Posts Tagged With: DIY

The time we celebrated the birthday of one of our favorite plush animals… or a Teddy Bear picnic with DIY template

This is a throwback post from 2013 when we had a plush animal birthday party…

So actually it is much better than a Teddy Bear Picnic…. Drumroll please: we celebrated the 4th birthday of one of our most favorite stuffed animal, Billy the Squirl.


Luca had the idea, because shortly before, we were celebrating the birthday of my husband and had a huge casino poker party. Luca had helped in some preparation for this party and saw us crafting, baking, making….. So about 5 days after the birthday bash for Chris, he announced that Billy was celebrating his birthday the following Saturday. I asked him what a great birthday party needs and he came up with (in his order)

1. Invitations

2. Cake

3. Party Hats

4. Presents

5. Balloons and a banner/decoration


We created a guest list, which included Mickey Mouse, Schafi, Hippo and some other friends, but was limited to 12 guests. We also invited a real friend and his stuffed animal to make the party even more fun.


Luca started to make the invitations. It was so much fun to see the enthusiasm he had making them. Because the Teddy Bear Picnic was part of the Summer Bucket List, it was the perfect match.  Eva and I created a template for a garland, party hats, party signs and miniature cupcake topper, which is available for downloading. We wanted to make it simple enough that Luca could either make the decoration almost by himself or at least be able to help, since it was his party. The next several days, we worked on the party. One day, we made garlands, the next day wrapped presents and the day before the party we baked the cake. It was perfect, because the anticipation grew with each day and the projects were short enough to not lose interest after a while. We wrapped a small box of peanuts and Eva made some presents like an outfit, a backpack,  a miniature notepad, a necklace (I think Billy is ready for school now) and wrapped them all in several little gifts. They looked so cute… Another great idea was the trail mix from Kian and doggy, Luca’s friend. The day of the party, Luca woke up extra early and could not wait to get started… He helped us to decorate and together with his brother, they brought all the birthday guests, the cake and the presents outside. It was time to get the party started…




You need:

Templates – cut out

colorful paper – we used different scrapbook paper in different colors and different patterns

scissors, glue

stapler or tape

stretch cord for party hats

toothpicks for cupcake topper

colorful balloons – we used water balloons, streamers and ribbons, colorful fabric samples, etc…


How to make the garland:

Trace the template on different colors of paper and cut out. As more colors and patterns as more fun the garland will be  You should have a nice stack. Take both ends of a strip and form a circle. Staple or glue the ends together. Take the next strip of paper through the first circle to connect them and form another circle. Tape or staple the ends together. Continue to get a long and pretty garland.



How to make the party pats:


Depending on the size of the stuffed animal or doll, trace one of the larger circle templates on colorful paper and cut out. Cut straight into the circle until the middle. Repeat and cut off about 1/3 of the circle (sorry, maybe the pics are clearer than my instructions 🙂 ) Take the ends and form a party hat, secure with tape or glue. The stuffed animal gets his first fitting. To secure the strap, we hot glued a stretch cord to one side of the hat. Once it is dried, fit it again to get the correct size for the strap and hot glue the other end. Let it dry completely.



How to make the cake topper:

Trace the small circle template on colorful paper and cut out. You could also use a small circle punch. We cut a toothpick in half and glued them on the back of the circle. Stick them in frosted cupcakes or in small tea sandwiches.


How to make the birthday signs:

Trace both templates on different colored paper and cut them out. Glue the smaller square on top of the larger square and let them dry. We handwrote the signs, but I think it would be even cuter to use a spectacular font from your computer.  If your children are big enough, they could write something inside as well.



Cake and More:

We used half a recipe for a small cake and had some leftovers, which I baked in a miniature muffin tin to serve as cupcakes.



To make it more festive, we blew up water balloons (which was too hard for Luca), and tied them together to make a garland. Luca helped us by taping them on the umbrella behind the picnic area. We first used a towel or a picnic blanket and covered it with colorful fabric samples to keep with the theme. We brought the guests, miniature cups and plates, the cake and cupcakes, the presents and extra balloons for the blanket outside and we were ready to party…

birthday template

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Crafty Friday: Lollipop Easter Bunny Treats/Favors



It’s crafty Friday and we made vintage looking Easter Bunny favors.

We wanted to make Easter lollipop favors to give the kids in school and since we had some clay left, we played around and came up with the cutest, vintage looking Easter bunnies. They came out perfect and could be used as favors, inside Easter baskets, at the egg hunt or even on top of the Easter table as name card holders. I think, I will keep some as Easter decoration on the mantle.

You need:


Lollipops, clay, wooden skewer, paint and brushes, hot glue and gun, colored cardstock paper, cardboard, heart cutter, scissors, rubber bands, ribbon and embellishments


We used our beginner’s clay to make the head, tail, arms and ears. Here is the recipe:


After forming the balls for the head, we used a wooden skewer to poke a hole through them and let them dry on the skewer. (make sure to use a skewer that is wider than the lollipop stick). The balls need 2-3 days to air dry or a couple hours in the oven on the lowest temperature. (careful to not burn the paper clay)


You could leave the head round, but we wanted to give our bunnies a more defined shape with a nossel and jar. We used a little more clay and added it on one side of the ball.


