Friday, August 12, 2011

Owl Smores Tutorial

Remember these guys?  Our Owl Smores that we made for the boys' preschool and for our neighbors as well in celebration of National Smores Day (Aug 10th)?  I still can't believe just how cute they turned out.

They were actually inspired by this owl smore made by Amy over at Living Locurto.

I took Amy's idea one step further- my packages not only included a finished smore, but enough supplies for the kids to make 4 more at home themselves with their families.  This was a huge hit with my kids.  I also received  lots of compliments from other parents as well.

To make my version here's what you will need:
  • Graham crackers (regular size ones, not the smores' squares - they are actually a little too small for this)
  • Marshmallows (again, the regular size, not the mini's or the oversized camping ones)
  • M&M's - for the eyes (I used plain because of the whole nut allergy thing at school, but peanut or any of the other varieties would have worked just as well)
  • Mike & Ike's - to make the beaks
  • Wax paper
  • Snack bags (~3"x6" bags)
  • 6"x3" tall craft bags (I found mine in the craft department at Walmart to be used for jewelry packaging)
  • ribbon (I preferred the 5/8" but slightly smaller would work as well)
  • Colored Paper - for the wings
  • 3" circular punch (to make the wings)
  • hole punch
  • Paper for gift tags/instructions
The number of smore packages you make will obviously impact how much of each of the supplies you will need.  Here's the general rule of thumb for the packages I bought:
  • 1 regular box of graham crackers = 26 full size crackers.  Each owl smore package takes 2.5 graham crackers.  So you could make roughly 10 per box with an extra for breakage.
  • Marshmallows - the 16oz. Kraft Jet-puffed marshmallows that I used had 60 marshmallows.  Each owl smore takes 5 marshmallows.   So you could make 12 per package.  FYI.. the 10oz contains 36 which would make 7 owl smore packages.
  • M&M's - Each smore package takes 10 M&M's.  I bought approximately 14oz and still have about 3oz left after making 50+ smores, though I ran completely out of yellow and red. 
  • Mike & Ike's - Each smore package takes 5 Mike & Ikes.  I bought 2 movie size boxes and still have plenty left, but at the very end I did run out of orange and yellow. 
  • Snack bags (~3"x6" bags) - each package uses 1 snack bag.  I used the Walmart Great Value brand which came 100 or 120 per box.
  • 6"x3" tall craft bags - Each package uses 1 craft bag.   I found mine in the craft department at Walmart to be used for jewelry packaging.  There were 100 in the package.
  • Ribbon - I used 5/8" ribbon and cut them to about 16" long.  My spools came with 4 yards each which made 9 total ribbons/spool.
  • 3" circular punch (to make the wings).  Mine came from Hobby Lobby during a 50% off sale.  Michael's also carries them and you can print a 40% off any single item coupon from their website.
  • Colored Paper(for the wings) - I used 4 different colors (red, yellow, blue, green).  With the 3" punch each 8 1/2" x11" sheet made 6 circles. 
  • Paper for gift tags/instructions.  I sized my gift tags/instruction labels to be 2 1/2" x 3.5 each which made the overall page 2 1/2" x 7 which fit 4 per page with room for margins.
Whew..  Now that that's out of the way here's how I actually made them:

Step 1 is to make the actual smores themselves as they take a while to cool off/dry out enough to be packaged.  To do that, follow Amy's basic instructions found here with the following exceptions/tips/notes:
  • Omit the candy melts and chocolate chips.  Use your favorite M&Ms for eyes instead.  You will put them on the marshmallows after microwaving similar to the chocolate chips.
  • Omit candy corns and replace with Mike & Ikes for beaks/noses.
  • Tip: To involve your favorite little helpers, or if you are as uncoordinated with a knife as I am use scissors to cut the marshmallows in half vs. a knife especially if like me you will be making a few dozen (or few hundred... :)).  I have scissors I keep in the kitchen just for use with food, but the kiddos were able to cut (with a bit of practice!) the marshmallows with (new & washed) standard safety scissors, too.  Don't worry if they aren't perfectly even - the lopsided ones just have a little more character.  And even your perfectly halved ones won't puff up identically the same in the microwave. 
  • Note: When putting your marshmallow halves on the graham cracker I found I preferred the look of the cut side up as it gave the marshmallow part of the eye an added depth - a bit of a concave look.  I also liked the ones where the marshmallows were put on the graham cracker as close together as possible and near the top of the cracker as shown below.

  • Microwaving Tip: I doubt this will come as a surprise, but microwave times vary greatly.  :)  Really.  When making my smores I hit my easy 30 second button and then stopped the microwave when both marshmallows started to puff up.  For my microwave 7-8 seconds was perfect.  Using Amy's original 2-5 second guideline my marshmallows hadn't done anything (no puffing!) so of course the candy wouldn't stick.
  • Note: I am sure there is a way to do the microwaving step en mass, but I made each one individually.  When I DID attempt to make a few at a the same time I found depending on where they were on the plate some puffed up and got HUGE while others hadn't gotten puffy at all.  I recommend the one at a time method.  And it only took me about 30 minutes to make all 50 so even one at a time it isn't too bad.
  • Eye tip: I started out putting the M&Ms in the middle of each marshmallow and then realized after I had made a few that I liked the kind of kooky look better with the M&Ms set near the inside edge instead. I also preferred the eyes not to be perfectly aligned to give them a little more character, too.  :)
When you are done you should have something like this:

Once my smores were made I moved them off onto a piece of wax paper to dry.  Lesson learned: melty marshmallow sticks to everything.  And I do mean everything.  :) Allow the smores to dry for at least an hour before packaging them so they don't stick to the bag.

