Tutorial – Chocolate Fudge Lotion Bars With A Hint Of Shimmer

For sometime now I’ve been wanting to make some hard lotion bars and yesterday I finally found the opportunity to do so.

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Are you all familiar with the term lotion bars?

For those of you who are not, lotion bars are basically the same as body butters and lotions, only these come in a solid form. Lotion bars are basically solid at room temperature but melt at near skin temperature. When you finish in the bath/shower you simply rub the bar over your body allowing your skin to absorb its moisture.

By making my own lotion bars I know exactly what it is I’m applying to my skin, therefore avoiding anything that may irritate me! My skin is very sensitive, making me prone to outbreaks of eczema and other flare ups. However, this isn’t the only benefit to making your own lotion bars. Its also a much cheaper alternative to expensive shop brought brands. Though the ingredients used are rather expensive, the quantity of what you have purchased will last some time, allowing you to make a good number of homemade skin products, therefore making the ingredients great value for money.

So, not only did I want a lotion bar that combats dry skin, I also wanted something a little sweet smelling and girly. With this I decided to make a batch of ‘Chocolate Fudge Shimmer Lotion Bars’

For this simple lotion bar recipe you will need to first buy these ingredients

Yellow Bees Wax Pellets
Almond Oil (Carrier Oil)
Unrefined Coca Butter
Raw Shea Butter
Witch Hazel
Pure Vitamin E Oil
Chocolate Fudge (Fragrance)
Cosmetic Glitter (Silvery White)

Tools…

Double boiler
Silicone Moulds (hearts)
Metal Spoon
Grater
Bowls
Scales or measuring cups
Spoons for mixing

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Warning: This recipe does contain nut extract so those allergic to nuts should avoid!

So, before I get started on the tutorial, let me explain a little, my reasons for choosing the above ingredients.

For the lotion bar to work a carrier oil must be used. I chose almond oil as its known to be a great natural oil for people who suffer with dry skin. Almond oil moisturises and keeps the skin at a normal PH level during the colder months avoiding cracked dry patches like I sometimes get on my hands as a result of my eczema.

Secondly almond oil provides its user with a natural way to fight them frightening signs of ageing with its use of antioxidants and anti-aging properties.

Unrefined Cocoa butter is the best option for this recipe as it still retains all of its natural goodness and is completely pure and untouched. Its brought in large hard blocks that can be melted down into a liquid. It has a long shelf life of anything from 2-5 years dependent on its stored environment. It has a great buttery texture as it begins to melt and a pleasant natural fragrance. Cocoa butter is a great stable fat that is naturally packed full of antioxidants. Its great used as a lotion as like that of almond oil it helps to prevent dry and itchy skin. What’s more its perfect for a lotion bar as its solid form melts easily when it comes into contact with the skin which is then easily absorbed leaving your skin smelling delicious and feeling silky smooth.

Shea butter is extracted from the nut of African Shea trees. Its packed full of natural fatty acids that are again great to use on the skin. Shea butter is again a great option as like cocoa butter it has a reasonably low melting point. saying that, Shea butter isn’t the easiest butter to work with as it can often become grainy if not heated and cooled in the right way.

The benefits of Shea butter for your skin is that it is both moisturising and rejuvenating. It acts as a great skin toner too, helping beat cellulite and uneven skin texture. Like the above ingredients it fab as an anti ageing treatment and helps to combat dry skin such as eczema. This butter is packed with vitamins and therapeutic properties to protect skin from elements such as the sun and the wind making it a great addition to lip balms.

Yellow BeesWax has a higher melting point range of 62 to 64 °C compared to that of cocoa and Shea butters that normally have a melting range of below 40 °C. The beeswax therefore keeps the product solid for longer. For those living in hotter climates than the UK, a higher ratio of beeswax can be used if desired. Lastly, pure yellow beeswax has a nicer texture and naturally sweeter aroma then that of refined white wax pellets.

Added extras are both the witch hazel and the vitamin E oil. Only a small amount of both is needed but both have great benefits to the skin making these lotion bars even more beneficial.

So Lets Get Started….

