Free Valentine’s Printable

It’s the end of January (wow), so Valentine’s projects will now commence. First up is a free printable I designed, using words from a song that my mom used to sing to me when I was little. I now sing it to Mini Mug, even though she’s starting to get annoyed when I do. Tough, kiddo. That’s one of the reasons we have kids, so we can embarrass them.
Keep on reading!

Wine Box Ornament Storage

If you purchase your wine like the Mugs, it comes 12 bottles at a time and those bottles are in a box with a molded protector that holds them safe from breaking.

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These are the PERFECT way to store your Christmas tree ornaments. The trays stack nicely and the box holds them neatly. Each box will hold at least 36, smaller non-breakable ornaments can go 2 to 3 in a section. Keep on reading…

Mug Makes! Magazine Christmas Trees

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My mother-in-law introduced me to this project. I saw them a few years ago while visiting for the holidays and was immediately draw to their modern style. I loved their simplicity and how you could create a whole forrest if you wanted to. She had hers coated in sparky glitter. I chose to keep mine naked because I like the graphic quality of the pages. Plus, having to not vacuum up glitter sounded nice.
Keep reading…

Mug Makes! Pom-pom and Yarn Ornaments

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Fun, festive and fast. These ornaments really couldn’t be simpler to make and add a pop of holiday color to your tree.

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I used the hot glue for the pom-pom ornament and the white glue for the yarn one. My favorite glue for this type of project, where you want it to stick quick, is Alene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue. It’s thick, so I applied it with a brush.

First, pom-poms.… Keep reading…

Mug Makes! Nail Polish Marbled Ornaments

For a while now, nail polish marbling has been making the rounds on the interwebs. I’ve always wanted to try it but never have, until now. I wanted to make a fun ornament for our tree and thought this would be the perfect time to try the marbling. Plus I knew I could get all my supplies from the dollar store and create something inexpensive and beautiful. Keep reading…

Mug Makes! Potato Stamped Wrapping Paper

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As it usually does, Hanukkah snuck on me this year, and once all the presents for Mini Mug had been delivered (online shopping FTW), I realized I had no wrapping paper. In the past I’ve resorted to using Christmas paper for the Hanukkah gifts, but I then remembered I had a slew of brown packing paper that I had been saving to use for who-knows-what. We’ll then I knew – grab a few extra potatoes while shopping for Hanukkah latke dinner, and make my own! Keep reading…

Mug Makes*! Shrinky Dink Leaf Garland

* Mini Mug helped, too!

With my current schedule, I am lucky enough to have the time to volunteer at Mini Mug’s school. The other day, I volunteered in art class and they made leaf rub prints. These are Mini Mugs…

So I thought why not use them and make a garland for the season. Using ink jet Shrinky Dink paper (bought at Michael’s) and the below PDF, plus small scissors, a hole punch and string, this is an easy and quick project to decorate for Thanksgiving.

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Leaves for Printing.pdf

Step 1: Printing

Following the directions on the Shrinky Dink package, print the leaves, as many as you’ll need for the length of garland you want.

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You’ll notice that the colors are muted. They will become more saturated when they shrink.

Step 2: Cutting 

After letting the prints dry for a few minutes, it’s time to cut. Using small scissors that will make it easy to get around the curves, cut out your leaves. A tip is to go slowly around the curves, and not force as the shrink paper may tear. A small tear will disappear when they have been baked, but try to avoid them where you can.

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I found it easier to rough cut each leaf from the page and then do the detailing.

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Then you’ll punch your holes. If you don’t have a hold punch you can cut a small “+” with a craft knife, and then cut the triangles out to make a small square. It’s much easier than trying to make a small circle with the knife.

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Step 3: Baking

Again, following the directions on your shrink paper, bake the cut leaves. I used our toaster oven, but the regular oven works just as well.

I placed them on a piece of thin cardboard, rather than foil. When they start to shrink they curl a bit. Don’t worry, they flatten out, but I found that with the foil, they sometimes took the foil with them while curling, and didn’t flatten properly.

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Step 4: Stringing

Your final step is to put them on the string. I laid mine out, about 2 inches apart (at the holes) and then cut the string with extra to spare.

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I used a needle to make the stringing easier, but it’s not necessary if you don’t have one.

Starting from the back, thread your string through the hole.

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Pull it to the approximate place on your string. You’ll be able to adjust them once they are all strung on, but placing them as close as possible helps.

Now you’ll pull thread the string through the back again.

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And pull it so the string is wrapped around the top.

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Continue until all your leaves are on your thread. If you need to adjust your spacing, you can gently move them along the string. It works better if you go slowly, as to give the string some slack.

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Now you’re ready to hang!

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There you have it – an easy project that you can do before the holiday, with the help of Shrinky Dink paper and Mini Mug!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wine Foil Glass Charms

In our family, the holidays bring not only good food, fun and family, but lots and lots of wine. There is usually at least one point an evening when someone will say “is this my glass?” And then followed by the disagreement over who gets to claim the more-full one. So why not make some wine charms to help ID our glasses (and own up to our volume of consumption).

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I made a set of 10 I varied the colors of the tops as best I could. I had quite a few to chose from as Mr. Mug and I like our wine (you may have caught on to that already).

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I used a foil cutter to neatly cut off the top of our wine before removing the cork. Ours lives atop our electric cork screw. If you don’t own one, it’s an inexpensive item that, if you are anything like our family, will pay for itself after the gathering.

Once you have how many foil tops you want to use, you’ll cut discs of cork to place into them. They should be about an eighth of an inch or so thick.

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You’ll then want to glue them into your foil tops, centering them as best you can. Before you glue them, a good tip is to rub them gently to get rid of any cork dust that might be hanging on them. If they are dusty, it will rise to the top of the Mod Podge while drying. It’s not that noticeable once they are dry and the Mod Podge is clear, but it’s better to try to avoid if you can.

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Once the glue is dry, you are ready to apply the Mod Podge Dimensional Magic. A good tip to remember is to NOT shake the container, as it will create bubbles that you don’t want. If you do get bubbles while applying, I’ll show you how to remove them in the next few steps. A little blow into the caps, to remove any last-minute cork dust is a good ideas as well.

Start by applying the Mod Podge into the space around the cork, basically creating an outline for the rest of the application. You’ll then fill in the center, and create a dome of the liquid. Move slowly as to not let it over flow.

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After you have filled all your caps and set them on a level surface to dry, you should keep an eye on them for the first 30 minutes or so. Bubbles will form as the Mod Podge settles into the porous cork.

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Take a lighter or a match and move it over the bubble and it will pop. Hold the flame far enough away from your piece so you don’t scorch the liquid and do not hold it in one spot for too long. When I did this, I was pretty close to the Mod Podge and it did not scorch, but better to take precaution, just in case.

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It’s also important to do this within the first 20-30 minutes of the Mod Podge drying as it will thicken up and the bubbles won’t pop as easily.

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After your tops have dried for 24 hours, you are ready to attached your eye screws and stemware charms.

I used a pushpin to help my screw go in easier.

Then attach the stemware hook, and you are done.

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I think they will make a festive and colorul addition to our Thanksgiving dinner and help each of us to keeo track of our own holiday cheer!

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