Make your own hurricane lamps from the dollar store!

I know, I know! A lot of bloggers have done this all ready, but I had to jump on the DIY train. It’s so easy, affordable and they look great!

I bought two tall glass cylinders and two candlestick holders at the dollar tree. I picked out three Christmas  balls I liked to stick in each one.

I used super glue to fasten the candlestick holders to the bottom of the cylinders. (Yes, I did glue my fingers together…again.) I dropped my lovely Christmas balls in and ta-da!

Total cost? $4 each! Cheap and you can use these all year. I actually plan to make a couple of more, I was so happy with how they turned out!


How to make super cute mini trees!

I have been admiring all of the super cute mini Christmas trees everyone has been showing during the link parties. I have looked at these lovely tutorials and thought hmmm…. I can do that!

I, of course, did not take into account that most other people are super talented and coordinated and know how to do this without gluing their fingers together…repeatedly. o.O

Oh well. Trial and error, right?

So, if you are capable of using glue and not sticking your fingers together at the same time, this craft is for you!

I bought three styrofoam trees from the dollar tree, along with three red and green braided strands of garland for this project. (As well as all of the other goodies you see above, but those are for another project!)

I did the first tree with tacky glue, which did a decent job, but it took a while to dry (note: it does dry clear!). I simply did a line of glue around the tree and then wrapped one layer at a time.

The second tree I used the glue gun, but it A) quickly ran out of glue sticks and B) got hot glue onto my hands. Ow!

The third tree I tried super glue… yeah, not my brightest idea since I quickly glued my fingers together. Several times. Just call me “Sticky fingers”.

I think the glue guns are the best way to go, just make sure you have enough sticks on hand when you start.

It also did not occur to me until the 3rd tree that I did not need to put glue all over the entire tree, a dot a layer would work just fine.

Oh, hindsight!

However, I am very, very pleased with the outcome.

To top the tree I simply pulled the tip of the mini ornament and then jammed it inside the top of the tree.

I am so happy with how this turned out. Cost is $2.25 a tree. Well worth the investment and I know I will use these in years to come.

Sharing at the usual party places as linked on my link party page, as well as:

Today’s Creative Blog
Snap, Craft & Blog
The Shady Porch

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree!

I am so pleased with my Noble Fir Christmas tree. It is 7′ tall and so full, and of course it smells divine! This year I was able to place it right in front of my large picture window, so the lights are visible from the street.

My dad was sweet enough to come over and help me get the tree home, as well as put it in the stand for me.

As with any “perfect” Christmas tree, there is bound to be a imperfection somewhere. I found since I am only 5’2″ that I didn’t properly check out the the upper part of the tree. I found a bit of a sparse area at about 6′ and then the tippy top was a bit funny looking. Hmmmm.

So, I got out my clippers, my handy-dandy step ladder and some fake pine greenery.

I trimmed a little here and a little there. Each snip made it look so much better! I felt like Edward Scissorhands!  In retrospect, I should have stopped 4 snips before I did…oh, well! Live and learn, right? I stuffed in the fake greenery in the sparse spots on top, and presto-chango! It looks so much better now!

Andrea came over yesterday morning with Colin and Cason, and they all gave it their seal of approval. In fact, Andrea is not so secretly lusting after my Noble, since her DH brought home a very sparse Silver Tip this year. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if her hubs wound up in the tree stand instead. *snicker*

I hope everyone is enjoying their Christmas decorating! I know I am. What is your favorite part about the Christmas season?

How to make whipped chocolate ganache!

Chocolate Ganache. *sigh*

Whipped Chocolate Ganache. *drool*

Doesn’t it sound like heaven? Ever since I discovered how ridiculously easy it is to make ganache, it has been my go-to for frosting cakes and cupcakes, as well as decorating.

My step-mom’s birthday was yesterday and she is a chocolate fiend. Can’t get enough! So I made her a devil’s food chocolate cake and put sugar free chocolate pudding between the layers. (I only had sugar free on hand) I will do another tutorial later about using pudding as a crumb coat and filler-it works great (Thanks, mommy for teaching me this trick!)

I decided to make whipped chocolate ganache to frost the cake, because for her birthday she deserved no holds barred chocolatey goodness!

Here is the very short list of what you need to make this wonderful treat:

  • 9 oz of chocolate
  • 8 oz of heavy whipping cream
That’s it! Follow my tutorial here which shows you how to heat the cream and melt the chocolate. It even has video!
Once you have followed those steps and melted the chocolate, put it into the fridge for about 20 minutes or so. The more it cools, the thicker it becomes. Using your handheld mixer begin to whip it and you will see the chocolate begin to lighten and fluff.
Whip to your desired consistency.

