Saturday, December 2, 2017

Trolls Birthday -- Fun & Favors

Not only was the decor of my daughter's Trolls birthday party colorful and fun (check out Trolls Party Part I), but we had some fun favors and party activities which I am so excited to share with you!  Oriental Trading has so many items that made these favors and activities easy to do.

Color is essential at a Trolls party, so I made a HUG TIME banner and set out the party favors and cakes on a table right as guests walked in the house.

What is a Troll party without colorful Troll hair!  You can purchase Troll headbands online, but these are so easy to make even a non-crafty person can do it.  I made a headband for each child to wear throughout the party.  For my headbands, I used the following:

Making these headbands has only a few easy steps.
  1. Cut your tulle into 22" pieces.  
  2. Fold each piece in half and lay it over the headband with the loop towards the center and the loose ends pointing out.  Wrap the loose ends around the headband and pull up through the loop until the knot is snug against the headband.  You don't want it super tight.  
  3. Repeat this step 9 times, so you have 10 pieces of tulle on your headband.
  4. Gather the loose end of the tulle together, about 6-8 inches from the headband, and tie embroidery thread around the tulle to secure it together. 
  5. Pick your flower stickers and stick them on however you want! I added a bit of hot glue to the back of the stickers to make sure they stayed, but this is not essential.

I made some without flowers for the boys as well as some solid color ones to so each headband was different.

Along with the headbands, each guest took home a Troll favor bag.  The pink and blue treat bags are from Oriental Trading, and I took these bright bags and added a Branch or Poppy character head to the front.  I used my Cricut to create these.

Inside the bag were fun goodies mostly from Oriental Trading that I let my daughter pick out when we looked at OT's website.  She picked sticky neon hibiscus flowers on a string that we re-wrapped in small cellophane bags, pink twisty lollipops, and glittery notepads. I added a cardstock Poppy head to the bottom of the twisty lollipop.  On velum, I printed the same 2" circles I used for the cupcake toppers, and stuck these to the front of the notepads to tie in the theme.  I purchased Trolls pencils from Amazon to finish out the favor.

Cake/Cupcakes:  Jenna wanted "cupcakes and rainbows" for her birthday party, so I of course had to do cupcakes with rainbow-like frosting.  I baked Funfetti cupcakes, and piped on swirled icing.  I added a 2" cupcake topper with various characters from the movie.

I also made this Poppy cake for the birthday girl. I baked two 8" circle cakes and one 9x13" cake.  One of the circles became the head, the other became the two ears, and the rectangular cake became her hair.  I had a hard time getting Poppy's hair as bright as I would have liked using the color dyes I bought from Michaels.  If you plan on making a Poppy cake, I'd go to your local cake shop and buy what they recommend.

My daughter loved it though, so that's all that matters, right?

Party Activities:  We rented a bright bouncer and my father-in-law played music for a "dance party."  Some of the kids and Jenna had fun singing-a-long with some of Trolls songs.

Poppy loves to scrapbook in the movie, but I wanted to put a twist on this concept.  For the a party craft, the kids decorated rocks to look like Trolls!  They had so much fun!

I set up a table with lots of fun supplies.   My daughter and I painted the rocks in various colors prior to the party, so that they were ready to go and the kids didn't have to wait for them to dry before decorating.  Here's a list of the supplies I set out:

  • Rocks (purchased from Home Depot)
  • Glitter Flower stickers from Oriental Trading -- yep...the same ones I used on the Troll headbands
  • Neon Fringe Boas from Oriental Trading
  • Scraps of bright paper for ears
  • Cardstock Troll noses in various sizes
  • Googly eyes in various sizes
  • Glitter jewels (purchased at Target)
  • Sharpies/Glue

I love the creativity of the each kid's creation.  All of the Trolls looked completely different and the kids had fun making them.  The neon fringe boas were great because they were bright, and the kids could cut them any length they wanted. I would definitely recommend this craft if you are having a Trolls party!

We had a great time, and I hope you liked both this post and my previous post to give you even more ideas for a future Trolls party!  

