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 Earrings As Sweet As A Pineapple

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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. 

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Materials:

Directions:

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.

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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.

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

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

 

SHOP THE POST

Shark and Mermaid Party

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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.

Supplies: 

Directions:

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

Say Goodbye to Cold Hands with DIY Freezer Pop Holders

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Despite the fact that Back to School is all over the big name retailer stores and commercials, it’s still summer. We refuse to admit the fact that school starts in a month. We’re taking every bit of summer, for all the sunshine, popsicles and pool days it’s worth. We love it too much to let it go.

Our kids love popsicles in the summer, especially freezer pops. Although yummy, we know within minutes of opening their popsicles, our kids will request a paper towel because their hands are cold.

Well, it’s three mom’s and a pool noodle to the rescue. The DIY noodle freezer pop holders not only prevent cold, sticky fingers, but also they can be customized with names at a table setting for a birthday party.  They can be used year after year when the hot sun is shining and kids are outside playing! Plus, typography is just so fun!

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Materials:

Directions:

Cut a pool noodle into 6 inch pieces. It should be about ½ the size of the popsicle.

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Add letters to each noodle to spell BRR!, CHILL, COOL, FREEZE, and ICY.

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Frame the letters with Frog Tape in the shape of a rectangle.

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Use a paintbrush to dab paint onto the noodles over the letters and within the taped area.

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Wait a couple of minutes to remove the tape and letters. Don’t wait too long, or the paint will begin to peel off with the letters. The paint should still be slightly wet when you remove the letters and tape.

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Once the paint is dry, apply a layer or two of Mod Podge over the letters. It will dry clear, so no need to apply it all over the noodle. This will prevent it from peeling and flaking off.

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Insert popsicle and enjoy without the whining of cold hands.

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DIY Red, White and Blue Ice Bucket

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It’s about that time when red, white and blue are just about the only colors on our minds. Yes, one of our favorite holidays, July 4th, is coming up, and this year we’re adding a DIY fruit ice bucket to our party to do’s.

A DIY patriotic ice bucket is the perfect July 4th accessory, and it’s so easy and cheap to do. Guests will love the extra touch of red, white and blue, and they will enjoy their chilled beverage.

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Materials:

  • water
  • large bucket, we used a plastic one from Party City
  • small buckets {small enough to fit inside large bucket and large enough to fit a wine bottle or beer can}
  • blueberries, fresh or frozen, at least 2 cups
  • strawberries, fresh or frozen, sliced, 2-3 cups
  • weight, such as a rock
  • wine or beer

Directions:

Fill about 1/3 of the large bucket full of water, then drop in all the strawberries. Freeze for at least 5-8 hours.

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Place 2 small buckets on top of first layer of ice, add weight inside {we used a rock}, and fill another 1/3 of the bucket with water. Do not get water inside the small bucket because it will be more difficult to remove the buckets from the ice. Freeze for about 5-8 hours.

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For the final layer, fill the remaining 1/3 of the container fill of water, and then drop in blueberries. Freeze for 8 hours.

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Remove from the freezer. Pour boiling water inside the small buckets and gently twist to remove from the ice. Additionally, run the outside of the large bucket with  hot water from the sink faucet. After about 15 seconds on each side, the ice cooler will be easily removed, and the layers should look like this.

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Carefully flip the ice cooler out from the bucket with your hands and set on a tray. Fill the holes with wine or beer. We couldn’t decide because beer, well, it’s all-American and those Budweiser cans are so patriotic and awesome. But, the vino lovers that we are couldn’t resist the taste and look of the red and blue Relax Wine bottles of wine.

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Cheers!

Important Note: We took photos of this DIY ice bucket with wine we had in the liquor cabinet, and after review of photos, while the wine was good, for the ultimate patriotic post, the wine bottle {and beer} needed to be more festive in color. Enter, Relax Wines and Budweiser beer! However, the ice bucket had to be re-frozen during a several hour photo shoot intermission, and a thin ‘film’ of ice formed over every layer, so the color of the DIY ice bucket was dulled, and the lines of the red, white and blue blurred. You win some, you lose some. Either way, we love our bucket, but honestly, it will be more vibrant than our photos if you have the right alcohol the first time around.