoloring

I’d also like to steal some eggs from the kids and try out Megan’s food color egg dye recipes for super-saturated eggs.

Finally, we just bought more of these cheapie LED lights for night-time egg hunts with Hank. You pop them into plastic eggs so they glow. It’s surprising how beautiful they are. I’ll take some photos this year to do it justice.

Are you an Easter celebrator? Liz likes to spell the kids names in jelly beans, which is great. I’d love to hear about your traditions if you have some you love too.

How to Make Tinsel Tassels

10th December 2014

When I was a kid we always decorated the tree with Christmas tree icicles, so I threw some in the cart this year. Then I wondered if I could use them to make cheapie tassels instead.

After some clumsy attempts using twine and ribbon to fashion the tassels, I pulled out some craft wire and voila! They’re super quick, about $1 each, and you can even leave them up for New Year’s. You’ll need:

Tinsel, one 1,000 strand package per tassle
• About 10 inches of Fine-gauge craft wire per tassel
• Scissors

First you’ll make the wire loop that lets you hang the tassel. Loosely fold the wire in half.

Form a loop by giving the tail wires a couple twists.

Poke one end of the wire beneath all the strands of tinsel.

Pull the wires downward and gather the tinsel into a tighter bunch.

Twist the tail wires together to enclose your bunch of tinsel.

Carefully pull your tinsel out of the package.

You should have something that looks like this now.

Fold your tinsel down with a wire protruding from each side of the bunch. If you give the bunch a little twist, it will make a more attractive tassel head.

Now it’s time to secure the tassel head by wrapping the tail ends of the wire around the top of your bunch. Start with wrapping one wire tail in the direction of your twist until it’s wrapped all the way around.

Now for the second wire. You shouldn’t have to do anything special to finish the wires off, they should just lay flat with a pinch.

Now you have a tassel! Boom. Straighten out any tangeled strands by combing fingers through, or if you’re a perfectionist, you can use a wide-toothed comb. Gentle, my friend.

Clip away any uneven ends or unruly strands.

Yay! Now you can make one thousand more. And then heck, make yourself some pants. Let’s go dancing.

Glitter Skull Decoration for Halloween

29th September 2014

I wanted to make something creepy and festive for our front door this Halloween, and found these papier-maché masks at Paper Source for $4. So many possibilities!

If you’d like to make one like the above you’ll need:

Paper Skull Mask
Glitter in various shades
Glitter Glue
Modge Podge Glue
Paint Brush
Craft Wire or pipe cleaners
Tissue Paper cut into squares about the size of your palm
Bit of Ribbon
Glue gun

First choose the glitter you’ll use to coat your mask and mix it with Modge Podge at about a 1:1 ratio. You’ll need less than you think, and Modge Podge is the secret to using glitter without finding it on all future generations of children born to your family.

Paint the mask with a base layer of glitter. Once it’s dry, you can go back for touch ups. In person, the pink looks less Dawn of the Dead.

Your work environment should be pristine.

While you’re waiting for the first coat of glitter to dry, you can make the tissue paper flowers. I used the technique outlined in more detail here. Just stack five or six squares of tissue paper, accordion fold them like a fan, and secure the center with wire or pipe cleaner.

Then fluff the layers. The glitter dries pretty fast, so by now you should be ready to decorate.

I used a mixture of glue-with-glitter, glitter glue pens, and beads I had left over from a caviar manicure set. The latter looked kind of cool (you can see around the eyes), but they were a huge pain.

If I had it to do over, I’d go all pre-mixed glitter glue pens, which is what I used for the green dots over the eyes and temples. It goes on 3-D, but dries flat, and is super easy to direct. I did my decoration freehand, but here are a bunch of skull designs you can use for ideas.

If you’d like to hang it up, use the glue gun to glue a little loop of ribbon to the back at the top.

Now just hot glue your flowers on the crown and voila! Darth Maul meets Day of the Dead. Jedi! I have been waiting for you.

Tiny Project: Washi Tape Bookmarks

19th September 2014

Hank refuses to turn down the corners of his books to save his place, so I used thin washi tape and colorful paperclips to make him some tiny bookmarks.

They’re pretty self explanatory, but I just fed the tape through the paperclip end, folded the sticky sides together, and cut the little flag shape on top.

They take ten seconds each, so you can make new ones as they disappear into the couch cushions.

I added this to my 1,000 Lovely Things Project as part of my Life List over on Go Mighty.

Robot Dance Party!

26th June 2014

(This post is sponsored by Target.)

For decades humans have feared that when robots unite, they’ll do so to subsume humanity. But, come on. Robots just wanna dance!

Since we started building his box robot, Hank and I have been talking about a robot party. I like using toys to decorate, and now that Hank’s Transformer collection has achieved critical mass, these robot tableaus are really coming together.

Details if you’d like to host your own Robot Dance Party or Transformer Party:


The table centerpiece features several of Optimus Prime’s alter egos — the 16-inch tall Optimus Prime, Silver Optimus Prime, James Brown Optimus Prime — and Grimlock, who is temporarily suspending his desire to supplant Optimus as leader of the Autobots… in the interest of getting down. (And because, from a franchise standpoint, he is way outnumbered.)

These are my startled robot cupcakes. I made the marshmallow heads first. A toothpick secures the Dots gumdrops on either side of the head, and little dots of icing are holding the candy eyes in place. Then I trimmed down some Sour Punch Bites to be mouth size, and attached that with icing too.

You can make the heads while the cupcakes bake, and once they’re done, add a little dollop of extra icing in the top center to hold the marshmallows in place. I like this guy because his head is tilted in question of our inferior logic.

I used the Grimlock vs Optimus battle set to guard the snacks. They’re like a Rock ’em Sock ’em Robot update with flat bottoms, so they stand on their own in the bowl even when they aren’t propped up by chips.

These tall, slim bottles come in lots of flavors/colors, and the labels peel off easily. (These are Market Pantry Blue Raspberry Lemonade.)

Trying to line up labels on a printer makes me want to knock my head against the desk, so I just photocopied Transformer logos off some packaging onto glossy paper, then taped them to the bottles with thin double-sided tape.

We requested that guests arrive as their favorite robot alter egos. We made this for the top of our Facebook invite, but we don’t mind if you use it too:

Everyone loves good robot gif.

This post is sponsored by Target. More Transformers, More Than Meets the Eye: Blur the lines of fantasy and reality with your favorite Transformers at Target.

I Made Sparkly Garden Pots

19th June 2014

I finally planted my fire-escape garden I’ve had on my Life List for years. I planted in these basic terra cotta pots, which I glittered to make them prettier. If you want some too, you’ll need:

A small paint brush
A bowl in which you are willing to mix glitter and glue
Glitter in whatever color you want
Modge Podge glue, glossy
Masking tape or painter’s tape (I used washi, because I had it)
Some newspaper to protect your work area

Tape off the sections you want to glitter. I found that dramatic triangles that reached near the top of the pot looked the coolest, but you do you.

Mix about half a cup of Modge Podge with a liberal amount of glitter (amounts will vary depending on the size of your glitter flakes. Dump in enough glitter that there are no glitter-free sections when you apply the glue to your pot.

Paint away. Wait a few hours for it to dry, and then peel the tape off.

Wasn’t that so easy? I know! Good work.