Superhero Party Decor Ideas

My oldest daughter turned 16 last month!  I’ve been dreaming in my head about the fabulous party that I would throw for her!  There would be glitter…soooo much glitter!!

To get the ball rolling, I created a pinterest board and shared the link with her so that we could collaborate and make it a special day that she would remember forever and ever.  And then the comments rolled in from her account to mine:  “Nope.”  “Not gonna happen”.  “Too girlie”.  Hurtful.  Just hurtful.  Ha Ha.  Actually – I wasn’t that surprised.  She’s not much for the frills and the fancy…so I did what I should have started with and asked her what she’d like to do.

It just so happened that the new Captain America: Civil War movie was hitting theaters that very weekend, and she really wanted to see it.  We had our theme.

Instead of SWEET 16 we were going to go SUPER 16!!  I started designing the invitations right away and used a pretty standard Comic Book layout design – but used muted (more girly) colors to give it a vintage feel.  She loved it and we were in business!

Comic Book Themed Party Invitation

If graphic design is something that you’d love to learn how to do – I have an online Photoshop for Newbies class that focuses on Graphic Design.

For more info CLICK HERE.

If you prefer person to person live instruction, and you live in the Phoenix area – I teach small group classes in my home, as well.  You can join my mailing list for upcoming class information HERE.

Here are some of the photos of the buffet at the party:

SUPER 16 party decor Comic Book Super hero themed Birthday Party Ideas! - purdueavenue.com

I LOVE these Gold Party Fans from My Mind’s Eye Fancy Collection.  I’ve used them for my Christmas Party, my Ice Cream Party and  now this Superhero Party.  They’re just the best thing to have in you Party Decor arsenal.  Because I want to thank you loyal readers for being so patient while I was away – I’m offering a discount today in the shop on these versatile gold fans!  CLICK HERE to shop.

The gold glitter stars are just glitter paper cut using my Silhouette Cameo and hung with fishing line.

SUPER 16 - Comic Book Superhero Themed Birthday Party Ideas for Girls - purdueavenue.com

The comic book fans were made using old comic books.  I bought a bundle of them for $15 on Amazon and used the tutorial found HERE to create them.  Here is a closer look:

Comic Book Party Fans DIY - Party Decor Ideas - purdueavenue.com

This SUPER bunting was also made using the pages from the comic books that I ordered on Amazon and I printed the lettering onto mailing labels using my laser jet printer, and then foiled them using my laminator and heat sensitive foil. (Whew!  That’s a lot of links!  I think this will require a tutorial! I’m on it!)

Comic Book Paper Party Bunting Banner - purdueavenue.com

For the drinks I chose to do milk and punch to go well with the cake and cookies. I created the signs in Photoshop, and cut them out using my Silhouette Cameo – and then gold foiled them using the same process as the SUPER bunting.  For the sticks, I used skewers topped with a wooden bead that I had dipped into glue and then glitter – just to pretty it up a little. (I TOLD you there would be some glitter!!)

Comic Book Superhero Themed Party Decor - Gold Superhero Action Figures - purdueavenue.com

I thought it would be fun to use these Superhero Action Figures to hold buffet cards – but in their colorful natural state, they came off a bit cheesy.  So I grabbed my trusty gold spray paint and made them fit in!  They were so cute – she is currently using them in her bedroom (which is black and gold) and they look darling!  (I used the playskool brand because their feet were so big – they weren’t likely to tip over easily – but there were several other options to choose from if this look is too juvenile!)  Here is a peek of one a little closer:

Gold Super Hero Action Figure - Comic Book Superhero Party Decor Ideas - purdueavenue.com

The polka dot milk glasses were from Target  – and I took these pictures before they were filled, but I used white gatorade to fill the “punch” and milk to fill the “mighty milk”.

Comic Book Superhero Themed Birthday Party Drinks - purdueavenue.com

Underneath the glasses, I put more of the comic book pages – just to break up the whiteness of the buffet top.  I also spread some Giant Gold Confetti onto the table to give it some texture.

Superhero Cake - Comic Book Superhero Themed Birthday Party Ideas - purdueavenue.com

I love to bake – and I take pride in trying be a DIY girl – but I knew what I wanted this cake to be – and I knew my limits!  So I called up my sweet friend, Tawnna, from Happy Baking AZ and ordered this cute cake and 3 dozen of these darling cookies from her.  Best decision I’ve ever made.  This cake was the focal point of the buffet & it needed to look good!

