Hot Chocolate Ornaments

Post by Cristy of Pretty My Party

The holidays and hot chocolate go hand-in-hand and if you’re looking for a fun, inexpensive gift idea or a fun holiday party favor, these DIY Hot Chocolate Ornaments from Sweetly Chic Events & Design would be perfect! Add a cute tag like the ones from Meri Meri sold at The Land of Nod and you have yourself the perfect little gift.

DIY Holiday Gifts: Hot Chocolate OrnamentsHot Chocolate Ornaments Supplies:

DIY Holiday Gifts: Hot Chocolate Ornaments SuppliesDIY Holiday Gifts: Hot Chocolate Ornaments 2Instructions:

1. Begin by removing the top of your plastic ornament. Using a funnel, carefully pour your hot chocolate mix into your ornament. We used approximately 2-3 packets of hot chocolate per ornament.
DIY Holiday Gifts: Hot Chocolate Ornaments 32.  Next, it is time to add your holiday sprinkles!
DIY Holiday Gifts: Hot Chocolate Ornaments 43.  Again, using your funnel, add the sprinkles into your ornament, evenly coating the layer of hot chocolate.
DIY Holiday Gifts: Hot Chocolate Ornaments 54.  The next layer will be your candy! We chose to use red Sixlets. They were the perfect shape and color!
DIY Holiday Gifts: Hot Chocolate Ornaments 65.  Carefully add your candies, making an even layer on top of your sprinkles.
DIY Holiday Gifts: Hot Chocolate Ornaments 7

6. And now it’s time for the marshmallows!
7.  Add a layer of marshmallows, still allowing a bit of room for the top of your ornament to fit in.
DIY Holiday Gifts: Hot Chocolate Ornaments 88.  Gently replace the top of your ornament and attach your holiday gift tag.
DIY Holiday Gifts: Hot Chocolate Ornaments 9You now have a colorful festive favor, perfect for all of your parties this holiday season!
DIY Holiday Gifts: Hot Chocolate Ornaments 10
We threw a beautiful Holly Jolly Christmas Party, complete with these fun ornaments, a kids dessert table, personalized cookies and more. It was such a fun and festive kids party and a great way to celebrate the holidays!
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Credits 
Pretty My Party was founded in May 2012 by Cristy Mishkula, and features the most stylish parties, free printables, fun DIY projects, yummy recipes, and more! Cristy is a mom to a handsome little man and an editor for an award-winning newspaper in Northeastern Pennsylvania. When she’s not at my day job, she’s styling parties and photo shoots or sharing fabulous parties, weddings, recipes, crafts, and more on Pretty My Party!

Milk & Cookies for Santa – DIY Scrabble Coasters

Post by Kelsey Nixon of Kelsey’s Essentials DIY Scrabble CoastersOne of the simple yet classic Christmas traditions that our family always looks forward to is leaving out milk and cookies for Santa (don’t forget the carrots for Rudoph!). If you’ve got one more Christmas craft left in you before the big event, these simple DIY scrabble coasters could be a blast to make with letter loving kids on Christmas Eve. It’s a fun exercise to come up with 4-5 letter words that make up holiday sayings – and a particularly fun challenge when you only have a certain number of individual letters. Even if the kids in your house are a little to you to put together words, this can still be a fun way to work with letters. My two and a half year old Ollie loved fishing out certain letters for me. This craft is inexpensive, quick, and most importantly these can be a memento that your family pulls out year after year to perfectly prop up Santa’s milk alongside his cookies. (This is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe) See the simple directions for the coasters below.

Materials for DIY Scrabble Coasters:

  • Scrabble Tiles (found here)*
  • Craft glue
  • Cork coasters or cork board (found at a local craft store)
  • Scissors

DIY Scrabble Coasters 2 DIY Scrabble Coasters 3DIY Scrabble Coasters Instructions

  1. Choose holiday phrases or words that can easily be made up with the Scrabble letters. We found that there were a lot more 5 letter holiday words than 4 letter words, so our coasters aren’t a perfect square, but the shape didn’t bother us and I’m sure Santa won’t mind.
  2. Organize your letters before using the craft glue to glue each letter onto the cork board or coaster aligning the first letter to the upper corner.
  3. Allow each coaster to dry completely before using sharp scissors or an x-acto knife to carefully trim the edges.
  4. Hint Hint: I found that one set of 100 scrabble letters made about 4 coasters.

