How to make a DIY Number 7 Pinata With Joanne Dewberry

The Pinata craze looks here to stay and they’re a popular activity at so many parties.  But what if you want to make your own? Well, party bag queen, turned small business champion Joanne Dewberry has created a rather useful DIY guide for lucky number 7.  So here’s how you can save some pennies, do a spot of recycling and unleash your inner craft queen!

When organising a birthday party for your child the most useful thing you can do is have a theme.  Having a theme helps collate all your ideas, colour schemes and activities.  For Megan’s 7th birthday party she requested a “Woodland Themed”, so we held it at our local Country Park.  Utilising the park and walking opportunities meant the children were entertained leaving us with less to organise.  For me that was an epic win in party planning.  We put up a gazebo, which we filled with activities whilst we waited for everyone to arrive including decorating wooden slice necklaces and a pinata, which was Megan’s idea before going on a scavenger hunt, ending the party with snack boxes and cake plus a play in the park.

Number 7 pinata action

Megan’s pinata suggestion was super last minute, like a couple of days beforehand!  She’d suggested a pinata would be a great way to entertain her friends whilst we waited for everyone to arrive, she was of course right!  After consulting my craft best friend “Pinterest” I realised there wasn’t anything suitable as I didn’t want to be covered in paper mache stressing out so late in the day.  So quite simply I crossed my fingers and botched something together!  Luckily we’d had a few deliveries and I knew the recycling bin was full of big boxes.

This is probably one of the easiest and most entertaining things I’ve ever made.  I literally cut out a giant 7 which I used this as a template to create a second 7.  Using bits of cardboard I built up sides around the first 7.  You can see I have taped card in the inside to make sections. I did this for 2 reasons :

  1. To add a bit of stability to the 7 and stop it being so flimsy.
  2. To stop the sweets from sitting at the bottom of the 7 as they’d have all fallen out in the first smashing. This way the children had to break through 3 sections giving everyone a chance to hit the pinata and win a sweetie treat.

Cardboard Pinata DIY

When I said I’d bodged it together I wasn’t lying!  There is nothing level or neat about this number 7. I used duck tape on the corners alongside lots and lots of sellotape to connect the sections.  Some of the cardboard wasn’t even the same size it was literally held together by tape, lots and lots of tape.

I filled the three sections with sweets and then sellotaped the second 7 on top, which wasn’t exactly pleasing to the eye.  Lucky for us Daddy Moo is a day before Christmas Eve shopper and ends up buying all the naff Christmas paper rejected by us normal shoppers.  I found some holly and berry wrapping paper in the stash which was perfect for the Woodland theme.  Keeping with making this as simple as possible, I wrapped the cardboard number 7 like a present.

It looked amazing hanging up and the children had a blast knocking it down!

This post originally appeared on Charlie Moo’s.  Joanne is a 30 something coffee lover living in rural Dorset with her long suffering partner and three children Charlie (2007), Megan (2008) and Olive (2011).  Joanne owner and creator at Charlie Moo’s specialising in handmade fabric party bags.
Joanne also writes a small business blog www.JoanneDewberry.co.uk, and author of Crafting a Successful Small Business.  In 2010 Joanne was named Dorset Business Mother of the Year and has numerous accolades and awards to her name.  In her spare time she likes to eat and watch crime dramas sometimes at the same time!
DIY Number 7 Pinata Making

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

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.

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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

 

Sew, a needle pulling thread!

In truth, I’m not much of a sewer.  In my head I’m amazing and I have a fabric stash that makes my husband’s eyes roll up to the sky and a bookcase full of gorgeous sewing books that sit on the shelf gathering dust.  Sadly, in reality I have a go at making something, do an ok job and then put it all away and forget all the skills.

I’ve made a blind, a skirt, half a dress (I know, I know!), taken up jeans and made a boat load of reusable shopping bags (Christmas presents one year).  But each time I start a new project, my confidence seems to have left the building.

I love pattern, I love design, I love clothes and bags and I love fabric.  So when I had a chance to enter a competition with Hillarys Blinds, I grabbed the chance to stroke some pretty fabric and make something useful.  My first challenge was deciding which fabric to use, there were 4 to choose from and all equally delicious.  I opted for Safi Turquise as blue is one of my favourite colours.

The second challenge was deciding what to make. Usually I decide what to make and then buy fabric (unless I see fabric that is too gorgeous to pass up of course!).  So I delved into that dusty bookshelf to seek inspiration and now I have a list of things to make as long as my arm (oops!).

I decided on making a tablet case for my Samsung Galaxy as the fabric from Hillarys is so soft and quite robust. Here’s how I did it and how I got on!

Hilary

If you want to know how I made it, here are some brief instructions (bearing in mind the measurements are for a Samsung tablet).

