Ahoy Matey! It’s a Pirate’s Party for Me!

I can’t believe it! I can’t believe it’s been 4 years! But I can believe that my kiddo had an AWESOME pirate birthday party! He had great props (as usual) made by Daddy, a bunch of pretty details by Momma and most importantly… He was surrounded by loving family and friends on a beautiful sunny day for his Pirate party!

My son and I had a great time getting ready for the party. He helped me with everything! The invites, the favors, pretty much everything! For the invites we decided to hand deliver them in glass bottles!  The day I was going to deliver the invites, Max had the opportunity to have a play date instead of driving around town. But he said, ‘No, I have to help give everyone their invitations!’ I did do all the burnt edges, no 4 year olds helped in the burning process!

The pirate ship was a huge hit! There was a kid in it at all times. We had a couple of cap-sizing moments, but we got it back up and going pretty quick! Daddy wasn’t originally going to add the Captain’s Quarters, but as he was building it he realized that he needed it. And it was perfect!

It was great watching all the kids run around with their party favor pirate gear! Some wore it all, other just wore pieces. We made, sashes, hats, eye patches and they all got a sword.

I really loved our portrait of my son’s Great Great Grandfather Pirate Pete. My mom had an idea of dressing up an old photo like a pirate. I wasn’t exactly sure what she meant, but I ran with what I thought she was talking about. And the portrait is really my son’s Great Great Grandfather, but his name wasn’t Pete and he wasn’t a pirate! We added all the 3d pirate gear!

I designed everything! My husband was out-of-town when I came up with the birthday party Jolly Roger icon. I was so excited about it, but didn’t have anyone to show it to! I was on pins and needles waiting for him to read his email and see my design. And when he did, HE LIKED IT too!! Yea!! So off I went turning it into invitations, tags, food and drink labels, goodie bags, pirate hats and pirate booty bags! I used a combo of stamping and freezer papers stencils for all the printing.

And who doesn’t love cake??? I am not the best with cake decorating! Last year, I didn’t even show a picture of the cake… But this year I was very excited about the cake turning out much better than last year. It’s still not super professional, but I’m getting better and better! Yea!

I know! It’s a lot of pictures, I know! But I hope you enjoyed it. Want to have one just like it? I’ve started posting it on etsy !

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Dr Seuss Party Series- Fish Party Favor Tutorial with a Printable

Ahhh! Where does the time go? My last party post was supposed to be on Friday, but it’s Sunday already!! Oh, my!!

I love to make handmade party favors for the kiddo’s parties! Last year was the Dragon Wings, this year it was Fish, the Cat in the Hat’s ‘buddy’! Or arch nemesis… Depending on if your reading the original The Cat in the Hat or watching the new Cat in the Hat cartoon series. Apparently over the years the Cat and Fish have become pals!

I really wanted to give the fish in goldfish bowls… But, we are talking a three year old birthday party! I was talked out of the real glass bowls by just about everyone! I think it was my Mother’s last email on the subject that finally made me give up on convincing people (and myself) that glass bowls was the way to go for a birthday party favor. She wrote, ‘All I can see is one child dropping the bowl and it breaking into a million pieces and the child is screaming wildly and all the other children and parents are freaking because they do not want anyone to step on all the broken glass, and then we’d have to fly someone to the ER to stitch the cut and stop the bleeding……….’

So we went with clear bags… Then I wanted to make clear bags so it looked like those bags you get from fish store when you bring home a fish…. But I ran out of time for that project. I did start it, but accidentally cut the clear vinyl wrong. And at that point I gave up on that and used these clear bags. As one parent told me about making the bags, ‘Now that would have been over the top!’

Fish was a pretty welcome guest. I loved watching the kids walking around the table eyeing them before they sweetly asked, ‘Can I have a fish?’ Of course!

And now for the tutorial so you can make some too!

Step 1: Gather Materials

Fleece. Or you could use felt, too.

A little bit of felt, black and white

Thread, to match the fleece and black and white

Scissors

Cutting Blade

Yarn, about 1 foot of black yarn, cut into 6 2″ inches

Stuffing

Pattern, print the pattern here.

