Recycled Art Birthday Party

H's party was a success! The kids all had a great time...(which most kids do at parties, right?) :D & everything went sooo smoothly, which is nice (that may have been due to the party being postponed for 2 weeks). So finally, here are some party details...
The Decorations:

The four banners/buntings hung over head were made from 4 inch triangles of fused plastic bags, sewn together by sewing machine(mine had 43 triangles each).

For the tablecloths, I taped sheets of newspapers together then flipped them over (try to avoid obits & any scary news) :D. I wanted to lighten it up some so I rolled some paper off the kids' art paper down the center & punched the edges with a scalloped border.

The centerpieces are soda bottles cut in half (more or less)...use a craft knife & remove the labels. The bottoms were filled with markers, crayons & colored pencils for the art projects. The top half of the bottles were filled with flowers made from leftover fused plastic bags & newspapers (a mini tutorial coming on that soon).
The favors were stored on the gift table is a box they fit in perfectly tied with a plastic bag "ribbon" and finished with a newspaper "pompom". The candy dishes are made from the bottom of 2-liter soda bottles.
The Cake:
Is easier than it looks...although it was HOT and Humid the day of the party (of course) so frosting it was not so easy.
First I traced the plate onto a large piece of paper...to get the general size I needed.
Next I sketched out the design I wanted...you can just as easily find an image on line and print it out in the size you need...& cut out templates.
I baked the cake in a jelly roll pan...I didn't want the layers too thick. Watch the cake closely...it will cook a lot faster than in a regular cake pan...mine were done in about 10-12 minutes. I used two boxes of cake mix (if I did it over I would use homemade cake...which is denser & less crumbly)...1 cake mix per pan.
After the cake had cooled I used the templates to cut out cake pieces. Then arranged on a cutting board & frosted. I then moved them to the plate & touched up any frosting. The green arrows & 8 are cut out of fondant, rolled out thin, with the same templates. Then just placed on top of the cakes. I didn't put candles in until just before we were getting ready to sing.

The Activity:
I invited all the kids to bring a small grocery sack of things they could use for art projects that they would otherwise throw away or recycle...and we had saved up a bunch of stuff as well. The kids had a great time making whatever they wanted (there were a lot of musical instruments) :) They actually worked on the project for about an hour of the 2 hour party.
They also decorated their newspaper hats(while waiting for everyone to arrive)...which they then wore as party hats.
Don't remember how to make a newspaper hat?
...here's how
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Recycled Party Favors

So....H's party had to be rescheduled due to illness, so her party is finally going to happen this weekend--She is beyond excited :)(and I will be happy to have the extra tables out of my living room...)Watch for more party details coming up the end of this week & the beginning of next...I hope to get another little tutorial in before her party (if all goes well) :D
& Thanks Everything Etsy for the blog party!

Here's what I came up with for her favors...It started with an idea to just make little favor bags out of the fused plastic, then morphed into these little art "folders" or "wallets"...I haven't come up with a great idea for a name yet.

The most time consuming part of these is fusing the plastic bags...I suggest making these assembly line fashion...fuse all your plastic, then cut them all out, then sew..the sewing takes very LITTLE time---it's really easy. Here we go...

1. Cut out 3 rectangles of fused plastic. One 9 x 7.5 inches (cover), one 5 x 9 inches (pocket) and one 4 x 1.5 inches (tab).

2. Center the tab on the short side of the outside cover, hold in place (you don't want to use pins...the holes will stay). Stitch with the needle positioned to the right all the way around the tab. Then stitch across the the tab to reinforce; move your needle back to center (whatever design you want...stripes..a "X"...)

3. Line up the bottom of the pocket with the bottom of the cover, with the tab situated to the right, and covering up the back side of the stitching you just did. With the needle positioned to the right, top stitch around the entire cover rectangle, attaching the pocket.

4. Trim strings and fold in half towards the tab, crease. Stitch down the center crease (start at the bottom to prevent bunching at the bottom of the pocket). Move your needle to the right, then stitch down both sides of the center line.

5. On the left side of the folder, measure 1 inch from the left seam, mark with a pencil, repeat 2 more times, so that you have 4- 1 inch pockets marked. Stitch, starting at the bottom of the pocket along each line and ending at the top seam.

6. Fill with 4 colored pencils, a small note book & ruler (or whatever else you like)...you want to fill it before attaching the Velcro, so it closes tightly (or not too tightly) :)

7. Connect a pair of sticky-backed Velcro dots. Stick the fuzzy side to the tab, then fold the tab over and attach to the cover. Press firmly.

That's it :)
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