how-to Archives - A Crafty Spoonful

Vanilla Mint Sugar Scrub

Vanilla Mint Sugar Scrub

One thing I miss about our old house is the soaking tub we installed in the guest bathroom shortly after our son was born. I knew I wanted a great tub for bathtime and a deeper one would hold in all of the water for splashing. Plus I love to take baths so it’d be a great way for me to relax as well.

Our current bathrooms have shallow bathtubs that don’t allow much room for soaking. So I have to do all of my relaxing in the shower. Luckily I’ve made a few sugar scrubs to help make the shower just as relaxing as my old soaks in the tub. This vanilla mint sugar scrub would also be a great gift for St. Patrick’s Day. Or you could make  a salt scrub and pair the two together for Valentine’s Day.

Vanilla Mint Sugar Scrub - a great way to relax

Vanilla Mint Sugar Scrub

In a medium mixing bowl, add the sugar and sea salt.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix with a fork until well incorporated.
Transfer to an airtight container.
Enjoy in the shower or while soaking in the tub. You can store this Vanilla Mint Sugar Scrub up to 6 months but more than likely, it will be used before then…the smell is so soothing and calming!

How do you relax at the end of the day?

How To Make Salt Dough Ornaments

How To Make Salt Dough Ornaments - a simple craft for kids of any age
E year my son’s school has each class decorate and create ornaments for the kids to gift to their parents. Last year we had fun making reindeer thumbprint ornaments along with a few other great ornament designs. And this year we’re going to be making salt dough ornaments with the first graders. There are so many great ideas and techniques to incorporate when making salt dough ornaments with kids. You can get as creative as you like by simply incorporating different mediums when decorating your ornaments.

Since this year is my youngest’s first Christmas, I decided to make an example for the kids by using her hand print and turning it into Santa. My other daughter wants to use her footprint to make a reindeer but I’ll be sticking with hands for the first graders. I’ll also be using cookie cutters for the kids who don’t want to do hand prints and I’ll have them add two thumbprints to create hearts in the middle of their cut out. They’ll get to color and decorate their ornaments after I bake them up.

How To Make Salt Dough Ornaments - decorate ornament after baking

How To Make Salt Dough Ornaments

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup water (more or less depending on dough)

What you do: 

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.

Grab a medium bowl and mix flour and salt until well incorporated.

Slowly add in water. Start with 1/4 cup and mix in, then add in a bit more until the dough forms and is lightly tacky but not sticky.

How To Make Salt Dough Ornaments - combine ingredients into dough

Grab a piece of parchment paper and lightly flour. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead a little more until the dough is smooth.

Roll dough out with rolling pin to 1/4 inch thickness.

Grab a kid and put a hand print in the dough and/or use some cookie cutters to cut out some designs.

How To Make Salt Dough Ornaments - make a handrpint

If you’re using a hand print, make sure to cut a circle around the hand print leaving room for a hole at the top.

Remove excess dough and set aside. Place parchment paper with ornaments on a cookie sheet. Using a plastic straw, poke a hole at the top of each ornament (for Santa, make sure you put the hole at the palm/bottom  of the hand). Now grab a kid and let them blow on the straw until the little ball of dough that was just punched out pops onto the counter.

How To Make Salt Dough Ornaments - make hole with straw before baking

Bake ornaments for 2-3 hours or until hardened. Let cool completely before decorating.

How To Make Salt Dough Ornaments - decorate ornament after baking

What is your favorite part about the holidays?

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*** This giveaway is closed ***

Congrats Janet!

How to Build a Vertical Garden Using Pallets

 This post contains affiliate links. 

How to Build a Vertical Garden Using Pallets

Ever wonder what else you can do with pallets? I mean besides the thousands of other ideas you find all over the interwebs? Well, my husband and I figured out how to build a vertical garden using pallets. And they’re quite fun!

Now, I want to tell you right now that we’ve had some interesting finds when building these. The first? It’s really difficult to get dirt to stay IN the pallets once you start watering them. Especially if you don’t use a soaker hose line and just spray them with the garden hose.