Once everything was dried completely, we hot-glued the ears to the heads and painted them white.


We first painted the nose and inside the ears light pink and drew on the faces. Each bunny looks a little different.



We cut the fabric in squares covering the lollipops and tied them together with a small rubber band. You could so different fabrics for different outfits but this print worked perfectly for us. We trimmed the excess fabric to make a cute collar.


We glued the heads, bunny tails and arm on with small dots of hot glue and embellished the outfits with ribbon and tiny foam balls from the Dollar Store.



You could make the feet out of clay as well, but we used heart stencils and colored paper to make the bunnies even more colorful. We glued them on small squares of cardboard to make the bunnies stand independently . Depending on the shape of the lollipop, this might not be necessary.


The Bunnies are ready and they are almost too cute to be eaten.


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Crafty Friday – DIY Confetti Cupcake Toppers – soooooooooooooo cute


cupcake toppers

One of our favorite party decorations are cupcake toppers. They make cupcakes or other food “instant-party ready”. Most of the parties we do, have a theme and the cupcake toppers are like the extra cherry on top…. Most of the time, we design the cupcake toppers and wrappers to go along with the theme. They just need to be cut out, glued together and they are ready to party….


Not all of our toppers are round, we like to use shapes, glitter and embellishments too. There are so many options. Some of my most favorite toppers we made are the ones for the French Chic Elegant wedding set. The way they sparkle, I love it….
We like creating and crafting things that go along with the current theme we are working on  or an upcoming holiday….
You can make cute cupcake toppers yourself. Here is the tutorial for our

Confetti Cupcake Toppers

You need:
– dyed and colored paper or dyed coffee filters
– scissors
– construction paper
– glue
– toothpicks
– glitter
– stencils or circle punch
– embellishments like tulle, diamonds, crepe paper, lace, feathers etc.
Because we had some dyed coffee filters leftovers in all hues of pink and some orange that we didn’t want to throw away, we came up with the confetti cupcake toppers. essentially it could be also done with tissue paper or any other kind of paper, but we wanted to use our leftovers.
This is a pretty fast craft, which is perfect for making with kids. It would be lovely to make some toppers for a birthday of someone special and to involve the kids this way.
We folded several layers (three) of coffee filters 3 times (as many times as you want to still be able to cut through) and fringed one end. The next step was to cut the fringes off to make small confetti pieces. The more shades of color, the prettier the confetti….
We started by adding glitter to the confetti to give it extra sparkle. Punch out circles with the circle punch or use a stencil and cut them out. Spread a thin layer of glue and dip the circle into the confetti. After the circles have dried, you might need to cut some extra confetti off. Glue the sticks on the back and let dry completely.
Voila, you just made a cupcake topper. They are pretty awesome like this, but we do like to embellish them even more and used crepe paper, diamonds, glitter, tulle and feathers to make them even more spectacular.  We also wrapped the cupcakes in crepe paper for a quick and cute wrapper.
And what is better than a cupcake with a cupcake topper? A cupcake with THREE cupcake toppers. It was a joke, but it actually looks AWESOME. So now, let me have a cupcake….
Categories: crafting, crafty friday, DIY, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Make a DIY housewarming basket – house piñata tutorial with free printable



In 2012 I decided to make my sister a symbolic housewarming gift basket with gifts to bless her and the new house. Growing up in Germany, it was a custom to give bread and salt as a housewarming gift, which my Mum did when I moved out for the first time.. I researched other symbolic blessings around the world and made tags to explain the meaning. For a special twist, I also made a house out of a cardboard box because it was a housewarming gift (which I thought was so clever). It turned out beautiful, very special, unique and just perfect. I actually found the old pictures with a really small Luca….


We started to sell the gift tags in our etsy store shortly after and got tons of requests for different colors. And that’s what we did. We now have the tags in 10 different colors available and are working on a new design. Here is our etsy store with all of the tags as printable and ready made versions:


We are planning to make different basket themes/ideas for each color and just made a beach themed basket with the teal housewarming gift tags. If you are interested in pictures and more information, stay tuned until next Wednesday when we will feature the basket.


DIY House Piñata with free printable template


We also recreated the original house piñata for a unique housewarming gift. This is one of my favorite ways to actually present the gifts. It is cute and clever, because it is a house.

We used a packaging box that we found in the Dollar Store and received for free. I wanted to have low sides to see the actual gifts but you could make the side walls as high as you like. This particular piñata is 12 inch high.

You need:

box, ruler, marker, cutter, streamers in different colors, scissors, glue, free door and window template (see below), housewarming gifts as well as our housewarming tags


After I measured and marked my box, I used a cutter to cut off the sides I didn’t need and make the shape of a house. We used yellow and grey crepe paper streamers for the fringes. To fringe the streamers, fold them several times over to get layers and cut evenly, parallel lines halfway into the streamer. Carefully unfold the streamers to get the fringe.



