Bacon Taco Shells

Seems a bit indulgent doesn’t it? Well, it most definitely is. I cannot even begin to tell you how amazing these are. I have been dreaming about them since I made them.

I first saw the idea online a couple of months back, there was no instructions on how to make the bacon taco shell – just a picture of one. I did an extensive yet unsuccessful Google search on anyone or anything that could tell me how to do this. I decided to just do what made sense to me. So here it is!

What I used:

  • 1″ round poles (this is to make the taco shell shape after you cook the bacon, I wondered around my house for a while, trying to find something I thought would make the right shape and decided on these. I also thought a broom handle might work – the back of a chair – a glue stick – the side of a bowl…I was open to just about anything) 🙂
  • 12 slices of thick sliced bacon (I am not sure it would work with regular cut bacon, it might be too thin and crumble. The kind I used was almost like what you would get at the butcher)
  • Baking or cookie sheets
  • Plastic wrap (to cover the poles – less mess and less to clean!)
  • Two large bowls to make a hanging support for the poles
  • Tape
  • Paper towels (or regular tea towels, however you do – to catch grease and to form the bacon around the poles)

Preheat your oven to 415 degrees (F)

Wrap the poles in plastic wrap – it will allow for easier clean up later – or don’t, I’m not even sure it does anything – it just made sense to me at the time.

Tape each end of the poles to the side of either bowl to secure it and place a paper towel or towel under to catch the grease.

Slice each piece of bacon in half and lay it four halfs across overlapping – don’t be afraid to overlap too much, the bacon shrinks as it cooks and with being in the oven, it will cook evenly.  You want it to kind of fuse to itself.

Put the pans in the oven.

I first set my timer to 10 minutes in the oven, but ended up leaving it in for about 17 minutes total.  I found that while I love crispy bacon, for this you want it to be still a little pliable – so take it out when it looks to be almost done – not completely crispy.

     

The trick with this part is you need to work fast! Straight out of the oven use a spatula to pick up the sheet of bacon – lay it across the pole and then use a paper towel or towel to gently form the bacon around the pole. It will be hot! so use a few sheets of paper towel.

After it cools you can remove it from the poles and this is the shape you are left with!

That’s it. Not too labor intensive, but seriously seriously seriously worth trying – if only once. You will probably thank me.

Let me know if you make these – I would LOVE to see what you did and if you found any way to make it easier!

 

 

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Party Purse

I decided to call these Party Purses because it’s not a high quality showy purse – it’s more like something you would make the night before going out on the town or on vacation (leaving the good purse at home). It’s so inexpensive and quick to make – you wouldn’t mind it getting spilled on, leaving it somewhere or, God forbid, someone taking it. It’s big enough to fit your phone, money and your I.D. – all the things you need for a night out!

This took me about 20 minutes to make.

Materials you will need:

A pretty fabric you like (the amount is determined by the size of the purse you decide on – I used a piece about 9″x15″

Craft foam – any color (one large piece)

Poster board (also any color, it gets completely covered)

Small square of velcro (I got a pack of 15 squares at Joann’s for about $2)

Hot glue

 

First determine the size and shape you want your party purse and trace it onto your poster board. I liked this large decorative flap so I flared my shape – you can make a straight envelope shape and it will still fold down nicely. Use whatever you would like to trace and feel free to mess up as much as you want – the poster board will be covered so no marks are going to show.

I made a pattern (to scale for you) because I am bad with numbers and did not even bother measuring it while I was doing it.

 (If you right click to save, it should print out to the specifications I used)

Folding

If using your own pattern – measure a little more then 1/3 of the way up and fold up, using a straight edge or something flat to make an extra tight crease. Next measure straight across where your flap connects to the body of the purse and make two folds a few centimeters apart to make a ridge:

  

I found that putting my straight edge under the flap and folding over it worked the best.

Construction:

Unfold your poster board pattern and lay the inside of the purse on top of the craft foam – make sure the whole inside is covered by the foam (see how mine does not fit – I had to make some adjustments – which was a pain.) Hot glue the foam to the pattern – avoid putting hot glue on the fold lines.

Lay your pattern foam side up against the wrong side of your pretty fabric and cut around the pattern leaving about 1-1/2″ excess for folding over.

Side note – if you wanted to add any sort of emblishment to the flap of your purse, this is the time to do it – after cutting out your fabric. I added a little heart to the side of mine by sewing it on. Of course, if you don’t like or want to sew – you can always hot glue later 🙂

Put a line of hot glue close to the edge and fold the pretty fabric over all the way around – again avoiding putting hot glue on any of the fold creases.

