12 DIYs of Christmas: Easy Christmas Candy Tray

12 DIYs of Christmas: Christmas Candy Tray

Today, I am sharing how I styled an easy Christmas candy tray using a few of our family’s favorite treats and pieces from the Lenox holiday collection. This may be the sweetest DIY that you do this holiday season. By the way, this is the 4th DIY of the 12 DIYs of Christmas.


How to Make a Christmas Candy Tray

First, set out your favorite Christmas tray. I am using a beautiful silver metal platter from the Lenox holiday collection.  The pinecones and holly leaf design is perfect for holiday gatherings all season long.

Next, make or buy an assortment of your favorite holiday candies and treats!  Include a variety of chocolates, peppermints, gummy candies, cookies and white chocolate covered popcorn and pretzels.


Its as easy as 1, 2, 3

Step 1.  Use decorative bowls to hold small candies like gummy bears, m&m’s, cherry sours or Red Hots. If necessary, use small pedestals to add height. Begin by placing the largest bowl on the tray, maybe off center. Then, add smaller bowls around it on the tray.

Step 2. Next, place larger individual treats like cookies, peppermint sticks, licorice and chocolate reindeer onto the tray.

Step 3. Last, fill in with bite size treats like mints or white chocolate popcorn (my recipe is here).

Dessert for Dinner

As my kids get older and outgrow certain traditions with sneaky elves and stories of Santa Claus, it has been hard to keep the excitement of Christmas alive.  Therefore, I thought it would be fun, and really unexpected to initiate a new a new Christmas tradition… ‘dessert for dinner!’  Of course, we had a meal afterwards, but it was still fun to enjoy dessert first!

So, I set a fancy table with beautiful Lenox mercury glass trees as the centerpiece, gold rimmed glasses, and  snowflake carved dinner plates. Then, I served dessert on a silver platter! Plus, Lenox ornaments, holiday decor and entertaining pieces are great gifts which can grow into a beautiful collection year after year.


Paper accents for the table are from Hester and Cook, including the paper Santa placemats and Christmas tree place cards. They are so fun and festive for holiday tablescapes.


Old and new traditions are what bring families together! This was a wonderful feast, y’all!

The 12 DIYs of Christmas

I hope you enjoy this 4th holiday inspired DIY in the 12 DIY’s of Christmas.  If you missed the first days of the 12 DIYs of Christmas, you can see how I made a set of berry garland napkin rings for $1, here, a countdown calendar here, and a DIY snow globe lamp, here.

Save this to your Christmas Dessert Pinterest Board by tapping the red pin in the top left of this pic!

Fun Ways to Celebrate Back to School

Back to School Traditions

Summer should have gotten a speeding ticket, because it just flew by!  As we hang on to the last few sacred days of summertime, most kids are heading ‘back to school!’  Therefore, I have rounded up a few ideas and one of my family’s favorite traditions to make this transition not only manageable, but fun! Traditions are what make each family unique. The point is to create traditions that your kids looks forward to each year.  I realize that every day can not be ‘Pinterest perfect,’ but you will never regret taking time to make memories.  For us, we start the week with a fun back to school breakfast.


Back to School Breakfast

Tablescape Ideas

First, use school themed paper as a placemat. For example, I found this notebook paper themed poster board and gift tag at the Target Dollar Spot for $1. Other ideas are to use scrapbook paper or an open book as a placemat and sit a plate or charger on top.

In addition, I do like to personalize place settings with names and or small treats.  I used sharpie marker to write my daughter’s name on a wooden tag. If you are looking for a fun way to personalize your tablescapes more often, I use these wooden ledges and letter tiles from Krumpet’s Home Decor.  I love that the tiles come in a variety of colors from mint, like this, to orange, red, black, white…etc.  Use code CUTERTUDOR for 10% anytime!  


Next, you can decorate a centerpiece with a stack of books and extra school supplies.  Just add some markers or pencils in mason jars to set the school room vibe.  Then, set the table with your everyday dishes.  It’s that simple!  Do something that you do not do everyday, and your kids will automatically be surprised and love the extra attention! Sleepy eyes and all!

Food for Thought

After that, make a fun breakfast that your kids will enjoy. It doesn’t have to be fancy for your kids to feel special or get excited about school. They will not remember if you served homemade French toast with omelets made from farm fresh eggs or their favorite cereal.  However, your kids will remember that ‘mama tried.’ Share your gifts with your kids without comparing yourself to other moms.  You were made to be your child’s parent.  Therefore, if cooking is your strength, make your kids the cutest fruit face pancakes.  If words are your forte, send them to school with the most inspiring note in their lunch box.  I love to decorate, and my kids know that fun tablescapes and themed parties is one way I show them how much I love them and want them to feel special.

