Seamingly Crafty

Sew, craft, cook, and more!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!!

This year our family embraced the reason for the season!  Instead of spending a ton of money and allowing greed to run our Holiday we had a semi Homemade Christmas.  I say semi homemade because although a lot of our gifts were homemade I still shopped a bit.  It’s the habit I think and really greed that drives us to spend spend spend on Christmas!  I don’t mean the greed like Scrooge in the Christmas carol, or even the give me gifts greed either although there are some like that, what I mean is the greed to HAVE to spend so much thinking it’s the only way to have a good Christmas.  Anyway here is some of what we did to get the most out of the season and the real meaning of it.

First we prayed, a lot!

Then we scoured the internet for ideas!

Here are a couple of things we did!

My daughter and I found these really cool mini crossbows made from Popsicle sticks and barrettes!  so we downloaded the instructions and made one for everyone. We even made ammo and custom colored each one.

You can find the video here. However the instructions are not free anymore but I believe they are under $5 and well worth it!  So much fun!

My daughter is a home schooled senior and this year I decided to do a woodshop class.  So for her first big project she made a beautiful pine cabinet for my husband.

linked here, we altered the design a bit because some of the instructions seemed off and we used pine from the oops wood at our local lumber yard, so we had to change the doors a bit.

Using a dremel she etched a tree into the each side.

Using a dremel she etched a tree into the each side.

grill cab1

While shopping for materials in our local craft store we came across this batman light for nearly $200! Both my kids loved it, but $200 yeah right!!!

My gears began running and I built them lights for just $2.50 each! That included tissue paper, paint, the light, and the frame. I had the wood.

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I also made several crocheted items I will share later 🙂  A couple of cute sock monkeys, and for some Holiday entertainment an elf on the shelf was crocheted and named Larry, he made his first appearance Dec. 1st. 🙂

We made a gingerbread house from scratch, that was a fun family night!

What did you do to make your Holiday special?

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Having A Fun Frugal Halloween

So my intention was to get on here and share all of my money saving tips for Halloween!  Of course around here, I sometimes get so busy, I barely have time to breathe 😉

Well I decided that even tho I didn’t share my Halloween throughout October, I’d share what I did to save money this season, still have a great party, great decor, and amazing costumes on a dime!

The Decor

We are a Halloween loving family! We literally could transform our home into a haunted house inside and out every year.  Although we don’t go quite that far we do decorate a lot.  This year we made a trip to the dollar store and grabbed some cool murals to decorate the walls with.  These added so much more depth to our house and just some clear tape and a couple bucks and we had a spooky backdrop on several walls.  These did double duty when we had our party cause they gave our guests several options for photo ops. 🙂

This one we taped onto the brick right outside our front door. *TIP* Dollar store boxing tape stuck and stayed on the brick! Be sure to tape all around to keep the wind from getting under it and ripping it off the wall.

We hung up several different jointed life sized cutouts as well.

these make fun decorations, and fun for party pictures when they are posed 🙂

DON’T THROW AWAY THAT BROKEN BATTERED HALLOWEEN DECORATION!!

As with most years our decorations get roughed up outside from the wind.  This year one of our decorations was in desperate need of some TLC.  Most people would just toss them out when they get as battered as this guy was!  Since I don’t have a picture of him I can explain what we did.  He started as a 2′ hanging skeleton reaper.  He has plastic hands and foam head and originally was draped with a greenish soft papery type fabric and a cheese cloth over that.  The green papery fabric (I don’t know what else to call it) was torn up really bad and since it wasn’t really a fabric more like a glorified paper towel there was no way to doctor it up with matching material.  So what we did was used some scrap black fabric, and black creepy cloth from the dollar store to replace his existing fabric.  We kept the cheese cloth as that was real and the older it is the spookier it looks 🙂  We used hot glue to attach the fabric and creepy cloth and I used a wire hanger cut and bent into a new hanger for him which I attached securely.  We now had a new from old decoration.  If you don’t want to re-do your similar decoration that is too battered to use simply cut off the re-useable parts.  In this case I would have saved the head and hands along with the cheese cloth for a different project.  Any decoration for outdoor can be upcycled or recycled into something new or updated.  Don’t toss it out save $$ 😉

We used the cheese cloth we took off of the decoration to wrap around 2 large dollar store skeletons we painted green to make mummies. 🙂

Creepy cloth can be purchased at the dollar store.

A must! It comes in black and gray.