(On a side note – it also TASTED incredible! We ordered the Salted Caramel Cake for the bottom layer and the Citrus cake with Raspberry Buttercream filling for the top – YUM!)

Superhero Cookies Comic Book Superhero Themed Birthday Party Ideas - purdueavenue.com

I used these fluted gold chargers, topped with a white doily, as the serving platters for the cookies.

Comic Book Superhero Themed Party Decor Ideas - purdueavenue.com

I hope you were inspired by some of things posted here!  In my next post I’ll give you all of the details about how I kept 20 teens entertained for over 8 hours!

Enjoy!

**Erin

 

Cowboy Party Food

Co-hosting a baby shower with a cowboy theme was terrifying to me!  My style is far from country & I didn’t want to spend a lot of money…so here’s how we pulled it off:

{pin me!}

Cowboy-Food

 

Obviously, with a cowboy theme – we went with cowboy party food:

Cowboy Caviar

This is an Italian dressing based bean dip, best served with Fritos scoops.  IT IS COMPLETELY ADDICTIVE!  {CLICK HERE for the recipe}

To display:  I had these fabulous buckets that I found at a consignment shop in St. George, Utah.  They were in my kiddos playroom with cars & wooden blocks in them.  I’m a big believer in using what you’ve got!

Cowboy-Caviar

 

Garden Cups

We used large condiment cups with ranch dressing in the bottom and sliced carrots & celery nestled in there.

To display: I found the cute tin cans at Target in the dollar section.  But you could just save an empty can or two for other things they may want to add to their cups.  We used cherry tomatoes & cucumber sticks.

 

Garden-Cups

 

Pigs in a Blanket

These turned out surprisingly well.  I’m not much of a Hot Dog girl…but it just worked with the theme and we were trying to go with finger foods.  We used cocktail weenies and wrapped them in refrigerated croissants.  Just cut the croissant dough into small strips to wrap the cocktail weenies and bake according to the croissant package directions.

To display:  I had this galvanized metal tray that I had picked up years ago.  I’ve seen them everywhere lately, for sure at Target in a slightly bigger size…but that could be a good thing!  I lined it with parchment after washing, because this, too, had a home in our playroom!

Pigs-in-a-Blanket

 

 

That was it for the savory foods…we spent more effort on the sweets.  (why wouldn’t we?)

Pie Pops

Okay…so they were destined to be pie pops…but I couldn’t get the dang sticks to stay in!  They were still tasty, though.  {Any suggestions on getting the stick to stay in??}

We used pre-made pie dough and cut 2 circles per pie (one for the bottom and one for the top).  Place a small spoonful of pre-made pie filling in the center of the bottom circle then cover with the top circle.  Press the edges together with a fork and brush with a light egg wash.  Cut a slit across the top for venting & bake according to the pie dough package directions.

To display:  I had this sectioned wooden piece (again from my playroom) that I had picked up at Home Goods in the office supply section!

Pies

 

Hay Bales

They were just rice krispie treats…but I’m sure that you knew that already.  My husband made them, because his are the best.  I’m not allowed to make them at our house because mine are “inferior”.  Not sure why.  We just use the recipe on the box of rice krispies.  He claims it has something to do with my inability to turn the heat from high on anything I make.  I have no patience in cooking.  Low just takes too long!  So I guess my tip here is to keep it on low & they will be wonderful.  We packed them in thick so that they would cut into long cubes instead of flat rectangles.  More hay bale looking.

Hay-Bales

 

S’Mores Cups

My absolute FAVORITE dessert at the party! My friend & co-host, Audrey, makes them.  These babies are DELICIOUS and I don’t even like S’Mores!

{CLICK HERE for the recipe}

S'Mores

And just because I had an extra tier on my stand, we added in some COW TALES that they could take for the road. (yeah…I spelled the sign wrong…sigh)

Cow Tails

We also added a “Watering Hole” on the Island in my kitchen.  We offered Lemonade in this darling Drink Dispenser & Bottled Water.  Simple.

I also grabbed some flowers & put them in a Mason jar inside of my daughters boot.  I sat it all on top of some rolled out BURLAP to add some texture.

Watering-Hole

 

Here is a full shot of the spread:

 

 

The-Spread

 

The-Spread-3

 

We kept it simple (isn’t that the Cowboy way?) as far as serving ware.  Plastic forks in one of the tin cans from Target, brown paper trays from Restaurant Depot {if you don’t have a card THESE PAPER TRAYS are a good alternative} & paper towels off the roll.

