Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fourth of July Decorating with Bandanas

Last week I was catching up on some of my favorite blogs and came across a gorgeous patriotic tablecloth that was made entirely out of bandanas by Kendra at My Insanity - please check out the pics on her blog. For two days straight I literally could not get the idea of using those red, white and blue bandanas out of my head. So on day three I finally decided to try making some other 4th of July decorations inspired by the tablecloth.

I thought it would be fun to make a placemat using the bandanas, so I cut them up and put them back together to look like...a flag, of course!

I'm a huge fan of banners - I think they're a fun and easy way to decorate a party space. So here is my attempt at a 4th of July party banner using the bandanas...

The banner was really easy to make - here are the steps I used:
(1) cut up the bandana into four squares, (2) fold each square into a triangle and iron to get nice creases, (3) attach the triangles to a ribbon and hang.

Kendra - thanks again for inspiring me to create these projects!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kids at Weddings

I know that the mere mention of having children at weddings makes some people break out in cold sweats. But if you are a bride that says "I Do" to allowing kids to attend your big day, then here are some ideas that they might enjoy.

What better way to make the kids feel welcome than by sending wedding invitations just for them! The invitations can be as elaborate (like coordinating with your formal invitations), or as simple as you want them to be. Here is an example of custom invitations for kids that Donna Lipscomb at Confetti made for me...too cute.

Working under the assumption that "idle hands are the devil's playthings", it's a good idea to keep the kids busy during the wedding to avoid drama. Coloring books tend to do the trick with my kids. I created a simple cover using scrapbook paper and stickers, then bound it together with ribbon. I love personalizing things, so I put each child's name on the book to make it more special for them...

There are a ton of wedding-themed coloring pages that you can download from the web. Here is one of the pages I used in the coloring book - also included was the ring, the ceremony, the cake, etc.

Okay this idea is risky given the fact that it involves sugar, but what child doesn't appreciate candy? Here is a bouquet just for them - a candy bouquet. This is really easy to make - just take some artificial flowers and glue candy inside the petals (I used Smarties, but any candy would do). I then wrapped a satin ribbon around the bottom to resemble a bride's bouquet...

The really little kids might appreciate this more than the older ones - wedding rubber duckies! These are just the cutest things ever...I can't get over the ringbearer ducky. On second thought, the adults might appreciate these more than the kids! You can purchase these little guys here.

You can package all of these goodies in wedding-themed gift bags for the kids. I made a Groom bag for the boys...

...and a Bride bag for the girls...

Here are a couple of ideas that you can prepare for older kids (ages 10+) who might be attending the wedding:

Idea #1: The Love Game - Prior to the wedding have each child guess how many times the word "love" will be said during the ceremony...the closest guess wins.

Idea #2: Photo Scavenger Hunt - Hand out cameras to the kids along with a list of items (like the unity candle, the minister, the couple kissing) and have them snap pictures of those things...the most pictures wins.

Congrats and happy wedding planning!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Science Party

The theme for this year's blowout birthday party for my boys was science. I don't quite understand the allure of dissecting small animals and mixing up chemicals, but they seem to dig it. So I did my best to play along and tried to create a great event for my budding scientists.

As each guest arrived, they were transformed into "real" scientists. This of course meant donning safety goggles - you can purchase these for a little more than a dollar here...

...and white lab coats, along with personalized name badges, that you can purchase at the lowest prices I could find here...

The invitation was a little involved. I first created a basic invitation on vellum paper with a background image that was printed on regular printer paper. By the way, the background image is an Erlenmeyer flask - interesting fact #1 that I learned while planning this party.

I then rolled up the invitation and put it inside a giant test tube that I found here. Interesting fact #2: these plastic tubes are actually used to create two liter soda bottles - who knew? The really cool "caution" labels were created by Amy Locurto - you should check out her blog when you get a chance.

The last part of the invitation was a direction card - the party was held in a kind of obscure location, so I played the role of GPS. I might have mentioned that I get a little obsessed with themes, so when I started typing up the directions this happened - another white lab coat!

Here are some pics from the actual event - if the smiles were any indication of their satisfaction, I think the kids had a great time.

I wanted to have a little fun with the food, so I drew inspiration from the movie "Honey I Shrunk the Kids". The basic premise of the movie is that a crazy scientist invents a machine that miniaturizes things, including his kids. For the party I altered the original movie poster and served all miniature food - sliders, mini tater tots, bagel bites (which looked like mini pizza),baby carrots, etc...too fun!

