A Colorful Summer Party with Sunglasses and Ice Cream

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Summer vibes are strong in our houses right now, and it feels so good! It’s so close we can practically taste and smell all the wonderful things about summer – watermelon, cocktails on the porch, pool days and fun in the sun. The 2016/2017 school year is almost over, so we’re celebrating all the vibrant shades of summer. Nothing is brighter than ASTROBRIGHTS® Papers. Nothing is cooler than a stylish pair of sunglasses. And, nothing is sweeter than ice cream cones. All together they make one heck of a School’s Out For Summer party.

The most amazing thing about this party is that paper is the main component for all the décor. In fact, not just the décor is made of paper, the activities are primarily paper, too. Everything else – the bubbles, chalk, juice, music, candy and ice cream (the real deal, non-paper version) is just an added (but not necessary) bonus, and most can be found around the house.

It’s time to COLORIZE the start of summer, ya’ll. Here’s how to kick it off bright!

DIY Sunglasses Piñata

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Parties are just more fun with a piñata. If we had nothing but a piñata at our kid’s birthday, they would be thrilled and not notice anything else was missing. But, they can be expensive, and if you do things last-minute like us (actually, just Jessica and Jodi procrastinate, not Jenna), it costs too much to overnight ship a piñata. Luckily, we had cardboard, duct tape and ASTROBRIGHTS paper on hand to help me make the coolest piñata around town – a pair of sunglasses.

First, draw the shape of the glasses on cardboard. We used an 8×10 cut out of each lens and drew a larger tracing around it. Once everything is drawn, use an X-acto knife to cut the cardboard glasses shape. You will need a front and back, so once one pair of glasses is done, trace it on another piece of cardboard and cut it to create a second pair. Next, cut 3-inch wide strips of cardboard for the sides. Carefully bend the strips to fit the curves of the glasses.  Use small strips of duct tape (or masking tape) to secure the strip in between both pieces of cardboard glasses. We only had zebra print duct tape in our crafting bin, but we suggest using clear tape, or brown masking tape for this step. Before the entire thing is bordered, leave a small opening large enough to fit your hand in it. Drill (or punch with scissors) two small holes on top of the piñata. Insert the rope into one hole and use your hand to pull it along the inside so it can go up and out the other hole. Also, at this time, stuff the piñata with small toys and candy. Once it’s filled and the rope is attached for hanging, close up the last part of the piñata with a strip of the 3-inch cardboard and duct tape it.

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Once all the edges are securely taped, begin to cut 1.5-inch to 2 inch wide strips of paper. Use scissors to fringe the strips. Start to glue (Elmer’s Glue works here) each strip on the cardboard glasses. One crucial tip is to begin at the bottom and work your way up.

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Once the entire thing has strips of fringe, cut out two large (8×10 size each) lenses for the glasses. Add glue to the back of them, and add them to the sunglasses frame.

We used Rocket Red™ colored paper, not card stock weight, for fringe around the piñata and Eclipse Black™ for the shades. How cool are those shades? Plus, it was pure entertainment for the kids as they hit it to find the goodies inside.

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DIY Summer Vibes & Rays of Sunshine

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We don’t know about you, but we can’t get through summer without our most favorite accessory, sunglasses. Thus, those little round (or square, oval, butterfly, oblong or aviator) must-have frames were the source of inspiration for our main backdrop, the rainbow of sunglasses.

The first step is to cut out colorful frames for all the glasses. You can use an electronic cutting machine like Silhouette America Cameo to cut the glasses, or trace and cut one you find online. We used Terrestrial Teal™, Outrageous Orchid™, Sunburst Yellow™, Rocket Red™ and Martian Green™. Add Eclipse Black™ lenses behind each frame. For the rays of sunshine radiating from the sunglasses, cut 3.5 inch strips of paper. Add them to a wall, and you’ve got yourself a pretty rainbow of sunglasses. To save the wall from any paint removal, use 3M Removable Putty. It worked great.

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DIY Mini Ice Cream Parlor

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Ice cream on a hot summer day is just pure joy. Our goal was to re-create that feeling of an ice cream parlor and happiness on a summer day with an ice cream activity for the kids. We all know how quickly our children grow. We mark their height at the beginning of the school year, or when they are young, but we don’t do it at the beginning and end of the summer. We’ve never marked their height with ice cream before. Why not start now? It was a huge success – like creamy, vanilla ice cream combined with gooey, chocolaty brownies, drizzled with caramel and topped with a cherry success. Yes, it was that good, and fun!

To make the DIY paper ice cream awning, use scissors to round one side of the paper. Line them up along the wall, and use 3M Putty to hang them along the top, straight-edge part. For the awning, we used Pulsar Pink™ and Celestial Blue® colored paper.

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Trace and cut letters for the phrase, “Ice Cream As Tall As Me,” and add it to the wall under the awning. If you have a Silhouette electronic cutting machine, that will save you time, but it’s not a deal breaker for this project. Next, cut out triangles in the shape of ice cream cones. Tape the cones to the bottom of the wall. Cut out ice cream scoops 6 inches tall, which will help you give a “more accurate” estimate of each child’s height. Next, cut out sprinkles and cherries, so the kids can decorate their ice cream scoops with sprinkles, and finish their tall ice cream with a cherry on top. This was our kid’s favorite part.

