Archive for the ‘Kids Crafts’ Category

DIY Burlap Pom-Pom Wreath

Tuesday, January 28th, 2020

DIY Burlap Pom Pom Wreath Header

A painted wreath form becomes the base to this modern wreath. Burlap ribbon and wired ribbon are gathered into ruffled pom-pom flowers for the festive accents. Throw in an ostrich feather and you have everything you need for this inside out burlap wreath.

The self-proclaimed queen of wreath making is back and I can’t wait to share another wreath tutorial for a modern wire wreath for your front door.

This slimmed down wreath is particularly awesome if you have a glass door and your wreaths get smashed between the two doors.

While I have adorned this for wreath for Valentine’s Day, the metal base can be used over and over again with fresh floral picks, different colors of burlap, or different ribbons.

The possibilities are endless.

The best part about this wreath?

The accessories take just five minutes and don’t require any special pom pom maker to pull of this diy project.

DIY Burlap Pom-Pom Wreath

(don’t forget to download the Rakuten app to save on craft supplies- read all about it or just sign up here and get $10 of your first purchase)

DIY Burlap Pom Pom Wreath Supplies List

DIY Burlap Pom Pom Wreath Supplies List

DIY Burlap Pom Pom Wreath Supplies

Supplies Needed:

18″ Wire Wreath Frame

Metallic Acrylic Paint– pick your favorite shade or use my exact match

Foam Brush

Paper Plate or disposable cup for paint

Ostrich Feather

2 ⅜” Wide Burlap Ribbon (this is linked to exactly what I bought or search for your own favorite colors) NOTE: you will need 9 yards of burlap ribbon to replicate this project

2 ½” Wired Buffalo Plaid Ribbon (this is linked to exactly what I bought or search for your own favorite pattern) NOTE: you will need 8 yards of ribbon to replicate this project

Tape Measure

Cotton Twine (embroidery thread is pictured here, but I found it too fragile)

Embroidery Needle

Hot Glue Gun

Glue Sticks

Vintage Buttons or Vintage Jewelry for Flower Centers

Scissors

Floral Wire (this is the kind I love)

Directions:

Painting a Floral Wreath Frame

Paint your metal wreath with metallic acrylic paint.

You can just brush it on or you can try to create a bit of texture by sponging and then lifting your foam brush to give it a little more texture.

Set aside to allow plenty of dry time for your wreath base. It should take approximately an hour.

Burlap Pom Poms & Ribbon Pom Poms

While your wreath is drying, make 3 burlap pom poms and two ribbon pom poms for your accessories. You will find this step-by-step 5 minute craft tutorial over here.

After your wreath has dried, add another coat (if necessary) or touch up the paint as needed.

Allow to fully dry before proceeding to the next step.

Attaching the Ostrich Feather to Wreath

Once the wreath is dry, we can begin assembling everything for the wreath. 

My wreath form was still drying, but this picture should show you exactly how to do it.

Add your ostrich feather to hug around the wreath and secure it, about 3/4’s of the way down, and then at the base of the feather.

Mapping Out Placement of Burlap Pom Pom Flowers

Once you have your burlap pom poms and ribbon pom poms done, lay them out to figure out the perfect placement.

Remember, odd numbers of accessories are pleasing to the eye.

This wreath has 5 flowers, but you could add 7 or even 9, depending on how large you want the accessories to be.

Using the ends of the twine, on the back of the pom poms, tie your accessories to the wreath form. If necessary, add a dab of hot glue to secure it in place for your wreath.

DIY Burlap Pom Pom Wreath

Painted Wreath Form

DIY Burlap Pom Pom Wreath

DIY Burlap Pom Pom Wreath

That’s it! It is super easy to hang since the wreath form is exposed!

I can’t wait to see your wreaths and I hope this inspires you to create a special wreath for your front door this year!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

As a RewardStyle affiliate I earn from affiliate links.

Looking for more wreath ideas for every season? Check out my favorites below.

fabric floral wreath make a floral fabric wreath out of scrap fabrics

fabric rag wreath make a fabric rag wreath out of scrap fabrics

diy peep wreath turn peeps into a wreath with toothpicks (this lasted FOR YEARS- not kidding!)

How to Make a Yarn Pom Pom Wreath from MomAdvice.com  diy yarn pom pom wreath

(don’t feel like neutral? try this craft with colored pom poms. The multi colored would be so fun for your home and you can use different size pom poms)

burlap wreath tutorial make a burlap wreath for your front door

Happy crafting, friends!

DIY Burlap Pom Pom Wreath

 

5 Minute Craft: Burlap Pom Pom Tutorial

Monday, January 27th, 2020

5 Minute Craft: Burlap Pom Pom Tutorial Header

 

This fast burlap craft couldn’t be easier. With just five minutes, you can make these pom pom flowers for wreaths, gifts, or to make into a burlap pom pom garland. Use this tutorial to make your own with burlap or your favorite wired ribbon. This is a perfect kids craft idea or for the beginner crafter in you!

This is that weird time of year, after Christmas, when I’m looking for craft ideas to fill those empty spots in our home.  I decided that it would be wonderful to have a little nod to Valentine’s Day with a new wreath for our front door.

I wanted to create something unique this year so I went to my button jar to see if I had anything to incorporate into a piece for our home.

Vintage Jewelry for Burlap Pom Poms

Vintage Jewelry for Burlap Pom Pom Flowers

Years ago, my grandmother had shared some of my great-grandma’s costume jewelry with me because she thought I might enjoy crafting with it.

In that stash, were numerous gorgeous clip-on earrings that would make the perfect centers for flowers.

Crafting is so much more special with a little history blended in, isn’t it?

Today I’m showing off this easy 5 minute craft to make burlap and ribbon pom pom flowers to adorn a wreath in your house.

I’ll share my full burlap wreath tutorial for you tomorrow, but to get started, you will need to whip up a few of these easy burlap flowers.

5 Minute Craft: Burlap Pom Poms Tutorial

(don’t forget to download the Rakuten app to save on craft supplies- read all about it or just sign up here and get $10 of your first purchase)

Supplies Needed:

2 ⅜” Wide Burlap Ribbon (this is linked to exactly what I bought or search for your own favorite colors)

2 ½” Wired Buffalo Plaid Ribbon (this is linked to exactly what I bought or search for your own favorite pattern)

Tape Measure

Cotton Twine

Embroidery Needle

Hot Glue Gun

Glue Sticks

Vintage Buttons or Vintage Jewelry for Flower Centers

Scissors

Directions for Burlap Pom Poms (or Ribbon Pom Poms):

Cutting Burlap for Pom Pom

Measure 3 feet of burlap ribbon and cut with your scissors.

Cotton Twine for Burlap Pom Pom Flower

Cut a foot of cotton twine. Knot one end, leaving a generous tail, and thread your embroidery needle on the other end of the twine.

Starting the Twine for Burlap Pom Pom Flower

Threading the Twine for Burlap Pom Pom Flower

Fold the rough edge down and then start your running stitch just a little past the tail of the burlap. The reason we are doing this is because it has a tendency to fray and we want to start with a clean line.

Stitching a Burlap Pom Pom Flower

Now we will be doing stitches down the length of the edge.

Gathering Stitches for Burlap Pom Pom Flower

You can feed these individually, or make it quicker by threading back-and-forth and grabbing multiple stitches at a time.

Once you get to the end, remove your embroidery needle.

Threading Twine Through Burlap Pom Pom

Bunching Up Stitches for Burlap Pom Pom

Bunching Up Stitches for Burlap Pom Pom

Now comes the fun part.

Grab the end of the twine (that once held your embroidery needle) and start pulling so the burlap bunches up and starts creating the pom-pom look we are after.

I also like to pull the opposite end to really bring these two sides together into shape.

