Creative Christmas Gift Wrap

*This is a sponsored post on behalf of Lowe’s.

For the Lowes Creator challenge for the month of December we had a few different guidelines challenges to choose from.  I chose to come up with some creative gift wrapping.

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This is another one of those projects that I used a paint drop cloth for.  You can find them at Lowes in the paint aisle.  I have used a drop cloth for several other past Idea Room projects:

Thanksgiving Table Linens

Monogrammed Table Runner

Thanksgiving Hostess Gift

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I made the bag by cutting out 2 pieces of the canvas drop cloth that measured 8 x 13 inches.  You can really make this any size you wish depending on what you want to use the gift bag for.  This particular gift bag I am using as some Christmas Decorations in my Christmas Vintage Crate.

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Then I simply sewed the two pieces of canvas together starting at the top of one side and down around the bottom and then up the other side with a 1/4 inch seam.  Be sure to backstitch and reinforce each of the top and bottom sides and on the corners of your gift bag.

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Then I turned the bag right side out.  I sewed a hem on the top of the bag folding over the material once and then once again and sewed it with a 1/4 inch seam.  This gives you a nice clean finish to your bag.

Take some painters tape (I used Scotch’s 3M Blue Painters Tape) and tape off some lines for where you want to have your “grain sack lines”.  Stencil your red paint onto the canvas bag.  You can slide a piece of cardboard into the sack to prevent the paint from bleeding through the bag.

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Then I cut out the word JOY in some vinyl to stencil the word onto the bags.  You can use a simple stamp dipped into a little paint if you are unable to cut out the vinyl…or you can make a stencil the old fashioned way using some cardstock, your printer and an exacto knife.

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I also wrapped up some gift boxes using the canvas drop cloth the same way you would wrap a regular present.  Then I simply secured the ends with some safety pins and a few straight pins on the ends of the present and a small straight pin on the back of the present.

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Then wrap up your creative Christmas gift bags and give them away or use them in your Holiday Décor.   Don’t they make a fun and pretty gift to give to friends and family?  Cheaper than your Holiday Gift Wrap!

These Christmas Gift Bags of mine were picked by Lowe’s to be featured in the online December 2013 edition of Lowes Creative Ideas using the iPhone or iPad app! You might also want to sign up for Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine. It’s FREE and offers a bunch of DIY inspiration. Go ahead and connect with Lowes Creative Ideas to find a lot more fun and creative ideas.

creative ideas december

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  Lowe’s provided me with a gift card to showcase a project this month as part of their Lowe’s Creative Ideas Bloggers team.  However all opinions and statements are mine.

Lump Of Coal | Christmas Gift

I have been wanting to make these simple Christmas Gifts for a couple of years now and finally got around to it.  I have always LOVED See’s Licorice Medallions and thought they would make the perfect lump-of-coal or “Christmas Coal”.

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And how perfect is it that they each have a letter “S” on them?!  We are going to pretend that the “S” stands for Santa Claus!  Because surely Santa’s Coal would magically have a letter S on them!

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To make the Santa’s Coal bags, I simply took some small linen bags that I picked up at Michael’s and stenciled “Santa’s Coal: North Pole” on them.  Could. NOT. be. any. easier!!

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And…you can make some too.  Want to get a copy of the stencil?  Click here to download:

*If you are not a fan of The Idea Room on Facebook, you will need to click like first and become a fan. After you become a fan you will need to click on “Get your free gift” in the upper right hand corner of the Idea Room FB page and then click on “Previous Downloads”.

{Santa’s Coal Stencil}

lump-of-coal

These are so simple to make and would make a fun gift for kids classmates, friends, the kids at your church or even as a fun little stocking stuffer!

If you can’t find the See’s Licorice Medallions (or you don’t like the flavor of Black Licorice…seriously…who wouldn’t like that flavor?) you can replace it with some black gumballs or jelly beans.

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And…last but not least, I made a little printable tag to go with it if you want.  You can use the tag with the stenciled Santa’s Coal bags or use the tag and attach it to a different bag altogether.

Candy-Coal

*If you are not a fan of The Idea Room on Facebook, you will need to click like first and become a fan. After you become a fan you will need to click on “Get your free gift” in the upper right hand corner of the Idea Room FB page and then click on “Previous Downloads”.

