Monday, January 31, 2011

Samuel:: Three!

Today is Samuel's 3rd Birthday! And, for a number of reasons we had his party on Saturday - so get ready for lots of fire truck fun!

Samuel is like most little boys and loves all kinds of emergency vehicles! If it has a siren - he calls it a woo-woo! So, I knew it would be fun to have a fire truck theme birthday party for him!

And, since David is in law enforcement and knows lots of the firefighters - he was able to arrange for a fire truck to visit during the party! We didn't know until they came if it would work since their work obviously comes first! But, we are so glad it worked out and it was such a fun treat to have a fire truck to play in and explore!

Have you ever noticed how amazing fire trucks are?
I loved noticing all the details and even learned a few things like where the siren is and that they carry 1000 gallons of water on their truck. Plus the sheer number of things that truck can carry and perform are amazing! Not to mention all of the colors and textures. Fascinating!

After a great time on the truck, I had a little craft ready to go. I had found a package of these cardboard fire trucks at Michael's for less than $2/12. A great deal for a simple craft!

Now, everyone was hungry! We usually don't do a meal with our party - but this time we did partially because we wanted to provide food to our fire fighter friends! We got $5 pizzas and I had grapes, carrots and pretzels available as well.

Because of this, we did go a little over our $50 birthday budget - but to have the opportunity to have a fire truck here it was worth the few extra dollars!

Plus, in planning this I found that most little boys have not ever been invited to a birthday party! So, it was a pleasure to be able to provide a fun boy party for our own little guy and a few friends.

Next, was cupcake time! David found this amazing fire truck cake video and the day of the party I felt a little guilty for not attempting this for Samuel - but the cupcakes were fun too!

I made Pioneer Woman's Red Velvet cake into cupcakes and then made Chocolate Buttercream Frosting - yum! And, it fit my red/chocolate brown color theme!

A cute rubber stamp added to cardstock and a lollipop stick made these really fit our theme!

I had seen these on a birthday post somewhere and then had a very hard time finding them - what a fun addition to our party!

Thanks, Carrie - for providing the fun plates and napkins!

And, to decorate the party area - I resorted to my usual: something homemade, something made from paper and something hanging from the light fixture!

I scoured the house for a few toy fire trucks and used those to decorate the table.

And, to welcome guests:

If you're still with me here - I'll share what we did for favors. Each child had their fire hydrant cup and the truck they painted. I found one of these wooden fire trucks on the after-Christmas clearance at Target for only a quarter! My aunt helped me find two more and then found these cute books also for a quarter!

Carrie brought me these cute favor bags at Christmas - perfect!

And, I included one of these for fun too:

A couple of other random thoughts - we had fire truck books from the library, printed out fire truck coloring pages and this is what we gave Samuel.

And, here is the invitation made from tracing the cardboard fire trucks shown above that we used for the craft:

I scoured etsy for ideas for wording and ended up combining a couple of things - here is what mine said:

Sound the alarm and get fired up it's
Samuel's 3rd Birthday!
Join us at Firehouse #3 (our house)
on Saturday, January 29th at 11 am!

Happy Birthday, Samuel!!!!!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Valentine Treat Boxes

Photo Credit: Pottery Barn Kids

Last year, I had really wanted to make these cute Valentine boxes. I mean, they aren't $30 + a piece cute - but they are pretty fun! And, I saw a great tutorial showing how to copy them and everything. Well, now I can't find any of that - so I got creative and came up with my own thing. (Updated: Thanks, Country Mama for pointing me back to your cute tutorial!)

I've made these for my CC class - as we're planning a little Valentine swap!

The only thing I remember about the tutorial is that she used cereal boxes
for the base of the box. So, I started that way too. I spent under $20 and made nine treat boxes. Big difference from the almost $300 price tag nine of these would've had from Pottery Barn!

Supplies: (I got everything at Wal-Mart)

About two yards of fabric (for nine boxes): $10
Two packages of ric rac: $2.50
One spool ribbon: $2
Felt: $1.50
Hot glue, iron-on interfacing, thread: all on hand
Cardboard boxes: free from recycling bin!

Some of my pictures are less than quality - please forgive me! I was doing all of this in a cold school cafeteria while my girls were in dance class! And, the lights would not stay on because they are motion detected or something. Anyway, I like to take my crafting on the road and make good use of my time! So, bear with the pix!

Raid your recycling stash and pull out cereal or cracker boxes. Take the boxes apart so they lay completely flat in one piece.

Cut off all the top flaps to your box.

Lay your box flat on the wrong side of whatever fabric you've picked out. Cut about an inch or so (I think I did more across the top than one inch) extra around the edge of your box.

Reassemble your box at the side and across the bottom with clear packaging tape or hot glue.

Run a bead of hot glue down the middle of the back of the box and fold your fabric over to cover half the box.

Bring the other side of the fabric to the middle and fold it over to create a clean edge. Run another line of hot glue down the length of the box and press fabric into glue.

Now, stand your box on the top open edge and work on the bottom of the box. Make a line of hot glue across the length of the box and press one side into the glue.

The corners will sort of naturally begin to form when you do the above. So, just glue the two triangles in place.

Take the remaining flap and fold it once to create a clean edge.

Then, glue in place.

Now, fold over and glue in place the top edge of fabric down inside of the box.

I used a 12 inch piece of ribbon to create a handle across the top. The only logic behind the 12 inches was that the spool included nine feet and I needed to make nine boxes. Voila.

Next, I used inexpensive craft felt backed with interfacing to embroider the names of each of the children. And, then cut the names out with pinking shears.

I hot glued ric rac around the edge of the names - pink for the girls and white for the boys, just for a little more fun.

I think they turned out really cute and am excited to give them to all the children in my class in a couple of weeks!