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Sometimes the easiest DIYs are the best ones and these summer cupcake toppers fall right into that category. All you need to make these are a handful of supplies, including one of my all-time favorites: pipe cleaners. I love working with pipe cleaners because of how versatile they can be. You can bend them into so many different shapes and sizes and they come in just about every color imaginable, too. Talk about endless crafting possibilities!

I added these summer cupcake toppers to some store bought cupcakes but they would look just as cute on a regular cake, too! Making your own toppers is a great way to add a little personal touch to a store bought treat plus it’s so easy to do. Once you’re done be sure to grab your sunnies and make your way to the pool, it’s time to grab a hold of summer and enjoy a cupcake or two!

what you need:
  • Pipe cleaners (red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, pink, beige, brown, black)
  • Scissors
  • Wooden skewers
  • Hot glue gun & glue sticks
how to:for the sunglasses:

Bend two small heart shapes using your red pipe cleaners. Then, using a black pipe cleaner, bend two smaller heart shapes to fit inside the red ones. Next, cut a very small red piece and bend it slightly to create a nose bridge that will connect the heart frames.

Glue your pieces together and attach to a wooden skewer. 

for the pretzel:

Start by twisting the ends of a brown pipe cleaner together as shown above.

Then, fold the twisted part over to create the pretzel shape.

Twist the loose ends onto the sides, as shown above, and glue onto a wooden skewer.

for the sun:

Take a yellow pipe cleaner and slowly coil it into a circle and cut small yellow stems.

Glue them onto the circle to make the rays. Attach a wooden skewer.

for the palm tree:

Start by folding a beige pipe cleaner in half.

Then, fold it in half again.

Take another beige pipe cleaner and coil it around the folded one to complete the trunk of the tree. 

Take a green pipe cleaner and bend one of the corners so that it is as long as you want your leaf to be.

Then, wrap the rest of the pipe cleaner around the bent part to finish your leaf (I created four leaves for mine so I repeated those steps four times).

Glue your leaves together (or weave them together if you can).

Finish by attaching them to the trunk and adding a wooden skewer.

for the cactusl:

Bend a green pipe cleaner in half.

Bend it in half again.

Take another green pipe cleaner and coil it around the folded one to complete the middle stem of the cactus.

Repeat those steps to create the arms of the cactus and bend them so that they look like cactus arms. If you want the arms to be smaller, just cut them to your liking.

Glue the pieces together and attach to a wooden skewer.

for the rainbow:
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Handmade Charlotte by Elizabeth Stark - 1d ago

Blueberry pie is undoubtedly a classic summer dessert. But since many of summer’s best moments happen on the go – at the beach or a picnic or just a casual outdoor cookout – cutting and serving pie isn’t always ideal. That’s why these blueberry star hand pies are the perfect summer sweet. With a flaky crust and a lemony fresh blueberry jam filling, they deliver all the flavor of a classic pie, just in a portable form.

Of course, the shape makes blueberry star hand pies perfect for your Fourth of July gathering but they work equally well at any summery celebration.

I love the texture and flavor of the homemade crust and jam, but if you’re looking for a shortcut, feel free to sub in a thawed store-bought dough and a high-quality blueberry jam.

ingredientsCrust
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or sub all-purpose)
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
  • 5 – 6 tablespoons ice water
filling
  • 2 cups blueberries (about 10 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons cane or turbinado sugar, for top
topping
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons milk
directionsfilling

At least an hour ahead of time, make the quick blueberry jam. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium/medium-high heat, combine blueberries, lemon zest and juice, sugar, cinnamon, and sea salt, and stir.

