I love looking at different ideas to make garland for parties on pinterest but never knew what material to make the different kinds of garland out of. I knew I wanted the classic blue, red, green, yellow and orange for Charlotte’s Sesame Street party. I found the perfect colors in a pack of colored foam sheets for only a dollar at the Dollar Store. Can you tell I am a fan of the Dollar Store? The shade of the colors and the look of the foam felt very ‘Sesame Street.’ I bought two packs and was able to make several long garland pieces for her party. I used the rim of a cup to measure the circles out of the foam sheets. I made piles of the cut circles separated by color. This way when I strung the circles on the fishing line I was able to make the color patterns I desired. I chose fishing line because it is cheap and the foam circles slid on the line easily. I poked two small holes with a pin on each side of the circle. I recommend poking two holes to keep the circles in place. I made the garland ahead of time but did not want it to tangle so I hung it throughout our spare bedroom.
I had a bad experience getting professional pictures done at Sears last December. I said I would not pay for Charlotte to have professional pictures done again. I know great professional photographers but if you do not want to spend the money do it yourself! I do not have a fancy camera. I have a simple digital camera that I bought 4 years ago before my honeymoon. But I done several at home ‘photo-shoots’ and I think they have turned out great. Here are a few of tips I recommend. Do not stress about getting your child to look at the camera or get them to smile when you want them to because it is not going to happen anyway. I think the best pictures are not posed and they are not looking at the camera. I chose props in the picture that Charlotte would want to play with and would make her smile. I also did not expect her to sit a certain way or stay in a position. I moved around constantly and followed her as she moved. I also tried several different angles. I like pictures from a bird’s eye view for babies. But I also like pictures from worm’s eye and try to have grass or something in between the camera and child to give the picture depth. My favorite pictures are outdoors. What better background or backdrop than Mother Nature? I have taken pictures in my backyard and they turned out great. I do not have a perfectly groomed huge back yard either. EDIT and CROP! When I took Charlotte’s 14 month pictures I had to crop almost every picture because the ugly garage was in the background or my husband’s truck. When I did the pictures with Charlotte in a pumpkin I had Dusty hold the pumpkin’s lid on her head and cropped out his hand. Get creative with outfits and themes. But I personally LOVE naked baby pictures as you can see. oooo and one last important tip when taking pictures of a baby or toddler-have a helper!! Mine is usually my husband.
I got the idea for the pumpkin pictures from a friend and thought I could do that! My Grandmother, who I call Mam was mortified that I would put my baby in a pumpkin. I assured her that Charlotte was happy and there was a blanket on the inside of the pumpkin.
I used one of my favorite scarfs. I LOVE polka dots 🙂 I used some cheap, fake pearls at the back of my jewelry drawer. I used this white blanket from Ikea because I liked the added texture to the pictures. I have always loved the classic baby pictures in a bubble bath outside. I was going to buy some kind of large tub for the photoshoot but actually found this old one in our basement(we live in a really old house and literally find OLD cool finds all the time). We poured in bubble bath and filled it with our hose. She was not too happy with the tub because she does not typically like water that high on her. She had more fun playing with the bubbles outside of the tub. My favorite pictures of her are up close of her beautiful chubby face.
I am obsessed with frames and always have extra frames around the house. I buy frames on clearance, yard sales, resale stores etc. So I wanted to make small signs for the party. I love signs for the food and wanted to be creative. I simply made these signs through Microsoft Word and printed them off on regular computer paper. I added the graphics that I got off of Google. I put them in extra frames I had and used a small frame stand. If you do not have a frame stand they sell small wire frame stands at dollar stores, hobby lobby and/or Walmart for a couple of dollars.
I of course paired this sign with chocolate chip cookies for the cookie monster. Very easy!
If your child likes Sesame Street chances are they love Elmo’s World. And if you watch with your children, Elmo has a gold fish named Dorothy. I recommend using a glass bowl for the goldfish to give it goldfish bowl feel.
I wanted to make some cheap and easy take home goodies for the kids coming to Charlotte’s party. I was in the Dollar Store and saw Sesame Street wrapping paper for only $1. I thought I have to make something out of this for Charlotte’s party!
Glue or tape
Peal the paper or sticker that is on the bubbles off. I cut a large piece of wrapping paper and wrap it around the bubbles. Measure the wrapping paper to size of the bottle and cut. I recommend cutting the wrapping paper that one of the character’s faces is center of the paper. Then simply glue or tape the paper to the bottle. Quick, cheap, easy and CUTE!
