Homan at Home provides simple and budget-friendly ways to make your house a home. The author of this blog is learning to make things nice for her growing family with the skills (and the budget!) she has. follow her experiences and share any ideas or tips you’ve picked up along the way.
This DIY candy bouquet was actually supposed to be a Father’s Day post, but seeing as how its July, I bet you can guess how well that went. What you’re looking at in the photos was Dustin’s Father’s Day gift, and it went over a whole lot better than my attempts to write this post!
Candy bouquets are super fun, because they are easy and endlessly customizable. Does your giftee like chocolate? Great! Skittles? Great! Weird candy from Romania? Great (as long as it comes in a wrapper)! The principle is the same no matter what you use. And of course you can mix and match. Dustin loves Reeses and Hershey’s Cookies ‘n Creme bars, so that’s what he got
The other way you can mix things up is with your container. I used a standard sized mug, but you could use a flower pot, a pail, a bowl, a cup, or anything else you can stick styrofoam in.
DIY Candy Bouquet, Step-by-Step
styrofoam to fit container
Start by sticking your styrofoam into your container. Walmart sells styrofoam that is specifically designed to fit into a mug, so that’s what I used. I wrapped a piece of tissue paper around my styrofoam block before sticking it in to kind of cover it up.
Then, use hot glue to stick your candy to the bamboo skewers.
Now, you get to play. Stick your skewers into the styrofoam and move them around until you get the composition you like. Feel free to cut off some of the skewers so that some of your pieces are shorter and taller.
When you have the composition you like, add extra pieces of tissue paper in to cover up whatever styrofoam is still sticking out.
Last but not least, add a ribbon or piece of twine around your container to finish it off!
Hawaiian haystacks are one of those family classics we ate all the time when I was little. I used to love haystack night, because Mom let us choose our own toppings, which meant I could load up on all the good things, and avoid the yucky ones.
I always thought it was weird these things were called Hawaiian haystacks, because as far as I could see, there was nothing tropical about them. In fact, we always served them with salsa, so it seemed like Mexican haystack might be a better fit. It wasn’t until I was in college and a roommate made them that I learned why the Hawaiian name – you’re supposed to put pineapple on them!
I still can’t get my head around putting pineapple on a perfectly good haystack, but that’s the beauty of these things. I can put a bowl of pineapple out for everyone else, and quietly eat my salsa-topped, pineapple-less deliciousness without anyone being the wiser.
A couple more things about haystacks that deserve mention is that they are one of the fastest meals I know, and one of the cheapest. I can throw haystacks together in about the same amount of time it takes me to make macaroni and cheese from the box. And this recipe is a lot more nutritious than mac ‘n cheese!
As for cost, in my neck of the woods, the cream of chicken soup would cost you a dollar, the chicken 2 dollars (and you can make it cheaper by making chicken in the crockpot and shredding it). The rice comes in around 2 dollars, and depending on the toppings, we’re looking at another 3 or so dollars. That’s about 8 dollars for 8 servings. A buck a serving for a filling and delicious dinner? I think so!
I love how this one came out! The bright colors of the cupcakes, the “greenery” in between, and it’s highly portable and easily giftable – just wrap it in Saran wrap and tie it up with a bow!
These DIY cupcake mini-bouquets are perfect for Mothers’ Day, Easter, or really anytime you want to celebrate. The one I’ve got here is a spring/summer-y looking one, but with a set of red and green frosted cupcakes, you’ve got Christmas. Red, white, and blue? 4th of July. Pink and Red? Valentines.
Mini-bouquets are the perfect size for a gift as well. There are six cupcakes per bouquet, which means you can get four gifts out of one cake mix. Frosting can be as easy or as hard as you like. I’ll include tutorials for each of the piped flowers I put on mine, but if you’re less decorating inclined, check out this tutorial for how to use candy to make a six different flowers, and this one for using marshmallows (you can also use sprinkles instead of color mist – just dip the cut marshmallow sides in the sprinkles)!
Let’s get started! I’ll drop my favorite cake mix/frosting recipes down below, but feel free to use your own. Then, we’ll get into how to build the base, and finally, frosting those cupcakes, and assembling the whole thing!
Beat together butter, shortening, and vanilla until well combined.
Add powdered sugar in 1 cup increments until mixed well.
Add water or milk in 1 Tbsp increments, mixing until desired consistency is achieved.
Bouquet Base, Step-by-Step
pot, tin, or other container
styrofoam ball that fits snugly in container
6 plastic cups
green grease-resistant cupcake liners
Start by hot glueing your styrofoam ball into your container.
