Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Birthday Party Invitations Part One: Spider, Elmo, and Cookie Monster

Since our Girl Scout troop does not meet during the summer, I decided to branch out a little with my blog posts until we reconvene this fall... 

Over the years, my husband and I have hosted birthday parties for our daughters, and I have enjoyed making the invitations.  Since we usually limit the guest list to members of our family, I'm only making around half a dozen invitations.  The process isn't terribly time-consuming, especially now that my daughters are older and ask to help. 

In my last post, I explained that I've had friends tell me they're not crafty, but they would be willing to try (a craft) if they had detailed instructions.  I flipped through my daughters' scrapbooks and chose several invitations we've made to share with readers in a three-part series.  Part One includes directions for a spider, an Elmo, and a Cookie Monster invitation.  

*Please note that we often turn to the internet for inspiration.  Oftentimes, we combine several ideas that result in an original creation.  If we have simply put our own twist on someone else's invitation, I will give credit to the original artist.

For the three invitations described in this post, I used the following tools:

"It's an Itsy, Bitsy Party!" SPIDER INVITATION
Around the time of our younger daughter's first birthday, she loved the "Itsy, Bitsy Spider" song, and her favorite book was The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle.  Since her birthday is just four days before Halloween, a spider-themed party was perfect.

To make this Spider invitation, you need:
  • solid cardstock 7"x4" (green)
  • black cardstock: 3" circle and 8 rectangles, measuring 2.5" x 0.75"
  • Scissors--Deckle
  • googly eyes, any size
  • silver or white pen 
  1. Cut pieces as specified above.
  2. Use deckle scissors and cut along the 2.5" sides of each black rectangle.  Round one end of the rectangle with these scissors.
  3. Place 3" circle in center of solid cardstock and arrange the eight legs as desired.
  4. Use a glue stick to adhere the spider's body and legs to the cardstock, tucking the legs beneath the edge of the body. 
  5. Attach the googly eyes, using glue stick or tacky glue.
  6. Write party details on spider's legs or on back of solid cardstock. 
When our younger daughter was turning two, Elmo's World and Thomas the Train were her two favorite shows.  To celebrate her birthday, we invited her grandparents to join us on the Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad Pumpkin Patch Express.  I knew I wanted to combine Elmo and Thomas on the invitations.  While watching Elmo's World, I was inspired.  In each episode of the show, a small object related to the story's topic appears in Dorothy's fishbowl.  I was inspired!

To make this fishbowl invitation, you need:
  • red cardstock 6.25" x 4.25" oval
  • vellum 6.25" x 4.25" oval
  • light brown cardstock (I had scrapbook paper that looked like sand) for the bottom of the fishbowl.  Must be at least 6.25" long.
  • orange cardstock oval 1" x 1.25" for Elmo's nose
  • gold cardstock oval 1" x 0.75" for Dorothy's (goldfish) body
  • a gold triangle for Dorothy's tail
  • 2, 1" white circles for Elmo's eyes
  • 2, 0.5" black circles for the pupils
  • cute stickers to match the party theme like these Thomas the Train Stickers.
  1. Cut pieces as specified above.  If printing party details on the invitation, print first and then cut. 
  2. For the beige (sand/rock) paper along the bottom of the fishbowl, cut the oval, and then tear straight across (6.25") to make the sand/rock as thin or thick as desired.  The other half of the oval can then be used at the bottom of another invitation (you may have to make an additional tear).
  3. Position Dorothy, Elmo's eyes, nose, and the Thomas sticker where desired.  
  4. Use a glue stick to adhere these pieces to the red cardstock.
  5. Use vellum tape to adhere the vellum to the redcardstock.  (In the picture, you can see the vellum tape is visible.  For other options, check out this forum came across online).
  6. Write party details on back of cardstock.
When our older daughter Brooke was an infant, my husband would help out with some of the late-night feedings.  She was so hungry, she would growl at him as she ate.  He lovingly referred to her as his "Brookie Monster."  For her second birthday, Sesame Street was becoming popular at our house, and it seemed a Cookie Monster-themed party was appropriate.  I had snapped this cute picture of our daughter, and I wanted to incorporate it into the invitation.

To make this cookie invitation, you need:
  • light brown cardstock
  • dark brown cardstock for the chocolate chips
  1. The finished invitation is a 4" circle (because this photo was cropped to a 3.5" circle).  Cut the cardstock to measure 4.5" x 8".
  2. Fold the cardstock in half, creasing the folded edge, giving you a 4.5" x 4" square.
  3. Cut a 4" circle, making sure to cut through both layers of cardstock.  Leave about 2" of the folded edge so the invitation can be opened.
  4. Adhere the photo to the inside of the invitation with an acid-free adhesive.
  5. Use deckle scissors to cut a bite out of the edge of the cookie, making sure to cut both the front and back of the invitation.
  6. Use these scissors to cut chocolate chips to glue to the outside of the invitation.
  7. Write party details on one side of the inside of the invitation.
In my next post, I will share our Charlotte's Web and Cinderella birthday invitations.  Thank you for reading!

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