Harry Potter Wizard Wand (Tutorial)

I got the best compliment a few days after Ellie’s Harry Potter party. One of her friends hadn’t read any of the books or seen any of the movies. (I’m sure a few of her friends hadn’t, but this friend happens to be the son of MY friend so I was talking to his mother about it.) In the week leading up to the party, as her attempts to at least make him watch the movie failed, I had to reassure her that the party wasn’t so immersed in Potterdom that he would feel alienated. I’m trilled that she took a chance and brought him anyway, because (I think) he wound up having a pretty OK time! But the best part was the text I got two days after the party (TWO DAYS!) asking if I could lend him my copy of The Chamber of Secrets because he blew through The Sorcerer’s Stone in TWO DAYS and she only had the books in hard cover.

If I hear that NONE of the kids had a good time, and NOBODY got anything out of this party besides maybe a chocolate frog and some jelly beans, hearing that this party inspired an adamant anti-Potter-ist to pick up the book and read it in two days….well, I’m a happy momma.

One of the favors we gave out at the party were home made wizard wands and I’m going to share with you how I made them. I first came upon the idea of homemade wands from Sugar Bean Bakers. Since her wands were for teenagers and mine would be going to eight year olds, I hesitated to use wooden skewers or chopsticks and I think I came up with a safer solution for younger kids. They could still probably do a little damage if poked in one’s eye so I would definitely recommend supervision while younger kids play. And several weeks after the party my kids’ wands (even Ben’s) seem to be holding up pretty well.

They’re perfect to make for your budding wizard or witch. Older kids can even make their own. (My glue gun is a high temperature gun, if you’re making this with kids, I would recommend using a low temp gun and perhaps having them wear a thick glove, like a gardening glove, on the had that holds the straw.)How To Harry Potter wands 1This is what you’ll need:

  • Work surface (for all painting projects, I usually cut open a paper grocery bag and lay it out on my table or counter. This way I can squeeze paint directly onto the bag and fill my brush from there.)
  • Paper straws (one for each wand)
  • Extra long lollipop sticks (one for each wand- I found these at Michaels) Cookie sticks will not work here, they’ll be too thick to fit in the straw.
  • A hot glue gun and temperature appropriate glue sticks (about 1.5 per wand- I used a high temperature glue gun)
  • Brown acrylic paint
  • Sponge brush
  • Styrofoam block (I use desert foam- available in the floral section of most craft stores)
  • Rhinestones
  • A small cup with glitter
  • Tweezers (optional- I started out using them but found it easier to place them by hand *note- I burned myself on the glue a few times doing this*)

As you may have guessed, I made a few before thinking to myself “hey I should take some pictures!” and I didn’t decide to add the glitter until the very end.

  1. How to harry potter wand (drizzle hot glue)Hold the straw in one hand and the glue gun in your dominant hand. Gently squeeze the glue onto the straw while spinning the straw around to wrap the glue strands around it.
  2. I forgot to take a picture so I hope I can explain the next step coherently! Place a dab of hot glue on the tip of a lollipop stick and quickly insert it into the straw. Then run a little line of glue to seal the seam where the end of the straw meets the part of the lollipop stick that sticks out. You can see what I mean by “the part that sticks out” in the picture in step five.How to harry potter wands (let glue dry)
  3. Place the straws in a styrofoam block until they dry and are cool to the touch. You can tell they are dry as the glue starts out clear and becomes cloudy and a little yellow as it dries. how to harry potter wand (paint)
  4. Once the glue is dry, use the sponge brush in the brown paint to cover the majority of the straw. It works best to dab the corners of the brush into all of the nooks and crannies. You may need a second coat to cover it completely. At this point, I let it dry over night in the styrofoam blocks.how to harry potter wands (dip end in paint)
  5. Once the paint is dry, use the glue gun to add gems (you can make them as plain or as fancy as you want) and cut the lollipop sticks to different lengths (optional). Then dip the part that is not yet covered in paint into the paint and immediately….how to harry potter wand (glitter)
  6. ….into a shallow cup of glitter. Allow the wands to dry completely. I stood them up glitter tip up in cups overnight.

