DIY nautical party cake

I’m so excited this morning to share the first of many easy birthday party cakes decorated with printables designs! I created my first one for my youngest son’s pirate party this past summer (coming in a post soon) and have been thinking up ideas ever since. And just this past week I finally stopped long enough to grab my camera and photograph a few.

This cake is perfect for a nautical inspired baby shower or birthday party and a cake printable party set (as you see here and with the option to have personalized) is available in the shoppe along with the rest of my Little Sailor printable party collection, including invitations, thank you notes, beverage wrappers, cupcake wrappers, dessert tags, banners and more, later today! 

Not a great baker?! No matter. Just visit your local bake shop or grocery store and order up a two layer flat iced buttercream or whipped frosting cake. I picked this one up at Kroger for $14. 

Here’s how you get started. The set comes with both anchor and whale rounds (I suggest using a 2 1/2″ circle punch, available at any craft store) and a sheet of red and white stripe paper.

You’ll also want white lollipop sticks (cut in half), a thin dowel (available in packs of 20 at your craft store for $2), a glue stick and your hot glue gun.

Plus, you’ll want some type of candy filler or edger to hide the base of the cake. I used bright red sixlets. And this cake plate, is the medium square cake plate from the Martha Stewart line at Macy’s.

And here’s how you assemble your printable cake designs.

Port holes for cake sides:

  1. Punch out the whale and anchor rounds
  2. Place a small dot of hot glue on the end of one lollipop stick and attach the whale round to the end, like a flat umbrella, repeat six times

Sailboat mast:

  1. Cut out a mast from the pattern sheet (cut out a rectangle with a straight edge paper trimmer and then using scissors, cut a  slight curve in at the sides)
  2. Cut out a flag (long rectangle, 3/4″ x 5″)
  3. Place glue (glue stick works best) on the back side of your flag and fold it around the top of the dowel starting with the stick at the center of the paper. Sure up your edges the best you can and then trim off any small pieces of white and trim out a triangle on the tip.
  4. Place one dot of hot glue on the dowel where you want the bottom of your mast. Insert the center portion of the paper, holding it straight up, not flat. Allow it to dry for 8-10 seconds. Repeat at the top allowing the paper to bow out as if the wind is blowing.
  5. Add a dot of hot glue to the center of the mast and apply a anchor round.

It’s one of the easiest cakes I ever decorated, especially since I didn’t have to bake or ice! Hop over the shoppe to see my entire Little Sailor printable party collection, including the cake printable set later today! Want to see a few more of my easy to decorate birthday cakes? Visit my post for an art birthday party and dessert table and bugs & butterfly birthday cake with many more to come!

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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pirate party photo props

I’m just in LOVE with this picture. First because it’s my baby boy, but also because it’s just so fun! As I mentioned in my post about my skull cap pirate sucker favors last week, I styled a pirate party (two collections in the shoppe, pirate ship and pirate skull) a few months back (and hosted a real party, still to come!) and Angie Arthur Photography photographed the day.

And Angie lent me her kiddos as models. This picture doesn’t even begin to show how fun they all were… brothers! Can’t you tell?!

The printable photo op collection includes skull caps (4 patterns) in children and adults sizes… because we want to be in the pictures too right! Three conversation bubbles, which you can either order with our phrases or personalized with your own phrases, like “Happy Birthday Captain Jack!” Just attach them to wooden dowels from your local craft store or hardware store and you’re ready to go!

For our “photo booth” I covered a canvas with red and white stripe fabric, the same I used to make the skull cap pirate sucker favors, and then hung my pirate banner (also available with the printable collections) on twine from the hardware store.

And here’s my other itty! He’s a ham! {proud momma smile}

Visit the entire collection in the shoppe, pirate ship and pirate skull. And as always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create! 

Photography credits: Angie Arthur Photogaphy.

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easy no-bake bumble bee cookies

For my most recent article with Kellogg’s Snackpicks.com, I created these bumble bee cookies along with an easy to decorate bugs and butterflies cake and favor idea that will have all your guests buzzing!

Hop over to Snackpicks for all the how to details on how to make these simple no-bake cookies, perfect for Spring.

And hop over to my shoppe to see more of my bugs & butterflies printable birthday party collection

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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bugs & butterfly birthday cake

For my most recent post with Kellogg’s Snackpicks.com, I created an easy to decorate bugs & butterfly birthday cake, bumble bee cookies and a colorful favor idea that will have all your guests buzzing!

