Personalizing and Filling Easter Baskets

Today we have some ideas to help ease the stress of getting Easter Baskets ready for THIS Sunday!

EASTER BASKET NAME TAGS

Avoid the confusion of who’s basket is who’s by creating cute, simple name tags to attach to each basket.

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To make these, you will need:

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  • plain gift tags or use the template to print some on cardstock: gifttags
  • cute twine or ribbon
  • decorative washi tape
  • your favorite pen or marker

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We love any excuse to use our prettiest handwriting!

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Trim and attach your twine and your tags are ready for their baskets!

FUN IDEAS TO FILL YOUR BASKETS

Raise your hand if you think it’s tricky to find basket fillers that are the right size for your basket! If they’re too large they will knock the entire thing over, if they’re too small they will get lost in the Easter grass! Here are a few ideas we came up with that are just the right size.

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Books are always a great gift! For the big kids we look for books from a series we know they love. For the little ones we pick a pretty book (with good content, of course!) we know we can handle looking at over and over again! Small toys for little hands are always a must. Jewelry and beauty products are fun for our older girls. Sugar-free gum is appreciated for our brace-faced kids, especially after all of the sugar-filled treats! And check out this Snapsy chocolate bunny! Easy to break apart will mean less mess (and no chipped teeth)! Yay!

Balance is key to a good basket! We try to do a little candy, a responsible gift, and a surprise gift that is sure to dazzle!

BEWARE OF CANDY OVERLOAD!

In our homes, candy is almost completely impossible to avoid around the holidays. It’s given out at schools, between friends, at parties, activities, and sometimes you just gotta grab that big bag of Mini Eggs at the checkout line (am I right?!)! One way we discovered you can limit the candy intake is to buy small, individually wrapped pieces instead of dumping large bags of candy into your baskets. This will also help mom and dad stay on track with their diets by not scavenging the hordes of leftovers! 😉

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We hope these ideas are helpful and that you have a wonderful Easter!

xo.

Pete & Repeat

DRAGON CAKE TOPPER

dragoncake

Oh the special requests I get from my children! This birthday Jack wanted a dragon-themed cake/party. Instantly my imagination goes wild with possibilities!

If you have a dragon-loving person in your life I have the perfect cake topper for you!

Simply print the template below on either colored or white cardstock, cut out pieces and attach the arm, leg, and wings with mini brads (I found mine in the papercraft section of Hobby Lobby). I glued the fire behind the mouth of the dragon after I wrote out my birthday message on it. Once everything is attached tape or glue a wooden skewer to the back of your dragon and stick it in your cake!

dragon-template

DOWNLOAD TEMPLATE HERE: dragon template

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Getting big brother involved! Loved that Joel asked if there was anything he could do to help!

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Happy crafting!

xo.

Pete

 

Blimey, It’s Leprechaun Cupcakes!

Cupcake making is always great because it’s pretty easy and yields plenty of treats to go around. This little project can be done as a fun group activity with children–adults doing some of the more tedious parts.

To get started you need:

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  • cupcakes
  • orange buttercream
  • marshmallow fondant (recipe here)
  • circle fondant cutter
  • fondant rolling pin
  • black & green food coloring gel
  • piping bag, coupler, & Wilton tip #18
  • gold luster dust, vodka, & food-safe paint brush (optional)

To get started:

  1. Tint your fondant. You’ll need more green than black & white. If you don’t have gold luster dust, tint the white fondant yellow. Wrap black & white fondant in plastic wrap until ready to use.

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2.  Grab a chunk of green fondant and roll it into a cylinder. I decided on the thickness of my cylinder based on the size circle cutter I had. You want your cylinder’s circumference to be a bit smaller than the circle cutter. Wow, this is starting to sound like geometry!

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3. Next, cut your cylinder to the desired height of your hat, making a crisp top and bottom. Set side finished pieces on a surface dusted with powdered sugar to prevent sticking.

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4. Cut out fondant circles.

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5. Attach cylinders to circles. Set finished pieces aside.

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6. Next roll out black fondant (pretty thin) and cut it into strips with a sharp, non-serrated knife.

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7. Wrap black fondant strips around the bottom of each cylinder. Cut off any excess. Note: I didn’t use water as glue to attach my fondant pieces for this project. My fondant was doing a good job sticking on its own.

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8. For the hat buckle, I used my knife and cut tiny rectangles and then even tinier rectangles inside that (Congratulations! You made it to the tedious part!).4

9. I know not everyone has this stuff in their pantry, so don’t fret! I think yellow fondant buckles are just as cute. If you do have some gold luster dust on hand it’s a fun addition to this project!

