Tuesday, November 26, 2013

How to Make Turkey Place Cards

How to Make Turkey Place Cards

If you have kids at your Thanksgiving dinner this year, you might want to consider making some cute turkey place cards.  They are very easy to make with scrap paper you already have around your house.

Step 1: Print the Template

For each place card you will need the following...
1 - Turkey Head
5 - Feathers
1 - Base
1 - Beak
1 - Wattle
1 - Name Card

Step 2: Cut Out All of the Parts

First cut out the base using any color card stock that you have available.  Fold the base in half as shown in the picture below.

Next cut an assortment of feather colors, the turkey head, name card, beak, and wattle.  They should look similar to the pieces shown below.

Step 3: Glue the Parts

Attach the name card to the base using a glue stick.  Then attach the five feathers also using a glue stick.  After the feathers are secured, glue the turkey head on top.  Then glue the wattle and beak, as shown in the picture below.

Step 4: Add Eyes and a Name

Using a fine black sharpie, add two small dots for eyes.  Then neatly write each guests name on the place card. 
Note - You could also print the names using a computer then cut them out and attach them to the base.  Or, you could cut the letters using a Cricut machine.  I thought about using these other two methods, but being that it is almost Thanksgiving, I opted for the quickest alternative!

Finished Product

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A "Thankful" Thanksgiving Tradition

I just had to share this cute tradition that my family started last year!  Each year at Thanksgiving dinner we will each write what are thankful for directly on the tablecloth.  It is really heartwarming (and sometimes funny) to read the messages from the previous year!

How to Do it...

Use a light colored tablecloth (that you don't mind using only for Thanksgiving dinner).  Scatter several permanent markers (we used thin black Sharpies) around the table at Thanksgiving dinner.  Ask your guests to write a note stating what they are thankful for directly on the tablecloth.  Tell them to add their name and the date to the note.  The next year you can use a different color Sharpie, if desired.

Some Examples

This tradition can be done by everyone at the dinner table, even the little ones.  Just write their message on the tablecloth for them.  The message below was written by my cousin's son.  He was thankful for Lego Ninjago last year.  I wonder if he will feel the same way this year!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

How to Create a Watermelon Pirate Ship


Step 1: Cut the Watermelon  

You will need a large, oblong watermelon.  Unfortunately, you can usually only get this shape watermelon with seeds, but it is necessary in order to create the pirate ship.  Cut a rectangular shape out of the top of the watermelon, as shown in the picture below.  Save the piece that you cut off to use for the sails of the ship.

Remove all of the watermelon from the inside of the shell and from the top piece that you previously cut off.  Cut the watermelon into chunks (without any seeds) and store it to serve in your pirate ship.
You can complete this step the day before the party.  After removing all of the watermelon, wrap the shell in plastic wrap and store it in your refrigerator or in a cool place.  It can be a little stressful to get it right, so it's best not to wait until right before the party to start carving!

Step 2: Create Portholes

I wanted to make portholes in the pirate ship but was not sure what I could use to create uniform looking holes.  I found a jigger to work perfectly!  Use the jigger to mark the holes or puncture the whole way through if possible.  Be sure not to use anything larger than a jigger to make the holes or your fruit might fall out of the pirate ship when you set it up to serve!  Make three portholes on each side.

Step 3: Create the Sails

Using the top piece that you cut off of the watermelon, create three sails of various sizes.  In the picture below you can see how the watermelon top was cut to make the sails.


Step 4: Finish the Sails

Place a long wooden barbecue skewer through the sails.  I placed one skewer through the two smaller sails to use at the back of the ship.  I placed one skewer through the larger sail to use at the front of the ship.  You may need to bend the watermelon a little bit to give it the appearance of sails.

I used a knife to etch out a pirate shape on the front sail, as shown below.

Place the sails on the ship.  Make sure that the point of the skewer is facing down so that it is inserted into the watermelon shell.

