$250 Oriental Trading Gift Card Giveaway

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Oh my goodness, we have an amazing giveaway with one of our favorite companies, Oriental Trading. When we think about parties, decorations, DIY’s, and crafts, Oriental Trading is top of mind.

Recently, we’ve been playing around with DIY Balloon garlands. It’s been a party of balloons in our house for several weeks now with all the lingering balloons. We get the kids in on the blowing and tying action, so it’s fun for the whole family. Oriental Trading has everything we need for our balloon garlands (tutorial coming soon). It’s a wow-factor for any party, and an affordable one. Get balloon happy like us and check out the awesome selection at Oriental Trading.

If you have a party coming up, want to stock up on school or craft supplies, or you’re hosting an upcoming holiday, enter the giveaway today to win $250.  The giveaway starts July 11 at midnight and ends July 25 at 11:59 pm (Pacific Time). Enter below.

$250 Oriental Trading Gift Card Giveaway

After you enter the giveaway, check out some of the other amazing blogs included in the giveaway:
Happy Family Blog
Teacups and Fairytales
Suburban Wife City Life
Little Bits of Everything
Living La Vida Holoka

DIY Rocket Popsicle Piñata

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Jessica’s kids birthdays are close to July 4th, plus we love to celebrate America, so it’s always a really busy time of year and we are in the party mode. This year, we’re celebrating with all things red, white and blue. A party just isn’t a party with young kids without the joy of hitting a piñata. We couldn’t find the perfect (and affordable) red, white and blue piñata, so we made one with the iconic patriotic popsicle in mind. It’s DIY rocket popsicle piñata! It only took a couple hours from start to finish, so you still have time!

Materials:

  • Red, white and blue tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • Pinata, frappuccino shaped
  • Glue stick, or
  • Strips of cardboard
  • Packaging tape

Directions:

Step 1: Remove all existing tissue paper from the pinata. We found a frappuccino shaped piñata at Walmart for less than $15, left the cardboard shape and stripped it of all pink and white tissue paper. Remember to fill the piñata with goodies before you cover it with new fringe.

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Step 2: Cut strips of red, white and blue tissue paper.

Step 3: Cut fringe on each strip of tissue paper.

Step 4: With 12 inch strips of cardboard scraps (about 3-4 inches thick), position them from the lid of the piñata frappuccino shape, and angle them up. This is hard to explain, and sorry for our poor photos, but the 4 cardboard scraps will be used to made a little square (or for lack of better words, nipple) on top of the popsicle, to look like the real thing. We used packaging tape to keep it in place. We added the white cardboard tube on the bottom of dry cleaner hangers to create that indention affect along the side of the piñata, but it didn’t really work, so don’t worry about that!

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Step 5: Starting from the bottom, glue the fringe onto the cardboard. We found it’s best to do two layers of fringe on each layer. You can glue the strips of fringe on top of each other before gluing onto the pinata.

Step 6: Continue layer by layer, blue on the bottom, then white and finally red. Cut a piece of cardboard the shape of a popsicle stick, and with an X-acto knife, cut a slit on the bottom of the popsicle. Insert the cardboard popsicle stick. Hang and have fun!

Enjoy…and then grab a real Rocket popsicle from the freezer to ring in this 4th of July!

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Celebrate Teachers With Fruit And Free Printables

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It’s teacher appreciation week! We know we each had our favorite teachers growing up, and they made a positive impact on our lives. Now, we see our children’s teachers helping them learn and grow. It’s awesome, and honestly, we don’t know how they do it! Since we can’t seem to get enough of all the cute fruit everywhere (recently at Bullseye’s Playground at Target), we’re thanking our teachers with fruit.

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Fruit has irresistible puns, so Jenna (Fleur de lis, a paperie) made fruit-tastic printables for us. Good news because we’re sharing them with you! There’s a tag for cherries, bananas, apples and watermelon; We CHERRY-ISH you as a teacher, You’re awesome to the CORE, You’re one in a MELON teacher and You’re like a PINEAPPLE, you stand tall, wear a crown (of knowledge) and are sweet on the inside! These labels are 4×6, but for our fruit tags we scaled them to 60% when we printed them to attach to the fruit.

