DIY chenille napkin rings

chenillenapkinringBrowsing for fun ideas that kids can help with, I ran across these fun chenille napkin rings from Better Homes & Gardens that would be perfect for a mother’s day brunch or girly birthday party.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 colors of chenille stems
  • Paper towel tube
  • Ruler

And here’s what you do:

  1. Choose six chenille stems, two of each color. Even up the ends of chenille stems, grouping colors. Leaving 3 inches at one end, begin to braid the chenille stems. Stop braiding 3 inches from the opposite end.
  2. For looped ends, bend over the chenille stems to form loops. Secure by wrapping a separate chenille stem around the ends. Tuck end of chenille stem into wraps.
  3. For wrapped ends, braid entire length of six chenille stems. Wrap ends tightly with a separate chenille stem.
  4. To shape, wrap braided chenille stems around a paper tube.

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pinwheel planters

pinwheelplantersThese oh so fun pinwheel planters are perfect decoration or favors for a spring garden party or birthday bash. This idea from Better Homes & Gardens Magazine touts a letter at the center of each pinwheel, which might be fun to spell out your guest of honor’s name.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Craft paper (preferably a thick stock that has different design on each side)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Straightedge or ruler
  • Aluminum screw posts (like those used in scrapbooks and photo albums)
  • Pinwheel template
  • ¼” dowel cut to 12″ in length
  • Drill
  • Potted ground cover plants (e.g., ivy)

And here are the simple instructions:

  1. Cut a square of craft paper to the desired size.
  2. With pencil, draw two light lines between the opposite corners of the square, using a ruler or straightedge.
  3. Make four cuts along lines, starting at each corner and stopping three-fourths of the way to the center of the square, as shown in the pinwheel diagram.
  4. Poke a hole through every other corner and through the center of the pinwheel. Be careful not to poke too close to the edge, or the hole may rip when the pinwheel is assembled.
  5. Fold the pricked corners into the center. If using a pin, push the pin through the pricked points, then through the center hole. If using a screw post, push the screw post through the underside of the square and then through the pricked points. Secure with screw.
  6. Drill a small hole in the dowel and insert the screw so that the pinwheel spins.
  7. Insert your new pinwheel in a fun planted pot and display.

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Easter candy carrot craft

eastercarrotI’ve mentioned before that my youngest son has severe milk allergies, so holidays can be tough when it comes to buying pre-packaged candy. With this in mind, I wanted to figure out how to make the carrot candy wrappers so that I could stuff them with jelly beans or gummy savors. (The picture shows M&Ms, which I’m sure my oldest will gladly devour!)

So here’s what you’ll need:

  • Clear plastic cello bags
  • Green felt
  • Orange ribbon
  • Candies
  • Glue gun

And here’s all you have to do:

  1. Taking a cello bag, fold it from the bottom to the right side and tack lightly (image of fold 1) with hot glue, and then again (image of fold 2). I hope the pics help!
  2. Fill your new carrot shape with candies.
  3. Tie the top of your bag off with ribbon.
  4. Cut a 3×3 square of green felt. Starting at one corner, cut strips about a ¼ wide to the center of the square.
  5. Wrap the square, with the green sprays out the top, around the top of cello bag, above the ribbon, and tack with hot glue.

 Happy crafting!

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purse cake

pursecake1

It was like parenting.com made this cake for me. It’s pink and brown, my company’s colors, and it has my initial on the front… {wink}. We could even go farther and talk about the magnolias that they embellished it with. I mean, I did graduate undergrad from Mississippi State University. It’s the state flower for those of you who don’t know. I’m just saying!

Anyway, enough of me, here are the things you’ll need to make one of these incredible cakes for your little shopper.

  • 2 (8-inch) round cakes
  • 1 can (16 oz) vanilla frosting
  • Red food coloring
  • 1 Tootsie Roll Giant (2.25 oz)
  • 10 brown M&M’s
  • 8 to 9 marshmallows
  • 6 Whoppers
  • 1 sheet green fruit leather
  • 2 Tootsie Rolls
  • A bread knife
  • A resealable sandwich-size plastic bag (Ziploc)
  • A serving platter
  • Scissors or a small letter-shaped cookie cutter

To trim the cakes:

  1. Place the cakes on a clean work surface. Using a bread knife, trim the tops to make them level.
  2. Spread a small amount of frosting on one cut surface. Place the other cake layer on top, cut side down and sandwich the cakes together.
  3. Cut a 1-inch strip from one side of the layer cake. Cut a 2-inch deep slice from the opposite edge. (Check out template on parenting.com.)

