Amazing Chocolate Layer Cake

My oldest daughter LOVES chocolate…just like her Mama…she is a smart girl!  For her birthday this year…which was a few months ago, she requested a BIG chocolate cake made with our favorite Chocolate Cake Recipe.  I decided to change it up a bit and make it into a Chocolate Layer Cake.

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I simply took our Chocolate Cake Recipe and split it into three 8 inch rounds instead of baking it in the regular 9×13 pan.   And of course we used our favorite Chocolate Frosting Recipe, which I also shared with you on the Peanut Butter Fingers.

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For the filling we just used our favorite Vanilla Frosting Recipe that I will also share with you…or you could just use more of the Chocolate Frosting between the layers of chocolate cake.

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Chocolate Layer Cake

Chocolate Layer Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 cups Flour
  • 1/2 cup Cocoa
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 cup Sour Milk (1 cup milk with 1 tsp. Vinegar added to it)
  • 1 cup Oil (we use coconut oil)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup Butter melted in saucepan
  • 4 Tbsp. Cocoa
  • 6 Tbsp. Milk
  • 3-4 cups Powdered Sugar

Instructions

  1. Mix together the sugar, cocoa, salt and soda with the oil and cream together.
  2. Mix in the other ingredients one at a time and mix until fully incorporated.
  3. Pour into greased and floured pans. Three 8 inch pans or a 9x13 pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes for the round pans or (55-60 minutes for a 9x13) pan until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
http://www.theidearoom.net/2013/09/amazing-chocolate-layer-cake.html

For the Vanilla Frosting, I used the recipe below.  I like it!

Vanilla Frosting:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tbsp. milk

Mix powdered sugar and unsalted butter with electric mixer (low speed). Mix in vanilla and gradually add milk. If frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If too thick, add a bit more milk, one tablespoon at a time while mixing. Add paste food coloring with toothpick until desired color is achieved.

Birthday-cakes

When I use that Vanilla Frosting to frost an entire cake I will double it.  But just to make the filling on the tops of two chocolate rounds this should be plenty.  Notice how I used thin layers of frosting.  I didn’t want there to be too much frosting.  But…if you are a fan of lots of frosting…go nuts!  Now go and enjoy your day…and eat some chocolate for me!

Do you have something to say? xo

Happy Birthday Sign

Today is my daughter’s TENTH Birthday. And while I was hanging up our super simple Happy Birthday Sign, I realized that I haven’t ever shared it here on the old blog.  Not that it is anything super fancy or fantastic.

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In fact it is super simple.  But sometimes when you have a lot going on, simple can be exactly what you need.  To make one all you need is to cut out your letters for the word H-A-P-P-Y-B-I-R-T-H-D-A-Y onto some black scrapbook paper.  I used my Silhouette CAMEO.  Then I glued the letters onto some fun colored  polka dot cardstock I had cut out into 4 inch squares.

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If you don’t have a CAMEO, no worries…simply print (or hand draw) some letters onto your favorite paper.

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Grab some clothespins and a piece of twine or rope and string it across the room.  Super simple but fun and festive too!

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The lights? Well those are from Martha Stewart. They are powered by a battery so you don’t have to worry about what to do with the ugly electrical cord. And the battery is small enough that it is tucked right in the top of the crown molding over the door. No one is the wiser.

Hamburger Cupcakes

My son just recently celebrated his 11th birthday.  He wanted something fun and different than the traditional cupcake.  I had remembered seeing some Hamburger Cookies from Disney’s Family.com a while back as part of their April Fool’s Food Series and Bakerella made some fun hamburger cupcakes here.  Since my son is a huge hamburger fan, I thought it would be fun to make him some Hamburger Cupcakes too.  This is an idea that has been out there for a while, but was new and fun for us.

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They were really easy.  I simply made up some yellow cupcakes and baked them normally and then let them cool completely.  Then I whipped up a batch of our favorite brownies and poured them into a a greased muffin pan so that the cups were only 1/4 full.  These are going to be the hamburger patties so you don’t want them to be very thick.

