Archive | December 2013

Christmas Clothespin Wreath

1538829_10151939426903101_1909289469_nAfter falling in love with my 4th of July Clothespin Wreath, I really wanted to do a Christmas one for the holidays. This one was so much fun to make and I’m so happy with how it turned out! Since I’m a visual learner, I took lots of snaps of each step to help you along the way. Here’s how to make your own Christmas holiday wreath.

What you’ll need:

  • 12″ Wire Wreath. These are sold in the florist section of any craft store for less than $3 or you can pick up on Amazon.
  • 70 Clothespins (give or take one or two). Walmart and Target both sell packs of 50 but I prefer the Target brand clothespins which are much better quality and they are also a bit longer. Packs of 50 are sold at Target for $1.79 or at Walmart for $1.
  • Emerald Green & Hunter Green spray paint. I went with Krylon Indoor/Outdoor since I wanted something to hang outside. I went with two shades of green instead of one to make it look like a real fir or holly wreath and give it that depth of color. I went with emerald green and hunter green in Krylon Gloss. They cost about $3.50 a can at Walmart. You’ll have a ton left over so keep that in mind for future projects or you can always plan on making an extra wreath to give as a gift. 🙂
  • Decorative glitter balls. I found a bag of cute decorative container glitter balls (picture of bag below) for $7.99 at Michaels. The center is foam so it made it very easy to glue onto the wreath and didn’t weigh it down. You could also use little red beads, fake red holly berries, or mini glass ornaments. Another cute idea is to use those fake large Christmas lights and glue all over. You can definitely have fun with the decoration!
  • Premade Christmas bow or buy ribbon and make your own. Pick whatever bow or ribbon to make a bow that you like. I fell in love with this gold crinkly ribbon and made my own bow but it was a tough choice because Michael’s always has so many cute Christmas ribbons in stock.
  • Red Ribbon to hang the wreath. Any ribbon will do but I picked up some pretty red satin ribbon that was about 1/2″ wide. You just want to make sure it’s thick and strong enough to hold up the wreath.
  • Hot glue gun & hot glue


Spray painting time! I suggest working outside and laying down some cardboard so you can just throw your items on it and spray to your heart’s content. If your wire wreath is already green then no need to spray paint it but if it’s a white wire wreath then I suggest spraying it green so the white doesn’t show through.

Wire Wreath: Before

Spray Paint Clothespins: You’ll need 35 emerald green and 35 hunter green clothespins. Since not every wire wreath and clothespin is identical, the total number needed might be off by one or two clothespins so I suggest making two extra of each color just in case. The clothespins come pre-clipped to a piece of cardboard so I left them attached and sprayed the uglier of the two sides first, let dry 10 minutes or so (or until no longer tacky), gave it another quick coat, let dry another 10 minutes or so, then sprayed the prettier side with 5-6 coats, drying 10 minutes in between. What you want is for a solid colored clothespin that is nicely coated and very glossy. Be sure you rotate the clothespins and spray at various angles to get the sides and crevices nice and coated.

Krylon Paint

unpainted clothespins

Emerald Green CLothespins

Painted clothespins








Assembly Time: Now that your clothespins are ready, it’s time to put it all together. You’ll notice that your wreath is basically four rings. You’ll be attaching clothespins to the center two rings which I’ll call #2 and #3 if you’re looking at the wreath from top to bottom.

Pick a starting point (See below picture and start top and center and move to the right of the wire divider) and pick either emerald green or hunter green to start with. I like the look of having the emerald green toward the back and the darker hunter green toward the front but it’s up to you if you prefer to have the lighter and brighter green up front. If you look at the four rings from top down, clip your first clothespin (hunter green) to the 2nd ring.

wreath with numbers

With your second clothespin (emerald green), clip it to the 3rd ring. Then keep going back and forth with hunter green on the 2nd ring and emerald green on the 3rd all the way around. You’ll go all the way around the wire wreath until you’re done.

Clothespin 1


pins around wreath

Add Ribbon: Cut a 17″ piece of red ribbon and hot glue or tie around the back wire part of the wreath.

Hot Glue Time: It’s time for gluing! Work from the back and glue any loose clothespins to the back wire part of the wreath or at the bottom of the clothespins themselves, just to secure them on to the wire wreath. This is especially important if you plan on hanging the wreath outside. After you’ve glued down the clothespins, it’s time to glue the decorative red glitzy balls. You can go as crazy as you want with the red balls but I chose to glue to only the hunter green clothespins and alternate with gluing one ball to the top of the clothespin and the next to the bottom and so on. You can certainly do more or less to suit your taste.

glitter balls

Helpful Tip: Notice those nasty hot glue cobwebs? A very quick and easy way to get rid of them is to blow dry them away. Take your hair dryer and apply heat to any offending cobwebs and they will shrink back up, essentially disappearing. Just be careful not to apply too much heat or it could remelt the glue you want to stay stuck. :)

Attach Bow: Finish by gluing or tying on your bow to the bottom of the wreath.

