Dip-Dyed Chocolate Covered Marshmallows

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Ok all I'm back! It's been an insane two months but we did it. We somehow pulled it off and finished the inside of the house. It feels so good I can not even tell you. Is it all 100% perfect and will never be touched again? No, but it is in a great place where everything else can come slowly and with leisure. After working furiously for ten months straight we are ready to come out of hiding and enter the world again!

So after all that hard work (that you will see soon) what better way to make my return than to get down and dirty with a little home decor inspired sugary delight. Dip-dyed furniture and objects have taken the world by storm over the last few years and I say that it's due time they share the spotlight. So go get a drool bib and say hello to dip-dyed chocolate marshmallows! 

I made these cute little suckers for my baby welcoming festivities last weekend as a thank you to all my wonderful guests. They were so easy and fun to make and even better to look at that I pretty much couldn't stop staring at them. I may just have to make some on a regular basis to hand out to strangers just so I can see them again.

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What You Will Need:

  • Jumbo Marshmallows
  • Small Bowls
  • Food Coloring Dye
  • Wax Paper
  • Chocolate
  • Food Sticks
  • Clear Food Bags or Ziplocks (without the lock)
  • Bag Ties and/or Ribbon

How To:

  1. Set out some wax paper.
  2. Fill a few small bowls halfway with water.
  3. Add a generous amount of dye to your water. Test the color out on a marshmallow and if you want it darker just add more.
  4. Dip your marshmallow in the dye (I did mine diagonally). Leave it in for a few seconds and keep steady to get a nice crisp dye line. (try dipping them with different patterns or letting them dry and putting a second color).
  5. Carefully place the dyed top facing down on the wax paper to avoid drip marks. Since you will be covering that part in chocolate it's if it gets a little messed up.
  6. Let the dye dry and then flip them over onto a clean piece of wax paper to let the bottoms dry.
  7. Now you can begin melting your chocolate. I used dark chocolate Ghirardelli chips and melted it in a saucer on the stove on a low temp. 
  8. Dip the top quarter of the marshmallow (the part with the messed up dye) into the chocolate. Now don't be stingy here, put it on nice and thick.
  9. Carefully place them back down on the wax paper trying not to make a mess with the chocolate.
  10. Allow the chocolate to dry and harden. I waited till the morning.
  11. Then carefully twist the sticks into the bottom of you pops without making marks on the dye or chocolate. (I was careful to only hold the white part of the marshmallow with two fingers and gently twist the stick in slowly).
  12. To finish up simply wrap them in a plastic food bag, tie them with a ribbon and wait for the big-eyes and smiles to come. It's the best thing to make everyone feel like a kid again.

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How To: Paint a Chalkboard Fridge

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The convenient thing about inheriting a totally average fridge in your new home is that you can mess around with it without feeling guilty, and that's exactly what I did. The plain white fridge wasn't doing it for me, so I decided to fun it up a bit and turn it into a chalkboard surface. Leaving unexpected notes, pictures, and lists on it is a really good time. Another plus is that it also helped to add a bit more personality and schoolhouse charm that I was looking for.

 

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What You Will Need:
  • Small Roller: the firmer and thinner the better in order to feather out roller marks.
  • Small Brush: to get around edges and corners
  • Paint Tray
  • Craft or plastic: to protect the floor
  • Magnetic Primer: I used Rustoleum
  • Chalkboard Paint: buy or make your own (see below for details) 
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How To: 

