Back to School Time

by Dinah Wulf

I have seen so many status updates on Facebook lately about how much back to school items cost.  One of my friends said that she paid $125 for supplies and hasn’t even bought a backpack yet!  That is a lot of money for most of us.  I’m a huge believer in searching for Back to School coupons online, saving as much as possible, and avoiding the department store crowds.  And of course there is also the back to school clothes shopping.  We like to shop for our favorite brand names, so we are left to scrabbling and searching for the best online deals at stores like Crazy 8, The Children’s Place, and DisneyStore Coupons.

I have also noticed that in the social media world there is an abundance of Back to School teacher gift ideas.  Pintrest is littered with some great and inspiring ideas.  I love these because they show creativity and you don’t have to spend too much.  I recently posted a tutorial for a clever Back to School highlighter gift set.  This vibrant piece was fun to make with my daughter.

Here is another cute inexpensive Back to School teacher gift idea I saw on Pintrest (sorry I couldn’t find the source!).  It reminds me of the Sweet Gift Idea post I wrote not long ago.  This gift is great because with the help of your craft closet, you spend a few cents for a unique and personalized gift.

Here are some candy sayings well-suited for a teacher:

  • Snickers – Teacher, we love how you make us laugh and “SNICKER”!
  • Junior Mints – Teacher, you are worth a “MINT”!
  • Peanut M&M’s – Our class is “NUTS” about you as our teacher this year!
  • Rice Krispies Treat – I think it’s a “TREAT” that you’re my teacher!
  • Peanut Butter M&M’s – Teacher, our class thinks you’re Magnificent and Marvelous!
  • Milky Way – Teacher, our class thinks you are out of this world!
  • Zero Bar – You’re not a “ZERO”. You’re our hero!!
  • Heath – Sugar and Spice you’re everything nice!
  • Twix – Just be “TWIX” you and me, we love you as our teacher!
  • Rolos – Teacher, you’re my “ROLO” model!

Back to School season is an exciting time of year; however with smart shopping habits and a little creativity, it doesn’t have to break the bank!

 

Summer Birthday Party Food and Drink

by Dinah Wulf

Since I had so much to share for my daughter’s birthday party I broke the posts into: Summer Birthday Party Sneak Peek, Summer Birthday Party Decorations, and today’s post Summer Birthday Party Food and Drink. Let’s get to it!

Food

We had a hot dog bar complete with all the toppings, sauces, and recipe suggestions.  Here are the Hot Dog Recipes I used:

  • LA Mexican- Jalapenos and bacon
  • Texas- BBQ, cheddar, onions
  • New York- mustard and sauerkraut
  • Coney Island- chili, mustard, onion
  • Southern- ketchup, mustard, onions, pickles, chili
  • Chicago- mustard, relish, tomatoes, onions, pickles, peppers, celery salt
  • Hawaiian- ham, pineapple, onion, mayo
  • Southwest- Corn, olives, cheese, onions, ranch
  • Mia- EVERYTHING!

For sides I served potato salad, fruit skewers, party mix, chips, pretzels, jello with whipped cream, and cookies.

Drinks

I used a dresser to display the drinks.  I also kept the extra hot dog buns and chips in the drawers for easy access.  I simply made lemonade with sliced lemons, and strawberry lemonade with sliced strawberries.  I also have a jug of ice water on hand and a bottle of citrus vodka if the adults wanted to add a little kick to their drinks!

Decorate Your Own Cupcake

This station was a hit because it doubled as an activity for the kids.  It also made it cheap and easy to get plain non decorated cupcakes.  The topping I put out were chocolate chips, mini M&M’s, marshmallows, mini Oreos, gum drops, and chocolate balls.  I also had caramel, chocolate, raspberry sauces and whipped cream.

The party was a blast! I couldn’t thank my friends and family enough for all the help!!

 

 

Last Minute Party Appetizers

by Dinah Wulf

Every year we go to my best friend’s house for the Fourth of July.  It’s a casual potluck style get together and I always have a ton of fun.  This year I was assigned appetizers.  Although I didn’t know this until yesterday I was able to put together some fun festive last minute party appetizers.

Finger foods work best, in my opinion, at casual outdoor parties like this one.  You don’t have to worry about supplying/holding/throwing away utensils.  My favorite “party utensil” is the toothpick or skewer.  It’s so easy to put together and they look great too.

