Passover Table Decor & Placecards

Next week brings many families and friends together. My family celebrates Passover, where we retell the Exodus story with blessings songs and specially-prepared food. When we were kids, my parents invited many friends and relatives to join us for the seder. My chief responsibility was creating placecards – which I took very seriously.

This year, I decided to rekindle my very important job, and make place “cards” using small terra cotta pots.
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I painted the three pots in different blue & white combinations, and added pictures and text which I had printed out on clear sticker paper.  After coating each pot with decoupage, I wrapped blue and white baker’s twine around the pots.

Use terra cotta planters for spring centerpiece
I printed names on white card stock, and glued the cards onto wooden plant markers painted blue.

A green herb (such as parsley or cilantro) is used on the Passover table to symbolize spring.  So I planted herbs in each pot. I’m going to use the largest pot as a centerpiece, so I made a label that reads “Kosher for Passover”.

Everyone gets their own pot with spring greens.

I decided the smallest pot was just too tiny to hold a plant, so I used the medium sized pots for the place markers.  These festive pots and plant markers will add a nice touch our seder table.  [Reprinted from Altered Artworks Blog]

Pomp & Circumstance: Handmade Graduation Gifts

Is your child graduating?  Whether you’ll be crying for joy at their college commencement, high school graduation or even their kindergarten ceremony, here are several great DIY ideas to cherish this special occasion.

Continue reading “Pomp & Circumstance: Handmade Graduation Gifts”

Valentine’s Candy Jars & Centerpiece

After spotting boring candy jars on a store shelf, I knew I could create prettier ones, while recycling empty glass jars at the same time.  And this is what I made.

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Continue reading “Valentine’s Candy Jars & Centerpiece”

New Year’s Eve Chocolate Favors

Ring in the New Year with champagne, party hats, and of course, chocolate!

Here’s a quick and festive chocolate treat for your New Year’s Eve party you can make in a snap. Look no farther than your local candy & cake decoration supply shop. Lucky for us, there’s one close by.

Over the past 25 years, I have built up quite an impressive collection of candy molds that collectively tell the story of our daughters’ activities and parties.  There are the ballet slippers, Pooh Bear & honey pots, soccer balls, Ariel & Friends, stars, pianos, teacups, artist palettes, flowers, softballs & bats, not to mention the molds for holidays including Valentine’s Day and Chanukah.  I’ve even made tennis rackets for my tennis group!

So when our daughter wanted to create something festive for New Year’s Eve, but didn’t have a lot of time, she knew exactly what to do:  chocolate lollipops!  A quick stop at Kake Kreations (isn’t that a darling name?) and 30 minutes later, she was busy in the kitchen.  In case you’ve never made these, let me show you how easy it is.

Supplies

2-3 bags of 1 lb. bags of (milk, dark or white) chocolate candy wafers, 4″ sticks, small cellophane bags, plastic squeeze bottle, and of course your candy mold of choice.  Our daughter found one with a party hat, champagne bottle and martini glass.

You will also need a warming tray or griddle, kitchen towel, 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup or bowl, a mixing spoon and an empty shelf in your freezer!

Pour  1/2 lb. of chocolate pieces into a Pyrex bowl. Microwave for 1 minute at 50% power. Stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds at 50% power and stir again. Repeat 2-3 times until the chocolate is melted, but not burnt!

Pour chocolate into squeeze bottle, and slowly fill molds.  Do not overfill.  Tap mold gently so chocolate spreads into the small corners of the molds.   For those molds that require sticks, place stick into mold, turning stick slightly into chocolate.

Place mold into freezer for 10 minutes or until firm.

While waiting, place both Pyrex bowl and squeeze bottle onto warming tray or griddle, on top of a clean kitchen towel. Be sure griddle is set at lowest warming temperature. This keeps chocolate melted and ready for next fill. Repeat as many times as you need, melting 1/2 lb. of chocolate at a time.

Gently turn mold upside down and pop out chocolate onto paper towel.

 Place chocolate molds into individual cellophane bags.

Tie with festive curling ribbon.

You can also create tags with each guest’s name or with “Happy New Year” and tie them to the stick as well.  These can be used as table place cards.  Or poke these into a Styrofoam block, covered with bright cellophane and use it as a centerpiece.

Create a Beachy Holiday Card Display

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If you’re looking for a fun way to showcase your holiday cards this year, create a holiday display — with a beach-inspired theme! Start with a large picture frame.  Replace the glass with chicken wire. [Click here to see how to attach chicken wire to frame.]

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I used Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint for this project.

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Paint the frame with one to two coats of chalky finish paint.  Let dry between coats.

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Using a second color, paint the sides of the frame.

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Apply a varnish to the frame.  I used Americana Decor Light Satin Finish varnish.

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Create a banner using card stock and large alphabet stamps. Cut squares from card stock slightly larger than letters. 20151102_085152

Lightly paint stamps using a foam brush, and then press stamp firmly onto card stock.  I spelled out “Coastal Tidings.”

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Paint clothespins.  Create banner and attach to frame.

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Hot glue peppermint stick to clothespins, tie with twine and glue to  both ends of the banner.

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Add holiday and beach-themed embellishments to top and bottom corners of frame.

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As you receive holiday cards in the mail, attach them to the display frame with clothespins.

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Disclosure:  DecoArt provided me with paint to create this project.  All ideas and opinions are 100% mine.