Thanksgiving Dinner Trophies

Recently I got together with some friends for a pre-Thanksgiving “Friendsgiving Dinner.” It was a fun night of soup and rolls. The twist? We had the teenagers all prepare either an appetizer or a dessert, and then as the parents, we all judged the winners. To make it even more interesting, and because I had just watched a Thanksgiving episode of Friends where they had a Gellar Football Thanksgiving Trophy, I decided to make a trophy for the best dessert and best appetizers.

To make the trophies, I used the following:

Thanksgiving Dinner Tropies:


– Wooden plaques 
– Wooden decorative pieces (these look like miniture candle sticks)
– Sculpty clay (or generic)
– Metallic spray paint
– E600 glue

You can get all of these supplies at any hobby or big box store in the craft department.


1. Open the package of Sculpty clay and form a dessert or an appetizer. I made a piece of pie and a crab rangoon, but you could do anything.

2. Place clay items on a baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes at 250 degrees F. Remove from oven and baking sheet and let cool. They sometimes don’t feel hard when they first come out of the oven and still warm. Once cooled, they should be hard.

3. Glue the wooden plaque to the decorative wooden “candle stick” piece with the E600. Then glue the clay item to the top of that. 

4. Let dry for several hours (overnight to be safe) and then spray with metallic spray paint to finish. 

Your friends, family and other Thanksgiving guests will love the trophies and the novelty they bring. Don’t like to use clay? Find play-food toys and glue them on the top of the trophy and spray paint them. It’s what I normally do, but I didn’t have anything this time around or time to go shopping. 

Mario Brothers Birthday Party

I remember when I played Super Mario Brothers for the first time. It was amazing, and so different than earlier video games. It’s even more fun that Mario and friends are still popular with kids these days. So when my Mario-obsessed 8-year-old wanted a birthday party, we knew the theme right away — a Mario Brothers Birthday Party!  In this post, We’ve got ideas for invites, decorations, games and food. Plus, get our free printable for it all. Read on for more. 

Making the Invitations

I created these invitations in Photoshop and to make them more fun, I added a scratch-off section. Under the scratch-off revealed how many extra-life mushrooms they had. 

To Make the Scratch-Offs

1. Place a piece of clear, packing tape over the section that you’ll scratch off.

2. In a small dish, mix a teaspoon of craft paint with 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap (or a 2/1 ratio if you scale it). Mix it well.

3. Paint the mixture over the words/images you want concealing, making sure you stay on the packing tape you placed earlier. Paint enough to completely cover your item. 

4. Once it’s dry, you will be able to scratch it off with a coin. Kids love doing this, and will love the element of surprise to see what’s underneath. 

Making the Table Decorations

Pipes DIY

1. If you’re making decorations for a Mario Brothers Party then you better have pipes! I started by gathering various long cans and wrapping them in kelly green card stock, attaching with hot glue.

2. Next, we want to make the collar of the pipe. Make them stick out, by adding foam core around the top. Here, I added three squares of foam board to the edge with hot glue. I did this three other places around the rim.

3. Using craft scissors, cut more card stock to make the collar of the pipe. Hot glue it on top of foam core. This is what it will look like. 

4. Cut another strip of card stock, similar to the collar size. Score the card stock about 1/4 inch along one side and bend. Since you’re going to mold this piece into a circle, cut the salvage edge up to the fold as seen in the picture. Then hot glue this piece to the inside of your pipe to hide the inside. To finish the pipe, glue a circle of black card stock to the top.

5. And there’s your finished pipe (minus the black circle, I forgot to take pictures of that). To make pipes similar to my table scape, you’ll want to make two more smaller pipes out of chip cans.

Venus Fly Trap Plant DIY

1. To make the venus-fly-trap-looking plant that comes out of the main pipe, I cut an opening out of a rubber ball. 

2. Wrap the ball in red felt and hot glue to secure, folding as you go. You’ll place any extra fabric inside the opening of the ball, and glue to secure.