So, that’s it. After a little trial and error, these were really easy to make. I hope you find it to be a fun project to get your kids making a little magic this summer. Maybe they’ll even be inspired to read the books!!!!! (You can read about the rest of the party here.)how to harry potter wand (add gems)

This post is linked up at:

 

 

Inspiration Challenge {Down The Rabbit Hole}

It’s always a good idea to have friends whose minds work a little differently than yours. It helps you to stretch your imagination. I came up with this month’s theme: down the rabbit hole. But it was Melissa’s (Simply Sweets … Continue reading

Baby Bottles Make Great Rolling Pins

If you ask anyone who decorates cookies to name the cookie decorator who has influenced them and taught them more than any other cookie decorator on the web, I’d guess at least 97% would answer “Sugarbelle!” Callye is synonymous with … Continue reading

Inspiration Challenge {Sky}

Did you know that my very first post was March 4th, 2011? Please don’t go looking for it. I’ll have to hide under my covers for a week!

So, my- well, Ellie’s Bites’s, birthday is tomorrow and Dr. Seuss’s birthday was yesterday. How cool is that? I am thinking back, and I remember the mind numbing sinus headache I had while trying to write my first post. And I am thinking, or trying to think, of the mind numbing sinus headache I have right now. And I’ve come to the conclusion that despite Dr. Seuss’s birthday, and despite Ellie’s Bites’s birthday, and despite Benjamin’s birthday later this month, I don’t like March.

March IS full of great reasons to make cookies, though. And I was especially excited about my idea for March’s inspiration theme: the sky. I decided to take this opportunity to show you how I do most of my Seuss inspired cookies. (By making you a Seuss inspired sky, of course!)

Dr. Seuss Inspired Sky (Ellie's Bites)

 

These are some of the simplest cookies you can make! Start off with a cookie and base coat it. Let the base coat dry. The following pictures are for making these cookies, but this is the same exact technique I used for theseseuss inspired sky (Ellie's Bites)

  1. You’ll need a cookie (base coated and dried), a black food color marker with a thick brush, and one step/ 20 second consistency icing.
  2. Use the black marker and sketch your design. You can cut out a shape and use it as a template (that’s what I do when I make my one fish/two fish) but since these were just clouds, I free handed them.
  3. After letting the ink from the marker dry, fill in the shape with the icing. (The icing should be thick enough that you can outline with it and have it hold its shape, but still thin enough to flatten out smooth.)

I went a little further and added some “Oh The Places You’ll Go” balloons, and one “Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now” inspired bird. These were all using the same outline with black food color marker and fill with icing technique.Dr. Seuss Inspired Sky Challenge (Ellie's Bites)

But the thing that makes these truly Seuss inspired are the details. Sketch these in with a thin tipped black food color marker. Seuss Inspired Sky Cookie (Ellie's Bites)

Now for something TOTALLY different… go see what Melissa made for you at Simply Sweets by Honeybee. I want a bowl of these in every room of my house! While you are there, you can link up your sky themed project. You’ve got all month to come up with something, so have fun with it!

If you liked these cookies, you may like any of these Seuss inspired cookies that I just rounded up here.

Next month’s topic will be “Down The Rabbit Hole”. I’m sure with Easter coming up, you have a few bunny inspired treats in mind!

 

 

 

Dr. Seuss Round-up

Next week, Dr. Seuss week- Dr. Seuss’s birthday and Read Across America, is one of the most exciting weeks in elementary education. I look forward to the flyers from both the elementary school and the preschool listing the daily activities. And don’t even get me started on Scholastic Book Fairs. Shut up and take my money.

If you’re looking for some fun and easy cookies to make to enhance your rhyming and reading this week, I have some treats I’ve made in the past and I’m putting them all in one place for you here!

DSC_0684These simple Trufulla Trees are even easier now with the wide variety of paper straws! Skip the ribbon and just slide a black and white paper straw over the cookie stick.

One Fish Two Fish (Ellie's Bites)I didn’t have a whole lot to say about these, but they are one of my all time favorite sets of cookies. I still just look at them sometimes…..

Lorax Cupcake (Ellie's Bites)Cute Lorax cupcakes and how I spoil my children…..

Easy Grinch Cookies (Ellie's Bites)Who says The Grinch is just for Christmas?

Dr Seuss Platter (Ellie's Bites)No time to order a Cat Hat cutter? No problem. You probably already have this cookie cutter in your collection.

