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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Let's make Car Candy!!!

I have few posts that I wanted to write for almost 5 months now and never got around. Most of those are related to birthday parties. I decided to write them along with my on going craft posts. So you can expect quite a few party decorations and treats in my upcoming posts.
Coming to this post. I made this Car candy for a little boy who loves cars. Don't you think its the best birthday treat for a kiddo? Ding!! Only if the boy also likes candy. Anyways, I tried using this Wilton candy mold for the first time and found its pretty easy and fun to do with kids too. It would make an awesome treat for a Car themed birthday party or little boy's summer play party. Don't you think so?


I am very excited to share with you how easy it is to make these sophisticated cars. Laughing at my own joke right now!


Gather the supplies:

  • Wilton Race Car Pretzel Mold
  • Candy melts in colors you like
  • Lollipop sticks or pretzel sticks
  • Parchment triangles or Parchment paper roll
  • Few microwave safe bowls to melt candy

Procedure for Car Candy:

  • Colored Car candy has to be built layer by layer using one color at a time. You need to start coloring the front details of car first and then move on to building car's body. 
  • Take one color of candy at a time, pop in microwave safe bowl, melt the candy as per instructions and put the melted candy into parchment cone. (Here is a detailed video tutorial that helped me make my parchment cones.) 
  • Using parchment cone, gently squeeze the candy into mold. Its pretty much like how we colored a coloring page in childhood. You can completely get creative and pick which color goes where to make your car look really cool. 
  • Once you are done with one color partially freeze the candy and then move on to next color. This way the colors of candy won't mix and the outcome will be as you desire.
Here is how I built my Colorful Cars:


I took black color melted candy into parchment cone and squeezed candy on to car tires and wind shield frames in the molds. I kept the mold in refrigerator and partially froze candy in mold for around 15 mins.


Next, I took white melted candy in parchment cone and started filling the mold (i.e., took out from refrigerator) wherever I wanted white on my car fronts. Then I repeated freezing candy in the mold.


I repeated same procedure of melting, sqeezing and freezing the candy with blue color candy. 


Once I am done coloring car design details, I placed a lollipop stick into each car mold, went ahead and squeezed a lot of candy into each mold to fill car body. I did each car in different color. Tip: Once you fill entire mold, tap the mold slightly on a flat surface (using vertical movement) to get rid of any air gaps and squeezed candy  patterns. Also, this gives a flat surface for your car back. Then, I froze my candy for few hours to make them solid.

Simple version: If you are running out of time to use different colors just squeeze single color of melted candy and pop a lollipop stick into each mold. Slightly tap the mold few times to get rid of air gaps. Freeze it for few hours. The car candies will still look good in shape and kids will still enjoy eating them.


After freezing for few hours, car candies popped out very easily by lifting with their attached lollipop sticks.
VROOM VROOM!!! The race cars are almost ready for a race. Using knife cut any candy tail edges that are formed at rear end of your cars and you are done.


I used a small carton box covered with scrapbook paper and drilled holes into it to serve as candy holder. I also printed out name of the birthday boy and stuck on it for a touch of personalization. I made 2 batches of these car candies and I really liked how they turned out. Sorry, I couldn't take nice pictures, as I was running late for the party.

Let me know what you think of this car candy treat. Isn't it pretty easy to make with kids? I love hearing to your comments. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great day.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Perfect Summer Patio makeover for under 100$

I love dreamy, cozy and colorful patios. We have been living in our apartment since 2 years and our balcony is still empty. Yeah, pretty boring! Finally I made the decision to decorate my patio this summer under budget. Since I din't want to spend huge dollars on something that is going to be burnt in Arizona sun down the years I wanted to keep it simple yet cheery. Yes! Trust me, Sun gets crazy here :) But after living here for two and half years Arizona started feeling home to me. Coming back to my balcony, the walls are too dull in color. So I wanted lots of brightness in everything I add. But the real challenge was that I wanted to get things done under 100$. Here are before and after pictures for you.

Patio makeover under 100$ budget. Make yourself a perfect summer patio that is cozy, comfy and colorful.



Patio makeover under 100$ budget. Make yourself a perfect summer patio that is cozy, comfy and colorful.


Patio makeover under 100$ budget. Make yourself a perfect summer patio that is cozy, comfy and colorful.