The table skirt is a DIY from the blog {CLICK HERE for the tutorial!} and I rolled out some darling wrapping paper that I scored at Home Goods to protect my tablecloth and add a nice background.

If you’d like to use the Buffet Cards…

you can download them HERE.  (for personal use only, please)

 

 

I hope that this post has been helpful!  With the 4th of July coming up this weekend, I hope that you can use some of our ideas in your own entertaining!

Happy 4th!!

Erin

p.s. You may want to check out Jodi’s post on Photographing Fireworks to be ready to capture your own wonderful shots!!

 

 

A Meaningful Mothers Day Gift Idea…

Meet my super cute Grandma…

Grandma Cutie

She was as sweet as she looks.  Every year for my birthday, I could count on a sweet handwritten letter with a coin from the year I was born included.  This was a pretty impressive feat since she had 55 Grandkids and 126 Great Grandkids!  She passed away {on my birthday – sigh} almost 11 years ago.  I still read her letters that I have saved from birthdays past, and enjoy the wisdom and love in them that I should have appreciated more in my youth.

As I was reading one last year, a particular phrase stood out to me because – well – I wasn’t having a very good year.  It seemed like all of the elements were combining against our little family and I was being a bit of a whiner about it all.  But then I read these loving words from my sweet Grandma:

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 12.41.49 PM

“Live a good life and be happy”

I thought that it needed to be cross-stitched and hung somewhere that I could see it EVERY DAY.

BUT since that isn’t really my style – and there is just something wonderfully nostalgic about her beautiful penmanship, and the way she writes her “and” sideways. (I always loved that) I knew that I needed to do something using her own hand.  I opted for making this pillow using my Silhouette Cameo:

DSC_0125

Once it was finished – I just knew that my mom would love it, and since it was almost Mothers Day,  I chose to give it to her as a gift.  She loved it…and she cried.  And isn’t that the point of giving a gift?  That the recipient loves it SO MUCH that they can’t keep their emotions from bubbling over?  I knew that it was where it belonged.

I need to make another one for me…and I’d be happy to make one for you, too.  HEAD OVER TO THE SHOP and order yours now.

Like it?  Love it?  Need it?

Purchase button

or you can always pin it for later:

Customized Pillows from PurdueAvenue.com

I hope that you love it!!

**Erin

p.s. while you’re there – it’s not too late to order yourself one of my easter pillows!

Burlap Bunny Pillow with Gold Flecked Pom-Pom Tail - PurdueAvenue.com

My Chalkboard Calendar {Tutorial}

As promised in my Top 5 DIY Projects post – here is the tutorial for the chalkboard calendar in my command center.

With 4 kids involved in more than I like them to be – we need to have our lives mapped out.  The iPhones help A LOT – but I’m that mom that hasn’t let her kids have a phone yet…so they need to be in the loop, too.  We always have a breakdown of the week at our Family Night on Monday nights, and we all say what we’ve got going on and then….it goes up on the Family Calendar.

Chalkboard Calendar Tutorial

 

Sorry about the terrible photos – that area of my house has TERRIBLE lighting!!! {and I have no tripod!}

Chalkboard Calendar Tutorial

It’s big and beautiful and you can’t miss it!  I have a little command center right as you walk into the house {well…where WE walk into the house}, and right where we walk out of the door.

Command-Center

Backpacks, Lunchboxes, even our SHOES are stored here so that we always know where things are, and getting out the door is MUCH easier!!  The kids each have a bin to keep homework folders, Cub Scout books, etc.  It’s ALL HERE!  But, the Calendar is still the main attraction.  And the best part about it…it’s SUPER EASY TO MAKE ONE!

**If you don’t have this kind of wall space – you can make this in a MUCH more scaled down version – and even put it INSIDE OF A PICTURE FRAME if you’re not handy with the power tools!

Since I made this before my blogger days – I have no pictures of the step by step {SORRY!!!}  So – I’ve created graphic visual aids that I HOPE make sense!  Just make sure to read ALL of the instructions.  I know – not as easy as picture tutorials…

*I’m going to give you instructions for how I made mine – so if you’re doing a different size – just make the changes accordingly.

What You’ll Need:

**Sheet Metal – you can find it with the duct work materials (heat & a/c) at a Hardware store.  I wanted mine to be magnetic – so that I could just stick up party invites or appointment cards easily where they are very visible.  If you don’t care about it being magnetic, you could just use backer board found by the wood trim.

