TUTORIAL: Duck Dynasty Cookies

Anyone who knows us knows how big of fans we are of Duck Dynasty on A & E. Especially my boys who think it is hilarious. So both of them requested Duck Dynasty as the theme for their birthday parties. Now while I didn’t get time to do all the fancy decor as in past years I did manage to make some pretty adorable cookies for birthday treats. So here’s how I did them.

I used a Frankenstein head cutout I got from a Wilton Halloween set a few years ago. I turned it upside down because to me it looked like a face with ears and a beard.  You can see my original plan sketch.

Duck Dynasty Cookie
Duck Dynasty Cookie

I used my Sugar Cookie recipe to bake the cookies. I started by doing the face part because it will need to be behind the beard.

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After I filled in the face and let it dry I started outlining the beard.

Duck Dynasty Cookie

Once it was outlined I filled it in.  Then I waited til it had dried a bit and scratched it vertically with a butter knife.  I wanted the beard to have some texture and this was the best way I could think of.  It worked out well I think.

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Because I was doing a representation of Phil Robertson and he wears a camo headband I next outlined the headband.  When I filled in the headband I used two colors of green and a tan.  I put spots of each of them within the outline and then swirled them with a toothpick to make them more camo-like.  I forgot to take a picture of that but you can see it in the final pictures.

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The final step was to add a face.  My boys thought that my orignal sketch looked like the eyes were closed so I decided on dots instead.  The nose was tricky and I didn’t get them to all be uniform but I am happy happy happy with how they turned out.

Duck Dynasty Cookie

You can see the noses were all a bit different but it works!

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Hopefully you will be inspired to create your own Duck Dynasty cookie.

Year End Teacher Gifts

I have struggled this year for gifts for teachers because Avery has a male teacher. I found about idea on Pinterest (of course!). It was a basket for a Father’s Day gift full of BBQ items. I knew I’d hit the nail on the head!! So I set out to find what I could to fill the basket. I decided to do the same for Blake’s teacher and do it in more girly colors.

Here’s what was in them:

Plastic bowl – $1 at Walmart
Oven mitt – $1 at Target
Kabob holder – $3 at Target
Tongs – $1 at Walmart
Lighter stick – $1 at Target
Skewers – $1.99 at Target
BBQ sauce – sale price of $.88
Sweet & Spicy Rub for meat – homemade (don’t know what it cost but not much)

Then I just added some colored tissue paper. Looks pretty and is useful. I hate giving gifts that they can never use.

TUTORIAL: Bookshelf

Doing daycare I have a HUGE collection of books (I’m pretty sure I have not thrown away a single book since my kids were born except those that were ruined) and I have most of them up on high shelves because if I leave them all down they just end up all over the place.  So I needed something to contain them but still allow the kids to have access to them.  I found some inspriation over at Ana-White.com with her Flat Wall Bookholders.  I have modified it to fit the scrap wood that I had leftover from building my bed.

Here’s what you need:

3 – 1×4 boards @ 34″

 2 – 1×4 boards @ 8.5″

2 – narrow trim boards @ 35.5″

Brad Nailer Gun

1 3/8″ nails

Air Compressor

1.  Align two of the 34″ boards in an ‘L’ shape.  Nail along the bottom edge, making sure that the nail goes straight.

2.  Align one of the short pieces of 1×4 so that it matches up with both sides of the ‘L’.  This will be the end of your shelf.

3.  Attach the second short board in the same manner as the first one.

4.  Now attach the final longer 1×4 to the back of the shelf…leaving a space between the two and making it even with the top of the ends of the shelf.

5.  You are nearly done!  Now attach the trim boards to the front to hold the books in.  Attach the first one about 1/2″ above the bottom of the shelf.  Then the second one should be about an inch above the first one.

6.  That is it!  So easy and as I said I used scrap wood I had leftover from building my bed.  I painted mine to fit in with the daycare room.  I would paint the pieces first if I was to do it again.  It was difficult to get to the inside to paint it.

TUTORIAL: Raised Bed Garden

I started a garden last year and it didn’t do so well.  The soil where we live is very rocky and watching my husband try to till it was kind of amusing but not so easy for him.  This year I decided to try a raised bed garden instead.  Not only do they look good but it gives me the opportunity to get some new soil.  I thought I’d share how I did it.

What You Need:

8 – 22″ long 4×4 posts

4 – 10′ long 2×10″ boards

4 – 3′ 3″  long 2×10″ boards

Lag bolts

Cordless drill with rachet bit to fit bolts

Drill bit

Rachet set

Post hole digger

Shovel

2 yards of garden mix soil

1.  Find a drill bit that is just a tad smaller than the screws that you are using to drill a guide hole for the bolt.

 2.  Line up one of the 10′ long boards with a 4×4 post.  Make sure that the end of the board is even with the edge of the post and the top is even with the top of the post.  Then drill a guide hole into the board and post.

3. Screw the bolt into the hole using your cordless drill.  I had trouble getting some of the bolts to go all the way in which is why I needed to have the rachet set.  Just use the rachet to get it all the way in.  Use two bolts on each side to ensure it is secure.

