paper folded gift card holders

Paper Folded Gift Card Holders

Gift cards have definitely become my gift of choice for so many events, from weddings to birthdays. I love seeing friends’ faces light up when receiving gift cards to their favorite shops (and let’s be honest, they’re my favorite gift to receive as well!) The chance to go and pick out any goodies I want – it’s a sweet present indeed.

The only problem with gift cards is that they can feel rather impersonal, but luckily, just a little bit of crafting can go a long way. I’ve been having a blast making homemade gift card holders. They are so simple to fold, and can be easily personalized with fun paper. A festive, custom way to wrap a gift card.

Origami gift card holders

Origami gift card holders

I know the word origami can make some of us run for the hills – because folding paper that way just doesn’t sound right. These holders though are super basic and a great project to tackle with that extra 5 minutes before heading out to the party. I’ve already made a stack in advance for our bundle of upcoming birthdays. Read more with step by step DIY photos.

PS. A gallery of festive present wrapping ideas, in case gift cards are not your favorite gift to give.

Posted August 20, 2014 0 Comments
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fabric birthday crowns and superhero masks

Birthday party crowns - with genius DIY cheat tips.

With the twins starting school this fall, I am thinking a lot about how fast and fun our time was while they were mostly at home with me. The past 5 years have been some of the craziest and most wonderful I could imagine. And while we are a long way from putting up the dress-up, this new season will bring many changes for our home.

While I adjust, these fun princess crowns and superhero masks seems about right to share today. We did a birthday party a couple years ago where each child was given a fabric crown or a mask and cape. They were a cinch to make with a couple easy tricks that I will share below. The project somehow got lost in the shuffle over the past couple years, but I love it just as much today. Maybe even more. Blame it on nostalgia.

Easy cheats for kid's party crowns and masks

Fabric birthday party crown

To make a perfect princess crown, you need a perfect template! One of the easiest ways I’ve found to make crowns of all sizes is to simply trace one of the play ones we have around the house. If you don’t have play crowns lying around, check the dollar section of any store for the latest 3 year old crown trend.

DIY fabric party crown

DIY fabric party crowns

DIY fabric party crown

Trace the template onto a thick piece of card stock to give the crown its substance. Then trace the card stock onto a piece of fabric back side up. Cut out and secure the two pieces together with a light layer of Mod Podge or glue. The fabric selection can make these crowns match any party theme or favorite color scheme desired.

DIY fabric birthday party crown

Use a hole punch to punch out two holes on the back of the crown and tie a pretty ribbon thrrough. A perfect topping for any birthday girl! Whipping up a batch of 20 can be done in an evening – for young princess parties at their best.

Make a super hero mask and cape with an old t-shirt! Genius cheat for a boys party.

To make the superhero mask and cape; you’ll need a piece of felt (we cut two masks out of each felt piece), twine and a cotton shirt.

The easy cheat to this superhero outfit is to make the cape by simply cutting off the arms and neckline of the shirt (and along the bottoms and sides) leaving a perfect cape behind. Stick on Velcro makes for great no-sew tabs, allowing you to create a custom cape in moments!

For the masks we used a play mask at home as the template, traced it onto the felt, and cut. The twine ties around the backside to fit onto the birthday boy.

DIY super hero party mask

I know there will be more princess and super hero moments to come. I love that these projects can be redone in different colors and styles each year to keep the dress-up going as long as we possibly can (forever!?!).

PS. The coolest party blindfold ever from this same birthday party.

(Photos by Erin Holland for A Subtle Revelry)

Posted August 19, 2014 1 Comment
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cinnamon roll birthday cake

cinnamon roll birthday cake

Nothing says good morning on a special day like a cinnamon roll. We have a solid family tradition of using them to celebrate the most important days of the year. First day of school, yes! Christmas, every year. And now here is an awesome way to use them for birthdays as well. Making a caramel drizzled cinnamon roll into a cake sounds like the most perfect way to start a birthday.

Make a cinnamon roll cake for a morning birthday party, for the office, for the classroom, or to celebrate at home before the day of festivities begin. Any chance to enjoy this gooey, hot treat will make your favorite people’s special day so much sweeter.

cinnamon roll birthday cake

cinnamon roll birthday cake

cinnamon roll birthday cake

cinnamon roll birthday cake

To make a caramel drizzle cinnamon roll cake at home you’ll need:

For the dough: 1 package (2-1/4 tsp) active dry yeast, 3/4 cup whole milk, warmed, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 4 large eggs, 4-1/2 cups flour, plus more as needed, 1-1/2 tsp kosher salt, 6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into chunks.

For the caramel: 6 tbsp butter, melted, 1 cup firmly pack light brown sugar, 3 tbsp dark honey, pinch of salt, 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans.

For the filling: 4 tbsp butter, at room temperature, 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon.

For the cream cheese icing: 2-1/2 oz cream cheese, softened, 3 tbsp milk, 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar, more if needed.

cinnamon roll birthday cake

Start by making the dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add the granulated sugar, eggs, flour, and salt. Attach the dough hook and knead on low speed, adding a little more flour if needed, until all your ingredients come together. Toss in the butter and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and springy, about 7 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl. Form the dough into a ball, put it in the bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature until it is doubled in size, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

While the dough is rising butter the pans, we used an 8-inch, 6-inch, and 4-inch round cake pans for the stacked cake and an 8-inch for the single layer cake.

Make the caramel by stirring together the melted butter, brown sugar, honey, salt, and pecans. Divide and spread the mixture in each pan.

Punch down the dough and dump onto a floured work surface. Cut the dough in half. Roll out each half into a rectangle about 10 by 15 inches. Position the rectangles vertically.

