How to Make a Bagel Stand

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Did you catch last week’s fun breakfast for a kids’ sleepover?  Milk, fruit cups and a bagel bar with a DIY chalkboard serving tray.  But what I didn’t show was how I made these adorable bagel stands.  And that, I saved for today.  Whether you’re serving bagels or doughnuts, these display stands will look great for any celebration.

Here is what you’ll need to make 3 Bagel Stands:

  • 3 Pine Rosette Mouldings (3-3/4″ x 3-3/4″)
  • 1/2″ x 48″ dowel
  • Square Layout Tool
  • Drill
  • Sand Block and/or Sand Paper
  • Hack Saw or other Hand Saw
  • Stain and Supplies (brush and rag)
  • Food-Grade Sealer – oh, the drama
  • Wood Glue (optional)

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For your bagel stand base, you could use a simple block of wood, but I opted for these fun pine rosette mouldings that I purchased at Home Depot (or take a look at these ‘affiliate’ options).

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First, you will need to mark the center of the rosette.  Use a Square Layout Tool to find the center.  Not all rosettes are perfectly centered and square.

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Drill a pilot hole from the backside.

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Then, drill a 1/2″ hole from the front side.  (Don’t mind the mess of Dan’s workbench.  I just bought him organizers for his birthday.  It’s on the list!)

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Sand around the hole as needed to give it a smooth finish.

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Next, cut the dowel into 12″ pieces and sand the ends for a finished look.

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Stain the rosettes and dowels.  Allow them to dry fully.

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Now, to seal the wood and prep it to be food-safe.  In all my research, I found several things that are deemed to be food-safe on wood.  A couple options are shellac (wax-free), beeswax  and 100% tung oil.  There are others, but I would suggest doing your own research to find what you are comfortable with.

I first tried beeswax which was a disaster in the application stage.  It cooled and caked too quickly when I was putting it on the wood.  It took holding the block and dowel over steam to soften everything so that I could try to wipe the excess wax off.  Not my idea of success.

Then, I found Butcher Block Conditioner.  It is made of mineral oil, beeswax and carnuaba oil.  All are food-safe and it was a breeze to apply.  I simply warmed it a little and put it on with a rag, followed by buffing 20 minutes later.  I applied 3 coats as suggested for initial use.

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I choose not to glue the dowel into the block to keep the bagel stand easy to store as separate pieces.  My stands have a great, tight fit.  However, if your stands wobble, add wood glue to the bottom.  Just be sure to keep it away from where food will touch.

What do you think?  I loved how the bagel stands turned out!  If you want to see more of this breakfast, click here or on the image below.

chalkboard serving tray

 

How to Make a Chalkboard Serving Tray for a Fun Kids’ Breakfast

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

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Are you a serving tray junkie?  I cannot walk by serving trays in the store without melting and wanting to take home each one.  I see beautiful glasses, fun foods and great displays of all sorts, set upon a unique tray ready to welcome friends and guests to enjoy something delicious with us.  Yes, serving trays are my weakness (okay, one of my weaknesses).

So for today’s tutorial, I am skipping the store-bought tray and making a chalkboard serving tray that is perfect for your next kiddos’ sleepover.  With three main breakfast foods I picked up at Walmart, your kids and their friends will enjoy a nutritious breakfast filled with choices and fun.

But before I get into how to make the chalkboard serving tray, let me tell you about the Great American Milk Drive.  I am excited to be a part of the #BetterBreakfast campaign, which is supporting the Great American Milk Drive.

Childhood should be filled with playing, learning and growing. But for many children who face hunger, even basic staples like milk – and the nutrients that help power childhood activities – are missing.  Now, you can help feed a childhood – by purchasing 1 or more of these products, you are helping Feeding America provide nutrient-rich milk to kids and families in need. Visit milklife.com/give to learn more and give.

Don’t you love this?  And speaking of love, let’s talk about the chalkboard tray.  This is definitely one you can make yourself!