{Santa’s Coal Gift Tag}

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Hostess Gift | Hand Stamped Wooden Utensils

Yesterday I shared with you these fun Hand Stamped Wooden Spoons as part of our monthly free printable blog hop.  Today I am going to show you how you can make some too.  I love these!  I think they would make a great Thanksgiving Hostess Gift or a Christmas gift…don’t you?

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I picked up a set of wooden utensils from Home Goods.  And used my metal stamping set to stamp letters into each handle.

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I picked up my stamping set from Harbor Freight and used the 1/4 inch size.

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Then to make sure that the words were spaced evenly and I didn’t run out of room when I started stamping, I wrote the word on the handle (in pencil) so that I would know about where place the letters.

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Be sure to stamp them on a flat concrete surface.  Then I erased the pencil marks.  To make the words dark simply fill in the impression with a thin Black Sharpie marker.

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That is it! The fun part is that you can really personalize the utensils with your own special words!  Isn’t this such a simple gift idea?  Loving them!

Thanksgiving

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Chalkboard art gift label

**If you are new here and are visiting from The Ellen Show, we are glad you stopped by!  I hope you like what you see here.  Looking for the Peppermint Candy Cane Sugar Scrub Recipe that was shared on Ellen’s site?  You can find that by clicking on this link:  Peppermint Candy Cane Sugar Scrub!  You will find a full tutorial with step by step photos and instructions.   I also offer a free download for the fun labels!  Thanks for stopping by!

I was hoping to share this with you earlier,but it ended up being a “last minute” project.  With the events of the last weekend, I found myself wanting to distance myself from the computer and the internet…so this years Teacher Gifts sat undone.

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I always like to give the kids teachers a practical gift that they will actually use.  I have made a few different versions of these unique and personalized Hand Sanitizer Bottles and this year was no exception.  The kids teachers have always “claimed” to love them so we continue to give them out.  I always add a fun gift card for the local Movie Theater or a Restaurant for them to enjoy, along with the Hand Sanitizer.

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If you are new here, you might want to check out some of the other Hand Sanitizer Bottles I have shared:

Hand in Hand Sanitizer Bottle

Monogrammed Hand Sanitizer

Christmas Joy Hand Sanitizer

Thanksgiving Hand Sanitizer

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This year I decided to show you an example of putting the label INSIDE the bottle, which is the same as I have done for all our past versions of this along with putting the label on the OUTSIDE of the bottle.  My personal preference is for the label to be on the inside, which is printed on a sheet of Transparency Paper (film).  And the label on the outside of the bottle is simply just printed on a laser printer onto some white cardstock.

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For complete, step-by-step instructions, please refer to this hand sanitizer tutorial.  If you are going to make labels to go inside the bottle you will need to print onto your transparency with a laser printer.  This is a CRUCIAL step.  Every year I get emails from people who use an ink jet printer and wonder why their ink slides off into the bottle.

If you don’t have a Laser printer or copier, or your printer is not made to print on transparencies (check your owners manual), then you can simply have your local copy center print it onto a transparency for you.  They usually charge a small fee but in the scope of things, this turns out to be a very affordable gift!

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I have provided you with a free download of this fun Chalkboard Art Christmas Label. Simply click on the link or the image below to download the labels for your own use. You will need to re-size the labels to fit into the bottles you end up using. I made them a bit larger so you could use larger bottles if you would like too. Just re-size the image in your printing program before printing.

I printed mine out so that the width measured 2.75 inches (if my memory serves me right).

 Merry&Bright Chalkboard Art Label

*If you are not a fan of The Idea Room on Facebook, you will need to click like first and become a fan. After you become a fan you will need to click on “Get your free gift” in the upper right hand corner of the Idea Room FB page and then click on “Previous Downloads”.

Merry and Bright

*As always please remember to link back to this post and send others here rather than sharing them on your own sites.  These are for your own personal use and are not for resale or redistribution.

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I am really enjoying this trendy Chalkboard Art…so of course I had to put my own little twist on it.  Aren’t they so much fun?  And, if you don’t want to make the hand sanitizer bottles (or soap bottles) you can simply print these out and use them as a gift tag or frame it for your desk!