My son had fun with the muddy clumps that came with that! But once the dirt is settled into the pallets it’s actually quite a good way to grow fun things and makes an awesome display for your yard.

build a vertical garden using pallets - before

This above was the side of our house in the front yard before we put the pallets in. I hated how empty and plain the space was and wanted to use the vertical garden to spruce it up and bring life to this part of the yard.

I don’t think my husband quite understood exactly what I was envisioning in my head but with some team work, a few dirty looks and rolling eyes, and some muddy kids, we got it done.

Oh… and if you’re having trouble finding pallets because everyone and their mom is grabbing them up to make things like this, go to Home Depot or whatever other hardware stores you have around and ask for their sod pallets. They’re more flimsy/rickety (hence the support added) but are perfect for this type of project!

Here’s how!

build a vertical garden using pallets - pallets

How to Build a Vertical Garden Using Pallets

Supplies:

Wood

  • wooden pallet
  • 2×2 doug fir
  • 2×4 doug fir
  • 1×8 cedar fence board
  • 2 4×4 cedar posts

Materials

What you do:

build a vertical garden using pallets - drilling on support beams1. Measure length of pallet and cut 2x2s to that length. These will give extra support to the pallet.

build a vertical garden using pallets - staple black garden cloth

2. Staple weed block fabric to the back of the pallet, pulling taut to make sure it’s stretched all the way across. Layer if needed to cover the full back.

build a vertical garden using pallets - add support panels

3. Measure the width of the pallet from 2×2 to 2×2 and cut 1×8 fence boards to that length. Screw in place over the weed block fabric.

build a vertical garden using pallets - dig post holes and level post

4. Measure the distance you need your posts to be installed on the ground and dig holes for posts. Cut posts to size depending on how far above the ground you want the pallets to be. Make sure to bury them about 1-2′ in the ground to provide a sturdy base.

5. Set posts in the ground by covering with dirt and using a level to determine if you need to move or shift the posts. Measure the back dimensions of the pallet to determine exactly how far apart the posts should be. This will vary with every pallet.

build a vertical garden using pallets - attaching pallet to posts

6. Measure where you want the bottom of hte pallet to be and mark off that height on each post with a pencil. Then cut the 2×4 to the width between the posts. This board will act as a frame for the pallet to sit on. Screw the 2×4 into position directly underneath the line you’ve drawn.

7. Lift pallet into place on the frame and screw to secure.

build a vertical garden using pallets - fill with dirtHow pretty are they??

Next up is the hard part… this is where we had the most trouble… trying to pack in the soil to make sure it stayed in place and didn’t spill all out.

Now you’re probably asking why we didn’t start our pallet garden on the ground and then lift it into place once the plants were established. Well.. you *could* do that but just think of how heavy those pallet gardens would be. Crazy heavy! So we did it this way.

build a vertical garden using pallets - dirt in pallet

8. Using the cardboard stapled to the front of the pallet, fill the pallet with mulchy garden soil. Pack down each layer as you go to make sure it’s secure. There will be some dirt that falls out, simply fill it back again or leave it as is to settle more and fill later.

9. Plant with whatever seeds you think will grow best! We stick to lettuce in one planter and herbs in another with a few strawberries at the bottom. It’s pretty fun to step out and grab herbs whenever I need them!

build a vertical garden using pallets - planting from startersAnother problem we ran into was using starter plants we purchased instead of seeds. While in theory this would work great, when you put a plant that’s been growing vertically in a horizontal planter into a vertical planter and ask it to grow horizontally it looks like this above… droopy.

It’s also quite messy and hard to get the starter plants IN the planter and you spill a TON of dirt everywhere. Our solution? Seeds… start from seed and install an irrigation system with a soaker hose. You can find everything you need for the soaker hose in the irrigation aisle at your local hardware store.

build a vertical garden buckets for run offIf you’re going to use an irrigation system with your garden, know that there will be water that drips down constantly. In order to conserve that water to use on our other plants and in our raised garden beds, we simply put buckets underneath to catch the excess water.