5 Minute Craft: Burlap Pom Pom Tutorial

5 Minute Craft: Burlap Pom Pom Tutorial

Finishing Burlap Pom Pom With Vintage Jewelry

Now you can see exactly where your center will go to your burlap flower.

Apply your button or jewelry piece to the center of the burlap with a little hot glue.

Finished Back of Burlap Pom Pom

Finish by cleaning up the tails on the back of your pom pom.

For tomorrow’s wreath, we will leave these tails so we can secure these to our wreath.

If you are tying these to something, for example, you’ll just want to leave these tails on.

Prefer to make a pom pom flower out of ribbon? This same technique works with your favorite ribbon.

Starting a Ribbon Pom Pom

For this one, I used 4 feet of ribbon instead.

You can play around with the lengths too. There is no wrong way to do this fun craft.

I picked this buffalo plaid and found the pattern also helped me with spacing out those stitches evenly.

Ribbon Pom Pom Flower

You will do everything the exact same way, but it yields two different texture textures for your pieces.

I will say that I do prefer a wired ribbon because it gives you the ability to fan it out and allow it to really hold its shape.

Finished Ribbon Pom Pom

5 Minute Craft: Burlap Pom Pom Finished

How fun are these?

I hope you love this tutorial as much as me!

Tomorrow I will share how I used these beauties in my wreath for Valentine’s Day!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

As a RewardStyle affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Looking for more burlap or pom-pom crafts? I’ve got you covered!

how to make an autumn burlap wreath from momadvice.com learn to make a ruffled burlap wreath

The Easiest Burlap Wreath You Will Ever Make from MomAdvice.com learn how to make a burlap wreath that you can switch out for the seasons

pom pom flower bouquets learn how to make a yarn pom pom with this pom pom bouquet tutorial

How to Make a Yarn Pom Pom Wreath from MomAdvice.com craft up pom poms for this viral anthropologie inspired pom pom wreath

Happy crafting, friends!

5 Minute Craft: Burlap Pom Pom Tutorial Header

 

Easy Cupcake Liner Holiday Trees

Tuesday, January 21st, 2020

Try this easy DIY with simple styrofoam floral cones and your favorite patterned cupcake liner for ruffles. While this craft is showcasing a Valentine’s Day tree, you can make these for ANY holiday!

Valentine’s Day is one of those tricky holidays that can quickly become awfully cheesy. Although we don’t do a lot of decorating, these cupcake liner trees have a way of making it into our decorating every year.

I thought it would be fun to share this craft with you today because it is such an affordable one that would be perfect to do with your family to celebrate the season.

If you have a mantle or coffee table that could use some festive décor, then you will love this easy and inexpensive project.

What I love about projects like this is that it is such an easy template to follow with so many other holidays. Decorate these foam tree trunks and turn them into Christmas trees, St. Patrick’s Day trees, Easter trees, birthday trees, or whatever else your heart desires.

Can I get a Mom’s Day Off tree to put out so I can get a break?

All you need are $10 in materials and you will have two festive trees in less than thirty minutes. Now that is a craft that I can get behind.

Best of all?

This one is SO EASY that it is a fun one to do with your kids each year. Whether you are on the hunt for Valentine’s Day or a Christmas craft, this one checks all the boxes.

Let’s get started!

Cupcake Liner Holiday Trees

Easy Cupcake Liner Holiday Trees Supplies

 

Supplies List:

2- 3-7/8 x 8-7/8 inch Styrofoam floral cones

2- 3-7/8 x 11-7/8 inch Styrofoam floral cones

Printed Cupcake Liners (holiday cupcake liners in one color or you can do layers of alternating colors and patterns)

Straight Pins

Scissors

Festive floral pick (I split one between two trees)

Directions for Holiday Cupcake Liner Trees:

Easy Cupcake Liner Holiday Trees Supplies

Cutting Edges Off Cupcake Liners

Cupcake Liner Edges Cut for Tree Remove one cupcake liner from your package and cut off the ruffled edge. For the small trees, you will need 12 ruffled edges and for the larger trees you will need 14-16 ruffled edges.

Attaching Cupcake Liners

Attaching Cupcake Liners Starting from the bottom of your tree, attach a ruffle and pin into place. For the base of the tree, you will be overlapping two ruffled edges to cover the base. Make sure that you secure the pins right at the top of the ruffle so they do not show.

Ruffling the Cupcake Liner Trees

cupcake liners to the top of tree

Repeat the ruffling until you have reached almost the top of the base, leaving just the tip of the base exposed.

attaching top cupcake liner to tree

finishing the top of a cupcake liner tree

scrunching cupcake liner down on tree

Now it is time to finish the top of your tree. Using a full cupcake liner, place it on top and press down to shape it on the top of the tree.

final ruffle on cupcake liner tree

Add an additional ruffle (with no top) around the outside and then pin into place with a pink or red pin.

valentine's day floral picks for top

Finish with a Valentine’s Day floral pick (or a holiday floral pick of your choosing to match your theme). You can now display these on your mantle or place on a cake stand or tray for a unique addition to a coffee table.

Easy Cupcake Liner Holiday Trees

Easy Cupcake Liner Holiday Trees

Easy Cupcake Liner Holiday Trees

I hope you can diy this easy craft and add a little Valentine’s Day festivity to your home. I plan to get these out every Valentine’s Day, they are just that cute!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Love these holiday cupcake liner trees? Here are a few other great craft projects we think you will like!

DIY String Art Pattern Free Heart Template Header diy string art with free heart template

The Easiest Burlap Wreath You Will Ever Make from MomAdvice.com the easiest burlap wreath you’ll ever make

7 Easy Scarves and Cowls to Knit from MomAdvice.com 7 scarves and cowls to knit (free patterns)

DIY Chunky Knit Blanket from MomAdvice.com diy an affordable chunky knit hygge blanket

Happy crafting, friends!

Easy Cupcake Liner Holiday Trees

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DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat (Video)

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

DIY Roll-Up Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

 

This no-sew felt puzzle mat is the perfect foundation to build your puzzles on, allowing you to relocate your puzzle when you need to. Check out this fun DIY in honor of National Puzzle Day! 

This post was created in partnership with Waverly Inspirations. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

What shows your love for someone more than something handmade by you?

Today I am sharing a tutorial for an easy no-sew DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat that I created for my family.

This mat makes it easy to relocate your puzzle projects when you need to use your table and it’s made with just a few inexpensive materials!

Are you addicted to jigsaw puzzles like us?

My kids are at a fun age right now where we are really enjoying playing board games and assembling puzzles together.

Right now we are tackling 1,000 piece puzzles which feels so ADULT. We haven’t had the courage to go beyond that size yet, but I’m sure we will get there.

Even after our kids have headed to bed, the hubby and I spend time together listening to podcasts or good music, while piecing together puzzles. I find it be quite therapeutic after sitting in front of a screen all day. It helps me decompress in the evening while giving my brain a break from my to-do lists.

To maximize our jigsaw puzzle collection, a couple friends and I trade puzzles after we finish them which has been great because we always have something to work on, while keeping it rather frugal in the process.

Trading puzzles has been a great way to keep our collection fresh and continue to keep our kids interested in putting these together with us.

My only gripe with puzzles is where to relocate them when we need to eat at the table.

We also happen to have a, “helper,” in our house who likes to flip puzzle pieces when her mother is ignoring her (we love you, Lulu the Cat!). I thought a mat might be a great way to discourage our helper and could be a quick way to clear the table for the dinner hour!

Let’s create this easy no-sew roll-up jigsaw puzzle mat!

DIY Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat Tutorial

 

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

Supplies Needed (all of these supplies can be found at Walmart!)

1 yard of Waverly Inspirations Fabric  (check out the fresh new Valentine’s Day prints,  I picked a classic pink gingham!)