CUSTOMIZE YOUR CEMETERY WITH FUN IDEAS

We had to touch up some of our outdoor headstones too.  This just required paint which I had on hand and some outdoor clear coat spray which I also had on hand.  We made a couple of new headstones this year.  We are scary movie buffs 😉 so of course our cemetery reflects that.  On our headstones we have:

Fred E. Krueger  his headstone is dressed up with a hand painted Elm St. Street sign and of course his razor knives glove laying on the grass in front of the headstone I made it with an old winter glove spray painted brown and cut out of foam board the knives.

Micheal Myers  his headstone is dressed up with his iconic butchers knife purchased from the dollar store it came white glow in the dark I painted it with silver and blood red.

Jason Voorhees his headstone has his iconic hockey mask screwed to the top corner and his iconic machete screwed to the other side.

Jedidiah Sawyer I haven’t come up with a way to incorporate his iconic chainsaw but I did lay some severed body parts from the dollar store by his headstone.  I’d love to hear chainsaw ideas!!

I made a small coffin a couple years ago to cover our fog machine. I also had purchased after Halloween a couple years ago 3 small headstones with tubes that attach to the fog machine.  even tho they were made for the machine I have, the machine melted the attachments.  I have yet to come up with a way to fix it but still put the headstones out.

Here’s a link to my Instructable on making the coffin.

NOTE* Please follow your instructions that came with your fog machine.  My dimensions were cut to fit a small fog machine and I was sure to keep the end protruding out to keep the fog end cool.

SPEAKING OF CEMETERIES…

My daughter and I love these little headstones at the dollar store.

We grab one or two every year.  They make a nice mini cemetery for the mantel or coffee table etc.  We added some mini plastic skulls and mini skeletons from the dollar store.

While browsing Pinterest I came across this amazing life size spooky tree at 102 wicked things to do blog. I knew I didn’t have time to make it for this Halloween but as my daughter and I were cleaning up after making a Halloween wreath I thought Hmmm…. how about a mini spooky tree for our mini cemetery! YES!  So I kept the cardboard rolls from the dollar store ribbon we used on the wreath and followed most of the her instructions and created my mini spooky tree!  I LOVE IT!!  I added some purple spider LED lights also from the dollar store.

WHILE WE ARE ON TALKING ABOUT MY TREE FIND

Also on 102 wicked things to do blog I found a tutorial on how to make candles that look real but use cardboard tube and LED tealight candles from the dollar store.  We made 5 of them 3 for our candelabra and one for the bathroom candle holder.  She hit it on the head when saying you don’t want anyone catching on fire at your Halloween Party.  I actually had someone almost catch their hair on fire on my toilet… yes… toilet…. I had a tealight burning on the back of it thinking it would be safe. yes I thought it would be cause I don’t sit back and relax on the pot lol so these candles were an awesome SAFE way to spook up the commode. Find the tutorial HERE.

For the Halloween Party Costume contest I used her idea for the trophies!  They turned out great!

We also made 2 extras that weren’t featured in her tutorial.  Our categories were:

Best Costume

Most creative

scariest

funniest

best couple

most original

sexiest

penny pincher

party pooper

We purchased several skeletons from the dollar store. Some wood bases from the craft store some creative props a small piggy bank from dollar store a candle holder and we used a small skeleton we had already.  On Avery.com I chose small mailing label size labels I printed on 6 labels

The Austin’s Halloween Party
BEST COSTUME
2014

I made one for each.  On the Penny Pincher tag I added “start saving for next years costume” and put a penny in the bank. On the party pooper (the little skeleton) I added “next year wear a costume”

I made the background a goldish color on the labels. Printed them out on plain paper, cut them out and used mod podge to attache them to the bases of the trophies.  My daughter and I had so much fun making these!  And even more fun awarding them to the winners!

For voting I used 3×5 cards cut slits down one side to make 9 tabs, I decorated paper lunch bags and taped them to the wall around the voting table.  Taped up simple rules for voting (ie. only vote once for each category) and left the cards and several pens on the table.

——>Click Here to go to 102 wicked things to do<——

SPEAKING OF COSTUMES

This year I spent a lot of time on my daughters costume leaving very little time for my own.  So I decided to go simple and be a Witch.  All I did was make a simple tutu skirt out of tulle and ribbon.  I purchased a hat from the dollar store.  Used some scrap black fabric and the extra tulle and modified the hat to fit my liking. I wanted it to be crooked and longer.  I used floral wire glue and grocery bags to form the end.  Here is what I made for a buck and some free colorful leaves from my yard 🙂

THINK FRUGAL! PARTY TIME!

