Search This Blog

Friday, May 28, 2010

70's Retro Birthday Party

I'm in the planning process for this party still. My daughter is turning 7, and trying to come up with a theme that we agreed on was not so easy. She's at the stage where she does not like princesses anymore, but she's still a bit too young for a party where we go someplace for the party. We compromised on a 1970's theme. She is really into tie dye, hearts and peace signs so it seemed like a good fit. For the invitations I got standard size white cards and envelopes, 8 1/2" x 11" tie dye paper that I cut into 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" pieces. I had a stamp that said, "It's party time!" that I stamped with a rainbow colored ink pad on white cardstock. I rubbed the edges of that paper with a red ink pad, then cut out ribbon, charms and assembled the card. This is what the card looks like on the outside. On the inside it says,
"Far out! It's a birthday party! We're boogieing on down for (name)'s birthday (date and time) at the (last name) crib. We're flashing back to the 70's to celebrate (name)'s special day. We're making groovy crafts like tie dye t-shirts. Your threads might get dirty so dress accordingly. RSVP right away so we can get the right size shirt. Call (name and number). Can you dig it? Be there or be square!"
As the girls (aged 6-9) arrived I gave each girl a blank page from a sketch pad and had markers in the center of the table. I let the girls draw pictures, and it kept them busy for at least 20 minutes as everyone streamed in. Then we had lunch. I served homemade sliders, chips and Capri Sun drinks. When we were done eating we divided the girls into two groups and had 2 stations. The first station was with me and my husband. We were in charge of the tie dye shirts. My good friend Jennifer came to the party and she was in charge of station 2. I bought white t-shirts in varying sizes from Joann and Michael's. I let the girls choose from 2 different designs that came with the tie dye kit. I gave each girl a gallon size baggie, had them write their name on it and also on the tag of the shirt. I washed the shirts in the sink, wrung them out and arranged them according to design instructions. I had my husband as the dye assistant.
The second station was really fun. I got small canvas bags, iron on appliques, a peace sign stencil (it came with 1 large and 1 small), fabric paint and felt peace sign buttons. Each girl wrote her name with a Sharpie marker on the inside of the bag, then chose one applique, one felt button and started painting the peace signs.
As everyone was finishing I got out the headbands that I had started the night before. I custom fit a retro style headband on each girl and sewed the elastic to the other end.
I made a tie dye cake and when we were done with the stations we had cake and ice cream. Every single kid had cake (which never happened at any of our previous parties). After everyone was done eating my daughter opened gifts. Everyone had a great time, and my daughter told me it was the best party she's ever had. Yay!

Monday, May 24, 2010

End of year teacher gift ideas

As the end of the school year approaches I am filled with a sense of dread. I've been so busy that I haven't come up with teacher gifts this year! As a room mother for one of my children I have been working on a group gift with the other moms. I can't post it yet because her teacher visits my site occasionally. (I will post a picture on Thursday- after she gets her gift.) That gift is taken care of, but I have 3 other children with teachers. I try to give something homemade to each teacher because I think those gifts mean the most. I try to find something that is inexpensive because buying for several teachers can get pricey.
Here is the list of ideas that I have come up with tonight. Hopefully this will help spark your imagination and help you come up with something for the teachers in your lives.
A mini scrapbook- You don't have to buy an album from the store. You can use paper bags folded in half. They can have pictures, sayings and gift cards inside the pockets.
An inexpensive pitcher with several fresh lemons
Personalized stationary
Etched glass vase with fresh flowers
Potted flowers in a painted terra cotta pot A personalized calendar
A personalized tote bag
A homemade cook book
Homemade goodies (recipe included)
A tote bag filled with sunscreen, a towel, a water bottle and a book (or a gift certificate to a local bookstore)
An apron with the teacher's name embroidered on the front. If you can't embroider use fabric paint.
Garden gloves with packets of seeds, mini shovel and trowel
Classroom supplies- teachers run out of tissues during cold season, hand sanitizer, hand soap, pencils, reams of white copy paper, dry erase markers or chalk, pink erasers, stickers or stamps with ink for younger grades, craft supplies
Magazine subscriptions
Children's books for the classroom
Rainy day activity boxes for the classroom- ideas include coloring pages, crossword puzzles, sudoku puzzles, pencils, crayons, etc. or a craft with the necessary supplies included
Extra fruits and veggies from your garden in a basket tied with a cute ribbon
Floor pillows or bean bags for the reading area in your teacher's classroom
A night at the movies- gift certificate for local video store, movie candy, microwave popcorn, bottled soda
A paper floral arrangement with gift cardsDinner in a box- Don't throw away those drink carriers from the drive-through! Fill one side with the pasta, the other side with a jarred pasta sauce. If it comes with 4 slots, put a loaf of bread in one and a drink in the other. You can decorate the box easily with stamps and stickers.
Personalized post-it notes- stamp the sides of a stack of post-it notes.
Decorated notebook with a matching clipboard.

Remember the packaging can make a difference. If you have something small enough use an empty, clean and dry 2-liter bottle. Cut a flap out and insert the gift. Tape it up with packaging tape, cover with decorative paper, add ribbon and you have a great gift.
I hope these ideas have helped you. Please comment if you have any more ideas!