Saturday, November 19, 2016

Harry Potter Party| 10+ crafts and games to play with Free Party Printables

We are so excited for the new Harry Potter movie, Fantastic Beasts to finally be out.  We are going to see it tonight and I figured it was finally time to share the details of Avinash's Harry Potter Birthday Party (from last year, oops!).  

 I crafted my heart out for this party.  It was a true labor of love.  And, I never could have done any of it without, you guessed it...


Seriously, it saved my life so many times while planning this party.  Like, for this super amazing carnival candy table cover.  

Here are my other projects I made and games we played. 

Hogwarts Invitation Scrolls // These were such a huge hit.  I made admission letters from Hogwarts for each child and a train ticket.  I also used red fimo clay to make the wax seals for the envelopes.  The paper was scorched a little too before going out.

Paper ties in house colors //  Red/gold for Gryffindor, green/silver for Slytherin, Blue/copper for Ravenclaw and yellow/black for Hufflepuff. I created a template for the ties which makes cutting them out quick.  I used colored cardstock to make these ties.  Download the template here for free!

Letters from Hogwarts over the fireplace // I printed these out and strung them up over the fireplace with simple sewing thread.  I added some brown paper boxes to add to the sense of packing for Hogwarts and shopping in Diagonalley. The birdcage was a lucky Goodwill find.

I created a Hogwarts letterhead and scripted envelope, which you can download here.  I printed these on cream cardstock and folded them over and glued the fimo wax seals on.

Potions Class // I used a variety of bottles and jars to make this set up.  The kids and i had fun combining different liquids and food coloring to make these bottles.  I also added feathers and rocks and borax crystals to the collection.  I also have a set of printables for these potion labels available here.  Free potion printable one and free potion printable two.

Magic Brick Wall // I made a 9 3/4 train station brick wall for the guests to run through when they entered the party.  I used a brick backdrop and cut it at a diagonal and taped it back together so it overlapped, then I cut another opening where the overlap was so it seemed to be one solid piece. The kids had such a blast running back and forth through this thing.

I designed a 9 3/4 Hogwarts Express to hang over the wall which you can download here (for free!).

Chocolate frogs and Bertie Botts Every Flavor Bean // We bought a chocolate frog mold off of Amazon and made these ourselves.  Unless you are able to stock up at Universal Studios, these are really expensive on the secondary market but everyone wants to try one!

I printed out some boxes to look like the original bean boxes just because they are so festive and colorful.  I bought several of the real things on Amazon, but the packaging is just not as nice.


Harry Potter Book Cake // We simply brought a picture of this to our local grocery store and they were able to recreate it in frosting.  We added the golden snitch using a gumball with paper wings and real prop glasses.

Flying Lessons // This was a fun little station set up outside.  I had the kids hold the broom and took several jumping shots.  They love looking back at these pictures of themselves really flying! 

Floating Candles // Amazon to the rescue again.  I bought a big pack of electric tea lights.  The great thing about these is that they stay lit for a long long time, so you can even set them up the night before. I just taped a rolled up piece of copier paper around them and strung them up on white string again.  The effect was really magical.

Sorting Hat // Ryan played Dumbledore for all the kids and put on a little sorting hat show.  Everyone got sorted and got a corresponding tie.  We also had diadems for some of the Ravenclaw girls if they wanted them.  This was such a fun part of the day. 

Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Bean // I bought a bulk case of these candies on Amazon.  This was such a fun party activity watching the looks on everyone's faces while they tried earthworm and earwax and vomit! Ha!

Pumpkin Juice // Much like the OG pumpkin spice latte, there is no actual pumpkin in this.  All for the better I say.  Mostly apple cider and cinnamon.  It was good!

Wizard & Witchcrafts // I bought crafting kits from Oriental Trading Company and Target for the kids to do.  They mostly couldn't sit still long enough, so people just brought these home with them.  It's easy to find around Halloween.

 Butterbeer Floats //  I used my own recipe and served these at the party as well.  They were a big hit.  The secret is lots of good caramel. 

Thanks so much for taking a look at our fun Harry Potter Party.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Cocoa Daisy Crafting Kits + Video | Sprinkles November 2016

The Cocoa Daisy crafting kits are awesome for making scrapbook pages, planners, mini books, Project Life spreads and more! 