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Here is What You’ll Need for Your Chalkboard Serving Tray:

  • Unfinished wood – my tray measured 2″ x 12″ x 30″
  • Sander with Medium or Fine and Extra Fine Grit Sand Paper
  • Stain and Supplies (brush and rag)
  • Sealer
  • Square
  • Pencil
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Chalkboard Paint (I prefer spray for this size project.)
  • Drill
  • Two Handles
  • Felt Furniture Pads (4)
  • Chalk (I suggest a chalk pencil and a regular chalk stick.)

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To get started, decide what length you want your tray to be.  I wanted a nice long tray that could hold several toppings for a bagel bar so I decided on a serving tray that was 12″ x 30″.  I purchased a 2″ x 12″ x 8′ piece of wood and asked the store to cut it down for me.

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Prepare your wood.  You will need to sand down the wood, working out any splintering pieces from the rough cut and smoothing out all edges and corners.  It is especially important that you use an extra fine grit sand paper on the top where your chalkboard will be.  The smoother the surface the better!

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With your wood prepped, stain the wood and wipe off the excess with a rag.

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Allow the stain to dry completely.

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Next, add a coat of sealer and allow to dry.

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Now, you will need to determine the chalkboard space.  I gave my chalkboard a border of 1″ on the long sides and 1.5″ on the short sides where the handles go.  With a square, measure the border space you want to create.

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With marks in place, draw a line to create a rectangle in pencil.   This is the border of your chalkboard.

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Use painter’s tape to cover the wood that will not be painted.  To keep the paint from bleeding into the border, press the tape down firmly.  I always take my fingernail along the edge that will receive paint to ensure a tight seal.

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Grab your can of chalkboard spray paint and put several thin coats on the wood.  My wood took three coats.  Follow the directions on the can for wait times between coats.

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Remove the tape and allow the chalkboard to dry and cure completely per manufacturer directions.

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Mark the screw holes where you want the handles to go.  I centered the handles in the 1.5″ stained border.

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Then, drill holes for the screws.

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This is what they will look like.

However, if you have used 2″ thick wood like I did, this is where you’ll run into a slight problem.  The screws for the handles are likely too short to grip the handle and go through the thickness of the wood.

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With a larger bit on the drill (large enough for the head of the screw to fit), carefully drill into the bottom of the tray so that your screw has less wood to go through.  Don’t get too crazy here.  You don’t want to mistakenly drill all the way through.

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This is what it should look like when the screw is set into the wood.

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Now attach your beautiful handles.

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I always add furniture pads to the bottoms of my trays.  Why risk scratching the table?

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Prep and condition your chalkboard by rubbing a piece of chalk (using the side) all over the chalkboard surface.  Wipe clean with a damp rag.  I try to avoid paper towels for cleaning chalkboards as eventually, I always get little white fibers everywhere.

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Next, you are ready to write down labels or food descriptions for your kids’ breakfast.  I love chalk pencils for this kind of writing.  You can put them in the pencil sharpener which allows for a clean, fresh look or deeper emphasis/outline in wider writing.

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Now, it is time to call the kids down for breakfast!  I love that this is a simple and easy breakfast while being nutritional.  We served Lender’s Bagels (with lots of toppings), Great Value Milk and Del Monte Fruit & Veggie Fusions.  The combination of milk, bagels and fruit cups gives kids protein, carbohydrates, vitamin C and other things that they won’t get with other choices.  Plus, all it takes is pouring a glass of milk, grabbing a bagel and opening a fruit cup.  (You can even keep everything in the fridge including the fruit cups.)

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Here is a little bit about each:

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Great Value Milk

Milk is naturally nutrient rich and powers potential – if you have access to it.  Milk’s 9 essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality protein per 8 ounce serving, can help to ensure that kids have the potential to play, learn and grow.  This is another reason to join Feeding America in The Great American Milk Drive to help deliver highly desired and nutrient-rich gallons of milk to hungry children and families who need it most.  More than 14 million servings of milk have been delivered to food banks through this first-of-its-kind initiative.  Don’t you love that?

