Gingerbread House Party

Photography by:
Amber Partish of Parrish Studios
http://www.parrish-studios.com

Gingerbread sweets table

 

A couple years ago, we hosted a gingerbread house party for my children, their cousins, and their friends. And I am just now getting around to blogging it!!

We setup our decorating table with mini Gingerbread houses filled with candy of all sorts and kinds. Each place setting had a printout of our shop’s gingerbread house – that acted as a placemat/charger for the adorable gingerbread plates from Oriental Trading Company. Beside each setting we placed cute gable boxes – also from Oriental Trading Company. We scattered some bottle brush trees that we had found at our local Dollar General Store. We placed a cute centerpiece of a girl and boy gingerbread plush figures along with gingerbread rolling pins and measuring cups. I had these in my inventory from several years ago from Oriental Trading Company.

 

We placed a sweets table on one side of the decorating table for the kids to have goodies while they decorated their houses.

 

Gingerbread party overall

 

For the backer for our sweets table, I re-purposed an old cardboard box by applying “frosted” (glittered) shingles made from tan paper and trimmed to fit as shingles on the roof. I then added a trimmed piece of poster board that was made to look like sugar snow covering on the roof, and I added some of our shop’s larger gumdrop graphics to complete the roof look. I printed out a window graphic for the top portion of the house and a door graphic for the bottom. I then re-purposed some old ball pit balls and cut them in half and hot glue them on all over the backer to look like candy pieces for the house. At the bottom, I hot glued on different peppermint, candy, lollipop, and candy cane graphics I had made. I also attached some candy cane ornaments from the Dollar Tree, and I made some other peppermint pieces by wrapping some of my handmade peppermint paper fans in cellophane to look like wrapped candies. And I stuck a lollipop stick onto a few of my lollipop graphics and put a little bow on the bottom of the graphic to look like lollipop candies.

 

Gingerbread sweets table2

 

The table itself held decorations of wooden peppermint candlestick decorations and some glittered tree mini standee decorations, both from Oriental Trading. There was also a Gingerbread wire tiered platter that I put into my serving inventory several years ago – from Oriental Trading.

 

Gingerbread table close up2

 

On our sweets table, we served Little Debbie snack trees that we placed on decorative Christmas straws to make “pops” out of them.

 

 

We also dipped mint Oreos and sprinkled them with crushed soft peppermints and placed those on lollipop sticks.

 

Gingerbread Peppermint Oreos

 

We had dipped rice Krispy treats that we embellished with some gingerbread icing decorations from Michaels and placed straws in those as well, to make pops out of them.

 

 

Atop the Krispy straws, we placed some of our gingerbread house graphic toppers from our shop.

 

Gingerbread house toppers

 

Our table also served spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, wrapped and topped with our shop’s gingerbread man wraps and face toppers. We also decorated a few with some handmade paper fans from our shops Christmas pattern papers and embellished them with some of our gingerbread man graphics. We also topped a few with another set of gingerbread matching themed graphic toppers from our shop.

 

 

Our ruffled white background was decorated with a few of our larger handmade paper fans and gingerbread men graphics as well. And the front of the sweets table was draped with some of our Christmas paper circles and Gingerbread Man face circles as a mini banner.

 

 

Many of our food items were tagged with our gingerbread themed food labels.
Off to the side of our decorating table, we had another ruffled background that acted as a separator for our party room. On that separator, we placed a Peppermint “Merry Christmas” banner that is also from our shop’s Gingerbread collection.

 

Gingerbread Dipped Krispies

And gracing the other side of the decorating table was our Hot Cocoa Bar.

 

Hot cocoa Bar front view

 

We set up our toppings portion of the bar area atop an old chest. We placed a chalk board as the backer and strung our shop’s “Baby It’s Cold Outside” mini pennant banner across it.

 

Baby Its cold outside banner

 

 

We then placed all our Hot Cocoa fixings across the chest: Nestle’s and International Delight’s holiday flavored creamers, and then several toppings in mini containers from the Dollar Tree – peppermints, peppermint sticks, chocolate chips, marshmallows, sea salt, marshmallow bits. We also placed bottles of caramel syrup, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, larger marshmallows, and gingerbread marshmallows. And there were shakers of cinnamon and nutmeg. We placed a few of our handmade peppermint paper fans around the setting.

