Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sneak Peek: Spiderman Party, Comic Letter Tutorial

I'm about 2 months out from my son's 4th birthday party, so it's time to start planning! I know, I know, 2 months sounds like a long time, but don't forget that I also work, so I have to fit all my crafting into evenings and weekends! He LOVES Spider Man right now and he is insisting that we have a Spider Man party. Personally, I would have loved to have done something more original, but I fundamentally believe that parties should be fun for the guest of honor. So, if he wants Spider Man, then I will give him Spider Man.

I've got several things in the works, so look out for some more sneak peeks over the next couple of months, but try not to ruin the surprise! :-)

First up, a tutorial on how to make these Spider Man comic book letters (which also double as wall decor for his super hero bedroom before and after the party!)

Tutorial: Spiderman Comic Book Letters

These comic book letters make a great decorative accent for a superhero-themed party or bedroom. Rather than tearing up valuable, vintage comic books, I simply printed images from Spiderman comics that I found on the Internet. Alternatively, you could make color copies of your favorite vintage comic book and use the copies. You can buy old comic books at Half Priced Books for 50 cents to $1.50 each. I recycled the wooden letters from my son's previous "monkey"-themed room so this was a cost-free project for me, but you could use inexpensive chipboard letters. I do, however, like the thickness of the wooden letters over the chipboard letters.

Step 1: You will need wooden/chipboard letters, comic book (real, copies or computer printouts), tissue paper, Mod Podge, a brush, scissors and a pencil.

Step 2: Flip over each wooden letter and trace around each wooden letter on the back of a comic book page.

Step 3: Cut out the letters from the comic book pages and set them aside. These will be used later to cover the front face of each wooden letter. 

Step 4: Cut strips of tissue paper to about twice the thickness of your wooden letters.

Step 5: Apply Mod Podge to the edges of each wooden letter. 

Step 6: Paste the tissue paper strips around each wooden letter, to completely cover the edges of each wooden letter. You may need to cut small slits to get around curved letters, as shown below. Apply more Mod Podge over the tissue paper. 

Step 7: Apply Modge Podge to the face of each letter, position the comic book page cut out and apply more Mod Podge over the top of each letter and seal all the edges. It may look a little pasty when it is wet, but it will dry clear. 

 Step 8: Let the comic book letters dry thoroughly. Coat with a clear coat of varnish to finish.


Then I got a little carried away....I did the light switch....

...and the night light! Don't they look cute? :-) 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Royal Wedding Cookies

Just a quick post because I absolutely had to share these awesome Royal Wedding Cookies from my favorite local cookie shop, Lily's Cookies! Aren't they fabulous?!! Enough said!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Inspiration: Scrabble Party

Here's a random fact about me: I am a complete and utter Scrabble-aholic. There, I said it.  I have been playing Scrabble all my life--even during those teenage years when it really wasn't cool to be besotted with something so academic! :-) 

Fast forward 15 years and, of course, now I'm a complete and utter "Words With Friends"-aholic! It's my favorite app on my i-Phone. I love the fact that I can play my favorite word game (albeit with Triple Word squares in a different location) with friends and family in distant parts of the country. 

But, you know, it's really no substitute for a face-to-face Scrabble match--which brings me to the subject of this post...

I've had this idea percolating in my brain for a while. Game nights and poker nights are pretty popular, but why not a Scrabble party?!! I would, however, recommend vetting your guest list pretty carefully for this one! Even if your guests are not die-hard word geeks, they have to at least be willing to play. (I say this because some of my own family and friends won't play Scrabble with me, for fear of losing!)

I have been scouring the web for some ideas and there are some fabulous ones out there. Here are some of my favorites, with my own twists along the way. 


I like this simple and elegant invitation design from amayzndesigns, which uses the Scrabble board as a back drop and Scrabble tiles to spell out the name of the guest of honor. 

It also gave me a great DIY idea--make several color copies of your Scrabble board, cut them to size and use them for the backdrop of your invitation. Then, print out your party details on your computer (use velum so you can see the board beneath) and paste the details on top of the board, for a cool "collage" invitation. You can do the same with the letters--check out the free printable Scrabble letters here

I love the use of the play on words in this invitation below (especially appropriate for a party based on a word game, don't you think?) 

Try doing the same with your invitation, by incorporating lots of Scrabble jargon. Here are some more ideas: It's time to mind your Ps and Qs...Don't be a Q without U...Join us for a Scrabble party and get a Triple Word Score...

Party Decor:

Wow, here's an idea for any Scrabble nut out there! Decorate your living room like this. Isn't it fabulous?!! For those who may not want to be stuck with Scrabble-themed decor long after the party, you could achieve a similar look by draping white sheets over your sofas and by adding Scrabble throw pillows.

If you're thinking of hosting a Scrabble party for a birthday, check out this Scrabble Happy Birthday  banner

Food and Drinks:

I absolutely ADORE these wine charms. I think I'm going to get some! :-)

Some people love Scrabble so much, they have Scrabble weddings! Check out this amazing cake from Sweet Things, in Toronto. 

Here's another fab wedding cake from Pink Cake Box

Of course, if you're not in the market for a full-blown wedding cake, then how about the cupcakes or cookies featured above from Pink Cake Box or the delectably "YUM" cupcakes below from Sweet Things? Or you could make your own cupcake toppers with white fondant rolled and cut into squares and a black edible marker--you can buy the edible markers at Karen's Cookies. Use them to write any message matching your theme or event.

If you're not the baking-type (or even the fondant-rolling-type), you can buy fondant toppers here

The Action:

A Scrabble party isn't just about the Scrabble-themed party goodies (although those are wonderful and would make me want to throw a Scrabble party even if I didn't like Scrabble). It is about the very serious business of playing a good Scrabble match. Depending on how much time you have, you can just set up a few boards and have people play a leisurely game with 1-3 other people or set it up tournament style, with play-offs, ending in a final match between the two winners--if you go the tournament route, you might want to set timers for each turn to make sure the tournament ends within a reasonable time frame. 

If your guests don't have the attention span for a tournament (or even a single, full game), then have them play Speed Scrabble. You can do this, with or without a board, by having everyone make the best word (or as many words as possible) using the same 7 randomly-chosen letter tiles, within an allotted period of time. 

In any event, make some Scrabble trophies for the winner(s). This is a great DIY project--all you need are some store-bought trophies, some old Scrabble tiles spelling "WINNER" or "CHAMPION" and some hot glue! 

You can even combine the Scrabble party with another theme--like the one featured in the culinary Scrabble party invitation above. For example, you get bonus points for making food-related words. 

Or how about a Scrabble baby shower? You get bonus points for baby-related words!! :-)


If you are planning on sending your guests home with favors, then how about the wine charms shown above for a cool favor idea?! Also, check out these Scrabble gift bags:

So now I'm itching to have a Scrabble party. I just need to find some local friends willing to take on the challenge...or I could fly in my Words With Friends friends! JK!

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