wedding and baby inspiration, diy, design and other loveliness

Super Mario Brothers Themed Carnival Party

When it comes to celebrations for my kids, I like to go all out without going all out. Like any normal middle-class family, we have to have to budget the costs as well as our time when it comes to throwing a party.

This year, my youngest is turning four and I asked him what kind of party he wanted. Naturally, he made it difficult with a request of a Super Mario Brothers themed carnival party. He loves Mario and he loves carnival type games. Anything that requires you to throw something to knock down, he’s into it.

Fortunately my sister-in-law is also down with celebration chaos and together we dived deep into a rabbit hole of DIY carnival ideas and games. We decided to create eight stations of carnival games and deck them out with Super Mario Brothers decorations. Since it was summer, we were able to rent a picnic area at our local park and serve some BBQ.

Rather than rent expensive carnival looking tents, we used our blue pop up tents and added “curtains” with red table cloths from the local DollarTree. This was an easy an inexpensive way to create a carnival feel without breaking the bank. It also helps that Super Mario Brothers use a primary color scheme.

In each tent, we split it in half into two games. I bought wooden dowels and pounded them down into the grass and bought some colorful pennants from Amazon, cut them up and used them as game dividers between each tent.

Unfortunately, I forgot to get a good photo of the tents but you get the idea:

THE GAMES!

Big Boo Balloon Darts (Ballon Darts Game)
Out of all the games, this was our pièce de résistance: the balloon dart game. My SIL and I labored away at this game and it was actually a big hit! We used a foam core board and some water balloons to create this game. If you wanted to, you could essentially stab a bunch of holes into a foam core and stick the balloons wherever you wanted. Wanting it to look cleaner and more cohesive, we measured, lined up and color coordinated. We made two of them and mounted it onto a kid easel. I happened to have some old darts from an electric dart board and used those for the kids to throw. The hard work paid off because this was definitely the favorite of the carnival.
*While these are darts are not super sharp, parental supervision at this game is definitely required*

Super Mario Can Toss (Milk Jug Toss)
I cut out some N logos and taped them to some plastic cups. The kids used whiffle balls to knock down the tower.

Toad Bowl (Inflatable bowling)
This was just an giant inflatable bowling game we happened to have.

Bucket Bowl Toss
We used stakes and I cut out some mushrooms and added a point system. Taped them down to some DollarTree (yay!) planters and the kids had to toss balls into them.

Star Corn Hole
I looked into ordering a custom corn hole but they are not budget friendly. Instead, we took an existing corn hole and added the star design to it to make it more “Mario”.

Warp Pipe Ring Toss
I picked up some noodles and cut them half and staked some dowels into the grass and put the noodles over them for an easy ring toss game.

CheepCheep Fish Bowl (Fish Bowl Game)
You know that really annoying ping pong fish bowl game that you can never win at? We made a dumbed down version of that as well.

Basketball Game
I really wanted to do a basketball type game and decided to DIY our own.
From the very resourceful DollarTree store, I purchased a tri-fold presentation board and two basketball hoop games. I designed and printed out a new background for the the board and hoops with the infamous question mark blocks.

To secure them onto the board, I used zip ties and threaded them to the back of the board. We also had to tape down the whole thing onto a table since it needed to be weighed down.

We also hung these guys on the trees but didn’t get a picture of them.

A lot of times, I focus a lot on the feature table but at a park and battling the elements, sometimes you just have to make it work and it kind of becomes “Ugly Delicious”. It has all the makings of a nice table, just not visually pleasing.

The kids also got to wear some Super Mario themed visors.

As part of the favors, I made some bookmarks and attached them to coordinate with Pocky/Prez. flavors: Chocolate, Strawberry and Pretzel.

Hope you enjoyed reading our party as much as we had planning it!