Patio makeover under 100$ budget. Make yourself a perfect summer patio that is cozy, comfy and colorful.

I built my color scheme (Pink, yellow, red and white) of decor from the outdoor rug from Ikea that I fell in love with. Its perfect size for our small patio, bright, colorful and even more awesome news is that its 12$!!! unlike other expensive outdoor rugs. Since its made of plastic straws it can with stand rain and sun. Easy to clean up too.

Patio makeover under 100$ budget. Make yourself a perfect summer patio that is cozy, comfy and colorful.


According to my chosen color scheme I started with painting and stenciling my pots with bright floral designs. Here is a link for detailed post on how I did it.

Patio makeover under 100$ budget. Make yourself a perfect summer patio that is cozy, comfy and colorful.


Also, I upcycled few boring old pillows to match my decor, make the space colorful and comfy. Here is a link for detailed procedure on how I stenciled and sew the pillow covers.

Patio makeover under 100$ budget. Make yourself a perfect summer patio that is cozy, comfy and colorful.

I got those green adirondack chairs from Lowe's last summer. The white Ikea stool that we previously had in our den, now works as a side table in our patio.

Patio makeover under 100$ budget. Make yourself a perfect summer patio that is cozy, comfy and colorful.

I wanted to add wooden blinds for the patio front but you know how expensive it gets. I loved the Lill curtains I got from Ikea for their price and they give my patio a cozy look. Adding curtains to my patio made it look more like an indoor than outdoor which makes it even more comfortable for me to enjoy my patio time.

I added nylon rope to the front of patio using screw in hooks to add my curtains on. This is the cheapest way ever to add Curtains. I had nylon rope on hand but if you want to buy some, dollar tree had pretty good stuff.

Then I hung pretty lace edge hanging planters from Ikea and the loveliest terracotta wind chimes that I got from India to front side of my patio.

Patio makeover under 100$ budget. Make yourself a perfect summer patio that is cozy, comfy and colorful.


I upcycled an old dollar store plastic pot as plant stand just by turning it upside down. Pretty cool! Isn't it?


Patio makeover under 100$ budget. Make yourself a perfect summer patio that is cozy, comfy and colorful.


Patio makeover under 100$ budget. Make yourself a perfect summer patio that is cozy, comfy and colorful.


I got these terracotta windchimes on my recent India trip. I just love these wind chimes so much. They make such a melodious music and give me a nostalgic feeling from back home. But I felt the colors didn't quite go well with my patio so, ofcourse I painted them too.

Few more shots for you.

Patio makeover under 100$ budget. Make yourself a perfect summer patio that is cozy, comfy and colorful.



Patio makeover under 100$ budget. Make yourself a perfect summer patio that is cozy, comfy and colorful.

Patio makeover under 100$ budget. Make yourself a perfect summer patio that is cozy, comfy and colorful.

Above 2 pictures are my favorite close up shots. I had those ceramic birds for over 2 years now, they were from Michaels. I got the birdhouse from Joann recently.

Here is the 100$ patio makeover count if you are interested in
2 Adirondack chairs from Lowes for $35.96
Ikea outdoor Rug for $12.99
Lill Lace curtains for $3.99 from Ikea as well
2 hanging planters from Ikea for $11.98
Self watering planters for $25.98 ( If you choose normal planters, you can get this count way less to 10$)
10 inch metal plant stand $4.97 from walmart
White home decor fabric for Pillow Covers $3.96
I painted planters and pillow covers with craft paints I had on hand :)
Those cute little birds, bird house, bird lantern, white stool and dollar planter (that is used as plant stand) were all the things I had lying around the home from long time. As I mentioned earlier the terracotta wind chimes are from India.

Patio makeover under 100$ budget. Make yourself a perfect summer patio that is cozy, comfy and colorful.


Tada! Now here is everything put together. I just love my patio much more now. Let me know what you think about this 100$ patio makeover in your comments. I love to hear from you. Thank you so much for stopping by.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Paint and Sew Pillow Covers Tutorial

As I mentioned in my previous post, I started putting together my patio. I got my andorak chairs from Lowes last summer and I really like their green color. However, I wanted to add a stroke of brightness and what's a better way to add color to chairs than comfy cushions. Since I decided to challenge myself with a 100$ budget for my entire patio makeover, I wanted to upcycle stuff that I already had on hand as much as I can. So here is a before and after picture of my pillows.

