Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mickey and Minnie Treat Bag: Tutorial

I recently made some Mickey and Minnie Treat Bags for a Minnie Mouse themed birthday party. I got the inspiration for them by searching the Internet. Based on the ideas I found, I put together my own version. I used my Cricut, but this could definitely be done without one. Here are the details if you are interested in making your own Mickey and Minnie treat bags!

Here are the supplies I used:

Cricut with Mickey and Friends cartridge
Black, white, and red cardstock
Black treat bags found at Hobby Lobby
3/4" circle punch
1" circle punch
2" oval punch
Paper trimmer

I started both bags by cutting out a 5 x 6" rectangle from red cardstock.

Next, I cut ears for both bags at 7 3/4" using the "Mickey Icon Shift" key from the Mickey and Friends cartridge. I cut Minnie's bow at 4 1/2" using the "Minnie 4 Icon" key.

I saw lots of bags made with just circles for the ears which is a good option if you don't have a Cricut or similar cutting machine!

For Minnie's polka dots I used the 3/4" punch to make 9 circles for her bow and the 1" punch to make 8 circles for her skirt.

For Mickey's pants I used the 2" oval punch to make two buttons.

Finally, I glued everything together. I filled the bags with some fun little goodies like a coloring book, crayons, and stickers. 

There you have it! These bags were so easy to make and turned out so cute. The kids loved them!

Have you ever attempted to make your own treat bags? How did it go?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Cup of Inspiration

I'm really excited to share one of my favorite lesson ideas I've used in awhile. Our Young Women lesson was on personal revelation. When I am planning my lessons I read through the outline and then start searching the Internet for inspiration on unique and interesting ways to present the topic. As I was looking up ideas for personal revelation, I found several "recipes" for personal revelation. I liked the idea, but all the recipes made full batches of different treats. As I was thinking about this, I thought it would fit more with the lesson if I could find a recipe for an individual treat, after all it is personal revelation. From there, ideas just flowed. I decided that I would make one of the popular "dessert in a mug" recipes because they make an individual serving and I thought it would be super cute to decorate the mugs with the words "cup of inspiration" to go along with the lesson theme. Everything came together perfectly!

I first picked up a bunch of plain white mugs at the dollar store, then I set out to decorate them. I searched all over the Internet and found a bunch of tutorials for DIY Sharpie mugs. After taking all the best tips, this is what I did:

I washed the mugs.
Next, I wiped the area to be drawn on with some rubbing alcohol.
Then I decorated the mug with regular Sharpies.
Next, I baked the mugs at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. I put the mugs in a cool oven, then turned it on to 450 and once it was heated set the timer. After 30 minutes, I turned off the oven and let the mugs cool over night. Some of the colors faded during the baking process, but there wasn't really any rhyme or reason to it. Sometimes it was light colors, sometimes it was dark colors, some colors faded on some mugs and not on others. They still all turned out pretty cute in the end.

*note* I did a trial run with one mug at 450 degrees and didn't have any problems other than a little fading. When I baked the rest of the mugs they ended up with a little brownish tint to them, kind of like a toasted marshmallow. I am not sure why this happened. Maybe overcrowding in the oven, or maybe the oven was too hot. Next time I would probably do two batches and bake at 425 degrees instead of 450.

After the mugs were cooled, I baked a special individual-sized cookie in each one. The recipe is super easy and meant to be made in a mug and cooked in the microwave. You can find the original recipe here. This picture was taken right after the cookie was baked. It was still warm and a little gooey. It tasted great!

After I had made all the cookies and they had cooled, I put the mugs in some little treat bags I found at Dollar Tree and attached a recipe to each one.

I assigned each ingredient in the recipe to a piece of counsel that is important for receiving personal inspiration. I found this counsel in the book True to the Faith found here.

Here is what I put on the recipe card:

For: Personal Promptings
The following recipe will prepare
an Individual cup of Inspiration.

           Ingredients: 1 Tablespoon Prayer (Butter)
                                     1 Tablespoon Reverence (Granulated White Sugar)
                                     1 Tablespoon Firmly Packed Humility (Dark Brown Sugar)
                                     3 Drops of Keeping the Commandments (Vanilla Extract)
                                     Small Pinch of Partaking of the Sacrament (Kosher Salt)
                                     1 Regular Scripture Study (Egg Yolk)
                                     Scant 1/4 Cup Time to Ponder (All Purpose Flour)
                                     2 Tablespoons Studying it Out in Your Mind (Chocolate Chips)                                         
Directions: Combine ingredients necessary for personal promptings. Start by melting your butter in the microwave. Add sugars, vanilla and salt. Stir to combine. Add the yolk. Stir to combine. Add flour, then stir again. Add the chocolate chips, and give a final stir. Now your mixture will look like cookie dough. Cook in microwave 40-60 seconds, start checking for doneness at 40 seconds. Do not cook past one minute. Remember to be patient as you seek God's will.

