DIY

DIY moss covered monogram ~ low cost decor ideas

Now that the long winter is drawing to a close, I really want to brighten my home up and welcome spring. I think this DIY moss covered monogram brings some cheer to my front door.


diy moss covered monogram

DIY moss covered monogram

Making your own moss covered monogram doesn’t have to cost a lot. I used cardboard from my garage and the only supplies I had to buy that I didn’t have already was the moss. If you don’t have the supplies, I will link them below.

diy moss covered monogram supplies

You will need:

monogram (cut it to the size desired out of cardboard)

exacto knife (for cutting the cardboard)

hot glue gun

glue sticks

moss

fabric flowers (I made rosettes. You can also buy fake flowers at most craft stores)

Begin by deciding what size you want your monogram. Mine is roughly 18 inches. I wanted it for my front door to use as a spring wreath. Draw your letter on cardboard. You can freehand this, or create a stencil to trace. Then cut it out with your exacto knife. I went over each section just cutting the surface at first and then went deeper. So, I went over each spot a few times to be sure it was cut through.

diy moss covered monograms

Once your letter is cut out you are ready to glue the moss down. You can buy sheets of moss, that is definitely easier and cleaner. I liked the depth that using the bagged moss added. I liked that I could make it thicker and not so one dimensional. It is messy, so beware that you don’t want to be in an area that is difficult to clean. Simply glue small sections of moss down and cover the monogram.

Once I had it made I let it set for a while and decided to make my own rosettes instead of the fake flowers I originally planned on. I had some coral, turquoise and pink fabric on hand and they were very easy and quick to create.

I love the bright, cheeriness that the monogram adds to our front door. Perfect way to welcome in spring!

diy moss covered monogram spring

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carrot garland, quick and easy EASTER decoration that can be made for just pennies #easter, #Carrots, #DIY, #LowCostDecorations

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Bunny canvas

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Well it’s Matt. My whole life I have been the type to try and figure things out for my self. I love trying to make things that many think is too hard. Well about 6-8 years ago I was watching a show on making cheese, and I thought – I can do that. So I searched the internet and found a kit to make cheese from home. It is actually pretty easy to make mozzarella cheese. Every now and then I break out the kit I bought 8 years ago and make a pound of cheese for pizza or cheese on tomatoes, or just for fun.

DIY - mozzarella cheese

DIY – mozzarella cheese

To make one pound of cheese you need one gallon of milk. We had two different milks that were both about half full that I added together. They were close to expiring and I had just bought new milk. So in the pot they went.

Here is how:

You need a cheese making kit. The one I have had I have made about 6 pounds of cheese and I haven’t even used 1/4 of the ingredients. It keeps well in the back of the fridge.

One cheese making kit - Rennet, Calcium Chloride, Citric Acid, Mild Lipase Powder, Flaked salt

One cheese making kit – Rennet, Calcium Chloride, Citric Acid, Mild Lipase Powder, Flaked salt

The one I used is from Leeners – $22.95
Leeners Mozzarella and Ricotta Cheese Making Kit
And there are many others to choose from as well. The kit makes a ton of cheese.. more then you could eat in a year probably.

Follow the instructions but basically you need:

  • pot large enough to hold a gallon of milk,
  • One Gallon of milk (whole milk is best – cheese needs high fat content)
  • One cheese making kit – Rennet, Calcium Chloride, Citric Acid, Mild Lipase Powder, Flaked salt
  • large spoon with holes for draining
  • 5 small bowls to have everything pre-measured
  • a large microwave safe bowl
  • thick rubber gloves (I used 5 pair of latex gloves but the thick rubber kitchen gloves would work too, clean)
  • one cooking thermometer

 

Start by pouring 1 (one) gallon of milk into the pot. Whole milk is best cheese is better with higher fat content. I have even made it from raw milk at Sarah’s parents house, they are dairy farmers. Some risk involved with raw milk.

Slowly warm the milk on low to medium heat. Slower the better, scalded or burnt cheese probably doesn’t taste that good.

While the milk is warming start preparing the additives

In one small bowl add

1/2 tsp of Rennet with 1/4 cup of distilled (I use tap) water

Next bowl :

1 tsp calcium chloride liquid mix with 2 Tbs of distilled (or tap) water

Next Bowl:

Measure 2 tsp of citric acid powder

Next Bowl:

Measure 1/2 tsp of Flaked salt. To be added while stretching the cheese in the last process

Next Bowl :

Measure 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of mild lipase powder. Optional if you are vegetarian.