DIY Scrabble Coasters 5Hopefully these cheery coasters will get your kids even more excited for Santa’s big arrival and make sure that Jolly Old St. Nick is well taken care of when he stops at your house.

Happy Holidays!

Kelsey Nixon  is the host of Kelsey’s Essentials on Cooking Channel and author of Kitchen Confidence. Kelsey’s Essentials is also currently airing Mon-Thurs at 3pm on Food Network. Kelsey, her husband Robby, and son Oliver (“Ollie”) live in New York City. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions

Post by Nick & Aleah Valley of Valley & Co.

It’s hard to believe that we’re in the thick of the holiday season and that Christmas is next week! While we’ve sure savored every moment, we still have reindeer and Santa to visit, cookies to bake and movies to watch! As it’s Ava’s first Christmas, seeing the excitement and the magic of the season through her eyes has reminded us to slow down and enjoy the little things that make this time of year so special.

Creating new traditions for her has been so important to us for each holiday thus far, and we have made some great family traditions for this holiday season, like searching for our family tree in the snow, adorning a darling little Charlie Brown Christmas tree for her nursery, sewing satin stockings that will forever hang above our mantel, decking out our ceramic village, and throwing a cupcakes and ornaments party! Here are some scenes from our get together, complete with snow globes, wintry scenes, and lots of goodness from The Land of Nod.

Throw an effortless and festive kid-friendly cookie, cupcake or tree trimming party this weekend with our tips:

Make easy cupcake toppers with gumdrops and toothpicks – simply skewer two or three glittering gumdrops through the pick end of the toot pick and insert into a cupcake

Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 39  Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 15

Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 37Lay out soft ornaments atop each kid’s place setting for them to take home.

Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 43 Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 41 Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 35 Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 34 Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 33 Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 13 Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 6Set place settings with jars, snow and little bottle brush trees and creatures for kids to make wintry scenes to take home.

Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 1

Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 7 Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 3 Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 12 Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 32Aleah’s mom {Ava’s grandma} made Ava these beautiful floating houses {inspired by a Land of Nod display she saw earlier this year} and they’re perfectly dreamy for a table top focal point.

Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 11Dress up glasses of milk or water with birch paper straws.

Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 9 Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 38Create a gorgeous {and easy} centerpiece with fresh cut evergreen sprigs and nestle in ornaments.

Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 14Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 23 Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 24  Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 10Happy Holidays!

Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 17 Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 18 Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 19 Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 20 Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 21 Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 22 Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 25 Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 26 Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 26 Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 29 Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 30 Creating Holiday Entertaining Traditions 42 Party design: Valley & Co. || Photos: Dennis Wise || Cupcakes and Party Room: Trophy Cupcakes

Nick & Aleah Valley are the husband + wife owners and operators of Valley & Co. Lifestyle, based in the beautiful Emerald City {Seattle}. They love to make life grand and believe that any occasion, whether small or large, is cause for celebration. They believe that entertaining at home welcomes memories and laughter. Follow them on their blog and Instagram.

O (Crafty) Paper Christmas Trees

Post by Rae Ann of Rae Ann Kelly.com

Christmas Craft: O (Crafty) Paper Christmas TreesIt might be a little late in the game to be making Christmas decorations, but there are lots of days ahead where a kid friendly craft will come in handy so I wanted to share this simple paper Christmas tree project. Here’s how we did it…

Christmas Craft: O (Crafty) Paper Christmas Trees SuppliesFirst download and print THESE TEMPLATES. Cut out and trace onto various shades of green card stock. You could also print onto white card stock and then have the kids paint or color in their trees.

Next, cutout along your traced lines, shape into a cone and glue or tape in place.

Finally, embellish with whatever decorative art supplies you have on hand (an artist’s surplus art jar would be perfect for this!). We used mini pom-poms, pipe cleaners, washi tape, buttons and a gold marker.

Christmas Craft: O (Crafty) Paper Christmas Trees 2Full disclosure, I was the main crafter of the trees pictured because most of my kids were in school. However, i left all of the supplies out for them to make their own when they got home and I have to say their trees were far more fun and creative than mine! Also an added bonus, the project kept them and a couple of their friends busy for a good hour which is always handy this time of year!

Happy crafting!

{Images by Stacy Jacobsen}

Rae Ann blogs at Rae Ann Kelly and is a kid wrangler, graphic designer, food & craft nut. Her blog features little tidbits about her day to day life & design projects, tutorials for DIY’s, free downloads, yummy recipes, lots of kid friendly ideas and outfit inspiration.