To keep the food cost down, we chose to do a taco bar.  We purchased taco meat from our local GFS store along with taco shells and a big bag of shredded lettuce, cheese sauce and tortilla chips.  I diced 5 medium tomatoes 2 large onions and served shredded cheese, sour cream, black olives etc.  I kept the meat and cheese sauce hot in crock pots laid out the spread and done.  I also made some witches hats zombie fingers and even put out some powdered donut holes covered with a couple black spiders (spider eggs) 🙂

I bought a few different flavors of 3 liter pop and made fruit punch and iced tea.

All our supplies were purchased at the dollar store.

That was some of our 2014 Halloween!

To wrap up this post I’ll leave you with a few pointers and must haves list for the dollar store.

MUST HAVES:

skeletons large and small

wall murals

party supplies

mini skulls

mini headstones

spiders

crows

creepy cloth

ribbon

LED candles and mini string lights

TIPS/POINTERS:

The dollar store stock sells out FAST!  I missed out on a couple of things I really wanted cause I waited to buy them.  Start shopping for Halloween at the dollar store at the end of August.  The items that don’t sell out too fast are skeletons crows and spiders these they seem to re stock or over stock.

SHOP FOR HALLOWEEN CANDY AT 5 BELOW if you have one near you.  I try to avoid the dollar store for this because although you think you are getting a deal in some cases you aren’t. By the time you purchase enough bags of for example charms suckers to equal the amount you get in a grocery store bought bag you are paying the same price if not more.  Certain candies are ok to purchase at the dollar store like dum dums and pixi stix.  You can always price and weight compare before you buy.

SHOP NOW! Halloween clearance is up to 75% off right now!  You can get ribbon, decorations, etc. at a fraction of the cost! Even the dollar store clearances their Halloween stock.

Think simple for party food!  Stick to one theme. example tacos.  This will keep your cost low.  You can also make it a pot luck ask your guests to bring a spooky dish.  And always do BYOB (bring your own booze)  We do offer what we have to all our guests but I always throw BYOB on the invites so the guests know they are welcome to what we have but any special drinks they should bring.

Think simple for your decor if you host your party out in the garage or a tent.  We put up black poly plastic on the walls and over our not so sightly garage junk hung up some caution tape all around. DONE!  Our guests were welcome inside or out.

If you have your party outside or plan on having any outdoor activities ALWAYS have a back up plan.  We had intended to have spooky stories and pass the story game by the fire pit.  Hot apple cider by the fire pit, and Halloween movies on the back of our house using a friends projector for fire and a movie after games and stories for the kids.  However, the wind was horrible so we couldn’t put up the party tent and couldn’t safely have a fire and since it was so cold and windy we couldn’t do the movies either.  So instead we hung apples on strings for no hands apple grabbing game.  I printed out free coloring pages from crayola.com  and my daughter offered several board games for indoor activities.  I would have done more but I didn’t have a back up plan. 😛 the weather changes like crazy here!

That about wraps it up for this Halloween Post!

Until next time… Keep it Frugal!

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Custom Chandelier

As promised in Bedroom Re-Design Vol. 1 I am sharing how I made this custom chandelier.

I would suggest reading this entire post before going at this on your own.

It is always best to consult a professional.

I ASSUME NO RESPONSIBILITY IF YOU INJURE OR ELECTROCUTE YOURSELF OR A FIRE IS STARTED IF YOU ATTEMPT TO MAKE THIS.

Be sure to read and follow all instructions contained in your light fixture kits you purchase.

Now with all that out of the way, I used parts I had left over from 2 previous light fixtures I either made or altered.  If you make this project I have listed the parts I used, some of them may come in kits or can be purchased separately.

For this project I used:

  1. Two cluster fixture socket (pictured)
  2. swag light kit (pictured)
  3. electrical tape
  4. electric wire nuts
  5. wire strippers/cutter
  6. screw collar loop kit w/swivel crossbar (pictured below) you may also need to pick up a longer nipple (which is the tube in the left picture below with the threads on the outside)
  7. round box plate with center hole (pictured below)
  8. Two wire wreath forms I used 14″ (cheapest found at Walmart under $3)
  9. Pliers
  10. heavy duty wire cutters (to cut hanger)
  11. 3 wire hangers
  12. scissors
  13. 1 yard choice of fabric
  14. hot glue and gun
  15. beads of choice (Walmart cheapest)
  16. floral wire (thin gauge to affix beads)
  17. 4 yards ribbon (possibly less)
  18. jewelry Chain & jump rings
  19. rivet gun and rivets med. to large

To start out I opened the wire holding the circles on the wreath.  I used the outer and inner circles.  Those where not welded to the holding wire.  And were the perfect size for the chandelier I had visioned.