Fill the dough. Spread each rectangle with 2 tablespoons of the room temperature butter, then half of the brown sugar and half of the cinnamon. Take a pizza cutter or sharp knife and cut about 8 strips from each rectangle.

cinnamon roll birthday cake

To make the center of each “cake” take one strip and starting at the end closest to you, loosely roll up the strip. Place the roll in the center of the pan. Coil the remaining strips around the center roll by joining the strip to the end of the previous one, until the pan is filled. Continue these steps for the other pans. You may have leftover strips of filled dough which you can make into regular cinnamon rolls.

Cover the pans loosely with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm, draft-free spot until puffy, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake until the cakes are golden brown, 25-30 minutes (watch the smaller pans for doneness sooner). If some parts of the cake start to rise more than others, take a spatula or cake server and lightly press down on the spot.

cinnamon roll birthday cake

Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then carefully invert each pan onto a plate (you can use a cake stand for the large cake) and unmold the cakes.

While cakes are cooling, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in a stand mixer until creamy. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. Drizzle cream cheese icing over the top of the largest cake. Stack the medium-size cake on top of the large cake, drizzle with icing. Top with the small cake and drizzle with icing. Serve and enjoy!

(Project styling and photography by Athena Plichta for A Subtle Revelry. Recipe adapted from Home Baked Comfort by Kim Laidlaw)

Posted August 18, 2014 2 Comments
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why don’t we – go back to school

ban.do school stickers

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The twins are starting school on Monday. It may only be kindergarten, but their school goes up to sixth grade, and they will be eating in a real life cafeteria, and having homework that must be done on my computer, and I just about hyperventilated last night when their teachers said, “the kids will have weekly spelling quizzes throughout the year”. What!?!

It is exciting, overwhelming, and I couldn’t be more happy for them. For us all.

Back to school is one of my favorite events of the year – I love getting organized and ready for a new season. Having a cute planner is an important part of this process. Even if by school I mean… work next Monday! This year, the Ban.do planner won my cutest planner of the year award. It includes the brightest, most fun stickers and a slew of amazing “to-do” lists.

While I fill in our fall calendar with ideas like cleaning my house in roller skates. Here are some other fun back to school ideas:

Our chalkboard cake and candy chalk will always be a fall favorite

Free download back to school poster, by Melanie Burk

Fruit stickers to fill a lunch with sweet notes

The best stapler for making my desk more fun this fall

School inspired nail art

Make traditional back to school schultutes for a festive first day

Back to schoool “about me” printables

Bright labels to make brown bags less brown

My favorite tennis shoes for fall + the party style board with loads of festive hair and outfit ideas for any fall party

Happy new school year!

Posted August 15, 2014 3 Comments
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25 cocktails to make this fall

25 cocktails to make this fall

While enjoying the porch last night I noticed how quickly it is beginning to get darker in the evenings. Although summer is a favorite season for many reasons. Fall is even better!

The chill, the busyness, the general excitement of fall can’t be beat. In this busy season we quickly move from entertaining with long lingering feasts, to inviting friends over for drinks and a quick bite after practice, before bed times, and whenever it works. To help the effort – we’ve collected 25 favorite cocktails to make this fall. Each recipe is awesome for warming up, inviting guests over and enjoying moments of revelry in the midst of the fall crazy.

1. Pumpkin Pineapple Cocktail - Cookie and Kate | 2. Bourbon Apple Cider - Set the Table | 3. Autumn Punch - Scout | 4. Smoretini - Creative Culinary | 5. Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sour - Country Living | 6. The Hot Apple-Ginger Toddy - Free People | 7. Warm Coconut Milk with Hazelnuts, Honey & Bourbon - The Gouda Life | 8. Guinness Cream Soda - Chow | 9. Figgy Maple Bourbon Fizz - Cheese and Chocolate | 10. The Hibernating Honey Bear - In Sock Monkey Slippers | 11. Pumpkin Butter + Wheat Whiskey - Dessert For Two | 12. Cider Jack Cocktail - Food Network | 13. Pomegranate and Ginger Spritzer - Drizzle & Dip | 14. Chattanooga Rudy - Alabama Chanin | 15. Caramel Apple Cider Cocktail - Creative Culinary | 16. Vanilla, Pear, and Vodka Cocktail - Two Tarts | 17. The Jim Dandy - The Boys Club | 18. Spiked Apple Cider Floats - Food + Words | 19. The Old Fashioned Vermonter Cocktail - Bakeaholic Mama | 20. Spiced Pumpkin Punch - Domesticate Me | 21. Spiced Apple Cider Sangria - Keep it Skinny | 22. Espresso Martini Affogato - Chasing Delicious | 23. Sailor’s Ale - Design Sponge | 24. Hot Buttered Hazelnut Whisky - Adventures in Cooking | 25. Sparkling Pumpkin Cider Beertail - Brit + Co

(Graphic design done by Jamie Bartlett for A Subtle Revelry.)

Posted August 13, 2014 1 Comment
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decal imprint candles

candle2

candle-feature

candles

Making plain white taper candles beautiful is a favorite of mine. As we begin transitioning into fall – candles are a wonderful way to bring the party indoors.

Printing decals on candles makes for a nice combination on the table for a gathering this fall. In the past, I’ve created a decal look using Modge Podge which works awesome, but then I realized there’s an even easier way, and it leaves no glue residue in the air when the candles burn. Perfect! All you need is a drawn on tissue, wax paper, and a heat source see the full tutorial right here.

Posted August 12, 2014 2 Comments
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