If you liked these Dr. Seuss cookies, you may also like these storybook characters:

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine, You Make My Heart Go Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Another year, another Valentines day! This year, the kids don’t actually have school on the 14th so Ellie’s class was planning to exchange Valentines on Thursday the 13th, instead. Of course, like all of our best plans this year, the sky is planning to dump anywhere from 3 inches to 3 feet of snow on us tomorrow. And that’s why I was up until 1AM last night finishing and wrapping Valentines cookies!

I’m not sure if I have mentioned here that Ellie, age 7 1/2, has been working her way through the Harry Potter series. She’s just about half way through book seven already. Can you believe it? I’m not sure I’m ready for her to finish. Well, anyway, she insisted on Harry Potter Valentines and I was really excited to show her these printables created by Darla at Bakingdom. Then we were even more excited when we got a note from her teacher telling us that since she is planning on sending Valentines home with the kids she was OK with us including sweets. Yay! (This is unusual at our school.) So, I made her these:

Harry Potter Valentines

 

I wish I had had time to finish these today instead of last night so I could have made a tutorial. They were super simple.

  1. Bake and cool heart shape cookies and mini tie shaped cookies.
  2. Base coat the hearts in white and allow to dry completely.
  3. Cut a triangle out of sturdy stencil plastic. Hold the triangle on to the heart and airbrush over it with black. Admire your trendy dip dyed fingertips (ala Lorde) and remind yourself to pick up some gloves for airbrushing,
  4. Pipe the red Gryffindor color along the edges of the triangle with a 20 second icing. (This is a mix of maroon and red)
  5. Pipe and immediately fill the red part of the tie. Allow to dry for about 20-30 minutes.
  6. Fill the remaining spaces of the tie with gold (this is Americolor gold and egg yellow).
  7. Allow the tie to dry then attach it to the heart cookie with icing.

I had wanted to attach a tag that said “I Gryffin-adore you, Hog’warts’ and all”. But Ellie insisted on using the valentines from Bakingdom. Feel free to use mine if you want! Or don’t whatever.

For Ben and his three to four year old friends, I made something a little more Preschooler friendly. These cookies are based on the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Valentine

 

The coconut trees were really easy.

  1. Bake and cool palm tree shaped cookies.
  2. Mix 20 second icing in brown, lighter green, and darker green.
  3. Pipe and immediately fill the tree trunk in brown.
  4. Pipe and fill spiky leaves with the light green and allow to dry for 20 minutes or so.
  5. On top of the light green, pipe and fill darker green spiky leaves.
  6. Let dry.

And look! Since I have proven these can be made at the last minute, I figured out how to share the printable tag I made to go with the cookies! Just click below where it says “download”!!

Download

Then, whatever you do, don’t do what I did and drop them all while locking the front door. Because that would just be ridiculous.

If you liked this post, you may like:

 

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer Cakes

If I could hop into my DeLorian, go back to two years ago, and pass on a message to myself, it would be this: Don’t make a cake to celebrate Ellie’s half birthday.

Alas, my two year ago self had two things I no longer have. A child who naps, and a little more time on my hands. Half day kindergarden doesn’t leave much time to leave the house and actually do things. Naturally it made sense to just stay home and play in the kitchen.

But it’s become a tradition, this half birthday thing. We’ve celebrated five and a half, six and a half, and today- seven and a half. Wait. What? Seven and a half? What the? How’d that happen? Anyway.

MnM Mini Cookie Cake (Ellie's Bites)

 

Those MnMs are pretty, right? They’re also heavy! They kept sliding down the side of the cake like little downhill skiers on a steep slope.

Mini Cookie Cakes (Ellie's Bites)

 

I made a few more cakes, too. One little mini “I am baker” rose cake because I just love the look.  And one with chocolate sprinkles and a strawberry because adding fruit makes it healthy.

These aren’t just ordinary mini cakes, though. They are tiny, three layer chocolate chip cookie cakes.

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookie Cakes (Ellie's Bites)

 

I baked a batch of my favorite chocolate chip cookies and made some yummy buttercream icing.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake (Ellie's Bites)

 

Then I assembled the little cakes just like a regular cake. They layers are a bit more slippery so I recommend a good chill in the refrigerator after stacking the cookies before attempting to  frost the sides and tops. After your cakes are decorated, put them back in the fridge for a little while and the cookies will soften up and be a little easier to slice and share. If you even want to slice or share. I make my cookies pretty small.

