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CRAFTS

DIY Valentine’s Day Heart-shaped Candy Boxes

Posted in CRAFTS, CRICUT, DIY, HOLIDAYS
on February 13, 2017

Do you remember the first year that Valentine’s Day mattered to you? I do. I was in the sixth grade and was boy-crazy over this kid named Warren. He had the cutest little bowl cut and the biggest teeth I’ve ever seen. He was my Mr. Dreamy. Every time someone accused me of liking him my voice would rise to an octave that only dogs can hear as I shrilly said: “I do NOT!” Only I did. On that Valentine’s Day, after finally admitting I maybe liked him a little bit,  we started “going out.” You know, the going out, which means we were thinking of holding hands some day when our palms weren’t sweaty and the planets aligned. Still, on that Valentine’s Day, he gave me a decorated teddy bear cookie that said, “I love you ‘beary’ much!”. I swooned, and vowed never to eat the cookie – it was just far too romantic gesture ever to eat it, and knowing my love of cookies, I must have liked this boy even to consider not eating it. In my heart, I just knew I’d be cherishing that cookie on our wedding anniversary some day!

 

Flash forward a few years – okay, a few decades – and now I’m married to the most excellent Valentine who, lucky me, will have to put up with me forever. Now, I have a whole slew of young people all worried about whether or not they’ll be getting an “I love you ‘beary’ much!” cookie, or something equally as heartwarming, on February 14th. Of course, I can’t guarantee that for them, but I can make sure they know how much I love them.

Every year, without fail, we have a little Valentine’s Day party, where we exchange little cards and candy and finish the day off with one or two of our favorite Rom-coms. This year’s movies were “10 Things I Hate About You” and “A Knights Tale” – it was just a Heath Ledger kind of day!

My youngest knock-it-off-crafter spent an entire day crafting his Valentine’s, everyone made a box or a bag to hold their goodies, and I surprised everyone with these personalized candy boxes. We sat around talking about how dumb boys are sometimes (truth) and how impossible girls are to understand (won’t ever happen), nibbling on our sweets and getting lost in the rom-com giggles. Each box reflected the current personality of the receiver – as you can see I’ve passed on my love of leopard print to one of my mini-me’s.

With the varied card stock patterns, it was easy to have each box reflect the current personality of the receiver – as you can see I’ve passed on my love of leopard print to one of my mini-me’s.

* This post contains affiliate links for your convenience

I made my boxes with my Cricut Explore Air 2 – by the way, I’m STILL loving this machine –  but if you don’t have a craft cutting machine, you could easily create the project by cutting the template by hand.  If you’re interested in creating these candy boxes for yourself or loved ones, the template files are available to subscribers to my weekly newsletter. If you’re using a newer Cricut or Silhouette import the images into the designer software and enlarge the image to cut on a 12″x12″ card stock sheet. If you’re cutting by hand, print the images at full size. Either way, you’ll need to cut one of each sheet.

The boxes go together in a snap with hot glue. Here are the basic steps (shown using a Cricut):

Gather your supplies:

  • 12″x12″ mid-weight cardstock in your choice of colors
  • Cricut or Silhouette cutting machine OR scissors
  • If cutting by hand, a printer
  • Glue and Glue gun
  • Embellishments (optional)
  • Mini cupcake liners
  • Candy of your choice

Step 1: Cut out your template patterns, one sheet of all three files.

Step 2: Trace the liner hearts (smaller of the two) to the back side of the base hearts (larger).

Step 3: Connect the two pieces of the solid band in the center, aligning the edges. Attach the solid band to the back side of the bottom base heart, using your traced line as a guide. Bend the tabs, then attach by gluing the circle tabs slightly INSIDE the line onto the base, starting from the tip of the heart and working around to the top of the heart.

Step 4: Connect the two pieces of the contrast band in the center, aligning the edges. Attach the contrast band to the back side of the top base heart, using your traced line as a guide. Be sure to check fit over the bottom band before gluing, and cut to fit as needed – The top band provided is longer than necessary to allow for a custom fit. Attach by gluing the circle tabs slightly OUTSIDE the line, starting from the top of the heart and working around to the bottom of the heart.

Step 5: Add liners to both top and bottom lid and embellish, if desired.

Step 7: Add cupcake liners and fill with candy.

Step 8: Gift to make someone happy!