 

Hot Cocoa toppings bar

Off to the right of the toppings bar, we had our coffee and cocoa center.

 

Hot Cocoa mix table

 

Here we placed our Keurig atop a sled for ease of hot water dispensing. We also had a container of dark hot cocoa and milk hot cocoa.

 

 

We also filled a glass bowl with coffees and cider pods for those who wanted something hot but a little different than cocoa. We placed a cup full of decorative Christmas straws for “stir sticks”.

 

Hot cocoa stir sticks

 

And we also placed a glittered tree decoration from Oriental Trading. And the front of the table was draped with our shop’s gingerbread themed pennants.

 

 

We tied some of our shop’s “Cup of Good Cheer” tags to our small foam cups. We received this idea from Lisa Frank Parties – an idea she had shared a few years ago on Pinterest.

 

Cup of good cheer tags

 

Many of our items on the hot cocoa and coffee center, plus the hot cocoa toppings bar, had our shop’s peppermint food labels displayed as well.

 

Hot Cocoa mix2

 

And finally, off to the left side of the Hot Cocoa toppings bar, we had a milk beverage cart. Here we served cold beverages of plain and chocolate milk.

 

Gingerbread milk dispensers

 

 

We had our plastic beverage bottles wrapped with our shop’s gingerbread bottle wraps and the straws gracing the bottles were topped with our gingerbread mean bow tie toppers.

 

 

We placed some peppermint tall glasses on the bottom of the cart for display purposes. These glasses were from Oriental Trading from last season.

 

Gingerbead milk cart

 

Because of the time constraints of the party, we went with using graham crackers to build our faux gingerbread houses. The kids had a wonderful time and we look forward to hosting another decorating party again – it was so much fun!

 

 

Many of the paper good items are from our shop and are available as digital downloads for you to purchase and print and craft at home. We do offer physical tangible products as well, for additional pricing.

Most of the additional décor was found either a few years ago (and placed in inventory) or recently from Oriental Trading Company. A few of the containers were purchased from Dollar Tree. And the bottle brush trees were from Dollar General.

The sweets were either all store-bought treats, such as Little Debbies, or they were homemade by Water Walker Event (we do not offer treat making services). The backdrop was handmade by Water Walker Events, along with the paper fans and all the printables – barring the gable boxes and plates – which were from Oriental Trading. The hot cocoa mixes were homemade mixes we made in larger batches.

Thanks for reading!
Shawna
Water Walker Events

 

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Day of the Dead – Dia de los Muertos – Masks

Day of the Dead – Dia de los Muertos – Masks

Today in our homeschool, we are going to introduce some of the aspects of Dia de los Muertos – Day of the Dead.  Then we will do a couple projects.  One of our projects will be to make or color our own Dia de los Muertos masks (instead of painting our faces).  I thought I would go ahead and share the page before I do my recap that way any of you who would like to use the printable for this year, could also take part in our fun craft.

I explained to my children that Dia de los Muertos is not the same or affiliated with Halloween.  And that our culture we live in has taken the two and combined them.  As I read in a few of the links, Halloween is about self:  decorating yourself, getting yourself candy, partying for yourself.  Dia de los Muertos is about giving to those who have gone on – to those outside yourself.  It is about remembering.  The skull – when affiliated with Halloween – is thought of as scary and morbid.  The skull – when affiliated with Dia de los Muertos – is thought of as a reminder, not of something morbid, but of those who were loved and have gone on.  It is a symbol of love and happiness of those past.

When I looked up why those who celebrate wear masks or paint their faces, I got a few different answers.  Some said they wear the masks to poke fun at death.  Some said they wear them in honor of those (representative) who have gone on before them.  Some say they wear them as a reminder that we are all the same and we all will face the same fate…death.  Either way, the masks we are presenting here are not given or taken lightly.  These are simply ways of allowing children to experience or understand another culture.  I will explain to my children that this is not like Halloween makeup, but that this is part of ceremony and culture and deeply ingrained in the beliefs of those who celebrate their lost loved ones.  This is not shared to be disrespectful, but as a means for those who would like to learn more about other cultures.

