Creative Kiddie Crafts – Superhero Costume

My nephew is about to turn two, and he has one of the biggest imaginations I’ve ever seen in a kid his age.  Last year, his obsession was with monsters/Monsters Inc.  This year, he is all about the superheros.  Spider Man and Batman are his favourites, but he kept telling my sister that he needed an “ornange” (aka orange) shirt so that he could be “Super Matthew” – and a birthday idea was born!

supermatthewlogo

I started by designing a “Super Matthew” logo in Adobe Illustrator. The colours were more just a guideline of what it “could” look like.

I ended up going shopping for fabric after creating the logo, and I found some cool orange and mint-green/turquoise based prints that I loved so much! I also dug deep into my mom’s old fabric stash and found some vintage options that were super cool. The vision was definitely coming together in my head.

Now, keep in mind, I don’t really fancy myself a sewer, so this was a bit of a challenge for me.

supermatthewmask I decided to start with what I thought would be the easiest part of the costume – the mask.

I picked out my orange and mint green felt, some matching embroidery floss and ribbon and went to town on making a reversible mask.

I based my work on this tutorial over at slowmama.com that I came across on Pinterest. I didn’t follow it exactly, but I *really* loved the tip about using packing tape to affix the mask to the felt when cutting the pattern – that worked so much better for me than pins!

 

supermatthew_mThe next step was to begin turning the logo I made in Illustrator into a textile version with fabric. This was a bit more challenging than I anticipated, because in graphic design, there are all kinds of tools to help you make straight, precise lines. With fabric, not so much.

I created two versions of the “M” – one for a cape, and one for a t-shirt. They definitely had a bit of a “handmade charm,” but they were pretty good, I thought!  I used fabric glue, rather than sewing the pieces together.
supermatthew_giftI created the cape using this tutorial from The Southern Institute.  It was pretty easy to follow – all I did was buy a large men’s t-shirt, cut off the arms and front, add a velcro closure to the neck, and glue on my logo.  Voila – instant cape!

For the wrist cuffs, I just free-handed them using felt, and stitched on a little M.

And for the t-shirt, I found a shirt that was one size too big for my nephew (so he could wear it for a while) and glued the logo on.  I folded them all up, wrapped them in some blue tissue paper and set them into a reusable box.

supermatthew_card Finally, I created a card using various matching papers and washi tape, carrying through the “Super Matthew” theme.

I also included a Spiderman board book, and an Incredibles book – both of which he was more interested in when he opened up his present!  Oops.  I think my family was more excited about the present than my nephew was… UNTIL my niece decided to put his cape on herself, and he realized exactly what it was that was in his present.  Then, he immediately wanted to put the cape (and the shirt) on, and he ran around the house yelling “FLY!!!” … it was just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!

 

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Personalized Digital Art: Tinker Bell Portrait in Photoshop

Screen shot 2014-07-29 at 4.29.42 PMFor family birthdays, I always try to go with a present that is personal, creative and significant.  So, when I was taking a Photoshop class in the spring, I created my final art piece with my niece’s birthday in mind.  The project was to take a personal, family photo, and transpose it into something entirely different.  My niece loves Disney, just like me, and she is especially loving Disney Fairies, and Tinker Bell in particular, lately (Just like her auntie!  Girl after my own heart)

When I received the assignment in Photoshop class, one of my first ideas was to take a picture of my niece and turn it into something whimsical and fantastical.  And what is more whimsical than Tinker Bell in a forest?!

Screen shot 2014-07-29 at 4.29.22 PMI started with this photo of my niece dressed up as Tinker Bell, posing on the front lawn.  And then I eliminated virtually everything from the picture.  Using stock photography, Photoshop Brushes, various gradients and techniques I learned throughout my photoshop class, I was able to create a forest scene with a little Nicole-fairy dancing on a magic mushroom.

I replaced the small Tinker Bell costume wings with dragon fly wings that I created myself by turning them into Photoshop brushes.  I downloaded various grass and mushroom brushes, and combined several pieces of stock photography for the final piece.

When it came time to have it printed, I had a bit of trouble finding a place that would print an extra large square photograph, so I ended up resizing it slightly to fit in an 11×17 picture frame.  I picked up a sparkly black frame at Michael’s, and had the photo printed at Walmart.

When she unwrapped her present, it took her about two seconds before she realized that it was actually herself in the picture, and then she was absolutely ecstatic.  It was so cute to see the expression on her face.

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If you would like a gift like this for someone special in your life, hit the contact tab, and we can discuss the details!

Petting Zoo Party

Petting Zoo Party by Superflash Creative

Back in September, Jennie emailed me and asked if I would work on a party theme for her little guy, Caleb.  Caleb was going to have a farm-themed party, complete with a petting zoo in his own backyard!  I was super stoked to design the invitations, bunting, tented cards and more.  I thought about what best conveyed a “farm” / “animal”/ “country / “petting zoo” theme, as well as something suitable for a little boy.  I came up with red, navy blue and beige as the main colours.  I started by hand-drawing and scanning all the animals.  I drew a cow, sheep, chick, chicken, pig, and rabbit, and after I scanned them in, I coloured them digitally.

