Category Archives: Tutorials

Simmering Holiday Scents

Holiday Simmer Recipe

Today we are over at Cultivate Create sharing our tutorial for oh-so-yummy-smelling Simmering Holiday Scents. It’s a great gift idea or for just using in your home to make it feel like the holidays! Go visit Amanda’s blog today and tell her I sent you! Amanda and I go way back (we were college roomies!) Such good times!

Happy HollyDays!


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Halloween Spider Cupcake Tutorial

Halloween is approaching and I wanted to share an easy and super cute spider cupcake tutorial. Last weekend, I was invited to a Halloween party and I thought it would be fun to make some cupcakes with a little Halloween twist. This one is really easy and a fun one to do with the kids.

HollyDays Halloween Spider Cupcake Tutorial

Halloween Spider Cupcakes Tutorial

Here’s what you will need for the cupcakes:

- Boxed cupcake mix + ingredients (I don’t make homemade cupcakes, you can, though!)
- Icing (I did make buttercream – 1 cup butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp almond flavoring + 2 TBSP milk) + food coloring
- Sour Punch Straws (in the candy aisle – I happened to find them at the checkout of Hobby Lobby)
- Candy Eyeballs (you can get these online or at your local craft store or bakery store)
- Sprinkles (of course!)
- Cupcake Wrappers (I think they really finish off the cute look – you can get ours HERE)

Halloween Spider Cupcakes

First, bake your cupcakes (chocolate, yellow, whatever flavor you wish) and make the icing. My recipe is add 2 sticks butter (unsalted real butter, yes) softened. (I always forget to leave out on the counter to soften and yes, even when I did this tutorial, I had to pop them in the microwave for a few seconds.) Then, cream the butter with the vanilla and almond flavoring. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time so you don’t get a big poof of white stuff in your face (highly recommend not doing that) then add the milk 1 TBSP at a time to reach the desired consistency. When I made mine, I used the full 2 TBSP. Add the food coloring, just a couple drops will do. I wanted to do my spiders blue because I just think they are cuter that way and not nearly as messy as a black spider could be (seriously think about that before you jump at making them look really realistic – your couch and anything else little fingers will touch and stain will thank you).

HollyDays Halloween Spider Cupcake Tutorial

Then, put the cupcakes in the wrappers. I recommend putting the cupcakes in prior to decorating so you will not mess up the icing when you are picking them up to drop in the wrappers. Now, frost those cupcakes! This is the fun part and thank you to a sweet friend who was helping me. She decorated them beautifully. I like to use a 1M tip to decorate cupcakes. It is a large one, so this is how you achieve a nicely decorated cupcake.

Spider Cupcakes Tutorial

Ok, now cut all the Sour Punch Straws in thirds. This will give you 3 legs per straw and ultimately a lot of spider lets. Don’t forget, each spider takes 8 legs!

Spider Cupcakes Tutorial

Then, add the eyes and stick the legs in the icing and a little into the cupcake so they will stay and not fall out… and don’t forget about the sprinkles!

Halloween Spider Cupcake Tutorial

There you have it! Halloween spider cupcakes! Oh, and did you see the adorable Happy Everything Mini Platter and Halloween towels? We have an exciting giveaway coming on Friday!







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Halloween Treat DIY: Bugs & Kisses

Bugs and Kisses Halloween Treat Tags


When we were brainstorming ideas for Halloween, Jen had the idea of “Bugs & Kisses” and I thought it was precious! This is such an easy Halloween Treat Bag idea and we wanted to share.

Here, we have it shown with a jar, but this can easily be done with clear cello bags tied with a ribbon or yarn (I like the idea of using yarn to tie them, especially for the boys). We found the “bugs” (spider rings) at a pharmacy store for less than a dollar for a good size bag. This treat bag would be a fun one to put together with the kids. I could barely get the bag in the door before my little one opened up the spider rings to play with them. This one is bound to be a hit for the kids… chocolate and bugs, what more could you ask for?!

You can purchase our “Bugs & Kisses” tags on our website:

(purple gingham)

Bugs & Kisses Halloween Treat Tags

(lime gingham)


And we’ve had several requests for an orange background for girls,
so we’ve added an orange gingham option as well:


Use special code BUGS for 25% off your Halloween Tags this week!
(valid through 10/6).


