craft camp birthday party

craft camp

after weeks of going in circles of ideas for a birthday party, my newly “eleventeen”-year old landed on craft camp.  with just a bit of pushing from me.  or a lot.  it was a crazy amount of work, but also so much fun!

craft camp

the set up is always my favorite part!  and now that the kids are older, they always want to help.  sometimes i let them ;)

craft camp

we used the gold dresser to set up most of the craft supplies so everything was close at hand.

craft camp

i hold onto everything party decor related, so all of these different bunting pieces were from different parties and events.  see, sometimes hoarding does come in handy!

(want to know how to make the tassels?  i’ve got a full tutorial here!)

craft camp

craft camp

craft camp

craft camp

IMG_8760

my middle, lily, loves to surprise people with handmade gifts.  she made this paper bunting for gracie in the prettiest pinks and oranges – it was perfect for the front porch to welcome the guests!

craft camp

we pretty much spent the whole time here at the table.  i made the mistake of starting the party at 5.  it really should’ve started at 3 so we could craft for a bit, then eat dinner, then craft more, then send the girls to the slumber party tent.  so our time was a bit tight.  we had about 8+ crafts planned and ended up finishing maybe 5?

craft camp

i covered the table in plastic table cloths.  i don’t love these tablecloths unless they have a real purpose – like getting thrashed and will be thrown away after.  and if they are an amazing color like these ones from target.  i love doing runners from wrapping paper.  when target has fun wrapping paper in the dollar spot i snag a few, like this great wood grain paper.  a bit of scotch tape held everything in place.

craft camp

i made a quick “chandelier” with an old wine barrel hoop, some braided yarn, and strips of fabric layed over the edges.

craft camp

each guest had a vintage tin tray to work on.  i have collected these for awhile because i use them whenever i have projects going on – great for transporting around the house.  they worked perfectly for the rollie pollie crafts like perler beads and wooden beads.  when we were doing messier crafts, i covered the trays in tin foil for quick clean up.

craft camp

grace & lily wrapped the mini mason jars with wrapping paper scraps and yarn, and tucked in a name tag for each girl.  i also tried to cut time by prepping most of the crafts ahead of time, like each girl getting a certain number of beads and their own snacks.

craft camp

keeping everything close at hand helped to move us along, instead of me searching for this and that throughout the night.

craft camp

i used various sizes of mason jars to keep everything contained but visible.

craft camp

craft camp

and then there was cake!  i taught my girls how to make a yarn tassel and they made the little bunting for the cake, held up with skewers.

craft camp

we had made trix crispies for gracie’s birthday before, and this time she requested it as a cake.  you guys, this was so easy!  fastest cake ever.  you basically make it like rice crispies, but i poured it into 2 round cake pans, and pushed in into the corners really well.  once it had cooled, i just flipped the pans over and stacked one “cake” on top of the other.  the marshmallow goo helped them to stick together seamlessly.

craft camp

gracie also requested a “pretty tent”, not our giant brown tent we call “the condo” (its huge).  so i borrowed this 10’x10′ pop up tent from a friend and used more of those banners and bunting pieces i never get rid of.  of course, it was like 90* that day, even hotter in the tent, so this was quite the activity.

craft camp

we made sure to turn off the sprinklers the day before to let the grass dry out, and put a tarp underneath.  then i covered the tarp with all the afghans and quilts i could gather around the house.

craft camp

craft camp

 

craft camp

clockwise, from top left: my great grandmother’s afghan, lily’s baby quilt i made for her, my blanket my paternal gram made for me, a snippet of gracie’s baby quilt i made for her, a vintage lap quilt i found thrifting, and silas’ baby quilt i made for him.

craft camp

i neglected to take many pictures of the crafts.  partly because i was leading all of them, so taking pictures was too hard.  and because we crafted until late at night when it was too dark for good pictures, and then also in the morning trying to squeeze in a couple more projects before the moms came to pick up the guests.

this was a simple straightforward craft:  i have a bunch of crayons out for the girls to choose – they put them in all sorts of color arrangements.  we hot glued them onto thin canvases then held a hot blowdryer up close to the crayons to make them drip.  it didn’t work as smoothly or vibrant as i had hoped, but it was still fun.  i think using high quality crayons would’ve been helpful, but we just used leftover crayons from our giant crayon bin.

craft camp

we had just finished making dream catchers at fred & betty’s (thrift store), so the girls were so excited to do this one!  super easy with wire hangers and t-shirt scraps.

craft camp

wooden beads, baker’s twine, some painter’s tape and paint were all we needed for these fun necklaces!

