Monday, April 24, 2017

Garage Dance Party Spectacular!

Following on the heels of my most recent posts (about our rainbow party) today I'll be showing you how we transformed our ordinary garage into a rainbow wonderland all ready for a dance party!

Both kids and adults were captivated by this fun and easy to make space. You can make a "room" like this too!


This project was both inexpensive and simple!

Supplies you'll need:

-Rectangular colored plastic table cloths, about 8 of each color. I found most of mine at the Dollar Store.
You can also buy them inexpensively online:



-Packing tape, or duct tape



-A staple gun and staples



Disco ball (this is the one I used):



*Note: The disco ball doesn't run on batteries. It plugs in. So you may need an extension cord too.

-(Optional): Checkerboard floor tiles. These are peel and stick and easy to use. You can just put them right onto the cement in your garage. You'll likely need a scraper to get them off though (or just leave them there and have a neat garage floor!). For a floor about the size of mine (12'x12') you'll need 8 boxes.



It's time to start!


If you chose to make a checkerboard floor, install it first. We centered ours in the middle of the garage, leaving space around the edges for all the junk we keep stashed in there. If you have junk too (as most of us do!) Don't worry about it, we'll hide it later!



If you don't want to stick anything to your floor, you can also rent a checkerboard dance floor from a party/ wedding supply business.

Add lighting


If you have an electric garage door opener, it's possible that you also have an electrical outlet there too. Then you can easily plug in your disco ball. If you don't have one nearby that's okay. Just run an extension cord to your nearest power source. Attach it to the rafters or ceiling to hide it from sight. 


Note: at this point any kids in the household will be ready to dance. Have music ready!

Make a rainbow!

Using your tape, connect the narrow ends of two (same color) table cloths. This should give you enough length to drape it from the center of the ceiling, to close to the floor (of a two car sized garage).



Now it's time to start hanging the sheets of color! I attached one color at a time and worked my way around the room in a circle. 

First I gathered one end of the table cloth into a bundle and wrapped tape around it to secure it together. Then I attached that bunched end to the ceiling directly above the base of the disco ball. 


Leaving a little slack so that it would hang loosely,  then I flared each piece open wider and attached it to the rafters. I made sure it was secured directly above the edge of the dance floor. Then I let the rest of the length just hang down towards the floor. This way I created "walls" for the space.


If you are adhering the table cloths to a wall, or wooden rafters, it's easiest to use a staple gun. But, these are so lightweight that you could even just use tape too. 


Kids will start to get REALLY excited now! Take a break and bust a move!



Keep working your way around the room, creating a "tent" of color. Leave a few feet of empty space for an easy entranceway. And if any parts are too long, simple trim away the access with a pair of scissors. 


Then just add a playlist of fun dance music, turn on the disco lights and enjoy!



Thanks for stoping by, and happy dancing!






For MORE information about how to host your own rainbow party, see these posts:

Rainbow Party Goodie Bags 



DIY Hand Kite Favors





Linking up to these fun parties:


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Rainbow Party Favors; Goody Bags

Any time of year is great for colorful rainbow themed parties. Usually, they seem to pop up closer to St Patrick's Day (this year it's on March 17). But, I’ve never been one to “follow the rules”. 
So, I say... if you want to throw a rainbow party, do so at anytime!



When I first started searching Pinterest for rainbow party ideas, I felt a little intimidated. There were hundreds of photos, of flawlessly executed parties… parties that looked like the had been designed and set up by professionals. Even the tutorials were intimidating in their perfection! 

You will not find that here.

Instead, I am going to do a series of blog posts on how I (a mere amateur) put together my kids’ rainbow theme birthday party. Plus, I was able to do so easily and inexpensively.  Almost everything was DIY, or at the very least, purchased from inexpensive and accessible sources. 

No professional planner was used in the creation of this celebration. This is real life, and I was the planner!

Because it’s what I started with, today I am going to focus on the favor bags that I put together to share with our guests.



It was fun and easy to gather the elements for these, and they were a big hit! The best part was that I was able to order every single thing without leaving the comfort of my own couch (Oh, Amazon Prime, how I do love you so!)

First I started by creating small Waldorf inspired ribbon rings. These are great fun for throwing or dancing with, and I love that they are also an open ended toy. 




Here is my tutorial on how to make them:


Then using supplies purchased entirely from Amazon (read: without even having to leave the house!) I put together these sweet little sketchbooks. 




Here are the products I ordered:









I cut the stickers into strips, sharpened the pencils and used the colorful ribbons to tie it all together in a neat little package.



Then I added even more colorful goodies to the favor bags! Including these items:





And, don't forget the treasure at the end of the rainbow!






Lastly I decided to add just one more treat (not pictured). So, I added two of these fun crystal lollypops to each goody bag.



Then to wrap it all up, I used plain paper gift bags. 



To make them more decorative and unique I packaged them with colored tissue paper, and finished each on of with a rainbow bow. 







Our guests (both boys AND girls!) were delighted with their fun and colorful keepsakes!




