Tiny Hippo Wrapping Gifts

Tiny Hippo Tries to Use Wrapping Paper

Argh, wrapping presents it is so messy it’s maddening. There must be a better way.

Tiny Hippo Cuts Fabric

First, I must cut the fabric with my handy pizza cutter.

Tiny Hippo Pins Christmas Bag

Avoid pinning yourself to the fabric.

Tiny Hippo uses Sewing Machine

Now, to the great machine!

Tiny Hippo with DIY Gift Bag

Next, flip the bag right-side out

Tiny Hippo with Christmas Gift Bags

Ta-da! Now I have lots of bags to use each year for Christmas

Tiny Hippo Creates the Perfect Hostess Gift

With all the homes I visit during the holiday season it is great to have a delightful treat to offer my hosts. There is no better sweet treat than these homemade apple cider caramels!

Behold! These lovely caramels are a hit for anyone who tries them, and they look so cute in a little bowl or a mason jar with a twine bow.

This awesome apple cider caramel recipe comes from a great blog, Blondie’s Cakes and Things. The recipe is easy to follow with no alterations or additions needed, be sure to wear your protective goggles while stirring the bubbling candies. When you select an apple cider for making these little gems don’t buy the cheap stuff. I used apple cider from our local orchard because Wilson’s Apple Orchard makes divine cider, and it is a great place for a family outing, see my Tiny Hippo at the Apple Orchard post.

Once your awesome caramels have cooled its time to turn them into perfect little presents that all your buddies will love!

Alright, remove the caramels from the pan using the parchment paper. While you may be tempted to wrap this huge block up and keep it for yourself willpower must prevail.

Instead of scarfing down the whole block of caramel, divide it into even rectangles or squares using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter

Now for the fun part! Set up a work station for the caramel wrapping extravaganza. You will need the cut caramels, rectangles of wax paper, and a neat surface to roll up the caramel in paper.

Once your lovely caramels have been wrapped up safe and sound, all that is left is for you to take them to all those fancy parties where it is only proper to give a great gift.

I hope that you try these great caramels and take them with you when you visit friends and family this season.

Activities for when the Electricity goes Out

Advice from a Tiny Hippo: Things to do When the Power Goes Out

There are plenty of activities that you can do when the electricity goes out, so don’t fret.

First, find your emergency rechargeable mushroom , and turn it on

Using some yarn, tie your illuminated mushroom to your back. This will help you find your way in the dark.

Now that you have a mobile light source, hunt down all the candles and flashlights in your house

Don’t be frightened by the strange creatures that your flashlight will create

It is probably just an adorable kitten

Instead of being frightened by the shadows, have yourself a puppet show

Enjoy an ice cream sundae, the ice cream is just going to melt and go to waste

While you’re in the kitchen, make yourself a delightful drink like my Spiced Whiskey Sour

End the evening with a nice cuddle

Electrical outages provide you with many opportunities for fun and adventure! So don’t be the grump when the power goes out for a few hours.

DIY: Baby Letters for Nursery

This is a great DIY project to welcome a new baby into the world. I have done this for several of my friend’s little ones and it is always a hit.

These letters are for a very cute little girl

To do this project head to Hobby Lobby, or an equivalent craft store and purchase some wood or resin letters. The color of the letters is not important, you can spray paint them any color that you like. Also, be sure that you are spelling the name correctly, I have had to paint a new letter after completion of all the letters because I miss spelled the name, talk about embarrassing. I like to get letters that have mounts for hanging and also can stand up on their own so the parents can decide how they would like to display them.

Make sure to find out the color scheme or theme of the nursery so that your letters don’t clash with the decor, no one wants monster truck letters in their cloud themed room. Once you have selected a color, sand and spray paint the letters. This will probably take many coats, depending on how long the name is be sure to buy more than one can of spray paint. The name “Eleanor” took about a can and a half of spray paint.

Now that the letters are the correct color, its time to think about how to decorate them. If you want to take the quick approach pick up some stencils from your local craft store and just sponge paint them onto the letters. Or you can look online for vector graphic silhouettes of what you want and print them out in the size that works for letters. All you have to do is then cut them out, trace them onto the letters and paint.

For these letters I went with the more time intensive approach of hand drawing the designs. For this I would suggest starting a Pinterest board with inspiration that you can use to reference while drawing your creatures. When you have plenty of reference ideas, draw out your ideas, I like to trace the letters out on paper so that I have an idea of how the drawings will fit on the letters.

When you have perfected your sketches use tracing paper or tissue paper to trace and then transfer your images on to your wooden letters.

The last step is to paint your creatures. I like to use acrylic paint mixed with a little bit of Liquitex Slow-Dri Blending Fluid, which allows you to work with the paint for a longer amount of time before it dries. I also like to buy premixed colors so that I am not constantly trying to recreate the same color. If you are going with a flatter sort of look, like I have done here, just paint all of the letters with one color and then move on to the next letter. This way you don’t have to clean the brush as often. Be sure to apply many coats of paint to your creatures so that they look solid and well-defined.

Adding cute little details will make the letters unique and special. The dots on the tail of the squirrel  make him extra great!

And there you have it, a great DIY gift for the new baby in your life.

Don’t forget to get a fun picture of your completed letters before giving them away