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Welcome to Biddle Bits! My name is Sarah & I believe that *anyone* can create amazing things, if you just work on them one step at a time.
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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Burlap bunny bag for Easter

You, my friends, have a sneak-peek at the darling Easter bags I made for my sweet nieces!
I love an Easter basket, but I know they can take up lots of storage space for the 364 days of the year that *aren't* Easter Sunday. So, when I found these sweet little burlap bags in the $1 section at Target, I just knew they'd be perfect for my honey-bunny nieces.
Burlap bag from the dollar-section at Target

I purchased a cute bunny graphic from silhouetteonlinestore.com, and cut it out of vinyl:

I added transfer tape (the clear coating, below), to make it easier to transfer the vinyl "stencil" to the burlap:

Remove the backing from your vinyl and use the transfer tape to press the vinyl onto the burlap. Carefully remove the transfer tape (the vinyl doesn't easily stick to burlap) and this is what you're left with:

Next step: paint! First, insert a small piece of cardstock *into* the burlap bag, so your paint won't bleed through to the back.

Next, I mixed a small amount of white and red acrylic paint to create a bright bubblegum pink paint. (I used slightly more white than red to achieve this color) Then use a cheapo sponge brush to dab the paint onto the burlap. Be gentle while dabbing around the inside edges of the bunny...as I mention before, the vinyl doesn't stick well to burlap, so the edges could move. Just be careful!

I peeled off the vinyl stencil right away and this is what was left! Love, love...
Now, wait for it to dry.

Once it's completely dry, remove the cardstock from inside the bag, stuff your Easter goodies inside and deliver to your favorite little Easter honey-bunnies!

Happy Easter everyone!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Shhh! Baby Sleeping sign

As new parents, Mr. Biddlebits and I have quickly learned the importance of a happily sleeping baby, and will do just about anything to keep him sleeping, when he FINALLY goes to sleep :) In the first few days that Baby Biddle was home, we had several "Welcome, Benjamin!" gifts arrive at our house, via UPS delivery...and they'd always ring our doorbell to let us know a package was on our front door. Not only does the doorbell make Uno Robusto (kitty cat) growl, it also wakes one happily-sleeping-Benjamin Biddle!

That makes Mommy growl.

So, I decided that a friendly sign was needed to let our delivery folks know what's what. Off to Michaels I went...Benjamin and coupons in tow.

I found this smallish slate sign, with pre-drilled holes and rope to hang it. I think it was $1.99: 

And, these paint pens in fun, gender-neutral colors! I think these were in the $8 range, but with my coupon, turned out to be more like $4-5.

First, I penciled in the wording I wanted to use. This way, I could center/re-arrange my lettering before committing to it in paint-pen:

Then, I chose my colors (red, blue, yellow and green), and traced over my pencil marks with the paint pens. I did 1 coat, but once it dried, it needed a 2nd coat to really make the colors pop. So, I retraced the letters with the same paint pens. Use a pencil eraser to erase any stray pencil marks. 
Option: You can spray this with a coat of clear spray paint. I skipped that step, and it's holding up just fine :)

Here's the final result:

I hung it over our doorknob, and it did the trick! No more doorbells waking up our slumbering baby!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How to personalize a cupcake carrier with vinyl

I found some tupperware-like cupcake carriers at our local Aldi a few months ago for a DEAL of a price, and thought the lime green handle was especially cute. It had potential for greater cuteness, so I bought 2 of them.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and my sister-in-law's birthday was approaching. Perfect timing to jazz up one of the cupcake carriers for her! 
Step #1: Using our silhouette vinyl cutter, I cut out her last name. I made the letters a little more than 1" tall, to fit the side of the carrier.
Step #2: I used clear contact paper to keep the vinyl all together:
Step #3: Using tweezers or the Silhouette hook tool,  remove the vinyl you aren't planning to use...leaving the letters you intend to put on the carrier. Discard the extra vinyl.

Step #4: Place the contact paper, with the name adhered to it, onto the side of the cupcake carrier. Be sure to make sure it's centered and where you want it, before you press it onto the side. Using a credit card or drivers license, outline and press the vinyl down, adhering the letters to the cupcake carrier. Then carefully pull the contact paper away, leaving your green (or whatever color vinyl you choose) letters. Take your time on this last step, as the vinyl *can* pull away from the plastic carrier if you aren't careful.

Step #5: Now, she can tote around her favorite cupcakes, casserole, or cake - and will be sure to get the carrier back afterwards...there's no confusion on who it belongs to!

