April Loves

black and white pennant banner from @Target  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comApril is a busy month for birthdays in my family.  I try to make my party decor but sometimes you just have to outsource.  I flipped out over this black and white pennant banner at Target.  I mean, it sort of the coolest ever.  I will be reusing this one for sure!

I tried out the zebra cake mix from Duff Goldman.  It was super cool.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comFor one of the birthdays I decided to try my hand at one of those zebra cake mixes by Duff.  I totally pulled a Sharon (this is a thing, my mom even says it to me) and didn’t read the recipe ahead of time.  Come to find out that you basically make two separate cake batters and then layer them.  Luckily it didn’t add in that much more time or energy.  And it came out really fun!

The best tag in a kid's sweatshirt award goes to @prefresh  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI’m in love with the tag inside my son’s Prefresh sweatshirt.  You can’t get a true sense of the color from this photo but it is a great neon orange.  My son swears the symbol means “I love you.”  Even though I’ve shown him the correct way to say I love you he doesn’t believe me.  He goes to a church based preschool so I told him to ask his teacher.  I’m sure she’ll be pleased to discuss the devil horns…

These barstools from Ikea have changed my life.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThese cheapo Ikea chairs are not great to look at but they have totally changed our lives.  For a year we have lived in this house and not utilized this half of our kitchen.  But they have opened up a whole new world.  I can now have people in here when I’m cooking.  The kids eat breakfast in here most days.  And this is now my favorite work spot in the house.  The kitchen is our brightest room and I love being in this bright and airy space.  I can’t believe I didn’t have chairs here sooner.  At some point we will upgrade but for now these are absolutely perfect.

Haim at the Fox Theater Pomona  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comIt has been a while since I have gotten to see live music and last week I got to see one of my favorite bands, Haim perform.  You guys!  There album is awesome but they effing ROCKED live.  I mean, totally shredded on the guitars, pounded the shit out of those drums and put on a great show although I felt it was over way too soon.  When they were younger (they are all sisters) they were part of a family band and they totally brought out their parents to play with them onstage.  So cool.  It seems like not a lot of people know about them which I think is crazy.  Target is actually using one of their songs in their commercials at the moment.  So if you don’t know them, go check them out.  They have this really 80′s feel and it just makes you feel good.  My husband and I left and decided we are going to start a band because it just looked like they were having so much fun out there.  Neither of us play instruments but I just know we can work that out.  Now go watch the video for “If I could change your mind” it is so good.  But they do not dance like this in their live show…promise.

 

DIY Minecraft Birthday Banner

A DIY Minecraft birthday banner.  That decidedly is not very Minecraft-y at all.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI freaking love those pre-made banners they sell in the stores.  You know, the ones with mostly primary colors and they say the generic terms like, “happy birthday” or “happy anniversary” and are held together with brads?  Urban Outfitters sometimes carries them that have profanity in them too, but my kids don’t know what all those words are yet and I’m not going to teach them on a special ocassion.  For years I have been making my own custom banners, using the same simple idea and brads.  I have no idea why I haven’t shared them before.  But you simply have to start making these for anything and everything.  My oldest son requested a Minecraft party this year.  I didn’t want to have a real party.  I billed it more as a playdate and invited just a few school friends over.  That being said, he still expected some decorating.  Turns out Party City doesn’t sell Minecraft stuff.  2 days before the party is not the time you want to be finding this out.  So I decided to make my own DIY Minecraft Birthday Banner.

Use online templates to create custom birthday banners.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI found Quality Kids Crafts around my youngest son’s 2nd birthday.  I made one of these brad banners that said “Miles is Awesome. And 2.”  To make it easy, this site has a few ready made sayings that you can just print out and cut.  But they also have each letter of the alphabet and numbers too.  Which is perfect for making your own signs.  I’m not going to lie.  These take some time.  Especially if you are crazy like I am and want to add your own patterns to the letters.  But if you are just printing and cutting, they really don’t take all that long.  Most of my crafts can be done while watching Naked and Afraid (my new favorite show) or another show of your choosing.

Use downloadable Minecraft digital papers to customize kid party decor //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comBecause I needed to inject a little bit of Minecraft flavor in to the decor, I bought these Minecraft digital papers.  And with my very basic knowledge of Illustrator I was able to use clipping masks to create each letter.  You could also just print and cut out the letters as is and then trace them on to patterned paper.  I’ve also done this where I print the letter on cardstock in reverse.  Then I used spray adhesive and stuck fabric to the back.  Then cut out the letter so that it was the correct way when the fabric side was facing forward.

DIY brad banners can say ANYTHING you want them to  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comTo save paper, I put two letters on a page.  I found these great small black brads from Michaels, which also happened to be on sale.  Yeah!

Super easy customizable kid's birthday banner.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comMy mother-in-law helped me cut these out and then we punched a hole in each side of the tab across the top.

Super easy DIY birthday banner for kid's partiesAnd then you just put the letters together.  DIY Minecraft birthday banner.  So easy.

A not very MInecraft, Minecraft birthday banner  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThis worked like a charm.  My kid was stoked that he had a Minecraft banner.  It was super easy to make and looked more like I wanted the party to look.  Two birds.  One stone.