Peppermint Candy Cane Sugar Scrub

*December 13, 2012 Update: I have had many of you wanting the labels to download…Great News! They are now available and you can get them by clicking on this link: 

Peppermint Candy Cane Sugar Scrub Labels

You will notice that you have to Like my Face Book page to get it.  This is now where I will be placing all my free downloads so that they are free and accessible to my fans.  I LOVE to share with my fans but am getting tired of some people sharing my stuff all over the internet or on their own sites, without linking back or mentioning the true source of my content.  

As always I really appreciate the loyalty of my fans!  Hope you can use these!  And I always love seeing your finished items if you get a sec to send me a note or an email!

Sugar-Scrub-recipe

 

Guess what? I have another version of some sugar scrubs for you today.  I LOVE these!  And they make the perfect homemade gift.  Last week I shared with you a Thanksgiving version…Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub Recipe.  This time I wanted something that was Christmas in a Jar!  So what could be better than a Peppermint Candy Cane Sugar Scrub.

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Sugar Scrubs are a great way to add some moisture and soften up winter-dry skin.  And who doesn’t need that this time of year.  It is also a great way to relax during this crazy busy season.

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I simply took two cups of white granulated Sugar and mixed in a 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup Almond Oil (Coconut Oil will work too).  Add the oil slowly till you have a nice soft consistency that is soft but not too oily.  Then add a few drops of Peppermint Essential Oil.

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Once you have it all mixed together you will want to divide the scrub into two equal parts and in separate containers.  You will need to add some color to one of the containers.  You can use a little bit of food coloring OR you can add some raspberry juice like I did.  I simply took a couple of drops of juice from a bag of frozen raspberries…the perfect organic red colorant.

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Make a large funnel out of a piece of paper (a small one will not allow enough room for the sugar scrub to pass through it) and add a small amount into the jar.  Press the sugar down lightly so that the sugar is even.

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Then add a white layer so that they are about the same height and flatten it.  Continue back and forth with as many layers and as thick or thin a layer you would like.  So pretty right?

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Print out a pretty label and add some fun scrapbook paper or bow and you have the perfect hostess or Holiday gift!

sugar-scrubs

You can buy Peppermint Essential Oils from my favorite DoTerra Rep here: Peppermint Essential Oil

Julie Crowell is so helpful and is happy to answer any questions you may have.  Her contact information is on her site or you can email her at [email protected]

Other Idea Room Sugar Scrubs/Bath Salts you might be interested in checking out:

Frankincense Sugar Scrub

Myrrh Bath Salts

Homemade Bath Salts Recipe

Chocolate Sugar Scrub

Cinnamon Vanilla Sugar Scrub

Coconut Lime Sugar Scrub

Peppermint Sugar Foot Scrub

Candy Cane Sugar Scrub

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub

Lemon Sugar Scrub

Brown Sugar Scrub

Citrus Bliss Sugar Scrub Cubes

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Candy cane swirl cake

This is a story about a Candy Cane Swirl Cake that tasted better than it looked…

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{Don’t let the picture fool you…that is some creative photography…}

I don’t really share my craft/cooking fails with you guys and I don’t want you to think that I never have any…cause believe me…I do.  Not everything turns out like I had imagined it in my head.  Can anyone relate?  I wanted to share this delicious cake we made over the Christmas holidays but it was just not pretty enough to make the cut.  Even though it tasted really great. 

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{See?  I told you!}

I originally saw the Candy Cane Swirl Cake at Betty Crocker.  But instead of using a box cake, I decided to make my favorite white cake recipe from scratch.

White Cake Recipe

  • 1 cup butter

  • 2 cups white sugar

  • 4 large eggs

  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 3/4 cups milk

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Grease and flour pans lightly. I used three 8 inch round pans.

  3. Cream together butter & vanilla extract.

  4. Add sugar slowly until all is added and it is mixed well.

  5. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

  6. In a separate bowl sift flour, baking powder and salt together twice.

  7. Now add flour mixture, alternating between the milk and flour. Mixing well after each again.

  8. ______________________________

1/2 teaspoon red food color (see Directions #1 below)

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (see Directions #1 below)

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Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Generously grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube cake pan. Make cake batter as directed above. Pour about 2 cups batter into pan. In small bowl, pour about 3/4 cup batter; stir in food color and peppermint extract. Carefully pour pink batter over white batter in pan. Carefully pour remaining white batter over pink batter.

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2. Bake cake at 350°F and cool completely.