So the last interesting fact that I learned from planning this party is that science is pretty cool - I'm off to pick up my own lab coat right now!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Father's Day

In addition to being an amazing dad, my husband is also a Wii-fanatic. And I'm not using that word loosely - you would think he was on the PGA pro tour the way he talks about his Wii golf scores! So I thought it would be fun and slightly humorous to create a Father's Day card that honored my husband's current passion.

I found an awesome website that gives you the ability to create Mii characters on the computer. For non-Wii aficionados, Mii characters are digital avatars that can be created and customized to look like the person who is playing the game. So I went to this site and created a Mii for both of my sons and my dog. I then found an image of the exact flat screen TV that is sitting in my basement and cut/pasted the Mii characters onto it. Here is the result - it's going on the outside of the card...

I wish I could take credit for figuring out how to make the dog Mii, but a really creative person who obviously had a lot of time on his/her hands was kind enough to put the directions on the web...thanks!

Of course I wanted to get in on the fun too, so here is the image that is going on the inside of the card...

Here is the finished card - I mounted the images on a piece of shiny black cardstock paper...

And because I am slightly theme-obsessed, I created this image to go on the outside of the envelope - the "A" is made out of Wii controllers. Obsessions are never a good thing, but this is kind of cute...right?

Happy Father's Day - I hope you enjoy it as much as "Wii" will!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Polka-Dot Party

The other day I was surfing the web and discovered a site that is devoted to polka-dot birthday parties...who knew? The website is appropriately entitled: Polka Dot Birthday. I'm a sucker for cute concepts like this, so I was instantly inspired to create other ideas for a polka-dot themed party - in this case a Sweet 16 Party. I searched through the hundreds of scrapbook sheets that I've acquired over the years and found a cool polka-dot pattern that I tried to incorporate into each idea.

Idea #1: Favors - a quick and easy party favor that is sure to please are lollipops. I created the candy label on the computer and glued it to the lollipop. I then put the polka-dot scrapbook paper inside an acrylic box, along with a styrofoam block, and inserted the lollipop sticks into the block.

Idea #2: Invitation - for the invitation I combined a piece of colorful cardstock with the polka-dot scrapbook paper and embellished it with chip board numbers...that's it!

Idea #3: Table Layout - the placemat is actually another scrapbook sheet with circles that were cut out with a round punch. I then cut strips from the polka-dot paper and wrapped them around the napkin and soda bottle...

Here is a close-up of the "polka-dot" placecard...just cut out circles using round punches (these were made from 3/4in and 1in punches), glue them together and attach lollipop sticks on the ends.

Hope these ideas inspire you to go out and!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

My son just completed an amazing season playing for the Dodgers. Okay, who am I trying to fool...the little league Dodgers! This was his second season playing and we are now convinced that in addition to having great teams, this league also hosts the best ceremonies. Let's talk about Opening Day - they shut down major roads for a mile-long parade procession of teams. Did I mention this was little league? And Closing Day was just as big. So with all of this celebrating going on, I came up with a few ideas that could be used at an end-of-the-season bash for a little league team.

In most little leagues there is no guarantee that kids will ever play on the same team again, so why not send them home with a party favor that's also a cool keepsake... team baseball cards. The key to this favor are pictures, so make sure that you take a bunch of every player throughout the season so that you have a lot to choose from. You can create a custom template fairly easily using editing software like Photoshop Elements. This particular software also allows you to upload pictures directly into the template. My husband (who would readily admit that he is the least creative person in our house) created these, so it's pretty easy to do...

Here is an idea for centerpieces that is easy to construct and costs nothing! Stack two or more baseball gloves on top of each other and connect them with the velcro straps. Then top the gloves off with a baseball...that's it.

To the make the centerpieces more meaningful ask each player to bring his/her game ball - trust me, they still won't figure out that everyone on the team gets a treasured game ball.

I adore cupcake flags - I think they make the cupcake taste better because they're just so darn cute. At the last major league baseball game that I attended my sons were transfixed by the oversized foam fingers that were being sold for a fortune. I thought it would be cool to create a foam finger cupcake flag for this type of party. To make the flag, cut out a picture of a foam finger (just google 'foam finger') and cut out the identical shape on foam paper. Glue the pieces together and then attach a lollipop stick on back.

Hope these ideas are go play ball!

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