This year for my son's 4th birthday we went with a Pirate Theme...Arg!
He dressed up as a pirate last Halloween and really enjoyed it so it wasn't a big surprise when he chose this theme. If I was a smart mama, I would have seen this coming and wouldn't have donated his costume earlier in the year...but alas I did! As you know, I try not to spend very much on their parties so I had to come up with some creative ways to make his costume and decorate the house.
- Pirate hats I made myself. Look here for the no sewing required tutorial.
- Using a red sheer scarf from the dollar store, I cut off a quarter for the head rags and the rest was used for the belts.
- The vest I cut out of a black drop cloth I had. I literally wrapped the fabric around him, chalked an outline of what it should look like, cut it out and hot glued the rope accents on.
- The shirt I did with an iron on, a tradition I do for them every year...they love it.
- The sword and eye patch were also found in the dollar store.
Pirate Ship on the Seas
- This pirate ship was made from one foam core board and the waves were made out of two foam core boards, all from dollar store.
- I drew waves, staggered the heights to make two levels and cut them out.
- I stood the black board behind the waves once they were cut to determine the bottom, top and width of the ship, drew a ship freehand and cut it out.
- The masts were strips of foam board and the sails were made from foam sheets I had left over from the pirate hats.
- The masts were secured with wooden skewers and hot glue.
- Glued the finished ship to an empty Kiwi Crate box to complete the scene.
Palm Trees Islands
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- I found a set of collapsible palm trees on clearance that I couldn't pass up.
- Problem: They were meant for hanging and I wanted free standing.
- Solution: I duct taped two broom sticks together, slipped them into the middle of the tree and placed them in a stack of dumbbells.
- Wrapped the base with a beige throw, an old canvas drop cloth covered my urns, added grass left over from a fairy party. Warning signs were made from canvas drop cloth, iron ons and bamboo stakes from the garden.
- In the other corner I added some wooden crates I use to store my painting supplies and threw in some "jewels" I purchased at the dollar store.
Walking the Plank
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- I sketched a shark fin about 6" in height onto foam board and cut it out.
- I used that one as a stencil to trace more fins and cut 20 in total.
- I broke wooden skewers into about 2" pieces. 1" went into the fin and the other into the ground.
- NOTE: Count how many skewers you put into the ground and ensure you pull out the same amount. You don't want to step on a forgotten one.
- My husband secured two 1x2's together and stained them a dark brown.
- We placed it onto two matching stools and made them walk the plank!
- Straw flags were printed on adhesive paper and attached to the paper straws purchased from Omiyage.
- Tree netting we had in our gardening supplies was put up on the wall, covered in fishing lures I borrowed from my father-in-law, added a few signs made out of canvas and the serving area was done.
- More canvas drop cloth was cut to wrap the beverage bottles, rope and skulls finished them off.
- The front of the house was draped in red and white. I used dollar store table cloths, used same white rope to secure them and the flags were Halloween flags also purchased at the dollar store.
There were a few more details that I haven't shown here like mini treasure boxes everywhere with more jewels and chocolate coins, a pirate ship piñata, hidden treasures, fruit skewers, loot bags but from the moment of seeing my son's reaction to having the house decked out for his party...I simply forgot to take pictures of everything else.
Oh well, the important thing is that he loved every bit of it, he had a great day with his family celebrating his 4th birthday and he reminds me of the fun he had that day every time he puts on his pirate hat....which, a month and a half later, is still often :)
Two weeks ago we celebrated my sons 4th birthday and we celebrated it with a Pirate themed party.
I will have a post about the party up soon but I thought I would start with a tutorial on
how to make a Pirate hat in four easy steps with no sewing required!
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- Black Foam Sheet (12"x18")
- Scissors / Exacto Knife
- Fabric Glue / Hot Glue
- Ruler / Straight Edge
- Embellishments: Crossbones, buttons, lace, etc
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Fold foam sheet in half.
Cut a 12" opening down the middle crease.
This will fit most heads from age 4 - 13.
Draw the pirate hat outline while folded in half.
Use chalk if you have it (pencil is harder to see).
Then cut it out while folded.
Add a quarter size drop of Fabric Glue (hot glue will work too) just beside the end of the opening you cut down the middle, fold it back up and let it dry.
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- Add buttons just above the end of the openings with fabric glue / hot glue
- If want a little extra finishing touch thread the buttons BEFORE gluing them on
- Add lace around interior edge of the top using the fabric glue for a girl version
- I cut out crossbones using white foam sheet and glued them to the front
There you have it, four easy steps to make a pirate hat with no sewing required!
Let me know if you try it...I'd love to see your results!
It's been almost three weeks and I still can't believe my little girl is five years old. The other thing I still can't believe is that my little girl who would be covered in pink, purple, jewels and glitter, if left to her own devices, requested a Super Girl party!