Measures

to get the measurements needed for my batch of 6 large heart shaped lotion bars I used the following…

Equal measures of your main ingredients, which for this bar are cocoa butter, almond oil and wax pellets…

Unrefined Cocoa Butter 4 oz
Almond Oil (Carrier Oil) 4 oz
Natural Yellow Beeswax Pellets 4 oz

Other ingredients…

Shear Butter (1.5 oz)

Witch Hazel 1 1/2 Table Spoons

Vitamin E Oil 2 drops

Chocolate Fudge Fragrance Oil 30 drops

Cosmetic Glitter (Shimmer) 2 Tiny Pinches

First, take the cocoa butter and weigh out 4 oz. Then grate it into a large bowl. Note… This is time consuming and hard work so if you have an electric grater then go for it! As to avoid waste cut the last small pieces that are too small to grate into tiny pieces with a knife. Once done leave it to one side.

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Next weigh out your wax pellets (4 oz) and then your Shea butter 1.5 oz.

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Boil a pan of water and once its bubbling turn down the heat and place a smaller pan or glass jug (if you don’t have a double boiler like me) into the boiling pan of water.

Keep the heat low and add your wax pellets. Remember these have a higher melting point so should go on first.

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Once the wax is almost liquidated, add the grated cocoa butter, stir a little and within a few seconds it should have began melting. At this point you should now add the Shea butter to your mixture. Give this a stir and then leave on the low heat while you prepare your carrier oil.

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For this measure out 4 oz of almond oil adding 1 1/2 table spoons of witch hazel to the oil followed by two drops of vitamin E. Give this a good mix before pouring into the mixture.

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At this point something very strange will happen. The addition of the cold oils to the hot wax makes the oil suddenly turn white with almost a solid appearance. Don’t panic just stir to blend all the ingredients together till the whole mixture has become a liquid.

Now remove from the heat and allow to let for 30-60 seconds before adding 30 drops of Chocolate Fudge Fragrance mix well and don’t take to long to avoid solidification.

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Lastly sprinkle in a few pinches of cosmetic glitter, mix and pour into your silicone moulds.

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Let sit in till the liquid has solidified enough for you to more them into the fridge where you will leave them be for a good few hours (2 should be enough but 3 is even better).

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Once these have set, they should pop out the silicone moulds with ease. Let them stand for 20 minutes and then decided how you want to store them. If keeping for yourself, store in an old tin or some air tight containers, placing them in a cool dark place away from sunlight and other heat sources in-till your ready to use them.

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20130502-123715.jpgabove image I’ve tried to capture the sparkle

If you want to dress these up for a gift you can simply wrap them in some greaseproof paper, pop them into gift bags, tie with twine and write the name of the gift on a cute matching gift tag. Another idea, which I like best, is to line a glass jar with a pretty cellophane bag, piling your lotion bars inside before securing the lid and again adding a gift tag or naming label.

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These lotion bars really do smell gorgeously chocolatey. The shimmer is so pretty and subtle too.

My skin feels smooth and soft and the smell last for hours as would a perfume.

Am I proud of my homemade lotion bars? Hell yes!

Reference Section

I’m a UK girl living in London. All the ingredients were attainable, but health food stores are charging the earth for this stuff. With this I opted for eBay when buying the majority of my ingredients. Below is a list of stockiest accompanied by links to the places I brought my ingredients…

250g Raw Shea Butter, 500g Unrefined Cocoa Butter, 10ml Vitamin E Oil

All the above brought from … ‘Aina’s Bargains (eBay Shop)’

Witch Hazel & Almond Oil purchased from Sainsburys

Heart Mould Tray purchased from Lidl

Chocolate Fudge Fragrance purchased from J’s Natural Soaps (eBay Store)

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Tutorial – Handmade Sweets for Valentines Day

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Its fun to make your own sweets, especially with the children.

My toddler had equally as much fun making these with me as he did eating them.

I’ve included 3 types of sweets that we made, each very easy make.

All would be greatly appreciated by anyone this Valentines day.

