Giftable Cocoa Mixes and Printable Tags

My original intention was to come here last week and tell you all about my very first television appearance.  Well, things didn't go exactly as planned.  I arrived at the station, where I met the producer and was directed backstage to set up my display and work area.  I was scheduled near the end of the show, so there was some waiting, but eventually my table and I were taken out onto the set.  I sat in the audience for a couple of segments, then they put on my mic.  They teased my cocoa mix right before the commercial break. I stepped forward to head to my display when none other than Bernie Sanders popped out of a side door and walked right in front of me.  Yes, that Bernie Sanders.  He was so close I nearly ran right into him.  Politics aside, it was a little surreal. Apparently he just wrote a book, and had stopped by unexpectedly for an interview.  After he passed by, I walked over and stood where I was supposed to. After a few minutes it was pretty clear he had a lot to say and it wasn't happening for me that day, which was confirmed by the stage manager.  Mr. Sanders did his thing, posed for some photos, then walked past me and my cocoa mix and left.

Everyone couldn't have been nicer about it.  We talked about when I might be able to come back, but just as I was about to pack up they decided to film the segment and air it another day. I think it had something to do with the effort I put into making my display festive, and I'm sure there's a lesson there somewhere.

On the set of Afternoon Live
On the set of Afternoon Live

I don’t know when it will end up airing, but I didn’t want to let the holiday season go by without sharing the recipe with you. I also bought some cute holiday clipart, and got the okay from the artist to offer the tags and recipes cards for you to print!

This is the basic recipe:

Basic Cocoa Mix

1 cup dry powdered milk

3/4 cup powdered creamer

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

6 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1/4 cup cocoa powder

Combine the ingredients.

For Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix add to the basic mix:

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1/4 cup crushed caramel hard candies (I like Werther's)

Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix
Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix

For Peppermint Cocoa Mix add to the basic mix:

1/4 cup crushed peppermint candy canes or peppermint disks

Peppermint Cocoa Mix
Peppermint Cocoa Mix

For Cinnamon Cocoa Mix add to the basic mix:

1/4 cup cinnamon imperials (red hots)

Cinnamon Cocoa Mix
Cinnamon Cocoa Mix

As you can see, I tried to get a little creative with the packaging.  If you decide to make filled ornaments like these, I'd recommend going with plastic over glass.  No one wants to find a chip in their cocoa!  I put one serving of cocoa mix in each one, then finished filling it with layers of chocolate chips, mini marshmallows (on Amazon, since I can't find them in a store close to me any more) and more of the candy used to flavor the mix.  If you intend to hang them, pull the top off and bend a little upward hook on each end of the wire to keep them from slipping out of the ornament.  If you'd like to stand them, my husband had the smart idea of gluing a button on the bottom to keep it from rolling.

I like the idea of giving these as individual or couple servings, so I found some small containers for that.  Some of these are from the craft store, others from the dollar section at Target.

Individual and Couple Servings of Cocoa Mix
Individual and Couple Servings of Cocoa Mix

I also made some with a tiny bottle of liquor attached.  There were three of these, but the one with the peppermint schnapps disappeared the moment I got home.  Mama needed a minute after the whole Bernie Sanders thing.

Cocoa Mix with Liquor Bottles
Cocoa Mix with Liquor Bottles

Have you noticed the tags?  I bought some clip art from the talented Little Sisters Studio on Creative Market to make these, and I'm so in love.

Milk Bottle with Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix
Milk Bottle with Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix

With the artist's permission, here are the tags for you to print!  Each one has a second page of red and black buffalo check in case you'd like to print it two sided and use that for the back like I did.

Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix Tags

Peppermint Cocoa Mix Tags

Cinnamon Cocoa Mix Tags

And if you're feeling generous enough to share the recipe, here's recipe cards too!

Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix Recipe Cards

Peppermint Cocoa Mix Recipe Cards

Cinnamon Cocoa Mix Recipe Cards

These mixes are great for last minute gifts, and it doesn't hurt to have some around for those drop-in guests or holiday parties either.  If they don't run out the door as soon as they're done talking about their book.

Hazelnut Snowman Ornament

Every day-after-Thanksgiving when I pull out the Christmas ornaments I look at the box and think "This won't possibly be enough to cover the tree!"  The artificial tree that is the exact same size it was last year, and the box of ornaments that, if anything, is more full than last time I saw it.  As I'm trying to find an empty space for the last few I realize how wrong I was.  Oh, well, at least it gives my husband a good laugh to start the holiday season.  Every year. I've made at least a quarter of the ornaments on our tree, if not more.  They're so much fun, because there are no rules.  You can make an ornament around any theme or subject, using just about any medium.  If you can hang it, it's an ornament. Given Oregon's abundance of hazelnuts, or filberts, as they were known before they got all fancy, they're the perfect thing to experiment with turning into something cute for the tree.