This is what it should end up looking like.

 

Next place a line of hot glue from the left and right lower corners up to the first fold line and press down and hold.

Finish:

Place the two pieces of velcro together (this is the best way that I found to make sure the line up) put a ton of hot glue on the top and bottom – place on the center (make sure the flap reaches to that point)and then close the flap on top of the velcro. Allow to dry and you’re done!

I think you could also use these as coupon holders for grocery shopping or as I used them – as favors for a party (I’m not a going out and gettin crazy kind of Mama – but I do like lose things a lot) 🙂

Let me know if you make these – I would LOVE to see what you did and if you found any way to make it easier!

Not to mention  I have a ton of these at home (in all different colors and patterns),  if you’re too busy to make one, but want one (or 5) let me know – we can work it out!

 

 

 

 

Building Tom Servo…Raptor Style

Do you know Tom Servo? He’s pretty popular in my circle of friends, but it doesn’t seem like very many people know who he is. There was a show on TV called Mystery Science Theater 3000 – if you don’t know what it is, I highly recommend you go on Netflix immediately and watch a few episodes (my favorites include – Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders, Girl in Gold Boots, the short: Body Care and Grooming, and A Date With Your Family)

In general, he is a talking robot that sits with two of his friends trapped on a space station who are forced to watch terrible movies and end up riffing on it the whole time.  That being said – my husband is going to dress up as the human main character  for our local Comicon next week, and I wanted people to “get” who he was.

First I did this

 But he said he didn’t want to have to carry it around all day. Which I understand, it was pretty flimsy…plus, the cat seemed to want a new friend.

 Who was I to say no to that face?

Our friend mentioned if I made a replica, he would be happy to help carry it around – since he is also going as a MST3k (that’s how the cool kids say it) cast member.

Challenge Accepted.

This project took me a total of 3 days – and only because I had to wait 3 days for my gumball machine to be shipped to me, I couldn’t find the right slinkys, and I didn’t want to wait to start on the rest. Total number of hours (not including spray paint/paint drying time) 2.

Materials I used:

  • A large tapered shape bowl – Free
  • A plastic canister (I “borrowed” the one my sons bath toys came in – but I have seen some at costco that pretzels come in that would work, or cheese balls at the local grocery store) – Free
  • 2 mini slinkys (found mine at the Dollar Tree, and then also saw them in the dollar spot at target) – $2 (for both)
  • Doll hands (this was the most traumatic part for me. I found a baby doll at Goodwill and cut off his hands 😦 I had checked Joanns and Michaels for doll parts and they were all too small for my purpose.) $3.99
  • 8 inch Plastic Gumball Machine – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002ZFSE8S/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00 (I got the one in the tab under “new for ___” and only paid $4.34 + shipping)
  • 2 PVC pipe elbows – (had these in the garage) – Free
  • 2 plastic baby bottle covers (The PVC pipe elbows were too short to fit over the shoulder areas, so I had to make it longer, if you attempt this project – you may or may not need to find something to do the same thing) – Free
  • 1 pipe insulation (for the hoover skirt bottom and the details on the bottom) – $2.99
  • 4 large legos (or lego type pieces) – Free
  • 2 large wall anchors – Free
  • 12 pack of soda box – Free
  • Red spray paint – $3.99
  • White spray paint  – $3.99
  • Silver paint – $1.99
  • Hot glue

Now of course, this is just my interpretation of how he looks – I am in no way trying to make an exact replica (it’s the raptor in me) nor is he functional as a puppet (as he is on the show)

I’ll just walk you through this like I had all the pieces together at the same time – which is the most logical and organized (which I am neither) 😉

First Step:

Cut the soda box into the shoulder pieces. Unfortunately I did not take any photos of this process, but reference this photo:

 It’s basically a sideways check mark shape on the outside (both front and back) and cut straight across on the inside.

Second Step: Paint

   

Spray paint the tub base, the base of the gumball dispenser (the top lid also) and the wall anchors – Red

The bowl, soda box shoulders, baby hands and PVC pipe elbows (pipes are optional to paint) – White (if not white already, as you can see my bowl had a festive Christmas pattern)

The opening to gumball dispenser and the legos – Silver (I also removed the small “handle” that opens and closes the gumball dispenser, just by pulling it off after I disassembled it)

P.s. – The large legos in the first picture were not the ones I ended up using…in case that was confusing

Allow all pieces to dry.

Third Step: Assemble

Reassemble the gumball dispenser.