Petting Zoo Theme Invitation by Superflash Creative Jennie wanted to incorporate Caleb’s picture into the invitation, so I had her send me a photo, and then I drew some overalls and a hat.  I put them into photoshop and combined them all, and the result was a truly customized invitation that she wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else!  It’s little touches like this that really set invitations apart when your guests receive them in the mail!

There was a lot of information to deliver on a single flat card invitation, so with the top half of the card, I played with the colours and fonts to really convey what the party was all about.  Below the dots, I included all the information that Jennie needed her guests to know, including address, time, food and clothing options.

The “Yay or Neigh” text was Jennie’s idea, and I thought it was such an adorable touch!

A few of the farm animals were placed along the bottom of the invitation.  Between the animals and the bandana graphics on the invitation, party-goers would recognize a lot of the elements from the invitation carried throughout the party with various party printables.

Petting Zoo Theme Tented Cards by Superflash CreativeI created a set of tented cards to be placed on the food table.  The middle was left blank so that Jennie could write in the food options once they were decided.  She chose adorable names like “haystacks” for Rice Krispie Squares and “Chicken Feed” for Chex Mix.  It was super cute!

I actually created 5 pages of Bunting for Jennie – below is just an example of how it turned out.  I did one sheet of the plain bandana print in the 3 colours, a few pages with each animal taking centre stage, and I also spelled out “C-A-L-E-B” using the same font as his name in the invitation.  And of course, the Farmer Caleb picture made an appearance in the bunting too!

Some other elements that aren’t pictured here are a large “3” and “Happy Birthday” with the bandana print that Jennie used as decor and for the centrepieces.  I also included black and white versions of all the animals so that the kids could colour them.  Oh, and of course, there’s a thank you card… but you can’t see that until all of Caleb’s thank you’s get mailed out!

Petting Zoo Theme Bunting by Superflash Creative

I really wish I had been able to attend Caleb’s party. I was told it was a blast for both the kids and adults alike.  And naturally, Caleb thought it was the best party ever!

Photos at this party were taken by local photographer, Rachel Price – hopefully she will have some on her blog soon to share with you all.

Are you interested in hosting a farm party of your own?  Or would you like me to design custom printables for your party?  Float over to my connect page to get in touch with me!

(Linky Party links are also found on the connect page – check that out to see where I’ve partied this week!)

Life’s A Beach – Photobooth!

Life's A Beach - Photobooth A photobooth can be such a wonderful addition to any party – and the good news is, it’s relatively easy to set one up!  For the Life’s A Beach birthday party, we picked a spot on a covered patio outdoor with nice lighting.  We nailed a large white sheet to the wall, and hung a fishing net, as well as the bunting for the party, available on Etsy.  Because the party was made up of 7-year-olds of varying heights, we also added a crate (covered by the white sheet) for the kids to step on – this allowed us to get some of the decor in the photobooth pictures.

Life's A Beach - PhotoboothThe best part about photobooths is that you get high quality photos from your party, where most will look directly into the camera – which is rare of party photos!  It is an interactive element to a party that all people, young and old, are happy to be a part of!  Add in a few props, and you can keep everyone entertained for hours!

If you have the capabilities, it’s fun to offer on-site printing – this allows for a take-home souvenir from a fabulous party.  It can also double as the “loot bag” for kids – and it’s a lot more memorable than candy or cheap toys.  It’s also fine to NOT offer prints from the party – you can email the photos or collect them all in an online photo album so that they can be shared afterwards.

 

Life's A Beach - Photobooth by Superflash Creative Life's A Beach - Photobooth by Superflash Creative

Life's A Beach - PhotoboothBecause I love you all so much, I’m offering up my photobooth props as a FREE DOWNLOAD.  You can click that link to download and print.   Cut them out, attach them to a small dowel rod, and you’re set! Add in a few other fun props (I found the Elvis glasses and luau garlands at the dollar store – and I made the chalkboard out of a dollar store tray, by painting it with chalkboard paint), and you’ve got yourself a rockin’ party that won’t soon be forgotten!  The props can be used for any party – they’re not “beach” themed at all.

If you use them, I’d love to see some photos! Post a comment and share them!

As always, blog link-ups can be found on the connect page.

 

craftionary

Life’s A Beach!

Life's A Beach, Superflash Creative, party, printables, pink, yellow, turquoise, etsy, bunting, For her 7th birthday, my niece requested a Beach Party theme, with bright pink, turquoise and yellow being the main colours.  Since I was planning a trip to Toronto that coincided with her birthday, I created the printables here in Florida, but also got to set up the party while I was visiting!  The Life’s A Beach party sprang into motion – you can pick up the printables for yourself over at the Superflash Creative Etsy Page.