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Lender’s Bagels

I love offering choices to guests.  Here the kids can choose which bagel they want:  Plain, Blueberry or Cinnamon-Raisin, all kid-friendly options and great for the whole family.  Lender’s has a bagel for everyone!  Bagels are time-saving, easy, tasty and nutritious.  Plus, they are filling which means kids can be sustained all morning.  Lender’s Bagels are available in the refrigerated dairy section.

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Del Monte Fruit & Veggie Fusions:

Del Monte Fruit & Veggie Fusions is the only fruit cup product that provides 1 serving of fruits and veggies in a single cup. The vegetable is in the juice but you’d never know it.  (A win-win for those of you with kids who don’t like their veggies!)

I served Apple Pear Watermelon, Peach Mango and Cherry Fruit Trio.  As I mentioned earlier, I love giving our guests choices.  With our Fruit Fusions, Lender’s Bagels and the entire bagel bar, the kids had so many flavors to choose from.  They could customize their breakfast with their favorite flavor combinations.

*Check the shelf at Walmart for specially marked Del Monte Fruit & Veggie Fusions packages for valuable coupons for Del Monte and Lenders products.

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Here is where to find the items in the store:

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Check out this fun giveaway:

#BuildABetterBreakfast Sweepstakes

 

What do you like to serve for breakfast at your kids’ sleepovers?  How do you keep it simple yet nutritious?

Learn more and connect with the Great American Milk Drive on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest & Youtube or here with Lender’s Bagels.

How to Make $2 Tassel Garland

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I love making my own party decorations.  But what I love it even more is when it costs a fraction of what you can buy it for in the store.  Today, I am showing you how to make a simple tassel garland for only $2.

How to Make $2 Tassel Garland

The secret that makes this tassel garland so inexpensive is that I used $1 plastic table cloths from Walmart.  Color 1 = $1.  Color 2 = $1.  You can get as creative as you want with colors and pattern of colors and you still won’t be spending a fortune.  Plus, you’ll be amazed how much you can get out of one table cloth.  To string everything together, use any ribbon, string or jute you already have at home.  My jute came straight from my craft cabinet.  It is my go-to string for most everything.

Important to Note:  I love the Dollar Tree and all their party supplies.  However, their plastic table cloths are thinner than Walmart’s.  I wanted a less transparent tassel for my garland.

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First, unfold your table cloths but don’t unravel.  Do not peel apart the layers to open the table cloth itself.  You need only to unfold the plastic cloth from being in the bag.

I wanted my tassels to be 1.5″ wide.  Measure the width of your preference and snip marks in the plastic.

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Then, cut the strands of the tassels.  Don’t worry about being perfect.  Just eye it up.

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Find the end that has one loop and two loose ends.  Snip the loop on this side.

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You should end up with two strands, banded at the top and loose at the bottom.

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Lay the tassel under the jute as shown above.

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Grab the tassel . . .

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. . . and pull the loose ends through.

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Hold the jute and gently pull on the ends of the plastic.

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Make the knot as tight as you like.

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Fluff the tassel.

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Continue in the colors and pattern of your choice.

 

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I used my tassel garland for this Coca-Cola beverage station.

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Tassel garland is a great party decoration for any celebration . . . whether graduation party (in school colors, of course), summer entertaining or other themed parties.  Use it outside and be mesmerized as it dances with the breeze.

Do you have a celebration coming up?  What colors will you make your tassel garland with?

 

How to Make Tassel Garland for $2.00

How to Make Simple, Yet Gorgeous Dollar Tree Luminaries

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(This post contains my affiliate links.)

Oh friends, when my eyes caught a glance of these decorative glass bottles, I knew I had to do something fun!  And with a quick little addition, for a whopping total of 2 bucks, I made Dollar Tree Luminaries.

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Not only are the luminaries ultra easy to make, the bottles are gorgeous and well, each luminary only costs $2.00!  You can bet I’ll be saving these bottles for a long time and using them for all sorts of things.  In fact . . . I think I need to buy more . . . sorry, honey.