Step 5: Fill the Ship

Cut an assortment of fruits in addition to the watermelon you already have.  I used blueberries, pineapple, and cantaloupe.  Place the cut fruit inside of the pirate ship just before the party.  Your completed pirate ship should look similar to the one below!  Good luck!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Kids Pirate Party - DIY Photo Invitation

Steps to Create Pirate Invite

Step 1: Get a Picture

Take a head-on picture of your child.  Crop this picture so that it will fill out a 4x6 photo when printed.  Get the photo printed on matte paper so that it does not have the "typical picture" glossy look.  I ordered my pictures from Shutterfly.  Make sure that you order enough (and a few extras) to make all of the invites.
Once the pictures arrive cut out the shape of your child's head.  I found it easier to use an Xacto knife rather than a scissors to cut around some of the tight spots, like by the ears.

Step 2: Create a Mock-Up

This is the most critical step, because it will be the foundation off of which your entire invite is based.  You might need to practice a couple of times until the mock-up is perfect. 
Start by tracing your cut-out picture on the bottom half of a piece of paper (this is necessary because the paper will then be folded).  Be sure to round out the area at the top of the head, as shown in the picture below.  There should be a little bit of paper showing above the child's picture.  Don't worry, this will soon be covered with the pirate hat.
Next, fold the paper in half with the fold at the very top of the hat.  You now need to make a sample of the pirate hat.  Cut the hat so that it fits perfectly over the child's head and has two tassles on the side.  You will need to trace the hat onto the invitation so that when you cut out the practice invite it contains all of the parts (face, hat, tassles).  Next, cut out the mock-up of the invitation.  (Note- you will be cutting through two pieces of paper.)  Make sure that you do not cut the fold off at the top.
FYI - The invite shown below with the picture of the little boy is showing you the very front and very back of the invite.  The inside of the invite is currently face-down.

Step 3: Plan the Invite

FYI - The picture below is showing you the inside of the invite, when it is flipped open.  This is where the details of the party will be written.
Plan what you would like to have written on the invite.  Determine how much space (width and height) is available for the text.  I created the inside of the pirate invitation using Photoshop.  I have a printer that can print on large-sized scrapbook papers, so I was able to print two invites on one piece of paper.  It is critical that you leave enough space around all parts (especially the top) of the written part of the invitation, because you will be cutting the entire shape of the pirate head out of the scrapbook paper.
I chose to use a scrapbook paper that looked natural; kind of like a "brown bag."  I printed two copies on one piece of paper.  Notice below that I left a lot of space above the text so that I could cut out the entire shape of the invitation.

Step 4: Cut-Out the Invitation

Trace the sample invitation overtop of the invitation that you have printed on your final scrapbook paper.  Cut out the shape of your final invitation.  I chose to use an Xacto knife to cut around the tight places, like the ears and hat tassles.  After you finish the cutting it should look similar to the invite shown below.

Fold the invitation.  It should look like the sample below.  You are now ready to make it look like your little pirate!

Step 5: Attach the Little Pirate's Picture

Using double stick tape, attach your child's picture to the front of the folded invitation, as shown below.  
After attaching the picture, you may need to trim any areas of scrapbook paper that were not hidden by the picture (except for the hat area - don't do anything with that just yet).

Step 6: Cut Out Pirate Hats

Pick a scrapbook paper to use for your pirate hats.  I chose red with white polka dots.  The red and white polka dots became a pattern that I used at the party, as well.  Trace the outline of the pirate hat onto the scrapbook paper.  Cut out one and make sure it fits properly on the invitation.  If it is a good fit, cut as many more as you need to complete all of your invitations.

Step 7: Attach Pirate Hat

Attach the pirate hat to the invitation by placing it on top of the picture and scrapbook paper using double stick tape.  It should look like the invitation shown below.

 Step 8: Add Pirate Eye Patch

Practice making a sample eye patch to get the size and shape the way that you want it.  Once you have a good sample, cut out a final eye patch from black cardstock.  Make the "string" of the eye patch wider than the invitation.  Place tiny pieces of double stick tape on the "string" of the eye patch.  (You will not need to tape the patch to the eye.)  Tuck the edges of the "string" under the hat on the left side and the picture on the right side.  The edge of the "string" will then be between the layer of brown scrapbook paper and the hat/picture.  This will give the eye patch a finished look.

The Completed Invite