November is a fun month in our family! We celebrate my husband’s birthday and really kick off the holiday season. Men don’t usually care about party decorations the way we do but I still like to create a party vibe that they would enjoy. Here are my tips for putting together a party that the man in your life will love including these DIY balloon signs!
I am now the proud owner of a six-year-old. My youngest son had a birthday 4 days after Christmas so we had a little family party for him. I’m over the huge kids parties. Well, to be honest, the size of my house is over huge kids parties. But that doesn’t mean I can’t make him feel special. He had originally asked for a Pokemon party. I had a really hard time with that. I was going to do it, but I wasn’t going to like it. But my son’s favorite things to draw are monsters and then it dawned on me that we could do a monster birthday party but base it on his personal monster drawings. The banner was printed by Direct Edge Media and is still up in my house. Because it’s awesome.
This was the monster that really made me think a monster party would be so fun. I knew it would be perfect for the invitations and other party decor. So I scanned it in, and created a super simple invitation. We made sure to send them out really early due to the holidays. So I started planning and picking up a few things here and there. And thank goodness I did. I came down with the stomach flu a few days before the party and for a split second thought about canceling it. My mom and mom in law stepped in and really helped me out! So while I had intended to do a lot more, this is what I could muster up the strength to do. And I think there were enough special touches to make his day super special.
Because they were spectacular and were a huge hit. I can’t think of a more fun way to serve fruit. I got the idea here.
My mom made these eyeball cookies for me. And they were cute and super tasty. Idea came from here. (I’m telling you, pinterest is awesome even for the most creative of us).
We set up an ice cream float bar. You guys HAVE to do this. Kids and adults both loved this!
Hobby Lobby has prepackaged monster party supplies that are pretty dang cute. I knew I didn’t want to buy all of the items, but I did pick up a few things to make my life a little bit easier. These make your own party hats were a simple activity that I could set out in case the kids wanted something to do.
My dad helped us make this Monster Toss game. He cut the holes and painted the board so that my son could draw on his own monsters. To keep it simple, I gave him colored sharpies and had him draw right on it. Next time, I think I would have him draw them on in pencil and then fill in with paint to make the monsters really stand out. I had my friend Carole sew the CUTEST bean bags (I know you are thinking, “Take it easy. How can a bean bag be SO cute?” But they totally were. I’ll take a picture of them soon to show you) but then I found this tutorial on how to make them with new sewing.
I tried my hand at royal icing cookies for the first time. You guys, it totally sucks. I did not enjoy it and may never make them again. But look how cute they are when drawn on with edible markers?! I thought since my son likes to draw monsters so much, we would let the kids draw their own. It was an activity AND snack. I love double duty party ideas. Turns out, when I was sick and started cutting things off my to-do list, I kept on all the sugar. I also made these really simple jolly rancher suckers. They added so much color and another way to use candy eyes.
It was a great day! I didn’t have to cancel the party and my son has some fun memories from his special day.
Carved watermelon. I bet that wasn’t the first thing to pop in to your head when you were planning your last party, was it? But it totally should have been. Pumpkins aren’t the only things that you can carve. And carved watermelons make really great party decor and signage. These can be made ahead of time, really they SHOULD be made ahead of time. But they are quite easy and will be the star of the show.
I asked my friend Carole to create one for our pajama party in Palm Springs. And then, of course, I forgot to print out the phrasing before I left for the trip. But that really didn’t matter. Carole was still able to carve the watermelon. You will need a watermelon, some simple carving tools – her’s were for carving or cutting clay and purchased from the local art supply store, and the image or words that you want to carve. If you want a specific font, you can easily just print out the words on standard computer paper, just try to make sure that the words will fit on the size watermelon you bought.
Using the straight tool, (I’m going to be honest, I have no idea what any of the tools are called. This one is sharp on the end but straight, sort of like a straight pin but a little bit thicker) begin to poke holes in the watermelon all around the outline of the words. Many pumpkin carving books use a similar technique.
I really love this idea for signage at parties. You can use them on buffet tables, as centerpieces, just about anywhere. And it works not only with words but also with images. Carole has carved some pretty amazing things in watermelons.