The Dollar Tree luminaries are great for summer entertaining, nighttime fun for the family or any other time you want to create a special glow.  When we sleep in the tree house for the first time, I think they will be perfect along the path back to the house.  The glass reflects the light and makes the whole thing look super cool!

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Here is how to make the luminaries:  Buy the bottles and glow sticks from the Dollar Tree.  Open all packaging.  Crack the glow sticks and drop them in the bottles. . . . Yes, it is that easy.  I used one pack of 8 bracelet-size glow sticks for each bottle.

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Coordinate the glow sticks with your party theme.  Go red-white-blue for July 4th celebrations.  Choose team or school colors if possible or simply, mix and match for a festive feel.

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What will you use the luminaries for?  Do you have something special in mind?  

>> If you like to save money and you love entertaining, you may like to read my post on finding inexpensive table linens.

DOLLAR TREE luminaries

 

Delicious and Easy Little Pies for Your Entertaining

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

Delicious and Easy MIni Pies for your Entertaining

Before I became a Wedding Planner, I worked as a Banquet Manager.  Aside from the pleasure of meeting and working with wonderful clients and throwing fantastic events, I loved having a staff.

When I needed a room transformed, the staff was there.  When we had a delicious meal to plate, the staff was there.  When it was time for clean up, the staff was there.

Now, I am a staff of one.

Okay, my kids and husband do help quite a bit.  But gone are the days when I had several people working in the kitchen and a line of servers on the floor.  So when I entertain at home, I am always on the lookout for ways to make things easier, especially in the kitchen.

And this effortless pie recipe does just that!  It will simplify your spring and summer entertaining without sacrificing great taste and a pretty presentation.  Plus, it’s on the healthier side since we’re using Greek yogurt instead of a sugary filling.

Grab a tray and serve this delicious dessert to your guests.  They will never know how easy it was to make and you’ll love how quick it is to clean up.  Take a look!

How to Make these Easy Mini Pies:

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I stopped at Walmart and picked up my ingredients.  Don’t you love it when your grocery list is short?

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You Will Need:

  • Keebler® Ready Crust® Mini Graham Cracker Pie Crust (6-count)
  • Dannon® Light & Fit® Strawberry Cheesecake Greek Yogurt
  • Sliced Strawberries
  • Reddi-wip®
  • Shavings of White Chocolate

Entertaining Tip:  Select recipes that allow for much of the prep work to be done in advance.  This way, you can focus more on your guests and being a hospitable host.

Prepare In Advance:

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First, slice the strawberries into flat pieces.

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Then, shave a white chocolate bar using a vegetable peeler.

To get the chocolate spiral, “peel” down the long side of the bar, using the full length of the blade.  (Start at one end of the blade at the top of the chocolate and by the time you get to the end, you will want to be at the opposite end of the blade.)

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Fill the Keebler® Ready Crust® Mini Graham Cracker Pie Crusts with the Dannon® Greek Yogurt.  Mmm, I love strawberry cheesecake!

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Then arrange your strawberry slices on top of the yogurt.

Tip:  Arrange the strawberries so the outer edges of the berry are near the rim of the crust.  This way when you put your whipping cream on later, the beautiful side of the strawberry will be showing, giving your treat an extra pop of color.

Refrigerate until later.

Just Before Serving:

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Pull your pies out of the fridge and swirl Reddi-wip® on the pie.

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Garnish with the white chocolate shavings.

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Serve the mini pies on a cute tray and enjoy!

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We had leftover ingredients which meant over the next several days, my family enjoyed these mini pies again and again.  They are so easy and fun to make that the kids can hop in and help, as well.

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Going . . .

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. . . going . . .

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. . . gone!

It’s the perfect dessert for a host who wants something simple yet delicious.  After all, it’s as easy as pie!

 

Here is where I found the main ingredients:

where to find the ingredients for easy little pies

What do you think of my easy mini pies?  Do you have a simple dessert that you love to serve?

For more effortless pie inspiration, go here or click to unlock an Ibotta rebate.

