Holiday Poppers Project

Holiday Poppers Project

Enjoy creating with the holiday poppers project during the holidays. Use colors appropriate to any holiday. These are fun to do for kids of all ages and make a great Christmas treat on the fly.

Valentine’s poppers can be made in pretty red, pink and white and Easter, of course, in pretty pastels. For Halloween you could create unique sweet treats using orange and black tissue paper and Halloween candies! Makes 8 poppers.

For your holiday poppers you will need:

  • 2 (16 x 27-inch) sheets red tissue paper
  • 2 (16 x 27-inch) sheets green tissue paper
  • Red curling ribbon
  • Green curling ribbon
  • Gold curling ribbon
  • 8 (5-inch) paper tubes (either cut a paper towel tube in half or use a toilet tissue tube)
    Selection of individual wrapped miniature candies in holiday colors/décor such as Dove chocolates, Snickers, Milky Way, Twix, etc.
  1. Cut the tissue paper in half lengthwise. Cut 8 strands of each color of ribbon 15-inches long.
  2. Fill the tubes with a selection of candies.
  3. Lay one sheet of tissue paper flat on a surface. Place the tube at one edge and roll the paper tightly around the tube. Tie the ribbon tightly at both ends of the tube.
  4. Once all the tubes are wrapped and tied, arrange in an attractive presentation, such as the one pictured below.
Holiday Poppers Project
Red and Green Holiday Poppers

Extra: Christmas Place Cards

This season, why not make special place cards for Christmas dinner?Heart Beat

Get some thick construction paper, then let everybody pick their own color. Each sheet of paper can make four cards. Fold the paper into fourths and cut along the folds.

Fold each rectangle either way you like to make a tent. Write each person’s name on one face in pencil, then trace the name with glue and sprinkle the glue with colored sparkles.

To add a holiday shape, draw a pine tree or wreath on the back side using the fold as your base line. Cut out the shape with a knife, except along the fold.

To make sure the shape sits upright, tape a toothpick to the back across the fold. Decorate with glue and sparkles.

Extra idea: Paste on that person’s favorite movie star or athlete or hero.

You may want to save these place cards to use next Christmas, too.

Whimsical Free Easter Graphics

Free Easter Graphics – An Easter Freebie!

A small but fun, whimsical collection of free Easter Graphics – sixteen in all. You can use these on any project you create. Cards, envelopes, documents, image enhancements, etc.

Included are Easter chicks, Easter eggs, Easter baskets & Easter bunnies!

These can be used on your print projects or for online use.

A simple, free image editor will re-size them nicely to suit your needs.

Totally free, use as you wish, but please, do NOT attempt to re-sell.

File size: 10MB, ZIP format

Download the Free Easter Graphics
Download ZIP file.

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Homespun Christmas Bread Box Gift

Homespun Christmas Bread Box Gift

Homespun Christmas bread box rounds nestle inside a vintage lunch box found at an antiques store or a flea market. Even when the bread is gone, someone lucky will have a fun lunch box. Dress up hot roll mix with cheese, onions, and herbs. This homespun Christmas Bread Box Gift makes a wonderful home made gift for any special person in your life.

What You Need for the Homespun Christmas Bread Box Gift:

Homespun Christmas Bread Box GiftSmall metal vintage lunch box
Colored cellophane

Rosemary and Swiss Buns

1  16-ounce package hot roll mix
3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese (3 ounces)
2 small onions, thinly sliced and separated into rings (2/3 cup)
1 tablespoon snipped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried   rosemary, crushed
1 tablespoon cooking oil

  1. Grease 2 large baking sheets; set aside. Prepare hot roll mix according to package directions, except stir in Swiss cheese with the liquid. Continue with package directions through the kneading and resting steps. After dough rests, divide into 12 equal portions and shape into balls.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a 4-inch round. Place on prepared baking sheets. Cover and set aside.
  3. In a medium skillet cook and stir onions and rosemary in hot oil until onion is tender. Using your fingertips, make 1/2-inch-deep indentations on the surface of the dough rounds. Divide the onion mixture among the tops of the rounds. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double (30 to 40 minutes).
  4. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. Transfer buns to a wire rack and cool completely. Place in an airtight container or bag or wrap in foil. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Makes 12 buns.

To Present This As a Gift:

You will need a small metal vintage lunch box and colored cellophane.  Simply line lunch box with cellophane. Fill with Rosemary and Swiss Buns.

