Cauldron Trick or Treat Bag

The Harry Potter themed week continues with a sewing tutorial for a trick-or-treat bag! This bag in the shape of a cauldron is perfect for your little witch or wizard to collect their sweets on Halloween.

A huge thank you goes out to my mother-in-law for coming up with the prototype for our original project!

Firecracker loved getting in on the action, too. That sweet boy of mine always wants to offer his help.

Cauldron Trick-or-Treat Bag Tutorial | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

Here is the how-to for a cauldron tote bag:

Print out a template for a cauldron from a simple google search to desired size. Trace the template onto black wool felt with chalk. Cut out two cauldrons.

Use a string to measure the cauldron bottom. That value is your length. Cut a piece of black wool felt 3″ wide and the length just measured. (Mine was 28″)

Cauldron Trick-or-Treat Bag Tutorial | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

Iron on craft-fuse to the rectangular piece of felt, and the bowl portion of the cauldrons.

Cauldron Trick-or-Treat Bag Tutorial | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

Using a lot of pins, attach the rectangle to one of the cauldrons, so that the black sides face each other. Pin the center and the ends and ease your way until there are pins all around!

Cauldron Trick-or-Treat Bag Tutorial | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

Sew using a 1/4″ inseam, making sure to reinforce at the ends.

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Repeat with the second side of the cauldron. Turn right-side-out.

Fold the top lip of the cauldron over and sew it down by hand using black thread with a few stitches in 1/3 from each edge. Repeat on the other side.

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I downloaded a Harry Potter font and cut out letters from felt and used a hot glue gun to add the words “Potions please”.

To create the handle, I sewed a black shoe string on each side.

Cauldron Trick-or-Treat Bag Tutorial | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

Tuesday Tattles #14

Tuesday Tattles

Today’s Tuesday Tattles is all about removing superglue from a toddler’s fingers.

Fun right?!

A couple of months ago Firecracker’s wooden helicopter broke. The metal spoke holding the propeller snapped. Because it’s one of his favorite toys, I decided we should try and fix it. Super glue can fix anything, right?

Well, probably, if you know how to use it properly.

My husband and I very carefully applied some glue to the top of the spoke and held the top in place. After a few seconds I put the toy on the table to dry. Almost immediately Firecracker grabbed it. The top fell off and his fingers were covered in super glue. He ran up to Daddy and asked for “help.” We are quite thankful he was not strong enough to pull his fingers apart.

Immediately I reached out to the internet. I needed a method that was safe for my toddler. Using laundry detergent, nail polish remover, or WD-40 was not going to cut it. Not surprisingly, warm soap and water is perfectly capable to remove super glue from skin, especially if you’re acting quickly enough. I immediately took Firecracker to the sink and used as warm of water as he could tolerate. I then used hand soap until his fingers pried apart.

The dried super glue will eventually flake off on it’s own, but because I have a boy who can’t keep his fingers out of his mouth for more than three minutes, I knew I had to get the glue off completely. I set him in my lap, turned on Chuggington and took to his fingers with an emery board.

How to Remove Super Glue from Skin

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

DIY Ornament Storage

We’re only 3 days into the new year and my house is already devoid of holiday decor. The twinkling glow of Christmas decorations has been replaced with the flashing lights (and noises) of children’s toys.

Packing up the boxes and bins of holiday things is an opportunity for the part of me who loves organizing to have a party. I was one of those kids who constantly rearranged stuffed animals and trinkets. I even collected Pokemon cards just to reorganize them in a binder – by color, by creature type, by rarity, or alphabetically.

Today I want to share with you how I store our ornaments during the 11 months of the year they’re not beautifully displayed on the tree. I found this idea on Pinterest years ago and our keepsakes have been safe. Even through a move! I did lose one ornament from my childhood to the moisture in FL though – I don’t think it was the salt dough that’s so popular, but something similar. But nothing fragile has been jostled into smithereens yet!

Here’s what you need:

  • storage bin
  • cardboard
  • plastic drinking cups
  • hot glue gun (and glue)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Cut your cardboard to the size of the bottom of your storage bin. Do this twice.
  2. Hot glue cups to one of the pieces of cardboard. You’ll need to press the bottoms flush with the cardboard until dry.
  3. Use the second piece of cardboard as a top or “shelf.” If your bin is deep enough repeat with more cups. (You’ll need a third piece of cardboard to top this layer.) I put ornaments that come in boxes (such as these) on top of this “shelf.”

Ornament Storage Solution

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

DIY Design Board

Today I am going to show you how you can make your very own design board. This simple DIY only takes minutes to do and is very cost effective. Sure, you could use a cork board, but finding one large enough for quilting can cost as much as $20 per square foot!

In Florida my mother-in-law created a temporary design board for me by simply hanging some flannel on the wall. She sewed some lightweight plastic rings at the top of the fabric and hung them on the wall. This design board worked great! But the version I have now is more multi-purpose-friendly and still temporary. I can now stick pins into it, allowing me to pin up papers or even piles of fabric squares. (The blocks below are part of Old Glory, or will be if I ever finish it!)

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DIY design boardHere’s what you need:

  • Foam board insulation, cut to desired wall size
  • Flannel fabric, cut to foam board size plus 3″ overhang on all four sides (remember, you’ll want a neutral color so it won’t clash with your projects)
  • Stapler*
  • Duct tape*
  • Command strips (optional)

*If you have a staple gun you won’t need the duct tape

Here’s what you do:

  1. Lay your flannel on a flat surface and place your foam board insulation in the center of it, words up.
  2. Tightly fold the flannel around the board and staple in place. Reinforce with duct tape.
  3. To hang on the wall use command strips for a temporary design board, or nail in place.

