Make Your Own Pinata.

As promised, instructions to make your own pinata.  Overall, it was a positive experience.  The good things about making your own pinata–mine was completely FREE, and Caeden had a lot of fun helping out as well.  The not-so-great things–it makes a big mess, and is pretty time consuming, so in the scheme of things $15 might not seem like so much to pay for one.

Anyway…here we go.

Step 1:  Gather your materials.  You will need:

-A Balloon (blow it up)
-Flour
-Water
-Newspapers
-A large bowl to mix your goo in.

Step 2:  Mix the goo :)  To make the glue, mix 1 part flour to 2 parts water.  1 cup flour and 2 cups water should give you more than enough.  Also, it tends to settle, so it’s nice to give it a little stir every once in a while…this was Caeden’s favorite part.

Step 3:  Tear your newspaper into strips.  Tear your newspaper into approximately 2 inch strips.  No need to get fancy and cut it because the torn edges actually give a more uniform seam when they are all glued onto the balloon.

Step 4: Paste newspaper strips to balloon.  Using the flour/water paste you created, adhere newspaper strips to the balloon.  Remember to leave a hole at one end (I left the end with the tie) open for popping and pulling out the balloon when you’re done.  The hole will be used to fill up the pinata with candy.  You will eventually cover the balloon 3 times.  Dip newspaper strips into your paste and place them horizontally on the balloon, overlapping the edges slightly and smoothing everything down.  Let this dry for approximately 24 hours.  Apply a second coating of newspaper strips vertically in the same fashion and let them dry for a day as well.  Finally, apply a third coating of newspaper strips diagonally.

Here is what mine looked like after the first coating (it’s still wet in this picture):

Step 5: Pop Balloon, Fill with Candy, Decorate.  After the final coat is dry, you can decorate your pinata as you choose.  One idea I had was to paint it a solid color and let the boys put hand prints all over it.  However, I ended up deciding to make a baseball instead.  I did this using recycled tissue paper (Yes, I am one of those people who saves tissue paper out of gift bags/boxes).  So, I just cut my tissue paper into small squares…2-3 inches maybe, and used a liquid glue to wad them in place.  Finally, use a pin to pop your balloon and gently pull it out.  I didn’t have any trouble with this.  I just held onto the end until it slowly peeled away from the paper mache inside.  Then, put candy in your pinata and it’s ready to go :)  I covered up the hole on top with tissue paper as well.

Here is the finished pinata about to get whacked by the birthday boy.

Make your own Kit :)

Today was my day this week to post on the AWDML DT Blog.  So, I decided to talk about one of my new favorite things to do–making my own kits. There are several benefits to doing this:

1. They are perfect for taking to crops. Simply put everything together in a little bag, and you have all of your necessities without packing your entire scrapbook room.

2. Breathe new life into old supplies. Have some old papers or embellies that you still love but just haven’t found the perfect use for? Add them to a kit. Combining them with the latest and greatest can be just what you need for some refreshed inspiration.

3. Break out of a rut. When I’m scrapping, I find myself reaching for the same old things on nearly every layout. Pins and other metal embellies get forgotten in my house, as does chipboard, clear embellies, and usually felt. I just have my go-to embellies, and don’t differ from that very often. In putting together a kit, I can really open up all my drawers and containers and consider everything in my stash.

So, what makes a perfect kit? Well, that is entirely up to you. But, here is my process:

Patterned Paper–First things first. I start all of my kits with patterned paper. For this kit, I used October Afternoon and some Basic Grey Origins.  I get my color scheme from the patterned paper and just pull colors from the patterns for the rest of my cardstock/embellies.

Cardstock–Add in a few sheets of patterned paper. I usually include a couple neutrals (black, white, kraft) as well as some complementary colors.

Alphabet–Self explanatory :)

Elements–Stickers or chipboard that coordinates with the kit. For this kit, Basic Grey made it easy on me and I included the Origins cardstock element stickers.

Journaling–In most of my kits, I like to include some kind of journaling spots. For this one, I chose some Jilibean Soup Kraft circle journaling spots.

Bling–Be it stickles, gems, glitter, glitter stickers, etc…I always need some form of bling :)

Ribbon–Sometimes I use felt, paper borders, ric rac, etc. But there is always some form of ribbon or border.

Extras–Those little embellies that bring it all together. The details. Buttons, brads, flowers, metal pins, random chipboard pieces, etc. I’m sure I’m forgetting some things but you get the idea.

Finally, here is the kit I assembled:

Hopefully I can get some time in my craft room soon and can post some layouts that I make using this kit :)  And, if anyone just falls in love with it, I have created a wishlist at AWDML where you can purchase the components of this kit.  Although, the ribbons and buttons are just from my stash, and there are some etsy goodies from evalicious (LOVE her shop!)
Finally, I am so glad today is Friday!!!  And, I’m happy to report that I can now see the floor in my scrapbook space!  Yeah, it was that bad.  Now all I have to do is some finishing touches and I’ll be ready to scrap again :)  And, hopefully by the beginning of February I can start to share my use-your-stash plans that I talked about at the end of last month :)  I haven’t forgotten, just got sidetracked by a lack of mojo.
Anyway…hope everyone has an awesome weekend!

Pleated Ribbon Flower

Here is the tutorial that I promised like a month ago.  Better late than never though, right?  Anyway, here is another layout that I created using my lovely kit from Jen’s House of Scrap.  The site has been experiencing technical difficulties, so if you are so inclined, you can find us on facebook.
The December kit had some beautiful pleated ribbon, which I used to make the flower on this layout.  This is the beautiful family of our very best friends (minus baby Ethan who wasn’t around yet).  Since I am making these pages for Kaelyn’s scrapbook, I left the journaling spot open for Leslie to write in her thoughts.

Here is a quick and easy tutorial for the flower.

Step 1.  Place adhesive on one end of the front side of your ribbon.

Step 2.  Adding adhesive where necessary, wrap the ribbon around itself in a gentle spiral shape.  I added adhesive to the bottom front of the ribbon, and it held really well.

Step 3.  Keep wrapping it around until you get the size you’d like.  The beauty of it is that it is really customizable and makes a great dimensional element for your layout or project.  When you are finished, simply snip the ribbon and secure with adhesive.  I added a pearl gem to the center.  Easy peasy :)

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