Saturday, 31 May 2014

More Monsters

As well as the crocheted monsters we made photo props of monster mouths.  We saw the idea here, but decided to make our own.  It was surprisingly easy.  We just drew out our shapes and coloured them in bright felt tips, cut them out, laminated them and stuck them to straws.  We all made some, but I think the kids ones were my favourites as they were more "out there".  Each guest had their photo taken with a monster mouth and then we used those pictures on their thank you notes.

I loved the idea of the playdough monster pots, but budget didn't really allow us to provide that at their parties, so we made a playdough pack for each guest as part of their party bag.  We made home made playdough and used a variety of colours for each batch we made.

We split the home made playdough into a small pot that we had bough in packs of eight from Poundland, and added a few bits and bobs to design their monster - cut up pipe cleaners, googly eyes, pom poms, foam hands and feet, feathers etc.  

We then packaged all that up in a clear card bag like these with a little note suggesting that their new owner created them and then stored them under their bed/in their wardrobe, 'cos obviously that is where all monster live. 

I'm sure the parents appreciated soggy playdough being put under their children's beds!!

The playdough recipe I used is one my Mum always used when I was little.  The only change I made was to use food colouring pastes to make the colours brighter.  I've also added various essences (vanilla/strawberry flavouring/peppermint etc) to make the playdough smell.  I did try adding glitter to the mixture once.  It looked pretty, but it went everywhere.... you've been warned!  This recipe makes a slightly squishier playdough than the bought stuff, the longer you cook it the less squishy it gets, but cook it too long and you get dry flaky bits.  It lasts a while in an airtight container, but not forever, you'll be able to tell as it goes sort of slimy.  urrggh.

Playdough Recipe:
2 cups (you can use a mug instead of a cooking "cup") of plain(all purpose) flour
2 cups of water
1 cup of salt
2 tablespoons for oil
2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
Few drops of food colouring

Cook the mixture in a pan over a medium heat
Stirring all the time to prevent sticking
Remove from thee heat when the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan
Knead well and store in an airtight container

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Mini Monsters

A while ago my children feel in love with Moshi Monsters.  I was quite happy for them to play on it as they seemed to be learning a lot while they were doing so (I think they can recognise more flags than I can).  When it came to their birthdays Moshi Monster parties were in order.

I'll admit some of the links to Moshi Monster were a little loose, but they seemed to enjoy it.  Phew. One of the activities we did with for my daughter's party was to design their own moshlings.  I crocheted some little monsters, the pattern I used can be found here. We didn't sew on the details, I just bought some fabric glue and lots of little crafty bits - eyes, foam hands and feet, felt, mini pom poms etc and we stuck on the details.

We had some awesome little guys from this project.

For my son's party, as they were younger, we pre-made the moshlings and they "adopted" them as their prize for the treasure hunt they completed.

I love that they are all so very, very different.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Some Easy Birthday Cards

I mentioned here that I have a supply of patterned paper that could do with trimming down a little so I knew from the moment that I saw these on Sum Of Their Stories that I would have to try them soon.

It took me a little longer, because I don't use Windows, so I needed the technical expertise of the Husband to show me where to find some speech bubbles I could use on my computer.  He made it look embarrassingly easy, we used the LibreOffice presentation software and it had the speech bubbles as part of one its menus. I used various fonts, some standard ones, some I'd (ok - the Husband) had downloaded for me over time, and just kept the message to "Happy Birthday".  I do love the idea of personalising them though, and may do that in the future.

Then they wouldn't print for me, the Husband once again saved the day.  I asked what he had done, apparently the same as me (selected a printer and pressed print).  Honestly it is like the technology knows it is me and hides.

At least my laminator loves me, although it can be temperamental with other people!  So the laminating process went smoothly.

After that it was just a matter of sticking and cutting the patterned paper onto the card blanks I had to hand.  I was a little worried they would be too small, but I'm pleased with how they look.  We had to use one immediately because my son was about to attend a party and he hadn't made a card, and didn't want to once he'd seen that there were a few going spare!  So there was another one that isn't photographed.

Such an easy and effective card to make and I really like them.  We'll be using this method a lot in the future I think.