My mom, sister and friend Jill really went all out in decorating for this party. My mom created all the paper goods using scrapbook paper and stickers. She even did the little cupcake toppers out of scrapbooks supplies. They used pumpkins, hay bails,fall foliage and even potpourri on the tables to bring out the feeling of fall.
Jill created name tags for all of the guests since our guests were from all different parts of our lives—h.s. friends, college friends, after-college friends and a ton of family. She also created little tissue paper pumpkins (via Martha) filled with candies for the favors.
The food was AMAZING. My step-mom, Teresa, and my mom made all of the food. They decided to do a dessert buffet with coffee, coffee-punch and water to drink. The menu included: pumpkin cupcakes, orange dip and fruit, mocha scones, acorn bites, s’mores pops, chocolate chippies and so much more! It was really, really delicious.
The ladies also put together a little gift table with photos of our little guy and an activity for guests to work on. Each guest got to fill out an advice form that we will keep and save for our little guy as he gets older. Then they would hang the advice from the clothes line above the table. Some guests even put money on the line for us… it was all so sweet.
Thank you to my mom, step-mom, sis and to Jill (and her family!) for throwing us this amazing party. I kept getting questions from everyone asking when I had the time to throw the party or what part of the party I did and it was very fun saying,
“Not a thing! They did it all.”
I couldn’t have done it better myself.
Thank you for checking out our party!
I think a lot of these details would transfer nicely to a very pretty Thanksgiving table!
We served small portions of “bar” food for the party. The menu included: Mac & Cheese, Rubens, Beer Sausages, Sweet Potato Fries, French Fries, Crudites and Guinness Cupcakes
For a simple activity we had guests write out their advice for my husband, a new father, on coasters. We now enjoy the coasters, and their advice, daily!
We rented a local community room, as our families have grown quicker than our home. Our local t-shirt store had the perfect shirt, thank goodness! The Dollar Tree (our everything’s a dollar) store is a great resource for cheap party supplies. That particular year, they had a package of Elmo face die cuts. I bought several packages, and used masking tape to add them around the room.
For a game, we had a “Pin the Nose on the Elmo.” This particular one is store bought. You can easily find coloring sheets of Elmo online. Open or save the coloring sheet into your favorite word processing program. Usually, you can find a template to print it as a poster. I recently did this using Microsoft’s Publisher program. If you want to “blow up” the coloring sheet to a larger size, use the program’s template for creating a poster. Then, pieces of the coloring sheet will print out, like a giant puzzle. For an easy route, plop your birthday girl or boy into the high chair. Use masking tape to affix the paper to the tray, pass over a red crayon and voila! Bigger Elmo, happy kid, and you can finally go to the bathroom in peace. Orange sticky back felt cut into circles would make perfect noses to pin on Elmo – no pins! Mason Jars make great templates for circles, and great mommy cocktail holders for when you’re up into the wee hours crafting!
Let’s face it, Elmo’s cute, but no one likes red icing. A local baker whipped this up, then put an Elmo themed toy as the cake topper.
Even with all this, the party really needed a stand out piece. I made an Elmo’s World back drop for a photo “booth.” All the kids loved it, and my daughter kept trying to hug Elmo. Here’s what it looked like:
1 twin sized sheet or large section of material (Walmart’s twin sheets were cheaper than the material by the yard)
Print out of Elmo’s world
Template for a fish/favorite coloring page
Purple craft paint
Blue craft paint
White or glitter puffy paint
1 sheet orange felt
approx 10 sheets red felt (I used nine, but got 10 “just in case”)
1 sheet white felt
thin square sponge paint brush
Ailleen’s craft glue or hot glue gun
newspaper or tile floor
WAIT UNTIL YOUR CHILD IS GOOD AND ASLEEP, OR HIRE A SITTER.
Lay out sheet or large portion of material on hard surface. (lay newsprint underneath if you prefer.) Using purple craft paint, swirl a design along the top of the material/sheet. I used my print out of Elmo’s world as a guide, but I ran out of room to do many swirls at the top like Elmo really has.
Then using blue paint, draw the table, piano, whichever elements you choose to include. Use the purple to make scribbles in the outline of your details. Let dry.
* NOTE: I did this on the tile floor without laying down newspaper. I panicked when the purple paint bled through, but dish soap and water took it right up.