On this particular cake, I did not top it, which was very hard for me! However, I knew my step-mom would love every crumb and I hated to waste it.

I put on a crumb coat of frosting and then I grabbed my Wilton 104 decorating tip to try something I saw via a linky party (which I thought I had bookmarked but I did not! So if the gal who made the fabulous white ribbon cake sees this, please let me know so I can link you!!).

I was a little bit intimidated to try it, because I do not have a steady hand at all, especially doing this left-handed (I am a righty)! However, I decided to push forward. Worse case scenario is that I would have to whip out my frosting knife and flatten the decorations- no harm, no foul!

One thing I would recommend in hindsight would be to pop the ganache back into the fridge to chill it a bit more before you do the decorating. Obviously chocolate melts very fast and I found the heat from my hand was not helping matters while squeezing the ganache out of the decorator do-hickey (Yes, I did just call it a do-hickey. What else should I call it? It’s not a bag! :o) )

I would also suggest if you are not in a hurry that you chill the do-hickey in between decorating rows as you feel it warming up.

I was in a hurry when I did this cake, but honestly I was very happy with how it all turned out. The ribboned ganache looked gorgeous and I can’t even begin to tell you how good it all tasted together. The sugar free chocolate pudding really offset the sweetness of the cake and ganache; I think this will become a staple for me now.

Here is the finished result, I hope you enjoy it!

P.S. Linking up at all my favorite party place listed on my link party page, as well as a new place to kick up my heels —The Stewart Estate!

How to make custom wall art!

I have recently become addicted to discovered Pinterest and have been pinning like a mad woman. I have found so many exciting DIY projects that I could hardly wait to get started.

The one that inspired me the most was using scrap-book paper and applying it to a medium to hang on the wall.

I have a white, blank wall in my office that has been begging for attention. I didn’t know what I wanted to put there and nothing that looked at really felt right. After discovering Pinterest, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

My office has two white walls and two green walls. My furniture is white and my accents are black.

After researching sales, I decided to purchase 12″ x 12″ canvas value packs from Michaels. I lucked out because a value pack of 7 were on sale for $14.99. They were by far the best deal. I have seen numerous tutorials using old frames, frames from the Dollar Tree, etc.

This is what you will need for this project

  • canvas (or medium of your choice)
  • scrap-booking paper for each canvas
  • black craft paint
  • small paint brush
  • permanent tacky spray
  • gloss sealer
I picked out 9 different pieces of scrap-book paper. Even though scrap-book paper is supposed to be 12″ x 12″, each piece was a little bit taller than that. I trimmed each of them down with a paper cutter. Once done, I arranged them on the floor on a drop cloth to make sure I liked the papers I chose.
I decided that I did want to paint the edges of the canvas because the white looked to bland.
I let them all dry and then used the permanent tacky spray to start attaching the paper.
Note: I did try to use Mod Podge, however if you want a smooth finish, you can not use mod podge on paper on canvas. It will wrinkle up and look like the paper had water damage.

This part went fairly quickly. Follow the instructions on the can and spray it over the canvas. Make sure that when you lay down your paper you have it lined up properly, it is not easy to move one it touches the canvas. You can spray the tacky spray inside, but I do not recommend spraying the sealer inside. It has a very, very strong odor.

Once each piece was attached, I let it sit for about 15 minutes. It dries very quickly.

Here is what my finished product looked like without the sealer over it.
Once this set, I took these outside and sprayed them down with three coats of sealer. That also dried very quickly and gave the finished product a really nice sheen.
I realized I made a boo-boo on the black and white stripes which shows in the bottom left corner of the picture, so I went ahead and placed a piece over it to hide it. A corner of the black and white stripe piece did not adhere and instead of using the tacky spray, I accidentally used the sealer, which caused the black paint to show through onto the paper.
If you have pieces that come loose, don’t worry, you can fix it! Just make sure you use the right can. ;o)
Here is the finished product before I hung them. I am very happy with how they turned out! I can’t believe how easy it was.I would estimate that each square cost me a total of $4 to make- and well worth it! If you all ready have the scrap-book paper and adhesive, then it will cost you a little over $2 each!
And finally, here it is hanging on my wall.

If you have any questions, please let me know! All of these products are available for purchase in my Amazon Shop.
Oh so fun! Participating in my first link parties!

P.S. Linking up at all my favorite party place listed on my link party page, as well as a new place to kick up my heels —The Stewart Estate!