Next Icut wire hangers to get 8 pieces.  I bent the ends as seen in picture.

I attached 4 to the small rings and 4 to the large rings.

Before crimping I had to make sure the rings sat straight and even.  After fighting with it, I finally got it somewhat straight.

as you can see there was still one or two that just wouldn’t stay straight but that was fixed while adding the fabric and ribbon.

Taking the larger shade and the swivel crossbar I found my center, placed the center hole of the swivel crossbar on my center mark (this can be done on the floor or table by taping a piece of paper down, putting something on 4 sides of the shade to hold it in place then marking the center on the paper).  I measured the distance between the holes at the ends of the swivel to the shade added 2 inches cut 4 more pieces of hanger, made a loop on one end and crimped the other around the top of the shade. I then used the rivet gun to attach the other end to the swivel crossbar.

The next step was adding the fabric and the ribbon to the shade forms.  This was a daunting task.  I first measured then measured again then cut the length and width I needed leaving plenty on the length to fold a nice hem.  I then began gluing.  and.. gluing and.. yep you guessed it gluing some more.  It looked hideous. However the ribbon was intended to cover the wire form and hide the hideous glue 🙂 So I began to glue again first inside then out.

Next I assembled the light.  Using the kits and various parts I had from other projects.

I used screws to attach the wall box plate to the swivel crossbar.  This was to insure the chandelier wasn’t applying any pressure on the wires while hanging.

I ran the wires through the nipple and the swivel and plate. I followed the instructions that came with the swag kit and strung the chain and attached the switch.  Then I  attached the wires from the fixture to the swag with wire nuts put elec. tape over them just to be extra safe. I made sure everything was tight and in place.

I then measured the chain and attached it to the top cross bars and the bottom shade poking the jump ring through the fabric around the wire.  You can see it in the above photos.

Finally I decided on how to place the beads used the floral wire and poked it through the fabric where I wanted it to hang.

I plugged it while my husband held it up and turned it on to test it.  everything seemed to be in order and functioning properly.  We hung it up with the hooks that came in the swag kit.

For my second light fixture I made from scratch I’d say it turned out pretty good. 🙂

I did have a little pinspiration.

After completing this light I found that there were other light hardware pieces I could have used as opposed to riveting and cutting hangers.  But over all this was pretty cheap to make.

The one pictured above on ebay was going for $100

Mine was a fraction of that.

Until next time!

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Masquerade Mask Vol. 1

So as some of you know I have been home schooling my daughter for the past year.  This year is her Senior year, I was a little sad because being home schooled you don’t get the opportunity to go to Homecoming or Prom or your Graduation Ceremony.  My daughter has gone to our local High School for her first 2 years so she has many friends still attending.  I was so happy to find out she can attend Homecoming this year!  YAY!!

This years theme is 1920’s Midnight Masquerade.  The football game will have a carnival the night before!

So we are going to be making masks this week for the ball!

Since we have yet to begin the new masks I wanted to share with everyone some we made previously for her masquerade birthday party a few years back.

Enjoy!

Gothic Style Mask

This is the first of a few masks I’ve made.
Step 1: Supplies

What you will need:

paper I used a red and black filigree and Black textured filigree paper
mod podge
paint brush
5 plume ostrich feathers in multi colors 1 white, 2 black, 2 red
black glitter
multiple size black white and dotted feathers found at most craft stores
1 yard black and jewel ribbon trim found in most fabric departments sold by the yard
2 yards black chain trim found in fabric department sold by the yard
medium/large jump rings
plain mask
hot glue or cement glue
large metal medallion found in the jewelry making department of most crafts stores
ribbon
exacto knife

Step 2: Applying paper to mask

Your mask will have come with an elastic strap if it is in place remove it now.

Using your paint brush apply a coat of mod podge to the mask starting on the bottom right.

Press the black textured paper over the bottom right of the mask over the eye hole and all.

Making sure the diagonal goes over the nose a bit as seen in photo.

You may have to work with the paper adding more Mod Podge as you go and working the paper gently so it lays flat it will work down as you go. Gently press into seams and valleys in the mask until it is smooth and stuck good.

Trim around the edges of the mask with knife.

Cut a strip of red paper to go over the diagonal of the black paper as seen in photo. If your paper tares by the eye it is ok just keep pressing smoothing and mod podging 😉

Trim edges.

