Wednesday, June 7, 2017

DIY Eiffel Tower

I'm pretty sure, if you are throwing a Paris themed birthday party, the expectation is that there will be Eiffel Tower decorations.  I mean, who goes to Paris, without even glancing at the Eiffel Tower, right?

I have plenty of small Eiffel Tower statues but when I think Eiffel Tower decorations, in my opinion, bigger is better.

If you are crazy enough that you'd want to make your own Cardboard Eiffel Tower, keep on reading...

Grab a ladder and some large cardboard boxes.  With your first piece of cardboard propped or pinned to your ladder, from behind, begin to trace the bottom of your Eiffel Tower.  The space between the inside of the ladder legs is perfect for the cut out at the bottom center of the Tower.  Trace along the inside using the ladder legs to guide for width. 

After tracing each section or part onto the cardboard, I'd cut that section out before moving on to the next section, adjusting my design as I went. I used the outside of the ladder to determine the width of the Eiffel Tower, again, tracing from the ladder side to determine the shape I used.

At the base, I also kept the flap, folded backwards for the ladder to rest on, providing additional support.

I used two pieces of cardboard to construct my Eiffel Tower.  At the base the cardboard piece went width-wise and the top {connected with tape from the back} I used length-wise.

I would have been happy keeping the Eiffel Tower propped against the ladder but the Mister didn't like the idea of 14 nine year old girls being able to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower so he made a stand.

But, really, if you want to save yourself the trouble of making a stand, simply keep it clipped to the ladder...just like the picture below, the Eiffel Tower is propped against the ladder.

Once I finished tracing out the shape and cutting it down, I started working on the design. My ruler, pencil, eraser and some Google images of the Eiffel Tower were all that I needed.

In pencil, I drew out the design I thought worked best. I started with the bottom, which is why one side looks a little wonky, by the time I got to the middle, I worked out the kinks.  The key is to draw lines in sections all the way across the tower and work your Xs {or grid} spaced evenly between the lines.  

When my design was completed, I painted over my pattern with black paint.  I left the cardboard in it's natural state.

Once it was finished, I topped it with the French flag.  The perfect finishing touch.

Then, I let the Mister worry about how we would transport this 7 1/2 foot tall Eiffel Tower to the Paris party. 

Like any tourist, I was busy on getting the typical tourist pictures...because, if you are going to go to Paris, you need to get a picture in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Love Locks

Love locks may have been the cause of controversy in Paris but for the sake of Grace's Paris themed birthday party they proved to the PERFECT decoration and party game.

My first mission, find at least 14 locks.  Locks, though, can be kind of expensive and my party planning motto is to try and be as frugal as possible.  The best option proved to be ordering a case, which included 24 locks, from the Dollar Store.  The locks were just what a wanted but I decided to dress each one up with some fun paper gem tags that I made.  The tags added a little color and style to the locks.

Originally, I was going to hide the locks around the party room we rented and send the girls off with keys on a hunt to find the match.  One day, though, I noticed my neighbor had an unused gate leaning against her fence and inspiration struck {and fortunately, I have a great neighbor who happily gave me her gate}. 

And, that is how my Love Locks Game came to be.  With my new gate acting as the pont des arts, I hung 24 locks with the keys attached.

Since we had a few extra locks, I couldn't help but decorate one for myself, before the party.

During the party, each girl was asked to take a set of keys out of the lock and stand in a circle.  I called out various things like, trade keys with the person to your right or trade keys with someone wearing something French themed.  When the keys were sufficiently switched around, they were free to try and locate where their matching lock was.

Once they succeeded in finding the match, they were able to decorate their love lock with permanent markers. It was interesting to see what a group of 9 year old girls love...

The decorated locks could be rehung on the gate or taken home to perhaps one day be placed on a love lock gate in Paris.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Passport to Paris

When you can't take the little girl to Paris, you bring Paris to the little girl.  Of course, when it's her 9th birthday, you invite along 13 of her friends.

