Friday, October 17, 2014

DIY Monster Lollipops

About a week or so ago I popped in to my local Dollar Tree to pick up some bubble wrap so I could ship an order. While I was there I happened to notice these giant Halloween lollipops. I picked up several to give out to the kiddos in my life. Now it started out innocently enough, I thought they were cute as they were in all of their plastic glory. But the detail oriented part of me thought it would be even cuter if I added a Halloween themed bow to the stick before giving them out.

Fast forward a few days...

My munchkins were in bed and my husband and I sat down to watch a movie. I pulled out all of the lollipops and my Halloween ribbons. As I laid all of my stuff out I had a brilliant idea!! Sure, ribbons tied on to the sticks would be cute, but Monster faces would be even more cute!! I gathered all of my supplies and started making my little monsters.

It's super easy to do and literally only took me a couple of minutes to put them all together! YOU can do it, too! Not that you necessarily need a tutorial on how to recreate these for yourself (and all the little monsters in your life). ;) It doesn't take any special skills to make these, just the ability to use some scissors and some glue-and the effect is really cute!!

Here is what I used to make my monsters: 

Giant lollipops 
A bunch of googly eyes (all different sizes, colors, types)
Hot glue gun
Glue sticks
Halloween ribbons
Glittery foam craft sheet 

Have fun with them, go ahead and add whatever embellishments tickle your fancy!! ;) 

 I started by cutting off the top part of the packaging because, well.. It's ugly!! I made the cut just above the line where the package seals so that the lollipops stay fresh (and sealed).

Then I cut the glitter craft foam with my scissors creating various shapes to create "teeth" and "hair/eyebrows."  You could really use a bunch of different materials for this step. Contact paper shapes would adhere directly to the plastic just like a sticker. Or you could use regular scrapbook paper or cardstock. You could even cut the shapes out using your Cricut or Silhouette machines... I'm just sayin'...


 The backside of the lollipops have nutritional info on them and since I wanted the swirls on the lollipop to help make the "faces" of my monsters I knew I couldn't just cover them up with paper. I needed to put the faces on the front side, but since it had the weight printed on there I simply covered it up using my face supplies. (Tricky, tricky right?) ;)

 After gluing the googly eyes, hair, and teeth on in random ways it was time for my Halloween ribbons to be tied on the sticks.

Here they all are!! I mostly used the fancy-dancy googly eyes but regular googly eyes work just as well too!! 

Look at that guy on the top right... He has 2 pupils in one googly eye..
Ooohh, EXTRA creepy!! ;) ha ha 

And there you have it. Monster Loll-Eye-Pops!! 
(ha ha, do you see what I did there? I crack my self up sometimes)


Sunday, October 12, 2014

"Poison" Candy Apples

Bubble bubble toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble!! Poisoned apple anyone?? 

Ok, ok they are not really poisoned, pinky promise! But I have been in an extremely crafty mood lately and so ready for Halloween although I am NOT ready for the chilly fall weather! I was recently inspired by some very beautiful caramel apples and decided to make some yummy treats for the kids. For some reason in my mind I decided that caramel seemed more sticky than candied apples.. I seriously am not sure why that came through my mind like that, but let's just roll with it. Ha :)

They are super easy to make, my kids even helped make them and best of all they only take 4 ingredients, you probably already have in your kitchen! Yay for simple, right?

Let's get started-these are all the items you need to have on hand to make these wicked treats:

Kitchen Items: 
A Medium Saucepan
Candy Thermometer 
Wax Paper
Cookie Sheet Pan
Wooden Candy Apple Sticks 
(I got mine inexpensively at Cash and Carry)
Spatula or Wooden Spoon
Cooking Spray
Small Hammer

Wash and dry your apples. Next insert the candy apple sticks in to the centers of the apples, going in about half way. I used a small hammer to pound the sticks in and make my life easier ;) Work smarter not harder
Cover your cookie sheet with the waxed paper and spray lightly with cooking spray so the candy wont stick to the wax paper. Just trust me on this..

Apples of your choice
2 Cups Granulated Sugar
3/4 Cup Water
1/2 Cup of Light Corn Syrup
1/2 teaspoon Food Coloring 
(in your desired color, my kids chose red)

This amount made about 6 apples for us. 