Next, you will use the tool that looks a little bit like a tunnel or a “u”. With it, you will follow along your dotted line scooping out the speckled green skin. You do not need to go very deep in to the watermelon. You just want to remove the hard outer skin.
While it might take a few minutes to do, it is really easy. Once you are done, you want it to have a chance to dry out a bit. We left this one out overnight and by the next morning, it looked like the first image in this post. The carved out portion turns a little bit lighter and it makes the words pop. Aren’t they fantastic!
This carved watermelon above was the first one Carole carved for me for an outdoor movie photo shoot I did a really long time ago. It shows perfectly how watermelons can live on past summer and slide right in to fall. (this last image is by Sadie James Photography). I feel like this is how I want to carve my pumpkins this year too. Just think of all the creative designs you could do! I’m so grateful to have creative friends who are willing to share their talents with me! Thank you, Carole!
My 8 year old son gets all the credit for this DIY. Last month he was super in to those loom bracelets. One day I had a bunch of rubber bands sitting out and he started linking them together like you would if you were making a bracelet. Duh. That would make for a super cute and super easy loom inspired rubber band garland.
Don’t you love this garland?! My pal Carmen, of The Flair Exchange, just launched the Cross + Plus Garlands in her fab shop! I’m in love. I’ve been toying with the idea of hosting super simple giveaways over on my Facebook page. No jumping through hoops. Just leaving a comment. Simple as that. Carmen graciously offered to give away one of her newest garland creations. So one of you can be the lucky winner!
I’ve seen some kid’s rooms on Pinterest where they have garlands jauntily placed around the room and I loved how it looked. But I wasn’t that in to any of the garlands. Carmen told me she had a new product coming out that she thought I would love. She was totally right! And I knew instantly this would be worthy of hanging on the walls.
But of course this will also be perfect for parties. I am sure that I will take it out of the bedroom so it can be a special guest star for upcoming party decor. And this might sound really silly, but the string that she uses (the crosses are made out of a nice, thick cardstock) is fantastic! It is thick and sturdy and is the perfect proportion for the size of the crosses. I’m somewhat of a string connoisseur (nerd alert) and I noticed it the moment I pulled the garland out of the package.
You can always head to Carmen’s site to purchase one of for yourself or you can head over to my Facebook page to win one! BTW, Carmen’s blog is one of the best resources for cocktails out there. For real.
Head to my facebook page to enter the contest!
So here’s the deal. There’s a typo in this Happy Birthday sign. And I’m cheap and lazy and didn’t want to go back to the print shop to have them reprint it. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, isn’t this DIY birthday banner SO cute! I made this for my son’s birthday and put it up after he went to bed the night before his special day. It was a fun surprise for him on his birthday and I know your kids will love it too! I like to look for little ways to make celebrations a little more fun. I knew a giant birthday card would be unusual and exciting, but I also wanted to make sure it was easy. Since I am not a graphic designer, I took a photo of my son against a blank wall so I didn’t have to worry about trying to cut out a busy background. I did this just a few days ahead of his birthday and made up an excuse as to why I needed the photo. To add the text, I used a program called Illustrator. But you could also use a free program like Canva or even Word. Just make sure you set up the document to match the finished size you want. When I was done with the wording, I saved the file to a thumb drive and took it to my local Kinko’s/Fed Ex store. Printing can be expensive but to keep costs down, have them print out a blueprint copy. This size is 4′ x 3′ and cost $9. They printed out some smaller sized ones for me as well (I think the 3′ x 2′ option was only $4 and still perfectly large enough to hang on a wall.) The rest of the family signed the Happy Birthday sign and then I used decorative masking tape to hang it on the wall. I found a super cute paper garland at Target to frame it with and add some color. This is not the birthday boy. But as you can see, we were all pretty excited about this wall card. My son loved it!! But really who wouldn’t love seeing their face this large on a wall in their house? ;) This Happy Birthday sign idea doesn’t have to just be for birthdays. It would also be a really great way to acknowledge a big accomplishment for a kid, like a great grade on a test.
Looking for more fun celebration ideas to make your kid’s feel special?