D.I.Y. Sweet Treats & Crafts

D.I.Y. Chalkboard Trays...Sparkle and Shine!
 I’m sure many of you have seen the awesome chalkboard trays that have been created in a variety of shapes and sizes.  You know the ones that start with a fun Dollar Store find (silver tray), chalkboard paint and ribbon.  Simple Simon and oh, so cute!
Well, after digging into my Hive Craft Stash I thought it would be a great way to put the Aleene’s Glass and Bead glue to good use and share a fun project that incorporates the inexpensive silver trays, chalkboard paint and a variety of bling and babbles!  Simple and certainly can be made UNIQUELY your own! So here’s the the project from start to finish in 3 collage share varieties!

Merry Christmas…Celebrate
Using 2 tubes (16 pieces per tube) of tiny glitter ornaments that I purchased from the Dollar Store and a fun Merry Christmas Sparkle sign (I believe I bought these at Michael’s last Holiday season) I began with a dab of Glass and Bead glue (about a pencil eraser size) on each ornament and placed side by side until I covered the border of the tray leaving the bottom open for the tiny sparkle sign. Hot Glue the ribbon hanger to the back and you’ve got yourself the perfect holiday message chalkboard.
 Easy Peasy How To!
  1. Apply a base coat primer to the inner surface of the metal tray.  I used a dark blue acrylic paint.  Make sure it's complete dry before applying the chalkboard paint.  
  2. Apply your first coat of chalkboard paint...let dry...apply a second coat as needed.
  3. Using your choice of bling and babbles attach to the edge or surface of the tray using the Aleene's Glass and Bead Glue (note: this is an awesome glue, but will not work for fabrics so when attaching fabric use a glue gun for best results)
  4. Attach a satin or velvet ribbon hanger (length is up to you depending on where and how you want to hang the chalkboard) using a glue gun.
  5. Add ribbon and bow accents for a finishing touch.
  6. Grab a piece of chalk and share your message with the world!   

For a blinged out look cover the entire border of the tray with various shapes and colors using crystal gemstones (you can buy a whole box of assorted sizes from any craft supply store.)  Create a pattern or place randomly (as I did) for a tray that will make your chalkboard message sparkle!
Using a package of silver tinsel and some glitter stars I found in my holiday stash this last design was created with a minimal look in a single color that well, SHINES!
There you have it…3 easy peasy ways to take a tray from simple to simply stunning and ready for your message flair!
Celebrate! Sparkle! Shine! 

Metal Tray – I found the trays I used at my local Dollar Store (what a bargain!)
Chalkboard Paint – I used the Rust-oleum Brand
Aleene’s Glass and Bead Glue
Base Acrylic Primer – I cheated and used a dark color acrylic paint.  (Important Note: let dry completely before painting the chalkboard paint over the top of this base coat)
Assorted Glue-Ons (glitter ornaments, gemstone bling, tinsel garland, etc.)
Glue Gun

Jolly Jack-o-Lantern Cake Pops
My Sister, Shari has been up to her creative tricks with a delicious treat!  Jolly Jack-o-lantern cake on a stake (ok, maybe not a stake..more like a stick, but I had to rhyme...hehehe) Cake Balls!
Here's a peek at the step by step for this perfect Fall Treat!

 Prepare cake according directions on box
Crumble the cake into a bowl and mix with the pre-made frosting.
Next roll in ball and prepare to be dipped in the orange chocolate.
Melt ready for dipping the cake balls!
Roll cake balls in the orange chocolate...place on styro form to set.
Add a chocolate chip for top...add while still hot so that it stays in place.
 Pipe on fun faces! 

As much fun as pumpkin carving, but tastier!
Go ahead...BITE!

1 Cake Mix - Your Choice - Halloween fun in this case!
1 Can pre-made frosting...again your choice - Orange here! (use about 1/2 for a 9x12 cake)
Chocolate melt
Cello Bags
Curly Ribbon


  1. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions using any of the recommended pan sizes. When cake is done, crumble while warm into a large bowl, and stir in the frosting - about 1/2 can until well blended.
  2. Melt colored chocolate coating in a glass bowl in the microwave, or in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  3. Use a melon baller or small scoop to form balls of the chocolate cake mixture. Dip the balls in orange color chocolate using a toothpick or fork to hold them. Place on waxed paper or Styrofoam form until set.
  4. Pipe on faces using brown or black frosting...go crazy, get kooky....have fun!
  5. Wrap in clear cello tie off with curly ribbon in bright fun colors!