Stenciling and Sewing pillow cover tutorial. Beginner sewing project.


The brown decorative pillows are from our old comforter set. The comforter had to leave our home after a lot of wear and tear and I saved the decorative pillows as they were in pretty good shape. The cushion with orange and green shades is my favorite pillow that sits on my sofa with me, though its odd one out in our living room decor I really love it because that pillow cover is the first sewing project on my sewing machine. I decided to upgrade these 3 pillows for my patio chairs.

Things used:
  • 1/2 yard white home decor fabric (for white pillow fronts) 
  • 1/2 yard of white denim from my fabric stash (for pillow backs. Ofcouse you could go ahead and use outdoor fabric or home decor fabric for backside too but I just wanted to use the fabric I already had.)
  • Yellow Polka dot fabric quarter
  • Pink fabric piece for rosettes 
  • Hot glue gun
  • Stencils
  • Acrylic craft paints
  • Textile medium (If you are using fabric acrylic paints you don't need textile medium)
  • Paint brushes (You can use Stencil brushes. I just went ahead with paint brushes as I had them on hand)
  • Temporary fabric marker (optional)

First, I prewashed my white home decor fabric on which I planned to stencil.
My 2 big pillows measure 16 x 16, so I cut 2 of 17 x 17 white home decor fabric pieces to stencil on. These 2 pieces are going to be front side of my 16 x 16 pillows with half inch seam allowance on all the four sides.

Stenciling and Sewing pillow cover tutorial. Beginner sewing project.


As I was using craft acrylic paints that are not made for fabric I mixed it with textile medium to turn it into fabric paint. Yes! you can do that. I tested this method on a scrap fabric before starting this project and I just loved the results. Just follow the instructions on your textile medium bottle. Mine requires a heat set after 24 hours dry time and then the fabric is good to go, even into the washer. God!!! this unleashed tons of cute little fabric painting project ideas for me.


Stenciling and Sewing pillow cover tutorial. Beginner sewing project.

I planned a floral wreath design for one of the pillows. Placing my dinner plates upside down on the fabric I traced 2 concentric circles with temporary fabric marker. Then I started stenciling the flowers all around the circle and I hand painted few branches and leaves to connect the flowers. I felt I had more control over the paint when I used paint brushes instead of stencil pouncers on fabric. If you want to know more on how to stencil in detail, refer to my pot stenciling post where I mentioned dos and don'ts on stenciling.

Stenciling and Sewing pillow cover tutorial. Beginner sewing project.

 I am no expert in stenciling, I did end up with flared petals and weird shaped flowers which I craft-fully turned into something pretty (or atleast I think so). In the above picture one of the pink flower petals is clearly flared too much and which is why I gave the entire flower a red color edge to make it look less obvious. The red flower is a disaster. I was trying to stencil very small flower with pouncer and ended up covering it with circular petals using my paint brush.

Stenciling and Sewing pillow cover tutorial. Beginner sewing project.

Here is one more example of adding green stem right where the yellow paint seeped through the stencil. After these mistakes I shifted to paint brushes from pouncers and they worked great. Hey! Lesson learnt. 

Stenciling and Sewing pillow cover tutorial. Beginner sewing project.

Use narrow tip brushes to paint small flowers, leaves and thin stems. (Try to design something creative if you do end up with little paint mistakes.)

Stenciling and Sewing pillow cover tutorial. Beginner sewing project.

Stenciling and Sewing pillow cover tutorial. Beginner sewing project.

This is how my 2 stenciled fabric pieces looked like once I am done. I was initially planning to add text in the middle of wreath design like "Smile" or "Relax". But I really liked how they turned out and wasn't daring enough to paint something on it and loose what I already think looks pretty enough.

Pillow cover Sewing Tutorial

Sewing an envelope pillow cover is the easiest sewing project ever for beginners. No buttons, no zippers, no piping are required. You just learnt to sew a straight line?? Congrats! you can stitch this pillow cover under 10 mins. Here is a step by step tutorial for you.

Measure and Cut your fabric pieces:

Stenciling and Sewing pillow cover tutorial. Beginner sewing project.


In above picture, I am showing how I measured and cut fabric for my 16 x 16 pillow. 

