wild paper animal masks

Printable animal masks

Oh my goodness – Halloween is 3 days away! Can you believe it? I know for many of us the last week before a holiday is when we finally get around to pulling things together. If you need a last minute Halloween idea, or if you want to build a sweet stash of animal masks for all the other dress up moments this year, here’s your chance.

These funky and fun animal templates can be downloaded for FREE and used to turn your little ones into beasts, birds, and even alligators. Last minute… no worries. You’ve got this.

Printable elephant mask

printable animal masks

All you’ll need to make these masks is colored paper, scissors, and a glue stick. Print out the templates below, trace then cut onto the paper color of your choice, and enjoy these wild animals all year long!

printable animal masks

Printable Flamingo mask

For the flamingo mask print out the template by clicking above. Cut and combine the beaks and the body with a pair of pink leggings for an instant costume.  

Posted October 28, 2014 3 Comments
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feasting with a purpose

Feasting with a purpose

There is always a hunger need in our communities. Often that need can seem overwhelming and our ability to help with it can feel so very small. We participate in food drives, but want a more concrete way to see our service in action. I am really excited to be partnering with Unilever this month in their #ShareAMeal campaign. An initiative focused on just that – how sharing a meal can change a life. How serving food to a family in need can give hope and courage for tomorrow.

With the face of hunger quickly changing in our country, there are often people down the street who would benefit from an offer for a shared meal. Holding a feast for friends and inviting in a family in need can be a great way to do this. We know someone who could use this kind of help and loved inviting them over for a recent dinner party. The gesture spoke to their worth as a friend, just as much as it spoke to their need for food. They were immensely encouraged by the evening (and so were we!).

My favorite Turkey recipe

Left overs

We feasted at a table filled with great food and drink. This is the turkey recipe I make for Thanksgiving every year, it is my favorite one. We purposely cooked WAY t0o much food (3 meat dishes!) to be able to share leftovers with our friends in need. I purchased extra plastic containers before the event. After our feast was done, I wrapped up as many extra meals as I could and placed them all in a bag to be brought home. The rest of our guests didn’t even notice… It was a practical way to provide not just one meal, but a week of meals for the family we invited in.

Feasting with a purpose

I loved our evening feasting together, and realized how little chance a family in need has to really enjoy a feast. With Thanksgiving coming up, I want to do it again! Inviting a family in, giving up our leftovers, and sharing a meal is such an easy way to make a drastic difference in the life of our community.

Have you ever shared a meal with a friend in need? Would you try something like this? If we all brainstormed one simple way to share a meal it would be an amazing start. I’d love to hear what you come up with, and so would Unilever! #ShareAMeal with your ideas and the best ones will be featured over at Project Sunlight. Click through also to download a toolkit for your own meal sharing experience.

This post is done in promotional partnership with Unilever’s #ShareAMeal, an initiative I strongly believe in.

(Photography © Jill Chen/Stocksy United)

Posted October 28, 2014 1 Comment
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it’s like winning the toy lottery

castle

With the holidays fast approaching, finding gifts for kids that are not plastic, loud, and electronic can be difficult. I try hard to buy things that will encourage creativity and self play, but those blinking lights on the latest what-not can be hard to pass up. Recently, I was introduced to Kiwi Crate which is basically like winning the awesome mom toy lottery.

Kiwi Crate is a monthly subscription service where your child is sent a box including 2-3 crafts (all the materials to make the crafts + plus a magazine with additional projects, recipes, and coloring pages). It all comes nicely wrapped in a shoe box ready to be punched out, stickered on, and created. We got the Castle and Catapult projects and my kids were thoroughly engrossed for a solid couple of hours.

castles2

I was honestly a bit skeptical about the idea of the crates… And was completly blown away after trying it out. Most of the time when I read about crafts for our kids they are either way to difficult (read: really a craft for mom), or too simple and cheesy. These projects are legit and very engaging. The kids needed very little help from us in creating the projects, even the directions are both text based and pictoral for them to easily follow along.