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Cut the tops of the cupcakes off.  You will use the two pieces of the cupcake as the top and bottom hamburger buns.  You may want to cut the bottom of the cupcake down a bit if your cupcakes are too tall so that it looks more realistic.

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Then I took some coconut and placed it into a Ziploc baggie to make some lettuce.  I added a few drops of green food coloring and shook the coconut up so that it was evenly colored with the coloring.

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Then simply take some of your favorite frosting and dye some of it red and yellow to represent mustard and ketchup.  Add a few globs of each to the top and bottom buns.  Sprinkle with your lettuce over the top of the brownie.  This makes for a pretty quick and easy birthday dessert, and a happy birthday boy.  He LOVED them and said they tasted ALMOST as good as his favorite hamburger!

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Do you have a child who would love to have these as their birthday dessert?

Minnie Mouse Party Ideas

I have been sharing some of the details of my daughter’s Minnie Mouse Birthday Party this week and am back to share how it all came together.  I have just a few more easy and fun Minnie Mouse Party Ideas to share with you today.  All of these things I was able to put together in just a couple of hours including the Minnie Mouse Cupcakes and the Minnie Mouse Oreo Pops that I shared earlier.

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First off I was able to make this fun little birthday banner with my daughter’s name on it.  I have removed her name for privacy reasons.  I found a cute piece of scrapbook paper that had some fun letters on it.  So I simply cut out the letters of her name and then glued them onto a red and white polka dot square of paper or a black piece of paper and then had then alternating.  Then I cut out three Mickey Mouse heads, which I made by tracing one large circle and then two smaller circles of the same size for the ears.  Then simply placed a circle of the red and white polka dot paper on the inside.  The possibilities are endless.  And you can see that I simply took a piece of rope and clipped them onto the rope with some clothes pins.  Not the fanciest…but super easy and re-useable.

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Then for the party drinks we served up some good old Coca-Cola and for the non-soda drinkers some red Fruit Punch.  And do you remember the fun Mason Jar Drinks from my other daughter’s birthday party? I simply used the same jars and added new scrapbook paper to the lids to match this party theme.  But I also added another small detail…some Mickey Mouse ears.  I just added it to the very first one and let the birthday girl have that drink.  You could add it to all of them…but I was on some time constraints.

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I always like to add a pop of color by throwing some candy in a jar.  The kids usually LOVE this part and snack on it till we are ready to break out the dessert table.  We also had the Minnie Mouse Oreo Pops available for the guests to take home as a little party favor if they wanted to.

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And I have to share something personal if you don’t mind.  I was out of town for 5 days at The Creative Connection Event where I went as part of their Social Media Team, which basically meant I was there to tweet all of the fun things that we were learning.  And if you follow me on Twitter I am sure you were very well aware of that fact…maybe even stopped following me at some point Smile!  Anyways, since I was so busy with the preparations for that, I didn’t have much time to get things together for her birthday or her birthday presents.  In the Minnesota airport there was a vendor who sold pillow pets…which was exactly what my daughter had put on her birthday wish list (since her older sisters have them).  And they had the little pillow pets which was exactly what I had been hoping to get for her.  BINGO!  I love it when things like that happen.  Saved me some serious searching around at home especially since I had no time to do it.

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I think she likes it!  What do you think?

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Happy Birthday to my sweet baby…who isn’t really a baby anymore…but we will keep that our little secret!

______________________________________________________

I was nominated for Parents.com for Best Crafts for Kids Blog Award.

I would love it if you could hop on over and vote for The Idea Room, but only if you want to.

image

Simply click on the link Best Crafts for Kids Blog Award!

Thanks so much!

Minnie Mouse Cupcakes

We have an official Minnie Mouse (and Mickey Mouse) obsession at our home.  Ever since my now 4 year old met Mickey in real life last year at Disneyland she has been obsessed.  So, when her birthday rolled around this year I knew we would be going with a Minnie Mouse theme.  Here are the cupcakes we came up with.

