5 Top Tips for Taking Photos at your Child’s Birthday Party with Samantha Prewett Photography

You’ve spent hours planning the perfect party; booked the entertainment, sorted a cake, prepared the food and party bags … phew!  Often children’s parties are so busy that it’s hard to preserve decent memories of the special day.  I’ve invited local, leading baby and family photographer Samantha Prewett to share some tops tips that will help you take some lovely photos to remember your party forever.

‘I launched Samantha Prewett Photography just over 5 years ago, I offer beautiful, natural and newborn and family photography across Dorset. As a parent to two little ones aged 9 and 6, I know how important it is to capture all those first memories to treasure for a lifetime.’

1. Take some photos before the party guests arrive

The chances are you will be very busy during the party, so by planning a little time beforehand to take some photos of the birthday child, party set up and any important family members who can arrive early, you will be saving yourself some time and be calmer for the party.

Party Photography Tips - Take photos of the set up

2. Social media etiquette

If your children are inviting friends from nursery or school you probably won’t know all of them. It is always polite to ask their parents when they drop them off if they mind them being in photos, especially if you plan to post photos online. As a general rule, I won’t post any photos of children on my social media if I am not “Facebook friends” with with their parents. Also don’t forget to check your privacy setting regularly.

Party Photography Tips - social media etiquette

3.  Set up a DIY photobooth

If your children are a little older, a great way to make sure lots of photos are taken during the party is to get them to take some themselves. All you need for this is a tablet with camera function, something to mount it into, and some props which you can either make or buy from fancy dress shops. There are lots of ideas online and you can even download a photo booth app!

Party Photography Tips - Set up a photos booth

4. Take lots of natural photos

During the party, take lots of photos of the children playing/crafting/what ever they are doing for their party, without getting them to “pose”. Natural, in the moment photos make the perfect keepsakes and are lovely to look back on.

Party Photography Tips - take natural photos

5. Print your photos!

My best tip is to make sure you print off the photos you take. In this digital age we take so many photos, but how many of us still print them? There is nothing more satisfying than looking back through printed photo albums or scrapbooks, and your children will love doing this as they get older. Trust me, mine do. You can even let the party magic live on longer by getting your child to make a party scrapbook with you. They can stick in some of their cards or small decorations that you might want to keep too and put their own mark on it by writing or drawing in it to.

Party Photography Tips - print your photos

I hope you enjoyed my tips and will try some of these ideas at your child next birthday party.  I would love to know how you get on, and don’t forget me when you need someone to capture those extra special parties and events, I do that as well as newborn and family photography sessions and I love the opportunity to do something a little different.

www.samanthaprewettphotography.co.ukTop Tips for party Photography

Printkick Arts and Craft Kits Review

Over the summer break, I was lucky enough to be sent some lovely craft goodies to review by Printkick, who are a small family business established in 2001.

We were sent a lovely range of children’s arts and craft kits which I decided to take with us on a trip to Yorkshire to visit my family.  Printkick are usually found producing and selling personalised printed mugs for small business in the UK, but the launch of their new website has brought a few surprises!

Printkick sent us lots of goodies!

Izzy (8) and Austin (5) couldn’t wait to get their mitts on the box of delights, first out was the gorgeous colouring books.  Izzy plumped for the grown up flowers and plants colouring, she loved that the coloured pencils came as part of the book which is perfect for crafting on the go (or in our case on holiday).  Austin picked the hard back kids colouring book.  We loved that the paper for both books was good quality and thick and the colouring was only on one side of the paper.  Austin’s book also had plenty of pages at the back for his own doodles and pictures.

Printkick Colouring books

Beautiful colouring pencils and a hardback book for colouring on the go

Next up, we cracked open the fabulous wooden craft box.  It has crayons, watercolours, rubber and pencil sharpener inside and the wooden box is very grown up and perfect fro travelling.  As there was only one paintbrush, I brought along a couple of my own artists brushes.  Izzy decided to use the colouring book to paint in, which worked brilliantly!

