Monday, May 27, 2013


 I love being able to make things you would normally buy at the store.  I don't make my own cheese or anything, but granola I can handle.  I originally found this recipe in a Family Fun magazine, and have tweaked it to suit our tastes and what we keep around the house.  Our favorite way to eat this is on top of yogurt, so we leave the dried fruit out, but you can have as much fun with this recipe as you like!  Let me know how you like to make yours in the comments. 

Crunchy Granola

4 cups rolled oats                                   1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup wheat germ                                   1/3 cup honey
1 cup chopped walnuts                           1/3 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar                              
1 teaspoon cinnamon                              6 ounces dried fruit of choice (optional) 
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Stir together dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.   Make a well and add wet ingredients.  Toss the mixture until the ingredients are well combined, then spread it evenly on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 40 minutes, or until lightly brown, stirring every 10 minutes to keep from sticking.  Allow to cool completely, then stir in dried fruit.  Makes about 7 cups.

Approximate time to make*: 1 hour
Approximate cost for supplies*: $6 per batch
*Please remember that these are just approximations. CopyCrafts makes no guarantee of their accuracy.

Monday, May 20, 2013


Somehow or other I got roped into being the Team Mom for my son's soccer team.  Having never played sports myself, and this being my son's first experience, I had NO CLUE what I was doing.  In the end, I think I did okay - at least no one complained (they might have just been grateful it wasn't them!).  I was actually really excited to through the end-of-season party.  Unfortunately, the party ended up being the same weekend as two other parties I was in charge of, so going all out was not really an option.  But for less than $5 and 5 hours of work, I got a TON of compliments.

We had the party at a park so the kids could play, and everyone was instructed to bring their own picnic lunches.  I had a display set up with cupcakes for everyone and the kids' trophies.  Here's the breakdown of the display:

Cupcakes - I spent $2 on cupcake mixes, and $1 on the cupcake liners.  I'm still trying to figure out the best
way to use those cute liners.  When I've tried baking directly in them, they have literally fallen off the cupcakes while still on the plate, which doesn't look very cute and kind of defeats the purpose.  This time I baked in the regular liners, and then stuck the whole baked cupcake into the blue liner.  This worked better, but still not perfect - if you know the secret to using these, please let me in on it! I also designed the cupcake toppers, which I printed onto cardstock, punched out with a 1 1/4" circle punch, and hot glued a toothpick to the backs.

Displays - I already had the glass cupcake stand from a previous party, but I knew that 40 cupcakes were not going to fit on there.  So I found some kraft wrapping paper at the dollar store, and wrapped two boxes with it (they are pineapple boxes from Costco - which I have used so many times, they are the perfect size!).

Banner -The banner I designed as well, printed onto cardstock, and then sewed together on the sewing machine.  If you don't sew, you can also glue the pieces onto ribbon (I like using hot glue, as it won't make the paper wavy like wet glue does). 

Ditched Ideas - I have learned that whenever you plan a party, expect to ditch plan A, and plan B, and possibly plan C.  It ended up being fairly breezy the day of our party, so there are a few ideas that didn't work for me, but may work for you.  I bought a royal blue tablecloth at the dollar store that I was going to use as a table runner, but it kept blowing up and knocking over cupcakes.  Also, I had planned on buying 4 balloons (2 blue, 2 orange) and weighting two of them down on each box, but again, the wind would have had them all over the place, and that idea had to go.

So, for any of you out there that find yourself in my position (of not having a clue how to throw a soccer party, or needing to put something together FAST), I am including a link for the FREE cupcake toppers and banner printables.  If you have any great ideas for after-season sports parties, please post them in Comments!

Resources: Soccer Cupcake Toppers and Banner - Free Printables
Skills required: easy papercrafting
Approximate time to craft*: 1 hour for a banner and 40 cupcake toppers
Approximate cost for supplies*: $1
*Please remember that these are just approximations. CopyCrafts makes no guarantee of their accuracy.