Stay tuned for more posts on the fun details of this rainbow party!

That's all, and thanks for stopping by!



Linking up to these fun parties:
http://www.uptodateinteriors.com/2017/03/the-creative-circle-no-107.html
http://staceyembracingchange.com/2017/03/16/creative-inspirations-linky-party-and-features-35/
http://www.artsyfartsymama.com/2017/03/artsy-fartsy-link-party-3.html
http://www.uptodateinteriors.com/2017/03/the-creative-circle-no-106.html
http://staceyembracingchange.com/2017/03/09/creative-inspirations-linky-party-and-features-34/
http://www.artsyfartsymama.com/2017/03/artsy-fartsy-link-party-2.html
http://diyshowoff.com/2017/03/12/diy-party-time-214/
http://www.skiptomylou.org/made-by-you-monday-46/

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

DIY Hand Kites (Ribbon Ring)

It's that time of year again in my household: Birthday season!

Luckily all 3 of my kids' birthdays are two weeks apart, so we are able to have one big celebration for everyone. This year I decided to go with a colorful "rainbow" theme.

For the party favor bags, I wanted to be sure to include a handmade element for each child to enjoy. I love providing children with lovingly handmade things to pay with.



But, there were a few requirements. For one, it needed to be something that I could easily produce and in a short time. Also, it had to go with our colorful rainbow theme and be inexpensive.

So, created small Waldorf inspired ribbon rings. These "Hand Kites" were the perfect addition to our favor bags!
They are great fun for throwing and watching them soar through the air, or for simply dancing around with dancing around with. Plus I love that they are also an open ended toy.



Here are the supplies I used for this project:

Wooden rings:


Clored ribbon. (I used two packs of this to make about 20 rings)


Sharp Scissors 



From there it was super easy to make these!

First:

I chose 3 coordinating colors to use for each ring. Usually I used analogous colors (or colors that are next to each other of the color wheel). Then, I empty an entire spool of ribbon, and cut the length of it exactly in half.

 

Each (half length) strand of ribbon was the perfect length for one ring. 

Then: 

The next step was super easy too. I looped the ribbon through itself to secure it onto the ring, leaving one side much longer than the other. Then, I pulled it tight. 

 

To make sure that they held up to rough play, I further tied one end of each ribbon securely onto the wooden ring. Then, I snipped off any access  ribbon (from the short ends) near the knots. 



Lastly:

To dress them up a little, and keep the ribbon from unraveling, By making one diagonal cut, I cut a "v" shape in the end of each ribbon. Sharp sewing scissors make this step much easier.



Simply hold the ribbon between your fingers, pinch it in half and make a diagonal cut across the folded ribbon (pointing towards the wooden ring). Essentially you want to cut out a small triangle.


Lastly, enjoy and share your colorful creations! They are great for tossing through the air, dancing or anything else your imagination can think of.




That's all, and thanks for stopping by!


Linking up to these great parties:

http://www.gingersnapcrafts.com/2017/02/wow-me-wednesday-287.html
http://www.mygirlishwhims.com/2017/02/your-whims-wednesday-295-and-features.html
http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/2017/02/wow-us-wednesdays-314.html
http://www.colorsandcraft.com/blog/2017/2/share-it-link-party-258
http://thediydreamer.com/from-dream-to-reality/share-crafts-diy-projects-255/
http://www.uptodateinteriors.com/2017/02/the-creative-circle-no-104.html
http://staceyembracingchange.com/2017/02/23/creative-inpirations-linky-party-and-features/



Friday, December 2, 2016

DIY Playsilks

How to make your own playsilks!



Since my kids were very little, playsilks (classic Waldorf toys) have been a big hit. They’ve functioned as everything from superhero capes, to playscapes and tent building supplies. I love that they are open ended, made from natural materials and that they encourage children use their imaginations. One year we even made them as gifts for all of our friends!

Playsilks can be purchased ready made (Sara’s Silks https://www.sarahssilks.com) but they are usually pretty price. Luckily, they are super easy to make on your own! There are many methods and techniques out there for dying playsilks (for example with Kool aid, fabric die and so on.
I’ve tried them all.



And, I have found that the following method produces the longest lasting and most vibrant colors.


Here’s what you’ll need:

White vinegar
Get at least a gallon of it if you plan on making several scarves. I usually keep a few gallons on hand, just so that I don’t run out. It’s cheap and easy to get in the grocery store (look near the distilled water).



Good quality food coloring
I like to use gel color, and in particular this brand:



A medium size pot



Water

Optional: rubber gloves to protect hands from dye



White Habotai Scarves
I like to use a variety of sizes. There are many different sizes available. Here are a few examples:







This website is also a good source for plain silk scarves (you will just have to pay shipping):
http://www.dharmatrading.com

Rubber bands (if you want a marbled/ tie-die effect)




First:

Wash your scarves in warm/ hot water. I just toss mine in the washing machine with regular detergent. Or you could wash by hand, but you must wash them. I skipped this step once, and the color didn’t stick nearly as well. You can dry them too, but it’s not necessary.