Printkick paining set in a wooden box

Beautiful grown up painting box

As soon as I saw the the artist box I knew what I wanted to do with it and when I arrived home I sprinkled a little Made By Me Craft Party magic!  I used a little washi tape, some gems, paper flowers and a wooden flamingo to add a summer vibe to the box.  I think the plain wooden box would make an excellent birthday party activity to decorate with paint, stickers and gems and then they could be used as a party favour.

Personalised Art Box

Summer themed art box

We were also sent a cute pre printed little fabric bag and a backpack which both came with fabric pens.  These bags would make a lovely activity for younger children if you’re doing a DIY craft party or they would make perfect party bags to fill with a few goodies and of course cake!

Unfortunately, the tote bag was a bit young for my children, so we didn’t try it out.  If you’ve got a pre-schooler who’d like to try it out, pop a comment below and I’ll pick a name out of a hat at the end of September.

Printkick colour your own backpack

Colour your own backpack

Printkick tote bag

Decorate your own mini tote bag

We had so much fun with all the arts and craft kits, the kids said they were ‘awesome’.  I think they’re perfect to pack for travelling and as party favours – they’re useful, aesthetically pleasing and a good price too.

I also really like that Printkick have charitable and environmental commitments, they recently ran a campaign with the ADHD Foundation for Neurodiversity  , the umbrella project was simply beautiful and inspiring.  Printkick have also launched a new eco-friendly products range, which is an issue close to my heart (I did a geography degree back in the day!)

Thank you Printkick for the opportunity to play with your lovely products!  We had a great time.  I think we’ll be packing the colouring for our trip abroad later in the year.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to comment below if you’d like the mini colour in tote bag!

Printkick

Craft Party

Introducing: A Spa of Our Own Craft Parties

I’m so excited to launch the Spa of Our Own craft party.  This party option is available to all age groups and includes the following activities –

  • Bath Bomb making
  • Lip gloss making
  • Make-up bag decorating
  • Flip Flop decorating (older teens and adults only)

The child or teen party is an hour and a half and for the adult option, I allow 2 hours so you can spend a bit longer making and perfecting your creations.

You’ll make 2 bath bomb muffins, in your chosen colour and scent, adding some beautiful dried flowers on the top.  You’ll also package them up beautifully and add a tag so you can gift them if you’d like to.

Next up, you’ll learn to make your own lip gloss in a colour of your choice and then put it into gemstone pots which you’ll decorate and embellish.

Make Your Own Beautiful Bath Bombs

All materials are thoroughly tested for fun factor and quality by my team of keen crafters (ie my children and their friends).

Craft Party

We take party testing very seriously here at MBM HQ

Don’t just take my word for it, here’s what one of the mums said after her daughter’s Spa Craft Party

“Thank you so much, Lexy for a fabulous party! Hope and her friends had a great time and they all went home with beautiful flip-flops and lip gloss. Love how organised you are and all the tiny creative details. Looking forward to having one of your lovely parties again in the future.”

Pamper party craft activity

All set up for eager 8-year-olds to make lip gloss

 

To book your party email me at lexy@madebymeparties.co.uk or pop over to the contact me page

Do you need more spa craft party inspiration?  Check out my post where I organised a pamper party for my daughter.

SWIB Award winners 2018

Award Winning Craft Parties In The South

Wow!  Well, what month May is turning out to be, it’s full of surprises and excitement! I won the Creative Business Award for Made By Me Craft Parties at the Successful Women in Business Awards (SWIB) last week!  As you can imagine I’m over the moon (and a little bit shocked!).

