Hand Sewn Paper Heart Valentine Craft for Kids

Written by JaNae on . Posted in Crafts, Holidays, Kids, Kids' Crafts, Valentine's Day

Kids Valentines Heart Craft

I love Valentine’s Day!  Aside from Christmas, I truly think it is my favorite holiday.  It’s not a super overwhelming holiday with tons of prep work or build up.  It’s just a fun, extra-lovin’, happy day where we get to do a few extra special things to show those we care about how much we love them.  What’s not to love about it, right?

When I was a kid, my mom came up with these cute hand sewn paper heart valentines which my siblings and I made to share with our schoolmates.  I loved spending the weeks before the holiday getting my Valentines ready to take to school.   I always felt proud to pass these babies out.  These are unique and simple enough to make them the perfect kid craft.  My 5 year old and I had a blast making over 50 of these last year.

Scissors, Paper, and Yarn

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • colored cardstock (you can use heavy poster board for an even sturdier Valentine)
  • clear sheet protectors
  • heart pattern found here
  • yarn
  • candy or small trinkets for filling the heart
  • scissors
  • hole puncher

Step 1: Trace the heart pattern onto your cardstock and onto your clear page protectors.  Cut the hearts out.

Heart Outlines

Step 2: Overlay one of the clear hearts on top of a cardstock heart.  Use the hole puncher to punch holes around the perimeter of your heart taking care to keep the hearts directly on top of each other.  I punched my holes about a 1/4″ in from the edge of the heart, and about 1/2″ apart from each other.

Hole Punch Hearts

Step 3: Cut a little over 1 yard of yarn and starting at the top center of the heart, begin sewing leaving about 6 inches of yarn hanging out the front of the heart to use later when you tie it all together.  Begin sewing by taking yarn over the edges of the heart and up through each hole.

Threat Hearts with Yarn

Step 4: When you have sewn nearly all the way around your heart, leave a few holes without stitches to make room to fill the heart with candy.  Once the heart has been filled, sew up the remaining holes, and finish the entire heart off with a bow.  Ta-da!  You’re finished!  Now, go share some Valentine love!

Finished Valentines Heart Crafts

Caramel Fondue

Written by JaNae on . Posted in Appetizers, Christmas, Desserts, Food, Holidays

apple with caramel fondue
About a month ago I saw the darling idea to fill mini jars with caramel dip and set an apple on top as gifts.  A week later, when a friend made the most delectable caramel dip, I knew I had to get her recipe and make these fun little packages of fall bliss!

The caramel fondue is perfect!  Sweet, creamy, buttery…divine.   Simple and quick to whip together…the most difficult part is waiting for it to cool long enough so you can have a spoonful (or three) without burning your tongue.

I found my mini jars at Walmart, and since apples are in peak season, these make perfect inexpensive and delightful gifts.

Caramel Fondue

INGREDIENTS
1/2 c butter
2 c brown sugar, packed
1 c light corn syrup
2 T water
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 t vanilla

DIRECTIONS
Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in sugar, corn syrup, and water and bring mixture to a boil.

Mix in sweetened condensed milk, stirring constantly. When mixture reaches thread stage (about 2-3 minutes) remove pan from heat and add vanilla.

Serve caramel warm or at room temperature, or store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to a month. Reheat on low power in microwave or over low heat on stove adding 1-2 teaspoons of water if the caramel is too thick.

Individual Rainbow Cupcakes

Written by JaNae on . Posted in Cakes and Cupcakes, Desserts, Food, Holidays, St. Patrick's Day

individual rainbow cupcakes
With spring around the corner and St. Patty’s Day fast approaching, I’ve been eyeing bright rainbow cakes all over the web.   I made 40 of these cuties for a church event last week.  These individual rainbow cupcakes added so much color to the evening, and they were delicious.  This white cake recipe is scrumptious when combined with a lemony Swiss meringue buttercream.  Served in clear plastic cups, the individual servings were perfect for a buffet table and would work at any party or gathering.  So cute, you must give these a try!

Rainbow Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS
CAKE
1 c butter
2 1/3 c sugar
5 egg whites, room temperature
2 t vanilla
3 c all-purpose flour
4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 c whole milk
red, orange, yellow, green, and blue gel or paste food coloring
10 clear plastic cups

LEMON SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
9 egg whites
1 1/3 c sugar
1 c butter
1 t lemon extract

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. With parchment paper, line how ever many 9×13″ pans you have. I have three and just reused them.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Cream the sugar and butter, then add the egg whites and add them a little at a time. Add the vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Then, alternating between wet and dry, add the milk and flour mixture in two parts.

Divide the batter amongst 6 bowls (It’s about 1 c each), and then whisk a fair amount of the appropriate food color into each bowl. Keep in mind that the color of the unbaked batter will be the color of the baked batter. Pour into the pans – the batter will spread to be quite thin. Bake for 10 minutes each.

When you remove them from the oven, let them rest on the cooling rack, in the pan, for ten minutes. Then flip, cover, and stash them in the fridge to cool quickly.

To make the Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream, cook the egg whites and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved (test by rubbing some between your fingers. If it’s completely smooth, it’s done). Pour into another bowl (a stand mixer is preferable) and whip on high speed until room temp. Then, on a medium-slow speed, add the butter, waiting until each piece is completely incorporated before adding the next. After all the butter has been added, turn the mixer back to high speed and whip until it has come together, about five minutes. Add the extract, beat briefly and then use.

Using various sizes of cups or circle cookie cutters, cut 10 circles from each color of baked cake. Use the smaller circle for the bottom purple layer and use gradually larger circles for the layers on top. Place purple circle in the bottom of a plastic cup, and put a dollop of buttercream on top. Repeat with other layers. Pipe frosting on top layer.

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