This got me very excited because I grew up reading comic books with my dad and truth be told, comics are still on my Christmas list every year and I have these amazing posters
hanging in our room...so a Super Girl Party? Whoo-hoo, yes please!
You can't have super hero's without costumes and since her party was going to be a small one at home with mostly family, I decided to make all of the younger kids their own capes, cuffs and masks. They were all so excited to have them and they didn't take them off the entire time.
Logos: I have a wealth of comic books so I simply photocopied the logos, enlarged/shrinked them as required, traced them onto felt, cut them out, hot glued them together and voila...superhero logos.
Capes: I used wax paper that was folded in half, a large child size t-shirt as a guideline and freehand sketched the cape. I then cut it out and put it on my daughter to figure out the length for her. I add 3" if they were older than her and removed 3" if they were younger than her. I then used that as the pattern to make the actual capes.
Super Girl Tutu: I found a $3.00 yellow belt at Walmart with double holes along the length that was perfect to thread the tule through. It was a random but lucky find and I think it turned out well.
I purchased black bristol board from the dollar store and used a ruler to create a city scape for the food serving area (it took two and a half sheets). I used foam core board (also from the dollar store) to do the same over the fireplace, staggered the heights, hot glued them to scrap pieces of 2x4 to let them free stand.Justice League Characters:
I used the amazing printables by Maria De Marco
found on Paper & Pomegranates
to make loot bag tags, jelly bean markers and straw tags (paper straws were purchased from Omiyage
One of the games was a simple can toss using bean bags. I simply wrapped empty coffee cans, glued on a few 'bangs' and 'pows' that I found on One Charming Party
and it was very
We topped everything off with balloons, paper balls and streamers. She loved all of it!
Everything came together nicely, the weather was absolutely perfect, all the kids loved their costumes and my little girl was not only a Super Girl but Super Happy and Super Grateful.
Thank you for all the wonderful comments on instagram
of my in progress pictures.
Thank you to all our guests who really made the day wonderful and special.
Happy 5th Birthday my sweet Super Girl!
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Don't have too much time on your hands?
Don't have want to spend a fortune on little treats?
Have a small child who wants to create their own gifts for classmates?
Then this is the perfect little project for your child and the perfect candy free Easter treat for their friends!
What you need...
- Egg shaped chalk
- Clear cello bags
- Cute little tags
- Bags/Tags purchased at our local Dollar Store and Eggs from Walmart.
Assembly so easy a 4 yr old can do it!
- Have child write name on the tags
- Have them put each egg in a bag
- Attach the tag (this is the most challenging part but is also a good exercise for those fine motor skills.
We have received great comments on these especially from parents who appreciate a treat that is not made of candy or chocolate.
So there you have it!
Quick, affordable and easy enough for a small child to do themselves. What do you think?
Oh and one more thing....
HAPPY EASTER TO ALL OF YOU!
It's December and the count down officially begins. As the month rolls by, time seems to tick faster and the next thing you know it's office parties, kids parties, schools out and you are scrambling about to get the little things done. In such times it can be easy to jump out and buy 'whatever' at 'whatever' cost. Handmade may not be your first thought but handmade doesn't necessarily mean time consuming, sometimes it can done relatively quickly and at a low cost.
These little packages contain homemade chocolate cookies, wrapped in wax paper, packed into brown paper bags, embelished with ribbon and mini ornaments. They tasted good (you have to taste test them don't you), looked good and the total wrapping costs was $5.00.
There you go, exhibit A on handmade done pretty quickly and at a low cost.
These were made with co-workers in mind. What do you think, would you like them?
Her first picture
When I first spotted her, just over eight years ago, she was playing with her water bowl. She was pouncing on it and knocking it about like it was prey. She was only about two months old but already feisty. I fell in love! The following week, that very same Salt & Pepper Miniature Schnauzer was in our home, our first dog and my husband and I named her Dakota. For the next four years it was just the three of us and she ruled our home and our hearts.
Then one day we insulted her, she wouldn't look at us for days and all because we brought home our newborn daughter. Oh the insult! It seemed she wasn't fond of the baby, if we were downstairs, she would go upstairs. If we went into any room she was in, she would simply leave.
Snuggled when kids were sick
The day the baby gates went up was yet another insult. She couldn't escape anymore and so would just sit with her back to us! Fifteen months after our daughter arrived we brought home our newborn son. Yet again, she did not approve. Nap times and bedtimes became her favourite times, for she had us and the house all to herself, belly rubs, ear scratching, lounging on the couch with us and zero competition. It wasn't until our oldest was three that she came around...we found my daughter giving her a belly rub and Dakota purring like a kitten! Finally she would let them pet her, she would give them kisses and snuggle with them if they weren't feeling well.
This year however our sweet Dakota started to have some issues, seizures and pancreatitis. Being a terrier her stubbornness and strength (plus some medicine) would help her push through and bounce right back. This weekend, sadly she couldn't push through. Our sweet little Dakota fell ill, went downhill fast and was left in state that I simply can't write about. We started the weekend with her sleeping at the foot of our bed but it did not end that way. Our sweet Dakota is gone. My heart is broken.
