This year we wanted to wear something a little different for the 4th of July, so we undertook this easy t-shirt craft after seeing a friend post a picture of her son wearing one. It takes only a few minutes apart from drying, & you can even “girlify” it with a little ribbon! I took sharp scissors & snipped small cuts in the shirt, either on the front pocket, or around the neck. Just make sure you have an even number. Thread the ribbon through & tie into a pretty knot or bow, then squeeze a little hot glue inside the knot to keep it from untying in the wash. Now, if your little girl has an abnormally large head like mine does, you may want to snip the ribbon where it doesn’t show & safety-pin it after she pulls it over her head. Didn’t think about the fact that it needed to stretch… Whoops!
Now on to painting!
What you need:
- kid-sized white t-shirt (I got mine at Target for $5 each)
- red & blue paint (you can use fabric paint, but acrylic is so much cheaper–usually less than 50 cents a bottle–& I’ll show you how to heat-set it at the end for the wash)
- 1″ foam brush
- 2 paper plates
What to do:
- Squeeze a generous amount of your blue paint onto one paper plate & spread it around.
- Place your child’s left hand in the paint, coating well. Then carefully help her stamp her hand, fingers outstretched, on the left side of the shirt. Clean off her hand &, if she’s young, let her go play while you do the rest. (By the way, 14 months may be a tad young for this craft; my little one kept squelching her fingers together & I had to spread them myself.)
- Squeeze some red paint onto the other paper plate & use your foam brush to paint stripes next to the handprint. The foam helps keep the stripes a nice uniform width. Paint as many stripes as you think look good!
- To heat-set: When the paint is completely dry, place a doubled-up paper towel inside the shirt & on top of the painted part, then iron on the cotton setting (high heat) for about a minute. Now you can wash it after they wear it!
If you’re looking for a place to wear your new shirts, how about organizing an indoor “parade” through a nursing home? That’s what we did yesterday, & it was a wonderful experience. We rounded up some friends from our MOMS Club, decorated up our wagons, waved some little flags, & played “Stars & Stripes Forever” on repeat on my iPhone with some little speakers as we marched through the halls. The residents were very appreciative of visitors, & it was a great experience for the kids! They loved marching & getting so much attention, & it was a great teaching moment about how good service can make us feel. My 4-year-old kept saying, “Mommy, they’re so happy to see me!”
Where will you wear your patriotic shirts?
This month my Secret Recipe Club assignment was Dancing Veggies, a (mostly) vegetarian blog with a few vegan recipes. Way to get me out of my comfort zone! As I scrolled down Amanda’s list of recipes, many caught my eye, like these pierogies & these super-tasty-looking zucchini fritters with homemade tzatziki sauce. But, as you know, I’ve been on a bit of a berry kick lately, so when I saw her Verry Berry Terrine, I knew that’s what I had to make!
Like Amanda, I had never heard of a terrine before, so I decided to do a Google Image search to see what dessert terrines looked like. Inspired by the many layered desserts I saw, I elected to do 3 layers instead of her 2: 1 with blueberries, 1 of just cream, & 1 with strawberries. Red, white, & blue! You could serve this for one of the many patriotic holidays we have coming up, or, since I seem to be the only food or craft blogger who didn’t make something for the Super Bowl, Patriots or Giants colors. This dessert looks fancy, but it was remarkably easy, & I already had everything I needed for it. I love it when that happens!
- 12 oz. Neufchatel cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups prepared whipped cream (or Cool Whip)
- 1 cup blueberries, rinsed & patted dry
- 1 cup diced strawberries
- 1 cup crushed graham crackers
- 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
- about 8 whole graham cracker sheets, quartered on the perforations
- Line a loaf pan with enough wax paper over the sides to cover the top as well.
- In your mixer bowl, cream together cream cheese & sugar. Mix in the vanilla, then remove from mixer & use spatula fold in the whipped cream until well combined.