**Chalkboard Spray Paint – you could use brush on paint – but I wanted my finish to be smooth like buttuh.  No brush marks or drips for me!

**Primer – Again, I like mine in a spray can. :0)

**1/4″ Square Wooden Dowels – how many you’ll need will depend on the size of calendar you are making.  I used 16 of them :0)  It’s a good idea to buy a few extra sticks in case you have cutting errors.

**MDF casing molding – it’s already primed and ready for your paint!

**Caulk in a Tube – I find that if you’re not used to using a caulking gun – the tubes make it pretty easy to use caulk!

**Glue – I used my Hot Glue Gun.  I know…I could use something stronger.  I didn’t want to stand there and hold each piece on until it was set enough to let go.  AND it’s been up for 5 years with no issues…so there you go!  Just make sure the glue is REALLY hot!  No cold temp guns allowed! **you could also use caulking – since it’ll be hanging around the ‘job site’ anyway!**

**Scotch Permanent Mounting Tape – this is going to need to stay up for awhile.  You could also use Liquid Nails if you’d like…but you’d need a caulk gun :0)

How To Make It:

**I had a big wall to work with – so I chose to make my board 60″w x 46″h.  You will have to figure out what size of board you want to make and buy materials accordingly.**

Step 1:

Decide what size you want your calendar to be.  To figure this out – I knew that the sheet metal I wanted to use was 24″ wide – and I wanted to cut as little as possible – so I decided to make my calendar according to those dimensions.  I also wanted the dowels hide the seams of the sheet metal – so I made each “weekday” box 8″ wide to get 3 “days” per sheet of sheet metal.  The length of the sheet metal is 36″ – so by making each “day” 8″ tall – I could get 4 “days” down – leaving 4″ to put the days of the week at the top.  Perfect! Since there were 3 “days” across & 4 “days” down  per sheet and I needed 7 days wide and 5 days long – I knew that I needed 3 pieces of sheet metal.

Layout the calendar

I used the full 2 sheets with no cuts & cut the remaining piece into {3} 8″ strips.

Cut the sheet metal into thirds

So – I placed the 2 full sheets side by side and then I added one strip to the width to make my “saturday”, and the other 2 strips to the bottom.  Cut off any excess using steel snips.

Sheet Metal Layout

 

WHEW!!!  That’s the hardest part – I PROMISE!!!

Step 2:

Once your sheet metal is cut to size layout all of the pieces…

Prime it – make sure that you have even coverage and don’t stay in one place too long to avoid drips!

Paint it – with the Chalkboard paint – I like to use 2 coats of chalkboard paint.

*make sure you’re in a well ventilated area.  I put a drop cloth on my patio table outside.  It’s nice and open and the fumes don’t get to me.

Step 3:

Paint your casing molding the color that you want.  I used ‘Aged Beige’ Behr Primer and Paint in One.  This seems to be my favorite color these days!!

Set aside to dry.

Step 4:

Attach the sheet metal to the wall using Scotch Permanent Mounting Tape. (or however you’ve chosen to hang the metal)

*use a bubble level & a yard stick to draw straight GUIDE LINES on the wall at the height you’d like the TOP of your calendar to be.  Then use the level to draw guide lines for the SIDES.

*attach strips of the mounting tape to the backs of the sheet metal & then remove the plastic strip exposing the glue

*using the guide lines you’ve drawn – attach the sheet metal to the wall in the same pattern you chose to lay it out.  The mounting tape directions say to hold them in place for a set amount of time – make sure to read the time frame!  If you’re using liquid nails or another form of adhesive – follow the directions for use.

Sheet Metal Layout

 

Step 5:  Cut & attach the casing. (if you’re using a picture frame – you can skip this step and go straight to step 6)

Using a miter saw or a miter box – cut the casing as shown below to the length of your sheet metal layout. Don’t assume it is a certain length.  MEASURE TWICE & CUT ONCE!

cut linesAttach using a brad nailer if you have one.  {you could nail in finish nails and an awl, or use liquid nails, too!}

Step 6:  Add the dowels to make the grid

Once everything else is in place – use a bubble level to attach the dowels in a grid pattern that will make up the “days” on the calendar.

*I like to start with covering up the seams first.

-Cut the stick to where it won’t end in the middle of a “day”. For example:  My dowels were 36″ long – but I made my days 8″ square.  So, I would need to cut the dowel to a number divisible by 8.  So – I cut my 36″ long dowel to 32″ so I don’t have any seams where I don’t want them.

