It all started when my son – my oldest and least crafty of the crew – announced he wanted to DIY his valentines this year. This boy not only NEVER requests to craft, but he also wanted to re-use the Minecraft valentines I’d created for him last year. This, even after I offered to buy the store bought kind. Be still my crafty heart! This called for a celebration!
I decided that over the weekend I’d surprise all the kiddos with a sweet valentine breakfast and then have a crafting workshop. Okay, I have a way of getting a little carried away…but food is my son’s love language and I wanted to have a little fun with this rare opportunity.
This Christmas, I love the idea of offering interactive toys for the kids that will challenge their little minds and offer hours of continued independent play. I’ve curated my Top 10 STEAM Gift Guide and Stocking Stuffers, below:
At our home, we don’t really “do” spooky Halloween. We do fun, dress-up, eat lots of sweets Halloween. So this year, I thought it would be fun to make a pumpkin representing each member of our family that we could bring back out year after year – in addition to carving Jack-O-Lanterns in real pumpkins, of course.
My local JoAnn’s store is moving, so they are having some crazy sales right now! That allowed me to buy these carvable foam pumpkins and supplies for a steal!
Frozen (or cinderella?) no-carve pumpkin
For ‘Belle, we chose to do a Frozen themed pumpkin because she’s straight-up obsessed. I didn’t have any craft snowflakes on hand, so I’m thinking it ended up a bit more Cinderella, right?
Regardless, it’s perfect for this little girl who loves to dress up and play princess every. single. day.
I then layered Krylon opulent opal glitter spray paint on top. I was super bummed with this though. It was gorgeous going on, but within moments it stopped working. I figured the glitter was clogging the nozzle and I tried multiple solutions to no avail. What a waste!
For Eve, we went the Hello Kitty route. I don’t know what it is about this cat. She’s never seen a Hello Kitty cartoon, but she loves it.
For this pumpkin, I just printed a Hello Kitty on my printer and placed it over clear contact paper to use as a stencil.
Then, I simply painted the face with black and pink acrylic paint and topped with one of the girls’ hair bows.
Minecraft Creeper pumpkin
For Dub, I had to go the Minecraft route. I bought a black craft pumpkin, carved out a square hole and painted the inside green with Krylon emerald green spray paint. I then printed out a Creeper face on the printer, placed it on clear contact paper and cut it out to use as a stencil. I then placed it inside the dry pumpkin and painted the Creeeper face with black acrylic paint.
For my pumpkin, I just picked up this black studded pumpkin from JoAnn’s I just love it!
For my husband, well…
He’s a long-suffering Chicago Bears fan (as am I). Da Bears!
What do you think of our no-carve Family Halloween Pumpkins? Looking for more easy Halloween ideas? Check out my Lazy Mom’s Guide to a Halloween theme dinner.
Monster Mix Simply toss whatever you have on hand: I use popcorn, pretzel sticks, Cheerio’s, M&M’s, candy corn, and a few mini Oreos. Just a little effort goes a long way with this snack. I once brought it to a cross country meet in a ziplock with some plastic cups for serving, and I don’t want to brag here – but phrases like “awesome mom” and “best cook ever” got thrown around by my kids and their friends quite a bit. No need to tell them this took all of 2 minutes to pull together.
Frankenstein Pudding This one is as easy as mixing a few drops of green food coloring in your vanilla cook & serve pudding and crumbling some Oreos on top. Draw a Frankenstein face on the outside of your clear container with a dry erase marker.
Mummy Pizzas and Hot Dogs It doesn’t get any easier than wrapping strips of crescent rolls around a hot dog and baking them, or DIY mini pizzas using string cheese for the mummy wraps, but it still gets me some serious street cred with the littles.
I made the eyeballs for the Mummy Hot Dogs using slices of string cheese and cutting out a hole using a straw. Then, using the same straw to place a perfectly sized olive slice in the hole. I really did that. Should I be ashamed right now?