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Lunchbox + Gift Certificate Giveaway


I am so excited to be doing a giveaway today over at My Paper Pinwheel! Thuy is a Mom of two little boys who loves crafting, blogging and party planning. Check out her oh-so-cute blog that is filled with crafts, recipes and more! While you are there, register to win one of our personalized lunchboxes along with a $25 HollyDays gift certificate! Thanks, Thuy!

Personalized Metal Lunchbox

Personalized Metal Lunchbox

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DIY Pallet Artwork

Last week, we were driving and I noticed a lonely pallet on the side of the road. You know me, I was too kind to let it go to the dump (ha!), so yesterday we went on a pallet hunt to rescue the pallet. We also picked up a few more we just happened to find in a couple locations during our morning walk. My daughter’s 4th Birthday is coming up in the next week, so I’ve been working on party goodies. I had a vision from the time I saw the pallet to use one as a backdrop that can later be used in our home somewhere.

Here’s a DIY project for those of you fellow pallet-lovers:

 First, I did not want to take off all the planks of wood since this particular pallet’s planks weren’t spaced too far, but I did want to remove the back planks and make it thinner and lighter.

DIY Pallet 2 cut photo

I used a jigsaw to cut the side of the pallet, removing the entire back planks and 1/2 the thickness of the pallet. Here’s proof that I did it myself.

DIY Pallet cutting photo

This is how I really felt about it (weird face=my excited-I’m-using-power-tools-face)

DIY Pallet

Then, after the dirty back was removed, I sprayed and cleaned the boards to remove dirt, bugs, spiderwebs and slugs (yes, one slug fell on my leg when I was pulling this thing into the driveway (gross), but it’s all part of the process, I guess- Just don’t say I didn’t warn you. Also, while I’m on that topic, please be careful when handling a pallet! There are a lot of rusty nails sticking out, splinters, etc.

DIY Pallet cleanup

Once it is dry and clean, use a pencil to draw out the shape of what you are painting. In my case, a whale. It’s hard to see in the picture below, but there is a pencil sketch.

DIY Pallet ready to paint

Then, paint! I used an affordable craft paint and a foam brush to paint the image.

DIY Pallet painted

That’s it! I still plan on sanding mine a little to remove potential splinters in little fingers and weather the whale image a little. Overall, I love how it turned out and I’m sure it will be a sweet backdrop for LB’s upcoming birthday party.

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Party + Event Planning: The Guest List

Party Planning Guest List

This is part two of our Party + Event Planning Series:
Creating the Guest List

The second thing I do when party planning is guest list planning. This always helps me tremendously when purchasing items from plates to party favors. It helps you know with a quick glance at your list, how many adults and how many children are invited.

Here’s a printable Guest List for you!
Click on the link below to download the printable PDF file.

Party Planning Printable Guest List

Click HERE to download the printable Guest List.

Hope you have a great day!

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Party + Event Planning: Selecting a Theme

Party Planning Series

Last week, I told you about a little series we’ll be doing on the blog. I get a lot of questions from clients and friends on party planning and so I thought I can share a little insight! Now, everyone has their own way of event planning, so just because I do something as step 1, doesn’t mean that you have to go in that order, I just am giving you the way I do it and you can make it work for you. I love planning parties & events, so let’s get to the fun part…

party planning selecting a theme

This is one of my favorite parts of party planning… selecting a theme! I’m a mom of a 3, soon to be 4-year-old, so I started planning the theme of her party just about a week ago. Her birthday is at the end of April and although that may seem like a long time from now, as a busy mom, I want to have a plan so that I am not forced to rush or stressed come March! Just because I started thinking about it last week does not mean that I am always thinking about it, believe me, I don’t have time to think about my child’s birthday party, nor should I for 3 months straight. This will just allow me to get my thoughts on paper and in my head so if happen to be out shopping one day and I see the perfect party favor, etc. I can buy them and not have to think “wait, how many people should we invite, who has siblings”, etc.

