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New Year’s Eve Party Ideas

Host a fabulous New Year's Eve party! Try one of these easy DIY ideas.

Happy Holidays, friends!

Before taking some time away from the blog and creating videos I wanted to wish you all a very happy holiday season! I hope you enjoy the company of good friends (with good food and wine of course) and also get some time to recover from an insanely busy season and a crazy year.

I’ll be back in the New Year with my year recap, favorite projects and of course, lots of new videos to come. In the meantime, here are 4 fun DIYs to try this NYE.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

xo, Sarah

  1. A floating NYE photo installation.
  2. Host a fondue party.
  3. Create paper and tinsel party decorations.
  4. Make sparkly champagne truffles.

And here’s what to wear and what to eat.

Mac and Cheese Bites Recipe and DIY Gold Paint Splatter Napkins

These mac and cheese bites are the perfect kid-friendly party appetizer!

One of my favorite things about holiday parties (second to having a reason to put on a sparkly dress of course) is indulging on holiday treats! Though I have a big sweet tooth, I’m just as big of a fan of savory snacks. I’d gladly take a variety of appetizers, charcuterie and small bites over a single main dish. If you’re also a lover of apps or if you’re looking for a delicious finger food to serve this Christmas and New Year’s Eve, my baked mac and cheese bites are just the thing.

It’s comfort food in one bite and these are sure to be a favorite among both kids and adults. Because who just doesn’t love classic mac and cheese, right? These bites get a little crunch (and a lot of flavor) when you top them with Harvest Snaps. Just crush up your favorite flavor, I used the Black Pepper Harvest Snaps which give them just the right amount of peppery kick.

Serve these kid and adult friendly mac and cheese bites are your next party!

Watch the video below to see how to make them!

Mac and Cheese Bites Recipe

Ingredients

½ lb. elbow macaroni (half a standard size box)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. flour
1¼ cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 ounces cream cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
Black Pepper Harvest Snaps

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Cut the corner off the top of a bag Harvest Snaps. Use your hands to crush the snaps until it resemble bread crumbs.
  2. Cook the elbow macaroni according to the directions on the package and set aside.
  3. In a medium pan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Then add the flour and whisk until combined and it thickens. Add the milk and keep whisking until the flour mixture is dissolved. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  4. Add the shredded cheddar cheese and cream cheese and stir until melted.
  5. Remove from the heat and add cooked macaroni and beaten egg. Stir until the sauce is evenly distributed then spoon the mac and cheese into prepared mini muffin tin. Top each cup with the crushed Harvest Snaps.
  6. Bake for 15 at 400° or until the tops are slightly golden. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes before serving.

Serve these kid and adult friend mac and cheese bites are your next party!

They are best served warm but the mac and cheese can be made a head—leaving you more time to finish all that holiday shopping!  Just hold off on baking them and keep the mini muffin pan full of mac and cheese in the freezer, covered. When you’re ready to bake, just remove them from the freezer and allow them to thaw at room temperature for about 10 minute then bake as normal.

Creating your own gold paint splattered cloth napkins is easier than you think! Check out this tutorial.

You can easily give some old cloth napkins you have laying around a big update! I used fabric dye and paint to create these festive, red and gold splatter cocktail napkins. They are perfect for the holidays and since they are fabric, they can be used year after year.

DIY Gold Splatter Napkins

Supplies

100% cotton cloth napkins
permanent fabric dye
rubber gloves (2 pairs)
glass or metal bowl for dye
½ cup salt
gold fabric paint
large, stiff bristle paint brush

Creating your own gold paint splattered cloth napkins is easier than you think! Check out this tutorial.