3. Cut white strips of felt for the mouth of the plant and secure with hot glue. 

4. Cut circles out of the white felt and attach with hot glue.

5. Take a kraft knife or scissors and make a small hole in the bottom of the plant that will fit a dowel. Stick your dowel, of which you previously painted with green craft paint, into this hole and secure with a generous amount of hot glue.

6. Attach leaves to the dowel with hot glue. (See cutout instructions below to see how I mounted and cut them out of foam core.)

7. Punch a hole in the black card stock at the top of the pipe and push the plant into it. You may need to secure it with additional hot glue.

Character Cutout DIY

You may not be able to tell from this picture, but these character cutouts are actually on foam core. This extra width makes them fun and look professional, even though you made them at home. 

1. Print out Mario Brothers graphics. I found lots of high quality ones online, including these free vector graphics. Cut them out. I like a little white space around them. I think it looks cute and it’s much faster than cutting them out perfectly. 

2. Spray the back of the cutout with spray adhesive. Note: If you’re new to spray adhesive, know that it can get EVERYWHERE. The worst for me was getting it in my hair — I’m looking at you family tree project in college! — so I always wear my hair up when I use spray adhesive. You’re welcome! Another tip is to use a box to spray your items in so that you don’t get spray everywhere…on your table, countertops or floors. 

3. Adhere the cutout to foam core. (Tip, you can get foam core at the dollar store! While it is definitely cheaper than the craft store, it is usually not as thick. If you like thick foam core, and don’t mind spending more, buy it at the craft store — with a coupon of course!)

3. Now we get to my new best friend — the hot knife. I first saw this when my friend Mandy from SugarbeeCrafts used it to make foam picture frames. I immediately messaged her to find out where to get it. I found this one at Michaels and used my 40% off coupon to make it about $10. Just like it sounds, it is a knife that heats up. This allows you to easily make curved cuts in foam core. It has been a game-changer for me in crafting, and I use it all the time! As with all things with heat, and are sharp, please use caution.

4. Go slowly, allowing the heat to do much of the work. Curve the knife around the Mario cutout. It should cut smoothly like butter! 

I have found that it’s easier to cut just the foam core, not the paper and the foam core. That means you’ll want to cut outside the paper cutout shape, so the knife is only cutting through the foam core. The knife should be easily through the foam. If you move too slow with your hot knife, though, you can burn the foam core, so you’ll want to find a happy medium between going too fast or too slow. 

Note: if you every notice that it’s hard to cut through the foam core, make sure the knife didn’t get accidentally unplugged, as lack of heat will make cutting too hard. Also, after a couple of projects, the blade will need to be replaced. You’ll know it’s time when it becomes difficult to cut.

5. And there we have our adorable cutout with a thick foam core back. This foam core back makes him more sturdy and perfect for decorating our table and backdrop. 

To use in the table decorations, I hotglued a sharp skewer (like the kind used for bbqs) with the sharp end down. Then I punched the skewer into a foam core box I had created to look like a Mario Brother’s block. 

6. For the backdrop, I simply stuck them on the paper backdrop with packing tape.

Making the Games

Punch Board DIY

Birthday parties are nothing without games. I like a mix of simple games — musical chairs — with a few elaborate ones. The punch board never disappoints, and the foam core frame is sturdy enough to use over and over.

1. Start by tracing circles onto foam core. You can eyeball it or you can measure to align them perfectly. 

2. This is where that hot knife is really so versatile! We will use it to easily cut out these circles as well. You can do it with just a craft knife, but the hot knife does it so much easier and perfectly. 

3. Cut out squares of tissue paper and tape to the back of the punch board with scotch tape.

4. Cut paper lunch sacks down to about 1/2 their height. Cut 1-inch slits in all four corners of the top and bend back the top edges about 1 inch. Place a small toy or treat inside and carefully tape the edges to the back of the tissue paper with generous amounts of tape. When I did this punch board I used packing tape, but now I usually just use scotch tape.