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One by one the kids ran over to their cone and stacked their ice cream. If only they could actually order an ice cream this tall. One can dream, right?

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We enjoyed real ice cream shortly after the breaking of the piñata, and it was oh so yummy. The countdown is on – 17 more days of school, and then school’s out for summer! You can bet we will have our shades on!

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This post is in partnership with ASTROBRIGHTS. We were crafting with and coloring on ASTROBRIGHTS paper long before this post. It’s always been a fave product of ours. Thank you for supporting the brands that support j. sorelle. ASTROBRIGHTS was one of the first, so we are very grateful.

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means j. sorelle receives a small commission from the sale of certain items; however, the price is the same for you, whether it’s an affiliate link or not. 

DIY Sand Craft and Mod Podge Frame

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It’s almost Spring Break time, and we don’t know about you, but we’re dreaming about sand between our toes, salty beach hair and cocktails at sunset. We’re also like our mom on most vacations, and try to get all those special moments on film, or in our case, digital jpg files. But, when we return home most of our photos remain on our computer, and the sand remains far away on the beach.

This DIY Mod Podge and sand frame merges those wonderful photo memories with colorful sand, so it’s one happy and colorful display. Plus, with the base of the frame being an Ikea GRUNTDAL, it can be displayed on anything metal or magnetic.

Get all the how-to details at Momtastic.

And, if you’re headed somewhere warm for vacay, have fun (and stop to take those photos that you will always cherish…no matter how much your children whine).

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DIY Pumpkin Succulent Planter

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Our love for succulents has never faded. We love them, year-round! So, recently when we took a trip to find pumpkins at a garden center and saw pumpkin planters with succulents, we were head-over-heels in love. We made our own versions of the pumpkin planter {we bought the one with the skeleton}. This no-carve Halloween arrangement can be made for friends and family this Halloween and Thanksgiving season, and when pumpkin season is over, transfer the arrangement to a more festive winter holiday base.

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Materials:

  • Mini pumpkins, faux or real
  • Succulents, mini
  • Hot glue
  • Skulls and other fairy-size decorations
  • Moss, Spanish Moss
  • Glitter hairspray

Directions:

Step 1: Gather supplies.

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Step 2: Glue a handful Spanish Moss to the top of the pumpkin.

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Step 3: Insert the small succulents into the moss. Use a little hot glue if you have to keep them in place.

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Step 4: Add any other types of moss and mini stems to the top of the pumpkin. Finally, glue a skull or fairy-garden accessory on top.

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Step 5: Spray hair glitter on the arrangement. This can be wiped off later, but the sparkle is so cute!

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You’re done. To keep the succulents alive, spray them with water.

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DIY Gift: Custom Candles

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Not only can our kids make DIY crayon candles covered with rainbows, hearts and crayon splatter. We can make DIY candles too, but more sophisticated ones. I can see more melted crayons and candles in our near future for DIY holiday gifts. It’s a gift that’s sure to SHINE!

To see how we made the crayons with the kids, see the full tutorial on Momtastic. But basically, all you have to do is heat the crayon with a blow dryer (continuously} and draw. We found that black crayons worked the best to write words and monograms.

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DIY Marble and Copper Tray Hack

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We love, love, love to shop West Elm. But, we often love a good home decor hack even more. Our DIY side is totally satisfied when we successfully pull off a home décor hack that looks almost identical to the real thing sold in stores, at a fraction of the price.

One can never have enough trays, especially pretty ones like the Copper and Marble serving board at West Elm. So, one must make this DIY version of the Copper and Marble tray and West Elm hack. It’s so simple, and stunning.

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Materials:

  • Copper Coil, 1/4 inch, Home Depot
  • Marble Tile, Home Depot
  • Super glue or Epoxy glue, Home Depot
  • Pliers and wire cutter, Home Depot

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 Directions:

Step 1: Cut the wire to approximately 8 inches long for the handles. Adjust the size according to your preference. Round the copper coil to the shape of a handle – it’s easy to bend and can be done with your hands.

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Step 2: Insert the ends of the copper into the pliers and press firmly. This will flatten the round shape of the copper coil.

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Step 3: Add glue to the ends of the copper coil and press it into the back of the marble tile. The flat sides of the copper should not show on the top side of the tray because it should be glued directly to the back of the tile.

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Important note: if you use super glue, be extremely careful when pressing the copper ends down because your finger will get glued to the copper almost immediately. Wear gloves and/or be aware of the glue.

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After holding the handles in place for several minutes, I got wise, and flipped the tray over, and placed heavy books on the tile where the copper was glued.

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Step 4: Let it dry overnight.

This tray can be used as a cheese appetizer tray because it’s food safe, but we prefer it on a shelf with pretty jewelry, a bud vase or perfume.

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If your eyes go straight to the Bourbon and Bowties bracelet, we’re a lot alike, because we love them! Buy one at Nordstrom {and while you’re there, shop the sale} – your arm will thank you.