3 DIY Wardrobe Upcycle Projects

Looking for some fresh ideas for summer birthday’s? Why not throw a crafting party and create some eco-friendly and upcycled fashion from old clothes. We’ve got three tutorials from around the web to get you started!

DIY Shirt Skirt – Skirts are perfect for summer, and this breezy skirt is no exception. It’s super simple to make, and you can do it on the cheap with a button down from a thrift store!

DIY Shirt Skirt – Image & tips from Fashion Indie

DIY Turban Twisted Headband – These headbands are everywhere this season, but you can make your own with this tutorial from Honeybee Vintage!

DIY Twisted Turban Headband – Image & tutorial from Honeybee Vintage

DIY Slip Dress – Got an old maxi skirt that just isn’t working for you this season? With this tutorial from Fashion Addict you can revamp any maxi skirt into a flowy slip dress perfect for a summer festival!

DIY No Sew Slip Dress – Image & tutorial from Fashion Addict

Even if you aren’t throwing a party, these tutorials would help you make some completely unique and pretty gifts for somebody special!

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4th of July Resources: Part III

Happy Friday MABW readers! We hope you had a fantastic week, and are getting super excited for celebrating our Nation’s independence next week! To continue with our previous two installments we have some more great (but simple) recipes and ideas for planning and executing your Independence Day bash! These recipes would also be perfect for a summer birthday party 🙂

No Bake Cheesecake Trifles – This recipe from Hoosier Homemade looks decadent, but only requires 6 ingredients, and did we mention NO BAKING. Which is perfect since the 4th doesn’t fall on a weekend.

No Bake Cheesecake Trifle – Image & Recipe from Hoosier Homemade

Fourth of July Fruit & Yogurt Popsicles – Who doesn’t love popsicles in the summertime? The perfect refreshing treat for any summer afternoon, but with this color combo these popsicles are perfect for the 4th!

4th of July Fruit & Yogurt Popsicles – Image & Recipe from Daily Dish Recipes

Blueberry, Strawberry & Jicama Salsa – How beautiful is this salsa? Great with regular tortilla chips or cinnamon sugar pita chips, this salsa from Two Peas & Their Pod  won’t disappoint. 

Blueberry, Strawberry & Jicama Salad – Image & recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod

How does your family celebrate the 4th of July?

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4th of July Party Resources: Part I

Happy Friday to all you readers and bloggers out there! The 4th of July is drawing closer, so over the next few weeks we will be sharing resources, recipes, and crafts to help you get ready for the big celebration. Today we wanted to start with great resources: free printables and inspiration for planning and taking your Independence Day bash to the next level.

Independence Day Printables by Midwestern Girl – these are seriously adorable cupcake toppers, banners, and invites created by Maggie of Midwestern Girl!

Independence Day Printables – Image & Printables by Midwestern Girl.

Collection of 25 Printables from Dollar Store Craft – A great little resource for even more printables! How cute is this Independence Day art?

25 4th of July Printables – Art by eighteen 25; List by Dollar Store Craft.

4th of July Party Inspiration – This collection of photos from Hostess With The Mostess will get your creative juices flowing! We love the idea of red, white, and blue punch in a mason jar!

4th of July Party Photos – by Hostess With The Mostess.

Sweet Liberty Printables by Caramel Potatoes – Another set of fantastic printables, if you want to go with a “sweet liberty” theme!

Sweet Liberty Printables – Image & printables by Caramel Potatoes.

4th of July Party Inspiration by Tweedle Dee Designs – a super cute inspiration board that will help you think about everything from your outfit to the menu!

4th of July Inspiration Board – Board by Tweedle Dee Designs.

Have you started planning your 4th of July bash yet?

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3 Fresh Takes On Cake Batter Treats!

Who doesn’t ADORE cake batter flavored anything? It is such a happy, festive, colorful, and DELICIOUS combination! Perfect for any birthday celebration of course! This week we rounded up three new takes on cake batter flavored treats: homemade truffles, Oreos, and cinnamon rolls! Even if it’s not your birthday this weekend, we highly recommend you make up a batch of these sprinkle laden cinnamon rolls! They are awesome 🙂

Cake Batter Truffles – Truffles are so simple, but look amazing and really wow people. This recipe comes from The Novice Chef and takes little effort but some patience while these treats chill!

Cake Batter Truffles – Image & recipe from The Novice Chef

Homemade Cake Batter Oreos – Oreos meet cake batter, and love ensues! The cookies on these Oreos are definitely softer than the store-bought kind… so kind of like a cake batter whoopie pie. This recipe comes from The Teenage Taste!

Homemade Cake Batter Oreos – Image & recipe from The Teenage Taste.

Cake Batter Cinnamon Rolls – We have died and gone to cake batter heaven! How perfect would this be for a birthday breakfast (or even breakfast this weekend)? This amazing recipe comes from Sally’s Baking Addiction. And it wouldn’t be hard to become addicted to these cinnamon rolls!

Cake Batter Cinnamon Rolls – Image & recipe by Sally’s Baking Addiction

So which take on the cake batter treat was your favorite? We think you know ours (psst…. it’s the cinnamon buns)!