Directions

  1. Dye the napkins. Wash cloth napkins and leave damp. In a large metal or glass bowl, combine 4 cups of water with dye. Stir until the dye powder is dissolved then add the salt. Continue stirring until the salt is dissolved. Add more water (if dyeing more than 4 cocktail napkins). Carefully place the damp napkins in the bowl of dye and stir. Stir often for 15 minutes and then stir every so often for another 30 minutes.  When dyeing fabric, it’s best to follow the directions on the label of the dye you’re using. If you’re using the one listed above, follow the steps below.
  2. Rinse. Rinse the napkins well to remove the dye then wash them separately in the washing machine, with a second rinse cycle. Dry on low and press with an iron to remove wrinkles. Now they are ready to be painted!
  3. Splatter paint. Use a large, corse paint brush to create the paint splatter look. Dip the brush in the gold fabric paint and cover it with a generous amount of paint. Hold the brush over the cloth napkin and use your other hand to quickly brush across the bristles and fling paint over the napkin. This can be very messy and it’s best to do this outside or in a large, well covered area.
  4. Dry completely. Once dry place them back in the dryer on one cycle to heat set the fabric ink and make them washable. 

Creating your own gold paint splattered cloth napkins is easier than you think! Check out this tutorial.

This is the perfect way to give stained napkins new life! This super easy technique would look great in some many colors. Just choose your favorite holiday colors.

Serve these kid and adult friendly mac and cheese bites are your next party!

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This post was created in partnership with Harvest Snaps

Links to Love

Make something pretty for your home this weekend and try one of these DIY projects!

Happy Friday!

Hello weekend! This weekend I’ll be wrapping up Christmas shopping and the last few videos OF THE YEAR! Wow, it feel weird to say that. I can’t believe this year is almost ending. If you’re one of those people who is already done with their holiday shopping, here are some awesome DIYs to make for your home.

projects to try

  1. Add a little greenery to your home and make a succulent wreath.
  2. Good Things are Coming!
  3. I can officially jump on this wall hanging trend.
  4. Get a head start on 2017 and make a color of the year clock!

I’m also loving

This printable gift wrap.
This modern Christmas tree.
These ornaments.
This gift box—which you can win!!!

P.S.

Enter to win Adobe Photoshop Elements and Adobe Primere Elements + a $100 gift card! Just share a photo of your holiday cards on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with the #ElementsCreators and @sarahhearts!

Gift Ideas for the Traveler

Looking for the perfect gift for the traveler? Look no further! Here are great holiday gift ideas for the jet setter!

Shopping for the friend who seems to be on in the air more than at home? Here are my picks for gifts for the jet setter or those who are already counting down the days until their next vacation.

  1. Toiletry organizer – has a place for everything and a mirror too
  2. Pizza slice luggage tag – for quickly identifying your bag at luggage claim
  3. ban.do getaway duffle bag – perfect for those last-minute weekend getaways
  4. Copper retractable lint roller – pretty and refillable too
  5. travel wallet and passport case – has a handy sim card keeper and fits many sizes of bills
  6. Slim sonic toothbrush – tiny battery powered toothbrush with travel case
  7. Earbud cord wrap – so you don’t spend 5 minutes untangling them every time
  8. Joules packable raincoat – packs away in one of the pockets

DIY Holiday Card Wreath and Photo Cards

Don't stuff your holiday cards in a drawer, display them this season on a easy to make card wreath!

Who loves a good giveaway? Continue reading for details on how to win Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 and a $100 gift card to Tiny Prints!

 

One of my favorite holiday traditions that often gets overlooked is sending out holiday cards. Every year, I say I’m going to do it but it seems to always end up as one of the last items on my long holiday to-do list. This December, I’ve decided to make sending (and displaying) holiday cards a priority because everyone could use a little holiday cheer in their mailbox!

To make the task way less daunting, I used Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 to design my cards. And full disclaimer, my background is in graphic design but with their Guided Edits and Quick Editing mode, it makes designing holiday cards oh-so-doable for even the most novice designer. Just start with a photo you love, spruce up the colors and add some text in your favorite font or two and you’re on your way to creating a show-stopping card.

Designing and printing your own holiday photo cards is easier than you think when you use Adobe Photoshop Elements 15.

So you have a ton of photos on your phone but now what? Import them into the Adobe Elements Organizer 15. That’s where you’ll store all your favorites you want to use in your cards. Then do some quick editing using, you guessed it, Quick Edits! See my notes below to learn some photo editing lingo. Keep reading to learn how to create 3 awesome designs and a wreath to display all those cards you receive.