Back to School themed breakfast with cinnamon roll, yogurt and juice on a notebook paper placemat.

More Ways to Celebrate Back to School

These ideas are not meant to make you feel like you aren’t doing enough. I get it working moms, moms of littles, moms of multiples, moms of kids in every freakin’ school activity, moms who carpool their daughter to cheer an hour away… we are all struggling to do the best we can! So, I will include an alternative idea for ya.

After School Ice Cream

  • Serve ice cream sundaes after school!  Welcome kids home the first week of school with an ice cream bar. Include all the favorite toppings like nuts, sprinkles, chocolate syrup, whip cream or fresh fruit.  Don’t forget the cherry on top! (Target Dollar spot was killing it with ice cream themed party supplies in July, so I grabbed a few themed napkins, float mugs and all the sprinkles.)
  • Stop in your kids favorite snow cone or ice cream shop after school for ten minutes of ice cold treats and small talk.

Movie Night

  • Have a movie night with homemade pizza on Friday!  This is such great way to unwind and end a busy first week of school. We enjoy making our own pizzas so that everyone can choose their own toppings.  My husband and my favorite is thin crust flatbread with mozzarella, sautéed mushrooms, and spinach leaves.
  • Pizza To Go or Delivery, y’all, is a blessing on busy school nights! Been there, done that!

Technology Free Family Dinner

  • Enjoy a family dinner at your child’s favorite restaurant. For bonus points, invoke the rule of no technology at dinner so you can hear all about what your kids are looking forward to, or hoping to avoid, this school year! If you start the school year with open communication, your kids will be more likely to talk to you about what’s happening at school later on.  Plus, you get a night off from cooking and cleaning!
  • Drive through fast food or pack a picnic, but head to the park while the older kids are at their football practice or cheer practice or band practice for the 3rd night this week.

Back to School Bash

  • Host a Back to School bash for your child’s friends. If you live in the South, like me, the beginning of school does not mean the end of summer.  It’s still hot!  Therefore, throw a pool party at your home or community pool.  Just add some summer time snacks and drinks!  School supplies like a pack of fresh crayons or markers makes the perfect party favor.  Grab them when they are on sale!
  • No pool, no problem! Choose other water activities like a slip-n-slide or water balloons.


Back to School Treats

  • Order special back to school themed cookies or donuts from your local bakery!
  • Make your own treats like rice crispy squares with any kind of cereal. We love them with fruity pebbles or fruit loops.  They double as breakfast, y’all!


One year, I went all out to decorate our dining room with a vintage inspired back to school tablescape. It was my son’s senior year of high school and my daughter’s first year of middle school!  Surpisingly, I used all things that I already had.  You can read all about it, here!!!! But first, here’s a sneak peak!


Thank your for stopping by the blog!  Most importantly, I hope that your kids or grandkids have a great school year! If you love these ideas, please share on Pinterest or Facebook with your friends and family.  Above all, remember that the days go by slow, but the years go by fast.

How to Throw a Glamping Party for your Kids Birthday with DIYs

How to Throw a Glamping Party for you kid’s Birthday with DIYs

Happy birthday, Callie!!  In honor of my daughter’s 13th birthday this week, here is her glamping party from three years ago. Decorating for my kids’ birthday parties has been a fun tradition for years, because I love to make their day special! Callie opted for a mother daughter shopping trip in lieu of a big party with friends this year. However, this glamping party is still one of her favorites!  And mine, too! I think it is a combination of fun activities and all the cute DIY crafts and details that make a party memorable!

This glamping party is geared towards a tween girls slumber party, but hopefully you find some inspiration to create something unique for your next kids birthday party.  If you missed what glamping is, it means glamorous camping!  Basically, you get all the comfort of home while enjoying the outdoors whether you go to a cabin in the woods or campout in your own backyard.


Glamping Kids Party


I want to show you how a few DIYs can help you create a one of a kind kids birthday party!  For this party, we used our craft room located in our detached garage, hung out in the backyard around the fire pit, and spent time in the small wooded area on our property. We filled this room with air mattresses for the girls to have a slumber party!