I needed to share these cakes with you because not only do they make adorable half birthday cakes, but they also make some cute Valentine’s Day treats!

If you like these cakes, you may also enjoy these posts:

 

 

Cat In The Hat Hats

One thing that will get you out of a blogging slump is a phone call from your sister-in-law! She called me for advice on making Cat In The Hat cookies, and it just so happened I had advice on making Cat In The Hat cookies ALREADY sitting on my computer! Photos edited and ready to go! Like….. from months ago!

Here’s my advice. Pull out your Fourth of July cookie cutters. If you want a Cat Hat that is the PERFECT size for a platter of cookies, use your flag cutter trust me. Cut out a flag, then use the round part of the flag pole to trim the long part of the flag pole. Like this:

Dr Suess Cat Hat (Ellie's Bites)Next it’s easy to use red and white (both one step- or 20 second consistency) icing and make wide horizontal stripes up the height of the “hat”, make sure to start with white on the bottom “brim”. Let these red and white stripes dry for several hours, or overnight. When they are completely dry, use a black food color marker to sketch in the details in a Seuss-like manner.

Dr Seuss Platter (Ellie's Bites)

 

Wendi (my sister-in-law) only asked for the hats, but if you’re wondering, the green ham is a mini pear cutter, and the fish are painstakingly hand drawn. Also, Thing A and B, in this case refer to the birthday boy’s big brothers. It wasn’t a mistake 🙂

 

 

Sparkly New Years Cookies

Is it just me, or did 2013 go by really fast? I only just stopped accidentally writing 2012 and now I have to get used to writing 2014.

NYE 2014 (Ellie's Bites)

 

Ellie and I have started a new hobby together. She wanted to make a scrapbook (mostly including notes from me and her friends) so we bought some supplies and started our “Smash Books”. They are so easy to do. I have just been collecting pictures, making some notes and attaching everything with washi tape. I used to scrapbook (back when I had one child and didn’t make cookies in all of my spare time!) and this is a little different in that there isn’t any pressure to make a beautiful layout for every picture. I’m sure there wasn’t pressure before either, at least none that I didn’t put on myself. And of course, if you want a beautiful layout of every picture you can do that in your smash book too!

Anyway, I had a point. The point is that I decided to make a book for every year starting at 2013 (I’ll try to work my way back too at some point) and I’ve been going through all of the pictures I uploaded in the past 12 months. 2013 was a great year! We didn’t take any big trips this year, but we had lots of fun day trips to Philly, Hershey Park, NYC, the beach…. Ellie performed on stage- one of eight children chosen to sing a song from Wicked on stage among a lot of Broadway stars! Ben went from two to three and hit a bunch of milestones. Bryan finished year one (and a half) of graduate school! I joined a few Facebook cookie groups and made a bunch of friends. It was a pretty good year! So I made some sparkly cookies to celebrate!

I made the numbers by making royal icing transfers and covering them with disco dust while they were still wet. The icing was thick enough that they dried within an hour or so, and they were pretty sturdy so I was able to finish them pretty quickly. I did have one number break as I moved it over to the cookie, so I found an easier way to do it and I thought I’d share.

NYE 2014 RIT (Ellie's Bites)

  • Take your transfer and flip it over.
  • Pipe icing on the back side in the same color as your base coated cookie.
  • Turn your cookie over and press down veeeeeerrrrryyyyy gently onto the transfer.
  • Flip the cookie back to the right side and admire the cookie you made while knowing that you found a way to attach a slightly delicate piece of icing with minimal movement and chance of breakage.

Obviously this doesn’t work for all designs. On the 2014 cookies, there was too much chance that the numbers wouldn’t line up right so I had to do it the old fashioned way and pick up the transfer, pipe icing on the back, carry it over to the cookie, turn it the right way, place it onto the cookie, and press down gently. I broke two this way and covered my hands in silver disco dust at the same time.

NYE 2014 2 (Ellie's Bites)

 

I hope you had a wonderful 2013, and that 2014 is even better!

Happy New Year!