3. In small bowl, mix white icing ingredients. If necessary, stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until smooth and spreadable. Spread over cake. Sprinkle crushed candy on top. Store loosely covered.

White Icing:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk or water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla, if desired

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I am not quite sure why my cake fell apart.  Maybe the box cake would have been better to use in the bundt pan.  But it sure did taste good.  And there were several salvageable pieces of cake that I was able to serve up that looked halfway decent.  Hehe.  And with some creative photography I was almost able to make it look…well…somewhat presentable.

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I have decided to share more of these creativity failures with you as part of trying to keep it real.  What do you think?  Are you looking forward to seeing some of my creative catastrophes??

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block puzzle

Hey guys…things are still crazy around here.  We are finally starting to get things put back together in our home. Yeah! But we still have a LOT of work ahead of us.  I hope to share an update later in the week if you are interested.  But, in the meantime, I wanted to share with you a fun idea for making a fun Photo Block Puzzle.

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These have been around for a while but I was reminded of them when my mom made one of these with a group of her church friends.  Hers was much larger and the blocks are about 3 inches (I think) each. I thought it would be fun to make one on a much smaller scale and  make one of them for my kids or to give as a gift to someone.

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So I found some 1 inch craft blocks at my local craft store.  They came in a large package of several of them for just a couple of dollars. 

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Then I found a box that measured 2 inches x 3 inches. So that six 1 inch blocks fit almost perfectly into the box.

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Then I found 6 pictures that I wanted to include on my block puzzle.  One photo for each side of the block.  So you have essentially 6 different photo puzzles.  I loaded the photos into my photo program and cropped them so that they measured 2 x 3 inches each.

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I tried to make sure that the lines I would be cutting on would not cut through any important details of the picture.  This will help it so that the final picture will not be distorted.  Then I glued the pieces on the puzzle with Matte finish Mod Podge.

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Then I simply rotated the blocks all in the same direction and then added another photo.  I continued that process and tried to make it so that the photos were on the same plane…if that makes sense.  Either way it will work out.

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When you are finished, every block will have one piece of each puzzle on it.  And you literally have six fun photo puzzles to play with in a nice little box.

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These would be a great activity for your little ones in church with faces of the people they love.  Or a fun way to ask someone to a dance…do they still do that in high school?  Or to give to someone as a small gift idea.  There are so many fun ways these could be used.

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What would you make one for and for who?

*And I would like to thank Kristen Duke for our fun family photo.  It is from 2010 but is still one of my favorites!

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DIY Christmas gift

Need a last minute DIY Christmas gift? Today you can print out this already made template for either soap or sanitizer bottles.  This is one of my very favorite gifts to give.  This gift is perfect for when you have to give out gifts to teachers, neighbors and friends.  They are pretty easy to make and inexpensive. And I love that they are totally practical especially in this season of germs.

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The other thing I love about these is that you can totally customize them in any way, shape or form and for any season.

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Instructions:

1. Remove the label(s) from your bottle.

2. If there is any sticky residue left, you can easily remove it using some Goo Gone.

(I picked mine up from Home Depot)

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3. If your bottle has an insert inside you can remove it with some tweezers.

4. Print out the Christmas Soap insert here.

5. Print it using a laser printer onto your transparency film.

If you do not have a laser printer you will need to print it out and then copy it onto your transparency film. If you do not do this your ink will end up running and falling off into the soap or the hand sanitizer. You can take it and have it printed at your local copy store as well.

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6. Measure your bottle and cut your transparency so that it will fit into the bottle. Be sure to measure it on the top and bottom so that it sits where you would like it to…INSIDE THE BOTTLE!

7. Roll your transparency backwards and slide it into the top of the bottle. Push it into place so that it sits right against the front wall of the bottle. You can use the soap dispenser pump to push it into place.

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Christmas Soap Bottles Download

Such an easy gift that people can really use.  I love to make these up and give them to my kid’s teachers along with a gift card, but I use Hand Sanitizer instead of liquid Hand Soap.  The teachers always seem to enjoy them as they go through a lot of hand sanitizer in their classrooms.  Here are the links to the other versions of them that I have previously shared.