Add the last piece of textured black paper following the same steps.

Trim around edges.

Mod Podge over the entire mask allow to dry.

Step 3: Working the Metal Medallion and small feathers

While your mask is drying get your hot glue/cement glue, metal medallion, and small feathers.

Find a few big white feathers, black feathers and medium to small dotted feathers in the bag of feathers.

Arrange them in a spray starting with the dotted feathers gluing them to the medallion as you go. Add in the white and black feathers. You should have a nice looking spray.

Set aside.
Step 4: Cutting out eyes and Adding Glitter

Once your Mod Podge is dry using the knife cut out the eye holes.

Add a generous amount of mod podge around the eyes and along the diagonal red stripe. Glitter away… 🙂

Around the eye put some mod podge next to what you have glittered already feathering it out around the eyes as seen in photo add more glitter. Let dry completely before moving on.

You can mod podge over the glitter if you like, if you choose to, mod podge over the entire mask again.

Allow to dry
Step 5: Embellishing

Using hot glue or cement glue add the black jeweled trim around the right side of the mask and the right eye.

This is a daunting task. I found that doing a little bit at a time works best.

Using the knife poke 3 to 5 holes in the bottom left of the mask.

Cut 3 to 5 lengths of black chain varying lengths.

Put them on the jump rings and put the jump rings onto the mask in the holes you made with the knife. SEE PHOTO 2

Once your embellishments dry turn over the mask and use the knife to cut open the holes where you took off the elastic strap.

Tie your ribbon in each side making sure it is long enough to tie.
Step 6: Ostrich Feathers and Finishing up

Take your white Ostrich feather and glue it the to middle top back of the mask so it stands tall and the feather hangs to either side.

Next glue the two red Ostrich feathers so the natural bends of the feathers make them hang down on each side.

Next repeat for the the two black feathers.

Once this dries (you may need to use a clip to hold them in place till dry) flip over the mask and position and glue the medallion as seen in photo.

Allow to dry and you are done! 🙂

Till next time keep it crafty!

 

stay tuned for vol. 2

 

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DIY Fire Starters

20131118-232437.jpg
The cold weather is here! As I was browsing Pinterest I found these neat little homemade fire starters. I thought since it is also hunting season I usually send my hubby with something special I’ve made. Whether its a yummy snack or a simple I love you note tucked into his gear. This year I decided to make him these neat little fire starters.

20131118-233900.jpg

What you’ll need:
Cupcake tins
Wax paper
Wax (I grabbed a large jar candle from the dollar store)
Bamboo skewer
Lint from the trap in dryer

Melt the wax carefully the way you feel most comfortable. In this case I placed the jar in a pot of water and carefully heated it until it melted. Cut the wax paper into enough squares for each cup of the muffin tin.
Stuff each cup with lint
Break the skewer into six pieces and use one in each cup. Carefully pour the wax into each cup using the skewer to hold the wax paper down.

20131118-233835.jpg

Allow them to cool and there you have it! 🙂
Till next time keep it crafty!

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Hand Painted Signs and Potato Stamp How-to

Well I have been MIA for some time now.  There has been so much happening in my life, it’s taking a toll on me.  I have been taking a mental break so to speak. 🙂

I have found a little time to work on a few projects.  One of them is these signs.  Another thanks to Pinterest!

My husband brought home a few big boxes of these pieces of wood.  They look to be sides of drawers.  I instantly had ideas floating through my mind.  I am a big fan of these cute signs you see all over the net.  I think they look amazing with decor.

I tried giving them a distressed look.  The sign above I used a potato stamp for the small stars.

Here’s how:

Materials:

Potato

pencil

stencil (optional)

paring knife

paint

How to:

Cut the potato in half.  Using the stencil and the pencil 😉 trace or just draw out the shape you want to stamp onto the cut end of your potato.  You may need to scar the potato if it is really wet the pencil may not show up.

using your paring knife carefully start cutting away the potato around your shape.

once finished dab the the potato on paper towels to dry.  Dip into paint and stamp away!

The above sign is my favorite!  It represents these tough times in my life that at times seem unbearable but through the grace of God, my will to push on and great friends and family (anchors) I have remained sane.

Hope you enjoyed!

Till next time!

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Make a Wish

I found this gorgeous necklace on Pinterest and it inspired me to create one of my own.

I haven’t posted in a while, life hasn’t been treating me right lately so I’ve been off the grid for a while.

