Gift Games—Tic Tac Toe

Want a really easy gift game idea for your kids friends or for your neighbors this Holiday season? How about this simple but fun Tic Tac Toe game? This portable, magnetic game is perfect for taking on road trips, restaurants or appointments to help pass the time for your restless little ones…or let’s face it…yourself.  Want to know how I made it so you can make one to?  I thought so…

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As part of the Martha Stewart Holiday Paint Campaign sponsored by Plaid, I was sent an amazing collection of paints, stencils and brushes from Martha’s new paint line! It was like Christmas morning! So many great products for creating so much creative goodness.

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For this project, I used a couple of the paint products—Martha Stewart’s White Satin Paint and Martha Stewart’s Magnetic Paint. I used many of the various sized paint brushes they sent me and some fun Letter Stencils.  You will also need some magnets, a wooden plaque and some round wooden 1 inch buttons which I was able to pick up at Lowe’s.

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Take your wooden plaque and paint three coats of the magnetic paint onto the front of it.  I painted just up to the edge of the plaque.  I followed the directions on the back of the magnetic paint label and painted one coat at a time and let it dry for an hour before painting each additional coat.  You will want to add at least two layers of the paint so that your magnets will hold well.  Then I let it dry for 24 hours.

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While the magnetic paint was drying, I painted the wooden buttons using Martha Stewart’s satin white paint.  I loved this paint.  It was so thick and smooth.  It only took a two coats and the finish was so smooth and pretty.  After they had dried completely, I stenciled the letters x and o with the Martha Stewart Letter Stencils onto the white buttons.  I made a total of 10 buttons and made 5 o’s and 5 x’s.  When they are dry glue some magnets to the bottoms using some E6000 glue.

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Then I painted the edges of the plaque with a coat of black paint.  This will show up under the white when I sand and rough up the edges for a nice distressed look.  When the black paint is dry, use the white satin paint again to cover up the black and to give your plaque a nice finished look.  I only painted around the sides and edges of the black as I added some fun patterned paper on the top.

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Attach the paper with some Mod Podge with a layer underneath and a layer on the top to adhere and protect the paper. I prefer the matte finish Mod Podge.

When it has dried completely you can take a piece of sand paper and rough up the edges to give it a fun, distressed look.

Pretty simple and makes for a fun, homemade inexpensive gift idea.

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And…that is not all…if you want you can change it up and turn it into a fun little photo display or recipe holder…

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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?

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DIY Hand Carved Monogrammed Soaps

Okay…I love giveaways, but it is going to be nice to get back to some regular posting.  What about you?  As you know, I have a love for all things MONOGRAMMED!  I have been wanting to make some monogrammed soap for quite a while now, but have been unsure about how to go about it.  So the other day, I just thought I would do a test run and see what happened.

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Overall, I am happy with the turnout.  I practiced on one bar of soap first to get my preferred carving technique down.  I highly recommend a practice run before making an attempt if you would like to try to make some for yourself.

 

Then I let my 3 year old carve my practice soap while I worked on one of “the real things”.  I actually really enjoyed working with the soap.   Here is what I did:

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Supplies:

Lever Soap 2000 (I liked how soft and easy this soap was to carve and work with)

glue dots

length of ribbon

scrapbook paper

vegetable peeler

standard screwdriver (smaller the better)

Q-tips

monogram pattern

non-permanent marker

straightened paper clip

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First I started with the vegetable grater and gently shaved off the Lever 2000 logo that was imprinted in the soap.  I did this by laying the vegetable peeler flat and gently curling the soap off layer by layer.  This will take a little practice to get it smooth and flat.  I made sure to catch all my soap shavings in a container and saved them to reuse.

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As soon as the logo is almost completely gone you can finish and just smooth any uneven areas.  You can do this on both sides of the soap if you would like. 

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Then I took my circled monogram and printed it out.  The circle measured 1.5 inches square.  The font I used was Times New Roman in bold and just stretched it in my photo program till I was happy with how it filled up the circle.   Then I printed it out and cut out the circle.

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Center your monogram in place and hold it with your finger while you take a pencil lead or straightened paper clip (which I used) to mark around the edge of the circle.  Then I dug the circle out so that there was a nice deep groove.

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Now cut out the letter of your monogram but be sure to leave all of the white area.  Take a fine tip marker and trace the letter. 