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Chocolate Dipped Peppermints

Ingredients…

200g Icing Sugar
1 Egg White
Plain or Milk Chocolate
Peppermint Flavouring
Green Food Colouring

Equipment…

Foil
Mini Sweet Cases
Mixing Bowl
Bowl (to melt chocolate)
Knife
Board
Tray/Plate
Spoon (for mixing)
Microwave (optional)

1: Add around 100g of your icing sugar to the mixing bowl, followed by one egg white, 5 drops of peppermint flavouring and 10 drops of green food colouring. Mix together well.

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2: slowly add the remaining icing sugar to the mixture and keep stirring until you see the wetness/stickiness disappearing. The mixture should be thickening up into a dough like consistency that you are able to knead into a smooth ball. You may not require the whole 100g of icing sugar you have remaining or you may need to add a little extra.

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3: Now make your mixture into a log shape and cut into disks. If you want the sweets smaller you can break each disk in half, roll into 2 smooth balls and slightly flatten with your thumb.

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4: Now break up your chocolate and add to a non metallic bowl. Melt your chocolate in the microwave for around 30 seconds (adjust the timings if your chocolate is very hard or unrefrigerated). If you don’t have a microwave, then place your bowl in a pan of boiled water and stir till melted.

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5: Lay down some foil on a board. Take each peppermint disk and half dip it into the melted chocolate. Lay it down on the foil.

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6: Once all are done, cover a plate in a new sheet of foil and transfer your disks to the plate. Place the plate in the fridge for an hour.

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7: Once your disks are set transfer them to your mini sweet cases. They will be firm but still mouldable so squash & mould a little if they don’t fit.

8: Place back in the fridge for 20 minutes and they are then ready to eat.

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For gifts place Peppermints directly into a jar, place cases in a cute homemade box or bag them up with pretty heart cellophane bags tied with ribbon

Chocolate & Coconut Cherries

Ingredients…

Tube of Glacé Cherries
Packet of Grated Coconut
Bar Of Plain or Milk Chocolate

Tools…
Mini Heart Foil Sweet Cases
2x Bowls
Mixing Spoon
Cocktail Sticks or Fork
Microwave (optional)

1: Add some coconut to a bowl

2: Add Chocolate to a bowl & melt the chocolate as I did above.

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3: I used my meat fork as didn’t have any cocktail sticks. First pick up your cherry with your stick, roll it in the chocolate and then the coconut.

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4: Gently remove from stick and place in your heart foil case.

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5: Do the same for all your cherries and then pop them in the fridge for an hour.

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Chocolate Coconut Hearts

Ingredients…

Plain or Milk Chocolate
Coconut

Equipment….
Bowl to melt chocolate
Mini foil heart cases
Microwave (optional)
Spoon to mix chocolate

1: Melt chocolate as above.

2: Add coconut to the melted chocolate and mix well.

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3: Spoon mixture into heart foil cases.

4: Sprinkle with coconut.

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5: Place in the fridge for 1 hour.

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Ten Things I Love To Make & Do

So, here’s 10 things I love to make and Do… excluding anything to do with my children, friends and family as that’s just obvious now isn’t it!

Number 1: Antiquing (furniture refurbishing)

Yes, one of my latest hobbies is to buy old vintage furniture and refurbish it into shabby chic loveliness. My latest projects are a 1950s dressing table, chest of draws and a set of bedside draws all of which I plan to refurb with Annie Sloan chalk paint in the colour Paris Grey.

Below, Paris Grey Table I’m working on

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Number 2: Jumble Sales & Bootfairs

I love digging through the treasure at the local jumble sale, I’ve had some amazing finds at both bootfairs and jumble sales… Not forgetting the odd charity shop.

Below, A wicker Basket Full Of Pretty Vintage China From Jumble Sales, Bootfairs And Auctions

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Number 3: Blogging:

Of course… Blogging is a big love hence the reason I blog both here and at my long running blog A boy with Aspergers.

Below, Collecting A Mad Blog Award For My Blog ‘A Boy With Aspergers’ In 2011

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Number 4: Candle & Soap Making

Soap making is a relatively new hobby but I’ve been into candle making since I was about 8 years old and make every thing from scented tea lights to candles in vintage tea cups

Below, Pretty Decopatch Jar Candle

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Number 5: Jar Craft

I love jars and the many uses they provide. I store everything from craft bits and bobs to cup cake sprinkles in them. I’ve decopatched mason jars and upcycled spice jars.