Kiwi Crate has a different theme every month and different programs based on age groups. We tried the original Kiwi Crate subscription which was perfect for the twins who are almost 6. They also offer Koala Crates for preschool aged kids, Doodle Crates for the 9+ crowd, and Tinker Crates which is also for 9+ crowd but with a focus on science and math.

castles3

castles4

The projects can be a great way to engage with friends on an afternoon play date. You could even build an entire party around the theme and concept for the month. The crates basically give you that awesome crafty mom persona without all the creative, shopping, storing, stressful producing elements that sometimes come when crafting with kids. Just open the box and everyone is thrilled.

castles5

castles6

The time travel themed castle project was a huge success for us, my daughter loved making the castle flags and sticking the stickers in just the right spots. While the boys had a blast launching the catapults. They even started chatting about what else they could make with similar materials around the house. Seeing my kids happily playing, creating, and watching their minds begin to engage is honestly like winning the lottery for a parent. So help a mom you know (or yourself) win the non-plastic, non-blinking toy lottery and try it out.

Kiwi Crate is offering a special discount just for A Subtle Revelry readers this month, get a head start on your holiday shopping and use promo code asr5off to get $5 off your 1st crate with a new subscription purchase to Kiwi, Koala, Doodle or Tinker Crate.

This post is done in promotional partnership with Kiwi Crate. All opinions are honest and my own. Thanks so much for supporting our holiday blogging partners.

Posted October 27, 2014 1 Comment
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why don’t we… stick a spooky face on it

Booh candles

Halloween is in one week! As we finish up our last minute costumes (who else is making an Elsa wig?), the decorations and details have to be easy. A piece of black paper, glue, and various white candles are all that’s needed to make a funky ghoulish candle display. Ten minutes and a front window, mantel, or table can be transformed. Cut out the features from black paper and glue to the candles. Just the right bang for my last minute weekend buck.

While I’m busy braiding white wigs, why don’t we… stick a spooky face on our candles!?!

And once you’ve cut out the facial features, here are a few other places to stick them for even more spooky face fun.

On a pinata | On pumpkin balloons | On cheesecloth | On shot glasses | The most adorable Casper face inspired printable garland | On a cake stand to make a ghostly cloche | On a pumpkin with this printable happy ghost face | On milk jugs to light up the front porch | And on cookies of course!

Have a crafty weekend. xoxo

(Photography © Eduard Bonnin/Stocksy United)

Posted October 24, 2014 0 Comments
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materially crafted – the book cover!

Materially Crafted - a DIY primer for the design-obsessed

Ahhh… EEK… you guys, it’s so close! The book I’ve been working on for the past year-ish is finally off to print. Here is the cover!!!

There is so much about writing a book that I want to chat with you about, and I will be following  up with more of it soon. I know I’ve been pretty quiet about it so far, but that is all about to change…

Because today the book cover was released. And the book was put up for pre-sale – right here. Pre-sale! Like you can actually buy it today! The book will be out in stores March 3rd and all I want to do is jump up and down and scream like a 13 year old .

The concept for Materially Crafted came to me a couple years ago while answering email questions about a project. I realized how often you guys try your hand at DIY projects, only to have them not come out as perfectly as you wanted. Which is the worst. I dreamed of writing a guide, a DIY crafting bible of sorts, that would walk you through the materials and processes in a fun, super pretty way. That when you do see something you love, you’ll be able to make it happen just as you wanted. And it will be beautiful! And we will all live in a fabulous world of beauty, surrounded by DIY projects we crafted with ease! Too much to ask from a book, you say? Not at all. With this little crafting bible by your side – it is totally going to happen.

I’m so excited to begin talking more about Materially Crafted, the zillion things I learned while writing a book, the killer friends who collaborated with me on it, the awesome projects included, the illustrations, the tips, and gah… everything else. I really love it, and I love you all for making it happen.

Posted October 23, 2014 11 Comments
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large bloom paper flower

Gigantic paper flower

A wilting flower bouquet holds no competition to this gigantic paper floral bloom! It’s a showstopping display to center a meal this season. From Halloween through Thanksgiving, these Kraft paper petals will set a graphic homespun backdrop for whatever festivities you might be cooking up.