1 yard of felt fabric (any coordinating color)

1 package of Waverly Inspirations Ribbon (any coordinating color)

Cardboard tube (you can use a durable mailing tube, gift wrap roll, or even use plastic PVC pipe)

Razor blade (if cutting to size)

Hemming Tape or fabric glue

Scissors

Waverly Chalk Paint in a coordinating color  and paint brush (optional, but you can paint the cardboard roll to coordinate- I decided to leave mine in its natural state!)

PUZZLES!! (check out my suggestions below for a few of our faves!)


 

How to Make a DIY Jigsaw Puzzle Mat

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

1. Much like our reversible seat cushion project, we are going to begin by lining up the two fabrics with the right-side of the fabric facing INSIDE towards each other. That means the wrong sides will be facing out!

Trim your fabric and felt to the same size.

Remember, this mat can be ANY size that you want.

If you want it be the size of your kitchen table, for example, measure that first and use this as your guide for creating your mat. I created a generous mat for our large puzzles!

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

2. Once your fabric has been trimmed, use your fabric tape and line all the sides , making sure to leave an opening so that you can turn the mat out once you have sealed all the seams.

Using a very hot iron, carefully and slowly, begin ironing to seal the seam (you can see another example of what sealing this seam looks like over here!).

Typically doing this requires pinning, but I did find that the felt held the tape in place and made it an easy project to do without pinning.

Do this along all the sides (make sure you left that opening to turn it out!!) until the two pieces are fused together.

Carefully, turn the right sides out and then finish by sealing that last opening with fabric tape or a little fabric glue.

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

3. Trim your cardboard tube to the length of your finished mat.

If you want to paint this, you can! I finished each end with a little tied ribbon that can be used to tie the entire mat up when we are storing it.

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

As you can see, you can roll up those puzzles (take your time and roll carefully!) when not in use.

Please keep in mind, it is not recommended for  long-term storage since it can damage your puzzle pieces, but it is recommended for a quick relocation so you can use your table when you need it.

I am so excited to break this in and I’m guessing it is going to be a smart item to take when we rent our summer cottages too!

Looking for a few great jigsaw puzzles? Here are a few of my favorites!

I had one of those puzzle

great classic books puzzle

story time puzzle

nancy drew puzzle

harry potter puzzle

nevertheless she persisted puzzle

harry potter puzzle

 

video games collection puzzle

old bookstore puzzle

color me puzzle

 

 

 

PS- Seriously, start a puzzle exchange with your friends. You won’t regret it!

Looking for ways to store those jigsaw puzzles? This strategy works so well at our house!

Happy crafting!!

diy-jigsaw-puzzle-mat-9

Do you want more craft inspiration from Waverly? Try these!

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions

Fabric Wreath & Matching Garland

Fabric Bulletin Board Tutorial

Painting Pumpkins With Acrylic Paints

DIY No-Sew Hand Warmers

DIY Ottoman Serving Tray

15-Minute Scrappy Fabric Trees

Kid Craft: Easy Technique for Painting Gift Wrap

DIY Phone Charging Station

This post was created in partnership with Waverly Inspirations. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

DIY Roll-up Puzzle Mat

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How to Make a Homeless Care Package (Free Printable Supplies List)

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

How to Make Homeless Care Packages from MomAdvice.com

Blessing bags for the homeless are such a beautiful act of kindness for those in need. Today’s post will show you how to make homeless kits for those in need. These hygiene kits are handy to keep in your car, for those that live on the street, or can be given as gift bags for your local homeless shelter. Be sure to print out our free printable supplies list for your homeless care kit.

One thing that you may not know about our family is that we are really passionate about caring for the homeless.

Creating a homeless care package (also known as a Blessing Bag) can be one fantastic way that your entire family can be involved in caring for those in need.

Today we want to provide a checklist of supplies for the homeless bags, a local resources sheet you can print out (if you are in our area), and some tips for involving the whole family in this project.

After all, homeless gift bags are a great idea to help teach your children kindness.

These homeless packs have been replicated by so many people and are the perfect activity for volunteer organizations you may be part of.

By involving others, you can alleviate some of the expenses by asking everyone to bring the materials to craft these bags.

Distribute the list and allow each attendee to bring travel size items, food, socks or bags to help the homeless in your area.

How to Make Homeless Care Packages from MomAdvice.com

I also appreciate that these homeless care packages can be prepared for your local shelters or kept tucked away in the trunk of your car for those you may see on the street looking for your help.

I love feeling armed in these situations and these kits are a simple way to show how much you care.

Over the past couple of years, I have also had the opportunity to work at our local food bank and food pantry. What many people don’t realize is that many of these items cannot be purchased using food stamps.

Items that are not food (like toothpaste, paper products, deodorant, shampoo, toothbrushes, etc…) are not eligible and that is why these items are often in high demand at church community pantries.

It is why these are the items that I choose to donate to our shelter each year.

How to Make a Homeless Care Package from MomAdvice.com

I wouldn’t be truthful if I didn’t tell you that my husband inspires me every day with his giving heart. Last winter, he was coming home late from work because he would see people in need and run to stores to get them supplies and gift cards.

That is his heart.

That is why I love him.

If there is one thing I firmly believe in, it is that giving should be a family affair.

We have to lead our children by our example.

I want my children to remember that what made our family special is that we always gave with our whole hearts.

My kids assisted in every aspect of this project.

My son came with me and did the number crunching on a good old-fashioned calculator, my daughter helped sort and organize all of the items we bought, and both kids helped fill the bags with all of the necessary items.

Here Are My 3 Essential Elements to a Great Homeless Care Package

Feed Their Needs

One of the greatest gifts you can give to someone who is homeless is personal hygiene items and food to nourish their bodies.

Begin by picking up items that will satisfy this area in their life first.

Simple items like shampoo, a razor, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, deodorant, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a comb, a bar of soap, and tissues are all great items to keep on hand.

Food like granola bars, crackers with peanut butter, beef jerky, trail mixes, dried fruits, and a bottle of water are also great items to tuck into your bags.

If you have the funds, small denominator gift cards (we did $5 Walmart gift cards) can also be great to give so that they can pick up a meal or item(s) they might need.

How to Make Homeless Care Packages from MomAdvice.com

Provide Warmth

We live in Indiana and the winters here are brutal for homeless people.

I can’t imagine how cold it would be to stand on the streets without the proper items

I need for warmth.

Add items like thermal boot socks, gloves, scarves, and hats to your gift bags.

Items like these may seem out of your financial reach, but I found all of these at the dollar store and the sets of gloves were a mere $.50 each.

Feed Their Souls

I am sure it goes without saying, but feeding someone’s soul is just as important as feeding their needs.

You can feed their souls in a variety of ways depending on your families beliefs and resources.

We created a local resources list (available for local residents to download) that they can tap into for further resources in our town.

A note that lets them know that they are on your prayer list, a note of encouragement by your children, or a scripture that you find comforting can also be excellent additions.

If these are not enough ideas, I encourage you to spend a bit of time browsing through the comments on this post.

Many people regularly volunteer at their shelters and food banks and have some great ideas to help.

Please also know, that we are real people (sometimes that doesn’t seem that way on the website, am I right?) and we did OUR personal best to put these together so we appreciate your KIND words on this post and definitely encourage you to share your own must-have items in a care package while being respectful of others in these comment threads.

How Do I Order My Homeless Care Package Supplies in Bulk?

Did you know that you can purchase items from Dollar Tree IN BULK.

Looking to save even more? Consider using this incredible rebates app to get cash back on ALL your holiday purchases.

We were able to place a bulk order with Dollar Tree and pick up the items we needed for these kits from our local store.

Don’t have room in your car?

No worries!

They can ship all the items directly to you.

How cool is that?