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This will let you know where to stop when you begin to dig out the excess soap.

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Now, take your screwdriver and gently and carefully scrap out the soap on the inside of the circle.  You will want to keep the letter raised and untouched.  You will need to be really careful around the edges of the letter and the circle so that you don’t accidently scrape into an area you don’t want touched.

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When you scrape the bottom, be sure to pull the screwdriver so that is lays flat against the soap.  This will give you a nice smooth layer.  When you are happy with the monogram and have scraped out enough soap, you can take a Q-tip and smooth out areas that may be a bit rough.  Simply dip the Q-tip into hot water and gently rub on the rough surface.  The hot water will melt the soap and smooth any edges.  Do this very carefully and be sure your Q-tip is not dripping wet.  You can also gently remove the marker with the wet Q-tip.

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And that is it!  Done with the soap carving.  You can see my practice soap in the picture below (before it was carved up).  The practice soap is on the right hand side next to one of my better attempts.  I learned how to be extra careful around the letter to make sure it held it’s shape nicely.

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Now, you want to prettify your soap packaging.  I simply cut off the ends of the soap box leaving just an open rectangle.  Then I simply glued some cute scrapbook paper around the box.

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Then taking a long strip of ribbon, I forgot to measure it…Just wrap it around and eyeball it.  I fastened one end of the ribbon on the top of the box in the middle under the monogram (see top picture).  Then using another glue dot, I attached the monogram to the other end of the ribbon.  Then simply used a glue dot to place the two ends of the ribbon on top of one another.

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Print out another monogrammed circle on white cardstock and use that as the decorative top.  To open you will simply lift up the monogram and the soap will just slide out one end.

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I thought these would be fun to have in your guest bathroom for special guests.  Or they would be fun to give as a small little gift for a friend or a newlywed couple.  Or…carve up your mom’s favorite soap with her initial.  Monogrammed soaps are just a fun little gift idea that can help make someone feel a little extra special! 

 

And just in case you LOVE monogrammed items as much as I do, I pulled together a list of some of my past monogram projects:

Monogrammed Hand Towels

Monogrammed Mugs

Monogrammed Hand Soap Bottles

Moss Covered Initials

Decorative Initials

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Fabric Interfacing with Silhouette—Monogrammed Hand Towels

 

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I recently received some of the new ”Sewable” Fabric Interfacing from Silhouette America to test out in my Silhouette Machine.  I have been wanting to make some Monogrammed Hand Towels since making this stenciled hand towel for Valentine’s Day.  I was initially planning on stenciling them but immediately changed my mind when the sewable fabric interfacing arrived.  This project literally took me about 15 minutes to complete and I had all the products already on hand…Love it when that happens!

 

It was a really easy process.  First I simply made an “H” in my Silhouette program using Times New Roman font, 4 inches tall.

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Then I took a large rectangle of some black and white polka dot fabric that I had left-over from another projects {found at JoAnn’s a couple of years ago}, and ironed it directly onto the fabric interfacing {on the opposite side of the paper}.  Make sure the right side of your fabric is facing up.

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Then I took my scissors and cut out around the material and folded up the unused fabric interfacing and saved it for future projects.

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Peel away the paper layer from the back of the material.

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Then for the best part.  Cut out your fabric with your Silhouette Machine.  This is seriously so awesome!  I think it has to be one of my favorite features of the Silhouette America machine.

 

To cut the fabric, simply place the fabric and the interfacing onto the Silhouette cutting mat.  I cut mine with settings at a speed of 3 and a thickness of 33 and it  cut the fabric perfectly!  Oh man!  I LOVE this feature!  Where was this when I was cutting all those circles for The Heartfelt Wreath??

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Simply peel away the outside fabric so that you are left with your letter.

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Carefully peel your letter from the Silhouette Mat.  Then I took a white hand towel that I found in a two Pack from Wal-Mart.  I folded the hand towel in half lengthwise so that I would know where the exact middle of the towel was.  Then I gently folded my letter in half and placed it on the lower half of the towel to get a good centered placement.

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Hold your letter carefully in place and unfold your towel and you should have a good centered placement of your monogrammed letter.  Iron the letter into place on the towel.  This is a temporary hold so that you can sew it into place.

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I sewed around all of the edges with some white thread so that the stitching would stand out a bit and made sure to back stitch to keep it on the towel permanently and securely. 

