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

Five of the Best Independent Party Suppliers

So, you’ve got a special party to plan. Perhaps a birthday, hen party or wedding?  Wouldn’t it be nice to support small businesses and buy unique, beautiful or handmade party supplies?

I’ve scoured the internet to bring you five of my favourite party supply businesses suitable for adults and children alike, I hope you’re going to love them too!

First up … badges and hats …

If it’s a special birthday, Ellie’s Beautiful Mess hand makes fabric hats and number badges that will make you squeal!  The sparkly, glittery, squishy numbers will have everyone singing “happy birthday to you” all day long!

Birthday Hat

Personalised Felt Party Hat By Ellie’s Beautiful Mess

Let’s talk about party decor

Hello Party sell the most fabulous balloon garlands kits that really stand out from the crowd (I really want to cover my whole house with these).  I also think a tassel garland brings a bit of sparkle to any party, plus you can keep it up long after the party is over!

Balloon installation

DIY Balloon Garland Kit by Hello Party

Best party suppliers, by Made By Me Craft Parties

Tassel Garland by Hello Party

Balloons to Behold

Bubblegum Balloons make it easy to brighten anyone’s day, celebration or party with their inflated and personalised Bubble Balloons – arriving perfectly party ready by post.  Whether you’re hosting a Mermaid themed soiree or a Superhero extravaganza, there’s something for everyone.

Send a balloon in the post

Tropical Bubble Balloon by Bubblegum Balloons

Perfect Pinatas

You’ve decorated your venue and you’ve nailed the badge or hat to wear.  Surely every party needs a pinata?  Kate from Pinyatay hand makes every pinata to order and they’re absolutely BEAUTIFUL.  Possibly too lovely to smash up, so you could just use them as a centrepiece if you can’t bear to destroy them or you could purchase one of the pull string options.

If you’re organising a hen party you might just want to check out one of the listings at the bottom of the page (I won’t say anymore, chuckle, chuckle!)

Hand made cloud pinata

Cloud Pinata by Pinyatay

DIY Photo Booth

Foil letter balloons are bang on trend at the moment and Best Day Ever supply some excellent choices which are perfect for photobooth backdrops.  Add in some tissue paper pom poms or honeycomb balls and a tinsel curtain and you’re good to go!

Alphabet balloons

Foil Letter Balloons by Best Day Ever

These lovely small businesses are my personal favourites, but I’d love to discover more.  Who do you recommend?  Which party suppliers, trends and brands are you coveting on Instagram?

Thanks for reading, my next blog is all about independent suppliers of sweet treat and party table accessories, so please get in touch if you can recommend someone who fits the bill.

Crafty, sparkly hugs,
Lexy x

December birthday celebration tips

How to make a December birthday special

My birthday is on the 1st December and do you know what used to bug me?  An advent calendar as a present!  (Ungrateful child I know).  The thing is, everyone else got them anyway, but mine would be part of my present.  (Having said that, I often ended up with 3 chocolate calendars, so it wasn’t all bad!)

I used to think it was bad enough having a birthday 25 days before the big day, but one of my close friends has a birthday on Christmas day – now that sucks!  Especially when you’re a mum!

So how do you make a birthday special in December?  It really can be the most wonderful time of the year, but birthdays sometimes get a bit lost and overlooked in December because it’s also a hectic time.  I asked friends, families and local parents and it seemed to strike a chord with so many people!

Presents
With birthdays and Christmas so close together you can end up with gift and toy overload!  A top tip from Laura from Max and Mummy is ‘Max’s birthday is the 1st December. We tend to do presents for one and an outing for the other. This year we are going to see School of Rock for his birthday and he’s got some presents for Christmas!’

Emma, mum to teenage twins with birthdays on Christmas Eve says ‘Always use birthday paper even when tempted to use the Christmas stuff!! Also give separate birthday and Christmas presents as you wouldn’t buy someone with a July birthday a joint Christmas present.’  These two tips alone were mentioned by nearly everyone I spoke to … you have been warned!

Birthdays near Christmas

Birthday Cards
The card shops turn red and green from November onwards, so make sure you buy birthday cards well in advance, as the shops assume no-one has a birthday in the month of December and hide the birthday cards!

Decorations
Unless it’s a few days before Christmas, try not to put the Christmas decorations up until after the birthday is over.  If it falls soon after Christmas, consider taking the decorations down early.

Louise from Bournemouth says ‘Noah loves telling people that his birthday is on Christmas Eve! …it can be hard to fit birthday things in when everyone is so busy and focused on Christmas, but it is such a magical time of year that so far he hasn’t felt as if he’s missed out at all. The Christmas tree gets a ‘Happy Birthday’ banner wrap for the day.’

Party Time
If the birthday falls between Christmas Eve and New Year’s day, consider having a half birthday and have a party or special day out in the summer.  For birthdays in the run up to Christmas, think about having parties or celebrations as early as possible because everyone gets so busy.

Dawn Cook from Dynamic Women in Business says ‘My son is the 13th and my daughter is Christmas Day so on the 25th its birthday half of the day, with the other half Christmas. We used to have a party for them in the summer when they were little but now they’re both teenagers!  She does feel hard done by, bless her, especially as there is nothing you can do actually on Christmas Day apart from go to a pub or restaurant for lunch, but she doesn’t miss out!’

Rebecca from London says ‘As a Christmas baby, from an entire family of Christmas babies, I recommend treating it as a normal birthday. You can’t ignore Christmas (and I love Christmas), make sure you have a separate celebration for the birthday (never one tacked onto a Christmas celebration).