Glammed Up DIY Candles

Apply glue then glitter to the regular numerical birthday candles from the grocery store.  The great thing about this DIY is that it can be done with any color of glitter to to glam up your princess’ candles on the birthday cake during your glamping party.


kids glamping party ideas


DIY Kids Teepee

This kids DIY teepee may seem hard to make but it is super easy!  It did take me about six hours to assemble, but with hot glue and a staple gun anything is possible. For the DIY teepee, I used six 1×2 poles and about 15 yards of fabric.  This DIY teepee is able to fold up but not completely.  Just consider how you assemble the top.  Inside the boho inspired teepee, you can place sleeping bags, pillows and faux fur rugs for lounging.  Roll up blankets to look like sleeping bags.  Use undecorated Christmas trees to bring the outdoors in.

First, I spread out the poles in a hexagon shape and tied the poles together about one foot from the top with strong jute rope. After the frame was set up, I stapled the fabric onto the poles.  I hot glued the folds for a seamless look. Working from the bottom to the top, vary the width of the fabric.   I left an opening for the door by cutting the fabric at that pole, wrapping it around the pole and stapling it in place.  For the opening, I folded the top of a sheet of gold fabric over a pole, gluing the back of the fabric together so it can slide as necessary.  I hot glued ribbon to both side of the opening and cut the fabric down the middle to be able to draw back the curtains.  Lastly, I added some extra ribbons, bead and fabric near the top of the teepee.



glamping birthday party


Scavenger Hunt

During the party, we ate s’mores, watched movies on the projector, made dreamcatchers, personlized clipboards, went on a nature walk, but the favorite activity was a scavenger hunt.  The scavenger hunt served as party favors for the girls and a fun activity.  Before the party, I purchased treats for each guest and wrote clues for each of those items that would be hidden around our property.  I tried to relate some of the items to a particular location.  For example, lip gloss was hidden in the upstairs bathroom, socks in the dryer and twig pencils in a tree in the front yard.  We gave each guest a bag and the scavenger list with clues.  I switched the order for each person so that they would have a unique experience with their own clues.

It is fun for me to find unique party favors that go with the theme, so I usually start looking a few weeks before the party.  I found chevron journals from Target and twig style lead and colored pencils from World Market.  We bought clear containers from Dollar Tree are filled with candy.  Other items that I used in the scavenger hunt are chevron patterned socks, lip gloss, and glow sticks.  The details, whether handmade or store-bought, make the difference.  Heart shaped cardstock, tied with jute to each bag from Michael’s dollar section personalize each bag.  I wrote the girls names with sharpie and outlined a triangle around the name to mimic a teepee.


glamping birthday party scavenger hunt

DIY Fabric Garland

With the extra fabric, I made a DIY torn fabric garland.  Cut a sheet of fabric twice as long as you want the length of the fabric strips to hang so about two feet in length. Next, cut about inch deep and inch apart into the fabric with scissors.  Use the cut to start your tear and separate the fabric into strips.  Tie the strips onto a piece of jute by folding over the jute and pulling it through the loop.  You can use an assortment of ribbons, beads and fabric to create your garland for any holiday or party.  I used the garland to decorate the food table, but later added it to the teepee.  These garlands also look cute on a highchair for a kids’ first birthday.


DIY Mini Banners and Crafts

There are lots of different ways to personalize a party by making a few one of a kind crafts.  For the cake, I made a mini banner with my daughter’s name with wooden skewers, jute, scrapbook paper and letter stickers.  I simply cut a triangle out of paper, using the first one as a template. I hot glued the paper on to the jute and tied the jute onto the top of wooden skewers.  To give the paper straws a boho feel, I wrapped different colors of embroidery thread and feathers around the top of the straw.  Hot glue in place if necessary.


glamping kids birthday party ideas


We had a sleepover during the glamping party. I tied wooden spoons and chocolate straws to boxes of individual cereals for breakfast with ribbon. I also made an accordion style card from an assortment of scrapbook letters.


diy mini birthday banners



Thank you for checking out my glamping party ideas for my daughter’s 10th birthday!  I have always loved to decorate for parties.  This is the time that I started to really photograph the crafts that I made.  Later, I begin to share them on Instagram at @cutertudor which led to blogging.  Thank you for sharing my blogs posts on Pinterest and Facebook.  It is the easiest way for you to file ideas for later and also help others read my blog!

How to Make a DIY Corbel Desk for Small Spaces

How to Make a space saving DIY Corbel Desk.


