Wednesday, May 16, 2012

DIY Birthday party stage 4 - food!

The last thing to organise was the food. Birthday cake, cupcakes, two types of biscuits, drinks and the lunch food.

Since the party was at lunch time I asked each partygoer to bring along a plate of their favourite sandwiches. I prefer to cater my own events but I was very conscious of keeping the stress low and the fun high for this party, so I enlisted help. Sandwiches are easy, inexpensive, well-received and everyone has a favourite.

I also had plain crackers, bbq crackers, carrot sticks, celery sticks and a pack of supermarket dips.

Sweets included the birthday cake - vanilla cake with chocolate buttercream and fondant - and I used the same recipes for the cupcakes. Lemon dinosaur biscuits and chocolate Transformer biscuits, both with coloured royal icing.

Top left: Food table with sandwich plates and party hats.

Top right: Optimus Prime birthday cake.
Cake recipe: Allrecipes - Best sculpted cake recipe EVER! I omitted the milk though. This recipe makes one perfect 8 inch round cake, I made two and layered my cakes with chocolate buttercream.
Fondant recipe: Allrecipes - I replaced the corn syrup with liquid glucose (easier to find in Australia) and used three tablespoons of rice bran oil instead of the oil and shortening. This recipe was SO easy, quick and inexpensive. I made it by hand, stored it in the fridge for two weeks and the fondant rolled perfectly, coloured perfectly and did not dry out as quickly as the store bought stuff.

Middle: Cupcakes with fondant Transformer cutouts.
The decorations on top are Transformer cut-outs from fondant and brushed lightly with silver edible luster dust.

Bottom left: Lemon dinosaur sugar cookies with royal icing.
Recipe: Acorn Advisors - I made the lemon version

Bottom right: Chocolate Transformer badge biscuits with royal icing.
Recipe: I altered the lemon sugar cookie recipe above, eliminating the lemon and replacing some of the flour with cocoa

All the sweets were devoured and the sandwiches were a hit! Especially with the kids :)

Please note: the Transformer badge biscuits and cupcake Transformer decorations are courtesy of the Transformers Play Doh kit. Thank you Play Doh for stepping up! I couldn't find 'real' cookie cutters anywhere but this kit saved the day!
Roll out your cookie dough and fondant using 6mm dowel rods as your spacers and the cutters work like a dream :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

DIY Birthday party stage 3 - last minute DIY

In the last few days coming up to the party I whipped up a few DIY projects to bring the whole thing together.

Top: Happy Birthday banner.
Recycled cardboard, markers, imagination

Middle left: Cake bunting.
Bamboo skewers, craft wire wrapped with yarn, scrapbooking paper, glue, paint, marker

Middle right: Photo booth sign.
Recycled cardboard, markers

Bottom left: Cake and cupcake platter.
Two pieces of scrap wood (covered temporarily with a piece of vinyl table cover and taped in place), a hollow Megabloks construction, double-sided tape (to give a little more security between the Megabloks construction and the top tier)

Bottom right (top): Finalised photo booth props.
Each image is printed onto regular copy pare and then glued onto a manila folder. When dry the maskes are cut out and an extra large paddle pop stick is glued to the back

Bottom right (bottom): Table decorations.
I raided my son's plastic dinosaurs and transformers and used them to decorate the cake table, food table an present table.

Everything here cost me a few dollars for the paddle pop sticks, colour printing - since my home printer shit itself :( - scrapbook paper and table vinyl. I have left-overs of the sticks, paper and vinyl and still have the photo props as they are really quite sturdy!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Birthday Party free printable photo booth props

And here you can access your very own Transformers and dinosaurs photo booth props! Just go to the link and download the pdf file. It's 4.5MB total so you will have nice, clear props.

Print out the props on heavy card or onto regular copy paper and then glue the pages onto cardboard. I found manila folders worked great. Cut out the props carefully (a craft knife works best) and remember the eye holes in the masks. Attach elastic or glue on a wooden rod and off you go!

Birthday Party - Photo booth

On the day of the party I set up a photo boo the corner of the room. All it needed was a well-lit corner, a blank wall, a chair and a basic point-and-shoot camera on a tripod.

A simple cardboard sign, the printed props and some childlike humour were all we needed to have a ball!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

More custom party favours - Transformers, Lego and dinosaurs

As I mentioned in Custom cast lego and Transformers in resin (with sprinkles!) I went about and made some more resin figures. And then some more. And then some crayons. And then some soaps! I just can't get enough of those adorable little Lego men :D

Top left: Magnets.
Stars, puzzle pieces, lego men, random shapes

Top right: Phone charms.
Lego men, large and regular

Middle: Crayons!
Transformer badges and Lego men. I melted down the broken crayons from my son's pencil case and poured the wax into my moulds :)

Bottom left: Necklaces.
Transformer badges, Lego men, plastic dinosaurs, butterflies, random shapes

Bottom right: Badges.
Lego men, Transformer badges, stars, random shapes

Not pictured: Lego men melt and pour soaps!

Everything here came out of my craft stash and cost me nothing. Yeah, I have a BIG craft stash and yes, I know I paid for it at one time but it was so long ago that it's now basically free, lol.

All the resin pieces were cast in my handmade silicone moulds and have resin colour, glitter, embossing powder and sprinkles. The badge pins, magnets and pendant bails were glued on with epoxy glue. This did NOT work well! Next time I will drill holes instead.

The plastic dinosaurs were pierced with a hot upholstery needle and then had a jump ring threaded through.

All necklaces are offcuts of ribbon, faux leather, cord and miscellaneous bulk necklaces.

These are all so easy and customisable. Give it a go!

DIY target game tutorial

As seen in the super-duper 5th birthday party of 2012, the target game!

The shooter tutorial can be found at Come Together Kids. That is where I originally saw the idea and I won't rip of the concept by making my own tute :)

At most this project will cost you a couple of dollars. At best, it will be free! I always keep a few plastic cups and balloons in the cupboard for when I have a party.

I picked up the clear standard plastic cups and found them strong enough to support the balloons on their own. No need for doubling up the cups.

DIY Birthday party stage 2 - activities & games


Birthday Party stage 2 involves the games. All these games are recyclable, diy, customisable and nearly free (or totally free, depending on your stash).

Top: colour in.
Easy friggin peasy guys! I found some free colour in pictures of Transformers and dinosaurs, changed the black to a medium gray (so they are nicer to colour) and printed them.

Middle: Pin the tail on the dinosaur.
Cardboard from a box, with butcher paper glued over the front, painted by hand. Add a matching cardboard tail and ta- da! Inspired by: Paper and Cake

Bottom left: Target game. (Tutorial)
Disclaimer! IF you include this in your party be prepared for it to be hijacked by the adults. Oh, and leave it till last as the kids love it too!
Cardboard from a box, softdrink box, tissue box, cracker box, white glue, tape, paint, pom poms, plastic cups, balloons. Pom pom shooter tutorial over at Come Together Kids

Bottom right: Ring toss.
Cardboard, cardboard tube from a aluminum foil pack, cheap paper plates, glue, staples, paint. NOTE: I found the single plates did not work very well, so I stapled two plates together, one upside down on the other. Inspired by A Little Learning For Two

Along with the DIY photo booth there was barely enough time for the kids to play with everything. They had a ball and a bunch of the adults got involved too. Laughter and merriment was the order of the day!