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Using a food-safe paint brush mix your luster dust with a bit of vodka (it evaporates quickly and won’t gum up your fondant) and paint it on dry-ish buckles. Attach buckles to hats and HOORAY, they are complete!

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10. Now it’s time to ice your cupcakes! Fill your piping bag with orange buttercream and pipe little rosettes around the entire cupcake. Don’t they look like little curls?

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11. Top it off with your fondant hats. You now have cute leprechaun cupcakes!

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

xo.

Pete

A Bit of Green in a “Pinch”

Why is it that on St. Patrick’s Day no one in my family can find a single article of green clothing to wear? Let me tell you, the fear of being pinched is REAL! Years ago I came up with a remedy for our lack of green. It was a day I was under intense pressure to have a solution in very little time. With that being said, this project takes no time at all and has a very adorable end result!

You will need:

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  • green felt
  • small white buttons
  • needle & thread
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • hair clips or bobby pins
  • mini safety pins
  • small straight pin
  • clovers template (click here: clovers)

method:

  1. Print clovers template.
  2. Cut out desired sizes of clovers (I used the smaller sizes).
  3. Use a straight pin to attach clover to felt.

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4. Cut around clover pattern.

5. Stitch small white button onto clover.

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6. For hair clips or bobby pins, use hot glue to affix clover.2

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7. For a lapel pin, use the small safety pin to attach to both the clothing and the clover.
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My work here is done. You now have pinch insurance. You’re welcome!

xo.

Pete

Feeling Lucky Banner

Are ya feelin’ lucky? This cute banner will put you in a lucky mood…or at the very least get you to finally take down those Valentine’s Day decorations! Ahem, Terese. Anywho, here’s what you’ll need to get started on this project:

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  • glitter letters or gold glitter cardstock
  • green glitter cardstock
  • cute twine
  • scissors and/or Exacto knife
  • hot glue gun
  • printed clover & letters template  (click here: feelinglucky)

First of all, let me apologize now if you never purchased these adorable glitter letters from the Dollar Spot at Target last year. They make this project a snap! If you didn’t, I got you covered! Using the letter template I provided above will work just as well–it will just take a bit more time. If it makes you feel any better, I had to supplement a few missing letters myself!

To begin:

  1. Print out feelinglucky template.
  2. Either cut out items on template and trace around them onto the glitter paper or use transfer paper to transfer them onto the glitter paper. Note: Trace/transfer two clovers facing opposite directions. Also, be mindful that you need to have the letters backwards on the back of the glitter paper so they face the right direction on the glitter side!

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3. Cut out images on the glitter paper. Small scissors work well, but you may need an Exacto knife for tight areas.

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4. Lay all of your cut pieces out along your twine to help you determine spacing and how long your banner will be. I like to wait to cut the twine from the spool until I’ve done this and make sure to give myself a few extra inches.

5. Place a dab of hot glue on the top of each clover and letter and place it on its designated area of the twine. Make sure you are protecting your work surface with something that hot glue can be removed from easily (i.e. a plate or plastic cutting board). As each piece is cooling, gently lift from the work surface to ensure that it isn’t completely stuck to it.

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6. Once the glue has cooled you’re ready to hang your banner!

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May the luck of the Irish be with you!

xo.

Pete & Repeat

valentines, “gal”entines, or “pal”entines

Have you gotten supplies for Valentine’s Day yet? I’ve had it on my mind, looking at all of the edible and non edible options, but I didn’t commit to anything until this morning. I find that keeping it simple makes every holiday more fun for me with kiddos. Look at how cute keeping it simple can be!

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I always start by finding a pack of party toys. I looked through an Oriental Trading catalog, but decided I didn’t want to risk cutting timing close with shipping. I might try that next year! Here were some options I found at my closest store.

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The next step is to come up with a clever pun or corny compliment:

  • you’re pretty “sharp”–pencil sharpeners (hot item in classrooms where kids aren’t allowed to get up to sharpen pencils!!–so I hear!)
  • you’re all-“write”–pencils
  • I think you’re “fly”– toy airplane
  • We’re so “mint” to be–mints
  • you make my heart “saur”–toy dinosaurs
  • you’re the coolest thing on wheels–mini skateboards, toy cars

Here are some templates you can download in our Freebies section and print on card stock!

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To attach the toy, I used blue sticky tak.

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Good luck and have fun!!!

xo.

