Oh, I do love a good birthday party! And better yet, I love crafting for birthday parties. Probably one of the biggest first birthday celebrations of our time is coming up on July 22nd…that of Prince George Alexander Louis Mountbatten-Windsor, son of Prince William and Kate. Yes in about 10 days or so, #GeorgeTurns1. It’s hard to even fathom how the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will commemorate this momentous occasion. Will there be royal pony rides? A cake in the shape of Buckingham Palace? And what will the favors be? Chocolate Big Ben’s on a stick? Personalized teabags? Knighthood?
The one thing I know will be VERY important is the party hat. Perhaps little George will don a fancy birthday crown, as many first birthday honorees do, but what will the party goers wear? Party-Hat Fascinators, but of course! You must recall the creative fascinator showing that emerged when William and Kate got married—I feel like the world really learned the extent of what head-wear could be. Here are a few gems from Kate Middleton’s time in the spotlight:
Inspired by FamilyFun’s July 4th party hats, Oliver, Sommer, and I got to work on souped-up versions of our own. I decided to use white paper party cups—they have a dull surface (no shine) so they are perfect for crafting. We started with paint—and it got messy fast. But it was super-fun. Sommer lost focus, but Oliver was down with making another hat, this time using washi tape (a crafter after my own heart).
I had pre-cut the circle brims (you can download the template here), and I let them decide what materials to use to accessorize their fascinator party hats. Feathers were a natural choice, and Oliver chose yarn pom-poms (I love these from eeBoo), and Sommer couldn’t help herself; she needed to add some bling to bring her hat to the level of royalty. (At just past two-years-old, she is firmly convinced she’s a princess. Not sure how that happened.)
For my own, I used washi tape, feathers, and then I added a fringed cupcake liner carnation—a craft from my book, Project Kid.
My favorite part of making these paper-party-hat fascinators is that there are no rules when it comes to embellishments. The more supplies, the more the merrier! And once your kids put them on, their goofy sides will really come out!
Believe it or not, this is the last week of school for many kids around the country. I think I can hear my nieces’ and nephews’ cheers all the way from Georgia! Instead of a mug with an apple on it or a personalized note pad, give your kids’ teachers something that will enrich them this summer…a beautiful book that inspires creativity. Here are the five DIY books that make me want to drop everything and create right now.
THE PLANT RECIPE BOOK: Baylor Chapman walks you through gorgeous green arrangements that will live and grow in your home all summer long.
PROJECT KID: Ok, another SSP (shameless self-promotion), but it really is a good book for teachers! Maybe they have kids of their own or they can just flip through it to get ideas for the next school year.
WISE CRAFT: Blogger Blair Stocker gives new life to old and often tattered flea-market finds, fabric scraps, and bits of nature. We all have some vintage hankies or rocks laying around that are begging to be crafted into something.
PAPER TO PETAL: Rebecca Thuss and Patrick Farrell have put together one of the most beautiful craft books. Ever. You will be so amazed at how gorgeous these paper flowers are; and grateful that they will never die.
EAT & MAKE: Paul Lowe of Sweet Paul Magazine gives us a food and kitchen craft book that one day will be covered in olive oil stains and paint drips. There’s no more proof of a successful how-to book than that.
When I think of Earth Day crafting, I think of 2 things. First, I think of upcycling…taking something out of the recycling bin and turning it into something else. Secondly, I think about crafting with elements of nature…shopping in your backyard or park for FREE craft supplies provided by Mother Nature herself.
Ok, it’s time for a moment of shameless self-promotion! My craft book, Project Kid, hit the shelves this week, and I couldn’t be more proud! It’s a book for kids ages 3 and up (I don’t like to put an end cap because even adults tell me they want to make my projects!) with over 100 unique (and awesome, if I do say so myself) projects.
I really tried to look at the world through the eyes of a child, seeing juice boxes as the bodies of owls and paper towel tubes as freight trains. My trips to the grocery store were spent staring at oatmeal containers and cereal boxes, trying to invent new ways to transform them. The rocket on the cover? That’s a Dove body wash bottle covered in a sock! Scroll down for a how-to of one of my favorite projects in the book, but first, check out this fun video that my publisher, Artisan Books produced to really capture the whimsy and playfulness of the book.
And now, let’s get crafting! Visit my website ProjectKid.com for information about craft events and book signings in your area! You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter for updates and fun pics!
Painted Feather Peacock Fan
What you’ll need:
8 to 10 white feathers
Acrylic paint in blue, yellow, green, and turquoise
Gold glitter glue
Blue and yellow craft paper
Paint the feathers as shown or in your own design. Let dry.
Add glitter glue embellishments—tiny dots or thin stripes are best. Let dry.
To create the peacock’s body, draw a 2-inch tall figure eight on the back of the blue craft paper; make the top oval about half the size of the bottom one. Cut along the outside edge of the figure eight, leaving about 1⁄8 inch of space around it.
For the beak, cut a tiny triangle from the yellow craft paper and glue it, pointing down, to the small end of the figure eight.
To create your fan, cut a 1-inch square from either color of craft paper and glue the bottom points of your feathers to it close together in a fan shape.
Finish by gluing the large side of the figure eight on top of the junction of the feathers.
Cupcakes, cell phones, Hello Kitty, and BLING! What do these things have in common, you ask? The answer: decoden! And what is decoden? It’s a Japanese-inspired craft trend that is sweeping the nation. Deco is short for decorate and Den is short for denwa, the Japenese word for phone. The technique started as a cell phone decoration, but now you can see it on everything from compact mirrors to picture frames to even finger nails! In short, decoden is just another form of mosaic, but instead of using tiles, you use rhinestones, pearls, clay charms, and, of course, glitter!
Until now, the supplies were a little hard to come by here in the US. You could buy them on Amazon or Etsy, but it was cost-prohibitive because they are mostly coming from Japan. Now, Mod Podge (my favorite craft supply ever) has come out with product line that will make DecoDen a hit here in the States (check your local Michaels Stores for availability). Visit Cathie & Steve’s Handmade Happy Hour to read about the products and to watch videos about how the products work. They were kind enough to send a heap of supplies for my friend Sophia’s 12th birthday party, and I can tell you first hand that THIS IS FUN. I loved it and the kids were obsessed!
To start your decoden projects, you need a few basic things—collage clay (commonly called whip), the object that you want to decorate, and your embellishments (charms-commonly referred to as cabochons, rhinestones, beads, mini-erasers, glitter). You can also use dimensional paint as the adhesive to stick the items to the object. Most of the charms that you see in the photo above are plastic trinkets that I pulled off of inexpensive hair rubber bands and clips, but kids can make their own with polymer clay or with Mod Podge’s new product called Mod Melts. You use the melts with a glue gun and silicone molds to make your own cabochons.
The Collage Clay goes on like icing (but don’t eat it!) It comes packaged in a piping bag and comes with 3 different tips. Here I am showing the kids how you can apply the clay in different patterns, and Victoria is practicing her technique before applying it to her frame.
And then, the decorating began. I offered very little design direction—the kids just went for it full speed ahead. Some went for broad strokes with big, overlapping chunky decorations, and others spent the entire 3-hour party painstakingly applying tiny rhinestones like a mosaic to the back of their phone cases. It was so insane to watch!
If you want to learn all the ins and outs of decoden, check out this brand new book, DecoDen Bling by Alice Fisher. Jump on this craft train people. You’re looking at the next Rainbow Loom explosion!
Birthday girl Sophia was more than pleased with her unique decoden birthday party! I might venture to say it is one of the first of its kind around these parts!