Thanksgiving Platters

Today I’m sharing a couple of Thankgiving serving pieces that I can’t wait to use!  The first, a Grateful Hearts Painted Wood Plate, has been around our house for about twenty years.  I remember painting it when I was living in Denver while my GI Joe spent a year stationed in Korea. I did a lot of crafting that year, to make the time pass a little faster!


All you’ll need is a wood plate, a white fine-tip paint pen, and a few bottles of craft paint (the 69 cent kind). Even though this project is 20 years old, I just saw wood plates at the craft store this morning.

I painted the whole plate a midnight blue, front and back, and let it dry, then traced cookie cutter shapes in the center for the leaves.  The tiny leaves are itty bitty stamps I used to have. After the leaves dried, I added the lettering and let it dry.  Next, I used a sponge to lightly add some rust-colored daubs all over it. Finally, I coated the whole thing in a clear polyurethane.

Obviously, this isn’t dishwasher safe, and I just use it for dry foods, like cheese and crackers.  This year, it’s on our coffee table for the fall, with a big jar candle on it.  I still love it, and the sentiment on it, after all these years!

The other platter I just made this year.  It’s a copy of one I saw somewhere…Macy’s, I think. platter-ChaosServedDaily

For this one, you’ll need a white platter and a metallic gold DecoArt glass paint marker. I just wiped the edge of the platter with alcohol, to make sure it was clean, then wrote my phrase around the edge.  I thought the little tic marks made it look prettier. If you make a mistake, you can wipe it off with alcohol.

Following the directions on the marker, let it dry and cure for 8 hours, then bake it at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.  You put it in an unheated oven, let it come to temperature, then start your 40 minutes.  The package says it will then be dishwasher safe, but I washed mine by hand, just in case.

My favorite thing about these pieces is that they have my handwriting on them.  Not that my writing is all that and a bag of chips, but I like the thought that my kids see it and will recognize it in years to come.  I still recognize my mom’s (and my grandmother’s, when I come across a recipe or note from her) writing when a letter or package arrives, and I want my kids to have that same little jolt of recognition some day.  In this world of emails and texts, we actually write far too little. Although I do have a callus on my hand from all the writing I’ve done since going back to school last January!

Anyway, I’m off my soapbox about handwriting…I just wanted to share why I think it’s important to incorporate your own penmanship into everyday life!


TBT: Kid-Crafted Thanksgiving Leaf Napkin Rings

We made these a couple of years ago, and, much to the kids’ dismay, they’ve held up, so there’s no need to make new ones.  I did decide, however, that they could make a bunch of clay leaves and we could create some kind of centerpiece/candle ring/ garland for our table this year.  We haven’t completed it yet, so I’ll let you know how that turns out!

In the meantime, if your little ones are stuck inside by November rains, these Napkin Rings are a fun way to pass an afternoon!  And if you’re going to grandma’s for Thanksgiving, I’m sure she’d be thrilled to get these as a hostess gift! And here’s what I wrote about the project the first time around:

My hooligans love making crafts. I know, I’ve mentioned that before…but they constantly want to be crafting, and it’s challenging to come up with things that might actually turn out to be useful and pretty enough to keep!


Recently we made these napkin rings, and the kids could not be more impressed with themselves.


Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Oven-bake clay (like Fimo) in autumn colors
  • Leather cords
  • Leaf cookie cutters (ours were about 2” long)
  • Toothpick

First, roll out your clay.  We rolled snakes out of the different colors, twined two or three together, then sort of patted them together and rolled them out, to make a marbled effect. It’s really hard to make these ugly, with those pretty fall colors.

Use the cookie cutters to cut out different leaves, then, with the toothpick, make a few veins in each leaf.  Bake according to package directions.  We draped some of our leaves over pencils on the baking sheet, to make the finished leaves a bit wavy.

After they’ve baked and cooled, use hot glue to glue two leaves together.

Cut your leather cords into 6” lengths and glue the leaves to the center of each.  Then all you need to do is tie them around your napkins.

Thanksgiving…it’s a family time, so everyone in the family should feel like they’re contributing something. And do you really want those grubby little hands preparing food? Keep ‘em busy with crafts instead!