 

 

I found it easiest to work from the bottom up to ensure the contrast band fits inside the peek-a-boo band.

Although the boxes were cute without any further decoration, I had found these fun embellishments in the Target Dollar Aisle. They were the perfect finish to compliment the different cardstock designs.

The best part of creating your candy boxes is that you can fill them with all of your favorite sweets! Mini cupcake liners are perfect for holding each treat or chocolate – I was able to nest seven liners into each box. I filled the boxes with Mike & Ikes, Skittles, Peanut M&Ms, Cinnamon hearts, Gummy Roses, Milk Duds, and Lindor Truffles, but you can fill yours whatever you like.

It’s a very personal way for you to show your Valentine’s, large and small, how much they are loved!

So, I bet you’re wondering what happened to Warren and the cookie? Well, he broke up with me the day after Valentine’s Day, and although I did keep the cookie, it eventually disintegrated. It goes without saying that if someone were to give me a cookie today, I’d eat it right there on the spot – with age comes wisdom. I eventually moved away and have no idea what happened to the boy that gave me my first lesson in “boy dumbness”. It’s probably for the best, though – between his teeth and mine one can only wonder what would have happened to our children!

Whether you have a Warren or not, I wish you the happiest Valentine’s Day. I’m off to finish my shopping – I want to make sure my Valentine knows that, without a doubt, “I love him ‘beary’ much!” Since I love him, I may even be persuaded to share a cookie with him!

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Why I’m leaving my Silhouette Portrait for the Cricut Explore Air 2!

Posted in CRAFTS, CRICUT, DIY
on February 8, 2017

Sponsored by Cricut

So, friends, recently, I had the opportunity to try the new Cricut Explore Air 2™ machine craft cutting machine.

As you all know, I’ve been a Silhouette Portrait owner for a few years now, and was sure no other machine could ever come close to having the level of admiration I have for it..  and then I met the Cricut Explore Air™ 2! My first thought upon seeing it was “Holy cow, SO pretty!”.

The machine has a streamlined and sleek design, comes in the prettiest mint green (among other colors) and is surprisingly compact for a full capacity cutter. Imagine if Tiffany’s made craft cutters and you’ll understand – all Audrey Hepburn and white bows. It looks as though you will make only elegant, fabulous creations with it, even if you have no idea what you’re doing.. which I didn’t!

The machine control panel is straightforward and intuitive – I love that you can set your material and blade height just by turning a dial rather than an over-complicated process of checks and balances within the software.

One of my favorite features prior to turning it on was the built-in storage compartments. With a place for everything, there will be no more searching for tools for this girl!

Setup of the machine was simple, and the tutorials and learning opportunities are straightforward and extensive. I was up and running with the first project in a matter of minutes.  The dual ports that allow you to house both a pen and a blade simultaneously were impressive, and I had a great time testing this feature out with my first project – a greeting card project on cardstock, the pattern of which is included in the setup of Cricut Explore Air™ 2!

I had never used a pen on my machine before and was shocked by how clear the writing was! The alignment of the device is impeccable. I had never thought to use my machine for anything other than cutting, but I can see using this for coloring pages, line art, and many other projects. I’m not a greeting card guru but you get the idea!

Cutting with cardstock was a breeze – the cut was clean and precise, and there was no fraying of edges in any way. I especially loved how easily the design came away from the cutting mat. The mat is sticky but not so sticky that you can’t remove your project, which I often found was an issue with my Silhouette.

From there I moved on to a simple project of my own – this cute ring holder made from an inexpensive Target dollar aisle find and gold vinyl. I did have to do a bit of research on where to find various tools in the Design Space App (Cricut’s online software, which you install on your computer as a plugin) but the right tutorial was easy to locate, and I was off and running without having to watch the entire video. The Design Studio is easy to use once you know what you’re doing and I love that I won’t have to re-watch a video for the first ten times I use the machine to remember what how to do simple things. Yes, I had to do that in Silhouette Studio repeatedly which drove me a little insane. The Design Studio has over 30,000 images and 370 fonts available with a subscription, and I quickly found a design that would be perfect for my little dish. I ended up cutting my design twice – forgot to center my cut on the vinyl. Oops! But this allowed me to test the fast cut feature. The fast cut feature is quite a bit faster than your standard cut, although I’m not entirely sure it’s 2x the speed. I also noticed it was not quite as concise in the cutting with the faster speed. I think I’ll likely stick to standard speed as it’s plenty fast enough for me!