When mixture starts to steam and blueberries begin to release their juices, smash about half of the fruit with the back of a spoon or silicone spatula. When mixture reaches a lively simmer, vigorously stir in the cornstarch, a little at a time. Turn heat to medium-low and cook 10 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and set in the fridge to chill until needed.

crust
To make the crust, whisk flour, sugar, and sea salt together in a large bowl. With a course box grater, grate in the butter. Rub butter into flour mixture with fingertips until mixture appears crumbly. Drizzle ice water over flour mixture a little at a time, folding it in with a silicone spatula. Add just enough so that the mixture holds together in a rough, floury ball.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gather into a disk. Divide in two halves, and cover each tightly with plastic wrap. Chill in fridge 30 minutes or up to 5 days.

to assemble

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Take one of the dough halves out of the fridge. On a separate piece of parchment paper that is lightly floured, roll dough into a 10-inch circle. Using a 4-inch star cookie cutter, cut out stars, taking care to line up straight lines in order to get as many stars as possible. With a sharp paring knife, cut stars away from dough and set on previously prepared baking sheet. Set baking sheet in the fridge while you work. Re-roll and cut dough up to 2 more times, until you have about 10 stars.

Repeat for second round of dough. Place a sheet of parchment over the already chilling star cutouts to chill the stars from the second round of cutting.

To assemble pies, carefully remove chilled dough stars from the fridge. Arrange 10 stars on chilled baking sheet, 1 – 2 inches apart.

Add 1 – 2 teaspoons of jam in the center of each, taking care (as best you can) to avoid the edges.

Working quickly, brush the 10 remaining dough stars with egg wash, and then place egg wash side down on the stars with jam.

Starting in the center and working out to the edges, press the top star into the bottom, then seal edges by crimping with the tines of a fork, wiping away any stray blueberry filling as you go. (Don’t worry about the inevitable drips and leaks – they will all cook up beautifully.)

Brush the tops of the star pies all over with egg wash and sprinkle with cane or turbinado sugar.

Slide pies into the oven. Turn heat down to 375 degrees F and bake 25 – 30 minutes or until pies are a deep golden hue. Cool pies completely.

In a small bowl, whisk to combine the powdered sugar and enough milk that icing just drips off the whisk. Using either a fork or a pastry bag, drizzle or pipe icing stripes over the cooled pies. Allow icing to set up, then serve and enjoy!

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Handmade Charlotte by Mol­lie Johan­son - 4d ago

Kids and kids at heart will love wearing this tassel necklace that’s styled as a tiny dancer! It’s perfect for ballet dancers but really, anyone can make and wear these fun accessories.

There are lots of ways to customize these dancers, so plan on making a few. You may not want to wear more than one at a time, but you can still make a dance troupe of necklace charms!

When I was a little girl, I loved ballet class and always wanted to wear the beautiful long dresses that the older girls got to wear. Add in a dose of fantasy cotton candy hair, and you have the inspiration for these dancer necklaces!

Turn on some Tchaikovsky music and take this project step by step!

what you need:
how-to:

Step 1
Paint the bead (or leave it natural).

Let each coat of paint dry before adding another and keep going until the color is even. It helps to place the bead on a skewer or toothpick while you paint.

You can add coats of paint as you continue on with the next steps.

Step 2
Make the wrapped arms.

Cut the pipe cleaner in half and fold the ends in about 1/2″. Start wrapping embroidery floss around the first folded end. Once the fold is wrapped, start wrapping around the two layers of pipe cleaner and down the rest of the stem.

It’s easiest if you hold the embroidery floss close to the pipe cleaner and then turn the pipe cleaner.

When you reach the other end, wrap around the fold just like at the beginning. Finish wrapping around the double layer of pipe cleaner.

Trim the embroidery floss and glue the end in place. Let the glue dry before using this piece in the next step.

Step 3
Make the tassel dress.

Cut a 5″ piece of embroidery floss and hold it at the top of the tassel maker. Wrap embroidery floss around the tassel maker until the tassel is as full as you want it.

For a multicolor skirt, hold two colors of embroidery floss together as you wrap.

Wrap the arms around the tassel in the cut-out section of the tassel maker. Tie a double knot at the top with the short piece of embroidery floss.

Slide the tassel off the tassel maker and wrap the arms again to tighten them around the tassel. Trim the embroidery floss at the bottom.

You can also leave the bottom untrimmed for a “bubble hem” dress.

Step 4
Assemble the dancer.

Thread both pieces of the knotted embroidery floss tie through the bead head. Slide a jump ring onto one of the pieces of embroidery floss.

Tie the ends of the embroidery floss together with a strong knot. Trim the ends.

Step 5
Make the hair.