Daily Gratitude Library Card Garland

Whew…that’s a mouthful for a title!  The actual Gratitude Garland is much less cumbersome and much more appealing…see?


I based this on a set of stamps and a kit to make a similar garland in Stampin’ Up!’s Holiday Catalog, called Gratitude for Days.

I’ve made a couple of printables, though, that will simplify making your own garland, possibly even with supplies you have on hand!  And wouldn’t that help justify the next craft purchase you want to make?!

I downloaded a file for cutting the library card envelopes from Silhouette, but you could use small treat bags or small envelopes, both found in the scrapbooking section of craft stores. Mine are 2-1/2” x 3-1/2”, so something about that size. You’ll need 30 of whatever you’re using.   You can also find the miniclothespins there, and the bakers’ twine for hanging.

Once you have the envelopes made or bought, you can download this sheet of cards. I printed it on vanilla cardstock, cut into individual cards, (they’re designed to be 2-1/4” x 3-1/4”) and rounded the corners with a punch. Thankful-cards-ChaosServedD

I put the envelopes in a “random” color order that I liked, then added the cards so that they would also be different on adjacent days.  To finish it off, I created a sheet of numbers from 1 to 30 and printed that on white cardstock.  I used various punches and cut out the numbers and adhered them to the envelopes.  You can download the sheet of numbers here.  A couple of numbers are duplicated, so you can use whichever you like better!


Then just hang up orange and white bakers’ twine wherever you’d like your garland, clothespin the envelopes up in numerical order, and you’re ready to be thankful starting November 1!

I made this for a friend’s birthday gift, and here’s how I gave it to her:Gratitude-Gift-ChaosServedD

I put the clothespins in a little tin, and I found just a small skein of bakers’ twine for her.  I thought it turned out to be super cute, and now I just need to find time to make a set for my own home!


Simple Mummy Treat Basket

When I spied this white plastic storage crate at Target, I immediately thought of mummies.  Not scary, gross ones, but nice, clean, friendly ones!  With a smile! With about 3 minutes of work (most of which was finding the large flat glass pebbles in my craft stash), I turned it into a cute Mummy Treat Basket for our Halloween visitors.


I just needed two of those large flat glass pebbles, some white and black cardstock, and a couple of circle punches. I punched a white circle 1-3/4” (that’s the size of the glass pebbles), a black one that’s 1” in diameter, and used clear glue to attach them to the pebbles, then to attach the pebble eyes to the plastic. I put the crate on its side until the glue dried. I used Crystal Effects from Stampin’ Up!, which hold pretty much anything and doesn’t yellow over time.

I freehand-cut the mouth and used the same glue to attach it to the crate. And I was done!

The crate was in the home storage area of Target, if you’re looking for one for yourself. It’s about 12” long, 6” wide, and 6” tall and cost about $4, I think. It’s a fun addition to our Halloween décor, awaiting its big chance to be useful on Halloween night!


Upcycled Yardstick Table

I’m determined to complete a least a couple of UFO’s this summer. That’s Unfinished Objects, for those of you who don’t have this common crafting syndrome. Way back last fall, the hubs found an end table at the post thrift shop for $3. It wasn’t fabulous wood, or in fabulous shape, but for $3 he bought it and brought it home. He’s an extravagant, romantic fool!  I set it in my craft room, next to the overstuffed chair where I have dreams of spending an afternoon reading and drinking hot tea, and it quickly overflowed with other UFOs.  Well, I’ve worked my way through the stack on it this summer, so it was finally time to finish the table! And I love it!


I bought 10 yardsticks and a half-pint of paint, for a little under $15.  Yardsticks are ridiculously expensive!  But $18 total for the table really isn’t too bad. I had a little Golden Oak stain on hand already, which I wiped on the yardsticks.

Here’s the table before I started working on it. I used a palm sander with with stripping sandpaper to knock off a bit of the finish, so the paint would stick. It took about 5 minutes. It took longer than that to find the sander and paper.  Then I painted everything but the top with the blue paint.  And forgot to take a photo of that step.