Some other fun ideas you can attach the tags to is fruit-flavored gum packets, juice or sparkling water, totes, water bottles or anything else with fruit you can find!

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Take the time to thank the teachers you love this week, or any week. These printables are perfect for Valentine’s Day, back to school time and at the end of school, too.

Print the FREE PRINTABLE here.

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March of the Penguins 2, Movie And Game Night For The Whole Family

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I (Jessica) was thrilled to create a DIY family activity to celebrate the release of March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step documentary available on Hulu for Momtastic. My family fell in love with Emperor Penguins when we watched March of the Penguins, so we were so excited to discover more about the Antarctic-dwelling birds we adore with the sequel.

Make Friday night a movie night and game night all about penguins. It’s fun for the whole family. After making this DIY Penguin Domino set, I can’t imagine Dominoes any other way. It’s like those tiny black and white penguins were meant to be on the back of Domino pieces. Read the waddle-ful tutorial here.

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DIY Halloween Lanterns with Spooky Silhouettes

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For us, Halloween is all about fun costumes (we spent our entire childhood dressed alike on Halloween night, and now we do the same with our kids), our mom’s homemade carmel popcorn, carving pumpkins, trick-or-treating and celebrating the holiday with our large Italian family. We don’t get into the scary stuff, horror movies or anything remotely gory. So, our Halloween decor can be a bit of a snooze for those who go all out for the Oct. 31st holiday. Pumpkins, Happy Halloween signs and a few spiders is just about all we have in our Halloween decor collection. It lacks a scare factor, which is ok with us (and our kids), but we stepped up our decor game a bit this year thanks to Oriental Trading Company.

We’re lighting up the night with DIY Halloween silhouette lanterns. We stuck with Jenna’s favorite colors, classic black and white. All the other Halloween”classics” are there, too, including bats, skeletons and crows. We never have, and never will like spiders. But, we love their silhouette in our DIY lanterns.

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This DIY lantern is so easy. Halloween will be here before you know it, but everything we made and set-up can be bought in one place, Oriental Trading, and crafted in less than half a day. Plus, you can re-use it year after year. Silhouettes never go out of style. We love, love the black and white table runner. It can be out year-round, and we were impressed with its thick, durable and quality fabric.

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Here’s how you can light up the night, too.

Materials:

Directions:

Step 1: Paint the frames black.

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Step 2: While the paint is drying, trace the glass or the wood backing of the frame onto the vellum. Cut the vellum rectangles.

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Step 3: Cut the silhouettes. They have a thin border, so it’s best they are cut for a clean silhouette. Some of them are too large for the frames, so they need to be trimmed, or pieces of the silhouettes need to be used. For example, instead of using the entire candelabra, we just cut each individual candle. For extra stick, add glue to the back of the stickers before pressing them into the center of the vellum rectangles.

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Step 4: Once the frames are dry, flip them over and use a hot glue gun (or Elmer’s glue) to glue the vellum along the inner frame.

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Step 5: Now it’s time to glue the frames together to make lanterns. We made some 3-sided lanterns, and one 4-sided lantern. To do this, patiently hold it up to have an idea of where the glue will need to go, and begin to glue side by side. You will need to hold the frames in place for a couple of minutes, then the glue holds it until it fully dries. If you don’t have patience for this, hot glue will work just fine. After the glue has dried, touch up the sides with black paint to cover up any glue.

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Step 6: Once the lanterns are dry, set them up with lights in the middle. Once the sun goes down, light them up. For a complete “look”, don’t forget the black and white runner, pumpkins, skeletons, spider web fans and crows.

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Oriental Trading sent us some items of our choosing for this post, free of charge. We’re so happy they did! All opinions are honest, and our own. No other type of compensation was received. Thanks for supporting the companies that support j. sorelle. We love Oriental Trading, even before this post.