This year, I went with the red, white, and blue theme and made raspberries, star shaped marshmallows, and blackberries on toothpicks.

I also make skewers with cold tortellini with Italian dressing, salami, and cheese.  I made little festive flags on my computer and printed them on address labels.

Some other toothpick/skewer last minute party appetizers to consider are:

  • Any combination of fruit
  • Any combination of veggies
  • Cucumber, olives, blue cheese, and tomato
  • Mozzarella, basil, and cherry tomato
  • Gorgonzola, apple, bacon
  • Deli meat, cucumber, tomato
  • Any combination of gummy candies
  • Any combination of deli meat, cheese, and tomato

Tips:

  • The more colorful the better
  • Consider using a small cookie cutter for fruit and such
  • Marshmallows are inexpensive and can be dipped in chocolate, sprinkles, or melted candy to fit any party theme.
  • Gummy skewers are fun for candy bars.  They can also be wrapped in a clear plastic treat bag, tied with ribbon, and given as a party favor.

 

Cocktail Desserts and After Dinner Drinks

by Dinah Wulf

Cocktail Desserts and After Dinner Drinks

The first one is reminiscent of my mother’s favorite candy bar… The Milky Way.

 

Milky Way Cocktail Martini:

Ingredients:

  • 1½ oz. Vanilla Rhum
  • ¾ oz. white crème de cacao
  • ¾ oz. Irish cream liqueur
  • Hersey’s chocolate syrup

Instructions:

Place a martini glass in a freezer till cold. Place 1 cup of ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Pour the vanilla-flavored rhum, white creme de cacao, and Irish cream liqueur over the ice; cover and shake vigorously. Dump the ice and water from the martini glass and drizzle the inside of the glass with chocolate syrup. Strain the cocktail into the glass to serve.


Tiramisu Cocktail Martini:

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Vanilla Rhum
  • ½ oz. Godiva White Chocolate liqueur
  • ½ oz. Bailey’s Coffee liqueur
  • ½ oz. Frangelico liqueur
  • ½ oz. White Crème de Cocoa liqueur
  • ½ oz. Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Monin Strawberry syrup
  • Crushed Toasted Espresso Beans
  • Tiramisu Cocktail Rimmer Mix (recipes below)

 

Instructions:

Place a martini glass in a freezer till cold. Place 1 cup of ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Combine all liquid ingredients into the shaker. Shake vigorously until the cocktail is thoroughly chilled. Place powdered chocolate, nutmeg, and cinnamon on a flat dish and strawberry syrup in a separate dish. Dip the rim of a martini glass in the grenadine and then dust the rim in the chocolate mix. Strain shaker into prepared glass. Garnish with toasted crushed espresso beans by floating in the center of glass.

 

Tiramisu Cocktail Rimmer Mix:

Ingredients:

  • ½ tsp. Chocolate powder ( more of in mix)
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Ground Nutmeg

Preparation:

Mix all together evenly in a bowl with a spoon. Store it in dry location.

 

Peanut Brittle Cocktail:

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ oz. Vanilla Vodka
  • ¾ oz. Nocello Walnut Liqueur
  • ¾ oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream Caramel
  • ¼ oz. Butterscotch Schnapps
  • 1 scoop Peanut Butter (smooth)
  • 1 oz. Agave Syrup
  • ½ oz. Heavy Whipping Cream

Instructions:

Place peanut butter with vodka, Simple Syrup and heavy whipping cream in a food processor until peanut butter dissolves. Add remaining ingredients and shake with ice in a shaker. Strain into a cocktail glass over ice.

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Baklava Martini Cocktail:

Ingredients:

  • 1½ oz. Pistachio Bourbon (recipes in cocktail library)
  • ½ oz. Amaretto liqueur
  • ½ oz. crème de cacao
  • ¾ oz. Orange Honey
  • ½ tsp.
  • Baklava powder (recipes below)

Place a martini glass in a freezer till cold. Combine amaretto, bourbon, crème de cacao, simple syrup, and cinnamon in a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake well; strain into a chilled martini glass.


Baklava Cocktail Rimmer Mix:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. walnuts, coarsely ground
  • 1/2 lb. almonds, coarsely ground
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

Preparation:

If you are using a food processor to grind the nuts, process the almonds separately from the walnuts. Almonds take a bit more time to grind than walnuts and you don’t want the walnuts to be ground too finely. Using a coffee grinder, grind walnuts or almonds until they are finely ground. Store it in dry location.