Next:

Heat up a pot of 1/2 parts white vinegar, 1/2 parts water (I usually use about 1 cup of each). Then add a generous amount of food coloring, in the color of your choice. I usually heat mine to boiling (or nearly boiling).

Make the magic happen:

Gently add one of your scarves to the hot mixture. I like to swirl them around with a whisk to ensure uniform color. I usually turn down the heat and let it sit in there for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  

Finishing:

Remove your playsilk from the pot and place in the sink. Rub it under cool water, rinsing until the water runs clear (or nearly clear).

Then, to seal in the color even more I like to run my (wet) scarves through the dryer on a hot setting. They should be dry within just a few minutes.

Lastly:

They will come out wrinkled, and perhaps not as “silky” as you’d hoped for. Luckily a quick once-over with a hot iron easily changes this! Sometimes it helps to use the steam setting on your iron.

Play and enjoy!


Variations:

While solid colored playsilks are a lot of fun and have many uses, you can easily create even more intricate ones with there methods!


For a marbled look, before placing it in the die bath, scrunch up sections of your scarf and secure with rubber bands. I especially like to do this when dying a scarf blue because it produces an effect that resembles clouds and sky.



To get a classic tie-die spiral, first die your scarf one solid light color (I like to use yellow). Then rinse, lay the wet scarf flat and pinch the middle. Holding onto the middle, begin to twist and rotate the fabric until you have a circle/ disk like shape. Secure the disk by wrapping several rubber bands around it. Then place in a darker color dye bath (as described above). I like to use dark blues and or vibrant rich greens. Let it soak for a few minutes, remove from hot water, cut off rubber bands, rinse and dry.



Rainbow (or multicolored) silks seem daunting, but they are actually very doable too.



Starting with red dye (for example), dip just one end of your scarf into the dye bath. let it sit for a while, and then rinse with cool water. Miix up another batch of die bath in the next color you’d like to use, for example orange). Then dip the next section into that color. It’s even okay if the two colors overlap a bit, as this gives it a nice blended look.



Sometimes I like to mix up smaller batches of die for this purpose. I just use mason jars and then lower them into a larger pot of hot water (see pic).


A word of WARNING: Be SURE to turn off the burner on your stove before attempting to dip sections of your scarf into the pot (and leaving other sections out). Chances are that sections of it will drape over the side, and they can catch fire, easily. I speak from experience!

 

Lastly, the issue paper method can be a neat way for making unique playsilks too. Using this special tissue paper you can get some really neat looks:



Simply lay down some cardboard (or use a surface that you don’t care about getting messy). Then lay down some sheets of this "bleeding" tissue paper. It’s fun to use a variety of colors. Next, lay your scarf on top of the paper and cover the top with more tissue paper. Take care that the colors on top correspond with the colors on the bottom.



Then, using a spray bottle, generously spray the whole thing with white vinegar. Really soak it!



Allow it to sit and dry for at least ten minutes. The rinse under cold water, dry and iron.



Then, create a fun way to store you silks, play and enjoy!




That's all for today, thanks for stopping by!


Linking up to these fun parties:

http://www.gingersnapcrafts.com/2017/02/wow-me-wednesday-287.html
http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/2017/02/wow-us-wednesdays-314.html
http://www.colorsandcraft.com/blog/2017/2/share-it-link-party-258
http://thediydreamer.com/from-dream-to-reality/share-crafts-diy-projects-255/




Sunday, October 2, 2016

Narwhal Natural; A Great Subscription Service!

Left to their own devices, my kids would probably chose to play on the computer all day long. But, that is not the childhood that I want for them. Screen time overload is not the hope and dream that I have for their days.

narwhal natural

Instead, I want them to love learning and to experience nature and all her glory. I yearn for them to interact with and “get to know” the natural world.

narwhal natural
This is why I am SO EXCITED to be a part of a new subscription service for children! Starting immediately, a dear friend and I will be offering this lovely service to families nationwide. 

I am so pleased to introduce:


Narwhal’s mission is to create unique opportunities for children to unlock learning and creativity inspired by a love of nature. We strive to nurture a child’s creative spirit, while simultaneously connecting them with the natural and scientific world. 

narwhal natural


Our monthly mail order subscription service (The Terra Crate) uses natural items like wood, shells, rocks, etc. combined with quality arts and crafts supplies to guide students in creating hands on projects that are beautiful, educational and often functional. Our projects are open ended and leave plenty of room for imagination. We bringing together art and the natural sciences through the study of nature and hands on experiences.

 Terra Crate, narwhal natural Terra Crate, narwhal natural

We also offer a regular blog with creative project ideas for both children and adults. Please stop by anytime to check out this free and fun resource! 

narwhal natural
Tutorial

You can find the Narwhal Natural blog and tutorials here:

narwhal natural
Tutorial

We look forward to providing your children with hours of creative inspiration!

narwhal natural

Terra Crate, narwhal natural


Terra Crate, narwhal natural

Thanks for stopping by, and happy crafting!
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