Apr 12, 2017

Simple Lego Star Wars Party

This is a super fun and simple Lego Star Wars birthday party. Simple decoration and simple colors tie it all together.

I found these amazing Lego Star Wars prints from Pixelated Plus. They went with the color scheme I was using. I started with black and white and added light saber red, blue, and green.

I went really simple for this party.

Besides the posters the biggest wow factor was this giant number eight balloon. I love that you can buy fun number and letter balloons now.

We didn't have a lot of party guests, so I was able to make each guest an "I am with the resistance" tee. I made them in the red, blue, and green. I also found bubble wands in the right colors and turned them into light sabers.

Each place setting had a coordinating color plate too.

The food was one of the most fun parts of this party. There is all sort of inspiration for Star Wars party food out there. I used some of those ideas and I came up with some of my own. I also made my own tags using PicMonkey.

My boys' favorite idea were these Obi Wan Ka-Wiwis (Kiwis). I may or may not have giggled for quite a bit after I came up with it.

Everything else was pretty basic. Hutt Dogs.

Jello Carbonite.

Luke, I am your WATER.

This juice was pretty hilarious too.

Rock Candy made perfect light sabers.

My favorite treat were probably these Death Star cupcakes. They are simple chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting. The Death Stars are Oreos dipped in melting chocolate and piped with royal icing. I LOVED how they turned out.

The party games consisted of light saber tag using these pool noodle light sabers. We also built paper droids. Then we battled a pinata Darth Vader with a large dowel painted like a light saber.

We gave these buckets filled with treats for our thank yous. I had originally planned to cut out storm trooper faces from vinyl and put them on the buckets, but homegirl ran into a snag with my Silhouette and I didn't have time to fix it. Whatcha gonna do. Like Elsa, you are going to let it go.

This was my second party in three days. I was so glad when it was over. So grateful The Hubs puts up with my party planning ways. I enjoy it so much and I love the creative outlet throwing parties allows me to have.

My boys are getting older and I am throwing less and less birthday parties, so I am really happy when I do get to throw a party.

Where I got my party supplies:

Star Wars Lego posters-- Pixelated Plus
banners-- Michaels
paper products, balloons, cupcake wrappers, candy-- Zurchers Party Store
wrapping paper table runner-- Hobby Lobby

Apr 11, 2017

Modern Lion Guard Party

When your littlest loves the Lion Guard and wants a party with that theme but you the adult aren't feeling it, you opt for a modern take on it and throw a Modern Lion Guard birthday party. The party centered around safari animals and modern black and white with a pop of jungle green.

I almost always having a concept or a specific item that is the jumping off point for the whole party. For this party it was this insanely awesome lion print from The Crown Prints. As soon as I saw it, all the other ideas came flooding into my party planning brain.

I downloaded the print and then printed it off as a poster. Then I bought two flat wooden dowels, painted them black and then glued them to the top and the bottom for that scroll look. You can't see it, but I also have a black felt hanger that I glued to the top.

There is an overwhelming amount of black and white. There was a lot of black spray paint used. Spray paint is one of my secret weapons for decorating a party. I like to have a table for the tablescape, which also has some of the treats. Often times I also choose to feed our guests lunch. For several reasons. My number one reason is that it takes up time. Can I get a hallelujah?! One less game I have to plan.

I serve lunch first so I have that table all set up and decorated in a coordinating fashion. I decorate with really simple things. Here it is simply a felt runner, coordinating paper products, paper leaves, and spray-painted plastic safari animals.

I am a nerd and I try to coordinate the treats and food with the party either in the theme, color, or both.

I attempted sugar cookies with royal icing for the first time in years. Thank heavens I wanted them simple because they actually look decent. I would have cursed and struggled if I had actually had to legitimately decorate them.

Balloons and garlands/streamers are an awesome, inexpensive way to decorate. I loved this zebra balloon so much. Could it fit any better with the black and white safari theme/

Another easy inexpensive way to decorate is using craft paper. There is a local party store here that sells craft paper by the yard. I use it for table cloths all the time! For this party I painted some tribal patterns. They are rough and imperfect, but I love it.

I just kept my eyes out for black and white candy or food, black and white containers (most I already had), and I added some spray painted pieces. Modern Lion Guard tablescape done.

The activities are where I incorporated more of the Lion Guard theme. We had Fuli (the cheetah) races, Kion (the lion) Lion Guard roar contests, we painted wall paintings on canvas like Rafiki, and we made Ono (the bird) eye spy jars.

For the jars, I painted small safari animals and jar lid and rings black. There were bowls full of small items that could fit into the jars. We filled the jars 1/3 the way with rice. They picked out a few items and put them into the jars. We added more rice and and more little toys. Then we topped with more rice. After we screwed on the lid that kids each had their own eye spy jar.

