Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    DIY Present: Quilling

    I wanted to make something special for my mama, so I searched the Internet for some new crafty skill to try out and I stumbled upon Yulia Brodskaya's amazing quilled pieces. Now, I'm no paper artist, but I figured I could whip out a little piece to frame.

    I stocked up on the essentials: 
    • Quilling strips ($3 from Hobby Lobby)
    • A quilling tool ($2.50 from Hobby Lobby--it's basically a thick needle set into a wooden handle)
    • Paper glue ($2)
     And then I quilled away:

     I decided on a simple design with the Hebrew word shalom in the middle. I made the outline of the letters and the star first, and then just filled them in with easy paper curls.

    It's not the cleanest piece, but once framed it looked pretty darn good. And mama agrees.

    DIY: Jolly Rancher Lollipops

    I was so excited to make some homemade lollipops after seeing them all over the Internet. (Here and here and here, to name just a few locations.)

    I settled on the regular Jolly Rancher lollies for the first time around, because frankly, they seemed like the easiest of these oh-so-easy projects, and let's face it, I'm kind of lazy.

    So, I gathered up ALL of my supplies: 
    • Jolly Ranchers (Target sells huge bags of them)
    • Lollipop sticks (found a bag of 150 for $4 at Michael's)
    I made sure I had the necessary tools at home: 
    • An oven
    • A cookie sheet
    • Tin foil (If you have parchment paper, even better. But I didn't, and I wasn't going to go back out to the stores again. Sheesh. NOTE: You can't substitute wax paper for parchment paper. People seem to think you can, but not when you're putting it in the oven.)
    • Non-stick spray 
    • Counter space
    Crazy easy, right? I'm right, just go with it.

    I followed the general directions I found on other sites: 
    • Heat oven to 265 degrees
    • Unwrap three Jolly Ranchers and place them in a row on the cookie sheet
    • Repeat, spacing them out so they'll have enough space to spread a bit, and you'll have enough room for the sticks. 
    • Put cookie sheet in an oven for about 6 minutes. Take them out when they look like this:

    If you've seen these lollipops elsewhere on the Internet, you'll see this is where I went renegade. After making several batches just like the ones I saw all over, I thought Why don't I put the sticks in on the long end, and then curl the sides up once the candy sets a bit to make them look like flowers? And so I did. 

    See how pretty they look that way? 
    If you really want to get crazy, you can crinkle up the tin foil to give your lollies some extra texture.

    This project is so easy that I cranked out over 50 of these lollipops in a couple hours. I also wiped off the non-stick spray from each lolly (you can skip the spray if you use parchment paper instead of tin foil, I believe), put them in little cellophane baggies, AND tied a ribbon around each in that time. 

    Am I amazing, or is this just the easiest DIY project ever? Answer: the latter. 

    I popped these suckers (man, I really crack myself up) into glass votive holders with some cutesy stuff on them and brought them to a dear friend's baby shower, where I was showered with adoration for my amazing candy-making skills. Well, one or two people said, "These are super cute! You made them? Wow." That was good enough for me. 

    And there you have it. Purty little things, aren't they?

    So, what do you think? Have you made these yourself? Have any other great variations on the theme? Let me know in the comments! 
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