On this beautiful Christmas morning, I just wanted to take a second to wish you a Merry Christmas! You are part of the family, you know!
You know through the years, many of you have become dear friends. And although we may not be able to share a holiday hug and I may not be able to make you a plate of cookies, know that your friendship is just as important and appreciated as any friendship. I am very grateful for your love and support in 2012 and look forward to next year!
For Grace's Birthday party this weekend, I was thrilled when she asked if we could decorate the party ourselves. You mean no Walmart shopping cart (like we normally do per birthday girl orders) filled with everything matchy-matchy Barbie Birthday? No offense, Barbie, but I was struggling to suppress my squeals of delight.
Instead, we bought one pad of scrapbooking paper, some tissue paper, craft bags and a few American Girl Craft Kits (I thought these would be fun for her to do on her own) and started crafting. Most of the projects are made with paper and glue.
As you look through these photos, count how many projects are DIY.
My most favorite project for the party was the pennant banner or paper bunting banner. It was the biggest impact for the smallest cost, and it was fun and fast to make. If you need a custom party banner, this is the way to go - check this video out on how to make a paper bunting banner yourself.
Of course, I waited until she came home from school to finish the rest of her name. This banner was a fun kid friendly project that you could use to decorate a bedroom too.
The banners are also an inexpensive way of filling up dead wall space or bringing the party colors to different parts of the room.
The backs of the pennant banners are finished too, so you can string them across rooms for double the decorating.
On the front window, I traced wood letters on scrapbooking paper and cut them out. Grace decoupaged them to the wood letters and we double stickied them to the window. Above her name is a store bought banner kit from American Girl that she put together herself. I love those craft kits!
But it was the tissue paper pom-poms that really made the biggest impact in our great room. With it's high ceilings, I wanted pops of color to bring the party to our great room. So Grace and I made tissue paper pom poms.
You probably already know how to make these, but just in case you don't, it's pretty simple. Stack 8-10 sheets of tissue paper and accordian fold together. Tie in middle with bread ties and cut ends. I cut points, cutting into the fold about 3" or so. Then separate out the tissue paper and POOF! You've got a pom pom. Here's a step by step picture tutorial so you can see how easy it is to make them. And at about $1 in tissue paper, if you are looking for a fun way to decorate on a tight budget, give these tissue paper pom poms a try.
You can use recycled tissue paper too! This green pom pom was made entirely of tissue paper reused from packaging.
For the dessert table, we dressed up a $5 cardboard cupcake stand (I promise, I'll get to DIYing a wood one at some point!) with you guessed it - scrapbooking paper and leftover tissue paper! Grace and I just taped it on with double sided sticky tape.
Some of the elements are not perfect, but they are hand crafted with a six year old, who proudly told her guests that she made all her own party decorations!
From the banner kit on the front window, I stole extra pieces to make gift tags on the gifts.
And dressed up some cheapo bright colored gift bags with the leftover tags, giving each party guest a monogrammed gift bag as a party favor. Inside the gift bags are arts and crafts projects, and for the party the little girls made necklaces, rings and paper crafts.
The party favor bags were placed inside almost done (waiting on hinges to come in the mail in December takes forever!) cabinets that we DIYed just in time for the party.
Yes, the upholstered seat is DIY too! Cannot wait to share with you how easy it was to make the upholstered bench seat for the banquette.
We had an old set of high quality frames in storage, so I used them to fill up the space between the cabinets, above the upholstered seat. Not having enough time to print photos, I just cut out leftover scrapbooking paper and filled the frames.
It's the little things that tie everything together!
My dear friend Jaime from That's My Letter made me the canvas for the teepee (you can make one too - here's the tutorial!) and it was a HUGE hit for the kids!!! They loved hiding in it, and the teepee added so much charm to our handmade arts and crafts birthday party.
We saved piles of cash by opting for plain paper tableware, $1 as opposed to $3-$5 for character partyware! I used stickers to label cups and Grace made the napkin rings out of paper from an American Girl craft kit.
The party decorations cost about $100 and Grace and I spent four nights after school crafting before the party. We really enjoyed creating the party decorations together and that's what I will remember about this party.