Disclosure: I partnered with Oriental Trading Company for this post. I received product(s) in exchange for my honest and unbiased thoughts. All thoughts and opinions stated are my own and are in no way influenced by my partnership with the above mentioned brand.  

Trolls Birthday - Decorations & Delights

My daughter loves the movie Trolls, so when I asked her what she wanted her birthday party theme to be, Trolls was her first answer.  Honestly, if you haven't seen this movie, put it on your to-do list because it is so sweet and the soundtrack is great.  Luckily for me, Oriental Trading has some bright and fun decorations that I used to help make this theme come alive.  This Trolls Party post will focus on decorations and food.  For the fun activities and favors, check out Part II of my Trolls party post.

Invite:  I designed the invite on Photoshop using bright backgrounds and Troll characters. I also created matching Thank You cards and included a photo of my daughter from the party in the white box instead of the party info.  Before we get to the info of the party, let me show you that photo of our beautiful birthday girl...

Jenna wanted to be Poppy, and I found a simple pillowcase-style Poppy dress on Etsy.  This dress is from LindsayBoutique.  We paired the dress with some sparkly pink leggings and a Poppy headband I made using a headband, hot pink tulle, light teal ribbon, and glitter flower stickers from Oriental Trading.  You can tell by her smile, she loved it, right?

Entry Decor:  One request of my daughter's was to have "cupcakes and rainbows" at her party just like Poppy does at her party. I created a rainbow balloon arch at the entry to partially fulfill this request.  As a high school Activities Director, I make balloon arches often, but you can youtube how to make one as well.

I also painted a block of wood with Poppy to welcome guests.  I added a speaking bubble with cardstock and stapled some hot pink tulle from Oriental Trading to create her hair.

Inside Decor: I decorated the tables with bright pink, blue, and green tablecloths from Oriental Trading, and added plush Trolls characters and bright flowers as centerpieces.  In the flowers, I also added bits of colorful tulle that I had left after making Troll headbands for the kids.

I love the rainbow background I created behind my table with more of the Oriental Trading tablecloths!  Who says tablecloths can only be used to cover tables?!  This was simple to make.  I draped each tablecloth and stapled it into the wood of the window frame.  Then I covered the tops with clouds I cut out of posterboard.  This would make a great photo background as well if you wanted do a Trolls photobooth.

I saw these fun green grass balls from Oriental Trading, and knew they would be perfect for a Troll party.  I set each grass ball on top of a vase that I wrapped with green cardstock.  These are the large balls, and they were the perfect size for this.  They are super light, so they would work great as hanging decor as well.  I can't wait to use these for a future party.

I created a banner between the grass balls that read Dance & Sing...another popular phrase from the Trolls movie.

The plates, cups, and polkadot straws are also from Oriental Trading.  I paired these themed items with simple bright colored napkins and dessert plates.

Menu:  The party was from 2-4, so I served simple snacks rather than a meal, but I tried to keep the snacks within the theme as well.  I didn't really think anyone would eat purple cabbage, so I decided to try a Beet Humus that was purple to complete my veggie rainbow.  I purchased the beet humus, but there are recipes out there if you want to make your own.

The fruit I attempted to arrange in a slightly arching rainbow.

Instead of regular salsa, we served Rainbow Salsa (recipe and photo credit to Gimme Some Oven). I've made this salsa before, and it is tasty.

For the cake/favor table inside, I created a simple banner out of cardstock with HUG TIME as it's message. This matched the Dance & Sing banner outside. For more on the details of this Trolls party favors, cake, and party activities, check out Part II of this Trolls party post!

Disclosure: I partnered with Oriental Trading Company for this post. I received product(s) in exchange for my honest and unbiased thoughts. All thoughts and opinions stated are my own and are in no way influenced by my partnership with the above mentioned brand.  

Friday, November 10, 2017

Journey to Neverland

I am the Activities Director at a high school, and last week was our Homecoming Week.  Our dance theme this year was Peter Pan, so Peter Pan has been at the forefront of my thoughts and I decided to make it our November monthly dinner theme as well.  I love that this theme can be elegant, mystical, or just plain fun.

Invite:  I created the invitation on PhotoShop.  I love the nighttime shades of blue mixed with black, white, and yellow. I also love any excuse to wear pajamas!

