Lorax themed 5th Birthday Party – A Burlap Picnic in the Park

As I said April is birthday month in our house, so I thought I would share with you some of the highlights of my 5 year olds Lorax themed birthday party.

We had the party in the park after school. Before the children arrived we set up some tables for food and party bag goodies. We also set up a large picnic rug for the kids to enjoy their afternoon tea on. As usual Burlap abounds in our house, so we recycled the Burlap we used for the smash cake back drop the week before, and laid it down as the picnic area. Then created a table runner out of another length of printed burlap with a crazy red chevron print which looked like a graphic from a Dr Seuss Book! We also hung tissue paper pompoms from the tree over the picnic area.

The food table was set up with Barbarloot bears (Tiny Teddies cookies in individual packets), Barbarloot snacks (Marshmallows), Traffula trunks (Musk sticks) and Traffula Trees (fresh pineapple, watermelon and kiwi fruit, cut into circles and mounted on kebab sticks and inserted into a paper covered polystyrene base.

We then played pass the parcel (with the soundtrack from the Lorax movie), and each layer of the parcel had three bean seeds. Once a child got their bean seeds they then went over the the party bag table and planted their seeds by filling a plastic cup with potting mix. They then had the opportunity to ‘Adopt a Lorax’ which was a grasshead that I had made and stuck on some eyes and then cut a Lorax moustache from felt and stuck it on. They could also choose a traffula tree, which was a pencil with coloured felting wool stuck to the end with PVA glue. And they got a small packet of ‘Edible Traffula Seeds’ which was 8 Jelly Beans in a small plastic bag.

We then cut the cake which was a simple green iced vanilla cake. Just before lighting the candles we put Fairy Floss tufts on the end of Lollipop sticks and stuck them in the cake to create a Traffula forest.

Overall the kids had a great time. The parents loved the party. And the kids had an ongoing reminder of the party whilst they watched their grassheads and bean plants grow. Parents are still commenting to me two weeks later about how their kids check the grassheads and beans every morning.

It was a really cost effective party as I didn’t buy lots of lollies or nic naks for the party bags, just a few items to create the traffula pencils, grassheads and bean seeds. There were 30 kids at the party and I only used 2 packets of jellybeans for the lollybags.

I find with kids parties (and believe me I have done more that the average mum in my previous life as a Indoor Play centre owner, over 300), that creativity will win over budget every time. You don’t have to spend a fortune on jumping castles and caterers to have an awesome party. Just pick a theme and spend some time thinking about how you can bring that theme to life. I guarantee you will have a rockin party that the kids remember for a long time to come!

And of course – use Burlap wherever possible:).

Australian craft swap

Don’t you just love receiving handmade gifts? I do. That’s why I’m thinking of starting an Australian craft swap. Basically If you join, 5 times a year I will send you the name and address of another member and you make them something fabulous, then post it off to them. At the same time you will receive a beautiful handmade gift in post from someone else! Cool huh?You can bake, sew, photograph, craft, make cards, sculpture whatever you like as long as its handmade.I’m trying to get an idea of whether there is enough interest in Australia, so if this sounds like something you’d like to do simply leave a comment ‘I’m in’ and I will post more details shortly if we get enough interest. Be sure to ask any of your crafty friends and family to.

It will only be open to Australian members to minimise postage costs.

So lets share the handmade love!

Burlap and Lace Table Mats make Perfect Wedding or High Tea Decor

Burlap and Weddings just seem synonymous these days! Burlap just lends itself so well to wedding decor as it is a perfect pairing for white.Kelly over at Boho Weddings recently featured a tutorial by Becki (a self confessed Boho Bride) for these gorgeous table centrepiece mats.

The table mats are made from Burlap and Lace and are so simple to make. To see the tutorial head over to Boho Weddings where Becki shows you the easy step by step instructions.

They are so simple and yet so beautiful. I think they would be lovely on wedding tables but also for a special high tea or baby shower as well. If you need an elegant touch for your table decor these table mats are perfect.

Baby Smash Cake Photo Shoot using Burlap as a Photo Backdrop

So April is birthday month in our house. Three out of five of us celebrate our birthdays in April (I’m not one of them), so that means plenty of parties and cake, and planning for me!Harry was turning one and we wanted to make it a special occasion, so we gave him a smash cake.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Smash Cake trend, you basically make a beautiful cake for your baby and then let them ‘Smash it’ to pieces whilst you stand by photographing each candid moment! My seven year old was horrified that we would ‘waste cake’ like that! But as I explained to him, it’s not like a one year old really gets to eat the cake so this was a way for Harry to enjoy his birthday in a one year old kind of way.

I made him a chocolate cake with vanilla icing (looks better in the pictures than chocolate!), topped with blueberries, some blue fairy floss, a paper number 1 and a balloon.

We set the stage on the back deck and I needed a backdrop for the shoot. As Burlap abounds in our house, I had just purchased 5 metres of Burlap, which was perfect for the backdrop. I draped it over the deck handrail and down onto the floor and then positioned the cake on top.

The Burlap worked really well as a back drop. It was cost effective, reflected and diffused the natural light really well, and best of all easy to clean with just a hose off. It also provided a really neutral background which allowed the baby and the cake to be the feature in the photos rather than backdrop. I think it would really well in a number of settings. You could use it for weddings or family photos when the photo is about the subjects rather than the location.

Here’s how the shoot turned out.

Harry is actually a bit of a neat freak and once he felt the icing on his hands he didn’t want to touch it again and was more interested in the balloon, but I think he had a great time anyway, and we have some lovely keepsake photos.