There were 33 nominees in the Creative Business category over three counties (Dorset, Devon and Somerset).  The awards happened at Weymouth college where they served fancy tapas and delicious cocktails (rather good for settling the nerves).  Of course I had the usual ‘what to wear fiasco’ as the dress code was ‘business formal and be as fabulous as you like’.  A quick visit to my lovely neighbour Aimee sorted out the jacket issue and I rooted out some gold sparkly strappy shoes and a lacy dress, then I was award ready.  Mr Made By Me (Martin) came with me for moral support and we had a lovely evening on our table of fellow creative business finalists and the award sponsors Hannah and Mike from HJ Accounts Management

It’s cliched, but I really didn’t expect to win.  I was totally shocked and shaking at the result, then I had to tackle the tiny stairs up to the stage (you’ll be pleased to know that I didn’t fall over – phew).  However, I didn’t have a speech prepared (big error – take note future award nominees!) so I’m hoping nobody remembers that bit!

I was nominated for the award by the lovely Joanne Dewberry  and then I had to send the judges some information about my business, including how my creativity has contributed to the success of my business, what’s different about Made by Me Craft Parties and how it’s valued by others.  So for those of you who don’t know me and my business, here’s an excerpt of what I said.

Made By Me Craft Parties offers fun, beautiful and personalised craft parties for children, teens and adults for any event or occasion.  I run my business around my 2 young children, who are my chief party testers and inspire me daily with their creativity. The parties are unique and tailored to customers requirements, for instance, if a child wants a unicorn themed hot air balloon making party, then I make the magic happen!

I pride myself on attention to detail, excellent customer service and ensure I use the best possible quality products and materials.  Offering new innovative and exciting parties is an important part of my business.

A recent customer who hired me for a wedding said  ‘Lexy is fantastic to deal with and makes everything very simple. Her focus is on the guests experience and she’s a supplier that actually asks you what you want, rather than telling you what you’ll have. The children absolutely loved the crafts and to be honest I‘ve never seen a room full of kids being so quiet and focused, while having such fun. ‘

Made By Me Craft Parties came about through my own love of crafting.  I started out teaching adults to make greetings cards and gift boxes using rubber stamping, my friends began asking me to run crafty birthday parties for their children and I soon realised that there was very little available locally to offer craft parties.  Once my daughter started school, I needed a more flexible working environment.  As I’d already started to build something that not only did I love but was proud of, turning Made by Me Craft Parties into a full time business was the obvious choice.

I’m absolutely thrilled to win the creative award, all the nominees, finalists and other winners are amazing businesses and business women and I’m honoured to have been in the same room as them at the awards ceremony.  I couldn’t run my business without the support and help from my husband, family and friends, but also the networking groups I attend such as SWIB, Lemur Linkup and Dynamic Women In Business they’ve been a lifesaver, especially when you work for yourself.

Find out more about Made By Me Craft Parties and how I can help with your event or party over on the website or contact pages.

Successful Women in Business Awards 2018

Winner of the Creative Business Award

Photo Credit for featured image (group) –  Felix Cohen

Kids pamper party

How I Created A Beautiful Children’s Craft and Pamper Party

My daughter recently turned 8 years old (how did that happen?!).  She decided that she’d like a pamper party, however I couldn’t resist adding in a little of the Made By Me Craft Party magic and sparkle!

My printer has been playing up recently and caused no end of headaches, so I cheated with the invitations and bought some on ebay, but I think they’re very cute!

Personalised spa party invitations

Personalised pamper party invitations

I tend to get a bit over excited about party planning and decided to make life a bit less stressful this year, so we served the girls with a simple bbq and cake at the end of the party and nibbles to keep them going.  So once I’d booked the beautician, I was free to knock myself out with the details and some extra fun activities.

Previous experience has taught me that people don’t always arrive on time to parties, so I got the girls going on a fun activity while they trickled in through the door. This also allowed our beautician to set up in peace!

I purchased some plastic champagne flutes and the girls decorated them with foam stickers, gems and Sharpies.  Once they’d completed their masterpieces, I added some Pop a Ball rose gold shimmer to some flavoured fizzy water.  Oh my goodness, they absolutely loved it and felt so grown up!  Not only did the drink become all shimmery, it went into bubble overdrive!