May I also just add that I recently added a blog plug in to help with SEO and the mo fo took away my spell check?  So…just keep that in mind if you see spelling errors.  Yes, I fully rely on spell check to keep me looking smart.

 

Straw Garland Party Decor Kids Can Help With

Easy and inexpensive party decor!Do your kids always want to help you when you are in DIY crunch time leading up to a party?  Mine do.  And while I love that they want to spend time with me and be part of it, it sometimes slows me down.  So I came up with the idea to have them make these super easy straw and knot garlands.  You can pretty much find straws in every color so it will easily coordinate with the rest of the party decor.  And these are super inexpensive to make.  Another plus.  As for how many you will end up, well, that is totally dependent on their attention span.  I’m not saying these have to be the focal point of the party, but you won’t need to hide it somewhere either.

Super easy straw garland party decorThese straw and knot garlands are also a great way to put up some last-minute decor for a teacher’s birthday, kid’s birthday or a holiday where you want to add something to make your house more festive.

Straw garland suppliesI found a bag of sommarfints at Ikea.  Does anyone else think their word for straw is super crazy?  I do.  And are you also now going to only refer to straws as sommarfints?  I am.  This bag of straws probably cost around a dollar.  And I still have a bunch left.  I love using different kinds of ropes in crafts and this one is a cloth laundry rope I think.  But you could easily use yarn or some other kind of string you have on hand.  And then you just need scissors.  Super simple stuff.

A fun party decor DIY that kids can help with.Have the kid decide what length they want the straws to be and have them start cutting.  When cutting the straws, the unheld end will fly thus leaving the room riddled with straw parts.  This will make the kids laugh like crazy.  Just know you will most likely have to gather the pieces off the floor before you string them.

A fun party decor item kids can help with.Have the kids string on the straw parts one at a time.  And they can choose to add the knots wherever they want.  It is a great way to talk about patterns and symmetry, etc.  Once they figure out where they want it, you can show them how to knot the rope.

Just use a simple knot between the straws for a fun look.No need in making super difficult macrame type knots.  A simple knot is all you need.  Tip:  If you hold the rope where you want the knot to be and then pull the free end with your other hand you can guide where the finished knot sits.  Reading that back, it makes no sense so play around with it, but you can get the knot to sit where you want it.  And there we go, I’ve increased the difficulty of this tutorial on tying simple knots by trying to be helpful.  Never ask me for driving directions anywhere…

Straw and knot garlands are party decor kids can help with.  A good way to help them learn to knot and also good for hand eye coordination.After you tie the knot, add more straws.  Repeat for the desired length of the garland.

A simple garland of sting, straws and knots.Super easy.  Super colorful.  Super kid friendly.

Inexpensive and easy party decorHang them wherever you feel a knot garland should go.

Add some straw heart pizzaz to your garlandAnd did you see my straw heart tutorial?  These won’t be right for everyone’s party decor needs but it is another craft you can have your kids do to keep them busy.  And who doesn’t love hearts?

 

Mini Mylar Alphabet Balloon Reusable Garland

mylar letter balloon garlandYOU GUYS!! I have found the coolest balloons ever!!  We all know how rad the large mylar letter balloons are, but awhile ago I did some searching to see what I could find in the way of smaller letter balloons.  I found some and used them at Lauren’s bridal shower.  But they had to be heat sealed.

 

balloon-packagesThen as I was researching using those balloons for a mini mylar balloon word garland I came across these babies!  They are 16 inch mylar balloons (they come in gold, silver, blue and pink) but you blow them up and close with an “easy” seal.  They are totally reusable too!  Genius!!!!!!!!!!  Can you tell I’m excited?!

stripes-and-balloonsI’m obsessed.  These will make another appearance at my son’s upcoming birthday party.  And probably every other party I throw for the rest of my life.

easy-to-string-balloon-garlandThe balloons come with tabs already punched with holes for easy stringing.

reusable balloon garlandDo you love them?!  Best.  Balloons.  Ever.  Buy them from Balloons Fast (they have numbers too!).  I’ve ordered a few times now and they really do get them to you fast!

DIY Holiday Garland using Kids Photos

kids craftsI have a really easy DIY holiday garland for you today.  (Yes grandmothers, I made extra sets for you guys too).  Simply take photos of your kids, add letters in an editing program (I used illustrator but I think Pic Monkey works too) and have the photos printed in an hour (try to find a place that do a matte finish).  String it up and you have a super simple but totally adorable holiday DIY.

supplies-for-holiday-photo-garlandTo get the background, I taped wrapping paper to the wall.  I set my camera up on a tripod to try to get consistent shots.  I found the plain long sleeve shirts at my local Walmart (under $4 a piece).  One child gave good face for the camera.  The other barely allowed me to photograph him.  Isn’t that always the way?

DIY-Christmas-DecorI love this because the kid’s personalities really come through in these photos.  Using the holiday colors makes it festive and perfect for the holiday season.  But this would totally work for a birthday garland too (um, how awesome would this be for a teacher’s birthday using pics of the kids in the class?!)

easy-photo-garland-for-ChristmasKids can even help put these together with you.  Boy do I love easy crafts.