But I found this necklace appropriate for the times.  I look at it and remember all the wishes I still have in life that haven’t been fulfilled.  It’s like a reminder that no matter how hard life gets and no matter what lemons get thrown this way I still have my wishes to fulfill and memories of wishes that have already come true.

So here is my version.

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Throwback Thursday!

So I’ve been racking my brain trying to come up with a topic.  What’s better than a Throwback Thursday!

Upon my browsing of Pinterest I came across this photo of an old barrette… I thought to myself.. “I still have mine”  My Great Aunt made all of us girls these in white and red with bells on the bottom for Christmas one year way back in the 80’s.

Photo credit: Kid Giddy  Click Image for how to on Kid giddy

The image below is closer to the ones I have from my childhood.

Photo Credit: Agape Love Designs Click image for the how to.

There are so  many really neat throwback ideas on Pinterest!

These ties would make a nice gift!

tetris and pong Photo credit: Pinterest

Who can forget the friendship bracelet?

Were your wrists covered in them?  Mine were at one point.

Click the pic for a how to at The Purl Bee

photo credit:The Purl Bee

Here is a link to a how to for these friendship bracelet gifts!  I would turn these into end of the year gifts!  Or grad gifts/party favors!!!

Photo Credit: dandee

Well that about sums it up for this post.  I’m thinking we have a Throwback Thursday once a month.?  Maybe.

I do have an idea for my next one.. Yummy fondu! 😉

Till next time… keep it crafty!

 

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The Big Day… A Sweet 16 to Remember.

I do hope everyone is enjoying this weekend!  Well the big day came and went and I am satisfied with the results! It was a great party!  I am going to share all of my prep and party planning.  I saved big money on my daughters sweet 16 party by cutting a few corners and doing the work myself.

We started the day finishing up food prep and getting all the snacks ready. The menu was simple, I didn’t want to have a ton of leftovers and I didn’t want to over spend on food, too much food means too much time away from doing other important things.  So we kept it very simple.

MENU:

  • sub sandwich
  • mostaccioli
  • garlic bread
  • strawberry cheesecake salad
  • frozen grape kabobs
  • assortment of chips
  • crackers and cheese
  • salsa
  • water
  • assortment of soda
  • sweet tea
  • pink lemonade

For starters we ordered a 6ft sub from the Walmart Deli.  We had ham, turkey and American cheese on the sub and had all the condiments on the side so everyone could choose how they wanted their sandwich.  I found that it is much cheaper to order a full sub as opposed to ordering individual sandwiches or even a cut sub.  It is so simple to just cut it yourself.  The sub can be divided and wrapped in saran wrap and put in the fridge until it is ready to be cut later in the day. I cut the sub into individual sandwiches and arranged it on a large platter.   I made a large pan of my ‘famous’ mostaccioli.  ( I have several people that ask if I’m making it for every party, I think they secretly only come for the cioli.. lol) 🙂 I can make a large pan of it for as little as $10.  The most expensive thing in it is the cheese.  The mostaccioli was prepared the evening before and cooked in the oven the day of so it was a very quick and simple dish. For garlic bread to go with the pasta I used 4 cans of biscuits cut each one in half and stretched each piece a bit then sprinkled with garlic powder and oregano and baked as directed.  I made frozen grape kabobs the day before the party.  These are simple and easy to make and cheap if you get the grapes on sale.  Because they are frozen they keep for a while in the freezer!  Trust me this will be the first dish to go.  🙂  I found a recipe on Google for a strawberry cheesecake salad. Sounds yummy right!?  It is!  And very simple to make! Most of the prep for this salad can be done the day or night before the party.  I mixed the liquids and powder the night before and also cut the strawberries and sealed in a Ziploc.  The only prep that can’t be done before hand is the cutting of the bananas because they will brown if they sit too long so those get cut just before serving!  Check out the recipe below!

photo and recipe from food.com click here for recipe

I put out a tray of assorted snack crackers and a cheese spread.  Potato Chips, pretzels, tortilla chips and salsa were put in bowls and all set out on tables for a simple snack item in reach.  For beverages I filled dispensers with Country Time pink lemonade and homemade sweet tea.   I also had bottled water and 4 3 liters of soda.  I wanted to make sure we had a nice assortment of beverages.  Remember not everyone drinks carbonated drinks!

Our total cost altogether for our entire food and beverage menu was just about $75.  I purchased as much as I could from the dollar store and Aldi and I made sure to grab what I needed in advance when there was a great sale and I had a coupon.  By making my own large pan of pasta I saved $40.  Compared to our local caterer.  So any entre you can make, like baked or fried chicken etc. that is simple for you do it yourself!!  You will save big $$!