The big floral bloom also makes a great hostess gift – no need to find water on the spot:) It’s gift all your friends will love, even those without a green thumb.

Large form Kraft paper flower

Huge paper flower

Gigantic Kraft paper flower

To make the gigantic paper bloom, purchase a large roll of Kraft paper (here is my favorite source). Begin by cutting out the petals – which are basically a triangle with a curved bottom edge. We added a scallop touch to the ends for a true blooming effect. Cut 15 petals out in 3 different sizes. To make this large form flower our largest petal is 34 inches.

DIY large Kraft paper flower

Once the petals are cut, use a hot glue gun to glue them together. Starting with the back layer (the biggest petals). Fold the sides up just a smidgen and glue to hold. You can see above how our petals overlapped just a bit to give the flower dimension. Once the petals are glued, gently fold in the leaves (this will give needed texture and pull the blooms together). Glue again in the center where the petals combine. Repeat these steps for the middle and front section of the flower.

Large bloom paper flower

Center your flower by gluing a circle cut and bunched piece of felt into place.

Next scour the yard to find a sturdy branch for the flower and attach the flower to the branch. I originally used a needle and thread for this, but because of the large size of the flower hot glue actually ended up working the best to hold it securely into place. Glob the hot glue onto the stick and hold the flower in place until firm – super technical, I know:) But it honestly works!

Stick the flower in a jar filled with rocks for a sturdy base. A basket or wicker planter can be used to pull the look into the rest of the table decor for a party piece everyone will love and remember.

(Photography by Erin Holland for A Subtle Revelry).

Posted October 22, 2014 3 Comments
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hard candy caramel apples

Hard Candy Caramel Apples

Candied apples are a favorite sweet fall tradition. For a long time I made basic caramel apples, until I realized how simple it is to make a hard candy shell on top. The mixture gives all the sweetness of caramel with an added hard candy crunch – for an enormously special treat. The gorgeous caramel hued candy shell makes the apples pretty enough to serve on their own for dinner parties, brunches, and fancy shindigs all season long.

Hard Candy Caramel Apples

hard Candy Caramel Apples

To make the hard candy apples; combine 2 cups sugar, 1/2 a cup corn syrup, 1/2 a cup caramel, 1/2 a cup hot water in a sauce pan for each apple. Stir consistently until the sugar is dissolved. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches 302 degrees, and stir to fully combine.

Take the mixture off the stove and dip each apple. Use skewers or small branches to making dipping the apples easy, plus they look great once served.

Dip each apple once and then again and again, three times, giving a nice thick candy layer. The mixture will cool fast, so be sure to work quickly.

Set the candied apples out on wax paper squares to cool for a couple minutes before eating. They will keep for a day or two covered on the counter – but are best enjoyed immediatly.

PS. Painted candy apples!

(Photography © Kristy Begg/Stocksy United)

Posted October 21, 2014 5 Comments
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colorful candies & cocktails

Colorful Candy Wrappers

With all the candy and sweets going around this season, I’ve found our aisles filled with yummy treats that are covered in not so awesome packaging. Whether it’s for a party, bringing treats to school, or sweetening up the office this time of year – making your own candy wrappers is a simple way to add a colorful and pretty touch to whatever treats you might be packing.

Colorful Cocktails

Put smarties in glasses for a sweet and colorful cocktails!

Colorful Candy Wrappers

Colorful Smartie Infused Cocktails

Colorful and bright treats don’t need to stop at the candy aisle either. I love the idea of serving our guests bright and festive drinks this time of year. Infusing club soda or champagne with smarties is a great way to add a sweet touch to the already bright and festive sips. Paired with a roll of handwrapped candy, the drink combo creates a cheers of epic color proportions!

Colorful Candy Wrappers

To make the candy wrappers you will need white tissue paper (the kind used to wrap presents), a couple bright colors of paint, twine, water, and mixing bowls.  

Posted October 20, 2014 0 Comments
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