I may have technically outgrown an Easter basket in my family circle, but that doesn’t mean I don’t spoil myself with bag(s) of candy. But then, of course, my eyes are bigger than my stomach and I’m left with loads of leftover Milky Ways, Cadbury Creme Eggs, jelly beans and Peeps just staring at me. Before, my solution was to pawn it all off on other people, but these ideas are much, much better.
Cadbury Egg-Stuffed Cupcakes: I literally have ZERO words to describe this. Except that I can’t stop looking at it, and I want it right now. GET THE RECIPE HERE >>
Butterscotch Bird Nests: Sweeten pretzels with a yummy butterscotch coating, then top with chocolate eggs. They’re adorable and delicious! GET THE RECIPE HERE >>
Easter Bunny Bark: Take all your leftover Easter candy, crush it up and turn it into a mouthwatering dessert that’s perfect for packaging as spring gifts … or hoarding. I choose the latter, personally. GET THE RECIPE HERE >>
Candy Bar Blondies: Use your favorite leftover candy bars (assuming there are any left) to make these quick and easy blondie bars. They’re gooey, chewy and oh-so-chocolate-y. GET THE RECIPE HERE >>
Peeps S’mores: Turn those leftover chickies into candy-colored s’mores in seconds. GET THE RECIPE HERE >>
The Jelly Bean Cocktail: Here’s a grown-up way to enjoy a classic Easter candy. Plus, you can create all the colors of the rainbow by substituting various liqueurs. (Vodka, Midori and sour mix will create a nice shade of green, for example.) GET THE RECIPE HERE >>
When I say in my blog bio that I’m a “mid-century modern magpie,” it’s not just an excuse to get alliterative. Like the bird of the same name, I too hoard small shiny objects. Jewelry is a particular problem for me, and no matter how many boxes or trinket dishes I fill, I’m compelled to collect more baubles. Now that I’m in spring cleaning mode, I’m trying to get organized and part with the pieces I rarely wear, but what can I say? I’m sentimental. This Pinterest pin inspired me to start thinking of old jewelry in a new light and I found even more amazing craft ideas to turn my paste into priceless decor. Now I can keep it all! [insert evil supervillain laugh here]
Old jewelry is a perfect way to get creative with curtains. Use a beaded necklace as an eye-catching tieback that won’t break the bank, like designer Brian Patrick Flynn did here. (Bonus: It picks up the colors in the wallpaper, too.)
Don’t have a beaded necklace you can spare? Thick bracelets or men’s cuffs also work well in this context. Cinching your curtains is a cinch with old jewelry!
MORE BRILLIANT OLD JEWELRY CRAFTS
Wow, that was some kind of crazy winter, right?! For those of you still suffering through the winter that just won’t die — my humblest apologies — but for those of us in warmer climes: Yay, spring’s here! And, for me, the arrival of spring means it’s time to head outside, scissors in hand, to find any early bloomers that I can bring inside to brighten things up.
First to flower in my backyard is hellebore (a.k.a. lenten rose). Their heavy, droopy blooms on short stems are best displayed in a vase with a small opening. Here, I have them in what looks like an expensive Wedgwood vase but it’s actually an old Avon bottle that I found at an estate sale for the irresistible price of … wait for it … 10 cents!:
Joining the hellebore in their winter-banishing crusade are tiny, delicate crocus placed in an antique salt shaker:
The cardinals that have reigned unchallenged in my backyard this winter have been joined by a variety of other birds, including robins. I love the idea of using bird’s nests as a spring decoration but would never want to deprive some poor bird of their handmade home so I simply DIY-ed my own bird’s nest complete with tiny robin’s eggs. You can make one too while watching your favorite show. Get crafting with my step-by-step instructions>>
You can make your nest any size you like — even big enough to act as an Easter basket:
This is also the perfect time of year to force a branch to bloom indoors. Good candidates for this include fothergilla, witch hazel, Bradford pear, cherry, quince, redbud, lilac and my favorite: forsythia. Here’s what the forsythia branches in my backyard looked like when I cut them; the buds were just beginning to swell:
And here they are just 1 week later, adding a happy shot of color to my living room:
Are you as ready for warmer weather as I am? How will you spring-up your rooms?
Even though we’re always crafting something up here at HGTV, March is officially deemed National Craft Month. Created by the Craft & Hobby Association in 1994, this month is all about helping people rediscover the joy of crafting. This is a great time for those of you who haven’t crafted before to give it a go, or for you craft geniuses to try your hand at something new. Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores is offering specials all month long, so what are you waiting for? Get crafting!
Need a little inspiration? Here are a few of my favorite how-tos — perfect for all crafting levels.
Spring is right around the corner, so welcome guests with a living wreath filled with low-maintenance plants, such as succulents and moss.
Get the Full Instructions Here>>
Get More Crafting Ideas
Wooden bowls may be all the rage now but as a girl who grew up in the South with a world-class biscuit maker for a Mama, dough bowls — as we refer to them – are just part of the kitchen landscape. My mom has several, all family hand-me-downs and all round, not the oblong, trencher-style that you find when searching the term, “dough bowl” online.