You know what else we found? Bees LOVE to come and drink the water that pools on the last rung of the pallet because they love mineral rich water. That means you’re helping the bees with your vertical garden too! Here’s a close up of a bee drinking. This is a regular sighting.

build a vertical garden using pallets - plant from seed

While it’s been a crazy process, I absolutely love how the vertical gardens make the side of our house look. I consider them more of a decorative piece in our front yard but love that we also get the benefits of growing our own herbs and lettuce.

And since our pallets are in the shade for most of the day, we had to choose plants that would work well in these conditions. I’m sure there are other things one could grow if their vertical garden were directly in full sunlight.

build a vertical garden using pallets - planted

What would you plant in a vertical garden?

How to Make A Recipe Card Using PicMonkey

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how to make a recipe card with picmonkey

If you’re like me, the holidays means full-fledged baking frienzy. Whether I’m making something for a party or gifting a platter of delicious cookies to a friend, I love to bake as much as possible and share delectable goodies with those closest to me.

Most of the time when I share an edible gift I’m usually asked for the recipe. So I decided this year I’d get ahead of myself and create recipe cards for the homemade gifts I make. And, of course, I’m using my favorite editing site to do it – PicMonkey!

By using their new Design feature I’ve figured out how to make a recipe card so that I can easily share the recipes I love. Want to know how? Read ahead!

How to Make A Recipe Card Using PicMonkey

1. Head on over to PicMonkey and click on Designhow to make a recipe card PicMonkey Design2. Now choose the size you want your recipe card to be. I chose a 5×7 layout (or 2100 x 1500 pixels)

how to make a recipe card 5 x 7 canvas3. By using the Canvas Color option under Basic Edits, choose the color you want your background to be.

how to make a recipe card canvas color4. If you want your recipe card to be Landscape, under Basic Edits click on Rotate and rotate your canvas.

how to make a recipe card rotate to landscape5. Add your recipe photo (if you have one) by going to Overlays (butterfly icon) and clicking on Your Own. Then choose the photo you wish to choose on your computer or other image source. Position it to the location and size you want it to be on the card.

how to make a recipe card adding overlay photo6. Add the title of the recipe and the ingredients and instructions by adding Text to the card. If you’re a Royale Member of PicMonkey check out the awesome new Santa Script options. They’re some of my new favorites and what I’ve used on my card! Feel free to use the same color by grabbing and copying the color number (6 digits) and pasting it into the color box of your new text box.

how to make a recipe card add text

7. Now add some flourish and design to your card. To create a divider in between your ingredients and directions, use a Geometric overlay by re-sizing a rectangle.

how to make a recipe card divider line

8. Add a border to one side or both by adding more Overlays. You can also add a frame around the recipe card under Overlays. I really like the look of the drop down option for these cards.

how to make a recipe card flourish

9. Now it’s time to Save the recipe card to your computer so you can upload and print from your favorite photo site or print from home.

how to make a recipe card save card

10. Grab your printed recipe card, your plate of goodies, and start spreading some holiday cheer!

Gingerbread Cake Recipe Card with border resized

Have any questions about this tutorial? Please feel free to ask in the comments below. I’ll try my best to help you out if you have any questions! And for the full recipe post for the recipe above, visit my Gingerbread Cake Recipe post here.

What’s your favorite homemade gift to give?

Looking to play more with PicMonkey? Here are some fun projects to try out:

How to Make a DIY First Day of School Sign Using PicMonkey #BackToSchool

DIY First Day Of School Sign

PickMonkeySubwayArt

How To Make Subway Art With PicMonkey

How to Make Valentines with PicMonkey

How to Make Valentine’s with PicMonkey

Disclaimer: This post is contains affiliate links

How to Make a Panini Without a Panini Press

This recipe and post is sponsored by Unilever.

Make a Panini without A Panini Pres

A few weeks ago I posted about my shopping trip to Walmart and the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® light spread I picked up. I was able to use an awesome website called It’s Good To Know and found some great recipes that used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® in them.

