DIY Ninjago Birthday Invitations

by Dinah Wulf

DIY Ninjago Birthday Invitations (6)

Uh… yeah… OK… when I first heard the term Ninjago, I think I responded with a, “God bless you.” I am familiar with Legos, of course, I mean who isn’t?  But I had never heard of Ninjago Legos until one of my best friend’s sons showed me what seemed to be 8 million tiny Ninjago Lego men all in a row.  Needless to say, with his 7th birthday just around the corner, he needed his Auntie D to make him some DIY Ninjago Birthday Invitations.

I heart Google Images.  I use it almost every time I help with a character themed birthday party.  I’ve used it for and Elmo meets Little Einsteins party, Paul Frank themed party, Mickey Mouse themed party, and an Owl themed first birthday,  to name a few.  I picked two images for these invites and used a free photo editor to add the party information.  For the front of the invitation I used a picture of the Master Sensei character and added “ Sensei says, “Master Aidan is turning seven.”  I printed them out on fine art paper and cut them out.  For the bottom I used the green Lego Ninja mask (Aidan’s favorite).

DIY Ninjago Birthday Invitations (3)

I cut out red scrapbook paper as well to use as a border.

DIY Ninjago Birthday Invitations (4)

I used the layered the two pieces, punched a hole in the left upper corner and added a charm to attach the two pieces.  The charms I found in the sales bin of a craft store, 6 for $2.00!

DIY Ninjago Birthday Invitations (5)

Here are some after photos.

DIY Ninjago Birthday Invitations (1)

DIY Ninjago Birthday Invitations (2)

These were a hit with all the moms.  I didn’t have to worry about envelopes, because Aidan simply handed them out at school.

In case you missed them, here are some more budget friendly DIY party posts!

Animal Print Party Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

I am helping one of my best friends plan a 13th birthday party for her daughter and I wanted to share some of the things I started making.  She wanted an animal print themed party, with pink accents and her wish was our command!   Add these ideas,  feather boas, pearls, gems, and ribbon and viola!  You have a very girly and wild animal print theme party!  Here are some animal print party ideas along with some helpful DIY party tips:

Glittered Wild Animals

I saw this idea on Pinterest and actually doing it was much more tasking than I thought.  My friend purchased plastic toy animals and some glitter, and I had a paint brush and some Mod Podge (hello? ALWAYS stocked in my craft closet).  With some paper plates protecting your counter, use a paint brush to apply the glue to your plastic animals, apply the glitter.  Let them dry completely, you will have some uneven spots unless you are Martha Stewart.  Once they are dry, you can handle them again to do touch ups.

Craft Punch Banner

I made these simply by using a 3” circle craft punch, and 3.5” craft punch, scrap book paper, and my computer.  I think I will add hot pink ribbon to string them. I made some similar ones for a golf theme baby shower I did.

Easy Birthday Signs

These white frames are perfect for so many different occasions.  They were definitely a good investment because I use them over and over again.  I most recently used them for a pink and purple baptism and an owl themed first birthday party.

Easy Food Labels

Food labels are an easy, inexpensive, and fun way to add a theme into your party décor.  All you need is some corresponding scrapbook paper, double sided tape, and a paper cutter!

Accordion Flower Decoration

This craft is my go-to for parties.  I always make accordion flowers because they are a) pretty, and b) easy.  For these, I used a circle craft punch and used my computer to print out the honoree’s name.

If you enjoyed this post, you might like a post I wrote for DIY decorations to fit any themed party.

 

Kids Craft Ideas New Year’s Noise Makers

by Dinah Wulf

Kids Craft Ideas New Years Noise Makers (2)

Ever since I had my little nugget, New Year’s Eve hasn’t been quite the same.  Since it is extremely difficult to find a baby sitter on this popular night out, we have had to fit our little one into our New Year’s Eve party plans.  My friends who also have young kids will likely get together to celebrate the New Year at one of our homes.  To keep the little ones busy, I decided to think of some kids craft ideas.  This year, I thought it’d be fun to make New Year’s noise makers out of recycled items from around the house to help ring in the New Year.