Thanks to Hello Little Home, I was able to make each guest a personalized passport including their very own picture.  I'm fairly certain, moms expect random requests from me, as May approaches because they all quickly sent me an electronic copy of their daughter's school picture without even asking why.  Happy Little Home has an easy to follow tutorial including free printables so you can make your own passport.  It truly takes a village to plan a one of a kind party :)

14 passports later...

Our customs agent was able to welcome all her friends to Paris.

Passports stamped allowing guest to enjoy a first class Paris party.

Grab your passport and join me in Paris via While Wearing Heels the next few days as I continue to reveal party details.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Party Planning: Make a List and Check It Twice

You are cordially see the madness that goes into planning Grace's birthday parties. 

I will be the first to admit, I take party planning seriously.  The creativity involved in throwing a themed party feeds my soul.  I thrive on creating details that will make the party truly one of a kind.

After Grace picks a theme, I scour Pinterest for inspiration and start writing out lists.   

My list includes the following:

1. The guest list.  We generally include all the girls from Grace's class, a small selection of friends not in her class and anyone that invited her to their birthday party.  This year, including Grace, we invited 14 girls. 
2. Games/Activities.  I try and make sure all games/activities echo the theme of the party.  Pinterest is a great place to find inspiration.  Some themes are easier to find games to go along with where others may stretch your creativity. 
3. Prizes. When considering games, decide if you'll have prizes for winners. Some of our games resulted in prizes where others did not.  If you opt to give prizes, you may want to bring along additional prizes to take into account if there is a tie for first place. Though prizes are not necessary, if you do give out prizes, kids take the competition seriously, you don't want to find yourself with a shortage of prizes and a disappointed guest.
4. Time Frame. With 2 hours to fill, I like to  A.) Conservatively estimate how long things will take, i.e. how long will each game last, how long for snacks/dessert. This helps me determine if I have planned enough things to do for 2 hours. and B.) Consider the order of events.  What game works best when the girls arrive.  When shifting from game to game, will the girls need to go from sitting at a table to a different location?  Does the order of events flow and make sense? 
5. Time Fillers. Hopefully your party goes off without a hitch...and if it does, you are a better party planner than I am! I always build in time fillers in case a game/activity doesn't go as planned, I have more time than I expected OR guests look like they need to be entertained. My time fillers will include: extra games, maybe games that ended up on the b-list, a coloring sheet or opening presents. 
6. Food. Personally, I prefer to arrange Grace's parties so they do not include a meal.  Last year, I broke this rule and quickly realized in additional to considering allergies, kids can be selective in what they will eat.  I've vowed, now, to only serve desserts and snacks.  Food is an excellent way to continue reinforcing the theme of your party.
7. Party Favors. Party favors generally are loved by kids and hated by parents.  This year, in consideration of the parents, we gave out consumable {delicious} party favors.  Though, one of my favorite party favors Grace has taken home from a party was rock candy and a geode from a rock climbing party. Consider the theme when deciding on your party favors they can be such a fun way to send your guests home.

Then, the best part of writing out your list, marking off each task you've accomplished. Is there anything more gratifying?

Feel free to RSVP to see more details of Grace's party unfold over the next few days.

Can you guess what theme Grace chose?

Thursday, May 25, 2017

In the Blink of an Eye

In the blink of an eye.

Sometimes in life you take a moment, look around, and realize so much has changed, literally, in the blink of an eye.

While Wearing Heels, a blog I started when my sweet little girl was 4, fell to the way side as I tried to embrace the moments of motherhood.  Though I desperately miss the creativity While Wearing Heels brought me and the friendships it led me to making, I have enjoyed watching this little girl grow up, in what feels like the blink of an eye.

I swear, it was just yesterday, this sweet girl was four years old, twirling around in princess dresses.  Now, this little girl is nine years old.  9!  She's still twirling around but I'm aware, in what will feel like the blink of an eye, she'll be before me twirling around in her graduation gown or her wedding dress.

For now, though, I'll enjoy this 9 year old twirling around in this very moment.
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