Tune in to NBC tomorrow (Saturday, February 18th) at 11:30 AM to watch Naturally, Danny Seo. Danny and I had so much fun making jewelry, toys, and decorations out of items that you probably have in your recycle bin right now, like these flower necklaces made out of squeeze pouch caps and felt scraps!Read More
These portrait lollipops I made for my husband are inspired by the Funny Face Pops in our book, Candy Aisle Crafts. Making them was some of the most fun that I had working on the book! I was creating all different shapes of lollipops for our hard candy chapter and Amy and I talked about including a page of people portrait lollipops. When she suggested that I try making Bert and Ernie–like faces, I was inspired! Make some for your Valentine...or your favorite couple!Read More
Many many years ago, my friend Page and I liked to make homemade Valentines for our coworkers at Martha Stewart Living magazine. We came up with ideas for little gifts, like these felt tissue dispensers (instructions here), that we could produce assembly-line style. The beautiful wool felt we used was special ordered from Holland. This was before the internet (!) so we would call the sweet owner over the phone to place our overseas orders! We sat together and measured, cut, and sewed until the wee hours of the night...and we loved it! This went on for many years until our recipient list grew to well over 100, we had our babies, and got too busy. Now, Page co-owns Purl Soho with Joelle Hoverson where, coincidentally, you can buy this beautiful felt!Read More
Make this marshmallow cow, or invent your own creature, to adorn your hot chocolate! Keep a few different sizes of marshmallows on hand for making heads and bodies. It's a perfect winter craft!
1 regular marshmallow
1 chocolate-flavored marshmallow (I used Kraft Jet-Puffed Chocolate Royale Marshmallows)
4 black nonpareils
1 black Haribo Raspberry candy
1 jumbo marshmallow
1. To make the head, cut the regular-sized marshmallow in half horizontally and turn it on its side. The flat uncut bottom will be the face. Cut the chocolate marshmallow in half horizontally, and press the cut sticky side of one half to the face to make the snout. Using the toothpick, poke two holes for eyes and two for nostrils. With the toothpick, pick up the nonpareils and push them into the holes. Cut a thin sliver off the top of the head and adhere the raspberry candy “hat.”
2. To make the body, cut a slit along the long side of the jumbo marshmallow. Push the slit onto the rim of a mug. Trim a bit off one edge of the jumbo marshmallow and a bit off the bottom of the head to expose their stickiness and press together.
If you like crafting with marshmallows, you can find more here or in our book, Candy Aisle Crafts!
This little seal is a favorite from our book, Candy Aisle Crafts. That sweet face! In this shot, he is sliding around on some (aluminum foil) ice surrounded by sugar "snow". You can see him here atop a delicious chocolate cake along with some other arctic friends, along with the penguins below.Read More
When Amy and I were working on our book, Candy Aisle Crafts, her nephew was celebrating his first birthday with an arctic-themed party. We made him a cake topped with a marshmallow polar bears and penguin mommas and babies, and a couple of marshmallow seals. The cake itself is chocolate and we used this recipe, a longtime favorite!Read More
I just finished up a few finger puppet necklaces for a little friend who will be visiting this weekend. (Doesn't everyone need a finger puppet on their person?) These are a twist on some tube-knit and other no-knitting-needles-needed yarn crafts I made for Parents magazine a while ago. Instructions for the finger puppets are on the Parents website. To make these necklaces just start with some extra yarn hanging down the tube at the start and leave another length when you take it off the loom. (This will make sense once you start! Alternatively, you can simply thread a necklace length of yarn through the top of the finger puppet when you finish)Read More
If you have any oddly shaped holiday presents to wrap, click here to see some ideas that I developed for Real Simple. This snowman, above, is an example of wrapping round and curvy items with stretchy crepe paper streamers!
Personalize a money gift by arranging them in leftover cupcake papers to look like a box of sweets. More about it here.
These oversized Christmas crackers are made with a rolled up piece of thin poster board from the stationary store, crepe paper, and some gift wrap or decorative paper. More instructions here.
And when your gift is too big to wrap with paper, cover it with Christmas lights! More here.
Happy Holidays everyone!
I am thrilled to have contributed a few crafty holiday food ideas to one of my favorite blogs, Jenny Rosenstratch's Dinner: A Love Story ! I'm a longtime fan of both her blog and books. Have you seen her newest, How to Celebrate Everything? If I hadn't bought it the minute it came out it would be at the top of my holiday wish list! Anyway, these marshmallow tree-topped cupcakes, above, are "something to bring to a holiday party" and you can find instructions for them on DALS here.Read More
This card-making project is the perfect cold day kids craft. You don't need any special supplies, just some recycled packaging, glue, and scissors. (I'm always digging around in my recycle bin for materials!) Use colorful packaging like cereal or snack boxes or old Christmas cards.