Here is what you need to do to sew one that fits your pillow:
For front:
  • Measure your pillow width and height.
  • Add half inch seam allowance to all four sides of pillow measurements, to get the front piece.
For Back:
You need 2 Pieces for the back with 2 inches overlap.
  • You are going to keep the width same as front cut piece, that is width of the pillow + half inch seam allowance to left + half inch seam allowance to right.
  • Height of these 2 pieces is going to be half inch seam allowance at the top + half of the height of the pillow + 2 inches overlap + 1 inch for double folded hem. 
Hope you got it!! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. Once you got correct measurements and cut your fabric you are 70% done. 

Stenciling and Sewing pillow cover tutorial. Beginner sewing project.

Take one of the back fabric pieces and fold half inch along the horizontal edge that falls in the middle. Iron it. Repeat half inch fold and again iron on it. These makes it easy to sew our double folded hem.

Stenciling and Sewing pillow cover tutorial. Beginner sewing project.

Finish sewing the double folded hems on both back fabric pieces.

Stenciling and Sewing pillow cover tutorial. Beginner sewing project.

Lay the front piece with right side facing up, then one back piece with right side facing down and finally another back piece on top with right side facing down. Make sure to line up the outer edges with front piece edges.

Stenciling and Sewing pillow cover tutorial. Beginner sewing project.

Pin all four sides, while holding all the 3 pieces together.

Stenciling and Sewing pillow cover tutorial. Beginner sewing project.

Sew all the four sides and trim the corners so that it doesn't bulk up the pillow cover corners when we turn it right side out.

Stenciling and Sewing pillow cover tutorial. Beginner sewing project.

Turn the pillow cover right side out and insert the pillow form. Tada! I told you, it's easy. Didn't I ?

Stenciling and Sewing pillow cover tutorial. Beginner sewing project. Fabric rosette Pillow.

 I made this fabric rosettes with pink fabric scrap I had, to embellish my yellow pillow. All you need is fabric pieces and hot glue gun to make these rosettes. There are so many tutorials out there in many craft blogs and youtube on how to make them.

Stenciling and Sewing pillow cover tutorial. Beginner sewing project.

Finally, a picture of all 3 pillow covers I made. I love the fact that I spent only 4$ (for fabric) on this project as I had most of the stuff already on hand. 

Let me know what you think about these pillows. I love to hear your comments. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great weekend! :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Color pop your pots

After living with an empty patio for 2 years, I made the decision to decorate my patio this summer. Yeah! Pretty late. Hey better late than never :). My balcony walls are too dull in color. So I wanted lots of brightness in everything I add.  I wanted to buy self watering pots so that my plants wont die when I go on a trip for 2 or 3 days. The Latte color is the brightest I could find under my requirements. I was not satisfied with how they looked in my balcony. So, here is what I turned them into.

Paint and stencil the pots bright for a pop of color in your summer patio. Dos and Don'ts on stenciling.


Want to do it yourself? Then here is the procedure for you.

Things used:
  • Plastic pots
  • White Spray paint
  • Adhesive stencils
  • Acrylic paints or outdoor acrylic paints (I used acrylic paints as I had them on hand. Read the note on step 2 and 3 incase you are going to buy new paints)
  • Clear gloss spray paint (optional if you are using outdoor paints)
  • Stencil pouncers

Step:1 Spray paint the pots with a bright color

Paint and stencil the pots bright for a pop of color in your summer patio. Dos and Don'ts on stenciling.


It's best to do spray painting outdoor so that you have lot of ventilation but also make sure its not windy or dusty out there. If you don't have a patio use low odor indoor spray paints and use a cardboard box or carton to enclose the item to be spray painted, that way you won't end up spraying your room. Cover the area around with old bed sheets or plastic sheets (I used half sheet of dollar store plastic table cloth that I had on hand).
Follow the instruction on your spray can and do 2 coats of chosen color. I chose white. Let the paint completely dry before going to next step.

Step:2 Stencil

Before moving on to this step let me share with you few dos and don'ts from my experience in buying a stencil.

Paint and stencil the pots bright for a pop of color in your summer patio. Dos and Don'ts on stenciling.


I got the black color plaid stencil for 0.92$ in clearance at Joann. God! I love those red tags :) And I love this product, it came with an adhesive backing so the paint doesn't seep through easily on the curved surfaces of pot.

