Here Comes The Sun: Sunshine Party Just for Kids

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As you know, we’re thrilled about summer. We’re spoiled by the Colorado sunshine. There’s nothing like a sunny, blue-sky Colorado day. We celebrated sunshine with our little darlings, and it was so much fun! Oriental Trading Company helped us make a bright and colorful party – they were the source for all our party goods.

Not only is this party all about the sun, but it helped us introduce the Beatles to our kids. Here Comes the Sun is a classic, so you can bet the kids had “doo, doo, doo, doo” stuck in their heads, just like we did.

All the details from the party are below.

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DIY Felt Banners
Cut the felt into a banner shape. Cut and trace paper (or stencil) letters onto colorful felt. Once all the letters are traced, cut them out. We made banners with the lyrics to the song, Here Comes the Sun. Glue (hot glue worked great) the letters onto the white felt banner. Find tree branches or wood rods to hang them. We used hot glue to roll them on a tree branch. We made DIY Tassels to hang on the bottom of each one from felt. First we cut strips of felt, then cut tiny strips 3/4 way up each piece, and rolled it into a tassel. We used hot glue to keep it rolled tight.

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DIY Sun Decor
A sunshine party is not a sunshine party without, well, the sun. Buy yellow tissue paper fans, open them up, and then glue a circular piece of orange paper in the center. Easy-peasy.

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Sunshine Craft
Our girls love to craft, so the highlight of the party was the sun sand key chains from Oriental Trading. They made colorful sand art that they now proudly carry on their backpacks.

When they weren’t crafting with sand, they were doodling with chalk. The girls drew variations of the sun and its rays, and hopped on each one. They were walking (or hopping) on sunshine.

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Other Details
A fun favor from the party was a sweet new pair of sunny shades.

Popcorn is always a favorite snack for our kids. We served the popped goodness in bright yellow popcorn boxes. We pulled the sun shapes from extra pairs of sunglasses for a fun popcorn box detail.

We absolutely love, love the glass milk bottles. They were perfect containers for the sand, as well as juice for the girls. A straw was taped to each bottle with yellow patterned washi tape.

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Enjoy the summer sun!

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.

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 Halloween Tee: Witchful Thinking

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It’s wishful thinking to think that we will dress up every year on Halloween. It can be fun, but it’s not our most favorite holiday to celebrate, so we typically don’t dress up. We dress the kids cute and call it good. Our favorite part about the holiday is celebrating at our aunt and uncle’s house. The party is loud, the food is good, the homemade costumes rock and the laughter echoes throughout the house. We love a good tradition that is carried on for generations…don’t you?

If you semi-like Halloween, don’t care for it at all, or have a party to go to but don’t want to dress up, this DIY semi-costume is for you. It’s a last-minute, really easy DIY tee that can be made in less than 10 minutes. Procrastinators, you got this!

This Witchful Thinking tee is cute, and you won’t be totally lame at this year’s party with black pants and a witches hat to fancy it up a bit.

Where our witches at?

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Materials:

  • Cotton t-shirt
  • Iron-on letters
  • Iron

Directions:

Step 1: Cut out letters for WITCHFUL THINKING.

Step 2: Follow iron-on letter package instructions.

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Step 3: Wear it and have fun!

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DIY Trolls Halloween Costume

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Can’t Stop This Feeling by Justin Timberlake is a song that’s been on repeat in our home all summer. Now with the anticipation of the movie Trolls {in theaters November 4), the song is being played even louder while simultaneously having a dance party! We’re so excited about the movie. Jessica’s kids wanted to be Poppy and Branch, two characters from the movie Trolls. Today she’s telling us how she made one Poppy costume and two Branch no-sew DIY Halloween costumes.  You still have one week to make this costume before Halloween – you can do it!

