Rainbow Jello Party Cups

Rainbow Jello with Sprinkles

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up some disposable shot glasses at the Dollar Store. 24 to a pack, what a deal! Surely they were perfect for something even if I didn't know what. Fast forward to this past weekend. While running errands, I was considering what super cute mini dessert deserved to go into those cups. What would show off the new printable cupcake flags in the shop? I'd also been eyeing the rainbow cakes on Pinterest for a while but the right conflux of spare time and occasion just hadn't happened. And, so....rainbow Jello. Perfect for mini cups, not as complicated as rainbow cake. I picked up six boxes of Jello in a rainbow of colors and trundled home to start my little project.

Rainbow Jello in Shot GlassesBefore starting, I did a quick Google search to pick up some tips. The search came up with tons of beautiful images. And nearly all of the rainbow Jello creations had a layer of white between each color. What? What is that? Perhaps the search should taken place before the trip to the grocery store. I could have made the layers without the white, but the contrast made the colors look so much more vibrant. Most of the recipes made the white layer with a mix of Jello and cool whip (I hadn't bought enough) or sweetened condensed milk (who keeps that in the pantry?). So, I got creative. I had a bit of cream and plain gelatin. I added a little sugar and almond extract to create the milky layer. Seven bowls, a kettle, three measuring cups and a drawer full of spoons later, I had colorful bowls of gelatin lined up to layer into cups. Here are some things I learned along the way:

  1. Six boxes is a lot of Jello. A whole lot of Jello. I filled 48 shot glasses, 4 drinking glasses, and another random bowl.
  2. One cup of white gelatin is not nearly enough to layer between six boxes of Jello.
  3. Gelatin gels. Even before you put it in the fridge. Aiming for efficiency, I made all my colors at once. The yellow, orange and red destined for the top layers was a little sticky by time the other layers had gelled in the fridge.
  4. Don't stir Jello in an attempt to re-liquefy it. It'll make lots of little air bubbles and still be congealed. 15 seconds in the microwave is the way to go or, better yet, don't mix all the boxes at once.
  5. If you're using small cups, create extra thin layers. On most of my 48, I ran out of room for the orange and red layers. Luckily, a handful got the full rainbow of layers and posed for photos. My taste testers didn't seem to mind a couple missing colors on the rest.

And, one final tip – unless you're a night owl, start in the morning!

How to Make Rainbow Jello   

Rainbow Jello Recipe*

  • Jello in a range of colors (for a rainbow: cherry, orange, pineapple, melon, berry blue, grape)
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream, divided
  • 2 envelopes plain gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water, divided
  • 2/3 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/4 tsp Almond extract
  1. Make the bottom 2 or 3 colors of Jello according to the directions on the box. Layer in the first color (think thin!) and pop it into the fridge to firm up while you make the next layer.
  2. To make the first batch of white gelatin (1/2 the recipe), sprinkle one envelope of gelatin over 1/3 cup of cold cream and let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Add 1 cup of boiling water and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved. The box says five minutes. I did two. What can I say? Five minutes is a long time to stir.
  4. Add the almond extract and some sugar. I used 1/3-ish cup of sugar for each batch of cream gelatin. I was winging it. I didn't measure. Just taste and see if you like it.
  5. Layer your white gelatin over the firmed up first layer and pop it back in the fridge.
  6. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Rainbow Jello with Sprinkles*If you want a more "proper" recipe, just do an internet search for rainbow Jello. There are lots of recipes online with a white layer made of cool whip or sweetened condensed milk. Most of these folks seem way more organized than me.
July 10, 2014 — Especially Paper
Tags: How-To Recipes

A DIY Celebration Book: Mommy-to-Bee Baby Shower

cover_mommytobee_promoNow available on Amazon! Get a head start on crafting the perfect DIY baby shower! With a Mommy-to-Bee theme in soft yellow and aqua, Especially Paper's new workbook provides ready-to-cut decorations for up to 24 guests, party planning lists, themed desserts, baby shower games and more.

Party Personality: Soft & Sweet Theme: Mommy-to-Bee
Guest Count: Up to 24
Gender: Neutral


Decorations in this book

Ready-to-cut, DIY party projects (pages are light-weight, matte paper):
  • “Baby shower” bunting banner
  • “Mommy-to-Bee,” “Gifts,” & “Treats” circle banners
  • 8 tent-style buffet labels
  • 32 small flags (cupcake size)
  • 5 large flags
  • 28 straw flags
  • Cake bunting
  • 24 thank you tags
  • “Thank you” 4” x 6” table sign
  • 3 pages of patterned paper

Baby Shower Games

Did you already purchase the Mommy-to-Bee Baby Shower book? At checkout, enter the promo code found in the book to download PDF files of the game sheets. 

