Monday, October 29, 2012

Spooky Skeletons

Cotton Swab Skeletons

I saw this craft in several places online and in magazines so not quite sure where to give credit.  Just go do it, it's fun!
Skeleton before we cut it out.  Sorry there isn't an after photo yet.  Just leave about half an inch around the edge and tape it to your window old school style.  

What you need:

  • Cotton swabs (Q-tips)
  • Glue
  • Wax paper or other paper
  • Scissors
  • Marker or black scraps of paper


Lay out the cotton swabs on the wax paper or other paper and arrange into the shape of a skeleton as shown in the picture.  Dab glue at the joints.  Add a face with black marker or little pieces of black paper ( you can even use black parts of magazine photos if you don't have craft paper).

Cut out along the outline and hang it in a window.  


Happy Halloween!!!!  -Nancy

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Easy Rainbow Layered (Square!) Cake Pops

Ok.  I know this blog is supposed to promote crafting with our kids, but I can't hold back this little tip I figured out tonight.  I had grandiose visions of making these fabulous rainbow layer mini cakes (<--check out this link) for a bake sale this Friday.  I made all of my layers last night using some homemade marshmallow frosting for the filling.  Epic fail!  When I pulled my cake out of the freezer today (see tips below), all of my frosting had been absorbed into the cake.  Which makes the cake layers super delicious, but I still had nothing to hold the cake layers together.  Trying to avoid a trip to the grocery store, here's what I came up with ... square (well, rectangle) cake pops!

Now, I love cake pops.  I've been a fan of Bakerella for quite some time.  However, my mediocre culinary skills always resulted in lumpy pops that always seem to fall off the stick when I swirled the excess chocolate coating.  Cake pops have become my nemesis, until today. 

1. Make 4 cake layers (1 batch of batter = ~ 4cups.  Each layer was made with 1 cup of colored batter).  I followed all of the directions for the "Teeny Tiny Rainbow Cakes".  Use the parchment!  And best tip ever -- freeze the cake!!  It makes cutting much easier.

2. Pull the cake out of the freeze and cut it into squares.  When frozen the cut cuts fairly cleanly.

3. Insert one popcicle stick per square.

4. Melt down some candy melts/chocolate coating.  I ALWAYS have bags of this stuff in my house.  I seem to find a million goodies to coat with chocolate!  I chose to use vanilla candy melts because I wanted the coating to be somewhat transparent so you could see the rainbow cake.

5. Using a silpat mat or parchment paper as your base, place a dollop of chocolate on the mat.  Place your upsidedown cake pop on the dollop.

6. Using a butter knife, scrap the chocolate up the sides of the cake.  When the chocolate hardens, it will hold all of the layers together (which is just what I needed!).

7. Spoon a little dollop of chocolate on top of the cake, and smooth is down the sides.

8. Add a little decoration and let dry.

9. Using a serrated knife, I made all of my edges nice and clean. Well, cleaner and nicer than it was in this picture.

10. I used little treat bags to wrap these puppies up!  Off to the bake sale!  My kids thought these were pretty cool.  So, I'm going to take that as a win for me!


Good luck!