Saturday, October 6, 2012

Scratch Off Tickets

I came across this on Pinterest a while back and then this more recently. When I saw the first one, I thought "DIY scratch off tickets?!? No freaking way! I must do this!!!" But then I had to wait until the right project came along. And I found it.

Each year, I coordinate a weeklong employee appreciation event at my work. And this will be the third year in a row that I will have people play "Minute To Win It" games for fun and prizes. In previous years, people would choose their challenge by pulling a folded up paper from a jar. That was just not going to cut it this year.

Scratch off tickets, here we come!

Something to use as tickets
Clear packing tape
Acrylic paint in any color, I chose silver
Liquid dishwashing soap, I used Dawn

The first thing I did was decide what was going on the tickets and got those printed out.  I made mine in Excel, nine to a page.  I printed them and cut them out, then cut out a slightly larger piece of colored paper to glue on the back, but don't glue it yet.

Next, I pulled a long piece of packing tape from the roll and laid it sticky-side-up on my desk.  Then, I placed each ticket along the edge of the tape so that the tape covers the part I want to scratch off.  I trimmed the tape to the edge of each ticket then took an old gift card and ran it over the tape on the front of the ticket to really get the tape smashed down.

Now, get the slightly larger backing paper and glue it to the back.

Following the instructions from the other blogs, I mixed one part acrylic paint to one part dishwashing liquid.
Stir together slowly, so as not to generate too many bubbles.

Now, it is time to paint.

Mine really beaded up after a few seconds.  I let it dry for a while, but not completely, then painted it again which added more paint, but also spread out the first paint evenly again.

Now, let it dry completely.  Then paint over it another time or two until the area is completely covered.

After it is completely dry, you are ready to go.  Grab a coin and scratch it off!

We also have a few employees that work for us from offices in other cities.  Since they couldn't be there in person to play Minute To Win It games, I sent them a scratch off card of appreciation.  Same process, different words.

Decide what you want to say and print it out.

Cut the cards.  Put the packing tape over the area to be painted.  Glue the backing paper on.

Paint.  Paint again.  Let it dry.

Ready to scratch off!  Enjoy!

A few other ideas I came across while researching this idea were Save The Date cards for weddings, a gender reveal announcement during pregnancy, Valentine Cards, reward cards for children with what prize they earn underneath.  The possibilities are endless.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Giant Cupcake!

This year, for my daughter's half birthday, she choose to have half of a giant cupcake (just like last year). So, the first thing we had to do was bake a whole giant cupcake so that we could later cut it in half.The first thing you will need is a Giant Cupcake pan. Mine is from Wilton.  
You will also need two boxes of cake mix and all of the corresponding ingredients or the ingredients to make your cake batter from scratch.  You won't use all of the batter.  There should be some left for a few normal size cupcakes or whatever you want.

Hannah chose Devil's Food for the bottom half and Strawberry for the top.  Mix up the batter so it was ready to go.  And preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  (Wilton shares instructions for this process on their webpage, so you might want to skim their's also.)

Now to prep your pan.  I highly recommend Baker's Joy spray.  This whole process is entirely dependent on the cake coming cleanly out of the pan.  And this pan has a lot of small areas for cakes to get stuck.  You can just do the "grease and flour" thing, but I find the spray much easier.

For now, just spray the side of the pan that makes the bottom of the giant cupcake.  Get it really coated.  Don't leave any dry spots.  Then fill with your "bottom batter".  For our cake, that was the Devil's Food.  Fill it up about 2/3 of the way.  I think Wilton recommends 3 1/2 cups, but I really hate measuring prepared batter so I eyeball it to about 2/3 full.

Now this is where I stray from the official instructions.  I put mine in the oven at this point - with the "top" section still empty and unsprayed.  Bake for 10-15 minutes.  (You are going to bake for an hour total, so either set the timer for an hour at this point and set a second timer for 10 minutes, or set it for 10 now and 50 later.  Up to you.)

Remove the pan from the oven.  Spray the heck out of the empty section.  
Then fill about 2/3 full with the other batter.  (Wilton says 2 1/2 cups.)  We did Strawberry and I filled it up to about where the swirl lines start.  
And then get it back in the oven to bake for the remaining 50 minutes.  
Baking in progress!
After that, do your toothpick test to see if it is done.  Ours was.  (Then bake your cupcakes according to package directions.

Let it cool about 15 minutes in the pan. Then dump it out.  If you sprayed yours successfully, it should pretty much fall out when you turn your pan over.

Now, let the cake cool completely.  Then level off the baked top of each piece.  I used a massive serrated knife.

Please ignore my cluttered counter!  And my almost 6.5 YO is the photographer on some of these, if you couldn't tell.

Spread some icing on the cut side of the bottom and carefully place the top  Handle it gently so it doesn't crack.

Now decorate it as you see fit.  We left the bottom un-iced.  Hannah coated the top in cherry icing.  
Not sure how all of this is going to taste together, but she picked it all out.  I hope she likes it.  And then she did a lovely rainbow design with sprinkles.