Hop over to Snackpicks for all the how to details, tips on applying your decorations and lots of photos!

And hop over to my shoppe to see more of my bugs & butterflies printable birthday party collection!

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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marshmallow robot treats

These are just adorable and perfect for a robot party! Dawn of Not Just A Mommy picked up our Build Your Own Robot activity cards for her Robot Valentine’s Party so I just had to see what she had going on over there. And when I saw these I immediately asked if I could share her creation with all of you!

Here are the candies Dawn collected to bring her marshmallow creation to life. Just assemble with dots of icing, allow them to dry and you have a fun treat and/or activity for your robot party. Hop over to see what else Dawn created for the fun filled day!

And as always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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real parties: 30th birthday

My birthday is just a week away… let’s just say 29 plus a few years {wink}. So when Amy of This HeArt of Mine sent her and her husband’s dual DIY 30th birthday party over, I just had to share. She did such a fabulous job!

Starting with the DIY invitations (see all the how-to and resources), Amy used glassine bags and confetti. I love a bright invitation to get guests excited. How could someone decline this invite?!

Next she made some lovely decorations, like this $2 cupcake stand. Very versatile and did you catch… only $2!

Plus a smart branch and glass globe centerpiece (get the how-to).

Now on to all the yummy food Amy prepared!

Pretty Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes & Ganache and Vanilla Cupcakes & Vanilla Frosting with chocolate transfer hearts.

 A bright Cranberry-Limeade party drink.

Fabulous appetizers including  Pastry Wrapped Creamy Chicken SquaresParty Crock Pot Cheese Dip, and Mustard Vegetable Dip. It all looks so yummy!

And what is a party without favors?! Amy sent all her guests home with fudge packaged in clear cups wrapped in clear cellophane and tied with pretty little personalized tags she made herself in Word.

{Amy – you did such a lovely job on the entire affair! Thanks so much for sharing!}

By the way, if you’ve hosted something fabulous, send us a note to customercare@celebrationshoppe.com with the subject line “Get Featured” and we might share your creativity! As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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new dinosaur party printables

My son’s dino-ROAR dinosaur birthday party was a year-and-a-half ago and continues to be a customer favorite (see full collection, can also purchase individual items a la carte), so I decided to create a few more printable items and give you the ability to personalize some that already exist! Starting Monday you can purchase personalized dinosaur cupcake toppers (I mean brachiosaurus cupcakes are just too cute!),

personalized dinosaur beverage wrappers, cello toppers, and

this fun dinosaur “Drinkasaurus” party mats! A perfect complement for my carnivore, herbivore and sweetivore mats. (These still make me smile.)

There are many more personalized printables to come! If there is a collection you’re interested in and you don’t see personalization yet, just shoot us an e-mail at customercare@celebrationshoppe.com and we may be able to speed up the process.

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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wagon wheel cookies

Simple, incredibly yummy, only two ingredients and no baking cookies. You can’t beat a recipe like that! Keebler Fudge Stripes + Strawberry Marshmallows = Wagon Wheel Cookies perfect for any cowgirl hoedown and our newest party collection! Just heat a marshmallow in the microwave for seven seconds (the middle will get hot, but the marshmallow skin will still be in tack allowing you to pick it up with your hand) and then sandwich between two cookies. The chocolate in the cookies will melt slightly holding the sandwich together.

By the way, you likely recognize the light cookie as Keebler Fudge Stripes, but what about that dark one… ? That is the new, and extraordinary… oh my it’s good, Dark Chocolate Fudge Stripe.

Kellogg’s sent me a box of goodies a few weeks ago, one of the many perks of being a Snackpicks.com blogger, and these were my very favorite. As a matter of fact, I’m typically really good at portion control. One cookie, one piece of candy, one whatever and I’m content. But with these, I ate four the first time I opened the package and I never do that! {guilty, not regretful, grin}

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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real parties: Alex turns 7!

This post is a really long time coming. {smirk} And in a few minutes you’ll know why it took me so long to write.

My oldest turned 7 with a robot themed birthday party in September (and my youngest turned 5 in June and I still need to share his wonderful day too!). I had it all planned. He was so excited. I was excited. I even had everything crafted early and all the details were taken care of. It was going to be wonderful. But then… there was a slight chance of rain reported on the morning news… and we had invited 19 kids for an outdoor party! I know… I said I would never do that and now I promise I’ll never do it again.