For the pink frosting:

  1. Spoon 1/4 cup of the untinted vanilla frosting into a resealable plastic bag.
  2. Add a few drops of red food coloring to the remaining frosting to tint it a light pink.
  3. Place the cake on a serving platter, deeper-cut side down. Spread the pink frosting all over the cake and make smooth.

To decorate:

  1. Snip a small corner from the bag with the vanilla frosting. Pipe dots along each thin side of the cake and attach the brown M&M’s.
  2. Bend the Tootsie Roll Giant into a “C” shape to make the handle and place on the top of the cake.
  3. Cut the marshmallows with clean scissors, crosswise, into 4 slices. Arrange the marshmallows as flower petals along the top of the cake, adding some vanilla frosting to help secure them to the cake. Attach the Whoppers to the center of each flower with a dot of frosting. Cut small leaf shapes from the green fruit leather and tuck them underneath the marshmallow petals as leaves.
  4. Heat the 2 Tootsie Rolls in the microwave for 2 to 3 seconds to soften. Roll out onto a sheet of wax paper and cut out desired letter using clean scissors or a small cookie cutter. Press the letter onto the front of the cake.

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Easter centerpiece

easterflowersAs you can see I’ve been looking through magazines again. This simple and beautiful idea is from our friends at All You Magazine. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Two similarly shaped vases, one 3″ narrower than the other
  • Peeps
  • Jelly beans
  • Flowers

Here are the easy steps to pulling it together:

  1. Insert the smaller vase inside the large.
  2. Layer jelly beans in the space between the two.
  3. Arrange Peeps on top of the jelly beans.
  4. Arrange your flowers.

Share your favorite Easter ideas with us at ideas@celebrationshoppe.com and we might just feature  you!

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pop star guitar cake

guitarcake_ff1I’m planning a major baking session this weekend and was scouting around for inspiration when I came across this pop star guitar cake from Family Fun Magazine. (They give the original idea credit to Christina K. of Fort Worth, TX; Great idea Christina!)  This is simply too cool if your birthday kid is into Rock n’Roll or even Hanna Montana. And it goes perfectly with out “rock star” invitation and party decor! 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Guitar template
  • 19 x 13″ cake pan
  • Red, blue and neon blue food coloring
  • 2 ½ cups vanilla icing
  • 1 cup dark chocolate icing
  • 3 pastry bags, with 1 small round tip and 1 medium round tip
  • 1 Kit Kat
  • 6 brown M&Ms and 12 yellow M&M Mini’s

And here are all the easy steps:

  1. Cut the cake using the template and assemble.
  2. Make purple frosting by stirring 12 drops of red food coloring and 8 drops of blue into 1 1/4 cups of vanilla frosting. Spread the frosting over the guitar body.
  3. Lightly press a medium-size drinking glass into the frosting to mark the sound hole. Spoon 1/2 cup of the chocolate frosting into a pastry bag with a small round tip. Pipe frosting to fill in the circle. Use the rest of the chocolate frosting to cover the guitar neck and head as shown.
  4. Place one section of the Kit Kat about 2 1/2 inches below the sound hole. Spoon 1/4 cup of vanilla frosting into a pastry bag. Use the small round tip again to pipe on lines for frets and strings, then place the yellow M&M’s Minis as shown.
  5. For tuning pegs, put three brown M&M’s on each side of the head of the guitar, then pipe vanilla-frosting pegs leading to them.
  6. Stir 12 drops of neon blue food coloring into the remaining vanilla frosting. Spoon the frosting into a pastry bag fitted with the medium round tip. Pipe on dots and curlicues as shown.

And for those of you who love this idea, we’re in the process of developing a fun new Rock n’ Roll themed invitation and thank you card so make sure and check back with us in about two weeks. Happy baking.