Easy peasy personalization!!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

15 Clever Kitchen Storage ideas

When we moved into our house a little over 2 years ago, our new kitchen was a HUGE upgrade (in style and size) from the itty-bitty, outdated kitchen from our 1980's town home. Even still, it amazed me how quickly the cabinets & drawers in the new-to-us house filled up, and the importance of finding a home for everything...and keeping it all organized!
Now that lil' Biddle will be making his arrival any day now, we have a whole bunch of baby stuff (bottles, Baby Bullet, sippy cups) that need to find a new home in our already-full cabinets and drawers! It just so happened that our friends at hometalk.com contacted me the other day to curate a collection of clever kitchen organization ideas. What a perfect opportunity to clip some of my favorite kitchen organization ideas from hometalk and share them with you!
Let me know what you think - and if you have other ideas that you'd add to the list of favorites!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Door silencer for baby's nursery

As we prepare for Lil' Biddle's arrival (his due date is in 1 week!), we're in the final steps of getting the nursery ready for our little bundle of joy! I've seen these "door silencers" on etsy and Pinterest, and figured I could easily make our own...it was a breeze and used scraps of fabric I already had on hand...so the project was FREE!

Here's how I made mine:

What you need:
  • 2 scraps of fabric (3" x 4" each)
  • scrap of light interfacing, 3" x 4" (optional)
  • 2 new hair rubberbands

Step #1: Cut 2 rectangles from your fabric: both should be 3" x 4"

Step #2: Cut a 3" x 4" rectangle of interfacing and iron it to the wrong side of one of the fabric rectangles. If you don't have interfacing, you could cut a 3rd rectangle of fabric to help increase the thickness of the door silencer.

Step #3: Pin your 2 rubberbands to the short sides of your interfaced rectangle, as shown in the picture below. Make sure you're pinning on the *right* (patterned) side of your rectangle. The larger loop of each rubberband should be on the interior of the rectangle. (only a small amount of the band should be hanging over the edges).

Step #4: Pin together your 2 rectangles, right sides together (patterns should be facing each other). The rubberbands will be covered up, but you'll be able to see the small loop of the bands sticking out of each short side.
Step #5: Using your sewing machine, sew with a 1/4" seam allowance along 3.5 sides of the rectangle, making sure to leave a gap large enough to turn the fabric right side out. Use a chopstick or capped pen to push your corners out.
Step #6: Now that the piece is right side out, iron it completely flat, making sure that the area where the open gap is, has edges that are turned under. Pin the gap closed and sew a 1/8" straight finishing edge around all 4 edges of the rectangle, sewing the gap closed and leaving a nice finished edge.
I made 2 of these in about 20 minutes...it would take even less time, now that I know what dimensions work well!!:

Step #7: Wrap each rubberband around each side of your doorknob, like so...

...and you've got yourself a door silencer! No waking the baby when you open and close the door :)
I've also read that these work well to prevent little toddler fingers from getting slammed in the door in later years...

Here's what it looks like with the door closed:

...and when the door is open:

Here's hoping our lil' Boy is a good sleeper...and this little door silencer will allow me to peek in on him, without waking him, during naptime!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

How to make a golf ball cake

Mr. Biddle Bits and I are both early-July babies...so we just celebrated our birthdays! Unfortunately, about a week before our birthday celebrations, he came down with Shingles. YUCK! I tried everything to make him feel better and to boost his spirit, but there really wasn't much I could do but just be there for him.

Thankfully, he was feeling slightly better on his birthday - well enough to go out for lunch and for a quick run to Target ;)...AND for cake and ice cream! (which makes everything better, am I right?!)

He loves to golf, so I made him a cake in the shape of a golf ball. It was actually really easy, if you have the right materials.

What you need:
(forgive me...I didn't initially think to turn this into a blog post, so didn't take pictures of the first steps)