What Our Readers Suggest Adding to Your Hygiene Kits for the Homeless

I love seeing what contributions YOU recommend for these packs! Here are some of my favorites you shared!

“My husband and I travel a lot when he’s working on contract.

I save all the little complimentary shampoos, conditions, soaps, etc and when I have quite a few saved, I sew up pretty drawstring bags, divide the items I’ve save between the bags and then donate them to our local women’s shelter.

I’ve also started adding toothpastes and toothbrushes that I purchase to the bags.

Many times women arrive with nothing but the clothes on their back and this way they can be given their own personal care kit. I make each bag different so that they don’t feel like they are getting something that is assembly line, but something that was made just for them.”

“Many homeless also have dogs.

Perhaps you could add some things like treats, small pouches or pop-top cans of food, grooming supplies and toys.

And with the winter months coming, both owner and pet need to stay warm and dry…some large trash bags to put on the ground to keep from getting wet and even colder.

And I have seen fleece throws just recently at Walmart for like $2!”

“I currently make and deliver hot chocolate to a few homeless people I see on my way home from work (I work in downtown Chicago) and I pass out cold cans of pop in the summer.

I also make plates of food from leftovers after work luncheons and pass them out after work. (I don’t consider this stealing because I know that by 4:30 anything left in the kitchen will be thrown away.) I

know it isn’t not much, It won’t make a huge difference in the world, but it might make a world of difference to the person I’m helping.

Thanks for the list. I’m glad to see there are others out there who are concerned for the homeless and actually do something about it.

I hope the care package(s) I pass out, make the receiver(s) feel loved, thought of and cared for.”

“This is a wonderful idea! I got so excited when I saw this-I immediately began to think of other items that might be added, such a bar of soap or bottle of body wash, plastic glass and mug, plastic cutlery and plate, tissues, pen and notebook, small clock, personal wipes, instant oatmeal packets, instant soup packets, hot chocolate packets, instant noodle packets, towel, facecloth, thermal blanket, and in the summer, a sun hat, sunscreen, inexpensive umbrella and a fly swatter!

Many of these things can be found on sale, at Walmart, and the dollar store. They don’t have to be bought all at once and do lend themselves as a project for a family, like yourselves, or amongst a group of friends, a Sunday School class, a school class or a Brownie troop.”

“You might also check with your school district if they have children.

All our local schools have a homeless liaison who works to get food, clothing and housing for homeless families.”

“I regularly carry around coupon books from various restaurants, but this goes even further.”

“As truck drivers, my husband and I see many people standing on the exit ramps of the interstate highways.

We give ziplock bags with toiletries, (in a separate bag) and foods like you mentioned, plus single serve packages of oatmeal, grits, hot cocoa, ect. I add pack of sugar, jelly, peanut butter, plasticware, napkins, whatever we get from the take out and fast food restaurants.

I also pick up dollar store gloves, hats, socks, ect. We have added stamped postcards, Christmas cards and candy canes in season.

Notepads and pens are welcomed as are throws we get at thrift stores.

We were giving the gift books from the fast food places, but now they’ve gone to gift cards.

Chapstick is a good idea, as are deodorants, comb, sanitary items for the women, (yes, we see homeless women and children too).

We give small toys, stickers and tattoos for the kids. We stay in motels a lot and always ask housekeeping for extras.”

“I love this post. I am in the middle of coordinating a SOCKS party here in Nashville.

We are getting the big, thermal socks, and filling them with different items for the homeless.

We’ve been fortunate to have my dentist donate the toothpaste and floss, and McDonald’s donated 1,000 Cards for a free dollar menu item.

We also have tons of shampoo, conditioner, and soaps from hotels.

We’ll stuff it with snacks, hand warmers, and other items (many on your list).

We are getting together for our SOCK party and letting the kids stuff the socks and make the tags, which will say “I care”.

The kids are excited and I love what it’s teaching them. Thanks for inspiring others to give back!”

Aren’t my readers incredible? Just think of the possibilities with this one!

God has been so good to us, but 10 years ago we were in a very different place than where we are now.

My husband was unemployed for almost an entire year, our financial situation was a house of cards, and my heart was in a bad place.

Although I don’t like to admit it, I wondered what my purpose on this earth even was.

I never have forgotten that dark place and it is why we still try to be so careful with the resources we have been given and why I have such a tender place in my heart for those who are struggling.

If you would like to read more about it, I encourage you to read my book where I share how we recovered from this difficult financial period in our life.

Being careful though doesn’t mean that you can’t be a giver.

There are fantastic ways to give, both big and small, around the holidays.

Be sure to check our list of ten painless ways to give back to charities to help you get started.

I call these smaller ways to give the, “scraps of life giving.” I have talked a lot about that with my partnership with Pure Charity as well!

We want to help you give back to your community! Here are some resources to do just that!

Grab our Free Homeless Supply Checklist for your your care packages.

Don’t just click on the picture, head to this link to grab a full-size PDF version!

Grab our Local Resources List for your care packages (if you don’t live in Michiana, you can use this as a template for your own sheet)! Don’t just click on the picture, head to this link to grab a full-size PDF version!

Looking for more great ways to give back? Here are a few other great ideas!

diy no sew hand warmers

cabled ear warmer pattern diy cabled ear warmers

diy chunky knit blanket pattern

How do you give back in your community? How do you teach your kids to be givers?

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this post contains affiliate links.

How to Make a Homeless Care Package from MomAdvice.com

How to Make Homeless Care Packages from MomAdvice.com

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Best Advent Calendars for Kids (FREE Printable!!)

Sunday, November 24th, 2019

Best Advent Calendars For Kids from MomAdvice.com

Looking for advent calendar for kids. This free printable advent calendar includes fun Christmas themed trivia questions for the holiday season. Counting down to Christmas couldn’t be more fun (or more affordable!) Download our countdown to Christmas on the blog today!

I never did an advent calendar growing up so I, honestly, had to look up what the heck these were when other moms talked about them.

In honor of today’s trivia theme, do you know how the advent calendar originated?

As with many of our Christmas traditions, this one originated out of Germany. In the early 20th century, Gerhard Lang’s mother made him a calendar with 24 small candies attached to cardboard, one for each day before Christmas.

Lang grew up and opened Reichhold & Lang printing company where he printed the first Advent cardboard calendar with 24 little pictures. Then, just a few years later, the company printed the first calendar with the little doors that everyone loves to open. 

Just imagine what kind of craft celebrity Gerhard’s mom would have been on Pinterest.

That’s pretty much, an original viral project.

I am so excited to share this fun FREE printable advent calendar with you that our amazing contributor, M.J. designed for us!

Best Advent Calendars For Kids from MomAdvice.com

From our graphic designer, MJ at pars caeli

Advent calendars are just the cutest, right?

That is–until you have to fill/create/arrange them!

This year we’re going simple with our countdown to Christmas, and we want to make it easier for you, too, with a printable calendar.

This Advent Calendar needs just to be cut, folded, and glued.

Fist bump.

You can even have the kids create it.

The days leading up to Christmas are both magical and hectic!

We have Christmas performances and charitable shopping, Santa’s gifting and work parties galore.

I didn’t want our Advent countdown to be another process on the list so we put together something light and fun.

How to Make a Christmas Trivia Advent Calendar for Big Kids

Best Advent Calendars For Kids from MomAdvice.com

How about Christmas trivia?!

We watch Jeopardy around our house (with three kids, twelve and under), and a countdown with trivia seemed like a natural way to learn more and to laugh together as we get nearer to the 25th.

We put together twenty-five trivial (some are pretty ridiculous) questions about Christmas traditions, songs, and movies for the whole family.

In fact, this calendar would be great to put next to the coffee pot at work or as a runner across the dinner table.

My kids have been talking about these questions more than I imagined (“what’s your favorite Christmas song?” and “remember that time we saw…”).