To be honest, the only biscuits I’ve personally made came out of a can — but — I couldn’t pass up buying this bowl when my mom and I found it at a thrift store for just $1. The wood was stained, scratched and missing all of its original finish but for just a buck, I couldn’t really complain:
My initial idea was to refinish the bowl as I would any other old, wooden item by first sanding the wood then coating it with oil-based stain and polyurethane but, after a bit of research, I decided to restore the bowl the same way chefs keep their cutting boards looking new – and voila, much bettter, don’t you think?
3 Steps to a New Bowl
As design director of HGTV HOME (HGTV’s product line), Nancy Fire is leading a team to produce stunning home decor that encompasses the looks and styles seen on HGTV and HGTV.com. If you’ve ever shopped HGTV HOME, then you’re familiar with Nancy’s remarkable attention to detail and her keen eye for what’s beautiful. It’s Nancy’s style and expertise that made the decision to choose her as our first ever HGTV.com guest editor a no-brainer. What exactly is the “HGTV.com guest editor?” Glad you asked!
This year, our team will be bringing in a few extra movers, shakers and visionaries who possess interesting perspectives on the world of design. We want these industry insiders to jump into the mix of everything we do here at HGTV.com. So, we asked Nancy if she’d be our first guest editor, and she happily agreed. Welcome, Nancy!
HGTV.com Guest Editor Nancy Fire
In the coming months, you’ll find Nancy offering her expert commentary here on Design Happens, adding insight on 2014 trends throughout HGTV.com, and even taking over HGTV’s Instagram here and there as she travels the globe. (Catch her this weekend on Instagram while she’s at Heimtextil, Germany’s international trade fair for home textiles.)
For you to get to know a little more about our guest editor, we recently interviewed Nancy.
Name that movie: “Well, I see it still smells like pine needles around here.” Hint: It’s a classic holiday movie released on Christmas Day in 1946.
Tree | Cocktail | Necklace | Tassels | Print | It’s a Wonderful Life | Tea | Napkin Ring | Embroidery
It’s a Wonderful Life is my all-time favorite holiday movie. Every year, I watch it on the big screen at our local historic theater. That’s definitely one of my favorite traditions of the season. Share yours!
Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.
This is the only time of year you can completely indulge in your guilty pleasures and get away with it. If you want to eat 5 cookies after a big dinner, go for it. That’s what the holidays are about — gathering around your loved ones and eating delicious homemade food. Fudge is one of my all-time favorite holiday desserts. It’s a crowd-pleaser, cheap and easy to make and satisfies my chocolate cravings. What’s not to like?
Make big batches and use cute wrapping to gift to friends, or make a small batch for an intimate family gathering or maybe even for yourself (why not?). Our recipe only requires 5 ingredients and 5 steps. Give it a try!
Simple Homemade Fudge Recipe
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1. Line a square 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Over low heat, in a medium sized pot, add the chocolate chips, condensed milk and salt, and stir with a wooden spoon until chips are melted.
3. Remove from heat and add the vanillas. (If you don’t have vanilla paste, just double up on the vanilla extract.)
4. Pour into the parchment lined baking pan and spread evenly. Refrigerate for 4 hours until firm.
5. Serve as needed.
BRIANA: I professed my tree & tree branch decor crush back in 2011 (still love you, Cole & Son Woods!), but even back then, I recognized that there was some trend fatigue. Fast forward to 2013. I just noticed an item in this month’s issue of People StyleWatch declaring that Tree Branch Decor was OUT. Their expert says people are going more modern and less rustic these days, but what do you think? Are you still a tree-hugger or do you wish this trend would make like a tree and leaf? (Sorry not sorry.)
DEANNE REVEL: I was just looking at my accessory tree that holds all my necklaces and headbands this morning and thinking, “Man, I need to get hip. This isn’t cool anymore.”
FARIMA: I was never really on the tree train. I say keep it to nurseries only.
MARIANNE: I prefer my trees petrified these days.
Photo: Charles Tilford/Flickr
MORE BANTER ABOUT TREE BRANCHES
BRIANA: Put a fox on it? From the looks of it, this crafty creature has made everyone forget about birds. Abbi suggested foxes as a possible DTT topic a few months back because she was noticing them all over baby goods and nurseries – now they’re all over these products Kayla featured in her mood board*, not to mention viral videos. We may never know what the fox says, but what do YOU say about foxes?
MARIANNE: Roald Dahl’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox was my favorite book as a kid (I kind of had a crush on Mr. Fox?), so I love foxes…but it bums me out that they are so overplayed right now. Though I will confess to dressing my kid in a fox onesie and loving it:
KELLY SMITH TRIMBLE: I love foxes. They’re like dogs you can’t tame. They look cuddly but they’re really wild and elusive. I agree they’re getting a bit overplayed, but I’m also glad they’re being used sans hunting scene this go ’round.
MORE FIGHTING OVER FOXES