Wrap embroidery floss around the tassel maker in the opposite direction from how you wrap for making a tassel. Wrap 12-15 times.

Slide the embroidery floss off the tassel maker and tie a knot near each end in a contrasting color. Trim the ends of the ties.

Step 6
Attach the hair.

Apply glue to the top of the head and on the knot holding the jump ring. Use less glue at the front, a little more at the back and down the sides.

You can always add more glue later, but it’s difficult to get excess glue off.

Place the hair on the head, letting the jump ring split through the hair. You should have a little less hair at the front and a little more at the back.

Hold the hair in place for a few minutes as the glue starts to set up.

Step 7
Slide the necklace chain through the jump ring.

If you have pre-made necklace chain, once you slide it through, you’re done!

If you’re using plain jewelry chain, cut it to the length you want. This style necklace is usually a little longer, so you can use a jump ring to hold the ends together instead of a clasp.

Make a necklace for your little dancer, for yourself or for a friend! These would be so much fun as favors for a dance-themed birthday party. And ballet-loving best friends will want matching necklaces and can even make them together.

Once you make one, they get easier and you’ll want to try out more ideas for styling your dancing tassel necklace.

I listed a few ideas along the way, but here are a few more to get you started:

  • Make tiny braids for hair.
  • Add sequins to the wrapped middle or even in the tassel.
  • Make wrapped legs and add them into the tassel, then trim the skirt shorter.
  • Use a smaller bead and tassel maker for a smaller charm.
  • Craft a tiny paper crown and make a princess.
  • Add some sparkle with metallic embroidery floss.
  • Use iridescent cellophane to cut out wings and make a fairy.

Happy crafting!

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Handmade Charlotte by Handmade Charlotte - 5d ago

Are you going on a family vacation this summer? Dress up your suitcases with these beachy luggage tags! You’ll be sure to spot your bags on the luggage carousel with these mini beach towels attached, don’t you think? The great thing is you probably already have all the materials you need to make these cuties, so go take those worn bandanas and ribbons off your suitcases and get ready for these beachy vibes instead.

Not going on any big trips this summer? These cute towels make the perfect charms for beach bags too!

what you need:
  • Felt
  • Scissors
  • Tacky glue
  • Yarn
  • Fringe trim
  • Scrap paper
how-to:

Step 1
To make your template, cut your scrap paper into a rectangle about 5 1/2″ long by 3″ wide. Pick out the color of felt you’d like to use as the main color for your first beach towel. Hold the template on the felt with one hand, cutting it out with the other. (You can also use chalk to trace the template onto the felt if you prefer.) You’ll need two matching rectangles for one beach towel.

Step 2
Decide what pattern and colors you want on the towel – we liked stripes, but polka dots or other shapes are fun here too! Cut out your shapes from contrasting felt. If you’re making stripes like we did, make sure they’re the right size to fit on the towel.

Step 3
Cut two 3″ by 3/4″ rectangles and use scissors to fringe one side of each. If you have fringe trim, you can skip this step.

Step 4
Time to glue everything together! Make sure to use a strong tacky glue so that your luggage tags survive the trip. To make the loop, we used yarn here but paracord or stronger string would be ideal to make them as secure as possible. Cut the yarn/cord at 10″ long and fold, gluing the ends in between the two rectangles, along with the fringed edges. Glue the patterned rectangle on top, sandwiching the yarn inside. Press to secure and let dry completely.

Step 5
Repeat in other colors and shapes! Make sure to use bright colors so that you can spot your luggage on the carousel!

Happy crafting!

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Handmade Charlotte by Handmade Charlotte - 1w ago

This post is sponsored by Plaid Enterprises.

If you’re like us, you probably have a growing stash of cool-shaped recyclables that you can’t quite get yourself to actually recycle. Recently we did a big pantry tidy-up and decided to switch over our spices into refillable glass jars, which left us with a whole bunch of these neat stacking spice containers. The way they’re designed to sit together makes them perfect not only as blocks but as secret storage containers! Enter colored paper and Mod Podge, and they now have a whole new look!

