DIY Illustrated Wrapping Paper Inspired by Glade Under the Mistletoe of the wonderful anticipation that leads up the Christmas holiday is buying (or DIY’ing!) your holiday gifts, wrapping them with fun, festive paper and ribbon to conceal what’s inside, and arranging them under the tree. If you’re in a pinch and need to wrap something last minute, or want to add a little DIY touch to your wrappings as well, why not print your own gift wrap on your printer at home?diy-illustrated-giftwrap4 (more…)

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DIY Holiday Chocolate Bark: 4 Recipes to Gift Last-Minute

 So it’s only two days before Christmas and time is running out.  You want to give something thoughtful and handmade…but just can’t deal with cookies or fudge.  How about Holiday Chocolate Bark?  It’s super-easy (just melt chocolate chips and add mix-ins!), takes about 20 minutes to set in the fridge, and is totally customizable to your (or the recipient’s!) tastes.  diychocobark_caramelHere are 4 delicious and easy recipes I whipped up in a flash, all built upon a single basic recipe.

Basic Recipe:diychocolatebar_basicrecipe

1. Cover a baking sheet with foil or wax paper (a spray of cooking spray will help hold the paper or foil down).

2. Add 1/2 T canola oil to a 12 oz bag of chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl.  This is your Base.

3. Microwave on high about 1 minute; stir.  Microwave for 30-second increments a few more times, stirring in-between, until the chocolate chips are completely melted.  (Be careful not to over-heat!  Your chocolate will seize up – and the remedy for this is to add more oil and gently heat in 10-second increments until you can get the chocolate liquidy again.)

4.  Working quickly, stir in the Flavoring (if the recipe calls for it), then stir in the Mix-Ins.

5. Pour out onto the baking sheet and use a spatula to spread out.  Sprinkle with Topping if the recipe calls for it.

6. Place the sheet in the fridge about 20 minutes until firm.

7. Break into small pieces with your hands.  Enjoy!

So here’s how to customize: just choose your recipe and follow the how-to above.  Easy as…pie bark!

{ Coconut Pineapple Macadamia Nut Bark }

A creamy taste of the tropics.  White chocolate has a pretty distinct taste, so to cover it up and make it taste more “tropical” I added some coconut flavoring.diychocobark_coconut_ingredients

Base: 12 oz bag of white chocolate chips + 1/2 T canola oil (I needed a little more since my white chocolate seized)

Flavoring: 1 tsp coconut flavoring (optional)

Mix-ins: 1 cup chopped dried pineapple rings, 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Topping: 1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut


{ Double Peppermint Bark }diychocobark_peppermintTEXT

The perfect holiday recipe.  Use the same brand of chocolate for the Base and the Top Layer for maximal adhesion between the two (I’ve used two different brands before, and had the Top Layer separate from the Base when I cracked it into pieces).diychocobark_peppermint_ingredients

Base: 12 oz bag of milk chocolate chips + 1/2 T canola oil

Flavoring: 1 tsp peppermint flavoring

*Top Layer: 12 oz bag of white chocolate chips + 1/2 T canola oil

Mix-ins: crushed candy canes

Topping: crushed candy canes

*For this recipe, spread out the bottom flavored base layer first onto the pan, and cool in the fridge.  When hard, then melt the top layer chips, add the mix-ins, and spread on top of the Base layer.  Sprinkle with the topping, then place in the fridge again to harden completely.


{ Salted Caramel Cashew Bark }

diychocobark_caramelTEXTThis is the at-home DIY version of my FAVORITE Godiva chocolate bark…which is a whopping $12 a bar at the store.


Base: 12 oz bag of milk chocolate chips + 1/2 T canola oil

Mix-ins: 12 chopped soft caramels (Werther’s makes a soft version of their famous caramels which works really well in this recipe…and Lil Tot ate one just before I took the above photo), 1/2 cup chopped raw cashew nuts

Topping: 1.5 tsp chunky Maldon sea salt


{ Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond Bark }diychocobark_cherryTEXT

A grown-up version of chocolate-covered cherries, packed with antioxidants.diychocobark_cherry_ingredients

Base: 12 oz bag of dark chocolate chips + 1/2 T canola oil

Mix-ins: 1 cup whole dried sweetened cherries, 1/2 cup chopped slivered blanched almonds

Topping: fine salt sprinkles (optional)


diychocobark_doneFor gift-giving, drop broken bark bits into colored cellophane bags, or package in a beautiful gift box like this above from a gift box kit by Martha Stewart (available at Michael’s in the Scrapbooking section).  And don’t forget to enjoy some chocolate bark yourself!!diychocobark_peppermint

Happy Holidays to one and all~


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DIY Easy Pinned Sequin Ball Ornaments

Whip up some sparkling, shimmering ornaments super-quick, and with only a couple of supplies!  This can even be a great project for kids to work on their fine motor skills.

Materials:sequins in leaf shapes or snowflake shapes / pearl-head pins in red or pearlized / round styrofoam balls (you can paint them different colors before using if you don’t like the white showing through) / glitter ribbon

Tools: glue gun / scissors

How to:

1. Cut a short length of ribbon, enough to go around the styro ball and create a hang loop.2. Use the glue gun to attach around the ball at the center.  Loop the end of the ribbon over itself and glue together to hang.3. Use the pins to attach sequins all over the ball.  For the holly ornament, use 2-3 leaf sequins strung on one pin, and for the snowflake ornament, use 1-2 sequins on one pin.4. Keep adding pinned sequins until the ball is completely covered.

Hang on your tree, pile in a bowl, attach to a garland or a wreath – however you decide to display these pretty ornaments, they’re sure to be the star of your holiday decorating!

Thanks to for featuring these DIY Sequin Ball Ornaments in their Christmas Gift Tips series today!  Check out their whole Christmas Guide series for some major holiday inspiration!

Happy DIY’ing!


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DIY Glittery Holiday Christmas Ornament Napkins with Tulip Shimmer Sheets

Around this time of year we all want our homes to be festive and bright; our holiday table filled with cheer.  These DIY glimmering, glittery Christmas napkins adorned with ornaments and made with Tulip Shimmer Sheets can help serve up a wonderful meal as a sparkling accessory.  Plus, once the cutting’s done, application is a cinch!  Here’s how to make your own:


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