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Café Mocha Pistachio (cocktail):

Instructions:

  • 1 oz. Pistachio Bourbon ( recipes in cocktail library)
  • ½ oz. Grand Marnier
  • ½ oz. Godiva Chocolate liqueur
  • ½ oz. Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Coffee
  • Coffee powder

Ingredients:

Combine all liqueurs and cream in a mug. Stir in hot black coffee with light sprinkling of chocolate powder. Optional, add whipped cream for a garnish.

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DRINK RESPONSIBLE & DRINK SMART!!!

 

Photo Source: Amazon.com

 

Father’s Day Bouquet

by Dinah Wulf

Here is something you can do last minute for Father’s Day.  I hope I’m not posting it too late, but I’m taking the chance that my husband won’t look at my website until Monday!  It’s very easy and inexpensive.

I think many of us enjoy receiving bouquets of flowers, however for many men in our life, I think they’d rather enjoy this Father’s Day Bouquet.  Here are the main materials needed:

  • Gifts for your recipient (see below)
  • Container (preferably recycled!)
  • Foam or floral foam that will fit inside the container
  • BBQ Skewers
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Card stock
  • Computer (optional)
  • Ribbon (optional)
  • Stuffing (preferably recycled!)

Gift ideas for your bouquet:

  • Candy bars
  • Wrapped cookies
  • Cigars
  • Matchbook or lighter
  • Gum
  • Mini liquor bottles
  • Beef sticks
  • Small packages of cookies, crackers, pretzels, etc.
  • Travel sized items (deodorant, shave gel, razors)
  • Concert, movie, or game tickets
  • Gift cards

 

First, insert the foam into your container.

Next, using your glue gun, attach each gift item to a BBQ skewer.  I used a small piece of card stock to make it more secure and aesthetically pleasing from the back.  The best part of this project is that you can change the size of your skewer accordingly by breaking it.  Start long, and break it as needed.  I glued the entire skewer and broke each one as I made the arrangement.  Another great thing about this project is that you can take out and insert each skewer anytime to create the desired arrangement.

Lastly, I used made a small sign on my computer, framed it with decorative scrapbook paper, and glued it to the skewer as part of the bouquet.  I embellished it with ribbon and stuffed the inside with recycled phone book paper (who uses the phone book anyway???).

There you have it! A manly Father’s Day Bouquet! Here’s another photo :)

 

Lego Marshmallow Pops

by Dinah Wulf

Lego Marshmallow Pops (6)

Legos Legos everywhere!  It seems that EVERY little boy I know is obsessed with Legos.  A friend of mine, Tami, threw a Lego themed party for her four year old son.  She made these adorable Lego Marshmallow Pops inspired by Living Locurto for the treat pales to pass out as favors for all the kiddos.  This simple DIY party favor was a big hit at the party.  Here is how she made them.

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Extra Large Marshmallows
  • Large Marshmallows
  • 6” Lollipop Sticks
  • Yellow Chocolate
  • Styrofoam Block
  • Wax Paper
  • Black Royal Icing or Black Food Marker
  • Small Plastic Treat Bags
  • Twist Tie or Ribbon

Step One:

Cut large marshmallows into three pieces.  One piece will serve as the top of the Lego persons head (extra-large marshmallow).  Place the cut piece on top of the extra-large marshmallow.  The cut side will adhere to the extra-large marshmallow.

Lego Marshmallow Pops (2)

 

Step Two:

Insert a 6” lollipop stick into the bottom center of your Lego head.

Lego Marshmallow Pops (3)

 

Step Three:

Follow the yellow chocolate melting instructions on the package and dip each Lego head.  Allow it to cool and harden by inserting the stick into a Styrofoam block lined with waxed paper. Yellow chocolate can be purchased at any craft store or online.

Lego Marshmallow Pops (4)

 

Step Four:

When the chocolate is cool and hardened, get creative and draw faces with Black Royal Icing or Black Food Marker. Tami suggests to not use the fine point marker, as it needs to move around a bit.

Lego Marshmallow Pops (5)

 

Step Five:

Package your Lego Marshmallow Pop favor with a plastic treat bag and tie.

Lego Marshmallow Pops (6)

 

Other Lego Party Theme Ideas:

Use Legos to make a Happy Birthday sign for the guest of honor and place it on party table.