Now that you have the basics, it’s time to jazz it up. I started with Elmo.
Trace your hands onto one piece of red felt, cut out. Cut one piece red felt into two equal pieces, use as arms. OR if you want longer arms, do 4 equal pieces, etc. I used 1 red piece cut into two longer pieces for Elmo’s legs. (cutting down the middle of the longer side).
Take 4 pieces of red felt. Stack two pieces, and cut a rounded edge. (I used my pizza stone as a guide). Then do the same for the other two pieces. Now you’ll have a giant circular shape for Elmo’s body. Attach using glue to the material.
At this point, you can add the arms, legs and hands.
Then take two more sheets of red felt. Using another round object as a guide, lay them together and cut a circular shape. Then attach as the head.
Use the white piece to make two circles. From this, you’ll get the eyes. I used the sharpie to make the little black dots in his eyes.
Also from the white piece, cut a small circle to serve as Dorothy the Goldfish’s eye. I also used a sharpie on her eye.
Using the coloring sheet as a template, cut Dorothy from the orange felt. Use the remaining orange felt to cut a large circle for Elmo’s nose.
At this point, attach the remaining pieces using the glue. I just popped the felt goldfish on above the table and let her “float” there for a bit.
Then take the white/silver puffy paint and draw a circular shape around the fish. Leave the top open, and draw a straight line across to make the goldfish bowl. I added some extra paint at the bottom of the bowl to look like gravel. Some sequins would be perfect there! And if you use the craft glue, you can glob on a bunch and add sequins like you would add sprinkles to a cake.
Let dry overnight if possible. I hung it using some serious amounts of masking tape.
I wanted so badly to find a cd of Elmo/Sesame Street song, but didn’t. Now, hopefully, you could find something on iTunes, etc.
|Each guest got a hand painted bib along with their silverware.|
|The bibs were a bit too small for most guests. But, were cute anyways.|
|I kept most of the decorating quite simple… a few red and white streamers really brought it all together.|
|The adorable printables were found FREE at Hostess with the Mostess!|
|No plates needed for this feast! The buckets were filled with rolls.|
|I wrapped boxes of sparklers up with fun homemade wrapping papers and created Thank You Tags to finish off the favors.|
I put up red and white streamers around the party areas and our porch area.
I also used the Hostess with the Mostess printables to designate the refreshments area.
Using Illustrator I created a few printables of my own
including some wrapping paper and thank you tags for the favors.
My favorite part was the table… To protect the table I put down some wax paper and then covered the whole table with white butcher paper (seriously the best party supply purchase I’ve ever made). I then added the bibs and silverware packs to each place setting. The bibs and silverware wraps I just free-handed earlier that day. I added galvanized buckets of rolls down the center of the table and ramekins of butter and lemon slices at each place setting…. and that is it!
The main attraction happened at dinner time when I dumped the food on the table!
I did a simple crab boil (and, to tell you the truth… at the last moment we decided to save some money and went without the crab and instead did shrimp and clams). I have two really big pots and I filled them with red potatoes, onions, lemons, corn on the cob, sausage, shrimp and clams. They steamed beautifully with a little bit of white wine. I also added in some spices to give it a bit of a kick.
(Check out this recipe from All Recipes or this one from Martha Stewart)
|We are always so happy when having friends over to our place!|
What are your plans for Independence Day this year?
Growing up I loved my Barbies. I had hundreds of them and my dad even made me a custom built, HUGE Barbie house. So, when my friend Jill told me she was surprising her daughter with a Barbie party this year I couldn’t wait to help out with some pink, black and white printables for the party.
|Some Free Printables created using the Barbie font from DaFont.Com|
Now, this wasn’t just ANY Barbie party. Jill had decided to wait to allow her daughter to own Barbie dolls until she felt that she was old enough to have them. Of course her daughter, Ella, had been asking for them for quite a while before Jill decided that it was time. So, Jill really wanted to surprise her with the theme and didn’t let on at all!
|Check out how happy she looks!|
Jill sent me some photos from the party (she lives in my home state of Oklahoma and I’m far away in Oregon so I couldn’t attend) as well as some hints she found useful in planning and executing the party.
I love that this party is a perfect example how a REAL mom can through a beautiful party on a REAL budget. And, of course, it is all about the special details!