Step 2: Cut out all the pieces. I cut the eyes for the tutorial opposite than I had on the actual favors! On the tutorial I did white with black centers versus the black with white centers. Which do you liked best? I’m thinking I like the black with white centers best….

Step 3: Eyes first! Sew on the black piece first. Make sure the eyes are facing opposite directions, one for each side of Fish! Then stitch in the u-shape. Lastly, stitch the eye to the body. Place the yarn in place under the eye. (I don’t trim the yarn until the very last step!) Or, like I mentioned above, you can do it opposite, with black and white centers.

Step 4: Fins are next! Sew the fins together. This step was a tricky one for me. I stitch them together and then trim them up a bit for a cleaner look. You could just use one layer of fleece, but I liked the thickness of the two layers topstitched together. Fold over the edge of the fin by about a 1/4″ and sew onto the body at the mark shown on the pattern.

Step 5: Sew together the underside! First sew the two half circles together along the straight edge. Next, sew one half circle to the teardrop shape at the curved end. lastly, turn right side out.

Step 6: Sew the body together.  This will be done in a couple of steps. This step sew together the top, follow the dashed lines on the pattern. Start with the ‘nose’ and go to the top fins. Stop and pick back up again on the other side of the top fins and continue to the tail fins.

Step 7: Sew on the underside. Place the underside, with bottom lip towards the inside, with the center of the top curve to the end of the stitch line. Start on one side and sew around to the point of the ‘teardrop’ shape. Stop and start again at the ‘nose’ and stitch around to the point of the ‘teardrop’ again, but this time continue to the tail fin.

Step 8: Pull the fish right side out through the top fins.

Step 9: Topstitch the tail fins.

Step 10: Stuff Fish.

Step 11: Topstitch the top fins.

Step 12: Trim eyelashes! And wahla! You’re done!

Now just find a clear bag, print the thank you’s and hand over to kids for a sweet gift! Download the thank you’s here. Or if you have older kids, consider the glass bowl… I still love the gold fish bowl!

 

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Dr Seuss Party Series- Shall We Play? With a Printable!

Say, Shall we play??

Yes, Yes, It’s a Birthday!

Games!! Yes, I know, this was a party for a 3 year old… I was told by a couple of people that you don’t need a lot of entertainment at this age…. Well, Dad and I kept coming up with games and games and more games! We did narrow it down to the Gack Ring Toss, Pin the Hat on the Cat and Dr Seuss Hullabaloo.

Thanks to Daddy, we have the only Gack in town! I kinda pushed for the Gack game! I love love loved One Fish Two Fish and all the characters, including the Gack when I was a kid. So I think I’m feelin’ like the coolest kid in town having the only Gack around!

Dad made the Gack  with the overhead projector, plywood and paint. Then came finding the rings! Not quite as easy as I thought it would be. We ended up with a couple sets of dollar store bracelets. Before the party the Birthday Boy and his Dad were having a hard time getting the rings on, but the kids seemed to make it just fine!

My son LOVES his Hullabaloo game! If you’ve been following along for a while, a little bit back we made a special bag for his game so he can take it on all his adventures! To honor that love, we made a Dr Seuss version of the game!

I was slaving away at this project coming up with themes based on Dr Seuss illustrations. I was planning on rewriting the whole game and having my husband call out the next game piece to stand on…. That is until my husband made the whole idea sooooo much easier! He asked why I wasn’t just using the same colors and images from the original game, but with Dr Seuss drawings instead of the Cranium illustrations… Ummmm, well, Daddy, that’s a great idea! I switched gears and found images from Dr Seuss books for all of the Hullabaloo game pieces. The only one I couldn’t find was spaghetti, so I added a Dr Seuss character holding the Hullabaloo image. I was loving trying to find all the images! And it worked to turn on the Hullabaloo game box and they just played along with the new game pieces! I printed the pieces on a heavy cardstock and then laminated them with clear Contact paper for more longevity!

Download the game pieces to add to your Hullabaloo game here.