Materials:

  • Felt, 23 green sheets {about .25 cents each), 1 light green sheet, 3 white sheets
  • White acrylic paint, Plaid Crafts
  • Peel-n-Stick permanent fabric fuse tape {this worked well for me, but Hello Wonderful made amazing felt costumes with a hot glue gun, so that’s an option, too}
  • khaki pants, cut like shorts
  • Turquoise sweatshirt, Wal-Mart
  • Pink pants and long sleeve shirt, Wal-Mart
  • Pink glitter boots, The Children’s Place
  • Grey long underwear, Costco
  • Troll wigs, Wal-Mart or Amazon
  • Black spray paint
  • Vests, Carters
  • Velcro
  • Faux flowers
  • Scissors {good for fabric}

Directions:

Branch Costume

Cut out felt leaves. I used a leaf cut out as my template, and then I cut, cut and cut some more.

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Add Peel-n-Stick to the back of the leaves, and begin to layer the leaves on the vest, from the bottom-up.

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Cut the khaki pants to be shorts.

Cut green felt squares and rectangles to place on shorts to look like patches.

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For Branch, I needed a black wig, but couldn’t find one, so I spray painted a purple wig black.

The grey clothes underneath not only keep the kids warm, but it’s the color of the Trolls skin. Win-win!

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Poppy Costume

Cut the sleeves off a turquoise sweatshirt. I used the Peel-n-Stick tape to ‘hem’ the cut seams.

Cut petals with white felt. I used a cut-out petal, similar to the leaf vest process. Add Peel-n-Stick to the back of the petals and add the petals to the bottom of the dress to match Poppy’s design.

Paint the bottom of Poppy’s dress to look like the real thing. I free-handed the design on the bottom.

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Use scraps from the sweatshirt sleeves to make Poppy’s headband. I used the Peel-n-Stick tape to make the headband edges more seamless.

Paint faux flowers turquoise and hot glue them to the headband. Cut small felt petals to glue behind the flowers.

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Poppy’s dress has a little wrap around the neck, so I used the hood of the sweatshirt to wrap around the neck. To keep it in place, I added a small strip of velcro to the hood and sweatshirt.

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DIY Halloween Costume Contest Award

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And the best costume goes to……{insert drum roll}

The best Halloween costume award is always a big deal. The friendly competition among our kids and their peers is something they look forward to every year. The best costume, the cutest costume, the scariest costume, the funniest costume and the most original costume are awarded to kids in every grade. To properly reward them, they receive a small gift or acknowledgement. The DIY Halloween award that we are sharing today is not only affordable and adorable, but it is an edible {who doesn’t love a giant Hershey’s chocolate bar} medal that can be worn with pride, it can be customized with names and any costume category, plus it’s a favor bag so gift cards and notes can be easily inserted.

We can’t take full credit for this idea. Jessica’s friend Atlanta introduced us to this idea last year, and we loved it so much, we decided to make our own version. Thanks, girl.

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Materials:

  • Caution tape, Oriental Trading
  • Hershey’s Chocolate Bar, giant
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • Double-sided tape
  • Bat cut-outs, we used our Silhouette electronic cutting machine
  • Black card stock {we used Astrobrights Papers} and gold spray paint if you want the bat to be gold
  • Chalkboard favor bag, Target $1 and $3 section
  • Chalkboard marker

Directions:

Step 1: Gather materials.

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Step 2: Use Silhouette software to design the bat, and then use the machine to cut out the bat, or use a template online. Spray paint the bottom of the bat {optional}.

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Step 3: Write the award on the envelope with a chalkboard marker.

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Step 4: Use the double-sided tape to tape the bat to the envelope {above the text}.

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Step 5: Cut the caution tape to the size you want.

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Step 6: Flip the chocolate bar face down. Line up the caution tape evenly on each side. Use masking tape to tape the caution tape to the chocolate bar. We used two strips on each bar.

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Step 7: Insert a gift card to a favorite local spot for kids {optional}. Get a panel of judges, and once all the votes have been tallied, reward the best dressed with their DIY giant chocolate bar medal.

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Note: When no one is home but kids during the day, and a project must get done, the kid becomes the photographer. These last two photos are property of Jessica’s youngest, Jackson {age 4}. He loved every second playing ‘photographer’ of the day. And, since no one is around or organized enough to have an actual costume ready, the plaid shirt totally plays off as the best lumberjack ever, right?!

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