The palate was super bright and colourful and it was really fun to come up with a design.  I chose the stripes to be somewhat reminiscent of a beach towel, and all the icons were of a beach theme, like sunglasses, flip flops, sandcastles, star fish and more.

Life's A Beach Party, photobooth, bunting, printables, Superflash Creative, beach, We only needed a short bunting for our party (you’ll see it in the photo booth!), but if you need a longer one, you can print out more pages and keep stringing!
Speaking of the photo booth – it was definitely the hit of the party! 7-year-olds really love starring in photos!

We set it up outside, on a screened in porch.  We nailed a plain white sheet to the wall, and then used an old fishing net and the bunting to decorate it.  We placed a sturdy crate on the floor and the sheet was long enough to cover it – this was ideal because some of the shorter girls were able to step up, and still have the bunting and fishing net in the background.  To the left, we set up a little Ikea table with a basket full of props.  (By the way – the moustache and giant dollar store elvis glasses were definitely the favourites at the party!)

Life's A Beach Party, Superflash Creative Life's A Beach Party, Superflash Creative Life's A Beach Party, Superflash Creative

Girls love their crafts!  For “entertainment” at the party, we came up with some beach-themed crafts.  It started with the paint a sea shell station, which was set up outside beside the photo booth.  The girls really loved this – some had never even seen a sea shell before! Some of the girls painted 4 or 5 shells themselves!

Life's A Beach Party, Superflash Creative Next, they moved on to the decorate a palm tree station – and it’s hard to say which craft they loved more!  We set out lots of tools for them to decorate with – from small pieces of paper that they could make a mosaic with, to glitter, sequins, gems, fancy scissors, markers, oil pastels and more!

After the girls ate, they moved onto the create a friendship bracelet station, to try and wind them down a bit.  Having craft stations set up is great, because it gives them something to take home (besides the loot bag) that they actually made themselves.  The girls really loved doing all these crafts!

Life's A Beach Party, cupcakes, Superflash Creative, Life's A Beach Party, cookies, palm tree, Superflash Creative Life's A Beach Party, cupcake, Happy Birthday Nicole, Superflash Creative

Life's A Beach Party, cake, beachy bears, teddy grahams, candy, gummies, Superflash Creative What’s a party without sweet treats?!  For Nicole’s Life’s A Beach party, we made a cupcake tower, with super cute, coordinating cupcake picks, and found a palm tree shaped platter to display my sisters famous chocolate chip cookies!

My favourite part though, was the cake I got to decorate for her!  I don’t normally consider myself to be a cake decorator, but I saw this idea floating around the internet, and I really wanted to try it for myself.  I used brown sugar for the sand, and two shades of turquoise icing for the water.  A few teddy grahams and some dolphin and shark gummies rounded out the cake.  This was a complete surprise for Nicole (I decorated it while the girls were painting shells outside!) and she was thrilled.  This is an easy enough design for anyone to make, and a great addition to any beach party!

That’s it from the beach for now! Check out some more photos over at the Superflash Creative Facebook Page and printables from the party at Etsy.  Look out for super cute photobooth pictures coming soon!

Life's A Beach Party, Superflash Creative, girls, teddy bear, beach cake, cute, 7 years old,

Masquerade Ball party

Sweet table closeup masked cupcakes A fun idea for a party theme is a masquerade ball. I threw this one just before Halloween in 2011, and it was a blast. I chose a colour scheme of red, black, silver, gold and white, and guests were asked to come in fancy clothes and a mask. The sweet table was set up in a corner and included a candy buffet, and various cakes and cupcakes (not yet pictured at left, as this was taken pre-party), all fitting within the colour scheme.  The space was further decorated with black candelabras & bleeding candles, red and gold helium-filled balloons, and table cloths in red and white.

Wine Bottle candles & book shelf In order to transform the space and carry the theme throughout the location, decor elements were added to every place a guest would cast their eyes. The main table was set up with a white table cloth and red runner. Candle holders were made out of wine bottles (with more bleeding candles) – and the bookcase behind was adorned with some feather boas, skulls and creepy cheesecloth, along with some extra masks we picked up at the dollar store for decorative purposes – and also for any guests who forgot to bring a mask.

Alcohol bottles Over by the bar, I took some bottles that we bought at the dollar store and made our own paper labels for them.  I filled each up with a different type of alcohol or mix (tonic water, vodka, cranberry juice and rum, I believe) – and these were set up on display, so that guests could either serve themselves or be served with other drinks behind the bar.

Some of my favourite men To set up a photobooth, I chose a section of wall with nothing else going on. I draped a white sheet over a curtain rod, and added some black cheesecloth over top.   A camera was set up on a tripod, a few feet away.  This could either be triggered by a remote, or by someone stepping behind the camera to frame the shot.  A photobooth is such a fun addition to a party, because people will act differently in front of a camera, and you will get some excellent photos and memories of your party!

 

I posed the question on Facebook the other day and would love to continue the discussion: In your opinion, what is the most important part of a party? Please feel free to answer here, or over on facebook!