4.  Do the same thing to attach the 3′ 3″ board to the end of the post.  Line up the end of the short board with the outside edge of the long one.  Place two bolts into the short board side, making sure that you stagger them so they don’t hit the two you just placed on the long board. 

5.  Repeat until you have all 4 corners together.  It will make a 10’x3′ rectangle.

6.  Once you have the garden bed ready to install have a strong, handsome man help you move it to your location.  In order to figure out where I wanted to dig the holes I placed the bed where I wanted it and then made shovel marks all around the corner post.  Then when I moved it I knew where the holes should be dug.  Now grab your post hole digger.

7.  Begin digging.  You may need to start the hole with a regular shovel  The hole will need to be about 14 inches deep to accomodate the post and ensure that the outside boards of the bed are touching the ground (you don’t want any dirt spilling out underneath it). 

8.  Once you have dug all 4 holes for the bed you again need that strong, handsome man to help you lower it into the hole (or just some strong muscles…I did mine myself one end at a time).  When you lower it in you will want to ensure that it is flush with the ground (to avoid dirt spilling out) and if not then you may need to dig out a little more in the hole or a little dirt under the sides of the bed. 

9.  With the bed adjusted fill the dirt back in the holes.  Now it’s ready for the soil!  I got some garden mix soil from a local landscaping company.  They could deliver it but it was a hefty fee so I sent my hubby strong, handsome man to get the dirt.  He came in handy for shoveling it into the garden as well…as did a certain adorable 5 year old.

10.  Once the dirt is all filled in you will want to level it out before you plant.  It seems like a lot of work but it isn’t too bad for the results.  I am hoping to have a wonderful crop this year…last year was a bit pitiful!  Just so you know…2 yards of soil is a bit much but I have used it for other things.  You will likely need to take some of it out and we were a bit messy:)

Mine is all planted.  Waiting for the seeds to sprout so I’ll post pictures soon!

TIPS: 

  • Don’t try to do the bolts by hand…it will take you forever!
  • I tried to get the bed as level as possible but I don’t know if that is entirely necessary.  Mine isn’t perfect but it looks good.
  • When you dig the post holes I would recommend piling the dirt inside where the the garden will be as it is difficult to get out of the grass.
  • Build the beds on a level area…makes it easier.  I did mine in the garage and on the driveway.
  • I plan to add some chicken wire around it to keep the varmints out!  I will show this later.

TUTORIAL: Splitting Hostas

I purchased some hostas from my neighbors that they split from their own landscaping.  I have had them for a few years and they are starting to get too big for what I want so I decided to try my hand at splitting them.  It is super easy!  Here is how I did it:

JUST A NOTE:  It is best/easiest to split them when the leaves have not come out yet.

 1. I have mine in my river rock landscaping so I had to pull all the rocks back so I could get to the plant.

2.  I am not sure this is the ‘proper’ way to split them but it’s how I did it and they are still growing.  I put my shovel in between the sections where I wanted to split them and pushed it in.  This divides the root ball into two sections and allowed me to pull it apart.  As you can see the roots to the section I split are still attached.  Don’t worry if a couple of the buds get lost in the process…it will be fine. 

3.  If you are transplanting the section you took out you will need to dig a hole deep enough to have all the roots in the ground. 

4.  Place the separated plant into the hole.  Fill the dirt back in around the plant, fill the rock back in (if you have it) and water.  Simple as that!

5.  If you are going to sell them or give them to someone else just put them in an ice cream bucket with some soil and water them until you are ready to plant them. 

Can’t wait to get this gardening season in full swing.  I am working on building a raised bed garden so I will be posting about that soon!

 

TUTORIAL: Coffee Filter Flowers

I saw this idea online and wanted to share it with you!  We made them for May Day but they would make a wonderful Mother’s Day gift as well.  Super simple and CHEAP!!

What you need:

  • Coffee Filters
  • Markers
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Spray bottle
  • Protection for table (I used old shower curtain)

Flatten out the coffee filters

Color in any type of randomness or pattern that you wish.  The more colorful the prettier.

Once you have them all colored like you want spray each colored filter lightly.

You begin to see the colors blend together once the water spreads across the filter.  This is why you need a covering to protect your table…the colors will bleed onto the protector.

Leave the filters to dry.  Depending on how wet they get they may take quite a while to dry.  Once they are dry pinch in the middle of the filter and gently fold it up into the shape of a flower.

Take half a pipe cleaner and wrap it around the center of the flower where you pinched it. 

You have a pretty finished flower.  Be creative!  Make a bouquet, put it behind your ear, wrap it around the handle of a May Day basket! 

Do-it-Yourself Foaming Soap

>I used to buy the large refill bottle for my foaming soap but it only came in one scent. So I read about making your own and want to share it with you!

Need:
1 large empty bottle
1 bottle hand soap (NOTE: creamy soaps don’t work very well)
Water

1. Empty hand soap into empty bottle. I used a makeshift funnel to avoid mess.

2. Fill the empty hand soap bottle up with water and dump into large bottle. Repeat once.

3. You’ll notice that the soap and water don’t mix at first. Place the cap on the large bottle and shake!

4. Pour into your soap dispenser and use. Simple as that!