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A Big Collection of DIY Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Hello there! With Mother’s Day just a few weeks away we thought now would be a good time to share some DIY gift ideas for Mom’s special day.

14 Awesome DIY Mother’s Day Gifts from I Heart Nap Time – These are seriously cute DIY crafts. The emergency tin and mason jar pin-cushion are our favorites!

Mason Jar Pin Cushion – Image from I Heart Nap Time

50 Fab & Fun Mother’s Day Gift Ideas from Inspired Housewife – So these aren’t all DIY crafty gift ideas, but there are a lot of good ideas in this list. We love #50 – buy (or you could make) a journal and write 50 reasons why you love and appreciate your mom! Although #35 is pretty cool – rent your mom’s favorite car and let her drive it around for the day! Looking for something thriftier? Make it a fun day, dress to the nines and test drive cars that are way out of your price range. Then finish off the afternoon with a fancy lunch!

Mother’s Day Brag Book from A Cup of Jo – This adorable accordion style photo book would make the perfect Mother’s Day gift! And it’s super simple to make, what’s not to love?

Mother’s Day Brag Book – Image & Idea from A Cup Of Jo

25 Perfect Mother’s Day Gift Ideas from Little Inspiration – So 3 of these from this post are repeats, but that still means 22 more great ideas for Mom this May. We especially love the Mother’s Day Balloon Bouquet and the last idea, placing black and white images into glass vases or cups and using paper flowers to create a centerpiece or gift!

Mother’s Day Balloon Bouquet – Image & Tutorial from Martha Stewart

Photo Centerpieces – Image from Everyday Celebrating found at Mother’s Day Gift Ideas at Little Inspiration

What do you have planned for Mom on May 12th?

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Valentines Day Ideas for Single Gals & Guys

As you may have noticed we didn’t post on Tuesday and Thursday like we normally do. We’ve decided to shake things up a little and just post once a week. So look for new posts full of great tutorials, recipes, and party planning essentials on Fridays!

Last week we posted recipes and gift ideas for Valentine’s Day. But not everyone thinks Valentines Day is that great… especially if they are not seeing somebody. But remember it’s a day to show the people you love how much you love them. So forget having a boyfriend or girlfriend and celebrate with friends or family instead. Here are some great ideas from around the web for celebrating and gifting on Valentines Day, even if you don’t have a boo!

Single Ladies Valentine’s Day Brunch – this tutorial from Design Love Fest is amazing. Heart-shaped waffles with prosciutto? Yum! She even gives tips on how to set the table and a “single ladies” playlist to play while you and your friends nosh away on a delicious brunch. This recipe and idea would honestly be great for a girls birthday party! Check out the tutorial and the blog.

Image & tutorial from Design Love Fest.

Valentine’s Day Date Ideas for the Single & Unattached – This collection of ideas from Lovely Undergrad is great! We love the ideas of manis/pedis on Valentine’s Day! Check out her list if you are in a new relationship too!

Image from paulie-nka.

More Ideas for Single Ladies – Jenesequa has even more ideas for girls that want to celebrate without a guy. Some require you to be 21, but the ideas could easily be adapted for younger girls too. Maybe your daughter and her friends could get together and host a sparkling drink tasting party instead of a wine party, or have a little co-ed get together? Either way, younger or older, these ideas are perfect for Valentine’s Day or any special girls night out (like birthdays! 🙂 ).

 

Image from Jenesequa.

Are you doing anything special for Valentine’s Day?

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Valentine’s Day Treats: 3 Valentine Themed Sweet Treats!

Earlier this week we shared three different tutorials and resources for making amazing Valentine’s Day crafts. Today we’ve got three recipes to share for some decadent and beautiful Valentine’s Day themed goodies. Enjoy!

Valentine’s Day S’mores Cookie Sticks – This simple and adorable recipe comes from Haniela’s food blog. Who doesn’t love s’mores? And can you imagine dipping them into a cup of homemade hot chocolate? Yum! Her recipe includes homemade graham cracker cookies, but if you don’t have the time for that you could always use store bought graham crackers. Check out this recipe and some of her others while your at it.

Valentine’s Day S’more Cookie Sticks – Image & Recipe by Haniela’s.

Ice Cream Heart Sandwiches – If warm treats aren’t your thing you could give these cute ice cream sandwiches by 36th Avenue a try! These sandwiches are ready in just minutes, so they are perfect if you’re crunched for time.

Ice Cream Heart Sandwiches – Image & Recipe by The 36th Avenue.

Heart Shaped S’more Pops – So if you aren’t into dipping your s’mores than maybe you’ll enjoy eating them on a stick? This recipe and beautiful treat comes from the blog In Between Laundry. It’s a pretty easy recipe to follow, especially if you used store bought graham crackers!

Heart Shaped S’more Pops – Image & Recipe by In Between Laundry.

Do you usually bake or make anything special on Valentine’s Day?

