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brown paper packages: May 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

{framed twine wreath}

I wanted to make this for my kids' bathroom wall, and because of the prominent vinyl lettering already above the hooks, I knew I couldn't do anything else with writing. So, I took a frame that I already had, and painted and distressed it. I made the twine wreath using a styrofoam wreath and about 3/4 roll of jute, then hung it with a thick polka dot ribbon.

Sometimes you'll have a frame that has a really slick surface, and you may not be sure how to refinish it. Well, it's definitely still possible, and you don't have to sand it to death, either! If it's going to be hanging out of the way, you don't need to worry about priming it. Just spray it according to can directions, let dry, and hang. It might have a slightly more shiny look to it, so I would suggest a flat paint if you want a more matte look. If it is going to be on an easel, or somewhere that little hands can reach it, I would suggest using a primer specifically made for laminate surfaces. I like the one by Kilz, or by Bullseye 1-2-3.
If you want the distressed look, this will only work if the original color is the color you want peeking through. After it's painted and dried, take a piece of sandpaper and carefully remove the paint where you want it to be distressed. It won't be like normal sanding--you're basically just peeling away the paint, since the original surface was too slick to let the paint adhere to it.

LOVE it! This could really be used anywhere--above a master bed, in a family room, dining room--the sky is the limit!


Friday, May 28, 2010

{book on a ring}

Whether it be at church, in the car, sitting in the doctor's office, or running errands, these mini books made out of juice can lids are the the perfect thing to keep little hands busy. I am seriously thrilled with how they turned out!

I chose to do a color book, and a little church book for my two baby boys, but really, the possibilities are endless.

My next project is to make a mini-scrapbook with them...using pictures on one side, and text on the other----HOW DARLING! Hopefully I will have it done soon, so I can show you how it turns out.

  • juice can lids, washed and dried ***For one book, I used 8 lids. That's only 4 cans of juice.***
  • mod podge and foam brush
  • scrapbook paper
  • printed pictures
  • cardstock
  • distress ink
  • scissors
  • paper trimmer
  • ribbon
  • book rings (I used 2 inch)
  • 2 or 3 inch circle punch


1. After the lids are washed and dried, you are ready to make the holes. Using your power drill, carefully drill a hole as close to the lip of the lid as you can. You want it to be big enough for the ring to easily fit through, and have there be a little wiggle room so the lids will have maneuverability. If the edges are rough, carefully sand the edges of the hole.

2. COLOR BOOK: I printed the name of the color (using that color ink, font=Century Gothic) on white cardstock. The other side is just scraps of paper (polka dots and solids) I had in every color of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple)--plus black, brown, and pink.

QUIET BOOK: I opened a new Word document, then inserted the pictures I wanted to use, and re-sized them to fit the lids, and printed them out on white cardstock (not textured). For the other side, I just used scrapbook paper that I loved. I also made an extra lid for the front cover--with that scrapbook paper on the front and on the back. I also printed out a title (font=A Little Pot) for the front cover.

3. After you have printed everything you need, use your circle punch to cut them all out. Distress all the edges. Using your foam brush, mod podge the circles on to the lids. Let dry completely, then do the other side.

4. Once they are dry, slide the lids on to your book rings. I used the 2 inch size--I could have probably gotten away with the 1.5 inch size, but the lids are pretty thick, and I wanted plenty of space for them to move around.

5. Add your ribbon!

Ta-da! You have the most adorable little books ever!

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

{popcorn lollipops}

These are SO fun, not to mention super fast and easy.

Think...last day of school parties, birthday parties, baby showers, teacher gifts, favors, and even as a fun centerpiece.

These popcorn lollipops are flavored and colored with Jell-O, so they can easily coordinate with any color or theme you have in mind. They are simple, easy, delicious, and kid-friendly.

I let my girls choose the color I made today...any guesses what they chose? :)


  • 6 quarts popcorn
  • 16 oz. mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1 T. Jello-O powder, flavor of choice
  • white chocolate chips
  • sprinkles
  • lollipop sticks/popsicle sticks

1. These are made just like Rice Krispie treats! Melt the butter and marshmallows together, until marshmallows are completely melted. Remove from heat, and stir in Jell-O. Keep stirring until the powder is dissolved. Pour mixture over popcorn, and stir well.

2. Coat your hands in butter, then form popcorn mixture into balls. Lay them out on a sheet of wax paper. Once they are all formed, place a stick in the bottom of each popcorn ball. (I thought I had different sticks, but realized I was out. I improvised with wooden skewers cut in half.)

3. Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Dip the lollipops in to the chocolate, then sprinkle to your heart's delight. Place them in a heavy glass or bowl, then into the freezer for 2-3 minutes until the chocolate has hardened.

4. Add the cellophane and ribbon!

See? I told you it was easy! Plus, your kids will think you are the coolest mom in town.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

{cardboard box baskets}

I had the pleasure of being over at Fireflies & Jellybeans on Friday, and this is the project I shared with her readers. I hope you enjoy it, too!

After completing the entertainment center we built for our basement, I was in desperate need of some baskets to go on the shelves behind the doors.

I love baskets, and don't mind spending a little more on nice ones if they are going to be in a prominent place. However, these would be hidden behind doors, and would be in the throes of the basement, so I just didn't want to spend a lot on them.

So, I went on a hunt to find baskets for around $5--I knew I could paint them or jazz them up somehow, as long as they were the right size and shape. I went everywhere, and had absolutely no luck. I ended up at Walmart last, and when I couldn't find anything there, I headed to the organization section. When I saw these sturdy moving boxes, I knew just what I wanted to do!

These "cardboard box baskets" are perfect. They are darling, sturdy, and cost less than $3 a piece to make. I love how they turned out, so I now I need to make one more to fill the whole space.

They are SUPER easy to make--this is how I did it!

  • sturdy book or moving boxes, with handles
  • spray paint
  • double stick tape
  • scrapbook paper
  • cardstock
  • distress ink
  • printed text

1. Spray paint boxes. It took 2 coats and 1 can of paint to do two boxes. It will just depend on the color of your box, and if there is any writing/graphics.

2. Print out desired text on cardstock. Cut it out, distress the edges, and mat it on a coordinating piece of cardstock. Distress edges.

3. Cut your scrapbook paper to fit entire front side of your box. Take a tiny bit of tape to hold the paper on the box, then trace the handle opening on the inside of the box, so you will know where to cut. Cut out the handle opening, then secure the entire piece of cardstock on your box. Distress the edges of the box and paper.

4. Using the double stick tape, attach your printed text to the box.

Ta-da!! You have darling, simple, and cheap cardboard baskets that you can use anywhere. These would be great in closets, the garage, pantries, or inside furniture doors.

In the entertainment center:

Have a great weekend, everyone!

P.S. An update on the shoes I painted: I wore them to church last week, and had them on for about 4 1/2 hours. No paint rubbed off--they were perfect! I had a few people ask about it, so I thought I would share. :)


Thursday, May 20, 2010

{more crafting ahead!}

There hasn't been much crafting going on around here lately! It's been a combination of having a garage sale, going out-of-town, and trying to catch up on some home projects (a.k.a. THE LAWN). We are having a wedding reception in our yard next month, and so we have been in overdrive trying to get the lawn under control and the yard spiffied up--planting flowers, bushes, etc.

Anyway...I have a bunch of projects lined up, and will be sharing them with you soon! Tomorrow Fireflies & Jellybeans will be here, and I'm really excited about that.

I also have MY MOST FAVORITE dessert to share with you today. Seriously, if you don't have the ingredients, you need to run right out to the store and get them today. They are that good! I like these warm, right out of the oven, with a scoop of french vanilla ice cream, but they are good anytime, anywhere!


2 1/3 c. flour
2/3 c. brown sugar
2 c. chocolate chips
1-14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 c. butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 c. coarsely chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)**OPTIONAL**
1 3/4 c. toffee bits (10 oz.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mix the flour and sugar together. Cut in butter until the mixture is coarse crumbs, Add beaten egg and mix well. Stir in 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips and nuts. Reserve 1 1/2 c. of that mixture. Press the rest into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the top in an even layer. Top with 1 1/2 c. toffee bits. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture on top, followed by the remaining chocolate chips. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle remaining toffee bits on top.



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

{pottery barn style entertainment center}

First of all, I have to apologize for the poor picture quality. There is horrible lighting in the basement (as far as pictures go), and after many tries, these were the best I could get. So, you might have to use your imagination a little bit. :)

My husband and I make a good team. He started woodworking in high school, and it has been a passion of his ever since. I'm pretty handy with a lot of tools, but this is his area of expertise. One day I'll learn more about woodworking, but for now, our system works really well. I do the design & finish work, and he does the building. The only problem is, my list of projects is really long, and I just keep adding to it!