Also Try This: Use alphabet stickers to spell out a personalized message on the lunch box.

Nutritional facts per serving: Calories: 200, total fat: 6g, saturated fat: 1g, cholesterol: 23mg,  sodium: 265mg, carbohydrate: 30g ,  fiber: 0g,  protein: 7g

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Jolly Vinegar Jars

Jolly Vinegar Jars Make a Great Christmas Gift

Tiny bells spring from the corked caps of these unique vinegar jars. Who wouldn’t love this festive, fruity and fun gift of jolly vinegar jars? Friends will remember this fun gift when they’re preparing salad dressings and meat marinades.

Jolly Vinegar jars
Vinegar for Jolly Vinegar Jars

For Jolly Vinegar Jars you will need:

Sharp needle
Bottle with cork
Wire cutters
Metallic wire in red and green
2 silver flat beads
Silver pony beads
Silver long, thin beads
Metallic beads in red, green, and silver
Ice pick
4 small silver jingle bells

Fruited Vinegar for Jolly Vinegar Jars

Use this tea-based vinegar in a favorite recipe for vinaigrette.

1 cup rice vinegar or white vinegar
1 bag raspberry, orange, blackberry, or cranberry-flavored tea

In a glass measure combine the vinegar and tea bag. Cover and chill for 2 hours. Remove tea bag. Pour into a clean glass bottle and cover with a cork or nonmetallic lid. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months. Use vinegar in salad dressings and in meat marinades that call for a fruit-flavored vinegar. Makes 1 cup vinegar.

Ginger-Orange Vinegar: Add 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger and an orange tea bag to the 1 cup vinegar. Strain vinegar before pouring into the clean bottle. Cover with a cork or nonmetallic lid.

To Present Jolly Vinegar Jars As a Gift:

You will need a sharp needle; bottle with cork; wire cutters; metallic wire in red and green; 2 silver flat beads; silver pony beads; silver long, thin beads; metallic beads in red, green, and silver; ice pick; and 4 small silver jingle bells.

Use needle to make four holes in the cork, top to bottom, like holes in a four-hole button. Cut an 18-inch length of both colors of wire. Fold each piece of wire in half. From the bottom of the cork, push the wire ends through the holes, making an X on the bottom of the cork. Thread two silver flat beads over all wire ends. Thread each wire through a silver pony bead, then through a long, thin silver bead. On the green wires, slide on a red, then a silver bead. On the red wires, slide on a green, then a silver bead. Leaving 1 inch at the end, wrap the wire ends around an ice pick to curl; remove ice pick. Slip a jingle bell on the end of each wire. Loop the wire ends to secure the jingle bells. Thread metallic beads on a 6-inch length of wire. Thread on enough beads to go around the neck of the bottle. Twist the wire ends together to secure. Trim the excess wire.

Also Try This: The beaded ring around the bottle neck can also be used as a napkin ring. Make numerous rings in this same manner and give them as a matching set.

Nutritional facts per 1-tablespoon serving: Calories: 7,  total fat: 0 g,  saturated fat: 0g ,  cholesterol: 0mg ,  sodium: 1 mg,  carbohydrate: 0 g,  fiber: 0 g,  protein: 0 g

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Home Made Christmas Gift Box

Home Made Christmas Gift Box Recipe

Make a very pretty Christmas gift box out of cookie like ingredients! Use the included Royal Frosting recipe for all the finishing touches. Decorate as desired.

Home Made Christmas Gift Box
Home Made Christmas Gift Box

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2/3 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-3/4 cups all purpose flour
Royal Icing (recipe follows)
Directions:
Blend all ingredients except flour with an electric mixer until light and well blended.  Stir in flour just until blended.

Press dough evenly into a 15-by-9-inch pan.  Cover and refrigerate one hour.

Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into four 5 by  5-inch squares (top, bottom and sides) and two 4-inch by 5-inch rectangles (two sides).  Prick the dough with a fork.

Bake at 300-degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until pale golden all over and slightly darker at the edges.

Cool slightly, then retrace cuts with a knife.  Cool completely.

Assemble box using colored Royal Icing (if desired) as glue to hold pieces together.  Decorate with pastry bag and tip, using assorted sprinkles, if desired.  Allow to dry before using.

Royal Icing

Ingredients:
1/3 cup egg whites
6 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Directions:
Blend all ingredients together to make a stiff, but spreadable icing, adding a little water or powdered sugar as necessary.  Tint with food coloring if desired.