Paint and stencil the pots bright for a pop of color in your summer patio. Dos and Don'ts on stenciling.

The blue stencil is a plastic stencil with no adhesive backing. I got this for 1.5$ after discount coupon. But this one did no good on my pots :( Pots usually have a curved surface and this stencil was flexible enough to bend which made me think it would work when I tape it on sides. This is how my flower painting turned out with that stencil. As that is backside of the pot, it didn't bother me much. The stencil worked great on fabrics but I guess its just not made for plastics or the curved surfaces unless used with a stencil adhesive spray.

Paint and stencil the pots bright for a pop of color in your summer patio. Dos and Don'ts on stenciling.

As my stencil B failed, I ended up buying martha stewart adhesive floral stencil for 4.99 after 50% discount coupon. ( I do crazy couponing when it comes to craft supplies or home decor) I got this stencil because I liked the designs and tons of ideas popped up after I saw the project idea on the stencil cover. Which means you can expect more stenciling projects to come. However, I would rate this stencil moderately good, as few of the delicate designs from this pack din't turn out as good as I expected them to be. But thumbs up for rest of the designs.

Paint and stencil the pots bright for a pop of color in your summer patio. Dos and Don'ts on stenciling.

Coming to dos and don'ts on stenciling:
  • Make sure the delicate parts of the stencil are adhered to the surface properly before pouncing it with paint.
  • The trick is you need right amount of paint on your stencil pouncer. It should not be too low that it can't get the paint evenly on surface or too high that the paint can seep through stencil and ruin your design. It takes a little practice to do it right. I would definitely recommend practicing on the back or down side of your pots before doing the actual job.
  • Carefully peel away the stencil once you are finished painting the design.
  • Always clean the stencil between every use as suggested by the instructions on your pack.
  • Most importantly don't bother much if your paint does seep through just a little here and there, at the end its gonna still look pretty and colorful. Have fun stenciling like a kid.

Paint and stencil the pots bright for a pop of color in your summer patio. Dos and Don'ts on stenciling.


Now get creative with designing, mix and match different stencils for the look you desire. I used acrylic paints as I already had them on hand. Note: I recommend buying outdoor acrylic paints if you are going to buy some paint just for that purpose. Buying multi surface acrylic paint would be a great way in case you are looking for painting different surfaces outdoor or indoor. If you already have enough acrylic paints on hand and don't want to buy new stuff like me, just use them but make sure you spray the painted pot with clear gloss or clear finish spray paint(more about this in step 3).

Paint and stencil the pots bright for a pop of color in your summer patio. Dos and Don'ts on stenciling.

Try painting the pot open ends with solid colors to take it to next level.

You need lots of patience and I am sure your pots would look stunning.
Let the paints dry completely before moving to next step.

Step:3 Spraying with clear finish

Paint and stencil the pots bright for a pop of color in your summer patio. Dos and Don'ts on stenciling.

This step is optional in case you used outdoor acrylic paints for stenciling your pots. However if you used regular acrylic paints you need to seal the colors with clear finish or clear gloss spray paint to water proof the colors. (Note: I read in various columns that sealing with clear finish is good enough to protect acrylic colors, so I decided to experiment.  I had left over clear gloss spray paint from my DIY Star Burst Mirror project so I went ahead and used it). You could use clear matte finish or any clear finish spray that you like. Make sure you (take care while spraying like in Step1) cover the entire painted pot with 3-4 even coats of clear finish.

Paint and stencil the pots bright for a pop of color in your summer patio. Dos and Don'ts on stenciling.

After the paint is completely dry you can go ahead and pot your plants. I am sure you will enjoy the color pop.

I tested my pots under water once the clear gloss spray paint completely dried and they seem completely fine, my colors didn't move or fade a bit. Knock on wood! I will update you once in a while about the paints performance out in the balcony.

Paint and stencil the pots bright for a pop of color in your summer patio. Dos and Don'ts on stenciling.

Enjoy these beautiful flowers until my next post about makeover. And I am very sorry for long silence on the blog earlier, I was on a trip to India and it took little time to get back to things. It was very sweet of you guys who messaged me asking about the silence. 
I love to hear your comments on these color pop pots. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great week :)