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Superhero Party!

20 Sep

I love to throw a party.

Birthdays, Christmas, Halloween, Groundhog Day, I don’t care. Any day is a good excuse for a celebration in my book!

Last year, I helped my pal Sara put together a superhero themed birthday party for her son, Ethan.

The party had to be done on a budget, in a couple of weeks, and would be held in a small space with just a few friends.

So I put my party planner hat on and got to work!

My husband likes to say that as long as I have enough scrapbook paper and scotch tape – I can throw anyone a party. He’s mostly right.

I was able to find pretty much everything we needed for this party at the dollar store and my favorite craft store. I used coupons whenever I could to help keep my out-of-pocket expenses down.

Here’s how it all came together:

One of the things I always do when I throw any party, is to look around my house to see what I already have that I can use. For these cool Spiderman cupcake toppers, I actually used one of my son’s old graphic novels. He was going to donate it anyway so it worked out perfectly.

I carefully cut out the cells that I thought were cool and pasted them onto some card stock. Once the sheet of card stock was full and the glue was dry, I cut around the cell again. The card stock just makes each topper more sturdy. I used a small piece of scotch tape to attach toothpicks to the back of each one.

To make these reusable, you could laminate them or use clear packing tape like I often do. Put a piece of tape across the front of the topper, then flip it over a put a piece across the back. Trim with scissors to fit and voila! You can use them over and over.

Sara was able to give me a few old comic books to use to make party decor from which was great because it saved us a lot of money.

For Ethan’s super banner, I cut triangles out of comic book pages (using a ruler to make sure they were all exactly the same), then I glued them all to a ribbon and let dry. The letters came from a pack of die cut letters and numbers I found at the dollar store.

Once I figured out how to make treat cones, I was hooked! I’ve used them for every party since Ethan’s. They’re great for kids because you can fill them with so many things. The kids can just grab one and eat on the go. How often do kids sit still at a birthday party? Exactly. These cones are good to go!

The trick is figuring out how to make them stand up. There are all kinds of tutorials for this online but here’s what I did:

First, Sara and I went to the craft store together and chose scrapbook paper that would match Ethan’s party theme.

I used an inexpensive white basket that I already had lying around. I printed some comic book covers that I found online and glued them onto a strip of yellow construction paper for a pop of color. Then I used double-sided tape to attach it to the basket.

To make the paper cones, I laid a dinner plate on the back of each sheet of paper and traced around lightly with a pencil. Then I cut it out, folded it over into a cone shape (leaving a small opening at the bottom) and taped the seam on the back down.

To get them to stand up you can certainly buy styrofoam from the craft store but I’m way too cheap for that so I used the lid from an old styrofoam cooler. I washed it really well and cut it to fit the basket. Then I inserted small wooden dowels down into the styrofoam and slid each cone on top.

I ran a sheet of red, blue, and yellow construction paper through my shredder to make confetti and then filled the basket so you wouldn’t see the styrofoam.

I found the cute “Boom”, “Pow”, and “Zap” decorations online, printed them, cut them out, and attached the small ones to toothpicks and the large one to a wooden dowel. Then I just slid them into the styrofoam.

One way that Sara was able to save money on this party was by keeping the food simple. She made a few sandwiches and then cut them into easy to eat strips. Then she wrapped strips of comic book pages around each one.

Instant cuteness!

I feel like I should just take a sec to mention here that I’m not really sure how safe it is to put old comic book pages right up against food like that but the important thing is that all of the kids who ate them survived. I wouldn’t suggest doing it every day but once for a birthday party should be fine.

For the goodie bags, I bought a pack of yellow paper bags at the craft store using a 40% off coupon. Then we just attached strips of scrapbook paper and cute “Pow!” printable graphics.

Our craft store has a dollar section that just happened to have superhero stuff at the time! So for about $3 we were able to get coloring pages, pencils, erasers, and a little toy for each bag.

For the Superhero snack bar, I used printables yet again. Gotta love free printables! We just printed, cut, glued toothpicks onto the back, and they were done.

I realized at the last-minute that we didn’t have anything to put the “PICK YOUR SUPERHERO” sign in so I fashioned one out of a yogurt cup, some construction paper, and scrapbook paper scraps.

I’m telling you, I can make party decor out of anything.

For a sweet treat that matched the theme, I found some really cute free printables online that I forwarded to Sara so she could print them out and then do all that super fun cutting!

Actually, her eyes are better than mine and those superhero masks are tiny, so this task fell onto her shoulders.

Once cut, the masks are attached to the lollipops with tape and a hole punch is used to punch a hole in the cape for the stick to slide through.

Then she wrapped a box that she already had with tissue paper and decorated it with a strip of scrapbook paper. I made a little sign for the back out of scrapbook paper and all that was left to do was insert the lollipops!

