Easy DIY Kids Crafts: Spring Bling Countertop Container

Glass marble decorated Countertop Container.
Glass marble decorated Countertop Containers.
1. Measure height and circumference of can. 2. Cut cardstock correct measurements to wrap around can. 3. Glue cardstock to can with white glue.
1. Measure height and circumference of can. 2. Cut cardstock to correct measurements to wrap around can.
Glue cardstock onto can.
3. Glue cardstock onto can.

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Let covered can sit for a bit so cardstock is secure before applying glass marbles.
4. Let covered can sit for a bit so cardstock is secure before applying glass marbles.
5. Apply glass marbles in rows from the bottom up.
5. Apply glass marbles in rows from the bottom up.

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Applying glass marbles with glue gun.
Applying glass marbles with glue gun.
Creating a pattern with colors.
Creating a pattern with colors.

Fun and Easy Decorated Containers

One of the highlights in the five weeks since we’ve been quarantined was teaching a Zoom craft class. I had so much fun working with two girls who live in the neighborhood in one class, and my nieces and nephew in another. The idea for these Spring Bling Countertop Containers came from Creative in Chicago and was called “Bling Storage for the Bathroom” so, though this was a project my After School Enrichment 3-5 kids created, it’s a fun project for any age.

Need a party idea or DIY Mother’s Day gift?  Creative In Chicago recommended lining the inside of the can with cardstock paper, then covering that with Modge Podge, but we just worked on the outside of the cans.

Happy creating, hon!

Spring Bling Countertop Containers
Supplies:

–Soup Can (I took the top off with the kind of can opener that lifts the top off rather than slices it, so there were no sharp edges.) A glass jelly jar would also work if you don’t mind seeing glue lines from the inside of the jar.

–Cardstock paper

–Glass Marbles that are flat on one side (called “Decorative Fillers”in many colors at Michael’s craft stores), Other smalls objects would also work, such as pebbles, sea shells, petrified wood, pom-poms, small toys like cute erasers, Legos, etc.

–White Glue and Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks

–scissors, ruler, pencil

Steps:

1. Measure height and circumference of can.

2. Cut cardstock to correct measurements to wrap around can.

3. With white glue, adhere cardstock to can.  Let can sit until glue dries. If using hot glue instead, glue will dry instantly.

4. Apply glass marbles in rows from the bottom up.  (By applying from the bottom, can will sit nicely on a surface. If applied top down, marbles might stick out over the bottom’s edge and the container will wobble.)

6. If there’s a gap in the glass marbles, they can be broken in half to fill the space.

7. Clean up the glue strings.

Enjoy!

DIY Chocolate and Sprinkle Covered Pretzels

Not-Very-Pretty-Pretzels

This was supposed to be an easy project. I’d seen camouflage chocolate pretzels online and I’ve made chocolate-covered pretzels before. Although the semi-sweet chips melted beautifully, the white chocolate chips didn’t melt–they just got stiff. In the past, the same thing happened when I tried to melt white chocolate disks. So frustrating. Mental note to self–don’t try to melt white chocolate again! I was about to scrap the project when I had a brainstorm. I put the chocolate-covered pretzels in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Then I rolled them in blue sprinkles. Voila! The pretzels weren’t pretty but, hon, they were sweet (and salty).

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Ingredients:

pretzel logs

chocolate chips

vegetable oil

sprinkles

wax or parchment paper

Prep:

Line baking dishes with wax or parchment paper so finished pretzels can dry. Pour sprinkles into a dish with sides.

Directions:

  1. Melt chocolate chips over double boiler. Add vegetable oil to melting chips, approximately a teaspoon at a time as needed, to help make the chocolate creamy in consistency.
  2. Spoon melted chocolate pretzel logs.
  3. Let chocolate cool a minute or so, but while still warm roll pretzels in sprinkles or spoon the sprinkles on top of the chocolate. Rolling is more efficient, but the melted chocolate drips into the sprinkles and makes the sprinkles globby.
  4. Line pretzels on baking dish to dry.

