Homemade Sugar Cube Tins

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Is there any time in a day more important than coffee time? When we’re moaning and groaning at 6:30 a.m., hair in a nest on our heads, drool still dried onto our faces, the only thing that gets us out of our warm beds is the comfort of the glorious coffee maker.

This craft makes that coffee time a little bit more special (it’s true, that is possible!). We made our own sugar cubes and decorated little tin cans to put them in. It is pretty enough to set out on the counter and we don’t know why but for some reason sugar is much more exciting when it comes in tiny cubes! We made one batch plain and one with cinnamon and cocoa. In the future we’ll try out some new ideas such as raw sugar or adding dried mint leaves for tea.


Materials

  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon and cocoa (optional)
  • Sugar cube molds

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Decorative Letters

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Throughout our college careers (as is the norm for most college students), we’ve constantly been on the move — in and out of dorms, sorority houses, apartments. Each new school year comes with a new place and new people to call home. While definitely exciting as each place will inevitably bring new memories with our friends at school, it makes it a little harder to create that “home away from home” feeling.

When we moved into Towngirls (the 4-girl room in our sorority) together sophomore year, we decided to make a little housewarming gift for our roommates to brighten up the standard white walls and grey carpets of our room and make the place feel a bit more lived-in. Since then, it has been a tradition to begin each school year with this housewarming gift for our new roommates.

This craft is unbelievably easy to make (you’ll be surprised) and can be tailored to each person’s favorite color, pattern, etc. These letters make the perfect housewarming, birthday, holiday gift for friends and family — really, it’s great for any occasion!


Materials:

  • Cardboard letters (we got ours on Amazon, here)
  • Acrylic paint/paintbrush (you can also use spray paint)
  • Decorative paper (we got ours at the Paper Source, here)
  • Modge podge
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

After carefully peeling off all the price stickers from the cardboard (you want to begin with as smooth a surface as possible), we began to paint the letters completely. Two layers ensured a rich paint color. Let dry completely before moving on!

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Next, we flipped the letter upside-down and traced onto the matching decorative paper with a pencil. It’s really important to make sure you are tracing the letter backwards onto the back side of the paper — we don’t want to pull a Karen from Mean Girls!!

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Then, carefully cut out with scissors. Make sure to stay as close to the pencil line as possible so that the paper lines up with the letter so there is no excess or shortage.

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Finally, we painted Modge podge onto the front side of the letter so we could attach the decorative paper. Carefully lay the paper onto the Modge podged surface so that there are no wrinkles. Press down firmly to secure.

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Now you’re ready to keep ’em, gift ’em, hang ’em on a wall – whatever your heart desires!

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Happy Modge Podge-ing!

– Kirby and 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

Thanksgiving Place Cards

When I was a little girl, I so badly wanted to be involved in the Thanksgiving preparations, but could not be trusted with knives. So for the first few Thanksgivings I can remember, my official job title was “table decorator”, and boy did I take that job seriously.

I used to sketch out what the table would look like weeks before my mom would even begin planning the menu. As soon as Fall started, I began collecting colorful fallen leaves and storing them in a ziplock bag beneath my bed, so that I would be prepared when it came time to building my masterful centerpiece. I still remember the hand-traced turkeys with wonky, misspelled names that adorned the plates when I was first enlisted for the job, and the glitter mess that lasted for weeks when I thought sparkly pumpkins would be a good idea for a centerpiece.

While I’ve been old enough to help out in the kitchen for a long time, the table decorations have remained a personal tradition, and to me, are (almost) as important as the food. This year for Thanksgiving I am traveling to my mom’s house in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I am beyond excited for a week of much needed mom time (anyone else as excited for the Gilmore girls revival as we are?!). We will be cooking  the whole Thanksgiving dinner for our close friends and I, of course, will decorate. Here are three different place card ideas that I’ve come up with for the table this year; I will be using the gold leaves, a sophisticated decoration that isn’t too difficult so I can focus on what really matters… the food!


Until last week, I had never seen a persimmon before. A good friend handed me one that she got at the Hollywood Farmer’s market and I instantly thought of a pumpkin, a smooth and dainty little pumpkin. Festive and vibrant – a perfect addition to a thanksgiving table. To make this, I curled a piece of thin copper wire about 7 times using the tip of my scissors, then pulled it apart to make a coil. I then inserted the coil into the top of the persimmon. I curled another piece of wire two or three times, and left it curled so that it could hold the name tag, which was a small rectangular piece of card stock. I inserted the name tag, and that’s it!

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I recently bought a large pack of colorful paper and had fun layering the different colors to make these striped place cards. These are so easy, but I love the vibrant and funky edge they bring to the table. Simply layer the sheets of paper in the order you would like them (I  used six sheets); the stripes should look exactly how you want them to on the cards. Then glue the sheets of paper together and cut them into rectangles. Bend the rectangles in half, so that one side has the stripes on it. I used a thin black sharpie pen to write the names, careful to do so on a lighter color to create contrast.

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I found these pretty leaves at Michaels, but they could easily be done using real leaves if you happen to live somewhere that has seasons. For these place cards, I used gold acrylic paint to coat the leaves, then wrote the names in the center with a fine sharpie pen. I used the tip of my scissors to twist thin copper wire so that it would hold the leaf, and again at the bottom to create a spiral stand. While these are easy to make, they as also incredibly elegant and will surely impress your guests.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

-Kirby