A Birthday Banner for the Birthday Girl

So this girl turned SEVEN on Wednesday! I can’t even handle this. She just got out of diapers, I swear.

We had a simple family get together at the house on Tuesday, and I made this Happy Birthday Banner to hang in the dining room. I used 4 sheets of kraft cardstock and 2 sheets of scrapbook paper. I cut the cardstock in fourths (I had 3 extra fourths), and cut the scrapbook paper into 3″x 5″ pieces to use in my Alphabet Punch Board. I ran the letters through my Xyron Creative Station to adhere them to the cardstock and strung it all on baker’s twine. I think I’m going to take the BIRTH off now that we’re done so that it just says Happy Day and hang it in her room.
Man, I love banners! This is one I made a couple of weeks ago for a baby shower at church. I cut the flags using my paper cutter, the letters using my Alphabet Punch Board, and the deer using a paper punch. I ran all the letters and the deer through my Xyron Creative Station to turn them into stickers which made the assembly super quick. Colton’s mom is doing his nursery in an outdoorsy theme, so hopefully she can use it in there too. 
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Lily’s 5th Birthday Party

On the 11th we had a birthday party for Lily at the Life Center at our church. We’ve always had small family celebrations for her, but this was her very first friend party, and it went so well!

We went with an Adopt-A-Baby theme, and it was easy breezy to put together. Now here’s the part where I realize that I am ridiculous and forgot to get a picture of the the baby table before all the adoptive mothers descended on it. These two are the sum total of the pictures I got before the babies were all passed out.

But here’s what they all got: a baby, two felt diapers, a blanket, a diaper bag, a gown, a felt bib, a baby bracelet, a pacifier, a baby headband, and a baby bottle.

The babies were collected over the last few months from various thrift stores and lovingly (and thoroughly) cleaned. What I loved about this (beyond the cost effectiveness) was that each baby was unique. Because there was a range of sizes, I made the diapers specifically for each baby. I just free-handed a couple of sizes based on baby diapers we already had, and made each baby one solid color diaper and one print diaper. They closed with Babyville plastic snaps.

I bought a pattern for the gowns (Simplicity 1937), and my mom sewed up the gowns using vintage fabric. The pattern was for a 15 inch doll, so for the smaller dolls I just flipped the gowns inside out and moved in the seam allowance. I added Babyville snaps to each gown to close it up the front.

The bibs were just cut from a couple of free-handed paper patterns and also closed with a Babyville snap.

I got the pretty ruffled elastic for the headbands from Tuesday Morning, and each headband had a different embellishment, some handmade, some purchased, all of them from my stash. I also made my sweet niece Adelaide one to match. 🙂

My mom made the blankets from fleece and flannel, and she found the diaper bags at the Dollar Tree. The bracelets were leftover cupcake embellishments from a baby shower, and the bottles and pacifiers came from the Dollar Tree as well.

There were a few boys there too, and they got to choose from an assortment of stuffed animals since baby dolls weren’t really their bag. 🙂 The boys who were big enough got to make Shrinky Dink name tags for their chosen animals while the girls played with dolls, and we tied them on with leather cord.

Since a lot of the accessories were crafted from materials already on hand, I think our total outlay for eight babies and accessories was about $30, or less than $4/each for what was a stunningly successful party favor. I saw a number of the adopted babies make an appearance at church the next day. 🙂

The animals cost even less, since I averaged about 50¢ each for those, and the Shrinky Dinks and leather were things I had in my stash.

There were no formal games at the party. What I did instead was cart in all our big baby doll items, including 3 beds, 2 bath tubs, a baby changing station, 2 cradles, a high chair, a bouncy seat, and numerous baby accessories. My mom also brought in two dollar store doctor kits and a box of princess Band-Aids, the latter of which lasted about 17 seconds lol.

Levi wasn’t interested in babies, but he did think he might like a nap!

My mom graciously did the decorating and the food, and I couldn’t have made the party happen without her! She made some delicious pudding filled lemon cupcakes, and supplemented them with store-bought Sofia the First cupcakes and a small sheet cake to hold the all important Number Five Birthday Candle. She also made up some fun butterfly snack bags that had a different type of cereal in each wing, and little daffodil accented containers filled with fruit snacks. For drinks there were various fruit drinks with twist off tops, and pineapple-orange cream punch – yum!

