Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Throw a Themed Party!

As promised when I gave you a peek at the sweets shop and the witch hat cookies, here is a run down of the party of the year for lil' Gal. No ends were left loose, and all friends and family members were utilized.

With Halloween just around the corner I thought that this would be a fun post for those of you that love a good costume party.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Originally lil' Gal asked for a Wizard party, as in Wizard's of Waverly Place because she wants to be Selena Gomez when she grows up. I had no CLUE how to throw a wizard party. After seeing WICKED I thought that a Wizard of Oz themed party would be fun, and lil' Gal agreed.
One stipulation, she wanted to be Dorothy.

So we threw an Oz themed costume party in July!

We put ruby red shoes under our garage door like our house had landed on the wicked witch of the east. And we had a yellow brick road that led up to our front door into Munchkin land!

The kids also had to walk under a rainbow
and enter Munchkin land.

The party started with a few different activities for the kids when they arrived!
My sister was painting faces, Glinda the Good witch was here to take pictures with the kids, and there were supplies for rainbow witch bead necklaces for the kids to create! There was also a jar of m&ms for the kids to guess how many. Closest got to take the large jar home, all kids took a smaller jar.

We ended up with a witch, 2 Dorothy's, a Lion, a Munchkin, a member of the Lollipop Guild and even a Glinda!

Lil' Gal dressed like Dorothy, with a fancy crown that said "There's no place like home".
She had sparkly red shoes, and even a tiny Dorothy figurine necklace.
I think that she felt just as cute as she looked!

I got the amazing tree from a garage sale! The tree is an actual Wizard of Oz decoration, one of the creepy trees from the movie. It was probably the best garage sale I have ever been to. I should have snatched every Wizard of Oz item that they were selling, but I had no idea months before that I would be throwing an OZ themed birthday party.

Outdoor Fun!

We made our own potions using sand art potion bottle necklaces.
Layering the different sand in the bottles made unique designs for all of the kids.
They even creatively named their potions things like..."stinky feet potion", "witch cackle potion", and "turn-you-into-whatever-you-want potion".

Broomstick Races!

This was originally a "filler" game, which we ended up using while waiting for our wicked witch to arrive. It actually ended up being one of the best games. The kids loved running around cones while acting like they were flying on a broom.

Melt the Witch!

My brother agreed to dress like a wicked witch and allow the kids to throw countless green water balloons at him. I don't think he knew he would be also be asked to wear a dress, wig, green paint on his face, and have children pulling and tugging at him for 15 minutes.
I would dare say it was the scariest 15 minutes of his life.

Munchkin Food

When it was time to eat cake and pizza the kids were surprised with Munchkin size pizza and treats as well as rainbow cupcakes that a friend of mine told me about on Family Fun. I topped the cupcakes with ruby slipper paper clips. The food was so cute and yummy looking even you wouldn't have been able to pass it up.

This was definitely the highlight of the day.
The moment the kids arrived they could see the Sweets Shop set up and immediately were all asking when they could "shop" for their treats. After all games, activities and presents were done, it was the turn of the party-goers. There was SO MUCH candy set up before anyone got there. I don't think there were more than maybe 30 pieces of candy left over by the time everyone went home. I am sure the parents were thankful for all that candy.

Here is "Glinda" the good witch, waiting for her candy. :)

All of the preparation paid off, and I think I had as much fun as my not so lil' Gal.
I hope she remembers it when she gets older. It was so much fun to make it her special day!

How to throw a themed party:
Try to start 1 month in advance to give you enough time to gather all ideas and supplies, especially if you need to order anything off of the internet
Utilize family and friends for help
Come up with a main theme: princesses, pirates, fairies, Oz. :)
Gather ideas from friends and websites
Make sure that your invitations indicate the theme you have chosen
Choose foods and drinks that go with your theme
Decorate according to your theme

Make a schedule!
This really is important so you aren't disappointed later when something was forgotten.

This was our schedule...
1. Arrival activities all set up for children to do as they arrive:
- Take your picture with Glinda the good witch cardboard stand-up
- Make a rainbow witch necklace
- Get your face painted
- Guess how many m&m's in the jar
2. Games/crafts plan extra activities just in case they go fast. I planned 5 and we used 3.
- Make your own sand art potion
- Witch broomstick races
- Melt the witch!
3. Happy Birthday! Singing, cake/treats, eat munchkin food
4. Open presents
5. Turn on Wizard of Oz while waiting for parents to arrive

Don't forget to take hundreds of pictures at the party!

What theme are you thinking of?


Monday, September 20, 2010

$10 DIY Fall Wreath!

Last year I decided I love wreaths. I mean, not any wreath--let's just make that clear--but I do love a pretty seasonal wreath hanging on my front door. It's just so welcoming and happy!

It says, "I know it's fall, even though the sun seems to think it's still summer. That's right. I'm more with it than Mother Nature."

But have you seen the prices these stores try to charge for a good decorative wreath?! Well, I wasn't going to shell out good money when I could have a grand ol' time making my own pretty fall wreath while showing you how easy it is!

And how cheap it is! Here's the cost breakdown for my materials:

18" grapevine wreath: $2.50
3 decorative crystal picks: $3.57 ($1.19/ea)
Fall berry garland: $2.99
Decorative ribbon for bow (3 yards): $1.00

Grand Total: $10.06

(Did I mention Michaels is having a rockin' sale right now? Go!)