IMG_8794

who knew perler beads could actually be pretty?  we found that if you use cross stitch patterns it works great!  thank you pinterest.

IMG_5687

 we also painted on canvases and i made the girls infinity scarves from their choice of fabrics (they were planned to make them, but we ran out of time).

overall, it was a really fun party and i know gracie loved it.

 

lily’s birthday brunch cooking party

birthday brunch

i’ve been really slacking on my party planning duties as a mom.  gracie never got a 10th birthday party (she finally opted for a date day with me since i was taking forever!), and lily’s birthday was a couple weeks ago – oops!

lily loves cooking and we decided she’d have a cooking party.  but our weekend schedule is really full right now so we only had a morning available.  so what to cook?  brunch, or course! we asked our good friend and excellent chef, eden, to help teach the cooking.  they decided on making pumpkin crepes sausage and a chocolate fountain with all the fixings.

birthday brunch

i love throwing parties.  all the details, the invitations, the planning ahead of time.  but i just don’t have the bandwidth for it  right now.  so lately we just go simple.  we shop the house and make it work.

lily’s one big request was that she get to choose paper plates and napkins from target, much to my snobby chagrin.  i’d so much rather use nice white real plates and add fun details like colored napkins.  but that was pretty much all she wanted so we did it.  after all, its not my party, its hers.  sometimes thats really hard to remember, but i’m learning.  10 years into this mothering thing, i’m finally learning.

we surprised her with pretty roses from costco, pulling our colors from the plates she chose.

birthday brunch

i saw this pretty table runner while scouring pinterest long ago, and recreated it with butcher paper and green tape.  super easy and fun to make!

birthday brunch

 

birthday brunch

we went through our scrapbook paper and the kids cut it into strips and folded it in half for me to sew into bunting.

birthday brunch

we already had these adorable vintage glasses and striped paper straws, and lily wrote the guest’s names on metal-rimmed tabs and tied them to the straws.

birthday brunch

the star of the party?  the chocolate fountain.  these girls were covered in chocolate throughout the party!

birthday brunch

i grabbed all the colorful dishes and trays from my cabinets to fill with the dipping goodies.

birthday brunch

lily wanted to wear my apron from whatever craft weekend, with its ruffly skirt.

birthday brunch

all the little girls put on aprons as soon as they arrived, which was a good thing since they dripped chocolate all over themselves!

birthday brunch

lily was in her happy place, cooking with her 5 close friends.

thats another thing i’ve learned:  smaller parties can be more fun.  we love having huge, all-family parties, but the kids love the intimacy of just a handful of friends.

birthday brunch

 

birthday brunch

 

birthday brunch

eden brought the coolest crepe pan!

birthday brunch

it looks like an upside-down pan that you dip into the batter, flip over and cook.

birthday brunch

the heat from underneath cooked them perfectly – so cool!

birthday brunch

while each of the girls had a turn at making crepes, lily asked gracie if she’d teach an art lesson to her guests – so sweet!  we covered the island with butcher paper for the girls to draw directly on.

birthday brunch

i love how comfortable she is teaching art.

birthday brunch

here’s what she was teaching the girls to draw.

birthday brunch

all the girls loved the lessons, both cooking and art.

birthday brunch

 

birthday brunch

we lucked out that cousin amber was visiting this weekend as well!

after the cooking and eating was done, the girls just played.  for 2 hours!  i actually was able to clean up and get a little work done!

they went outside to catch butterflies for awhile, then all got into dress up clothes and played “prairie girls” outside in the fort for a couple hours.

i’ve learned to plan very little activities for parties.  one big one and then the kids really just want to play.  easier for me, more fun for them!