June 5, 2011

Birthday Party FUN!

When I throw a party . . . . there's no slowing me down! This was the first party I'd done for one of my kids where we invited friends instead of just family. So I wanted to make it super fun for her! We originally were planning to do a "Puppy Party", featured on the Crafting Chicks blog. (Seen HERE) But when she gave me her guest list, I just kept thinking about how expensive it could get. Fast. And it stresses me out not knowing how many will actually show up and not knowing how many to plan for. (I hate NOT KNOWING things. lol! I'm the type that likes to have a plan and two back up plans.) Which, to do a party like that, there's really just no knowing what to plan on. And I hated making my daughter choose x number of friends, she was having such a hard time and didn't want anyone to feel bad. :(

A few weeks ago we went to a baby/kids fair in Salt Lake City, and this company was there with all their bounce houses. The lady I talked to was the event coordinator for the company and she was SO nice! And when I saw the prices for an entire day's rental, I was convinced that was the route to go. Because it didn't matter how many kids came, the cost would be the same. (If you're in Utah, check them out for sure! http://goosejumps.com/rentals.htm) They rent by the day, instead of in hour blocks. Which I loved, cause that gave ME time to play on it once the kids left! LOL

This was the 5-in-1 combo bounce house. It had an obstacle course and a slide inside, as well as an area for bouncing.

And, being me, I couldn't stop at just the bounce house. I had the bright idea to make it into a whole carnival!

I made some carnival games from things I had lying around the house anyway.

I just used water bottles and pool toys for a ring toss game.

For a couple weeks, I saved cans after I opened them making dinners. Then I wrapped them with paper from Imaginisce's "Animal Crackers" line. I got the flat, round wooden discs from Roberts Crafts and Mod Podged paper to them. I found a pack of the green balls at WalMart for $3. (Came with 6 balls.) Kids could either knock the cans over with the balls or try to get the discs into them. This was the kids favorite game!

I also found a little plastic golf game at WalMart for $5 that we set out. And a hula hoop. The kids went crazy!

I set up a facepainting/tattoo station. Fortunately, I had some extremely talented artist friends there who helped me run this station! I was so completely occupied making cotton candy, popcorn & hot dogs and making sure everyone had what they needed that it was hard to do much else. 

I made these fun decorations and hung them from the facepainting station. I just cut 2" strips of paper from the Animal Crackers paper and hot glued the ends together to make different lengths. Then I hot glued those ends together and creased one point in them to make the tear drop shape. Then I just tied them together with colored embroidery floss. They looked so fun twisting and twirling in the breeze!

I made these fun ribbon decorations and hot glued them to paper bags for the kids to use to hold their prizes. It was so easy, just take 4 strips of ribbon. Put a dab of hot glue in the center of one ribbon, lay another on top of it. Repeat until the 4 strips are glued together. Then just bring the ends to the center and hot glue down. Done and done. :) 

These are so fun, easy and addicting to make! And they look amazing for so many different settings. It was super late when I made them, so I didn't get any good pictures of the steps to make them. :S I followed this tutorial: http://www.marthastewart.com/how-to/tissue-paper-pom-poms-how-to

Cotton candy gets EVERYWHERE when you make it. Fair warning. ;)

The popcorn machine was my favorite part! The prize jar was the kids favorite. lol

What's a carnival without hot dogs?
I rented the cotton candy machine from the same company that had the bounce house. Their popcorn machine was already reserved, so I found another one through another local company. I went to a party supply store and stocked up on a bunch of the bulk prizes for our prize jar.

My sister had this tube thing for her baby to crawl through, but it quickly became a source of entertainment for the big kids! 

My 5 year old informed me he wanted to paint my face. Who am I to deny his creative expression? A couple of my friends who were there decided I needed a goatee and a Hitler mustache. I was lookin' good!! ;) hahaha

Now, I'm no cake decorator. My idea of decorating a cake is slathering on the frosting and shaking on the canned sprinkles. But I had an idea in my head of how I wanted this carnival cake, and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out! 

Again, I made the pinwheels late at night, and the lighting in my room is horrible for pictures. So here's the tutorial I followed: http://createstudio.blogspot.com/2010/03/how-to-make-pinwheel.html
I made my squares 2", 1.75" & 1.5".  Since they were so small, I just hot glued them together, and hot glued a brad to them, instead of holding it all together with a brad. I didn't want to risk ripping the paper. (I used my jewelry wire cutters to get the prong things off the brads so I could glue them down.) Then I just made triangle flags, and rectangle flags with a notch cut out. I used the iRock to decorate the flags with some gems.

The pennant banner is probably my most favorite thing that I made for this whole party!  I just cut triangles out of different Animal Crackers papers for the flags. Then I cut 1 3/8" strips of paper from some Doodlebug paper. Fan fold the strips, then hot glue the ends together. (Make sure on the ends one fold goes up, the other goes down.) Once the glue dries, lay it out flat and hot glue it to the flags. Then hot glue a circle of paper to the top. I printed my daughter's name ALAYNA using a fun carnival looking font onto regular lined paper. The porous quality of the paper made it look like I had stamped the letters on! It was fantastic! And the lined paper just looked good layered with the other papers. Then I just glued the flags to a piece of embroidery floss and tied it to skewers and stuck it in the cake.

Present time!! My sister found this crown for her. It took her a while to find one that fit over my daughter's hair. She had to get the extra large KING crown. hahaha! 

Happy birthday Alayna!!!! Seeing her beautiful smile made it all completely worth it! :D