Tag Archives: creative ideas

Birthday Gifts for Kids that aren’t Toys

25th May 2016

 

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You know ALL those toys your kids have that they have played with once?  They get gobs of exciting toys at their party and play with them for a short time and then they’re yours to store.  Good luck.  You have two options:  have a big house or know how to get rid of clutter.  When I go to birthday parties, my kids brings non-toy gifts about 95 percent of the time.  It’s something much more practical to do, fun for the child, and something a parent can really appreciate.   Here are some ideas and some of the gifts that we like to give.

 

1.  Gift card to self-serve yogurt shop.  A small gift card gives several visits which can all be used for the child, their siblings, and maybe the whole family.  It’s a special treat, a fun trip, and they will love getting to build their ice cream/yogurt and pick all their toppings.  This can be packaged in really cute ways.

2.  A balloon filled with a dollar for each year of their life that they have to pop.  Even young children know that cash money means you get what you want!

3.  For a toddler, buy a bunch of carousel tokens from the mall and package them by wrapping the coins in a tiny box and using them as a balloon weight to a bundle of birthday balloons.

4.  For a little girl, get a gift card to a spa that offers children’s chairs and pedi/manis.  She can take a friend along or do it as something special with a mom or sister.  She will remember this forever, unlike a toy.

5.  Passes to a zoo or children’s museum.  If you know the parent’s well and live within an hour of one of these locations, this is a gift that many won’t mind driving for if there aren’t zoos or museums in their hometown.  It’s active, stirs the imagination, and gets the whole family going.

6.  Gift card to a painting place.   Again, they can do this with friends or family and use their imagination picking and painting their own pottery.

7.  Gift certificate for bowling, putt-putt, ice skating, go karting, or roller skating.  Get them out of the house and active, doing something they only do maybe once or twice a year at best.

8.  Do your research on your hometown and see what’s offered locally.  Where I live you can go on cave tours, boat cave tours, butterfly gardens, zip lining (offers a course for children),  and horseback riding which is offered in most towns. Buy them a gift certificate to do some of what makes your city special. Let a little one get to know what’s neat about their town and get them experiencing new things!

9.  If you are going to a summer party, buy a pass to a local or near by water park or amusement park if it’s offered near your town.  Have your child give the gift and package it with flip flops or sunglasses in a confetti filled cellophane bag with a tag that says “A day at the water park with me!”

10.  If you can’t attend a party for a toddler or young child but want to do something special for them, go to Baskin Robbins and get one of their classic clown ice cream cones made up with their favorite ice cream.  Grad a balloon or two and stop by their house with their clown cone.  They will be excited for the unexpected surprise and yummy, personalized treat!

11.  Give a gift card to a play place where they can run, jump, and slide no matter the time of year or weather!

12.   I bought two one dollar stinkin’ cute pails from the one spot aisle at Target and filled it with tokens to Chuckie Cheese.  The party was for two kids so I bought 150 coins and split 75 in each pail which is 75 games and or rides/kids!  Whoa.  This means they will get more than one trip from the gift.  The coins were tucked inside in a Chuckie Cheese coin cup that I put down in a clear bag tied with decorative ribbon.

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Fun to receive, fun to get gifts that require activity, encourage family fun, and ones you will NEVER have to store….except in your memory box in your head.  All the moms will think you are one smart cookie and the kids will have something as unique as them and something tailored to what they already like or a chance to try something new!

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Easy DIY Silhouette

16th December 2015

 

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If you have a steady hand, I promise on your favorite granny that you can do this easy DIY silhouette.  I did one of each member of my family and this year, I decided to do one as a gift for my sister-in-law.  Here is my simple tutorial!

 

Supplies:

paint to cover wood canvas

acrylic paint for silhouette in color of your choice

 quality fine to medium-fine tipped paint brush

photograph of person you wish to paint

quality scissors

pen

sealer if desired

Steps:

1.  Take a picture of your subject’s profile, neck up against a solid background to make outlines distinct.  Take picture close enough so that there is only a slight margin around the profile.  Why?  This way when you choose the size you wish to print your picture, whatever size you enlarge it to be will also be the same size of the actual profile.  So if you need your silhouette to be a 5 by 7, if the image takes up the whole picture, you can be sure that your silhouette will be a 5 by 7 when you print it,  if you leave only a small margin around the profile.

2. Paint canvas/surface you wish to put your silhouette on if needed. I painted and distressed mine first.

3.  Take printed picture of subject’s profile and cut out slowly with a good pair of scissors to get accurately all of the lines of the profile, neck, head, etc.

3.  Lay cut out silhouette on to surface and trace.

4.  Using the acrylic paint of your choice, take your time to paint the outline steadily.  A good paint brush will make this much easier and precise.

