Creative Challenge: Frozen party

I owe Elizabeth one HECK of a birthday party this year. Well ok I don’t see it as an obligation or technically “owe” her anything other than a safe place to live and food, etc… but really. Last year she skipped having any kind of friends celebration to get front row + meet  & greet tickets for Victoria Justice (aka her fave TV show star at the time). A fair trade – one that ended in heartbreak as she cancelled her tour. Months after E’s birthday when it was too late to have a party.

ANYHOW! Since she didn’t have a party last year and her big gift/party event was cancelled I want to make this super good.

Here’s the challenge: All things “Frozen” (her chosen theme) are sold out and/or currently held by money grubbing fiends who are charging things like $8 for a sticker sheet. A STICKER SHEET! I’ve seen plates (normally something like $3) selling for $40. I’ve seen tiny plastic toys that were under $10 before Christmas going for $50+ now. INSANITY people.


Ok then. So… what do I do now?!

How will I make this “themed” party without any themed things?


Well first of all I did have themed invites (purchased months ago on a whim – thank goodness!), I also have a coloring book (can rip out pages for girls to have themed activity), and I scored a couple toys at Target too.

Not enough to make it an amazing party – but it is a start. Instead of stress (or worse, spend thousands buying hard to find stuff!) I’m looking at images like those here from Disney’s site. I’m thinking in terms of in general, what would give me the general feel?

Things like flowers with swirly vines, snowflakes, sparkly jewels, and the idea of a duel-look party (Anna & Elsa are so different, after all)… I am making a color palette and working on finding solid color items too. There will be a lot of cutting of snowflakes, banners, etc. from my beloved and trusty ScanNCut machine.

I will also think about impact and the big overall look of the party. Crepe paper is cheap and simple. It also gives a bigger WOW factor than some tiny expensive decoration. Big rolls of paper or huge poster boards can be painted, cut, and decorated for scenery (yes, I’m thinking about making a HUGE castle… wish me luck).

In other words, with some elbow grease, planning, and some time I should be able to pull this off.

If ever there was a time to put my crafty muscles to the test – this would be it.

Whether a small card or full scale album project, party or gift DIY – I love a good creative challenge. Do you have any creative challenge success stories? I’d love to hear about it!!

In the meantime I’m off to make some lists and plan…

Harry Potter party: menu sign

With a little typing, and just a few things from my craft stash I was able to make a centerpiece for our party that I talked about yesterday. If you are a crafter and you have some cardstock, there is an amazing amount you can do with just a bit of imagination and a few minutes. I’m reminded to use my crafty skills more often, and for the good of my family!

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  • Figure out some clever menu names. I just took details and names from the book and matched them up to plain food we were going to eat anyhow. “apple potion” is apple juice + a dash of sprite. Everything else is just stuff from the fridge that I knew we’d enjoy nibbling on for dinner as we watched the movie.
  • Once typed up ( has a Harry Potter font free), print out onto (I used kraft) 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock.
  • Use a pencil to help you curl the top and bottom of the paper up TIGHT. when you release it you can then relax it into more of a light curl.
  • Use a hole punch to pop TWO holes in the top and bottom. This will hold the curl + be how you attach the menu onto a stick.

Hmm… plain kraft doesn’t look magic or old though. So I used some brown ink and distressed the edges. I also sprinkled gold and black embossing powder (and heat set from underneath) on my menu for a magical touch. I also cut notches to make the paper look old and worn.


For the branch – well I went out in the yard and found a straight twig the right size from a random plant! Super easy and the girls are still talking about it.

Harry Potter: movie #1 party

We read Harry Potter book #1 over the last few weeks, with the promise that when we finished it we’d watch the movie version. Then, deciding to add a bit of fun we stopped and grabbed Harry Potter chocolate frogs and jelly bellies at the store.


That was going to be the extent of our theming… until I got an idea to see if I could make our table into more of a Hogwarts feast and bring some themed goodness into our girl’s night. My rules were simple: No buying anything new, everything has to be found in my house and/or in my yard. Challenge, accepted!


There were whispers upstairs in the girl’s room that Hedwig the owl might be dropping a Hogwarts package of wizardry and fun… that our movie night might be more of a fancy feast… well if you call cutting out + painting paper lightning bolts onto plastic cups fancy, well then this is the place.

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The food – it is simply food we were going to have for a snacks/small bites style dinner. The runner on the table is just some fabric I have (and in fact used last Thanksgiving!) I named the food and made a fancy menu – I’ll give the how-to for that tomorrow.

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The one thing I had wanted was a bunch of candles… but I couldn’t find my box of LED (aka no flame!) tea lights so I just let that go. I did have two LED snowflake faux candles – we rolled with those. I spent about 40 minutes total making my menu, digging up the few details I could come up with, and setting up the table. Time in the kitchen? 30min max. it was a HOT day and we already had planned to not cook really.

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When I was ready I turned the music (on the menu of the DVD) way up and the girls knew it was time for some food + fun. The thing that really struck me in doing this was a) it really wasn’t that much effort or time b) it didn’t cost me extra, we just used food (except the jelly beans) we already had and c) it really made a simple Sunday evening movie night FUN.