Next, you’ll cut your plastic cups down so that the sides are 1″ high. You want them to be high enough to support the cupcakes, but not so high that they’ll show outside the greenery you’ll put around them.
Now, glue those cups onto the styrofoam ball. Five fit around the outside with one in the middle.
Then, take your green cupcake liners and crumple them up. Tuck them down in between the cups and glue them down. Feel free to play around with their placement. They are going to cover the cups and function as “greenery” for the bouquet.
You can also use green tissue paper here, but I found that when I did that, the paper picked up the grease from the frosting in under an hour, and the bouquet did not look very good. Grease resistant liners can hold up for days, even with the frosted cupcakes inside.
Once you’ve got that greenery glued down, your base is finished!
Frosting the Cupcakes – Hydrangea, Rose, and Camelia
decorator frosting in desired colors
tips (rose tip for camelia (Wilton 104), open star for rose (Wilton 1M), and star tip for hydrangea (Wilton 2D)
These are far and away the simplest flower. The tutorial below uses a two-tone method. I stuck with just yellow, but I’m sort of jealous. Aren’t hers just gorgeous?
How to make a BUTTERCREAM HYDRANGEA CUPCAKE - YouTube
These roses aren’t difficult, but it does take a little practice to get just the right angle. Like the video says, once you get it down, you can make a rose cupcake in 5 seconds!
How to Frost a Rose Cupcake in 5 Seconds - YouTube
And last but not least, my favorite to frost. The camelia is a little bit more difficult than the other two, but Jen Johns makes it easy in her tutorial. She uses fancy dragees in the center of hers, but I just used regular old grocery store nonpareils.
Piping Buttercream Icing Flowers on Cupcakes by Cookies Cupcakes and Cardio - YouTube
Putting it All Together!
Now that you’ve got your frosted cupcakes, all that’s left is to put them in the base. I put a small dollop of frosting inside the cup, then place the cupcake on top. When the frosting dries, it plus the cup will hold the cupcake in place.
And that’s it! Let the cupcakes crust, then wrap some Saran wrap around them, tie it off, and your bouquet is ready to gift!
With Mothers’ Day coming quick (tomorrow, folks!), I’m dropping this quick craft here. This is a simple one, easy enough for toddlers even, and it makes a nice gift that Mom can wear with pride. I don’t know about you other mothers out there, but I do love getting little handmade things from my kids. They’re the kind of thing I put in the keepsake box. There’s a lot of love in the sloppy handprint projects, endless suncatchers, and yes, even in these bracelets.
Which is why these bracelets are a great gift. They’re fast, they’re simple, and they’re the kind of thing that will make both mom and the little ones proud.
My kids also get a kick out of giving me things I can wear to church on the day. They love to point out that their mommy is wearing the bracelet/necklace/etc that they made. And I kind of love seeing them show off.
Mothers’ Day Beaded Bracelets Instructions
Start by cutting a length of elastic string. You want it to be long enough to go around the wrist with a little stretch. Mine came out about 6 inches long.
Then, decide what message to put on the bracelet. Lay those beads out and string them onto the middle of the string.
Then, fill the string as much as needed with pony beads. When you have enough, tie elastic with an overhand knot and pull it extremely tight. Like, really extremely tight. Elastic is slippery, and anything less than a super tight knot will come undone.
And that’s it! Wrap up the gift, and give it to Mom/Grandma/Other Person You Wish to Honor!
Looking for more Mothers’ Day ideas? Check these out!
I’m super excited to share this butterfly wristband craft/printable with you today. This was a major hit with my kids, and it is the easiest thing in the world.
My daughter is deeply into bugs right now, and especially butterflies. I originally was going to make this a flappy bird, but she was adamant: it was bugs or nothing.
These wristbands are designed to go on a small wrist and allow the kiddo to flap his or her arms around and make the butterfly’s wings flap too. This is a really fun thing to do, apparently, as evidenced by my children:
These bugs have whizzed and whirled past windows and trees for quite a while the past few days. Pretty good for about 10 minutes worth of work!
Next, cut a 1″ round from the toilet paper tube. Make a cut in it to split it into a half-circle.
Use a hole punch or a needle to poke a hole in each side of the round. Thread the elastic string through and tie off. You want it tight enough the butterfly won’t fall off or roll over while it’s being played with, but lose enough the child can get it off.
Glue the butterfly to the top of the cardboard bracelet, slip it over a little wrist, and let them start fluttering!
