Chocolate makes everything merry and bright.
Am I right?
When scheming up a gift idea for some of our friends this Christmas, I was seized by visions of
sugarplums chocolate stirring spoons dancing in mugs of hot cocoa. You know…those chocolate-covered spoons bedazzled with all manner of edible yum that add elegance and delight to cocoa, coffee, or lattes. Mmmmm. They’ve been on my MUST MAKE list for way too long.
So once my brain latched on to this choco-vision and started dreaming up adorable presentation possibilities (in a mug with cocoa packets and a candycane to boot!), I found myself heading to Target and Publix to gather my supplies.
Back at the ranch, I dusted off *my trusty Silhouette machine and set to work to create some custom tags to accompany my drink kits. Since becoming a Floridian, I do lament the fact that white Christmases are hard to come by. So, for the front of the tags, I thought I’d embrace the lyric from the classic Christmas tune:
“I don’t know if there’ll be snow, but have a cup of CHEER!”
And I’m just smitten with how it all turned out.
Ready for the full run-down on how to nab the FREE gift tag cut file?
Ready to glean my pointers for making your own stirring spoons?
I thought so! Let’s go:
“Cup of Cheer” Gift Tags: FREE Cut File
One of the many magical features I love most about my Silhouette machine is its ability to print-and-cut. What exactly does that mean? Well, you can print text on a piece of paper or specialty media, then you can send it through your machine, and it will use registration marks to cut out even the most intricate of designs exactly where it should. Like magic.
As for my specialty of media of choice? The Printable Silver Foil takes the cake. I’ve used it with my Actor’s Survival Kit Tags, Halloween Party Treat Bags, Receipt Organization, Monogram Seals, and Chill Pills Gag Gift.
Here’s my print-and-cut process (and tips for getting that perfect cut):
Step 1. Prep to print.
Prior to printing your design on said foil, there are just a few preparatory steps to take. First, change your media size from the 12″ x 12″ default to letter size. Do that under the PAGE tab. Then, select the REGISTRATION MARKS tab in order to click “show registration marks.” Registration marks are the magical fairy dust to the entire print-and-cut process. Essentially, they tell your machine exactly where your images are on the media when it comes time to cut. So, as long as the printed elements of your design fits inside the registration marks and the cut elements fit inside the red box, you’re good to go!
Step 2. Printing time.
Then, you’re ready to load your Printable Silver Foil into your printer and click print! If you have the option, I recommend using your highest quality print settings and select “photo paper” as your media since it’s akin in thickness to the foil.
Step 3. Load your foil into your Silhouette and cut.
When you’re ready to cut your labels, place your sheet of foil on your mat, then run a test cut with your machine’s recommended cut settings for Printable Foil (adjusting your blade accordingly). Before hitting “CUT,” double-check your cut lines to make sure the outline of the tags are turned on and the lettering are turned off.
Then, let your machine cut away! It will first scan the registration marks, so it can then cut exactly where it should. This step in the process never ceases to amaze me. It’s magical.
TIPS for the Perfect Cut: If you’re working at night or don’t have enough light shining down on your machine, it may struggle to detect the registration marks or cut lines may not line up where they should. One solution is to shine a flashlight onto your machine as it scans. Also, you can carefully draw a darker black line over the registration marks with a sharpie like I did.
Step 4. Cut your backing.
Because I wanted to my foil tags to really pop, I decided to adhere them to a festive red cardstock backdrop. That second slightly larger shape is also waiting for you in the freebie cut file. I always recommend doing a test cut first to make sure your machine’s settings are as they should be for achieving a clean cut. A blade of 5 worked best for me.
Step 5. Assemble your tags.
This was by fair the easiest step! I created my design in such a way that as long as you line up the two holes at the top, everything else falls into place as you apply the foil stickers to the cardstock. Mark and I plan to write a TO and FROM on the back of the tags along with a short note to our recipients.
These look extra lovely with white-and-red baker’s twine, doncha think?
Ready to download your freebie? Here ya go:
Hot Chocolate Stirring Spoons
I always like to do my research before diving into a new project, especially one in the kitchen, but I’ll be honest: I really struggled to find many pointers on chocolate-dipped spoons. Most tutorials claimed they were as easy as melting chocolate, dipping spoons, sprinkling goodies, and letting ’em cool.
Could it really be that easy?
For the most part, yes! But I do have a few pointers I picked up along the way I’m eager to share.
- Baker’s chocolate (dark, milk, white…or all of the above)
- festive sprinkles
- mini marshmallows
- crushed candy canes
- crushed Andes Mints
- plastic spoons (in red and silver)
- clear plastic bags with twistie ties
- additional supplies: wax paper, baking sheet, wooden spoon, toothpick, small bowls
WHAT I LEARNED:
- Don’t simply lay out your wax paper on the countertop like someone did. Put it on a cookie sheet or tray that will fit in your fridge so you can speed up the cooling process.
- Those nifty Baker’s Dipping Chocolate containers you see pictured above? Really easy to work with. Each container resulted in 17 stirring spoons.
- If you lay your spoons right-side up to cool, set the handle on a wooden spoon to help level them.
- I experimented with laying spoons right-side up and upside-down, with varying results. And I like each for different reasons. But both worked BEST when I made sure the side that would touch the wax paper had dripped as much excess chocolate back into the container as possible.
- I found that the chocolate worked best when it had cooled a bit and thickened up. It was much less drippy than when it was first heated up.
- I experimented with different dipping methods, and I prefer the look of the spoons where I dipped 1/4 of the way up the stem of the spoon. (The more chocolate, the better, right?)
- Use a toothpick to add a face to your snowman.
After cooling for 30 minutes or so in the fridge, the chocolate was fully hardened. At that point, you can start tying them up in clear bags and assembling your Hot Chocolate Drink Kits! Though, be sure to make yourself a cup of cocoa first, so you can test out your yummy creations.
Hot Chocolate Drink Kits: Holiday Gift Idea
Here are my cups of cheer all ready to be gifted! Each one contains 4 hot chocolate packets, 4 chocolate stirring spoons, 1 candy cane, a festive mug, and of course, the custom gift tag.
I couldn’t bear to block sweet Dasher’s face with the gift tag, so his is getting tucked in with the goodies.
And is there anything quite so cozy as a mug wrapped in a knit cosy? I think not!
Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?
My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!
1. Beauty in the Mess // 2. JustTyra // 3. Dream a Little Bigger // 4. Simply Kelly Designs // 5. The Stamp Doc // 6. From Wine to Whine // 7. TheKimSixFix // 8. unOriginal Mom // 9. HaberdasheryFun // 10. Tastefully Frugal // 11. Sisters, What! // 12. Small Stuff Counts // 13. Where The Smiles Have Been // 14. Whatcha Workin’ On? // 15. Designed Decor // 16. Architecture of a Mom // 17. Decor Adventures // 18. Create & Babble // 19. Tori Grant Designs // 20. Tried & True // 21. The Thinking Closet // 22. Creative Ramblings // 23. Get Silvered // 24. McCall Manor // 25. Cutesy Crafts // 26. Ginger Snap Crafts // 27. My Favorite Finds // 28. Cupcakes&Crowbars // 29. Pineapples & Pinecones // 30. The Crafting Nook // 31. It Happens in a Blink // 32. Alayna’s Creations
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