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Oreo Lovey Bugs Tutorial

on February 14, 2015

For Shay and I, it’s become easier for the two of us to celebrate Valentine’s Day early together, and to spend the actual day with the kids – after all, they are our Valentine’s, too.

February is a super hectic time for our family, but even still, I like make to things a little festive – my mother always made my sister and I feel so special on Valentine’s Day.. I wanted to do the same for my kids.

This project was quick, easy and the kids loved not only looking at them.. but eating them!

You will need:

  • 12 Oreo cookies
  • 12 Mini-Oreos – for the heads
  • Vanilla almond bark – About 2 large squares
  • Parchment or Wax paper (to dry cookies on)
  • Small and large heart sprinkles – mine were made by Wilton
  • Small candies to use for antennae
  • White decorators icing – I used the store bought icing in a tube by Cake Mates that I emptied into a pastry bag for piping. 

To begin, layout your wax or parchment paper and begin to melt the almond bark. I like to melt mine in the microwave by heating it for 1-2 minutes on 80% power. Stir and if needed, continue to melt in 30 second increments until the chocolate is smooth. Do not overcook or cook on full strength as the chocolate will be unusable.

Working quickly, dip half of your large oreos in the vanilla coating, twirling to allow the coating to drip before placing the cookie on to the paper to dry. At this time, add embellishments for buggy spots – I used pink and red small heart sprinkles for this.

This next step is for grownups. When the coating has dried, carefully dig out a small hole in the coating of the cookie for the wings, using the tip of a small, sharp knife. Carefully dip the tips of the large heart sprinkles in the coating and place in the hole on the cookie – the hole will help to support the sprinkles and make them stand slightly stand up. Continue this process for all 12 oreos.

To prepare the heads, using either a pastry bag or the icing tube with a tip, pipe two dots of icing onto the face of a mini-oreo. Add two blue small heart sprinkles for the eyes and pipe a mouth. Add another two dots of icing and add the candy for the antennae. Repeat for all 12 mini oreos.

Using either a pastry bag or the icing tube with a tip, pipe a pea size amount of icing onto the undipped portion of the cookie near the tip. Place a decorated mini-oreo onto the piped icing.

The last thing to do? Enjoy them! Wishing every-buggy a Happy Valentine’s Day!

How to make a Delightful Deco-Mesh Carrot Wreath

on March 3, 2014

Hiya, I’m so glad you’re here! If this is your first visit, welcome and if you’ve been here before, thanks for dropping by and welcome back. I hope you find this tutorial informative and hope that you’ll follow along on Facebook, Pinterest or Google+ for more great tutorials and projects!

Now, on with the tutorial, and my long-winded story. Four score and many moons ago, (364 days ago exactly) I participated in a Pinterest Challenge that included creating, among other things, a fun deco-mesh carrot wreath for Easter. At that time, I promised I would upload a tutorial when I had a chance.. the chance just never materialized. Until now. Guess what? I finally made it! I’m sorry it’s taken so long to get to, but.. you know how it is…  Life and a hundred other things got in the way. With Easter on its way, I thought it would be an excellent time to make good on my promise.

None of my materials are exact amounts. The wreath was a figure-it-out-as-you-go kind of project that luckily turned out pretty great!

For this project, I used:

Step 1: Create the framework. I started off by just creating the outline of a carrot like so, and then quickly realized that there was no way one layer of wire would be strong enough to hold the shape of the wreath. I also had originally planned to use horizontal sections as seen below to attach my deco mesh, but quickly realized that wasn’t going to work either – there would be too many gaps. So. We moved on to step 2.

Step 2:  Reinforce the framework, by wrapping multiple layers of wire around the original frame. Continue to add the horizontal sections, but create a tighter structure by adding vertical sections as well, creating a grid pattern. As you can see, I also added a handle to act as a hook for hanging, as well as to attached the tulle “leaves” to the top. In hindsight, I would recommend creating a tighter grid – I found that the size of sections still left gaps that were difficult to fill – a tighter grid would mean a tighter packed wreath and fewer holes.

Although it’s hard to see, given my most excellent photography skills, I also bent the wreath to convex down the center, arching to the top of the frame, giving the wreath more of a 3-D effect.

