Monday, September 20, 2010

Decorate Peanut Butter & Jelly Loaded Cupcakes for Halloween…then stick around & make a BOO-tiful Craft!

You may have noticed that it will be Halloween soon, a fact you are aware of because no grocery store or retail franchise in America will let you forget it; papier-mâché spiders are hanging from the ceiling and your grandchild talks non stop about his costume—from cowboys to witches, to tiny skeletons that manage to be more cute than sinister, you’ve got an edgy kid on your hands while babysitting right now. If they want to bounce off the walls because it’s almost Halloween, they’ve come to the right place—I’m arming my Nanas with a big tray of PBJ loaded cupcakes and a seasonal craft that keeps little hands busy—not to mention your house decorated for Halloween.

I do love to multi-task…

These Peanut Butter and Jelly Filled Cupcakes are easy to make and even easier for the little ones to decorate. You can make the center filling more holiday specific by using a dark, rich blackberry jam; then slather the finished product with orange frosting or leave it at Halloween sprinkles atop plain old chocolate icing.

My sweet tooth aches just thinking about it…

While your 12 cupcakes are baking, filling your house with that marvelous, telltale aroma, round up your grandchildren and get to work. Paper lantern making is good for their hand eye coordination and artistic sensibilities. They’ll be working with scissors, so have some child friendly ones on hand. This is a fun craft ANYtime of year, but changing things up with orange and black construction paper means you’ve got BOO-TIFUL lanterns!

I’ve found that Martha Stewart’s “Spider Web Punch Around the Page Set” (available at Michael’s) makes a great addition to this project. I also plan to use it on my own Halloween invitations to the Open House I generally hold on Halloween; interested Nana’s can read that party menu by clicking here.

Please see lantern-making instructions below. With glue sticks, glitter, markers and watercolor paint, your holiday lanterns come to life—or you could just punch the heck out of em’ with Nana’s New Favorite thing and skip the mess. One disclaimer I’d like to add before plunging into the instructions is this: these lanterns are for show only—NOT for conventional use. You CANNOT illuminate them with heated light or flames; they are paper…and it would be bad! If you’re a visual learner, I’ve provided a lantern link that has illustrations and video for this project.

Enjoy your crafting…and please don’t eat all the cupcakes!

To make Nana’s BOO-TIFUL lanterns you will need:

  • Orange & Black Construction paper (used also to make lantern handles)
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Stapler
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Glue, glitter, sequins, Martha’s Punch Around the Page (optional)
  1. Use your ruler to measure and cut one inch off the short end of your paper. Set aside to use as the handle.
  2. Fold your paper in half lengthwise.
  3. Draw a line one inch from the end of the long edge of the paper, opposite the folded edge. This will be the line where you stop cutting.
  4. Measure and mark lines one inch apart starting at the folded edge and moving towards the "stop cutting" line.
  5. Cut on the marked lines up to the "stop cutting" line.
  6. Unfold the paper.
  7. Re-crease the paper in the opposite direction. This will hide any pencil marks.
  8. Match the long edges together on the lantern and use tape to hold it in place.
  9. Staple the handle to the top of the lantern.
  10. Eat a cupcake to celebrate your artistry! (optional)

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