Moana Birthday Party

We celebrated my daughter’s 7th birthday the first week of June with a Moana Themed Birthday Party.   My girl fell in love with Moana after watching the movie in the theater and she’s been belting out “How Far I’ll Go” at the top of her lungs ever since.  Her Grandma and Papa surprised her with the soundtrack for her birthday, which made the party even more special to have her favorite Moana songs playing in the background while she swam and played with all of her sweet friends.

I had so much fun planning this party and I’m happy to say that everything turned out just as I imagined it would.  I started making decorations several weeks in advance because May and June are always crazy busy with all of the end of school activities, dance recitals, and two kids with birthdays just a couple of weeks apart.

I used my Cricut Expression 2 to make the black and white tribal sewn paper garlands and the HAPPY BIRTHDAY KARIS pennant banner.  I also used it to cut some of the pieces for the Kakamora faces.  These were all made out of card stock that I purchased from Joann Fabrics.  I also found the tribal print material at Joann’s that I used to cover the contents of our two bookshelves.

The Dollar Tree is a great place for inexpensive tropical decorations this time of year and it did not disappoint.  This is where I purchased the tissue paper for the giant tropical flowers, the leis, the grass skirts that I used to surround the table, the plastic beach backdrop, plates and napkins, and the Moana and Maui “magic towels” that we gave to the children as party favors.

My favorite part of the whole party, was the Moana Boat and Sail Photo Backdrop (tutorial link below).  All the kids were greeted by my daughter and given a lei to wear and the first thing they saw when they walked in was a huge beach scene with a cardboard Moana boat and sail to play in.  I even made an oar out of a dowel, cardboard, and twine.  We got some super cute pictures of the kids in Moana’s boat.

If you are planning a Moana party of your own, here are three fun tutorial for you as well as a ton of pictures from my daughter’s party.  Enjoy!

Moana Marshmallow Pops Tutorial

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Moana Boat and Sail Photo Backdrop Tutorial

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Heart of Te Fiti Cupcake Tutorial 

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Trolls Craft: Poppy’s Popsicle Stick Frames

You know that scene from the movie “Trolls,” when Poppy and Branch are on their way to rescue their friends from the Bergens, and they camp for the night?  Poppy sets up a collage of Popsicle Stick Frames with pictures of all the missing Trolls and it keeps expanding.  That was the inspiration behind this Trolls Craft.  As soon as I saw that scene, the first time we watched Trolls in the theater, I knew that my daughter and I would have to make a “Poppy Frame” of our own.  So I started gathering the supplies, and my plan was to have a special “Trolls night” with my girl as soon as the movie came out on DVD.

I found a set of Trolls stickers at Joann Fabrics.  The rest of the supplies we bought from the Dollar Tree.  I also picked up this amazing find, a plastic veggies and dip tray to hold all of our craft supplies.  I have reused this dollar store treasure many times since for other art and craft projects and sensory activities.

The week that Trolls hit the Red Box, I surprised my daughter with a special “Mommy/Sissy” Day.  We rented the movie, made our craft, and also created a yummy   treat to enjoy,  Trolls Marshmallow Pops.

My daughter thoroughly enjoyed her special day and spent a long time making her Poppy Popsicle Stick Frames with pictures of her favorite Trolls and tons of decorative embellishments.  Here’s what we used:

  • colored popsicle sticks
  • colored cardstock to back the frames
  • Trolls stickers
  • buttons
  • beads
  • sequins
  • paper cutouts (cut from my Cricut, left over from another project)
  • butterfly charms
  • pom poms
  • glue (I used a hot glue gun for the frames and my daughter used Elmer’s glue for the decorations)

Here’s a screen shot of Poppy’s Frames and some fun pictures of my daughter’s creation.

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Book Page Banner

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I love books!  In this day in age when so many are reading books on Kindles, Nooks, and iPads, you will find me curled up in a cozy spot in my house with a traditional paper book.  The library just so happens to be one of my very favorite places on the Earth!  I think that is why my eyes are drawn to creative projects made from book pages.