After all the pretzels are decorated, refrigerate them until the chocolate has hardened. Store pretzels in an airtight container. I made these about a week ahead of time and kept them in the fridge until needed.

Related Post: https://wordpress.com/post/bmoreenergy.wordpress.com/7325

DIY Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Wrapped and ready to give out.
Wrapped and ready to give out.

Go from this…

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to this…

img_2074

in four easy steps!

Four-Step Favors

Need a quick and easy idea for favors, goodie bags or stocking stuffers? These sweet-n-salty snacks are so yummy, my family couldn’t wait to eat the duds and broken pieces.

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Ingredients:

pretzel logs

chocolate discs (click here to see Wilton’s Candy Melts)

sprinkles, cookies to crush and/or sparkly sugar

wax or parchment paper

Prep:

Pour sprinkles into pans with sides. I used several 9″ x 11″ dishes for different sprinkles. Line baking dishes with wax or parchment paper so finished pretzels can dry.

Directions:

  1. Melt chocolate discs in microwave according to package directions. I used several flavors and melted one flavor at a time. (Tip. I microwaved the discs a little less time than recommended and stirred to finish melting the discs. Over doing it in the microwave causes the chocolate to get “sandy” and then it’s not usable.)
  2. Spoon melted chocolate over half a pretzel log.
  3. Immediately either roll the chocolate part in the sprinkles or spoon the sprinkles on top of the chocolate. Rolling is more efficient, but the melted chocolate drips into the sprinkles and makes the sprinkles globby. I ended up spooning decorations on top of chocolate.
  4. Line pretzels up on baking dish to dry. Drizzle melted chocolate over the bare half of the pretzel.

After all the pretzels are decorated, refrigerate them until the chocolate has hardened. Since I made these at night, I refrigerated them overnight (although they’d probably be fine in an hour) and wrapped them the next morning.

Melt chocolate in microwave.
1. Melt chocolate discs in microwave.
Spoon chocolate over half of each pretzel, then spoon sprinkles over melted chocolate.
2. Spoon chocolate over half of each pretzel.  3. Spoon sprinkles over melted chocolate.

 

 

 

 

 

Line pretzel logs on a baking sheet. Crushed cookies and sugar were used as well as sprinkles.
4. Line pretzel logs on a baking sheet. Crushed cookies and sparkly sugar were used as well as sprinkles.
Drizzle melted chocolate over bare half of pretzels.
4 continued. Drizzle melted chocolate over bare half of pretzels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These were such a hit, I’ll definitely be making them again!

Happy Holidays, hon!

Chocolate Meringues

Chocolate Meringues
Chocolate Meringues
1. Gather ingredients.
1. Gather ingredients.
2. Beat egg whites until they peak softly.
2. Beat egg whites until they peak softly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. After adding sugar and beating until stiff, fold in chopped chocolate.
3. After adding sugar and beating until stiff, fold in chopped chocolate.
Drop tablespoons of meringue mixture onto cookie sheets.
4. Drop tablespoons of meringue mixture onto cookie sheets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ready to eat. Sweet!
Ready to eat. Sweet!

Satisfy your sweet tooth!

I should make meringues more often because they are quick and easy, not to mention light and sweet. Even though I chose this recipe as a complement to other Kosher-for-Passover Seder desserts, meringues would work any time of year. At a recent fundraiser Hubby and I attended, gourmet-flavored meringues wrapped and ribboned were handed out as favors. Hmm, I think I’ll file that under party ideas.

Happy baking, hon!

Chocolate Meringues

Ingredients:

4 egg whites

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (I chopped semisweet parve chocolate chips in a food processor.)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Coat lightly with nonstick vegetable spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until they peak softly.
  3. Add sugar gradually, 2 tablespoons at a time, and continue beating until stiff, glossy peaks form. Fold in chopped chocolate.
  4. Drop tablespoons of meringue onto prepared cookie sheets or press through a pastry bag with a large star nozzle.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn oven off and leave meringues inside without opening door for 3 to 4 hours, or overnight, to dry completely.
  6. Store in airtight container in a cool, dry place. Do not refrigerate.