This is yet another quickie decor project for a spot that just needed a little something.

Ethan is always doing superhero or ninja poses and I happened to snap a picture of him doing a ninja move one day. So I printed it out, trimmed it up, and made him a cape and a mask out of construction paper. Instant superhero!

I attached it to a wooden dowel with tape and slid it into a mason jar that I filled with some of that construction paper confetti that I told you about previously. A free printable, a die cut number from the dollar store, and a strip of scrapbook paper were all it took to complete this project.

This was a background that I made so that we could put the kids in front and take cute pics.

To make this background I cut a cityscape out of black poster paper and attached yellow squares and rectangles (which were cut out of yellow poster paper) to make windows. I also made a search light with an E in it. Had to have that.

I glued the cityscape onto some blue poster paper and attached another little Super Ethan.

We put comic book pages around the outside to finish it up.

There is not a single picture from that party where all of the kids are looking the same direction or not goofing off but that just made for some really funny pictures.

Every superhero should have a cape so I made Ethan his very own out of some felt from the craft store. This project was really easy and inexpensive.

I found a cape tutorial online. It was just a matter of drawing an outline with chalk, cutting, and gluing.

He loved his cape and everyone took turns wearing it. It was a big hit with all the Dads too.

So that was Ethan’s birthday party. It wasn’t expensive or time-consuming but he loved it – which is the most important thing.

All of the printables and tutorials I used can be found online. Just search “free superhero party printables” and tons of ideas will come up for you.

To get you started, I made a few printables for you. Just click on them to save them to your computer. Then you can resize them if you need to and use them however you want to. Print them out on card stock so they’ll be extra durable.

Superhero Collage

Super power food table labels

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The Lunch List

7 Sep

 

Indeed.

Kids everywhere are going back to school.

And sooner or later, those of us who pack lunches for our kids will all inevitably wind up right smack in the middle of two distinct crisis situations:

Crisis 1: Due to a lack of planning, we will all find ourselves standing in front of our refrigerators, drumming our fingers on the door as we try to come up with something – anything to put in our kids’ lunch boxes that day.

All too often this situation plays out early in the morning, before the coffee has had a chance to work its magic. I think we’re all guilty of tossing a few pieces of questionable items in brightly colored wrappers into our kids’ lunch boxes as a result.

Crisis 2: Due to hectic schedules, burn out, or general lack of interest, we will not be able to come up with any new ideas for lunch box fillers. This results in kids getting the same lunches over and over and ultimately, getting bored. 

Then it’s only a matter of time before your kid is trading that boring lunch for who even knows what at the lunch table.

In an attempt to remedy both of the situations listed above, I’ve put together a handy dandy list of lunch box ideas.

Because drama has no place in lunch packing.

Save it, print it, hang it on your refrigerator, or hand it to your kids before you go to the grocery store and let them circle what they would like in their lunches.

Crises averted.

Long distance high-five.

 

lunch list

Freebie: First Day of School Printable

10 Aug

Click here to print.

Free Back to School Printables!

9 Aug

Back to school time is upon us and we all know what that means.

Kids will need backpacks, lunch boxes, shoes, clothes, probably a new jacket or raincoat, and let’s not forget about the super specific classroom supply list we’ll all be getting from their teachers soon.

My son has seven teachers so I get seven lists. For one kid. Seven!

Those of you with kids in middle school and high school totally get me right now.

Those of you with littles still in elementary school will find out soon enough.

Back to school time can be expensive so I’ve rounded up some fun printable freebies for you to add some cuteness to your kids’ lunches, books, and first day photos.

Just click on the pictures to go straight to the source for downloading and printing instructions as well as some great ideas for how to use them.

Get yourself some laminating paper from the dollar store and laminate these so you can use them over and over again.

Prepare yourselves. The cuteness is pretty overwhelming.

First off, how adorable is this set of handy-dandy printables from Jill Dubien of meetthedubiens.com? Seriously, if you aren’t already a regular visitor to her blog, you should be! Her blog is one of my favorites.

Some lunch box love from Kristi of ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com A lady who blogs to avoid housework? I wouldn’t know anything about that. 😉

Boy-themed joke cards from designbydani.com

More boy and girl-themed lunchbox notes from princessandthepeas.com

From frugalcouponliving.com:

Oh how I love Martha.

Robot notes from tangarangblog.com

How sweet are these book labels from welovetoillustrate.com?

I’m dying over that fox!

Book tags & lunchbox notes from Nina Seven:

Not so scary monsters designed by Jennifer A. Bell of jenniferabell.com:

For the first day of school picture:

Preschool through high school photo cards by Wanessa of WCC Designs:

Back to school photo card printables designed by Heather from Chickabug. To get these printables, you’ll need to sign up for an email list here. After you sign up, you will receive an email with a link to download this page.

* All printables are for personal use only.