Here are a few links that tell about why (and how) people paint the skulls on their faces and also why the skulls are used and their meanings:

https://crueldazeofsummer.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/sugar-skulls-status-in-popular-culture-what-is-their-meaning-and-where-do-they-originate-from/

https://blog.redbubble.com/2014/10/day-of-the-dead-sugar-skull-art/

https://holidappy.com/holidays/Meaning-Dia-de-los-Muertos-Face-Painting

https://holidappy.com/holidays/Meaning-Dia-de-los-Muertos-Face-Painting

http://www.newsweek.com/day-dead-dia-de-los-muertos-sugar-skulls-696811

 

I have included a colored mask version (for those who only want a printed mask), a black and white version with designs for coloring, and a blank canvas one for those who wish to add their own designs and colors.  I hope you enjoy!

 

Sugar Skull Colored mask

Sugar Skull color your own mask with designs

Sugar skull color your own designs

Shark Week 2017 – Day 3

Shark Week 2017 – Day 3

 

Shark word find

We started our day pretty lax.  We didn’t do any shark activities until early afternoon…. at the eye doctor.  Big sister had an eye appointment so the younger two took along their shark word finds from Jinxy Kids to keep them busy.

Later in the day, we made our shark clothespin craft.  We went off the idea here from Kix Cereal.  But I have provided you with art you can print and cut yourself, if you do not have the supplies they recommend.  You will still follow the same directions – just use this artwork.

Shark Clothespin art

 

After we made our shark clothespin craft, we made some shark attach drinks for snack time before church.  There are a few different alcoholic recipes out there.  But we obviously like to keep things kid friendly around here and so we use kid friendly drinks.

Shark Attack Drinks

We start with having some clear round glass bowls (we got ours from the Dollar Tree a long time ago and I use them for many different type parties).  We also use my tall taster dessert cups from one of my mini dessert server sets.  We start by gathering all of our ingredients:  7 up (or some sort of clear soda), punch or red koolaid, Swedish fish (we use tiny mini ones from Dollar General), a package of Nerds or if you have time to order them, use Candyfetti from Sweets Indeed.  You can find her shop on Etsy and her candies are THE BEST!  Also grab a bag of gummy sharks – we found ours at Dollar General.

Start by putting a gummy shark in each of the mini tall tester glasses and pour some of the red koolaid punch into the glasses as well.

 

Then you will wet the rim of the taster glass (use your CLEAN finger or use a clean wet paper towel).  Over turn the round glass “fish bowl” and place the taster glass to the middle of the bowl.  Once you have secured the glass completely against the bottom of the bowl, gently turn the bowl right side up.

After you have righted the bowl, add your sea “rocks” aka Nerds or Candyfetti and also add in any other underwater life you wish – we used our mini Swedish fish.  You will then add in your clear soda.  You can stop here at this step before doing your “shark attack” or you can add blue food coloring to make the drink more “bluish tinted”.  The blue does tend to make seeing a little harder and the red “attack” less of an “attack”.

Once you have your drink ready, you can uplift your taster glass and let your gummy shark and red punch rush out.  The red will float through the drink and give an appearance of a shark attack in the drink.  If you wish to do a less gory version of this drink, simply omit the taster glass and red punch and just add your shark, pebbles, and fish all to the bottom of the glass bowl and pour in your soda or drink of choice – for an “Under the Sea” version of the drink.  Now just add a straw and ENJOY!

The water (drink) will appear murky – just as sea water might.  And you never know where your shark will be lurking!

 
  

  
  

That was the end to Day 3.  We had other activities planned, but due to unforeseen events (doctors appt etc) we just went with the flow of what we could get done.  We may try to carry over some of our activities into next week – just so we can still do them and learn.  Or we may save them for another time.  Either way we are enjoying our time spent together and learning more about and having fun with sharks!

