gift: Valentine cello toppers

thecelebrationshoppe_dinovalentine

I sat around trying to think of a fun way to show our customers, loyal readers of my blog, bloggers who have shared the shoppe and candidly anyone intrigued enough to stop by, how much we “heart” them on Valentine’s Day. In the end I decided to give away another free printable. This time it’s a craft you can do with your kids: adorable Valentine Day owl and dinosaur cello bag toppers.

thecelebrationshoppe_owlvalentiner

Pick out your favorite candy or bake up some goodies, put them in clear cello bags (shown with mini cellos, but you can cut off the longer ones), print off the topper, have your child sign his/her name, fold and staple (instructions are provided if you prefer ribbon). It’s simple and much cuter, in my opinion, than the cardboard ones I used to get as a kid… especially since I don’t recall getting any cookies attached. {wink}

thecelebrationshoppe_dinosaurowlvalentine

UPDATE January, 24, 2011 – we just posted for 2011! Read the post on how to receive your templates!

thecelebrationshoppe_owlvalentines

We hope that you will love these new printable designs as much as we loved creating them. And remember, our kids don’t get to have all the fun… I plan on giving these to my girlfriends too!

thecelebrationshoppe_xovalentinecookie

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

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Valentine plans

valentinekidcraft

I’ve invited some of our dearest friends and their little people over for dinner in a few weeks and I’m planning to have a Valentine inspired kid’s table. I was browsing around for ideas and thought both of these were really adorable.

As always I’ll share the end result, but I would also love to see what you guys are cooking up for Valentines. Who knows, your craftiness or baking genius might just show up in a future Valentine post. (E-mail us to customercare@celebrationshoppe.com.)

By the way, if you liked our free BELIEVE! printables at Christmas, make sure and swing back in later this week because we’re going to be giving away some adorable Valentine printables that are just too sweet! {wink}

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simply pink party

pink-birthday-table

Lindsey at the Pleated Poppy had a beautiful pink party for her little girl this summer. One of my personal favorites is the idea of adding height to your decor with non-helium balloons hung from the ceiling on clear fishing line. She combined hers with paper lanterns and embellished her chandelier with fun pink beads.

And not only was the decor pink, so was the food. Check out this fun treat table!

pink-birthday-treat-bar

And wouldn’t you know it, her fun ideas go perfectly with our simply pink invitation and decor {wink}. 

pink-birthday-party 

Even if you’re not planning a pink birthday party or baby shower, make sure and take a trip over to the Pleated Poppy and read her post. It’s refreshingly honest on how sometimes all of our party planning can go awry and drive us crazy to eventually turn out fine in the end because we are determined to give our little ones, family and girlfriends all we have to make their special day the best we can. Good job Lindsey!

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Valentine crispy messages

valentinecrispysSome of you may wonder why crispy treats. Why not sugar cookies? The simple answer is, I have a child that suffers from severe food allergies and crispy treats are an easy sweet to modify. So here goes. For this fun treat you’ll need:

ingredients:

  • 6 cups rice crispy cereal
  • 1 bag large marshmallows
  • 3 tsp butter (or vegan Smart Balance)
  • 1 can cream cheese icing
  • red food coloring

tools:

  • heart shaped cookie cutter (inch deep)
  • parchment paper
  • cooking spray
  • large spoon
  • resealable bags
  • icing connectors (NOTE: These are available at craft stores and are roughly 4 for $2)
  • #4 and #2 icing tips
  • toothpicks

valentinecrispies3And here are the steps:

crispy treats:

  1. Melt butter and marshmallows over low heat.
  2. Lay out a piece of parchment paper and spray your heart cookie cutter with cooking spray so that your crispy cereal will release easily.
  3. Add your rice crispies to your marshmallows and butter and stir well. (Tip: Add the cereal a little at a time to ensure you don’t make them too dry.)
  4. Spray a large spoon with cooking spray and then scoop up the crispy cereal and mold it into your cookie cutter. Pack down the cereal mixture and set the newly formed heart to the side. Repeat until you’re out of mixture and allow them to cool for at least 15 minutes before icing.

 icing:

  1. Spoon out about a half of the icing into two bowls and tint it pink red (gel food coloring works best).
  2. Clip the corner of a resealable bag, insert the bottom of a connector, and add 3 large spoons of icing into the bag. Place the #4 tip on the outside, secure the top of the connector and pipe an outline on the heart.
  3. Microwave the remaining red icing in the bowl for 10 to 15 seconds until dripping but not soupy.
  4. Slowly spoon or pour red icing into the heart area and smooth it in with a toothpick. Doing this quickly will produce a smooth surface once the icing dries.
  5. Allow the icing to set for at least five minutes.
  6. Taking a second resealable bag, clip a corner, insert the bottom of a connector, spoon in the pink icing, attach the #2 tip and the top of the connector, and pipe your lettering.
  7. Set your crispies aside and allow them to harden for several hours before packaging. 

