summer bbq

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with the summer nearing the end (today is our first day of school!), we decided to host a bbq with a few other families from our neighborhood.  we are blessed with awesome neighbors!  having something on the calendar is always good motivation for me to clean the house, and this time the backyard, too!  silas was my little workhorse this day.  he asked me to pay him $15 an hour.  we negotiated down to $3.

i went simple and summery with my decor:  a rainbow of bandanas for napkins, white plates, hydrangeas in mason jars, all on top of layered white table cloths.

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we pulled a few pillows from our porch couch to soften up the fireplace since we were going to have a fire once the evening cooled down.

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i set up a little drink station on our potting bench to make serving yourself easy.

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and i’m still kicking myself for not taking any pictures during the gathering!  we had a great night, good food, and lots of fun!

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

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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!

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

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 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.