DIY 80’s Shirt

Are you looking for a quick and inexpensive Halloween costume? Or maybe you are attending an 80’s themed party.  Well, look no further!  Recently, my daughter had “time warp” day at school and we decided she would dress up in 80’s attire.  This brought back many memories of my childhood…jelly bracelets, leg warmers, crimped hair, side ponytails, charm bracelets.  I could almost hear Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” playing in the background as I made this shirt and reminisced.  I was the same age as my daughter is now when that album was released, and it was the first record I ever owned!

Fortunately, I had all of what I needed on hand, so this time warp outfit did not cost a thing!  I pulled an old “too small” t-shirt out of my son’s drawer and went to work.  In less than an hour, my daughter was all ready for her fun dress up day at school.

Here’s what you will need:  An old t-shirt,  pony beads, and scissors

Enjoy my tutorial on how to create the neckline and fringes on this totally 80’s shirt.

Halloween Marshmallow Pops

With Halloween just around the corner, I wanted to create something fun and festive.  My kids have been asking for marshmallow pops recently, so I thought I’d make these delicious cuties for them to enjoy!  Mallow pops are so easy and inexpensive to make and I love how how many variations can be made with just a few modifications.  Even though I enjoyed putting these little guys together,  I think next time, I will leave the decorating to my kids and see what “spooky” creations they come up with.

For these Halloween pops you will need the following items: a bag of large marshmallows, Wilton’s lollipop sticks, Wilton’s candy melts in several colors, candy eyeballs, chocolate chips (for the cat ears), chocolate chunks (for the pumpkin stems), oreo cookies (minus the filling, for the bat wings), a toothpick or kabob stick (for the little details like the noses and mouths), white sprinkles (for the cat whiskers and bat fangs)

In addition, it is helpful to have wax paper to place your marshmallows on before you dip and a piece of styrofoam to poke the lollipop sticks in after you dip them, while they dry. I bought an inexpensive styrofoam round at Michael’s that I have used over and over again for marshmallow and cake pops.img_6938I like to use mason jars to melt the candy in, but small bowls or coffee mugs work also.  Just make sure whatever you use is microwaveable.  It’s best to set everything up before melting so your all ready to begin dipping the marshmallows.  Line your countertop with wax paper and push a lollipop stick into the center of each marshmallow.  Get your candies and sprinkles all ready to go.  Follow the directions on the back of the bag of candy melts.  I have found it best to start with one minute in the microwave on 50% power.  After that, stir, and then go an additional 30 seconds at a time until your candy is easy to stir and completely melted.  *Do not over melt…sometimes as you stir, the candy will continue to melt, so give it a good stir each time.

Helpful Tip: If your candy melts start to harden before you are finished dipping or decorating, no worries.  Just pop them back in the microwave for 20-30 seconds and they will quickly melt again, so you can finish dipping and decorating.img_6941img_6950Now comes the fun part!  You are ready to dip and decorate! Enjoy my tutorial on making Halloween Marshmallow Pops for more helpful tips! img_3890

DIY Framed Chalkboard

I absolutely love chalkboards!  They are so versatile and you can change them anytime to create a new look in your home.  You can add quotes and drawings to go with seasons and holidays.  The possibilities with a blank chalkboard are endless!

When we moved into our home over a year ago, there was an odd roll up door in the living room.  It seems like the previous owners had used it as a sort of bar to serve drinks, but we didn’t quite know what to do with it.  We have talked about closing it off, but haven’t gotten around to it.  A couple of weeks ago, while sitting in my living room, I was struck with inspiration.  I saw the frame around the roll up door and thought, “I wonder what it would look like if I turned this into a giant chalkboard?”

A few coats of chalkboard paint later and project complete!  I am happy to report that it turned out even better than I expected! I used Rust-oleum ChalkBoard Paint from Lowes.  It took 3 coats of paint to cover the area thoroughly.  I let each coat dry for at least an hour before adding another, and one 30 oz. can of paint did the trick.  I purchased a white chalk marker at Michael’s and found a fall quote on thankfulness that I love.  I used our projector on my new chalkboard to get the quote just right and then traced it with the chalk pen.  I filled in some of the lighter areas with a regular piece of white chalk to create some contrast of texture and I absolutely love it!!! I already have a Christmas quote picked out for December!  This is definitely a great addition to the decor in our living room.

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Science Experiment Party

 

Micah is our little scientist.  He loves all things science, so naturally, when he was about to turn 10, we began to plan the ultimate Science Experiment Birthday Party.  The vision started to take shape one afternoon when we bought a slab of dry ice for Micah to “play” with.  He literally spent over 4 hours experimenting with it.  I decided then and there that dry ice experiments would be the main event of the party.  I wanted to include a couple of other simple activities as well.  A Coke and Mentos demonstration, cornstarch and water play, and build your own edible molecules made this an unforgettable birthday party!

The decorations were quite simple, since most of our time was spent on the science activities.  I created a really fun “Happy Birthday Micah” banner using letters from the periodic table and a couple of science symbols.  I used an old toy microscope as our centerpiece and placed Micah’s plasma ball near the food area.  I used a black sharpie to draw lines and numbers on clear plastic cups to make them resemble beakers.  I lined our counter with everything needed for the party, so that it was quickly accessible to keep things moving along.

We read up on the proper safety precautions needed when handling dry ice, so we were well prepared to host a party of this kind.  In the birthday invitations, I asked that a parent be present to help supervise their own child/children and asked the kids to come dressed in long sleeves, long pants, and close toes shoes.  We provided gloves and safety goggles for each person handling the dry ice and when the kids arrived we were all ready to go.

 

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Water mixed with dry ice in some mason jars makes for some pretty awesome smoke, but when you add a couple of drops of dish soap, you take it to a whole new level.  What kid doesn’t like to create a giant mass of bubbles that turns to smoke when popped!?! IMG_9592IMG_1705IMG_9585

Did you know that you can blow up a balloon by placing it over a water bottle with a small chunk of dry ice inside?  But why stop there, a rubber glove pulled over a mason jar will work as well…and it’s pretty awesome to let it fill up so much that it pops off all on it’s own. IMG_1711

Time to get messy.  Cornstarch mixed with water makes for such a great hands on experience.  You can actually shape the mixture into a solid ball, open up your hand, and then watch it melt before your very eyes and turn back to liquid form.  And what kid doesn’t enjoy getting a little bit messy just for fun!?!IMG_1724IMG_1670

Dots candy and toothpicks make the perfect edible molecules.  Try and create real models, like carbon dioxide, or just create your own crazy molecule.  Science can be fun and tasty at the same time! IMG_1684IMG_1733IMG_1737Petrie dish anyone?   A couple of drops of food coloring, a few sprinkles, and 4 of Wilton’s black sugar pearl sprinkles turn ordinary green jello into an edible science experiment.  IMG_1677IMG_1662Gummy lifesaver topped marshmallow pops dipped in nerds are always a huge hit in our house.  I used Wilton’s candy melts in dark chocolate and orange to create these yummy treats.

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Wilton’s candy melts are perfect for creating edible cupcake toppers.  To go along with the science theme, I created beakers, test tubes, and molecules.  Mini m&m’s completed the look.  IMG_1648IMG_1675IMG_1650

What’s a science party without test tubes?  These plastic test tubes (available at Walmart and Party City) made great party favors to send home with Micah’s friends.  Chewy Airhead Bites are the perfect size candy to fit in the beakers.  Unfortunately they didn’t come with lids, so I had to improvise with small pieces of foil.  The kids didn’t seem to mind one bit 🙂IMG_1651