Race Car Birthday Party Decorations

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Here’s the decorated dining room, which is party central for the kids to eat.

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I couldn’t find checkered hats anywhere, so I used black and white checkered contact paper to cover plain party hats.  I then made a white pinwheel out of regular printer paper, cut the number three out on my cricut, then glued on some racing flags on as well.  I think they turned out great!

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Here’s the over flow dining area since there were too many kids for the dining room table.

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The food table is by the kitchen, and more detail on the food is described in a previous post.

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I always like to have a welcome sign on the front door, so this year I welcomed all race fans!

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The goodie bags were set up on the bookcase in the entry way.  They were personalized for each kid, and left empty, so they could put their prizes from the games (see previous post for details about the games) in their bags.

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I couldn’t resist putting a “Pit Stop” sign on the restrooms.  Everyone knew where the bathrooms were, but it was too cute to pass up!

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Race Car Party Games

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Since this was a party for three year olds, I came up with three simple games.   The first was called “Oil Spill” and the object was to throw a ball to knock down the oil cans.  I saved up my empty cans for weeks before the party and put cute labels I made on them to make them look like oil cans.  Then I got three Lightning McQueen balls at the dollar store for the kids to throw at the cans.  This was perfect for the three year olds, although it was a little too easy for the bigger kids.  I suppose I should have had the bigger kids back up and throw from farther away.  I had orange cones that I used to show where they should throw from, and each child got to keep throwing until they knocked the cans down.  Once the child knocked the cans down, they got a gold medal as a prize (I found the medals on Amazon).

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The next game was a bean bag toss.  I found a tire inner tube on Amazon and made bean bags out of beans and checkered duct tape.  Again, I had orange cones that showed where the kids should stand to throw the bean bags, and they got to keep trying until they made one into the tire.  For prizes, I gave out Hot Wheels stickers to the boys and Hello Kitty stickers to the girls.  I found all of the stickers at Michaels.20140407_2

The final game was a race!  I built a race track out of two particle board shelves that I found at Home Depot.  I spray painted the shelves black, then connected them together on the bottom with black hinges.  This worked out great, because I can fold the track up when we’re done with it to store it.  I also bought small square sticks at Home Depot and spray painted them white so that there were lanes for the cars.  Without lanes, I thought the cars would crash into each other, and also fall off of the track.

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With my cricut, I cut out number for each lane, then glued them on to the track.  To keep them on, I covered them with clear contact paper, just so they’d stay down.  I also made a “start” sign and glued it onto some of the extra white sticks, then glued it onto the track.  I’ll have to take this off, probably when I store it, but it was fun to have for the party.

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I also made a “finish” sign at the bottom, and covered the bottom of the track with checkered duct tape.

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To make the race more fair, I used some of the left over white stick as a starting gate for the cars.  I could rest it against the start sign, have the kids put their cars in their lanes, then pull up the stick to start the race.  This kept the kids from letting go of their cars at different times, and made the race more of a race!  You could also use a ruler or any other stick.  The kids love the race track, and played with it during the entire party.  After the race, everyone got a trophy filled with M&M’s (trophies from Amazon).  I added checkered duct tape and Hot Wheels stickers to the bottom of the trophies to make them fit the theme better.  The kids loved the trophies, and they were a big hit!

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To keep the kids entertained, I also set out our car rug, as well as lots of other cars and tracks that we already had.  They boys especially had lots of fun playing with all of the cars!

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Rapunzel Tower

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I saw a lot of Rapunzel towers online, when looking for Rapunzel party ideas.  I thought a tower would make a great centerpiece for the art table, and thought it’d be fun to make one.  Most of the ones I found were made out of paper, or cardboard, and while cute, they didn’t look durable.  I thought it’d be fun to have something that my daughter could keep and play with after the party, since I was going to spend so much time making it.

I searched my cupboards and found a huge, tall cup that we’d brought home from the movies, I think, years ago.  I figured it’d make a perfect tower.  I also found a big, round bowl with a top, which made a perfect top section.

I used gray scrapbook paper for the base, and painted on some bricks and vines with flowers so it looked a little more authentic.  I then glued that to my giant cup, using spray glue, and then covered the whole thing with contact paper, so it wouldn’t rip or get damaged.

I cut a few squares out of the top bowl for windows, then covered the bowl in white paper.  I used brown paper for the window frame and railings.  I put contact paper over the whole thing to protect it,

For the roof, I used a purple birthday party hat and glued it onto the lid of the bowl, so you can remove the roof when you’re playing with it. It’s also covered with clear contact paper.

To attach the top and tower, I used extra long brads.  I tried glue, but it didn’t hold well, so brads seemed to be the best solution.

For the braid, I used embroidery floss for the hair, braided it, and put a purple ribbon on the bottom.  I taped the braid to the bottom of the bowl, and hung it out the window.

We happened to have some Rapunzel figurines that I previously bought at the Disney store, so it was perfect to have Rapunzel peeking out of the window, and Flynn Rider standing at the bottom.  It was a cute decoration, and a fun toy for my daughter after the party!.

Rapunzel Painting

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I love to paint, but rarely have reason to do it.  When searching online for ideas for a Rapunzel party, I came across a painting of Rapunzel looking up at the floating lights (like the one Rapunzel paints on her tower wall in the movie) and decide I needed to paint my own version for the party.