I got the basic idea from pinterest but changed it a bit. I wanted to make mine simple and cheaper to make. I placed my cupcakes in Elmo cupcake wrappers that I found in a party store clearance section.They are more expensive if you buy online. I recommend going to the stores and looking for sales. Once the cupcakes are cooled it is time for the icing.
I used the star tip provided with the icing can. Start on the outside and gradually wrap the cupcake going in with the icing. If you go slower and press harder than it makes it look more like Elmo’s fur but it will use the can up quickly. I used the premade icing out of the can because I wanted the cupcakes to be fresh and made the day of Charlotte’s party. However I was stretched for time and I had to decorate 40 cupcakes and decorate the yard for her party.
Cut 1 marshmallow in half and place each half side by side toward the top of cupcake for Elmo’s eyes. The icing helps keep the marshmallows on and prevents from falling off.
Take the black gel and draw small circles in the middle of the marshmallow for Elmo’s pupils. I found this to be quick and easier than looking for a type of candy to be the pupil.
Place one orange reeses pieces in the center of the cupcake under the marshmallow eyes for Elmo’s nose.
Finally separate an oreo cookie into two pieces. I did not bother with scraping off the crème filling. Then cut the cookie in half and it should look like a half circle. Place the half circle oreo underneath Elmo’s nose to make Elmo’s mouth.
I wanted to do a ‘sophisticated’ nursery. I did not want the typical pastel colors with the decals on the wall. There is nothing wrong with those nurseries of course but I felt my little Charlotte needed something different. Charlotte’s name came from my favorite book as a child, ‘Charlotte’s Web.’ So it was easy for me to pick ‘Charlotte’s Web’ as a general theme. When I shared this with others, they asked what are you going to do decorate with spiders. I think themes and décor are taken too literal. There are no giant decals or posters of spiders or a pig. I did frame vintage prints from ‘Charlotte’s Web.’ I like a thick, white when framing a picture or print. I hung her pictures with rope to give a rustic look that goes with the book. I hung a large letter ‘C’ on her door. I gave the room gold accents. The gold accents are small and few or it could look too much for a nursery and/or tacky. The mirror has a thin gold trim to it. I also placed a vintage gold tinted vase on her shelf.
When Dusty was remodeling our upstairs bathroom he saved the old cabinets that were in the wall. I painted the cabinets with crackled paint. I used a dark brown as the base and white as the top color. I was given my Mother’s old books from such as . I displayed these books on the shelf because I love the colors of these books and they are too fragile for her to look at until she is older. The books she is ready for are held in a book case in Charlotte’s reach that my sister-n-law gave me at my baby shower.
I filled a glass vase and mason jar with old buttons that were my grandmothers. I love old buttons in a glass jar. I feel it gives the room soul and a different texture. I put pink flowers in a vase from Hobby Lobby that was close to the color of the accent wall. I chose to paint her wall a deep and dark pink. I did not want pastel colored room because I was trying to steer away from the typical nursery. I typically do not like accent walls but since the room is very small and the color is so bold I felt it would be too much to paint the entire room the color. I painted the other 3 walls a cream color. I found a changing table for less than $50 at a resale store. It was in great condition and sturdy. I painted the changing table with the left over paint from the room. I love a brightly or boldly painted piece of furniture, especially in children’s room. I was in TJ Maxx one day shopping with my mother and came across two great storage crates with a vintage stain and chalkboard cover. I bought 3 green canvas storage cubes for $4.99 each from K-mart. I chose green cubes from the green leaves in her window treatments and bedding.
I got her bedding from Target. The bedding is a three piece set called Simple Shabby Chic Cherry Blossom. I loved the light colors with the bold color on the wall. I liked the stripes on the sheet with the small floral pattern. The floral pattern had a ‘classy country’ feel to it which went with the Charlottes Web feel of the room. I loved the curtains also had the floral pattern. I chose a simple cream colored rug. I did not want a ‘baby or child’s’ rug. The typical rug helps add to the level of sophistication to the nursery.
Now that she is older I added a chalkboard. I leaned the chalkboard against the wall so she can reach it and easily access it. I made the chalkboard from a cheap and old corkboard that I never used. I painted a few coats of chalkboard paint and it became a new chalkboard.