 

Shark Week 2017 Day 2

Shark Week 2017 Day 2

Today we started our Shark Week activities by making these cute Shark Cootie Catchers from over at Easy Peasy and Fun.

 

The girls had a fun time crafting them. But more enjoyable was when they were done, they used them as puppets, singing different versions of “Baby Shark”.

 
  

We ended up not getting to our other craft for the day – which was this cute shark tube figure from Hello Wonderful.

 

Shark tube craft

(Picture is from Hello Wonderful.  This is not my picture.)

 

This site shows the tutorial for this craft.  I have provided (below) some printout in case you might not have these colored supplies on had.  Just print and craft you own.  These won’t be exact to his tutorial.  But will be close enough to figure out.

Shark tube figure 1Trim out the blue tail fin box and fold in half on the tailfin line.  Then trim out the tail fin shape.  Glue together the flaps and you have a two sided colored fin.  Do the same thing for the top fin as well.

Shark tube figure 2

Cut this cone out and shape into a cone that is just slightly wider (at the open cone end) than the width of your tube of your shark body.  Then push this piece through the body tube and pull out the other side just enough for it to act as a tail.  Do not pull the piece all the way through the body.

Next up  – later in the day – we made our afternoon snack to eat while watching our Shark video for the day

Shark Teeth Chow

We used this recipe from Show Me the Yummy except we added in a couple of chunks off a vanilla almond bark bar and added plenty of powdered sugar to cover the extra.  We melted the almond bark and the peanut butter together and our chocolate separate.  Then we added them in one at a time and then mixed it all up.

First we put a whole bag of Bugles in our large bowl.

We melted the chocolate, mixed it until smooth and also poured that over the bugles.

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Then we melted the peanut butter and the almond bark together, mixed it until smooth, and also poured it over the bugles.

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Then with a spatula, we mixed the coatings and the bugles gently until all of the bugles were coated really well.

  

Then we started to add in the powdered sugar.  We added about a half cup at a time and mixed, then added more and then mixed.  We just kept adding and mixing until all of our pieces were very well coated and dry looking and white appearing.  And just like the recipe link said, it will have extra powder at the bottom of the bowl doing it this way.  Just scoop out your snack into a large (or a couple large) ziplock bags and discard the extra powder.  We ended up using about 3/4 of our bag of powdered sugar.  But we did have to toss some of it out after bagging as well.

  

We spooned some up in these cute little blue ice cream bowls (from Dollar Tree).  These are perfect little bowls to keep around for dishing up snacks at snack time.  They help me portion control what the kids are actual having rather than just letting them use bigger bowls to dish up their own snacks.

This snack is a little sugary and way sweet.  The kids didn’t even finish their little bowls in one setting but ate them over the course of the afternoon and even evening as their dessert after dinner.

While enjoying our afternoon snack, we first worked on this fun and informative crossword puzzle from Kids Zone.  We didn’t know offhand what most were.  So we looked up the answers.  This still gave us information to discuss.  Plus we were often able to see a picture of the shark this way – which was a fun and beneficial side to this activity.  After we finished up this activity, we looked up Wild Krats “Stuck on Sharks” on YouTube and watched that episode.  That also was quite informative and was done in such a way that my 7 year old was able to remember several of the details and the information.

Yesterday, we also shared this adorable mini “Shark Week” Banner.  This is a FREE printable for your free use – with abiding by my copyright and usage clause.  Go check it out and download it today!

 

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Halloween 3D pumpkin craft FREE PRINTABLE!

Halloween 3D Pumpkin Craft FREE PRINTABLE!

A Week of Halloween!

Materials Needed:

Colored Printer

Cardstock

1 piece of regular paper

Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks

Green Ribbon (if making hanging version)

Toothpick(s)

Scissors

There are two versions of art to this – one is for a circular pumpkin for hanging or for walls.  The second has a flat bottom where you can stand the pumpkin.  If you want a standing pumpkin – print only the flat bottomed art.  But you can follow the same directions and pictures that are here for the hanging pumpkin.

Step 1:  Print each of the artworks twice (2 times) so that you end up having 8 pieces total.

Step 2:  Trim out all the circles and the stem.

