How to Make String Art for Home and Party Decor

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(This post contains affiliate links.)

I love the fun look of string art.  Whether you are adding it to a child’s room or putting it above a tablescape for your next party, there is something creative and artistic about using string to create a design.

For my adult coloring party, I wanted a fun and colorful look to my backdrop.  So I made a string art sign and today, I am sharing the tutorial.  You will see how easy it is to create your own string art and learn what I wish I would have done differently.

Here is What You’ll Need:

  • Wood Sign Base
  • A Print-Out of Your Phrase or Design
  • Scissors
  • Hammer
  • Nails (I used #17 x 1 inch)
  • Spray Paint
  • Embroidery Floss

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To get started, you’ll need to pick your phrase or design.  If you are using text, play with different fonts on the computer until you get the look you want.  In actual size, print your phrase or design and cut close to the lines.  Leave yourself a little border of white paper around the letters.

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Place the phrase or design on the wood.

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Begin to hammer in nails on the lines of the letters.  I spaced my nails about 3/4″ on straight lines and fudged where I needed to.  I hammered the nails in, leaving about 5/8″ of nail exposed above the wood.  I didn’t measure each nail for height, just estimated.  Be as consistent and straight as possible.

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Continue until all letters are complete and then, remove the paper.

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Spray paint your backdrop and the nails.  I wanted the letters to disappear into the wood, causing my threaded letters to pop.  If you want your wood to be natural, you may choose to paint the nails in advance or leaving them as is.

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Now, it is time to string your letters with embroidery thread.  Tie a knot around one of the nails and begin to wrap around the letter outline.  I started with the outline of the letter and then zig-zagged back and forth to fill the interior.  I really didn’t have much of a pattern but I wanted good coverage with strong lines.  Before finishing a letter, I went around the outline once again so that this thread would be strong and pronounced.

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When you are done, tie off another knot, and snip the extra thread.

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What I wish I would have done differently:  I liked the idea of cursive writing for the “and.”  However, I should not have used the embroidery thread that was multi-colored.  I should have used a solid color for the cursive.  It made it blur in all of my photos.  Know that it doesn’t look as bad in person.  🙂

How to throw an AMAZING coloring party (17)

 

How to throw an AMAZING coloring party (13)

Have you created string art before?  Do you have any helpful tips to add?  Leave a comment and share below.    

Would you like to see what we did at our coloring party?  Click here.

How to throw an AMAZING coloring party with Colorwear tshirts

 

 

 

How To Build An Awesome Baked Potato Bar

You all know it is hard for me to resist a do-it-yourself or build-you-own style food bar.  I love them!  I love how they appeal to a variety of tastes and can be customized to each person’s own opinion of greatness.  Maybe it just comes from having (or being) a picky eater, but I love when you can add your favorite toppings to whatever you’re eating.

I created this baked potato bar for my kids’ joint family birthday party.  The weather was perfect so I set up everything outside.  We had tables for 30 people on the driveway (which of course I forgot to take pre-party photos of!).  But here is the buffet, bonus kids’ food station and drink area.

Baking the Potatoes:  After washing about 70 medium sized potatoes, we pricked them with a fork.  Then, my daughter and I rubbed them with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.  Once wrapped in aluminum foil, we baked them in crock pots (along with one roaster oven from my sister in law).  For the crock pots, we baked the potatoes for about 8 hours on low until tender.  (You can also bake on high for 4.5-5 hours.)

Baked Potato Bar Toppings:

  • Guacamole
  • Butter
  • Sour Cream
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Green Onions
  • Salsa
  • Black Beans
  • Lightly Crushed Tortilla Chips
  • Pickled Jalapenos and Carrots (most commented on!)
  • Bacon
  • Cubed Ham
  • Broccoli
  • Tomato
  • Ranch
  • Hot Sauce

We rounded out our meal with grilled chicken, bean salad, watermelon and dinner rolls.

I also served hot dogs and baby carrots for the kids.  Just in case . . .

I used our Lemonade Stand for the beverage station, serving blue punch and assorted flavored waters.

 

 

I love outdoor parties!  Don’t miss my Jedi Knight ready to strike in the photo above.

Happy Birthday, kiddos!

Have you tried a baked potato bar before?  What are your favorite toppings?

How to Make an Awesome Hot Wheels Parking Lot from a Tray

Do you have a Hot Wheel loving kid?  Here is an easy craft to make for your child or to give as a gift.

Months ago, a friend gave me this unfinished tray that she didn’t want.  (This tends to happen when you’re crafty or throw a bunch of parties.  People want to get rid of the stuff they’ll never do anything with and they give it to you . . . which is a good and a bad thing.)

