Category Archives: Co-ed

Polar Party

NEW to the shop! This Polar Party theme can be used for winter birthdays, ice skating parties, snow play days, ice hockey parties, or like I did… for a hot summer birthday, celebrated at an ice-themed play place!

My son has an August birthday, and here in Arizona, we are absoultely *sick* of the heat by then! So I thought it might be fun to go to a new Polar Play place, that acts as an ice bar for adults at night, and a chilly kid play zone during the day. The kids played frozen Tic-Tac-Toe, threw fake snowballs, and felt the frozen ice sculptures.

Here is my son and his friend Keenan, posing with some penguin ice sculptures. Can you see them? (The ice sculptures, not the kids, silly)!

The facility loans all guests parkas and mittens, which is good because that is the kind of thing that we wouldn’t have readily available at home. At least not in August!

Here is the invitation, which is available in my shop here:

There are many other versions available, depending on the type of party you are having:

I chose a watercolor look for this collection. The addition of the wolf was my son’s request. He wanted either a husky or wolf in this year’s theme. I included the narwhal because
a) Narwhals are awesome, and
b) Kids love this super annoying Narwhal song.

The 11-piece Polar collection can be found in my shop here.

And here is the collection in action, on the party table:

These Hershey’s Kiss stickers are available here (select POLAR PARTY from the drop-down menu). They are great on the party table, and in favor bags:

I had the birthday boy and his six-year-old friend apply the stickers. Of course I had to sacrifice a significant number of kisses for that endeavor (it went more like this: one for me, one for the bowl, one for me… LOL). But it was worth it to make them feel involved.

Powdered donut holes as ‘Snowballs’

Water bottle wraps (included in Polar collection, or available individually here):

The cupcake toppers are part of the Polar collection as well:

I made dipped pretzel rods as favors. I dipped them in white Candy Melts chocolate, and sprinkled blue sugar on them while they were still wet. Then I sprayed them with an edible pearl spray (that part wasn’t essential, I just wanted to try it. And it looked pretty).  I put them into cellophane treat bags and tied them with blue raffia. You can get all of these ingredients at craft stores, cake shops, Walmart, or online.

My eight-year-old suggested calling them “North Poles” and I thought that was hilarious! I love it when the kids chime in with something fun and creative like that. 🙂

Here are the pretzel sticks, drying on a baking rack the day before:

I made these polar bear cookies using an idea I found on trusty old Pinterest. We made a lot more than this, but the box got turned over en route, and the toppings fell off. D’oh! By the way, I would say that this craft was not as kid-friendly as I had hoped. Placing the eyes and noses was really tricky! The only thing the kids ended up helping with was eating the creme-free Oreo pieces. LOL

I got this white “8” at Hobby Lobby, and I bought some snowflake decor while I was there, because even in August they have Christmas items out. Yay!

I decided to give out slime as a party favor. Keepin it real here… I have never made it before, so I collected recipes from my slime-making friends, researched my options, bought all the ingredients, and made a test batch. It didn’t come out at all! So I hired a local tween named Jensen who makes and sells slime, and she came through for me on short notice! I put the slime into small mason jars. I included the labels I created for the slime in the polar collection, in case you want to do the same.

I was expecting a few younger kids at the party, and I didn’t want them to have a breakable jar, so I put theirs into plastic containers:

I picked up some small arctic animal figures at a local craft store, and included them in the slime. They sank into the slime, and made for a fun surprise for the kids. (And yes I know there aren’t any penguins in the arctic. But I didn’t name the toys. LOL)

Birthday boy in the party room:


WINTER PARTY GAMES

Here are some snowflakes that you can use as decor, OR for several of the following games: Download for FREE here!

Game 1: SNOW STORM

Print and cut out the snowflakes above.
Mark 2 lines in the room with painter’s tape, about 6 feet (2m) apart. (You can make the lines farther apart if the kids are older or need more of a challenge.)
Give each child a snowflake and a straw.
The goal is to blow their snowflake with the straw, from the starting line, across the finish line, without touching the snowflake.

Game 2: FALLING SNOW 

Collect two or more bowls (depending on how large the crowd is).
Print enough snowflakes above so that each child has 6 or more snowflakes. Have each child stand in front of a bowl and drop their snowflakes one at a time. The winner is the one who lands the most snowflakes into their bowl.

Game 3: SLED RACE

(This works best on a rug or on carpet). Use large cardboard boxes or flat pieces of cardboard. Divide the children into teams of 3 or more. One team member sits in the box (or on the piece of cardboard). The other team members push them across a line on the other side of the room and back to the starting line.  Then the second team member gets into the sled, and repeat. Keep playing until one team has pushed all their teammates across the room and back.

