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Pumpkin Carving Made Easy!

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Raise your hand if you love Halloween and all it’s pumpkin-y fanfare…. Yes, me too. I love decorating and carving pumpkins, but pumpkin guts make me want to barf. Seriously, even the thought of scooping that stringy stuff makes me queasy. I don’t know why, but I hate it. So when my friend showed me this magic tool that cleans out those slimy pumpkin innards in a matter of seconds, I was amazed. Even if you don’t have a hard-core aversion to inner pumpkin mush, you’ll still love this. This little tool attaches to any drill (yeah, like the one your husband has in the garage) and guts the entire pumpkin in a matter of seconds. Score!! Watch the YouTube video below to see this baby in action and click here to buy this little piece of genius right now on Amazon.

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Create

Simple DIY Halloween Box

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If your short on time or just want something simple to make, this project is for you! And the best part is that the box can be used in so many different ways. It’s the perfect statement piece for my coffee table. I love that I can use the box over and over! It’s nice because each holiday or season I can easily change out the decor to match. For this Halloween box, I found a couple pre-made, store bought pieces at Target in the infamous Dollar Spot section (that spot gets me in trouble every time 🙂 Who else can resist that section?) to make decorating a little bit easier when you have limited time to craft. The mummy is also super easy to make too!

 

Wood Box Supplies:

  • 3 – 1 x 6 Pieces of reclaimed wood or store bought wood boards cut down to 17″
  • 2 – 1 x 6 pieces of reclaimed wood or store bought wood boards cut down to 7″
  • Nail gun
  • Wood stain/paint (optional if using store bought boards)

Directions:

  1. First cut all of your 1 x 6 boards down to size.
  2. Using your nail gun nail each of the long pieces to the bottom piece and then nail small end pieces to the outside of the bottom and long side pieces.

 

Wood Mummy Supplies:

  • 2×4 piece of wood cut down to 9″ tall
  • Cream/off white spray paint
  • Cheese cloth
  • Wood circles 
  • White and black paint
  • Paint brush
  • New No. 2 pencil with eraser
  • Wood glue
  • Wood stain
  • Latex gloves
  • Hand staple gun 

Directions:

  1. Cut 2×4 down to 9″ tall.
  2. Spray paint and let dry.
  3. Paint wood circles with white paint and using the eraser, dip it into some black paint and dot your eyes. Set aside to dry.
  4. Cut cheese cloth into strips of varying widths.
  5. Put on your latex gloves and dip a couple of fingertips into your wood stain and brush it onto your cheese cloth to give it a spooky look.
  6. Glue eyes on with wood glue.
  7. Wrap strips around your wood piece alternating angles and directions to give it a more mummified look stapling the end pieces to the back of the mummy with a hand staple gun.

Other supplies:

  • Trick or treat sign–found in the Dollar Spot section at Target (last seasons Halloween decor)
  • Apothecary bottle–found in the Dollar Spot section at Target (current find)
  • White and black Pom Pom garlands–found in the Dollar Spot section at Target (current find)
  • Burlap

Assembly:

  1. I stuffed the bottom of my box with a couple packing bubbles and tissue paper and covered it with some burlap to hide it to prop up the mummy, sign, and bottle.
  2. Place your items into the box and then string the garlands around.

Celebrate Create

DIY: Birthday Banners and Decorations

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Over here at Sweet LemonMADE this week has been full of celebrating—both Emily and Megan had birthdays this week! I love celebrating birthdays! Growing up my mom always made birthdays a big deal. On the morning of your birthday as you entered the kitchen/family room the kitchen table was always covered with birthday paraphernalia—birthday tablecloth, birthday cake, birthday presents, and sometimes even blown up pictures of you for an added celebratory touch.  My mom would stay up until the wee hours of the morning to ensure this spread was perfectly placed and the cake was perfectly frosted. And although this fantastic tradition was known to us all, my mom would wait until we went to bed before she started creating birthday magic. I’m kind a glad she did. I loved walking out into a celebratory explosion, each year with a slightly different cake and décor.