The next step of day was putting up decorations.  The party colors were black and purple so all of our decorations were those colors.  We found this neat ceiling decoration on Pinterest and did it in the party colors.  We also used streamers.

photo from pinterest

We had plans to set up a large tent in the driveway where the dance floor would be however due to high winds we were unable to use the tent.  But the birthday girl didn’t seem to mind.

We put black and purple table cloths on all the tables.  Using Avery.com I made coordinating signs for each table.  On the gift table we placed a sign with the signature pillow I created a while back.  The guests were able to sign it when they placed gifts and cards on the table.

The sign reads: Sign my Pillow Pick a spot, and write a note, over time I’ll enjoy reading what you wrote, please be polite and leave some room for others.

I created a nice candy buffet in rainbow colors.  The birthday girls favorite candy is skittles.  We put another sign on the buffet table along with some bags and ties that had a little thank you card attached.  The candy buffet had skittles, the dum dum tree, marshmallow horns (unicorn horns), life savers, gummy bears, pixie stix, Twizzlers and gourmet marshmallow pops.  I used black and purple ribbon and circle tags that coordinate with the signs also made on avery.com as seen in this post for the sweet 16 invitations.

We left a space on one side of the candy buffet table for the cake.  A friend of mine volunteered to take on this cake my daughter wanted.  She had several different cakes she liked and my friend put all three of them together and came up with this gorgeous cake design.

We put together matching plates, napkins and silverware with coordinating circle cut outs for the cake.

I set up a photo booth for the guests.  My daughter and I spent 8 hours creating photo props.  We wanted to have a large assortment.  We also spent a few bucks at the dollar store for some neat glasses and a few other props.  I made signs for the booth explaining how to use it and also one for props and one explaining the photos will be mailed out after the party.  I also made a little sign for the entrance saying open on one side and closed on the other.  The booth wasn’t open the entire day because I of course needed the camera to take pictures.

we had a ton of props!

This is how the booth was arranged.

After the party we sent out the guests photos on these neat photo strips I created using adobe elements.

Once all the party preps were set it was time to party! 🙂

The festivities started with the birthday girl being crowned, My hubby and I found the this beautiful tiara at The Icing in the mall.

Her Daddy is so proud.

Opening the gift from us. I couldn’t book her favorite band for her party but I did the next best thing and bought her 4 tickets to see them next month. She was totally not expecting them especially having this big box to open. 🙂 She was so happy she cried.

That is it.  The day was absolutely amazing and I am sure it was extremely memorable for her!

Coming up I’m going to be posting info on how to make the food and a how to for the photo booth.

until next time..

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DIY Address Book & Freebie

I believe I made a promise to upload a freebie! 🙂

I finally got it done and all worked out!

This is a Tutorial and freebie in one.  I had been shopping for a new address book for some time now.  I didn’t like what I found for the price that was on it!  So my imagination gears were spinning and I came up with a way to make my own address book.  Not only is it cheaper for what I want but it is also customizable to my liking and can be made customizable to your liking as well!  I was annoyed by my old address book because of a few reasons.  1. There wasn’t a section for websites.  I started forgetting my passwords and such cause of so many so for my address book there is a section just for websites!  Of course you can leave this section out or make a separate book for that. 🙂 2. I have like a bazzillion A’s and No Z’s in my address book, there was just not enough room for my A’s and A’s and B’s were together so my B’s would get lost in the A’s.  Now I can print as many A’s as I need!  3. When people move I can just simply print up a new page No more white out! 🙂 Or strike outs. 🙂  4. I now have a section for just birthdays! no more being a day late! 😉

So lets get started shall we?

First the FREEBIE I created!! 😀  Let’s get the files we need.  I have below links to download each of files you will need including a file with instructions on how to change colors and print the documents.  You don’t have to be a pro at word and I am here to answer any questions.

Address Book A to Z

Address Book Websites

Address Book Birthdays

Address Book document instructions

*note these documents were created from scratch by me!  Please do not claim them as your own.  If you use them in your own blog please provide proper credit and a link to my blog.  Please read my full disclaimer and copyright page. 🙂

Now that you have the documents downloaded lets get them printed up.

I wanted to make this as simple as possible.  If you are ok with the color they are then all you have to do is follow the instructions on changing the Letter and the Months.

Get your pages all printed out.

Here is a list of the materials you will need to do this project.