Holiday Photo Editing 101

Use Quick Edits. These built-in shortcuts will make editing your photos a breeze. Below are my favorite ones to use.
  1. Exposure – adjust the overall lightness or darkness of the photo
  2. Lighting – adjust the lights, midtones and shadows separately
  3. Balance – control the overall temperature of the photo
  4. Sharpen – adjust the slider to add a little clarity to the photo

Here's an overview of using Quick Edits

Add Effects

Within Quick Edits there’s an Effect panel that has tons of fun filters that are perfect for instantly making a photo holiday card worthy.
Here's an overview of the photo effects in Adobe Photoshop Elements 15
Designing and printing your own holiday photo cards is easier than you think when you use Adobe Photoshop Elements 15.

Learn how to make your own holiday photo cards

Watch the video below for the step-by-step tutorial.


Create a Photo Collage Card

Gather your favorite photos from the year, edit them in Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 and then use them to create a photo collage card in just a few clicks.
  1. Select photos you want to use from the Adobe Elements 15 Organizer (command + click to select them).
  2. Click Editor at the bottom to open them in Adobe Photoshop Elements 15.
  3. Create > Photo Collage > Size: 8.5” x 11”; Theme: Basic
  4. Layouts > Select the layout you want depending on how many photos you want to use
  5. Switch to advanced mode for more background and frame options!
  6. Graphics > Choose your background and edit the photo frame (you must click on the frame you want to change before you choose the frame)
  7. Add text. Use the Horizontal Type Tool to add text.
  8. Print it out. Change the print size to 5” x 7” so it will fit in an standard A7 size envelope and print it out on glossy or matte photo paper and trim it to 5” x 7”.

Create a Watercolor Photo Card

  1. Edit your photo first using my Holiday Photo Editing 101 tips above.
  2. Guided > Fun Edits > Painterly.
  3. Select a paint brush tool by choosing one from the presets menu. Adjust the size, opacity (aka transparency), and angle and stamp directly on top of your photo. You can add or subtract from the image by selecting hide or show from the brush menu.
  4. Paint away the edges of the photo and be sure to keep faces and other important details. Select a white canvas color and click next. Save As and continue editing in Quick mode.
  5. Select the horizontal type tool. Add text and adjust the size and color to your liking.

The word merry on the photo card above is the font Manhattan Darling—one of my faves!

Don't stuff your holiday cards in a drawer, display them this season on a easy to make card wreath!

Make a wreath to display your holiday cards on!

Supplies

wire wreath
spray paint (optional)
2″ medium clothespins
hot glue gun + glue sticks
gold glitter cardstock
scissors
3 yards pom pom trim
large red bow

Directions

  1. Optional: spray paint the wire wreath (I used Molotow spray paint in lagoon blue light) using a couple light coats. Allow it to dry completely.
  2. Cut out stars using scissors and the star template. Use hot glue to adhere them to the medium clothespins.
  3. Wrap the wreath frame with pom pom garland and secure each end with a small amount of hot glue. Trim the ends. Attach a large red wreath bow to the center and then your wreath is ready to be used.
DIY Holiday Card Display Wreath

I love Christmas cards but I hate never having a place to put them.

Problem solved with this easy DIY card wreath created with Adobe Photoshop Elements.

Posted by Sarah Hearts on Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Who loves free stuff?

As a bonus, I am also doing a fun giveaway with Adobe Photoshop Elements 15! Share your holiday cards or holiday photos you edited with Adobe Photoshop Elements using #ElementsCreators through the portal below to be entered to win a $100 gift card to Tiny Prints and a box of Photoshop Elements 15 (a $150 value). Three winners will be randomly selected, so what are you waiting for?

Be sure to share your project using #ElementsCreators to be eligible for a chance to win! Ready to get started? Download a free 30-day trial of Photoshop Elements 15 to start creating! Giveaway ends on December 28th at midnight PST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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This post was created in partnership with Adobe Photoshop Elements 15