A Few DIY Crafts for the Home

Beaded Cocktail Stirrers

Mojito

Drink Stir Sticks

I saw this on Scout and new I had to make these immediately.  I love making anything with beads and cocktails.  Hopefully we can have some people over for some cocktails soon, our bar keeps growing.

 Book Holder – Anthropologie  Inspired

Cook Book Holder

Cook Book Holder

I saw this DIY on Pinterest and knew this was the project for me. Wholly Kao did an amazing tutorial for this book holder. I love cook books, you could call it an…. addiction really, so I decided to make one for a few favourite cook books to keep close to the kitchen.  I also love Anthropologie but it can sometime be pretty pricey.  I had almost all of the tools/supplies needed for this project so I gave it a go.  However I don’t seem to have much patience for taking proper measurements or cutting in a straight line, as you can see my book holder is not very even at the bottom.  I’m also not that thrilled with the stain I used, but it was what I had.  I will definitely try to make another one of these soon.

My Cook Books

 

Constellation Coasters

 

Coasters

Constellation Coasters

Coasters

 

Another great tutorial from Almost Makes Perfect – who doesn’t need coasters?  Anything to do with constellations I’m game.

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DIY S’mores Kit

IMG_3695 James made me this s’mores kit for a Christmas gift (I know I’m super late blogging about this) and it was perfect because Christmas morning we make a fire, sip coffee and baileys, listen to Christmas music and open gifts.  James may have the advantage to making an awesome s’mores kit because he silk screened the box in our basement and my amazing and talented sister in-law Rebecca made special chocolate and marshmallows for me.  Maple Bacon Chocolate Bars and Bourbon Marshmallows, all home made.  Ah-mah-zing ! Rebecca owns a chocolate company, caters, makes birthday and weddings cakes and sweet gifts like this for her family and friends.  I am lucky.

IMG_3630IMG_3697 copyAll you really need to make this fun gift is a large box, which was purchased at Michael’s or any craft store for cheap, graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate and roasting sticks which can be found at any camping store.  Its fun to decorate the box whether it be by silk screen, stamps, or simply drawing/writing on it with a sharpie.  I can’t wait for the summer, even though roasting inside is sweet too.

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Home-Made Gift #3 – Cookies in a Box

cookies!

Last year I got this awesome Martha Stewart cookie package kit on sale at Michaels.  There are 8 cookie boxes included.   This Christmas I did not have as much time for holiday baking and home-made gifts as I would have liked, I am in Hawaii right now until the 24th.  So I spent a Saturday baking away and putting together a few of these cookie boxes with a little gingerbread man tree ornament that I also made.

Double Ginger Crackles – From Fine Cooking Cookies Magazine

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ¾ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar, plus another 1/3 cup for later
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 3 tbs finely chopped crystallized ginger (I have some nice ginger from Epicure that was delicious)

ginger cookies

  1. Position your oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°F.  Line 2 larger baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl whisk together the flour, ground ginger, baking soda and salt.  In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter with 1 cup of sugar on medium-high speed until well blended.  Add the egg, molasses and crystallized ginger; beat well.
  3. Add the dry ingredients on low in 3 batches until well blended.
  4. In a shallow bowl pour in the 1/3 cup sugar.  Now roll the dough into balls and then roll them into the sugar so they are coated.  You want to be consistent with your sizes so use an ice cream scoop about 1 tablespoon in size to portion your dough balls.  Set dough balls 1.5 – 2 inches apart on your cookie sheets
  5. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes.  Let cookies cool completely on cooling rack.  Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.  I like to throw in a piece of bread to keep them semi soft!

cookies

cookies

Stained Glass Trees – From Martha Stewarts Cookies Cook Book

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface later
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • About 30 assorted colours of Jolly Rancher candies (Bulk Barn!) finely chopped
  • Christmas Tree Cookie Cutter

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  1. Sift together flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl.
  2. With an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together the sugar and butter on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the egg, mix until smooth.  Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture.  Mix until well combined.  Stir in the vanilla.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.
  3.  Roll out dough onto floured work surface a little more than 1/8″ thick.  Use tree cookie cutter to cut out shapes and transfer cut outs to parchment lined cookie sheets, 1.5 inches apart.
  4. Using the tip of a paring knife, cut out triangles in the center of cookies for jolly rancher filling.  Fill with a single layer of jolly rancher candies.  Refrigerate again, about 15 minutes.  In the meantime preheat oven to 325°F and have racks in upper and lower thirds.
  5. Bake cookies 10 – 12 minutes.  Do not let the cookies brown too much!  Let the cookies cool completely.

tree cookies

tree cookiesThese were both delicious recipes and fit well in my cookie boxes.  Perfect for holiday baking.

boxes

 

DIY Library Table – From An Old Spool

This fantastic idea is from Country Living, and you can read their tutorial here.  I made mine a bit different, which I will explain here.  I worked on it over a weekend and am so happy with the results.  I absolutely adore this!!

