Gumball Centerpiece

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

The easiest centerpiece that can also serve as dessert if your dinner guests are of the “carny” kind!

Centerpieces, Easy Crafts, Bubblegum Crafts, A food-inspired Life, Libbie Summers
Gumball Centerpiece
makes 1

What you need: 
1 jar
Gumballs (enough to fill jar)
Midway tickets (enough to wrap around the mouth of the jar)
10 small pom pom (learn how to make them HERE)
Hot glue
10 straws

What to do: 
1. Fill jar with gumballs
2. Wrap tickets around the mouth of the jar and secure with tape.
3. Hot glue pom poms to the tops of the straws.
4. Stick straws down into gumballs for a fun carnival inspired centerpiece.
Gumballs, Crafting with Gumballs, Gumball Centerpiece, Pom poms, Paper Straw Centerpiece, A food-inspired life, Libbie Summers

Other Pom Pom Crafts To Do:
Watermelon Pom Poms
Pom Pom Pool Party
Pom Pom Easter Basket

Gumballs! An Ordinary to Extraordinary Video

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

I had THE BEST time doing this video! Like all things in my food-inspired life, I  take an ordinary object…like a colorful gumball and try to make it extraordinary by doing a few simple things that everyone can do! I’ll share all the crafts this week. Until then, enjoy the carnival of fun.

Polished in a Pinch: Homework Flowers

By Libbie Summers for Terra’s Kitchen
Assisted by David Dempsey

Welcome to “Polished in a Pinch,” a new weekly lifestyle series in collaboration with Terra’s Kitchen. Each week, I’ll share a new hack, tip, or recipe to take things to the next level in a short amount of time!

When my son was young, I couldn’t bare to discard anything his little hands had created – a sentiment that ended when he started growing facial hair and an attitude. You can imagine how many containers of coloring book pages and turkeys made out of construction paper hands started to pile up. Something had to be done.  Like Terra’s Kitchen, I’m a big fan of upcycling before recycling. It’s easy to toss something in the recycling bin. But, it’s a little harder (and a lot more fun) to figure out how to transform it into something beautiful and useful. These Homework Flowers are the perfect example. With the help of little hands, what was once math worksheets and coloring book pages are now the homespun chic centerpiece of the dinner table.
Kid's Craft, Before Dinner Crafts, Paper Flowers, Table Decorating, Libbie Summers, Terra's Kitchen, A food-inspired life
Homework Flowers
Makes 5 flowers

What you need:
5 sheets of homework, coloring book pages, old mail, old maps
1 spatula
1 piece of paper card stock
1 pencil
1 pair of scissors
5 paper cup cake liners (colorful is best)
1 glue stick
5 paper straws
1 mason jar/vase/glass/whatever
What to do:
1. Make flower template: Place the head of the spatula on the card stock and draw aro
und it (moving it in a circle) to make the petals of a flower. Cut out.
2. Make flower base: Place the template on each sheet of homework paper and draw around. Cut out.
3. Make flower center: Fold the cupcake liner in half and make small cuts 1-inch from the edge to the center.
4. Assemble the flowers: Use the glue stick to glue the center of the flower onto the
homework flower. Fold the flower petals up to create a flat area at the base of the flower. Pinch the end of your paper straw to create a flat area (your straw will be your flower stem). Glue the flat part of the flower to the flat part of the straw. Set aside to dry. Continue with the remaining flowers and straws.
5. Make the arrangement: Scrunch the petals of your flowers a little with your hands so they are not so flat. Bunch the flowers together and drop in the glass jar. Place in the center of your table. Unlike other flowers, this arrangement will last for weeks! Remember to recycle when done using.
Pro Tip: For big drama, place multiple jars filled with the paper flowers all over the table.
Kid's Crafts, Paper Flowers, Homework Flowers, Libbie Summers, Paper Flowers, Terra's Kitchen, A food-inspired life


Mister Bean

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

As it’s “Bean Week”, it’s only fitting that we celebrate the Mister in Mr. Bean. Do you remember Mr. Bean? That peculiar tv character played by Rowan Atkinson in the 1990’s that became a world wide sensation and still lives on in animation form.

Mr. Bean is a mean little innocent. A thoughtful yet self-centered ass. As soon as I couldn’t stand him for another minute, he would do something to lure me back in. Today, we salute his longevity, but mainly we just wanted to play with typeface and beans because I find them less annoying than the actual Mr. Bean.
Playing with Food, Beans, Mr. Bean, A food-inspired life
Mr. Adzuki Bean
Mung Beans, Playing with Food, Typography, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life
Mr. Mung Bean
Cannellini Beans, Playing with Food, Food Styling Fun, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life
Mr. Cannellini Bean
Playing with Food, Black Turtle Beans, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life,
Mr. Black Turtle Bean

2 Creative and Affordable Valentine’s Day Party Decoration Ideas

By Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong
Assisted by David Dempsey
Production Assistants Candace Brower, Anthony Lunsmann

Throwing a Valentine’s Day party in the woods, I needed to create a moment as soon as my guest (yes, only one) arrived. Check out these two super affordable and absolutely stunning party decorations!

Libbie Summers, Chia Chong, Valentine's Day, Installation Art, Party Decorations, Valentine's Day Parties
With a big space and a small budget paper lanterns from a Chinese New Year installation were repurposed to set the scene!
TWO:Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, Chia Chong, Valentines Day
My entire team was OBSESSED with this heart curtain that was the entryway to the party.
What you need:
Paper doilies
String (I used butcher’s twine)
Glue stick (not hot glue)
A tall ladder to hang

What to do:
1. Cut (3 to 4-inch) hearts out of white paper doilies (you can cut a bunch at once). The curtain pictured took approximately 600 paper hearts.
2. Working one piece at a time, cut a piece of twine and lay on a long table.
3. Place one heart on one side of a length of sting, glue another heart on top sandwiching the string in between. Keep moving up the string not worrying about distance between. The less perfect the more perfect. Continue until you do enough strings to create a curtain (I used 20 lengths for this installation).
To Install: Tie a string between two trees and tie your lengths of heart string from them.