Below, Homemade Sweetie Jar Gift

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Number 6: Drawing and Painting

Since I was at nursery I’ve loved to draw and paint. I love creating art whether using spray paints and stencils, acrylics or pastels.

Below, Spray Painting

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Below, Pencil Drawing

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Number 7: Decopatch

The modern take on decoupage, I use Decopatch papers to decorate everything from paper mâché hearts to twinket boxes.

Below, Decopatch Frame With Corsage Detail

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Number 8: beading

You don’t need to be good at something to enjoy it. Beading isn’t something I do particularly well (well, when it comes to jewellery making that is)! But I’m still learning and having fun in the process.

Below, Handmade Clay Beads

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Number 9: Photography (Ok, this ones a tiny bit family focused though not entirely)

I’m no great photographer and despite Having a relatively good camera you will catch me using my iPhone half the time. However, I don’t do it as an art as such, or to make any pennies! I take pictures because I love to capture a moment. Moments with my children, family and friends. Images that make me smile when every single time I look at them, no matter how long down the line that may be.

Below, Penguin Taken On A Family Day Out At London Zoo

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Below, Image Of My Daughter

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Below, Another Image Of My Daughter That I Edited On Photo App

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Number 10: Entering Skill Based Competitions

I just love a creative comp, there are so enjoyable to take part in plus you can win so amazing prizes. Past prizes for me include cash, shopping vouchers and toys. Check back here on the blog from time to time as I often feature some great online competitions all requiring some kind of skill.

Below, A Fun Cath Kidston Competition Entry

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Below, My Daughter In A Homemade Halloween Costume For Creative Comp

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Easy Personalised Art Work For Children’s Bedroom (Tutorial)

Sometimes you realise that a room could do with a bit of a cheer up. Not that you need to redecorate, painting the walls a new colour… Sometimes the addition of a little art work is all that’s needed to make a boring wall a magical one.

My daughters bedroom walls were looking a tad boring so with this in mind I decided to make some simple artwork to cheer it up a little

What I used to create this easy flower and butterfly picture.

Thick Card Square (measuring 30 by 23 centimetres)
Blue Metallic Acrylic Paint
Green Pic-Tixx 3D Glitter
3 Handcrafted Butterflies
5 Yellow Buttons
Pain & Glitter Flower Pre-Cut Shapes
Deco Pen (light green)
Glittered Card Letters
Mod Podge (clear gloss finish)

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Tools
Glue Dots
2 Medium Size Paint Brushes (for glue and paint)

Optional… Box Frame To Display Art

How to Make…

1) Paint your piece of card with the blue metallic paint. Leave to dry then paint a second coat.

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2) Once both coats have been applied and your card is fully dry, use your green deco paint pen to draw the flower stalks onto the card like so…

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3) Use the green Pic-Tixx pen to randomly add some sparkly leafs to the flower steams. Leave to dry for a least an hour.

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4) Once dry use glue dots to add the flower shapes to the ends of the flower steams. Layer these up and use the yellow buttons to finish of the bigger flowers. Be creative, mixing sizes and colours for different effects.

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5) Once all your Flowers have been added use a thick brush to cover the picture in a layer of mod podge. Sponge around the flowers as glue tends to sit within these areas. Now leave to dry.

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6) Once dry add your glittery letters along the bottom of your picture. Cover these in a thin layer of mod podge using a sponge. Leave to dry for 45 minutes.

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7) Once dry add glue dots to the backs of your 3 butterflies (2 each to the bodies). Add to your picture by pressing and holding down firmly.

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Add your picture to a frame, a box frame is best as it allows room for the butterflies.

Mine is yet to be placed in a frame but it looks pretty great wouldn’t you agree?

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Resources…
Handcrafted Butterflies (£1 pack of 4 from PoundLand)
Paint, Deco pen and Pic-Tixx (Baker Ross Ltd)
Mod Podge (Hobbycraft)
Flower Shapes (PoundLand)
Letters (eBay)

Savvy Teacher Treats

So, as the end of term was fast approaching, I needed to pull together some teacher gifts on a budget.

