Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Alice In Wonderland Tea Party

Hello! It's me! Did you wonder where I'd gone? I've been spending some time with the family as the kids have been off school for the summer holidays for just over a week now and my eldest daughter has come home to stay for awhile (or maybe longer!).
The Alice In Wonderland party was a great success and we had gorgeous weather! I think it was the hottest day of the year so far!
Above, you can see a small coffee table with an old tea set I found in a charity shop and my 3 tired fruit basket which had little favours of tea bags and candy pouches for guests to enjoy. 
The children at the party really enjoy the mini pick and mix bar. The sweets were mostly from a pound shop or on special offer from the supermarkets so weren't too expensive. At the back there are two fish bowl vases with lollipops and marshmallows and a old glass sweet stand from the charity shop. I also used popcorn treat boxes and food trays from my Wonderland range. Small candy bags and tongs were bought from Amazon.
Delicious red cake pops were also a huge hit with the little ones. You can also see two large tin buckets which we used for popcorn and crisps. 
I'm not much of a flower arranger but I'm really pleased with the arrangements I did using teapots and these tea cup garden decorations. Once again, I kept prices down by buying these from a pound shop and I simply repainted them to match the colour scheme. 
Some bunting from the Wonderland range.
This juice dispenser was a great find at John Lewis. The kids really liked the fact they could get their own drink without having to have an adult open up tight lids on bottles.
Cute mini tea set in a spotty suitcase! Perfect for decorating this party.
This is a selection canvases my daughter painted. They should have hanging around the marquee but it was quite windy and the sides were blowing in a lot so we decided it was safer if they went on the ground. 
My friend made these cool signs which we nailed to a tree! 
Theo as the Doormouse posing in my photobooth frame! Nienna and Lorien added some red hearts for the occasion.
And that's me!! But anyway.... quickly moving on something far prettier...
Here's Nienna as the White Queen!
And finally, napkins with the napkin rings from The Wonderland collection.

So there you have it... my Wonderland Tea Party. I hope it has helped to inspire you with some ideas which are pretty easy to pull off even on a budget.
Take care 
Suz x

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Minion Treat Spoons (and free download!)

Any one who knows me will tell you how much I love the minions from Despicable Me! So much so, I am planning to have a Minions and Unicorns party for my own birthday early next year!! Can't wait to get started on that!!
So you will understand that I was thrilled when I saw these adorable candy spoons from Living Locurto.
Pop on over for a tutorial on how to make them.
Suz x

Saturday, 15 June 2013

The Jungle Party!

Good evening
Well today Theo had his jungle themed party and while I'm waiting for the little monkey and his friend to go to sleep (it could take some time!!!) I thought I'd share a few photos from the party. My dad came over before we got started and got some professional photos of the deserts so I'll share them later in the week.
Firstly, here's the birthday monkey himself in our homemade photo booth! I got the inflatable banana and monkey from Amazon (the banana was only 50p!) The kids had lots of fun with both of these and as 10 year old boys tend to do spent the afternoon bashing each other with the banana!
As Theo is autistic, he struggles with large groups of people so the party was very small - we invited 3 guests but only two could make it on the day. He had a meltdown free day (the day before was a different matter but hey ho, that's life in our house!!).

I made this sign using decoupatch to hand over the desert table.
As I said before it was a small party so a huge desert would have been a waste. So, instead of a large table I used a set of shelves (easier on space in a small living room too). I made cake pops which looked (I hope!) like monkeys and some in a plain green. We also had chocolate marshmallows and slices of banana coated in chocolate. The large round brown thing is Theo's birthday cake! More of that later...
I really wanted to have a sweetie pick and mix at the party too and I think that my little food trays worked really well to keep the quantity of sweets right for the number of children.
This part of the party was a huge success! One of Theo's friend's comments was "it's like you have your own sweetie shop". The sweets were bought mostly from Poundland or on special offer from supermarkets. The green apple laces (or jungle vines!) went down a treat and the children were very kind and let me have the last jelly cherry!
The main food was burgers (all home made of course). I also served crisps and fruit and these cute little pots of veggie sticks.
I saw the idea whilst browsing for inspiration. I think it was on Kara's Party Ideas but can't remember for sure! They're made by wrapping a strip of crepe paper round little plastic shot glasses and then tying some green garden string round it. That garden string was an amazing buy! Only £1 and as you'll see it featured quite a bit! Pop a teaspoon of dip into the glass and then add a couple of veggie sticks.
Here's the full spread partly obscured by a late appearance of the sun!

 Plates and cutlery wrapped in napkins.

 Some of the food trays for crisps and fruit.

 Ketchup with more of the garden string wrapped round the top to obscure the label and a napkin ring round the middle.

 Bottles of juice with my bottle wraps to match the theme.

 I used these lovely bright yellow flowers in two small vases to brighten the table up a little bit.