Pamper party crafting

As the girls arrived to the party, they each personalised a plastic champagne glass with stickers and Sharpies

Personalised champagne glasses

Each girl created a beautiful personalised glass to drink from at the party and to take home at the end.

I was worried about keeping the girls captivated throughout the pamper element of the party as they needed to wait around to have their nails done.  (I was worrying unnecessarily because the girls loved the foot spas!).  Once the girls had been beautified with face masks, nail varnish, hair curling and makeup, they came over to the lip gloss making station.  This activity went down a storm and the girls loved it so much that they asked for extra pots to fill and decorate.   The pots looked like giant gemstones and I gave them more gems and the trusty Sharpies to decorate the lid.

Pamper party craft activity

All set up for eager 8 year olds to make lip gloss

Lip gloss making activity

A couple of the girls checking out each others lip gloss results!

Finally, I set up a photo booth so the girls could show off their new looks and use some fun props.  I decorated it with bunting, circle fan decorations and a sequined backdrop.  We themed the party in pink, turquoise and a spot of gold and I think it looked stunning!

Spa party photo opportunity

Say Cheese!

A friend made the cake and did an awesome job of it, but I think we were eating cake forever because it was so big!

Spa party birthday cake

If you’ve been following my party adventures for a while, you might know that I’m a huge champion of party favours that are useful, unique and fabulous.  This party was no different and I spent a happy afternoon trawling the shops for pamper themed goodies.  I’m rather pleased with myself and came up with a clear makeup bag filled with; a body pouffe, lipstick eraser, lipstick pen, nail varnish highlighter, nail file and a packet of tissues.  As most of the girls were only 7 and 8 I felt that make up wouldn’t have been appropriate.  Of course, I had to do a bit of personalisation and hand stamped each girl’s initial onto a tag and tied it on with some ribbon.  The favours were surprisingly reasonable in price but looked stunning.

Spa Party Favours

Grown up party bags

I loved planning this pamper party and I’ve been inspired to add a pamper craft party option to my packages, so watch this space as I’ll be launching it soon!

Spa party photo booth

The birthday girl and I 🙂

Roarsome Dinosaur Party Details

I love party planning and adore making party venues look special.  I’ve themed lots of girly parties, but dinosaurs were a whole new world for me.  I recently decorated our local Girl Guiding hall and transformed it into a prehistoric jungle for my son Austin’s 4th birthday party.

The theme of the party was set with these adorable invitations.  I designed and printed the words and hand stamped the dinosaurs using my ‘No Bones About It’ stamp set from Stampin’ Up!

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Orange is Austin’s favourite colour, so the colour scheme ended up being green and orange, with a dash of yellow to brighten things up.  I made lots of lovely jungle leaves and hung them around the room with green and orange streamers and yellow balloons.

I dressed the party table with a plain white table cloth and punched out lots of orange and green circles and then added some plastic dinosaurs with … (wait for it!) …. party hats on!  How cute!  (PS I know that the first photo is a dragon, not sure how he snuck onto the table!).

dino hats 2

I made signs for all the dinosaur activities that we did.  I printed off the wording finished them off with my dinosaur stamp set and then popped them in these versatile frames.

dino sign 2

The hungry dinosaur explorers all sat down to party food served in individual orange, green and yellow lunch boxes from Party Pieces.  I added a bit of decoration with hand stamped labels.  I made the labels using the Scalloped Tag Topper Punch from Stampin’ Up!  I love using these boxes as they reduce food waste and are a lot easier than preparing a huge buffet.

party tea 2

I incorporated a game into filling the party bags at the end of the party.  We gave out plain paper bags decorated with hand stamped labels for the children to collect their dinosaur eggs.