5. Finish painting in the remaining space of the silhouette.  I typically do two coats.

6. Seal portrait if desired.

7. Say “I’m a boss!” You’re done.

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I didn’t like the above orientation so I flipped it for the final product.

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You can use this technique in a million ways including cutting out animals and people on patterned paper,  making paper silhouettes if painting them scares you.  You can silhouette just about anything and cut them out of any medium that creates clean edges.

My sis-in-law loved this gift and I loved giving it. I wrote my nephew’s full name and age on the backside for keepsake.  Pin, follow and enjoy!

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The Cutest Way To Give A Gift Card

10th December 2015

 

Some people don’t like giving gift cards because they think they are impersonal.  I’m definitely not in that category because nothing gets me going like guilt free money to burn in a store I love!

If you want to add a creative touch or personalize a gift card, why not package it in a really cute way?  Enter mason jars for gift card packaging!  I used the same materials to make my DIY Mason Jar Snow Globes but instead, ditched the glitter and water and affixed a gift card inside.  Using a little hot glue, I lined the bottom edge of a gift card and snuggled it in between craft pine trees.  I put both of the teacher gift-gift card jars side-by-side in a wire basket and personalized each card with a chip board letter that I painted red to match.  My little girl dictated the message inside to her teachers with awesome things like, “Merry Christmas.  I love you.  You look like a candy cane.”

The gift cards were small, but cute and practical and who wouldn’t love to get a gift in something like this? The crafter in me would re-use all of the components if I were to get this gift.  Actually, I think I’ll keep it because I love it.  Just kidding… Or….Okay, I’ll give it to them.

If you are really fun, you can actually make the jars into the snow globe with the gift card inside.  Snow globe gift card packaging?  I might choke on a candy cane I’m so excited about that idea.

Put anything you want in a mason jar to make this packaging party, season, or person specific.  The possibilities are endless!  Here’s to hoping that two pre-school teachers like this gift as much as I do!

Follow, pin, share, and enjoy!

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In my dreams, I have that pillow-y fake snow in the bottom of this basket.  In my dreams I also don’t take blog images with my cell phone so I guess, we can’t all be winners.

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Alone, it’s simple and may need a little pizazz but when packaged with the wire basket and cards, it’s ballin’ out of control.  If only the fake snow…..

12 Creative Parties For Kids

7th December 2015

 

 

 

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“Uno” For A 1st Birthday

Cutest play on words I’ve ever seen… The source of this Etsy image is no longer available but you can find tons of Uno Parties on Pinterest and there are loads of good examples to look at there.  Shock, shock…

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Source  items photographed are from Etsy and no longer offered  Photo: www.rcphotography.com

Wipe Out Party

Based off the show Wipe Out, this is a fun outdoor, active obstacle course water party!

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Source  www.popsugar.com

 

Arcade Party

Sometimes parties are a arcades but throwing one somewhere else with the arcade theme….yes!!

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Source www.weheartparties.com

 

One Year In A Flash

This might be my favorite and most creative party theme:  a year in a flash.  Cameras to play on the flash and the idea of time flies in a flash, all in one.  Killed it, girl.  See the rest of this party here.

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Source  http://blog.hwtm.com/

 

Easter Theme Party/Holiday Themes

This party was for my girls.  They have birthdays in April right smack dab around Easter.  It’s fun to take a neighboring holiday and turn it into a birthday theme.  They loved their double Easter themed party and you can see it all here.  Their party favors were the large eggs below and they were hidden in the yard.  Since the party was for my 4 and 2 year old, no one could read so these picture tags were made of each child so they knew which egg was theirs when they came upon it.

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Source  www.the1shundred.com

 

Curious George DRIVE-IN Theme Party

I have never seen a party like this!  Personalized drive-in “car” boxes for each child with food trays for snack on the side.  They all “parked” outside and watched a movie on the big screen.  I die….

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Source www.blog.hwtm.com

 

Picnic Birthday Party

Baskets, balloons, and blankets all over the lawn.  Teddy bears and chalkboard signs.  Precious!

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Source http://redtri.com/summer-picnic-party-ideas/

 

Tie Dye Party Theme

This is so fun for kids and pre-teens alike. This is also a theme that boys can have fun with too if you get them at the right age.  Colorful and there are so many party decor items that can play off of this.  And, you have to love a party theme that also provides a fun activity, too.

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Source http://chaoticallycreative.com/2014/07/tie-dye-party/

 

Cake Boss Party

The details of this party are great and you should check out the full photo gallery on the link below.  Personalized aprons, everyone decorating their own cakes, cupcake liners used in several ways for decor/accents….  Good job whoever’s mom threw this party.

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Source http://blog.hwtm.com/2011/09/sweet-cake-boss-baking-birthday-party/

 

Cheerios Party

Why not a party themed with a one year old’s favorite snack? This party paid enough attention to detail by making things with Cheerios that my hands hurt just looking at it!