Monday, May 13, 2013


For occassions like weddings and baby showers, I tend to stock up on gifts so that I'm not always running out to the store.  These bibs are the perfect baby gift to stock up with - they are quick to make, inexpensive, and great bibs (ties mean baby can't yank them off, extra large for coverage, and they are made of plastic so they wipe off nicely).  They are made with a plastic shower curtain (found on clearance!), and honestly I lost count of how many bibs one shower curtain made - it was a lot!  Once the bibs are all cut out of the shower curtain, you simply sew bias tape around the edges, leaving tails at the neck to create ties.  That's it - you're done! 

Skills required: easy sewing
Approximate time to craft*: 10 minutes
Approximate cost for supplies*: $3 each
*Please remember that these are just approximations. CopyCrafts makes no guarantee of their accuracy.

Monday, May 6, 2013


I love caramel popcorn.  Rather, I should say I love eating caramel popcorn - making it, not so much.  Boiling the sugar with the candy thermometer, and then having to bake and stir and bake and stir . . . such a pain.  This recipe for microwave caramel popcorn lets you skip all the fuss and go straight to the fun part (which also makes it a very dangerous recipe - dieters beware!).

Microwave Caramel Popcorn

20 cups popped corn (about 1 1/4 cups unpopped kernals)
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. corn syrup
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla

Put brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in a glass bowl and microwave 3 minutes on high.  Meanwhile, put half of the popcorn in a clean paper grocery bag or large microwave safe bowl with lid.  Keep the other half of the popcorn in a bowl ready to pour.  Remove syrup from the microwave and stir in baking soda and vanilla well - it may separate but that's okay.  Pour half the syrup over the popcorn in the bag or large bowl, add the rest of the popcorn and pour the remainder of the syrup over it.  Close the bag (or put lid on the bowl) and give it a good shake - at least 80 times.  Open bag or bowl back up and cook in microwave for 1 minute on high.  Take out and shake 40 times.  Put back in microwave for 30 seconds on high.  Take out and shake a bit, then pout out onto clean counter.  In less than one minute you'll have dry popcorn.

Approximate time to make*: 10 minutes
Approximate cost for supplies*: $3 per batch

*Please remember that these are just approximations. CopyCrafts makes no guarantee of their accuracy.

Monday, April 29, 2013


When I first showed this cute little trunk to John at the thrift store, he looked at me like I had lost my mind. I don't really blame him.  I mean, I enjoy the Twilight series as much as the next person - well, maybe not as much as some people (like the kind of person who would use this trunk, as is, to decorate their home).  But I love vintage style trunks, and with a price tag of $3, I told John to have a little faith in me, and promised him he would like it in the end.  I think I've fulfilled my promise.

I started by removing the hardware with a screwdriver.  The leather strips I left on.  Then I cut fabric to roughly the right size to cover a side and wrap over the top and bottom.  I covered that side of the trunk with Modge Podge, and smoothed the fabric over it.  Then I pushed the edges of the fabric under the leather strips with a flat head screwdriver.  I repeated this on all sides, and then replaced the hardware.  To cover the raw edges of the fabric on the inside and bottom, I glued in some black ribbon. 

Cost breakdown:  $3 for the trunk, $2 for the fabric (about 1/3 yard), and $1 for the ribbon, for a grand total of $6! 

Approximate time to craft*: 3 hours

Approximate cost for supplies*: $6
*Please remember that these are just approximations. CopyCrafts makes no guarantee of their accuracy.

Monday, April 22, 2013


Last week I organized a Seed Starting Party for the women of my church - and we had so much fun!  You could use this same idea for a fun girl's night.

Seed packet invitations.
 I started by finding these beautiful vintage looking printable seed packets here.  I used these (and a little help from Photoshop) to create the poster (above), and invitations. I think the invitations were my favorite detail.  The seed packets print kind of small, so I enlarged them as big as I could while still fitting on one page.  Then we assembled the seed packets (just cut, fold and glue), and inserted a page with the party details into the packet.  If I had more budget, I would have printed the information on the back of the seed packet, and filled them with something like chocolate covered sunflower seeds.  But they turned out cute nonetheless.  We had some extra invitations, so I sewed those together across the top 1/4" to make a quick and cute banner.

