Funny thing about hosting a chili cook-off party… you invariably end up with a lot of crock pots full of chili!Â In the past, we have tried a couple of different methods for labeling the chilis so that everyone can easily vote on them.Â We ran into problems with the numbers got moved, the ladles getting mixed up, and the chili getting dripped all over the tables.Â So this year, we brainstormed until we came up with a solution to our chili disorganization — foil oven liners!Â If you are like me, you had no idea these things existed.Â I won’t go into the long and twisted story as to how I came across them, but suffice it to say, there they were and they were just what I needed. They were inexpensive and just the right size.
I couldn’t leave them that sorry shade of boring foil silver.Â Oh no, I had to whip out one of my favorite tools, spray paint.Â I love that stuff!Â I especially love glossy spray paint.Â First, I had my daughter lay out all of the foil liners on plastic in our garage.Â I let her do this because she loves to “help” and she’s a lot closer to the ground, so bending over to straighten them out wasn’t nearly as taxing on her back as it would’ve been on mine.
Then I spray painted them solid red with two coats of paint.Â Okay, maybe I shouldn’t say I did this.Â I got through the first coat and by the end of doing twenty of these, my hand had cramped up into a claw-like shape from pushing the spray paint nozzle.Â My darling husband took pity on me and did the second coat.Â He’s going to be upset that I told the world he was “crafting”.
After the red had dried, I made a template of a spoon.Â I did this by drawing a spoon shape onto a piece of cardboard and then using a utility knife to cut it out.Â Really simple!Â It’s not necessary to do any of this painting but I think it made them turn out a whole lot cuter.Â And without that spoon outline there, how on earth would guests know where to put that ladle?
So, this leads us to the numbering.Â Numbers are extremely important in these high-stake voting situations.Â To match our cute crock-pot invitations, Chica used the same outline and added numbers to make labels.Â Very cute, if I do say so myself.Â She also made some labels that said “vegetarian” and “spicy”, and some with names of various meats. We have some friends with allergies or who don’t eat meat, so it is nice for them to know if a chili is safe for them to eat or not.Â
Once Chica made the templates, I printed them out, cut them out and then used my laminator to laminate them.Â I am so glad I took the extra time to laminate because they did get chili on them, but wiped off easily so I can use them again next year.Â And to make sure the numbers didn’t blow away or get mixed up, I used a little bit of sticky tack to hold them in place.
Here are the downloads for the crock pot labels that tell you what kind of chili is inside, as well as a blank one for whatever you may need it for.
And here are the numbered labels for marking each of your chili entries. You can download them one at a time by clicking on each thumbnail below, or if you want them all, just download the zip file.
Here are detailed shots of some of the decorations we are ordering for our next cook-off. I love these festive chili pepper dishes for condiments like cheese and sour cream, and decoration is easy with chili pepper garland and chili pepper confetti. And who doesn’t love a pinata?