Pretty DIY Food Packaging

Happy Tuesday everyone! Over the last year we’ve shared a lot of recipes that would make great party treats, or even tasty dinners and snacks. Today we’ve rounded up some tutorials for you to create beautiful handmade packaging for them. This packaging will add the perfect touch to any party or gathering. We’ve paired each tutorial with a different recipe we’ve featured on our blog. Enjoy and get crafty!

Dip Dye Cupcake liners – How cute are these liners by Lauren of the blog Little Wren? You could dye these to match any party theme or decor and we think these semi-homemade chocolate chip cookie cupcakes that we featured a while back would look perfect inside these colorful liners!

Image & Tutorial from Little Wren

DIY French Fry Boxes – This tutorial and PDF pattern comes from Creating Keepsakes (image from Seven Thirty Three). Our baked sweet potato fries would look amazing in here. Or any treat/favor would do!

Image from Seven Thirty Three & Tutorial from Creating Keepsakes.

DIY Pie Wedge Box – This beautiful tutorial, which includes a free printable, comes from Lavender’s Blue Designs. How gorgeous would a slice of cake or pie look in this box? Why not try our homemade pumpkin pie packaged in this pretty paper?

Tutorial & Image from Lavender’s Blue Designs

Have you made your own packaging for baked goods before? How did it turn out?

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Happy New Year! Looking Back to the Best of 2012!

Image from the Huffington Post.

Happy New Year to all our readers and supporters out there! It was a fantastic year in 2012, we were able to help bring joy and relief to hundreds of kids in San Jose during their birthday months. And in 2013 we hope to reach even more :). With 2012 behind us it is important to reflect back on what was good, so today we have our top 5 posts from this past year! You guys really like to craft don’t you ;)!

Make A Birthday Wishes Top 5 Posts in 2012:

  1. DIY Decorations: Paper Stars – A great tutorial for handmade paper stars perfect for a party or just because!
  2. DIY Party Decorations: Pennant Banner – Both fabric and paper options abound in this post!
  3. DIY Owl Crafts: Part 1 – Seriously adorable owl crafts at a variety of difficulty levels! Who doesn’t love owls?
  4. DIY Crafts: Button Bracelets – So simple and so cute. These make great little gifts or packaging additions.
  5. 3 Party Favor Packing Ideas We Love – And apparently you love these unique ideas too!

What was your favorite post this past year? And what would you like to see more of in 2013?

If you are interested in supporting what we do at Make A Birthday Wish or learning more you can go to our website by clicking here. Have a great New Year’s Day!

Homemade Pumpkin Pie

 

Our first pumpkin pie completely from scratch! Not bad!

 

This year for Christmas dinner we upped the ante and made a pumpkin pie and pie crust totally from scratch. Originally we were intimidated by the idea of making a crust from scratch, but really it wasn’t bad at all! It takes only a few minutes and a couple of ingredients! The keys to making a great pie crust from scratch are:

  • Use precise measurements for ingredients
  • Add ice water by the 1/2 tbsp to achieve moist clumps
  • Flour your rolling surface and pin really well
  • Roll pie crust from the middle outward lifting up (not pressing down hard)
  • Don’t over roll the crust
  • Roll the crust to about 2 inches larger than the diameter of your pan

But let’s get down to the good stuff… the recipe. We adapted a recipe from Paula Deen for the filling. We cut back the sugar, added a few spices, and swapped low fat cream cheese for full fat cream cheese. We thought the filling came out PERFECT!

Ingredients for Pumpkin Pie Filling:

  • 1 (8-ounce) package low fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ginger

Directions for Pumpkin Pie Filling:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter with a hand mixer.
  2. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined.
  3. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined.
  4. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined.
  5. Finally, add the vanilla and spices and beat until incorporated.

For the crust we followed Martha Stewart’s recipe and it came it just great! This crust is made with just butter no shortening, and the key is to use very cold butter!

Ingredients for Pie Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling dough
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons ice water, adding increments of 1/2 tbsp ice water if needed

Directions for Pie Crust:

  1. Pulse flour, salt, and sugar several times in a food processor to combine. Add butter. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with just a few pea-size pieces remaining.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed with fingers (if needed, add up to 2 tablespoons more ice water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time). Do not overprocess, this is key!
  3. Turn dough out onto a work surface; form dough into a 3/4-inch-thick disk. Wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
  4. Before baking, unwrap dough and place the dough on a large well floured wooden surface. Roll dough to a 14-inch round (for a 9 inch pie plate). Then carefully lift the dough (it helps to have someone to push the plate under the dough as you lift) and place in the pie pan. Trim the excess edges and use a fork or your fingers to pinch the crust.

Assemble & Bake the Pie:

  1. To make the pie preheat the oven to 425 degrees Farenheit. Pour pie filling into the prepared crust above.
  2. Bake pie for 15 minutes in preheated oven. Then drop the temperature to 350 degrees Farenheit and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. We ended up baking for 44 additional minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 2 hours. If you want to speed up the cooling process place a warm pie over a container of ice or refrigerate once it cools a little.

This pie was so delicious! It was great for Christmas dinner, but honestly would make for the perfect treat at any gathering, or even just a special dinner at home!