Our holiday experiences can be easy entryways to new conversations and insights.

Let’s make an advent calendar together!


Supplies Needed

Craft paper 

Scissors

Tape

Glue stick

A straight edge or ruler

Our printable calendar 

Best Advent Calendars For Kids from MomAdvice.com

Directions for Your Free Printable Advent Calendar

STEP ONE:

Print out the numbers and trivia questions.

Set the trivia questions aside for now.

To cut your numbers, slice the page first vertically and then horizontally, creating four pieces.

You’ll then cut those four piece vertically, to make equal-sized pieces of paper.

STEP TWO:

Each number paper has light gray dotted lines to show where they should be folded.

With a ruler or straight edge, fold crisply along that line as indicated in two places.

Once you’ve made the folds, bend them the opposite direction to create a folded piece with the number on the front and a flap on the top.

STEP THREE:

Take the trivia questions back out.

Cut those along the dotted edges. Glue the questions into the inside of the numbered papers.

These are not numbered so they can go in any day.

We put ours in randomly.

There’s a question for every day from December 1 through the 25.

STEP FOUR:

Refold the bottom and then the top flap of the numbered rectangle over top of the trivia question (we don’t want anyone peeking until the right day!).

You’ll want to seal the flap shut.

You can do this with glue or tape.

We opted to cut up some adhesive labels into tiny strips so that we could peel back the flaps without destroying the calendar.

Best Advent Calendars For Kids from MomAdvice.com

That’s it!

Attach the questions to a ribbon and hang on the side of your fridge.

Or tape them to a pantry door in the shape of a tree!

Or (super simple) keep calendar days in a bowl on your dinner table, and pull one out every day.

You might find yourselves amazed by how many presents you’d get if you received all of them from the 12 Days of Christmas or laughing about what the word mistletoe really means!!

(Oh, I’ve said too much. You have to wait to open that day!)

Happy Christmas countdown from our family to yours!!

Wishing you a simply joyful holiday.

Xoxo,

MJ

SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN TO ACCESS THE PRINTABLES!

Best Advent Calendars For Kids from MomAdvice.com

Best Advent Calendars For Kids from MomAdvice.com

 

Looking for more DIY Advent Calendar Ideas? Here are a few others that I’m loving!

Adorable Toilet Paper Roll Advent Calendar– This fun advent calendar is made from something everyone has on hand – toilet paper tubes! Fill it up with small toys, your favorite candy or cute socks! A fun way to upcycle and create fun memories at the same time!

Use What You Have Advent Calendar– Turn your muffin tins into creative advent calendars with this fun holiday bucket list idea.

Christmas Book Advent Calendar – Each book is wrapped with a number for the kids to open each night before bed. No need to purchase new books every year, only if the age out. Making reusable number gift tags to put on the books each year keeps this a great green alternative.

Christmas Tree Ornament Advent– This mini tree makes counting down super fun! Simply hang an ornament every day!

DIY Paper Advent Calendar– Create an easy DIY paper advent calendar with free printable templates for the boxes! This handmade advent calendar is a fun Christmas papercraft and lovely holiday gift idea for kids and teens.

No Time to DIY an Advent Calendar? Here are some of the Best Advent Calendars for Kids!

If you don’t have time to make an advent calendar, here are some MomAdvice Advent Calendar favorites!

Toy advent calendars can be so fun because they feature 24 fun things to look forward to as you welcome in the holiday.

So many advent calendars are featuring sets that include adorable fun trinkets, magnetic ornaments, or mini figures. Find a set with features and surprises that your kids will never expect.

Advent calendars are such a fun bonus surprise gift under the Christmas tree, aren’t they?

Little People Advent Calendar

Crayola Christmas Countdown

Paw Patrol Advent Calendar

LEGO Friends Advent Calendar

LEGO City Advent Calendar

Grab Your Free Advent Calendar Printables!

Click Here for Advent Numbers Printable

Click Here for Trivia Sheet Printable

Love this post? Here are some of my favorite Christmas posts on the site!

100 Unique Stocking Stuffers Everyone Will Love 100 unique stocking stuffers for everyone on your list

Unique Gift Ideas for Kids of All Ages unique gift ideas for kids of ALL ages

Easy Christmas Tree Cinnamon Rolls christmas tree cinnamon rolls for christmas morning

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

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DIY Holiday Yarn Trees

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees from MomAdvice.com.

Bring the holidays to your mantle with these simple DIY Christmas trees! This holiday craft is so easy and inexpensive that you can make a few and display them together or give them as gorgeous hostess gifts. Make the DIY holiday yarn trees in Christmas colors or your favorites to add a festive touch to your Christmas decor!

 

What could be more fun than decorating for the holiday season?

For this month’s holiday decor project, I wanted to share with you a fun DIY project for creating festive yarn trees that you can create to decorate a ledge, table, or mantle in your home. 

You will only need a few affordable supplies from your craft shop to create this craft.

Don’t think of these as only a decoration for Christmas.

These are beautiful to display all holiday season long, especially in a nice warm neutral yarn!

 

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees

Supplies List

2-    3-7/8 x 8-7/8  inch  Styrofoam floral cones

2- 3-7/8 x 11-7/8 inch  Styrofoam floral cones

4 glass candlestick holders (optional)

2 skeins of inexpensive yarn (in your favorite yarn color)

Small & Large Clover Pom-Pom Makers (unless making pom-poms by hand)

Hot glue gun

Glue Sticks

Straight Pins

Scissors

3.75 mm straight yarn needles

2-4.00 mm double-pointed needles

 

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees

 

Instructions for Making Your Yarn Trees

1. For each of the smaller trees, you will need approximately 73-75 small pom poms. I am in love with my pom-pom maker for making these and have provided a picture tutorial above, if you would like to use these too.  Make sure to give your pom-poms a nice trim, to even up any uneven spots.

 

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees

 

2. Once you have made all of your pom-poms, it is time to assemble them to your tree-form. Grab your hot glue gun and apply a dab of glue in the center of the pom-pom (where you have tied the string to gather everything.  Apply the pom-poms to the tree, starting at the bottom of the cone and working your way around the tree. Try not to line these up all evenly, but stagger them in each row to make it look more like a real tree!

 

3. Continue adding pom-poms until you get to the top of the tree, making sure all of the tree-form is completely covered.

 

4. Make a large pom-pom in a contrasting color and secure it with hot glue, in the center again, and add it to the top of the tree as your star.

 

5. Finish by giving your tree a trim, especially at the top, to trim all of the yarn down to make it look more like a tree.

 

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees

 

6. For an easy yarn-wrapped tree, begin by adding a dab of hot glue to the top of your taller tree-forms. Begin by applying your yarn in a swirled motion at the top. Add one more dab of glue at the top and start wrapping your tree-form all the way around it until you are about a half-inch from the bottom.

 

7. Add one more dab of glue and then finish adding the yarn until you reach the bottom of the form. Clip the yarn and secure the end with a little hot glue.

 

8. Decorate this tree-form any way that you would like. If you are not a knitter, there are many varieties of ways you can decorate these yarn trees. You can top with a pom-pom in an alternating color, create a multi-colored pom-pom for topping, braid yarn to create a garland, or create some garland out of a contrasting color.

 

9. If you are a knitter, knit a 3-stitch i-cord using two 4.0 mm double-pointed needles  for a total of 32.5 inches. Using straight pins, secure the i-cord to the top of the tree and then wrap around and around, securing occasionally with pins, until the tree is completely wrapped in garland.

 

10. Top your tree with a simple knitted bow, if knitting an adornment. Using your 3.75 mm straight needles, cast on ten stitches. Knit the first row, then purl the next row. Repeat this pattern until it measures 6.5 inches in length. Cast the stitches off and then seam them in the center. Using more yarn, simply wrap the center of the bow and then knot the yarn behind. Secure the bow at the top with hot glue.