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I wanted something easy because I had so many other things I wanted to focus my time and energy on.  And as a busy mom, time is hard to come by.

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Nothing to fancy…just red icing…which came out as more of a pinkish hue…

Some fun white sprinkles from Wilton and some mini Oreos which I had left-over from the Minnie Mouse Oreo Pops.

And then I topped them off with some super easy cupcake toppers which is just scrapbook paper taped onto some toothpicks.

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The cupcakes were strawberry flavored and I used the following recipe:

Strawberry Cupcakes
Recipe from
Recipe Girl

2¼ cups cake flour
1½ cups granulated sugar
2¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup pureed frozen strawberries (about ¼ of a 1 pound bag)
4 large egg whites
1/3 cup milk

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1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 18 cupcake pan with paper liners.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; set aside.

3. In a large bowl with electric mixer, blend butter with strawberry puree. Add flour mixture and blend until light and fluffy (batter will be very thick).

4. In another bowl, whisk together egg whites, milk and dye. Add whites in three parts to the batter mixture, mixing only until incorporated after each addition.

5. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

6. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

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They were delish!  I can’t wait to share a couple more details of the party with you next time.  Anyone else out there have a love for Mickey and Minnie Mouse?

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I thought it would be fun to share some of our older family photos with  you from one of our favorite places!

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And….one last thing…I just found out I was nominated for Parents.com for Best Crafts for Kids Blog Award.

I would love it if you could hop on over and vote for The Idea Room.

image

Simply click on the link Best Crafts for Kids Blog Award!

Thanks so much!

Minnie Mouse Oreo Pops

Guess what?  I have another version of my Oreo pops…Minnie Mouse Oreo Pops.  Are you getting tired of these yet?  A sickness I tell you.  But this time I had a good reason for making them…at least that is what I keep telling myself.  My daughter just had a birthday and she LOVES Minnie Mouse.  Ever since we had the good fortune of meeting Minnie Mouse at Disneyland last fall.  So for her birthday it was an obvious decision to have a Minnie Mouse birthday party.

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I made some of these fun Minnie Mouse Oreo Pops.  They were really easy once I figured out you had to “dip” them in two different stages.  Here are the supplies you will need to make them.

Wilton Candy Melts (Midnight Black) or chocolate

Double Stuff Oreos (I need to buy some stock in that company)

Bite Size Oreos

Popsicle Sticks

red ribbon

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Slide the popsicle sticks into your Double Stuff Oreos very gently by holding the cookie in one hand and sliding the stick with the other.  Then take one bite size Oreo cookie and separate it into two halves.  Scrape out the frosting with the edge of a knife.  Slide the smaller cookies into the top of the Oreo to make her ears.  Lay them out onto some wax paper.

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Melt your candy melts in the microwave in 20 second intervals until it is melted to a smooth and creamy consistency.  Now “dip” the Oreos into the candy.  Now I don’t actually dip them but rather take a spoon and smooth it onto the front of the Oreos.  You need to be very careful when doing this as the ears can come off very easily.  Just do the front and then set it onto the wax paper.  Do this for all of your Oreos and then pop them into the freezer.  After 20 minutes you can take them out and then cover the back side of the Oreos with the candy.  Make sure to cover the ears and the bottom of the stick well so that they do not fall apart.  Once they have been popped in the freezer again, they will be really sturdy and you should not have a problem with them falling apart…even if you accidently drop the tray onto the countertop!  Not that I may have done that…just saying!

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Then take some ribbon and tie it into a bow around the base of the Minnie Mouse head to add a pop of color and detail.  Serve them to your party guests or send them home with this fun and tasty party favor!  Who wouldn’t love a Minnie Mouse Oreo Pop?