I got a medium sized canvas and some acrylic paints and went to work.  It was a fun and easy painting to make, and you could really customize it to make it look however you wanted.  I hung this painting in the dining room a decoration, and now it’s hanging in my daughter’s room..

Table Decorations

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To dress up the table a bit, I used real plates and silverware, and a cloth table cloth and napkins.  Usually for a kids’ party, I’d use disposable everything, since it’s easier to clean up, and there’s less of a chance for something to break.  But since this was a tea party, I thought it should be a little fancier.  I also used some tiered serving dishes, since I thought that made it look like a traditional tea party.  I found one at Value Village, and the other two at a garage sale.

I also went to Value Village and bought each girl her own tea cup and saucer.  This worked great, because then each girl had a fancy tea cup to drink out of, and then each girl got to take them home as a party favor.  I had an antique tea pot that I also used for the tea.

To make the place cards, I used scrapbook paper to make a “tea bag.”  I first printed each girl’s name on the paper using a fancy font, then folded the paper so there would be a fold on top, then cut the paper into a long rectange, so the fold was on top.  I then cut the top corners off, so it looked like a tea bag.  I stapled white dental floss to the top, and then stapled a small square of scrapbook paper on the end of the floss, so that it looked just like a tea bag.  Of course you could use string instead of floss, but I didn’t have any string, so I used floss!  To make the place card stand up, I just opened the paper up, and it worked!

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I had left over vellum paper from my lantern project, so I typed out the menu in Word, then printed it on the vellum paper.  I then just wrapped the menu around the cloth napkin for an added touch of fun.  Because it was a tea party, I gave all of the food a fancy name, so it would seem more fun!

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There was a lot going on on the table, so I didnt’ really need a centerpiece.  I did get some yellow yarn and braided the entire thing into one long, Rapunzel braid.  To make it more authentic looking, I bought some fake flowers and stuck them in all over, and tied the end with a purple ribbon..

Welcome to the Tea Party

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For whatever reason, I always like to have some sort of sign on the door, welcoming my guests to the party.  For the tea party, I used a teapot and teacups.

I found an image of a tea pot online for my template.  I printed “Welcome to the Tea Party” in a fancy font, onto cute scrapbook paper.  Then I cut out the teapot I found online, then traced that onto my scrapbook paper, then cut it out.

I did the same thing for the tea cups, except I put the name of each girl on the cup.

It turned out to be a cute decoration, and the girls each took the tea cup with their name on it home..

Floating Lanterns

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The whole inspiration for my Rapunzel Tea Party were these floating lanterns.  Somehow I got it in my head that I had to make these, and make them actually light up!  I played around with a lot of versions of these lanterns, and finally found something that worked.

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I bought vellum paper, since it’s kind of opaque, and made of bunch of different shaped and sized lanters. I used round, square, triangle, and hexagon shapes, and sometimes cut the 12×12 paper in half, and sometimes I cut it into 1/4ths to make different sizes of the lanterns.  I just folded the paper into the shapes I wanted, then also folded the top and bottom of each lantern in, so the lanterns were a bit sturdier, and had a more finished look.  I then bought small LED lights, that I found at the craft store in the floral section.  I think they’re meant to use in vases and such to illuminate displays.  These lights were the only lights I could find that were bright enough to shine through the paper.  I tried flameless tea lights, but they weren’t bright enough.

While I could have gotten enough lights so that each lantern was illuminated, that would have been a bit expensive, so I just bought a 12 pack, and had just some of my lanterns light up.  To get the lights in the lanerns, I cut a small slit in the back of the lantern.  Each LED light had a little hook on it, so I put the light on the inside of the lantern, then slid the hook through the slit so the hook was on the outside of the back of the lantern.  I then taped the hook to the back of the lantern to keep it in place.

To hang the lanterns, I punched tiny holes in each side, then threaded them with fishing line and hung them from my curtain rod.  On the lanterns that had the light inside, I had to work to balance the lantern, since they were heavy on one side, due to the light.  This was a bit of a challenge, but I got it to work.

To make the lanterns stand out (since the party was in the day) I hung two big navy paper table cloths up from my curtain rod to cover the window.  I wanted the lanterns to stand out, and not just blend in with the window.  Since the lanterns are supposed to be out at night, I thought a dark blue background would make the most sense.

I had a few extra lanterns, so I hung those from the chandelier, just for and added touch..

Rapunzel Flag Bunting

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To create this purple sun bunting that’s similar to the bunting in the movie, Rapunzel, I used purple card stock and cut out long triangles.  I then printed a bunch of yellow suns on my color printer, then hand cut them out.  Next I glued the suns on the cardstock, then finished the bunting by stringing the flags on thin purple ribbon.

I used this sun clip art for my flags: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=rapunzel+sun&qpvt=rapunzel+sun&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=B6434BA0469C21E83179A18CF7675CC2BCE06C35&selectedIndex=0

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Candy Tea Cups

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Since this was a tea party, I thought it’d be fun for the girls to each have a candy tea cup.  I made these out of ice cream cones, and just cut the bottom of the cone off, so I was left with just the cup.  I used frosting to glue the cup to a shortbread cookie (so the candy wouldn’t fall through the hole in the cup).  I used “o” candy for the handle, and just cut each “o” in half and “glued” it onto the cup with water on each cut end.  I filled the cup with candy and they were ready!  I was a bit disappointed to find that all of my ice cream cones had chips in them when I opened the package, so the cups weren’t perfect, but they were still cute and fairly easy to make..