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Construction Birthday Party

Yes, yes, it seems as if the blog has become the neglected second child but my excuse is–I had a second child. With that said, I have a post loaded with visual goodies for you. Motherhood has been extremely busy but another great part of it, you get to throw your kids fun birthday parties and see their happy faces when they see the final result. This year, we were originally supposed to be in Maui for a wedding but plans fell through and we decided to host a small birthday party for my son’s third birthday. I asked my son if he preferred a construction themed party or a fire truck party. (He loves all things transportation so I had to narrow it down for him). We decided to go with the construction party because he has tons of construction trucks already. I wanted to keep it low budget and an easy DIY construction theme party mainly because on the limited amount of planning time and my home isn’t that big. For the party itself, while there are some really cool black and yellow theme construction parties out there, I wanted to change it up with some color.

Construction Party Invitations
For the invitations, I’ve always found blueprints to be just so cool and I thought it would be a fun way to incorporate into the party invitation and mail it off in a shipping tube. The kids had a blast receiving it in the mail. A little on the pricey side to ship, but with a small guest list of ten, it was manageable. Because the intent was for the invitation to be “blueprint”esque–large and thin paper.  I ended up just printing them on my laser printer which also reduced cost.

construction party invitation

Construction Party Invitaton

Construction Party Decorations
I had a lot of leftover yellow tissue paper from a previous project that I used to make some tissue garlands around the house. I found an easy tutorial from Martha Stewart that I used.

Tissue paper garland

The backdrop was created from blue paint chips from the local hardware store. Over it, I had cut out a cardboard L and lined it with yellow tissue paper tassel. By the way, a leveler is your best friend for this particular task. Don’t mind the last few greenish paint chips, my husband grabbed the wrong colors 😛

DIY paint chip backdrop

My son loves egg tarts so rather than cupcakes, we decided to go with some egg tarts and the yellow color of the tart matched so well. Also with younger kids, I’m just hesitant to turn the party into a sugar fest. We can save that for my birthday 🙂 The translucent acrylic cake topper is something in the works in our store so if you’re interested, feel free to contact me. Moving on…

number cake topper

My son loves to turn anything he can into a road for his cars and trucks to travel on. I thought it would be fun to make him some XL roads–or as my son calls them, “woads” for the party. I lined the tables with some black paper and using some bright yellow duct tape, added the yellow lines and dashes. I’m in awe of the color duct tape selection nowadays! For the table settings, I also cut some slits into yellow paint chips and stuck in the utensils. Also included, obligatory striped paper straws.

diy roads

Construction Party Decorations

Construction Party Activities
This was one of the more fun parts of the party planning. Now if you’ve ever had more than three kids over playing at your house, you know it can turn into quite a mess with the toys everywhere and then the wonderful “sharing” going on. I find sometimes with toddlers, they play better with each other when there isn’t anything to fight over. Since my son’s birthday is in the winter, it’s a crapshoot to do it at a party where the kids can burn off energy running around so I wanted set up construction related activities or stations for the kids to participate in. I also happen to have a handy button maker my husband gifted me a few years back so the idea came about have the kids each complete a station and “achieve” a skill button to pin onto their tool belt that they would all receive at the beginning of the party along with a construction party hat.

construction party tool belt

construction party hats

construction party games

One of my favorite stations was the hammer and nails station. I found this great activity idea off Pinterest. You basically mimic hammering a nail but you use golf tees and styrofoam blocks. The kids loved this! A little noisy, but safer than a real hammer and nail! Now, I don’t know about you but I searched far and wide for some kid toy hammer favors to use but all I could find were the ones sold in sets and inflatable ones. I mentioned my hammer distress one day to a family friend and being the handy guy that he is, he volunteered to make some mini-sized mallets for the party! He had an old wooden closet rod that he cut up, drilled a hole into and glued a small dowel into. It was the PERFECT size for the kids and had such a natural look and feel to it. I told him he should start selling these himself!

kid toy hammers

Another favorite activity was the bulldozer stations. My toddler loves loves loves to bulldoze anything–like most little boys his age. He will take puzzle pieces, legos, blocks and just doze and dump all day long. This sparked the idea of the bulldozer yard. I set up three large trays and filled them with beans and dry macaroni. I just couldn’t deal with sand and dirt in the house 😛 although I am still finding pinto beans on the ground. Inside each child’s toolbox, they received a small construction truck to take to the construction yard to dig around. I also threw in some “lumber” for good measure.