Step #1 - Preparation and baking:
  • preheat oven according to cake mix instructions.
  • Prepare your pans by spraying with non-stick cooking/baking spray.
  • Mix cake mix ingredients together, as directed.
  • Follow instructions in the pan set. They're *very* easy to follow!: Pour cake batter into ball pans and bake until a long toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. (I believe mine took about 45-50 minutes to fully bake) Let cool. Follow cake pan instructions to flatten the tops of each half-circle, by cutting off the excess cake (then eat it!!) 
  • Turn cake pans over to release 2 half-circle cakes.
  • I prefer to cover and refrigerate my cakes over night (or at least for a few hours) - it helps "firm up" the cake and reduce the amount of crumbs while I'm decorating it.
Step #2 - Decoration:
  • Using a long serrated knife, cut a small amount from the top of *one* of the circles - to create a flat base for the cake to sit on.
  • Smear a small amount of icing on your cake plate/platter and place the small, flat portion of that half-circle on the plate. That icing will ensure the cake won't slide around on your cake platter. Now you have created the bottom half of your golf ball cake.
  • Using a clean, smooth knife, spread a thin layer of icing on the large, flat cake surface in front of you, and place the other half of your golf ball on top of that.
  • You should now be looking at a 3-D, ball-shaped cake. 
Step #3 - Decoration, continued: (with pictures!)
  • Using a clean, smooth knife, carefully take icing and smooth it over the entire round cake. Stick it back in the fridge for 30 minutes or so, to help harden the icing.
  • Then, get a cup of cool water. Using a flat spreader/spatula (like this one), dip the spatula in the water and carefully smooth over your icing. This is a trick to help get as smooth an icing surface as possible. Continue to dip it in water and smooth the icing until you're happy. Here's my "happy":

  • Put back in fridge for 10-15 minutes to help harden the icing.
  • Remove cake from fridge. Dip the fat end of a plastic chopstick in your cup of water and make a shallow indentation in your icing. Continue the indentations in a straight line. You can probably make 4-6 indentations before you need to dip it in water again. (the water keeps the chopstick from sticking to the icing. You may need to clean off the chopstick every now and then with a paper towel - just to prevent icing from sticking. You can also put the cake back in the fridge every 10 minutes or so...the harder the icing, the easier this indentation process will be.
  • Continue to make indentations until the cake is covered in dimples! 

 The indentations are a little time consuming, but they're KEY in making this look like a golf ball!

Step #4 - Enjoy your masterpiece!!:

I'm sure you could create some sort of golf tee with a cake plate to more creatively present the cake...but again...at 9 months pregnant, I was feeling pretty good to have even MADE a cake for his birthday - the fact that it sat on a paper plate was ok by me (and the birthday boy) :)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day brownie pops - no "cake pop" pan required!


I made these brownie pops for a pool party/BBQ yesterday, to celebrate Memorial Day! I should have made more than 12, because they were gone WAY before it was time for dessert.

I think I can safely say that they were a hit!!

(note: if you want to make more than 12 brownie pops, you could make enough brownie mix for a 13x9" pan...but I'd double the amount of candy wafers needed to completely cover the brownie pops)
  • brownie mix (that makes enough to fill 8x8" square pan)
  • whatever ingredients the brownie mix calls for
  • 12 cake pop sticks
  • 1-1.25 cups candy coating wafers
  • sprinkles

Step #1: Bake brownies according to instructions. Let cool completely (I put mine in the fridge to speed up the cooling process), then cut 1/4" away from the edges (the crusty edges - my favorite part!) and eat it/discard the edges. Though, really...who would discard??!

Cut brownies into 12 equal pieces:

Step #2: Using your hands, take each brownie and roll/smush tightly into a compact ball. Continue until all 12 brownies are rolled. I put them on a Silpat-lined cookie sheet, though waxed paper would work just as well. Stick the pan in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, which helps "firm-up" the brownies.

Step #3: In a microwave safe bowl, melt 1/2 cup of candy wafers. Melt for 30 seconds, then stir. Melt in 30-second increments until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth when stirred. Don't overheat!

Step #4:  Dip the tip of each pop stick 1/2" into the melted wafers and insert into the center of each brownie ball. This helps secure the pop stick in the brownie. Then chill in the refrigerator 10 minutes or so.

Step #5: After chilling (the brownie pops, haha), remove brownie pops from the fridge for coating.
Add another 1/2-3/4 cup of wafers to already melted wafers and microwave in 30 second increments, stirring until melted and smooth.

Step #6: Dip each pop into melted wafers. You'll need to tilt the bowl and use a spoon to cover the brownie pop completely. Allow excess to drop back into the bowl. Immediately sprinkle with your choice of sprinkles and place back on the mat/wax paper/cookie sheet to harden. (don't wait to sprinkle 'em...the candy wafers dry surprisingly fast!)

At this point, I thought they could be "E.T" pops...what do you think??:

YUM on a stick! You could make these for any occasion really...just switch out the color of your candy wafers and/or sprinkles!

Happy Memorial Day, everyone!