Tag Archives: clever uses

12 Recycled Craft Projects You’ll Want to Show Off

Earth Day is coming up, which means it’s about time to go out and hug some trees, lay in the grass and just generally enjoy the beauty of the Earth for as long as we can (unless it’s snowing in Chicago, which it has been doing the past few weekends…so the Earth and I are on rough terms right now) 😉

To help celebrate Earth Day, here are a few cute and fun recycled crafts that are great for using up leftover trash or recycling. Most of them are budget-friendly and can probably even  be made with stuff you already have in your house!

craft-projects

12 Recycled Craft Projects You’ll Want to Show Off

Use an old Mason Jar to save up for an upcoming vacation. Decoupage a map of wherever you’re going for added motivation!

vacation-jars

Light up the night with these DIY Duct tape milk carton lanterns.

milk carton lights

Use an old toilet paper roll tube to create mock phone holder (and speaker!).

phone holder

Turn old wine corks into adorable place settings for any holiday or celebration.

place cards

Turn plastic spoons into cute votive holders.

votives

A busted or broken sweater makes a suuuuper comfy pillow!

throw pillow

Wine corks also make great trivets for hot plates and pans.

trivit

Turn old jeans into a cute mat.

jean-rug

Turn a box into a cute hair tie organizer.

hair tie organizer

An old out-of-date purse makes a great wreath for hanging flowers on the door.

purse wreath

Turn a plastic bottle into a cute planter.

planters

Finally, use toilet paper rolls and tubes to keep your desk organized and tidy.

desk organizer

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under clever uses

9 Clever Ways to Use Leftover Peeps

Easter is this weekend, which means there will be Peeps GALORE at every convenience store and grocery store for months to come. If you’re like my dad, you might even buy a handful of boxes and hide them in the back cabinet and “rediscover” them come June or July.

But if you’re Peep’ed out and looking for some clever ways to use up those sugary chicks and bunnies, these 9 clever Peep recipes are bound to help you rediscover your love of these pastel sweets. From classic s’mores to Peeps martinis (WHAT), here are 9 Clever Ways to Use Leftover Peeps!

9 Clever Ways to Use Leftover Peeps

leftover-peeps

  1. Peeps Popcorn Balls
  2. Peep Drop Martini
  3. Rice KrisPeeps Bark
  4. Chocolate Peanut Butter Peeps Skillet
  5. Peeps S’mores
  6. Peeps Milkshake
  7. Peeps Ice Cream Syrup
  8. Toasted Marshmallow Peeps Milkshake
  9. Peeps Cake Batter Candy

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

Leave a comment

Filed under recipe collections

The Difference Between Popular Flours

Let me paint a scene for you…you run into Target for a bag of flour so you can satisfy that late-night craving for chocolate chip cookies or chocolate cake and you find yourself overwhelmed, no, BOMBARDED with 8 billion types of flours…what’s a amateur baker to do?!

Between rows of almond flour and buckwheat flour you search the shelves for just simple all-purpose flour…then feel like a shlumb for not even having the courage to just give whole wheat flour a try like the yoga-pants-wearing mom that just threw 3 bags of it in her cart…

Well, worry no more! Today I’m breaking down the 11 most popular types of flour…what makes them work, what they can be used for, and what makes them different from their other cousins on the shelf.

The main difference between most wheat flours is the amount of proteins they contain, which directly correlates to the ability of the flour to produce gluten. The higher the protein, the more gluten it can produce. So higher protein flours, like bread flour, are great for dense baked goods, like breads and pizza crusts…while low protein flours, like cake flour and pastry flour, are great for light-as-air muffins, cookies, cakes and pastries.

Several flours can be mixed together for different flavors and to add nutritional value to whatever you’re making. So next time you make a run to the grocery store to stock up on flour, take a chance and give whole wheat flour a try! After reading this, you’ll have the “flour power” to be creative in the kitchen!

popular flours

The Differences Between Popular Flours

Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

This is the workhorse of all the flours. You can use it for pretty much anything and everything, unless your recipe tells you otherwise.

Bleached All-Purpose Flour

In essence, bleached flour is the same as unbleached, but it’s chemically altered with bleaching agents (benzoyl peroxide or chlorine dioxide) to whiten flour and speed up production. Due to the processing, bleached flour often has less protein than unbleached, making it good for flaky pastries.