 

How to Make Birds Nests for a Ladies Brunch

How to Make Sweet Birds Nests for a Ladies Lunch - tutorial

I have found a new little obsession this spring.  (Remember last summer’s obsession?)  Maybe my new preoccupation is because I have desperately waited for spring to actually arrive.  Or possibly, it is simply because these things are plain old sweet.  But I cannot seem to get enough of birds nests, as both home decor and party fun.

Today, I’ll be showing you how to make birds nests for a ladies brunch.  It was a win-win because the nests looked beautiful on the table and they served as place cards and favors for my guests to take home.  And with all the ladies attending being my sisters in Christ, I wanted to attach a Bible verse to the nests to encourage us all.

But before we get any further, let me share some of the many ways the nests can be used:  ladies’ brunch (obviously), Mother’s Day lunch, a woodland themed or little bird baby shower, spring decor around your house, gifts for teachers . . . there are so many possibilities!

(This post contains my affiliate links for various products.)

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Getting Started Making the Nests:

I used three kinds of moss:  Spanish Moss (top), Floral Moss (bottom left) and Sheet Moss (bottom right).  I thought the combination looked great together, but if there is something else you’d rather use, go for it!

How to Make Sweet Birds Nests for a Ladies Brunch

The bulk of the nest is made with spanish moss.  Start by shaping the spanish moss into nest form.  For sizing reference, I made three nests from a 125 cubic feet bag of moss.

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Spray the formed nest with spray adhesive.  After each new addition of moss, add more adhesive to keep your nest together.  It will remain pliable, but this will keep it from falling apart.

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Next, add floral moss to the center of the nest and spray again.

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{My favorite part!}  Tear apart pieces of sheet moss, spray the back with adhesive and put in the nest.  I thought it looked most natural with the moss peaking up and over the side of the nests.  Add three pieces of sheet moss to each nest.  Remember:  odd numbers are most appealing.

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Add just a bit more floral moss on top and give it . . . yes, another spray of adhesive.

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Grab some sticks from the yard and put them into your nest.

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Continue to form the nest with your hands, creating a cavity for the eggs.

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Don’t forget to flip your nests over and spray the bottom to help prevent the moss from falling everywhere.

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I was hoping the spray adhesive would eventually dry out and not be tacky on the nest.  But no such luck.  You’ll need to add a coat of clear acrylic sealer over the entire nest (including the bottom).

Getting Started Making the Eggs Buying the Eggs:

I would like to tell you that I made the sweetest looking sparrow eggs for my little nests.  I even made salt dough (which became a quick fail – click here to see why).

Do you know how difficult it is to form dough into a consistent egg shape?  Nice round balls, sure I could probably do that.  Egg shape?  Another fail.

But in the hope that some off-white paint and brown speckles would magically make the eggs look . . . like eggs, I gave it a go.  After all, I have all the time in the world.  😉

Errrr!

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So in desperation, I ordered cute plastic speckled eggs off Amazon.  They are perfectly shaped and look like little eggs.  Go figure.

Thank you, Prime, for 2-day shipping!

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My other challenge in this project was to find sweet little feathers.  I was out of time, however for more shopping.  So I picked up a bag of white feathers, mixed a bit of brown acrylic paint with water and yes, painted my feathers.

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Once they were dry, I gave them a little snip and tucked them into my nests.  Hopefully, you will have the chance to get to a craft store and buy a bag of cute feathers.

Making the Tags:

Your next task is to think about what you want to write on the tags.

I decided to create two tags.  One that read, “NAME, a Child of God,” that would serve as the place card.

The second tag would share this Bible verse:

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.  Matthew 10:29-31.

It is a precious verse to remind us how much we are loved by the Heavenly Father.  We are His children.  He knows the very details of our lives and promises to take care of us.

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Once you have decided what you will put on the tags, print and cut them out.  I used my Cameo to cut the card stock into little flag-style tags.

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Grab a marker or highlighter and begin to curl the paper.

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I curled over in the center and then flipped the ends up.

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With corsage pins, pierce your tags and stick into the nests.