My daughter and I are in the process of updating her bedroom into a place fit for a queen; I mean a teen.  Consequently, Callie definitely has her preferences, and I have tried to let her take the lead from furniture arrangements and paint color, to the smallest details like candle scents and wall decals.  As hard as it is to let go, it is amazing to see her make her own design choices.  While this room may not match the rest of our home, it fits my soon to be teenager well.  I will certainly admit that it has been fun to decorate with PINK!

In the process of updating her room, Callie wanted to remove extra furniture to get the most out of her space.  For that reason, she still needed a writing desk for homework and a vanity to get ready, so the DIY corbel desk evolved. When I shared the idea with my toughest client yet, she loved it!  I originally saw this idea shared by Amie and Jolie of the Junk Gypsy Co in Roundtop, Texas.

So, how easy it is?

Y’all, this built in DIY corbel desk would be perfect as a kids desk, vanity, entry table or bar in a game room or kitchen nook.  Seems like, it is great for small spaces and I built this by myself!  This is an easy project that you can put on your ‘do it yourself’ list.   I am so proud that I used a brad nailer and a miter saw without having to take a trip to the emergency room.  However, I did drop our biggest tape measure on my toe.  Let’s just say ‘if a tool falls on a toe in a workshop and no-one else is around, will it make a sound?’ Yes, the answer is definitely a yes!  Besides that, with a few tools and supplies like corbels, wood trim and a sheet of wood, you CAN do this, too!


Do it yourself corbel vanity and writing desk

DIY corbel vanity and writing desk in one.

 DIY Corbel Desk Instructions


Get measurements.

First, determine the height, width and depth for the DIY corbel desk. The standard desk height is 28-30″ tall.  I made sure the cart could slide under if needed, so we settled on 30 inches tall.  Decide how wide and deep that you want the table top to be, as well.  This one measured about 50 inches long, enough room for the cart and a chair to slide under.  Depth of the desk needs to hang over the top of the corbels, but how much is up to you.  Make your marks for height and width on the wall in pencil.


Build the base.

Once you have your measurements, you need to build a brace to attach the corbels to the wall.  We used 1×4 inch boards, but the width you use may be determined by the width of your corbels. If you have 3 inch wide corbels, use 1×3 boards.   Cut the board according to the measurement you need and size of your corbels.  We cut one 1×4 inch board 50 inches long (width of desk including corbels placed on the inside).Turn the corbels upside down where the table top side is on the floor.  Place the long board between the corbels as shown in picture below.  Use a drill and screws to secure the long board to the back of the corbels.

Measure the length for 2 more boards to be placed above the long board on the back of each corbel.  You will measure from the end of the corbel to the bottom of the long board.  Drill these  pieces to the back of the corbels.  This allows you to secure the boards to the studs in the wall.Secure the base.


DIY Desk with corbels


Attach to wall.

Next, find the studs in the wall. Obviously, the corbels are turned back around at this point. Lastly, drill the long board directly to the studs in the wall in numerous places.


Diy Desk

The 1×4 boards will allow you to secure the corbels to the studs in the wall.


Here’s how the DIY corbel desk looked assembled… Now to add the details and paint it!  

I found these unpainted corbels at The Findery; in Waco, Texas.  They are available in two sizes; these are the larger corbels.


DIY corbel desk


Build the top.

I used a sheet of MDF cut to the desired size of the table top for this vanity.  I allowed the table top to hang over both sides 4 inches and about 6 inches off the front.  Use a table saw to cut or have Home Depot or Lowe’s cut it for you.

For the trim, a 1 inch wood trim from Home Depot to cover the length of the desk on the front and two sides worked great.  For that reason, I did not put it on the back so that it would sit flush against the wall.  Use a miter saw to cut the wood trim.  Be sure to overhang the wood on the front of the panel to cover the side piece of the trim, like in the photo on the left.

Ryobi has an awesome cordless brad nailer that I can use with confidence.  Adhere the trim with the brad nailer. I aimed the nail gun near the bottom half of the trim to hide the nail heads.  *You can use a nicer sheet of wood, like birch plywood if you prefer to stain the wood.

Paint it.

Paint the corbels, wood panel and trim. I used a latex interior paint in the color called ‘marshmallow.’  I used Miss Mustard Seed’s white wax to seal the top.  You can distress the corbels with a sander, but my daughter doesn’t like the vintage look.  I know y’all, but I can’t disown her.   Paint the 1×3’s before they are installed, as well.  Have fun and paint your DIY corbel desk to fit your own style!

Style it up.


