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?

 

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Easy No Sew Fabric Heart Pillows for Valentine’s Day

Easy No Sew Heart Pillow DIY for Valentine's DayValentine’s Day IS hearts.  Plain and simple.  So I made Easy No Sew Fabric Heart Pillows.   I wanted to make tiny little heart pillows for my kids but guess what?  I hate to sew!  I have been exploring alternative methods for fabric adhering lately.  Luckily, I had a chance to check out the CHA show (full wrap up of all the cool things tomorrow!) last weekend and was given some supplies that were absolutely perfect for this tutorial. (This post is not sponsored but I do want to let you know that I was given product)  While the hold is pretty permanent, I always want to remind you that pretty much all of my crafts are not heirloom quality.  The cost is low and these can be tossed after the holiday.  Or as I am sure will happen in my house, they will be ripped apart and the stuffing will be thrown at each other like snowballs.  That is what happens when you have little boys.

No sew fabric heart pillow diyChoose your favorite fabrics, a pair of scissors and for this I used two kinds of fabric tapes: the Permanent Fabric Sheets and the Permanent Fabric Tape.  I love these tapes and will totally use them again.  Originally I had bought Fabric Fusion to use, but the dry time is too long (well, it’s not really THAT long, but I am a super impatient crafter).

grey and white stripe fabric for heart pillowsI do not free-hand so I cut several hearts out of paper until I found the perfect shape.  Then I made a smaller version to decorate the front of the pillow.  I traced the heart on to the fabric (2 hearts for the pillow and 1 small heart for the decoration) making sure to leave an overhang.  I removed the backing of one permanent fabric sheet and placed the smaller heart fabric on it, making sure to smooth out any bubbles or lumps.  Then I cut out the smaller heart following the outline (Because this is going on the front, I wanted to make sure I could see the tracing.  I just tried to cut just on the inside of the line so you wouldn’t see it on the finished pillow).

orange and red heart with grey and white stripe heartThen I removed the second side of the adhesive sheet and stuck it to one of the larger heart pieces.

Use fabric tape for easy no sew pillowsI turned over the heart and started using small section of the permanent tape.  I wanted to make sure that the fabric would hold together but leave an overhang around the edge.  I just liked that it looks a little floppy.  Once the shape was finished, I started peeling off the back to expose the adhesive.  Then I tried to match up the edges as best I could of the second heart and rubbed to get the tape to adhere really well.  See that one little open spot at the bottom?  That is where you will stuff the pillow.

use stuffing to create a little heart pillowSo then, duh.  Stuff the pillow.  I bought this enormous bag of stuffing 1) because it was on sale for half off and 2) because I couldn’t find a smaller one.  So what that means for you is that I am now going to attempt to stuff everything.  Yeah for puffy crafts!  Once you have it as full as you would like it, use another small piece of the tape to close off the opening.

Easy no sew heart pillow diyPretty cute, right?

heart pillow craft for valentine's dayHow cute would these be as a little bedtime surprise on Valentine’s Day for the kids.  Or even on your hubby’s pillow.

No sew DIY heart pillow tutorialSuper easy, no sew heart pillows.  I want these all over my house.

Valentine's Day Kid CraftHe liked them too.  If you like things all nice and neat use some pinking sheers or some of that fabric edger stuff that stops the fraying.  You know I like my stuff a little messy so these wayward strings do not bother me.  And you guys,  I heart you.  Really I do!

*Full disclosure:  I was given these permanent fabric tapes in a goody bag from the show.  Which was super awesome because I literally was going to go buy them on that following Monday so this saved me about $16.  But then bought the Fabric Fusion for $8 so I’m up just $8.  But still!  Yahoo!

Felt Heart Finger Puppets

easy felt heart finger puppet tutorialI had some felt on hand for another project and thought making some felt heart finger puppets would be pretty fun.

heart finger puppet tutorial I had intended to make them in 3 colors but well, I got lazy, I got busy, I got kids.  So just know you can make them in a variety of colors.  BTdubs, M came up with this pose all on his own.  He’s a ham.

materials for kid's valentine's craftGrab some felt (a scrap piece will work), a needle, some embroidery thread and scissors.  I cut out one side of the heart finger puppet.

felt craft for kidsThen I stacked it on a second piece of felt and cut around it as template.  This was pretty risky of me to freehand cut it.  I’m trying to not be so persnickety with my crafts.  I get all kinds of anxious wanting things to be perfect.  But you know what?  It is a finger puppet.  I need to relax. If you feel more comfortable, just use a pen to draw the outline on the second piece.

cool valentine's craft for kidsStack the two hearts and begin to sew.  Tie a knot at the end of the thread so it doesn’t pull through the felt.

easy sewed heart finger puppetDo a simple stitch around the whole finger puppet.  I’m not a sewer.  It could look better.  And you could certainly use a sewing machine.  But that isn’t my style.  Finish with a knot at the other end.

heart finger puppet thumbs upTrim the ends close to the knots.  Closer than I did in the picture above.  M gives these a thumbs up.  This fit snug on his thumb.  If I were you I would give yourself a little extra room to make sure it is easy to get on and off.  Or, I don’t know, you could do something like measure…Nah.

heart puppet shakaTurns out a shaka is a perfect pose for showing off these finger puppets…thanks Hawaiian relatives!  How cute is that face!  He’s not smiling because he’s super cute though.  He’s smiling because he was being so ornery I was almost in tears just trying to get a few good shots.  And he knew he had me right on the edge.  Good thing he is so dang cute or he would be in time out.  For, like, a year.

Smash Cake Tutorial with Meringue Bake Shop

smash cake image from meringue bake shop shootSince Kristin shared her candy popcorn recipe with me yesterday I helped her shoot a Valentine’s Day version of her smash cakes.  We started making these for some of my parties a few years ago and they are the BEST!  Kid’s and parents love them!  They are super messy but the kids are so in to grabbing the candy and the cake that it is totally worth it.  Go check out her tutorial here!

And see more examples of them from my parties here:  Book Themed 2nd birthday, Ziggy Stardust inspired Space party, Lego Dance Party, Cake – Confetti-Balloons Party

Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Cupcake Topper Download

breast cancer cupcake toppersIt is a breast cancer awareness month so I wanted to offer this cupcake topper download again.  It was originally created for a contest I held last year called Georgene Vehe’s Sweets for the Teats, named after my grandmother who had breast cancer.  These were created by Lauren and are perfect for any kind of party you might be throwing or treat you might be sharing during the month.  Just download, cut out (or use a 1″ circle punch) and stick on a pick.  I will be getting my first mammogram this month.  Yes, it is early.  Yes, that is scary.  And yes, I will be having some sort of sugary comfort food that day.  I encourage all of you to take your own breast health, literally, in to your own hands.

heart cupcake topper download

Download the pdf file below:

Cupcakes and Cutlery Heart Cupcake Topper