Recipe makes one Home Made Christmas Gift Box.

Decorating Tips for Your Home Made Christmas Gift Box

  • Ice the boxes with your favorite frosting.
  • Add delicious decorations; nonpareils, almonds slivers, jelly beans, colored candies, gold/silver confection balls and edible glitter work great!
  • Use satin ribbon, fruit roll-ups, or Royal Icing to make a bow for a nice finishing touch.
  • Satin Ribbon: Using a pastry bag and #103 wide tip faced down, squeeze out Royal Icing.  Cut out in 3-inch long sections, loop and let dry.  Arrange on box.

Creative Uses for Your Home Made Christmas Gift Box

  1. Secret Santa, thank you and hostess gifts
  2. Unique containers for candy and other fun treasures
  3. Great party favors and personalized place cards
  4. Different size and shapes make colorful table decorations and centerpieces

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A Beautiful Bag of Biscotti

A Beautiful Bag of Biscotti

Slice your way to an easy yet special gift with slice-and-bake cookies and a few well-placed slits in a bag. Complete with the colors of the holidays, this biscotti updates the old-fashioned fruitcake.

Gift Bag of Biscotti
Gift Bag of Biscotti

 

What You Need:

  • Printer paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • 2 brown lunch sacks, or bag of choice*
  • Cardboard
  • Crafts knife
  • Paintbrush
  • Silver paint
  • Thick white crafts glue
  • Gold marker
  • Star stickers
  • Parchment paper or waxed paper

*If you want to get a bit “fancier” and save time, use a pre-made, store-bought decorated Christmas bag, or decorate your own as desired – use your imagination! Or just go with the brown paper bags if you enjoy creating you very own special bag – either way this presents itself as a wonderful holiday gift.

To Present This Biscotti As a Gift:

You will need printer paper, scissors, pencil, 2 brown lunch sacks, cardboard, crafts knife, paintbrush, silver paint, thick white crafts glue, gold marker, star stickers, and parchment paper or waxed paper.

To make a tree pattern, fold the piece of printer paper in half. Using the fold as the tree center, cut a simple tree shape, smaller than the front of the paper bag. Open the pattern and place it in the center of the bag. Trace around the pattern on the front of the sack, tracing only the right side. Place cardboard in sack. Using a crafts knife, cut along line and fold back. Cut a whole tree shape from another bag. Paint one side silver; let dry. Fold in half. Glue fold to center of tree on bag. Glue silver paper behind opening. Let glue dry. Draw a horizontal 1×3-inch rectangle at the tree base. Color in with gold marker. Cut out three 1/4×1-inch pieces from extra bag. Glue pieces vertically on gold rectangle as shown in picture. Let glue dry. Outline the outside edge of the tree shape using a gold marker. Add star stickers where desired. Line bag with parchment paper or waxed paper.

Also Try This: For quick cutout shapes, use a symmetrical cookie cutter such as a bell, angel, or snowman.

Christmas Biscotti Recipe

Christmas Biscotti
Christmas Biscotti

These twice-baked cookie treats are full of dried cranberries or cherries and pistachios for red and green dots.

Ingredients:
2/3 cup vanilla sugar*
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dried cranberries or snipped dried cherries
3/4 cup chopped, shelled green pistachio nuts

Directions:
In a mixer bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the 2/3 cup vanilla sugar, the baking powder, and cardamom; beat until combined. Beat in the eggs. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour and the cranberries or cherries and pistachio nuts until combined. Divide dough in half. If necessary, cover and chill dough until easy to handle.

Shape each portion of dough into a 9-inch log. Place 4 inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet, flattening slightly until 2 inches wide.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool loaves on the cookie sheet for 1 hour.

Cut each loaf diagonally into 1/2-inch slices using a serrated knife. Place slices, cut sides down, on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 325 degree F oven for 8 minutes. Turn slices over; bake 8 to 10 minutes more or until dry and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Makes about 32 biscotti.

*Note: Prepare vanilla sugar by filling a 1-quart jar with 4 cups sugar. Cut a vanilla bean in half lengthwise and insert both halves into the sugar. Secure lid and store in a cool, dry place for several weeks before using. Will keep indefinitely.

Nutritional facts per serving (1 biscotti): Calories: 89, total fat: 4g, saturated fat: 2g, cholesterol: 19mg, sodium: 50mg, carbohydrate: 13g,  fiber: 1g, protein: 2g

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