It’s a Jungle Out There! Safari Themed School Carnival…

Heading up the decorating team for the school carnival this year was no small animal.  I, of course, couldn’t help myself from taking a walk on the wild side and going overboard!  The team and I didn’t monkey around when it came to creating a safari themed atmosphere!

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Would you like to go on a safari? Let me take you on a trip.  Let’s start at the entrance to the Safari.  The school has a Knight mascot and PTA years ago created a rock castle wall to use as carnival decorations.  We draped green and brown paper vines through the castle wall with paper monkeys, sloths, and tucans hanging from the vines.  The 1st grade classes had done a rain forest lesson, so we displayed the students paper animals.  It was fun to watch the kids reactions to seeing their creations on display.

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I created the tall trees by spray painting carpet rolls and adding leaves.  To make the leaves, I cut out shapes from different shades of green construction paper.  I then taped a long piece of wire to one side of the paper.  At the top of the carpet roll, I shoved in a piece of floral foam and pierced the leaf wires into the foam.

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Next, we come to the main table area, which was turned into a jungle by drooping green vines throughout.  Again, we hung students paper animals from the vines, as well as tissue paper flowers made by a team member and a few cobras that I created.

These cobras were created using girls diamond print knit tights.  I cut the tights in half, and re-sewed them together length wise to get a VERY long tube of tights.  I stuffed the tights with old magazines, sewed on beads for eyes, and a piece of red felt for the tongue.  The snake on the left is wrapping around another tree I created.

We hung strings of white lights, and a team member added tan cupcake papers to each light.  They looked like strings of paper lanterns.

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Moving towards the cake walk area, we had animal cut outs that I purchased at Walmart.com.  A team member created “madagascar” type boxes tied with white twine and stickers.  The same team member created amazing wood pole signs.

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In the center of the cake walk, I created a pond, with blue paper, plants borrowed from a local nursery, and plastic flamingos.

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This might have been the highlight for the students, along with the “royal flush game”!  I created a cardboard safari jeep and zip tied it to a chain link fence.  Driving the safari jeep was a picture of the school principal, and the vice principal was his passenger.  This display included green vines, students paper animals, & snakes made from paper and snake print duct tape I found at The Dollar Tree.  More carpet roll trees, animal cutouts, boxes, and another wood pole sign to complete the display.

The safari jeep was such a hit, that it still remains in the school cafeteria stapled to the wall!

I hope you enjoyed your safari ride!  Happy “animaling” around!

“Wonder what I will come up with next”…

Simple Baby Shower Decorations…

My oh my, how I love planning parties!  I will gladly plan a party any day!  My manager is pregnant and we decided to have a simple baby shower for her at our district meeting.  Of course, I volunteered to be in charge of it!  BIG SURPRISE, I know!  Since we were gathering for a meeting, not a baby shower, I needed to keep it VERY simple.

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Since my manager doesn’t know what she is having, I needed it keep it neutral colors.  I created 2 “clothes lines” out of lime green tulle and hung some sleepers, diapers, stuffed animal and booties from them.  I also created paper “blocks” that spelled out “baby”.  I used command hooks to tie the tulle to so I didn’t leave holes in the conference room walls.

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I used lime green, dark grey and white card stock to create the “blocks”.  I cut the lime green paper 6×6″, dark grey 5×5″, and the white 4×4″, then glued them together with a glue stick.  I added lime green adhesive letters and adhesive rows of lime green plastic beading that I purchased at Hobby Lobby.

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I filled a few newborn size diapers with snacks and tied a lime green tulle bow around them.  I placed these on the center of the conference table.

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I placed 12×12″ lime green and dark grey cardstock under a cupcake stand for color.  This had a nice effect when you looked at the cupcake display.  I wrapped her gift in coordinating colors, as well.  Although it was simple, it was very cute.  She was surprised when she entered the conference room.

Welcome baby, very soon!

“Wonder what I will come up with next”…

Red Carpet Birthday Party…

What little girl doesn’t like to pretend she is a movie star on the “Red Carpet”?  I would imagine all little girls dream of this at some point in their lives.  When my daughter turned 11, I created a faux experience for her and her friends.

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The girls entered the house on the “Red Carpet”, complete with stanchions that I made from sprayed painted gold toilet plungers purchased at The Dollar Tree!  I used gold foil door covers and a gold foil chandelier and hung them from upstairs to create a “Grand” entrance.

There were even “paparazzi” at the entrance…

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Here is a different view of the entrance.  I looped black & red tulle through the upstairs banister to hide where the gold foil door covers were attached.

The tables were covered in black table cloths with red table cloths folded and used as runners.  I wrote each girls name on a gold star.  I created center pieces by covering styrofoam cubes with red cardstock.  I then stuck in tall picks of red, black and gold that had stars on them.  I added gold curly picks for effect.  Around the base, I taped some “celebrity zone” ribbon that i found.

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What fun is a “Red Carpet” party without a photo booth?  I had fun props for the girls to use, including directors “take” boards.  I borrowed a friends bridesmaids dresses so the girls could dress up in fancy attire if they wanted to for their photos.  During the photos, I moved the stanchions from the entrance for the full “Red Carpet” effect.

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Every girl won an “Oscar” at this party!

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…and they got to create their own ice cream sundae, with numerous candy toppings to choose from.

Happy Birthday my sweet daughter!

“Wonder what I will come up with next”…

Tick Tock, It’s a Clock Retirement Party…

We had a retirement party for my father-in-law last year and I kept struggling with what theme to use for the party.  I didn’t want the typical “retirement” type party.  I felt he deserved something more personal than that and I wanted the party to have a more masculine feel.  He had spent 50 years in the classroom as a teacher, both at the high school and university levels, and deserved to be celebrated in an extra special way.