When the paint was thoroughly dry (the next day, because the humidity here was about 423%), my favorite handyman helped me figure out the yardsticks for the top. Basically, you need to measure the yardstick with a tape measure to piece together the top, because when you cut with the compound miter saw, the blade width wreaks havoc with your straight sides.  So we measured and cut until the top was all covered.  I made sure to stagger the seams, so it didn’t look odd. This took about thirty minutes.Table-Measured-ChaosServedD


We used Liquid Nails for the adhesive, and made sure to get the first piece on perfectly, then clamped it to dry.  Once it was clamped, it was easy to continue by picking up and gluing one piece at a time, pressing it against the previous one to keep the yardsticks straight. That took about ten minutes. Then I let it dry overnight.


After the glue dried, the edges were a little uneven, so I used the sander again to even them out.


I also ran the sander along random spots on the painted base to distress it a bit. You could do this by hand, but why bother when you can use a power tool?


And what were my minions doing during all this craftiness?  Marathon chess games…on a cardtable over the firepit in the backyard. Silly kids!


So in all, I (and my hubs) spent about an hour of actual work time, $18, and got to use a compound miter saw and palm sander. Oh, and the caulking gun with Liquid Nails. Fun quality time!  Anyway, there’s another UFO finished, and it’s perfect on my front porch for the start of school.  Now on to the next project!


Super-Easy Kid Art Hangers

My hooligans are a crafty bunch (and they make some fun art, as well), and they’re forever creating masterpieces that MUST BE SAVED. According to them, anyway.  And they always seem to use odd sizes of paper, so a standard frame just doesn’t work. But here’s something that does…Super-Easy Kid Art Hangers!


Literally, these are hangers!  I just bought a pack of wooden hangers at Target (I think they were about $5 for 4), covered the black rubber part with washi tape, and hung up their art.  Two minutes and I was done. They’re light enough that I can just use push pins to hang them, which the hubs appreciates. Hanger-Close-ChaosServedDai

And, they’re so simple to switch out for the latest and greatest creations…the kids can even do it themselves!

These three hang in their bathroom, but I’m thinking of making each of them a gallery wall over their beds…instant and colorful headboards.  Or maybe a wall of them in the upstairs hallway…it overlooks the living room, so that would be fun to see glimpses of, yet not feel like I’m living in an elementary art classroom.

Anyway, it’s a quick and inexpensive solution to one of our everyday problems…too much creativity, not enough frames!


Comfort and Joy Wall Words

Each year, I try to incorporate a new holiday decoration, and last year I bought 9” tall chipboard letters spelling out “Comfort and Joy.” I’d wanted to do this for a few years, but could never make up my mind as to what words, but finally decided that, for me at least, the holidays are all about the comforts of home and family and the joy of Jesus’ birth, spending time with loved ones, and the wonder in little ones’ eyes…it’s a lot of joy!


I waited until the letters went on sale for half price, and it really wasn’t too expensive…I think a little over a dollar per letter. I used Command poster strips to hang them, and they stayed securely but came off easily with no damage when the season was over.

This took all of ten minutes (minus the shopping trip to buy the letters) and I love that as guests left our home, the words would be the last thing they saw before walking out the door. Usually I have a sign up there that says “What if the hokey pokey really is what it’s all about?”  I’m not saying that’s not more appropriate for our house, but it’s nice to portray a calm facade once in a while.

I even found a spot in our house this year for them…over the kitchen window.  Since I spend most of my days in the kitchen this time of year, it’s a perfect location so that I see them all day long.


This year our mischievous elf, Joe, cut out a new letter “E” and changed it to “Comfort and Joe” one night. The kids thought it was so funny…I really wish I could get credit for some of these ideas instead of them thinking I’m an old fuddy duddy. Which I probably am, since I just wrote “Fuddy duddy.” Whatever.

I’m thinking of drilling holes and adding lights to make them marquee letters next year, but I may or may not do that.  I really like the natural kraft color, especially in my non-glitzy Christmas décor. Because the hubs won’t let me use glitter in this house, since we’re staying in it forever. Again, I say, whatever.


TBT: 8 Favorite Halloween Projects

Because I was feeling quite indecisive this week, I’m posting links to eight of my favorite past Halloween projects for Throwback Thursday…hope you enjoy them!

