Candy Easter Baskets Tutorial

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These Candy Easter baskets are a cute addition to any Easter decor, or they can be the main basket if you add additional boxes of candy to make it larger.
I went to the dollar store to pick up the boxes of movie theater boxes candy, they were each $1 and the laffy taffy ropes, which I used 2 of each basket, were only 25 cents each. I chose Sweet Tarts, Mike & Ike, Jolly Rancher gummies (this box is a tad bit bigger), and Nerds. The cost totalled just under $5 to make each of the baskets and with 4 boxes, the measurements of the inside is about 6×4″.

The process of making the basket is simple. Here are the steps broken down.

1. Grab any card board box that you have, just writing doesn’t matter. Line up the candy boxes in the form in which you plan on…

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Zazzle is the never ending vortex of stuff – in a great way!

20160907_184758Sorry to do this to you. I really am, but have you seen the face lift zazzle.com had? I remember zazzle being one if the first online personalization sites and it was really cool, but also really boring at the same time. It had basic “add your own image” options and sold sub par coffee mugs and basic t-shirts. Now, it is anything but basic.

I don’t think you should do it to yourself, but if you feel like you have hours to get sucked into the seemingly never ending site of goodness, then be my guess. Head to zazzle.com and I’ll talk to you in a few days when you’re done browsing the first category and planning your home redecoration strategy.

Not only did they step up their game hard core on the personalization items, the also added a “sell your own”tour feature that is almost like etsy. I say ‘almost’ because, wait for it…… You DESIGN IT and then they produce and so it for you. Pure genius. No hassle with creating and then boxing and shipping. None of that. You submit your own personal designs and ideas, and if it sells, you get a portion of the money. It’s that simple. Obviously there are copywrite laws you must abide by and all of that fun stuff, but I thought it was pretty cool and made the new zazzle.com that much more awesome.

It was so hard for me to pick only a few things to review for you guys because they gave so much to offer and so many categories. Those cool prescription mugs you’ve seen in memes on Facebook? Yes they sell those. Portable phone charging banks? Yup. Even cute photo cardboard cut outs? Sure! Why not. I’m serious, they have em’.

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I opted for a customized family photo calendar because I get one ever year, usually from shutterfly with their “free” deal they offer around the holidays, but I figured I’d give zazzle a chance. Boy am I glad I did! The picture quality is AMAZING!  And I’m not just saying that for the sake of the review. See for yourself. Keep on mind these photos were taken and uploaded via a cell phone, so you know they’re usually pixelated when blown up to an 8×10 or larger. These aren’t at all! They’re even better then they looked on my cell phone. What’s even better is that the quality is so amazing, that after the year is up, I can cut out the photos and frame them if I want to.

Here is an extreme close up of the photo. See any pixels?

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I also got a large 20×30″ poster of a beautiful butterfly that I thought would match my new living room decor colors. I didn’t realize how large it really was because the price was so cheap, that I can’t really figure out where I want to hang it once it’s framed because it’s so huge. The quality is excellent though and it shipped in 1 day.

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Don’t mind the creases, it came in a tube but I had folded it after. Silly me, probably not the best idea.

Lastly I ordered a dog bowl with my furry child’s photo on it. I’m still waiting for it to show up because it came on the manifest with the poster the day after ordering, but it still hasn’t shown up at my house so I can’t take a photo of it. I’ll need to contact then in regards to that, but I’m sure it’ll be really cute. They have different styles of dog bowls, pet beds, ornaments, you name it, they have it.

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You don’t have to personalize anything either if you aren’t looking to do that. If you’re someone who just looks for cool things and likes them as they are, they have that too. And tons of it. Artwork from famous artists, as well as designs by other shoppers as I noted above. It’s really an endless vortex of stuff, and I mean that in the best way possible. The only thing I couldn’t find on there, and I was suprised, was the large “Instagram” cut out people use at parties and stuff. I thought for sure they’d have those for sale, but maybe I just didn’t search correctly for it. And large bulky puzzles. They have personalized puzzles that are like 150+ pieces, but nothing floor size or 20 pieces or less for young kids. I know my kids would absolutely love doing a puzzle of a picture of themselves but they’re still not into the really tiny piece ones just yet.