Depending on what’s in your recycling bin, you can totally apply fun paper shapes and Mod Podge onto literally anything! We decided to focus on these spice tins and added in a few others to mix it up a bit. They all have lids, so kids can keep all their mini treasures inside: beads, little toys, pebble collections, you name it! Keep reading to see the entire step-by-step process we used below.

what you need:
how-to:

Step 1
Gather your empty spice containers and make sure they’ve been thoroughly washed and dried. Cut a piece of colored paper to match the height of the container, leaving it long for now.

Step 2
Apply Mod Podge to one side of the container and press the paper in place, smoothing it to adhere.

Step 3
Apply more Mod Podge onto one side, pressing the paper into it to adhere. Repeat on the remaining side, trimming any excess paper.

Step 4
Repeat this is on all your containers using different colors. The spice containers we used here make great blocks because they’re designed to stack together, but you can use any empty containers you have! Take a look through your recycling bin to see what you have – we used a vanilla extract bottle, an antacid container, and a candy tin. Whatever you use, cut your paper to cover the packaging and stick it in place using Mod Podge.

Step 5
Time to get creative! Grab some contrasting paper and use your paper cutters or scissors to punch out some shapes. We cut circles in half to make these scallop-edged containers. Cut stripes and apply vertically or horizontally, or mix and match your other shapes! Once you have the shapes ready, apply more Mod Podge onto the container and set the paper shapes down. Apply another coat of Mod Podge over top to seal everything in and set aside to dry completely.

Step 6
Repeat these steps so that you have a whole collection of multi-colored and patterned blocks! And the great thing about using recycled containers here is that you can store little treasures inside! Depending on your container, beads, charms, glitter, or small toys are all great things to keep in these secret storage blocks.

Happy crafting!!

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Meet your best new cat friends: Bandana Kitty and Top Hat Tomcat! Use a kraft paper bag and just a few tools from your craft cupboard to make the most adorable gift wrap you’ve ever seen! Whoever receives these beautiful will definitely love the wrap as much as whatever gift you put inside. If you want to keep your kitties on display, you can even adapt these instructions to wrap an open-topped storage box instead!

A few notes before we begin:

All sizes will vary according to the specific size of your box, so I tried to also include general proportions in addition to measurements for my 8.5” X 5.5” (22cm X 14cm) box.

I strongly recommend making ALL your pieces before gluing down. You can see how everything looking before committing and will avoid the chance of gluing small pieces underneath larger ones.

Since this tutorial features two variations, follow step 1 through step 7 for both designs. At Step 8 you can choose your own adventure!

what you need:
  • Gift or box
  • Paper bag or kraft paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue (I prefer glue stick)
  • Black construction paper/cardstock
  • Pencil
  • Contrasting paper (I chose white)
  • Clear tape (for wrapping the gift)
  • White pen/pencil (optional)
  • Printable template 1 and template 2 (optional)
what you need:

Step 1
Wrap gift/box with a paper sack, kraft paper, or solid color gift wrap. I used a paper grocery bag.

Step 2
Use extra paper scraps to cut out two triangular ear pieces. I made each of the ears approximately ¼ of the box’s shortest side: 1.5” or 4 cm for a box 5.5” or 14cm wide. You can use the printable template, or make your own by drawing a right-angle triangle, then adding an extra rectangle on the bottom (where you will put glue to attach it).

Step 3
Use extra paper scraps to cut out two arms. Use the printable template, or make your own by drawing a wonky macaroni noodle shape with one end (the paws) a bit bigger than the other (the shoulder).

Step 4
Make a tail from scrap paper. Use the printable template or draw your own squiggly “S” shape.

Step 5
Using black paper or cardstock, cut out eyes, nose+mouth, and six thin whiskers (I like to make my middle whiskers a bit longer than the tops and bottoms). Use printable template or experiment with drawing your own. A white pen or pencil can make it easier to see markings on black paper.

If you hate handling tiny bits of paper, the face and whiskers can alternatively be drawn onto the box with a black marker.

Step 6
Time to make the accordion! Cut a long strip of white paper or cardstock. It should be at least twice the length of the box’s shortest side. Follow the template or photo to make the necessary folds.

If using cardstock, I find it very helpful to carefully score the paper with scissors or the back of a craft knife, or a bone folder.