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Linking up here:

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Tidy Mom

Chalk Board Tees and More

I have been wanting to make one of these fun Chalk Board T-shirts and finally had a chance to get around to making one now that the kids are back in school.   The chalk board cloth may or may not have been sitting in the JoAnn’s bag on my craft room floor for almost 4 months now….   I had wanted to make some for the kids for their last day of school with a big chalk board square on the back of the shirt so all of their friends could sign it like a yearbook.  Then I thought it would be fun to get a picture of it!  But…alas…it never happened.  I just never found the time.  But I totally plan on doing it this year!

And I am really glad I finally made them.  They are a lot of fun and my kids LOVE them.  And I like that they are a fun and unique way to let your child’s personality show.  The possibilities are endless.

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And you are never going to guess just how easy it is to apply.  I found my chalk board cloth at JoAnn’s in their specialty fabric section.  I believe is was $4.99 a yard…but I bought it a while ago and my memory is not what it used to be! 

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I simply made a simple pattern of the shape I wanted to make the chalk board cloth into and cut it out.  It cut so easily and smoothly.  As you can see, I used chalk to make an outline of the pattern and then just simply erased it.

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Then I just glued it onto the shirts with this Fabri-Tac.  So EASY!!!  I was going to sew it, but figured I would give this a try as I was too lazy to pull out the sewing machine which has been in storage since school got out in early June.  Some day, maybe I will get the energy to pull that baby out again!  And so far, with some use and a couple of washes, it seems to be holding up really well.  Bonus!

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Before you can write on the cloth with the chalk, you will need to “prime” it by rubbing the side of a piece of chalk all over the surface of the cloth.  Then simply wipe it off and it is ready to go.  I did this after each washing too.

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I also made my son this tie t-shirt!  He loves it and thinks it is a great option for wearing to church.  Not really what I had in mind, but fun to wear around the house.  How fun would this be on a little baby onesie?  I think I will make one for the next baby boy gift I need.  Or how about a chalk board in the shape of a  little guitar?  Or flowers?  Or Mickey Mouse?  Or for pictures on the first day of school with their grade written on the shirt!  Gah!

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So many fun ways to dress up a simple t-shirt and make it a lot more fun and unique.  And…I am planning on using the left over chalk board cloth for another fun and unique project.  Stay tuned for that one!

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If you were to make one…what would you use it for?

Make Bead Necklaces

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I am so excited about this latest project…how to make bead necklaces!  Ever since I saw those adorable gumball necklaces over at One Charming Party (whose site I LOVE)…I have been wanting to make them for my girls…and if I am being completely honest…MYSELF!!  So cute right?  Well, I have kept my eye out for gumballs and just never came across any colors that I loved without having to order them online.  Well, one day while perusing the craft store (which happens more often than I would like to admit) I spied some wooden beads!  BINGO!  I had my “gumballs” and I could make them exactly the colors I wanted.

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And they are so EASY!  I simply took the wooden beads and painted them with acrylic paint.

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I put each bead onto the end of some skewers that we had left over from some summer BBQ’s so that I could paint them easily.  Then I carefully pushed them off the skewer and onto a paper and left them to dry completely.  Then I painted them with a high gloss finish.  I just used a bottle that can be found right next to all the acrylic paints.  I forgot to take a picture of it…but any glossy varnish will work.  I wanted them to have a glossy finish much like the gumballs do.

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I painted several in some fun and bright colors and added some polka-dots to some since I seem to be loving polka-dots lately!

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After the beads are completely dry, cut about 3.5 – 4 feet of ribbon (depending on the finished length you would like the necklaces to be).  I used 3.5 feet and that seemed to be a great size so that all three of my girls could share and wear these necklaces. 

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Line up your beads to determine the pattern you would like them to be strung on the ribbon.  Take your middle bead and thread it onto the ribbon so that it is in the exact middle.  Tie a knot on each end of the bead to hold it into place.  Then leave about an inch of space (or more depending on your preference) and tie another knot.  Thread your next bead on the ribbon and tie a knot directly on the other side.  Now do the same on the other side of the middle bead.  Continue with the process so that you thread one side and then the other.  This will ensure that you have the same amount of ribbon at the end of each end bead on the necklace.  I put seven beads on each necklace and feel that an odd number looked better than an even number of beads.