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Naturally, I have become very fond of celebrating birthdays and as the years go on, I love putting on a celebration for those I love even more.  As a result I have a clear Rubbermaid packed to the brim with birthday supplies. I call it my birthday box. In here I keep on hand at all times, decorations, candles, crepe paper, banners, birthday plates, etc. Everything you need to pull together an impromptu b-day celebration at the drop of a hat. What? What? Party people in the house!

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This birthday box and my weird obsession for buying fabric (even though I only barely know how to sew and only sew maybe one project a year) came in handy as my friend, Shelley, and I decorated for Emily’s birthday in the wee hours of the morning before Em got up for work. Em is a classy gal that loves diet Coke and all things gold, so it was easy to know what to surprise her with. And you know what I found out? Shelley has a birthday box too. No wonder we are friends.

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As you can tell, we pulled some super simple elements together to make a fun, snazzy birthday background. Here’s some info on all the things:

  • Gold curtain
  • Reusable birthday banner
  • Fabric—intended for some other project, unhemmed, but fit most of the table 🙂
  • Balloons—no helium here so we just blew them up and tossed them around like confetti
  • Pitcher of flowers—Target for the pitcher and grocery store flowers (since they are the only flower shop open at 6am)
  • Donut cakeDunford chocolate chocolate donuts stacked into a pyramid (easiest and tastiest birthday cake ever! Those donuts are AMAZING)

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Seeing how we were working from TWO birthday boxes we had multiple banners, so we hung this little guy in the living room! This homemade cardboard banner is simple, but one of my favorite b-day decorations. All you need is a cardboard box, some twine, and paint and you can create your very own birthday banner.

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Snazzy Cardboard Birthday Banner:

Supplies:

  • Cardboard box (may need a couple depending on size)
  • Pencil or marker
  • Box cutter (razor cutter)
  • Paint (spray paint or ceramic paint)
  • Twine (long enough to string all your letters on)

Directions:

  1. Find a piece(s) of cardboard to fit the size of letters you want to make and wipe with a dry towel to remove any particles or dust.
  2. Using a pen or pencil draw block letters (or use stencil, or trace letters printed from your computer if your junior high block letter skills have faded) on the cardboard. Make sure to leave about an inch between letters so you can cut them out easily without injuring a close by letter.
  3. Once letters are cut, determine how you want letters to hang on twine and poke two holes near the top of the letter for the twine to thread through. I used a combination of a box cutter and a ball point pen to stab my holes.
  4. Next, paint each of the letters and allow to dry completely. Use two coats of paint to ensure full coverage and vibrant color.
  5. Finally, to complete the banner take the full-length piece of twine and thread each letter through the string. At the beginning and ending of each word tie a not in the twine so the letters don’t’ slide and the words stay distinct. Once all the letters are threaded on the twine, loop the ends (so it can be hung on push pin or nail) and leave at least 6-12 inches of twine on the ends (helpful if you need to tie the banner sometimes rather than hook it on push pins).
  6. Ta Dah! HBD to all your people!

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Create

Do It Yourself Gift Basket Idea

Gift Basket Idea sweetlemonmade.com

I’ve got a great DIY gift basket idea that can be given as a birthday gift, wedding gift, or for that student headed off to college. Even though this basket was made specifically for a wedding gift, I think the bakers and cooks in your life would love to receive this gift basket! If you are giving it to a baker friend, swap out a few of the items to suit like swapping out some of the kitchen utensils for cupcake liners, piping bags and tips, or sprinkles.  And maybe the recipient of this basket will bake you some special treats or invite you over for some dessert! 🙂

Head to your favorite store (aka Target…my favorite store) or if you are on a budget, the dollar store has great kitchen items too. Once you’ve got all of your items find a basket or container to fit everything and get to filling up that basket! For a list of items I bought for this basket—checkout the list below.