Why a clock themed retirement party you may ask?  Think about it…when you are retired, time is irrelevant.  You no longer need to wake at a certain time, or be at work at a certain time.  You can spend your days at leisure and it doesn’t matter what time it is!  I had a blast planning this party!  The only problem is that now I can’t wait to retire!

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I created simple centerpieces with clocks that I printed from the internet.  I glued them back to back with a bamboo skewer in the middle and placed them in some simple low vases with green styrofoam and green basket filler on top.  It was festive, but had a masculine flare.

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I decorated cupcakes to look like simple clocks…

I printed signs that read “Time is Irrelevant”, “Time does not matter”, and “Time is on Lew’s side” and placed them in Dollar Tree picture frames.  I had them scattered throughout the party.  My mother-in-law had a collection of antique clocks that I borrowed for the party and strategically placed them as decorations.

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I also asked my father-in-law to bring anything of significance from his teaching career, and I put them on display.

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In my opinion, the most amazing attraction at the party was a timeline that my father-in-law created of his 50 years of teaching.  It was unbelievable to read about his entire career!  I hung it on the wall for all of the guests to view.

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The party was a success!  My father-in-law is enjoying his retirement and truly doesn’t care what time it is!

Happy Retirement Lew!

“Wonder what I will come up with next”…

How to create different heights on your table display…

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Whenever we have a large party, it is always a challenge to fit all of the food on the table.  I usually create different levels using boxes, which allows me to optimize the table space.

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I first cover the table with a table cloth.  Then, I set up boxes to create the heights that I want.  Make sure to use sturdy boxes so they don’t cave in when you place platters full of food on them.

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Cover the boxes with another table cloth that is the same as the flat table cloth.  Tuck under the edges and smooth it out onto the tops of the boxes.

Your table is ready for food!

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Happy Celebrating!

“Wonder what I will come up with next”…

Gymnastics Birthday Party

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Birthday parties are one of my favorite things to plan!!!  I think that I get more excited about them than my daughters.  This party was a gymnastics themed party held at a facility where the girls could take a gymnastics class.  I created a backdrop using a plastic table cloth taped to the wall.  Streamers & balloons with drop stars gave it the perfect touch.  I created the pennant banners with triangle shaped cardstock, ribbon and large letter stickers

Party favors included medals and water bottles.  I purchased both at The Dollar Tree.  The medals had red, white, & blue ribbons, which I switched out for the theme colors.  I used triangle shaped paper and glued on a printed gymnastics pose, stars and ribbon for the water bottle tags.

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On the tables, I created these simple centerpieces.  I folded a 12×12 piece of scrapbook paper to create a 5 sided box and covered a styrofoam cube.  I downloaded from the internet pictures of gymnastics poses and attached them to cardstock and skewers.  A few scattered stars and medal candy for the finishing touches.

Cupcakes adorned with trophies I purchased at The Dollar Tree turned out so cute!  I topped the trophies with large marshmellows, gel & sixlets.  They were almost too cute to eat!

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The decorations were simple but very festive.  The girls had a great time.  I can’t wait for the next birthday party to plan!

Happy birthday!

“Wonder what I will come up with next”…

“Candyland” Party Decorations

Oh my!  This event gave me the best “Candyland Dreams”!!!  I created decorations for my daughters carnival and had the time of my life!!

Let’s start with the “GRAND” entrance…

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There is so much going on here that it will take me a few minutes to describe all I did.  The arch was created from pool noodles and pvc pipe.  I then used duct tape to attach the “Candyland” letters that I cut out of hot pink poster board and striped with masking tape.

I created “Lollipops” with paper plates, bamboo skewers, ribbon and gallon size twist top plastic bags.  I stuck the skewers into the pool noodle arch to make it look like lollipops standing on the arch.

I cut pool noddles into thirds and covered them with celophane and tied the ends with ribbon to create “Candies”.  Then I wedged the paper plate lollipops behind the tube candies.

I made large “Lollipops” with pool noodles that I rolled up and covered with celophane gift bags.  I then used a wrapping paper roll as the “stick”.

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I draped “Candy Streamers” made from paper plates, plastic table cloths cut into strips, and celophane, along the front walls.

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We spray painted the grass with squares to look like the Candyland game board.  The paths led to different activities such as cake walk, silent auction, and inflatables.

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These ice cream cones were made from brown paper and pillow stuffing.  I rolled up the paper to form a cone shape and placed a large wad of stuffing on top.  Just to make it extra fun, I wadded up red paper to create a cherry, and glued sticks from my yard as the cherry stem.  Then I wrapped a box with pink wrapping paper, cut out wheels from black paper, and glued on a smaller ice cream cone to create an ice cream cart.

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With the help of other parents, we turned the covered table area into a “Gingerbread House”.

We taped on brown scalloped paper and added giant candy canes made from pool noodles striped with masking tape.  We taped on tissue paper covered toilet paper rolls that looked like candies, and paper plates covered in celophane that looked like peppermint candies.

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We added more giant lollipops and candy canes under the roof.

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We draped more of the paper plate streamers on the inside of the roof.

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We wrapped the poles with streamers and taped on paper plate lollipops.  This created the cutest darn gingerbread house ever!

There was fun had by all and the decorations were talked about for weeks.  It made my heart so happy that everyone enjoyed the festive decorations and all the hard work.

Happy candy making!

“Wonder what I will come up with next”…