Jack-O-Lantern (and Minecraft Creeper) Stuffed peppers are a regular meal on our rotation, so we love to make it a little more festive in October. We sometimes also stuff them with spaghetti when we’re trying to make our monsters a little more gory with guts.
This year, I even made a Creeper Stuffed Pepper for my Minecraft – obsessed son!
Candy Corn Jell-O Parfaits These are as easy as they look. Layer orange Jell-O over cooled, firm lemon Jell-O gelatin. Top with whipped cream and serve!
Monster Cookies First, get these fun Wilton eyeball candies and then follow this recipe.
Caramel Apple Bar Okay this one isn’t Halloween, per say, but what a perfect treat for a Halloween Costume party or Autumn gathering? Learn more about how I pulled this together, here.
This year, Dub wanted his birthday to be all about Minecraft. He’s also really into Legos, so a Lego Steve seemed like an appropriate favor for the goodie bags.
I did a lot of research trying to find an easy way to to this. To be honest, I was hoping there would be a sale of Minecraft Lego lots on ebay that would allow me to phone this one in, but it was not to be.
So, I ended up making Steve myself using the Lego Pick-A-Brick feature.
While you can do this in-store if you have a Lego retail location near you, they have a varying selection, so I saved myself the trip and did my shopping online. This is where I insert my Lego PSA – I found out after I placed my order that Pick-A-Brick orders can take up to 18 business days! That’s almost a month! So, this favor only really works if you are planning out by at least a month to ensure your Bricks get to you in time.
Here’s what I ordered to make 15 favors:
Item#, color – quantity
300423, blue – x30
4113915, yellow – x15
4155708, yellow – x15
4163696, light blue – x15
4179833, light blue – x15
4211210, brown – x15
4243821, green – x15
4271949, brown – x15
4579260, yellow – x15
For the pick axe, I had to go to ebay where I got a great deal paying $1.47 total for 15 axes. That brought the total to $26.21 for 15 favors, or $1.74, each. (I didn’t see any swords or pick axes in the Pick-A-Brick section when I was ordering. They do have a “mini Fireman’s axe” or a “warrior weapon,” though.)
Then, I went to work making a face for Steve in PhotoShop. I measured it to the size of the 2×2 Lego and then I printed it on Avery label paper. Removing the paper backing first, I cut down each face sticker to the exact size and then replaced it on a small square of the paper backing to place in the favor bag.
I took a photo of the complete Steve to include with all the kits.
I placed the Legos in a small jewelry ziplock bag. Then, I made a simple tag that I stapled to the top of the sealed bag as a finishing touch.
This was a huge hit among the 6 and 7 year old crowd!
Thinking of making a Lego Steve for your Minecrafter’s party? You can get a head start by downloading Steve’s face here (compatible with Avery 5260* labels), the finished Steve image inserts here, and the favor tags here. Enjoy!
MORE FREE MINECRAFT PRINTABLES: Like these printables? Be sure to check out my other free Minecraft Printables here and here.
Find my other Minecraft Birthday Party posts here:
This year, Dub wanted his party to be all about Minecraft. I didn’t want our home to look like it threw up Minecraft-licensed decor, so I went with something that we all could get excited about. We weren’t having a big celebration at home either, so I wanted to keep this simple and fairly inexpensive.
First: the centerpiece du jour: his Minecraft cake. Kind of a boring concept, but this is a representation of THE pixelated cake featured on the video game. I was more than happy to outsource this portion of the party and Dub was in love with how it turned out. It was exactly what he wanted!
Next, I created the theme using a brown dollar store tablecloth and some tissue paper “grass.” Super inexpensive for one package to cover this table, and the kids were fascinated by this!
I created a simple and inexpensive tissue paper bunting that added some visual interest in the party theme color (tutorial here).
Finally, I like to decorate with party favors, because it’s the decoration that cleans itself up as the guests leave.
I bought some green lunch bag sized paper bags and cut felt into the shape of a Creeper face. Really, this would have been so much easier with black construction paper and my Silhouette SD, but black felt was what I had on hand so that’s what I used.
I absolutely love the look of these tinsel tassel banners for party decor. Even better? They’re super easy and inexpensive to make.