And then the traditional Pin the Hat/Tail on something! Pin the Hat on the Cat was much more fun than I thought it would be! This was the biggest hit of the day! I was so surprised that it kept the attention of the kids the whole time. Again, we used the overhead projector for the Cat drawing. Then I wrote in everyone’s names on their game piece hats.

Most all the kids played the Pin the Hat on the Cat game. After it was over, we were debating figuring out how to decide who won and all the kids got super quiet…. Then I said, instead of one winner EVERYONE gets a lollipop, then they all started jumping up and down!!! It was a good decision!

Download the hats here.

I used this font for the names.

I hope you have an opportunity to play these games with your kiddos! Enjoy! It’s your turn!

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Dr Seuss Party Series- The Fun!

There’s no printable, tutorial or recipe today! Today I just wanted to share the fun we had!

As I’ve already mentioned, the kids loved the ‘real’ invites, I was totally in love the truffula trees, and the food was deeeeelicious! I also mentioned about my issues with the party not being perfect….

But all in all, the party was such fun!

Due to weather, the stereo-typical Seattle weather, the outside party had to be moved inside! I had everything planned out for outside party. I knew where everything was going to go. Where the food tables were going to be with their backdrops and where the truffula trees were going and where the photo area would be! We got all the truffula trees and the character decorations set up outside….. And that’s when it started to rain….. And in came the decorations! All the planning went spinning around and found a new place inside!

Did the kids notice? Nope!

Another funny…. In all my planning and all my reading of TONS of Dr Seuss books. I totally got the Green Egg cookies wrong! I forgot to mention this on Friday when I showed the food goodies! We were at the store getting the little candy pieces for these cookies and at first they only had the green and pink. I was like, no, I need the white! I almost freaked out until I finally found the white ones. My mom made the icing and kept working on just the right green color. We made the cookies. Yummy! Then a couple of days later Green Eggs and Ham was requested reading at bedtime and I realized our mistake! I had them backwards!!

And afterwards…..

And coming up this week I’ll have more printables and another tutorial! Can’t wait to have you back for the fun!

Dr Seuss Party Series- The Food and a Recipe!

Mmmmmm…. mmmmmm…. The party food!

When it came to planning the food, I let Dr Seuss be my guide! Pretty much everything was inspired by the stories. I made sign labels for most of the food!

I have been LOVING the striped straws, so I just had to include these in the party! You might be seeing them again, because I have about a zillion of them. I also made the stickers for the swirl pops. The swirl pops were given out after Pin the Hat on the Cat and after cake and I think it kinda sent a few of the kids into a sugar coma… But they bounced right back!

All the paper products and plastic ware were purchase at a local Dollar store. The perfect colors! I made the mini pops using this tutorial via The Baker’s Twine. I used my fingers instead of a fork. Super easy! And then they came in handy for our Halloween Costume!

You might be wondering about the cake…. wellllll…. Everyone has these amazing cake pictures of their Children’s birthday cakes. Mine didn’t turn out well at all. I had such HIGH hopes for the cake. I knew exactly how I was going to make my Dr Seuss topsy turvy cake… The problem was I waited until the last minute. I mean last minute. Kids were already starting to get here! So my husband took over the mess that I had started. Did I say mess? I meant cake… Well, he took over and I gave up my control issues (barely) and the cake tasted fantastic… But….. It didn’t look sooo good! (And I’m not saying that was my husband’s fault! He did great with what he was given to work with!) Hence the reason the picture of the cake is a very small one!

And Horton’s specks? They were only the hit of the day! These cookies are called Forgotten Cookies. They didn’t get quite as round as I was envisioning, but I forgot that with these cookies, you don’t really get perfectly round cookies.  I know one friend went home with a copy of the recipe and others were asking for it to be emailed.

I have to give a shout out to my mother who helped with soooo much of the food! And these cookies were all her. I’ve tried a couple of times to make them, but have not had much success…. But when she makes them…. They get gobbled up by everyone SUPER FAST! Including the birthday boy. My mom agreed to share the recipe she uses and I hope you have better success than I do. (I think at Christmas I might just have to have her give me a lesson on these!)