Lily was so blessed with all the gifts she received, and she was thrilled with them all! I loved watching her enthusiasm, whether she was opening a giant Frozen themed pen from the Target $1 Spot from her dad and I or an awesome Queen Elsa doll from my cousin Maggie, who always spoils me and mine rotten. 🙂

She had plenty of helping hands to assist in opening the gifts lol.

Aunt Rachael made her this gorgeous lace crown, and one other, along with a beautiful lace trimmed pink gown. I got pictures of her opening the other gifts, but things were moving so fast that I’m afraid they were a bit blurry.

This party was so much fun, and it thrilled my heart to get to see how engrossed all the kids were in playing! A huge thank you to everyone who came and played along!

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Crafty Birthday Party: The Activities

Fair warning, this post is going to be LONG. I planned a ton of activities for this party. And we got to almost all of them. We had planned to do Sharpie tie dyed shirts, but about half the girls forgot to bring a shirt to dye. We were also going to do nail polish pendants, but we really just ran out of time and energy.
We had the party at our church’s family life center, which was such a blessing and terrific for the space and amenities, but it’s not my favorite place to shoot pictures, so excuse the industrial background.
We started out just letting the girls mingle and have fun. They picked out their party favors and chowed down on the food. A few of them had to come late, so we waited on the crafts until they were all there. My mom did such a great job with the food and decorations.
I made this cupcake banner courtesy of inspiration found here.

Gratuitous shot of my awesome nephew LB.

              Taylor                                    Lily


After the food and presents the girls dove into Taylor’s monstrous collection of nail polish for mani-pedis. A couple of months ago I found a bunch of pedicure flip flops for like 40 cents a pair so I stocked up for the party.
After the nail polish, the girls did chocolate facials. These were SO simple, just coconut oil and cocoa powder. They all said it made their skin super soft, and of course it smelled amazing! I had enough left to package some up to send it home as parting gifts the next day.
While the chocolate facials were setting, I had them making lip balm.
Then I let them dive into my bag of leather remnants, and they cut out leather earrings.
Next they made Shrinky Dinks. This was maybe my favorite activity of the night just because of how entranced they all were by the process. Most of them had never seen them before, and they couldn’t get enough of them! Did you know that you can buy a 50 pack of the sheets for $22.00? Such a better deal than paying $6 for 10 sheets at the craft store!
Then they painted little canvases mounted on magnets.
Next up were bottle cap pins. Images purchased here, here, and here.
Doesn’t that little hipster squirrel just slay you? That whole sheet of images was awesomesauce!
Next (yes, there was more!) I let them dig through my bag of satin remnants to make singed satin flower hair clips.
The last activity of the night was the photo shoot. They were looking a little tired by this point.
All of these accessories were found at the Dollar Tree, and we had enough scarves and sunglasses to send one of each home with each girl.
DSC_0561So this is what I look like at 5:30 in the morning after hosting a bunch of newly minted teenage girls! Keepin’ it real, folks.
After that I put them all to bed and popped Frozen in the DVD player. The next morning I fed them fruit, pop tarts, granola bars, cereal, and milk. All in all I think it was a huge success!

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Crafty Birthday Party: Boxy Makeup Bags

The last handmade party favor I made was a boxy makeup bag for each girl.


For these I followed the super easy instructions over at Oh So Pretty. These were definitely the most time consuming of the projects I did, but they still came together quickly individually. The biggest problem I ran into was just that I had a hard time getting the bias tape sewn on straight, but I’m still a bias tape newbie.

I will tell you that I found this bias tape video tutorial over at MADE super helpful. And I learned a few things about it, like that fabric stretches on the bias. I thought the only reason it was cut on the bias was so that it wouldn’t fray!I’ve always been a little afraid of bias tape, but Dana made it so simple, so much so that I even made my own bias tape for this project from a fat quarter! I used the awesome printable bias tape maker over at The Scientific Seamstress.