DIY design board

Thursday Thoughts: Thanksgiving Edition

Thursday Thoughts

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! I hope you are enjoying the day spending it with family and friends, being thankful for all your blessings, and making memories that will last.

Whenever family gets together there are always stories to be created and memories to be shared. And there’s always something that doesn’t go as planned.

I want to share with you a Thanksgiving that I will never forget. Thanksgiving 2012. Or better known as the Thanksgiving of Plan B.

Family arrived at my house on Wednesday. Wednesday is the day a lot of casseroles are prepared, prep is done, and pies are baked. Before everyone arrived I’d baked the sweet potatoes for Papa’s Sweet Potato Casserole (SPC) and got that filling underway. What I failed to notice was that some delicious sweet potato leaked out of the potato and onto the heating element of the oven. (Lesson learned: I always put a sheet of aluminum foil on the rack below sweet potatoes when I bake them.)

Stuart’s sister arrived and was ready to get going on the pumpkin pie. She prebaked the pie crust before adding the filling and during that time the heating element cracked from the heat of the sweet potato deliciousness directly on the heating element, and a fire ensued. (A small fire, not the grease fire we created during the Bacon Wrapped Dates fiasco.) The moment of the night was my mother-in-law announcing, surprisingly calmly, “There’s a fire in your oven.”

At 8:40pm on Wednesday night we found ourselves calling all of the home improvement stores to see if they had the heating element part in stock – there’d be no way to get it Thanksgiving morning! We were out of luck. And we had to come up with a Plan B.

The pumpkin pie was finished in the toaster oven and the Pecan Pie was also made in the toaster oven Wednesday night. That toaster oven came in handy for crescent rolls on Thursday too.

A 22 pound stuffed turkey was not going to fit in the toaster oven. Luckily it fit in the grill – barely. We heated the grill to 350 degrees and treated it like an oven. The turkey was still in the roasting bag in the roasting pan. My brother elected himself as turkey-sitter. He kept running out into the chilly fall weather to ensure that the grill temperature stayed at 350.

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While the turkey rested, out of the way in the oven! The casseroles went into the grill. All except for the SPC which wouldn’t fit. That had to be cooked in the microwave.

When we carved the turkey we realized that the half of the turkey towards the outside of the grill didn’t cook through all the way, but the half towards the inside of the grill was perfect. So half of the turkey was served with dinner while the rest returned to the grill for some more cooking.

Our Plan B Thanksgiving was a complete success and a cooking adventure I’ll never forget.

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And the oven was fixed on Friday!

SRC: Vanilla Extract

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Today is another Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! In the secret recipe club, each participating blogger is assigned a blog from another participating blogger and secretly searches their site for something to recreate. The accompanying blog post then goes live on reveal day! So while I was immersed in my assigned blog, someone else was picking through mine! I’m so excited to be part of this group, to see what on my blog peaks other’s interests and to stumble upon new blogs and new recipes.

This month I was assigned Ros’s blog The More Than Occasional Baker. Ros’s blog name doesn’t lie – her blog is entirely made up of sweets!

I was really hoping to do a savory post for this month’s SRC post because you might have noticed that my August archive has an unusual amount of dessert recipes. I guess my blog wouldn’t show up in a summer bikini body recipe search! But alas, the assignments were sent out and my hands are tied. I’m sure you are all completely bummed. 😉

I almost didn’t participate in this month’s Secret Recipe Club reveal, but after not participating last month to focus on our new family member (my son was born July 3rd) I just knew I couldn’t sit another month out! When July 28th rolled around I found myself feeling lost without a SRC post! I still scrolled through the reveal day posts though – you should too!

This month we moved from Florida to Ohio and spent a week with my husband’s family in Alabama. I knew it’d be hard to squeeze in some home cooking. Luckily I found this how-to for Vanilla Extract on Ros’s blog! I’ve been wanting to try making my own vanilla extract, and now I have the perfect excuse. Well, two really. One: I have to restock my pantry anyway, so why not?! Two: It’s on my SRC assigned blog!

Don’t think my selection of Vanilla Extract means Ros doesn’t have some awesome recipes. She does! When life settles down again (will that ever happen now that I’m a mom?!) I’ll definitely be putting my favorite soda in her Root Beer Bundt Cake, using my poppy seeds in her Orange Poppy Seed Muffins, and getting a feeling of summer when the weather turns cold with her Lemon, Lime, and Basil Cookies. She also has some very fun ideas with my favorite savory snack, popcorn – check out this Popcorn Cake!

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Ingredients:

  • vodka
  • vanilla beans

Steps:

  1. Put vodka in an airtight bottle. (I used a salad dressing mixer that I found at the local thrift store!)
  2. Add vanilla beans – scrape out the seeds and add to the bottle along with the pods.
  3. Allow vodka and vanilla beans to transform into vanilla extract over the course of 4 weeks.

*This recipe is adapted from Ros at http://themorethanoccasionalbaker.blogspot.com/2012/10/homemade-vanilla-extract.html*

Vanilla Extract FG1

To see the other bloggers who participated in the Secret Recipe Club this month click here:

Perfect Corn on the Cob Every Time

I am so excited that corn is back in season (at least in FL). I think it’s my favorite thing about summer produce.

And I have the perfect way to cook it. I honestly don’t do it any other way. It keeps the corn in all it’s natural glory.

And my favorite way to eat it is simply with salt and butter.

Perfect Corn on the Cob

Ingredients:

  • corn on the cob, husks still on

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place corn, with the husks on directly on the oven rack. Alternatively, you can remove the husks and silks and wrap the corn in aluminum foil.
  3. Bake for 35 minutes.
  4. When cool enough to touch, fold back the husks and remove the silks. I prefer to leave the husks attached to the corn as it provides for an natural handle!

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