Posts Tagged ‘DIY’


Glitter Cupcake Stand

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One of my favorite things about wedding planning is browsing the many (and I mean MANY… like almost too many) beautiful wedding blogs. Not only am I getting tons of ideas (and unobtainable fantasies) about my own wedding, but I’m also getting inspiration for fun little DIY projects. Because, you know, I have SO much free time and so much crafty talent that it seems a shame not to fill my life with DIY projects. But only those that involve lots of glitter.

Ever since I made my glitter shoes (which I’m thrilled to say was my most popular post ever), I’ve been itching to get out the glitter again. And when I saw The Sweetest Occasion‘s post about a Glitter Cupcake Stand, I swooned. If you know me, glitter and cupcakes are two things that make me very happy in life. Therefore, this project was a dream come true.

What would you need a glitter cupcake stand for, you ask? Well, I’m not sure. But I can tell you that I’ve been a happier person ever since I’ve had this in my life.

Glitter Cupcake Stand (makes 1):
Print this “recipe”

  • Small wooden candlestick (about 6 inches tall)
  • Small round wooden box (you’ll just need the top)
  • Glitter
  • Mod Podge (or other craft glue)
  • Sponge brush
  • Wood Glue
  • Clear glaze spray

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This is the fabulous clear glaze spray I used. The same that I used for my glitter flats… The glitter has stuck on my shoes, even when I’m gallivanting in the rain, so I figured it would help the glitter stick to a cupcake stand that wouldn’t be spending any time in the elements.

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And seriously, ANY opportunity I have to use Martha Stewart’s glitter, I’m game. This is probably weird, but I could stand in the glitter aisle at Michael’s all day long. There’s something about it. And… THIS is basically my dream come true. Seriously, if you want to make me ridiculously happy, buy this for me. I can think of no greater gift. I might open all of the vials at once and throw handfuls of glitter around my apartment, but I would be happy.

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Anyway. My candlestick had a funky metal thing sticking out of it, so I bent it inside the stick, so the top was nice and smooth. The top of the round box needs to fit on top of the candlestick, so just make sure it will sit flat before you continue. And just so you know, this wooden candlestick was about $1.00 at Michael’s. Score!

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And then the glittering process begins! I used a large glass baking dish to keep my mess at bay. And you know I am an incredibly messy crafter. But this technique seemed to work well. I lightly coated my candlestick with Mod Podge and then poured glitter all over it.

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It definitely took a lot glitter pouring, etc. to make sure I got a good coat and didn’t leave any bare spots. You also might want to make sure you clean your baking dish very well after you’re done. Or else you could start finding glitter in your chicken. I’m sure there are worse things in life.

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Then I was ready to glitter the wooden box. Here’s what it looked like when I bought it. Again, this was only $1.00 or so at Michael’s.

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And all you need is the cover. Coat it in glue and then cover every inch in glitter.

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Be patient while your candlestick and box cover dry.

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And then put wood glue around the top of the candlestick.

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And set the round box cover on top. And yes, wait for it to dry again. Zzzzz.

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And then you’re ready to display your cupcake!

Instead of making cupcakes, I picked a couple up from my absolute favorite place in the Boston-area, Party Favors in Brookline. I’m thrilled to say Party Favors will also be making our wedding cake, too! Ever since I moved to Boston 6 years ago, I said “I need to have a wedding cake from Party Favors some day.” Well, it must have been fate that our venue, The Colonnade, is one of the only venues that works with Party Favors as their cake vendor. It certainly didn’t hurt the decision-making process on where to get married :)

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My wedding DIY brain is obviously working overtime and now I have fantasies of putting a glitter cupcake stand at every person’s spot at the wedding. Just kidding. Really, I am. We’re having cake; not cupcakes. But still. I could put a cupcake stand at everyone’s place with a place-card on it? Something? Help me? Fine, I’ll stop.

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But really. I’m going to start serving myself dinner on this. Because I have no reason not to. And if you come over for dinner, you might have your own meal served to you on a glitter cupcake stand, too.

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I’d also like to take the time to say this craft project is the second glitter-filled one I’ve done that didn’t make a mess. I’m quite proud of that fact and totally confident that you, too, can work with glitter without finding it in your hair for the next 23 years. Glitter is going to have to make it into our wedding somehow…

In other fun news, yesterday was Chels’s birthday! Katie and I surprised her when she was out to dinner at Market with her sister last night (LOVE it there!) and tonight we’re going out to celebrate just a little bit more. Yay!

In even more fun news, check out WANM’s interview with PBS Food. Yay! We love PBS and are so thrilled they recently started a food-related site… And even more thrilled they asked to interview us!

When was the last time you had a little glitter in your life?

[Sues]

Make Your Own Rock Candy

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Throughout my scholarly career, there were two things I was never any good at. Science and art. Fine, three things. I was horrific when it came to all things math, too. Until I reached college and was allowed to take logic (math with words!) and ended up being very good at it. Probably because it’s all about argumentation. Which I guess I’m good at? Oops.

My point is, this post is all about two things I’m horrible at. Science and art (well, crafts, anyway). You see, ever since I started wedding planning, I’ve been obsessed with DIYing. Seeing that I’m the least crafty person on Earth, this could get dangerous fast. Just ask Chris. Or my mom. But since I want our wedding to be completely US and made from our hearts and souls, I’m going to try my best to add little touches throughout. So, that’s where the idea for this post was born.