  • Baby Bingo
  • Guess the Rhyme
  • Word Scramble
  • Celebrity Mom
  • Guess Who
  • Baby Name Game

More Resources

Macaron Template (PDF)

Offsite resources

Adding color to fondant (Wilton) How to use gelatin (David Lebovitz)

Product Sources

DSC02327Small Canvas Bags - Lightweight, natural fabric bags used for the yellow dip-dyed favor bags, from Target.
April 07, 2014 — Especially Paper
Tags: Celebrations

Valentine's Day Plate Stencil

Joyeaux Food Plate Stencil

A while back, I was inspired by a really beautiful photo on Bravetart featuring dessert garnished with a spoon stenciled in cocoa. I saw an opportunity to my Silhouette cutting machine to create customized stencils. I've also been a little obsessed with macaroons lately and decided to fancy up a plate of them. For the first attempt over Christmas, I stenciled "joyeaux" in cocoa powder. It was a little more difficult than expected. The goal was super crisp cocoa edges, but they are a little fuzzy. It was pretty fun, so I revamped for Valentine's Day with an "i ♥ you" stencil in red.

The V-Day plan was to grind freeze-dried strawberries in the spice grinder to create a pink powder. Since the grocery store was out, I switched to plan b – use up those sprinkles languishing in the cabinet. A set of Valentine's Day sprinkles included little red lips that I couldn't imagine ever using, so I used a spice grinder to turn those into red powder. Based on lessons learned with the joyeaux plate stencil, I added toothpick "poles" to make it easier to pluck the stencil off the plate after shaking the red dust over the top. A fine mesh strainer was used to sprinkle the powder over the stencil and plate,  just like decorating a dessert with powdered sugar. The final design isn't as crisp as I'd like and the powder is a little more orange than expected, but it was fun to play with and I think I'll try again when I find those freeze-dried strawberries.


February 10, 2013 — Especially Paper
Tags: How-To

How to Make a 3D Circle Garland

Paper garlands are inexpensive, easy to make, and add a nice splash of color to parties, work areas, and bedrooms. One of my favorite styles is the three-dimensional circle garland. This version is made with three 1.5" circles glued together for each ball. To make a 3 to 4 yard garland with 33 spheres, you'll need A) 99 card stock circles, B) glue, and C) string, baker's twine, or clear fishing line.


How to Make It

  1. Fold each circle in half. If you have a bone folder, that will be useful for make clean folds. 
  2. Glue one half of one circle to half of another circle so that you end up with a Y shape when viewed from the side.
  3. Lay the string along the crease of the open side. Add glue, avoiding the center where the string is so that the sphere will slide once completed.
  4. Glue the third circle over the open circle halves and string.
  5. Now, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat....


  • Instead of gluing, stack several circles together and use your sewing machine to sew a straight stitch through the stack. Keep sewing for a few inches before sewing through the next stack. Once all the stacks of circles are sewn, fold the circles in half to fan them out from the thread.
  • Glue together four circles instead of two. Your ball will be a cross shape rather than y-shaped. But, you'll need more circles to get the same length of garland.
January 13, 2013 — Especially Paper
Tags: How-To

How to Make a Pillow Box for Gift Cards

dottedpillowboxes When it comes to gift giving, I prefer to avoid gift cards but the teenagers in the family are so tough! Since I broke down and went the gift card route for the holiday, I at least wanted to dress the cards up a bit with pretty packaging. So, now I'm sharing the pillow box template I put together with you! The PDF pattern in this tutorial is sized to fit common gift card and retail packaging (you know, the kind you pick from the wall of gift card options), which is typically 4" x 5.25".


  • Digital scrapbook paper
  • 8.5" x 11" white card stock
  • Double-sided tape or glue
  • Bone folder
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • PDF pillow box pattern (download the free pillow box pattern)
  • Plate or other circular object that fits curve of box flap


How to Make a Pillow Box for Gift Cards
  1. Print the paper pattern on one side of the white card stock and print the pillow box template on the other side.
  2. Cut along the solid lines of the pillow box pattern and use the bone folder and ruler to score the straight dotted lines.
  3. Line the plate up along the curved dotted lines and score around it using the bone folder.
  4. Fold along the straight lines with the pattern facing out. Tape or glue the flap on the patterned side and adhere to the opposite side of the box.
  5. Gently fold along the curved fold of the flaps on each end to create the "pillow" effect.
  6. Finish with some ribbon or a paper band and a tag.
December 10, 2012 — Especially Paper
Tags: How-To