Easy Last Minute Christmas Gifts Advent Mold Chocolates

Easy Last Minute Christmas Gifts – Advent Calendar Mold Chocolates

Have you left your Christmas gifts to the last minute? Don’t panic your can just make these Easy Last Minute Christmas Gifts – Advent Calendar Mold Chocolates.  Since naturally I left the final gifts till Christmas Eve to sort out, the kids had just finished their last chocolate in their advent calendars. Why not use them as a mold to make your own Christmas themed chocolates!

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Folded Paper Party Bowls Tutorial

Disney Moana Origami Candy Bowls Tutorial

There is something very satisfying about folding only paper into something useful (or beautiful!).  These Origami Candy Bowls are super easy and look great!  I made these for the upcoming Disney Moana movie, as they would be great for a Moana themed party.  I do love a good Disney movie and am very excited about Disney Moana.  Living in New Zealand I am looking forward to see how they have used the legends I grew up reading.  Maui myths and legends books were a common story favourite when I was at primary school, and I still remember the stories.

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Make Your Own Pom Pom ‘Toorie’ Tutorial

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As part of making my Highland Dancing Balmoral Bonnet tutorial (coming soon!) I needed to make a ‘Toorie’ more commonly known as a pom pom.  I thought the original tutorial was getting way too long, so here is a separate one just for the pom pom!  The above Balmoral Bonnet was given to me for Hannah, and is not the one I am making but it has a Toorie to show you!

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Easter Treat Jars Tutorial

Welcome to my Easter Treat Jars tutorial! I wanted to make something a little crafty and handmade for Easter this year. The great part is you can fill them with what ever you like and of course the fabric top colour options are endless.

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I was inspired by Heidi from Happiness is Homemade who made these gorgeous Easter Bunny Treat Jars.  Wanting to add my own little twist so decided not to go with the bunny theme.  And as much as these are called Easter treat jars you could use them for Birthdays, Christmas and many other holidays too.  Just change what you put inside!

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These two little jars are upcycled from my Heinz Sandwich spread habit!  I have only recently found it for sale in NZ and am enjoying the hell out of it!  I am making two today, one for each of my Nieces on my side of the family.

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You can fill them with any Easter treats you like!  I have gone for the Kinder Eggs as they are smaller and only 2.6 carbs (others sit mostly over 10 for small eggs), which seems unimportant when gifting Easter eggs to children but one of my Nieces is a diabetic, so it is very important for her.  Know a diabetic child too?  I have a great tutorial for insulin pumps bands!

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Now back to these gorgeous little jars!  I think they are pretty self explanatory to make…but just in case here is what I did step by step!

 

What you will need to make the Easter Treat Jars

  • Glass Jars – I upcycled some old ones, you don’t really need to have the lids but they are handy for keeping the paint out of the inside of the jar.  Mason jars or even a drinking glass would work too.
  • Spray Paint – I used undercoat first and a top coat in the colour of your choice.  I think matt pastels give them a very ‘Easter’ feel.  Saying that I like working with what I have, so white mine are going to be!
  • Tape – Masking tape, sellotape or even stickers in the shapes you want.  As long as they are easily removable!
  • Cardboard or something to sit the jars on while you paint them.  I use an old canvas that I painted years ago but didn’t like the finished painting!
  • Rubber Gloves – Optional but highly recommended when working with spray paint!

Clean and dry Jars

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You need to make sure that the jars are thoroughly cleaned and dried.  If you reusing old jars make sure to remove all labels and any adhesive residue.  As you can see my canvas has been used as a spraying base a few times before, most recently for spray painting piggy banks.

Tape up your design

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A little hard to see on the left jar as I have used regular sellotape as I can’t find the masking tape and can’t be bothered to go and buy more!  The little black circles will make a neat print, and I already had these as I use them for my Handmade Owl Cards which was my first ever blog post!