I wanted a mirror above the desk so that it could be used as a vanity for my daughter, too.  I found the perfect black metal, ruffled edge mirror from Antique Farmhouse.  My daughter chose these peony flower wall stickers from Rocky Mountain Decals.  I have removed these two times since I received them in May and haven’t had any problems repositioning them or getting them to stick.


DIY desk for kids room
Create a backdrop for the desk with wall decals and a mirror.


Finally, Accessorize.


Isn’t the fun part when you decorate with all your favorite finds?  Accessorizing seems like the point that the room really comes together.   Because there are so many cute organizational tools, you don’t have to pick function over form anymore.  I found these Rae Dunn goodies during a recent trip to Homegoods! I bought the makeup brush holder and tray , plus some cute notebooks and pencil pouches.  My daughter and I found the striped notebook with pink roses at Marshall’s.  It was the perfect color and pattern for her room.



Having a place for everything helps kids keep their room organized.  More truthfully, it helps moms know where to put stuff, lol.  I do think it helps though!  Because my daughter is getting older, we are really working on being responsible and keeping organized.  So, I hope this space inspires her to do that.  On the other side of the vanity, I styled a jewelry box, vase of faux flowers and a yummy cactus pear scented candle.



I hope you have been inspired to build your own DIY corbel desk for a small space in your home.  Maybe I will share the rest of the room update with y’all before she actually turns 13!  Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram at @cutertudor and most importantly, pin this for later!


DIY corbel desk

Pin this to your DIY Pinterest Board

Easy, Kid Friendly Halloween Crafts: Boo Blocks

Make this easy, no mess Halloween craft cleverly called ‘Boo Blocks’ for your next Halloween party or carnival!  


Need a no mess craft for your kids this Halloween?  Boo Blocks are an easy way for kids to get in the spirit of Halloween, while creating a holiday decoration that you will love!  With a little prep and a few simple supplies, boo blocks are the perfect craft when hosting lots of kids at Halloween parties or carnivals!

Boo Blocks Halloween Crafts

I first created ‘boo blocks’ as one of several activities for my daughter’s halloween themed craft party a few years ago.  As a former art teacher, I have always tried to inspire my kids to love the process of creating.  During the party, we painted images of pumpkins on canvas with acrylic paints, and decorated whimsical skulls with paint pens and rhinestones.  I needed another activity that was fun, but easy and mess free.  Due to my love of scrapbooking and endless craft stash, I decided that using simple scrapbooking techniques on wooden blocks would be fun!


Kid friendly, easy halloween crafts

Kid friendly, easy halloween crafts


Prep Work:

Step 1.  Cut one inch thick plywood into 6 inch squares. You can probably get it cut at Home Depot or Lowe’s if you do not have a table saw.   Sand any rough edges, if necessary.

Step 2.  Spray paint one flat side and all four of the edges of the wood with black spray paint. Allow to dry completely.



Party Time:

Step 3. Choose a background paper for your block. I purchased an assortment of 6 x 6 inch halloween themed scrapbook paper, like the one here.  You can use larger sheets of paper cut to size.  Either way, it is so much easier to have the pre-cut paper into 6 inch squares. Use modge podge or Elmers glue to adhere the paper to the block of wood with an inexpensive sponge brush.  Looking for a faster drying alternative?  Use Elmer’s all purpose spray adhesive!





Step 4. Use halloween themed washi tape or adhesive borders to create frames or stripes across the boards.  You can find adhesive borders in the sticker department at craft stores or online.  Precut the tape adhesive borders into 6 inch strips. You can also use a paper cutter to cut scrapbook paper into 6 inch strips to glue onto the design.  Tape or stickers just makes it easy to peel and stick onto the board.  The less glue and more adhesive stickers, the less mess!



Step 5. Embelish, embellish, embellish!  This is the fun part where you can add halloween themed 3D or foam stickers, craft letters, adhesive gemstones, buttons, or small trinkets like spiders.  Finding decorations with peel and stick backs makes it easy for kids to do.  Or get a box of ‘glue dots’ to adhere decorations to the block.  No mess, all the fun!



This kid friendly halloween craft is fun to make and display in your home for October.  Add it to your Halloween vignettes for a festive look!


Halloween craft for kids

‘Boo Blocks’ are a fun activity for kids and they make unique Halloween decor.


I will share a few more Halloween crafts all month long, including holiday banners and tips to make ‘boo baskets’ for your neighborhood! Pin this to your Halloween board on Pinterest to make this weekend with your kids! Happy October!


Halloween Kids crafts

Pin this to your Halloween Craft Board