We began the night by inviting several avid gardeners to talk about their gardens and answer any gardening questions people might have.  I learned a ton - have you ever heard that you can use a bug zapper to get rid of those icky bugs that destroy your fruit trees instead of spraying them (I'm excited to try this, hopefully it will work!).  They talked and answered questions for about 45 minutes, and then the real fun began! 

Our seed starts.
I found a tutorial for making newspaper pots here.  I tested their method at home and found that using a half sheet of newspaper (instead of a whole sheet), and then taping the sides and bottom worked a lot better for me.  The great thing about these little pots is that they are free (which was fabulous for our budget!), and if you take the tape off you can plant them directly in the ground.  After a quick demonstration, everyone made their own pots and filled them with seed starting mix.  It is important to use seed starting mix, and not potting soil or dirt.  You will need about 2 cups (or half a quart) for each person to fill 4 pots.  We provided plastic plates (from the dollar store) to use as trays to hold the pots.  Everyone was asked to bring one packet of any type of seed to share, so once the pots were ready we planted whatever we liked.  We provided popsicle sticks to label the pots with what type of seed was planted, but the pots are so short they didn't work very well.  In the future I would just provide sharpies and have people write directly on the newspaper pots.  Then we misted everything with squirt bottles, and cover the plate with plastic wrap.  This took about 30 minutes  for everyone to finish.  We also sent everyone home with instructions on how to care for their seedlings and harden them off before planting.

Brownie bites.
Now for the most important part - refreshments!  I had seen these cute little brownie bites with sprigs of mint in them in a magazine and thought they would be perfect for a seed starting party!  I asked a member of our comittee to take this on, and she went above and beyond!  The brownies are bake in the little mini-muffin tins, and she used frosting to hold the mint on.  Then she put them all on a bed of crushed up cookie crumbs and added the gummy worms for effect.  So cute! 

If you are planning on throwing your own seed starting party, here is link with lots of helpful information on the technicalities of starting seeds.  Let me know how your party goes!

Monday, April 15, 2013


We've been in need of some throw pillows for our couches for a VERY long time.  I had three requirements for these pillows: 1. They had to be a bold color.  I play it safe with color most of the time, so most of our house is very neutral.  I feel like pillows are easily replaced, and therefore a safe place to put in color.  2.  They could not be boring.  I don't know why, but I just have this thing against a pillow with no pattern or motif or something to make it special.  Just a personal preference I guess.  3.  It had to have some brown in it.  We bought these (rather expensive) leather couches when we first moved into our home.  In the showroom they were the perfect shade of chocolate brown.  Of course, the couches that showed up were more like a dark chocolate brown.  If you don't know they're brown, they look black.  The store was not very sympathetic - different dye lots, blah, blah, blah.   In an attempt to help the eye see brown couches, and not black ones, I wanted to make sure the pillows had brown in them. 

So off to the fabric store I went, and I found these red and white linen fabrics that I loved.  Then I was inspired by the hand painted linen towels on  It's a great tutorial, and was the perfect solution for adding brown into the pillows. 

Last week I shared with you my secret about frames.  Well, here is my secret about pillows - I never buy new pillow forms.  As with frames, thrift stores always have shelves full of pillows for $2-3 each.  If you were to take all the pillow covers off of my pillows, you would have the world's ugliest collection of pillows!  But unless you read this post, you'd never guess.  Because I use old pillows, I line the pillow cover with quilt batting, which smooths out any little lumps or bumps. 

Skills required: easy machine sewing
Approximate time to craft*: 2 hours each

Approximate cost for supplies*: $5 each
*Please remember that these are just approximations. CopyCrafts makes no guarantee of their accuracy.