Anyway, when my friend gave me this tray, I decided I would do something fun with it and give it right back to her.  Well, I’m a little later than planned but I did make it into a mini parking lot for her son’s Hot Wheel cars.

Join me at Motherhood On a Dime to see the full tutorial.

 

 

After-School Kids’ Peanut Butter Trifle

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone. #StockUpWithPost #CerealAnytime #CollectiveBias

Can you believe it?  It is that time of year.  Summer has flown by as usual and we are officially back to school.  But even if your kids are not quite thrilled with the prospect, we can still find little things to celebrate . . . like a special after-school treat!  Take a look at this yummy Peanut Butter Trifle.

Trifles are a fun dessert usually served in clear glass to show off their layers.  A good trifle has creamy, fluffy and crunchy or chewy.  When I’m making something for the kids, I always think it is more fun to give them their own dish.  Maybe it comes from my disdain for sharing my own dessert, but I also just like the idea of cute, single servings.

Today, we’re using Post Consumer Brand cereals to help us celebrate the start of school and making some yummy trifles for the kids and their friends.  With all the usual back-to-school expenses, Post cereals are a great way to save money.  Plus, they offer such a variety of different cereals that there is certain to be a cereal for everyone in the family.  (I like to serve them at breakfast or as a snack.)

When I was at Walmart doing my shopping, I picked up the ingredients for the trifle.  I love that this recipe has only six different ingredients!  Here is what you’ll need.

Peanut Butter Trifle Ingredients:

  • Malt-O-Meal Peanut Butter Cups
  • Chocolate Pudding (follow box instructions)
  • Peanut Butter Pie Filling
    • 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
    • 1/2 Cup Confectioners Sugar
    • 8 oz Cream Cheese (softened)
    • 2 Containers of Frozen Whipped Topping (thawed, divided and also used to top the trifles)

 

Make Ahead:

While the kids are at school or the night before, you will need to do three quick things.

  1. Make the peanut butter pie filling.
  2. Make the chocolate pudding.
  3. Crush a handful of the Malt-O-Meal Peanut Butter Cups cereal.  

For the peanut butter pie filling, mix the peanut butter, confectioners sugar and cream cheese together.  Then, fold in 1/2 of one container of whipped topping.  Refrigerate for at least two hours.

Just Before the Kids Come Home:  

Now, it is time to assemble your ingredients.  Don’t do this too early to keep the cereal from absorbing moisture and losing its crunchiness.

Into the bottom of each trifle dish, scoop chocolate pudding.

Then, top with the Malt-O-Meal Peanut Butter Cups cereal.  The combination of crunchy corn puffs with cocoa and REAL peanut butter make for an irresistible treat everyone will love!  And moms will be pleased that Malt-O-Meal is made with no high fructose corn syrup and 9 essential vitamins and minerals.

I bought the super-sized bag, but Malt-O-Meal offers a handful of different sizes to best suit your family.  Plus, they offer a taste guarantee.  If you don’t love it, it’s free!  (See details on packaging.)

A Tip When Using A Small Serving Dish:  When I am using a smaller sized dish (like these trifle dishes), I will often use decorating bags to pipe in the ingredients.  It keeps your layers pretty and allows you to swirl your whipped topping.

Next, pipe or scoop the peanut butter pie filling on top of the cereal.

Add your whipped topping.

Last, sprinkle a couple pinches of the crushed cereal on top of your treat.

Now, it is time to enjoy!

Grab your treats and gather around the table or head outside.  Ask for all the details of the kids’ school day and have fun making back to school a celebration.

 

 

 

 

Want to make your own back-to-school recipes? Hover over the photo to shop these versatile cereals!

And here is more about the other two cereals pictured above:

Malt-O-Meal Marshmallow Mateys® – My kids go crazy for a cereal with marshmallows.  This frosted whole grain oat cereal has 12 essential vitamins and minerals and no high fructose corn syrup.  The toasted oat flavor and the hidden marshmallows arrrrrr a delicious treat any time of day.

HONEY MAID® S’mores  Summer is coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the delicious taste of s’mores right in your cereal bowl.  Don’t miss the chocolatey goodness, sweet marshmallows and yummy taste of HONEY MAID® Graham Crackers.  S’more indoors have never been so delicious!

Here is where you can find these Post cereals at Walmart:

Earn $1 or $.25 cashback when you purchase some of Post’s newest additions with these Ibotta offers.

Make sure to check out more exciting offers for other Post cereal varieties like Shredded Wheat!

How do you celebrate back-to-school?  Check out more ideas from Post here or connect with Post’s Pinterest Page.