The Process:

Mix all the ingredients together in the medium saucepan, stirring until they are evenly combined. Turn on the stove to a medium heat and continue to stir until mixture comes to a boil. Once the candy thermometer reaches 310 degrees fahrenheit remove the pan from the heat. 

Wait for all of the bubbles to stop popping. Dip your apples in the pan, rolling the apple by the stick to coat the sides with the candy mixture. Let the excess candy drip off of the apple before placing on your prepared wax paper to cool and set.  We poured some of the candy on to the tops to make them look drippy and creepy like a poisoned apple would, but you can make it smooth if you don't want that look. 

Enjoy your creation!! They taste like cotton candy covered apples-Yum!! :) 

Nobody is perfect-and here are a few things we learned from our first experience making candied apples... :) 

1. DO NOT heat the candy over high heat. It will burn and apparently taste like "Earwax" (At least that's what my kids tell me. (Gross, I know!!) While I cannot tell you what earwax tastes like, it will taste like burned sugar. The second batch over medium heat was 110% better!! :) 

2. Less is more. The more candy you coat on the apples the harder they are to eat or cut. 

3. Do spray your waxed paper with cooking spray. The candy is so hot that it will literally melt the wax paper and it will stick to the bottom of the apple, and tear your paper when you try to remove it. I mean, unless you have a taste for waxed paper, then by all means, be my guest :) 

4. If you give your spoon or spatula a quick shot of cooking spray the candy will not stick and come off much easier later when you are cleaning up

5. The candy hardens up pretty quick, so work kind of fast to coat the apples. 

6. Super hot water will remove the candy "left overs" from your saucepan and spatula/spoon. 

I would love to see or hear about how your candy apple making went if you decide to try it!! :)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Fall Recipe

Happy Fall!! 

I have really been craving pumpkin lately. I want pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin, well everything... Now if you know me you would know that in and of itself is weird because I am not usually a "pumpkin person." I have noticed that my tastes seem to change as I get older and I enjoy foods I never liked as a kid. So maybe it is just that. Or maybe my body is lacking some vitamin or nutrient that pumpkin has in it. Either way, I digress. :)

So without further ado, here is the recipe I made for dinner-that didn't taste too "pumpkin-y" but was still delicious and totally curbed my pumpkin craving!

Sausage & Pumpkin Penne Recipe 


1 box (12 oz) Whole Wheat Penne Pasta
1 Lb. Mild Ground Italian Sausage
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil 
2 Shallots, Chopped Finely
4 Garlic Cloves, Pressed
1 Cup Chicken Broth
1 Small Can (15oz.) 100% Pure Pumpkin Pie Filling 
1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Red Cayenne Pepper 
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste (I usually put 5-6 grinds from the pepper mill)
Sea Salt to taste 
Parmesan Cheese 

1. Bring large pot of water to a rolling boil for pasta. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain & rinse pasta. 

2. Meanwhile, brown Italian Sausage in skillet. Once cooked through set aside. Add Olive Oil to the skillet then add shallots and pressed garlic. Saute for about 4 minutes over medium heat. 

3. Stir in chicken broth, heavy whipping cream, and pumpkin to the skillet and mix well. Add in Cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper.

4. Reduce heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. 

5. Add sausage to the sauce and then mix in to the pot with penne pasta. Mix in Parmesan cheese. 

6. Serve hot and add additional Parmesan cheese to top. 

7. Enjoy!! ;)    

My family really liked it. Let me know if you try it and what you think!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Back to School: Apple Note

I cannot believe how fast the summer has gone by! It seems like my kids just got out of school, and here we are again, new backpacks and school bells ringing! Now, I am a little bit late on this post for back to school (Shocking, right?) ;) But I am so thankful for teachers and everything they do to teach and shape our children and our future!

This year for back to school we made these little "apple notes." And today I am going to share how to made this cute, super easy, and quick apple project! You can make these for so many other reasons, too! Back to school, Teacher Appreciation, or just a fun little note for someone.

All you need is a few supplies. I had all of my supplies already on hand, but if you do not have them already they wouldn't cost much to get. I happened to have a whole bag of these little spools on hand because I ordered them quite awhile ago from Oriental Trading Company, with the intent of wrapping all of my small ribbons around them for storage... However, even a crafty girl like me sometimes fails to read the product dimensions ;) (Oops!) So I have had these little guys corralled in one of my craft drawers.


