Craft Projects, Jewelry, Quick and Easy Crafts

DIY Poison Ring

{A Smith of All Trades} Poison Ring cover

My friend and I have this ongoing joke that it would be totally badass to have poison rings. Of course, we don’t actually want to poison people, but it would be really cool to mess with people.

What do I mean? Fill a poison ring with cool aid and when you friend isn’t looking add it to their water. It will change colors out of nowhere. Bahaha! April fools is coming up and you could do some fun things with one of these.

Making your own poison ring is pretty easy — buy a stretchy ring, a few lockets and some E6000 from Michaels and you are ready to go.

{A Smith of All Trades} Poison Ring parts

First up, you need to pry the bail off of the locket using a pair of pliers.

{A Smith of All Trades} Poison Ring locket

Once that’s done, place a dollop of E6000 onto the base of the stretchy ring.

{A Smith of All Trades} Poison Ring e6000

Squash the locket on top and set it aside to dry. If your locket moves a bit, you can secure it with a little tape until it dries.

{A Smith of All Trades} Poison Ring glue

All dry — try it on for size!

{A Smith of All Trades} Poison Ring

Bahaha.. let the mischief begin. First up, “poisoning” my hubby’s tea (just to make sure nothing would fall out of the cracks, or course). It was only sugar guys, no worries 🙂

{A Smith of All Trades} Poison Ring 1

Even if you don’t want to use it to prank your friends or simply freak people out, you can fold up little messages and place them in the locket. Or, use the locket as a locket!

{A Smith of All Trades} Poison Ring 2

Doesn’t hurt that the ring is sorta pretty, too. Don’t worry, Ben — your locket is a bit less scrolly and more masculine.

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Craft Projects, Jewelry, Quick and Easy Crafts

DIY Button Ring

Button Ring cover

Today has not been my day. After getting all decked out in Ravens gear and heading to Baltimore for the parade, we instead sat in terrible traffic. Then, when we got into the city, they promptly redirected us right back out onto the highway. No Super Bowl celebration for us. So sooo bummed.

Instead I worked like most everyone else, which is good because I had stuff I needed to do. So, instead of Super Bowl celebration photos, here is a post I had scheduled for Wednesday for your enjoyment 🙂

I showed you how to make a few different types of button earrings in my last few posts, so today I’ll share how to make a button ring. It’s a little trickier than the earrings. All you need is a button, some hard wire, some pliers, and something to bend your wire around so it stays round — I have a ring sizer I use specifically for making rings.

Button Ring2

Thread your wire into your button holes.

Button Ring3

On the under side of the button, bend the wire in opposite directions. Then, send one of the wires back up and down through the holes again. Twist the wires around one another so the button will not fall off the wire if you let go.

Button Ring4

Then, wrap your wire around something that will hold the round shape. I chose to have a thicker band, so I wrapped the wire around my ring sizer four times.

Button Ring5

Next, starting with one side and at the base of the button, start wrapping the leftover wire tightly around the ring band.

Button Ring6

Do the same to the other side. Stop when you get all of the way around, or when both sides are even. If you wrap the wire around the entire band, your ring will be a lot smaller than you originally sized it to be, so keep that in mind.

Button Ring7

Cut the excess wire off and fold the edges down against the band. With that, your ring is finished!

Button Ring9

Button Ring

Button Ring8

Pretty darn cute, right?

Craft Projects, Holiday, Life, Recipes

Homemade Applesauce

Wow.

What a busy weekend.

Saturday was a blur. I participated in the Trash to Treasure Green Craft Fair and had a great time. A big “thank you” to those who stopped by the fair, and an even bigger “thank you” to by best friend Dana, my sister and my mom for stopping by and keeping me company throughout the day. Fairs are exhausting and having you there to help was really great.

Sunday was a blur. We made applesauce. All. Day. Long.

Seriously. Emily and I got to Dad’s house around 8:30 a.m. and immediately got to work making applesauce. We worked hard all day long, finally finishing up at 5:45 p.m. The hard work was worth it because we ended up with 72 jars of homemade deliciousness.

If you ever want to try making applesauce, I totally recommend it. It’s hard work, but it is also fun, smells amazing and tastes even better than it smells.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Apples: Duh. We used 3 bushels of apples (Two bushels of Red Delicious; One bushel of Golden Delicious) for 72 jars. Depending on how many you want to make… well, you do the math.
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown Sugar
  • Alcohol: We used Brandy this year. In years past, my dad has used Amaretto. Try what you’d like. The Brandy is the bomb, though. I definitely recommend it.
  • Vanilla
  • Red Hots 
  • Candy canes 
  • Pears
  • Canned Cranberries
  • Canning jars/lids/rings
  • Pots
  • Knives
  • Apple Grinder

Making applesauce is a many-step process. First, clean your apples and take all of the stickers off. If you want some extra fun, toss your apples into the sink. It doesn’t matter if they bruise, and it is great fun throwing fruit!

