Archive for the ‘decorations’ Category

Happy Easter!

March 23, 2008

Our boy decorated bunny cake

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The Bunny Cake cutting diagram

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Bunny Egg Holder

March 21, 2008

I though these would make cute place-cards or table decorations

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Download bunny-egg-holder.pdf

Print on colored card-stock and cut out on dotted line.

Bring legs up then wrap one arm in front of legs and then bring the other arm around and place on top of the first arm. Staple where claws on bunny should be.

Want more bunnies? Check out Bunny Napkin Rings

Bunny Napkin Ring

March 21, 2008

Here’s a little something for the children’s table at Easter —- a bunny napkin ring.

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Download bunny-napkin-ring.pdf

Print on colored card-stock then cut out. Roll end toward back of bunny head.

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Staple where claws on bunny should be

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I wrapped silverware in an orange napkin then fastened with a green pipe cleaner and slipped the “carrot” into the bunny.  If you have a hard time with the bunny standing up, a cotton ball glued to the back would provide stability and be a cute addition.

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You will find a matching Bunny Egg holder here.

Window Silhouettes

March 6, 2008

We had so much fun making these window clings —–the possibilities for seasonal and everyday decorations are endless.

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You will need a roll of clear contact paper, paint brushes, paint (we used acrylic), fine sandpaper and masking tape.

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First cut a piece of contact paper from the roll. I cut squares about 5″ x 5″ because that was about the size of shapes I knew I would be cutting.

Take a fine piece of sandpaper and lightly sand the shiny surface of the contact paper where you will be painting. Wipe off any dust. This step helps the paint adhere to the slick contact paper.

Since we are often VERY messy when we paint I taped a piece of wax paper to the table. Tape the piece of contact paper shiny(sanded) side up onto the wax paper.

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Paint onto the contact paper square. Since my daughter is three I encouraged her to paint using lots of colors. I knew I would be cutting out Easter eggs so it really didn’t matter what or how she painted.

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Allow the painting to dry completely. I think she painted about 10 of these squares.

Once the paint is completely dry take another square of contact paper the same size as your painting and peel off the paper backing. Cover your painting with the clear contact paper. Smooth out any bubbles.

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Trace around any shape of your choosing. I used an egg and bunny for my template.

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Cut out the shape

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Carefully remove the paper backing. This takes some time —–make sure you are only removing the paper (the back of your painting should be sticky). If you use acrylic paint it is plastic enough that it has a tendency to peel away from the contact paper, so peel carefully! If it does peel away and it won’t stick back down just put a little glue stick between the layers.

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Once you are finished stick your silhouettes to your window

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from the outside looking in

from the inside looking out

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I would encourage older kids to paint their own designs and then cut out. I can imagine huge flowers and birds! Nothing is sweeter than kid’s art!

Have fun!!

Be Mine

February 14, 2008

My little girl couldn’t take any extra treats, candy or trinkets with her Valentines for preschool. That meant the lollipop lilies were out for us. So instead we made these little conversation heart garlands out of cardstock.

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We added “pink fairy” glitter (carefully chosen and liberally sprinkled by my daughter) to each of the letters. I used a Fiskers 1/4 inch rectangle hole punch to punch a hole in each side and then strung the letters on a 1/4 inch ribbon. We included two mini clothes pins with each garland. We packaged each garland in a clear cellophane bag tied with a ribbon.

BE MINE Conversation Heart Garland

I LUV U 4 EVER Conversation Heart Garland

Wishing you a very happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Birthday Kansas!

January 29, 2008

Celebrate Kansas Day with some Sunflower Cupcakes.

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Roll frosted cupcakes in a chocolaty cereal (leave a little space around the edge of the cupcake for the petals), pipe on some petals with a star tip and then very carefully decorate a red M&M to look like a lady bug. To make clean-up easier I attach my decorating tip to the corner of a ziploc bag. For the ladybug I cut the tiniest tip off the corner of the bag. I used a little melted chocolate almond bark for the ladybug details, but frosting would work also. Cupcakes adapted from Ladies Home Journal.

You can see last years celebration cake here along with links to Kansas coloring pages.

Have a happy day!

Holiday beverage markers

December 23, 2007

Here is a quick solution for beverage markers—
place a 2-dimensional paper sticker on a metal rimmed office tag.

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They were slightly difficult to attach to the glass, but worked in a pinch and looked really festive. If one had more time the wire ring could be changed to an actual wire beverage i.d. hoop.

Traditions

December 20, 2007

Since our oldest son was a toddler we have had friends come over IN THEIR PAJAMAS to read Christmas stories. Our oldest son is now 15 and this has become one of our most loved holiday traditions.

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There are no fancy clothes or fancy food and kids are definitely invited. At first the guests (especially the adults) might be shy about wearing their pajamas—but we insist. We sit around reading Christmas stories, drinking hot chocolate, sometimes we do a craft(decorating gingerbread houses and making gift tags are a favorite), and we eat a few simple snacks. It is such a special way to spend a cozy and relaxing evening with friends. We enjoy listening to our friends favorite Christmas books and as some of the children have gotten older they enjoy reading the stories also. I can’t say enough about how special the evening is for us. It is a moment in this busy time of year to slow down and remember what the Season is about!

