Throw A Sing Party for Kids With A DIY Outdoor Stage


Last year, the kids were mermaids and sharks. This year, they took center stage at a Sing inspired party. There was a DIY mini stage, good music, DIY candy microphones and characters from Illumination’s Sing. Fun was had by all, including the adults who took to the stage, too.

Once again, Jessica shopped Oriental Trading for most of the party’s decorations and favors. Shop OT for the red fringe curtain, gold stars, microphone trophy, white favor boxes, glow-in-the-dark bouncing eyeballs, Inflatable guitars and star disco ball necklace.

Here’s how you can throw a Sing party for all your future super stars.




Step 1: Visit Momtastic for the full DIY mini stage tutorial and materials needed. All the details are here, including the stage, Buster Moon and the moon and the DIY speakers. It’s totally affordable, and the fun can last all summer (and next summer, too) in your backyard.


Step 2: Make the DIY candy microphones. We can’t take credit for this idea. We found it here. Fill the clear tubes with candy, add the top to the tube, and then top it off with the colorful foam microphone covers. This was a huge hit with the kids, and we can foresee a classroom holiday gift with this one. To display the candy microphones, Jessica spray painted a box (from a recent Amazon purchase) red, and cut small holes on top with an X-acto knife. Make sure the holes are not too big, and not too small – they need to be just right (and snug) to hold and secure the microphone tubes. Next, paint or add white letters to the red box. We used a comment in the movie from Buster Moon, the koala. When a contestant was nervous, he said to, “Just…sing.”



Step 3: Prep the favor boxes. Make tags with characters on it with Microsoft Word and jpg’s of the characters online. We gave the kids bouncing eyeballs in honor of Miss Crawly’s, the chameleon assistant in the movie, bouncing eyeball. Another fun favor was the Star disco ball necklaces, trophies (see below) and toy microphones.




Step 4: One must have a trophy for a singing competition. Luckily for our guests, they were all winners, or Sing champs. We made custom labels on the Oriental Trading microphone trophies with vinyl and our Silhouette CAMEO electronic cutting machine. We designed the words, Sing Camp, and put the vinyl on each trophy.



Step 5: Hang the gold stars. Use a white Sharpie oil-based paint marker to write all the guests names on the stars. Hang the stars with string. Jessica used a piece of cardboard, and her Silhouette machine to cut out RISING STAR letters with Astrobrights Paper.



Step 6: Every singer needs a microphone. We had a karaoke machine, as well as toy microphones with everyone’s name on it.  Use puff paint to add the names. White shopping Target, Jessica found an empty box with holes in it (used to store another toy on the shelf). She added it to her cart for $0, and wrapped it with wrapping paper. Each microphone fit perfectly inside each hole.




Step 7: Sing and have a good time.




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.

This post contains affiliate links. 


DIY Chocolate Valentine’s Gift


Sometimes when we walk down the candy aisle at the grocery store, we just can’t control ourselves. One of our favorite treats to sneak into the cart is yummy chocolate caramel bites, known as Riesen {pronounced just like the word reason}. Our Nani introduced the candy to us years ago, so as we chew the deliciousness that is Riesen, we lovingly think about her. She also loves Valentine’s Day, which made it the perfect reason to tell her how much we love her, and do it with her favorite candy.

A pillow box is in the mail to our Nani with her favorite candy, and all the Riesens or “Reasons” we love her.


To re-create for someone you love, you’ll need:

  • A pillow box. We bought a pack of 5 from Target
  • A bag of Riesen candy
  • Paper {Astrobrights Paper}
  • Glue stick
  • A Silhouette electronic cutting machine {Sharpie or stickers will work too}
  • A lovely person to send it to

We used our Silhouette to design the wording on the front of the pillow box, as well as the numbers. If you don’t have a Silhouette {you should add it to your want list}, you can also write or print your own design, or buy stickers. We used a glue stick for all the letters and numbers, as well as on the bottom of the candy wrapper to keep them in place on the paper. Finally, write all the reasons why you love the person your sending it to on small pieces of paper.

It’s a simple, cheap way to share love and chocolate. It’s going to make your loved one’s day…and you get to eat chocolate in the process. Win-win.