 

Mini Hot Dog JALAPENO Rolls – A Yummy Appetizer for Your Next Party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RediscoverLaMorena #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias

The other day I was talking with a friend about menu planning and in our conversation, she shared that when hosting a party, she tends to over-complicate and take on too much.  We’ve all been there; it’s an easy thing to do.

We, as hostesses, so often think we need some complex, crazy menu for a successful dinner and all it does is end up stressing us out.  So let’s rediscover the way we entertain.  After all, entertaining isn’t about impressing.  It’s about hospitality, the warmth with which you welcome guests into your home, and making the whole evening do-able.

Let’s step back and think easy, fun and attainable.  Let’s stop the stressful, cumbersome menus and keep things enjoyable as we prepare for and welcome friends into our home.  And we can do all of this without sacrificing great taste and quality.

Today, I have a simple but yummy appetizer recipe.  We’re taking something pretty traditional and adding a little twist (and kick).  It’s going to be delicious.  Check it out!

But first, don’t miss this sweepstakes where you can win fun prizes to help you discover new places!

#VivaLaMorenaSweepstakes(7/19 to 8/23)

Mini Hot Dog Jalapeño Rolls

Who doesn’t love crescent rolls and the warm, baked goodness of dough?  They are easy and pretty much something you can’t mess up.  But for this recipe, I wanted to try something new.  So I wrapped cocktail hot dogs,  LA MORENA® Sliced Jalapeños (28oz) and cheddar cheese inside crescent roll dough.  The jalapeños added such great flavor as well as a little kick.  These appetizers will delight your guests.  And one thing I love?  They are simple to make for a busy hostess!

Ingredients & Instructions:

  • LA MORENA® Sliced Jalapeños (28oz) . . . with plenty left over for a treat later!
  • 2 packages of crescent dough sheets (This will make 16 rolls.)
  • 1 – 12oz. package of mini hot dogs
  • 2-3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

Roll out the sheet of dough.  Be sure to buy the sheets and not the pre-perforated crescent rolls.  This will allow you to cut whatever shape and size you like.

With a pizza cutter, slice through the dough.  You should expect to get eight rolls out of one sheet, more if you make your rolls smaller.

Add a couple pinches of shredded cheddar cheese to the center of your dough.

Now for the best part . . .

 

Place a sliced jalapeño on top of the cheese.  I was so excited when I opened my can of LA MORENA® because the jalapeños are sliced lengthwise which is perfect for cradling the mini hot dog.

Have you tried LA MORENA® products before?  They are a leader in the chiles and peppers category and for over 35 years, have been providing US consumers with the highest quality products made in the style and with the taste of the authentic Mexican home and traditional recipes.  I am excited to be joining them as their product packaging gets a new look.  (And coming soon . . .  watch my Instagram to see where LA MORENA® is taking me this summer.)  We’ll be rediscovering LA MORENA® all the while enjoying the same delicious flavors their customers have loved and trusted for years.

When I was at Giant Eagle shopping for this recipe, I also picked up a can of LA MORENA® Whole Jalapeños (28oz).  I can’t wait to try something fun with those.  Mmmmm!

Next, add your mini hot dog and top with more shredded cheese. 

 

Wrap the dough around your ingredients and pinch at the top.

 

My daughter thought they looked like little presents and I have to say I like the way she thinks.  🙂

Bake for 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees.  Then, plate the rolls and watch them disappear.

 

 

 

Yum!  These mini hot dog jalapeño rolls are delicious.  Here is where you can find LA MORENA® products at Giant Eagle:

Thanks, LA MORENA®, for helping us rediscover the way we entertain and adding such great flavor to a simple recipe!

Rediscover more flavors and recipes with LA MORENA® by clicking here.  

Connect with LA MORENA® on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and YouTube.

Sewing for Kids: From Dollar Store Scarf to Stylish Water Bottle Carrier

Hi friends!  How is your summer going?  Ours is flying by despite my attempt at a slow summer.  This week, both of my kids are at VBS but last week my son attended an awesome outdoor adventure camp.  On the list of items he was required to bring was a water bottle and strap.  As the kids are moving about camp, it is nice to be hands-free while making sure they are staying hydrated.

For my son, I bought a strap to atach to his water bottle, nothing fancy.  But I thought my daughter would like something more when she is going on walks or playing in the woods.  That is when we came up with this cute water bottle carrier.

The carrier does require two straight lines of stitches but let me tell you . . . if we can sew this, you can too!

>>Read the rest of my post at Motherhood On A Dime.