First you need to get your hands on an old wooden spool.  Now you may see nicer ones around construction sites or work yards, but I learned that someone has put an expensive deposit on these.  $180.00 so they can be re-used when you take them back for more wire.  Yikes!  Luckily you can probably find older ones that are not in perfect shape that people are willing to get rid of.  When I told my friend Chris about my project he remembered that in the yard where we used to work up until a few months ago, there was a whole bunch in the back that had been sitting there for years.  So we took a drive over and I snagged 2.  THANKS CHRIS!

A few tools that I found helpful

  • Electric sander with sand paper
  • Cordless drill with longer screws (2 ½″)
  • Saw
  • Hammer
What you need
  • 12 Dowels from Home Depot or somewhere similar.  Or less if you like, it’s really up to you.  I used 4 larger dowels, 1.5″ and 8 smaller dowels,¾″.
  • 3-4 rotating castor wheels.  Also from Home Depot or somewhere like Ikea.  I used 4 because my spool is quite large
  • Paint. 1 quart. I used white.  You want a paint that you can wipe down.  A stain might be nice too.
  • Paint Brush
  • Rust Protective Spray (optional)

  1. First I sanded down my spool to get out any rough spots, dirt, and to make it nice and smooth for painting.  I did this outside.
  2. Next I used a white protective spray on any staples, screws or hardware to prevent them from rusting in the future.
  3. Now you want to add in your dowels.  I measured the distance between the top and the bottom, inside to inside.  16″.  The dowels are sold 48″ long, so for my larger ones I had them cut them at home depot, a tad bit longer than 16″ though.  2 of them ended up being perfect, and the third piece was a bit short due to the fact that I wentlonger than 16.  I used a saw at home to cut the smaller dowel to 16 and ¼″, with a few left over.  I then arranged them around the spool as desired, I just eye balled it, no tape measure used.  I tried to space them out evenly. Since the dowels were longer than distance in between, I used a hammer to move them around and they were snug between the top and bottom.  I used the hammer to move them around if necessary.  I had some that were a little short or loose, and obviously would not stay.  That is when I used my cordless drill and screws to secure them more, drilling into the top and bottom and into the dowel. Worked out great.  Does that make sense?
  4. Flipped the table over and screwed on 4 castors.
  5. Now time to paint. I definitely recommend 2 coats, leaving the first to dry over night.

Wedding Photos!

I’ve had these photos for a week now but I was away in the mountains.  I’m so excited to share these photos from our wedding, all from the lovely and talented Carmyn Joy Eff.  I have adored Carmyn’s work for years now, and was so happy when she said YES.  It was really hard to narrow down what pictures to put up but Carmyn has some on her blog too, check it out!

Our wedding was very DIY.  All of the decorations were made by myself and my bridesmaids/friends, centre pieces for tables were items from around my house.  The wedding dress I wore was worn by my husbands Grandmother and mother, how special!  My veil and flowers were made/arranged by a talented family friend.  My hair and makeup was done by Amy, a beautiful bridesmaid. My brooch bouquet was made by my mother-in-law, isn’t it amazing?!?  All of the desserts were made my family and friends.  Our take home gifts were chocolate bars made by my talented sister-in-law Rebecca.  Rebecca also made my delicious and lovely wedding cake!  How lucky  am I?

Other fun things included a jazz band, popcorn machine, a photo-booth that we rented, keg stands done by all, and a sweet dance party with two awesome djs.  Thanks again everyone for all of the help and for coming!

Home-made gift #1 – Chocolate covered spoons

This recipe is pretty straight forward.  In fact, there is no recipe.  I found these spoons at the $ store, 3/$1.00.

Then I went over to bulk barn to get chocolate and appropriate spoon toppings.

I used:

  • Milk chocolate and white chocolate chips
  • Crushed peppermint candy canes
  • White decorating sugar
  • Holly candies, not good for hot chocolate or coffee but so cute and festive!

To start I washed my spoons.  Then I melted the chocolate using the double boiler method.  Once the chocolate was melted I dipped my spoons, generously.  I set them to cool off on a cutting board, elevated so the chocolate settled evenly.  After 20 minutes or so I added the sugar, candy cane and holly candies. You don’t want the chocolate to be soft, but you also don’t want it to be hard.  Just right…in the middle.  I waited till the chocolate was more firm to melt some white chocolate and added it on top of the milk chocolate.  After I put these spoons in the fridge, and then I was done!