I am a big fan of makeovers...especially when it comes to packaging. There are plenty of perfectly good items out there that could be even better with just a little effort and creativity. :-) So, when I saw these cute little chocolate heart candy boxes on sale at the drugstore for only $1 a piece, I knew I had to give them a little makeover.
This is one of those projects that is super inexpensive and so easy, but the results are fantastic! Here's what you'll need to make some:
-Small chocolate heart candy boxes (I got mine on sale at CVS, but they sell them everywhere)
-Scrapbook papers (I chose these gold and glittered papers for their luxe look)
-Fabric flowers or other embellishments (ribbons, rhinestones, etc...)
Directions: To begin, unwrap your chocolate boxes from any cellophane wrapping and carefully remove the top. You are going to use it as your stencil for the box top. Just flip it over and trace the heart shape onto the wrong side of your scrapbook paper. You will also need to cut out a long rectangular strip of paper to cover the exposed sides of your box - just measure the width.
Carefully cut both of these out.
If you plan your placement, you can get about three tops and three strips from just one piece of 12" x 12" scrapbook paper! Next, glue your shapes to the box top and sides. I like to use a glue stick or sticky dots. Allow to dry completely. Now the fun part - decorate your box! I went for simplicity with these pretty fabric flowers from Martha Stewart Crafts...
They retail for $6.59 for a set of three, but I used my Michael's 50% off coupon, which made them only $1.10 each! I just love how these turned out! These would make excellent classroom valentines or party favors.
I always make sure to bake some heart-shaped cookies for Valentine's Day. I often make my "sugared" sugar cookies - which are really just sugar cookies, covered with icing and sprinkled (liberally) with colored sugar.
Here's how I make them: I always start with a a good basic sugar cookie recipe - my favorites are from the incredible Glory of Glorious Treats and Martha Stewart. You will also need icing in as many shades as you wish (I chose light pink, hot pink, lavender, and mint) and matching sugars in the same colors.
People always ask me for my pourable icing recipe, but the truth is, I don't use an actual recipe. I just kind of wing it - in a bowl, I place some sifted (for smooth icing) powdered sugar. Then I add some milk, one tablespoon at a time until the icing is thick, but still pourable. I also like to add some clear vanilla extract for flavor. When I have my desired consistency, I add my food coloring.
As for the colored sugars, you can easily buy them at the supermarket or cake decorating supply shop. But, if you are picky about exact colors and/or want to save some money - tint your own - it's soooo easy. Just place some sugar in a ziploc baggie with a bit of powdered food coloring and shake it up. That's it!
After my cookies are baked and cooled, I place them on a wire rack set inside a larger cookie sheet that has sides (this is a must or you will have icing flowing all over the place). To decorate the cookies, I just pour the icing over the cookies until they are completely covered and then quickly sprinkle on the matching colored sugar. Yes, it's a bit messy, but really simple - and the mess stays in the pan!
You can seen some variations of these that I've made in previous years, here and here.
A New Year's Eve party just wouldn't be complete without a fabulous bar cart, now would it? They are all the rage these days and you can find them everywhere - from true vintage ones sourced at the local flea market to great reproductions found at shops like West Elm. I just adore mine - it has two tiers for maximum storage and antique mirrored shelves!
Once you have procured the cart, the fun part begins - stocking and styling the bar! It probably won't surprise you to know that I often choose my selections based on how pretty the bottles are. :-) Of course, quality counts, too! In addition to the requisite wines, champagnes and alcohol, make sure to include some pretty bottles of water or lemonade. I like to incorporate vintage decanters and a chic shaker adds a glam touch. Don't forget fresh flowers, such as these lavender roses...
Pretty drinking straws (like these gold chevron ones) and colorful glassware are a must!
Not shown, but should be put out right before your guests arrive - fresh juice in pretty pitchers, bitters, mixers, olives, citrus garnish (lemon, lime & orange slices), and my personal favorite - Maraschino Cherries! Because who doesn't love a Shirley Temple???
I have been collecting vintage party supplies for years and some of my favorites are the old, New Year's Eve decorations. I am especially partial to party horns and blowers, as I just love the beautiful colors...
These pastel ones are so pretty...
I just love the dainty strips of tissue paper fringe...
-Inexpensive mini ornaments (16 for $1 at the Target Dollar Spot)
To make my chocolate ornaments, I began by carefully removing the hangers from the mini ornaments that I bought at Target...
They came off very easily.
Next, I used a bit of hot glue to secure one to each chocolate ball. Hint: try to put the glue inside the hanger opening to minimize any glue from showing on the outside of the ball. Allow to dry and add a bow or loop of narrow ribbon to the hanger!
These would look so pretty scattered on your holiday table, hanging from a mini tree, or even adorning a holiday package. ***Please note that these are tiny (i.e., a choking hazard), so keep them away from the little ones!
I woke up really early this morning to start working on my flower arrangements for my Thanksgiving table. I decided on shades of pink roses this year, as I love how they look with my cream and brown transferware plates. They are arranged in mercury glass "vases" are from Target (this season).
They are actually candle and votive holders! The trick with these is to make sure to place a smaller glass inside each one to hold your water - otherwise all the "mercury" may wash away. :-) They are the perfect height for a table arrangement since they don't block anyone's view and they are small in size - so you can keep them on the table and still have room for all that stuffing and cranberry sauce.
I am hosting this year, but I am fortunate to have lots of help from my family - the husband makes the turkey and chocolate pecan pie. My Mom is famous for her sweet potatoes (with marshmallows) and my little sister is an excellent pie maker and always helps me with the made-from-scratch stuffing! And the girls are fabulous and creative table setters...especially if it means they will be rewarded with chocolate turkeys!
I wish you all a very, very Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for each and every one of you!
If you are celebrating Chanukah this week, then you may be in need of some "gelt" (chocolate coins). You can usually find it in the traditional gold or silver foil wrappers, but I found the prettiest, most beautifully colored gelt at World Market! Pink, aqua, purple, red, blue, mint green, etc...
LOVE it! And it makes a gorgeous (and yummy) centerpiece when paired with this chic gold tray from West Elm!
Just fill with the coins and you have a pretty and delicious centerpiece for your Chaunukah table!
OK, now I am off to get started on Thanksgiving! Back soon...
I can't believe how quickly the holiday season has arrived this year! With both Chanukah and Thanksgiving this week and Christmas and New Year's just around the corner, I feel as if I will hardly have time to catch my breath! Can you relate? Anyway, I am going to do my very best to fit in lots and lots of festive and creative holiday ideas!
Today, I wanted to share a super easy shortcut for making Sufganiot, the delicious jelly donuts that are traditionally served during the celebration of Chanukah. Nothing beats the real thing, but if you find yourself short on time and you're not in the mood to break out the deep fryer, these will do quite nicely. I begin by buying fresh donuts from a fabulous bakery in my neighborhood...you may of heard of it? Dunkin' Donuts? Yes, Dunkin' Donuts! I like to buy the little Munchkins (so cute) and I find that the plain vanilla glazed ones work the best (the chocolate ones, while yummy, are just too dense to fill). Using a pastry bag fitted with a good sized round tip, make a small hole in the bottom of the donuts and gently fill with some jelly of your choice (I like raspberry). Next, make up a quick glaze of powdered sugar and milk (it should be thick, but pourable) and dip the tops of the donuts in the glaze, allowing the excess to drip off. Immediately sprinkle with some colored sugar or sprinkles and place on some parchment or wax paper to set up. As you can imagine, these are an especially popular treat with the kiddies! And soooo easy and inexpensive (the Munchins are only about $7 for 50!). They make great holiday gifts, too....