This game comes at the request of my four year old. He is deeply into superheroes right now, and his current favorite project is this one from Messy Little Monsters. We have literally 10 of these popsicle superheroes hanging around our house, and he still wants to make more every day.
When I suggested we do a bunny craft, since Easter is getting closer, he was only interested if it was a super bunny. And the story grew from there. Super Bunny fights evil chicks who have stolen Easter (in the form of Easter eggs). I do not know what the chicks’ motivation is, other than that they are very evil. Here’s him and his sister battling it out in the name of Easter everywhere:
The craft itself is very simple – just a little cutting and gluing. There are two types of superhero masks, and I also included one of each of the rainbow colors, and a blank template that can be colored. So without further ado, here’s the walkthrough:
Doing an Easter cake is becoming a yearly thing over here, and it has been a blast. In 2016, there was the infamous bunny cake (still far and away the most popular post on the blog). The bunny was followed by the chick, who was followed by a lamb. And this year, I decided to do a duck.
This little guy comes from the Baker’s Coconut Animal Cut-Up Cake. The original is called Quack-Quack the Duck and was decorated with coconut. I just updated the design a little by shortening the neck and wing to bring the proportions in line, and gave him a buttercream makeover.
If you’re not familiar with cut-up cakes, they’re simply a method to make creatively shaped cakes from standard shaped pans. This duck comes from a single 9 inch round. Clever cutting and placement gives this duck his shape.
Now, if you’re like me, cutting pieces so that you get the right proportions sounds like a nightmare. I can barely cut a straight line, much less a perfect curve that intersects the outside at exactly 4 1/2 inches from the top center. Which us what the original instructions tell you to do.
So I made a template for the cutting-challenged like myself. The math is all done for you – just print, place, and cut!
I’ll put my favorite cake and frosting recipe here for you, but feel free to use any cake or frosting recipe you like!
Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
Add water or milk by Tbsp until desired consistency is reached. Be careful not to add too much!
For the duck, you'll need to color your frosting yellow, orange, gray, white, and whatever color you'd like the bow to be.
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Duck Cut-up Cake, Step-by-Step
Start with a single 9 in round. This represents about half of a standard box mix. I usually make the rest into cupcakes. They freeze well until I figure out what to do with them (this pull-apart cake comes to mind). You’ll also need the cutting template and a sharp, non-serrated knife.
Cut the outside circle of the template, then place it on the cake. Use the knife to cut along the lines.
You’ll end up with the above. I left the pieces on the triangles so I could tell what they are. Once you’ve cut your pieces, you’ll assemble them on a cake board. Mine is made from half a diaper box wrapped in wax paper.
At this point, you can decorate your duck any way you like. I used buttercream and Wilton decorating tips to get my design.
I started by marking off the beak using Wilton tip 4 and orange icing.
I then used a tip 18 to fill in with stars.
Next, I did the feet with orange stars. I actually pulled the feet away from the body to make decorating easier. Once I finished, I pushed them into place.
I did the eye next, piping the shape with gray icing and the 4 tip, then filling with white and gray using the 18 tip.
Then comes the time-consuming part. I filled the rest of the duck with yellow icing and the 18 tip. Hand strength really comes into play here!
The final step is to add details. I gave the duck feathers on his wings using the 4 tip and orange frosting. To finish, I gave him a blue bow using the Wilton 104 petal tip. I piped petal shapes to make each side of the bow, then two ribbons hanging down.
And that’s it! Enjoy your happy little duck!
Looking for more cute Easter cakes? Check these out!
I kind of love how this project came out. These were inspired by another napkin ring project I did a while back. I was thinking about making the twine-wrapped rings for Easter this year and attaching little flowers, but the idea of wrapping all that twine left me feeling a little less than excited.
Enter these bunny rings. They are, in my mind, much easier than then twine wrapping. The hardest part is definitely cutting these guys, and that’s not hard at all.
I was going to give them all a bow-tie, but then my 4 year old wanted one of them to have a hair bow, and so I started playing around. I think my favorite placement is the blue one. For some reason, that blue bunny just looks so darn Easter-y!
Start with a paper towel or toilet paper tube. You can get 2 bunnies out of a toilet paper tube, and 4 out of a paper towel tube. You’ll also need this cutting template.
Line the bottom of the template up with the bottom of the roll, trace, then cut.
Paint the bunnies inside and out and allow them to dry. I did mine in Easter pastel colors, but I actually waffled between that color scheme and doing a cream color. I still think that would have been very pretty.
Once the paint is completely dry, tie bows in the ribbon, then hot glue them on. Slip it around a napkin, and you’re done. Happy Easter tablescaping!