Several years ago I made this pretty little book page banner to hang across my mantle for Valentine’s Day and I have reused it several years in a row because I love it so much!  To make one of your own, you will need a book that you don’t mind cutting up (I bought mine from the Dollar Tree).  You will also need scrapbooking paper in several colors or patterns. I went with a black, red, and off white theme.  Grab a couple of buttons and some twine and you are all set.

I used my Cricut Expression 2 to cut the L O V E letters, but made my own template for the large and small hearts.  The book pages are 6 inches long by 4 inches wide.  This gives you enough length to fold the top over to hang them on the twine and to cut a 1 1/2 inch triangle out of the bottom of each.  For my banner, I stapled the individual book page pieces over the twine and then glue the hearts on after to cover the stapes.  For the LOVE portion, I lined the staples up with one of the words to “hide” it as much as possible.

If you love creating banners for your own home, check out my tutorial on How to Make a Pennant Banner.

If you are looking for some other simple and fun Valentine ideas, here are some links you will enjoy.

Valentine Paper Garlands

Valentine Craft for Kids: Cookie Cutters and Paint

Valentine Words of Affirmation for Kids 

Chocolate Covered Strawberries 

Valentine Paper Garlands

Paper garlands have become one of my absolute favorite DIY decorations.  They are simple to create, inexpensive, and they are perfect for everything from holiday decor to birthday parties.  These elegant heart and circle garlands will add a little bit of love to your home for Valentine’s Day.  Watch my tutorial for some tips on how to make some of your own.

For my hearts and circles, I used the Cricut Expression 2, but if you do not have a Cricut, you can simply cut hearts and circles out of card stock.  I used 3 different colors of card stock, plain white, and a shiny gold & red that I purchased from the Dollar Tree.  Sometimes, when I make paper garlands, I use my sewing machine, but for these, I just used a needle and white thread.  I wanted to be able to space them out, so this gave me the option to slide them along the thread and place them where I wanted to.

Some friends of mine gave me this beautiful old window, which made the perfect backdrop to display a collection of Valentine Paper Garlands.  Happy Valentine’s Day from Kerri Creates!

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New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is always a much anticipated night for our family.  It is, of course, the one night a year that my little night owls are given permission to stay up until midnight!  We started the tradition of celebrating a “family friendly” New Year’s Eve a couple of years ago.  Some years we have joined together with other families.  This year it was just the 5 of us at home for the evening.

fullsizeoutput_d589I kept things inexpensive by hitting up our local Dollar Tree for supplies, and then I went to work.  I already had paper bags, card stock, and glue sticks, so our “On the Hour Bags” didn’t cost a dime!  My plan was to start our evening festivities at 6:00, so I made a bag for each hour from 6:00 pm – Midnight.  I googled “free printable clock templates” and then added the clock hands to each one before printing them out onto white card stock.  I traced around a bowl to get perfect circles on the shiny blue and sparkly card stock behind the clocks.  A few finishing touches later, and the bags were done.

What was in each bag?  Each bag contained something that had to do with the activity for that hour.

6:00 pm: Time Capsule Printouts & A Mason Jar     We started a new tradition this year, and it was a huge hit!  I looked up some ideas for the time capsule template on Pinterest, and then created my own for our family.  We began our evening by sitting at the table together and filling in our favorites, reflections from 2016, & resolutions for 2017.  Then we read them to each other, rolled them up and placed them in a mason jar.  Our plan is to open them up on New Year’s Eve 2017, read them together, and then create a new time capsule.  I’m pretty sure this will continue to be a treasured tradition.

fullsizeoutput_d58dimg_53897:00 pm: Glow Sticks & Balloons     This was SO….MUCH….FUN!  We put glow sticks in balloons and then had an epic living room battle.  Boys vs. Girls with Dad as the DJ.  We turned off all the lights and made a line of glow sticks dividing the floor in half, girls on one side, boys on the other, with 6 glowing balloons on each side.  When Dad played the music, we would try to get all the balloons onto the opposing side.  When the music stopped the team with the least balloon on their side was the winner.  The girls started off strong, but after 5 rounds, the boys were the ultimate winners!  I’m telling you…I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time!     