Repeat

DIY FONDANT

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Do you hate the way fondant tastes? Do you think it’s too expensive? Do you think it’s hard to work with? Well, I have a solution for you! MARSHMALLOW FONDANT! You will laugh at how simple the ingredients are. While fondant is not my first love for covering cakes (I have a tiny obsession with buttercream!), I love it as an option for making cake decorations. I have found it unparalleled in creating smooth, crisp lines and clean finishes. Another bonus to fondant is that it’s like edible play dough. Your kids will love playing with it and this recipe will have them love eating it too!

To make my Marshmallow Fondant you only need two ingredients (three if you count water!). I recommend using C & H confectioner’s sugar and Kraft’s mini marshmallows.

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MARSHMALLOW FONDANT

  • 32 oz (2lbs) C & H Confectioners Sugar
  • 10 oz Mini Marshmallows (make sure you grab a bag that doesn’t have marshmallows all stuck together–no bueno)
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon flavoring such as almond, vanilla, cotton candy, cheesecake, etc. (totally optional–I never do this because I already love the taste)

TOOLS:

  • Standing mixer with either a hook attachment (my preference) or paddle
  • rubber spatula
  • microwave-safe bowl
  • paper towels
  • shortening

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Grease all of your tools with shortening: the mixing bowl, hook/paddle attachment, and rubber spatula.

    2. Pour your marshmallows in a microwave-safe bowl and add the water.26

3. Microwave marshmallows on high for 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir. Put back in the microwave for an additional 30 seconds and repeat until the marshmallows have completely melted.

4. Pour melted marshmallows in your greased mixing bowl and turn it on a low speed.

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5. Slowly start adding powdered sugar. Do not dump the entire bag in! Keep checking the consistency as you add the sugar. If the mixture gets super thick increase the speed to medium. Your goal is to have soft fondant that isn’t sticky and has a play dough-like texture.
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Often times I don’t use the entire bag of sugar, it all depends on how well everything is mixing together. It may take some practice to find your perfect consistency. This is where quality ingredients help!

6. Once your fondant is done mixing, knead it like dough. This process helps you to gauge consistency and make sure ingredients are properly blended. If the fondant is sticky, mix more powdered sugar in. If the fondant is hard, you’ve added too much sugar. It may be fixable by putting it in the microwave for 5 second increments. If that doesn’t work…you might need to start over. SO BEWARE!

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7. Either use your fondant right away or double wrap it in plastic wrap and place in a ziplock bag. Store at room temperature for up to one month. Fondant dries out quickly when exposed to air, so keep it wrapped tight. If it does harden while in storage you can soften it right up by microwaving it in 5-10 second increments (depending on how big the fondant ball is). 32TIPS:

  • When tinting fondant always use a gel food coloring (and wearing gloves is helpful during this process!)
  • When making decorations or toppers with fondant I purposely let the finished pieces dry out over night to create a sturdy decoration
  • Use shortening on your work surface while playing with fondant to prevent sticking
  • Painting a bit of water on fondant pieces will serve as a glue to attach other fondant pieces

Here are some fun projects I’ve done in the past using this recipe:

Let me know if you have any questions. I hope this opens the door to many food art possibilities for you!

xo,

Pete

 

WATERCOLOR & SALT HEART PROJECT

When I was first learning how to paint with watercolors I was taught a technique of adding salt to my painting to create an interesting design and texture. This little trick has stuck with me for years and popped in my head when I was thinking about ways to get festive for Valentine’s Day. This project is fun and simple enough to involve even the the tiniest of hands!

To make these lovely, and very versatile hearts, you will need:

  • watercolor paints (any quality will do!)
  • watercolor paper
  • scissors
  • paint brushes
  • salt
  • heart-shaped cookie cutter or stencil
  • a jar full of clean water
  • paper towels (to sop up excess water)

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To get started, allow yourself to experiment with the paint. Try using concentrated amounts of paint in some areas and watered down paint in others.

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Terese and I decided to limit the colors we used to create a Valentine’s Day palette (however, there was no limiting our helpers!).

Once you have painted an area of your paper, sprinkle the wet paint with salt.

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The salt will create the most beautiful texture:

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I recommend painting the entire paper to maximize the amount of hearts you can make!

Once you have finished your paintings lay them out to dry. When the paintings are dry turn them over to the backside and trace as many heart as you can fit on the paper. You may have some excess salt rub off of the paper, but fear not, the design will stay in tact!

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Next, cut out all of your traced hearts. **Yes, mama needs a manicure!**

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Voila! You have dozens of beautiful hearts!

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With these babies, the possibilities are endless!

Sew them together to make garland. Glue them to card stock to make a special Valentine. Affix them to bags to make party favors.

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I hope you’ll give this project a try! Let me know how it works out for you!

xo,

Pete