Recipe adapted from www.number-2-pencil.com

I handed the cookies and recipes out to the girls and we discussed the importance of each "ingredient" in the recipe.

There you have it! A recipe for personal revelation that makes a single-serving treat in a special "Cup of Inspiration". What do you think? I think the girls enjoyed it!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Object Lesson: Follow the Prophet

Today I want to share a fun object lesson idea I found here. I used it for my recent lesson on following the prophet in Young Women. I think the girls enjoyed it.

I set out two identical boxes on a table. Inside one box I put some candy and I left the other box empty (I added the tissue paper so you couldn't hear the candy rolling around). I left the boxes closed and asked the girls to raise their hands to indicate which box they would choose. About half chose each box. When I asked them why they chose the box they did, they didn't really know. 

I then had one girl come up and look inside both boxes. I had talked to her beforehand, so she knew to choose the box with the candy in it. When I pointed to the empty box and asked the girls to raise their hands if they chose that box, everyone looked at the girl who had seen inside the boxes. Because she didn't raise her hand, no one else did. When I pointed to the candy box, the girl who had seen inside raised her hand and everyone else did too.

When I asked the girls why they had all chosen this particular box, they said it was because they followed the girl who had seen inside the box. I then told them that they had made a good decision and showed them that one box was empty and the other box had candy in it.

As I passed the candy around, I explained to the girls that the Prophet has "seen inside the box". Heavenly Father speaks to him and in turn he tells us what we need to know to stay safe, to have joy, and to return to our Father in Heaven. When we follow the Prophet we receive blessings, just like when they followed the girl who had seen inside the box they got a treat!

I like to use object lessons when I teach to help make the lessons more clear to the girls. I think this object lesson did just that!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

One "Foot" In Front Of The Other

I made a quick and cute handout for our recent Young Women lesson on following the prophets. One of the talks in the lesson outline was President Monson's "Believe, Obey, and Endure" (found here). Near the end of the talk was a quote I really liked and I knew I had to use it for a handout:

"Life by the yard is hard; by the inch it’s a cinch. Each of us can be true for just one day—and then one more and then one more after that—until we’ve lived a lifetime guided by the Spirit, a lifetime close to the Lord, a lifetime of good deeds and righteousness."

I knew right away what treat would go well with the quote- a Fruit by the Foot! I put together a little handout with President Monson's quote on it and added the following to tie it in more clearly with our lesson:

Put one "foot" in front of the other as you follow the prophets and endure to the end.

I found some cute "ruler" ribbon at Hobby Lobby and used it to tie the quote to the Fruit by the Foot.

I think it turned out great! What do you think?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Minnie Mouse Wreath: Tutorial

I have been sharing some of the crafts I made for my 4-year-old's Minnie Mouse Themed Birthday Party. This is a wreath I made in the shape of Minnie Mouse. It was actually really simple. 

Here are the supplies I used:

1- 12" box wire wreath frame (found at JoAnn's)
2- 6" box wire wreath frames (also from JoAnn's)
3 rolls of black wired burlap ribbon. I originally bought two rolls, then had to go back to the store for a third. I found the ribbon at Michael's.
1.5" red and white polka dot ribbon (found at Hobby Lobby)
Packing tape
Pliers, needle and thread, and glue gun (not pictured)

The wreath frames were held together by pieces of wire that were bent up around the inner and outer circles. This is a little complicated to explain, but I will do my best: I pulled open the outer bends of two wreaths with pliers and then slid the outer circle of each wreath inside the opposites wreath's wire bend then pinched them back closed. In the picture you can see that both wreaths are secured by both wires.

I attached both 6" wreaths to the 12" wreath to form the Minnie head with the wires as described above and then secured it with some packing tape to make sure it all stayed in place.

Next, I took the end of the burlap ribbon, slid it up from the back of the wreath, and tied a knot around the outer wreath wire. (This picture was taken from the back of the wreath).