These little pouches are so cute, and everyone had so much fun opening each one to see the different interiors (I used various printed felts from Hobby Lobby).


Because I used remnants for the exteriors, felt for the interiors, and mostly zippers (some new and some vintage) that I had on hand, it was very affordable project.

We also had these fun tumblers filled with candy for all the girls. My mom put these together using 2/$1 cups from the Dollar Tree. She filled each one with bite size candy bars and two Laffy Taffy sticks.


Tomorrow I’ll start telling you all about the crafts they did!

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Crafty Birthday Party: Leather Bows

Next I made leather hair bows. I used the free gift bow template from How About Orange with a small modification. Because I was working with leather instead of paper, I had to lengthen the center strip by about 50% so that it would fit around the rest of the bow. I also printed the template out a little smaller to get a smaller overall bow. I think I used the 4×6 size when printing from Picasa.

I just cut out the pattern pieces and traced around them directly onto the back side of my leather using a ball point pen.

Then I cut out the pieces, being careful to cut just inside the pen line.

I just used my glue gun on the high temp setting, and it seems to be holding up great, especially on the suede ones. I first folded in the ends of the long, main bow piece and glued them to the center.

Then I glued that piece to the shorter back piece with the side with the glued ends facing the back piece.

Before I glued the center piece on, I glued the back piece to a French clip. I found it easiest to first open the French clip and remove the curved tension piece in the center of the clip.

Then I wrapped the center piece around the rest of the bow and the open french clip.

Then I just reattached the tension piece and closed up the clip. This was SUCH an easy project, and 20 of them came together very quickly. They were a huge hit, and they have such a simple, elegant look. My sisters-in-law loved them just as much as the girls!


Tomorrow we’ll talk a little about the makeup bags!

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The Party

Guys, the party went SO WELL! We ended up having 9 girls counting Taylor and Lily (my two), which was a good number, enough to feel like a party, but not so many they were hard to handle or keep entertained.

I want to spill all the details, but I’m going to spread it out over several posts. First of all, the party favors:

I made four different things for each girl to take home (and of course they got to take home all the things they made while they were there).

To start with I made simple rolled rosette necklaces strung on satin ribbon. This was pretty much a free craft for me. I had everything on hand except for a few colors of the satin ribbon. But since it’s all of $0.49 a roll at Walmart, I only had a couple of dollars in it. I won’t waste your time with a tutorial on rolled rosettes, because there are about 100 craft bloggers out there who have already explained it much more clearly than I ever could. Basically it’s just twist and glue. 🙂 One thing I did differently than most was to back mine with suede instead of felt. I made a few of these for Christmas and did that, and it just kind of gives it a nicer feel.

For the bails, I just used jewelry pliers to twist a head pin into a loop on one end and a smaller, double rolled loop twisted perpendicular to the first loop on the other end. Then I just glued the larger loop between the back of the rosette and the suede, then threaded the ribbon through the smaller double loop, tied the ends, and called it done!

I also found these cool wrapped rings on clearance at Hobby Lobby. I bought a couple of sets, one in pinks and oranges and one in blues and purples. I can’t remember exactly how much they were, but I don’t think they were more than a couple of bucks a set, and there were 11 rings on each card. I just strung each one on a ribbon.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you all about the leather hair bows!

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Crafty Birthday Sleepover Party Favors

Friday my oldest, Taylor is having a crafty birthday party sleepover. She won’t turn 13 until the 24th, but my SIL is due with her baby 4 days later, so we wanted to schedule it a couple of weeks earlier just in case.

So I’m going to be the mom of a teenager. Gah! But let’s not focus on that. Let’s focus on the party! We’re not really big on birthday parties in this family, but we did this last year and it turned out so well that I really wanted to do it again for her big 13th.

I’m planning on having the girls make a number of crafts themselves, but I’ve also made up a few party favors for them to take home too. I’ll have some tutorials and tips coming in the next few weeks, but for now I have a few sneak peeks:

Some simple leather hair bows

Rolled rosette and wrapped washer necklaces.

Little boxy makeup bags,
I mostly crafted from my stash, so I don’t have very much money in any of it. I can’t wait to show you guys everything I’ve got planned!

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