Emoji Lollipops

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Emojis have always held a special place in my heart. They add a little something extra to my digital life and are often the primary reason that I laugh out loud from texts with my friends. From my days recreating emojis with Snapchat’s drawing feature to procrastinating studying for finals to everyday texting with my friends and family, Emojis have always had my back. There is an emoji for pretty much everything and every mood. Can you even imagine a world without them??? (cue eye roll from mom and dad).

As Kirby and I are always looking for new and unique crafts to try for our blog, we absolutely love taking suggestions from our readers. We’d like to give a special shout-out to Diane Estephan for giving us this awesome idea. We had so much fun turning our favorite emoji faces into tasty lemon lollipops to share with everyone. 😍😂😳😉😎


Materials:

  • 2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp lemon flavoring (we used these)
  • Yellow food coloring
  • Candy thermometer
  • Lollipop molds and sticks
  • Royal icing (black, white, red, blue – find our recipe here)
  • Piping bags or ziplock bags

Combine sugar, water, corn syrup, lemon flavoring, and food coloring into a large saucepan over high heat.

 

Stir continuously until mixture is brought to a boil. Insert a candy thermometer and keep stirring until the mixture reaches 310˚F.

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Once the mixture has reached 310˚F, remove the saucepan from the stove and transfer it into another container with a spout (I used a Pyrex measuring cup). Carefully pour the mixture into the lollipop molds. Immediately after, insert the lollipop sticks. It is important not to wait too long as the mixture hardens relatively quickly!

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Let cool for at least 30 minutes before removing from the molds.

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After removing the lollipops from the molds, you may begin turning the lollipops into your favorite emojis with royal icing!

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Allow the icing to set and harden before handing out and embracing your inner-emoji!

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Enjoy!

– Michelle

Origami Valentines

king-28-of-39Does anyone else feel nostalgic about Valentine’s day from elementary school years? We miss the shoebox mailboxes that we would customize and decorate to stash our valentines. We miss the sweet little cards from our peers with funny pun notes and lollipops taped on. We miss the cookies that our teachers would bring – the kind from the grocery store with heaps of neon pink frosting and heart-shaped sprinkles. Did anyone else stress way too much over which card to give to your secret crush? It had to be subtle but send a message at the same time… not the easiest task for a 4th grader with Spongebob valentines!

Anyways, this year we decided to throw it back to the good ol’ Valentine’s days and make homemade valentines for all of our closest girlfriends. It’s a sweet reminder that we love them. The day should be about celebrating all of your loved ones, not just the romantic ones.

We opted for paper origami pyramids. They are very easy to make and are perfect vessels for peanut and peanut butter m&ms. Mmmm!

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Materials

  • Paper in various shades of pink & red
  • Scissors
  • A pencil
  • A ruler
  • Glue
  • Thin ribbon
  • White paper
  • A black pen
  • White thread
  • Peanut & peanut butter m&ms (or whatever small candy you prefer)

Using a ruler, draw a square onto a piece of paper. Then draw triangles on each side. It is important to measure all of your angles and sides so that they are even, or else the pyramid won’t align properly. Add a rounded edge to each side of the triangles. These don’t have to be perfect because they will be folded inwards and hidden inside of the pyramid. Now carefully cut out your shape.

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Use the shape that you’ve cut to trace and then cut out all of your other shapes. For a cuter result, use a variety of pink and red paper colors.

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Now you get to assemble the pyramids! First, using a pencil or a hole punch, make a hole at the end of each triangle. Next, fold the rounded edges on the triangles inwards, so that the shape once again has perfect triangles pointing outwards. Finally, fold at the edges of the square, so that all four triangles point upwards.

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Once you have folded all of your pyramids, use a glue stick (or just Elmer’s school glue) to glue the edges of the pyramid together. Only glue three of the sides together, leaving one open.