You see, I had a really bright idea to make our own rock candy for the wedding. That is until I realized what making rock candy entails. Basically, if we started making the rock candy now, we could probably have enough for the wedding… But much of it would likely be stale… And we would have burned through about 100 pounds of sugar. At least. So, I don’t recommend making these for your next major event. But I do recommend making them for fun. And when I say fun, I mean good old fashioned fun. Obviously. If you have kids, even better. But if not, well then you won’t have to explain all the science behind rock candy to anyone, so maybe that’s for the best.

But please know you have to be incredibly patient to make rock candy. Another trait that I apparently lack.

The process is simple. So simple, you’ll laugh at how many times I failed. But when it worked? It was pretty awesome.

Homemade Rock Candy (makes 2 rock candies):
Print the instructions!

  • 2 Wood skewers or threads
  • 2 glass jars
  • 2 C water
  • 3.5 C sugar
  • Food coloring

If you can, prepare your skewer (or thread) a day ahead of time. Simply wet it and cover it completely in sugar. Let it dry. This will allegedly help the crystals form once you place the skewer in the jar with the sugar solution. Some will tell you it’s not totally necessary, but I figured I’d do everything I could do make this thing work.

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You should also prepare your jars before starting the process. Simply take clean jars and hang your skewer from the top. As you can see, we hung the skewers from clips that balanced nicely. I’ve seen people hang string from pencils with tape and set the pencil across the top of the jar, too. Make sure the skewer or thread is hanging about an inch from the bottom of the jar.

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When you’re ready to make your rock candy, start by bringing the 2 cpus of water to boil. Easy enough, right?

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Add your sugar in cup by cup, stirring and letting each cup dissolve before adding in another.

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Continue until all 3.5 cups of sugar have absorbed.

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See how much fun I’m having? Here I’m thinking, “Wow, this is easy! Wedding rock candy, here we come!”

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Now, here’s where all the various sets of instructions I read varied. Some said to let the sugar dissolve and then turn the heat off. But I found more comments from people saying they let their sugar water boil for about 10 more minutes before turning the heat off.

So, I did that.

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After 10 minutes of boiling, I took the pot off the burner and added in my food coloring. I chose purple since it’s one of our wedding colors. And you know, I was going to make 200 rock candies for our wedding. Ahem.

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Chris joined me for my great rock candy experiment and made his own, too.

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He opted for blue. Not one of our wedding colors, but I think he already knew there was no way I was going to be making rock candy for our wedding. He may be a bit smarter than me.

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Let your sugar solution cool for about 10 minutes and then pour half of it into one of your prepared jars.

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You might want to use a funnel.

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Secure your apparatus from the top and make sure it’s sturdy. Once you have your skewer or string hanging in the jar, you shouldn’t move it at all.

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Repeat with your second jar.

We covered the jars with bags… Well, Chris put his IN bags… I put a small baggie over the top of mine. I think it’s mostly so nothing disturbs the crystals while they’re growing and dust doesn’t fall on them.

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And here’s where the waiting begins. And the confusion starts. We let them rest without touching them for about 6 days. Chris checked on his.

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And it looked like this:

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Mine? Well, mine had NO crystals. Neither of them. I let one of the jars continue to sit and for the other, I followed one tutorial’s advice, which said to dump the sugar solution back into a pot, bring back to a boil, add another cup of sugar in, let it dissolve, and put the solution back in the jar. Well, right when I turned the heat off, the solution immediately crystalized making it impossible to even pour into the jar. Sigh. I think it was on sugar overload.

We ended up going on vacation for 7 days and I left my other jar sitting. When I came back, it was HUGE. It’s that clear-looking one (apparently, I didn’t use enough food coloring) in the middle seen below. I guess in this case, patience was a virtue. And clearly, I need to go away on a week-long vacation to get that “patience.”

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I decided to try a few more batches and had the following results: One of them started growing crystals within hours and in a couple days, it was a healthy-looking rock candy. Many of them, I let sit undisturbed for 4 days before discovering the whole jar was crystalizing. As some tutorials instructed, I removed the hard pieces of sugar off the top and transferred the solution and skewer into a new, clean jar. This generally worked really well except when the crystals growing on the skewer got stuck to the ones growing on the bottom of the jar and I couldn’t for the life of me get the skewer out.

In general, one rock candy from each of my batches worked. The second either didn’t grow a thing or crystallized into the jar. I wish I could give you better reasons why, but all I can say is that making rock candy is kind of a crap shoot. Let it sit quietly undisturbed, but pay attention to it. If it’s growing crystals all over, remove them. If it’s not, don’t touch it. For at least a week.

But I suppose you DO want to know the science behind it, right? Fine. From what I learned throughout my endeavors, dissolving sugar in boiling water and then letting it cool, creates a supersaturated solution, which means the solution can’t possibly absorb the sugar at the cooler temperature. Therefore, the solution becomes unstable and all the sugar can’t stay in the liquid, so it attaches itself to the skewer or string which act as a “seed.” That’s all I got and that’s as far as my science education is going to go.

All I care about is that it’s pretty.

Dang. Rock candy is hard to photograph. Why doesn’t my camera come with a “rock candy” setting?

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Rock candy IS super easy to make and mostly just requires patience and luck, so if you have a little extra sugar lying around and want to experiment, try it out!

I don’t really have to tell you what it tastes like, now do I? It’s sugar. On a stick. And there’s really nothing better.

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Now, I’m going to start researching where we can order rock candy for our wedding :)

Have you ever made your own rock candy? Or done a science experiment as a grown up?

Also, Chels and I were just nominated as CBS Boston’s Most Valuable Lifestyle Blogger in Boston! We’d appreciate it so much if you took the time to give us a vote and told all your friends. It’s super easy and you can vote every day. Thank you so, so much!

[Sues]