  1. all the printed pages from my documents
  2. 1″ binder
  3. Material of your choice
  4. A paper cutter with ruler
  5. cardstock
  6. 3 hole punch
  7. a page divider (this is just for measurements)
  8. clear tape
  9. ½” letter stickers
  10. hot glue gun and glue sticks
  11. box cutter
  12. hole punch reinforcement stickers

Sorry for the jumbled mess lol 🙂

First we will need to prepare the paper.

So on a nice large and clean work area get your cutter and print outs.  As seen in the photo below you are going to measure the left side of your page to 7 inches and cut.

Next turn the page so you are cutting on the opposite side line up to 6 inches and cut.  As seen below.

Do this with all of the printed pages.

Next we are going to punch the holes on the right side of the pages.

Your pages should look like this.

This is a great time to take a break.  Yes that took some time.  Unless you have one of the awesome cutters the schools have and where able to cut multiple pages at a time!  Sweet! Lucky you 😉

Next step we are going to start making the dividers.

take one of the dividers and line it up on a piece of card stock as seen in the photo below.  Use a pencil and mark a line down the card stock. This section should be ½” wide.

Now affix the uppercase letter A at the very top right of the card stock.  Using scissors make a horizontal cut under the A to the line you marked in the last step.  Using your cutter or scissors cut off the strip you marked.  If you use the cutter make note of the measurement for the cut this way you can just use that for the rest of the tabs instead of marking each piece.  Your alignment for it should be 8″ so you are cutting off a ½” strip.

Line your Letter A tab card stock up onto another piece of card stock and affix the Capitol letter B just below the A.  Cut horizontally on the top and bottom of the letter B ½” in close to the letter.

Cut off the strips as you did with the Letter A tab.

Depending on the size of your letters you should have Q at the very bottom when you get to that letter.  If not that is fine. Just continue the last steps until you get to the bottom.  Your next letter will be at the top of the next card stock page in my case it was the letter R. Continue on to Z.

Next using your lower case letters turned sideways stick the word “web” just under Z tab you just made.  Cut horizontally as you did for the letters and cut off the strips.  Do the same for birthdays.  I made my tab say “b~days”

Next step can be tricky.  We are going to cut the dividers to fit.  Turn the dividers so the tab is on the left side of the cutter and line up to the 6″ mark.  DO NOT measure the tab!  See the photo below for proper measurement.

Cut each divider then punch in the holes on the opposite side of the tabs.

Now we are going to move on to the binder.  So put all of your paper aside clean up your space so you have a nice clean area to work in again.

Take a break if needed and have a glass of wine or stretch 🙂

Open your binder and using your letter A piece of paper put it in the rings.  Use a pencil and mark the edge of the paper on the top and bottom on the right side onto the inside of the binder.  Measure from that to the right another ½” or so make a straight line and carefully cut off the end using your box cutters.  (you want to leave enough of the binder to cover the tabs when closed)

Close the binder and using the cut side as a guide cut the other side off of the binder.

Open your binder and lay it on the wrong side of your fabric.  Cut the fabric leaving about 2″ all the way around the binder.

fold in the 4 corners hot gluing them down trim the point off.

Run a bead of hot glue down the side from corner to corner and fold the edge in half. NOT over the binder yet!

this will make a nice clean edge.

Now run another bead of hot glue this time fold over the binder.

Do the same for all 4 sides making sure you pull the material taut so there are no wrinkles and it is nice and tight to the binder.

You can also spray glue the material to the binder if you like.

Make sure the edges are glued down good adding more hot glue if necessary.

Next step we are going to start filling our binder!

Before putting pages in put the reinforcement stickers on the front and back of your pages. These will help your pages last a long time. 🙂  You can put them on one side only if you like. Or not at all!  Remember the best part of this project is you make it your own!

I liked having the pockets inside so I left them. I sometimes get letters from people and I rip off their address and stick it in my address book so I can write it in later. lol I also sometimes like to keep important business cards in my address book and they usually fall out so I kept the pockets for this purpose! 😀

As you can see I only put my reinforcements on one side but I am going back to add them to the other side too because I have plenty left over!

Save any you have left for future use if you ever need to add pages to your address book!  They also come in handy when doing your own manicures.. but that is a totally different post! 😉

Here is my finished book!

As you can see I added an embroidered patch to the front of my book that says Addresses. You don’t have to do this or you can! It’s all customizable to you!

The final step is to put write in your addresses and enjoy your custom made address book!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and the freebie!

Till next time.. Keep it Crafty! 😉

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