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I kept the table on the simple side.  No place mats.  Napkins tri-folded and draped over the table edge.  A bird cage centerpiece that echoed the sheet moss.

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So, now you know how to make birds nests that look as good as the ones in the store.  How will you use them?

How to Make New Wood Look Worn for a Rustic Split Bouquet

how to make new wood look worn for a rustic split bouquet

This little project combines three things I love:  rustic wood, mason jars and fresh flowers.  It is simple in design and will look lovely on your dining table, window sill, nightstand or hearth.  Believe me . . . I’ve moved it all over the place.  My favorite spot, however, would be to display it on the buffet amidst the delicious food you’re serving at a dinner party.  Lovely, right?

If you don’t have a piece of worn, old wood laying around, no worries.  You can save some dough by using what you have around the house.  I took a scrap piece from my scoreboard-inspired serving tray and beat it up . . . literally.

This is what I started with: (my dimensions are 2.75″ x 14″)

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Way too fresh and clean.  So I hit it with both sides of a hammer.

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I banged the sides to crush the long perfect edge.

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I pounded the side of nail heads into it.  (Tip:  use long nails to keep from smacking your fingers with the hammer.)

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Check it out!  There is no right or wrong.  Just the fun of purposefully ruining something.

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And this is what I got when I was all done.

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I added stain (affiliate link) and wiped it off with a rag.  I should have also put a coat of sealer on it, but was feeling just a bit lazy…

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Then, all that was left was to add the mason jars and split up the bouquet.

As it turns out, one good thing about moving is that you get lots of “welcome to the area” coupons.  This bouquet was free from a local florist.  All I did was divide it up between the jars.

TIP:  Balance the colors.  I have some yellow on each end and at least a little of pink in each jar.  And because I have three jars, I made sure the middle had the tallest flowers.  

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Here is a close up of the wood.  I love how the stain sits in the divots and gives depth to the warm browns.

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And now, the split bouquet is sitting on the window sill above my kitchen sink . . . something pretty to look at while I do the dishes.

Where would you put your rustic split bouquet?

How to Make a Beautiful Spring Centerpiece with Flowers and Candy

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Today, I have a lovely spring centerpiece that will look gorgeous on your table.  Instead of flowers arranged around a vase filled with stacked candies, this arrangement nestles the candy atop the flowers, inviting your friends and family to gather near to taste sweet treats and enjoy the scents of spring.

I saw an image of this style of arrangement a while back, but haven’t been able to find it since.  So, here is my take on how to make it with much of what you already have in your house and garden.

 

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Here is what you need –

  • A cylindrical vase
  • A candy dish
  • A bowl
  • Flowers
  • River Rocks (my affiliate link)
  • Twine, Jute or Ribbon
  • Candy (pick something that pulls from the coloring of your flowers)

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1.  Place your cylindrical vase in the bowl.  Be sure you are selecting dishes that fit well within each other and sit flat.  Then, set your candy dish  on top so that you know the right spacing for your flowers.
 

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2.  Cut the flowers to fit.  They should be taller than the vase so that the candy dish appears nestled into the bed of flowers.
 

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3.  Tie the jute around the vase with a couple of the flowers in place.  Unless you have someone helping, you will need to secure your flowers from the start.
 

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4.  Continue to add flowers around the vase and pulling the jute around them.
 

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5.  Don’t forget to add water to your bowl to keep your flowers happy.  I started with just enough to keep them in water.  Once everything was done, I added more.
 

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I used a rock to apply tension to my jute as I worked around the vase.
 

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6.  Once you have worked your way around the entire vase, wrap the jute many times to give it a fun, vintage feel.  Then, tie it off.  I knotted it to another one of the wrap arounds.
 

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7.  Add your river rocks.
 

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8.  Adjust your jute spacing as needed to give an even look and be sure to snip any loose end.
 

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9.  And finally, add your candy.  I used Reese’s Pieces Eggs.  And boy, they went fast!
 

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What flowers and candy will you use in your centerpiece?