Monday, April 21, 2014

Show & Tell: Silhouette Frozen Birthday Party Projects


I hope everyone had a great Easter! We tried to soak in as much sun as possible. Both kids were practically sleeping in their dinners so I think it was a success.

The big party is this weekend. I am pretty much done with all projects. I am going to attempt to make an Anna and Elsa stand up cutout tonight, but other than that project, I'm done. Now I'm going to have to attempt to clean my house while having a 4 year old and 18 month old trying to destroy it...and while trying to pack. Oh man. I hate packing. Different rant, different day.

I got a Silhouette Cameo a few years ago for Christmas, and I have paid for it over and over again with all the projects I use it for. For the longest time I just cut vinyl because the cutting mat was too sticky. Every time I put paper on it, the paper would only be removed with aggressive scrubbing and cursing. (Okay...the cursing probably wasn't necessary). I followed a Pinterest pin and removed all the adhesive. Now I use re positionable basting spray every time I use the mat. It's been a life saver, and has allowed me to use the machine for a 100 other uses.

I did plenty of banners and signs for last year's Toy Story/Western party. This year I did a few less. I just made two large banners (which I just have a sneak peek of), a couple of signs and thank you cut outs for the favor bags. My tip if you have a Cricut or Silhouette is to always always keep the negatives. Remove the empty spaces carefully, and you'll have paper to use for another project. I'm a bit of a paper saver, and I try to use every inch of each sheet of paper. 2 banners gave me enough letters to do two signs. Three signs gave me negatives to make three other signs and two tabletop stand-ups. I also save all the extra foam board I use for the larger projects. The scraps are perfect to make little stand-ups. I love love my Silhouette since I can find outlines online and use the trace function to create cut outs. I would recommend it over a Cricut a 100x over!

This is a sneak peek at one of the banners. I could not for the life of me get it to rotate, so I apologize!
I made these three signs. The don't look this wrinkled in person, I swear!

Signs created from the negatives of the signs and banners.

A stand-up created from the negative of one of the signs and a bit of scrap foam board.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Show & Tell: Homemade Indoor Snowball Fight


Looking for a fun gift idea or family activity? This DIY project is super fun. I made it for the party, but you could easily make it for your family or make it as a fun gift idea. It works as a gift at anytime of year and is a good way to get your family up and moving. Add in a cute homemade sack, and you have a fun unique gift idea!

I had heard of indoor snowball fights through a local store. They sell kits and host monthly snowball fights. There are several ways you can play this game. You could create some cool box forts to hide behind, or you could do what we're going to do and put down a masking tape line. After a set amount of time, the team with the least amount of snowballs on their side wins.

Creating the snowballs is pretty easy and cheap. You just need white nylons and poly fill. I found the gumball nylon knee highs at Wal-Mart for $0.33 a pair. I could only find three pure white pairs at my local store. One 16 ounce bag of poly fill is almost twice what you need to make 24 snowballs. I used Just One Mom Trying's tutorial on how to create the snowballs. Basically, you knot the nylon twice after stuffing and cut in between each knot. My daughter even helped me stuff the nylons!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

DIY Sunday: 8 3D Trees for 10 Bucks -- Frozen Decorations


Another tutorial involving foam board & an Exacto knife. You can do quite a bit with these two supplies. That's pretty much been my theme for this party.

I was going through my Christmas decorations since I'm planning on reusing some decorations for the party, and I found some tabletop Christmas trees. They were the wrong color, but they gave me an idea to create my own standing trees. I figured since I was going to use foam board, I may as well make big trees.

With just four pieces of foam board, you can create 2 large trees, 2 medium trees and 4 small trees. Don't think this is just for a Frozen party. You can create these trees for Christmas, prom decorations, camping themed parties or even change up the shape and create stars, people, or other characters. As long as you can draw the design, you can make a 3D shape.