How to Make a Sock Monkey!
Sock Monkey Fun
Mix a little sock monkey fun with a birthday and you've got the perfect mix for a super-duper celebration! 
So to kick off the preparation my sister Shari and I began the first of many projects before the big day on Saturday...yeah, this Saturday!  Better late than never, right! LOL
Project #1
Make a "REAL" Sock Monkey...the perfect guest for the party!
From start to finish here's the down low...do-it-yourself...self-taught (using instructions of course, haha!) how to make a sock monkey video tute!
Hey, we think the first one turned out pretty cute!  
Only 5 more to go!
What were we thinking? 
And how about a finale' photo shoot with Sam the Sock Monkey "glamming" it up for the camera!
Now on to Project #2...decorations...whew, we've still got ALOT to do!
Sock Monkey Instructions as found inside the original Rockford Red Heel Socks.
How To Make A Sock Monkey Picture Review

Sock Monkey Cake Pops
1 cake mix of your choice - follow directions on back for additional ingredients needed.
Chocolate melt - we used approx. 1 bag of chocolate for 36 cake balls
Shortening as needed
Candy Sticks
Pearl sprinkles
White chocolate discs
Raisins  - ears 2 for each cake pop
Red Licorice - cut into 1/2" lengths
Black Buttercream frosting - piped on for mouth
Cream Buttercream frosting - used to hold the licorice tassels in place

1.  Make boxed cake mix per directions on the box
2.  Break up the cake into pieces as shown in photos below
3.  Add approx. 1/4-1/2 can of frosting of your choice - Mix in to the crumbled cake 
Optional! Lick the frosting off of the spatula...just a taste!
4.  Place mixture in freezer for approx. 30 minutes to set up.
5.  Roll into balls, place onto cookie sheet that has been covered with wax/foil or spray with Pam.
6.  Set in freezer for approx. 30 minutes to 1 hour to set up and make it easier for dipping!
7.  Remove from Freezer and have ready your decorating ingredients
6.  Melt chocolate in microwave...add a small amount of shortening if needed if melt is too thick
7.  Dip tip of candy stick in the chocolate and poke into bottom of cake pop.
8.  Roll the balls in the chocolate and assemble per the photos.
9.  The chocolate will set up fast so you may need a helper for the details.
Assembly line...2 white chocolate discs, raisins for ears, tiny pearl candy for eyes, licorice for tassel-use a tiny pop of white frosting to hold in place and pipe the mouth and nose details for finishing touch!

11. ENJOY!

Thanks for "popping" by!

I took a little break from my sketching yesterday afternoon with a trip to my local Dollar Store.  I had to pick up a few party supplies and while I was there got inspired to create a quick and easy craft project with a do-it-yourself tute...cute!
So if you're looking for some Sweet Saturday fun...monsters can be sweet, right...here's what you need to make a sassy, snarly or SWEET monster!
  1. A Micro-fiber sponge - available in several fun "popping" colors
  2. Silly eyes - you can pick up a bag full...enough for several monsters and other creatures too!
  3. A bag of colorful pom-poms...you'll definitely have leftovers
  4. A package of bright colored felt squares...and again enough leftover for crafting and creating!
  5. Scissors
  6. Glue - I used a hot glue gun, but if you have little ones the white glue will work too!
Ready to do the Monster Mash?
"Easy peasy" and all for a little cash!
Here's the step by step...ready, set, prep!
(click on the pic for the big review)

With Christmas tucked away and the house looking a little bare I decided it was time to bring on the Valentine's Day decorating fun!  So here's a simple Do-it-yourself Valentine's Heart Garland that I made using pre-cut tagboard hearts (Michaels), paper heart doilies, pre-cut tagboard letters (Dollar Store Finds) Sheet Music Hearts, glitter letters (Target scrapbook section), glitter paint (optional) Crepe Paper...a little ribbon, glue and your imagination! 
Simple, Easy and definitely full of HEART!
Here's a step by step for the BE MINE Heart Garland!
(WARNING: There's LOTS of Pix! hehehe)

"The Stuff" I used to make the garland.

Sheet Music Hearts.  I found this book at a flea market, but here's a place that you can download and print your own HERE for FREE!

