Valentine Candy Carrier

I love finding fun ways to present Valentine candy to friends and family and this year I came across a real gem. Seriously - how cute is this? A 4-pack of Starbucks Frappacino altered to a little Valentine candy carrier. I found the directions for this over at Nancy Riley's site stampinat6213 which you'll want to check out as she is one clever gal.

You could easily make several of these in just a few hours as the directions are really simple. You just need one of these...

along with one 12x12 sheet of scrapbook paper in the color/design of your choice and some embellishments. I used what I had on hand and since I made this for my step-son and step-daughter who are 17 and 20, respectively, I didn't want it to look to pink or to cutesy.

Just empty out the bottles, remove the labels (these came off easily) and wash them being sure that they dry real well. The directions for the cuts that Nancy gives are perfect. Don't worry about the 'DP' and the 'CS' - as far as I can tell, those are part of the names of the paper and don't have anything to do with how to make these.

I didn't have any double stick tape so I used modpodge instead to adhere my paper and it worked fine. Also, I would have preferred glue dots to adhere the ribbons but, as I was out of those too, I used a few strategically placed drops of a clear liquid glue.

Didn't have any spray paint either so I brushed the lids with red acrylic paint but because it was so thin I had to put on about 5 coats to get the coverage I wanted and, after they were dry and I'd put on my embellishment, I coated them all with more modpodge that has a gloss luster finish. Spray paint may have been better for a cleaner look but it wasn't necessary.

Next came the fun part of filling up the bottles with various candies and I made sure to use some of their favorites...

I put them back in the carrier, tied a bit of ribbon around the handle and there you have it! A simple, cute and fun Valentine gift sure to please everyone on your list. This would also be perfect for teachers, neighbors, co-workers....well, you get the idea. Have fun!


Gorgeous Valentine Earrings From Paper Mache

Years ago, (like 15 years ago) my dad - who's quite creative - showed me how to make beads out of paper. I remember thinking this was pretty cool and I think I made a few but that was the extent of it. So here we are now and I'm finding that paper beads are showing up on lots of craft and jewelry blogs; kind of like leggings and long sweaters making a come back right now. Hello 1980's!

Anywho, I was visiting several of the blogs I like recently and I came across the paper mache earrings over at Infarrantly Creative. Wow - she has some great ideas on her site and the tutorial for these earrings is very clear and easy to follow. Since I've been playing with making paper beads lately (more on this in a future post) I knew I had to try her spin on them.

A couple of things from my experience with the process:
  • She doesn't give a measurement for the water. My 'it has to come out perfect' OCD kicked in here so I checked the comments section to see if anyone else had mentioned this (no one had) and I even contemplated emailing her. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, and I just followed the directions. Note: the amount doesn't matter as long as it's enough to hold a packed cup of newspaper. So, I probably used about 1 3/4 cup.
  • The ink from the paper came off onto my fork, tongs and stainless steel All Clad pot (obviously, I don't have designated craft cookware yet). Not to worry, it all came off with minimal scrubbing.
  • One packed cup of newspaper makes a lot of beads; 30-40 depending on how big you make them which makes this an uber economical craft. It was going to the bead store that increased the expense.
But aren't they cute...

I'm having a Valentine Cookie Exchange Party this coming Sunday and guess what the ladies are getting as a favor? A little Valentine bling to take home with their cookies!

Awesome Giveaway Over At Tatertots and Jello!

The wonderfully delicious blog Tatertots and Jello is hosting an awesome giveaway today and I highly suggest you jump on over to enter. This is for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to Lisa Leonard Designs. Lisa is the creator of the sweet little necklace pictured above and every piece she makes is hand-cut, hammered, antiqued and polished sterling silver!

Even if I don't win, I might just have to get myself one of these beauties...I'm thinking that an "m + a" would be pretty cute!

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