December Birthday celebration tips

Special Touches
‘Daddy Moo’s birthday is Xmas Eve! I think for children it’s the little touches which are important.  Having somewhere separate to Christmas cards to put their cards. Having a birthday cake making the day about them and not an extension of the Christmas celebrations.’  Joanne Dewberry from Charlie Moos

My birthday is 3rd January and everyone’s partied out by then and completely skint.  The little things like breakfast in bed and no cooking or chores helps.  Recommends Grianne from Times To Treasure.

So do you or one of your family members have a December birthday?  What special things do you do to celebrate?  Can you recommend somewhere to eat on Christmas day so that those poor souls who have Christmas day birthdays can eat something other than Turkey?  Or perhaps that would cause uproar with the rest of the family!  I’d love to hear your family traditions.

Christmas birthday ideas

Happy first birthday to me!

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 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Little Pony Party – All the fun and games!

I recently hosted a My Little Pony Party for my daughter Izzy.  You can read all about the party theme and décor over on my previous post.  I’d now like to share with you the details of the fun and games.

As the My Little Pony Party had quite a few young guests I decided not to do a craft activity this time, but in the usual Made By Me style, I wanted to make the games a bit unusual!

We warmed up with a disco and some musical statues and bumps just to get the party started and swiftly moved onto Cloud Blowing.

The opening credits of My Little Pony show the ponies on a hot air balloon in the clouds and Rainbow Dash is a Pegasus (for those of you not in the know!) so a cloud blowing game fitted perfectly!  I lined the children up on one side of the hall behind a pre-marked line and gave them each a straw and cotton wool ball (the cloud).  The aim of the game is to blow the ‘cloud’ across the hall to the finish line using only the straw.  It was very funny and a real hit.

DSC05220

Cloud Blowing game

We finished off the party with a quieter game of My Little Pony Bingo after the party tea as the children were getting quite lively.  This meant the children went home slightly calmer (and I hear they were all shattered).

While the games were going on we also had Rarity’s Beauty Boutique where the party guests could get their faces painted with cutie marks and mini temporary tattoos.

DSC05177

Rarity’s beauty station

The photo booth was very popular (especially with the boys!).  I provided a basket of fancy dress and created a gorgeous backdrop of a giant silver cloud with a rainbow of hearts dangling down.  I was so pleased with how the photos turned out.

Photo booth

Photo booth fun!

You may have noticed that the birthday girl wasn’t wearing any old dress.  I had planned on buying a new party dress but apparently that was too easy ;).  My daughter wanted a more fancy dress feel to her outfit, so I got the tulle out and went for it!  She was delighted with the end result.

Blog Dress & badge

Rainbow Dash tulle dress and headband

Izzy’s actual birthday was on a Monday and she had mentioned that she would like to wear a 6 badge to school.  Sadly she reminded me at 5pm on the Sunday and I had totally forgotten (oops).  So I had to raid the craft room, where I used a few of my glitter and ribbon scraps to put together this beautiful badge.  I was so pleased with the final result I plan to offer these up for sale.  Isn’t it funny how new ideas and products can sometimes come along by accident?

When my daughter asked for a My Little Pony party, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed with the theme choice.  But over the last few months I’ve developed a bit of a soft spot for these brightly coloured crazy ponies!

** UPDATE **
You can read all about Eliza’s My Little Pony themed craft party over at the Chelsea Mamma blog.

My Little Pony Party – The Little Details

I recently styled and hosted a My Little Pony Party for my daughter’s 6th birthday and it was so much fun!

The decorations were all themed around Rainbow Dash and her rainbow mane, so lots of bright bunting, tissue paper pom-pom clouds, and table confetti were the order of the day.  I was particularly pleased with the rainbow we created with the simple use of crepe streamers (although it did put my brother through slight trauma trying to get it all even to fit the gap).

Rainbow table confetti and party ware, pom pom clouds and crepe rainbow.

Rainbow table confetti and party ware, pom pom clouds and crepe rainbow.

I decorated the party table with a plain white table cloth and sprinkled large tissue paper circle confetti down the middle.  I used rainbow and My Little Pony napkins and found these awesome plastic bottles with straws.  They were so good as there were no drinks spillages and I can use them again.  I then finished the look with a few foil balloons.

For the party tea I used cardboard lunchboxes from Party Delights and they were so effective!  They saved a lot of time and there was a lot less wastage.  Inside I put 2 finger sandwiches, a yoghurt tube, small packet of rasins, and I found some cute cardboard muffin pots to put a few cocktail sausages and sausage rolls.

Easy party tea!

Easy party tea!

Dessert was a selection of small cakes, some great rainbow cupcakes and these brilliant rice crispie cakes lollies that I found on the Capture By Lucy blog.  My daughter absolutely loved making them for her friends.

Cake collage

Beautiful rainbow cup cakes, easy cake pops and a Rainbow Dash masterpiece!

The birthday cake was made by a good friend and inside there were layers of rainbow sponge (sadly I didn’t get a photo of that).

As you might already know, I like to make party favours a bit different (without spending fortune).  Befitting of the rainbow theme we gave each party goer a small tin of rainbow paints and a strip of rainbow laces wrapped in a belly band of pretty paper and a thank you tag.

Paint pallet party favours

Paint pallet party favours

I had a ball planning and designing this party and the birthday girl had such fun!   I’ll be back soon with another blog about the party activities and the dress.

Friendship is magic … (as the My Little Pony motto goes!).

If you would like me to run a party similar to this one or something totally different, please get in touch at lexy@madebymeparties.co.uk

Want to learn more? see what Chelsea Mamma thought about our MLP craft party making manes, tails and decorating pencil cases.

 

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.