Bring on the flower power -- it's time to celebrate. Whether held outside in the spring and summer, or indoors to banish winter doldrums, this party will a be a blooming success for kids 4 years and older.
Fold construction paper in half. Attach a real seed packet with a blob of rubber cement, so that it can be lifted off and used. Write "We're planting the seeds for a great party! Hope you can come!" Have dirt and starter pots at the party along with extra packets of seeds.
Delight your guests by dangling these fluttering friends from the ceiling.
To make: Using template as guide, cut butterflies of varying sizes from patterned paper. (If you like, punch holes in the smaller cutout so the pattern on larger cutout shows through.) To make butterfly, layer smaller cutouts on top of larger ones and glue together. For bodies, roll chenille stem around pencil to form spiral shape, bend another in half to form antennae, slide into spiral, and glue to center of paper. To hang, tie fishing line to chenille-stem body, and tape butterfly to ceiling.
Dress up drinking straws with our simple chenille bugs and flowers.
Wind together one standard black and one standard yellow chenille stem to make one striped chenille stem. Wind striped chenille stem around the top of a pencil, overlapping layers to form a small bundle. Slide bundle off pencil, and place over straw. Bend a small piece of thin chenille stem in half, and insert through bee body to make antennae.
Shape one chenille stem into three petals, leaving a small section of stem free. Repeat. Twist the free end of each three-petal configuration around the center of the straw to form complete flower. To finish, cut chenille stem in half and coil it around pencil top; remove and slide over top of straw to make flower's center.
Paper party cups really pop when you decorate them with colorful Con-Tact-paper patterns.
Split seam of one cup to create template. Trace outline of cup onto back of Con-Tact Paper and cut out. Trim Con-Tact paper to resemble grass. Peel backing and place around an intact cup, smoothing out air bubbles.
Con-Tact paper from Decora; call 440-353-6410 for information.
Yarn and glue are all you need to make these stunning striped pots. Our yarn crafts were designed by Julia Bernstein, courtesy of the Craft Yarn Council of America.
Using a paintbrush, apply glue to small section of the pot. Cover glue with yarn. Repeat until pot is covered. Let dry overnight.
Buy a dozen plastic flowering pots, some soil and different seeds, and smocks for the kids to wear over their clothes (or tell the parents to dress them in gardening gear). Then let them plant individual gardens which they can take home as party favors.
A large brownie planted with several "flower" lollipops will look like a little take-home garden.
Fill doll-size straw hats (available at craft stores) with raffia or moss and add a little feathered ornamental bird (also available for a dollar or two at craft stores). Perch a bird on each nest and then add egg-shaped wrapped chocolates, wrapped speckled egg candies or gummy worms.
Using fabric glue, layer flower and dragonfly shapes as desired and let dry. Using glue gun, attach shapes to length of yarn, and hang. If you can't find precut shapes that fit your party's theme, cut your own shapes from felt, then stiffen shapes by applying fabric stiffener, if desired.
Yarn from Coats and Clark; call 800-648-1479 for stores. Felt from Kunin; call 800-292-7900. Stiffened Eazy Felt shapes by Consumer Products Enterprises; call 800-327-0059 for information.
By Karen Tack
This charming chocolate-chip cake topped with edible flowers tastes as good as it looks.
Prep time: 35 minutes
Bake time: 45 minutes
Yield: 12 servings
QUICK TIP: Too busy to bake? Substitute a ready-to-serve 16-ounce-loaf pound cake, thawed, for the cake in this recipe.
By Karen Tack
Serve scoops of our no-cook sherbet cake right in the colorful cones that form the rays.
Freeze time: 4 hours
Decorating time: 25 minutes
Yield: 9 servings
By Jacqueline Plant
Create a garden of scrumptious cupcakes topped with edible bees, butterflies, and ladybugs.
Prep and decorating time: 1 hour
Bake time: 19 to 22 minutes
Yield: 24 cupcakes