Forgotten Cookies:

from my Mother, via MARY KAY (yes, of Mary Kay Cosmetics)

2 egg whites

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 t. vanilla

1 small (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips, optional

1/2 to 1 cup pecans, chopped, optional

dash of salt

pre heat oven to 350

beat egg whites ’til stiff.  I like to use a bowl with a narrow base===copper is great.

Add sugar gradually

Beat a high speed for about 5 minutes, til peaks form

Add food color, if desired.

Fold in vanilla, chocolate chips and pecans.

Line a cookie sheet or 2 with foil or parchment paper

Drop from teaspoon onto cookie sheets.

Put in oven and TURN OVEN OFF!

Leave overnight (at least 8 hours)  (do not peek!)

Makes about 3 dozen meringue-like cookies.

and party credits:

All fabric came from JoAnn’s

Striped Straws via Modern Lola

Swirl Pops via Oriental Trading Company

Red and White Boxes via Oriental Trading Company

Birthday Cake Candle via Modern Lola

Update…. Unfortunately, the food labels and invites are no longer available for sell or sharing.

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Dr. Seuss Party Series- Invites!

It’s been a few weeks since our Dr. Seuss Party, but with all the fun Halloween activities I decided to hold off on detailing everything from our party. So the next two weeks will be posts featuring all the details, including printables, recipes and tutorials from our Cat in the Hat party!

Today, the Invites!

I get evites all the time. But remember when you were a kid and how exciting it was to get mail? And especially mail that invited you to a PARTY!!!! Oh, yea! I remember LOVING those days! So I decided, I’m over evites. No more evites… Well, I won’t write it off for good, but for the most part, I’m done.

And I’m so glad  I did! I heard how excited some of the kiddos were when they got their invitations in the mail. A couple of people actually lost the invites because the kiddos carried them around the house so much. One little lady danced around the house with her invite for hours. Now if that doesn’t make it all worth it, I don’t know what else would.

I also have an issue with designing my own cards. I typically don’t buy standard off the shelves stationary and cards! Personalized stationary, Christmas cards and now Birthday invitations! So that’s what I did here. I designed the invites and address labels and then lined the envelopes. which brings me today’s tutorial….

How to line your own envelopes… Pretty simple, but adds a beautiful personalized touch.

Materials:

Cat in the Hat books

Envelopes

Cutting mat

Exacto Knife

straight edge ruler

Thin Cardboard

Pen

Glue Stick

Full Size Labels

Step 1: Trace your envelope on to the cardboard.

Step 2: Draw a line on the cardboard at the edge of the envelopes glue line.

Step 3: Draw the template for the liner by drawing lines inside the envelope outline by about a 1/4″ on each side, including inside the glue-line line.

Step 4: Cut out the cardboard template.

Step 5: Layout the template inside the envelope to check the layout and make any adjustments to the template.

Step 6: Here’s the part that caused me the most pain…. I cringe when I even fold over a page in a book, much less cut one! So for this step, Tear out the pages from the books that you want to use as liners.

Warning: Do not let your 3 year olds (or any age for that matter) see you do this step. My son lost it! I was working on this during his nap time. When he woke up and saw me cutting…. His response was, ‘NOOOOOOO!!!!! That’s MY BOOOOOKKKKKK! We don’t cut books, Momma! Noooooo!’ So my suggestion is to do this while the kids are sleeping or at school because trying to explain why you can cut this book, but they can’t cut or tear or throw books… Well, not such an easy task!

Step 7: Using the template, cut the pages.

Step 8: Glue the liners. I always use a few pieces of scrap paper to glue on. When you glue, you don’t have to glue the whole page, just the top portion. Not gluing the whole piece makes getting the liner in the envelope easier.

Step 9: Insert the liner into the envelope and secure.

Step 10: Print the labels using the full size labels. You can download the blank labels here. The font I used is Doctor Soos Light and Bold. Open the file with any program you have and add your text.  To use in Microsoft Word, add a text box on top of the picture to add your text.

Step 11: Cut out the labels.

Step 12: Adhere the labels and you’re done!