Entry Decor:  This wooden sign is the one piece I borrowed from my school's Homecoming decorations.  We made this sign for the dance, but it worked perfectly at my front door.  I also made the giant Peter Pan hat out of green posterboard, my Cricut cutter to make the letters, and some red feathers. Super easy to make.

Inside Decor:  Peter Pan has some amazing characters, and I wanted to incorporate them all into my table. For Peter Pan, I borrowed a Peter Pan hat from one of my students who was Peter Pan for Halloween.

For Tinkerbell, I used my Cricut and a gold glitter cardstock to cut a silhouette of Tinkerbell sitting down.  I placed her on top of a candle and added green moss to the base.  The glass around her I bought at Michaels, and I set it all on a log I already had in my home. I had some battery powered tea light candles under the moss to have a little "twinkle" of light, but they were candles I had sitting around the house, and they lost power before the party, so I took them out.

The pirate ship I purchased at Michaels and then painted.  I added some blue tissue paper under to look like the ocean and spread chocolate gold coins throughout the centerpiece.

For the placecards, I painted chest boxes with glitter gold and brown paint.  I put some gold tissue paper in the bottom as a spacer, and then added a beaded necklace and some chocolate gold coins.  I made a map of Neverland on Photoshop and added each guest's name.

These Peter Pan hat napkins are super easy, and I love what they added to the table.  I bought large dinner napkins and just folded them before adding a red feather.

For wine charms, I made Captain Hook hooks out of cardstock in various colors.  These were easy to do on my Cricut cutter.

The wine labels I designed to match the invitation and menu cards.  They were just simple silhouettes of Peter and Tinkerbell.

Menu: Although some items on my menu took some time to craft, many of these items were made the evening before, so that made the day-of stress a lot less.  For a starter, we had Second Star to the Right Soup (Thanks Deanna for taking over making this one of me!)  We used star shaped pasta in a chicken soup recipe.  You can buy the star shaped pasta at almost any grocery.  The soup was delicious, and we only served a small amount so guests wouldn't fill up too much on it.

For the main course, I served beef turnovers.  I have made these a ton of times for my family using pie crust (see my Dr. Seuss post for the recipe were I made Yertle the Turtle turnovers).  For this party, I used puff pastry instead since I was having pie for dessert.  As always, these turnovers are really good.  When I make a batch, I usually freeze half of them, and save them for another night's meal.  For these Peter Pan hats, I shaped the turnovers into triangles.  I added a red feather out of cardstock just sticking the end of it into the pastry.

Along with the turnovers, I served skewered vegetables to make them look like The Lost Boys' swords.  The swords are zucchini and yellow squash cut in semicircles.  The hilt of the sword is a red pepper.  The red pepper is cut horizonal in order to have a larger curve.  We tried it the other way, and it didn't look as good.  Helpful hint: slightly cook the veggies in the microwave before skewering.  This makes it easier to thread the skewer without the raw vegetables breaking.  After all were threaded, I put the swords in the broiler to bake the rest of the way.

I also made Tinkerbell jello.  I borrowed some mini bundt cake molds from my mom and made a simple lime jello.  I found an image of Tinkerbell -- I just had to PhotoShop the second wing on her because of the placement of the wing on the image I found.  I printed her on cardstock, cut her out, and taped a toothpick to the back before sticking her image in the jello.  Super simple.

For dessert, I made these PIE-rate ships. I found the recipe here, but I only followed the recipe for the pie crust. I needed simple, so I bought apple pie filling from the grocery for the inside.  These PIE-rate ships definitely were not the simplest things to make, but I think all the steps were worth it, as they were really cute and matched my theme.

Favor:  These monthly dinner girls are my closest friends, so I made this sign to display near my favors.  I truly do have the most amazing friends.  As a parting gift to guests, I had lime green boxes that I filled with tissue paper and chocolate gold coins.  I glued a red feather to the front for a Peter Pan flair.

I also had Tinkerbell's Pixie Sticks.  I cut silver glitter stars with my Cricut and glued one to the top of each Pixie Stix.  The quote on the front of the vase is one of my favorites from Peter Pan.