Celebrating baby’s 1st

We had a nice 1st birthday party for Sam with friends and family. Nothing too complicated or over-the-top. Food, drink, presents, cake, playtime for the kids, & chatting for the adults. We did organize a time capsule and asked attendees to participate in that, but that deserves its own post really.

Just thought I’d share some of the decorations I whipped up the week of his birthday, mostly done during his nap times. I based the colour “theme” on his fav blankie and focused on decorating the fireplace mantle (since it’s such a great place for displays).

Mantle decorated for birthday

I really got into making yarn pom poms, a first for me. Pinterest is full of DIY mini pom pom tutorials (not sure exactly which one I used, actually). Basically you just wind yarn around the tongs of a folks, wrap a tie around the bundle and snip all the loops open with small sharp scissors (FIY- a pair of small sharp scissors is key). I glue a bunch of pom poms onto a strand of yarn to make a garland:

Birthday pom pom garland

Next, I used a variety of scrapbook paper to make different sized party “hats” (for decoration, not for wear… although you could easily attach an elastic to make them wearable). I glued a pom pom onto the top of each (note the kitty cat printed paper for my baby boy who is obsessed with cats):

Paper birthday party hats

Also on the mantle, were Sam’s photo books. We have quite a collection now from various stages of his first year, mostly thanks to my dad who is amazing & diligent at putting those together & getting them printed. Thanks, dad!

Sam's photo books on display

Lastly, I put together a fabric mobile to hang from the lights in the kitchen over the island (where we served up the food). It’s not the most beautiful thing I’ve made, but it worked.

Birthday fabric mobile

Here’s what his cake looked like. Nothing fancy, but tasty. I loved the cakes my mom made for us as kids for our birthdays and I was determined to make Sam a cake. Ended up just using a box mix, but it was colourful & tasty. The cake topper was purchased from Nova Natural toys. They have a ton of adorable toys! I purchased the full birthday ring, so as the years go by, we can add more ornaments to the topper. We chose a mini stacking ring to represent year one.

Sam's birthday cake

Someone thoroughly enjoyed their birthday cake, which is what matters most in the end. Happy birthday my sweet baby boy!

Sam eating birthday cake

Trick or treat goodness (part 2)

Halloween spider wreath

This post could be alternately titled “Fun with plastic spiders & a hot glue gun”. There were a couple more decorations that I made up last Halloween that I’d like to share with you. My absolute favourite decoration was by far our wreath. It was super simple to make and also fairly inexpensive. You will need a black wreath (which I picked up on sale at Michaels), a bag of plastic Halloween rings (most dollar stores have them), a small pair of wire cutters, hot glue gun, and some wide Halloween wired ribbon. Here’s all you need to do to make a creepy, fun wreath:

Plastic rings, wire cutters, hot glue gunCutting plastic spider ring

1. Sort your plastic rings (I only used the spiders and mainly used the orange ones)
2. Using small wire cutters, snip off the band of each ring
3. Apply a small amount of hot glue on the back of the spider
4. Squeeze the spider onto the wreath (be careful not to burn yourself on the glue)
5. Repeat until you have covered your wreath in as many spiders as you like
6. Using the wired ribbon make a pretty bow (I’m really not very good at this, so any instructions Gluing plastic spiderPlastic spider ribbonyou can find online about making a bow, will be better than anything I can tell you)
7. Once you’re satisfied with your bow, glue some spiders on it
8. Attach the bow on the bottom of your wreath either by hot gluing it or tying it on with thread (depends on how big or what style of bow you make)

While you have the glue gun warmed up and those plastic rings handy, you can also make up some simple clothespin decorations, which I found inspiration for on Martha’s site:

1. Last year I ran out of time (I started making these about an hour before guests began arriving at our Halloween party), but I would suggest either painting or spray painting the clothespins black before you start and let dry
2. Take some plastic rings and snip the band off of each, as done above with the wreath project
3. Apply a dab of hot glue to the back of each ring
4. Squeeze onto the “front” of the clothespin (again be cautious of getting hot glue on your fingers when you do this)

Now you have some creepy decorations to clip onto the edge of bowls or where ever you can think to clip them. I like they way they dress up the treat table at a party and you can’t beat how simple they are to make.

Clothespins and plastic ringsHalloween clothespin decorationHalloween clothespin decoration

Trick or treat goodness (part 1)

Paper cat cutoutLast October was the first time that we got to celebrate Halloween in our very own home . So of course, I delved into making a variety of decorations, which I was able to re-use this year, with the addition of my spooky crochet spiders.

For decorating inspiration I turned to the one and only Martha, queen of Halloween. I don’t subscribe to her magazine, but the two issues each year that I buy are October and December, and there are generally packed with beautiful and fun ideas, some of which I feel like I can even do myself! Then there is the website, which is packed with even more ideas. So when I needed to start from scratch with Halloween decorations, I turned to good ‘ol Martha.

The first thing I was drawn to was a childhood classic. I knew I wanted to cut out some construction paper silhouettes to tape to our front window, which we always did to decorate at my parent’s house. Martha has lots of handy templates to download for free. I used these flying bat and spitting cat templates, although I increased the size of the bat. Buy some black construction paper, trace the templates, cut out, and voila! Pretty simple, eh?

Glitter, spray paint, and white glueThe next thing I tackled was slightly more complicated, but I was thrilled with the results. I found the inspiration for it on The Long Thread. I used the following materials: cardboard, utility knife, black spray paint, white glue, paint brush, black glitter, string, and a big branch. I used the same template from Martha as above, but used both the original and enlarged versions, so there would be two different sizes. Here’s the basics:

1. Cut the bats out of cardboard (I cut out seven total, a few small and a few large)
2. Spray paint the fronts and backs black, let dry
3. Brush one side with basic white glue and sprinkle with black glitter, let dry
4. Use a ball point pen to punch a hole through each bat in the middle of their heads
5. Cut varying lengths of string and thread each bat with one
6. Hang a branch wherever you will be displaying your bats (I put ours outside)
7. Tie each bat onto the branch
8. Stand back and watch them flutter

Cardboard batsCardboard batsOutdoor Halloween decorations