The details from Jill:
1. Packaging tape is exactly as wide as a party circle, and just almost wide enough to totally cover a party “square.” It works great to attach them to cups!
2. Haiwaiin punch comes in every color for about $3 to match any kids party.
3. I got big pink roses at the $1 jewelry store (that’s really the name of it) for $1 each. I intended to use them to swag a black and white polka dot tablecloth. But apparently cotton has gone up, because it was $6/yard! Not what I wanted to spend $30 on, so I skipped it in favor of more pink for $2.
4. The Dollar Tree has great disposable table cloths. You can stick your party squares, then roll up and toss the mess with no $$ guilt.
|I love this use of the party circle printables!|
5. The lid to the case of copy paper holds cupcakes for even the craziest of drives. (like late, locked out of my house, pot holes, etc. It was a wild day!)
6. When ordering a Barbie cake, reuse lid from above to stabilize that cake. It will not survive the same drive.
7. Offer to bring your own doll for the cake – saved me $10. And because I love my baker, they threw in the glitter/shimmer spray.
8. Hiring college kids to dress up for kids parties is great. They love kids, they love 20 bucks, and the kids love it too. Ella is still talking about how Barbie came to her party. And she knows Sammi! lol
|I love that Barbie came to visit her for the party!|
9. I gave Ella $30 and sent her to the Dollar Tree party section. She got tons of favors for the kids, all for what I would’ve maybe gotten 10 things or so at a party store. And when she handed them out, she was sure to proudly tell them that she picked the prizes. I always have her hand out the goody bags at the door so she can say thanks for coming and give bye hugs. And they were hilarious – not themed at all. Pixie sticks, watches, color your own stickers, plastic snakes, princess hair clips, you name it.
Lastly, Jill hosted the party at a local bounce house so the kids would have some built in entertainment. I love this idea because I’ve seen so many kids get even more excited about a birthday party because it is somewhere they are already familiar with and a place they can associate with FUN! Her advice for a Bounce House party:
“When having a bounce house party, don’t forget: 1. Include the waiver cards with your invites (I did) and 2. to bring extra socks. I brought extras for the kids (which they sell for $1/pair there) and some brightly colored ones for the adults. I set them out on a table in the bounce area with kid-sized bottled water in a little box. Adults often think about bringing the kids’ socks and try to sneak out of bouncing because they “forgot socks” (I’ve done this; I’m on to them). Then your kids are having so much fun you can’t resist! And bright colors are fun, and ensure you make it home with your own neon socks.”
|Look how happy she is!!!|
The Queen of Heart’s Bar
|Our Front Door|
|The bar backdrop was a wave of cards|
|Pink flamingo pics for the martinis|
|It’s Tea Time!|
|The Tea took place in the middle of Wonderland|
|Moss runners, stacked pedestals, tea pots and cups created the tablescapes|
|We served traditional tea sandwiches and tea party food during cocktail hour|
thank you so much for stopping by!
I hope you enjoyed part one of our Halloween party!
Keep your fingers crossed for me… I’m entering this party in:
One of the “Well Crafted Party” Printables:
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Okay, so I promised some real parties this month and here is one of my favorites! Halloween is one of my very favorite days of the year. I start planning the party a year in advance and very much enjoy the preparation and execution of the party. This past Halloween we had a “Bewitching Ball” with all the formal fabulous we could fit into our tiny apartment. So, I’ll keep from chattering about and show you the photos.
The decor was as DIY as I could possibly make it. Hundreds of bats hung from the ceiling. Tissue paper flowers decorated the mantle and wrapped around any available space. (Tutorials will be up in the next few days!) A hand designed chandelier, made by a friend, was the shining centerpiece.
The food— Well, I can never pass up the opportunity to make fun Halloween food. I found a lot of great recipes on-line (check out last Friday’s post for some great food links) and all of them were a hit.
The Signature Drinks—I made two signature drinks and had s few classic bar selections for guest to choose from at the bar. The two signature drinks were “My Kind of Magic” and “Satan’s Soda” both created by me! (look for the recipes in future posts)
The Masks—The guests made their own masks and costumes. They were all so creative and you could tell they spend a ton of time working on them.
It was a fabulously fun party and I am very happy to get to show off the photos. If you have a fabulously fun Halloween party you’d like to share please send submissions for consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit our submission guideline page for submission directions.