  1. Move your fridge out and line the surrounding area with plastic or craft paper.
  2. Remove your fridge handles and corners. 
  3. Paint on the Magnetic Primer. This is used so that your fridge is still magnetic after you put the chalkboard on. I needed three coats to get it pretty even.
      TIP: have the hardware store shake up the can for you, it is crazy thick and very difficult to do by hand (same goes for the chalkboard paint).
  4. After that's dry you can move on to the chalkboard layer. Here is where I ran into some trouble. I wanted it to be really really black, and the black chalkboard paint I bought from Benjamin Moore was actually a dark grey (see image above). I ended up returning it and buying the Rustoleum brand which was a much more pure black.
  5. When painting with the chalkboard paint, use long firm strokes in one direction (it's not forgiving at all). Make sure you feather your strokes out by squeezing as much paint out as you can. This is to help ensure your roller marks aren't visible. For each layer you should switch from horizontal to vertical to diagonal to get an even surface. It took me a good four layers.
  6. Make sure each layer is completely dry before beginning the next layer (this is where my lack of patience was really tested). If you don't you will take off and gunk up your previous layer. This paint is not the norm and is much thicker and stickier than you're probably used to.
  7. The hardest part is waiting for it to dry. It just sits there teasing you waiting to be written all over. But don't make my mistake and mess it up and have to do touch ups because you couldn't wait to try it out. You can wait to buy your chalk so you won't be tempted.
  8. Once it's dry take the long side of your chalk and run it along the entire surface. This is supposed to season it (I don't know why, but that's what they tell you to do)
  9. Then wash it off with a wet cloth, and once it's dry it’s all yours to go at.
  10. The first time it got dirty and the beautiful black surface got marred it took me by surprise, but then I let my OCD self calm down and told myself that it is supposed to get messed up and now I love its filthy charm.

 

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Make Your Own Chalkboard Paint!
 
The store bought variety only comes in a limited color palette like black and old-timey Little House On The Prairie green so if you want a custom color you'll have to make it yourself.

It's really quite easy to do, here's how:

  • Mix a 1/2 cup of acrylic or latex paint in any color with 1 tablespoon of unsanded grout (from any hardware store).
  • Boom, that's it! Now you have a custom chalkboard color to paint on walls, wood, jars, appliances, vases, tables, pretty much anything your little creative heart desires.

 

More Posts on the Kitchen Renovation:

 

Before {and} After: Empty Room Turned Walk-In Closet

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We had an empty room attached to our master bedroom in the attic that needed a purpose. I had heard it had been used for an office and a sitting area in the past, but in my eyes it was begging to be the walk-in closet I had always wanted. I mean that would sure beat my prior closet situations where I was on a strict one thing in, one thing out system.

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Once I had enough of getting dressed out of giant moving boxes (about one month), I was more than ready to begin tackling the impending closet project. Because it was in the attic of an old house with a steeply angled ceiling, we were not dealing with a quick throw up some rods and hang up your clothes situation but had to devise a system based on the ceiling angle. Since we were starting from scratch I had the opportunity to customize it, and I did. I decided to create separate sections based on clothing type (dresses, skirts, pants, etc). Getting the most out of the space was top priority.

It only took a couple of hours to get the closet built. Matt's clothes are on the other side of the closet and we still have to make that a bit more efficient. Besides that, I just need to add a dresser, a ceiling light, a nice curtain rod, a proper mirror, and some touch up paint; then it'll be fully finished. However, it's quite lovely in the state it's in so the final touches have moved way down on my priority list. I'll keep you posted on the final Before {and} After once it's complete.

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How To: Make Washi Switch Plates

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It's time for another super simple DIY that will spice up a part of your home that often gets neglected: Switch Plates!

All you have to do is buy some great Washi Tape patterns, figure out your design, and adhere them onto your Switch and Outlet Plates. Once the plate is taped up, simply use an X-acto knife to cut out the holes for the switch and screws and tape the extra material back inside.

If you are not familiar with the magical wonder that is Washi Tape let me explain. It is decorative masking tape from Japan that comes in hundreds of colors and patterns that can be mixed and matched to your hearts delight. Go crazy browsing and buying here at Cute Tape.

Easy Ikea Hack: Two Rugs are Better Than One

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Ok, so this has to be one of the easiest Ikea hacks out there. You know those faux sheepskin rugs that have been flying out of the bins lately? Well, simply buy two, sew them together, and voila! You now have a fabulous rug that is extra long with a fun, interesting, organic new shape. It is perfect for a hallway, beside your bed, or in an extra long and narrow area.

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I used a thick multifilament polyester thread meant for canvas and upholstery to make sure they stayed secure. I hand sewed the lining edge of both rugs together. It took me about an hour from start to finish and cost a whopping $20. Not bad. So go throw on a mindless movie and start sewing your rugs together!

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