Sunday, December 18, 2011

Rudolph-themed Christmas Party

My co-room mom and I selected a "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" theme for our classroom's holiday party this year. I enlisted my dear friend Bird, of Bird's Party, to design a set of reindeer printables for me. She came up with a cute, modern design featuring a white reindeer--how adorable!!

Check out the invitations from the printables collection. I backed the invitations on scrapbook paper, also from the printables collection.

Since we were on a tight budget ($125 total budget for snacks, drinks, activities and favors for 22 children!), there was a lot of DIY and repurposing that went into this party. 

The party kicked off with a visit from Santa. The children were then divided into three groups for the activities. We made jingle bell necklaces using red, green and white ribbon and small bells to assign children to each group. The groups then rotated between three stations: (i) Crafts--making reindeer antlers and red noses to wear at the party, (ii) Story Time--the story of Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer (of course!), and (iii) Games--Pin the Nose on the Reindeer (which consisted of pinning "red noses" on a reindeer pinata) and a Magic Reindeer Food station (details below). 

To drink, we served hot chocolate with marshmallows and bottled water. The reindeer paper cups were an easy DIY. The water bottles were embellished with bottle wraps from the printables collection

Red gable boxes (left over from the Spiderman party) embellished with cupcake toppers from the printables collection and inexpensive baubles ($1 for a tube of 12 from Target), housed Rudolph bath sponges ($1 from Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts) and decorated sugar cookies to take home.

The Rudolph cupcakes are chocolate cupcakes, embellished with Nilla wafers, pretzels and M&Ms. 

The Rudolph candy canes were an easy DIY. To make, simply twist a pipe cleaner around the top of the candy cane, bend into "antlers", add googly eyes and a red pom pom nose. Easy! 

Since we didn't really have a budget for decorations, we reused the red lanterns from the Spiderman party and some red stockings that my co-room mom had from an event she'd previously hosted. 

We used bulletin board paper to line the tables, instead of buying table cloths. The gable boxes, reindeer cups, water bottles, reindeer candy canes and red napkins wrapped around peppermints rounded out the tablescape. 

For one of our activities, we set up a Magic Reindeer Food station--bowls of oatmeal, sugar sprinkles, marshmallows and crushed peppermint. The children had a great time filling reindeer paper bags with scoops of each item, to take home to scatter on the lawn on Christmas Eve for Rudolph and his friends! A lot of the recipes for Magic Reindeer Food that we saw online contained glitter, but we decided to skip the glitter since it's not biodegradable and could hurt animals if ingested--we used sugar sprinkles instead. 

The reindeer paper bags for the Magic Reindeer Food was also an easy DIY, using paper bags, construction paper for antlers, googly eyes and red pom poms. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Snowflake Holiday Party

We hosted a holiday party for our friends this past weekend. 

Snowflake-themed party printables from Bird's Party served as the inspiration for the party...
and for my made-from-scratch snowflake cookies! :-)

Take a look...

I made the wreath using a variety of picks and ornaments from Michaels

We asked all the guests to bring a new, unwrapped gift to donate to charity. 
I'm planning on dropping these off this week with my son. I think it will be a great way to teach him about helping others. 

Everyone had so much fun with the photo booth at the Spiderman Party that it has become 
a party staple for me! 

I decorated with peppermint and candy cane trees and peppermint toparies, which were inspired by some of my very favorite party people at Anders Ruff and Pizzazzerie

The dessert buffet was very much scaled down from the Spiderman party since this was an adults-only event (I find that adults really don't eat as much sugar as their kiddos!) Also, in an effort to be a little cost conscious, and because I'd been dying to experiment a little, I made all the desserts myself! 

This was only my second time experimenting with making my own sugar cookies with royal icing, but I was quite pleased with the results. 

The double chocolate fudge cake pops were such a hit that I had to make a second batch the day after the party for some of the guests who stayed over! :-)

I made cupcakes from scratch and even made fondant toppers to top them with! Working with fondant has always intimated me, but these were surprisingly easy to make. 

Okay, yes, I did buy (not make) the rock candy! :-)

I used a snowflake-shaped silicone muffin pan to mold the home-made peppermint bark 
into snowflake shapes.

We also served a full dinner--also homemade!

 But the bar was really the star of the show! :-)

I sent everyone home with a home-made pumpkin, walnut spice bread. 

Tutorials on the cookies, fondant toppers and peppermint bark to follow soon. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Little Pumpkin's First Birthday Party

Fall birthdays are a lot of fun because the season provides so much of the inspiration for the theme. Krish’s mommy wanted to have a pumpkin-themed birthday, but without it feeling like a Halloween party or a Fall/harvest celebration. There are a lot of pumpkin-themed parties out there, but we decided to go with a more retro look by incorporating teal and lots of glitter elements.  

The invitations asked guests to “BYOP” (bring your own pumpkin) and wear plaid. Upon arrival, guests were asked to place their pumpkins in the home-made “pumpkin patch”. The picket fence around the pumpkin patch was made from foam board cut into strips (similar to the barnyard party featured previously). The pumpkin patch was used as a photo booth of sorts and provided a nice backdrop to take photos of all of the children. Later on in the party, the children reclaimed their pumpkins to decorate them.  Other activities included coloring and making pumpkin masks.

The dessert table featured birthday cake, pumpkin spice cupcakes, pumpkin cake pops, pumpkin sugar cookies, orange, green and teal rock candy and other candy, pumpkin-shaped marshmallows, chocolate dipped crab apples, pumpkin-shaped chocolates. Savory eats included tortilla wraps shaped like pumpkins. 

For party favors, the children took home T-shirts with pumpkin faces and, of course, their decorated pumpkins!

Take a look...

The birthday cake was made by Nadler's, a local bakery.

The pumpkin-spice cupcakes were homemade. 
They were topped with pumpkin-shaped fondant toppers from Village Cupcakes

We added sour apple candy to make "stems" for these pumpkin like sugared marshmallows.

I made pumpkin-shaped candy using Wilton candy melts and a pumpkin candy mold.

The rock candy was a HUGE hit with the children AND the adults!

The awesome sugar cookies were from Sweet Lill

The smash cake was a giant cupcake, topped with a sugared marshmallow.

These fabulous pumpkin-shaped cake pops were from Radiant Cakes.

 Here are some of the decorated pumpkins! :-)

 Vendor Credits:

Fondant toppers: Village Cupcakes

Sugar cookies: Sweet Lill, Say it with Sweets

Cake pops: Radiant Cakes

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