 

And that is it!  Super simple right?  If you don’t sew on a sewing machine, this would be just as easy to do with some simple hand stitching!  And if you don’t have a silhouette machine, you could simply stencil them with fabric paint or cut out your own letter by tracing onto your fabric and cutting it out with a pair of scissors.  Because it is one letter it shouldn’t be too difficult or time consuming.  These would be great wedding, shower, Christmas or even birthday gifts! 

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I like them so much I want to make one for the kitchen and some other bathrooms…and why not all my friends.  This project cost me a total of $1.25…or the price on one hand towel…Not too bad…ehhh?

 

And guess what?  As a Silhouette affiliate I am able to offer my readers a special promotion good only this week, March 21-27th! What is this great deal? Use the promo code IDEAROOM at checkout when you purchase a Silhouette SD, you will also receive one package of each fabric interfacing (clean cut & sewable) and a roll of white flocked heat transfer material for only $229. If you already have a Silhouette, use the promo code IDEAROOM at checkout to receive a 25% discount on fabric interfacing.  But hurry it is only good through March 27th. Silhouette Electronic Cutting Tool

 Click on button if you are interested in this promotion and it will take you right to Silhouette’s site.

 

 **I did not get paid any compensation for this post. I did however receive some Sewable Fabric Interfacing to keep for my own and review.  All opinions are mine and mine alone.

Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Peeps

I actually have a St. Patrick’s Day craft coming.  I wanted to share it with you today and just had to take some pictures of it but the weather was not cooperating.  Too dark and dreary for a good photo.  So I will share it with you later this week.  But in the meantime I would like to share with you a fun edible easter craft…Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Peeps!

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Now…I am NOT a fan of Marshmallow Peeps.  But everyone else in my immediate family is.  So I thought it would be fun to spruce them up and make them into something that is extra fun to gift and eat.

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Simply take some Marshmallow Peeps and stick a sucker stick into the bottom of it.  Dip them into melted white chocolate or Vanilla Candi-Quik.  Lay them down on wax or parchment paper.  Add some mini chocolate chips for eyes and a jelly bean for the bunny’s nose.  Let dry.

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Super simple and easy!  These would be a fun gift for friends, neighbors, class mates, and family members for Easter.

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Christmas Character Finger Puppets

Today I am happy to be able to share with you some simple and fun Christmas Crafts for kids…and well…anyone!

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Yesterday was a bad day! Nothing too serious, but I was all to happy to crawl into bed last night and end that very long, no good, very bad day. You guys know the kind I am talking about right?


{I shared some of this and a pic with my FB fans last night}Long story short…Post Office, stubbed my toe (the same toe every.stinking.time), had to unpick and redo a sewing project, spilled soup inside my sparkling clean fridge and on newly mopped floors…but perhaps the worst was when I dropped my camera and BUSTED my favorite lens…BOO!

I know things could be much worse and these are just trivial things, but do you ever sometimes want to crawl back in bed and just check out for a little while? Good thing the hubs came home and recognized my need for a little S P A C E! Now I feel much better and ready to face a new day.

Anyways…just had to share…

on a much happier note…I have something fun to share with you…Christmas Finger Puppets.

As you know, I have a hard time sitting still and watching tv or a movie without keeping my hands busy. Drives my family crazy sometimes. So, the other night, while the family was watching Shrek 4 (which we loved), I whipped up these little guys.

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And since Christmas is all about giving, I thought I would share the patterns with you.

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These would be fun little gift for the little kids in your life. Or to go along with some of your favorite Christmas books or movies.

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They are pretty quick to make and all you need are a few scraps of felt, hot glue and google eyes, and you are on your way.

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*Click here for the free download.

Holy Names Subway Art

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Well, you asked for it…so here it is!

I whipped up this Holy Name Subway Art using an 11 x 14 inch frame that I already had on hand and cut out the anmes in vinyl using my Silhouette SD machine.

But it would be so easy to just print out this subway art on some nice paper and then frame it. I love how simple it this decoration is, especially next to my other brightly colored Christmas decorations. But my favorite part of it is that it reminds us of the REAL “reason for the Christmas season”!

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Wouldn’t these also make a great neighbor or friend gift? I decided that I am going to give these to the ladies that I am “assigned” to visit monthly as part of one of our Church programs.