{photos via j. sorelle}

DIY trick or treat bags

DIY halloween trick or treat bag

I’m not sure we could get our children to agree to floss, visit the dentist, go to bed early and eat their green leafy vegetables without some sweet and sugary bribery. Halloween is no exception – it s a sugar-high holiday for kiddos – so why not have ‘fun’ with the kids and talk to them about what you expect of them after they consume of all that addicting sugar…oh, and get their commitment in writing!

How To
Buy a monster or pumpkin tote bag from the Dollar Section at Target
Use the Silhouette Electronic Cutting Tool to create a fun contract. Be sure to mirror the image before printing.
Place the text face-up on the tote bag, and cover it with a thin cotton cloth.
Iron on the image with an iron on medium heat. Press down firmly for 45-60 seconds, let cool for about 30 seconds, and peel off. You will likely have repeat the iron step several times – I know I did for all the letters to stick.
If you don’t have a Silhouette, another option is to use Sharpies or even stencils.

target trick or treat bag

DIY trick or treat bag_jsorelle

diy halloween trick or treat bag

We shopped around for other fabulous DIY bags for you too!
1. Pillowcase Ghosts, Martha Stewart
2. Duct Tape Bag, Dukes and Duchesses
3. Silhouette Bag, Uncommon Designs
4. Witch Hat, So You Think You’re Crafty
5. Wild Things Tote, Bloesem Kids
6. Graphic Tote, Country Living

DIY halloween treat bags_jsorelle

{images via j. sorelle, Martha StewartUncommon Designs, Dukes and Duchesses, Country Living, So You Think Your Crafty, Bloesem Kids}

veterans day {free printable}

First, we’d like to take a moment on this Veterans Day to express our gratitude for Veterans. They risked their lives, and withstood inconceivable trauma in service to our country.
We sincerely THANK YOU.

Please take the time to thank at least one Veteran today {and everyday if you have the opportunity}. We made it really easy for you to say thanks. Just print this card, write a note, or just sign your name, and send or give by hand, to a Veteran.

You can find the card HERE FOR FREE.

Now, I don’t know about you, but we still have a HUGE bowl full of Halloween candy. We’ve been limiting the kids, I have been practicing a little self-control, and my hubby indulges in ice cream, not candy. So, what am I going to do with all this candy?

Send It To The Troops
Operation ShoeBox would love your candy donation to include in their Christmas packages they send to the troops overseas during the upcoming holiday season.
Operation Gratitude would love your candy too. They have an amazing program – it’s worth checking out.

If you ate all your candy, please visit Operation ShoeBox and Operation Gratitude to read about the many other ways you can help make a difference in the lives of our service men and women, and their families.

{images via Tutto Bella}

valentine’s day printables

We have cutesy kid-and-adult-friendly DIY Valentine’s for…all the hot mama’s, the stud{s} in your life, all the cutie’s and for those who make you giggle! Some are healthy and others are not, but they are all adorable, and for Valentine’s Day, that’s all that really matters, right?

The original and new files {revamped with stripes} are available for a $3 purchase here.

DIY Adult Valentine’s

you are one hot mama
{fill the bag with hot tamales, fold over the custom tag and staple closed}

happy valentine’s day stud muffin
{fill the bag with a homemade poppy-seed muffin, fold over the custom tag and staple closed}

Poppy-seed Muffin Recipe
Makes 12 muffins
recipe adapted from our wonderful mom

Add the following ingredients to a large bowl and mix:
2 cups flour
1/8 cup poppy seeds {a used a little more, but less than 1/4 cup}
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter

Add 2 eggs{1 at a time} to the above ingredients and mix well

Add 1 cup plain yogurt and 2 tsp. almond extract and mix into the rest of the mixture.

Put the muffin mixture in baking cups and bake in the oven on 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes {It took me about 18 minutes}.

DIY Kid Valentine’s

i think you are quite a cutie
{fill a bag with clementines, fold the custom tag over the top of the bag and staple closed}

friend, you make me laffy
{fill the bag with laffy taffy for your silly friends, fold the custom tag over the bag and staple closed}

The original cutie file {the orange bubble}, can be bought here.
The original laffy taffy file {the blue bubble} is available too.

{images via j. sorelle}