Bread Flour

Bread flour is high in protein, which allows for more gluten development when combined with water. Gluten allows dough to expand so, naturally, bread flour is great for making bread (go figure!). You can also use bread flour to make pizza dough, puff pastry, and even some cookies.

Whole Wheat Flour

Since whole wheat flour is made by milling the entire wheat kernel, whole wheat flour can be slightly darker, nuttier and higher in nutritional content than all-purpose flour. The bran in this flour makes it difficult to produce gluten, though…so whole wheat flour is often used in combination with another flour to make bread or other baked goods. It’s versatile and can be used for most recipes to add nutrition to whatever you’re making…just make sure to adjust the water amounts as necessary.

Cake Flour

Cake flour is milled from low protein wheat strains, yielding minimal gluten development. This makes cake flour amazing for baked goods like angel food cake, sponge cakes, biscuits, and muffins.

Self-Rising Flour

Self-rising flour is pastry flour that also contains baking powder and salt. This flour is great for flaky and tender biscuits, muffins, pancakes, and some cakes. Most recipes that require self-rising flour will call it out as such. If your recipe calls for self-rising flour, you can also make your own by combining 1 cup pastry flour with 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Pastry Flour

Pastry flour sits comfortably between all-purpose flour and cake flour in the protein spectrum. It strikes the ideal balance between flakiness and tenderness, making it perfect for pies, tarts and many cookies. You can also make your own pastry flour by mixing all-purpose flour with cake flour.

Spelt Flour

Though spelt is technically a form of wheat, it’s often an alternative to wheat flour because it’s easier to digest. It has a mild nuttiness, natural sweetness and can be used for most breads, pizza crusts, or cookies.

Buckwheat Flour

Buckwheat flour is naturally gluten-free and it absorbs a LOT of moisture, making this flour great for pancakes, noodles and dense cakes.

Rice Flour

Rice flour has a granular, coarse texture and is also naturally gluten-free. It can be combined with other flours for a more workable dough. It’s great to use for sponge cakes, noodles, and light fry doughs, like fritters or tempura batters.

Nut Flours

Simply made from pulverized nuts, nut flours are very powdery and naturally contain no gluten. Of all the nut flours, almond is probably the most popular. These can be combined with other flours if desired for added flavor. Their flavor and texture make nut flours great for cookies and tart crusts.
Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

Leave a comment

Filed under every day tips and tricks

11 Adorable Bottle Cap Crafts

So earlier this week we explored some recipes you can make with beer, specifically stout and porters, so now let’s find a use for all those bottle caps that you have lying around the house!

11-adorable-bottle-cap-crafts

11 Adorable Bottle Cap Crafts

Make cute coasters for the den or bar with these bottle cap coasters.

19 Easy and Striking DIY Bottle Cap Craft Ideas - Diy Craft Ideas & Gardening

Show off your favorite wedding memories with these bottle cap magnets.

DIY Fridge Magnets Out of Bottle Caps **Using 1

Make adorable French macaron ornaments with bottle caps and glitter.

These are such adorable little DIY French macaron ornaments. Such a great idea and they have SO many uses!

Create an amazing back splash by attaching bottle caps to the wall (this is one of my favorite ideas!).

Google Image Result for http://www.naturalhomeandgarden.com/uploadedImages/blogs/Green_Decor/bottle-cap-backsplash.jpg

…or attach them to a table…

DIY Bottle Cap Table – Your Projects@OBN

You know I love maps!  Show off your favorite places with these bottle cap magnets!

Bottle Cap Magnets  Recycled Atlas/ Map

Turn your favorite quote into a necklace with these bottle cap charms.

DIY book nerd necklaces. Cute upcycled bottle cap craft tutorial

Keep track of your wine glass with these cute bottle cap wine charms.

Create the ultimate poker game with these flattened beer bottle chips.

Beer Bottle Cap Poker Chip Set by TheArtofDrinkingBeer on Etsy, $175.00

Or turn your cap collection into an amazing wind chime.

Bottle Cap wind chime idea

So, you sew?  Try making these little pin holder rings to keep track of all your pins.

Pincushion Ring Tutorial - A bowl full of goodness

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

1 Comment

Filed under clever uses

Toilet Paper Roll “Speaker” and Phone Holder

I don’t know about you, but I love jamming out to my favorite tunes when I’m cooking.  Maybe some Sinatra if I’m making pasta…maybe some bluegrass if I’m making some down-home stick-to-your-ribs comfort food…or, if all else fails, I’ll just pop on Pandora and hit shuffle!