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baby shower crafts how to video

On our NBC Daytime Columbus craft segment last week we made {so sweet} baby bird nest cupcakes and candy cone favors.

If you didn’t catch it, I’ve got you covered. Here’s a clip. Please leave a comment. We would love to know what you thought of the segment and what you think of the craft ideas. And don’t forget to check out our baby shower custom invitations and party décor too.

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fun flyer cupcakes

Fun Flyer CupcakesThese little cuties were on the back of my M&M’s bag. {wink} Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 bags M&M’S® Peanut Chocolate Candies for Easter 1 18.25-oz. box yellow cake mix
  • 1 16-oz. can vanilla frosting
  • Green and yellow food coloring
  • Black licorice laces
  • 3 12-cup mini cupcake pans
  • 36 mini paper cupcake liners
  • Resealable plastic bag
  • Spatula

And here are the simple steps:

  1.  Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 3 (12 cup) mini cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. Prepare cake mix according to package directions.
  3. Divide batter evenly between prepared cupcake pans. Bake approximately 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven, transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, spoon 1/4 cup white frosting into resealable bag. Tint remaining frosting green and use to cover cupcakes.
  5. Use photograph as decorating guide for cupcakes. Arrange four M&M’S® Peanut Chocolate Candies for Easter, as photo shows. Pipe white frosting body in center and use licorice for antennae.

These would go beautifully with our bugs and butterflies custom invitations and party décor! Happy baking.

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baby bird nest cupcakes

birdnestcupcaketreeThis morning on Daytime Columbus with Gail Hogan I shared how to make these “oh so cute” baby bird nest cupcakes. These are perfect for a baby shower or any spring celebration, maybe an Easter brunch.

Here’s what you’ll need to embellish your cupcakes:

  • 1 can cream cheese or vanilla icing
  • Coconut
  • Robin egg candies or jelly beans
  • Ribbon, fabric pastel colors shown
  • Cupcake liners, pastel assortment from Wilton shown
  • Baking sheet
  • Three tier cake plates (8″, 10″ and 12″ stackable)
  • Small bird house (I got this one for a $1 at the craft store)

And here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Use egg whites only when preparing your batter so that it is ultra white. The lighter the batter the clearer the original color of your cupcake liners will be.
  2. Also, I suggest using apple sauce instead of oil so that they don’t become oily.
  3. Spread your coconut on a baking sheet and place it in the oven on 350 degrees for five to six minutes or until lightly toasted. You may want to toss your coconut before embellishing your cupcakes as the coconut in the center of the pan is likely to be lighter than the coconut on the outer edges.
  4. Cut 7-8″ sections of coordinating ribbon and wrap your cooled cupcakes.
  5. Ice each cupcake with a generous amount of icing, place three candies in the middle and then top with coconut.
  6. Shake off excess coconut and you’re ready to serve.birdnestcupcakeclose

Visit our shoppe to see our shower invitations and décor. And if you would prefer to see this craft in action, here’s the “how to” video.

Happy baking!

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baby shower favors on Daytime

conefavorsThis morning on NBC’s Daytime Columbus I’ll be demonstrating how to make these beautiful baby shower favors. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Lipped serving tray
  • 2″ Styrofoam board cut to fit
  • 2 gift wrap tissue paper sheets
  • Gift wrap shredded paper (available in bags)
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Ruler
  • Crafters glue
  • 6″ squares of card stock
  • Ribbon
  • Stickers or die cuts
  • Candies
  • “Thanks” or “Take One” note on card stock

And here are the easy steps:

  1. Cut your Styrofoam board to fit the serving tray. (Tip: This is an activity best performed outdoors.)
  2. Wrap your foam in tissue paper. This serves two purposes. It covers the fibers that might still be loose from cutting and it hides the stark white.
  3. Cover the foam with shredded gift wrap paper.
  4. Determine the number of favors you’ll need and measure your spacing to ensure even placement.
  5. Insert the lollipop sticks.
  6. Curl the 6″ cardstock squares into cones, securing them in place with crafters glue.
  7. Apply the ribbon and die cuts to the cones and fill with candies.
  8. Make a “Thanks” or “Take One” note from the same card stock.

See our shower invitations and decor. Happy crafting.

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