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Source http://www.karaspartyideas.com/2012/04/cheerios-first-birthday-party.html

 

Lumberjack Party

There are a lot of little guys who would look really cute at their lumberjack party!  It makes me smile really….

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Source http://catchmyparty.com/parties/little-lumberjack-2nd-birthday-2

 

Princess and the Pea Party

I love book themed parties and this old classic fairy tale makes one stinkin’ cute and unique party!

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Source http://www.karaspartyideas.com/2011/11/princess-and-pea-party.html

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Creative Capri Suns For Class Parties

6th December 2015

 

We signed up to bring drinks to my daughter’s preschool class and it would pain me to just bring in…well…just regular drinks.  To flair it up a bit, I turned our drinks into a craft and made little Capri Sun people.  You could do a million different themes and variations on these for parties.

Ours were simple.  I took some awesome coordinating card stock strength scrapbook paper and two packs of huge googly eyes I found at Kroger.  I made little bows for the “girl” Capri Suns and the not so shocking, mustaches for boys.   I cut out my own template, stacked the paper and cut four or five bows/mustaches at a time. I dabbed on the hot glue and my girls stuck them on and in about 15 minutes, we were all done!

Cheap, easy and fun for the kiddos.  Without further adieu, I present Capri Sun ladies and gents.

 

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DIY Mason Jar Snow Globes

2nd December 2015

 

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Make a craft that makes you look like Martha!  Really, these take no skill!  Anyone can do these beauties. I had a craft party at my house and we all made snow globes and other cute crafts soon to grace this blog!  Thanks to Shelly Griffin Photography for the pretty pictures of these creations.

You will need:

Glitter

Small craft trees {These seen here are from Hobby Lobby, Walmart, & Michael’s.  Yep, I had to go three places to find three sizes. Awesome.}

Mason Jar

Super Glue

Decoupage

Washi Tape if you want to embellish the lid like you see below.

Little deer/bunny/squirrel figurines {I didn’t get them for these jars ,but I die for them!  Check out the dollhouse section of Hobby Lobby for these.)

Steps:

Super glue, not hot glue, the trees to the lid

Decoupage/seal in some way the metal tips of the trees and let dry so they don’t show rust when you look at your tree tops

Put a spoon full of glitter into the bottom of the empty jar

Fill the jar with water

Screw on your lid with attached trees

Shake it like a Polaroid picture

 

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The jar above has tinted water due to the trees bleeding color.  It was a neat accident.  I guess you could always use food coloring if you dig this and your trees won’t share their color. The one below has a lid trimmed with Washi tape.  So cute!

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Gifts in Jars: DIY Mixes and Seasonings

24th November 2015

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Do you know someone who is a mom, loves to cook, likes to eat more naturally, loves creativity, likes practical gifts, and loves to save money?  Me too, sister.  Enter this gift idea that I can’t wait to give and would love to receive.

Make knock off baking mixes/seasonings and put them packaged in cute jars.  Above I made onion soup mix in the large jar which is great for roasts.  In the smaller jar, I made Rachel Ray’s homemade taco seasoning.  It’s all of the yummy with none of the junk and preservatives that come in the pre-made packs.

I embellished the jars with washi tape a.k.a my new addiction, twine, craft paper, a chip board letter colored with a metallic pen, dye cut doilies and gift tags tucked in mini craft bags.  The recipes were written on the tags inside the bags with a gold pen.

The full recipe for the onion soup mix is shown. 5 tablespoons = 1 packet. I tripled it for this jar.  The full taco seasoning mix is not shown on the card because it’s two sided so don’t make it how you see it here.  You’ll be bummed.  See that recipe here.

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Follow me, Pin, Try & Enjoy!  Search “gift ideas” on my site for more inspiration.

 

Homemade Halloween Costumes

30th October 2015

 

This year I tackled all three of my daughter’s costumes.  They are all no sew, handmade, and 10 dollars and under!  Ever since I started making bouquets and wreaths with felt, that fabric has become my jam.  Easy costume tutorials to come!  Pin and enjoy!

 

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You can smooth out the colored lip of the can to stand out like a real lid.  I didn’t for these pictures though because it was crazy when we showed up to trick-or-treat.

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Play-Doh is my second child’s favorite thing.  Seeing my brother in a scary clown mask, is not.

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Eden loves pizza so I thought I would make her one.  Pepperoni, cheese, sausage, olive pizza! Comfortable, lightweight and so cute!  It was being blown against her in this picture.  The weather left a boatload to be desired.

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Introducing the toy claw machine, baby edition!  There is a baby in there.  I confused everyone because I told them she’d be dressed as a dog, yet she wasn’t a dog for Halloween.  Oooooooo, the plot thickens.

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Fresh hot glue strings still dangling form the claw from the last minute panic of getting it finished and getting to meet everyone to trick-or-treat.

