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


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 layer 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 roll polly crafts like peeler 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 the girls how to make a yarn tassel and they made the little bunting for the cake, help 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!


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


 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.


diy tassels {weather-proof!}


 i know tassels are all the rage, and i’m super late to the game, but i have a fun little (ok i lied, super long) tutorial so you can make your own!  and i have found a trick to make them last much longer than fragile tissue paper tassels…

 so here’s the story morning glory: we were just a few days away from our spring stitch market and i wanted some quick, cheap decorations for our checkout table and our outdoor walkway.  i was walking through every aisle of target, of course, and i stumbled upon the most beautifully colored plastic table cloth in all the land.  first off, i don’t like plastic table cloths unless they are absolutely necessary.  otherwise, they tend to look as cheap as they are.  but this one was so pretty, and as it turned out, nice and thick.  after a couple days of staring at the table cloth, it hit me: tassels!  the best part:  the plastic doesn’t tear and these are weather-proof!

have you ever read one of my tutorials before?  if not, you’re in for a treat.  and by treat i mean a really long, detailed post with lots of pictures.  because when i’m doing something for the first time, i like to have every question answered before i can even ask it.  so thats what i set out to do!


when you first open the package, the tablecloth is folded into a nice small rectangle.  the fold lines are super helpful for this project, so work with them.  see each of those lines?  cut along them.  yes, you’ll be cutting several layers of tablecloth at once.  it really cuts like butter – so easily!


the cuts don’t have to be perfect at all (yay).  just slowly unroll the folded up tablecloth and keep cutting until you have a big stack of these rectangles. do not open them!


next you cut the strips that will be used at the very end to tie the tassel knot.  its inevitable that one or 2 of the rectangles you’ve cut are going to be odd-sized.  usually the first and last rectangles are the smallest.


first i fold the rectangle in half, top to bottom…


then in half again top to bottom so its now in quarters.


then cut it into small strips, maybe 1/2″ wide.


just keep cutting :)


and then you’re left with a pile of folded strips.


line up all those strips with the factory folds together (not the quartered folds you just made).


then chop the fold off!


once you’ve chopped off the folds on both ends you’re left with a pile of strips.  be sure to separate them all.  they tend to be a bit sticky to each other due to the static electricity.


now to start on the tassels!  take one of the original rectangles you cut.  it should have about 4 layers to it (may vary by manufacturer).  cut open the folds one one end…


and then the other end.


you’ll be left with a nice, neat stack of rectangles.  even though they are no longer attached to each other, don;t separate them yet.  it will make things much harder.


fold in half lengthwise.


then in half widthwise.  in this picture, the fold is on the left and the bottom.


now cut your tassel “legs”.  i go up to about 1 1/2″ from the top fold.


keep cutting legs until the whole piece is cut.  they width of the legs is up to you – 1/2″, 1/4″, whatever.


now open up the cut tassel and it looks like this!  this is 4 layers of tassels all stacked together.


separate the layers now.


because this tablecloth (different from the mint target version) was so thin, i doubled up the layers of tassels.  the picture above is of 2 layers of tassels.


now scrunch the uncut center section all together.


so quick and easy, all scrunched!


now start twisting.  i do this with 2 hands (hard to show with one hand needing to take pictures!).


it helps to rest the twist against a table, or i like to do it on my thigh.  it doesn’t make sense in words, but when you’re twisting you’ll see what i mean.


once you have the entire uncut section twisted nice and tight, it starts to make a loop on it own when you fold the twist in half.


next grab one of those strips you made earlier and hold it in the middle against the base of the loop.


holding the strip with one hand, take one leg of the strip and wrap it around and around until you have a couple inches left.


then do the same with the other leg of the strip.


you’ll be left with 2 short legs.  tie them in a couple knots to secure.


and your tassel is done!  honestly, it probably took you longer to read this tutorial than it does to actually make one.  once they are cut (which doesn’t take long at all), the actual twisting and wrapping probably takes maybe 30 seconds.


 i strung mine on yarn, but any sort of string will work.  sometimes i had to tie the yarn around the loop if the tassel was too “slippy”.

best part of these?  you can leave them up outside on your porch, in your yard, wherever and they won’t get ruined!  and when its time to put them away, you can just shove them in a bag or a box and the wrinkles don’t ruin these tassels.

have fun!