I was so excited when I spotted a plea for guest posts from the lovely Annie over at Mrs Crafty B. It meant an opportunity to get my Christmas craft on early & totally legitimately!!
I originally had the idea for a 5 crafts for 5 minutes sort of thing. It worked out slightly differently though! We completed 4 over a few days and abandoned 1 completely, not the project’s fault but more not having the right materials, and being abroad so not having the language skills to get exactly what I needed, we were so busy that we took the opportunity of a half term trip to visit my parents in Italy to get lots of things done and the craft for this post was top of the list.
I was looking for inexpensive ideas for cards to give out to teachers & school friends, (now there are about a billion of them!!), & little homemade gifts she could give to friends………………….
You can read on here and see how you too can make the sparkly, Christmas wonders you see below!! Come and say hi on Twitter (@pinkpearbear #CraftyChristmas) and Facebook too, plus you can find lots of my photos, (LOTS!), on Instagram my new favourite place! 😀
I have been sorely neglecting my blog for a very good reason, small boy turned 3! I just can’t believe our baby is growing up so fast!! He is superhero mad. Not sure how he got into it but I love it, being a bit of a superhero geek myself! (It drives me mad when small boy goes up and asks Mr PB the names of new heroes he discovers as he has never been into them and pretends he is, so small boy thinks he is cool. Pah! 😀 )
So a party theme seemed pretty straightfoward, I got myself onto Pinterest and had a lot of fun pinning things and deluding myself that I would actually have time to create all these amazing things!! What I did want to do was make something for the kids that they could decorate and take home, so I ordered a large amount of material and found an absolutely brilliant cape pattern, which you can find yourself here.
It’s been a long while since I got a chance to do anything crafty and I had an epic fail the first pattern I tried to cut, what an idiot, I obviously missed the instruction, (and the clues on the pattern!!), and cut half a cape. Doh!
That was stupid but I soon realised my mistake and tried again. I think I was probably really tired that day because this happened…..
So I needed 11 capes and after my fails, I was short. Luckily I’d bought some extra material to do Frozen capes for big girl’s next party, (I know, I know, but when you have a good idea!!), and some bright pink to make her a Aurora cape for her birthday, (it’s a REALLY good pattern!!), so I made Small boy a special turquoise one with red lining and my super crafty friend took it away to make it ten times more amazing for his birthday pressie.
I made big girl a special, ‘it’s not actually my birthday but I am special too’ pink cape. I had initially been going to get the children to glue bits to them but when I started to think about it, I wanted them to have something that lasted a bit longer. (Don’t you just hate it when your ideas grow out of control!!) So I hemmed them all on my sewing machine, after a very unsuccessful, (and sticky!), try at hemming one with tape.
This pretty much sums up how I felt trying that one!
I then bought a few metres of an amazing product called ‘Bondaweb’ from the haberdashery and ironed it onto felt squares. The backing paper is perfect for the children to draw their shapes onto before cutting out. I also bought some stick on velcro and once the children had made up their designs, we ironed them on and attached the velcro for the fastening.
Nb: I just stuck the velcro pieces on but this wouldn’t be any good long term as they were already coming off during the energetic play during the party. A couple of stitches are all that’s needed but I just couldn’t face it!! 😀
I also had a pack of foam sheets and decided to make masks, I found a mask template, (again through Pinterest), and used it to cut out lots of of masks from the foam, I then hole punched the edges for the elastic. Which I forgot to buy. Resulting in the dads improvising with masking tape! Another fail!! The cutting, glueing and sticking bit went down very well though!
So finally, and probably most importantly, food! I’d seen some babybel superheroes, (the little round cheeses in the wax wrappers), and thought they looked fun. My first attempt was, well, tell me if you can spot where I went wrong…
My other attempts fared a little better but honestly, they were so fiddly that I didn’t actually get a chance to make them for the party, I think I will just keep them for special lunches when there are only a few children!
I also found the idea for a Captain America fruit/marshmallow shield and used strawberries, marshmallows and blueberries to recreate it.
We also made cheese and pineapple on sticks, (Thor’s hammers!), and had hot dogs as this is an easy party favourite. Every year we seem to go crazy with the food, spend a fortune and end up with a silly amount of waste, so this year I wanted to streamline it all a bit!
To tie in with the theme, I’d seen an amazing backdrop idea with a black skyscraper ‘skyline’ with lit up windows. I recreated it by cutting a piece of A1 black card, using a book to get the different size building effect, and sticking small cut out rectangles from yellow felt for the windows. This was really last minute and done very quickly but I was so pleased with how it turned out.
Finally, the most important bit of all, the cake!! This was a bit of a rush job and probably the most stressful part involving a last minute dash to two different supermarkets to try and find the right sprinkles as I actually made it the morning of the party! Good job the kids get up so early really!
I made two square sponges and sandwiched them together with raspberry jam and bright blue buttercream icing, (I used the gel colours that I had left over from last year’s rainbow cake, they are the only way to get such bright colours in my experience), then I iced over the whole thing with a bright yellow buttercream.
My lovely friend had made a ‘Pow!’ stencil for me from a cereal box, and I used it to ‘write’ on the cake with bright neon sugar. I then used the edge of the stencil to freehand a zigzag line around the words to give it more impact. Considering it was finished about half an hour before the party started, I was really happy with how it turned out, as you can see from my face below I think!!
It was an absolutely brilliant day. We had a bouncy castle and between that, the various crafts and the eating, the whole thing went very quickly and smoothly. I really did enjoy it and found it far less stressful then previous years, even if I was swearing just a tiny bit at the capes!! 😉 If you’re on Pinterest, do check out my boards, I’m a bit of a pinning addict and love looking at other people’s too. It really is heaven for me, although a big part of me wishes I was less of a diy mum and more of a buy it one! I just can’t resist, I love crafty stuff and see all these beautiful things that I want to make too, and then kick myself when it’s midnight and I’m sobbing into my pva glue! 😀
I’d love to hear about party themes and ideas you’ve had, what worked and what didn’t, some funny fails would make me feel so much better about my first two cape attempts too!!
The next party I’ve got coming up is a princess themed one, look out for my unrealistic and over enthusiastic princess party pinning that will soon be commencing……..!!
Keep scrolling down for a few larger pictures from the post, for some reason they post much bigger from my phone but I can’t work out how to do that from the laptop.
I knew I couldn’t let the backdrop go to waste, so I had a little fun with a Gotham City window display! We started these last Christmas and got such a good response from passers by on the school run that we’ve kept it up. Every few months we change it but I think this one might have to be my ultimate favourite!
I also had a little fun trying to add the Batman symbol to my nails. My first attempt at nail art and I think I need some practice!! 😀