Step 3: Cut your deco mesh into 12-36″ strips. I give a range because you want to work with the natural curls of the deco mesh, as found when you unravel it – it makes it much easier to work with. To start with,  Cut your orange pipe cleaners in half.

Step 4: To begin, use a 12″ strip to weave in the orange deco-mesh strips starting from the bottom and working up. To do this, fold over the first inch of your strip and attach a piece of pipe cleaner to provide a tidy end.

Step 5: Attach the strip to the framework by weaving the open ends of the pipe cleaner through the bottom section of the framework, then twist the pipe cleaner tightly to attach on the back side of the framework. Approximately 6″ from the now attached end of the strip, add pipe cleaner. Attach this pipe cleaner to the frame about 1/2″ from the first attached end, creating a loop.  Arrange the loop, twist the deco-mesh if needed to follow the natural curl, and add a final pipe cleaner to the open end, again, tucking under the end and attaching with a pipe cleaner. Again, attach approximately 1/2″ from the last attached end on the form, creating a loop. Tuck any open ends of the deco mesh strip.

This is what it will look like from the front.

And from the back.

The key is to twist your deco mesh very tightly into a loop, and to keep your loops tight together and relatively small.

Step 6: Continue to weave deco-mesh strips up the frame, working from side to side, in the same manner, starting with a piece of deco-mesh when needed, and looping and tucking as you go, up to, but not including the hanging handle.

Step 8: When you have filled in the frame, you will have something that looks like this – hopefully, yours will be a little tighter than mine was.. see the gaps? You can largely eliminate any gaps with a tighter weave on your grid. See the messy counter behind me? Just ignore that.

Step 9: If you do have a few gaps, despite a tighter framework, you can use the orange grosgrain ribbon to fill in and mask it. Just weave a strip of ribbon, the width of the framework, in and out on the back side of the frame.

Step 10: Attach the carrot “stem” using the tulle. I chose to stiffen the tulle first, as this wreath was going to be displayed outside. The humidity causes the tulle to go limp, especially if you are using a relatively fine mesh tulle, which is what I had on hand. To stiffen the tulle, begin my cutting your lengths of tulle. I used eight lengths of tulle, approximately 20″ long. I then simply sprayed the lengths with a heavy starch and allowed to dry. If you live in a particularly damp or humid area, you could also use a thin layer of modge-podge to stiffen the tulle as well – This is just not what I did.

Step 11: When they were dry, I used the dark green pipe cleaners, cut in half, to attach the tulle to the frame. I folded the tulle strip in half and attached the pipe cleaner through the fold. I then attached the end of the frame just under the hanger and fluffed the ends.

Step 12: Lastly, I slip-tied a coordinating, decorative, ribbon under the tulle, and added a few corkscrew curled pipe cleaners for a bit of whimsy.

Step 13: Hang it. And know, when Peter Cottontail comes hopping down the bunny trail, he’ll be making a stop at your house!

Thanks so much for hanging in there with me for the past 346 days, which of course means that my 1- year bloggy anniversary is right around the corner! I can’t believe it!

Please let me know if you have any other questions about this project or any other, or even if you just want to say “hey.” I love that!

For more wreath fun, check these out, for more Easter fun, take a look here, or, to just see what I’m up to today, click here!

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Basic to Bedazzling – a Pillar Candle Quickie

on July 10, 2013

I’m not sure how many times I’ve made-over these candles, but I think I might be happy with them now. Finally. Or, at least for the moment. I’m so fickle..

It all started with three basic white pillar candles, a skein of hemp twine, and a whole lot of upholstery brads that I was supposed to return. I just never got around to taking them there – I’m notorious for not returning things!  Don’t forget my desperate need to find a candle that “fit” in my dining room.

I’ve been looking and just not finding anything that will go in that room. And what I did find was a little more than I wanted to spend.. I don’t know about you, but spending $9 on a candle – each – is something I really hate doing, and given that I have kids, it’s not like I actually light them anyway!

This was so easy and I love how they turned out. They match the room just perfectly – a little bit of texture, a bit of bling, and a teensy bit of industrial. What a perfect way to spend 10 minutes. What did you do today?
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