Create the “accordion fold” by alternating folding the paper to the left and right. IMPORTANT: Be sure the first fold of the “accordion fold” area (which would be the third line) is folded DOWN from the first “decorate” area. You can improvise your accordion, but you need to have an even number of folds in the “accordion fold” area.

Step 7
Flatten your accordion out and decorate the designated “decorate” areas to your liking. Add keys, buttons, and whatever designs you like.

And now it’s time to CHOOSE YOUR ADVENTURE! This tutorial features two variations. Directly below are the instructions for the “Bandana Kitty.” Skip ahead to Step 10 for “Top Hat Tomcat” instructions.

Step 8: BANDANA KITTY
Choose a contrasting color of paper or cardstock to make the bandana. Use your box as a stencil to trace the correct size for your project. 

Cut out the paper bandana shape.

Decorate however you like, or leave a solid color.

Step 9
Using the same paper as you did for the bandana or a complimenting one, use your box to trace a rectangle shape to make an outfit for your kitty. I made mine approximately ⅔ of the box’s height.

Decorate as you like. I spontaneously decided to make a collar from black cardstock.

Step 10: TOP HAT TOMCAT
As you can see, I followed Step 1 – 7 and have all the same pieces, but scaled down for a smaller box. For this step, choose a contrasting color of paper or cardstock (I chose white). Use your box as a stencil to trace a rectangle the same width and approximately ¼ – ⅓ of the height.

Cut away an upside-down arched “V” to make a patch of face coloring.

Step 11
Draw two overlapping triangles and cut it out to make a little bow tie.

Step 12
Use black cardstock to draw a top hat (a square on top of a long, thin rectangle), and then add an extra rectangle at the bottom where you can put glue to attach to your box. Cut out.

Step 13
It’s time to put it all together, whichever style you’ve picked – now comes the really fun part! You’ve worked so hard getting all your pieces ready, and now it is time to grab your glue and start sticking things down. You can mostly attach the pieces in any order, but be sure to glue the “outfit” on the Bandana Kitty BEFORE the accordion. The face patch of the Top Hat Tomcat needs to be glued BEFORE the face pieces, but I bet you already knew that.  ;)


To attach the tail, align the tail the way you like and attach to the back BEFORE gluing arms and accordion.

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Today we’re super excited to be a stop on the virtual book tour celebrating the release of the revised edition of The Artful Parent by Jean Van’t Hul! Over the past 10 years that Jean has been blogging, we’ve been huge fans and constantly inspired by her creative ideas and inspiring methods for engaging kids with art. We’re always referencing our well-worn copy of the book and this newly updated edition does not disappoint, with all new additions, tips, and photography to explore.

Jean’s insights into what it means to be artful, suggestions on how to include more art in your family’s busy days, and never-ending lists of activities, prompts, and invitations are an invaluable resource for parents.

We’re thrilled to be sharing a little sneak peak into the book – this homemade playdough recipe is an instant classic and endless fun for both kids and parents. See the recipe below, and buy your copy of The Artful Parent now available where books are sold!

Homemade Playdough

We love our handmade playdough so much (the texture, smell, quantity, and process) that we never purchase commercial versions. This stovetop playdough has a wonderful texture that lasts for months.

Note: While little kids age 1 and up can play with the playdough, only adults should make this stovetop version.

Materials:

  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 ¼ cups salt
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Food coloring or liquid watercolors
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • Glitter (optional)
  • Essential oils (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a large heatproof pot, mix together the water, salt, cream of tartar, vegetable oil, and a few drops of food coloring.
  2. Heat the mixture on the stovetop until simmering.
  3. Mix the flour into the hot mixture and cook for just a little longer, until the dough is no longer sticky. (You can pinch it between your fingers to test it.)
  4. Dump the dough on the counter and let it cool until you can safely manipulate it with your hands. Knead until smooth.
  5. Knead in glitter and/or essential oils, if desired.

After making our playdough (we used aqua food coloring and lavender essential oil!) we flipped to another one of our favorite parts in the book: first forays into art. There are seemingly endless ideas, activities, prompts, and tips for your little artist to try. The playdough art and play activity page was chock full of methods and tools for getting creative with playdough. We don’t deny our long-time love of pasta, so naturally, we went with that suggestion and pulled out our ever growing noodle collection.