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As a final surprise, Mr Made By Me dressed up in this rather marvellous dinosaur costume and as you can imagine he was very pleased with himself!  The kids loved it too!

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I hope I’ve inspired you with some dinosaur roarsomeness for your next party!  To find out more about how I can run a craft party for you please get in touch with me at lexy@madebymeparties.co.uk

Bye for now,
Lexy 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stomp, chomp, growl, roar! It’s a dinosaur craft party!

My little boy Austin turned 4 this year and had been begging me for a party with his friends.  He decided he’d like a dinosaur party, which I was pleased about, as you can really go wild with this theme.

Blowing out the candles

Austin loved his dinosaur cake and party by Made by Me Craft Parties

I normally run craft parties for children aged 5+ but even some 5-year-olds have quite a short attention span so I often need to have lots of activities and back up plans!  Bearing this in mind I was a bit worried about keeping twenty 3 and 4-year-olds occupied! (Luckily I had a few big brothers and sisters who I enlisted as my helpers)

We started off decorating dinosaur explorer hats with lots of alphabet and dinosaur stickers.  The kids loved this activity and all popped the hats on their heads ready for their first adventure!

Dino hat making 2

You can’t have a dinosaur party without a dino dig, so we went off to a mini sandpit to excavate for dinosaur bones!

I had a pot of paintbrushes, plastic spoons and mini sieves on hand for the children to look for bones in the sand.  I made the bones using a pack of dinosaur skeleton sand moulds and poured Plaster of Paris into the lightly greased moulds.  I also hid some small plastic dinosaurs amongst the sand too.

dino dig 2

Then it was time for some dinosaur themed games!  We played musical footprints and a game with a spinner where the children had to roar/stomp/flap/dance like a dinosaur (very funny).

We calmed things down a bit with a story, I found an excellent book called Mad About Dinosaurs by Giles Andreae and it captivated the children and got them ready for food.

Dinosaur Story Time

Finally, I enlisted my band of helpers and we did a big dinosaur egg hunt.  Plastic green eggs were hidden all over the hall (it was raining otherwise we would have done it outside).  Each child was given a paper bag and had to collect eggs and exchange them for their party bag items (a dino tail ruler, dino stamp, chocolate bar and a dino activity book).

egg exchange 2

For those children who were a bit younger or who didn’t want to take part in some of the activities, there was some dinosaur colouring and a themed play area with grass, dinosaurs, plants and boulders.

I am offering a dinosaur themed craft party as part of the Made By Me Craft Party packages.  For older children there are options for dinosaur decopatch, a dinosaur spotters log book or decorating fabric cases to keep a set of mini-dinos in, as well as any of the options in this blog post.  If you’d like to know more about booking a party with us, please contact lexy@madebymeparties.co.uk

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Dinosaur Decopatch

Keep an eye out for all the dinosaur party details in my next blog post!

Roar! for now,
Lexy 🙂

Ker Pow!

It’s been ages since I last blogged, but I promise you I’ve been beavering away running craft parties and coming up with new designs and themes for you (not sunning myself in the South of France …sigh).

First up is the superhero cuff.  Of course, boys like crafting too and I’m keen to include lots of party options for them.  Keep an eye out for my Superhero ‘Capes, cuffs and masks’ party option which is coming soon, but for the meantime, the cuffs have been added into the Bronze package.  If you’ve a mix of boys and girls you could choose to have a mixed activity of crowns and cuffs.

Crowns & cuffs.jpg

I’d also like to introduce The Sun Catcher.  Sun Catchers are a lovely option for craft parties, especially in the summer.  I’ll provide all the high quality materials to produce a masterpiece that can be treasured for years to come.  The children will be able to add pom poms, tassels and ribbons to their creations to give them extra wow.  I’ve added the Sun Catchers to the Gold party package.