Game 4: CARPET ICE SKATING

Tear off a piece of wax paper, and let 2 or more kids race across a room and back with the wax paper under their shoes. Remind them to keep their feet somewhat close together, so they don’t end up slipping and doing the splits!

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And finally, this is me at the party with the birthday boy, as he makes a wish. Soooo many great memories were made on this day! I am so glad I put the effort in, because it wasn’t that difficult to pull together, and the kids who were there mention it every time I see them, so it seems that it was enjoyed by all. 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this Polar Party as much as we did!

 

This party also appeared on Skip to My Lou.

Play-Doh Party {Real Parties}

 

This joint boy/girl play clay party was done at the request by my friend, for two little cousins who were both turning three. Play-Doh is such a universally loved item amongst the preschool crowd, so I knew it was the perfect theme.

Here are a few pics:

Playdoh-party-table-by-Des

The 8×10″ frameable for the little girl:

playdoh-frameable-girl

And the frameable for the boy!

playdoh-frameable-boy

 

The moms decided to make jumbo marshmallows look like Play-Doh tubs, so I made them a printable that they could take to a baker and have printed on edible paper and with edible ink. Then they cut the strips out, and got the marshmallows slightly damp before applying the wrap. They finished off by dipping the top in sprinkles to look like the colored cap of the Play-Doh tub. They said the project was easier than they’d expected. And you can see how cute the results were!

playdoh-marshmallow

 

Here is the banner. The party was held at a mixed martial arts gym, which is owned by one of the dads, who is also a UFC fighter. The gym (called Fight Ready, located in Scottsdale, Arizona) is not usually a party location, but it worked out great because of all the padded mats on the floors. What more could you ask for when you have a group of 3-year-olds? And…. a cage for the naughty ones! (Kidding, but the cage or fight ring was fun for the kids to play in).

playdoh-banner

 

The hosts decided to go with cupcake wrappers instead of toppers, although you can use both at the same time, and both are included in the collection.

playdoh-cupcakes

 

They also had a Play-Doh tub shaped fondant cake for each of the birthday kiddos. So cute!

playdoh-cake

 

The hosts asked for a sign for the favors, so we came up with one that could be used as a regular sign, or could be wrapped around a bucket to make it look like a Play-Doh tub.

 

playdoh-bubble-wand-favors
And the mini Play-Doh tubs that are often used as favors…

 

 

playdoh-jar-favors

(Note that the collection includes 1 inch tags that can be put on the top of these favor-sized Play-Doh tubs.)

Play-Doh party table as seen on Renees-Soirees.com

 

I thought it was such a great idea to have a Play-Doh table available for play time. Even the adults decided to play for a while. 🙂

playdoh-play-time2

 

This is the full collection, available in my Etsy shop here:

Playdoh-collection

 

And here is the matching Play-Doh inspired invitation:

PlayDoh-invite-5x7

Thank you Desiree for allowing me to be a part of such a beautiful event! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to two of the cutest little 3 year olds I know!

2015-09-27-Leila-&-Hudson

Renee signature

First Communion / Confirmation

If you have a loved one going through a First Communion, Confirmation, Christening or Baptism, then I hope you will love this Religious Collection I created. It is an elegant grey and yellow pattern, and it works for boys and girls, and for kids or adults. It is available for Instant Download, or it can be customized and emailed to you.

Here are the components of the collection:

♥ Banner 
♥ Blank Buffet Labels 
♥ 2 1/4″ Party Circles / Cupcake Toppers
♥ Coordinating Paper 
♥ Thank You Notes 
♥ Water Bottle Wraps
♥ 4″ Party Medallions

Communion printable Collection by Renee's Soirees

Here are a few photos from the simple brunch I held after my son’s First Communion / Confirmation ceremony:

This is the table I set up, using the “Congratulations” banner from the Religious Collection, and the banner he made for his Confirmation.

Communion table by Renees Soirees

I included some homemade scones and cinnamon rolls, as well as some fruits and veggies.

As a table centerpiece, I took a photo of my son holding a rosary, and put it in a black wooden frame from Michael’s Crafts. He was given a bookmark by his confirmation teacher as a gift, so I hung it on the frame at the party.

Communion table with Gray & Yellow printable package by Renee's Soirees. Also works for Baptism, Christening, and Confirmation.

Here are the Buffet Labels from the collection in use. I got the plates at Hobby Lobby, by the way. 🙂

Food label - Grey & Yellow printable package by Renee's Soirees

Here are the cupcake toppers in action:

Communion cupcake toppers by Renee's Soirees

I cut them out with a 2 1/4″ scallop puncher that can be found in craft stores, or here on Amazon.

Then I used the decorative paper included in the collection, and covered a wooden cross I purchased from Hobby Lobby:

Decorated First Communion cross by Renee's Soirees (instructions included in post)!

