Jan 072015

sweet new years treats

I made homemade caramels and marshmallows for holiday gifts and they turned out so delicious that I really needed to come up with some pretty packaging to compliment them. I started out with some cardboard boxes that are usually used as disposable baking pans. Next I added some decorative cupcake liners and nestled the caramels and marshmallows into them.

super sweet new years treats

I happened to have some pre-cut parchment paper (which is the best thing ever by the way) which I folded down so that it fit the size of the box and had a decorative band in the middle, and I trimmed the edges with pinking shears for a cute little touch.

super sweet new years treats

Next I used a long strand of bakers twine to wrap around the package and tie off to secure it. Finally the boxes needed a something else – a label! I made up a label using PicMonkey, printed out a bunch on cardstock, cut them out and slipped them under the baker’s twine.

super sweet new years treats


Mar 112013

Each year on Easter Sunday our extended family gathers and one of the highlights of the day is the Easter Egg hunt. We do one egg hunt for everyone and one just for the little kids and of course its loads of fun. The only downside is that the kids end up with too much Easter candy, so I’m always looking for ways to stuff the mounds of plastic Easter eggs with something else. A few weeks ago I came across a post on Make the Best of Everything that got the wheels turning in my mind – a puzzle divided up into plastic eggs that the kids would assemble together. She used one large puzzle for all the children, but since we’ve got young kids who are still learning about collaborating I decided individual puzzles would be better – plus then they’ll each go home with a whole puzzle. I’m going to mix up the pieces between eggs so that they’ll need to figure out which pieces go to their puzzle and trade between cousins.

Now here’s the step-by-step guide to creating your own homemade Easter puzzle for your Easter egg hunt!

Step 1.  Find a puzzle to use. I bought these wood puzzles at Dollar Tree – they’re 25 piece puzzles so they’re not so daunting for young kids. You could also recycle a puzzle you already have, or look for blank puzzles at a craft store. If you decide to use blank puzzles you can obviously skip the next step.

Step 2. Paint the puzzles white (or whichever background color you’d like to use). I used acrylic craft paint and a brush, but spray paint would be super quick and easy as well. Let the paint dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 3. Paint your background images – I used a variety of stripes and dots so that each puzzle piece had more than one color. Again, let the paint dry.

Step 4. Paint your foreground images – I copied some Easter bunny and bird silhouettes freehand with pencil onto the puzzle and then filled them in with white – you could easily use a stencil as well. I added each child’s name for more detail during this step too.

Step 5. Separate the puzzle pieces. The puzzles were pretty stuck together from all the paint between the pieces so I broke them very carefully and also needed to use a craft knife in some places to cut through the paint layer. Just be careful if you use a sharp knife – it was sometimes hard to stay exactly in the grooves between the puzzle pieces.

Step 6. I used extra fine sandpaper (320 grit) to sand the edges of the pieces so that they would fit together more easily. Since the puzzles I used were cheap they didn’t fit together that well in the first place and the paint made it worse (You could skip this step but I was trying to eliminate the possibility of frustrated puzzle builders on Easter).

Step 7. Divide up the pieces into plastic Easter eggs. Make sure that you buy the large size eggs so the pieces fit – I bought these Easter eggs at Dollar Tree and I put three pieces in each egg. Of course you could put 2 or 1 piece in each egg instead, but even with 3 its 25 eggs for us (plus some candy-filled eggs of course).

If you make Easter puzzles, leave me a comment with a link to your site – I’d love to see them! Also, do you have any other non-candy ideas for Easter morning?

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Apr 082012

I was all ready to write a long post about finishing up these papier-mache Easter eggs, but man am I exhausted! Here’s some photos instead:

I used muffin tins to lay out the treats I used to fill the eggs.

The finished eggs sitting in the muffin tins to dry after I sealed up the openings. The strings are there to help rip open the eggs, and if I’m feeling crafty tomorrow I’ll add a label.