A full sheet cut in half to make the hearts.

Fold, Trace, Cut

The 3 hearts that will be glued together to make a single heart for the garland
1.  White Tagboard Heart
2.  Pink Paper Doily Heart
3. Sheet Music Heart

Punch Out letters from The Dollar Store.  You can make your own too!

Here's the message I selected...two styles of cut out letters.  One plain, one glittery...you can never have too much glitter.  hehehe!

All Glued together...ready for the crepe paper ruffles.

Start by gluing the crepe paper streamers at the center/middle/top

Apply a thin line of glue and adhere the crepe paper streamers...scrunching up to look like a ruffle...I glued it on so that it sticks out about a 1/2" from the edge of the tagboard/paper doily hearts

Just like this...ready for the Font-tastic fun!

A look at the front and back of the hearts for the garlands

Punch a hole on both sides to run the ribbon through and tie all together

I cut the ribbon approx. 8" in length...you can allow more if you want a larger gap between hearts.

Run through the hole and tie in a double knot...you can also add a touch of hot glue to hold in place. (this is the back)

And this is how it looks from the front



All strung together...next up the letters.

Glue on the larger letter

Than add the glittery letter (optional)

Add a little more glittery detail...outlining the hearts

And an outline around the letters too!

And the finished Garland ready to hang.
Tick Tock on the clock...just in TIME for Valentine's Day!
So there you have it! Now it's your turn . . . make it YOURS . . . add your own personal touches, change up the message, go crazy with the colors and just have fun with a heartfelt touch!

Here's a D.I.Y. Valentine's Day project that you can just about make for a song and may definitely hold the key to your heart! Inspired by this fun little find at Michael's . . .

. . . I thought, hey, that's a perfect idea for a D.I.Y. Valentine's Candle Project . . . and so I picked up a few things that I thought would work for the project at Michael's . . . glittery letters and ribbon.  Then headed over to the Dollar Tree for a few tall glass alter votive candles (replacing the bottles from the original inspiration) and some glitter glue.  I already had most of the other things that I ended up using for this project. (streamers, Elmer's glue, keys...which I actually found laying in the "junk drawer", sheet music (if you don't have this you can download for FREE HERE.), scissors and construction paper. 

Glitter letters (store bought or make your own), sheet music, ribbon, construction paper.

Glitter glue, cutter, scissors, crepe paper streamers, glue.

Tall jar candles (alter votives), Random keys...new, old or in between.

And Now the D.I.Y. fun begins! 

Cut the sheet music into equal strips for each candle you are creating a letter for.  I used a 2-1/2" x 4" size for each strip for the LOVE Candles.

After the strips are cut add glue to the back of each and apply to the front and center of each glass votive.

Slide it back and forth and up and down a little bit so that the glue adheres to the glass and the paper.  Wipe off excess glue with paper towel.

Wa-laa . . . 1-2-3-4 ready for the next step

Apply a thin layer of glitter glue around the entire border of the sheet music strips.  You can use any color you would like and if you want a double layer go for it! hehehe!

Glitter glue on the last of the 4

Glittery borders all done . . . next

Cut 1-1/2" wide white construction paper hearts

Take a 14"-16" strip of red crepe streamers, fold in half and adhere to the back of each of the white construction paper hearts...scrunching and overlapping the crepe paper as you go! Cut off the excess at the end.

and cut off any extra around the edges . . . mine were approx. 1/4" border once cut down.

 After the crepe paper streamer borders were trimmed I added another border layer of red glitter glue around each of the white construction paper hearts. 
Next apply the glitter letters with glue to the center of each white construction paper heart.

Glue each of the heart letter embellishments to the front and center of the sheet music blocks on the front of the glass votives. 
Once that all four have the heart letters glued on and everything is dry (very important or you'll end up with a smeared mess) Cut 2 - 24" Ribbon strips (one pink, one red . . . or whatever colors you might prefer) and tie around the top of the jar.

Take your key and run the ribbon through the opening in the top then tie in a knot to hold in place.

After all of the keys are in place tie off each ribbon set into a bow.  Trim ends if you want a shorter look.  I ended up trimming about 1/4" off each side.
After all of your bows are tied off you've got yourself one sweet and lovely set of Valentine's Day Votive Candles. 

Perfect for sharing with a friend, your sweetheart or setting just the right ambiance for Valentine's Day Fun!