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. 


Here Comes The Sun: Sunshine Party Just for Kids


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.


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.




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.




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.







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.





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


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


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.



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.


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.




DIY Summer Vibes & Rays of Sunshine


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.







DIY Mini Ice Cream Parlor


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.


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.





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?





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!


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 Earrings As Sweet As A Pineapple


We find inspiration for our blog from everything around us – magazines, colorful patterns, Pinterest, blogs, people, nature and fashion. Sometimes an idea for a future project and party comes to us late at night when we can’t sleep. Other times, we are brainstorming out loud. The idea for these adorable DIY pineapple earrings came to us while perusing the aisles of Pier 1 Imports (one of our fave home stores). We stood in front of a tropical themed tablescape looking at tiny pineapple table confetti. Instead of seeing it for what it was, we saw the tiny fruit die-cuts as DIY earrings. We call it our confetti hack.

We love pineapples, we crave piña coladas on the beach (our favorite vacation drink growing up was virgin piña colada’s and strawberry daiquiri’s) and we love a good DIY. So, this was a really fun pineapple project to work on.

These DIY earrings would make for lovely gifts for girlfriends and mom (Mother’s Day is coming up, y’all).

So bring me two piña coladas (or pineapples)
One for each ear. 




Use the pliers to open two earring jump rings. One will go in the middle largest opening in the top of the pineapple, and the other will attach to the first ring and the earring wire hoops. Use the pliers to close the rings. The pineapples are thin, so be gentle with them.




If you want to present them in a cute way, use a small hole punch to punch two holes in a card stock tag. Insert the earrings through the holes and add the safety backs. A tassel makes everything cuter, so we attached a colorful tassel. Finally, add a custom touch with a hello beautiful pineapple stamp. We made the stamp with our Silhouette Mint, which is so easy and fun to use. We can a little stamp happy each time we use it.





When you make/wear the earrings, carry these pineapple vibes…

be like a pineapple
stand tall,
wear a crown,
& be sweet on the inside



Shark and Mermaid Party


It’s that time of year again for Jessica’s family – that time when it feels like Christmas in July. All three kids celebrate birthdays in July, so not only is the month busy, but it’s really fun. She’s going to take us back to her Shark and Mermaid party, and the details she created…

Every year I to find a theme that will work for boys and girls, and this year, our trip to Florida inspired our fin and tail celebration.

Note: It wasn’t until shortly after we took photos of the party, when we realized the t and h were mixed up in the word birthday on the mermaid side. And, well, when guests arrived, we partied! We were so focused on details, we forgot to spell. The mistake was quickly fixed and the party went on.



Step 1: Create a shark backdrop. During a recent trip to Florida, the kids took photos in front of a cool Megalodon. Print the photo on an engineering print from Staples. Glue the photo on one of the large wood boards with the multi-purpose spray adhesive.

Think again before you order plates from Oriental Trading for just food, because they make the perfect waves for an ocean backdrop. Use a hot glue gun to glue plates on the bottom of the photo for an ocean wave effect. Start with the dark blue and then glue light blue plates on top of it. Layer until you reach the bottom of the photo.



Step 2: Create a mermaid backdrop. Draw and cut a mermaid tail on foam core, and then cover it with paint chips. I love these paint chips from Oriental Trading because there is a wide variety of colors, and no circle cutter necessary – they are perfect circles when they arrive. Once all the chips are glued in place, flip it over and use an X-acto knife to cut the edges of the paint chips along the fin tail shape. Glue the tail to the other piece of thin white wood board. Just like the shark backdrop, glue paper plates to make waves. Start at the top, and work your way down.



Step 3: Add tablecloths to each table. Layer three tablecloths on each side. Cut the bottom of each layer in waves, or scallops. Each layer should be visible.


Step 4: Accessorize the tables. Shark koozies and bubbles made for the perfect shark table accessories, plus they doubled as great party favors. Another fun detail on the table was a pint container filled with a t-shirt, and topped with a blue paper shark. The shark’s edges were sealed with hot glue, but before it was totally sealed, it was filled with swedish fish. All boys had to do was rip, eat and enjoy!

For the mermaids, the table was set with pink cups with shells glued in the center, DIY seashell crowns (also a party favor), DIY shell and bead necklaces, a plush mermaid and cupcakes with tails. To make the DIY seashells crowns, use a hot glue gun to glue shells on crowns from Oriental Trading. Play with the shells and design the crowns of your mermaid dreams.









Step 5: Decorate the entire party area. Hang pom poms, fish nets and happy birthday banners.


Step 6: Play games. Aside from all the pool fun, set up a fishbowl game. Set up plastic cups in cascading order, 8, 7, 6, 5 and so on. Fill them with water, and then set a prize inside each cup. The cups at our party were filled with seashells and mini shark toys. Draw a line on the ground several feet away from the table, and get the kids throwing for some fun prizes.




Step 7: Send friends off with favors. Every family went home with a special bag of Shark vs. Mermaid Tic Tac Toe. The shark photo prop at Oriental Trading inspired me to paint DIY shark rocks, and well we didn’t have to paint the shells because they were so pretty. The game packaged in drawstring bags with the Tic Tac Toe lines drawn on top with a Sharpie marker. This game is so much fun, and can be easily brought to church or dinner out to keep the kids occupied.






Oriental Trading sent us some items of our choosing for this party, free of charge. 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.