img_53948:00 pm: Popcorn & A Red Box Movie     Popcorn and movie nights are a family favorite for us, and my kids really wanted to see the movie Storks!  Perfect for one of our New Year’s Eve activities!

img_54039:00 pm: Gummy Worms with a “Dessert Break” note attached     We took an intermission from the movie to get dessert.  This year, I made a delicious ice cream pie with a clock face.  I used gluten free Joe Joe’s cookies from Trader Joes to make an “oreo” crust, filled it in with vanilla bean ice cream, and poured homemade chocolate fudge frosting over the top.  While it was setting in the freezer, I made a clock on wax paper out of melted white chocolate and placed it on top of the frozen pie.  We also included gummy worms for the “non ice cream eater” in our family.

fullsizeoutput_d5bc10:00 pm: M&M’s, Marshmallows, and Straws     Game Time: I found this idea under “minute to win it” games on Pinterest.  I set the table with two paper plates for each player.  One plate contained M&M’s and marshmallows.  The other was empty.  Each player was given a straw (cut to about 3/4 size).  At my “GO” the players had to suck up the candies and mallows to make them stick to their straw and transfer them from one plate to the next.  The first player to get all of theirs transferred had to call out “Happy New Year!”  Micah for the win!

img_541311:00 pm: A Big Bag of Skittles     Make a rainbow science experiment!  I had seen a couple of videos on youtube of this simple and fascinating science experiment, so I thought it would be a fun way to keep my tired children awake that last hour before the ball dropped.  Check out our “make a rainbow” video!

12:00 pm: Cups for Sparkling Cider and Party Horns     We opened our final bag about 10 minutes early.  Little Sister put on her party hat (she was the only one willing to wear one this year).  We filled our cups with cider and got ready to ring in the New Year!  We found a countdown on TV, and when the clock struck midnight, we ran outside yelling Happy New Year!!! Oh, and Micah finally got the chance to use that blow horn he got for Christmas! fullsizeoutput_d5ba

Dolphin Birthday Party

My daughter, Karis,  fell in love with dolphins after watching the Dolphin Tale movies last year.  The day after her 5th birthday party she declared that for her 6th birthday she wanted to have a dolphin party.  This was so much fun to plan!  With the help of the dollar store and Michael’s,  I was able to create all of the under the sea decor for under $20.   I used paper lanterns cut in half and ribbon to make 3 jellyfish. Crepe paper in two shades of green worked perfectly as seaweed.  White balloons in various sizes and thumb tacked to the wall formed a line of bubbles.  The net held several stuffed dolphins that my kids had won years ago at Circus Circus in Reno, NV.  The hula hoop and blow up dolphin were the perfect addition.  For the dolphin garlands I used card stock in several shades of blue and gray.  I cut these dolphins out by hand and then sewed them with a regular needle and thread.  These hanging dolphin garlands created a dramatic entry into our underwater experience.  I reused some circle and square garlands left over from my son’s birthday party the previous year because they looked a bit like floating bubbles.  I love when I get to reuse decorations from past events!   I decided to do mini cupcakes and marshmallow pops for dessert, and to go along with our dolphin theme, I created mini dolphins out of Wilton’s bright white candy melts.  I used Celebration Sixlets as pearls and Wilton’s white sugar pearl sprinkles as bubbles on the marshmallow pops.  I lined my round of styrofoam with a blue and white polka dotted ribbon and pinned on a sparkly blue dolphin.  I also glued a blue dolphin to a flat toothpick to place on top of the cupcakes.

Because the party was in June, and because we have a pool, the main event for Karis’ party was swimming.  I found 2 huge blow up dolphins for the kids to swim with, and although my daughter was hoping she would get to swim with a real dolphin, she was pretty happy with her two dolphin friends.  The kids had a blast and my big 6 year old girl was all smiles!  As the party was coming to an end, I brought out a crate of bubbles with a “thank you for coming to my party” note attached to each.  I would have to say that Karis’ dolphin swim party was a huge success!

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