- Split the mixture into 3 smaller bowls. Fold blueberries into the cream mixture in one of the bowls, & the strawberries into another.
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter (it can be in the same bowl you used for the cream cheese). Press the mixture into the bottom & halfway up the sides of the loaf pan.
- Very gently pour/spread the blueberry-cream mixture over the top of the graham cracker crumbs. Use your spatula to smooth it flat, then do the same with the cream, & lastly with the strawberries. Gently slide graham crackers down the sides of the pan, between the strawberry layer & the wax paper.
- Place remaining graham crackers on top to cover the strawberry layer. Fold the overhanging wax paper over the top. Use pie weights (or, in their absence, a Tupperware of frozen leftover spaghetti sauce works quite well) to keep it pressed down. Freeze several hours or overnight.
- Remove to refrigerator to thaw a few hours before serving (we took it out almost 4 hours beforehand & the fruit was still frozen). Remove wax paper, then invert from pan onto a serving plate. Then cut into slices with a sharp knife. It’ll keep for several days in the fridge, but will get quite soft once it’s fully thawed, so it’s best to eat it within 24 hours of pulling it out of the freezer.
Thanks, Amanda! This was delicious!
The Primaries are tomorrow here in Florida. The race has been hot, to say the least, with almost every single evening commercial break being completely taken up with campaign attack ads. Having already done my civic duty — it’s really easy to vote early here — I thought I’d commemorate the craziness with a little patriotism.
(You don’t need to explain the irony to me of using a French-named dessert… Maybe you could use this for Bastille Day this summer.)
I saw this easy Napoleon recipe on TidyMom a week ago & knew I needed to make it. I love that the thick pudding/whipped cream mixture is essentially a quick pastry cream! Her version uses raspberries & bananas, which sounded good, but strawberries & blueberries are in season here, & I have to tell you, they’re the best I’ve ever tasted. Living in the same county as the top growers for Florida strawberries, we’re getting Farmer’s Market quality in the grocery store! It’s unbelievable. So I thought I’d complement those berries with chocolate & cinnamon instead of TidyMom’s caramel & brown sugar.
That’s the great thing about this: you can do it however you want! I actually was going to do bananas too, but a certain husband ate the last one. Honestly, though, I don’t think we missed them!
One quick note: in the future, I think I’ll use puff pastry instead of crescent dough for a flakier, more authentic texture.
- 1 (8 oz.) can refrigerated crescent rolls (or use puff pastry)
- cinnamon sugar
- 1 cup cold skim milk
- 1 box (4-serving size) French vanilla (regular vanilla works fine too) instant pudding & pie filling mix
- 1 cup prepared whipped cream*
- thinly sliced fruit of choice (bananas, strawberries, raspberries, whole blueberries)
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
- vegetable oil
*I made mine with very little powdered sugar so that it wouldn’t be overwhelmingly sweet. You could also use Cool Whip.
- Preheat your oven to 375. Cover a baking sheet with parchment.
- Unroll your crescents into 4 rectangles. Pinch shut the seams that turn them into triangles. Use a pizza cutter or very sharp knife to cut each rectangle into 4 smaller rectangles, approx. 4″x2″. Place on prepared baking sheet & sprinkle each with cinnamon sugar.
- Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden & beginning to puff. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together milk & pudding mix until smooth & beginning to thicken, then refrigerate 30 minutes, until set.
- Fold in whipped cream. If you’re serving this later, cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate until ready to serve. If you’re serving immediately, continue.
- Microwave chocolate chips in a small bowl until melted. Stir in enough oil to thin the chocolate to where it is “drizzle-able” (pretend that’s a word).
- Construct Napoleons as follows: one crescent rectangle, dollop of pudding mixture, sliced fruit, another crescent rectangle, another dollop, more fruit, & one last crescent rectangle. Drizzle with chocolate. For small children, just dollop some pudding in a bowl, place a crescent rectangle in the pudding, & top with fruit & chocolate drizzle.
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