Small wooden spool
Scissors (with a fun edging blade, I used the pinking sheer type)
Regular Scissors or Box Knife (for cutting dowel)
Baker's Twine
Green Grosgrain Ribbon
Fine Tip Sharpie
Red (or Green) Acrylic Paint
Small Paintbrush
Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
*Lighter (Heat Sealing the Ribbon)

First start by measuring the distance of the center of the spool where your paper message will be, and mark it on your paper-lengthwise. Marking it lengthwise allows you to make your message as long as you like.

Next paint the wooden spool with the red acrylic paint and set aside to dry. While it is drying (it only takes a few minutes!), cut out your measured strip of paper using your fun edged scissors. I used the pinking sheers style of scissor for my cuts. Make sure that you cut BOTH edges with these scissors.

Write your message or note on the strip of paper. Make sure that you leave enough space before your message for wrapping it around the spool and gluing it in to place later. I choose to write a teacher related quote on our paper. "Teachers plant seeds of knowledge that will grow forever." I decided to write it as a general message instead of something more personal since it is just the beginning of the year.

After the paint is dry, insert the dowel piece in to the center of the spool and glue in to place from the hole in the bottom. Let glue dry. Grab your green ribbon, and tie it at the base of the dowel (top of the spool), and cut off the excess. *Using your lighter lightly touch the ribbon ends with the flame to heat seal the edges so they will not fray. This step is optional and depending on the type of ribbon you may not want to do this step especially if it is a metallic or sheer variety of ribbon. I do not recommend letting children do this step, for obvious safety reasons.*  Then I added a small spot of glue to the dowel just above the top of the spool to hold the ribbon on so it will not slip off later. (I know, tricky tricky..)

Then using either your regular scissors or a box knife very carefully cut the dowel to the size that you want it to be to make the "stem" of the apple. When using scissors, I usually will make a cut on the dowel, turn the dowel, make another cut, and just keep doing that until it cuts all the way through.

Take your paper message strip, center it on your spool, and glue the empty space (before the message) on to the spool. Wrap the paper around so that it meets itself and put another dab of glue there so the paper is completely around the spool, and glued to itself. Your message should still be completely visible! Draw a couple of "apple seeds" on the blank portion of the paper that is glued to the spool.

Then wrap the message around the spool, and draw another set of "apple seeds" on the outside of the paper. Tie it off with some baker's twine, package it up, and you're all done! Easy peasy, right?!

So small and cute!

 I hope that your back to school has started off great this year! Now, to start counting down the days until winter break so that I have someone at home to play with! :)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Ghoulish Monster Hair Accessory

Today I am going to be showing you how to make this Ghoulish Monster Eye hair accessory!

First of all you need to gather your supplies.

• Scissors
• Hot glue gun & Glue sticks
• 12 ½” Ribbon of your choice
• Barrette or headbands (your choice!)
• Googly craft eyes
• Feathers in assorted colors & sizes
• Needle & Thread (Don’t worry-you don’t need to be a seamstress to make these-
it’s very simple, I promise!)
• Embellishments (Mine are craft picks from the wedding section at Michaels)
• *Optional* Hot glue fingertip protectors
floral picks
Step 1: Take your ribbon, and cut 2 pieces to 5 ¼” and another small piece at 2”. Heat
seal the edges with a lighter so the ends won’t unravel. Fold your first 5 ¼” ribbon to
make a bow, making sure the seam is in the middle. 

Always heat seal your ribbon edges ;)
Step 2: Using your needle and thread, tie a knot in the end of the thread and pull it
through the center of your ribbon, securing it. Repeat this step with the second ribbon,
stacking it on top of the first. After you have your two bows stacked and sewn in the
middle go ahead and pull the needle and thread through BOTH layers of the bow to make
it sturdier. (Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect, nobody will see it later anyway!!) Set


Step 3: Take your googly eyes and pick which feathers you’d like to use - it’s your
project - it can be as wild or tame as you make it! You can play around with your feathers
before you glue them down to make sure it is just how you want it to look. Once you get
a look you like, go ahead and apply a SMALL dab of hot glue to the feather and attach
the other feathers together. I added feathers to the front AND back of my base feather.