Halloween Collage

(top left to bottom right):

Batty Bleached Tees

Peanut Butter Eyeballs

Starched Fabric Pumpkin

S’Mores Class Treats

Shaving Cream Leaves Kid Craft

Bling a Pumpkin

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Halloween Washer Necklace

Witches’ Brew Designer Paper and Washi Tape

I can’t believe it’s already October, can you?  And almost a week into it, to boot. I had a fun Halloween card to show off today, but then I realized that Stampin’ Up! had retired the stamp set I used. Which is fine, because you can still buy it on Ebay or wherever, if you really want it. But I wanted to show you something you could order today and have in your hands in no time at all…because I do enjoy almost-instant gratification as much as the next girl!

So here’s a simple Halloween table décor I made, using Witches’ Brew Designer Series Paper and Washi Tape, from the Holiday Catalog. Witches-Brew-ChaosServedDai

I used an inexpensive 12×12 frame (I think they came three to a package for around $10 at the craft store) to hold the DSP, then simply added randomly-sized strips of the Witches’ Brew Washi Tape all around the edge. Literally, it took less than five minutes. It took longer to set up my little display for photos than it did to make the sign.


I was so tickled when I opened the package of Witches’ Brew DSP and saw this sheet of paper…I mean, it’s chalkboard art, ready to frame! The assortment includes 12 sheets of double-sided paper, so two each of six designs, for $10.95. (Item 132185) The Witches’ Brew Washi Tape comes in a set a three rolls for $4.95 (Item 132156) and you get five yards of each tape. What a deal!

Oh, and if you’re more digital than hard copy, you can download the set of papers for only $4.95(Item 134925) and print them as many times as you’d like. As always, you can click on my Stampin’ Up! website button over in the right sidebar to go directly to shopping!


Throwback Thursday: Butterfly Mobile

This Thursday, I’m reposting the butterfly mobile I made Princess Thundercloud last Christmas.  The photos aren’t the best, but the movers had packed up the mobile before I decided to revisit this post…so use your imagination, please!

It really is a fun, colorful, and very pretty addition to her room…especially when a slight breeze catches it and flutters the butterflies. If you’re looking for a kid project, they can certainly help out with this…the boys helped me make this one.


I saw something similar at Pottery Barn Kids quite awhile ago, but didn’t wanted to pay their price for it. This cost about $5 to make, and it took about 2 hours total work time, over a day or so. She only naps an hour a day, so I had to do it in shifts!


I first cut out a ton of butterflies using both my Stampin’ Up! Big Shot and the Beautiful Butterflies die and their Butterfly punch. Actually, my husband and boys used the punch, so they could claim credit for making her a gift.


I used Stampin’ Up!’s Kaleidoscope DSP, which is retired. I wanted double-sided so I didn’t have to glue the butterflies back-to-back.


Then I laid them “randomly” in about 2 1/2’ long columns. Okay, you know me, it wasn’t really random at all. I made a pattern, staggering it in each column. Then I put a dot of Crystal Effects (also Stampin’ Up!) in the center of each. I cut monofilament cord (the kind I use for jewelry making, but fishing string would work, too) about 3 feet long and taped each end. Then I nudged the butterflies over so the glue was embedded in the string. It really was easy. The glue sets after a few minutes, so the string stuck readily.


I made 11 strings to go around a 14 inch embroidery hoop.

tapedWhen the butterflies were dry, I wrapped each string around the inner hoop a couple of times and taped them. Then I put a bead of glue around the inside of the outer hoop and tightened it onto the inner hoop. My husband had to help with that, since it was a little hard to balance. I didn’t want to lay the strings down, as they tangle easily.

I let that dry overnight, hanging in the basement. Then I tied ribbon on to hang it and glued butterflies all around the outside of the hoop. And ta-da! It’s done. I put it back on a hook in the basement until Christmas, again because the strings tangle and I didn’t want to spend Christmas Day freeing butterflies.

I like it better than PB Kids’, because theirs was a solid color. Light pink or white, I think. This is much more fitting for my wild little three-year-old.

My husband was really impressed, too. In fact, his exact words were, “Wow…I’m surprised that turned out so great!” Really, after knowing me for over 25 years, he’s still surprised when an idea works out the way I thought it would?