Mario Brothers Bingo Game Free Printable

Bingo is a favorite game of mine and my children. The kiddos at our party really loved playing a Mario-themed bingo game. Download the free printable for this party and it includes several different bingo cards. Grab some beans to use as markers, and you’re ready to go.  

Stomp the Goomba

This was a quick, inexpensive game that the boys loved. Just draw faces on gold balloons, cut up some paper plates, tape them to the balloons, and you’re done. Gotta love a few simple games to compliment the more complicated.

Pin the Tail on the Bowser?

This is another fairly, simple game. Find a large image of Bowser online and print it off at a large print shop, or on your home letter-sized printer, by tiling it and then adhering it together. We printed our at home in black and white to save money and then cut the pieces out and tiled them together on foam core. We used our hot knife to cut it out and then colored it with oil pastels. Then we made tails for him out of card stock for the kids to “pin on.”

Party Food

Parties would be nothing without food. For this party we used simple, store-bought food and dressed it up with labels that reinforced our theme. Crunchy, cheese-flavored Fire Power anyone? You can print and use the labels in our free downloadable Mario Brother’s Packet. 

Fire Power Cheese Puff Balls

When are cheese puff balls not really cheese puff balls? When their incorporated into a birthday theme, of course. These cheese puff balls are to represent the fire power Mario and friends get to shoot at the bad guys. These are fun party favorite, but make sure your guest wash their hands after lunch 🙂

Ice Power

You can’t have fire power without ice power! We chose grapes for the job because their a fruit most kids will actually eat and they are almost round.

Ghostly Donuts

Okay, so these are kind of a stretch, but what kid doesn’t like donuts? My youngest is especially a fan, so when he asked for donuts instead of cakes, cookies or cupcakes, I thought, “Why not?!” They turned out to be a big hit, but like our friends the cheese puff balls, I mean “fire power,” they do create some messy hands, so make sure you get those kids to the sink after the meal!

Make Your Own Pizza

Mario Brothers are Italian, right? We had a make-your-own-pizza buffet with flour tortillas as our base — just like the real Italians…I’m kidding…they don’t use tortillas, but we sure did. We were baking them in the oven, but the kids were too impatient, so we wound just nuking the rest of them in the microwave. The boys folded them up into a pizza-burrito hybrid, and didn’t mind a bit.

Red Lava Punch

Fruit-punch became our “red lava punch” and the boys enjoyed it, almost as much as I enjoyed watching their Kool-aid smiles appear.

I think these crazies had a good time. I almost forgot to mention these cute sticker mustaches I found as party favors. Aren’t they fun? We also sent them home with the candy they won in the punch board game and a Mario Brothers bookmark. The bookmarks are included in the free printable.

Have you done a Mario Brother’s Party? Share your ideas with us. We’d love to hear them!

Valentine Lego Minifigures

Valentine’s is one of my favorite holidays — anything that celebrates with pink and red hearts, glitter, roses and chocolate is for me!

Some years I like to hand-make valentines for my children and their classmates, and some years I like to pick up a box of generic commercial ones from Target. It really depends on my time and other crafting needs.

This year, I had a bit of time on my hands, and my kiddo is way into Legos, so we put together these little Lego Minifigure Valentines. I do think they turned out so cute, and they were easy enough for kids to help make them too!

Lego MiniFig Valentines

What you’ll need…

– Lego minifigure molds

– Candy melts in red and white, such as Wilton’s

– Candy heart sprinkles in pink and white

– Tooth picks

– Plastic bags, for packaging

– Lego Minifig Valentine’s Topper

(You can get all of these from Amazon or go to Michaels and Hobby Lobby and use your 40% off coupon!)


1.Follow instructions on back of the candy melt bag or follow these basic instructions. Open the candy melts (use one color at a time) and pour some in a microwave-safe bowl. In this tutorial, I will refer to the candy melts as “chocolate.”

