Thursday, October 30, 2014

Safari Theme Party~ Cardboard Cave

My daughter Kiki always has BIG ideas for her birthday parties! Last year she wanted a princess party with a pink princess castle! Here is what I created for her! You can click on the picture below to see the process and other things I did for the party!
This year she wanted a Jungle theme party where all of the kids invited could pretend to be animals in a HUGE cave!!! She got a Panda costume for Halloween the year so that is what she dressed as! Here is the process of what we did to make our little girl's birthday dream come true! First, we picked up a bunch of free boxes from a furniture store. A tip about making large cardboard structures is that if you open the box up it covers a lot larger area!
We started moving the boxes around to come up with our design. I wanted to put it in the same corner we put the castle in and also have a large area on the inside that the kids could stand up in and play.
I think we had about 17 kids total at the party which is why I wanted an open area inside, so everyone would be able to play! 
We figured we would make one way in and one way out... The kids would have to crawl through the caves to get into the larger area and my husband came up with the idea for the kids to slide out of it!

Here is the beginning of the cave that the kids could crawl through.... at first we just taped the boxes together and to the wall to hold them in place... then my husband cut the openings afterwards!
Here is a picture of what the inside of the cave looks like before the outside structure of the cave is done!
We opened up the boxes and used duct tape to tape the walls together and the cardboard to the floor!
If you want your boxes to hold, you want to use GOOD and STRONG duct tape.... not cheap stuff!
Here is the basic structure of the cave just in boxes!
We then attached cardboard to the ceiling to cover up the opening so no one could see in! We also added another cave to crawl through on the right of the cave opening!
Once all of the cardboard was in place we used about 6 rolls of brown packaging paper, which I got from the Dollar Store,  to cover it up. We unraveled the whole roll of paper and crumpled it up to give it more of a "rock" look. Then we taped or stapled it to the cardboard. *tip* After all this work we realized that the cheapest and best tape to use for the outside packaging paper is clear packaging tape...
   
Next, I transformed one of the posts downstairs in the basement into a tree! I used green tablecloths from the dollar store to make the "Leaves". I just taped them to the top of the post and then to the ceiling after stretching them out!
   
To make the pole look more like bark, Kiki and I painted Trader Joes shopping bags a little darker brown, ripped the bottom edges a little and stapled/taped them around the pole!
   
I then added a Dollar Store white and green table cloth to the wall to make the jungle scene extend on the wall a little!
I finger painted, with acrylics, some vines and leaves to the top of the white table cloth!
I drew two monkeys on regular paper and had Kiki help me color them. Then we cut them out and taped them to the table cloth!
We also added another little cave to crawl in over by the slide! This one had a bunch of blankets in the bottom so it was nice and soft inside!
This is a picture before it was all covered with brown paper!
I then added green crepe paper hanging from the ceiling like green vines. I wanted to show you what it looked like before and after I crumpled the crepe paper! When you crumple it up a little, it makes it look more like vines! 
The kids love sliding out of the cave into the vines!
   
I also added crumpled crepe paper vines in front of the cave to add a little color.... 
I made a cute little sign to go on the front with some scrapbook paper that says "Kiki's Kave"!
Here is the finished Cave!
We had a few games planned for the kids! 
The kids were having so much fun playing that we only really got to do the big scavenger hunt. 
Here is what we did!
We had the kids decorate brown paper bags upstairs with markers and stickers while two older kids went down to the cave area to hide plastic animals that I picked up from the dollar store!
We had a bunch of different jungle animals like this and there was one hidden for every child!
They got to keep their animal as part of their party favor!
The simple rule was to find an animal and then help the others who haven't found one yet! 
It was great and no one felt left out, which definitely can happen with this many children!
They sat down on the floor in front of the cave after they found their animal.
After everyone showed that they found an animal, they earned a safari map to find their treasure!
I drew a basic outline of our house and property on brown paper and burnt the edges to make it look old! I drew "you are here" and circled it in red and then we  drew a dotted line to follow to find numbers 1 through 4 in our yard which then lead to X marks the spot!!!
It was such a BEAUTIFUL fall day! Here are the kids running to find #2 on one of our trees!
The X lead the kids to the treasure box piñata!
I normally don't let my kids have a lot of candy.... so a Piñata was Kiki's BIGGEST wish besides the cave!!! So this was a special event!
Here is the birthday girl taking a swing! 
We also made this cute pin the tail on the Giraffe game which we didn't get to play till most of the kids left.
If you haven't seen my posts before on this....I LOVE Staples for their engineering prints!
My husband photoshopped a picture of Kiki sitting and put her on a free giraffe coloring page we found online!
If you don't know how to photoshop you can simply just use any free coloring page of the jungle animal of your choosing and have it printed for just a few bucks! The poster was HUGE! It was 36"X48" and only $7.76!
 