Step One:

Gather your recycled containers.  Any plastic or cardboard box will work.  Make sure it’s small enough for little hands to hold and shake.  Check the kitchen, bathroom, and pantry.  I used a cracker box, soup can, medicine box, and aspirin bottle.

Kids Craft Ideas New Years Noise Makers (4)

Step Two:

Gather your embellishments.  Think vibrant, glittery, metallic, and bright…anything fun for the New Year!  I used glittered animal print scrapbook paper, neon paper, and glittered craft foam numbers.

Step Three:

Gather your noise making materials.  Look for anything around the house.  I used bottle caps, paper clips, elbow macaroni noodles, and coins.  The bottle caps make a nice chime sound in small cardboard boxes.

Kids Craft Ideas New Years Noise Makers (1)

Step Four:

Gather some basic craft materials like glue, tape, scissors, rulers, pencils, and craft punches and let the kids have at it! My daughter loved helping me.  She is learning to count so she had a great time counting each macaroni noodle or bottle cap and putting them in the box.

Kids Craft Ideas New Years Noise Makers (3)

 

Top Tips to Set your Table for Christmas

by Dinah Wulf

One of the biggest parts of Christmas is Christmas dinner. The big Christmas meal is often seen as more important than the decorations and the presents, and this is usually because it’s a chance to over-indulge and enjoy time with the entire family.

However, if there’s one way to spoil a Christmas dinner it’s by not setting your table properly.

Why?

–          Because people won’t have enough elbow room.

–          Because there may not be space for all the side dishes and accompaniments.

–          Because there’s a higher risk of drinks being spilt or plates being knocked off tables when things get crowded.

What’s the right way to set your table this Christmas then?

There’s definitely an art to setting your table just right, but once you’ve got it down pat you won’t have any problems ever again.

So, if you want to get your table just right this Christmas, implement the following tips:

Image was used by permission under the Creative Commons Licence courtesy of Fotopedia.

–          Pick a theme

Picking a theme for your Christmas dinner will help you to bring everything together perfectly. Your theme could be based on absolutely anything – different colours, contemporary or old fashioned cookware, etc.

Image was used by permission under the Creative Commons Licence courtesy of Christmas Stock Images.

–          Provide the right cutlery

If you’re planning on serving a starter, a main meal and a dessert, you should provide cutlery for each of these courses. This will stop you from needing to jump up and retrieve additional cutlery for everyone at the end of each course, and it can also add a formal touch to your meal.

As a general rule, place dinner knives and forks closest to the plates, then knives, forks or spoons for starters, and dessert spoons or forks on the outside. This means your dinner guests can work from the outside in when choosing their cutlery. Also, include soup spoons if you’re serving soup.

–          Consider using a hostess tray

If your dinner table isn’t very big, you don’t have to rush out and buy a new one just to make sure everything fits on it. Rather than crowding your table with multiple plates full of roast potatoes, turkey, Brussels sprouts and other dishes, think about investing in a hostess tray.

You can use this to transport your dishes from the kitchen to the dining room and can also store them on it while everyone’s eating. Not only will this free up space on your table, but you can also use it to take all of the dirty dishes back to the kitchen after the meal!

Image was used by permission under the Creative Commons Licence courtesy of Mo Barrett.

–          Set out napkins

Christmas dinner is bound to get messy with all the food available, so always set out napkins for your guests and have some spare as well.

–          Offer wine glasses and water glasses

Give your guests wine and water glasses so that they can enjoy a sip of refreshing water and a quick tipple at dinner.

Image was used by permission under the Creative Commons Licence courtesy of Christmas Stock Images.

–          Remember the Christmas crackers!

Christmas dinner is all about having fun and enjoying a great meal with close family and friends, so Christmas crackers are a must! Place them over dinner plates to ensure your guests know which one is theirs.

Christmas dinner may take hours to prepare and cook, but your guests will take just minutes in devouring it! Make sure your table is set properly to make sure everyone enjoys their meal.