The best part of all of this is, they’re still zazzle. So when you sign up for their emails you get tons of offers daily on items like 50% off flash sales or even up to 80% off of certain items!

*Disclaimer; This is a sponsored post and I have been provided with products to review for this post. All opinions are my own.

Merry Little Christmas Sign

I love making crafts that are simple and can be done fairly quickly.

I came across a sign i loved on Pinterest, but my relationship with Pinterest is not always a good one. I’ve tried numerous things that just wind up overwhelming because either something was left out of the steps, or it looked a lot easier then it actually was.

I figured I’d give it a try and with imperfections and all, i really love the outcome!

These steps can be done for any sign you’d like to create from scratch. Here are are steps;

I was able to get a thin piece of plywood from a box at work. It is about 2′ x 3′ which was just the right size I wanted. I lightly sanded the sides of the plywood because it was splintering all over.

Next, I took some white acrylic paint I had on hand and just lightly coated the board.

Then I added some text from my “Phonto” app on my phone, and then sent them to my computer to print and printed and taped them where I wanted then on the board.20151214_104411

After that, since I didn’t have any carbon paper, I added led to the back of the printouts, and then traced over then to transfer the lettering onto my board how I wanted it.

 

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The tracing takes a little bit of time, bit it’s worth it to get the font you want looking nice and neat.

My issue is, with the next step, which was using the black & red acrylic paint, I didn’t have a small square tip paint brush on hand, so I used a small rounded make-up brush I had laying around (yes I did). It worked great except it was hard to square my letters like I wanted and they came out a bit rounded and no longer perfect. I figured it was OK because I’d be sanding it next to give it a vintage/rustic look.20151215_112402

 

^ This was before sanding and you can see how my painting didn’t go so well.

To sand this, you can do it by hand with sandpaper but I had a small orbital sander on hand and used a 60 grit paper on it. I did a little deeper sanding in some areas and lighter in others to give it the look I wanted. You can see where it’s just about down to the plywood. It also allowed me to make my letters look a little better and the imperfections to almost disappear.

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The last step I did was add a light gray stain. I used “classic gray” from Minwax, it’s only $4.50 for a tiny jar that’ll last forever for craft projects.

I almost want to say I could’ve done without this step. I feel like I looked the white a bit brighter and I might sand it down a little to take some of the stain off, but I’m torn. I do like the way it turned it more rustic looking and I don’t have to work about it getting dirty since I’m using it as a holiday decoration on my front porch.

Let me know what you think and if you wind up trying this project!

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Candy Easter Baskets Tutorial

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These Candy Easter baskets are a cute addition to any Easter decor, or they can be the main basket if you add additional boxes of candy to make it larger.
I went to the dollar store to pick up the boxes of movie theater boxes candy, they were each $1 and the laffy taffy ropes, which I used 2 of each basket, were only 25 cents each. I chose Sweet Tarts, Mike & Ike, Jolly Rancher gummies (this box is a tad bit bigger), and Nerds. The cost totalled just under $5 to make each of the baskets and with 4 boxes, the measurements of the inside is about 6×4″.

The process of making the basket is simple. Here are the steps broken down.

1. Grab any card board box that you have, just writing doesn’t matter. Line up the candy boxes in the form in which you plan on creating the base of the basket. Trace the boxes.

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2. Using a utility knife or box cutter to get straight, un-freyed lines, cut out the markings you just made. It doesn’t need to be perfectly even as the cardboard base will be under the candy boxes.
Be careful!
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3. If you don’t want the inside bottom of the basket to have the cardboard color, or if you used cardboard with writing on it like I did, you can trace a piece of paper around it and then staple it in each corner.
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4. Carefully place the boxes on the base where they will be going, and then one by one, while still in formation, hot glue each box down to the base, and then to each other’s sides.
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5. The last step is to add the Laffy Taffy ropes. I used 2 ropes to make it more sturdy. Because I used 2 ropes, I thought it would be neat to overlap them. It was a little difficult, but I did it! The best way to get these to stay put is to glue tge end flaps first to the boxes, and then glue the center top to adhere the 2 ropes together.
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Wala! You made a Candy Easter Basket!