It is also important to sanitize your canning jars. We ran ours through the dishwasher, but you can also boil them. Clean your rings and lids, too.

Once your apples are clean and your jars are ready to go, it is safe to start cutting up your apples. I cut my apples into quarters, slicing through the core. Then I cut out any seeds and halved the slice. Set your apples aside until you have enough to steam.

Put your apples into a pot and fill the bottom with a few inches of water. Since apples have a lot of water in them, you don’t need to fully boil them to make them mushy. A little steaming goes a long way.

For this part, we used a regular-sized kitchen pot and a larger stock pot so we could have two going at one time. Talk about efficient.

Once your apples are super mushy, it is time to put them through the apple grinder. I’m not sure if that is the official term, but if I had to hazard a guess I’d say it’s not. You get the idea though.

The “grinder” has three important parts to note. First, there is the top where you put the apples in and mash them down into the processor. You can fill the white tub all the way with apples, but be careful not to splash the water onto yourself because it is HOT! We learned this the hard way.

Next, there is the sieve where the applesauce comes out. That is the portion with the large bowl right underneath of it. Finally, above the smaller bowl is where the peels come out. This contraption is awesome and such a time saver since you don’t have to peel all of your apples!

Once we had enough apples steamed to start making sauce, we put pots and pots full of them through the grinder. A few tips: Be gentle when mashing the apples down into the processor because stuff will go flying. Also, send the peels through a couple of extra times before tossing them. You can get a little bit more applesauce out of them!

Once you have a big ol’ bowl full of applesauce, it’s time to add your extras in. We don’t measure in our family, so just add what seems right to you. It’s the Bauer way. Here are a few of the concoctions we came up with:

1. Plain Jane applesauce: Applesauce, sugar and cinnamon (We added red hots to most batches of this, too. And, sometimes we put in vanilla!)

2. Brown Sugar applesauce: Applesauce and brown sugar — hold the cinnamon

3. Boozy Sauce: Applesauce, sugar, cinnamon and Brandy (We also added red hots to this)

4. Peppermint Sauce: Applesauce, sugar, cinnamon, crushed-up candy cane and red hots

5. Holiday Boozy Sauce: Applesauce, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, Brandy, red hots and crushed-up candy canes (This one is AMAZING. Seriously, it’s so freakin’ delicious)

6. Pear Sauce: Instead of apples (or in addition to apples), do this same process with pears. Add sugar and cinnamon!

7. Cranberry Sauce: Applesauce, cranberries (send these through the grinder), sugar and cinnamon

For any of these recipes, you can sub out sugar with Splenda. That tasted great, too.

Once your applesauce is mixed up in your bowl, transfer it into a mason jar using the jar funnel and a ladle.

You can also add red hots to the top of the jar before adding your lid.

Here’s a few important things to remember. 1. Leave about an inch or so of head room at the top of your jar. Do not fill your jar to the tippy top. 2. Make sure there is no residue on the top or sides of your jar where your lid will seat or it will not seal properly. 3. As you make different batches of applesauce (one or two bowls = batch), write on the lids in permanent marker what type they are so you can tell later on.

As you are getting ready to can your applesauce, soak your sanitized lids and rings in hot water. This helps them seal to the jar.

Place your warmed lid on top of your jar, then the canning ring around it. Do not screw it on too tightly or your jar won’t seal. Then, place them into boiling water for 20 to 25 minutes.

When they’ve boiled long enough, grab your jabs using a jar grabber (again, probably not a technical term), and place them onto a drying rack or on a towel. Don’t place them directly onto a cool counter because the temperature differential could cause them to break.

Here’s the most important thing — make sure your jars actually seal! When you set them aside to cool they will often make a single popping sound as they seal. That is GREAT! How do you know if they are sealed? Well, if you can press on the lid and it moves up and down and makes a clicking sound, it isn’t sealed. A sealed lid won’t move much and will have seemingly been sucked downward into the jar. If your jar doesn’t seal properly, your applesauce will spoil. We had to re-seal a bunch of jars — definitely invest in real Ball Mason jars and lids and avoid cheap knock-offs. Our cheap lids didn’t seal well at all and we ended up redoing most of them using Ball lids instead.

Once your jars are sealed, store them until it is time to gift, gift, gift! Like I said earlier, we made 72 different-sized jars. I took home 27. SWEEEEET.

I plan on making labels for mine before I gift them to friends, family and coworkers for the holidays. I also hope to make this a family tradition each year. My Dad used to do it years ago and I finally got him to do it again this year and teach me and Em how… I really hope we keep this tradition going. I love family time and I love me some homemade applesauce.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and encourage you to check out my sweet video at the top of the post. Yes, it’s a goofy DIY by yours truly. I think it turned out pretty well!

Thanks for stopping by.

And seriously… try the Holiday Boozy Sauce. You won’t regret it 🙂