Yield: 25 – 30 meringues

Source:  Everyday Cooking for the Jewish Home by Ethel G. Hofman

Related Post: Lemon Meringues

Highlights Article and Easy DIY Summer Treasure Jars

Decorated Mason Jars.
Decorated Mason Jars.

DIY Summer Treasure Jars

Camp visiting days are an opportunity for kids to show and tell. They’re also a great source of craft ideas. This year, I was particularly excited about the Treasure Jars so I included them in my Highlights article, 12 Ways to Reboot Your Summer. My daughter said the camp provided glow-in-the-dark paint. Turn out the lights and let summer memories shine!

Supplies:

–mason or mayonnaise jar

–any combination of stickers, pom-poms, paint, paint markers, permanent markers, colored tape and feathers

–craft glue that adheres to glass

Directions:

–Decorate jars.

–Add summer keepsakes such as seashells, souvenirs, movie stubs, show stubs, cards, letters, etc.

–For a personalized touch, label with name and year.

Party Favors or Take Home Party Activity:

How fun would these DIY Treasure Jars be as a take-home party activity for ages 8 and up? Or, decorate smaller jars, fill with candy, and hand out as party favors. Come to think of it, that’s just what I did a few months ago. Check out Quick and Easy Candy Jars to see how I carried the middle school musical, Little Shop of Horrors, theme through the candy jars. Hon, you know I love a theme!

Colorful tape, stickers, paint markers, paint, pom poms and thread were used to decorate these jars.
Colorful tape, stickers, paint markers, paint, pom poms and feathers were used to decorate these jars.

 

Quick and Easy Candy Jars

Mason Jar
Candy Jar

Little Shop of Horrors Congratulations Goodies

In my last post, Creative Cupcakes (Little Shop of Horrors), I experimented with fondant. I admit it. It’ll be awhile before I make cupcakes as elaborate as those again. If you want quick and easy favors, give-aways, congratulations goodies or party activities, these DIY Candy Jars are a cinch to put together.

In lieu of gift cards for my middle schooler’s friends, I decided to make my own Congratulations Goodies. I already owned the mason jars, ordered the candy, and asked my in-house graphic designer (aka Hubby) to print labels.

The result? Sweet gifts for a creepy show–creepy in a good way!

Hon, you know what this means? I LOVE a theme!

Here’s what you need to make your own Quick and Easy Candy Jars:

Mason Jars–available at craft stores

Candy–candy and colors to go with your theme, I used green M & M’s and Frankford Gummy Body Parts Candy

Labels and Ribbon (optional)

That’s It.  Happy DIY’ing! (and enjoy some show pics)

Gummy body parts.
Gummy body parts.
Labels.
Labels.
Fill the jar.
Fill the jars.

 

Audrey II, the man-eating plant, in Little Shop of Horrors.
Little Shop of Horrors’ man-eating plant, Audrey II. See what I mean by creepy?
Seymour and Urchins.
Seymour and Urchins on Skid Row.

DSC_1251

Curtain Call.
Curtain Call.
My little Urchin!
My little Urchin!

 

 

DIY Fashion Favors

Party Favors Wrapped Up & Ready To Go.
Party Favors Wrapped Up & Ready To Go.

Fact:  I love a party.

Fact:  I love a theme.

So, what’s a theme-loving girl to do when she’s in charge of favors and the party doesn’t have a theme? There would be fun invitations, beautiful flowers, a nice atmosphere, a good meal and a whimsical cake. (And there were.) But, what about the favors? I did what I always do and thought about the main character, the birthday girl.  (Hon, you know I’m a writer, right?) These Fashion Favors fit my friend.

Here’s how to make these super easy, DIY chocolate favors.

What You’ll Need:

Candy Melts
Candy Melts.

1.  Candy Melts come in a variety of colors. The light and dark chocolate melts taste chocolatey while the brightly colored melts taste like white chocolate. Candy Melts can be purchased at party and craft stores.