*start glueing (again – I used my hot glue gun…) the 32″ long sticks following the grid that you created to figure out the layout – so for me I placed them every 8″ across and to cover up the seams on the bottoms strips.

***the black lines are where you should be placing your dowels***

lay out the long dowels

Once you have the long dowels in place, you can start making the cuts for the short dowels.

*I like to roughly measure between the long dowels to make sure that they are straight and you SHOULD (in theory) be able to mass cut the short cuts.

But – I would cut maybe 3 sticks into your width length (for me it’s 8″) and make sure they are fitting before you go and cut up all of your dowels.

cut the short dowels

Glue them onto the calendar in this pattern:

Full Grid Layout

 

Step 7: PRIME THE CHALKBOARD!!!

I can’t emphasize enough how important this step is!

*You’ll want to turn a piece of chalk sideways and rub it in all over the chalkboard areas.

*Then use a dry cloth and erase it.

*If you don’t do this step – whatever you write on the board will never fully erase.  It needs that chalk as almost a sealer so that future chalk will wipe off.  That probably made no sense :0)

Ta- Dah!!!  You’re all done – now your kids can look and see what activities they have coming up & I have my life in front of me at a glance.  I love it!

Just as a side note:  I’ve told you before and I’ll tell you again that I LOVE this chalk cartridge set from Allary.  I stick it on top of the frame so it’s always there handy if I need to add an appointment.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed the tutorial!  I will take step by step pictures when I help my friend make hers ;0)

**Erin

 

 

Cascading Glitter Bunting Banner Tutorial

First order of business: Congratulations to the WINNER of our Blogiversary Giveaway:

Blogiversary Winner

Yay Ashlee!!  As a special THANK YOU to everyone that entered & so kindly helped spread the word about the blog – I’ll be showing you how to make the Cascading Glitter Bunting Banner that was in the party in a box!

*If you’re not the DIY type – you can just buy it all finished and delivered to your door HERE – don’t forget to use the special follower coupon code PURDUEAVE15 to get 15% off!*

For those of you that love a good project…let’s get started!

Cascading Glitter Bunting Tutorial

Step 1: Cut out your bunting. {if you need help with this – see THIS TUTORIAL}

               * I used Canvas Fabric {also called duck cloth or drop cloth} from Hobby Lobby.  You want to use a heavy weight fabric so that it

                   hangs well and doesn’t roll.  Rolling is no bueno.

Step 2: Put a thick {& I mean THICK!!!} line of Mod Podge across the top {wide, flat end} of the first flag:

Run a thick line of glue across the top

Step 3:  With a dry bristle brush – “PULL” the Mod Podge from the top to around 1/2 – 3/4 of the way down the flag.

* Don’t go back over the area that you’ve pulled.  You DO NOT want uniform thickness with the glue.  It needs to be in varying thicknesses to give it the ‘Ombre’ Effect.

IMG_1459

Step 4: Cover the ENTIRE flag with glitter.  You might think “but Erin, there’s no glue at the bottom!  Why glitter there?”  Some of the glitter will get trapped into the fibers of the fabric and we will seal it in the next step.  It makes the glitter “thinner” in some areas.   :0)

IMG_1460

Step 5: Lay the flags out in a well ventilated area (I actually DID have a drop cloth underneath – but took this picture later just to show you)

and spray with an acrylic sealer.  I like the Mod Podge Sealer– it doesn’t dull the glitter.

On-the-Table

Step 6:  Allow them to dry for the recommended time for your sealer

Step 7: Sew/hot glue your bunting to the ribbon of your choice.  {see my bunting tutorial if you need help with that}

Step 8: Step back and admire your handiwork then throw a party to show it off! :0)

Cascading Glitter Bunting Tutorial - purdueavenue.com

Yay for YOU!!

If you don’t feel like this is in your wheelhouse – you can always buy one all finished in my Etsy Shop!!

p.s. If you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and have friends that might, too – don’t forget to share.  Sharing is nice. ;0)

Happy Blogiversary! Let’s Celebrate!

PurdueAvenue Happy Blogiversary Party in a Box Giveaway Ends 1/9/14 at Midnight!!