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So that’s a taster of some ideas I’ve been working on, I hope you like them.  What would your child choose to make if they had a craft party?  I’d love to hear from you and discuss your party needs, you can contact me at lexy@madebymeparties.co.uk

 

Unique and beautiful party decorations

Since I started up Made By Me Craft Parties it’s amazed me how many people want something a little bit unique and special for their celebration events.  I thought it would be nice to share some of my commissions and inspire you lovely people!

First up, and quite possibly my favourite so far is my pin wheel commission.  The Students’ Union at Bournemouth University contacted me about designing and making something special for their centrepieces for an awards ceremony.  This is what I came up with; it’s fun, fitting for an awards ceremony and reflects the seaside location too!  These would also look fabulous at a wedding in pastel colours.

Pin wheel collage

Bunting seems to have struck a cord in many people’s hearts for a while now and I’ve made up lots of bespoke paper bunting this year.

blog 2My mini bunting makes a perfect party bag gift and has been a best seller.  It comes beautifully packaged and can be personalised and themed however you want.

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I really enjoy pulling whole parties together, this spectacle themed party was one of my most challenging briefs to date, but I think it works beautifully.  I sourced a cake and balloons before creating paper bunting and this gorgeous photo booth prop jar.  I bet hours of fun was had with the beards and glasses!

70th banner2

I do love a good party and I’m looking forward to my next challenge!  If you would like me to create bespoke party decorations for a party you are planning, please get in touch with your ideas at lexy@madebymeparties.co.uk.

Made By Me: making craft parties special

Planning a party can be a stressful and expensive business and the choice of themes and activites out there is mind boggling!  A craft party gives people a chance to bond, relax and create something a little bit different to take home.

So, who am I?  My name is Lexy and I’m a crafty (not like a fox!), mother of 2, a born planner, organiser and fun loving too.  I’ve made my own greetings cards since I was a child and have tried my hand at loads of different crafts; I’ve sewn, beaded, painted, stuck, cut and glittered my way through life and have loved every minute!

This is me :)

A Made by Me craft party is all about having fun and creating something fabulous!  I can teach a new skill or create craft activities to fit a theme of a party, for example decorating a castle for a princess party or making hot air balloons for a balloon party.

So who are the parties for?
My aim is to spread the love of crafting and my parties can be tailored to fit any age and ability.  Children’s birthday parties are an obvious choice, but lets be honest, adults love to get creative too, so I offer activities for team building events, hen parties and baby showers.  Or how about keeping the kids entertained at a wedding or as part of the entertainment at a summer festival?

What crafts can we do?
The craft parties include crafts such as pencil case decorating, tote bag decorating, decopatch (decorating paper mache shapes), tutu making, castle decorating, card making, paper bunting and bird boxes, notebook decorating, crown and mask making, ceramic money box painting and the list is always growing!  I can match the activities to any theme and colours.

What’s included in a Made By Me Craft party?
I want your experience to be as stress free and enjoyable as possible, I will run a craft party to suit your interests, needs and theme and make it age appropriate.
I can also do a mixture of party games, face painting and crafts for younger children.
I’ll bring all the craft materials, aprons for the younger children and a table cloth.
I’ll clean up afterwards and make sure everyone goes home with something to be proud of!
You can even use many of the craft items your guests produce as part of the party bag/favour.  How about filling the decorated pencil cases or tote bags with a few sweets or a small notebook and pen?

Making it special

What makes Made By Me special?
The reviews and testimonials I’ve received speak for themselves, but you can count on me to listen to your needs and requirements and create a bespoke service just for you.  If you can’t see what you want on my website, just ask me if I can help.
I think attention to detail makes all the difference, so I’ll make sure the art materials are laid out beautifully and the party will have a bespoke welcome sign too.

Favours

How can I book a party or a service offered by Made By Me?
Simply call me on 07779 870183 or email me at Lexy@madebymeparties.co.uk with your party date, requirements and theme (if you have one) and we can take it from there!

Thanks for reading and I hope I can create a crafty party for you soon 🙂