We finished our basement last summer, and I have been wanting an entertainment center down there ever since. We finally were able to finish it a couple of weeks ago, and the hinges we ordered for it arrived yesterday. I LOVE how it turned out!


1. I used a spray primer--they are fast and easy.

2. We recently purchased a paint sprayer, so I was able to use regular interior paint. Otherwise, I would have used spray paint. If you are doing a lot of painting on a regular basis, I highly recommend purchasing one. It will save you a lot of time and money, especially if you are using spray paint to get that more professional finish. After the paint was dry, a wipe-on poly was next.

3. I really wanted a really distressed look, so after I used the power sander on all the edges, I used a hammer and chains to make random dents in it.

4. The last touch was the hardware. I think it makes such a different in the final product. I found the most fabulous black hammered hinges at All of them are hand forged, and even the invoice came with a personally written note.

If you are interested in the plans, please e-mail me.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

{welcoming...Fireflies & Jellybeans}

Let's welcome Fawnda, from Fireflies & Jellybeans! She is our featured blogger today, and we are so excited to have her here.


Brown Paper Packages Readers! ! I am so excited to be guest posting here today!
Let me introduce myself!
I am Fawnda from Fireflies and Jellybeans a little DIY blog that I co-author with my best friend Jeannine.

I am a mom to a 2 year old son (who we adopted from Korea about 1.5 years ago!) and a wife to an amazing man! I love all things crafty!

We have all kinds of fun stuff going one at Fireflies and Jellybeans! We have a Show Off Your Stuff Party every Thursday where you can link up your posts that you want to show off!

Today I am going to show you how to make this FABULOUS book Page wreath! I am going to show you 5 different options of how you can decorate it too!

Here is what you will need:
Foam Ring (I got mine from The Dollar Tree)
Ribbon (Also from The Dollar Tree)
An old book (This is a romance novel so I thought it would be perfect for this valentine craft!)
Craft glue
1. Rip out some pages in your book. The ring I used was about 8 inches wide and I used about 25 pages.
2. Fold your pages in half, make a good crease and rip them in half.
3. Now fold those paper in half, make a good crease and rip them in half. on strip of paper under the foam ring and glue the two edges to the back...
...and keep going all the way around. I found that if you put a little more glue on the ends it holds better.
Here is what it look like about half way around from the front.
Go all the way around the ring. When you are done make sure that there are no gaps. If there are just put another strip of paper over it to cover it up.
Hang it from your ribbon and you have
Option #1: Leave it plain
You could print a word on the back side of scrapbook paper (or card stock). Make sure you use the MIRROR IMAGE option! Cut out the letters with an Exacto knife and flip them over.
You can use straight pins to attach the letter to the wreath.... that way if you want to change it later you can!
Hmmmmm, that seem a little hard to read... I think I need to have the letters darker.
I used markers to color my letters red and I also outlined with black. I add some red ball tipped pins for added bling and I love how it turned out!
Option #2: Love Letters
Cut out strips of paper (Mine are 1 inch X 12 inches)
grab some buttons (never mind the Circe book pages... I did not use them)
Fold your strips back and forth and back and forth...
Glue the ends together and let the glue dry.
Flip it upside-down and push the sides down to make a circle.
Put a blob of Hot glue in the middle and hold the flower in place until the glue cools.
hot glue a button onto the front.
Use a straight pin to attach it on to your wreath and you have
Option#3: Love letters with Flowers!
Take off the Love letters and you get option #4: Just Flowers!
Option #5
Burlap Flowers!!
I used:
Burlap (2 colors)
Needle and Thread
Craft Glue (not pictured)
Colored Rhinestones

1.)Make some flower templates. I used clip art and found some simple black and white flowers and cropped them to 3 different sizes.

2.) Cut out your templates, pin them to your burlap and cut out the flowers on the burlap.

Cut all three sizes of both colors of burlap.

3.) Cut a strip off of one side of your burlap to make the strap to hang it up.

4.) Assemble your flowers with alternating colors and put a button in the middle. Hand sew the button with you needle and thread to attach all the layers.

5.) Using craft glue attach your rhinestones to your buttons of the flowers.

6.) Use straight pins to attach your flowers to the Book Page Wreath.

Use your strap to hang it up!

I am sure that you can think of even more things to do to change it up! It would be really easy to change with all the different seasons and holidays!

Thank you Kierste for letting me invade you blog today! It was so FUN! :)


Thank you so much, Fawnda, for sharing this super fun project! Have a great weekend, everyone!