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cupid’s treat cup

cupidscupI ran across these on KraftFoods.com, one of my favorite sites for easy recipes, and just had to share because they are soooo darn cute.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 square BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted
  • 2 cups boiling water, divided
  • 2 pkg. (3 oz. each) JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
  • 1-1/2 cups cold water, divided
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
  • Decorations: assorted Valentine sprinkles and candies

And here’s how you make it:

  1. Draw a heart design or write a Valentine’s Day message in each of 8 (6-oz.) clear plastic cups by piping chocolate onto insides of cups. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm.
  2. Add 1 cup boiling water to 1 pkg. gelatin mix in medium bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in 1 cup cold water; pour into cups. Refrigerate 1 hour or until gelatin is firm.
  3. Meanwhile, add remaining boiling water to remaining gelatin mix; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Add enough ice to remaining cold water to measure 1 cup. Add to gelatin; stir until thickened. Stir in COOL WHIP; spoon over gelatin layer in cups. Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm. Decorate as desired.

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Valentine cookies: flooding fun

redheartValentine’s Day is on our doorstep and wouldn’t it be fun to flood beautiful cookies for your kids to take to school with their Valentine cards? Yes, you could go and get some from the grocery, but if you want some great tips on how to be the envy of the other moms, read on.

Icing – First of all, you have to have the right type of icing: royal icing. Don’t let the name scare you, it’s just one pound of confectioner’s sugar, five tablespoons of meringue powder, a half cup of water (or less) and gel-paste food coloring (available at most bakery and craft stores; the food coloring in grocery stores is usually very watery taking more of it to achieve the color you want). You’ll need to mix the icing until it’s fluffy, yet dense, about seven to eight minutes. Then you’ll need to use the icing immediately or transfer it to an airtight container.

Coloring – Separate your icing into the number of colors you need for your project. Then color your icing one drop of gel at a time. It’s a lot stronger than you might think. Once all the icing is the colors you need, separate them again so that you can thin one half for flooding. With your second set, thin each color with one teaspoon of water at a time. Often, one teaspoon is all it takes depending on how many times you’ve separated your icing. Now you have thick and thin versions of all the colors you need.

Tools – Trim one corner of a resealable bag and insert a #3 icing tip with a connector. Repeat this process for each of your colors (thin and thick). Then spoon each into a bag. (I always mark the thin bags so I don’t accidentally ruin a cookie by trying to trim it with the thin icing.)

Flooding technique – Now that your icing is prepped, take a cooled sugar cookie and pipe an outline around the shape. Allow it to set for 10 to 15 seconds and then you can flood the cookie with the thinner version of the color. While the flooded color is still wet, you can add a different thinned color to make polka dots or other designs. Doing it quickly will allow the second color to settle into the flooded color and dry flat. Allow the flooded colors to set for several minutes before adding any additional piping or layers to your design.

Okay, now that you’ve read the basics, here’s how you create the red heart cookies shown:

  1. Pipe red icing using a #3 tip around the outer edge of a cooled sugar cookie.
  2. Allow the icing to set for at least 10-15 seconds.
  3. Pipe the thinner red icing into the center of the cookie and spread it out to the corners with a toothpick.
  4. Allow the cookie to set for at least 4-5 minutes and then pipe red zigzags on the cookie using the #3 tip again.
  5. Allow the cookie to set for at least a half hour before packaging.   

 Happy baking everyone!

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simple chocolate transfer

chocolatetransferChocolate transfer is another one of those techniques that can appear difficult when in reality it is very easy. Today’s post is just the basics, but I’ll follow-up with more complex ideas very soon.

So, for an easy chocolate heart to top your Valentine cupcakes, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Chocolate wafers (the right type of chocolate is essential, not all chocolate is equal when melted)
  • Wax paper
  • Heart stencil
  • Resealable plastic bag
  • Double boiler (or microwave if you’re very careful and only heat in 8-10 second intervals massaging the chocolate between heating)

And here are the easy steps:

  1. Lay your stencils under wax paper so that you have a guide while piping.
  2. Melt your chocolate and insert it into a resealable plastic bag.
  3. Snip one corner about a ¼ inch and pipe the chocolate over the stencil in one motion per side. If you stop and start your heart won’t be smooth.
  4. Allow the chocolate to set for at least 3-4 minutes.
  5. Carefully peel the heart from the wax paper and apply it to your cupcake.

I know, simple!

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Valentine mailbox

Valentine mailboxThese Valentine mailboxes are so adorable from my friend at currentlycrafting.com. She found the boxes for $1 at Target and then simply embellished them with beautiful craft papers. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • small mailbox
  • scrapbook paper
  • mod podge
  • sponge mod podge applicator and paintbrush
  • chipboard letters
  • fine sandpaper

For all the how to details and more pictures, check out her post at currentlycrafting.com.

And remember, we would love to see and maybe share your ideas. Send us an e-mail at ideas@celebrationshoppe.com.

Happy crafting!

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