Since then I’ve made a few dishes and have incorporated our secret ingredient -I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® – without any fuss from my husband. His favorite recipe so far has been a simple panini I made for him and the kids for lunch one day. And we don’t have a panini press.

Being able to use the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® spread instead of butter has made these paninis even easier to make! No crumbs everywhere or hard, cold butter stuck to one corner and not budging. Just smooth, easy spreading! If you’re interested in finding out how you can make a panini without a panini press check out my YouTube video tutorial below.

The kids like to call them “fancy sandwiches” and love that I can switch up the ingredients inside to make different combinations. Served with a tasty side of veggies or a nice garden salad and it’s the perfect healthy meal! Plus it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare!

[Read more…]

How to Make Valentines With PicMonkey

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How to Make Valentines with PicMonkey

A few weeks back I shared my love of PicMonkey with you all with a quick tutorial on how to make Subway Art using PicMonkey. Well I’m back again proclaiming my love but this time with all of the new Valentine’s Day options PicMonkey has available to use!

Now you don’t need to purchase ANYTHING to use PicMonkey. It’s completely free. But if you want to take advantage of the Royale features you can pay $33/year for access to everything. How awesome is that?

Using the new Valentine’s Day features like swatches, ribbons, and fonts, I was able to create some simple and cute valentines for my kids to pass out at their preschool. With PicMonkey I was able to create what I wanted in less than 15 minutes of playing around. Once I was done I assembled the valentines and am now set for the big day!

Want to learn how to make valentines with PicMonkey? Well keep reading and you’ll find out!

How to Make Valentines With PicMonkey collage

1. Just like in the Subway Art tutorial I’ve shared previously, we’re going to start by clicking on “Create a Collage” first. Remove all cells but one from the collage. This will be your template. Adjust the size accordingly if you want larger or smaller valentines.

How to Make Valentines With PicMonkey background

2. Go to the “Swatches” tab and choose a background that you like. Save this collage as your base photo to edit.

How to Make Valentines With PicMonkey open collage add layers

3. Click on “Edit a Photo” and open up your collage photo. Go to the Overlays tab and choose an overlay you want to use. Feel free to change the color to whatever you’d like. Add a few embellishments like the ribbon I used or some hearts.

How to Make Valentines With PicMonkey add font

4. Add your saying on the overlay. Feel free to play with different fonts and colors to liven up your valentine! Once your done, save your photo to be used later.

How to Make Valentines With PicMonkey printable

5. To print your photo simply open up a Word document and insert the photo (or two).

Don’t want to make your own and want to simply use mine? Print out this PDF and cut with a small white border around the valentine (you can also click on the photo above for the PDF). Follow these instructions on how to assemble your valentine and you’re set!

Healthy Valentine For Kids

 

Free Cutie Valentine Printable PDF

 

How easy was that?

Looking for more Valentine’s Day printables? Check out these posts:

Minecraft Miner Valentine Printable with chocolate
Minecraft Valentine’s Printables

Tic Tac Toe Valentines Day Printables with pens
Tic Tac Toe Valentine’s Printables

Bugs and Kisses Valentines - Kisses and Gummy Worms
Bugs and Kisses Valentine’s Printables

dinosaur valentine printable dino tag
Dinosaur Valentine’s Printable

Someday I'll LearnI’ve linked up with my good friend Chelsea over at Someday I’ll Learn for Teach Me Tuesday! Head on over to her post here and see all of the other awesome things you can learn to do this week.

What are your kids bringing as valentines?Minecraft Miner Valentine Printable with chocolate

How to Make the Perfect Latte At Home with Vanilla Cinnamon Simple Syrup

Making the Perfect Latte

How to Make the Perfect Latte at Home

I don’t know if I’ve said it enough but I absolutely adore coffee. I love it so much that I have a cup of it every day. But sometimes… just sometimes… I have a delicious latte instead. And I’m going to teach you how to make the perfect latte at home just like I do.