I measured out 2 pieces of the Safi Turquiose fabric for the outside measuring
24.5cms x 66cms
and 24.5cms x 22.5
One piece of lining fabric (I used a blue/grey polycotton)
Wadding measuring 24.5cms x 57cms

1. Fold a 1.5cm hem on the bottom (short end) of the smaller outer fabric and iron and then repeat the process again and sew a 1cm hem.
2. Put the 2 remaining larger bits of fabric right sides together and pin, then sew a 1 cm seam allowance along the top.
3. Open out the pieces from step 2 and place the wadding on the wrong side of the lining, pin in place and sew a straight line into the wadding 1 cm away from one from step 2.
4. Fold the outer fabric over so that the right sides are facing out with the wadding in the middle.
5. Place the outer fabric facing up and the stitched end of the fabric nearest you. From the stitched end, measure 27.5cms and put a pin on each side at this measurement (as a guide) and then pick the stitched end up and fold it so the fold is where the pins are and then pin the top in place.
6. Put the smaller piece of fabric on top, right side down and line up with the top edge. Pin in place.
7. Sew round the three edges with a 1cm seem allowance (the remaining side is a fold, so no need to sew that).
8. Trim the corners at 45 a degree angle.
9. Turn the whole thing inside out (a magical moment!)
10. Complete the project with some sew on velcro to secure the flap at the top.

Hilary 2Finally I added decorative button from my stash of pretty things!  Et Voila!  I’m insanely pleased with how it turned out and our tablet is now nice and snug in it’s new home!  (It also seems to make an excellent sleeping bag for teddies and dolls!).

I had a great time experimenting and re-discovering my love of fabric and sewing.  You can check out the other competition entries here.  Everyone has done an amazing job!

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!

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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 🙂

Minnie Mouse is in the House!

I really thought my daughter would like a princess party for her 4th birthday last year, but she surprised me by choosing a Minnie Mouse party.

Some of you may have noticed that I’m not a big fan of using branded character party accessories, I’d much rather use the essence of the character and the colours for my themeing.  With this in mind I used lots of Minnie silhouettes, dots, bows and of course pink and black!  I was particularly pleased with how the black paper plates with Minnie ears and bow came out (all hand made of course!).

FotorCreated

As it was a party for 4 year olds, the activities were kept simple and traditional, including pin the bow on Minnie (sorry – there are no photos as I was busy making sure they all had fun!) and we also did some Minnie cookie decorating in the garden.

I made this tutu for the birthday girl and it looked utterly gorgeous!  One of my craft party options for older children is a tutu making party – how much fun would this be? Get in touch for more details at lexy@madebymeparties.co.uk

Tutu

The party favours were these super cute mini popcorn boxes filled with themed hair accessories, sweets, the cookies from the craft activity and hand made Minnie ears (Mickey ears for the boys).  We gave these out at the start of the party and they’re still being used in dressing up boxes a year later.  I personally think it’s better to put together useful and long lasting party favours and bags.  I can create bespoke and special party bags for your party, contact me to discuss your requirements at lexy@madebymeparties.co.uk.

Minnie FavoursI hope you’ve enjoyed my Minnie Mouse party, thanks for reading.  Meeska, mouska … Mickey mouse!

Up, up and away!

Here at Made By Me Craft Parties, we’re all about making parties special and unique!  A new customer asked me to come up with a craft activity for a balloon themed 6th birthday party for her little girl.

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So, Made By Me came up with the answer and the children had a lovely time ‘decopatching’ some hot air balloons which then became the party favours at the end of the day!  I’m so pleased with the result and the children had a ball!_G106758

Decopatch is about covering a small box or shape with layers of petty paper and glue.  The children then personalised their balloons with lots of gorgeous embellishments.  Take a look at these happy faces and their fabulous creations!

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Don’t just take my word for it, I’m thrilled to say that the party girl’s mum had this to say about the party ‘Lexy is professional, friendly and a great organiser. The children all went away with a unique and personal gift from the party and I would certainly recommended Made by Me Craft Parties to anyone needing a crafty touch to their event.’

Do you have a special birthday or event coming up that needs the wow factor?  Contact us with your requirements and we’ll provide a unique and bespoke service.  Contact Lexy at Lexy@madebymeparties.co.uk for more details.

 

Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?

Well my daughter (Izzy) certainly did!  So for her 5th birthday party we put on a Frozen extravaganza for 14 of her friends!

The party kicked off with a ‘Decorate Elsa’s castle’ activity.  We did a spot of reusing and recycling to make the castle and Mr Made By Me (hubby Martin) did a grand job!  I’ve found a great supplier for super glamorous cardboard castles for any future Made By Me parties.  This activity was more popular than I had imagined and the girls kept going back to add a few more jewels and embellishments throughout the party.

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Next up was ‘Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?’ and we split the girls into teams and asked 4 unsuspecting parents to be our victims (er … I mean, Olafs).  Each team had a roll of toilet paper, 3 buttons, a carrot nose and a scarf and they had to dress up their adult as Olaf.  Cue lots of laughter and fun!

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I thought it would be amazing if we could make it snow for the party and I took an idea I’d seen on Pintrest and changed it up to suit our Frozen needs.  We filled balloons with some Christmas chocolate snowballs, silver sequins, some tiny cotton balls and also a party guest’s name on a piece of paper (so we knew whose turn it was next to pop).  We hung the balloons from our conservatory roof and each girl got to pop a balloon.  It was a bit like pass the parcel with a bang!

The party was in September on one of those unexpectedly hot days and my cunning plan went a bit melty, as I hadn’t factored in the hot conservatory and the chocolate … there were a few chocolate smears as a result.  Oops!

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We rounded up the party with some quieter games of ‘Pin the Nose on Olaf ‘and ‘Frozen musical statues’.

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If you would like me to run a party like this for your child, contact me for details at lexy@madebymeparties.co.uk

Thanks for reading and I’ll be back soon with a post about the Frozen party decorations.  I had so much fun making them.