Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Field Trip Picnic

Natalie's class had their end of year field trip/picnic last week. It was a lot of fun and I was asked a week ahead of time to organize and plan the picnic :). With only a week to spare I thought of ideas that I could make quickly for 43 children and have a big impact. Here is what I came up with in a week's notice: MIDWAY SIGN(in previous post) cut out of boxes, spray painted and put in the ground with sticks and skewers to take pictures in front of and to lead them to the right shelter. Some quick paper banners to decorate the shelter area. Open up a document editor make your letters big and print one on each page. Take you hole punch and string the letters through the holes, tape them on the back so they don't move around on the string. If you want polka dots like mine just use a circle punch or cut them free hand and glue to the sign to customize a bit. The other banner I cut a pendant shape out of and then printed the letters smaller in squares and glued on. It says field trip. I also made straw surrounds for the drinks and put the name of the school on them. They also have their mascot stamped on them. For the napkins I took a white napkin rolled it up and tied it around the red napkin. I figured it would be better to have two napkins then have a ribbon that would be hard to take off for the kindergarten children.

For the food we had pizza, chips, cookies(in cellophane bag tied with ribbon-my dd idea), and mini doughnuts from krispy kreme(Did you know Krispy Kreme had mini doughnuts? They are so cute!!!)

And finally, since the kids were going to the pond after they ate to feed the ducks I packaged a couple pieces of bread for each child to feed the ducks. They were individually labeled: Duck and Geese Food. One trick I have learned this year for kindergarten children they all want identical things. If one gets something they all want it so ziploc baggies have been my friend.

I hope you enjoyed our field trip picnic and hope you can use some of these ideas in your future picnics.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Halloween Party

We always have a halloween party for all the neighborhood children. The invitations always set the mood for our party. This year I opted for googly eyes in a box sent to everyone in a spooky envelope. I would have loved to see their faces when they opened the boxes :). Last year we played boo ball, bean bag toss, bobbed for apples, and pumpkin bowling. I made the bean bag board by downloading a halloween coloring book page and projecting it onto a piece of playwood to outline and paint it. DH cut out the circles for the bean bags to go through with his jigsaw. I also sewed the bean bags. The boo ball just needed a ghost cut out of foam board. Each game had a goodie bag the children won after they played.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Halloween Party Food

Our halloween party wouldn't be complete without lots of fun halloween sweets. The witch hat cookies were made by taking shortbread striped cookies upside down, orange icing, and a hershey kiss. The can of worms is just that...gummy worms in a tin can. The ice cubes were made by putting gummy worms in water and freezing. It's fun to name all the food at the halloween party.
I hope you enjoy some of these ideas.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Christmas Party Favors or Gift Tags

I love felt. It's cheap and you can make so many things out of it. In these examples I used felt to create a penguin and snowman ornament. The could be used as favors at a christmas party or as gift tie ons. Wouldn't it be cute to have a penguin themed party in december and use these little guys to dress up the food table, favors, christmas tree? I think so. Use your imagination and come up with some felt designs for your next party. These cost about $3.00 for about 25 of them. You can't beat that for favors for 25 people.

Party - Favor Ideas

Here are some ideas for some fun favors. The first is a tissue cozy for your purse. I found a tutorial for this particular version on www.craftster.org but you can do a search for tissue cozy tutorial and several versions can be found. These take very little fabric and can be sewn in approx 10 minutes. I gave these as gifts at Christmas for people that I wanted to pick up a little something for. I have one in my purse now and it comes in handy. The second pic is a crayon roll. I think this would be great for a birthday party favor. These take a little longer to make but are very useful. I love useful favors :). I found this tutorial on www.skiptomylou.org . I made 24 of these for my daughters class for Christmas. If you have an assembly line it takes about 15 to 20 minutes each to make these. These are great on road trips also because the crayons don't keep falling in the floor. The last pic would be a great favor for a teenage birthday party. It's colorful and who doesn't like gum? I love to take candy and decorate it for favors. If you were having a bird theme, a candy theme, even a luau this would ge cute. What ideas do you have for favors?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Party Decor - Use Free Stuff

What can you make with a couple of old boxes, some tree limbs, tape, and a can of spray paint? Yard Signs for your next party. They look impressive and cost almost nothing. Why go pay for a sign when in an hour or two you could have a unique piece ready for a party. Wouldn't this look cute for a Birthday party for you child with their name. How about a big number with how old they are to take pictures beside of every year?
My daughter is going to have a field trip/picnic day at school. I got my scissors out and started cutting some free boxes I found laying around at work that were destined for the dumpster. You can usually obtain free boxes at grocery stores as well. Aldi's and Save a lot love for you to take them off their hands. I then went on a nature hunt to pick up sturdy sticks. Taped them on the back and stuck them in the ground to spray paint. Midway is the name of my daughters school. I think this will look very cute for an end of year class picture as well.