 

11. Attach all of the trees to inexpensive dollar-store candlestick holders. If you desire, you can spray paint these in your favorite color or just leave them plain, as I have shown.

 

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees from MomAdvice.com.

 

 

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees from MomAdvice.com.

 

 

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees from MomAdvice.com.

 

I hope you love these little yarn trees as much as I do! It is definitely an inexpensive and fun way to dress up a corner of your home for the holidays!

 

Sign up for the MomAdvice newsletter!

 

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post contains affiliate links. I only recommend what I love!

 

DIY yarn holiday trees MomAdvice.com

 

Don’t miss these other great Holiday ideas from MomAdvice:

 

How to Make a Yarn Pom Pom Wreath from MomAdvice.com

How to Make Pom Pom Wreath 

 

 

The Easiest Burlap Wreath You Will Ever Make from MomAdvice.com

Easy Burlap Wreath

 

 

how to make a pom-pom and ornament garland MomAdvice

Ornament & Pom Pom Garland

 

 

Christmas at Mom Advice-Traditions Decor and Food

Christmas at MomAdvice

 

 

 

20 Easy DIY Stocking Stuffers - MomAdvice.com

DIY Stocking Stuffers

 

 

 

54 Handmade Gifts from MomAdvice

Homemade Gift Ideas

 

 

DIY Holiday yarn trees MomAdvice.com

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The Hidden Secrets to Perfect Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

Monday, November 4th, 2019

The Hidden Secrets to Perfect Cut-Out Sugar Cookies from MomAdvice.com

Do you know the hidden secrets to the perfect cut-out sugar cookies? Put your stand mixer to work and blend up this incredible sugar cookie dough. You will learn how to make rolling and cutting sugar cookies easier. These tricks yield cookies that stay soft- bookmark this perfect cut-out cookie recipe today!

I love, love, love to cook.

Baking bread, whipping up fancy dinners, making stacks of gourmet waffles…those are my favorite thing to do!

Baking cookies?

Total fail.

I don’t know what it is, but making great cookies is not something I am good at.

To be honest, I just don’t think I have the patience for it.

More than that, I haven’t had the time.

I rely on bar cookies, quick breads, and other easy snacks to get us by.

Of all of the fails, cut-out sugar cookies have been the biggest fail for me.

They are misshapen, taste like cardboard, and are far too time-consuming.

I tried so many recipes with the same results and had determined that cut-out cookies were just NOT my thing.

I decided this year though that I would find a good recipe that would look nice and yield a tasty result.

Where do I turn when I don’t have time to run a full-fledged test kitchen out of my home?

My America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.

Don’t they have such great recipes?

The recipe was entirely unique and promised fantastic results.

Crisp cookies, full flavor, and step-by-step tutorials that would be worth eating and sharing.

The Hidden Secrets to Perfect Cut-Out Sugar Cookies from MomAdvice.com

The Hidden Secrets to Perfect Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

Trick #1: Use a Superfine Sugar

The first step towards a great sugar cookie was to use superfine sugar.

According to the cookbook, superfine sugar gives the cookies a finer crumb and crisper texture.

What is Superfine Sugar?

Superfine sugar s simply granulated sugar that’s been ground more finely. It’s often called for in recipes where a faster dissolving granule is needed.

This ingredient can be purchased at your local grocery store over by the other sugar options.

Don’t want to buy superfine sugar for one recipe?

Yeah, me either!

How Can I Make My Own Superfine Sugar?

Instead of purchasing a specialty sugar, process one cup of your granulated sugar in a food processor or blender.

Once the sugar is to a fine consistency (approximately 30 seconds), you can measure out 3/4 cup for your recipe.

Easy enough!

You know me, I chose the cheaper option for this recipe and put my blender to work.

Hidden Secrets to the Perfect Sugar Cookie from MomAdvice.com

Hidden Secrets to the Perfect Sugar Cookie from MomAdvice.com

Trick #2: The “Reverse Mixing Method

The second step to their perfect cookie was a “reverse” mixing method.

In traditional recipes, we would cream the room temperature butter and sugar together. They took a reverse mixing method approach instead.

With this method, you mix together all of the dry ingredients first and then add butter tablespoon by tablespoon.

The dough mixture is finished with cream cheese, another unusual addition to a cut-out sugar cookie recipe. This ingredient really pulls everything together and makes the dough workable. Once it has pulled together, finish with a little vanilla extract for flavor!

Hidden Secrets to the Perfect Sugar Cookie from MomAdvice.com

 

The dough looked like this. It looked crumbly and not very wet. You were instructed to pull the dough together with your hands and form it into a ball. I wasn’t too sure how this was going to work out. It just did not seem sticky enough to me.

The dough looked like this. It looked crumbly and not very wet.

You were instructed to pull the dough together with your hands and form it into a ball.

I wasn’t too sure how this was going to work out. It just did not seem sticky enough to me.

After a couple of minutes of kneading, this is what my dough looked like. I don’t think my dough has ever looked this good.

Hidden Secrets to the Perfect Sugar Cookie from MomAdvice.com Hidden Secrets to the Perfect Sugar Cookie from MomAdvice.com

Trick #3: Chill Your Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Dough

Have you ever had a sugar cookie that looks misshapen?

Chances are that the cook didn’t chill the dough. This look step helps these cut-out cookies to turn out great.

Divide the dough and place them in your refrigerator to chill. It is recommended to flatten them into two 4″ disks, and leave them there for 20-30 minutes.

 

Hidden Secrets to the Perfect Sugar Cookie from MomAdvice.com Hidden Secrets to the Perfect Sugar Cookie from MomAdvice.com Hidden Secrets to the Perfect Sugar Cookie from MomAdvice.com

 

While the dough is chilling, you can tidy up the kitchen and then get everything else ready to go.

Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper and lay out your cookie cutters.

Next, tear off two additional sheets of parchment paper per dough disk to roll out your cookie dough.

That’s right, no floured counters which will save on clean-up time!

Hidden Secrets to the Perfect Sugar Cookie from MomAdvice.com

Tip #4: Roll Your Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Dough Between Two Sheets of Parchment Paper

Put your disk between the parchment paper and roll the dough out.

I secured one set of corners between me and the counter to hold the paper in place.

Tip #5: After You Roll Out Your Sugar Cookie Dough, chill it AGAIN!

Now pop the dough back in the refrigerator for ten more minutes or until the dough is firm for cutting.

I know waiting for the dough to chill again feels like a waste of time.

Trust me, you will be glad you did it.

This will yield a cookie with sharp edges and that hold their shape.

I promise that this will be worth the wait.

At this point, I was already patting myself on the back.

Aren’t you glad you weren’t in the kitchen with me for this annoying moment?

Hidden Secrets to the Perfect Sugar Cookie from MomAdvice.com Hidden Secrets to the Perfect Sugar Cookie from MomAdvice.com Hidden Secrets to the Perfect Sugar Cookie from MomAdvice.com

The cookies cut out beautifully and were firm enough that I could easily transfer them over to the parchment paper.

How crazy that we won’t be losing snowman feet and arms or the poor wings off of our bird cookies!

I bet you are glad you never saw my past cookies (*ahem*)!

Put your cookie sheets in the oven and watch them through the glass.

Be sure to continue, annoyingly, patting yourself on the back.

Tip #6: Rotate Your Cookie Sheets For Even Heating

Instead of letting one rack stay doughy and one rack get burnt, they have you rotate the cookie sheets halfway through.

What a novel idea!

Hidden Secrets to the Perfect Sugar Cookie from MomAdvice.com Hidden Secrets to the Perfect Sugar Cookie from MomAdvice.com

These are my cookies after baking!