Oooh, look! There's that sunshine again!
And my monkey cake pops. I won't be giving up the day job any time soon but I really enjoyed making these and I think they do kind of look like monkeys!
And lastly, the birthday cake! I was so worried about how this would turn out and half expected a gooey mess but this is what we got when we cut into it....
Here's a link to a tutorial to make a cake like this. I only looked at it briefly to get an idea on what to do then did it my way! I filled this cake with M&M's as I thought it would easier to cut into but you could use whatever sweets you prefer.
Well, I hope this has given you some helpful ideas for your own parties and shown that you can still have a cool party on a budget and for only a small number of guests. Parties don't have to be lavish, huge bank busting affairs - with planning and the willingness to do a bit of DIY craft and baking (and a ball of garden string!!) you can create a fun party which your guests will remember for a long time.
I'm off to see what all the giggling is about and see if I can settle these two monkey's down! Wish me luck...
Good night

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Tutorial - Mini Cupcake Stand

Good Morning to you all. Well. it's been awhile since I posted as I've been busy with a craft fair and getting organised for Theo's birthday party (it's his birthday today - can't believe my baby is 10!!). I had to have some enforced time off after getting a steroid injection in my knee last week too! But I'm back now and have a lovely tutorial to make a mini cupcake stand using one of my printables. These are a really cute way to display some cupcakes or perhaps you could just make one and have the special birthday girl/boy's cupcake on it.
Firstly, download your free cupcake stand printable here, and print out onto card.
Cut out around the outline of the stand. Leave the white ovals in the middle. Score along the lines. Score down through the white ovals too as you will need to fold these bits.
Turn over and apply glue to all areas except the tabs at the top. Now you need to concertina fold the stand together to form a cross shape. The white ovals should be together.
You can now cut out the white ovals.
Fold down the tabs at the top and apply glue to each. Place scalloped circle on the top.
And there you go, a lovely mini cake stand. I hope you have fun with it.
Suz x

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Alice In Wonderland Free Printable!

We hello to you all. I hope you are all safe and well.
Today I have a free download for you and a short tutorial on how to make these cute triangular pouches (I'm not sure if they have a proper name!).
So you can get your download by clicking on the picture below and saving it to your computer or click here to get a PDF (remember you'll need Adobe Reader to view PDF files).
And now, how to make them. They are a little tricky at first but once you've done one you'll quickly get the hang of it.
So, to create an aged vintage look, I first coloured my paper with teabags! I'm sure you've all tried this before even if it was when you were at school. But for those who haven't, simply use a wet teabag to "paint" your paper and stain it. Allow to dry and then press under some heavy books to flatten out. You could also try ironing it! It needs to be flat to go through your printer but I do suggest you try a sheet first as printers can be temperamental sometimes ;-) You can also print onto cream coloured paper or simply keep the nice crisp white look - they all look nice.
Print the design on to A4 paper and then cut out. Next, use some double sided sticky tape and apply to the back leaving a 1cm gap on the opposite side to the tab. This will make sense once to start to stick together!
 Before gluing the tab, roll the paper into a cylinder (this will make it easier to glue together).
Apply glue to the tab down the edge (a glue stick is best here). and then stick both ends together to form a cylinder.

If you look carefully, you'll see some small marker lines at the top and bottom of the pouch. Pinch the cylinder together at the bottom using these marker lines as a guide as shown below. Remove the backing from the tape and seal together.

Half fill the pouch with sweets and then repeat the step above with the top edge of the pouch. You should have something like this below. You may wish to trim along the top and bottom edges to neaten up. 
I do hope you enjoy this free download and have fun making them. Like I say they are a bit tricky and I'm sure how well I've explained the process but hopefully the pictures will help! To open, I just tear along the top.
Take care
Hugs, Suz x

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Chocolate Marshmallows & Chocolate Bananas

Good Morning!
Today I have another tutorial for you to show you how to make chocolate covered marshmallows and bananas. It's a really easy tutorial and a great one to do with the children.
OK, so the list of ingredients you'll need: a bag of marshmallows, chocolate (I prefer using supermarket value chocolate rather than cooking chocolate), sprinkles, banana, cake pop sticks (or you could use kabab skewers) and lollipop sticks. I also used my cake pop stand and the end of some polystyrene packaging to stand the finished articles in to set.
First thing is to melt the chocolate.
The best way to do this is in a glass bowl over a pan of hot water. I'm sure you're all familiar with this technique. I used my microwave but you need to be careful and hot heat in 10 second bursts as the chocolate will burn otherwise.
For the marshmallows you can simply push the cake pop sticks into the bottom. They are pretty sticky on the inside and this holds the sticks in place well. I'll talk you through the banana pops later.
Now you can start dipping your marshmallows. You can just dip the tops or you can cover them entirely in chocolate - it's really up to you (or the kids!).

Before adding sprinkles, it's best to allow the chocolate to set a little to avoid them running off. After a few minutes, add your chosen sprinkles.
You could also use writing icing to decorate once the chocolate has set completely.
Now to the bananas. I used cake pop sticks but these didn't work very well. I have made chocolate bananas before and used lollipop sticks which worked much better. So my top tip - if you can, have a trial run before your party so you can identify any problems beforehand - you'll have enough to think about on the day of the party!
So firstly, dip the lollipop stick into the chocolate and then push into the bottom of the banana. Allow the chocolate to set.
Once set you can carefully dip the bananas. I strongly advise you to cover the entire banana or it will start to go brown very quickly. Another couple of tips here - add a teaspoon of oil to the chocolate before dipping - it will make the chocolate easier to work with and will coat the bananas more evenly. Second, make sure you have plenty of chocolate so it's nice a deep and you can submerge the banana entirely and coat in one go. Do be careful as the bananas are very slippery and may slide off the stick. Once coated, hold the banana over the bowl and gently twirl the stick. This will help to avoid drips and give a smooth finish. You can now add sprinkles if you wish in the same way as you did the marshmallows and allow to set completely before serving.
And finally.... Enjoy!!
I hope you have found this tutorial helpful. Please feel free to contact me with any other tips or ideas you may have (
Take Care
Suz x