This article was written by Britannia Living, a UK company selling everything from cooker hoods to cream range cookers from Britannia Living.

 

Lego Theme Party Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

My brother purchased the Lego Haunted House this year for Halloween and I got inspired to write this pot.  Even though most the Lego theme parties I see are for boys, I LOVE Legos and I’m hoping Mia, my daughter will one day love Legos too!  If that day comes and she wants to have a Lego theme party, I’ve put together some fabulous ideas I’ve found on Pinterest and out there in the blogosphere. Here are some fun DIY Lego theme party ideas that I hope you enjoy!  The links I provided are full details of each amazing party.

Decorations:

What I love about Legos is that they are so bright and colorful.  When decorating for a party, just think of bold primary colors, black, and white.  Check out this amazing Lego Dessert Table Display, complete with free printables, this elaborate display was made with gift wrapped juice drink boxes.

I love this Lego Wall Art made from colorful scrapbook paper.  It’s such a creative yet inexpensive idea that makes a big impact.

Who says you have to buy all your party decorations.  This Lego utensil holder is made of… you guessed it…Legos!  What else can you make?

I love this soap dispenser for the bathroom!  What a great idea!

Goodies:

There are so many great Lego food and goodie ideas.   I have actually done a tutorial for easy Lego marshmallow pops in the past.  Here are some tasty looking Lego cookies.

More Lego cookies!

How fun is this Lego Jello?

Favors:

Check out these cute Lego gift bags.  You can purchase regular gift bags and add circles with scrapbook paper.

These adorable Lego Jars and made out of recycled baby food jars. Fill them with Legos or candy and you have the perfect party favor.

Check out this dessert display with colorful gumballs and clear square boxes.  Add a themed label and they are perfect to take home.

 

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Whimsical Monogram Sign

by Dinah Wulf

Yesterday I posted about some decorations I made for the Baptism of my God Daughters (Yes! Twins!).  These decorations aren’t exclusive to a baptism; rather some of the ideas can be used for a baby or bridal shower too.  I wanted to share more pictures but, specifically, a whimsical monogram sign that my best friend Jennifer and I made.  For this sign we used:

  • Wooden monogram letters for each baby
  • 3.5”, 3”, and 2” circle punch
  • Scrapbook Paper
  • Fishing line
  • Wooden frame
  • Staple gun and staples

I first did the tedious task of punching out circles, two for each side, and laid them out in a pattern.

Using fishing line, Jen attached each line of circles using double sided tape.  She carefully attached the monograms using the fishing line inside the frame as well.  She attached each end using a staple gun.  Here are photos.  It was so hard to take good photographs to capture how cute it was!  I STILL need to take that photography class!!

Here are some other photos of the party as well.  Jennifer used all the decorations I made as well as some apothecary jars filled with natural fillers, balls, and shells to go with the theme.   I filled the burlap shell jars I made with flowers fresh cut from my front yard.

We had a wonderful time and I am officially the proud God Mother of two beautiful twin baby girls!

 

Yes To Fruits and Veggies

by Dinah Wulf

Yes To Fruits and Veggies

I am guilty.  That’s right.  Guilty.  I am guilty of completely being gluttonous and indulgent in those tempting and beautifully decorated displays of sweets that seem to be the center of every shower, special event, or gathering.  Each one, found on every blog (even this one), is usually a magnificent color scheme to fit a specific well-thought out party theme.  There are beautifully designed signs and labels and banners, a variety of apothecary jars filled with candy, and matching platters with cookies and cakes… SO GOOD (and pretty too)!

Now that I am a parent, I have to make smart choices not only for myself but for my child.  Don’t get me wrong, I will STILL have my sweets table at my parties but it just may be a small one.  I decided to put a post together showing ways to display healthy fruits and veggie crudité for your next party as an alternative to the sweets table (or at least an addition) to help live a greener and healthier life. Here goes…

We all do it…use recyclable bags, wear Tom’s, try to take quick showers…basically taking small steps to live a greener life. Well, here are three more tips for you (and your family) to try!