And don’t forget the Thank You’s! I’ve found that there are two schools of thought on thank you notes. There’s those who have thank you written on the cards. And there’s the other side….I’ve always adhered to the school of thought that believes Thank You cards should not have Thank You printed on them, the thank you is for you to write. I don’t think either way is right or wrong! But I did go with my way when designing our Thank You cards. You can download the printable thank you card here with the blank address labels here.

*Disclaimer… These printables are for personal use only! As are all of my printables and tutorials, but especially the Dr. Seuss printables. Thank You!

Update…. Unfortunately, the food labels and invites are no longer available for sell or sharing.

Say, Is it So? Can It Be?

Did I just obsess for weeks about a birthday party?

Why, yes, yes, It’s true!

Come along and I’ll you show you!

Your mother will not mind at all if you do…

(If you’ve read The Cat in the Hat lately, you’ll get that… If not, now’s a good time to sit down and remind yourself of the fun!) And yes, We all speak Cat in the Hat speak fluently around here now!

OK, I’ll admit another thing about myself. I’m totally obsessive. Maybe you’ve noticed, maybe not… But the last few weeks, I’ve been in total party mode. Planning for The Cat in the Hat’s visit to my son’s 3rd birthday!

We had a food, we had life-size Dr Seuss characters, we had Truffula Trees, we had hand-made fish for favors, we had games and we had Nick and Sally to greet guests as they came up the front steps!

I started planning this summer. My husband just rolls his eyes and tries to come up with ideas to make things easier for me. Not that I asked for it to be easier, mind you! But as the time rolled on and it got closer to the big day, he came around and was being just as creative and busy as I.

This is a just a little sneak peek. I have a week (or more) scheduled soon for more details and tutorials from the party! So stay tuned for that! Early November, I believe…

But here’s my other issue… My party was wonderful! it didn’t turn out quite like we had planned because the weather turned out to be a typical stereotypically Seattle dreary misty day so the outside party had to be moved inside… But I had grand plans! And they kinda looked like this party and this party and this party. Beautifully fantastic parties! I know it’s not actually about how my party looks. It’s about my son and creating a fantastic day for him. He doesn’t mind if the desserts are lined up just right or if the cake is designed to a tee (and mind you, you won’t see many pictures of my cake. That’s another story….). He cared if his friends were here and if they all got cake or not! But, I still kinda kick myself when my things don’t turn out like a million dollars! Why do I do this to myself??? I know I can do it. I want to do it. One day, I will do it!

On my son’s birthday he woke up and asked, ‘Where is everyone?’ So I told him where Daddy was, where Nannie was and of course I was right there. He said, ‘No, Where is everyone? Where are all my buddies?’ He was ready for a paaarrrttttie! And that same excitement shown through his little adorable eyes through out the party! That’s what matters!

Update- Unfortunately, the invites and food labels are no longer available for sale or sharing.

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, No It’s Super E!!!

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but this year I’m trying to make all the gifts I give…  Ok, so it hasn’t happened completely, but I’m trying. And I know once the birthday and Christmas come around for my little guy there will be store bought gifts… Oh, we’re also going through potty training and gifts are our ploy. I’m NOT making a gift for each time he goes potty on the potty. Now if I had been thinking ahead I could have even got this done, but…. Ha! As I write this I realized how it could have been done, but I digress from the subject at hand…

Sooooo… The other day was our precious little neighbor’s birthday. I wanted to make her something, but wasn’t sure what. Then it hit me… Felt food! She loves her kitchen and her cash register.. . Then her Momma had three great words about felt food. Dog Hair Collector. Since we have been without animals since the summer before my son was born, I hadn’t thought of that little detail.

Back to the drawing board…  She also loves dress up… Ahhhh…  A cape! I was tempted to make another t-shirt cape like I made Max, inspired by The Southern Institute‘s tutorial, but since this is a present I decided on something a bit more finished.

I started with the t-shirt cape pattern (hint hint… more t-shirt fun to come this week!) from the one I made for Max. Cut out some super hero emblem shapes and the letter E, all of which I baked with Heat ‘n Bond Lite (for sewing). Sewed the pieces together, added some Velcro and wahlah!

But just a cape? No! We needed a crown (What Super Woman goes out without her crown??) and a wristband!