We have more themed movie and in general personal little ‘party’ themes in mind – I’ll be sharing them here all summer long.

The question is, why NOT throw yourself a party?


Where there is a will, there is a way and gosh darn it I really wanted to have a birthday party this year.

The wild idea came to me while I was having tea with my daughters back in December and they said “well, you plan such good parties for other people, why NOT plan one just for you?” and we booked the whimsical room table at Linde Lane on the spot.


I realized that if I should have it at a restaurant, oh let’s say a FABULOUS local tea room, the decorating, food, service, and atmosphere in general would all be taken care of. No cleaning up the house before or after a party. I also realized that oh hey, I could put my personal touches on it for fun, invite some lovely ladies, and really just have a lovely afternoon.


I am a person that believes in making your own magic. I can NOT tell you how often I hear the someone whining because nobody is doing it for them. Nobody is surprising, delighting, taking their hints, or making it their life’s work to make hers more fantastic.

Do you see a problem here? Because I sure as heck do. The “poor me” attitude is expecting someone else to come along and make your life magic. Let’s have a bit of perspective, and remember that everyone has their own battles, their own chores, and while it *is* fun to bring magic into the lives of others the ability to surprise and delight others isn’t always there, nor is it always on a big scale. Not only that, but I’m a very firm believer that a lot of the times your life can be made a lot better (or worse) simply from how you look at things and how you yourself act.


Now please, don’t get me wrong. I am totally blessed to have AMAZING people in my life who add to my happiness, who make my life better, richer, more wonderful just for being in it. I am thankful every day for my blessings.

But honestly? The person best able, the person most likely to throw me a birthday party right now, this year? ME. So I ask again, why not make myself a bit of magic?


I can honestly tell you this is one of the best choices I’ve made for myself in 2013. I got exactly what I wanted. I set it all up myself including requests to the tea room, reserving the table I most wanted, even getting only the prettiest of teacups on the table. I spoke with our server before hand and she did an EXCELLENT job.


I invited some friends and family I thought would have fun with the whole experience, including (of course!) the ladies who helped inspire me to do this my two daughters. I also spent a few hours making place cards, boxed goodies, and because I *had* to, mason jar goodies topped with hat wearing birds. I didn’t spend a TON of time on customizing – because that was the whole point of having it at a fancy tea room! I didn’t have to do much.


I think everyone had just as much fun as I did attending, and I can tell you now it won’t be the last birthday party I throw for myself! I wanted to share a few photos and my story here today because I think it is important to craft a happy life. I also think, you really need to remember that a lot in this life is your choice and often you can make things more magical, or just plain by your choices. I could have moped around because my husband is still studying for that promotional exam and won’t be around much, I could pout that nobody surprised me with a meal out or that I have to do everything myself… or I could say “hey – I have a fun idea…” and make my own brand of birthday magic.

One thing – be sure to invite and include others to join in because the happiness is contagious, and the effects are nothing but glowing and good.


Whether just a party of two, ten, or fifty – I hope I’ve inspired you to do something fun for yourself, just because. It doesn’t have to be huge, it just has to delight you. Don’t put it off until later or some other year either. Time is limited, make it count and do something cool. Set it in motion! For me, I had five months to make sure I’d saved up my party fund $, clear a date, and make it happen. Small steps but it made this come together very easily.

Oh yes, and if you’re in Northern California we are talking about doing a regular meet-up at the amazing Linde Lane Tea Room (Where my party was) among other places.  If you want to be in the loop about Northern California craft-happenings (and just because we can ladies outings) shoot me an email (mflaum (at) Comcast (dot) net) and I keep you posted. One of the things we chatted about at my birthday tea was that we so need to make some more gatherings of creative people just because… and if you’re not local to me HEY! get out there and join in or start up some creative fun in your neck of the woods. I’d *love* to hear about it too!

Easy party signs.


These could be done any way, any size, any style! They could have a simple “welcome” note, hold your menu, be small and act as place cards… but it is an easy craft that any aspiring hostess should know! Here’s the how-to:

1. Cut two pieces of chipboard (or any super thick paper) + a 1/2 x 5″ (this can vary greatly) strip of the board as well. FYI cardstock can work, but it is best for very small signage. Bigger paper = quicker to fall over with weak paper!

2. Use tape to adhere the two (equal sized) pieces of chipboard together at one end, leaving a very thin gap. Do this on both sides, DO NOT worry about perfect coverage.

3. Use that small strip and fold each end down. This is going to be what props and keeps your sign up/open. Cut excess if needed, use strong double sided tape to adhere very near the bottom of each sign.

4. FUN PART! cover with printed materials, patterned paper, etc. on both sides. I advise assembling pieces before attaching to sign. ALSO: You can totally make your papers a bit wider than the sign. Just make sure they aren’t taller than the chipboard bits.

5. Tape over the top of the sign, then add ribbon, fun baubles, or whatever else you like!


This is such an easy thing to make, and there are so many applications…


If you’d like to know about why I made these signs, stay tuned! I will be doing a post about why I threw myself a tea party tomorrow.