DIY - Mozzarella cheese - Milk with Citric Acid, curd forming

DIY – Mozzarella cheese – Milk with Citric Acid, curd forming

Closely watch the temperature of the warming milk. Add the citric acid while it is warming. Stir the citric acid for 30 seconds.  You will begin to see the milk separate and form curds. Continue to  stir once every minute or so. Once it reaches 88 degrees F add the calcium chloride mixture and the lipase powder. Stir the mixtures slowly for 30 seconds. Let the mixture continue to warm to 105 degrees F.

DIY - Mozzarella cheese - 105 degrees, Citric Acid, Rennet, Mild Lipase Powder

DIY – Mozzarella cheese – 105 degrees, Citric Acid, Rennet, Mild Lipase Powder

Once 105 degrees F has been reaches cover and turn off the heat. Let the whey and curd mixture sit at 105 F for 15 minutes to allow the curd to fully develop. The curd is the white clumps and the whey is the greenish clear liquid in the pot.

DIY - Mozzarella cheese - Cover and let sit with heat off

DIY – Mozzarella cheese – Cover and let sit with heat off

After 15 minutes gently take out the curd with the slotted spoon. Put the curd into your microwave safe bowl. Try and remove as much curd from the whey as you can.

DIY - Mozzarella cheese - After 15 minutes remove the curd, place into microwave safe bowl

DIY – Mozzarella cheese – After 15 minutes remove the curd, place into microwave safe bowl

Gently press the curd mixture with your gloves on. Pore the whey back into the pot. Press and pour this step until not much is being squeezed out.

DIY - Mozzarella cheese - press out as much whey by hand

DIY – Mozzarella cheese – press out as much whey by hand

Now place the bowl with the curd mass into the microwave. Heat on High for ONE minute. Remove and press the mass to try and remove any more whey liquid as you can. Repeat this pressing and pouring till no more whey can be removed – about 30 seconds or so.

DIY - Mozzarella cheese - Place in microwave, cook on high one minute

DIY – Mozzarella cheese – Place in microwave, cook on high one minute

Place back into the microwave for ONE minute again. Remove the cheese and press and pull the cheese similar to making taffy. Add the remaining flake salt while you are pulling and stretching the cheese. The more you pull the firmer and stringing it will become.

DIY - Mozzarella cheese - Continue to squeeze the whey out, place in microwave again for one minute

DIY – Mozzarella cheese – Continue to squeeze the whey out, place in microwave again for one minute

DIY - Mozzarella cheese - Add the Flaked Salt and stretch and pull cheese

DIY – Mozzarella cheese – Add the Flaked Salt and stretch and pull cheese

This is where I stopped microwaving it, but for a more firm cheese repeat the microwave step again.

At this point the cheese is very hot and this is where thick gloves comes in handy. I wore 5 latex gloves on each hand and it was still VERY hot.  Stretch and pull the cheese just like taffy makers. The more you pull and stretch it the more stringing and firm it becomes. For a softer cheese only pull and stretch for a short time, maybe one or two pulls then form your cheese ball.

DIY - Mozzarella cheese - Stretch and Pull the cheese and work the curd together

DIY – Mozzarella cheese – Stretch and Pull the cheese and work the curd together

Form the cheese the way you want, place in an air tight container. In the fridge it is good for about one week, and in the freezer for about a month.

DIY - Mozzarella cheese - Form a tight cheese ball with the flat of your palm and press your fingers upward on the bottom middle of the cheese mass.

DIY – Mozzarella cheese – Form a tight cheese ball with the flat of your palm and press your fingers upward on the bottom middle of the cheese mass.

If the cheese is too soft to grate, place in the freezer to firm the cheese for grating. ENJOY!

How do you like your cheese?

 

DIY - Mozzarella cheese, Tomato, Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper, Basil

DIY – Mozzarella cheese, Tomato, Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper, Basil

 

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How to cook BBQ Chicken Pizza

Don’t pay the super high prices for a specialty pizza like BBQ Chicken Pizza! This is one of our favorite’s, and it’s so easy. All for just a few bucks. Here is the recipe for my –  Matt’s BBQ Chicken Pizza – mmmm!