Two years ago today I started this lil’ ol’ blog.  I remember sitting down to write my first post.  I was excited & terrified all at the same time.  What if no one read it?  What if lots of people read it, but no one liked it?  What if they TOLD me that they didn’t like it!??!?!  {Luckily, I’ve only had nice readers to date – THANKS FOR THAT!}  I finally decided that, if nothing else came of it, it would be a place for me to share all of the crazy crafty things that keep me awake at night, and a reason to actually finish them.

I can’t thank everyone enough for pinning the things that inspire you, and sharing this happy place with your friends.  It couldn’t grow without your comments, pins, shares and support.

{just a little shout out to Chicky – our #1 pinner !-  thank you for being so supportive and helping me grow this little blog!  And Mandi – for bouncing ideas around with me & helping me make stuff cute! –  I’m sending special THANK YOU’s  your way}

Parties seemed to be the most popular topic of the year, as a very small thank you to you, my kindred spirits, readers & friends – we will be giving away this “Party in a Box”  to the person who spreads the love the most!

Purdue Avenue Party in a Box Giveaway!  Ends 1/9/14 at Midnight!

This Party in a Box includes: 1 Tablecloth {background}/2 Glittered Banners {1 “Celebrate” German Glass Glitter Garland {tutorial to come}/1 Cascading Glitter Bunting}/2 lengths of Newsprint Fringe Garland{tutorial to come}/2 “Celebrate” Paper Ribbon Pennants/2 tissue paper fans/2 dozen Cupcake Liners/2 containers of edible baking glitter/2 tabletop chalkboard inserts with frames/2 chalk pencils/2 serving platters{from Home Goods}/2 packages of paper straws/2 sizes of honeycomb balls {not shown}/2 dozen tinsel cupcake toppers/

To Enter: Use the Rafflecopter Form to FOLLOW THE BLOG, LIKE US ON FACEBOOK, SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS and bonus entries when you pin & share images from our Top 13 Posts of 2013!!

**NOTE:  Once you’ve followed the blog – you will be given a little window at the top of the Rafflecopter Form that looks like this:

Share This Button

This little button is the gold mine of entries!  When you click – it will give you the option to “Share This” through Facebook, Email, Twitter – you choose – for every friend that enters from your “share” you will receive an additional entry!***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck in the giveaway & thanks for all of your support!!  It’s been a GREAT 2 years!!!

**Erin

Top 13 Posts of 2013

PurdueAvenue Top 13 Posts of 2013

#13 {our homemade christmas}

Homemade Christmas Ideas

#12 {road trip survival kits}

Road Trip Survival Kits

#11 {ice cream party}

Ice Cream Party **ideas**printables**tutorials**

#10 {top 5 DIY projects in my house}

PurdueAvenue top 5 DIY projects for the home

#9 {photo booths are all the rage}

Free Printable Photo Booth Sign

#8 {treat bags & gift tags}

The Delicious Collection

The Yummy Collection

#7 {garden party}

Garden Party Ideas & Tutorials

#6 {no tricks…just treats}

THEE BEST Caramel Popcorn Recipe

#5 {pink & gold party}

Pink & Gold Party **ideas**printables**tutorials**

#4 {a place for everything}

Craftroom Studio Organization Solutions

#3 {tomatillo chicken with cilantro lime rice}

Tomatillo Chicken with Cilantro Lime Rice #slowcooker #pressurecooker

#2 {his & hers soiree}

His and Hers Soiree **ideas**printables**tutorials**

#1 post of 2013… {Pretty Paper Lanterns}

pretty paper lanterns #silhouette

Our HOMEMADE Christmas

I hope that you all had a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!  Ours was wonderful!  This year we took things down a few {okay, a few major} notches.  As I posted earlier, we needed to simplify Christmas this year and decided to make all of the gifts. {with the exception of clothes they needed & thanks to wonderful Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles, Santa Claus brought them a gift that they wanted, too!}

But –  this post is to tell you all about the HOMEMADE part of Christmas.

I don’t mean to sound like a salesperson – but I couldn’t have done these projects without 3 things.

1. My sewing machine.

2. My Silhouette Cameo

{If you got one for Christmas but need to learn how to use it – you can sign up for my Online Silhouette Course HERE.  Class begins Monday January 6th!}

3. My Photoshop Skills.

self-paced-newbies-ad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what we all made for each other:

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PINK FLUFFY PILLOWCASE

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My cute hubby made my 9 year old daughter this “pink fluffy” pillowcase.

She see’s them in the store and loves them and says funny things like:

“It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die” – so he knew that it was the perfect gift for her.