This month's kit, Sprinkles, was so awesome.  It even came with this great subscriber freebie tote bag.  So cute.  The kit features a fun and colorful mix of Valorie Wibbens designs, Dear Lizzy and Shimelle Collections from American Crafts and plenty of exclusives - like those wood veneers! 

Hello Adventure | The main kit includes these awesome Dear Lizzy big chipboard title stickers.  I love the big impact they add to a project.  I combined two together to form my title here.  I was going to put this page on a plain white sheet of cardstock, but this patterned paper was just subtle enough to fill in even better than the plain white.  That's what I love about having a kit to work with.  It really helps me expand beyond what products I would normally pull for myself. I used a variety of hand trimmed circles with a mix of the other patterned papers. 

Best | This is my project life spread for the month.  I used these big chipboard number tags and the Dear Lizzy chipboard titles again.  I also used several journaling cards in different ways.  Two for journaling on, of course. One I cut up into word strips to make some word art to add to a picture. The last I used to cut out a banner embellishment.  

Donuts | I know it is probably pretty corny, but I had to do a page about donuts with my sprinkles kit.  I fussy cut several donuts from patterned paper and used the wooden one as well.  The journaling I typed out on my typewriter and cut into strips for the page. I feel like this is a good option when you are not sure how exactly your design is going to end up.  I sprinkled some stamps and chipboard hearts around the page as well.   I love this kit worked great for boy pages even though the colors are predominantly very soft and feminine. 

And, last but not least - Let them eat cake!!  
I had to make a page about my girls very sweet Marie Antionette costume.  
I put together a video showing how my page came together.  Take a look at let me know what you think! 

Thank you!

Darling| Cocoa Daisy Layout Process Video

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloween Pictures and Costume Ideas

Choosing a costume is never a smooth process around here.  There is a lot of back and forth between completely unreasonable ideas or easy ideas that they give up on the day before Halloween. 
Every once in a while I get a little win though.  I bought this H&M dress years ago, unfortunately the only one left was a few sizes too big.  I scooped it up anyway and have been waiting for her to fit into it.  
Of course, when planning our costumes this year she only wanted to be Pikachu. I even went so far as to buy a set of ears and a tail on Amazon.  They looked way better than the weird onesie from Target. 
(Sorry, Target.  I love you for everything else.  Like the stuffed busts of cute woodland creatures I bought on a whim last night.  So good.)

I decided to give the dress one last shot. 
"Ok Mommy, as long as I get to hold the apple."

I guess this is her idea of a snow white dress?  

I didn't want to share the bloody truth with her in case it made her change her mind. 

Avinash and I did tell her about Marie Antoinette eventually.  He knows a lot about it from watching Animaniacs.  I do what I can to keep my kids cultured.  Like watching tons of 90s cartoons together.  IT'S BRAIN FOOD! 

Speaking of 90s cartoon shows.  I apparently inadvertently named my son after the protagonist of one.  avinASH!  He was psyched to dress up as him for Halloween.  We got the blue vest in the mail minutes before heading out to trick or treat.  Love how psyched it made him! 

Lakshman's costume wasn't really a costume at all.  Being Pikachu is more of a statement of who he feels he really is on the inside.

His teacher literally begs me everyday to teach him to say something other than "Pika pika!" It may or may not be scaring the other kids in class.

Putting on the outfit wasn't a big deal like putting on his giraffe pajamas.  Usually a cause for exuberantly discussing things like running away to giraffe school to learn about eating leaves.

No, this costume had a more subduing effect.  His own real sense of Pikachu didn't need ears or the tail beyond the ones he already has.  So the costumes ones were quickly doffed.

He didn't scream and ask for candy loudly over and over.  That is something he reserves for, say, prayer time at the temple. Instead, he could barely let out a sub-audible "trick or treat".  Squeaking like a mouse perhaps?

He meekly placed his candy in the bucket we held for him.  He didn't demand to eat it on the spot but realized he would do better to take matters in his own hands.  So he quietly held on to a fun size snickers bar until trick or treating was all over.  At the table he handed it over to me for help unwrapping it.  Thoroughly melted, he was only able to take one lick before the texture got to him.  He choose some nerds and swedish fish for himself after that which went down fine.  He didn't even fuss at bedtime.

Hiding from revolutionaries. 

The executioner found her eventually.  Sorry Marie!

You can see more of our fabulous costume ideas here
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