But sometimes it’s hard to hear the phone speaker when I have pots and pans moving all over the place…and I always lose my phone under some towel or cookbook, only to find it when it ultimately falls on the floor…

So instead, I’ve found a crafty way to keep track of my phone AND hear my music better when I’m cooking!  The solution, funny enough, lies in your bathroom.

IMG_0377

Yes, I’m talking about toilet paper rolls.  Love em or hate em, these buggers are pretty useful around the house…and this little DIY Phone Speaker is a clever way to use it to your benefit.  All you need is some paper or Washi Tape to dress it up!

Make sure you put your phone or device into the holder speaker side down, which will help pump out the sound so you can jam to Dr. Dre when you’re cooking, cleaning or just chillin’ on the couch.

Toilet Paper Roll Phone Holder

Materials:

  • Toilet Paper Roll
  • Pencil
  • Craft Knife or Scissors
  • Washi Tape or Patterned Paper
  • Glue Sticks
  • 4 Push Pins

Instructions:

Place your phone on top of the toilet paper roll and trace around it to measure how big your hole will need to be.  Use a buddy to hold the toilet paper roll or tape it to your desk to prevent it from moving around.

Using a craft knife or scissors, cut out the hole.

Now it’s time to decorate!  You can use Washi Tape to decorate your phone holder quickly, or use patterned paper to glue onto the toilet paper roll.

Push one push pin into front and back of each round side of toilet paper roll.

Place your phone in the holder and jam out to your favorite tunes!

IMG_0378

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

Leave a comment

Filed under clever uses

How to Make Thick and Chunky Yarn

Tis the season for thick and cozy yarn, but here’s the problem…that warm, thick, chunky blanket yarn can run you about 12 bucks a skein…and not only that, but you get WAY less than you think you do. So, here’s the simple solution – make your own!

how-to-make-your-own-chunky-yarn

Yes, it does take some time, but with all the Christmas movies you have yet to watch, it can go a lot faster than you think.

For my chunky yarn, I used Lion Brand Homespun Thick and Quick Yarn (Tudor – #315), which was on sale at my local Hobby Lobby.

chunky-yarn

Now all you do to turn this thin yarn into thick yarn is you start chaining, and then you keep going until you’re done. Yup, this thick and cozy yarn is just one super long chain!  For reference, here’s the comparison in thickness (chain on the left, yarn on the right):

chunky-yarn2

I bought four skeins and turned them all into thick yarn…then I think I’m going to braid them together and sew them into a big cozy blanket because – after all –

game of thrones jon snow kit harington winter is coming

You could also use an extra large crochet hook or big knitting needles to make something with your extra thick yarn.

Happy Crocheting!

 

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

Leave a comment

Filed under crocheted tutorials

5 Ways to Decorate Store-Bought Cookies

It’s inevitable…whether it’s your co-worker, friend, or crazy aunt, someone is bound to send an email sometime between now and December 19th with the following subject line:

LET’S DO A COOKIE EXCHANGE!

While there are some folks who will jump at this opportunity (me!), there are others who just don’t have the time, patience, money, or skills to bake an insane amount of cookies around the holiday season…but that doesn’t mean you should skip out on the fun!

Let the grocery store do the work for you!  With these five no-fail, insanely easy cookie decorating ideas, you can still have fun decorating and gifting cookies without all the stress that comes with baking!  Simply buy your favorite cookies as your base and add your own special touches at home.

store-bought-cookies

Whether it’s Nilla Wafers, Oreos, Nutter Butters, or just regular old sugar cookies, these no-bake cookie decorating ideas are just the ticket to a batch of cookies you’ll be proud to share with family and friends.  They’re simple, affordable, and most of all, fun!

5 Ways to Decorate Store-Bought Cookies

Nilla Wafer Cookies
Honey and Butter Blog

OREO Polar Bear Cookies
Noshing with the Nolands Blog
Polar Bear Cookies

Nutter Butter Snowmen
Brown Eyed Baker Blog

Easy Reindeer Sugar Cookies
One Little Project at a Time Blog
These reindeer sugar cookies are really easy to make and they look ADORABLE! The cookie recipe is so good! Perfectly even cookies, with no chilling required!

Milano Cookie Reindeer
Momerish Blog
Reindeer Cookies

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

1 Comment

Filed under cookie recipes