As Jean explains in the book, including art in your kids’ lives can be as simple as you want it to be, no fancy art supplies or tools necessary! You likely already have everything you need to set up this playdough and pasta activity, or can gather them quickly and affordably at your local supermarket. The Artful Parent is full of activities just like this, and Jean explains everything from how to encourage process art, making time and space for art, organizing and building your art supply stash, and beyond. We know you and your kids will love The Artful Parent as much as we do, so make sure to follow along on the virtual book tour this summer for more activities, interviews, and giveaways!

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Handmade Charlotte by Mol­lie Johan­son - 1w ago

Tell your pop how he ranks this Father’s Day with a popcorn-themed matchbox card. Just slide the box open and out pops a message! This easy printable is fun on its own, but it’s also perfect for pairing with your dad’s favorite popcorn treat.

While these aren’t exactly dad jokes, there’s definitely some puns, rhymes, and word play going on here that we’re sure dad will approve of.

And for those times when you want to “pop by” with a hello for someone special, we have a card for that too! Because it’s always a good day to send a simple surprise.

The pop-up part of this card is a fun element, but you can also skip that and still have a cute box. Sign the back of the inside note to finish the rhyming message, then pop it inside with a gift card.

Now, let’s get poppin’!

what you need:
how-to:

Step 1
Download the matchbox PDF that you want to use and print it on cardstock. Cut out all the pieces on the black outlines. Be sure to cut the slits on the white “tray” piece. Don’t cut any of the gray lines.

Step 2
Fold all the pieces on the gray lines.

Step 3
Glue one side panel of the striped piece and press the other panel on it to secure the outer box.

Glue each of the corner square panels of the white tray piece and press them to the folded flap next to it.

Step 4
Glue the two folded springy pieces to the back of the message card. The ends should both face in. This keeps the pop-up message from leaning to one side or the other.

Glue the ends of the springy pieces and press them down to the inside of the white tray piece.

Step 5
To get the card ready to give, press the message down as you slide the tray into the outer box.

This is a perfect card for giving with something as simple as a pack of microwave popcorn, but it would also be fun with a gift card to a movie theater or a container of gourmet popcorn. Dads and grandpas always love a treat!

But don’t stop there! Spread some joy to others with a snack and a fun note!

Happy crafting!

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Handmade Charlotte by Elizabeth Stark - 2w ago

Creating a show-stopping layer cake doesn’t have to be complicated, especially when summer produce is at its very peak. This fresh raspberry cake makes the most of the season with perfectly ripe raspberries, while a host of summery berries, herb sprigs, and flowers create the perfect cake topper.

This naturally pink layer cake has a springy crumb that’s infused with fresh raspberry flavor and a tangy raspberry buttercream frosting. The cake layers are made with a fresh raspberry puree plus a bit of shredded beet root for a deeper pink hue. If you’re after a brighter shade of pink, add 1 – 2 drops red or pink food coloring.

The cake comes together in a few steps. The raspberry puree, cake layers, and frosting can be made ahead, just be sure to give the frosting time to come to room temperature before working with it. Wrap completely cooled cake layers in parchment and plastic wrap, and keep in the fridge for up to two days.

Fresh Raspberry Layer Cake
Makes: A 2-layer (6-inch) Round Cake
Recipe can easily be doubled to make a 2-layer (9-inch) round cake
For the Raspberry Puree
  • 10 ounces fresh raspberries (about 3 cups

To make the raspberry puree, rinse and pat berries dry. Mash with a fork. Set a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and push berries through with a silicone spatula.

Keep swiping and pushing mixture through until just seeds are left in the sieve. Pour puree into a small measuring cup (you should have just under 1 cup puree). Set aside.

For the cake
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberry puree
  • 1/4 cup finely grated beets
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 – 2 drops red or pink food coloring (optional)

Set butter on counter to come to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (6-inch) cake pans with parchment circles and liberally butter and flour parchment and pan sides. Set aside.