{He was VERY proud of himself}

Fluffy-Pillow

That’s a dedicated dad :0)

 

Dedicated-Dad

 

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JAREDOPOLY

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My husbands favorite game is Monopoly.  Our family has a not so good history with it.  I’m ashamed to say that the biggest fights in our marriage have been over Monopoly.  We were actually banished from playing it at his moms house.  I thought that maybe if I made a homemade version that had funny things to lighten the mood that we could play a friendly game.  So – I put my photoshop skills to good use and made him a JAREDOPOLY board.  I had so much fun thinking up clever Chance & Community Chest cards, talking to his mom to find out the places he’s lived for the properties (which she impressively remembered them all!) It was ALOT of fun!

Jaredopoly

 And even more fun when we played and I CRUSHED him Christmas Morning!  {although – he was so mad that he didn’t enjoy my funny cards :0(  There is a price that comes with Monopoly Domination.  Ho Ho Ho!}

I will post all of the details on making this board another day.  That would be an entire post on it’s own and I need some time to change the files to be generic for you to use!

But just be throwing around ideas for a board of your own.  I think that a LOVEOPOLY board would be SUPER FUN for Valentines!!

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HAND DRAWN i-Pod SKINS

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My 13 year old daughter has been wanting new ipod covers.  One day she will say “I want a minnie mouse ipod case” another day it was “I want a BYU iPod case” – so my 9 year old, who loves to draw, decided to make her these interchangeable skins to go inside this Clear iPod Case.  You can download the silhouette studio cut file HERE.

ipod-skins

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PVC Pipe Bow & Foam Tipped Arrows

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My 11 year old son is boy through and through – so we helped our 7 year old son make him this PVC pipe bow and arrow. (the “arrows” are wooden dowels tipped with cut up pool noodle)  We’ve seen them made with hula hoops – but we had extra PVC and 45 degree elbows laying around – so used those with a rubber band for the the string.  We now have 3 other kids that want one, too…so our work here is not done.

Bow-&-Foam-Arrow

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Constellation Flashlight

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My 7 year old son has a hard time staying in bed – so we thought that something interesting to keep him there would be PERFECT!  I’ve seen these around – but decided to make more work for myself and make a set.  My 9 year old son got to learn how to use my Silhouette to make these.  He thinks he’s pretty cool now.

You can download the Silhouette Print & Cut File HERE.

Or print a regular printable HERE.  {Just cut out the big circles and use push pins to punch out the small constellation circles.}

Don’t want to mess with it, and would just like to purchase??  I’ve added them to the shop, and the low cost keeps them in the frugal category!

I put a tiny piece of double sided tape on the flashlight to hold the cards in place – but they still pull off easily.

Constellation-Flashlight

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SCREEN PRINTING FRAME HOLDER

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I’m ashamed that I had to ask what this thing was.  My husband helped my 13 year old daughter make it for me.  Once I found out – I was REALLY excited!  I’ve been doing a lot of screen printing using my Silhouette to make the masks.  This will make my work go MUCH quicker!!  Very thoughtful!  LOVED IT!

Screen-Printing

The rest of the homemade stuff was all me.  And I had so much fun doing it.

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FROSTED MONOGRAM MUGS

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Hot-Cocoa-Mugs

I used the Silhouette to cut out vinyl to act as a mask – and then sprayed them with this frosted glass spray. (and I couldn’t help myself – I added a blast of glitter spray, too)

You could also use Etching Cream – but I had this spray on hand – so I used it, instead.

**If you use the frost spray – they MUST be hand washed!  If you want dishwasher safe – go for the Etching Cream!!**

{If you don’t have a Silhouette – you can use contact paper and an exacto knife.}

Making-the-Mugs

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Christmas Jammies

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Every year on Christmas Eve we have our fancy Christmas Dinner.  They each have a wrapped gift at the table, and it always has their Christmas Jammies inside.

We open the gifts and change into our Jammies and eat our super fancy dinner in them.  I love it.  I’ve never attempted making PJ’s before and was a little nervous.

I followed this SUPER EASY TUTORIAL and they turned out great!

The only changes to the tutorial I made were:

*adding the ribbon to the girls and a shoelace to the boys to look like ties. (in hindsight I would’ve used thinner ribbon)

*I didn’t make the pattern like she suggested.  I just eyeballed cutting around the sample and then used the first cut as a pattern for the second cut.