Gift basket items:

  • Rolling pin
  • Half size baking sheet
  • Cooling rack
  • Spatula
  • Parchment paper
  • Cookie mix
  • Measuring cups (for dry and liquid ingredients)
  • Measuring spoons
  • Cookie cutters
  • Oven mitt
  • Dish towels
  • Bowl scrapper
  • assortment of other kitchen utensils (to fill basket)

Gift Basket Idea for the Cook sweetlemonmade.com

Create

4th of July Mantel Decor

July 4 Mantle Decor sweetlemonmade.com

The 4th of July is right around the corner and if you are looking for some decorating ideas to spruce up your mantel, I’ve got a few crafts and DIYs to share with you! DON’T HAVE A MANTEL? Don’t worry…you can recreate these decor ideas using a shelf or bookcase in your house. You can also decorate a console table you may have in your entryway or in your living room. The possibilities are endless!

I designed this 4th or July mantel with a big statement piece, a DIY string art of the USA. I have wanted to do a string art piece for a long time but, could never decide on what to do until I saw Wendy from The Paisley Pickle making one at a friends house. Just a warning…this string art project is not for the faint-hearted crafter. This project takes patience and time. But, once it’s finished you will be thrilled with the results! I am! And I love the finished project even though it tested my patience. Look below for all of the materials needed and instructions on how to make your own the string art.

USA String Art sweetlemonmade.com

 

 

The wood stars, firecrackers, and 4th & flag can be purchased from the Wood Connection. The wood pieces come unfinished and can be decorated and painted however you like. I painted and distressed mine and added a few embellishments to some of the pieces to give them some dimension. And the USA letters were from Target’s dollar spot section.

4th of July Collage sweetlemonmade.com

DIY How To—USA Map String Art

Materials Needed:

  • 4 wood boards that are 24″ x 5″ and 2 boards/pieces to nail to the back to hold it together.
  • String – I used DMC Baroque Crochet Cotton for the white string and DMC Embroidery Floss for the red string
  • Box of nails (you will want a nail with a decent head so the string won’t pop off)
  • Stain – I used Rustoleum stain in Kona
  • Cheesecloth and vinyl gloves (for staining)
  • USA map template (Get it printed at Office Max or your local print shop and ask them for an engineer print.)

 

Step 1: Cut and nail together wood planks

Step 2: Stain your wood board.

Step 3: Print out the map template.

Step 4: Once your stain is dry, cut out the template and tape it to your board.

Map Template sweetlemonmade.com

Step 5: Time to get the hammer out! Nail around the entire outline of the map – I spaced out the nails about an inch apart. (Warning: this step is the hardest and longest. Don’t get discouraged.)

Step 6: Once all of your nails are in, remove the paper template.

Board with Nails sweetlemonmade.com

Step 7: Now for the fun part! Get your string and tie a knot around the head of one of the nails. Start by stringing the string down towards the heart and wrapping the string around one of the nails of the heart. (Tip: since the heart has less nails, you will need to string the outside strings around the nails multiple times.) Keep repeating until you are all done. Once you are done, tie another knot.

Step 8: Get your red DMC Embroidery Floss. Begin by tying a knot around one of the nails around the heart and string the string back and forth criss crossing the string.

Progress sweetlemonmade.com

Wood Connection Wood Projects

Materials Needed:

  • Red, white/cream, and blue paint
  • Foam brushes
  • Sand paper
  • Wood glue
  • Painters tape
  • Balsa wood sticks (for the stripes on the flag)
  • Metal star embellishment
  • Twin for embellishment
  • Thick wire for the firecrackers (can be purchased from Lowe’s or Home Depot)
  • Wire cutters
  • A pencil or wooden dowel to wrap the wire around to crate the twisted shape

 

Step 1: Sand any rough edges and wipe all wood pieces down with a cloth to get rid of any saw dust.

Step 2: Paint all wood pieces the desired colors and let dry. For the flag, I taped off the section for the blue and let dry and then covered the blue to paint the red.  

Step 3: Once they have dried, sand the edges to distress (optional).

Step 4: Glue small stars onto the ‘4’, the balsa wood sticks to the flag, and the star to the flag.

Step 5: Cut wire to desired length and wrap it around a pencil/dowel to twist it into shape.

Step 6: Place a tiny amount of glue onto the end of the wire and insert into hole on top of each firecracker.

Step 7: Tie or wrap twine around whatever you want (optional).

Mantle Decor 4th of July sweetlemonmade.com