I simply printed out the subway art, on some nice cardstock paper, so that it measured 4 inches x 6 inches (most printing programs will allow you can change the size of the document you are printing) and framed it within a 5 x 7 inch frame. You could even find some frames at the dollar store to make it extra inexpensive.

Such a simple and easy gift!

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Want to make one for yourself or to give to someone as a gift? Click here for the free download. This is a .png document so you will only be able to print it, unless you have a program that will allow you to change it. But you should be able to save it to your computer and then print it into the various sizes you may need.

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December 8, 2010 · Filed under: Christmas, Christmas Decor, Christmas Gifts Tagged with

Snow Cone Neighbor Gift

I was asked by UCreate to be a part of her Neighbor Gift Idea Series! I know! I love UCreate and was so excited for the invite!
Kari’s other guest posters have come up with some fabulous ideas! I am sure there is something there you will find that you will want to make for your neighbors. So head on over there and check out their ideas! Thanks Kari for including me in your line-up! Here is my submission:

Need a simple, inexpensive neighbor gift this year? My kids love snow cones, do yours?

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Who says that just because summer is over, that you should give up eating your favorite snow cones? And…in most places, Christmas is a time when you are surrounded by plenty of one vital ingredient…SNOW! Just make sure it is FRESH…CLEAN snow. Or if eating snow from outside is not your thing (or your weather is not conduicive to producing snow, you can simply grind up some ice in your blender or food processor and make yourselves one! I like this idea because it one that has been been overused! The little kids {and big kids} are sure to love it!

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I simply covered some plastic cups with some decorative paper, and took some straws and cut them down a bit so they would fit into a cellophane gift bag. Then add a bow and a cute little tag and you are good to go. I originally found my snow cone syrup at Target, but if you have a hard time finding the syrup, I know you can order some still from Amazon.com.

Happy Gifting Everyone! Thanks Kari!

Are you still here? Seriously…head on over to UCreate and check out the other great Neighbor gift ideas! There is some serious talent out there!

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★Amy  

Powdered Donut Snowmen Treats

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I have to tell ya…I LOVE this post! Donuts AND snowmen! These pictures make me happy! I really like snowmen! Do you remember these other posts I did with snowmen?

1. Snow Man Tutorial
2. Snow Man Oven Mitt tutorial
3. Marshmallow Snowmen
4. Decorative “Snow Ball” Men

Snowmen just make me happy!


(January 2010)

Anyways…Today I would like to share with you how to make these adorable powdered donut snowmen. Now I realize that making snowmen out of donuts is nothing new, but I wanted to make them something that you could actually give to someone as a small gift for the kids’ friends, or for an elementary classroom activity, scout treats, etc. Here is what I did.

First I took a piece of cardboard measuring 2.5 inches square. Then I cut a piece of scrapbook paper the same size and glued it onto the cardboard. Then I took the tip of my scissors and put a small hole in the center of the cardboard.

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Then I took a sucker stick and cut one end of the stick off so that it measured about 3.25 inches. I dipped one end of the stick into glue and then stuck it into the hole I made in the center of the cardboard.

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Then I simply placed three Hostess powdered “donettes” (the small ones) so that the stick is in the middle of each donut.

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Then I took a piece of thick yarn measuring about 10 inches in length and wrapped it between the top and middle donut for the scarf.

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I used a piece of candy corn for the nose (which I had leftover from some oreo turkeys we made for Thanksgiving. (I also just noticed some in the candy bins at Target in case you have trouble finding them). For the eyes and buttons I used mini chocolate chips. But, I didn’t like how dull the eyes and buttons were, so to each mini chocolate chip, I added a tiny drop of some black decorating icing in a tube that I had on hand. Much better!

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Then for his arms I simply took a single pretzel stick and broke it in half using one half for each arm.

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To make his hat, I cut a 2 inch circle for the brim of the hat and a 1 inch circle for the top of the hat. The hat itself was made by taking a strip of black paper that measured 4.5 inches by 1.25 inches and rolling it into a tube.

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Roll it so that the 1 inch circle will fit nicely onto the top. Glue it into a roll. Glue the top of the hat on. Then take your scissors and make a hole in the 2 inch circle for the sucker stick to go through and then glue it onto the base of the hat. Now simply slip the hat onto the stick. It should stay in place nicely.

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Pretty easy…and so cute! We ate them :)! But wouldn’t they be fun to share with a friend?

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★Amy  

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