{This DECORATED WOODEN CROSS is surprisingly easy to make… just print the decorative paper out in color on regular weight copy paper. Cut off the margins. Then turn the cross (or initial, or number, whatever you want to cover) face down onto the paper. Trace it with a pencil and cut out the paper. Then use a thin layer of Mod Podge to adhere it to the wood. I use sponge paint brush to apply the Mod Podge. Let that layer dry for a few hours, and then top with a protective layer of Mod Podge on top of the paper. Easy peasy!}

I also included some matching decorated Hershey’s Kisses on the buffet table. These are not part of the collection above because they have to be physically mailed to you. They can be found here for 200, or here for 300 of them.

Decorated Hershey's Kisses for a First Communion, Confirmation, or Baptism event. By Renee's Soirees.  (Don't worry if the listing photo on Etsy is of a different theme. You can choose the theme you want from the drop-down menu).

(Notice that some of these are personalized. You have the option of personalized stickers, or you can choose standard greeting stickers for a lower price).

Here is the matching invitation, which is available here.

Grey and Yellow invitation... can be used for a Confirmation, First Communion, or Baptism.  By Renee's Soirees.

I hope you enjoyed a peek at my First Communion party!

Renee signature

Batman Party

Superheroes are a popular theme for many little boys (and girls!). The Caped Crusader is a perennial favorite. My friend’s little boy wanted a Batman theme for his 3rd birthday, and so did his cousin (a girl), so they had a joint party.

This is the type of invitation I made:

Batman invitation by Renees Soirees

The invitation is in my shop found here.

The uber-creative moms and grandmother of the birthday kids made Batman capes and masks as favors for all of the guests. So I designed a favor tag to attach to each set:

 

Batman favor tag

If you make something similar, don’t wait until the end of the party to hand them out!  They were VERY popular with the kids, who wore them throughout the party. The photos of the groups of tiny superheroes were just adorable!

Here is my little cutie in his mask and cape:

IMG_5055-Deke-in-cape2

 

I also made extra signs to use as decor, such as this one:

Batman-Frameable-8x10

Here are the items included in the collection, which is available for purchase here:

Batman printable collection by Renees Soirees

I also have extra favor items available, such as these stickers, which fit perfectly on the bottom of Hershey’s Kisses, as well as on Rolos, Mini Recee’s Cups, etc. (These are printed by me and shipped to you, because they are stickers):

Batman Kiss Stickers by Renees Soirees

The stickers are available for purchase here (select ‘Batman’ from the drop-down menu).

And this theme is not just for birthdays! Customers have also used it for bridals showers, baby showers, etc.

Here are the Kiss Stickers that a customer used for a bridal shower:

Batman-kiss-stickers-congrats

There are more Superhero party ideas found on my Pinterest board, including ideas for the cape and mask project.

I hope this fun co-ed party inspires you to create something fun for your little Superhero!

Renee signature

{Real Party} Shark Party!

My toddler Deacon is a SHARK FANATIC, so there was no question what kind of party he would have for his 3rd birthday…

child-at-shark-party

Guests were greeted with shark ‘warning’ signs that we mounted onto paint sticks. Easy peasy!

shark-front-door-sign

We hung green streamers on the front door, to look like seaweed. And a final shark warning sign…

shark-sighted-sign

In the foyer, a welcome sign…

shark-welcome-sign

The Shark Collection comes in two different patterns… I call the left one ‘ripple’ and the right one ‘swirl’. These are the bubble wrappers, sold here.

Shark-bubble-labels-options

Here is the main table, done with the blue & green Ripple printables.

shark-main-table

And the second table, done with the Swirl pattern.

_MG_0192-shark-2nd-table

The ocean-themed foods were a lot of fun to think up and create. This watermelon shark was definitely the highlight of the table. And it was surprisingly easy to create! My sister Rochelle carved it in around 20 minutes.

watermelon-shark

Here are the ‘life preservers’ (made with powdered mini donuts and decorated with a tube of red gel icing).

I typed onto the food labels (included in the collection) in a paint/graphic program, but you could also just write onto them.

shark-food-label

The birthday boy and his cousin loved the life preservers. This is what I got when I asked, “Where did all the donuts go?” 🙂

shark-donut-eaters

These Shark-Infested Jell-O cups were a big hit with the kids. I just filled some clear cups with blue gelatin, and once it had set up, I added Cool Whip and gummy sharks and fishes.

shark-jello-cups

I also made some of the shark-infested Jell-O in a trifle bowl.