Little man is in a independent special school that currently only caters for around 20 or so children. The teacher to pupil ratio is much greater meaning little man is receiving a high level of support when needed. He has great respect and fondness for all the teaching staff and I’ve gotta admit… I can see why! His progress has been amazing, especially considering that educational Psychologist, teachers and other various professionals openly predicted that little man was a child who’ll never be able to fully reintegrate back into a classroom setting. They stated he stood little chance off making friendships or maintaining those he did make.

Well… They were wrong… Totally wrong.

So… With so many teachers in his school the idea of creating teacher gifts on a budget was challenging.

But… Come on we love a challenge and I’m pleased to announce that we passed by coming up with the cutest little gift to thank the staff for all their wonderful work.

Ours was intended for Christmas but this idea can be used at the end of the school year when children move on or just to say thanks every once in a while.

So here’s what we made…

Pretty Cellophane chocolate bags, tired with pretty red ribbon.

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Our bags were perfect for Christmas with a red and white theme, but you could make these for Easter and other occasions just by changing the colours to suit the season or occasion.

What we used to make 10 chocolate bags…

10 cellophane clear presentation bags
10 red ribbon ties

Contents….
Large bag of chocolate Christmas mix (or whatever you prefer)
20 homemade chocolate acorns (that we made from acorn moulds)
Large bag of chocolate peanuts

Optional extras…
Vintage gift tags ( one for each bag)

These are really very simple to make. Just line up and open all ten bags.

Share the contents of sweets between the bags (you should have some left as you don’t want to over fill, just fill 1/4 of the way).

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To finish tie off each bag with the pretty red ribbon. If using gift tags then add message and attach to ribbon before tying.

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The cellophane presentation bags came together with the ribbon in a pack of 20 for just £1 from the wonderful PoundLand… Total bargain.

The acorns were made with one large bar of cadburys diary milk costing £1.

Chocolate peanuts cost £1 per large bag.

Christmas chocolate mix cost £2.49

We didn’t use gift tags but these are easily brought for no more than a £1.

To make 10 bags it cost me £5.49 making each Individual bag cost less than 55p each.

Other ideas…

For Easter fill with mini eggs or chocolate eggs.

Christmas time, use gold coins or chocolate tree decorations.

For the summer use fruit jelly sweets.

For kids parties fill with Haribo or penny mix up.

For weddings fill with sugar almonds.

Bonbons, Liquorice & Jellybeans

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas? Mine was just perfect! The children had a wonderful day and everything went accordingly.

Well, its the early hours of Thursday morning and given I can’t seem to sleep I thought I would pop on and blog a really cute craft project.

I actually made one of these really cute traditional sweet shop jars for an extra something for my mum this Christmas.

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Here’s what I used…

A medium size jar with gingham red and white lid
Red ribbon
Vintage style gift tag
Gingham red and white wired ribbon (to great a bow)
Black pen
Cellophane bag

Tools

Long handled mini tongs
Scissors
Glue dots
Thin wire

Contents (sweets)

Jellybeans
Licorice allsorts
Raspberry blue bonbons
Traditional Yorkshire candy mix

Firstly, make sure your chosen jar is washed and fully dried.

Now open all your chosen bags of sweets and use your tongs to layer the sweets into your jar. This ensures no sweets get broken and all are laid out properly.

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Once your jar is layered with sweets tighten your lid and get to work on the outside of your jar.

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Write the contents of your jar onto the vintage gift tag. Attach to some ribbon and tie the ribbon around the neck of your jar.

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Now take some more red ribbon cut to size and with glue dots to secure wrap it around your jar a few inches above the jars middle. Tie the ribbon into a very small knot.

To hide the knot and add some wow factor take your gingham red and white wired ribbon and make into a bow. Fasten the middle with some craft wire and then attach to the red ribbon over the knot.

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Now just place jar in the pretty cellophane bag to cover.

It really is that simple.

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Mum loved the jar and apparently the rasberry blue bonbons are devine!