I added the two other posts I have done on Staples Engineering Prints if you want to find out how to do this for yourself or for one of your parties! Just click on the picture and it will take you to the post! 


*One other game idea for your Jungle Theme party is Jungle Animal Freeze Dance. All you do is play music and when it stops yell out an animal name and the kids have to freeze like that animal!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

DIY Fall Door Decor~ Using Dollar Store Items

First of all, I can't believe October is already here!
Knowing the holidays were coming at us so quickly, I was thinking of making a wreath for my door for Halloween/Thanksgiving time! I didn't want to spend a lot of time or money. I wondered if the Dollar Store would have a few things I could put together for fun Decor for my door. What I came up with was so cute, simple to put together, and only cost me a few dollars!!!

First I picked out some Halloween/fall flowers and this cute little crow.
You can use anything you want to add an accent to your flowers. They have so many different decorations there. Since I wanted to keep this up past Halloween, I chose something not so scary!
I put my flowers together the way I liked them then duct taped the stems together at the bottom.
This crow comes with wire on his feet so I simply wrapped him around the stems!
Then I got my dollar Styrofoam pumpkin.... I have also seen these at target in the dollar section with a glitter look. Use whatever you think looks the best for your home!
I used a kitchen knife to cut the pumpkin in half, then cut a little indent at the top for my bouquet to fit into. So your bouquet doesn't stick out in the back you might have to cut some leaves or flowers off to make it lay flat!
I, then, just hot glued the flowers to the pumpkin!
   
Here is what it looks like all attached together! 
I wanted to add a W for our last name so I painted it on the center of the pumpkin with black acrylic paint.
I sealed the paint on with Sparkle Mod Podge!
This step is not nessary, however, I didn't want my W to ever chip off and I wanted a sparkle look to my pumpkin. I highly suggest using Mod Podge to seal anything you paint on the pumpkin!
Then I tied some curling ribbon to the back of the stems so it could hang on my door.
Get out your wreath hook and hook on your new cute door decor!
Here you can really see the sparkle that the Mod Podge seal gives my pumpkin!
Happy October EVERYONE!!! I hope this gets you inspired to create something for your home this season!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Make Your Own Baby Mobile ~ Monster Theme

This is one of my favorite projects to do when I am pregnant! I love to come up with a cute theme for the room that the baby is going in! This was particularly fun because I got to come up with something  for my "little boys" room! For the color scheme, I knew from the start that I was going to use turquoise. If the baby was a girl I was going to combine purple and if the baby was a boy I was going to combine orange!
 After the color scheme was set, I came up with a "Little Monster's" theme.

I pulled out the mobile that I made when Garren was a baby. As you can see I had a Tiger theme for his room with the colors black, cream, and white! Just like my little monsters, I used felt and hand stitched these little tiger faces together!

The first thing I did to get started was take apart the tiger mobile.
Then I spray painted the frame orange.

If you would like to see more to this whole process you can click HERE to see how I changed a Hello Kitty mobile that I made for my daughter to this tiger mobile. It's such a simple process to make your own!
I put together simple cute monsters with felt. 
I wanted to do it the fast way so I hot glued the features on the face but you could hand stitch them if you want. 
This could pose a choking hazard if you allow your baby to actually touch the mobile but they are normally only used while a baby is small AND only to look at! 

After getting the monsters to look like I wanted, I outlined the shape of the body and cut it out for the backing.
I started hand stitching around the edge of the monster.
I left a small opening at the top and stuffed the monster with cotton balls.
Another thing I love to add to the center of my mobiles is a plastic silver ball christmas ornament. Babies love to look at the reflective surface and PLASTIC makes it a safe option.
Here is the finished product of my cute little monster mobile!
Ever since I put the mobile up in the crib, Garren loves to pretend he is a baby and lay under it.
He likes to say which monster is his favorite as they go around.
Here he is watching the monsters while holding the special Dino we built for the baby at Trex Cafe.

This brings me to the other special tradition that we have for our kids. 
We go to Build A Bear or Build A Dino with our child/ren before the baby is born and let them make a special stuffed animal as a present to the baby.
The kids record a special message to the baby, which is sooooo much fun to listen to even years later.
They each get to pick out a heart, kiss it, and put it into the doll before it is stuffed.

Here is a picture of my kids kissing a heart for their new baby brother.
   
Here is a picture of all of us from our fun trip to Trex Cafe. 
The kids will bring the doll to the hospital to give to the baby when they first meet him!
I have blogged about this fun idea before. 
Click HERE to see that post along with some other fun ideas you can do in preparation for a new baby!
   
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