Lego Marshmallow Pops (7)

 

Make a small Lego coloring book to give away to each guest.

Lego Marshmallow Pops

 

Thank you, Tami for sharing this! AND and even bigger thanks for the Lego Marshmallow Pop… mmm mmm good!

 


Valentines

by Dinah Wulf

I know I have a while until my little one starts going to school, but I can’t help but be excited to participate in all the fun classroom activities. I recall that Valentine’s Day was one of my favorite holidays in grade school. That week, we would make “mailboxes” out of old shoe boxes to prepare for all the Valentine’s Day goodies coming our way. Even though I knew that every kid gave Valentines to everyone in the class.  I still got excited to receive one from the boy I thought was cute that week.

So, for now I’ll live vicariously through these other Mommies and share some cute valentines I found from other blogs.  All of these are super cute, creative, and inexpensive.  You can get some inspiration from the plastic toy bins or the candy aisle at your local party store.  Add a catchy phrase and voila! Instant valentine!

Here are my favorites. Just click on the links for the tutorials from these inspiring sites!

“O-Fish-Ally Mine” from Tammy Mitchell Photography

“I Dig You” from The Fry Family Blog

“I’m Bananas For You” from Fiskars

Valentines Crush from Design Glow

Tic Tac Toe from Shim and Sons

“You Rock!” from A Small Snippet

Super Valentine from Be Different Act Normal

“You Make My Heart Bounce” from The Crafting Chicks

 

Indoor Smores

by Dinah Wulf

My husband and I were invited to a casual pot luck style party.  Our assigned dish was dessert.  Being that the evite had the words “bounce house” in it I knew immediately what to bring… Smores!   Indoor Smores are quick easy, inexpensive, and both children and adults love to participate in making and eating them.  Smores were the perfect sweet for the kid friendly evening BBQ.  I was right!  They were a hit.

Being that I didn’t have to cook or actually make anything, I decided to embellish a mason jar with a quick scrapbook paper sign and twine. I used a round dolly and inserted the BBQ skewers in the jar.  I chose to bring both mini Hershey bars and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups for a little variety. Chafing dish fuel warmers can be purchased at a party supply store and are less than two dollars apiece.  They will last for several hours.

Here are some pictures.   The party was a blast and we had a lot of fun.

 

Here are some other cool Smores inspired ideas perfect for any party. Consider Smores for birthday parties, showers, weddings, small get togethers, or as a sweet gift!

 

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New Year’s Specialty Cocktail Recipes

by Dinah Wulf

Recipes by David Edessa

I hope you had a Merry Christmas! Can you believe it’s already over?  It’s time to celebrate the New Year! What better way than with a great cocktail?

Here are some more delicious New Year’s Specialty cocktail recipes by David Edessa for your upcoming New Year’s party!  I hope you enjoyed his first post on Holiday Martinis.  I tried the Santa’s Cookies recipe and it was so good.

The first two use martini recipes use Monin Lavender Syrup.  It can be purchased online or in some coffee/tea shops. It’s about $6.00 for a 750ml bottle and adds a well worth refreshing hint to your party cocktails.  He ends this post with a yummy Egg Nog JELLO shot that is to die for!  Check them out!

Enjoy!

Lavender Lemontini

  • 2 oz. Stoli Lemon Vodka
  • 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Monin Lavender syrup
  • Lavender sprig for garnish

Directions: Fill cocktail shaker to the rim with ice cubes, add ingredients and shake vigorously. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with a lavender sprig.

Blueberry Lavender Martini

  • 1.5 oz. Stoli Blueberry Vodka
  • 1/2 oz. Peach Schnapps
  • 1 Tbsp. Monin Lavender syrup
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice

Directions: Fill cocktail shaker to the rim with ice cubes, add ingredients and shake vigorously. Pour into a martini glass.  Finish your martini glass with a splash of Sparkling Moscato wine.  Use fresh blueberries as a garnish.

Pomegranate Persuasion Martini

  • 1.5 oz. Pearl Pomegranate Vodka
  • 1/2 oz. Peach Schnapps
  • 1/2 oz. Cranberry Juice

Directions: Fill cocktail shaker to the rim with ice cubes, add ingredients and shake vigorously. Pour into a martini glass.  Finish your martini glass with a splash of Sparkling Moscato wine.  Garnish with a few pomegranate seeds.