Step 3: Fold the circles in half (if folding the flat ended pieces – be sure to match up the flat end corners so that the piece is mirrored)

Step 4:  Use a pair of scissor or some sort of scoring edge and press the fold down really well.

Step 5: Place a line of glue along the folded edge on one side.

Step 6:  Take a different patterned circle and place it atop the folded piece with the glue. Press along that edge really well to adhere well.

Step 7: Repeat this step matching up two at a time with a line of glue along the edge.  You should end up with 5 pieces of matched (glued) pairs that have been glued along the center line edge.  Be sure to mix up your patterns.

Step 8: Go back to each matched up pair and then secure the rest of the flap together by applying glue all over and especially along the rounded edge to glue closed.  Firmly press down the pieces together.


  

This is what it will look like once you have glued the piece together tightly.

Step 9:  Repeat this same process for all the paired up pieces.

Step 10:  Making sure you are mixing up your patterns still (not placing a same pattern right up next to the same other pattern piece), place another line of glue along the edge of one of the paired pieces and place another pair on top.


  

Step 11:  Repeat this process for all the matched pairs, continuing to just keep gluing a line along center edge and stack another piece until all the pieces are stacked. (See picture below).

Step 12:Flip through and glue the other edges together by again placing glue all over and around the rounded edge and pressing down.  

Once you have glued all the pieces fully together, this is what it will look like.
IMG_6081

At this point you can hang this flat up against a wall for décor, or you can continue on for a fully rounded piece.

Step 13: Glue the two final flaps completely together to close up into a fully rounded shape.
  

Step 14:  Go around all the edges and clean them up by trimming off unmatched edges and any white showing.

Here is a view if you are matching up the flat ended pieces rather than the fully rounded one that hangs.

Step 15:  When I print out my green sheets, my printed leaves a white border around the edge.  If yours does this, first trim off all the white edged borders.  Then proceed to trim out strips along the long edge of about a 1/4″ width.  These will be your vines.
  

Step 16:  Trim out your stem piece and cut in half.


Step 17:  Place glue all over one side piece to the stem.  Quickly place the toothpick in the middle of the stem towards the top and then place the other side of the stem atop to glue it closed and shut.

     
  

Step 18:  Trim off all unmatched white edges on both sides.

Step 19:  Put glue on both sides of the toothpick.  And then quickly insert the toothpick into the top of the pumpkin and into the center.


  

Finished look to top of pumpkin with stem inserted.
  

Step 20:  Take about 4 (or however many you want) of your trimmed green vine pieces.  With your scissors closed, use the edge of your scissors and press and pull the paper against the edge of the scissors.  Make sure you hold it tight enough to apply pressure, but not tight enough to rip the paper.  You will be using the same technique as if you were curling ribbon.
  

Step 21:  Place a dab of glue on the end of the vine piece (the uncurled end).

Step 22:  Place the glued vine to the stem.

Step 23:  Repeat this vine step for all four sides of the stem.

Step 24:  If you making the hanging version, instead of using the printed stem, take a piece of ribbon and fold over and glue, placing a toothpick in the center about 3/8″ up and then glue together at the end to make a glue loop with the toothpick sticking out the bottom.  Then place glue on the toothpick and insert as before and then hang!

I hope you enjoyed these pieces.  Please note that to save the printables, please click on the images individually to pull up full screen view.  Then just right click and save to your computer!

Copyright and usage disclosure:

Please note that while these printables are here for you to enjoy for your own FREE USE, these pieces are not to be resold or used in any fashion for resale or trade or for any use in any type of business or business art.  The intellectual rights stay with Water Walker Events – Shawna Fisher.  You are not given the rights to own these pieces of art.  You are only given the right to use them for your own personal use.  If you are interested in using these printables for a party you are styling for someone else or for yourself for a business, please just contact me first for permission.  I am open and welcome to you using the design in your parties with permission and as long as my shop and name are given credit for the design work, and as long as you are not actually reselling the pieces yourself in the party setup or pricing.  These are to remain free of charge to any and all customers – mine or yours.

Thank you,

Shawna

Water Walker

Events – Design – Planning

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