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.
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.
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.
Cook the elbow macaroni according to the directions on the package and set aside.
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.
Add the shredded cheddar cheese and cream cheese and stir until melted.
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.
Bake for 15 at 400° or until the tops are slightly golden. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes before serving.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Dry completely. Once dry place them back in the dryer on one cycle to heat set the fabric ink and make them washable.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Exposure – adjust the overall lightness or darkness of the photo
Lighting – adjust the lights, midtones and shadows separately
Balance – control the overall temperature of the photo
Sharpen – adjust the slider to add a little clarity to the photo
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.
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.
Select photos you want to use from the Adobe Elements 15 Organizer (command + click to select them).
Click Editor at the bottom to open them in Adobe Photoshop Elements 15.
Layouts > Select the layout you want depending on how many photos you want to use
Switch to advanced mode for more background and frame options!
Graphics > Choose your background and edit the photo frame (you must click on the frame you want to change before you choose the frame)
Add text. Use the Horizontal Type Tool to add text.
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
Edit your photo first using my Holiday Photo Editing 101 tips above.
Guided > Fun Edits > Painterly.
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.
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.
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!
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.