Thursday, March 8, 2012

Painted Leprechaun Mask

Sometimes I forget that crafts don't have to be complicated, challenging, or expensive to be satisfying.

I found this mask in a bin at the craft store for one dollar and thought my nephew would like it (at two he's not really into hats or masks but he's all about things you can hold up in front of your face).

I forgot to take a picture before I started so here are two more I bought the same day. They start out as just balsa wood and a black outline.

A little bit of paint and an hour later I had a finished project. And I can't tell you how relaxing it was to just sit and paint this simple inexpensive mask.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Free Printable and Candy Pot of Gold

You can make anyone's day a little richer on St. Patrick's Day with this sweet little pot of gold.

These are so simple to make, you can easily whip up a bunch before St. Pat's and have the kiddos help!

I designed the treat topper and made it available as a free printable. (The link is at the bottom of this tutorial.)

Here's what you'll need to make the pot o' gold:

2 inch terracotta pot (It really measure's about 2 1/4 but I think it's sold as a 2 inch pot)
Black satin or glossy craft paint
Paint Brush
Gold wrapped candies ( I used Rollo caramels)
Free Printable Tags (link is at the bottom of this post)
Scissors or 2 inch circle paper punch to cutout tags
Bamboo skewers (1 for every 2 pots)

Paint the terracotta pot black, both inside and out. It'll take about two coats to cover the surface evenly.

While the pots dry cut your bamboo skewers into about 3 inches inch pieces. You'll need one 3 inch length for every pot. The skewers should cut easily with scissors but you could also use a utility knife.

Cut or punch out the printed tags and glue onto each skewer.

Fill your pot with gold wrapped candies and stick your treat topper inside.

Click here to get the treat topper design. (Which is free for personal use)

They would also make great cupcake toppers, gift tags, stickers, button, or medallion on a card.

(Free tag design is for personal, non commercial purposes only. Hershey's the maker of Rolo Candies did not in any way sponsor or endorse this post.)

Monday, March 5, 2012

St. Patricks Day Treat- Leprechaun Hat Pops

It's time for my sweet-n-treat of the month so today I have a super easy St. Patrick's Day pop to share with you.

Leprechaun Hat Pops

Making these sweets takes just a few ingredients:
  • Marshmallows
  • Green Chocolate- 1 bag makes about 24 pops
  • Dark Chocolate- 1 bag is more than enough (half a bag would be fine)
  • Yellow Chocolate- 1 bag is more than enough (half a bag would be fine)

And some materials:
  • Lollipop Sticks
  • One skewer
  • Toothpicks
  • Parchment Paper
  • Foam block to hold your pops
  • Bowls and spoons for melting chocolate

The first step is to put your marshmallows onto lollipop sticks.

Next, melt some green chocolate and dip each marshmallow into the chocolate to coat. Don't worry about completely covering the end of the marshmallow where the lollipop stick was inserted, for this technique it's not important.

Set the pops aside so the chocolate can set. (You'll need green chocolate again so save any unused chocolate and don't put your dishes in the sink yet!)

Once the chocolate has set completely, the next step is to melt the chocolate you'll use for the band around the hat. (I tried both dark chocolate and yellow as the band on my hats but I liked the look of the dark chocolate bands best.)

Once the chocolate has melted set a sheet of parchment paper out on the counter, large enough to fit all your marshmallows.

Gently pull the green chocolate marshmallows off their lollipop sticks. (Yeah I know that sounds weird but trust me- there's a reason).

Dip the bottom of your marshmallow (the end where the stick was inserted) into the accent color. Making sure that the chocolate goes about a quarter of an inch up the sides all the way around the marshmallow to create a band.

Set the marshmallows onto the parchment paper (wet chocolate side down) and allow them to set completely.

To avoid getting a pool of chocolate around the bottom of the marshmallow, scrape the flat end of the marshmallow on the side of the bowl before placing it on the parchment. This removes the excess chocolate. Here again it's not so important that the bottom of the marshmallow looks good. What's important is that there is a nice band of the accent color all the way around the marshmallow.

The next step is to make a brim for each hat. Melt more green chocolate, and set out another sheet or two of parchment paper.

Spoon a circle of chocolate onto the parchment paper. The circle should be slightly bigger than the circumference of a marshmallow. You can swirl the tip of your spoon in the middle of the circle to help it get a little bigger and to even out the surface if needed.

While the chocolate is still wet place your marshmallow, band side down, into the center of the circle. The marshmallow will sink a little and the brim will spread out more. Don't worry that's supposed to happen!

Once you get the hang of it, you can go faster by spooning out a few brims, then place a bunch of marshmallows. Just don't make so many that the first brim starts to setup before you place the marshmallow.

Once the brims have set, you could add the buckle and stop here. They make cute little treats just as they are. But I'll show you how to make them back into pops because it's really fun and keeps people guessing about how you made these.

I make the buckles last, so if you're going to leave them off the sticks then jump to the end to see how to make the buckle.

When chocolate is set and the hats can easily be removed from the parchment. Take the pointy end of a skewer and gently drill a hole into the bottom of each hat. Making sure the hole is in the center. You don't have to go all the way into the pop, the skewer just helps to get through the chocolate without cracking it.

Once you have all the holes drilled. Gently slide the pops back onto lollipop sticks. The stickiness of the marshmallow will hold it in place on the lollipop stick without any problem.

You can reuse the original sticks, but I find the the marshmallow residue stuck to them gets a little hard so I use new sticks. But if the idea of needing two sticks for each pop bothers you, I think you could use the same stick.

The last step is to make a buckle over the band. Melt your third chocolate color (Yellow if you made brown bands, or vise versa.) And use a toothpick to draw a rectangular buckle over the band.

These took no time at all to make. Even with having to wait between steps while the chocolate set up, I had a big batch finished and bagged in one afternoon.


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