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Her pizza sat perfectly center but not in the Antarctic freezing winds that swirled around us.  My Play-Doh girl originally had on a solid blue shirt to match the color of her Play-Doh can but it was too cold to coordinate.  On the coats went.

Tutorials to come on all of these get ups!

Halloween Costume Round-Up

30th October 2015

 

EVERYONE knows I LOVE  a creative Halloween costume.  Most of the times, creative has to be made and these below costumes are my favorites that I found.

 

1.  Mary Poppins

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2.  Popcorn Vendor and Popcorn

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3.  Ursula

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4.  Care Bear Family

 

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5.  Raisin Girl

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6.  Snow Globe

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7.  Moose

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8.  Mousetrap

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9.  Penny

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10.  Yearbook Photo

 

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11.  Gumball Machine

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12.  Fresh Prince and Carlton

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 Here are three pictures of what I’ve made my own kids over the past few years.

13.  Car Air Freshner 2010

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14.  Crazy Cat Lady I made in 2011

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15.  Dippin Dots Costume I created 2012

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Love A Mom-To-Be From Afar: Baby Shower In A Box

26th October 2015

 

If my love for creative gift ideas and my love for my friends had a baby, it would be this idea:  Baby Shower In A Box.  As you get older and your friends scatter, it’s hard to get to them for all of the big events in life.  I recently had a friend who was adopting a baby girl and the problem was, she lived in a different city but I still wanted to do something special for her.  My idea for a baby shower in a box was born when I thought, “How neat would it be to send to her what I can’t do in person?  I’ll send her a party to her door!  Her own baby shower!”

Thus, I present to you the idea of planning and creating a party for someone that you pack and ship right to your loved one’s door!  You can make it any theme and in any price range.  I promise that you will be the only one giving them this gift.  It’s sort of a double gift:  a party and the gifts for the party.

Special thanks to Joel Ham Photography for making my idea come to life in these beautiful photos.  Check them out on Facebook and on their personal site.

Here’s a look at what I created:

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This is a baby I borrowed, along with a box I bought and embellished.  Using scrapbook paper, chalkboard stickers, and an oil-based Sharpie, I made this “Baby Shower In A Box” label.  I will wrap the front in packing tape when it’s shipped so it will be delivered with this on the front!

 

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When she opens the box, the first thing she will see is this handmade invitation I made to match the decor for the front of the box.

 

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What’s in the box?  Well, a whole shower so…

  • An invitation
  • Cake mix and icing to make the shower treat with her son
  • Paper goods:  napkins and plates
  • A helium balloon that will pop-up when the box is opened
  • Gifts:  a dress for later, a onesie for now, and a headband to grow with her
  • Party Game with a game prize AKA a treat just for the mom
  • Big Bro Bag because you can’t forget the older sibling(s) while showering the new little squirt
  • Something for the nursery.  I ordered the print shown from Mandipity on Etsy.

 

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What’s in the bag?  For the sibling bag I just put in a bunch of cheap thrills:  bath bombs, Ninja Turtle cup, Ninja Turtle bubble wand, M & M tube, and a party of pack of glow stick glasses and wands.  If the bag is for a little girl you could include: nail polish, pink cookies, glitter pens, plastic tiara, or one of the many paperbooks about being a big sister.  Lots of popular characters that both boys and girls love have cute books on becoming a big sister/brother.

If you want to go all Martha on the bags, check out my post on Big Sister Bags and Busy Bags for Toddlers for more specific bags that will really make a mom cry tears of jubilee.  You can do these for yourself pre-baby to build in a little sanity for after the baby comes.  Hey, if no one sends you a bag to busy your kids, by all means, be your own hero.

 

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How did I make the box that holds the prize? I took a plain white gift card box from Hobby Lobby and embellished it to match my party theme. Using washi tape, a doily die cut and a chalkboard sticker, this little box became my favorite party detail.  And just for all you curious cats, the prize was a gift card to Starbucks for the mom because EVERY mom needs a little Star-cation.

 

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One small detail you might have overlooked is the doily banner strung on twine across the backdrop.  That actually coordinates with the whole theme and will be sent in the box as more of the “party decorations”.  A banner can be personalized and used in the nursery or can be pulled back out and used it at their first birthday party.  It’s a sentimental touch and I’m a sucker for that.

If you want to add a few pieces that are personal to your special celebration, yet doesn’t require a crafty hand, the home decor space within Shutterfly has everything from custom art, plates, and pillows.  I love the chalkboard pillow or woodgrain monogram pillow print for a nursery I also adore the personalized placemats for kids as a big sibling gift.

 

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This gift is creative, personal, thoughtful, and has more possibilities than the Powerball.  It’s for any person, for any party, for any celebration! Now that’s versatile! You don’t have to be close to a friend to be a part of the experience.  Pin, share and enjoy!