Once all your smores are made - move on to Step 2 - Packaging.

Here are the gift tags I made (cheesy saying and all - hey it was well after midnight by the time I got around to this part...).  If you are a regular reader these probably look suspiciously familiar.   I made the originals for the kids' teachers for Easter earlier this year.  And yes... I know it should have said "Whooo's" which I realized about the time I took this picture.  In other words... too late... :)

I will have to look up full credits when I have a little more time, but the owl and grass came from Kaye Winecki's Here Comes the Sun and Googie Hunt.  The fonts are Pea Lacy Chunky, and Pea Faye both from Kevin and Amanda's Fonts for Peas.

Back to the tags... I made them 2.5" x 7" overall.  So 2.5x3.5 for each half.  On one half was the gift tag.  The other side wished everyone a Happy National Smores day and included instructions on how to make the smores from the packages.

I printed them out on a regular 8.5 x 11" piece of paper and then cut them into 2.5 x 7 strips.  Then I folded them in half writing side out on both sides.

Once the tags were ready I was ready to assemble the back package that the kids can use to make 4 more of the smores at home by themselves.

I started out by putting two full size graham crackers in the tall 6x3" craft bags.  On the back side I then slid in my gift tag with the tag side facing out.  Then I counted out 4 pairs of M&M's in different colors (so 8 total) and 4 different colored Mike & Ike's and tossed them into the bottom of the front side of the bag.  In the assembled packages I loved the pop of color and they ended up looking like feet.  After the candy was in the bag I put in 4 marshmallows and then sealed the bags up to keep them fresh.

Here's what they looked like at this point on both the back and the front.

I then set the kits aside and cut ribbons to be used to secure the two packages together and look like a bow for the owls.  I cut approximately 16" strips of 5/8" ribbon in a variety of colors.  You may like more or less ribbon in your bows.  I actually recommend making one kit and cutting the ribbon longer than you will need and then cutting it down to size, then untying the ribbon and measuring to see how much you actually need of your particular size of ribbon with the bow you like.

By the time I was done stuffing the make your own kits and cutting ribbon my smores had cooled off/dried out enough to go ahead and be put in the snack bag packages.

I took one 3x6" snack bag and put in one owl smore, slid it all the way to one side and then closed the bag making sure to gently squeeze out any excess air.

Once that was done I was ready to make my wings.  I started out by punching 3" circles in a regular 8.5 x 11 piece of colored paper.  Each sheet made 6 circles.  I then took  the circles and folded them in half and cut down the fold in the middle of each circle.  Each circle made 1 set of wings for a package.

I then took the two halves and overlapped them a little bit at the tip and placed a piece of tape at the top of them to both tape them together and have an exposed piece of tape to be able to tape them to the smore bag.

I folded the smore bag in half folding the unused half to the back side. I then taped the wings on to the back side of the top smore bag.  Note: I didn't tape the bag halves together as I found that once assembled the ribbon held it together well enough.

Once the wings were attached I put the top of both bags together and used a hole punch to punch two holes through the top of all 3 layers of the top of the bags.  Be careful not to punch into the bag itself to ensure that the smores stay fresh or punch too close to the top or the holes will pull out.  Note: It is a personal preference, but, I found I preferred if the holes were about an inch apart and located skewed to the left side of the bag vs. being centered in the bag which makes the final bow off-centered.

Thread one end of the ribbon through each of the sets of holes.  Pull both ends until the ribbon is completely through the package and then tie a knot and bow to suit your tastes. 

And voila!  That's it.  This is what the final package should look like.

Obviously they can be made in lots of color combinations.  Maybe some nice orange ones for Halloween?

Linking up at:
Whatever Goes Wednesday @ SomedayCrafts
Get your Craft On Tuesday @ Today's Creative Blog
Tip Me Tuesday @ Tip Junkie

Tip Junkie handmade projects


  1. These are so adorable and so much fun! So, so, cute!

  2. These are absolutely awesome!! You did a great job, can't wait to share them with my kids! They are going to love them too :) We are having a link up party on Sunday, and would love to see you there!

  3. How great! What a neat idea. You also did a great idea explaining on how to make them!

    I'd love for you to stop by and link this to our Crafts for Under Twenty Somethings link party. It's a blog party dedicated to all things kids and teens, so you post would be perfect! It runs through Saturday- hope to see you there!


  4. love, love, love these little cutie owls! thanks for the tutorial. :)

  5. Kindergarten teacher doing "OWLS" in my classroom this year. I'm going to make these for my new students for Meet the Teacher Night!!! Thanks for the great idea and detailed steps!



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