Monday, December 24, 2012

Neighbor gift idea-Plaques & Banana Cake

Have you sent out your neighbor/friend gifts yet this year? I just got mine out last week. But It isn't too late. Neighbor gifts can be given after Christmas too. Today I am going to share with you some super easy gift ideas you can do separate or pair together. Christmas saying plaques and Banana Cake complete with some cute washi tape twist ties to add to the packaging. And if you have already done your neighbor gifts this year make sure to pin this for ideas for next Christmas season.

 Supplies I used:

- 97 cent piece of decorate wood - I got mine at Michael's in the wood section
-Brown, white, and Red paint
-paint brush if you use craft paint you don't need a brush if you use spray paint
-Clear coat
-Sand paper
-Precut Vinyl or cutting machine and vinyl to make your own 
-Texture cream (poppyseed projects and Wood connection both have it) I love both stores I got this jar at wood connection.
-Scrap piece of old terry cloth 

What I did:

1. The very first thing is I used the texture cream on the little plaque just like I did HERE for the Stocking holder.

You will just need to dip your old terry cloth in the cream and spread it all over the front of the plaque. Do it in the direction that you want your worn lines to be when you sand it down. I put on the cream horizontally across the plaque. You will want to use a terry cloth to give it the bumps and texture that you are looking for, this is what gives it the awesome antique look at the end. If you go HERE poppyseed projects teaches you all about their cream and the antique look.

2. Next I painted my board a chocolate brown. This is my base coat and will be the color that shows through my letters when it is antiqued. Then when that was completely dry I painted a white layer on top of the brown and this will be the color of my letters. Make sure you let the paint completely dry before you do any more coats. I did one coat of brown and two coats of white.

3.Then I painted the back and the edges red leaving the top of the plaque white for the next step.

4. Now it is time to either cut your own vinyl using your cutting machine or just getting your vinyl you purchased pre cut. And you will transfer it onto your plaque right where you want your saying to be I did "Spirit of Christ," "Noel," and "Peace on Earth" could do whatever you wanted. :)

5. Once the vinyl was on there and rubbed down nicely so the paint doesn't bleed through I painted my last layer of paint and this will be your main back ground color. I did red. I just used craft paint for this layer because I already had it but you could use spray paint if you would like. I did 2 coats of red letting it dry completely between coats.

6. Once your paint is completely dry. I let mine dry over night. You are going to peel off your vinyl which will then expose the white layering, or whatever color you chose your letters to be. Do not worry if your paint bleeds a little because we are going to sand it down and that will just add to the antique effect. I promise it will end up looking really cool.

7. Then you are going to sand down the whole thing. I used a 220 grit sanding over the top of it all. This gave it a nice antique look. Make sure to only sand a little and then more as you go. You can always sand more if you want more of an effect but you can't put it back if you sand it too much so take this part slowly. Now once you sand it you get the old antique sign look your white and brown shows through the red and the brown shows through the white lettering. It looks sweet! And they are already to deliver.

I made just a few of these for my cute visiting teachers and my awesome Undone girls, but I wish I would have thought to make more for all the neighbors I sent the bread too. Maybe next year I will get more of the cute plaques done.

Banana Cake mini loaves w/ Cream Cheese Frosting

 Banana Cake Recipe:

-2 1/4 Cup Flour
-1 2/3 Cup Sugar
-1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
-1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon salt
-2/3 Cup shortening
-2/3 Cup buttermilk
-3 eggs
-1 1/4 Cup mashed bananas 

Measure all ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Blend with a mixer on low speed for 1 minute, scraping the bowl. Beat 3 minutes on high. Grease and flour mini loaf pans. Pour evenly into baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Toothpick check.

***I have also made this recipe Gluten Free. Substitute the flour for gluten free flour the same amount 2 1/4 cup and then add 1 1/2 teaspoons of xanthan gum. And the rest of the ingredients are the same.

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe:

-1 lbs of cream cheese (2 packages), room temperature
-3 sticks of butter, softened 
-1 tablespoon lemon juice
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-2 lbs powdered sugar

Mix well and when the bread is completely cooled spread over top of the bread. and serve or package up and give to neighbors. I put my little loaves in the bigger clear bags sideways and then secured them with cute twist ties that I made (directions below) and stuck a tag on it that said "From the Ulrich Family" Simple and delicious. 

I had so many of my neighbors ask me for the recipe and told me how delicious it was. So it will be a hit. I love it and ate a whole loaf of my own for lunch one day. I also made the gluten free version (which tastes the exact same) for my mom for dessert last week.

DIY Decorative Twist Ties

1. All you need is some thin wire and washi tape
2. Cut your wire to the desired length then cut your washi tape as close to the same length as the wire as you can. Place your wire onto the washi tape.
3. Cut another piece of washi tape the same size as the other piece and put it on top of the washi tape and wire. So the wire is sandwiches between the two sticky sides of the tape
4. Trim the ends so there is no wire poking out and so the ends look finished   

Then you will just twist tie it around your bag or clear wrap just like any other tie but these ones are cute!!! Easy Peasy. 

If you have any questions you can always email me at
or leave a comment and I would love to answer anything you need
And don't forget to pin these ideas :)

These gift ideas are linked up HERE

Thank you for all your support, for reading and for following

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