All finished! Just hang indoors or outdoors and you’re ready for Santa Claus! I hope you enjoy and if you end up making this wreath and want to share a picture, I’d love to make a cute collage on this post. Feel free to send me a private message with a picture or email me at missbutterbean(at) Merry Christmas!


33 Crock Pot Recipes You Can’t Live Without

Whether it’s pot roast, spicy meatballs, chili, or even chocolate pudding, the crock pot does just about everything. I use it at least once a week and will be forever grateful to my Mother for giving me my first crock pot when I graduated from college. Granted, there have been a few failures–usually due to forgetting I had something in the crock pot and arriving a few hours later than planned to a pot of mush–but there have been so many more delicious successes. So today’s post is a fun tribute to the crock pot and all of the yummy things you can do with it. Before I get started, I get this question a lot so I’ll go ahead and answer it now: What crock pot do I personally use and why? I have the Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker. crockpotI’ve owned a couple over the years but this is my favorite for a couple of reasons. 1) It has little clamps so I can seal down the lid and not worry about sloshing if I’m transporting food in my car. Been there, done that, and it’s no fun cleaning chili out of the floor of your car in the freezing cold. 2) It’s programmable so for recipes that call for 8 hours of cooking time it means I don’t have to rush home because the timer setting just switches to WARM when it’s done. 3) It has a meat thermometer/probe so you can set the crock pot to switch to warm as soon as it reaches a certain internal temp. I actually first gave this crock pot to my Mom as a present but was so impressed by it that I scooped one up for myself.

Onward we go to 33 amazing recipes!


Copycat Panera Bread Broccoli Cheese Soup

Soup on the table


Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

chicken noodle


Classic Crockpot Chili



White Bean Chicken Chili

white bean chicken chili


Chicken & Dumplings

chicken and dumplings


Main Dishes:

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

pulled pork


Slow Cooker Carnitas



Crock Pot Lemon Garlic Chicken

lemon garlic chicken


4 Ingredient Balsamic Pot Roast

Plated Pot Roast


Slow-Cooker Pepper Steak

pepper steak


Chicken Tikka Masala

Tikka Masala


Crock Pot Copycat P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef

Mongolian Beef Plated

Easy French Dip



Crockpot Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin


Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

turkey breast


Crock Pot Fettuccine Alfredo

fettucini alfredo


Au Gratin Garlic Potatoes

Au Gratin Potatoes


Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken

buffalo chicken


Slow Cooker Lasagna



Slow Cooker Italian Beef for Sandwiches

italian beef


Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken

sweet and sour chicken


Sides & Appetizers: 

Crock Pot Mac ‘N’ Cheese



Crock Pot Baked Potatoes

baked potatoes


Slow Cooker Cheesy Bacon Ranch Potatoes

cheesy bacon ranch potatoes


Bourbon Lit’l Smokies

bourbon litl smokies


Crockpot Green Bean Casserole

green bean casserole


Crock Pot Sweet & Sour Meatballs


Crock Pot Au Gratin Garlic Potatoes

Au Gratin Potatoes



Crock Pot Apple Betty with Almond Cream

Apple Betty


Slow Cooker Pineapple Upside Down Cake

pineapple upside down cake


Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake

lava cake


Slow Cooker Turtle Upside-Down Cake

turtle cake


Crock Pot Hot Chocolate

hot chocolate


Nutella Thumbprint Cookies

image_4Anything is better with Nutella, right? Well that’s certainly the case with these little tasties. A rich buttery cookie is taken straight to heaven when rolled in coconut and a lovely gem of nutella placed in the center. It’s actually a really easy cookie to whip up and oh so yummy. A great cookie recipe for holiday baking or cookie exchanges and it will quickly become a family favorite. Yummy to the max!

Nutella Thumbprint Cookies
Yields 36 cookies

  • 3 sticks (3/4 pound) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • 7 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
  • Nutella (the amount depends on how generous you are but you’ll need approximately 1/2 cup)


1. In a mixer, cream together the butter sugar for several minutes.


Add the vanilla and gradually add the flour and salt until well combined.


2. Transfer the dough onto a piece seran wrap, form into a large ball, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to chill. If you’re in a hurry you can also pop it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.

Dough in seran wrap

3. Preheat oven to 350°. Form the chilled dough into balls, approximately 1 1/4 inches, or weighing 1 ounce if you’re using a scale.

Rolled dough into balls

Dip the balls into the egg wash, roll in flaked coconut, and transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet. Use your finger or thumb to form an indentation in the dough for filling with Nutella. 🙂

rolled balls in coconut

Using a teaspoon, fill each indentation with about 1/4 teaspoon of Nutella.

filled with nutella

4. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until the edges are a light brown and the coconut is toasted. Since all ovens vary slightly, I always recommend baking one cookie first to see what the exact time is to avoid burning an entire sheet.

baked nutella cookies

5. Transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack. Eat the cooled Nutelal Thumbprint Cookies with a glass of milk or hot cocoa. Enjoy!

Plated Cookies