Dub really wanted a Minecraft-themed birthday party, but I didn’t want a licensed decor explosion, so I began thinking of ways to decorate with color. With lots of Pinterest inspiration, I decided I wanted to give this a try. However, I was surprised to find there aren’t a lot of tutorials out there so I am sharing a quick and dirty tutorial of my own.
I set to work on this particular banner with four colors of tissue paper, green, lime green, chevron and silver metallic (I linked to some examples because I initially had a hard time finding these).
1) First, I took a stack of 8 sheets of tissue in each color and cut them the short length of the pre-cut sheets (approximately 20″) and cut them about 8″ wide.
2) I then folded the stack of sheets in half and began cutting them in 1/4″ strips, stopping about 1″ from the fold. I used a rotary cutter and mat to make quick and more precise work of this, but regular scissors will do.
3) I then unfolded the papers and, taking 2 sheets at a time, began rolling them tightly at the center. Once each set of 2 was rolled at the center I began gently twisting the rolled portion. Once it was lightly twisted I folded it in half and began twisting the rolled portions together. When you’re done it will look something like this. Perfectly imperfect.
4) Thread the tassels through a string or ribbon. I made a single simple knot at each tassel to keep them in place.
All in all, this was a pretty quick and easy project that took me maybe 20 minutes total to complete. I also love that if you source your papers from the dollar store, you could complete three of these banners for just $4! (meaning, each banner is just over $1, with plenty of paper to spare for favors or gifts). I have a feeling various themed tinsel banners will be showing up at more parties around here!
Dub’s party is not for a few more weeks, so I’m letting it hang on our mantle for St. Patrick’s Day. How’s that for multi-purpose party decor?
Find my other Minecraft Birthday Party posts here:
I just love Valentine’s Day! Such a fun day for kids to express friendship to one another. Dub loves tearing open the goodies, but EClaire really loves to see the creativity of the Valentines and read the messages from her friends.
Today I’m sharing printables and ideas for Valentine’s Day.
Candy Necklace Valentine
I designed these for EClaire’s princess party this summer, and adapted them again for Valentine’s to be more inclusive of boys in her class. Just print these out, cut two slits, add the candy bracelet (I get mine at Dollar Tree 10/$1) and sign the back. Find the original post and download here!
This Valentine by Paging Super Mom was a hit among the preschoolers Dub gave this to years ago – and their parents who loved the non-sweet Valentine. I used the heart shaped curly straws from Hobby Lobby (10/$1) and signed his name on the printable in PhotoShop. Super cheap and easy.
Last year EClaire had so much fun putting these Kool Valentines together! Simply download the printable here and affix to the back of Kool-Aid packets with a heart sticker. I digitally added her name, but you can sign yours for a more personalized touch.
Candy Buttons Valentine
I absolutely loved the candy button favors I made for EClaire’s princess party this summer, so I recreated them for some homemade and very inexpensive Valentines. The kids think this is such a novelty that it’s always a hit! Find the full instructions here.
There you have it, just a few of the Valentines we’ve given over the years. What do you think? Will you be using any of these this year? Please take a moment to tell me about it, below!
In addition to being featured in the fab blogs shown on the buttons to the right, this post was also featured on Huckleberry Love.
Is your little one obsessed with Minecraft? I feel you. Dub has the game, the app and the collection of hardcover books that he studies relentlessly. It’s Minecraft hysteria up in here.
I knew I had to make his Valentine Minecraft-themed. I just wasn’t finding the right thing, so I had to create it myself. I was most inspired by this adorable candy wrap by Simple as That, but really didn’t want to buy a full box of Mike & Ike candy for each of his classmates *cough*cheap*cough* and I was too lazy to cut out those adorable tags of hers. I know, this says a lot about me.
So I went to work creating a wrap for a standard box of conversation hearts. Once it’s printed, I helped cut out the wraps, and then I put Dub to work wrapping the box, using stick glue to seal it on the side, and he signs the back. Done (I love when a good plan comes together).