Concentrating on my own crafts

For the last few months, I was moonlighting as a craft-blogger. Not here, somewhere else. It didn’t work out. I haven’t been feeling good about it for a while, and yesterday, after a disagreement with the editors and owners, I decided it was time to concentrate on THIS blog, MY blog, and keep my ideas for myself. I happen to have written a great summer entertaining post, so here it is, my content, on my blog, my way. Expect much more regular posting.

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Summer at my house is a never-ending rotation of guests at the pool. ¬†Yet no matter how many BBQ’s we end up hosting in one week, everyone always goes home feeling like I went all out to make it special SO SPECIAL just for them…. OK, I am about to out myself here: I really don’t go to any trouble… I make my kids do it and call it CRAFTING!
Here are 5 kid-friendly craft projects that lend themselves to any entertaining occasion. Just change up the colors to match your theme: Canada Day, a birthday, etc. The best part is that it keeps the kids out of the way while you do other things and kids love to boast about their fantastic participation in the event!
Tip #1, the colored cupcake liners: This one is a bit of a make-ahead project, but you can make a whole box and keep them for the next occasion. Original idea found on the Little Wren blog.
Put a few drops of food coloring in a bowl with water, dip cupcake liners, let dry for a few hours.
Tip #2: Bunting! Nothing says party like party decor. Forget those dollar-store plastic flag banners, you can make your own bunting with 1 pack of paper napkins, a long ribbon or string and a stapler.
2 variations on the napkin-as-flags bunting
Pardon the less than stellar picture, but these are two examples of bunting I made. The checkered one was just regular napkins, cut in half to double the amount we got, just slipped over a long ribbon and secured in place with one staple. For the triangles, I used the rectangular shaped napkins, opened them up and cut them into long triangles before stapling them to a wide gros-grain ribbon. This was slightly more labour-intensive, about 2 hours instead of 10 minutes. In both cases my girls took charge of the projects.
Tip #3: Fancy ice cubes. People will go crazy for a fancy ice cube in their drink! This can be as easy as freezing colored water, freezing dark juices like cranberry or blueberry (which adds bonus flavour to the drinks) or getting really fancy and using a knife for lemon-slices like I found on the Industrious Justice blog. Again, let your kids slice up the citrus and freeze.
For a Canada Day theme, why not freeze some red berry slices? Stick to the theme colors!
Tip #4: Set the table! Yes, I am already recycling my own ideas from an earlier blog post, but trust me, you put a pretty paper runner on your picnic table and all of a sudden people think they were invited to a fancy dinner. Also, make place cards. I let my kids write all the guests’ name down on either little cards or items that relate to the theme (ie they could cut out maple leaves, or NOW you could use dollar store flags!). I also let them pick the seating arrangement. It’s very funny to see who a 9 y.o. choses to place where. It makes for funny and interesting combinations!
Tip #5: Send the cupcakes home with your guests. Did you know you can easily carry one cupcake home by putting it in a plastic drinking cup?
It’s one of the most clever tricks I have found, via Bird on a Cake blog…. Makes guests feel very special and you don’t get stuck with so many left-over cupcakes. The point it to send leftovers home. You could package left over salad in a nice big beer cup, with a plastic fork on the side. I give the kids the big bowls, a serving spoon and the containers and I let them measure out the portions. Keeps them out of the way during the clean up and the left-overs get eaten. Not to mention you score major points as the hostess-with-the-mostess!
And now that I have reveled all my secrets, nobody will be that impressed when they come to my house next time.