The machine cuts quietly and smoothly, as compared to my Silhouette which is quite loud to operate and often sounds like it’s grinding when it’s cutting any material. Again, the vinyl was a clean cut even with the small size of the font and weeding the text was simple.

The Cricut Explore Air™ 2 is also Wi-Fi capable which allows you to design, send and monitor cuts from your phone or Ipad, without ever logging onto your laptop. This means I can be working on projects while my monkey is playing at the playground, waiting to taxi someone someplace, or anywhere else the creative bug hits me!

See? Mad crush. Sorry, Silhouette, it’s been great, and I hate to leave you alone with Valentine’s Day coming up, but I love another. I’m kind of smitten with my new little ring dish, too… Seriously, if you are in the market for a new cutting machine, I can’t recommend the Cricut Explore Air™ 2 machine enough. Overall it is a fantastic product, and I’m so excited for all of the projects I’ll be making with it!

Pin it! Don’t forget it! 

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

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No-Sew Fabric Rope Basket

Posted in BATHROOMS, CRAFTS, CREATE WITH ME, DIY
on February 6, 2017

Hi, Friends! It’s the first Monday of the month, and you know what that means.. It’s time for the February Create with Me DIY Challenge! This fun challenge is where you, our readers, vote on the materials we’ll use for next month’s projects, so be sure to scroll to the very last bit of this post to vote for your favorite before you go.

This month’s challenge was to create something using fabric! I used this challenge to finish the last item on my to-do list for our newly updated Powder Room – improve on the trashcan – and I did so by using upcycled t-shirts and hot glue to create a fabric rope basket without sewing a stitch!
I’ve had a bit of a crush on the rope storage baskets that are everywhere these days, and I thought it would be fun to make-over my trashcan with a custom-made basket that it could slide inside of! It was so much easier to make than I expected.

*Affiliate links may have been used. Please see my full disclosure for more information.

 

To create a fabric rope trashcan cover yourself you’ll need the following:

 

  • Jersey fabric – I used the fabric from five medium men’s t-shirts in dark gray, navy, green and white
  • A glue gun
  • Sharp scissors able to cut fabric
  • A cylinder style trashcan

The first thing I did was to cut my t-shirts into 1″ wide strips, starting at the bottom of each shirt. If you cut along the bottom of the hem, you’ll end up with a jersey ring. Cut one end free, leaving a long string of t-shirt jersey.

Next, I braided the jersey strings into multiple braided ropes. I tied a knot at the top of three pieces of jersey, braided down, gluing the ends when the braiding was completed. Then, I untied the knot, finished braiding and secured that end with glue as well, leaving me with a braided piece of jersey rope. I repeated this task until all of my jersey strips were braided together. I was sure to mix strand colors to give me a mottled look I was after, as well as to braid like colored strands together.

To begin the basket, I twisted one of the braided ropes into a spiral, gluing every inch or so to secure. I continued adding strings to the spiral, gluing every inch or so,  until the spiral pad was the size of the bottom of the trash can.

When I’d reached the edges of the bottom of the trashcan, I began adding ropes up and around the sides of the trashcan, alternating color as I moved upward, gluing every inch or so.

Occasionally I would remove the trashcan from the basket to unstick any areas of the fabric that might have stuck. This was simple to do as the hot glue just peeled away from the plastic surface of the can, and the basket ropes were stretchy enough to replace the trash can afterward easily.

I decided to add a solid band of color around the top edge of the can and switched to solid colored strands about three-quarters of the way up, stopping when the basket reached just over the brink of the can.

 

Again, I pulled the can out of the basket to loosen any glue that may have seeped through and to ensure the ropes were all secure. And voila! A rope basket!

What I loved about this project was the simplicity and the multiple uses for it! I love the idea I could use the same procedure on a storage basket or any other kind of basket. And to make it even better,  I finished off my powder room to-do list.. which is now.. here.

Now, we need YOUR help! Take the survey below and tell me what you want to Create with Me for February!

 

Images via Freeimages.com, Amazon, and Hobby Lobby.

Create your own user feedback survey

IF YOU CANNOT SEE THE SURVEY, CLICK HERE!

For even more fabulous projects made with fabric, check out the other participants for February! Everything is just adorable!

 

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