Paint

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I have put the lids back on before painting so that the overspray doesn’t end up inside the jars.  You don’t need to paint the necks as they will be covered with the fabric top.  Give them an even light coating of the undercoat.  Too thick and the paint will run.

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Another great tip, lay your base on the lawn!  That way any over spray will be caught on the grass and will be gone next time you mow it.  It is quite windy here today so there was quite a bit of drift this time, take it into account!  As you might already know gardening is not my strong point or area of interest…I do appreciate a beautiful garden I just have no desire (or skill) to create one.  So if your lawn is a little more precious to you feel free to get out a drop sheet.

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Wait for the paint to dry and then do add a top coat.  Depending on the paint and the coverage you are after you may want to add a couple of layers.  Since my undercoat and top coat were both white one layer will do it for me.  You can see my finger prints on the edges of the lids, I find it easier to hold the jar and turn it as I paint.  You will definitely want to wear the rubber gloves for that!

Remove Tape

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Time to remove the tape (or stickers), I found it easiest to use a blade to lift the edge then peel off.  If you used sellotape you might want to use a blade to lift a small edge and then tweezers till it is large enough to grab with our fingers.

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Fill and Decorate

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Add your treats!  I also had some small chocolate Bunnies to go with the Kinder Eggs.  The treats don’t need to be wrapped since we didn’t paint the inside it should still be nice and clean.  You might want to seal the top with the lid before adding the cloth cover. Remember that you can fill your Easter Treat Jars with so many things, candy, chocolate, little toys. Or healthier treats like nuts, crackers, dried fruit etc.

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Cut two circles a little larger than the top of the jar.  I used a round plastic container to draw around.

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Then place it over the top and tie on.  I have used a small elastic but thread or even a hair tie would work well too.  I also added a lace layer which I glued on to the jar neck.

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Last but not least…tie it all up with a ribbon bow!

I think they are just gorgeous and I’m sure my Nieces will love their Easter Treat Jars ♥

Note for next time, I think I would do more small dots so you can see a little more of the treats from the outside!

Happy Easter!!

Free Cute and Colorful Easter Printable

Free Cute & Colourful Easter Printable

Easter is at the end of March this year…yes that’s pretty soon!  I didn’t want it to jump up and surprise me.  There is nothing worse than leaving it to the last minute and having to rush out and buy the (usually horrible or hugely expensive) left over eggs at the store.  So I decided to get organised! I had a great time creating this Easter Printable to share with you all.

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The colours options are endless and so much fun to mix and match. I might have to make another Easter printable for next year.

These are for my Sister-in-law’s four kids, I like to get them similar but not exactly the same presents so no-one feels hard done by.  I also like to keep Easter presents pretty small and inexpensive with seven nieces and nephews and not to mention my two, it can easily get out of hand!

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This year I decided on some bright large plastic cups which conveniently came in a 4 pack.  With four colours the kids actually like! And the great part is they each have a new cup they can use for the rest of the year too.

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Inside each cup is a milk chocolate bunny, a couple of marshmallow eggs and a little Cadbury Caramello egg.  Not a whole lot but plenty of chocolate for little people, and not so little people too I suppose.  And they get to keep the cups which are always handy for picnics, parties and camping too!

Easter Printable Free Download Here!

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I decided on making an Easter egg shaped printable label for the cups.  Which of course I have also turned into a pdf to share with you all. You can download your Free Printable Easter Egg Tags by clicking the link.  I have placed each one in its own oval to make them easier to cut out.  If you want the name printed you can save a copy in whatever format suits you to add the names on. I chose to hand write mine in fine tip neon pens.

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After cutting and writing on the children’s names, I stuck two small pieces of double sided tape on the back.  I didn’t want to use glue or anything that might be hard to wash off later when they use the cups.  Then just stick in place.

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And there you have some gorgeous little Easter Gifts that will last a little longer…well just the one part!

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Feel free to share, there are no restrictions on the use of the printable so feel free to go nuts!