Now fill it with some colorful fake grass and shone more goodies!

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These can be made to fit any taste! Think of all of the possibilities… Chocolate theme with junior mints, Charleston chews and snow caps…. yea, you get the idea!

They would make a great gift for a teacher or friend.

Please leave your feedback below if you have anything to add our if you’ve gotten to make this basket!

3D Valentine Tutorial – ONLY $7 for 30!

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This adorable 3D Valentines card that I made for my sons 1st grade class this year is super easy and best of all, CHEAP!

Here is a quick step by step;

I took a few pictures with my son holding his hand out as if he were holding something invisible and selected the one I felt best fit his personality. I didn’t want him to just be smiling, I wanted it to be as he would if he were handing someone a lollipop in real life to get the real 3D effect. This is the one I chose;

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I don’t have an Iphone with the fancy text app’s, and I didn’t have any special apps on my android, so I decided the easiest way for me to edit and add fun text to the picture is to use the Paint program on windows. I had to download the fonts that I wanted onto my computer via dafont.com and there were so many cute ones to choose from. I selected some of the Valentines ones and also used one called “Kindergarten” for his name. I then opened my Adobe Photoshop light app that came with my Windows 8, and I edited the colors to my liking. Here is how it came out;

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Lastly, I had to get the photo’s printed, and due to it being right up the street, I chose Walgreens. Unfortunately, even with my attention to detail when cropping according to their ‘4×6’ picture specs, they still winded up printing it to less then expected standards in color, including chopping the bottom portion of his name off… In the sheet that shows how it should look from their printing sheet, it shows correct. Not sure what happened, but I am not too thrilled with this so I need to go back and have them fix this.  All in all, through Retailmenot.com , I was able to get 40% off picture orders and I got 30 of them for just $5.22 with tax and in-store pick up!

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All that’s left to do is add the lolipops (I used tootsie pops due to the size of the stick and pop giving the effect I wanted, but you can buy a while back of cheap ones at the dollar store to save even more money!). I had a box cutter that made it easy for me to get precise cuts.

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Then just add the lollipop and that’s it! You’re done!

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I plan on adding a sheet of card stock behind these so they aren’t as flimsy since the lollipops are a little heavy, but it isn’t needed.

Did I mention I made all 30 of these for just $7??!!!

“Out of the basket” Easter Fun

I have been thinking about some fun things to do with/for my 2 and 6 year old for Easter this year aside from hiding and coloring eggs (which we will be doing as well). We have a family tradition of going to Keansburg, which is a local, small amusement part that celebrates it’s first day of the year open on Easter. I have found a few cute ideas that I may do this year in addition to that;

That funny bunny” – Similar to the elf on the shelf for Christmas time, you would make believe on Easter morning that the Easter bunny was naughty and transformed your family pictures into bunny families! I think this is very cute and the kids would have a fun time looking for the funny things the bunny did overnight while they slept.

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Carrots are a treat” – Just like the Christmas tradition of leaving cookies for Santa, get a little healthy with leaving some carrots (and maybe some ranch dip!) for the Easter bunny. The kids will be excited to see the bite the bunny took out of it!

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Cookies and Milk” – Enjoy some home made cookies & have a blast making them with your kids! This easy recipe consists of store bought rolled dough (sugar cookies), some tiny fingers creating paws, and a touch of corn syrup to wet and stick some pastel colored sugar sprinkles! Your children are sure to love these cookies, beginning to end.

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Turn it up a notch and pair with some pastel colored milk (only a drop or 2 will do!) milk

Maybe some pastel pancakes….

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And some deviled eggs!

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And these cute, adorable, goldfish “Carrots”!IMG_3606

I hope you were able to find some of these ideas useful as well!!