To say thank you for coming, I filled these small party boxes with goodies to remind them of the party.

Needless to say, I think this newly five year old boy enjoyed his party. I think it also goes with out saying that I enjoyed throwing this party for him.

Where I got my party supplies:

lion poster-- The Crown Prints
zebra balloon, streamers, paper goods, gumballs, 
black Sixlets, craft paper for leaves and tablecloth, tiny toys for eye spy jars-- Zurcher Party Stores
felt for runners, letters-- JoAnn Fabric
shirt--made by me using Expressions Vinyl and shirt from Walmart

Feb 23, 2017

Using PicMonkey to make Invitations

I have made it absolutely no secret on ye old blog how much I love and depend on PicMonkey. I use this amazing online editing program to edit my photos, to create images for t-shirts, and to make posters, hand outs, fliers, newsletters, programs, thank you notes, gift tags, and invitations. 

Over the years I have really honed in on how to use PicMonkey to do almost everything. While I may not have the elaborate functions of a program like Illustrator and that may mean I need to get creative; PicMonkey does offer a glorious amount of functions and edits plus the cost is nothing for the basic membership and practically nothing for the royale membership.

So let's talk about how easy it is to make your own invites. Most of the invites in this post took a little bit more time because several of the overlays I created (I will talk about that a little more in another post). However, PicMonkey has two features that allow you to easily add overlays that you don't have to make.

In the above batman invite, the batman head was designed and created by me in PicMonkey using different geometric overlays, but the bat at the top was an overlay already available. 

But I feel like I am getting a little ahead of myself.

First things first. Get an idea of what you want. When you have an idea, it is easier to create an invite. Once you have an idea, then it is time to start creating.

On the home page is a drop down menu. When creating any new project, you will use the design feature. I most often use the blank canvas feature, but they are also currently testing out a premade template option. I have used that once before on the BLOOM invite toward the end of this post. This feature is by far the easiest and fastest way to make an invite. However, if you want more of a creative say, then the blank canvas option is for you.

The blank canvas option has tons of canvas size options. I most often use 4x6 or 5x7 when I am doing invites.

Once you have your canvas, here is a quick and basic run down of making an invite.

1. Choose a canvas color, aka a background color. When in doubt, stick with white. It is more forgiving and versatile. Plus it is cheaper to print.

2. Pick your overlays, aka your pictures. You can choose from their overlays, or you can search clip art, or icons.

Overlays can be found under the butterfly icon. A whole mind boggling drop down menu of options will appear.

Let's say I am throwing a farm birthday party. I quickly find some adorable farm animals. I choose them and arrange them how I want.

I would really like a cute barn. PicMonkey doesn't have a barn overlay. No worries though. That is where the internet comes in handy. In this instance I simply searched for barn clip art. I found a cute one right away.

After I save it to my computer, I go to the "add you own" button in the overlays. Here you can pick from images you have saved on your computer.

Then put the image where you want it. As you can see, I changed my mind about where I wanted the animals. That is part of the fun. Play around with it. As you can also see, I decided the animals needed some color. This is done SO easily, by clicking on each image and changing the color.

3. Next is the fonts. PicMonkey has a ton of great fonts. Some are only available with the royale membership. You can also use your own fonts. That is right, the fonts on your very own computer. Mix and match fonts. Use a big bold font for themes and main points. Then use a softer simpler font for the bulk of information.

Here I used Chunk Five for the main themes and Geo Sans Light (a personal favorite) for the information. Again, play around with placement and size of the text.

You can approach you text in many different ways. Text can be in a frame.

Text can be different colors or in banners.

The options really are endless.

4. Borders. It is almost always a good idea to add a simple boarder. It finishes off the invite AND makes it easy to cut out. There are a lot of different boarder options found under the picture frame icon. Almost 100% of the time I opt for the Simple Edge. I like that it is cleaner and doesn't distract from the invite.

Once you are done, you will have a really cute invite. An Etsy quality invite that you made completely by yourself. You simple need to save it onto your computer. Then insert it into a Word type document. You can print them off yourself or you can put them on a USB drive and take them to an office supply store. I have done both.

Remember have fun and play around. Explore all the options that PicMonkey has. Whether it be adding your own text into a premade template, like this beautiful BLOOM invite,

or whether it be a compilation of your own creative juices, PicMonkey will up your invite game. Seriously once you start you won't be able to stop.

I hope this was helpful. I tried to keep it informative yet simple. Obviously I could go more in depth about some things (like how I make my own designs using only geometric overlays), but this post was already getting long enough. Like write a novel long, and no one wants to read that novel.

So I will be done with all the instruction now. Again, hope it was helpful!


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