Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Buckets of Ballerina Princesses

I'm finally getting around to posting some of my pre-blog parties.  Since I've already featured Ethan's Cars birthday party I thought I'd start out with one of Grace's parties.  For her 5th birthday (it seems so long ago) she wanted a Ballet/Princess Party.  That was the first of her combined theme challenges for me.  Luckily, the themes went together pretty easily.  Let me give a few disclaimers first - I put this party together long before I even knew a party planning blogging world existed.  So I did it without the benefit of all my talented party planning cohorts' ideas or products or printables.  Also, this was prior to having a good camera.  So I apologize for the picture quality.

Here are some of the pictures from the party.


I stole this idea from my friend Rebecca and made it using a wire wreath form and a marabou boa.  Very easy!  I purchased the "G" from the unfinished wood department at Hobby Lobby and painted it.  You'll see a repeat of those "G's" throughout Grace's various birthday parties! 
Grace's photo board.
I intertwined tulle through a cake stand and placed Grace's ballet shoes in the center with a tiara and wand.
This was my very first attempt at a candy table - long before I discovered "Save the Date for Cupcakes" or Amy Atlas.  The containers are from Ikea.  I took tulle and hot glued it to the top of the glass jars.
I hung tulle and Christmas lights from the ceiling. 
My attempt to turn a Pottery Barn drink stand into a tutu.
Tulle tied to the back of chairs.
Wands from Oriental Trading that I hot glued tulle to.
The Favors
I purchased canvas bags from Hobby Lobby and hot glued tulle to the tops of them and added each of the girls' names in puffy paint.  The bags were full of ballerina trinkets and dress up items, mostly from the Target dollar aisle, Oriental Trading and LTD Commodities.
The boys each received a "Knight" bag that I found in the Target Dollar Aisle filled with knight dress up gear from the Dollar Store. 
The Food
Long before I knew what "printables" were and before I discovered party blogs I made these cupcakes.  Looking back, I still think the ballerina toppers are cute.
These were peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut with a tutu cookie cutter.  The bread was from our local grocery store.  Grace's birthday usually falls around Easter and this bread was their Easter bread.
The Activities
As I've admitted in other posts, I'm pretty loyal to a version of "Pin the [you name it] on the [you name it.]"  For this party, I cut out "tutus" and the kids pinned the tutu on the ballerina.
I found a ballet shoe pinata.  It's amazing how kids love pinatas!
The Birthday Girl
Grace's skirt was from Etsy as well as her top.
I had grand plans to make her cake, but unfortunately an out-of-town work seminar always falls around her birthday so I wasn't able to get to it.  This one was delicious though!
This was a really fun party to plan - especially because the year before, she had a baseball party - no girly details that year.  Stay tuned for that post!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Buckets of Teacher Present Ideas

I feel like I've been on a blogging hiatus lately.  Between hosting my family's Thanksgiving and getting my house ready for Christmas, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed these days!  But those two things are done, the Christmas cards are addressed and I survived my annual Black Friday trek with my sister.  So back to the blog :)

This year for my kids' teacher presents, I found this fabulous idea on How Does She.  Using the idea of the "12 Days of Christmas", this gift combines fun, practicality and whimsy for a cute, personal teacher present.  And how could I resist a present that's centerpiece is a bucket :) 

I modified Missy's idea a little bit to personalize our buckets.  The idea is the same - find 12 different items for your child's teacher(s), and use the numbers 1 through 12 for the gifts.  Add a fun saying to each item and you have a great Christmas present.  Here is what my buckets ended up looking like:

I found the buckets at Target at Halloween time for $5.00!  I then used Uppercase Living's Personal Studio to make the vinyl words to personalize the buckets.  If I only had a Silhouette, I could make them myself!  (Hint, hint for my husband for a Christmas present - pass the word if you would please - he doesn't read the blog :)
As for the contents of the buckets, some things were a splurge (but my kids' teachers are worth it) and some were back-to-school deals.  Here is the list of the items I found:
1.  Personalized clipboards from eBay.
2.  Pens
3.  Sharpies
4.  Red and Green Notebooks
5.  Giant Paper Clips
6.  Post It Notepads or Scissors
7.  7 oz. of hand sanitizer
8.  8 x 2  magnetic clips
9.  Packs of microwave popcorn
10.  10 x10 sheets of construction paper
11.  11 oz. of Hershey's kisses
12.  12 oz. of hot chocolate
Here is a close-up of some of the items:
I put the Hershey's kisses in a craft paint container and added some paper to dress it up. 
Their teachers can then use the containers when the kisses are gone.
Grace's school colors are orange and black.
For Ethan's daycare providers.
4 notebooks tied together with some ribbon.
6 packs of Post-its.
6 scissors for Ethan's daycare. 
I put the scissors in a cello-bag and tied it with some baker's twine.
After I placed all of the items in the buckets, I wrapped a Christmas ribbon around the buckets.
This was a fun gift to put together - and it was made even more fun knowing they are going to three very special ladies! 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Buckets of Super Heroes!

These days, who doesn't need a hero!  And when it comes to finding cute ideas for boys' parties, let's face it - just like a super hero - they are hard to come by.  That's why I am so happy with one of the hottest trends in boys' birthday parties now - Super Hero themes.  This theme is especially close to my heart because my little Ethan invents himself as a new super hero every day.  These days, he's Spider Man.  Some days he's just a plain ol' super hero, running around the house showing his muscles with his dish towel cape!