I KNOW!

Keep in mind, these cookies remain a pale color so don’t worry that they haven’t cooked long enough. Ten minutes is just the amount of time you need for these cookies to

They didn’t look done to me, but they were so don’t overcook them.

I had one batch that got out in the nick of time after I added two minutes to the cooking time.

They will harden up for you without any additional cooking.

Hidden Secrets to the Perfect Sugar Cookie from MomAdvice.com Hidden Secrets to the Perfect Sugar Cookie from MomAdvice.com Hidden Secrets to the Perfect Sugar Cookie from MomAdvice.com Hidden Secrets to the Perfect Sugar Cookie from MomAdvice.com

Tip #7: Ice Your Cookies With America’s Test Kitchen Royal Icing (OR NOT)

They recommend decorating with a royal icing glaze.

I am not a fan of how those royal icing recipes turn out.

I stick to a traditional frosting recipe that requires a little more time to harden, but has a thicker tasting frosting.

What If I Want the America’s Test Kitchen Royal Icing Recipe?

Blend together 2 cups (8 ounces) confectioners’ sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, 1 ounce cream cheese, softened, and food coloring to make the America’s Test Kitchen Glaze.

Since our cookie sheets were lined with parchment paper, I reused these sheets for decorating.

This caught any runaway sprinkles or the sprinkle dumping that seems to occur every year (see above for examples).

The cookies looked good, but the real question is did they taste good? I asked our very official taste-testing and decorating crew to give me their honest opinions.

Sometimes a picture is all you need! They were perfect, not crumbly, sturdy, but not thick, tangy, but buttery. Basically, perfection!

The cookies looked good, but the real question is did they taste good? I asked our very official taste-testing and decorating crew to give me their honest opinions.

Hidden Secrets to the Perfect Sugar Cookie from MomAdvice.com Hidden Secrets to the Perfect Sugar Cookie from MomAdvice.com

Sometimes a picture is all you need! They were perfect, not crumbly, sturdy, but not thick, tangy, but buttery. Basically, perfection!

The Hidden Secrets to Perfect Cu-Out Sugar Cookies from MomAdvice.com

The Perfect Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Desserts
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: approximately 3 dozen
 
Do you know the hidden secrets to the perfect cut-out sugar cookies? Put your stand mixer to work and blend up this incredible sugar cookie dough. You will learn how to make rolling and cutting sugar cookies easier. These tricks yield cookies that stay soft- bookmark this perfect cut-out cookie recipe today!
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup superfine sugar (purchased or diy this flour with my instructions above)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into ½″ pieces & softened
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Rolling pin, cookie cutters, and sprinkles
  • Sugar Cookie Frosting:
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Food coloring
Instructions
  1. Whisk the flour, sugar, & salt together in a large bowl.
  2. Beat the butter pieces (into the flour mixture) one piece at a time. I suggest using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, and beating until the mixture looks crumbly and slightly wet. This should take about 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Beat in the cream cheese & vanilla until he dough just begins to form large clumps, about thirty seconds.
  4. Knead the dough in the large bowl by hand a few times until it forms a large, cohesive mass.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a clean counter, divide it in half, and apt into a two four inch disks.
  6. Wrap the disks tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until they begin to firm up, 20 to 30 minutes.
  7. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375.
  8. Work with one disk at a time, roll out the dough to a ⅛″ thickness between two sheets of parchment paper.
  9. Slide the rolled dough and parchment onto a baking sheet & refrigerate again until firm.
  10. Working with one sheet of cookie dough at a time, cut out shapes using your cookie cutters.
  11. Next, lay them on two parchment-lined baking sheets, spaced about 1″ apart.
  12. Bake the cookies until light golden brown, about ten minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking.
  13. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for two minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.
  14. Be sure to allow them to cool completely (approximately 30 minutes)
  15. When cooled, the cookies can be decorated as desired.
  16. For frosting: In a large bowl, cream together confectioners sugar and shortening until smooth.
  17. Gradually mix in milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth and stiff, about five minutes.
  18. Color with food coloring if desired.

I would highly recommend adding this cookbook to your holiday wish list. That same recipe can be adapted for many different types of cookies! It has definitely earned its keep on my bookshelf.

Do you have a favorite holiday cookie recipe? Please share your recipes or links here!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This post contains affiliate links.

Love this post? Here are a few other baking tutorials that might help you in the kitchen!

Easy Homemade Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread easy gluten-free homemade pumpkin bread

Gluten-Free Cake Mix Sugar Cookies Recipe from MomAdvice.com gluten-free cake mix sugar cookies (great for freezing!)

Mini Cannoli Cream Pastry Bites mini cannoli bites (pair with the Annie film for a fun family night idea!)

3-ingredient-star-cakes 3-ingredient star cakes

Chocolate Chiffon Cake with Peppermint Frosting chocolate chiffon cake with peppermint frosting

The Hidden Secrets to Perfect Cut-Out Sugar Cookies from MomAdvice.com

Happy baking!

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How to Make Glow in the Dark JELL-O

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019

Glow in the Dark Jello from MomAdvice.com

This easy recipe for Glow-in-the-Dark Jell-O is perfect for kids to make for Halloween! Mix science and spookiness for an edible experiment any budding (mad) scientist will love!

 

Halloween is just around the corner and today we wanted to showcase a fun and easy craft you could do with your kids.

Today’s recipe offering is how to make glow in the dark JELL-O in jars for a spooktacular Halloween dessert.

Glow in the Dark JELL-O is a recipe that your kids can easily mix up and gives you a fun opportunity to talk a little bit about the science behind it in the process.

 

Glow in the Dark Jello from MomAdvice.com

 

How Does it Glow?

Did you know that tonic water can glow under a black light?

My kids were in awe of this bubbly drink and how it could glow under the black light.

The glowing comes from the fluorescence of the quinine in the tonic water.

Quinine also gives tonic water a distinctive bitter flavor which is why it is best mixed with other sweeter ingredients.

As you can see, the quinine glows blue-white when placed under a black light which makes it the perfect ingredient for a spooky JELL-O treat.

 

Glow in the Dark Jello from MomAdvice.com

 

Do All Colors of JELL-O Glow the Same?

Hypothesis…yes.

Answer…no!

All of the colors of JELL-O will definitely not glow the same.

We tested two colors (green and orange) and found brilliant results with the green JELL-O and dull results with the orange JELL-O.

Although our tutorial below shows the orange, we recommend the green variety for a truly great glow!

Here is the light we used to achieve our glow with great success (affiliate link).  

Other readers have stated that a black bulb does not achieve the glowing results so please keep that in mind when purchasing your bulb. 

 

Glow in the Dark Jello from MomAdvice.com

 

So It Glows…How Does it Taste?

As we mentioned before, the quinine in the tonic water makes the tonic water glow, but it also yields a bitter taste.

We tried to cut the bitterness by using half water and half tonic water.

I also topped each jar of JELL-O with whipped cream and sprinkles which would add another layer of sweetness.

Try adding more sugar to the concoction to help cut some of the bitterness.

The kids loved the glow, but said they were, “spicy,” which is what they say about all sodas and bubbly drinks.

If your kids have a sensitive palate like mine, they might not love them, but they still ate the whipped cream and loved doing the experiment.

I still call this experiment a win for creativity, cool science factoids, and fun.

 

Glow in the Dark Jello from MomAdvice.com

 

I had a great helper in the kitchen for this project.

Emily was excited to show you all just how easy it is to make this JELL-O and you can find the recipe below along with her picture tutorial on how to recreate this fun experiment in your kitchen.

You can totally steal the experiment, but I am keeping my sous chef for myself!