Now the delicious beverage you see above is, in fact, made from my Tassimo home brewing system. BUT you CAN make this same delicious latte at home without a single-cup brewing system if you don’t have one.

And this latte above has one thing my Tassimo doesn’t – a delicious vanilla cinnamon simple syrup that you can use in lattes, coffee, and anything else that needs to be sweetened.

[Read more…]

How To Make Subway Art on PicMonkey

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PickMonkeySubwayArt

When I started to put the final touches on my home office and craft area I knew I wanted to add some personalization to the space to really make it mine. I scoured over Etsy and other designers to find the perfect wall art but nothing screamed me. So I decided to put my creative skills to the test.

What I came up with was how to make subway art on PicMonkey! Not only did I get to personalize the words to what I wanted my space to reflect, it cost me nothing. Well… besides the monthly fee I’m already paying for the premium services.

Below is a step-by-step tutorial on how to make subway art on PicMonkey so you can create your own artwork to hang up!

How to Make Subway Art on PicMonkey

When you head over to PicMonkey click on Create a Collage. We’re going to create our template first before adding our words.

PicMonkeyClickOnCreateACollageCraftRoomSubwayArt

1. Delete all but one cell from your collage.

PicMonkeyClickOnRemoveCellCraftRoomSubwayArt

2. On the left hand side click on textures (diamond grid icon). Choose a texture.

PicMonkeyChooseATextureCraftRoomSubwayArt

3. Drag the texture to the cell.

PicMonkeyTextureCraftRoomSubwayArt

4. Resize the cell to match the resolution and size you want to print your photo. For an 8×10 photo it’s suggested to use a 2400×3000 pixel ratio.

PicMonkeyResizeTemplateCraftRoomSubwayArt

5. Save your re-sized template. This will be the base of your subway art.

PicMonkeySaveCraftRoomSubwayArt

PicMonkeySaveAsCraftRoomSubwayArt

6. Now that your template is saved, go to Edit a Photo and open it up.

PicMonkeyEditAPhotoCraftRoomSubwayArt

7. Using the words you want to display on your subway art, start adding different words and fonts to your page.

PicMonkeyOpenPictureCraftRoomSubwayArt

8. Play around with different sizes and colors to get the look and feel you’re going for. Remember that you can also turn words vertically if you prefer.

PicMonkeyEditingCraftRoomSubwayArt

9. Once you’ve added all of the words and have them aligned the way you want, make sure there’s a nice 1/2 inch boarder around the wording to make room for framing.

PicMonkeyCraftRoomSubwayArt

10. Print out your subway art, frame it and enjoy!

Have you created subway art before? What was your focus or keywords?

Looking to play more with PicMonkey? Here are some fun projects to try out:

How to Make a DIY First Day of School Sign Using PicMonkey #BackToSchool

DIY First Day Of School Sign

how to make a recipe card with picmonkey pinterest

How To Make A Recipe Card With PicMonkey

How to Make Valentines with PicMonkey

How to Make Valentine’s with PicMonkey

Disclaimer: This post is contains affiliate links

Staying Organized In The Kitchen: Meal Planning

Meal Planning Kitchen Organization

One of my biggest resolutions this year is to get organized. I plan to organize the house, my work schedule, and, of course, my road to a healthier life.

In order to save time and money as well as stay on plan with my healthy eating, I like to meal plan once a week. This helps me gauge how many calories I’ll need left over in the evening and helps the husband know what we’re having for dinner every night.

And because I’m already going through the trouble of writing out a meal plan, I also write out a grocery list and print the recipes I’m going to use in advance so that I can cut coupons and grocery shop right after I’m done.

My system is simple but very efficient and I’d love to share it!

[Read more…]

Last Minute Homemade Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Last Minute Homemade Gift Ideas

Christmas is right around the corner and the days are flying by. If you haven’t completed your Christmas shopping consider these last minute homemade gift ideas!

Each is simple, easy, and from the heart. With few ingredients and supplies you can create a gift perfect for any friend or family member.

[Read more…]



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