2. Microwave the chocolate for one minute and then stir thoroughly.

3. Microwave in 30-second intervals until smooth and completely melted. (You can over-melt your chocolate. It will pass the smooth stage and start to get chunky….obviously this is too far, and you will need to throw it out.)

4. Using a spoon, fill the mold with the chocolate until full. (I like to use a silicone baby spoon, as it’s small enough to only get a little bit into the mold — so you don’t overfill — and the silicone helps get all of the chocolate out of the bowl.)

5. Fill all the molds on the tray, and then tap the tray on the countertop to help settle the chocolate and remove any air bubbles.

6. Let stand until dry before popping the minifigs out of the the tray. If they don’t remove easily, they aren’t fully dry yet.

7. Once you’ve created both red and white minifigs, melt a little more chocolate in the coordinated color to use as glue to attach the heart sprinkle.

8. Dip your tooth pick into the melted chocolate and place a small dot on the chocolate minifig. “Glue” the heart sprinkle, in coordinating color, to the minifig. Continue until all your minifigs have cute hearts on them.

9. Let the minifigs dry before packaging.

10. Print out our free Lego Minifig Valentine’s Topper and trim, fold and staple to the top of bags to complete the project. (My favorite places to print are The UPS Store and Office Depot.




Teacher Appreciation Card – EOS Lip Balm/Apple Card


I think I might have sunk to a new low! A friend of mine on Pinterest recently pinned the cutest card for Teacher Appreciation Week using an EOS lip balm to make an apple-themed card. I instantly repinned it….and then went to work to make my own. Now, I think this would have been okay if my friend lived, say, on the other side of the country, but no, she lived in my neighborhood. That’s right, I pin-napped a craft for a teacher, from a mom in our same elementary school! Oops! Well at least her daughter isn’t in the same class as my son. That would definitely draw the line. I hope she feels flattered I thought she had good taste, not upset that I stole her idea!

I hope you like this as much as I did. Feel free to use my printable or go to the original pin at the Country Chic Cottage and use theirs.


1. Print out the card.

2. Trace the lip balm and cut out the hole.

3. Unscrew the balm and place it through the card. Screw the other end to the front.

4. Add a leaf and stem. I used craft paper and rubber cement glue.

5. You’re done.

Thanks to Country Chic Cottage and my friend Carrie for the idea!



Fluffy Unicorn Slime

My kids stayed home on Thursday for “Take Your Child to Work Day.” Traditionally, the boys stay with me for half the day and my hubby for the other half. Since we’ve been into making “how to” videos lately at Lori Garcia Studios, the boys wanted in on the action. They love a good project, so we decided to make fluffy slime…and since Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino’s are super popular right now, we decided to make a unicorn version. I hope you enjoy our video.

Here’s the recipe for reference:

Fluffy Unicorn Slime


1 tsp borax

1 c warm water

1/2 c school glue

rounded 1/2 c shaving cream

1/2 c foaming soap

1 TB corn starch

couple of squirts of lotion

food coloring


  1. Dissolve the borax in water; set aside
  2. Dump the other ingredients in a separate bowl; stir
  3. Spoon in the borax mixture, slowly, stirring all the while. You may not need to add too much of the borax mixture.
  4. Stir until it sets up; remove from bowl
  5. Stretch until it loses its stickiness
  6. Set aside and make three other colors of slime
  7. Layer slime on top of each other and twist into a unicorn mix.
  8. Enjoy!
Or watch the YouTube Video:
P.S. This is not food. Do not consume.

DIY Paper Cup Out of a Piece of Paper

Can you make a piece of paper into a cup? Yes you can! Watch this quick and easy tutorial and learn how even a kid can make a cup out of paper….that really holds water!
Object Lesson:
This makes  a great object lesson for Primary, Sunday School or Family Home Evening.
“We Can Do Hard Things”
Can You Drink From a Piece of Paper?
Supplies: water, piece of paper
Instructions: Ask a family member or friend if he can drink water using only a piece of paper.
Show: Show him how to fold the paper into a cup and put water it in and give him a drink. (Learn how to fold the cup in the video above)
Teach: We can do hard things. Sometimes we are asked to do hard things, but with Heavenly Father’s help we can accomplish anything.

