Sunday, April 19, 2015

DIY projects: Minnie mouse birthday party!

For her first two birthdays we kept it very simple, but for several months now I've known that her third birthday would be a different story. In the past few months she has been to so many different parties and fell in love with them all. She would ask me constantly when she would get to have her own birthday party. I knew, without a doubt, we simply had to throw a celebration for her.  After a long process of elimination we decided to go with a indoor bouncy jumping party place. I felt quite pleased with myself for booking an all inclusive party that would provide everything right down to the goodie bags. This meant I had to do absolutely nothing except show up in time for the party. This should have been good news for most people, except of course for DIY addicts like myself. I just felt that everything was a tiny bit too generic for my liking and I needed to add a few personal touches.

The event location gave us the option to provide an image for the ice cream cake that was part of the package, so our search for inspiration began there. My initial assumption was that my daughter would want an image of Elsa and Anna on her cake. Like all the other little girls the world over who can't seem  get enough of Disney's Frozen, so I was surprised when I told her she would have an Elsa cake and she said she didn't want one. She emphatically made me understand she wanted a minnie mouse cake and a mickey mouse clubhouse party. For the briefest moment I had a flash back to the minnie mouse giant cupcake that I made for her last year.

Her minnie mouse giant cupcake from her 2nd birthday
I considered making that again but I quickly snapped out of that thought. There was no way I would have the time to make that cake all over again with a party to plan.

Instead I decided to keep it simple.
Marshmallow Pops
In addition to the adorable mickey & minnie mouse marshmallow pops shown above, that I found when buying Easter candy,  I decided to take on three DIY projects:
  • Mickey & Minnie mouse ears
  • Mickey & Minnie mouse birthday banner
  • Minnie inspired dipped pretzels

[1] Mickey & Minnie mouse ears
I initially just wanted  to buy these, but I couldn't find any that I liked, at a reasonable price. Most of them were too cheap and flimsy or they had pink bows which don't appeal to me as much as the classic red and white bows.  I decided to try making my own and searched online for inspiration. As usual, I saw that many moms before me had gone through the same thought process as me, and there were many different tutorials for DIY minnie ears. The most straightforward blog post I saw was by Average But Inspired. Her post was easy to follow and incorporated materials that I already had or could easily obtain. I decided to use her post as a general guideline.
For this project I used:
Black satin headbands (from amazon)
sheets of stiffened felt
Polka dot ribbon
Glue gun

I used a soup can to measure out two circles about 1/4 inch apart and joined them with two concave lines on a piece of used card paper. I cut it out and used that as a template to draw that shape on the felt. 

 I used tailors chalk to draw on the felt. For every two sheets of felt I was able to get 6 cut outs which made 3 headbands.


Once I had cut out as many as I needed I used my glue gun to attach the ears to the headband. For the mickey mouse headbands that's all I needed to do


For the minnie mouse ears I still had to attach the ribbon. I cut lengths of the polka dot ribbon to size and created the bows which I attached to the headbands for the girls

Making these headbands was quite straight forward but cutting out the ears definitely took some patience!

[2] Personalized Mickey & Minnie birthday banner
I saw so many darling options of these that I wanted to buy, but again I was put off by the cost of them and amount of time it would take for me to receive it. As usual, my first thought was to attempt to make it myself. This project was probably the most time consuming of the three. The materials I used were;
Black card stock
White punch out letters
Whole punch
 Polka dot 1/4" ribbon
Red 1/8" ribbon
Fray Check fabric sealant

 Firstly I had to cut out the mickey mouse silhouettes for the banner. I printed a template from and adjusted the size to suit my needs. Then I drew it out multiple times on black card stock and cut it out. I needed a total of 18 heads to spell out "Happy Birthday" and her name. Cutting it freehand with a scissors was definitely less than ideal, I thought about digging out my glass cutting mat and paper blades but decided to just stick to the less than perfect circles using the scissors.

Once I had cut out all the circles. I attached the letters to them. I purchased the pre-cut push out paper letters commonly used by teachers.  They are really easy to use, they are partially self-adhesive but can be easily made permanently sticky with the aid of glue stick included in the pack. The brand I bought came in both white and black letters as shown below.

Then I made little bows out of the 1/4" polka dot ribbon. I made enough bows so that every other letter would have a bow. I punched holes in the top of every other silhouette and and attached the ribbon.

Finally I punched holes in each ear and threaded the 1/8" red ribbon through the ears to create the banner! I used the Fray Check liquid sealant on the ends of the ribbon to prevent it from fraying. I think making the banner was totally worth the time and it looked cute up at her a party!

[3] Dipped pretzel sticks
I decided to include these as a party favor, to add a pop of color to the favor table and to be a fun salty-sweet treat for the kids.

For this project I used:
Utz pretzel stix
Wilton's Candy melts in red and white
Wilton's treat bags
Wilton's decorating bags

I already had a bit of experience with the candy melts when I made the candy shell for her giant cupcake last year, so the dipped pretzels were quite straight forward.  I decided to use a mug to melt down the candy because it was perfect shape for dipping and would keep the melted candy warm for longer.

Once I had melted down the red candy in the microwave, I started dipping the pretzels in it and then placing them on parchment paper to set.

I made a few trays of it and put them in the fridge and freezer to set faster. Once they were fully cooled down. I melted down the white candy melts in a decorating bag and drizzled it over the pretzels. 


After allowing them to fully set and harden I placed three in each bag and closed with the the bag ties.

My daughter loved "helping" me work on all three projects and had an awesome time at her minnie mouse themed party!!