Easter Crafts – Mini Easter Treats

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With a few moulds, melted chocolate and lashings of hundreds and thousands… You can create your very own yummy Easter Treats.

You will need
Chocolate (I got Tesco own brand)
Hundreds and thousands (large tub from Iceland)

Tools
Small Easter Egg Mounds (Sainsburys)
Microwave
Mixing bowl
Spoons

Optional…
Tin foil or sweet wrappers
Ribbons

First melt your chocolate in the microwave (30 seconds to 1 minute is usually long enough).

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Now take your egg moulds and sprinkle with a thin layer of hundreds and thousands covering the surfaces of the mould.

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Now pour the melted chocolate into the moulds over the top of the hundreds and thousands.

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Now add a thicker coat of hundreds and thousands over the top of the chocolate.

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Pop in the fridge for a couple of hours (to speed things up you can put these in the freezer for a bit).

Once set gently remove treats from the moulds and use tin foil and ribbons to wrap if desired.

Simple but yummy

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Oh… These started off being lollypops only the sticks won’t lay flat in the moulds so my advice would be… Don’t even go there with the lolly sticks!

How Too Make Pink Candy Hearts

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Recently I brought some candy melts from Hobbycraft, along with some heart moulds specifically designed to use with the candy melts, some lolly sticks and foil sweet wrappers

The candy melts were something I wasn’t familiar with but thought they would be fun to make with the kids.

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The whole concept is really easy. Simply pour the disks of pink candy into a non metallic bowl, melt in the microwave and then spoon into the moulds.

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I found that by spooning a small amount of candy into each mould and then banging the mould gently on the work-surface, the candy distributed much easier.

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While I was spooning in my last couple of hearts I noticed that those I had already created were already beginning to set. This was great but the melted candy mix in my bowl was also getting hard so I had to melt this in the microwave once more (which the packet states its fine to do).

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The instructions didn’t really indicate if these were ok to pop in the freezer but given the mixture was no longer warm I couldn’t see the harm in doing so.

This made the whole process much quicker and within about 30 minutes I was ready to remove these from their moulds.

I had decided that as I was just trying these out for the first time, I’d leave the whole lolly idea for another time.

One thing I must say is how easily these just popped out of the moulds. I didn’t really need to make an effort to remove them. They came out complete with no broken pieces left behind. I did however, have an air bubble or two leaving a small hole in the base of some pieces of my finished candy.

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As for the taste test, the kids thought they were ok but didn’t rave about them. Me I really didn’t like the texture nor the taste very much. I kind of expected these to be like lollipop candy but they were more like chocolate. They reminded me of them cheap white mice you used to get in a bag of penny mix.

There are more flavours in the range but I can’t see myself buying these again. They are a nice idea for birthday parties as with the moulds I guess you can create any shape or design of candy you desire but then again you can just melt down everyday chocolate for the same effect.

Its simple, these were not what I was expecting… Lollipop candy this was not!

Disclaimer: I guess this has turned into a bit of a review! Note, I wasn’t paid to write this nor did I receive a free product. The candy melts were an online order, that I paid for myself!!

Decopatched Valentines Gifts Made With Mod Podge

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As some of you who visit the blog may have already guessed, this girl loves hearts, and what with it coming up to valentines day, its the perfect excuse to get crafty with hearts. Today I’ve decided to make some pretty sweetie jars with matching heart magnets.

The Jar is one I’ve had ready to decorate for some time. I brought a few of them on a bric a brac stall at a bootfair last year.

The hearts are made of paper mâché and already have the magnets attached. They are of a good size and once papered, look amazing on the fridge or a magnetic notice board. These can be brought from Hobbycraft and are available both in store and online.

So for this project I used 2 large heart magnets and 1 jar. (Pairing a jar with a magnet to make a gift set)

Both the gift set and Individual magnet have been decorated differently but were both extremely simple to create.

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The first Tutorial is for my Retro Heart Magnet and Jar Gift Set.

You will need…

Medium size jar (the type with a glass stopper lid)

Large sized paper mâché heart magnet (Hobbycraft)

Funky heart Decopatch paper (Hobbycraft)

Ultra fine baby blue glitter

Mod podge (Gloss)

Thick – Satin blue ribbon (Baker Ross)

Bright red ribbon (Thin)

Dark red ribbon (medium thickness)

1 Red & 1 blue self adhesive button (baker Ross)

White acrylic Paint

Sweets or other items to fill jar

Tools…

Craft Knife
Scissors
3 Paint brushes (painting, mod podge, glitter)
Small sponge (to wipe excess mod podge)
Ruler
Pencil

First the heart magnet….

1) Give your heart magnet 2 coats of white acrylic paint as abase. Allow to dry in between coats and be careful not to get any paint on the actual magnet as it may affect how magnetic it is.

2) Take a sheet of your Decopatch paper (comes in a packet of three) and cut in half using a craft knife and ruler fir support. Place one piece aside for your jar. Now with a craft knife and ruler cut paper into squares so that you can easily piece them back together like a jigsaw.