Selecting a Theme

Now here’s something I do take a little seriously and I don’t want this to come out the wrong way, but parties are all about the honoree. In other words, if you are doing a party for your child, it is for your child, don’t forget that. It’s a time to celebrate, reminisce and make a new memory. It is not about having the perfect party, the most amazing sweets table or the best party favor. I am all about having a wonderful celebration, but if it is done for the wrong reasons, it becomes about you and not your child. I have seen way too many parties, way over the top done for show. In other words, don’t get discouraged when you look at Pinterest for party ideas, most things you see over and over were done for show anyway. Celebrate your child, celebrate life, celebrate a new day we are so blessed to have.

Ok, so here’s how I do it… what does the person like who you are throwing the party for? What are their hobbies? What are their favorite colors? My daughter’s second birthday party was a Parade theme. I had never heard of that theme before, I just knew she loved parades. We went to Disney World around Christmas (a few months prior to her party) and she fell in love with the parades. We had to play the Christmas parade from YouTube every day for about two months and we would have to march around the house together pretending we were in a parade, so it was clearly evident what she loved! I love parties that bring out personality. We asked the children to bring a riding toy and we provided little noisemakers for them to play and we had a parade in the park. It was such a great memory for me and so fun for her. Last year, we did a dress up/ballet theme. She wore tutus constantly and loved to dance, so I pulled things I already had together to make a theme that fit her girly dress up personality. Think outside of the box… it doesn’t have to be a character theme, it can be almost anything related to their interests.

I have a handy sheet for you to print that once you select a theme, you can jot down some notes and ideas as you come up with them throughout the planning process. At the end of the sheet, I have a “Don’t Forget” section. I always have to have this for the party. All along you will think of things that you need to remember, like buying ice!

party planning printable

Click HERE to download the printable planning notes sheet.

Hope you enjoy! Part 2 is coming next week: The Guest List

Have a great weekend!

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Valentine’s Day Tutorial: oFISHally be my Valentine

Fish Valentine

I love this sweet little Valentine. Goldfish crackers are a popular snack for little ones, so it is a nice little treat and not filled with chocolate and sugar! Fill a bag with Goldfish and tie up with a ribbon and our tags or stickers!

Fish Valentine

These goodie bags are o’FISH’ally one of my favorite picks for treat bags for kids!

Have a great day!

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Valentine’s Day Tutorial: For Beary Good Friends

Bear Valentine

Bear Valentine

This Valentine tutorial gives you two ideas: one if you have our tags and one for stickers.

Beary Glad You’re My Friend Valentine Tutorial

Here’s what you need:

Bear Valentine

Bear Valentine

If you have our tags, you can punch a hole on each side:

Bear Valentine

Then put the Twine/Raffia/Ribbon through the holes and tie it in a bow around the back:

Bear Valentine

Bear Valentine

Another option would be to use clear bags. If you saw our post yesterday, you can put them in clear bags, tie with ribbon and attach a tag. Here’s another cute way to do them with a sticker. Fill the bag with the Teddy Grahams or Gummy Bears:

Bear Valentine

Wrap a ribbon around the bag vertically and bring the ribbon together at the front. Then, put the sticker right in the middle. You could always add a little piece of tape before you put the sticker on just to make sure the ribbon stays together.

Bear Valentine

I love doing Valentines’ treat bags like these because they are something even little ones can help put together.

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Valentine’s Day Tutorial: A Twist on Breakfast

This was such a fun idea that one of my clients, Amanda, came to me about not long ago. I LOVED the idea! This is a perfect idea for young children. Here’s a quick tutorial about how you can use our “Cerealsly Cute” Valentine.

Cerealsly Cute Valentine Tutorial

Cereal Valentine

  • Cereal (I used Froot Loops, because of their vibrant color, but you can use any fun cereal)
  • Ribbon or Raffia (available on our website)
  • Clear Cello Bags (available on our website)
  • Hole Punch
  • Scissors
  • Our Cereal Valentine tags: Primary Brights (left below) or Sweet Colors (right below)

Fill the bags with the cereal (yummy!)

Funny how quickly my little one ran over to “help” as soon as I started pouring
the cereal in the bag. Try it, it will probably work at your house, too, ha!

Cereal Valentine

Put a hole in the corner of the tag with a hole punch

Cereal Valentine

Tie on a ribbon & tag

Cereal Valentine

Done… simple & cute!

Now, that is the kind of little goodie bag I like!

Happy Today!

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