Despite my attempt to explain this to the kids (three and four), they don't really understand and I am partly greatful for this. We loved her, we miss her terribly, even now as I write this I find myself in tears but I write this to honour her. She was with us for eight years, she was yappy, stubborn, a hand full but most of all she was loved. Thank-you Dakota, for your unconditional love and being a part of our family.
Rest in peace my sweet girl (Dakota 2004-2012)
My little boy is officially three years old. Where does the time go! With the end of summer here, my big girl saying good-bye to pre-school and prepping for Kindergarten and with my little man's party...it's been busy around here. Like many three year olds, my little one is a huge 'Cars' fan...he would probably watch that movie a thousand times if we let him. So what better theme for his party this year then Cars.
I love to throw the kids their parties but as I have said before, I try to do it using what I have and without breaking the bank. My best deal found this time around was the large decal that covered almost the entire sliding door; found it in a little run down local party shop for $5! With a little time, some bargain shopping and creatively using existing items, I think the place looked pretty good.
The kids loved it, he especially got a huge kick when he woke up and found the house decorated with all things Cars! More importantly we were in the company of our amazing family, we celebrated another milestone and we made him smile...now isn't that really what it's all about?
Alright, perhaps I am not FREAKING out but I am getting nervous excited. Why? Because my little girl, my 4 year old is getting ready to go to "big girl" school. She is finishing up the month in her pre-school and will officially be entering kindergarten in September. Thankfully she goes to an amazing pre-school and she is fully equipped with the skills and courage to start. At home, we've been talking about what to expect, what she'll need to do and what her schedule will be like. However, I have been dragging my feet on the tangible prepping, backpacks, lunch bags, drink container, etc, perhaps in an attempt to delay this reality. I know she'll be fine but I can't help but worry too. Crazy mommy I know!
So two weeks ago I stopped dragging my feet and almost bought 5 different back packs, 5 different lunch bags, 5 different canteens, well you get the picture. However, in the end she doesn't want anything new...she is still partial to her Skip Hop Zoo Pack. She has had it for 2 years now and still loves it so I will be sending her to school with that and a new matching Skip Hop Zoo Lunchie. I'm adding to that a new Red Klean Kanteen and a Rubbermaid Lunch Blox Container Set which does all fit into the Lunchie when all the pieces are laid flat.
So we are set and ready to go. How about you? Are you set? Any advice for a first timer like me or soothing words...I'd appreciate them :)
My children, like most children 'loooove' ice cream, freezies and popsicles and we, like many families, make our own ice cream and popsicles. With the hot weather upon us I doubled my usual batch of strawberry, banana and blueberry blend with the intent of making two batches of popsicles.
PROBLEM: When I pulled out my second popsicle mold it was missing 3 sticks and 1 was broken.
PROBLEM #2: I was completely out of popsicle sticks in the studio/craft room.
SOLUTION: What I did have on hand was about a million plastic spoons. So I used these plastic spoons instead and the kids thought it was the funniest and strangest thing to find a spoon in their popsicle.
ENHANCEMENT: Get a spoonful of yogurt on each spoon and freeze them just until they are hard and then stick them in the filled popsicles molds and then freeze.
RESULT: Not only a spoon surprise but with the enhanced version you get a yogurt filled popsicle.
It was an on the fly fix to a problem that the kids loved.
BONUS: If the kids know that popsicles are for dessert, their dinner plates empty really quickly. Truly a win-win-solution!
This was a great weekend! We had wonderful, co-operative and happy children all weekend. This doesn't happen too often so we soaked up every moment of it. My husband, being the amazing man he is, took our happy kids out to run errands all morning the one day leaving me with the house to myself. I buckled down and did nothing but enjoy my coffee, the silence and a magazine. It was fantastic and so is my husband. The best result of this however is the absolute joy the kids get of having special quality time with daddy. They are over the moon when they get back, they talk of how much fun they had, the treats they scored and the places they went. They enjoy that time with him so much, he is a wonderful father and that makes my heart melt.
That also got me thinking about my own father. I loved having that special time with my dad too. We use to hit the arcades, the ice cream shops, the comic book stores, he would ride the roller coasters with me and do just about anything for me.
In fact this weekend my parents were over for a BBQ dinner when my father heard the ice cream truck...he looked at me a said "let's go!"....so here I am, a grown woman with my father running down the street to catch the ice cream truck! It was great.
It really was a happy weekend and I am reminded of how blessed I am to have such a great father in my life and how blessed I am to have such a wonderful husband but even more so a great father for my own children. Although Father's day isn't here yet, I think they deserve to be celebrated early. So thank-you to my Father and my husband....you are great men and I love you both.
The kids and I are now making our plans to spoil their daddy on Father's day....what are you plans?