Father’s Day 500

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Took this idea from FamilyFun magazine.  Make a shirt for father’s day that gives dad the playtime they want.  Wear the shirt, lay on the floor, and let toy cars race as you get a back massage.  I used an old Hanes undershirt, so there was zero cost.  Sharpie for the front logo was used.

Father's Day 500

Father’s Day 500

For the back, baby fingerprints made the audience in the grandstand.  The track is in the shape of a D for dad, of course!

Race Track Shirt

Race Track Shirt

Sunflower Birthday

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Sometimes it’s more fun to avoid the hot characters, and go for a theme a bit more general. The inspiration here being the solar dancing sunflowers at the dollar store, and it progressed from there.

Invites were handmade using stuff in the craft box. I colored the green centers with black Sharpie and it made brown!

Sunflower invites

Sunflower invites

The cake was easy, and the brown icing was made using cocoa powder, so it was delicious as well.

Sunflower cake

Sunflower cake

The favors were the best part. Colorful chocolate covered sunflower seeds from Trader Joe’s. I packaged them in pretzel stick bags from Michaels.

Trader Joe's sunflower seeds

Trader Joe’s sunflower seeds

Those, along with the dancing flowers, made the gift bags look substantial, yet the contents were practical and could be consumed/functional.

Dancing sunflower

Dancing sunflower

Tangled/Rapunzel floating lights room

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We recently moved into a new house, and as I tucked in my daughter, she said, “I wish I could see the floating lights like Rapunzel.”  And we were off.

Inspiration

Inspiration

I immediately went to my room and looked online for “floating lights,” and lo and behold I was not the first person with this idea.  I saw a variety of paintings on etsy, but they were for the most part small, not attractive, and/or expensive.  On the heels of one of those drinking/painting parties, I said with confidence, “I can do this.”

Step one:  Print off a JoAnn Fabric’s 50% off coupon, and take it to Michael’s because they honor those.  Get a huge 3 ft by 4 ft canvas.  It was exactly the same size as the windows in her room, giving a faux window look.

Step two:  Get a few more tubes of paint (I had some 15 year old tubes…am I that old????…but needed more blue and green).

Step three:  Get a mock fireplace mantel from Habitat for Humanity Restore.  The heart made it sweet, and it was now functional with peg hooks as well.

Step four:  Rapunzel night light from ebay.

Step five:  Got a $100 swag that was super long from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  It was on clearance for $10, and used a 20% coupon on top as well.  Cut this and made two curtain panels, and even had enough excess to make two matching pillow cases.  Got some clip curtain rings as well.  Already had the curtain rod from the old house.

Step six:  Paint.  Used the following images for inspiration, as well as Journey’s Greatest Hits on repeat for a few hours.  At least Rapunzel wasn’t the best painter, so the bar was reachable.

Great close up for Rapunzel
Another close up
Best close up for trees

Step seven:  “We need a frying pan!”  In the garage I had the mini frying pan to make cookies, that was terrible because the cookies tasted like iron.  Went to some local country living store and got an amazing iron heart hook.  Looooove this part.

Frying Pan

Frying Pan

Step eight:  An actual lantern projector I got from a yard sale for a $1.00, our best friend Pascal, and an online print out of Flynn’s wanted poster in a dollar store frame, hung with 3M Command strips (have to be careful hanging actual glass frames within reach).  Heart table matches heart “mantel.”  Link for poster at:  Flynn Rider Wanted Poster

Rapunzel nightstand

Rapunzel nightstand

This room was previously a boy’s room, and it had these red vertical blinds that now somehow make sense as they match the curtain perfectly.  The 70s wood doors almost look intentional.  Repainting the dark blue walls to the awesomely named “Lionheart” made a princess castle room that wasn’t that yucky Disney Princess pink.  She has a room that inspires imagination now, without being too immature in 5 years. It’s now my favorite window to look out in the house.

Floating Lights

Finished product

Wreck It Ralph Birthday

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I always want to get the most out of my projects. I spend too much time on this junk to just get one occasion out of them. The family’s obsession with the excellent film, “Wreck It Ralph” provided a lot of inspiration for a series of events.

After a full month of compiling, sewing, and dying costumes, I had professional photos taken of everyone in full dress (always on a white background for ease in photoshopping). The costumes were taken to Disney World to make meeting Ralph and Vanellope even more exciting. I was also able to get a great photo of the actual backdrop in Disney for the Wreck It Ralph characters. Photoshopping gave me great Christmas cards, already printed and good to go. Halloween is a given. And…an October birthday party now had its theme.

I knew instantly I wanted to give Hero cookies as favors (so tired of bags of dollar store junk). I saw a few tutorials online, but this was my favorite: You’re My Hero cookies

Now I needed a good sugar cookie recipe. And here it was: Steps to Making the Perfect Sugar Cookie (and Cookie Pop) All the chilling and freezing with this recipe was a pain in the butt but the end result made it totally worth it. The edges were so sharp! My most successful cut out cookies to date.

And for the icing, premade tubes gross me out, so here is the Wilton cookie icing recipe: Large Batch Quick Pour Cookie Icing. If you read the comments you’ll see you’ll need to almost double the liquid portion, just adjust as you go. Any standard royal icing recipe will work as well for the borders.

You will need the full batch of cookies and the full batch of the “Large Batch” icing for about 44 Wilton Heart Shape cookie cutter cookies. Wilton makes a great large sprinkle, but remember, pick out only the pink/white/yellow ones (totally worth the effort). Dump them out on a counter and divide them with a butter knife, like a pretend pharmacy tech.

You're My Hero cookie

You’re My Hero cookie

Movie medal image

Actual footage

The cake was easier…I got the figures from the Disney Store and put them on a teal cake covered in candy. I got these figures before they were going for $30+ on ebay, so good luck with all that.

Wreck It Ralph Cake

Wreck It Ralph Cake

We had three games at the party in the theme of the movie.

Fix It Felix Jr: Painted empty beer cases taken from local restaurants (you’ll need more than 60 for this to be effective). Painted them with old house paint so it would be more appropriate (easy to get on sites like Freecycle). Built a box wall, Ralph knocked them down, kids had to rebuild the wall as Felix. Post party box destruction was a big hit as well.

Hero’s Duty: Easter egg on a spoon race. Can’t break the eggs!

Sugar Rush: Relay race.

Award: Everyone given an actual metal on a blue ribbon from a trophy shop, engraved with “HERO” and the name of the party, date, etc.

Beyond thrilled with everything, had the movie on in the background for those who hadn’t seen it. Walls decorated with pictures from the portrait studio, family was in costume, and these amazing signs printed and laminated, hanging around the house:

Out Of Order sign

Out Of Order sign

Department Accident Free Scoreboard

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Department Accident Free Scoreboard Dry Erase Whiteboard
Department Accident Free Scoreboard Dry Erase Whiteboard by lawnjart

This is a great item for either the workplace or a gift. In the warehouse, you could write on this functional board, “This department has worked 143 days without an accident except for the time Steve broke his leg.”

More creatively, this is the perfect gift for a friend who always rounds up the amount of time she has been in a relationship, skipping over months of breaking up. Or for a dieter who has been perfect except for the one pound bag of M&Ms.