Candy Molds.
Candy Molds.

2.  I borrowed these candy molds from a friend. Craft stores, such as Michael’s, carry lots of different molds, or they can be found online. The shoes, handbags, lipsticks and nail polish were perfect for my chic friend.

3.  A glass or ceramic bowl, spoons, spatula and microwave and refrigerator nearby.

4.  Gift bags and anything else you want to add to favors. I found initial notecards to include, wrapped them in cellophane, and tied the candy bags and notecards together with ribbon.

Directions:

Candy Melts in microwave.
Candy Melts in microwave.

1.  Follow directions on the Candy Melt package and melt candy disks in the microwave until they are smooth and gooey*Do not over melt or the candies won’t be the right consistency to spoon into the molds.Trust me, this happened to one batch.

2.  Spoon gooey candy into molds. Smooth with spatula so, when hardened, candy backs will be even.

3.  Place candy-filled molds in refrigerator to cool and harden.

4.  In about 15 minutes, test candy for done-ness, meaning candy has solidified.

5.  Turn mold over, slightly twisting sides of mold to release candies.

6.  *I smoothed rough edges with a sharp knife.

7.  Assemble favor bags.  *If the weather is hot, I recommend storing favors in the refrigerator.

8.  Molds wash easily in hot, soapy water.

 

IMG_6019IMG_6020

 

 

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 Have you made these?  Any tips you want to add?  I’d love to hear from you.

Spring Bling Countertop Container

Glass marble decorated Countertop Container.
Glass marble decorated Countertop Containers.
1. Measure height and circumference of can.  2. Cut cardstock correct measurements to wrap around can. 3. Glue cardstock to can with white glue.
1. Measure height and circumference of can. 2. Cut cardstock to correct measurements to wrap around can.
Glue cardstock onto can.
3. Glue cardstock onto can.

________________________________________________________________________

Let covered can sit for a bit so cardstock is secure before applying glass marbles.
4. Let covered can sit for a bit so cardstock is secure before applying glass marbles.
5. Apply glass marbles in rows  from the bottom up.
5. Apply glass marbles in rows from the bottom up.

_________________________________________________________________________

Applying glass marbles with glue gun.
Applying glass marbles with glue gun.
Creating a pattern with colors.
Creating a pattern with colors.
Creative Minds with their new Bling Storage Containers.
Creative Minds with their new Spring Bling Storage Containers.

Trying to come up with a new idea for my Creative Minds after-school class, I found this DIY craft on Creative in Chicago.  It was called “Bling Storage for the Bathroom,” but I don’t think these third and fifth graders are into makeup yet, so they will have the prettiest pencil cups in their grades.

These Countertop Containers were so fun to make!  We thought they would be a great party craft, party favors, or Mother’s Day gifts.  Creative In Chicago recommended lining the inside of the can with Cardstock paper, then covering that with Modge Podge, but we just worked on the outside of the cans.

Happy creating, hon!

Supplies:

–Soup Can (I took the top off with the kind of can opener that lifts the top off rather than slices it, so there were no sharp edges.)

–Cardstock paper in a color to coordinate with Glass Marbles

–Glass Marbles that are flat on one side (called “Decorative Fillers”in many colors at Michael’s craft stores)

–White Glue and Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks

–scissors, ruler, pencil

Steps:

1. Measure height and circumference of can.

2. Cut cardstock to correct measurements to wrap around can.

3. Glue cardstock onto can.

4. Let covered can sit for a bit so cardstock is secure before applying glass marbles.

5. Apply glass marbles in rows from the bottom up.  (We applied top down and bottom up, and bottom up is better because if the marbles stick up over the edge of the can it’s okay.  But if the marbles, stick over edge of bottom, the container will wobble.)

6. Sometimes there was a gap in the glass marbles, so I broke marbles in half to fill in gaps.

7. Glue Gun glue hardens instantly, but gets stringy.  We cleaned up the strings when container was done.