When we moved to Germany I met my dear friend Wendy who was also having these parties. Her sister Tara has written some wonderful invitations. I “borrow” these poems and then make a theme around the invite. This is one of my favorite, The Polar Express.

We would like for you to join us for

a Christmas tale

We’ll gather for a story about a

little sleigh bell

We’ll be in our pajamas so that’s

how you should dress

All aboard headed north on the

Polar Express

Your time and date

Please bring your favorite Christmas

story to read!

Invitations can be made by layering holiday papers and adding a jingle bell at the top

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The best thing is we can always elaborate on the theme and change it up. Next time I use this I want to make jingle bell wreaths. Family Fun has cute jingle bell bracelets to make. The possibilities are endless. Party favors would be cute sent home in a bag clipped with this jingle bell clip.

So warm up some hot chocolate and invite some friends over and relax and enjoy some special family time. A sweet little 4 year old said it was the best party she had ever been to. Now that is a pretty good endorsement when you have been to a “princess” party before!

Breakfast with Santa

December 16, 2007

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For six years now we have hosted “Breakfast with Santa” for our son’s basketball team. 

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I try to make it look special from candles on the table to hanging stars from the chandelier.

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I hot glued three candy canes together to make an easel to hold each of the boys names for place-cards.  We drink hot coca out of Santa mugs and I let these rowdy boys use the fine china for such a special occasion!

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We eat pancakes, bacon and sausage ——and a few snowman doughnuts. Mini powder sugar doughnuts with a candy corn nose and candy eyes (from the cake decorating store).

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Usually we make a craft but this year I couldn’t resist playing “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader” with these fifth grade boys.  Santa graciously agreed!

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Santa takes a photo with each boy

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Hands out a small gift to each boy

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In the past Santa has read “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”  This year Santa was so fabulous he said the entire poem from memory.  He also reminded the boys how lucky they were, to be good, listen to their moms (thank you Santa) and remember those who don’t have as much. 

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I’m thankful these boys still go along and just lose themselves in the magic of the morning!

Anticipation

October 24, 2007

This Saturday is the Halloween party that I look forward to all year long.  I love Halloween, the costumes, the decorations, the tricks and treats! However,  my friend Missy loves it more.  In fact this holiday is somewhat her speciality!  Each year she hosts an amazing party.  Each detail is painstakingly planned and beautifully executed.  It is truly a fabulous evening.  I thought I would show you some  of her handmade party decorations.  I hope you will find them as inspiring as I do. 

She decorates a table especially for the kids.  I can only imagine that the kids must  feel like they have stepped into paradise.

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A wonderfully decorated cone brimming with goodies dangled from each chair

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A darling paper mache  cat favor box sat at each place

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The adults sat down to dinner at this spooky but beautiful table wrapped in gauze

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Our favors were held in this unbelievable mummy topped box

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We dined underneath her chandelier that she had filled with black twigs, ghosts and then wrapped in gauze

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She sends an invitation that sets the tone of the party and gets everyone excited. This paper clay tombstone was found standing at our door inviting us to the party.

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 I love to sit at dinner in this stunning environment with good friends and enjoy their company and the fun of the season. Each year I look forward to the unique favors and decorations she has made.   Missy is so talented and creative and so generously bestows her gifts on her friends.  So if you can’t tell, I can’t wait for Saturday night!

From my nest to yours

April 4, 2007

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This is my last minute solution for simple Easter table decorations. I purchase mini grapevine wreaths, bundled in a 6 pack, from the craft store. They are really inexpensive and can be found even cheaper this week at Hobby Lobby—-50% off! (I used the same wreaths for the chalkboard eggs.)

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Fill the center of each wreath with Easter grass and then a few foil wrapped chocolate eggs. I place one nest in the center of each guest’s plate.

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Bon Appetit!

Chalkboard Easter Eggs

March 23, 2007

I was totally inspired to see Martha make her own chalkboard paint. This could be the start to limitless crafts. I already loved chalkboard paint, but to have colors—wow. I think these chalkboard painted eggs would be unique place-cards for Easter dinner or just fun for kids to decorate over and over again with chalk. I used wooden eggs but you could also use blown-out real ones. They might be fragile when decorating, so I would probably fill them with plaster to make them more sturdy.

You will need:

Eggs, Acrylic or Latex Paint, Primer, Non-Sanded White Grout, 220-150 Sandpaper, Foam Paint Brushes and something to mix the paint in.

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I first gave my eggs a coat of primer

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I then mixed 1/4 cup of acrylic paint with 1 1/2 teaspoons of non-sanded grout. Mix well. Paint two generous coats of paint, allowing each layer to dry before adding the next. Once the two layers are dry, LIGHTLY sand the entire egg. Wipe away dust with a damp cloth. I repeated this process until I had 6 coats of paint.

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Once the egg was completely dry I was able to draw on the egg with chalk. Most colors rubbed away easily, however a few needed a damp cloth to be removed. Plain black store bought chalkboard paint would also make for dramatic eggs.