1) Use water and vinegar to clean your windows (instead of Windex)

2) Bring a coffee cup on your next run

3) Start using natural skin and hair care products (try Yes To, a line full of natural treats – like fruits and veggies)!

A GIANT thank you to Yes To for sponsoring today’s post!

 

Golf Themed Baby Shower

by Dinah Wulf

This time last year I helped one of my best friends with her wine tasting bridal shower.  Almost exactly one year later, I helped co-host her baby shower!  This baby shower, I’d have to say, was one of the most fun that I have helped decorate for to date.  The Mommy-to-be requested a co-ed golf themed baby shower and that’s what we gave her!

Let’s start with the ambiance!  It was located at a family member’s house.  Bushes meticulously trimmed and full of flowers, this back yard was the perfect setting.  We rented three round tables with tan linen and used black chairs.  The food was set up under the covered patio, and the bar was full with wine, a margarita machine, and a fully stocked bar.

For the centerpieces, I used a plastic green “putting green” from my daughter’s butterfly garden party and filled ribbon trimmed apothecary jars with golf balls and golf tees.  On my computer I made golf balls with the couple’s last name as the brand of the ball.  I also cut and arranged fresh white flowers in recycled jars for some of the guests to take home.  I made golf themed signs and made a flag to adorn the flower arrangement with.

The food was done by the Mommy-to-be’s family.  They made the most adorable fruit basket out of a watermelon to look like a baby in a carriage complete with a pacifier!  We served delicious Mexican food, fresh fruit and vegetables, several dips, and cheese and crackers.  For dessert we have cupcakes and three kinds of pie.

For the favors, I embellished small white boxes and filled them with Ghirardelli sea salt chocolates.  I made a diaper cake and diaper cupcakes as the centerpiece.  With ribbon and circle punch, I made a “congrats” sign.

Hope you enjoyed this golf themed baby shower!  It was a blast!

 
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DIY Decoration Ideas for Any Themed Party

by Dinah Wulf

One of my best friends needed help with her daughter’s second birthday.  When asked what type of party she wanted, her little munchkin insisted on an Elmo AND Little Einsteins party.  Why not?  When my friend started her search for party decorations she found it costly to buy party decorations for both themes.  So, with my help, we combined the two EXTREMELY inexpensively with a little brainstorming.  Here are some DIY Decoration Ideas for Any Themed Party.

I made her invitation using a free program on iPiccy.com.  Here is how they came out.  I simply used Google Images to find pictures of the Little Einsteins and Elmo. I printed them on my photo printer and my friend spent $5 for 20 envelopes at the craft store.

Also using iPiccy and Google Images, we made these collages mixing both characters as well. I printed them, mounted them on colorful paper to hang or place anywhere she sees fit.

Accordion flowers are also very easy and inexpensive to make.  Here is one of the many we made.  I also made a flag banner, however neglected to take a picture (ooops).

In her original search for decorations, she almost purchased cupcake toppers for $15!  That is just outrageous to me.  I made these for her using a circle craft punch and toothpicks.

Finally, to help add some color to the food table, I made these food labels using the characters faces and names.

Super easy!  I just wanted to show that you can make simple and inexpensive party decorations to fit any theme without breaking your budget!

In case you missed them, here are some more budget friendly DIY party posts!

 

Golf Themed Baby Shower Sneak Peek

by Dinah Wulf

One of my best friends is having a baby boy (yay!) and she asked me to help with the decorations for a Golf Themed Co-ed Baby Shower.  The shower is not for several weeks but I wanted to show you this Golf Themed Baby Shower Sneak Peek.  If you know me you’d know that I am far from being a procrastinator.  I’ve always been that way. My term papers in high school and college were drafted, revised, and completed days before the deadline.  In my career I was obsessed with hitting goals early in the month.  I guess you could say that I’m a bit anal retentive, always needing to be in control, and getting this started and finished early gives me that control. As a result, I started the decorations for this party very early.