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The possibilities are endless!  You can also find other great beads at your local craft store if you don’t feel like painting them yourself!

I love that these are so fun and cute and so INEXPENSIVE!!  I also think these would be a great classy gift for a little girl for her birthday from a friend.  Or a fun activity to do for a little girl’s birthday party so the guests could each take one home.  Or Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers…Or make them to give to a mom/grandma for Mother’s Day!

We have been wearing these around town for the past few days and have already had several compliments on them! 

Now I am looking for some classier beads to make one for myself!

 

Personalized Product Spiral Notebooks

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Need a quick and easy project?  Make some notebooks (big or little) a bit more fun.  We have all seen the notebooks that you can dress up with scrapbook paper and a little bit of Mod Podge…why not reuse some cardboard from the boxes of some of you and your families favorite products?  Anything will work…cereal boxes, soda can boxes, or twinkee and hostess cupcake boxes or even some of the movie sized candy boxes! 

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Take some spiral bound notebooks, which should be easy to find this time of year with the back to school sales going on.

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Unbend one end of the wire spiral so that it is smooth and flat on the end and gently untwist it from the top of the notebook.  This turned out to be pretty easy.  Just be sure to firmly hold the notebook papers with your other hand so they stay lined up nicely so you can add the wire again when finished.

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Remove wire completely and set aside.  Take the old notebook cover and place it over your cardboard box and determine exactly what you would like your new cover to be.  Trace around it with a pen or marker.  Cut out the cardboard piece.  Place the old cover on top of the new cutout cover and mark with your pen where to make the holes.  Then take a large sewing needle and gently punch a hold through each of the marked dots.

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Place your new cover over the top and hold all the papers so that they are lined up.  Insert the spiral wire back into the holes and gently twist the wire so that it encompasses all the papers and works over to the other end of the notebook.  Gently bend the two end pieces of wire back in.

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And that is it!  Such an easy 5 minute project.  I think these would be a fun gift for your kids friends or for your kids themselves.  It is so easy that most kids could help make them too.  And who doesn’t like to make something that is unique and fun and represents something that they enjoy?

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What kind of notebook would you make for yourself and/or kids?

Linking up here:

Thirty Hand Made Days

Tidy Mom

Star Wars Finger Puppets

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I have been so excited to share with you my latest creation…Star Wars Finger Puppets!!  I had so much fun making these and my two boys were eager to fill my head with all sorts of Star Wars Trivia.  They helped me to come up with the outfit choices for each character to make sure I had them just right.    Part of the reason I am so excited about them is that they are for BOYS…and of course girls too!  But most of the time the projects I share are geared toward little girls since my youngest three are…well…girls!

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Star Wars is STILL as popular as it was when I was growing up.  And my husband is a huge Star Wars fan…me?  Well, I have seen almost all of the movies…but can’t remember much about them after the original Star Wars.  So my boys and husband were a big help with this project.

Anyone else have any big  Star Wars fans?

Well, these Star Wars Finger Puppet Patterns are now available for sale in The Idea Room Store.

The patterns are colored and have step by step instructions so that you can make your own to look just like the ones in the pictures.

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{my friend let me borrow her son to help model some of the puppets…isn’t he cute?}

All 12  Star Wars Characters are included in this tutorial for one great price!

Darth Vader

Luke Skywalker

Han Solo

Princess Leia

Yoda

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Chewbacca

C-3PO

R2D2

Storm Trooper

Jawa

Ewok

The Star Wars Patterns and Tutorials are now available for $4.00!

*The pattern can be purchased through PayPal and will be sent to you via email within 48 hours from the time of purchase.  I am a busy mama…I try to check my email fairly often though when I can so most likely you will see it sooner.  Make sure your email address in your PayPal account is current.  If you do not receive your email check your spam folder as sometimes they end up in there.

To purchase the patterns follow this link:

Star Wars Finger Puppet Patterns