Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Do-It-Yourself Bride: How to Make Your Own Titled S'Mores Buffet with Sterno Cans in 7 Steps!

Hello, my Darling Peacocks...

I am so excited to finally show you some of the finished DIY Projects I did and show you how you can repeat the same projects for your own parties or just for fun!! These S'Mores Buffets are usually made in planter boxes, which can be very costly. Most 4 foot boxes cost up to $120, and that does not include the sand, decorative rocks, or the Sterno cans!!

We decided to do a S'More's Bar for our wedding! Not only are S'Mores a yummy option to do instead of having a dessert bar or sweets table--it gives your guests something do do. Not only is it activity, it's fun and delicious! Pintrest has tons of inspirational pictures, so I came up with this idea for a S'Mores Bar using buckets.

It included a lot of yummy goodies. Diet be Damned, we needed to create what has been called the ULTIMATE S'MORES BAR. I went all out and bought 4 types of Marshmallows: Vanilla Bean, Caramel Swirl, Chocolate Chip, and Toasted Coconut. I bought them from PLUSHPUFFS.COM, which is a gourmet marshmallow company. Such things exist? Yeah they do...

We also had 4 types of grahams/cookies--including original graham, chocolate grahams (Which Nabisco stopped don't bother looking. I hate to tell you how much I paid per box on Ebay!!), cinnamon grahams, and butter waffle cookies from Trader Joe's. The toppings were infinite--Peanut Butter, Nutella, Cookie Butter, chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, coconut shavings, chocolate chips, and a slew of bite-sized candy bars. We also had milk chocolate, milk chocolate with cripies, dark chocolate, and dark chocolate with almonds. And then I also brought my Cinnamon and sugar and Chocolate and Coffee grinders I bought at Trader Joe's last Christmas. Such a sinful feast.

This is what the Bar looks like in daylight:

I generally have a lot of art supplies around my house, and I love to re-purpose stuff, so sometimes my projects will cost a lot less than if I had to buy all the materials. I also live near Downtown, Los Angeles, so finding wholesale prices is very easy. So I will try my best to give you an approximation of how much this project costs to do.


ONE 2-6 ft piece of common lumber

ONE tube of industrial strength adhesive glue
(Such as Florabond or E600)

ONE to TWO square foot sheets of glass,
 ceramic or natural stone tiles 
(I used the tile on the right, Vineyard 12 in. x 12 in. x 4 mm Glass Mosaic Wall Tile from Home Depot, which was $4.99. I bought 3 or 4 tile squares, so I have some extra to make foot stones for my garden. The one on the left is a beautiful tile called Coppa Marina 12 in. x 12 in. x 4 mm Glass Mosaic Tile, also available at Home Depot. If you wanted to get creative, you could use shells or pennies to tile the board and get copper buckets or even have wooden boxes that attach to hold the sterno cans instead of a bucket).

TWO to SIX Machine Screws and Washers 
(I made mine with 6 Sterno cans, so I needed 6 screws with washers. You want to get the flat edged machine screws because they are safer to take to buckets on and off. This Multi-pack might be good to keep around the house. This 84 piece set is available at Home Depot for under $5.)

A Power Drill with A Drilling Bit

TWO to SIX Metal/Tin Painted Pails 
(I choose 6 buckets in my blue ombre colors of Turquoise, Light Blue, and White)

Wooden Cut out Letters
(I found letters at my local craft store. I painted them all with a blue ombre color and then I lined them with rhinestones. If you want plain letters or don't feel like painting them, this online store called has some REALLY cool letters you can buy. Letters will range from $1 to $12 a piece, depending on how fancy you want to make them. You could save money by just painting the letters onto the buckets, but I like the 3D effect of cut-out letters.)

Acrylic Paint 

Grout and a Rubber Grout Float or Caulk  

Sand and Decorative Glass

Rhinestone Ribbons

Sterno Cans 

The Steps

Set your tiles onto the board to see how the placement will be. You will need to measure your board, and divide board based upon how many buckets you will be using. I used 6, so I divided my board into 6 even parts. Make sure you place your tiles before you glue them down. Once the glue begins to dry, those tiles will most likely not come off easily. The buckets will need a place to attach, so need to figure out how many tiles will go up your board vertically and how many will go across horizontally. Mine went 6 up and 61 across.


Begin gluing your tiles down. Remember: you will need leave 2 tiles out where your buckets will attach. This will vary depending on the length of your board and how many buckets you choose to attach to it. I would let this dry for at least 24 hours or more. Make sure that all of the tiles are secure and dry before you start drilling the board.

 Step three is optional, but I did it because I think it polishes off the look. 

After your tiled board is dry, it's time to grout the board. I originally did this last, but in hindsight, it would be better to do it before you drill the holes. I don't have pictures of me actually grouting the board, but it's easy. Mix the grout with water. If you want colored grout, just add some pigment or a nice amount of acrylic paint. Colored grout is hard to come by, and if you want extreme colors, you will have to add the color yourself. Spread the grout across the tile with a spatula. Then you take the GROUT FLOAT and run it across the board to put the grout into the spaces in the tile and remove excess grout. After every space is filled with grout and you have smoothed it over with the float, take a wet towel and wipe off the excess grout on the board. Clean and polish the board after the grout it totally dry. Again, I would give this overnight or several hours at the very least to totally dry. 

Well, this is where the fun REALLY starts. Break out your power drill with a drill bit and drill a hole right in the middle of the spaces you left open for the buckets to attach. After you have drilled the holes, insert your machine screws. 

This is the machine screw
put through the bucket
without a washer.

This is what the bucket looks like
attached with a washer.
Drill holes directly in the bottom of the buckets. Those holes will allow the machine screw to go through into the bottom of the bucket. Tighten the bucket onto the board using a washer. I used 3 different color buckets. But you can alternate colors, or use all the same colors. Use your creativity and use variations in your color scheme.  

The picture to the left is how the bucket looks when it's attached...but I also wanted you to notice how the sides of the board are still their original color. You're going to want to paint the sides of the board with acrylic paint. You could also use rhinestones, buttons, or whatever you would like to decorate the sides of the board. Just remember, the board will be holding sterno cans, so you don't want to add anything the might catch fire if someone drops a flaming marshmallow!! The reason why you don't want to permanently attach the buckets it because it's a lot easier to transport this without the buckets attached. I remember I forgot to detach a bucket, and the thing fell and dented the bucket. I tried to replace it, but they didn't have white buckets anymore. I had to fix the broken bucket--so be careful with this because it can fall and you will lose tile. 


Now you have to do your letters. I found my letters at the craft store, but I listed some sites where you can find cool letters. I first painted my letters, and then I lined the sides with some rhinestone. When I rhinestone a large or intricate area, I use Rhinestones on sheets. I used some foam sticky sheets to attach the letters. You could use a hot glue gun, or anything you want to attach letters. You could also save money and time, and skip making 3D letters and just paint the letters directly on the buckets.
After your board is done, has it's screws and buckets in place, and all of the letters are attached/painted on--you are ready to add the sand. Fill the buckets with sand leaving an inch or two open on the top. Insert one Sterno can the middle of each bucket on top of the sand. Then cover the sand with decorative sand and glass beads. I found my glass and glass beads at the dollar I saved money there. 

Here is how it looks when you're done adding the sand...


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