Then, we will end up cutting the whole thing in half, because she only gets half of a birthday cake on her half birthday.  (The other half usually ends up going to work with me.)

Sing "Happy Half Birthday to you...", blow out the 6 1/2 candles, and enjoy!

One extra tip - Before putting away your Baker's Joy, turn the can upside down over your sink and spray it until it is just spraying clear.  Then run the sprayer tip under hot water for a few seconds.  This should keep it from clogging up between uses.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bedding Set for a Doll

My daughter Hannah and I went to a new quilt shop in town.  They have a ton of fabric to choose from and Hannah was drawn to the shelf full of fat quarters.  I told her she could pick two and we would come up with something to make, but she couldn't decide on just two.  I told her she could have three if she told me what she wanted to make with them.  She said she wanted to make a bedding set for Rosalina - her "American Girl" doll.  (Don't tell her, but it isn't really AG.  It came from Target and it was about a third the price of a real one.)  It's a deal!  I'll give it my best shot.

First up was the pillow.  Hannah chose the blue fabric for this and she requested ruffles.  This is what I came up with.  I gave her the job stuffing the pillow after it was sewn, while I moved on to the fitted sheet.

She wanted the gold (looks brown in the photos) fabric for the fitted sheet.  I boxed off the corners and then hemmed all the way around the edge.  I ran a narrow elastic through the hem.  And that's all there was to it.  The mattress is a small, rectangular pillow.

And now for the blanket.  Hannah saved the purple fabric for this.  I had a small section of the blue leftover after the pillow, so I sewed that across the top.  I cut a piece of white fleece the same size as the blue and purple fabric.  Then I put the right sides together and sewed almost all the way around the edge, leaving a small gap for turning it right side out.  I trimmed the edges, clipped the corners, and turned it, making sure to get as crisp of corners as possible.  Then I topstitched all the way around the top, near the edge.  And done.

Now Rosalina can nap in style!
Rosalina wearing an outfit I made for Hannah's birthday

Once again, things turned out better than I expected, so I didn't take in-progress photos, not anticipating a post about it.  If you have questions about any of it, leave a comment and I will try to answer.  Enjoy!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Plastic Cap Pincushion

I don't know why, but I have been keeping the plastic lids that are on the milk bottles that come with my children's kid's meals at fast food restaurants.  I had no project in mind, they just seemed like they might come in handy for something.

Well, after collecting four more caps this weekend, I decided to do a little Pinterest searching to see what the rest of the world is doing with their plastic caps.

I found several ideas that I pinned, including these two that holds lots of promise - this one and this one.  But the one I decided to start with is this tiny pincushion.  I fully intended to make it just like the ones in her pictures, but I didn't like any of the ribbon that I have (and it is after 9pm on a Sunday, so I am not headed out to buy more).  I found some fabric that would match the brown lid that came off my daughter's chocolate milk at some point and pulled together the rest of the very few supplies I needed for this project.

Supplies needed:
-Plastic lid (mine is from a chocolate milk bottle from a fast food kid's meal)
-Small circle of fabric
-Batting (not as much as in the photo)

Optional and not shown in this tutorial:
-coordinating ribbon to glue onto the outside of the plastic cap
-felt to go on the bottom (I couldn't find any in the chaos of my "craft room")

Step 1 - Cut the fabric.

Cut the fabric circle larger than the bottle cap.  You can see the proportions I used in the photo.  The bigger the fabric circle, the more cushion that will stick up from the cap.  Adjust yours accordingly.

Step 2 - Sew the fabric circle into a cushion.
Using the needle and thread, sew a simple running stitch just in from the edge of the fabric.
When you get back to the beginning, pull it together a bit to form a little pouch you can start to stuff.

Step 3 - Stuff
Put a pinch of stuffing into the fabric pouch.  Keep adding more while pulling the thread tails tighter from both ends.

Once you have it stuffed tight, pull both thread ends as tight as you can and tie them together in a knot.  

Before moving on to the next step stuff your little cushion into your lid to make sure you like how it looks.  If there are problems, now is the time to adjust.  If it is good, move on to Step 4.

Step 4 - Glue

Get your glue and put a nice coating on the inside of the lid.  Make sure you get some on the sides and bottom.

Step 5 - Cram and finish

Now, take the little fabric cushion and cram it open-end-first into the gluey lid.  Tuck it in nice and even.  And that's it!  

Optional steps (that I did not take, but might next time)

-The blog I found this on, put ribbon around the edge of the cap to cover the plastic.  I was planning to do this, but didn't like my ribbon choices.

-You could also cut a circle of felt the same size as the cap and glue that on the bottom.  I was going to do this too, but couldn't find anything other than pink felt in the chaos of my "craft room".  I could always add that later.  Or next time.

Now, put a bunch of pins or needles in it.  Enjoy!