Eggnog JELLO Shots

Servings: About ten

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Eggnog
  • 1 oz. Envelope Unflavored Gelatin
  • ¾ cup Spiced Rum
  • ¼ cup Coconut Milk
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ tsp. Ground Cinnamon

Directions: In a small saucepan, bring eggnog to a boil. Pour eggnog into a heatproof bowl. Sprinkle unflavored gelatin over the eggnog and let it sit for a minute. Stir until gelatin is dissolved; allow the mixture to cool. Add rum, coconut milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon; stir until well combined. Pour the mix into shot glasses and refrigerate until firm.

Helpful Tips:

  • Consider using plastic shot glasses available at most party supply stores.
  • Garnish Ideas- Whipped cream and holiday sprinkles, crushed candy canes or cinnamon sticks.
  • Use a few drops of green or red or blue food coloring for a festive look.

 

 

Photo Sources: PetitChef.com, Sarahjio.com, TheNibble.com

 

Just Add Ice Cream

by Dinah Wulf

I remember being inspired by this idea on Tip Junkie and I finally got around to doing it.

My husband and I were invited to a November BBQ (California LOVE). I put this “Just Add Ice Cream” idea together as a quick and easy hostess gift.  I picked up all this yummy goodness (basket, sugar cones, cherries, Magic shell, sprinkles, Gummy Bears, chocolate chips) at Target for less than twenty dollars and even had extra for a second gift.

I turned this:

Into this:

Here are some budget saving tips:

  • Check the dollar bin! I found this adorable black and white basket for only one dollar.
  • The hosts for this party have two sons.  I found this animal variety of sprinkles for less than five dollars and separated them into six different packages using inexpensive treat bags from the craft store. Also consider adding fudge, caramel, wafer sticks, nuts, M&M’s, crumbled cookies.
  • Use your computer, paper scraps, and ribbon for embellishments, instead of buying a card.
  • Use a Ziploc bag to keep the ice cream cones fresh.  You can always fold and hide the seal with clear tape and ribbon.

 

Holidays equals many parties! Here are some other similar Do It Yourself hostess gift ideas:

  • Hot Chocolate: hot chocolate, peppermint sticks, marshmallows, mugs, “just add water” note
  • S’mores: Graham crackers, chocolate cracker, chocolate, marshmallows, caramel, sticks, flame (or “just add fire”)
  • Movie Night: popcorn, candy, movie passes or an inexpensive DVD, popcorn bucket (these are always in the dollar bins)

**I heart comments! If you have any comments, ideas, or suggestions, please feel free to comment below.  Is there a craft project you want me to try? I’ll gladly do my best to take on your craft challenge and I’m always looking for new ideas! Just let me know! Also, if you have a project you’d like to share, please email me at dwulf@diyinspired.com.

 

Sweet Gift Idea

by Dinah Wulf

Quotes for candy 3

What do you do with all that left over Halloween candy?  Here is a sweet gift idea.

My poor hubby severed his Achilles tendon playing soccer.  He’s in a cast and crutches for six weeks and will be in a boot for another six weeks after that.  Needless to say, it makes his life a lot tougher.

To make his life a little less miserable, without a thought, I knew exactly what would make him much happier… SWEETS.  So I decided to surprise him and leave one treat with a note with candy sayings in his work bag every day for several weeks.

I made the note from his daughter.  Here are the quotes for candy I put on this sweet gift idea.

  • Mini Chips Ahoy Cookies – For our own special ‘COOKIE’ monster!
  • Butterfinger – We love you so much “BUTTERFINGERS” won’t count that high!
  • Kit Kat – Daddy, we don’t ever want a break from you!
  • Snickers – Daddy, we love how you make us laugh and “SNICKER”!
  • Junior Mints – Daddy, you are worth a “MINT”!
  • Peanut M&M’s – We’re “NUTS” about you!
  • M&M’s – Daddy, you make us melt!
  • Rice Krispies Treat – I think it’s a “TREAT” that you’re my Daddy!
  • Peanut Butter M&M’s – Daddy, we think you’re Magnificent and Marvelous!
  • Hazelnut Chocolate Bar – We love you so much it’s “NUTS”!
  • Milky Way – Daddy, we think you are out of this world!
  • Zero Bar – You’re not a “ZERO”. You’re our hero!!
  • Heath – Sugar and Spice you’re everything nice!
  • York Peppermint Pattie – Daddy, we get the sensation from you!
  • Twix – Just be “TWIX” you and me, we love you!
  • Rolos – Daddy, you’re my “ROLO” model!
  • Slim Jim Twin Pack – Daddy, we hope no one gives you any “BEEF” today! Love YOU!
  • Candy Dipped Fortune Cookies - We are so FORTUNE ate to have you in our lives!