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I used a miniature grapevine wreath (sold in a bundle at the craft store) and a little bit of wooden green grass to display the eggs.

The Toymaker

February 23, 2007

I think this is the most wonderful site filled with beautifully illustrated toys ,boxes, books, games and cards. We made this sweet dancing Irish Fairie, you put her on a pencil, blow gently and she will spin and dance.

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I think this magic fairie box would be so cute filled with chocolate coins for St Patrick’s Day. After we cut out our fairie and box we gave them plenty of clear glitter to make them sparkle.

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There are holiday ideas and plenty of toys to keep us all busy. Many of the toys use a marble so they move easily—how clever. Check out the marble mice or bunny bowling. Too fun! This site has so many ways to add pizazz to a parties and holidays but most importantly it is the perfect solution to, “Mom, I’m bored!”

Heart Attack

February 13, 2007

My friend Wendy has a fabulous idea for Valentine’s Day. She cuts hearts of all different shapes and sizes and writes nice comments about each of her children on the hearts. She then covers each of their doors with the hearts. We just finished this for one of our children  -two more to go before morning.heart-attack.jpg

A Celebration Of Hearts

February 11, 2007

I went to the most fabulous party on Saturday.  My friend Missy created the most magical atmosphere.  The invitation set the mood———–it was beautiful!

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Every detail was totally and beautifully carried out.  The kids were greeted with this amazing table. Hearts hung from the ceiling dancing over their heads.  Plates were sat on handmade heart place-mats.

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Each child received this handmade (by her) cone filled with treats and trinkets.

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The children played fun games like eating sugar cookies off of a string and a conversation heart relay.  They shot darts at hand-painted heart targets while the moms crafted homemade valentines.

The moms sat down to this dramtic and stunning table. 

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 We each recieved a hanging heart box (made by her) filled with a giant chocolate bar re-wrapped in a Love wrapper.

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We dined on delectable goodies like creamy potato soup, chicken salad served over fresh greens and fluffy heart shaped blueberry muffins.  Trays of the yummiest sugar cookies could be found everywhere.

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We finished  with a delicious double layer pot de creme served with whipped cream and a strawberry sliced to look like a heart.

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It is truly a dreamy party every year.  Love is in the details and I  leave this party feeling loved!

Crayon Shaving Hearts

February 2, 2007

Crayon shavings melted between wax paper and then cut into hearts make a beautiful display in windows. This is an oldie but goodie craft that we love. Here are ours made with lots of kid help! I can’t think of anything more cheerful or happy hanging from a window.

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We made lots of crayon shavings with a pencil sharpener.

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Place shavings on a piece of wax paper.

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Either place another piece of wax paper on top or fold over the edge to cover all of the shavings.

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Iron on the lowest setting for about 1 second. You can go always go longer after checking to see if the shavings have melted. Be careful to not burn the wax paper. It is a good idea to do the ironing on a piece of newspaper. Some shavings could leak out of the sides and it does leave a residue underneath the wax paper. If you are worried about your iron, just place your wax paper between two sheets of newspaper or scrap paper.

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I think it is easiest for kids to trace around cardboard so I took cereal boxes and cut out heart shapes to be used for patterns. This is where you get variety so let the kids draw the hearts.

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Draw around your pattern.

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Cut out, hole punch and tie on ribbon, thread or fishing line. Hang!

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Martha has directions and a gorgeous display at her place.

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Heart Garland

January 30, 2007

I love hanging decorations from my ceilings.

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I took a few different colors of cardstock (construction paper works too) and cut out different heart shapes. I did have access to a die-cut machine but don’t let that stop you if you don’t!  Hand cut hearts would probably me much more charming!

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I sewed through them on my sewing machine with clear thread. Pull out a foot or so of thread before you start sewing so you have plenty to hang your hearts with.

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I could never have too many of these hanging around!

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Valentine Soaps

January 25, 2007

Even the bathroom needs a little holiday cheer!

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Paint Glycerin soap with acrylic paint. One side of the soap needs to be non-imprinted, so you have a nice area to paint on.

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Melt paraffin in a double boiler situation. I used a metal measuring cup set in a pan of water. An old food can could also be used. Wax is highly flammable so it is best to melt it in water. DO NOT allow any of the water to get into the wax!

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Brush a thin coat of melted wax over your painting. Do not paint the sides or bottom of your soap. The wax must be very hot to give a clear coat. It is probably best for an adult to do this step while wax is still at the stove so it remains very hot.

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When you use your soap the wax will protect your paintings.

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The end of the road

January 10, 2007

….for my snowflakes that were once lunch- sack flowers. I was totally enthralled with this idea when I made them and I couldn’t part with them after my niece’s lunch so– I cut holes in the edges and hung them back up as snowflakes for the winter.

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It is just getting cold around here but I still think they must finally bid us farewell. I am thinking that ones made from pastel bags would be lovely for Easter. Oh wait, maybe red and white ones for Valentine’s Day…………..okay I just can’t let this idea go! I got a lot of mileage out of $1.29!