Valentine’s Day Sewn Paper Heart Pouches

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Valentine’s Day is not a very big deal here in New Zealand, but it is getting bigger every year.  A little like Halloween I suppose!  I’m never quite sure what to do for Valentine’s Day.  Since I have started blogging and reading a lot of other blogs, I have seen so many cute gift ideas…I didn’t want to miss out!  So being the day before over here I thought I had better get cracking!  Luckily these gorgeous sewn paper heart pouches are very quick and easy to make.

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I really like all the paper pouches sewn in various shapes filled with lollies (yep that is what we call candy or sweets in NZ!).  I love the simpleness and the cuteness factor too.  I also like that you can control how much you put inside!  So since I am just starting out with Valentine’s gifts I will just make them for my immediate family this year.  We’ll see how far we get next year with a little more planning!

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From my previous hobby (card making) I still have plenty of pretty paper and ribbons at my disposal.  I have shared a Handmade Owl Card, Cat Silhouette and a Teddy Bear if you want to check them out.  To be honest I have really been bitten by the sewing bug and don’t really make many cards at the moment.  So using up a few supplies is a probably a great idea!

What you will need

  • Paper any pattern or plain, I have seen very cute ones made from regular brown paper.
  • Decorations – Ribbon, stickers, embellishments of any kind you like
  • Lollies (Candy/Sweets) not too large in size

NOTE: For a non sweet treat option you could add little toys, Lego mini figures would be ideal, or those teeny tiny My Little Ponies.  The options are endless!

 

Instructions

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Cut out the shapes you want, of course I have gone with hearts for Valentine’s Day…so original!  You will need a front and a back for each pouch.

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Sew around the edge using a long stitch length and leaving a gap to insert your treasures.  I like to leave the threads long and I don’t lockstitch or reverse over at the start or end.  That way I can tie the threads at the back later.

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Now it is time to fill up your pouch.  You can use a funnel if you like but I found it easy enough just to pour them in holding the treats in the palm of my hand.

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Sew the hole closed taking care to start and finish as close to the original stitches as possible.

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Tie the two sets of top threads together and do the same on the underside.  You should have four sets of two threads tied together.

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Using a needle pull the top threads through the stitch next to where they were tied, down to the underside.  See the photo above!

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Tie the top and bottom threads together at both ends and trim the excess thread.  That is the sewing part finished!

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Now they should look like a little like these.  Time to decorate!!!

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I have these cute little paper fasteners that are excellent for making little decorative ribbon bows.  Great tip: Note the drawing pin (thumb tack/push pin), I use it to make the holes before inserting the paper fasteners, much easier!

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Just fold your bow into shape and use the paper fastener to secure in place.  Remember not to fold out the backs of the fasteners till it is attached to the paper.

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Use you drawing pin to make the hole, that way it goes exactly where you want it and you don’t risk bending the paper fasteners out of shape.

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Insert your paper fastener bow.  Very quick and easy but super cute!

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I love using craft scissors to decorate the cut edge.  It just finishes the edges nicely!

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There you have all a little different but gorgeous none the less!

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Just one more of these delicious peach flavoured hearts…YUM!!

Fabric Spray Paint + Freezer Paper Stencils

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Why yes I have been playing with fabric paint again!  I stumbled across some fabric paint in little pump spray bottles (not aerosol) and just had to try them out!

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Again more Tulip paint, not due to sponsorship but due to the fact that it is the only kind I have found in town!

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I might have also found some glitter ones too!!  If you are in New Zealand they are from The Warehouse and retail for $20.  I went in to get the neon…I know it’s turning into an obsession! But some of the bottles didn’t have as much in them as others so I was rummaging through looking for a good set and came across the glitter one…was trying to decide if I really needed both…thought I better price check them at the self scanner (man I love those things) and it was on clearance for $2.97!  Not the neon unfortunately but hey I was pretty happy because it was a great excuse to buy both!

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You might recognise the stags head from the Stencilled Bodysuit Tutorial I did back in October.   This time I am using the leftover inside pieces, so that the paint goes all around the outside.