Luckily – I’m a fabric junkie – and have  A LOT of fabric hanging around.  Leftover from old projects – or projects that never came to fruition – however it worked out – I had ticking stripe fabric lying around – and thought that PJ’s would be the perfect use of it.

Christmas-Jammies

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Rosemary Place Card Wreaths

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For the dinner table – my sister in law shared some of the rosemary from her garden and I made these wreaths and place cards:

Rosemary-Wreath-Placecard-Holders

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Piñata 

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We also break a piñata on Christmas Eve – and they started last week making it.  I didn’t get a picture of the finished product – because, to be honest, it creeped me out.  It was supposed to be rudolph the red nosed reindeer – but it looked more like a brown rat with a red nose.  Not pretty.

If you want a tutorial on making a piñata – check out this post.

Making-the-Pinatas

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Homemade Tamales

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I used THIS RECIPE for the masa & some of my leftover TOMATILLO CHICKEN for the filling.  I even used the juices from the chicken to make a sauce to top them with.

I wish I could tell you how delicious these Homemade Christmas Tamales were…

BUT…I burned them.

Yep – they were all destined to be perfect.  I didn’t add more water to the bottom of the pan and before we knew it – the house filled with smoke and my favorite pan was scorched and our Christmas Tamales had a inedible smokey flavor and went into the trash.  Here is a picture of them all perfect going into the pot to their un-forseen demise.

Tomatillo-Chicken-Tamales

I was sad – until I had the idea to have cereal instead.  And then I was happy – because I love cereal!

I had a lot more plans – as you can see on my Homemade Christmas Pinterest Board – but not enough time.  But, regardless of having or not having a job next year – I’m definitely doing this again!!!

For a lot of reasons:

*got to teach the kiddos a few skills while we helped them make the gifts

*having them think of the idea {thank you pinterest!} & make it was WAY more exciting for them than picking out a gift in the store

*christmas morning seemed much more exciting – because they had their handiwork to show off & they were much more engaged while they opened gifts.

*the joy of giving really took center stage this year.  I think because they were more invested…

 

I hope you’ve been inspired a little bit to do this with your family. And I hope that you’ll share any links to great homemade Christmas Ideas in the comments section!

**Erin

 

I’m gonna be a Calligrapher!

Calligraphy Class

Ha Ha…maybe.  We’ll see how it goes.

I’m very excited about this calligraphy class that I’ve signed up for.  My sister referred me, which gave me a $10 first timer credit – so the class only cost $10.  WOOHOO!  Can’t beat that!

If you want to join me – you can get the same first timer deal if you use this link to sign up.

She has a list of class supplies that you’ll need to buy as well – but they only add up to $8.30.

Calligraphy Class Supplies

So – the question was…

Am I willing to pay $18.30 to learn calligraphy?

The answer is…

uh…duh!  Yes, yes I am.  I hope that you are, too!!

**Erin

A MEANINGFUL Twelve Days of Christmas Advent {Free Printable}

  1. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m so excited to have a less commercialized, more Christ-Centered Christmas with my family this year.

One way that we will be doing that is this Twelve Days of Meaningful Christmas Advent Calendar:Twelve Days of MEANINGFUL Christmas Advent

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

In keeping with our Homemade Christmas…my gift to you is this printable advent.  

You will need to start on DECEMBER 14th to begin on time – or just jump in whenever :0)

Twelve Days of MEANINGFUL Christmas

 

This Advent Calendar has 12 days of scriptures & activities to encourage a more Christ Centered Christmas.

Putting it together couldn’t be easier!

Step 1: Download & Print both sheets of the PDF.  I printed mine onto cream colored – textured card stock.  I love the faded look that it produced!

Glittered Download Button

**If you’re a photoshop user and would like to change the activities/scriptures – you can download the psd file HERE 

**If you want to change the activities & have no photoshop skills – you can just slip a piece of paper behind and hand write the scriptures & activities. :0)

**If you want to LEARN how to HAVE Photoshop skills – CLICK HERE

Step 2: Use an exacto knife to cut 3 of the sides to make a little door on each day of the calendar. Like This:

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 3.39.09 PM

 

 

Step 3: Glue or tape the sheets together – with the activity page on the back. {so that they peek through the doors when opened}

Display it in a frame without the glass, or just washi tape it to the wall.  Give it to friends & neighbors, or as a Visiting Teaching handout! No matter how you choose to use it, I hope that this Twelve Days of Meaningful Christmas will bring the True Spirit of the Season into your home this Christmas!!

**Erin