The Strength Behind the Strong website. Proudly supporting our friends and family in the U.S. military, including Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.


The Strength Behind The Strong was founded by Christine Hofmann-Bourque, who is proud to have a husband in the Army, three brothers in the Navy and Army, and a sister-in-law in the Army. Christine is also a professional journalist. Read our first post to find out why this website is so close to her heart. More >>

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Entries in DIY projects (2)


Hop to it! Deliver real Easter eggs to your overseas sweetie

A dozen eggs from the commissary at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts? $1.52. Egg decorating kit? $2.63. Sending cheerful, handmade Easter eggs to a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan? Priceless. The key to this gift is one simple trick: Empty the eggs by blowing out the yolks and whites. You will be left with hollow Easter eggs that — hip hop hooray! — won’t spoil during their trip overseas. Here’s how to do it: 

O say can you see the small holes on top of these hollow Easter eggs? Barely.

  1. Wash raw eggs. The shells may carry harmful bacteria, so clean them for safety’s sake.
  2. Use a pin or needle to poke holes in both ends of each egg. Make the hole on the egg’s bottom slightly larger than the one on top so that it is easier for the egg’s insides to exit. Leave the eggs in the carton while you’re poking them, below; that way there is less chance of accidentally smashing the eggs while you’re holding them.

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Honest! Abe Lincoln is reimagined in license plates

Jennifer Savo didn’t even consider traditional housewarming gifts like a plant or bottle of wine when her brother Thomas — a former Navy sailor — bought his first house last December. Instead, she surprised him with a three-foot-tall portrait of President Abraham Lincoln, below, which she crafted out of vintage metal license plates. 

“I know Thomas likes American history, and he’s living near Washington, D.C., which made me think of the White House,” says Jennifer, who has been experimenting with license plate art for a few years. “Abe is an iconic face that would translate well and would be a fun historical person to do.”

The black painted pieces on this Abe Lincoln artwork are wrong-side-up 1970s license plates from Illinois; they are stamped with “Land of Lincoln,” the state’s official slogan.

Her starting point was an 1863 photograph of Honest Abe. Using photo-editing software, she posterized the photo, which converted it to four tones only — black, white, and two greys. She enlarged the manipulated photo to her desired finished size of 24x36 inches and printed it out on regular copy paper. She then cut it into paper puzzle pieces that served as patterns for the portrait’s metal sections, which she cut from both license plates and a smooth sheet of aluminum.

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