Another option is to make this DIY gift idea and present them all at once in a gift basket for Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day or any special occasion!

Here are some pictures.

Quotes for candy

Quotes for candy 1

Quotes for candy 2

Candy Sayings

Candy Sayings 1

Candy Sayings 2

Candy Sayings 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you know any other great candy sayings?  Please leave a comment!

 

 

Finger Food

by Dinah Wulf

Easy Halloween Desserts – Creative Ideas for Halloween

This chocolate pretzel recipe doubles as a great Halloween dessert and as DIY Halloween props.  It definitely gives a new meaning to “finger food”.  These chocolate dipped pretzels are SUPER easy and quick to make.

The materials you will need are:

  • One bag of pretzel rods
  • Melting candy or chocolate
  • One bag of sliced almonds
  • Waxed paper
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Glass Measuring cup
  • Vegetable oil (optional)

Step One: Line a cookie sheet with wax paper or parchment paper.

Step Two: Follow the candy/melting instructions on the bag.  I like to melt the candy in a glass measuring cup in the microwave at defrost setting in thirty second increments. Use a spooky color like green or blue to make it look like monster fingers.

Step Three: When candy/chocolate is melted, consider adding vegetable oil to thin out the candy.  Add a little at a time until you reach the desired thickness.  The vegetable oil will not alter the taste.

Step Four: Break the pretzel rods in half and dip the broken side into your mixture.  Carefully lay them in a neat row onto the lined cookie sheet.

Step Five: Gently lay a sliced almond sliver onto the edge of the dipped pretzel to make it look like a finger nail.

Step Six: Refrigerate until you are ready to serve!

This finger food will be a favorite at your next Halloween party!

Click here for a complete step by step tutorial for candy dipped fortune cookies!

 

Carnival Theme or Circus Theme Party

by Dinah Wulf

Carnival Theme or Circus Theme Party

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One of my best friends, Jennifer Hostetler, ALWAYS comes up with amazing ideas for a theme party.  This year, for her daughter’s first birthday, she decided to do a Circus theme.  With a little do it yourself creativity and a lot of imagination, Jennifer hosted a fabulous party on a budget.  Carnival theme or circus theme parties are great party theme ideas.

DIY Centerpieces

If you read this blog, you KNOW what a HUGE fan I am of dollar bin decorating, especially for a kid’s theme party.  Jennifer found these great circus themed pieces for the centerpieces. She took it one step further and glued popcorn and peanuts to give them a more realistic look. I love the way she made them all different.

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Carnival Game Ideas

Jennifer came up with these easy and inexpensive party game ideas to fit the carnival theme.  To keep the little guests busy, some of her party games included, a ring toss, baseball toss, and balloon dart throw.  For the ring toss she secured each empty beer bottle with glue onto a square wooden board.  I give it two thumbs up just for the beer bottle recycle factor!  Jennifer also recycled baby snack containers for the baseball toss by removing the label, painting the can, and weighing them down with pebbles.  She simply stacked three cans on a bar stool.

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Candy Dessert Table

I’ve posted before that a candy dessert table has a trifecta factor.  It is beautiful to look at, gives the guests something to do, and is tasty to eat.  Check out Jennifer’s gorgeous and colorful candy dessert table. She used a round table, which looked beautiful and yummy from all sides.  She created height with wrapped boxes and color and pattern with ribbon.

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Do It Yourself Decorating

One thing about Jennifer is her attention to detail.  Check out these other great do it yourself decorating ideas for a circus theme party including a photo booth, cake table, and signs.

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Jennifer is definitely someone who inspires me.  I didn’t even post half of the amazing details of this party.  Look out for her upcoming budget party blog to see the rest!!! I’ll be the first to let you know when it launches!  Thank you Jen for the inspiration! Love you!