Next, I pulled the ribbon up between the two outer most wires and made a little loop. The size of the loop depends on how full you want the wreath to be. My loop was about the width of two fingers. Next, you twist the loop sideways to hold it in place. The next loop will be between the middle two wires and then the following loop will be between the two inner most wires. You will repeat the loops and twists, moving from one space in the wreath to the next, then down to the next row. You always want each new loop to be separated from the last one by a wire so that it will all stay together. This may mean jumping around a little bit as you work your way around the wreath. For example, as you move down to the next row, you will want to make your loop between the middle two wires instead of making a loop directly below the previous one. (I hope that all made sense!)

Here is the wreath taking shape. Continue working around the entire wreath until everything is covered.

For the bow I took my ribbon and made two big loops.

Then I added four more loops.

To keep it all together I hand stitched it down the middle.

Next, I pulled the thread to gather the loops and wrapped the thread around the center tightly.

I took another little piece of ribbon, folded it in thirds, and wrapped it around the center of the bow to cover the thread. I secured it in back with a little hot glue.

I took some thread through the back of the bow and tied the bow in place on the wreath.

This wreath was really simple and it looked great hanging on our front door!

Have you ever made a burlap ribbon wreath? What occasion did you make it for?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Minnie Mouse Birthday Banner

I recently made a Minnie Mouse Birthday Banner for my 4-year-old's birthday! She loves Minnie Mouse so that is the theme she chose for her party. The banner was pretty easy. I cut the banner with my Cricut. Here are the details if you have a Cricut and want to make your own:

I used the Accent Essentials cartridge, the Disney Mickey Font cartridge, and the Disney Mickey and Friends cartridge.

Accent Essentials:
"Accent 31 Shift" (scalloped circle), cut at 5", red cardstock
"Accent 1 Shift" (circle), cut at 4", white cardstock

Mickey Font Cartridge:
Capital letters, cut at 2.5", black cardstock

Mickey and Friends Cartridge:
"Mickey Icon", cut at 5", black cardstock
"Minnie 4 Icon" (bow), cut at 3", red and white polka dot cardstock (I found this at JoAnn's)
"Minnie 4 Icon Shadow" (bow shadow), cut at 3", black cardstock

After gluing everything together, I punched holes in each piece and added 5/32" silver eyelets. I tied each piece together with 3/8" red and white polka dot ribbon that I found at Hobby Lobby and 1/8" black ribbon that I had on hand.

I think it turned out pretty cute and my daughter loved it!

Do you have a Cricut or a similar machine? Have you ever created a banner with it?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Lord's Lighthouse

I thought I would share an idea I am going to use for an upcoming Young Women lesson on following the Prophets.

This idea is based on President Monson's talk, "Believe, Obey, and Endure" (found here). In the talk President Monson talks about three signals from the Lord's lighthouse that will lead us back to live with Him. These three signals are believe, obey, and endure.

I knew right away that I wanted to make a little lighthouse to give to the girls to remind them of the lesson and President Monson's talk. It only took me a few minutes on the Internet before I found this cute idea that I thought would be perfect! The link gives instructions on how to make your own lighthouse, but I made a few changes.

First of all, the instructions ask for white plastic tape. I searched all over for plain, white tape and could not find any! No Washi tape, no mini Duck Tape, nothing. None were just plain white. Finally, I found Post-it Full Adhesive Roll (this is what it looks like) at Walmart and decided it would work. It was a little thick, so I cut it down the middle to make my stripes. 

As I wrapped the tape around the cup, I had to slowly angle it downward to keep it from wrinkling. This also made some interesting gaps so I covered them with some black cardstock and called them "windows" similar to the instructions, but not exactly.

Another couple changes I made: The instructions say to cut the bottom off the clear cup, but I just left it as is and started the stripes lower. I used a 1-3/4" punch to make my black circles for the top of the clear cup which fit perfectly and took a lot less time than tracing!

Finally, I added the words "Believe", "Obey", "Endure" to the stripes on the cup. It was really convenient that I used the Post-it tape because it was made to be written on. 

I plan to ask the girls to share something they believe in, a commandment they have been blessed for obeying, and something they have endured- or something that has taken courage to withstand (President Monson's definition).

I hope that the girls will keep this lighthouse in a place where they will see it often and that it reminds them of our lesson. I love this quote from President Monson's talk:

". . . there is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what the lighthouse of the Lord can rescue. It beckons through the storms of life. It calls, "This way to safety. This way to home." It sends forth signals of light easily seen and never failing. If followed, those signals will guide you back to your heavenly home."
-President Thomas S. Monson

Are you teaching the Youth this month? How will you teach about following the Prophets?