- 1 folded cardboard or cardstock card, around 6"x 8" (plus 1 slightly larger card for backing; optional)
- craft knife and ruler (optional)
- white glue
- scraps of packaging cut into tree shapes
- To make a basic pop-up base, start with the card folded. Using scissors or a craft knife and a ruler, make parallel pairs of slits (this card calls for five) perpendicular to the fold. Vary the lengths of the slits so that, when popped out, they will be staggered, but keep them shorter than half the depth of the card so they won’t poke out when the card is folded. Pop the slits forward inside the card to make tabs for gluing
- Glue the shapes to only one side of the tabs. (With the card sitting open, attach to the side of the tabs facing you, not the top of the tabs.) Keep the shapes shorter than half the card’s depth if you don’t want them to poke out.
- Glue the back of the pop-out up to the larger second card to hide the slits or to hide any shapes that end up poking out when the card is folded, using a very thin layer of white glue. A backing card in a contrasting color will make the card look like it has a border when it’s opened.
For more recycled crafts, check out our book, Paper Goods Projects!
These fancy lady cupcakes from our book, Candy Aisle Crafts, would be perfect for a Nutcracker party! I dip-dyed white cupcake papers into food coloring for skirts, but any solid or patterned cupcake paper would work (gold would be pretty too). There are so many fun prints available now online and in party stores—and yes, even at supermarkets!Read More
Several years ago, my boys and I made a village out of recycled cartons and we love unpacking it every year and setting it up on our mantle. I made the one pictured above, lit with battery-powered tea lights, for our book, Paper Good Projects. If you look closely you'll see some tiny conical trees and the how-to is in this post.
Here are the original houses that we made together. They're a little messy and wonky but I love them! The kids painted them and drew on the windows and doors which I cut out with a craft knife. (But before that we prepped the boxes, see below.) These are lit with s string of Christmas lights. I cut a notch out of the back of each house to feed in the light string.
We used cereal, oatmeal, and yogurt tube boxes, etc and I hot-glued the them shut. For some of the pitched roof houses, we used milk, cream, and broth cartons. If the carton had a plastic spout, I cut it out and taped over the hole. I cut all the bottoms off so they can be lit from inside. Once the boxes and cartons were prepped, we primed them with gesso and then painted them. Wax paper windows gave the houses a soft glow, After I cut the window holes out, I brushed white glue around the openings on the inside and pressed a piece of wax paper (a bit smaller than the side of the house front) to the inside.
Check out our book, Paper Goods Projects for detailed instructions and more recycled crafts!
We LOVE making paper snowflakes, lots and lots of them. Thin square paper, like origami paper, works best for folding and snipping but I don't like using up my stash. Printer paper is great, but I don't like having to precut the paper into squares. Coffee filters and cupcake papers, inexpensive, thin and easy to cut, are the perfect material for this fun craft!Read More
I did the crafts for this month's Family Fun magazine's "Kid-Made Thanksgiving". The story features fun crafts and yummy recipes that your kids will want to help out with, like these little pinecone-ear and twig antler animal pie toppers (and a yummy pie recipe to go with them).Read More
On Tuesday morning I had the pleasure of sharing some crafty Halloween treats with Al Roker on the Today Show. (We look very serious here but I promise we had fun!) They're all made using store-bought candy or donuts so no baking required.Read More
Paper towel and toilet paper tubes are some of my favorite materials to make stuff out of. Needless to say, I never throw them out! I pulled a few out for Halloween decorations this year and made some ghosts and a BOO sign. Super easy!
They're quick to make so it wouldn't be hard to make a gang of these spooky guys to decorate a mantle or party table.
Paint them white and trim the top into a point and curvy or pointy tails at the bottom. Little detail scissors like these work well to get into tight spaces.
We hope you have a fun and sweet Halloween!
Here are a few spooky Halloween treats made from marshmallows. I love crafting with marshmallows (there is a whole chapter dedicated to marshmallow creations in our book, Candy Aisle Crafts) and I posted last week about some easy-to-make ghosts, great for cake and cupcake-topping.
The skull pops above were inspired by some skulls I made years ago for Martha Stewart Living. For the pops above, I used jumbo and regular sized marshmallows, black M&M's, black shoestring licorice (snipped up as needed), and black large nonpariels (a.k.a. sugar pearls. The trick is cutting the marshmallow to expose it's inner stickiness and adhere cut sides to cut sides. To insert candy or sprinkles as for the facial features, poke a hole with a t
If you're looking for a unique Halloween costume this year, and especially you'd like to make it yourself but not put tooooooo much time into it, check out this story I worked on for Parents magazine's October issue (on the newsstand now) or on their site here. I love working with the editors over there and the concept they came up with is brilliant: all the outfits utilize a store-bought costume base with a decorated cardboard box container. For example, this bird-in-a-birdhouse costume's wings are from The Land of Nod. Instructions are on the Parents site here.Read More