Here are some other things you can modify for fun party decor, favors, etc.

paint chip samples - Use them as bag toppers for your favors, thread them together to use them as a garland, make place cards for food with them.

drink carriers at fast food restaurants - cover the carriers in paper and put paper cups in them filled with candy. Wrap in cellophane and tie with a big bow.

laminate samples - use these as tags for gifts

travel pamplets - great to use for a travel theme party as decor, favors, etc.

plastic cutlery - glue to a card for a fun barbecue or picnic invite, glue together to makea fork stand to hold food place cards

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Nacho Trays

Did you know how useful Nacho trays are when you are planning parties? They are really cheap at the warehouse clubs. I have used them for a halloween party for Nachos and cheese but I have also used them for 2 kindergarten class parties this year to help divide up food items for the children. For Christmas we decorated sugar cookies with the works. We had icing, sprinkles, m&m's, etc. I used the nacho trays to easily divide up the sprinkles. I also found some great liners in the candy section at Michael's to further divide the sprinkles and pre measure the icing so everyone would receive the same amount. Since the party is only 45 minutes at our school it is essential to have everything organized so we can get the party started. These containers help us out!!!

For the Valentine's Party we used the nacho containers to hold the fruit and fruit dip for our fruit pizzza ingredients. This was a little healthier alternative(ok..lol, not much healthier but still :) ) to the all sugar cookie and icing at Christmas. We had strawberries, blueberries, grapes, and bananas(cut these while the kids are decorating their pizzas or they will go brown and not look pretty).
So run to the store and buy you some nacho containers for your next party. I still have my first pack and have used them for 3 parties and they were only $5 bucks. That's a deal!

Fourth of July Cookout

Last year we had a fourth of July cookout with a few good friends. I used the red crush container to hold our utensils and so our drink container would go with the color theme..lol. I also created some cascading plants and a banner for a festive look. I hope you enjoy these ideas. Check back after the fourth for more ideas for Fourth of July 2009.

Party Favors - Baked goods - Unique

I love to plan and attend parties. Among my favorite type of favors is something unique and tasty. When I plan parties I try to come up with ideas that won't break the bank, are unique, and are useful or tasty. At this particular party it was for a young couple and the only thing they gave me was their wedding would be in purple. I saw a version of this idea a long time ago and have been wanting to try it a long time so I went for it. Another thing was it had to be pretty cheap to make because my dh throws a fit if I spend too much on these types of things :) So I went to Big Lots to look for my supplies...yes I said Big Lots. They have great stuff at cheap prices. I found the blank white cd cases 100 in a pack for $4.00. Wow! What a bargain. I figured I would need approx 60 favors for this event...so it's perfect I now have plenty of cases for my cd's as well. I bought two spools of purple ribbon for $.50 each and thank you charms for $4.00 at Michael's(in the bridal aisle). I asked the couple for a picture, printed it out on my computer and used my punches. I did back the cases with scrapbook paper that I had on hand. You could also use wrapping paper. I also used labels that I bought at Walmart for $3.00 and used my printer to print a thank you sentiment. You could handwrite the sentiment on the cd case but my handwriting stinks to say the least :). I bought the cookies to fill the cases at Krogers for $8.00. So there you have it 60 personalized favors for approximately $20.00 and very little effort.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Food Fun

There is nothing better than pretty food at a party. It makes everything seem more special and unique. I recruited my mom, aunt, and sister and law to help with the food since it's not one of my strong points. HEY ya gotta know your limits when your pulling off a party :)
We used my white dishes to show off the great food. I did do the fruit kabobs and they turned out very pretty. I'm thinking I could have stuck them in a watermelon or added them to a fruit tray in a circular manner with the dip in the middle. You can usually find the kabob sticks at the dollar store and in the kitchen utensil aisle at Wal-Mart. You can probably pick up a pamphlet for later ideas also. I keep a food notebook that I staple pics of ideas for later use in it. This comes in handy and I have piles of notebooks instead of piles of individual pictures.

Add some leafy vegetables around each item and they seem to go together better. Keep the top of the pineapple to give some texture and pizzazz to a fruit tray. We used parsley to spruce up these dishes.

Here is the fruit dip my sister in law gave me to make:
1 small jar of marshmallow creme
1 8 oz square of cream cheese
Mix together removing lumps from cream cheese and chill. This was yummy!

My mom took the sandwiches cut them in fourths and stood them up. She got this idea by looking at sandwich trays at the grocery store. A great place to look for food displays in your local Deli that makes food trays.

Package it - Bridal Shower Gifts

I had a bridal shower last Saturday for my cousin. There was definitely some gift packaging that stood out from the crowd in the bunch of gifts and I wanted to share them with the blog world. Let me try and explain a couple of them so you can get the idea. The first present was wrapped with a dishtowel set complete with an oven mit bow. You can buy these sets for around $3.00 the same price you would pay for a roll of wrapping paper or a big bag at most stores. The next 3 use containers that can be used by the recipient in their home. Very thoughtful and part of the gift. I have seen laundry baskets and trash cans used before also. I loved the wooden salad bowl filled with kitchen goodies and who couldn't use some of those white storage baskets? It's always hard to wrap towels or find a bag to fit them in. This person put them in a basket and wrapped them with cellophane. I think Cellophane makes everything seem more grand and special :). The last picture wrapped their gifts in pillowcases. These were lamp shades and they didn't want them getting crushed. Great idea to use the pillowcases since the bride and groom needed those as well. I hope you enjoy these great wrapping ideas. Please let me know if you have any special ideas of your own. Hope

Some other packaging ideas include - Towel Bridal Cake, 2 liter bottle with gift card inside, money tree