What you will need

  • Fabric Spray Paint
  • Freezer Paper Bought or Home made freezer paper tutorial
  • Craft Knife or Blade to cut out your design
  • Baking Paper
  • Iron
  • Hairdryer (Optional)

 

Step 1 – Make and Attach your Stencil

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You can follow the full instructions on how to make your freezer paper and stencil in the Home Made Freezer Paper Tutorial!

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Place your stencil in position and lay a piece of baking paper (non-stick baking paper/parchment paper) over the top to protect your iron.  Press firmly into place.

 

Step 2 – Paint!

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You can a little or a lot it is totally up to you!  I went with a sweeping motion from left to right.  If you press the spray nozzle the hole way down in one go you get a mist, and if you press it halfway down you get a splatter effect.  Both are great!

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I used three colours for my stags head.  With a combination of mist and splatter.   This is for a boy but for a girl I would probably have added a touch of glitter too!

 

Step 3 – Dry

There are a couple of ways to do this.  Number one follow the packet directions and wait patiently for it to air dry naturally, or for the impatient folk (like me!) go and find your hairdryer!

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I used my hairdryer on the hottest setting but on a slow speed.  There was quite a bit of paint on the paper like a little puddle!  Too fast and you risk blowing it off the side of your stencil.  Mine never even looked like moving but it dried in just a few minutes.

 

Step 4 – Remove Stencil

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This was very easy, even more so than with the painted on fabric paint.  Just start at a point or corner and lift it away from the fabric.  You will need to pull carefully so you don’t tear the stencil, although even if you do just start again from the other end.

 

Step 5 – Finished!

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I love the spray effect and the reverse silhouette look.  I want to try using the paint on the inside of the stencil next time too!  I’m sure it won’t be long before you see some more fabric painting from me!

Enjoy!

Spray Paint and Piggy Banks

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Well I just couldn’t wait till these piggies were finished to share them with you!  I had a visit from my SIL Kathie and my 1 month old Nephew yesterday.  New babies are so lovely!  Especially when you get to cuddle them, then give them back and sleep all night!  Kathie bought six of these little paint your own piggy bank kits for her Nieces and Nephews for Christmas.  But they came with those tiny little pots of paint that you can’t even dip your finger in.  There is no way there would be enough paint to cover half of the pig.  Always a little misleading when the box shows a beautifully decorated pink pig, then you open it up and there isn’t any pink paint at all.  No red to mix with white either in case you thought I was having a blonde moment!

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But on the upside I got to paint them!  Have I mentioned I love spray paint ♥  So when Kathie asked if I would help her paint them I wasn’t going to miss that opportunity!  I seem to be the go to for painting in the family.  Whether it’s walls, duck decoys, decorated fishing rod boxes, names on boats or a piggy bank.  And all those things were just this year!  Kathie and I came up with plenty of ideas…

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These included masking tape which we ruled out as the drying time in between coats was a luxury we didn’t have!  One month old babies rarely wait patiently!  Lace (as you can see worked quite well but trickier to get around the curves), hand painting the ears, eyes and snouts.  But as usual I started without too much thought and things kind of worked out on their own!  I painted one side of the pig one colour and liked how it caught certain areas, so I did the other a second colour.  I loved the way the colours blended in the middle and the way it shaded the inside of the ears opposite colours.

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Kathie chose the colours obviously keeping what the kids like in mind.  She worked out that we could have six different combos so each kid’s piggy bank would be unique.  Luckily she has three nieces and three nephews to keep things even!  In case you were wondering we had pink, blue, yellow, green & black.  Yeah I can’t see the black either…piece of advice black with a light colour does not work!  We tried black and yellow (one of the kids favourite colours) it looked grey and speckled, the the black did not blend.  It really just looked unfinished, but that’s what is great about spray paint you can just go over it!  So take away the black and all the other colour combos worked a treat!

Next up…Names, eyes and snouts.

I will do an update once they are all finished!