For the crown I included a layer of super stiff interfacing to help it keep its shape for all sorts of crime fighting adventures. I might just need one of these myself to wear around the house….

And of course, no present is complete without a matching gift bag!

But, alas, the super hero ensemble did not trump the sparkly fairy wings…. Maybe it was just that there was no crime solving to be had on birthday day. Just a peaceful fairy day. Crime solving super hero will come again in need to solve the woes of the world… It’s Super E to the rescue!

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Owl Party Tutorial Three- Photobooth Masks

I absolutely LOVE photobooths at parties!

I wanted ours to be perfect, but…. Seeing as how I live in Seattle, I forgot about one major detail in helping plan the photobooth for my friend’s party that took place on the Gulf Coast… And that would be the SUN!

So the backdrop didn’t turn out quite as planned. I already mentioned my one tip on that… Thick fabric or a solid wall to hang the backdrop in front of!

But the masks on the other hand… They turned out quite nice! And were a lot of fun! For your photobooth you can make any sort of props you want, but for this one I kept the props to owl masks and the cartoon word bubbles. Super easy to make!

Does this one really warrant a tutorial? I don’t know… Let’s call it a mini tutorial and call it good?? OK? Cool!

And here’s how….

1. Materials:

White Cardstock for Masks

Black Cardstock for Word Bubbles

Exacto Knife

Glue or Mod Podge

Paint Brush for the glue (I like the foamy kind)

Sticks

Chalk for writing messages

2. Find artwork for masks. Enlarge. I use Photoshop elements.  It’s going to be no surprise to you as to where I got my artwork… The owls in the tutorial were not harmed in any way (except if you think cutting out their eyeballs… anyway, moving on…) and were downloaded from oohmoon.

3. Trim the mask.

4. Cut out the eyes.

5. Cut out the word bubbles. I just did it by hand, no template or anything…

6. Glue on the sticks.

7. And Walah!! The party is on!

 

Thanks for reading everyone. That concludes our owl party posting. But not to worry… A new party will be revealed next week with more party tips…

Anyone else planning a party?? Need help with a detail? Let me know, I’d love to help!

Owl Party Tutorial Two- Stuffed Owl Favors

These little guys are just adorable! And they are perfect for little hands to take home from the party!

I had really grand plans for these guys. Originally, the design in my head was all fabric,  there was no felt, four separate piece for the wings, much bigger and buttons for the eyes! Then we realized how many we needed. And the grandness of these little stuffies came down a notch! In my opinion, their cuteness was not sacrificed for the need for a little more speed!

Growing up there were three of us friends. We grew apart for a few years, but reconnected and it’s like we never missed a beat. Two of the three of us live in Florida, but I was the one that really went far from home… The funny thing about us is there are two of us who are crafty and one who claims not to be… (I have a feeling that she’s got a little crafty in there…) But we were all sitting around the table thinking about the owl favors and I drew the pattern and started cutting and before long had the first one made. It was so funny to see the amazement in  my friend’s face when the owl was done. It seemed like I had just come up with the idea and poof it was done, but I’d been thinking about these little owls for quite some time!!

Here’s how I made them…

1. Materials:

Fabric, for these I used an old sheet and an old men’s shirt

Felt

Stuffing

Scissors

Thread

Pattern- Click here for the pattern!

2. Cut all the pieces.

3. Sew on the white of the eyes.

4. Glue on the blue eyes. Or you could sew them on.

5. 5a- Layout the pieces.  5b- Layer the wings right sides together with the front. 5c- Add the back layer. Again, right sides together with the front.

6. Sew around the edge leaving a small opening at the bottom.

7. Pull the owl through the hole so it’s right side is out.

8. Stuff.

9. Handstitch the bottom.

And as I usually say… WaLah! One owl favor down… How many more should we make??

Party Favors are a big deal to me. I don’t know why I love them so, but I do! And I try, try, try to come up with favors that come from the heart, are handmade and that will bring smiles for a long time, not just for a day…

What was the favorite party favor that you or your child has ever received?? Let me know, I’m always looking for new ideas!

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