In a blender or food processor, combine 1/2 cup raspberry puree, grated beets, and milk, and blend until smooth.

In a small bowl, stir to combine flour, baking powder, and sea salt.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Gently spoon into another bowl and set aside. If using a stand mixer, switch to paddle attachment, and in the same bowl used to whip egg whites, beat butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and beat 3 minutes more, scraping down sides as needed. Add vanilla extract. With mixer on low, fold half the in raspberry-milk mixture (butter may appear curdled at this point, but it’s fine), followed by all of the flour mixture, and remaining raspberry-milk mixture. Switch mixer off, and gently fold in egg whites by hand. If using, fold in 1 – 2 drops food coloring.

Spoon batter into prepared cake pans. Tap on counter several times to dislodge bubbles.

Bake 30 – 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs and cakes are pulling away the side of the pan.

Cool cakes 10 minutes, then flip onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Raspberry Buttercream and Garnishes
  • 1/3 cup raspberry puree
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch sea salt
  • 4 mint sprigs (optional)
  • Edible flowers such as nasturtiums, chamomile, borage, or bachelor’s buttons (optional)
  • Fresh raspberries and other summer fruits (optional)

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, frequently stopping to scrape down the sides. Add vanilla extract and sea salt, and beat for 1 minute more. With mixer on low, add 1/4 cup raspberry puree and mix until combined. Continue adding puree in small drizzles until your desired color is achieved.

To frost, set bottom layer on a cake plate with parchment strips tucked under the edges. Spoon 1 cup frosting into a small bowl and frost bottom layer and then the top layer with a thin layer of frosting, also known as the crumb coat.

Set cake in fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

Next, add a second layer of frosting, smoothing the sides and then the top. Garnish with fresh raspberries, mint sprigs, nasturtiums, and chamomile flours. Frosted cake can be kept in the fridge before serving. Before cutting the cake, remove garnishes or place off to one side. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

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Handmade Charlotte by Handmade Charlotte - 2w ago

This post is sponsored by Plaid Enterprises.

Have you ever made a diaper for a rock before? Well, get ready to cross that off the to-do list because today we’re making a whole daycare of painted baby rocks and they need felt diapers! These adorable little babies are cute as can be and don’t take much time at all. If you’re going on a walk around the neighborhood or park, collect some smooth, round rocks to bring home. With just a quick coat of Folk Art Acrylic Paint, some googley eyes, and felt, these cuties are ready to go!

These little rocks may not be learning to walk anytime soon, but they sure love rolling around and they’re the quietest babies we’ve ever met! You could even make them little felt beach towels and bring them along on your day trip to the beach! Keep reading to see our tips and tricks below.

what you need:
  • Folk Art Acrylic Paint Set
  • Paintbrushes
  • Rocks
  • Felt
  • Scissors
  • Googley eyes
  • White tacky glue
  • Mini safety pins
  • Black permanent marker
how-to:

Step 1
Begin by cleaning your rocks with soapy water, and let dry completely. Once dry, give your rocks a coat of paint! You can use literally any color your heart desires here. If you use neon colors like we did, it doesn’t hurt to give the rock a coat of white paint first – this helps the neon colors really pop! Let dry completely.

Step 2
Time to add a cute little baby face! Stick two self-adhesive googley eyes onto the rock and use a black permanent marker to draw on a mouth. Make the mouth a smile, a little O or whatever you like – you can even add eyebrows if you want.

Step 3
To make the diaper, pick a piece of felt and lay it flat on your work surface. Set the painted rock along the edge, centered, with the face above the felt line as shown. Use tacky or hot glue to secure the rock in place here, applying just enough to the back of the rock to hold it down.

Step 4
To cut the diaper, you want to make a sort of T shape. The bottom flap of the diaper should be rectangular and reach just below the rock’s mouth. The two side flaps should be long thin triangles that, when wrapped over, reach the other side. Getting this diaper shape will vary a little bit depending on the size and shape of each rock so don’t worry about getting it super exact – no two diapers will look exactly the same.

Step 5
To finish the diaper, pina small safety pin into one side flap and then glue all the flaps down as shown. Repeat on all the remaining rocks.

Happy crafting!

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