Thanksgiving Soap/Sanitizer Bottles

Monogrammed Hand Sanitizer

Hand in Hand Sanitizer

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I also wanted to take a minute and wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Chanukah, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, Holiday, etc.  Only 2 more sleeps till Christmas!! I wish all of you a happy and safe holiday with family, friends and loved ones! I feel so grateful everyday for this blog and for each of you who follow along! I am truly blessed!

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Santa Pops

Have you been waiting for the Christmas version?  I hope so…cause I am sharing my latest Oreo Pop with you today…the Santa Pops!

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1.  Insert your popsicle stick or sucker stick into your Double Stuft Oreo Cookies.

2.  Line a pan with parchment or wax paper.

3.  Melt your Red Wilton’s Candy Melts in 20 second intervals in the microwave.

4.  “Dip” your Oreo’s into the melted candy.  In the past I have been saying to *DIP* your Oreos and several of you were having difficulty with them staying on the stick during the dipping process.  I realized that I was actually pouring the chocolate over the over with a spoon while holding the Oreo over the cup of melted chocolate.  Just turn the Oreo around as needed so that the chocolate is completely covering your entire Oreo and the stick.  Hopefully this will help some of you who were having difficulty.  Sorry for the confusion.

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5.  Place the candy covered Oreo onto the wax paper.

6.  Take a piece of black licorice {I used Twizzlers} and place it near the bottom of the Oreo.  The hardened chocolate will hold them it in place permanently.

7.  Take three white round sprinkles down the Oreo for the buttons of Santa’s shirt.

8.  Squeeze some white frosting along the bottom of Santa’s shirt.

8.  Quickly pop the tray of Oreos into the freezer just to set the chocolate.

9.  When the chocolate has hardened (should only need a few minutes) remove the tray from the freezer and add the belt buckle.  (A strip of yellow Laffy Taffy shaped into a buckle).

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This makes for a pretty fun party treat or as a gift for a classmate.  The possibilities are endless for these Oreo Pops.  I am a woman obsessed.  But…I must admit…I am a bit sick of them.  I don’t eat them anymore.  I just make them for the fun of it and then I give them away!  What do you think?

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Need some other Oreo Pop ideas?

Check out some of these past Idea Room ideas…

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Minnie and Mickey Mouse Oreo Pops

Frankenstein Oreo Pops

Eyeball Oreo Pops

Snowman Oreo Pops

Snowman Oreo Puddles

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Easter Bunny and Duck Oreo Pops

Graduation Oreo Pops

Apple Oreo Pops

Reindeer Pops

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Turkey Oreos

Bat Oreo Pops

Pumpkin Oreo Pops

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How To Make Play Dough—Peppermint

Sorry about not getting this up sooner.  Things have been crazy around here with that wind storm.  I just finally found some time to sit down and get this typed up.  Have you ever wondered how to make Play Dough?  It could not be simpler.  I have shared how to make some fun Kool-Aid Flavored Play Dough and Pumpkin Spice Play Dough.  Well, since it is Christmas time, I decided we needed to make some Peppermint Play Dough.  So I fiddled with the recipe a bit and came up with a recipe for some yummy smelling Peppermint Play Dough.

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Peppermint Play Dough Recipe

1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
2 tablespoons
cream of tartar
1 Tablespoon Peppermint Oil Extract
1 tablespoon
vegetable oil
1 cup water

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1. Mix flour, salt, & cream of tartar in a medium cooking pot.
2. Add water, peppermint extract and oil.
3. Stir over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes stirring constantly.
4. When mixture forms a ball in pot, remove.
5. Knead until smooth.
6. Play and explore with this fragrant, brightly colored dough as you would any play dough.
7. Put in a plastic bag and refrigerate to store.

A great way to entertain the kids during Christmas break.  Or a great gift for a neighbor, classmates or friends.  It is so easy to make and is the softest (non sticky) Play Dough recipe I have ever used.  I like it better than the store bought stuff…plus…it smells amazing!!  And if you are feeling extra festive…throw in a handful of red glitter to give it some fun sparkle!

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And, in the spirit of giving, I have provided you with a free printable Peppermint Play Dough label for the tops of your jars or Tupperware containers to label it for a gift.  The labels are 3 inch circles.  If you need them smaller you can simply print the label smaller than 100% to get the size you need.

{Download Peppermint Play Dough Label}

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I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.  I would love to hear from those of you who are planning on making some for yourself or who plan on gifting it.  19 more sleeps till Christmas…but who’s counting!!

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