Pop-Culture Valentine Cards

If you like the tv shows “Last Man on Earth,” “Blackish,” or “Timeless,” then I have some free printable Valentine Cards for you. Each year I make my family Valentines based on whatever they are currently watching on TV…..I’m pretty excited about these. I hope you enjoy them too. 

Scripture Heroes Memory Game

I’m grateful that in my church we are given lots of opportunities to serve each other and the community. I am currently serving in the Children’s Sunday School, which we call Primary, as the 2nd Counselor. It is my third time back in Primary, and I just love it.

This week’s Sharing Time (lesson time) deals with scripture heroes, and they suggested a memory game. I made this one and wanted to share it with others serving in Primary or for families for Sabbath Day worship or Family Home Evening. Enjoy!

To Make:

Print out these files:

Download the PDF Files of the Scripture Heroes Memory Game

Color, add colorful card stock (in the same color) as a backing, and laminate. Attach magnets and play memory on a magnetized chalkboard.

For personal and church use only. Not for resale. All images are originals, but other clipart inspired mine.

American Girl Doll Food: Valentine’s Sugar Cookies – $10

One last addition to the Valentine’s Day Menu:

American Girl Doll Food: Valentine’s Sugar Cookies – $10

No Valentine’s Day would be complete without heart-shaped sugar cookies! These adorable little cookies come as realistic as possible, meant to mimic the look of real sugar cookies. Just check out how the frosting looks good enough to eat…but don’t! They are 1/3 scale and will be a wonderful addition to all American Girl, Our Generation and other 18″ dolls.


• Four (4) Cookies: 

– one (1) pink heart-shaped sugar cookie with sprinkles

– one (1) pink heart-shaped sugar cookie with polka dots

– one (1) red heart-shaped sugar cookie with white swirl

– one (1) red heart-shaped sugar stained-glass cookie 

I hope you love them as much as I do. Buy Now

American Girl Doll Food – Valentines Menu


(Limited sets available)

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Many of you know I am a mom of two boys, so when my brother had four little girls, I was thrilled to be able to pretend they were my own and craft for them. I am living out my “girl mom” life through them. In 2014 I created some American Girl Doll food and accessories for them, and I FELL IN LOVE. Sure, my husband thought I was crazy, but I fell in love with making realistic food for dolls.

I’m back at it again for Valentine’s Day. Inspired by the beautiful American Girl Doll Food menus found on Pippaloo For Dolls’ Blog, I have started on my own menu for Valentine’s Day. I still have a couple ideas in the works, but I wanted to get a head start. 

Strawberries & Chocolate Covered Strawberries – $12
(Only two sets available)

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These precious strawberries are just so adorable….I almost don’t want to sell them to you! (Okay, but I will.) They are all handmade by me and I do my best to make them all the same size, quality and as realistic as possible. They are 1/3 scale and will be a wonderful addition to all American Girl, Our Generation and other 18″ dolls. Because they are made by my own hands, there will be some subtle differences….sadly, I am not a robot….sadly.
Order Now

Heart-Shaped “Box” of Chocolates – $15
(Only two sets available)

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So I’m actually giddy about how well these “boxed” chocolates turned out. These adorable little bite-size chocolates come in a handmade, heart-shaped dish that are meant to mimic the look of a box of chocolates. 

Order Now

Chocolate Lunch box Treats – $10
(Only two sets available)

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These adorable little lunch box, chocolate treats will be a welcome addition to any lunch. The swirl of the cupcake will bring back all of your childhood memories while you help your child create her own. Hohos were created with both an inner cake and cream filling layer and covered with a chocolate gaunche. The Ding Dong is a classic cake oozing with cream filling. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. 

Order Now

I hope you enjoyed them. There are two sets of each available for purchase at my Etsy shop. Shop now