My son was at this station for about four hours (with a lunch break of course) and the kids all played at this station the longest. Later on, I did notice that my brilliant idea wasn’t so brilliant and was done many times on Pinterest already. HA! Oh well, here’s to sensory play!

diy construction party activities

Construction party activities
Construction party activities
Construction Party Toolbox
Each child received a little toolbox with some goodies with a little DIY flair. 

Tool box party favor

Construction party favors
Initially, I was going to purchase a few small construction books but being the graphic designer that I was, IT DIDN’T MATCH! So utilizing some stock art and my handy dandy Xacto knife, I put together some custom construction coloring books.

Construction Coloring Book
construction-coloring-book

I mentioned my son’s love of “woads” right? Whenever we go out to a restaurant, he will grab whatever he can to make a track or a “woad”: chopsticks, napkins, whatever. I saw the idea of DIY felt roads awhile back and thought it would be a fun addition to the toolbox. I dubbed them, “Ride-Along-Roads”. I basically cut up strips of black and felt and once again utilized my yellow duct tape for the dashes. Each set of roads came in a little muslin bag to take with you when you are out. A great way to occupy the kids at restaurants when waiting for the food.

DIY felt roads

I also found some awesome inkjet tattoo paper on Amazon! You can print out any design you want.

dump truck tattoos

The adults also got a sweet treat to take home. I made some not so appropriately named for a kid party “Better than Sex” Chex Mix for each family. Apparently everyone couldn’t stop eating and finished within minutes.

dump-truck

All month long he watched as his sleep deprived mother labor over his party assets, he would ask “Is that for my construction party?” In the end my son loved the party and the look on his face was priceless. I would do it all over again 🙂 Hope you guys enjoyed it as much as he did!

 

Here are some other great construction themed birthday party invites for your party from my Zazzle store.

  1. Excavator Party Invitation 2. Dump Truck Party Invitation

excavator party   dump truck party invitation

Apple Themed Bridal Shower

My sister-in-law Sam was recently a bridesmaid for one of her friend’s weddings and was helping put together the bridal shower. Apparently the bride loves Apple products and so her bridesmaids wanted to throw her a unique bridal shower themed based on Apple. She asked me to help with her invitations. She wanted to utilize the old multicolored Apple logo. The tagline was centered around Apple’s Think Different campaign and I used the Apple Garamond Light font for the invite. Check out the invite and the fun shower they put together!


We wanted to have a cool backdrop and somehow recreate the silhouette of her in the apple but do it in a budget-friendly manner. I was seeing all these awesome things you could do with crepe tissue paper on Pinterest so I suggested we recreate the apple that way. First I tile printed the actual silhouette and then we started laying out the streamers inside. Sam had the brilliant idea of adding texture by folding them.




Unfortunately, the wind messed up some of the folds 🙁

The bridesmaids had custom fondant cupcakes made of the popular Apple iPhone applications.


My ever so talented JolieJolie partner in crime, Lisa was recruited to make her famous french macarons.
The insides were tinted with the same colors as the Apple logo.




An Apple wishing tree


The bridesmaids even had special Genuis shirts made with the Apple silhouette of the bride. Theirs read “Bridesmaid”…

the bride’s said “Bride”!

Congrats Diana!!

Gorgeous Sewing & Knitting Themed Shoot

Love this sewing and knitting inspired shoot from wedding and party planning blog,  Uh La La.

 

 

 


 




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