I started by wrapping the garland into the grapevine, then added the crystal picks. I finished it off with a homemade floral bow and voila!

Hope this inspires some kind of wreath frenzy in your house. My front door is so autumnal now! I have another wreath project (a la Martha) in the works, but can't seem to get my hands on any dried corn husks. Maybe it just isn't corn husk season quite yet? I'll keep my eyes peeled. Or maybe I'll peel and dry my own husks and just get on with it already...

Happy crafting!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

How to Make a Floral Bow for $1

I've always called these "fancy bows." Turns out they are called "floral bows" because they are used in floral arrangements and other crafts that often involve live, dried or silk flowers. You learn something new every day!

Anyway, I thought I'd post a little tutorial on how to make your own floral bows since you can make your own for about $1, while they can cost $4-$10 at the store.

All you need is 3 yards of ribbon (I like the use wire ribbon) and some thin (maybe 26 gauge) wire. Ribbon can be pricey, but Michaels has been clearing out their old ribbon spools for $1 each and Target always has ribbons in the dollar section.

Start by leaving about 8" of ribbon as your first tail, then make a loop by pinching like this:

Make 7 additional loops, creating larger loops toward the center and smaller loops toward the edges, for a total of 8 loops.

Then pinch the loop bases inward and wrap the longer of your two tails around it all to make a simple knot. Secure this with some thin wire.

Spread and arrange the loops to your liking, cut the ends of the tails into V shapes or diagonal points and you're done!

Easy! Use them on gifts, wreaths, floral arrangements, etc. Floral bows are a quick and easy way to add a little flair to whatever you're making. Plus you can say, "I made the bow myself," with a cute little modest smile and people will be all sorts of impressed.

You can do it. You can probably do it better than me, so get to it!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Witch Hat Cookies

To add to the festivities of Little Gal's Wizard of Oz birthday party this last July, we made witch hat cookies in honor of the wicked witch of the west.

They were so easy and cute, that I thought I would share for the upcoming Halloween!
It is also a fabulous food craft for kids that they can make themselves and enjoy!


Prep Time: 5 minutes

1 package of fudge striped cookies
1 tube green glitter gel icing (or any color)
I package milk chocolate Hershey's kisses - unwrapped
Parchment Paper, or Plate

1. Place the cookies striped down on parchment paper, or a plate
2. Put a little dab of gel icing on the center of each cookie
3. Place a Hershey kiss on top of the icing and press down to make them stick
4. Embellish with the remaining icing! I made girly bows on each hat, but I have also seen polka dots, or even colored sugar sprinkled on top like glitter.

Tip: Refrigerate if you aren't going to eat right away to keep the gel icing from melting like the Wicked Witch herself.

Have fun!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ms. Muffin

I have just recently had the pleasure of meeting you and I have to say if there is any reason to adore you so soon it is because you love tea cups more me!

Thank you for featuring the tea cup cake plates that I made not too long ago on your site.
I suddenly want to host my own fancy tea party with all of the adorable ideas you have gathered around the web. I see this becoming a beautiful craft-filled friendship!

Nice to meet you Ms. Muffin,


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

DIY Wall Paneling/Wainscoting

Since we moved into our house a year and a half ago, my husband and I have had all sorts of projects in mind. Some have happened, some never will! You know how it goes.

One project we've been dying to jump on was the office. Technically the room is supposed to be a dining room, but when would we ever use a dining room? Well, never, since we decided right off to repurpose the room as our home office.

So as I was saying, we've been dying to make the office more presentable. It is, after all, right off the entryway (across from this wall!)

It has looked lame since we moved in. The only sprucing up we had done until now was adding my wall hangings (remember these?) but the room needed so much more.

Here it is before:

Wow! What a room, eh? I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Boring. With a capital, and possibly italicized, B." That's what I've always thought.

But...here it is after:

I really need a wide angle lens, but you get the picture. What do you think? We love the color and the paneling/wainscoting. Research via Google helped make this project possible. Lots of time spent scrolling through images to help us decide what look we wanted. It's the first time we've ever attempted it and we think it turned out lovely!

Because we are who we are, we're not done yet. We have more grand plans to build some desk units and get rid of the giant desk/hutch we have in there right now, but...we're tired. That project is for another day. Month.

What is the most ambitious DIY project you've done? Want to share your pictures with us? Shoot an email to peppersassy@gmail.com and we'll share them on the blog!

Off to relax. Maybe. :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

mini-TUTORIAL: Letter Canvas Art

What better gift than something home made?
They are always my among every one's favorites, so why not give them yourself?
This simple tutorial will broaden your gift-giving options 10 fold!

What you will need:
staple gun
glue gun of course
embellishments galore!

Lay fabric out with canvas on top.
Cut fabric to fit all the way around the edge of the canvas and staple to the back.
Make sure you pull tight!

Embellish with any and everything! Paper, trimming, ribbon, flowers, etc.

What I did:
Covered canvas with polka dot fabric and stapled to the back.
I glued pom-pom trimming around the edge, and added small flower embellishments and buttons to make it unique. I free handed the letter onto scrapbook paper, cut it out and glued it on! Leaves to the flowers were cut out in the same paper as the letter.
Make yours as unique as you want!

To make it more personable use initial letters to add the perfect touch!

What's your favorite letter?