Tag Archives: birthday party

DIY: hot colors, cheap and easy, party banner

simple bright bannerThis is perhaps the simplest party banner you could ever, ever make. The easiest of all DIY projects… and very cheap. With only a seam across the top, the folded-over flags flap cheerfully in the wind and brighten up any outdoor (or indoor) soiree.
You can go from a handful of fabric to adorning a party in 45 minutes. Then stow it away and reuse it for your next event. Here’s ALL you’ll need:
how to make a bannerBrightly colored nylon fabric (or other fabric with no right or wrong side) about 1/8 of a yard of each color and twine or ribbon to connect them together. Scissors or a rotary cutter, a ruler, an iron and a sewing machine.

materials you will needWith scissors or a rotary cutter, cut out the flags. The flags pictured measure 4 inches by 10 inches. You will need to cut out 12-15 flags for a 10 ft. banner.

line up the flagsFold the flags in half and iron a crease on the fold. Then line up the flags by color and in the color order you like.

fold the flags in half and ironUnfold the flags and place the ribbon or twine in the ironed crease. Fold the flag back in half over the ribbon (or twine) and pin the flags into place, about 4 inches apart.

sew the top of the flagBegin sewing the first flag, across the top and continue until you get to the last flag, no need to stop and cut thread in between.

hot colors banner3If you use twine or string, simply set the sewing machine to a zig zag stitch and sew directly over the top of the twine to secure it in place. If you use this method, you might want to cut the threads and stop and go the machine stitching in between the flags.

fluorescent colors bannerThe ribbon method, with one continuous stitch will look like this when all finished.

nylon_bright_summer_bannerAll ready to party!

easy party banner5The beauty of this banner is the flapability of the flags. The only-sewn-across-the-top method allows lots of movement in the wind and eye catching color to any outdoor event.

Want a different look? Here’s a triangle banner tutorial.

ruffle birthday cake

teenager birthday time- ruffle cake

It’s birthday time once again in these parts, this month belongs to the Doodle. Thirteen wonderful years for me, the mother of the cleverest crafter, cook, good attitude gal and joker in the West. She’s the kid who asks, “what’s for dinner tonight?” the moment she walks in from school everyday.
Luckily, “Can I make dinner?” are usually her next words. To which my reply is nearly always “Yes!” Here’s my rendition of the ruffle cake she ordered off pinterest:
ruffle cakeAfter making all those ruffles, my forearms were burning like I’d just led a 200 ft. 5.11b rock climbing route.

teens and ruffle cakeThe Doodle and her girlfriends ready to dig in then run off and play hours of night games all over the neighborhood.

ruffle cake and tall candlesLove her new hipster glasses she just picked out for herself.

party bannersThis is about it for decorations- but 5 banners- isn’t that enough?

blow out the candles, ruffle birthday cakeHere’s Instagram and the Mayfair filter, making everything look better.

ruffle CakeProcess evident picture- iPhone, lighter, sharpie, Cheetos puffs as appetizer (another personal request, party essential) right out there in the open.

ruffle cakeThree layers of chocolate and an extreme amount of frosting. Yum.

I don’t know how else to say it… they grow up SO FAST! Cherish every minute, even the tough ones because sooner that you think they’ll be heading off out the door.

dollhouse birthday party project

tiny dollhouseThis project could be adapted for many different age groups, boys or girls,  and made as simple or complicated as you like. Remember, sometimes letting the partygoers ‘make it up’ from the supplies on hand is a creatively simple option!

Hint: in this case a little bit of pre-party prep to make things run smoothly and you’ve got yourself an unforgettable event. How to prepare:

I used this party craft for a group of 7-10 year olds, and it worked wonderfully. They were engaged as long as you’d let them create. Some music playing and an organized grouping of supplies and they’d cut and glue for hours.
The wooden people shapes are from Michaels craft store, but can be found at just about any other craft store.

We made tables and chairs from different sized wooden spools and flat round wooden disks (all can be purchased in bags of 10 or so at the craft store). We pre-glued the tables and chairs together, then pre-painted the people and the furniture with acrylic craft paint.

**Pre-painting made things run much more smoothly at the party and entirely avoided the issue of paint messes.

We got a little crazy painting the hair and faces. Two-toned hair added a some dimension (and silliness). I put a clear coat of glossy Modge Podge over the people to set the paint, they looked very chalky without the top coat. The tables and chairs also got a top coat, with some glitter mixed in.

I searched many craft stores trying to find affordable “dollhouses”. Originally, I wanted to use the paperboard tiny suitcases that open up flat and make a perfect dolly space. They were way too expensive at $6.99 each to purchase for each guest. I found a round metal lunch box for $3 each at a craft outlet- still too expensive and when the door was left open it didn’t sit flat on the table anyway. Finally, I found these recipe boxes at Michael’s in the dollar section, (they actually ended up being .50 cents each at the register) not perfectly perfect (a bit too short/narrow- the recipe box would work better if the bed foam was thinner, like 1/2″ thick)- but the perfect price for buying a dozen or so.

Luckily, I have loads of craft supplies stashed, I have this habit of saving every single scrap of rick rack, lace and fabric no matter how short… and it finally paid off.
The bed is made from 1″ thick foam, the pillows from smaller piece of foam. The foam could really be any thickness (under an inch or so.) The girls chose the bedding from flannel fabric scraps ( from previous projects made over the years) and, with help, they hot glued the fabric over the foam to finish the beds and pillows.
We used hot glue to attach all the accessories to the dolls. The girls chose all of the ‘flair’ for their dolls, and came up with some great ideas-  the flowers in the hair (made from a sheet of gem stickers- scrapbook supplies) and rick rack headbands.

I found the cocktail umbrellas amid my party supplies and threw them in, they ended up being the perfect size for the tiny house. We painted the extra spools and they glued in tiny silk flowers then used the ‘flower pot’ as an umbrella stand.

We left out a stack of scrapbook paper and stickers to make flooring, and occasionally wallpaper to the dollhouses. They used the stickers to cover the words “Recipes” on the outside of the boxes and decorate the walls inside.
The party guests (and my own kids) loved making their dollhouse and had so much fun. After the party was over my kids played with their dollhouses for hours more, making sofas (with foam and fabric) and laptops and deck chairs with various sized square wood pieces we had used for some of the tables.

Variations: Craft paint for decorating the ‘house’, also cut up magazines or hand drawn pictures to decorate the walls. Paint the wooden figurines as boys and include wooden cars, trains or planes to be painted (previously or at the party) or a recipe box house with ‘boyish’ decor. My boys loved making this project just as much as the ladies. Craft doesn’t discriminate.

Here’s an example of the paperboard suitcase kit (mentioned earlier)in a more elaborate set-up, a entire wooden family, scrapbook papers and accessories for a more boyish or unisex version and add-ons like a clothes line, picture frame, mirror for the wall, beds for the kids:

wooden people family accessories for dollhouse tiny suitcase dollhouse boyish scrapbook papers paperboard suitcase
Customize you dolls with faces and outfits… recognize the Obama family in their first Inauguration Day outfits?
Obama family wooden dolls