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When the glue has dried, cut a piece of thin ribbon to tie your bow. If you are looking down at your pyramid with the open side pointing away from you, thread the ribbon into the hole on the right side of the pyramid as well as the hole in the center. Then thread that ribbon from the inside of the left hole outward. Loop it around and back through the center hole. You should have your ribbon looped through all holes, with both ends now coming out of the center hole on the inside. This sounds confusing, but if you follow the pictures it should be pretty straight forward. Thread the two ends of the ribbon through the hole of the open wall of the pyramid.

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Now you can tie your ribbon into a bow. The ribbon holds the walls together, but when you untie the bow, the wall easily slides open to reveal the goodies you’ve stashed inside.

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Fill your pyramids with candies until they are completely full! Then close the box and tie it together with a bow. We curled the edges of our ribbon since it was the plastic kind.

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Using plain white paper, scissors, and black pen, cut out small hearts and label them with the names of the people you are giving valentines to. We punched a tiny hole in each one with a pin, but you could also use your pen to do it. Then tie the name tags to the bows on the pyramids using thread.

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Voila! Your valentines are complete. We often forget how much a simple homemade gift can brighten someone’s day, and these are the perfect way to remind your friends how much you love them.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

-Kirby & Michelle

Candy Advent Calendar

_mg_8162goldleavesIt’s that wonderful time of year – December is finally here! We’ve been overwhelmingly busy with final exams and packing for winter break, but decided to take a day off to craft and embrace the holiday spirit together before we leave for home.

Advent calendars are the most exciting Christmas decoration thanks to the sweet surprise that hides behind each day. Usually we get the cardboard ones where you punch out the chocolate each day, but this year we decided to make it more interesting. We loaded up on our favorite candies (pretty much all of them to be honest) and wrapped them up like mini Christmas gifts. The end result is so festive and cute, plus the wooden structure is sturdy and reusable so we never have to go back to the plain old cardboard calendars again. Because we were a little late starting this one, we embraced the excuse to eat five candies in one night, and there’s no shame in you doing the same!


Materials:

  • A long piece of wood
  • White spray paint
  • 25 nails
  • Black acrylic paint
  • A thin paint brush
  • Wrapping paper (we mostly used tissue paper)
  • 25 small candies
  • Ribbon
  • String (we used the red & white twisted kind)
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Command strips for hanging

Use a piece of wood that is long enough to hold all 25 candies. We found this scrap wood at the UCLA sculpture lab – it doesn’t need to be fancy. Set it down outside on paper or newspaper and coat the wood with white spray paint. We only did one layer for a more rustic look but feel free to do another for a cleaner style. Allow to dry completely.

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Carefully measure out where each number will go. It’s been a while since we took math and this took us a few tries, but it will look much better if it is evenly spaced apart. We marked each space with a small pencil mark. Then using whatever font you would like, paint the numbers over each dot. If you don’t have faith in your calligraphy skills, you could easily use number stickers from any craft store.

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Next, hammer the nails into the pencil dots. You want them to be secure, but still protruding quite a bit in order to hold the candies (Note: doing this in a Christmas sweater will add to the festive vibe).

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Pick out your 25 candy surprises. We opted for a large variety of things from chocolates to fruity chewy candies. Pick what you like, because you will be the one eating them! The goal is to find candy with small, easy-to-wrap packaging. Some things, like the starbursts, you can divide up into three separate days. We poured the skittles into little plastic baggies that would be wrapped into cute pouches.

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Wrap all of the candy. Warning, this is not a craft for those who hate gift wrapping. This is probably what it feels like to be Santa Claus for mice. We used tissue paper except for the plaid gift wrap, and we used variations of gold ribbon to create consistency.

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Cut different lengths of string (so that the mini presents will all hang at different heights) and tape them in a loop to the back of each candy gift.

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Using command strips, attach the wooden piece to the wall. Hang the gifts onto the advent calendar in a random order. We tried to arrange them based on wrapping color and the length at which they hang.

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Now relax, indulge your sweet tooth, and let the countdown begin!

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Happy December!

-Kirby and Michelle