I decided to use the grass mats I used for my Butterfly Garden Party I had for my daughter’s birthday party.  I thought they’d make a cute putting green. I bought some fun green and navy blue pinstriped and argyle decorative paper and made a few signs that say, “Daddy’s Little Caddy”, “Titleist in the Making”, “It’s a boy”, and “Let’s Par Tee.”

I gathered some small apothecary jars and filled them with golf balls and golf tees.  By the way, if you decide to do a golf theme party like this, purchase the plastic practice balls versus actual golf balls.  It’ll save you so much money!  I found them at Walmart.  They were less than $2 for a dozen golf balls.

We are playing a few games.  One of them is the baby food game (pictured above) where each person has to guess what food is in the jar by smelling it.  The person who has the most correct wins a prize.

I can’t wait to show you the rest of it!  Stay tuned!

 

Elegant Black and Red Anniversary Party

by Dinah Wulf

There something chic and exotic about black and red.  This color combination is the formula to throwing a memorable and sophisticated party.  I wanted to share an elegant Black and Red Anniversary Party, styled and decorated by Maily Cano.

 Maily’s floral hobby is truly an art.  She has a natural knack for party planning and decorating.  For this anniversary party, she created gorgeous red and black floral centerpieces in tall vases for each table.  It fashioned both height and depth to the party decor.

 She draped each rose filled centerpiece with black feathers and black beads.  This is an inexpensive way to add class and style.  Consider using crystals as well.

A single rose bud in a small glass cup was placed at each place setting.  It’s a simple touch that adds a lot of elegance.  Each table was covered with red table cloths and red linen napkins.

Maily printed the evening’s menu featuring each course in simple black script on white cardstock and made a matching place card for each guest. She tucked each menu into each napkin creating a nice presentation.

Another, gorgeous party, Maily!  If you haven’t had a chance to view Maily’s parties, check out some of her other floral masterpieces or the sassy and pink Hello Kitty party she hosted for her niece. 

All Black and Red Anniversary Party photos were taken by Brendan Cao Photography.

 

Owl Themed First Birthday

by Dinah Wulf

I know I’ve showed you my YouTube video for how to make these Owl Decorations (It’s below if you missed it), but I also wanted to share some of the party with you.  I wasn’t able to go early and help set up, but I did get the decorations to my cousin in time so she could.  She did a great job on this Owl Themed First Birthday party for her daughter.

We framed a few pictures from free images we found on Google images to fit the retro owl inspired theme and wrote saying like, “Hooty hoot! Tricia is one!”, “Whooo’s turning one?”, and “Hope you’re having a hoot!”  She also had the banner up, but for some reason no one took a picture of it, so here it is sitting on my floor!

She put fresh flowers and succulents (I love the mixture) in recycled glass jars that I provided for her.  We dressed them up a little with ribbon trim.  The mini flower arrangements were spread throughout the party on the guest tables and food tables.  She placed the owl lawn decorations in the vases which created height and whimsy.

Complete with an original recording of a Happy Birthday song written especially for the birthday girl and owl cupcakes made with Oreo cookie eyes and candy corn beaks, this party was so much fun!

Oh!  Here is the video tutorial for the owls in case you missed it!  I also have the text and photo tutorial if you prefer as well.

Thanks for reading!

P.S.  Here are the Thank You cards I made for my cousin using my AMAZING photo printer.

 

Check out more Birthday Theme Party Ideas:

 

Mickey Mouse Theme Party

by Dinah Wulf

I have another fabulous party done by my best friend Jennifer Hostetler.  This time, she did a Mickey Mouse theme party for her daughter’s second birthday party.  She did an amazing job!

Here are some of the details of this Mickey Mouse Theme Party.

Much of the decoration was in the food table and dessert table.  After all, that’s where the guests spend most of the time right?  The primary color pallet was red, yellow, and black.  Jen bought inexpensive red and white polka dotted fabric from the craft store.  She draped it to create a back drop for goodies table.  Jen made accordion decorations and a flag banner the said “Hot Diggity Dog”.  To save money, everything from the caramel apples to the rice krispie treat Mickey heads was homemade.  She cleverly used marshmallows and Oreo cookies for mouse ears.  Jennifer also made a sweet flag banner with Becca’s name on it to adorn the red and yellow Mickey cake.  She had some photos on canvas made of Becca dressed in red and black.

