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22 October 2014

The top secret secret for gleaming white pumpkins...

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Want to know my ridiculously easy trick for gleaming white pumpkins?

First, let me ask you a couple questions.  

Do you decorate with white pumpkins?
Do they ever look dirty like this when you buy them?

Yup.  Mine too.  Always.
Now Watch.

No editing on those photos.  10-second swipe with a Magic Eraser and all those spots are GONE!
(One note:  Actual scabs on the pumpkin will not wipe away as the skin of the pumpkin is altered, not just dirty.)

...and if you wondered how much nastiness was actually ON those white pumpkins...well...

Gross.  That handy dandy new handle makes the job even easier and no touching that wet sponge!

Now bring on the pumpkins!

Halloween is in a WEEK!

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21 October 2014

Gingerbread Orange and White Snow Soap

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I know, I know. Snow?? Think of this as your reminder to:

A: Enjoy the LACK of snow while it is still nice out
B: Your first stocking stuffer ideas for 2014 :)

This is the perfect little soap to bridge that gap between the seasons somewhere between the falling orange leaves and the white and icy winter freezes.  I ended up making a Gingerbread Orange stacked soap with a glycerin base dyed orange and epsom salt detail for the "snow".  Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

Take your soap out of the package and cut it into chunks.
A goat's milk soap base for the white and glycerin base for the orange work best for this soap.
The links above are to the soaps on Amazon, but you can also find them at Michael's.

Microwave the soap in 30 second intervals.  You will have half melted clumps like this:

Stir and heat for another 30 seconds.
Repeat until the soap is fully melted like this:

At this point, add in any fragrance, oils or colors.  I added Gingerbread Orange oil.
Be VERY careful as you pour your soap into molds!  (See that steam!)

For this particular soap, I made the soap in a "brick" mold, but you could also make 
this soap in a small loaf pan.  Non stick or silicone work best!

Instructions for Stacked Gingerbread Orange Snow Soap:

  1. Sprinkle Epsom salts into the bottom of the mold
  2. Melt white soap base
  3. Add Gingerbread Oil (around 20 drops for a full pack of soap)
  4. Pour into brick mold or loaf pan
  5. Allow white layer to harden
  6. Melt 1-2 blocks of glycerin
  7. Add orange food coloring (about 4-5 drops)
  8. Pour onto hardened white soap in mold
  9. Allow orange glycerin layer to harden
  10. Add a small amount of white soap in irregular lines
  11. Sprinkle Epsom salts onto the white top layer
  12. After the layer has cooled slightly, gently press the salts down into the soap to adhere

Once everything has fully hardened (at least an hour), gently release the soap from the mold and slice.  
The Epsom salts give an "icy" appearance to the soap, but also dissolve somewhat giving a cool "mountainous" look to the edges of the soap.

Stay tuned for more soap ideas -- they make fun stocking stuffers and I have one that is just *perfect* for the kids coming up soon!

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20 October 2014

Simple and Sweet Batty Hairpins (for PENNIES!~)

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Everybody welcome our jewelry girl Aki back for another fun and simple tutorial!!
 Make sure you check out Minted Strawberry where Aki has LOADS of fun tutorials like this one!

Easy Batty Hairpins

I love repurposing Halloween items into wearable accessories - these plastic skull earrings and dainty insect earrings are among them. Today, I'll be showing you how to make these batty hairpins to adorn your mane.


  • Plastic bat rings
  • Wire cutters
  • Glue gun
  • Felt
  • Spray paint
  • Hairpins
  • Scissors

First, get some plastic bat rings. These run for a dollar a bag at the dollar store. 
The ones from above I got at Target's dollar spot.

I also had ones from Dollar Tree leftover from the skull earrings craft years ago. As you can see they do look a bit different from each other - I guess it's up to you if you want to go for the cutesy one (Target) or the more batty-looking one. I don't know which one I like more so I ended up making them both into gold hairpins!

Get your wire cutters and cut the ring part - it's really easy with wire cutters, but if not, 
scissors would work too, you just have to do some sanding after to completely flatten the backside out. 

Now get some spray paint and color them, starting with the backside first. 
I always do the backside first to ensure the front won't get ruined when spraying.
 I chose gold and silver and once I get some metallic copper I will do a set in that as well. ;)

Now take some felt, cut a small strip and sandwich it between the prongs of your hairpin, 
making sure it's somewhat skewed (unless you want your bats to be completely parallel to your hairpin). 
Apply some hot glue or even E6000, attach your bat and wait for it to dry. 

Now wasn't that as easy as pie? I think both bat hairpins turned out nice, but I might make more of the Dollar Tree ones just because they look more realistic. Don't want bats? Make some skulls or spiders in the same technique - I'm sure they'll look just as great, the spiders especially!

Have a fun time crafting!


Thanks Aki!  You are SO the queen of making cheap dollar store items look FANTASTIC!

Visit Aki's {amazing and OH so cute} blog at Minted Strawberry, then go give her a little love on facebook or pinterest

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