3) With Mod Podge or Decopatch glossy glue get Decopatching. I’ve explain the art of using Decopatch to decorate almost any object or surface in numerous post here before. So, without going into to much detail I’ll explain in brief… Basically cover the heart in mod podge, lay the paper onto the heart and apply another layer of glue over the top. For this project you will want the pattern to be perfect (not all mix match) So join the paper together to form the pattern (like wallpapering).
Tips… Only apply the glue to the area you wish to cover, instead gluing each section as you go therefore avoiding any areas starting to dry and becoming tacky.

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If you have small areas in need of covering, then patch them up with small strips of paper.

Now leave to dry.

Note. Decopatch Glossy Glue & Mod Podge (gloss) can both be used as a glue sealer and finish. Both glues dry clear and are both easy to use. I’m using mod podge as its much faster when drying.

4) Once dry add another layer of mod podge and leave it for around 20 minutes to dry.

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5) Once dry take the dark red ribbon and run it around the sides of your heart starting at the tip. Cut any excess ribbon and then use the mod podge to add the ribbon to the sides of the heart adding a layer of mod podge over the top of the ribbon too.

Leave to dry for 20 minutes or so.

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6) Once dry stick your self adhesive buttons to the front of your heart like so. Now place to one side.

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Now for the jar….

7) Bring forward your other half of Decopatch paper and wrap it around your jar. Start around 5 centimetres down from the neck of your jar so that the paper stops 3/4 of the way up leaving a small area unpapered. Only once you are sure its right add mod podge directly to the jar applying the paper as you go. (Apply the paper as a whole by rotating the glass, gluing and papering as you go). You will notice that you have a little excess paper at the bottom of your jar. Don’t worry! This will be removed soon. Now, add a top layer of mod podge over the top of the paper (ignoring the excess paper) and leave to dry for 20 minutes. Once dry add another top layer of mod podge and sit to dry for the same amount of time as before.

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8) Once your jar is papered and the mod podge is dry the paper will be stronger and look very glossy. Now use you scissors to remove any excess paper from the bottom of the jar as to tidy it up.

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9) apply mod podge around the top section of paper like a boarder. It only needs to be as thick as your thin red ribbon. Wrap the ribbon around the top of the paper and wipe any excess mod podge quickly with a sponge, to avoid it drying. Now apply mod podge over the top of the ribbon again wiping away excess as you go. Leave to dry for around 15 minutes.

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10) Now mix some mod podge with lots of the baby blue glitter. Apply this to the inner section of the jar that is still visible. Also apply some around the neck and top rim of your jar. The mod podge will dry clear leaving a crystallised glittery effect. Drying time is longer as the glue is thicker and no paper is applied. Mine took a few hours to dry fully.

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11) once dry tie your blue ribbon around the neck of the jar into a pretty bow.

Dried Mod Podge Mixture

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12) for the top section of the lid, place the lid face down on some heart Decopatch paper and with a pencil lightly draw around it. Once done carefully cut out the circle with a craft knife. Decopatch your cut out circle to the top of the jar again adding two top layers of mod podge to the top of the paper. Leave to dry for 20 minutes.

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13) Fill with Sweets or anything else you like (tea lights, makeup, pamper goodies, cookies) and fit lid.

Now just use some pretty tissue paper to wrap your heart and jar, place in a pretty gift bag ready to give as a gift.

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Fabric Flower Power Heart Magnet

You will need…

1 Large paper mâché heart magnet (Hobbycraft)

Some funky flower fabric (enough to cover heart) Mine is from eBay

Medium thick orange ribbon (Baker Ross)

3 Self adhesive buttons that coordinate with your fabric (I used red, yellow, baby blue) from Baker Ross

White acrylic paint

Mod podge

Tools…
2 brushes (for paint and mod podge)
Scissors
Craft Knife
Ruler

1) Paint heart in white paint as before.

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2) use a ruler and craft knife to cut fabric into two pieces one 3/4 in size and the other 1/4 in size. Use ruler to support fabric as you cut. Remove any frying.

3) cover 3/4 of your heart in mod podge placing the 3/4 piece of fabric on top at an angle so that only a 1/4 of the heart is left to cover. If fabric comes over the edges trim or just stick down as I have done. Add mod podge to both the heart and the top layer of fabric just as we did the decopatch paper.

4) Mod podge other 1/4 of heart and add the other half piece of fabric joining the pattern. Again add a coat of mod podge to the top layer of fabric working in the same way as the first piece. Leave to dry for around 20-30 minutes.

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5) Once dry add the ribbon to the sides of the heart as we did for our retro patterned heart above. Leave to dry for 10-15 minutes.

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6) Now stick on your three buttons like so and you’re heart magnet is set to go.

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So… There you have it. Some fantastic Valentines handcrafted inspiration.

Have you made anything for Valentines Day?

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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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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!