Friday, April 12, 2013

DIY - Dollar Store to Designer

My older son's birthday was last month.  Eight years-old, wow, I can barely believe how the time has flown by!

He is a nature lover - animals, plants, you name it and he probably knows more about it than any of us will in a life time.  March weather is tricky in New Jersey.  We can either have pleasant and sunny 70s or cold, windy, and sometimes snowy 20s.

This year I decided not to risk the home party and we hosted a handful of his friends at Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge.  It's not too far from our home and it was all about nature, just what my son would want.  Last summer we went there on a hike with friends and had a lovely time.

As I planned the party, I was trying to keep it simple.  The theme provided was Animal Tracks.  Light snacks that the kids and parents enjoy before a hike, check.  Of course we had to sing Happy Birthday!  Here's the idea I came up with for decorating the cupcakes sans food dye:

Cupcakes (don't you just love the paw prints?)

I was trying to figure out what to send home with the children as favors and it struck me... 
Nature Sketchbooks!

I purchased inexpensive notepads at the dollar store (look - made in the USA!) for each child.

Then with a few easy to find tools, I turned it into something much, much better.

I found free clipart and designed a cover to hide the dollar store blah-ness.
I printed out four per sheet of cardstock and cut each one to fit the top of the notepad.  
I used permanent adhesive to adhere the new covers to the notepad covers.

There was a gap between the top of the cardstock and the black adhesive trim of the notepad.  So I used a length of striped self-adhesive ribbon to hide the gap.

Voila!  Instant beautification!
Well, not quite instant, but it was quick and less expensive than ordering something custom.

You could also use this idea for a fashionista's birthday party - change the title to Fashion Sketchbook and the color of the cardstock, then deck it out with self-adhesive rhinestone bling.

Another aside perk to not having the party at our home was that we requested in lieu of gifts for guests to bring a bag of supplies for the animal hospital that's on the site of the wildlife refuge.  Everyone obliged, we helped the hospital and the animals, and have warm fuzzies from doing good instead of more toys to stumble over!

As always, thanks so much for stopping in!  I hope I've inspired you today.
Have a blessed weekend!


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