Step 4: Taking your craft picks disassemble them-so you have many smaller picks with
one or two rhinestones on them. I curled up the ends of the picks using a new glue stick-to tuck
away the sharp edges and give the pick a little more stability in the hair piece when I glue
them down. Once you have done this glue it to the back of the feather stack. Then glue on
the googly eye to the front of the stack. Set aside.

Step 5: Grab your barrette and open it up. Remove the inside piece and set aside. Then 
take your bows and center them on the barrette, and use your needle and thread to attach
it to the center of the barrette. Secure the rest of the ribbon to the top of the clip with your
hot glue-making sure not to use too much so it dribbles out the sides. Then take the 2”
piece of ribbon and dab glue on the center inside the barrette to secure the ribbon with.
Replace the piece you pulled out earlier. Then flip the barrette over and put glue in the
center and wrap the edges of the ribbon up to the middle. (See, now you can’t even see
the stitching!)


Step 6: Now for the best part!! Take your googly eye and feather stack and glue them 
down on to the top of the bow! Fill in feathers if necessary to cover glue spots. Let dry.
And Wha-La!! A Ghoulish Monster Eye hair accessory any ghoul girl would be thrilled
to wear! 

*TIP* If you are using a headband instead of a hairclip, you can do the same steps as
above only attaching the pieces to the headband instead of the clip! If I am making hair
accessories for a small baby/toddler I like to make it as a bow, and then clip the bow to
the headband so the hair accessory can still be worn as the child gets older*

I shared my tutorial with my friend Keisha over at Cupcake Wishes & Birthday Dreams for her annual 13 Days of Handmade Halloween! Jump on over and see what other goodies she posts up!

Specimen Craft (Kid Friendly)

SK Designs

For this project you will need:

• *Hot Glue Gun & Glue sticks (This part YOU will have to do before hand, unless
your child is older and can do it without getting burned & is supervised for safety)
• Silicone craft molds –Mine are Martha Stewart brand that I got for ½ off at Joann’s
• Scissors (Again, please make sure you cut out the paper unless your child is old
enough to handle scissors or has child approved scissors & is supervised)
• Stickers from Oriental Trading Company
• Scrapbook paper
• Small picture frame
• Non-toxic paint & Paintbrush
• Embellishments

silicone molds

Frame of choice

If your kids are anything like mine they LOVE to do craft projects!! This one is so simple
and it doesn't take very long either; which is great if your child has a shorter attention
span (like my youngest!) This project is also great to do as a quick project for adults too.
Literally it only takes a few minutes and you’re done!

For this project we used small picture frames that hang in the bathroom, which I can switch out seasonally, you can use any frame for this project!
This is my little helper, Kate! 

Step 1: Using your silicone mold squeeze some hot glue in to the mold to fill it up, set aside for a minute and let harden. (It doesn't take long at all!!)

Step 2: Gather up all of your scrapbook paper (or plain colored papers), and a picture frame. Open the frame and remove the glass. With adult supervision, have your child cut the paper down to fit inside the frame you have chosen for this project. Insert the paper in to the frame; place the glass back inside, and close up the back. By doing it like this, your child can decorate their paper and glue the 3D "specimens" on and you will know your glass is safe, too!

I outlined on her paper where to cut so it would fit in the frame.
It is easier if you do this for smaller children
Step 3: Have your child paint the dried glue with non-toxic paint. Then set it aside to dry.
(A hairdryer on low setting will help to speed up this process!)


Step 4: Using Halloween stickers, let your child decorate the paper any way they like.
Our stickers are from Oriental Trading Company. Add embellishments if desired, too!


Step 5: Glue the "specimen" on to the paper in the frame and set it out/hang it up for Halloween!


And there you have it! A very simple project your kids can do!

*NOTE: I used items from Oriental Trading Company that were provided to me free of charge by the company, I provided my own honest opinion. Other people may have a different opinion or experience with the product listed above. No other type of compensation was received.* 

I shared my tutorial with my friend Keisha over at Cupcake Wishes & Birthday Dreams for her annual 13 Days of Handmade Halloween! Jump on over and see what other goodies she posts up!