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Baby Shower Dessert Table

by Dinah Wulf

Baby Shower Dessert Table

Dessert tables are becoming more common for baby showers, weddings, and birthday parties.  It’s a simple party idea that can spruce up your decorations and can also be affordable.  A set of various sized candy jars is a great investment for any Host or Hostess.  You can find inexpensive sets at discount stores, or buy unique pieces at thrift shops.  Hosting a party can be stressful and a dessert table adds triple duty as décor, food, and entertainment.

This particular dessert table is one I did for an Asian themed baby shower.  The guest of honor is having a baby boy, so I chose hues of blue and green.  To fit the party theme, I used an Asian style font for the labels, served almond cookies, wafers, and chocolate dipped fortune cookies. I also made blue and green Chinese take-out boxes stuffed with useful goodies for the baby and mommy to be.  Each box was embellished with ribbon, a charm, and wooden chopsticks. I printed a Chinese character on the front that stood for “family”, “baby boy”, “happiness”, etc.

To make the labels and “sweets” banner, I used coordinating scrapbook paper, cut slits on both sides, and inserted a matching ribbon. The candy I chose also coordinated with the theme and colors.  The candies included were chocolate, coconut, almond blue M&M’s, assorted blue and green lollipops, blue vanilla Tootsie Rolls, and blue cookies and cream Kisses.

To create height, I used boxes covered in wrapping paper and matted the top with black scrapbook paper cut to size. I used photo holders and frames for some of the labels and made sure to put out napkins, tongs and scoops for the guests to use.

 

Candy Dipped Fortune Cookies

by Dinah Wulf

I made these blue and green candy dipped fortune cookies for my cousin’s baby shower.  I had never done this before and found it quite easy. Here is what I did.

Materials Needed:

  • Candy Melts
  • Fortune Cookies
  • Spatula
  • Double broiler or Saucepan and glass bowl
  • Water
  • Vegetable Oil (optional)
  • Wax Paper or Parchment Paper
  • Baking Sheet

I didn’t have a double broiler so I used a small saucepan, glass bowl, and strainer.  Add enough water to simmer over medium heat, but make sure the water does not touch the glass bowl. Another option is to melt the candy in the microwave.  Heat and stir the candy at thirty second intervals at half the power.

When the water is simmering, add the candy melts.  Make sure the water does not boil. Gradually and gently stir with a rubber spatula as the candy melts. If desired, add vegetable oil a teaspoon at a time to achieve the desired consistency.  Adding vegetable oil will thin out the candy, make it easier to dip, and will not alter the taste. Another option is to use chocolate squares.

Dip each cookie one by one and gently rest them on a wax paper covered baking sheet.  Allow the candy to set by placing the baking sheets in the refrigerator.

After the candy hardens, place each cookie in a 4” by 8” treat bag and tie with a ribbon.  I added a personalized tag using colored card stock, my computer, and a heart shaped punch. These candy dipped fortune cookies made perfect favors for each guest to enjoy immediately or take home for later.

 

Check out these Sweet Treats, perfect for any party:

First Birthday Party DIY Decoration Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

First Birthday Party DIY Decoration Ideas

Friend and fellow Crafty Chick (and may I add GORGEOUS), Tara Woelfer, did a fabulous job for an Elmo themed first birthday party.  Here are some Birthday Party DIY Decoration Ideas. She used bold primary and secondary colors coordinated with polka dot and checkered patterns. She covered boxes with colorful gift wrap, which is a great way to add height and dimension to any table scape.

Tip: A good investment for any party host or hostess is glass candy jars and glass bowls in various sizes and heights.  Add a ribbon and label to fit any party theme.

The dessert table was adorned with a “sweets” banner a topped with creatively labeled yummy treats like marshmallows, chocolate covered strawberries with sprinkles, colorful candies, cupcakes, and savory cheese popcorn.  Tara also added a special touch by personalizing some of the treats with the birthday boy’s name and age.

The centerpieces were assembled with checkered pinwheels in plastic pales, and pictures of the little man of honor.  Do it yourself Pinwheels are a creative and simple way to add whimsy to any party centerpiece. Use decorative scrapbook paper in any color or pattern to fit any occasion. Also, consider using pages of old novels, children’s books, or magazines depending on the party theme.

Thanks for the inspiration, Tara!! You are amazing!

The fabulous photography is by Carrie Sparks.

Need More DIY Party Ideas? Try:

Check out these Sweet Treats, perfect for any party:

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