Recipe - How to make BBQ Chicken Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Mozzarella cheese (read here how to make mozzarella cheese your self)
  • Chicken breast – plain is fine, or lightly seasoned (great as left overs)
  • Red Onion – depending on size of pizza and desire
  • Green onions – mainly for color
  • BBQ sauce – your favorite works best
  • One pound dough – we buy a pre-made dough from WinCo, it’s right next to the mozzarella blocks
  • 1/2 cup corn meal – we use this instead of flour because it gives a good flavor to the dough and many pizza places use it

BBQ chicken pizza recipe

Directions:

Place a “cooking stone” or cast iron cooking plate, or a large flat non-stick oven safe pan/plate in the oven. Pre heat oven to “as hot as you can get the oven with out turning on the broiler. Yes, as hot as you can get it. Why? Every pizza joint cooks their pizzas quick. Traditional pizza ovens are well over 500-700 degrees! That’s how they cook it so fast! Try it – it works!

Depending on your crust thickness preference, we like ours “hand tossed” or “original”, cut the one pound pizza dough in half, gently place one ball of dough to the side. With the first dough ball, gently roll the ball round, then hold the edge of the ball and allow gravity to help pull the dough ball larger. If you know how to spin the dough in the air, or want to “try” now is your chance. The kids think it is so fun! If you start to feel the dough fight you, and not stretch, lay the dough down on a light sanding of corn meal. Dough and the gluten molecules need time to relax.  While it relaxes prepare the toppings.

Cut chicken into bite size pieces. Cut red onion and green onions into cubes. Grate mozzarella cheese depending on preference. For a one pound dough ball it takes about one pound of cheese – as a reference.

Continue spinning, rolling the dough to desire thickness. Don’t worry about roundness, fancy places have irregular shapes too…

BBQ chicken pizza sauceModerately dust a thin metal or wood sheet or cutting board with corn meal. Place dough on it. Place BBQ sauce in middle and spread with the back of a spoon to thickness. With BBQ sauce you will probably like a thin layer, less then normal pizza sauce. So it doesn’t over power the chicken. Gently sprinkle half of the cheese onto sauce. Doing this helps keep toppings locked onto pizza and you will have less fall off. Then evenly spread chicken, red and green onions, and then sprinkle the rest of the cheese to the edge of the dry dough out side of the sauce area. Remember one pound of dough you will use one pound of cheese. The dough balls I used, originally were one pound, and we have already split them in half. So half pound of dough equals half pound of cheese.

How to make BBQ chicken pizza recipe

Open the pre-heated oven, at least over 450 degrees, carefully slide the rack holding the hot plate or stone further out. With a spatula, carefully slide the pizza off onto the  hot stone or plate. Carefully slide the rack back in. Close door, and do not go that far away.

You heat the stone first because the incredibly hot stone cooks the dough, while the hot oven air simply melts the cheese.

Carefully watch the pizza cook. It only takes about 4-8 mins depending on how hot you were able to get the oven. Once the cheese melts, the delicious lightly browning of the cheese will change in the blink of an eye!

Carefully pull out the pizza when you see it start to brown on the outside edge of the cheese. use a spatula to slide the pizza from the stone or plate onto the original metal or wood board you used to make the pizza. If you leave on the hot stone it will continue to cook even outside of the oven!

Allow the pizza to cool for a min or two, so that when you cut it the cheese will not melt right back together. Enjoy!

BBQ pizza recipe

 

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1 pintrestMy kids love to paint! 
Why not make a craft project with your kids using food coloring and milk ? 
My kids range from 7-17 years of age,
and they all loved making their own piece of art out of bread.
2 ingredientsSupplies:
White Bread
Milk
Clean paint brush
Food Coloring
3 foodcoloringGather 4 cups and 4 spoons-
Pour 1/8 cup of milk in each cup with 3-5 drops of food coloring; stir.
4 painted breadPaint a fun design.  DO NOT apply too much milk so that the bread is soaked. 
Apply a small amount of milk on the brush and lightly paint onto the bread. 
If too much milk is added, it is okay, it will not completely dry when toasted. 
Yet, it taste just the same.
5toasted breadToast the bread.  The toasted area will turn brown where the color is not at. 
My daughter cut out some butterflies with a cookie-cutter and painted them too.
6 butterfly

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Filed Under: Appetizer, DIY, DIY / Crafts, Ideas for Entertaining kids, Look What I Made, Recipes, Thrifty Craft Ideas, Thrifty Crafts for Kids, Uncategorized

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