Start at the bottom of the piñata and work your way up. Draw a thin line of glue along the side from one end to the other and glue the fringe line by line.


Cut out our door and window template and glue them on the piñata. After all the sides are fringed in the wall color, finish it off with a second color to simulate the roof.


After the piñata is dry, paint or fringe inside. I used yellow paint to match the outside.


And now for the filling of the Piñata:


We bought little glass containers in the Dollar Store and a list of the items we needed for the presents. We used our tags as guidance, but you could fill it with all kinds if things.

Here is the complete list for each tag, which has the traditional gift along with the meaning behind it.

Bread – May those in your home never go hungry
Salt – May there always be flavor and spice in your life
Rice – May the love in your home multiply
Wine – May you always have joy and never go thirsty
Candles – May you always have light through the darkest times
Honey – May you always enjoy the sweetness of life
Olive Oil – May you be blessed with health and well-being
Plants – May your home always have life
Coins – May you receive luck and good fortune
Broom – May your house always be clean and free of evil spirits

Fill your piñata, attach the gift tags and voila, a beautiful and unique housewarming gift.




Categories: crafty friday, DIY, pinata | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lucky cupcakes with a rainbow surprise – free printable green clovers


I wanted to post these awesome cupcakes on Sunday because what goes better with green, clovers and rainbows than St. Patrick’s day…. but because we like good luck every day, today is the lucky day to post about the lucky cupcakes.

May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light. May good luck pursue you each morning and night. – Irish blessing




They came out just as I imagined them.  A yummy green, lucky cupcake with clovers and a rainbow. And what can you find at the end of the rainbow or inside our lucky cupcake? Yes, a pot of gold or in our case sweet treasure.


Depending on how much time you have, you could make the rainbow cookies, cupcakes, and frosting yourself or buy them already made and just assemble.

You Need:

cupcakes, green frosting, rainbow cookies, sprinkles or decoration, candy for inside the cupcakes, lucky clovers (see free lucky clover template at the bottom of the post)




We baked vanilla cupcakes with rainbow sprinkles inside (which was the idea of Olivia, my three year old), but green cupcakes would also work great.


I made two shapes of cookies because I wasn’t sure which one would fit better or look nicer. A round shape for a bigger cupcake or an egg shape (using the bigger end) for a little more narrow version. In the end both rainbows are cute and work for the cupcakes.

Making the rainbows was a lot of fun. Once the were frosted, we let them dry completely before using them for the cupcakes.


While the cookies were drying and the cupcakes were cooling from the oven, we printed our lucky clover template, cut out the clovers and glued toothpicks on the backs to make cupcake toppers. We wanted to share them with you and they are available as a free download at the end of the post. It is a cute and super easy way to give your cupcakes the extra little touch.



I thought it would be nice to give my kids the choice on which treasure to fill their cupcake with. I had some candy and sprinkles from another project and they got a little crazy when they saw all the toppings. It was so hard to decide for them which treasure  to use. Personally I think some golden candy would work perfect as well.



We used a spoon to make a small hole inside the cupcakes and filled them up with the topping of choice.



After filling the cupcakes to the top, we covered them with the extra cucapke dough that we had removed before and frosted the cupcakes.


We decorated the frosted cupcakes with a rainbow cookie, sprinkles and our lucky clover.s.


And for the grand reveal, we cut open one of the cupcakes for the rainbow surprise.


and last but not least… here is the printable


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Beginner Simple Paper Clay Recipe




After a rather long break, crafty Friday is back and better than ever. We have lots of crafts and projects that are ready to be shared. A couple days ago, we posted about our candy theme this year and got lots of questions about how to make the paper clay/ paper mache from the candy tutorial. This is the beginner recipe which is pretty simple and only uses 2 main ingredients, paper and water. We have used this clay recipe in the past for example to make the mushrooms for our forest Christmas theme.


We also made various props for our Halloween Circus theme like the giant snake of the snake lady, the knifes of the knife thrower and the weights and medal of the strongman.


Lets get started:


Paper, Glue, Paint

You also need a paper shredder (optional), bucket, hand blender, kitchen towel/cheese cloth and a bowl

How to:


With our photo props, we accumulate a lot of waste paper which we love to recycle into paper clay projects. You can also use regular paper, envelopes (without the plastic windows), newspaper, brochures or any old scrap paper. All plastic and staples need to be removed before it can be either shredded or ripped into very small pieces. (the smaller, the better)



We usually fill a medium bucket about three quarters full.


For each  3 to 4 cups paper pieces, we use about 1 cup of glue. Paste should feel like a play dough consistency that shouldn’t be too dry or too wet.

We used the clay in molds as well as shaped it by hand. Depending on the size, it can take several weeks to dry. We have let the clay air dry as well as  let it dry in the oven at the lowest temperature. But be aware that the paper could brown or even burn if it gets too hot.

The texture of the clay is rough and grainy, which worked out perfect for these projects. To get a smoother surface, the dried clay object can be sandpapered. Afterwards it is ready to be painted.

We will share a couple of other clay projects in the upcoming month…..


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