Long story short, the backyard was all decorated. The sky was blue and everything was lovely. The dessert table centerpiece was a fabulous DIY cake I made just for him, complete with robots around the edges and adorning the top… and then it hit. I walked inside to grab my camera and the wind picked up. It toppled the background for the dessert table and my pretty cake tumbled to the deck. I got there just in time to see it fall. As you can imagine, I was slightly stunned. I just stood there staring at it. I think my husband thought I was going to faint… or scream. I thought about it, but the first guests had just arrived and I had to pull it together so we scooped up the cake and replaced it with cupcakes. Thank goodness I made cupcakes!

But that wasn’t the end of it… the slight chance of rain started and the kids were running around the yard giggling. Then giggles turned into screams. See, my youngest slipped on the wet grass and fell into his brother with such force that there was an actual “crack!” sound. He had a raised goose egg an inch off his forehead while my oldest, the birthday boy, had a black eye. (If my girlfriend who happens to be a nurse wasn’t present I would have politely asked everyone to leave while I ran him to the emergency room. It looked that bad.)

Then… oh yes, there is more… the drizzle turned into a monsoon. My lovely guests grabbed all that they could and we took it indoors. My house isn’t tiny, but it certainly isn’t large enough for 19 children and 12 or so parents. Needless to say, it was crowded. The kids didn’t seem to mind, but it was very loud.

In the end, the wounds healed, I have very few pictures (and none of his cake that took a nosedive off the table… it still makes me sad), and my son and his friends had a blast. One child even told his mom it was the best party ever. I’m confident that was because the kids outnumbered the adults and I do believe they took over for a few minutes just before the cupcakes were served. {wink}

All this said, there were still some wonderful party features I want to share with you! As the kiddos entered the party they all geared up with their lab badges (which could also be great as placecards) with their names and the robot profession Alex picked out for each of them (he was so cute; he actually thought about each of their personalities and made up a few titles).

For decor, I raided my hubby’s workshop stash of nuts, bolts, washers, wire, etc. I used the items I found in various ways. One super simple idea was to use large nuts as placecard and dessert tag holders on the dessert table.

And Alex was thrilled because he loves to build and take electronic things apart. We sat on the floor for an entire afternoon making tin can robots to adorn his dessert table. The big one in the back is actually a small trash can I found at Home Goods for $5. I originally wanted the kids to be able to make these as their crafts, but I couldn’t find a way for them to adhere the metal pieces that wasn’t a bit dangerous (I used hot glue) so we settled for them being decoration.

The dessert table was full of fun treats all with robot related names

or embellished with robot designs.

And we still had fun activities for the kiddos using candies. Needless to say I didn’t get any complaints. {wink}

We made these fun “Build Your Own Robot” mats and provided the kiddos with goodies and Rice Krispie rectangles on lollipop sticks. I outlined all the candy and how to details in my robot Rice Krispies activity post.

And there were favors including these personalized cello toppers (available in the shoppe along with all the other decor),

and bags filled with candies, cookies and these awesome hand tatoos from Perpetual Kid.

And then of course there were the photo props. The gear glasses were my favorite.

Although I didn’t get great pics of all of his friends, we did get a few of my boys in their robot shirts before the party started. (Both shirts monogrammed by Sew Jewell and available in her shoppe.)

And a few of him and his friends (the storm left it dark in my house on top of everything else) playing BeyBlades, the hottest gift of the day.

It was by no means the perfect party, but sometimes perfect isn’t always important. Happy kiddos running amuck and my son hugging me to say thank you more than made up for all the missed photographs and little feet all over the house. {smile}

My robot collection (including more items than what’s seen here) is now available in the shoppe. And as always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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robot party… still processing

As you know, I hosted my son’s Robot birthday party this weekend. Well, let me tell you that it didn’t go quite as I had planned. I can laugh about it now, but in the moment… WOW. I had it all together. It was colorful. It was fun. I had activities. We had the backyard decorated and the new tree house ready. I was excited. My sons were excited. Then the storm hit. Yep. A big one with thunder and lightening and LOTS of wind. Oh yeah.

There is much to tell and many pics to show (thank goodness I captured some before the monsoon), but for now I’m still processing…

However, I will tell you that the kids had an absolute blast. The volume level in my house could attest to that fact. I even had one mom, an animated friend of mine, tell me her son claimed it was the best birthday party ever. It just reaffirms that even when things don’t go as planned, if the little people have fun and your child comes away smiling, then the party was a success.

Much more about the things that didn’t turn out right and about all the things that did. For now, Happy Wednesday!

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