Outside, Jennifer had a hot dog bar complete with all the toppings.  She had a large birthday banner and yellow and red lanterns to frame the table.  Using a circle cutter, Jennifer made several Mickey Mouse heads, scattered throughout on the tables and walls.

The party was a success and we all had a great time.  Thank you, Jen for sharing another amazing party with us!

Check out more of Jennifer’s Parties:

 

 

Circus Theme Party Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

One of my most popular posts is the carnival circus theme party my best friend Jenny did.  I get emails all the time about how she made the centerpieces, games, and decorations.  With so much imagination and creativeness out there, I thought I’d share some more circus theme party ideas I have come across.  These are such great and simple decorating, favor, and entertainment party ideas that anyone can do for little cost.  Here we go!

This is so cute! There are so many ideas in this site but this one caught my eye.  I believe it is marshmallows to look like popcorn!

What a spread on this vintage inspired circus party! It’s fabulous!

These goldfish favors are a very cute, simple, and inexpensive favor idea by Thoughtfully Simple.

Other ideas from Thoughtfully Simple are these cute hot dog stand with easy to grab chips and a photo booth… just like the real circus!

This is also a great colorful and tasty circus party favor idea.  I’ve seen these plastic popcorn buckets in the $1 bins and several retail stores.

You can’t have a circus themed party if you don’t have red clown noses!  This is a clever and fun idea.

If you’re stuck indoors, this is a smart solution for a big top feel.  Use plastic party table cloths or streamers to get the full effect.

I hope you try these out!  I’d love it if you came back to share it if you do!

 

Butterfly and Garden Theme Party Video

by Dinah Wulf

Just a quick post today!  I wanted to share the Butterfly and Garden Theme Party Video I made that’s up on YouTube now.  It’s just a short 2 minutes of my daughter’s second birthday party.   It’s full of decoration, food and drink, and DIY party ideas.  Here it is! Thank you so much for watching; I had a blast making it!

Since I had so much to share for my daughter’s birthday party I broke the written blog posts into: Summer Birthday Party Sneak PeekSummer Birthday Party Decorations, and Summer Birthday Party Food and Drink. Check them out for the full party details shown in this video.

 

Also, for those of you interested in blogging here’s a YouTube interview I did with Loren from Pandora’s Craft Box! It’s a short interview about her blogging journey.  I’m hoping to do more interviews with other fellow bloggers soon!  If you are a blogger and would like to be interviewed, please feel free to email me at dwulf@diyinspired.com. I would love to interview you!

Thanks, Loren for a great interview and for being my guinea pig!  For all of my YouTube videos, check out my channel! Oh and P.S. Don’t laugh I am new at this! :)

 

 

Owl Party Decorations Video Tutorial

by Dinah Wulf

OK, here we go.  I decided it might be fun to try doing YouTube video tutorials.  THIS IS MY FIRST ONE…AHHHHH! Don’t ask me why this is so nerve racking to share.  Shyness? Insecurity? Fear? All of the above…

Seeing yourself in a video is weird.  I do recall that when I was 12 years old, I somehow got sucked into doing a local commercial for WIC.  They made me the token pregnant teenager and my line was, “I’m a pregnant teen and I love the peanut butter.”  Uh, what?  Anyway, it was weird then and it’s weird now but here is goes!

I wanted to start with something simple. This is a tutorial for the Owl Party Decorations I posted earlier.  I just wanted to get your honest feedback on it!  By the way, this will suck up 6 minutes of your time so BEWARE!

Thanks in advance for sticking it out and watching!

P.S. If you don’t know me (I mean know me know me), I sound like I’m still 12 years old…

P.P.S. Here is what they look like:

 

Owl Party Decorations Video Tutorial