Monday, March 26, 2012

Organized Toys: Cube Organizer Labels

A little while ago, we decided to get rid of an overflowing toy box and replace it with these cube organizers (you can see before and after pictures of the toy area within this post). It was honestly one of the best ideas we ever had because not only do they keep toys in one compact and vertical area, they serve as a nice piece of furniture in the room.

Anyways, the girls have been doing a great job of keeping the toys neat and tidy, but recently, I decided to take it a step further and teach them specific organization by using picture/word tags on each bin.

 I knew that taking stock photos off of the Internet wasn't a good idea. Kids need to be able to recognize the pictures on the tags.

So, I set up a little photoshoot with some toys using white foamboard. These are the rough pictures. I uploaded them to my computer and photoshopped them to be a bit brighter. I also blurred the seam.

To help with picture-word association, I added some big lettering to each label. I then sized and printed them out on cardstock.

I cut the photos out in an arrow shape so that I could later create a hole for tying them to the cubes.

I purchased some laminating sheets at Walmart... 

...and finally, laminated each of the photos.

I poked a hole, and then using some twine, I attached the finished tags to the cubes!

Now, the girls know where to put their dolls...

... and all of their other millions of toys!

I left one bin with this tag for toys that didn't fit into any category, or toys that overflowed other bins.

The girls actually do a really great job organizing, and I really do believe that seeing pictures of their own toys helps.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Holly's Ballet Themed 3rd Birthday- Part Four (Cake Stand and Ballerina Cupcakes)


The decor for the party was pretty simple- lots of pink and white decorations.
But, my favourite set-up was the food table.

Remember this cake stand that I made for a friend's babyshower a while back?
Well, I saved it and decided to re-cover it for Holly's birthday:

Ah, so very pink! Again, I used the same scrapbooking paper that I used for the invitations and the cupcake toppers to cover the inner beams, and bought some new pink ribbon to do the outer edges. I added the bows last minute, and I'm glad I did.
Isn't it amazing what a glue gun can do?

Next, I moved on to the cupcakes.

After finishing my DIY ballerina cupcake toppers, I started frosting!

I used a Wilton drop flower tip to make a nice swirl, and then added an extra tall swirl in the centre (for where the ballerina would be placed). Next, I sprinkled on some pink Wilton sugar pearls and pressed in my ballerinas.

I repeated in chocolate, of course.

...and then I finally got to put them on my cake stand!


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Holly's Ballet Themed 3rd Birthday- Part Three (DIY Cupcake Toppers)

As I mentioned in parts one and two of Holly's ballet themed 3rd birthday posts, I had a really hard time finding any "ballet" themed decorations for her party, so I was left to stick with a simple pink and white colour scheme and a few easy DIY projects.

After completing my tissue paper ballerina wreath and finding lots of pink and white balloons and streamers, I wondered what to do about the cake.
I ended up choosing to do cupcakes alone, mostly because people are more likely to eat cupcakes than to cut a cake, and because they are more toddler friendly.

I started daydreaming about ballet cupcakes and decided on ballerina silhouette cupcake toppers with full skirts made of icing.

Here's how I made the toppers:

To start, I found a picture of a ballerina in the perfect pose and sized it on my computer. I then printed it and cut it out. 

I used my computer paper cut-out as a template to trace the silhouette onto some pink cardstock. I used the same textured scrapbook paper that I used on the invitations.
(I extended the torso of the silhouettes a bit because that part will be submerged in the icing skirt.)

After repeating a bazillion times, I cut out the pink silhouettes and erased all pencil marks.

Enter tape and toothpicks.

I taped a toothpick about halfway up each silhouette and my toppers were dunzo!

It took me ten minutes to make 30 of these, and it probably cost around $2.
Way better than spending $20+ at Michael's on brand name cupcake toppers that just get covered in icing and thrown away!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Holly's Ballet Themed 3rd Birthday- Part Two (DIY Ballerina Wreath)

After sending out our ballet invitations, I started to shop around for decorations for Holly's third birthday party. It turns out that ballet themed decorations are hard to come by.

So, I decided to keep everything in the pink and white colour theme, and do a few simple DIY projects including this cute (and super easy to make) tissue paper ballerina wreath!

All I needed to make this wreath was:
1. Cardboard
2. Tissue paper
3. Scissors
3. Tape
4. A marker or pencil
5. Pink and white construction paper
6. Ribbon

...and this is how I did it:

I took a piece of cardboard and cut it into a wreath template. I then divided it into roughly equal sections so that I would know where to alternate my tissue paper colours.

Next, I used this technique (similar to what I did for the invitations) in a mini version to make several pink and white pom-poms. 

I taped them to the wreath (two in each divided section) and then fluffed them up really well to hide the tape. I switched to the opposite colour and repeated in the next section. I kept doing this until the wreath was full.

I poked a hole through the cardboard underneath the tissue paper and pulled a ribbon through. Finally, I curled the ribbon and hung it on my door.

...but it just didn't look "ballerina-y" enough.

So, I added some slippers.

I printed out a picture of some ballet shoes, and traced them onto cardboard. I cut out the cardboard tracing, and traced again onto pink construction paper. I then tried to create the inside of the shoe out of white construction paper.

I attached the construction paper cut-outs with tape, and used a pencil to make four small holes in the shoes. Finally, I strung pink ribbon through the shoes in a criss-cross pattern to resemble real ballet shoes. I made sure to leave enough ribbon hanging to attach them to the wreath.

I attached the shoes through another hole under the tissue paper, and was all finished!

It finally screamed "ballerina"!

...and I made sure to curl the ribbon well.

So easy!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Holly's Ballet Themed 3rd Birthday- Part One (Invitations)

Now, let me start off by saying that I was scared to plan a party.
I am one of those people who gets overwhelmed easily- and a house full of people to entertain seems scary just in thought. So, because Holly has never had a birthday party before, I decided to try a small (mostly family) gathering to test out my party-planning/entertaining skills.

What's the first step to planning any birthday party (besides picking the theme)?

After we nailed down a ballet theme (chosen by a very picky little girl), I decided to design my own invites, and this is what I came up with:

I used a clip-art picture of a ballerina (found online) and used a simple computer program and some downloaded fonts to throw together a cute little ballet invitation.

I obviously edited out my address and phone number to post these pictures on this blog.

After printing the invites onto a think white card-stock, I cut pieces of textured pink scrapbook paper a bit bigger than the invites, and glued them together!

To add a bit of fun to the invites, I used this technique to make a sweet little ruffle flower in the corner of every invite.

...and voila! A ballet themed party invitation.

I love making my own invitations.
It's the best when you can tweak every detail to your liking (instead of just hand-writing information on a line!).

Friday, March 2, 2012

This Week 12

Is it this time of year already? Yes. Yes it is.

My new money tree- the first real plant I've ever owned.
He hangs out near the sink in my kitchen.

Brand new makeup.

Toddler dresses and sweaters. They're just the cutest.

Holly's newest Precious Moments birthday girl- a gift that she received from her Grandma for her third birthday on Tuesday.

A bag full of pink and white party decorations.


Holly practicing her Ballerina moves for her birthday party.

Although her birthday party is only a very small, mostly family gathering, I decided to take on a few ballet-themed DIY projects for it that I'll be posting about next week.


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