Lucky for Ethan, he won't have to use that dish towel cape for much longer.  This week, I was the fortunate winner on Anders Ruff's giveaway from Annie at Kid Kapers on Etsy.  Yay Me!!!  And yay Ethan!!!  I never win anything.  I got to choose one of Annie's adorable capes.  It really was a hard choice, but given Ethan's affection for Spider Man right now, I picked the spider cape. 
Custom Embroidered Spider Cape
I know that Spider Man doesn't actually wear a cape, but only adults know that.  I can guarantee Ethan will be thrilled!  And it will serve double duty - I already have his Spider Man costume from Target's after-Halloween sale at 75% off for next year.  I'm sure the cape will keep him warm for trick-or-treating next year.

Any of Annie's capes would make really great party favors for a Super Hero party.  There are also really cute girl options.  And, she does offer a discount for bulk orders so check her out!  Here are a few of my favorites (it was hard to pick!)
Custom Initial Superhero Cape   Custom Embroidered Birthday Cape   Custom Embroidered Rocket Superhero Cape  Embroidered Flower Power Princess Cape

Sticking with Etsy Super Hero items, check out these "build your own super heroes" from the Crafty Clip.  You can choose hair style, hair color, skin color, color scheme and chest emblem.  After designing your own super hero, you then receive a PNG file to use in your own party planning.  How neat would it be to include your super hero child on the invite, cupcake toppers, banners, etc.  The possibilities are endless!
Build Your Own Superhero
And, if you are no graphics wizard like me, you can send the file over to Ciao Bambino and she will create you darling cupcake toppers, thank you tags, banners, door signs, etc. for your little boy's out-of-this world party!  Check out her exclusive designs:
NEW- Superhero Kids Cupcake Toppers- a Ciao Bambino EXCLUSIVE Design

This post wouldn't be complete if I didn't feature my current crush of Super Hero party printables from BirdCrafts.  These are just so cute.  They are available in her Etsy shop.

Superhero Party - Digital Invitation and Printable Custom Party Supplies -  We personalize them for you with NAME and AGE 

Here are some other adorable Super Hero Etsy products:

How cute are these "POW" signs?  Perfect for photo booth props.
POW signs

The signs would perfectly coordinate with these cupcake wrappers and toppers!
Comic Book Super Hero Cupcake Kit

Adorable banner and printables from Dimple Prints as styled by J At Your Service.

If it wasn't apparent that I'm a party planning nut from some of my other posts, this little indulgence may prove it beyond a doubt.  Ethan just turned 3 in September.  I'm already waist deep into planning a carnival themed party for his 4th birthday.  But, the cuteness of all of these super hero items may just force me to start to plan for his 5th birthday.  Perhaps it's the crazy hour that's making me silly.  It is very late for this Super Mom so I best be getting to bed. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Buckets of Table Coverings

I previously posted various versions of "sweets tables," featuring party planners' various takes on this concept.  Not only are there great ideas of this concept, but the different takes on "tablescaping" are amazing. If you are contemplating a sweets table or some version of that, check out these ideas for making the table the center of attention at your party!

In my previous post, I featured this table, but it is so lovely and fun that I had to again.  This would be perfect for any princess party.  I am thinking of using it for Grace's Prom Birthday Party.  What is more fun than tulle other than tons of it?
Courtesy of Send In the Clowns

No girls?  No problem.  Boys can be just as cute.  How adorable is this pirate themed table?

Courtesy of The Purple Pug

No space behind the table to hang your banner?  Don't overlook the front of your table!

Courtesy of A to Z Celebrations
(And who says you can't use plastic table coverings!  Nancy from A to Z Celebrations makes them look great!  Love the layered look.)

Courtesy of Sweet Girly Mommy

How about using table runners the opposite way and adorning the front of the runner?

Courtesy of Save the Date for Cupcakes

Loving the Layered Look?  It's not just for winter apparel...

Courtesy of A Blissful Nest 

Love, love, love this use of layering vintage fabric.

How about a boy's version...

Courtesy of Kara's Party Ideas

Cari at Socially Circled makes these amazing custom table coverings!  I'm in love!

Courtesy of Socially Circled

Courtesy of Socially Circled

And finally, I've previously expressed my love of ribbon so this table was an instant hit for me.  This is from Michelle at MaddyCakes Muse.  How ingenious!  She used duct tape to adhere the ribbon to the table.  Duct tape is a party planners best friend!
Courtesy of MaddyCakes Muse

Monday, November 1, 2010

Adorable Mickey Mouse Party

I am not a huge fan of commercial parties, but when I saw this Mickey Mouse party from Party Pops, I immediately fell in love!  I think it was her use of the image of Mickey's shorts throughout the party in such creative ways as well as the black and white polka dots that struck me.  I also love that this party was put together by the birthday boy's own mom - not a professional party planner.  This was just too adorable not to share!  Check out more pictures at Party Pops.

Can't decide what's cuter - the birthday boy or the polka dot Mickey Mouse ears hat?


The birthday boy's talented mom did this arch herself! 
I want to hire her to do a balloon arch for Grace's prom party!

After seeing these chair covers, I want to have a Mickey Mouse party just to do these covers!

Love how she "Mickey Moused" these buckets.  I saw similar buckets in the Target dollar aisle not that long ago.  How creative and what a great use of her Mickey's shorts theme!

There are so many more pictures of this party that are a must see!