How to Make Rustic LOVE Signs

How to Make Rustic LOVE Signs -

Do you love rustic wood signs?  You may be surprised to hear that they are not very hard to make.  I consider myself to have very average skills in this department but can still turn out signs I would hang in my house every day of the week.  Today, we’re making these cute LOVE signs with a slight tweak depending on the recipient.  

For many years, there have been two families that have blessed us in many ways, but particularly with their homemade maple syrup and rhubarb crunch.  They won’t let us pay them; they just give out of the kindness of their hearts.  The one has been family friends since my husband was a young child.  To this lady, we deliver an empty 9×13 dish every spring and she returns it full of delicious and sweet rhubarb crunch.  The other family makes maple syrup and we all agree, it is the best around!

Such kind gestures . . . I wanted to find a creative and meaningful way to say thank you.  That is when I thought of the popular LOVE signs with the stacked lettering.   But, I decided to swap out a letter for the image of rhubarb and a maple syrup container.

Who is that special someone for whom you could make a sign?  What is it that they love or are known for?

What You’ll Need To Make Rustic LOVE Signs:

  • 1″ x 8″ wood board
  • 1″ x 4″ wood strip
  • saw (or ask the store to make the cuts)
  • sander
  • stain and supplies
  • finish nails
  • wood glue
  • printed text/artwork
  • chalk
  • pencil
  • white acrylic paint and brush
  • sand paper
  • clear sealer (flat – not gloss)
  • thick jute
  • staple gun

DIY Rustic Love Signs

I picked up my wood at Home Depot and they made the cuts for me.  I used 1″ x 8″ wood boards and cut two pieces to the length I wanted . . . about 16 inches.  These two pieces will be the front of the sign.  In order to keep them together, we put 1″ x 4″ wood strip supports behind to stabilize the sign.  We cut this strip into two – 13 inch pieces.

DIY Rustic Love Signs (1b)

For a rustic sign, you will want to sand off any crisp edge.  I like watching a sign take shape as you sand off the corners and rough it up a bit.

DIY Rustic Love Signs (2)

You can see the two sizes of wood next to the sander in this photo.  I have a lot of wood here since I was making two LOVE signs and our tree house “Adventure Awaits” sign.

Once sanded, apply the stain and allow to dry.  Then, we will move on to assembling our sign.

DIY Rustic Love Signs (3)

To put your sign together, you will need wood glue and finish nails.  Following the manufacturer’s instructions, I swirled glue on one side of each support piece and held it while my husband nailed the wood strips down.  Be sure that your nails are not too long or they will pierce through the front of the sign!  And that, my friends, would be terribly disappointing.

Allow the glue to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

DIY Rustic Love Signs (4b)

Now, it is time to prepare for painting.  You may choose to sketch the letters and image freehand if you are artistic, but I prefer a fool-proof method.

Print the letters and image you have selected in the exact size needed.  I used my Silhouette Cameo‘s software even though I was only printing.  For reference, my font was Book Antiqua and text size 593 (yes, I know that sounds outrageous).

DIY Rustic Love Signs (5b)

Print and cut your design (always leaving a good white border around everything).  Tape your letters together so that you have a one-piece-of-paper design template as opposed to four loose papers.

TIP:  Don’t be afraid to print one letter with a segment of another letter on a single piece of paper.  This will help you when taping the four letters together to get accurate spacing.  Just overlap the paper and put it up against your window to line it up.

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With your template in place, mark the corners with chalk so you can find quick placement later.

DIY Rustic Love Signs (7b)

Now, chalk the back of the sign.  You want to have good chalk coverage on the border of each letter and image.

DIY Rustic Love Signs (8b)

Flip your template back over and put in place on top of the wood.  With a pencil, trace along the border of each letter or shape.  It is better to trace within the black print rather than going outside of the letter.

DIY Rustic Love Signs (9b)

This is how it will look!  Isn’t it awesome?

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And here it is when done.  You can wipe off the corner paper marks whenever you want.

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With acrylic paint, fill in your letters taking care to paint on top of the chalk line.

Allow to dry.

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Now, it is time to rough up the sign.  With sand paper, distress not only the paint but the wood too.

Once you are done and satisfied with your distressing, seal the front with spray acrylic sealant.  Shake the can very well, apply to the sign and allow to dry completely.

DIY Rustic Love Signs - attaching jute

You can try different ways to hang the sign but I wanted to keep a rough look, so I added thick jute by tying knots and using a staple gun to secure the jute just above the knots.

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That’s it!  Take a look at how my signs turned out.  I am in LOVE!

DIY Rustic Love Signs (14)

 

DIY Rustic Love Signs (13)

What do you think?  Something you could tackle?  I am sure if I can do this, you can too!