  Glow in the Dark Jello from MomAdvice.com

3.0 from 2 reviews
Glow in the Dark JELL-O
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Glow in the dark JELL-O is not only a fun science project, but a super fun Halloween treat. Pick up a black light at your local Halloween shop to show off it's glow!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup tonic water
  • 1 package of JELL-O
  • Whipped Cream and Sprinkles for topping (optional)
  • Additional Sugar (to help cut the bitterness)
  • Jars
  • Black Light
Instructions
  1. Bring one cup of water to a boil.
  2. Pour JELL-O packet into a large bowl.
  3. Have a grown-up help you add your boiling water.
  4. Stir for two minutes with a wire whisk.
  5. Have a grown-up pour one cup of tonic water into a measuring cup.
  6. Slowly whisk while adding the tonic water. The mixture will be very bubbly. Give it a couple of minutes to rest.
  7. Pour it into four clean jars.
  8. Place in the refrigerator for two to three hours to set.
  9. Top with whipped cream and sprinkles.
  10. Place under a black light and watch it glow. Happy Halloween! EDITORS NOTE: See notes above for taste and ideas for improving flavor.

 

 

Glow in the Dark Jello from MomAdvice.com

 

 

Glow in the Dark Jello from MomAdvice.com

 

 

 

Glow in the Dark Jello from MomAdvice.com

 

 

Love this idea for Halloween? Can I make a few other fun fall recommendations?

 

 

doughnut hole ghost cake (no baking necessary!!)

 

 

pumpkin chili (perfect for Halloween night)

 

 

diy blanket scarf (perfect for bundling up on Halloween night)

 

 

dollar store thumbtack pumpkins

 

 

diy minecraft costume ideas

 

 

DIY_Halloween_Costumes diy halloween costume ideas

 

 

autumn burlap wreath tutorial

 

 

candy apple martini recipe

 

 

caramel apple sangria recipe

 

 

painted pumpkins tutorial

 

This post contains affiliate links

 

 

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Doughnut Hole Ghost Cake

Monday, October 14th, 2019

This fun and spooky DIY Halloween cake is so easy that your kids can make it! Using simple and easy to find store-bought ingredients, you can have a Halloween treat ready in minutes. This doughnut hole ghost cake is sure to be a hit at the party or just for a quick October dessert!

If you are anything like me, you are already on the hunt for easy Halloween ideas!

Today’s easy food craft is for a festive Halloween cake that you can whip up quickly to celebrate with your kids, fellow trick-or-treaters or to add to your Halloween party spread.

This can be made for under $20 and NO COOKING is required!

Can I get an AMEN?

If you are anything like me, you are already on the hunt for easy Halloween ideas!

Today’s easy food craft is for a festive Halloween cake that you can whip up quickly to celebrate with your kids, fellow trick-or-treaters or to add to your Halloween party spread.

This can be made for under $20 and NO COOKING is required!

Can I get an AMEN?

What if I Don’t Want to Spend $20 on Halloween Cake?

As you know, I’m pretty darn frugal, so I want to share a tip that might help you at your store.

Be sure to check the rear of your store (over by the dairy section usually) to see if there are any reduced to sell bakery items on a rolling cart.

It is there where I often spy prepared cakes and doughnuts that are perfect for sharing with guests or for rounding out a meal together with friends.

If you check there first, it is possible you might be able to score these treats for a fraction of the price that I paid.

I promise to not be jealous.

How Can I Make This Treat Gluten-free?

Welp, you know that gluten-free cake isn’t going to be an affordable treat.

Oh, the price ding on removing wheat!

Ouch.

Did you know that you can purchase gluten-free donut holes in the freezer section of many supermarkets.

Is it just me or are you scared to pay a million dollars for gluten-free snacks because you got burned on a past purchase?

I am learning that the best move is to check the reviews before making anymore snack purchases. Here’s the page on gluten-free doughnut reviews to help you make your best decision.

Halloween Doughnut Hole Ghost Cake Dessert

How Can I Save Money at My Local Gluten-free Bakery?

If you aren’t using Groupons, you are missing out on some free money. Anytime that we eat or do anything local, we check to see if there are any deals on things like this. You just never know when the new up and coming bakery might be looking for a fresh way to promote their business.

What Can I Substitute for Cake if I’m Gluten-Free?

I found this useful gluten-free directory to help you find a gluten-free bakery near you.

Gluten-free cakes can be expensive though so I recommend you bake a cake yourself. I have some super easy gluten-free cake recipes to share with you that might just make the most perfect cakes.

I promise, these gluten-free cakes are as easy to put together as any other cake because I rely upon cake mixes for their creation.

Here are a few that our family has loved!

gluten-free snickerdoodle cake

Gluten-free snickerdoodle cake (this is our family favorite- the frosting too die for!!!)

//momadvice.com/post/gluten-free-snickerdoodle-cake

Gluten-free cookies and cream cake (rich, fudgy, and cookie cream frosting- how bad could that be?)

Gluten-Free Lemon Chiffon Cake

Gluten-Free Lemon Chiffon Cake (this would be such an unexpected flavor for fall that it might bring back all those summer feels)

Halloween Doughnut Hole Ghost Cake Tutorial

Doughnut Hole Ghost Cake from MomAdvice.com

 

Supplies Needed

Pro Crafter Tip: Don’t forget to download the Rakuten app to save some money through their links to retailer sites!

1 prepared cake

1 container of powdered sugar doughnut holes (I had enough in an assortment pack)

Roll of white tulle (over by the party/wedding favor supplies)

Black Decorating Icing small pieces cut off a stripe of candy corn, candy eyes, or small Halloween candy (like Mini M&M’s) for your eyes.

1 prepared cake

1 container of powdered sugar donut holes (I had enough in an assortment pack)

Roll of white tulle (over by the party/wedding favor supplies)

Black Decorating Icing (over by the cake decorating supplies/crafts), small pieces cut off a stripe of candy corn, candy eyes, or small Halloween candy (like Mini M&M’s) for your eyes.

Cookie Sticks(over by the cake decorating supplies/crafts)

White Twine

Scissors

 

 

Doughnut Hole Ghost Cake from MomAdvice.com

 

Directions

1. On a rimmed cookie sheet, insert the cookie stick into your doughnut hole.

2. Cut out two squares of tulle, approximately the same size, and angle them slightly. Fold them over your doughnut hole. Secure with a little white twine, making sure to bring the tulle down snugly over the top of the doughnut hole to make a level surface for your piping.

3. Pipe two eyes and a mouth on your doughnut hole. I found that getting the icing a little warm helped make the piping easier so keep that in mind!

4. Stick your ghosts on top of your cake.

Done.

How easy is that?

Doughnut Hole Ghost Cake from MomAdvice.com

Doughnut Hole Ghost Cake from MomAdvice.com

Doughnut Hole Ghost Cake from MomAdvice.com

This cake was such a hit and I loved that it adds a homemade touch to a store-bought treat!

As you know, I’m pretty darn frugal, so I want to share a tip that might help you at your store.

Be sure to check the rear of your store (over by the dairy section usually) to see if there are any reduced to sell bakery items on a rolling cart.

It is there where I often spy prepared cakes and doughnuts that are perfect for sharing with guests or for rounding out a meal together with friends.

If you check there first, it is possible you might be able to score these treats for a fraction of the price that I paid.

I promise to not be jealous.

I look forward to sharing more fun Halloween ideas with you in the upcoming month and hope you love this festive (and easy) treat idea!

Doughnut Hole Ghost Cake from MomAdvice.com

Don’t miss these other great ideas from MomAdvice.com:

DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins from MomAdvice.com

DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins

How to Make Pumpkin Hand Pies

How to Paint Pumpkins With Acrylic Paints from MomAdvice.com

Painting Pumpkin with Acrylic Paints

//www.momadvice.com/post/easy-burlap-wreath-tutorial

Autumn Burlap Wreath

Easy Homemade Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

 

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