First attach the pipe insulation to the bowl (turn the bowl right side up). There should be a pre-cut line down the center of the insulation – open that completely and rim the circumference of the bowl with it. I used the hot glue on the inside (the underside of Tom) only to attach the insulation to the bowl.

Next, hot glue the bottom of the tub to the bottom of the bowl. Next glue the bottom of the gumball dispenser to the top of the tub. Glue the soda box shoulders to either side of the plastic tub (cut a semi-circle shape on the inside top for a better fit, if you would like). Then hot glue the PVC pipe elbows in the upper center on either side of the tub inside the shoulders (I had to use the bottle covers to extend the elbows past the shoulders because the slinky and hands would have been stuck inside the shoulder). Glue the slinkys to the PVC pipe elbows (the easiest way I found to do this was to put a thick line of hot glue to the inside bend of the elbow and stick one side of the slinky to it). Glue baby hands to the side of each slinky (same way I did the slinky to the elbow).

Fourth Step: Details

The pipe insulation I got was about 3 feet long and the circumference of my bowl was only about 14″ – so I had plenty left over. I cut a section about 5″ long and then in half and used that for the details around the hoover skirt.

Glue the lego pieces to the front of Tom and the wall anchors to either side of the legos.

Anmmmmmddddd you’re finished!

I think he turned out pretty awesome for only costing about $30 – and who knew I could build a robot!?

Let me know if you try this out. I would LOVE to see what you did and if you found any other ways to make it easier!

Removing Sticker Tags….Easily (no sharp tools involved!)

I ❤ Goodwill…Savers…Salvation Army stores – Ok, ANY thrift store! I get most of my crafting supplies there because the possibilities are endless. The one thing I DO NOT like – is their uncanny ability to put price stickers in the most annoying and inconvenient places – namely on the front or top of anything glass or ceramic. While that half torn sticky mess used to cause my blood vessels to pop…not anymore.

This process should only take about 10 minutes.

Fill your sink with nice warm water – when it is full enough to fully submerge the part of your piece with the sticker on it – add 1-1/2 to 2 scoops of Oxyclean.

Place your piece in – let it soak for about 5 minutes.

That’s it. I’d be surprised if the tag is even still on it (most of mine just float off…)

 (See…floating tags)

If the tag is still on, just gently rub off with your fingers, a towel, paper towel, your nose – whatever – it will come off super easy.

Now, this won’t work with anything porous (wood/fabric/etc) – But anything plastic/metal/glass/ceramic.

Let me know if you try this out. I would LOVE to see what you did and if you found any other ways to make it easier!

Yarn Frames

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE the look of a cluster of matching frames on a wall. Also – if you are anything like me, you can’t just up and buy 15 or 20 of the same frame, especially if they are any larger then a wallet size frame. There is always the option of spray painting the frames you have already to match…but that’s a different post all together.

I thought up this idea after being shown some murals people made out of push pins and string by my friend Melissa. I thought it was such a great idea (especially since we are renting our home, and don’t have the option of painting one color on the walls…let alone murals!) But then I thought…what else can  could you do with push pins and string? I looked down our long hallway of mismatched frames and realized – Hey! I have a TON of push pins and yarn! Let’s see how it looks!

Each frame I’ve done took me about 3 minutes, of course it could take longer or shorter depending on the size and your looping dexterity.

What you will need:

Push pins (enough for each corner of each photo)

Yarn

Scissors

 

Start by placing four push pins in each corner of your photo of choice (thumb tacks will *not* work for this project) and tie the end of your yarn in a double knot to one pin. Extra yarn at the end is not a problem, you can just tuck it in when you’re done.

  

Bring the yarn down (or across, it doesn’t matter which way you go) and loop once around the next push pin and then string to the next (continuing clockwise or counterclockwise all the way around the boarder of the frame.  To make the frame boarder larger – loop over the push pin and change directions (last photo above). So if you were looping clockwise – loop once and start counterclockwise.

**Caution** Kitties love this project. Watch your yarn closely or your frame is likely to become unraveled…I might or might not know this from experience.

 

 

When your frame has reached your desired thickness – snip the end of your yarn and single knot tie with one of the strands and pull tight. You can double knot it if you’d like, but I have never had any of my frames unravel from the wall (cat assisted unraveling does not apply here). and tuck the remaining length behind the strands.

 

There it is. Matching “frames” for your wall. Of course you could get crazy and use a few different colors…or even do what my friend Christina did with some frames she had and just wrap the yarn around it:

Let me know if you try this out. I would LOVE to see what you did and if you found any other ways to make it easier!