Hazelnut Snowman Ornaments by Crafty Staci
Hazelnut Snowman Ornaments by Crafty Staci

To make one of these ornaments you'll need:

  • two hazelnuts
  • white acrylic paint
  • 1/4" wide ribbon for hanging
  • cord, ribbon, yarn, narrow strip of fabric for scarf
  • clear sealant
  • black permanent marker
  • orange permanent marker

The first step is choosing good hazelnuts.  You want the tops to be fairly flat so you can glue them together easily.  The one on the left is perfect.  The one on the right is going to find himself in a cookie.

Choosing hazelnuts for snowman
Choosing hazelnuts for snowman

I bought a bag and just sorted through them to find the best candidates.  It was a little like a puzzle, and in fact when I found a good pair I made sure to keep them together.

Matching sets of hazelnuts
Matching sets of hazelnuts

Wipe the surface clean with a damp cloth.  Let the hazelnut dry.  Paint one side with white paint.  Let that dry about 30 minutes.

Painting the hazelnuts
Painting the hazelnuts

Flip it over and paint the other side.  Repeat if needed.  Mine took about 3 coats.  You could use spray paint instead if you'd like.

first coat of paint
first coat of paint

Apply a generous blob of hot glue to the top of one hazelnut.  Press the top of the other into the glue and hold until it cools a bit.  Lay it down to finish cooling.  Don't worry about the glue oozing out – we're going to cover that up later

Glue hazelnuts together
Glue hazelnuts together

Cut 7" of the 1/4" wide ribbon.  Knot the ends together.  Glue to the back of the snowman with the knot in the indent between the two hazelnuts.  Glue the ribbon to the back of his head, otherwise he'll dangle from his neck when you try to hang him up.

Glue on hanging ribbon
Glue on hanging ribbon

You can use just about anything scarf-like that you want around his neck.  I made some with ribbon, baker's twine, jute cord, and I even crocheted a short scarf from yarn for one.  Whatever you choose, tie or glue it around the snowman between the two hazelnuts.

Adding scarves
Adding scarves

Draw the face on with the permanent markers.  Spray with clear sealant and leave to dry.

drawing on the face
drawing on the face

Who cares if my tree already has too many ornaments?  There's always room for another cute snowman.

Hazelnut Snowman Ornament from Crafty Staci
Hazelnut Snowman Ornament from Crafty Staci

Or seven.

Hazelnut Snowman Ornaments from Crafty Staci
Hazelnut Snowman Ornaments from Crafty Staci

No Sew Fabric Turkey

Well, I never did pull out the Halloween decorations.  I feel like the mood will come back, probably once grandkids enter the picture, but for now it's just not there.  Kids at home or not, Christmas decorating will ALWAYS happen, but since my daughter insists I don't start on that until after Thanksgiving, I thought I'd make a little something to fill that gap in the calendar. This guy requires zero sewing, but is a great way to use up some fabric scraps.  And now I have a head start on my Thanksgiving table! This post contains affiliate links.

To make this turkey you'll need:

Materials for turkey
Materials for turkey

Trace the large tail onto the Craft Fuse.  Cut out and iron onto the wrong side of the red fabric.

Tracing tail on craft fuse
Tracing tail on craft fuse

Cut out around the edge of the Craft Fuse.  Do the same with the turkey body on the brown fabric.

Turkey body on craft fuse
Turkey body on craft fuse

Trace all 6 pieces onto the paper side of the Wonder Under.  Loosely cut out each piece and iron them onto the wrong side of the appropriate fabrics.

Pieces traced onto wonder under
Pieces traced onto wonder under

Cut around each piece on the tracing line.

Pieces cut out
Pieces cut out

Peel the paper off all pieces with Wonder Under.  Lay the turkey with Craft Fuse with the fabric side down.  Lay the Wonder Under turkey on top with the fabric side up.  Line up all edges and press to fuse together.

Fusing turkeys
Fusing turkeys

Flip over so turkey with Craft Fuse is facing up.  Place the wattle on the turkey and press.

Placing wattle
Placing wattle

Add the beak and press.

Applying beak
Applying beak

You can see the wattle didn't line up perfectly for me, so I just used some small, sharp scissors and trimmed away the excess.

Fold the turkey in half with the beak and wattle on the outside and press the fold.

Folded turkey
Folded turkey

Lay the large tail with Craft Fuse fabric side down.  Add the large Wonder Under tail on top and press.  Flip back over.  Center the medium tail on top, with bottom edges even.  Press.  Repeat with the small tail over that.

Fused tails
Fused tails

Using the pattern as a guide, cut the slits on the tail and body.

Cutting slits on tail and body
Cutting slits on tail and body

Match up the right slit on the tail with the right side slit on the turkey body.  Repeat on the left.

Matching up the slits
Matching up the slits

Slide the tail all the way down until the bottom edges are even.

Tail in place
Tail in place

Some of you might recognize that this turkey was inspired by this paper version that I made years ago.

Paper Stand Up Turkey by Crafty Staci
Paper Stand Up Turkey by Crafty Staci

I think either of these would make fun place cards.

No Sew Stand Up Fabric Turkey by Crafty Staci
No Sew Stand Up Fabric Turkey by Crafty Staci

One step closer to ready for Thanksgiving!