Foam Board (4 pieces @ $1.49)
Exacto Knife
Cutting Board (you could use a spare piece of wood as well or cut off the side of a table)
Glitter & Mod Podge/White Elmer's Glue OR Glitter Blast Spray Paint
Paint Brush
Clear or white tape (Clear packing tape works well)
Optional: Snowflake Die cuts & Hot Glue.

Step One: Outline & Cut

You will want to outline a tree with your pencil. I marked center and did straight lines using a metal meter stick, although you could just free hand the tree. Using your Exacto knife, cut out the tree. After you have completed one cut out, use the cut out to trace a second tree. Keep the scraps! That's how you're going to make all those trees. Repeat on the other two pieces of foam board. You will now have four cut outs of trees, which will be enough for two standing large trees.

Outlined and ready to cut!

One shape cut out!
Step Two: Cut Slits

This the step that I had a learning lesson after my first one. On the first one I didn't slit the top of one of the trees. You must do that!

On the first tree, cut a slit no bigger than the thickness of the foam board down the center of the tree. It's best to error on the small side. Start at the bottom and go up to the top branch of the tree. Hindsight being 20/20, I would take the extra time to measure a straight line down the center so the tree wouldn't tilt. I got lazy towards the end of my tree marathon.

My cut down the middle up to the top branch.
On the second tree, cut a slit from the top down to the first branch of the tree. Again, error on the small side. If you go too large, the tree will be wobbly and will probably need to be secured with tape.

Now your two trees should slip right into one another. Ta da! A standing tree! Repeat on the other two pieces of foam board. Now you have two standing large trees. Good for you!

This was my first "mistake" tree. It works just fine, but I didn't do the slit at the top so I had to rig it to be a snug fit.
The mistake top! Make sure you do the top slit.
The correct way! Top slit so everything slips together nicely.
Step Three: Create Lots of Trees!

I did promise 8 trees with just 4 sheets of foam board. You can make 2 medium trees and 4 small trees from what remains of the scraps.

2 Medium Trees

Now you'll want take the negatives of each tree (bottom branch up..cut off any excess remaining from the base of your large trees) and tape them together to create a medium size tree. The medium size trees won't have a base like your large trees. These are the only trees that won't slip into one another.

4 Small Trees

You'll have a bit of scrap left over from where you cut the base of your large tree out. Use those eight scraps (two from each sheet of foam board) to draw small trees. Follow the same steps you used to create the large trees i.e. cut a slit up the bottom and down the top.

A small tree completed! I free hand drew each of these small trees.
A family of small trees! Perfect for tabletops!
Step Four: Glitter Explosion!

Now you'll want to jazz up those trees. If you're going to do some Frozen trees, you can glitter blast them. If your doing something else, just give them a good coat of paint.

I did two different methods and both worked out about the same. First, I took some Mod Podge I had sitting around and mixed in a ton of iridescent glitter and some blue and purple glitter. Then, I painted on the glitter mixture. The iridescent glitter makes the mixture a bit chunky so it looks a bit more like snow and the entire thing will sparkle. This was the most time consuimg step.

After I used up all the Mod Podge I had in the house, I decided it was silly to spend the big bucks on Mod Podge and went for the cheaper route. I grabbed (and used) two bottles of white Elmer's glue. It worked about the same as Mod Podge and was about half the cost.

After spending hours painting glitter and having a glitter explosion all over my living room, I would recommend trying the glitter blast spray paint. I think the extra cost would totally be worth the time you would save. If you try that method, let me know! I'm curious to see how well it works.

Prepare for glitter everywhere and paper shavings on your floor!
Step Five: Optional: Create Glue Ice

You could definitely be done at this point. I decided to go a bit further and use some snowflake die cuts I had sitting around to jazz up the tree. Using hot glue, I stuck the snowflakes to the tree.

I wanted to create the appearance of icicles, so I gobbed a ton of hot glue on the edge of the branch and let it drip off. After the glue was dry (or close to being dry), I cut off the excess. A nice little icicle remained.

My trees are complete! I'm very happy with the way they turned out.

A large tree completely done and ready to party!

The small trees even got some snowflakes and icicles.