I filled the apothecary jars with blue mint M&Ms, gummy sharks, and Hershey’s Kisses with blue wrappers.

shark-table-closeup

shark-sub-sandwiches

I was trying include some foods that weren’t sweet. Do you like how I labeled the Chips & Salsa? 🙂

shark-chips-&-salsa

shark-party-veggeis

I took a photo of the birthday boy in his shark Halloween costume, and added it to the table. I liked how the frame resembled ocean waves, or sea foam.

shark-party-photo-frame

These ‘Shark Teeth’ were also popular, especially with those who like salty + sweet snacks.

shark-teeth-snack

These are just Bugels snacks, dipped in melted white chocolate / white candy melts. Here is a close-up.

shark-teeth-closeup

I thought blue popcorn might be a fun addition. You can make lots of popcorn colors by following these instructions.

shark-blue-popcorn

This beverage container was just water with a few squirts of blueberry lemonade Mio, and some fresh blueberries. The medallion on the front is one of the personalized items included in the collection.

I made the “3” with a cardboard number from Hobby Lobby, and I put Mod Podge over the paper included with the collection.

shark-beverage-dispenser

Here are the included water wraps:

Shark-water-labels-in-use

And the cupcake toppers, which I punched out with a flourish square puncher.

shark-cupcakes

Because Deacon has a large collection of shark books already, I put them out for guests to read or look at, as an indoor activity.

shark-party-books

We also set up a place for photo op’s, and let guests take pictures of themselves, or shots with the birthday boy. This is my sister Rochelle with the wee Man of Honor…

shark-party-photo-opp

But the MOST fun activity was when Dad put a shark fin on, and the kids got to chase him with water balloons!

shark-party-water-balloons

Shark-Dad-Deke

We put the pre-filled water balloons into a shark play pool, and once they were gone, we let the kids splash around in it. Since most of the guests were preschoolers, this was the perfect activity for a hot summer day.

This is the birthday boy dancing in his pool. 🙂

shark-play-pool

And here are the favors!

Favor-bag-contents\

I love adding custom bubble wrappers to dollar store bubble bottles. A fun and inexpensive favor!

shark-bubble-wrap-in-use

shark-party-tables

I think the birthday boy had a great time!
shark-party-table&-boy

 

And so did his big bro. 🙂

_MG_0194 boys in front of table
Here is the full collection (this is the Swirl version):

Shark-full-collection

If you want to see just one example of why we chose a shark theme for his party, watch this 45-second video:


And he thought I was taking a still photo, which is why he said ‘cheese’. LOL!
And yes that’s me snorting! Because kids are That. Funny.

 

I hope you enjoyed our Shark Party as much as we did!

Renee signature


{Party Partners}

Shark Printables ~ Renee’s Soirees
Photography ~ Rule of Faith Photography (Phoenix metro area)
Shark lunch sack / favor bag ~ Walmart $1.99 (in party goods section)
Bubble bottle ~ Dollar Tree, 3 for $1
Bubble Label ~ Renee’s Soirees
Shark Fruit Snacks ~ Kroger grocery store
Watermelon Shark ~ Instructions here
Shark wall hanging ~ Oriental Trading $6.50
Shark party blowers ~ Oriental Trading, $3 /dozen
Shark water gun ~ Oriental Trading  $10/dozen
Shark paper plate craft ~ Dollar Store Crafts
Baroque Frame ~ Hobby Lobby
Shark Fin on Dad ~ SwimFin

 

{Features & Link Ups}

Kara’s Party Ideas
Tip Junkie
Tatertots & Jello
I {heart} Naptime
Under the Table & Dreaming
Craft-O-Matic
The Girl Creative
Making the World Cuter
A Round Tuit
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons
C.R.A.F.T.
Mad in Crafts
A Bowl Full of Lemons
Skip to My Lou
Funky Polka Dot Giraffe
All My Bloggy Friends

 

Lego 4 inch medallion as decor

LEGO PARTY: Real Parties by Real Customers

Check out the gorgeous LEGO party styled by the very talented Christie at Flaired Affairs (Jacksonville, North Carolina). She used my Building Brick collection and took it to a whole new level!

Lego party photo collage

Lego table by Flaired Affairs

There are more photos on her Flaired Affairs blog.

Follow her on Facebook so you can see more of her amazing events!

Thanks, Christie for the gorgeous party inspiration!

And here is the collection she used to create this colorful event:

Lego full collection by Renee's Soirees

A Beehive shaped jar with a ribbon a tag and lotion tubes inside

{Freebie} Teacher Appreciation

I made this bee-themed gift for my son’s First Grade teacher.

Partly I was inspired to use bees because his teacher has a running BUMBLE BEE theme in her classroom (for example, each child has a bee with their name on it on the wall, and if they misbehave they ‘lose a stinger’ or are ‘out of the hive’).

And partly I wanted to go with bees because I found this cute beehived-shaped tealight holder at Target. It was in the Dollar Spot area, so they may not have it regularly.  If you can’t find one, a yellow or black gift bag with a bee tag on it would do just fine (and hold more, as well).

supplies to make a bee themed gift

In keeping with the bee theme, I filled it with Burt’s Bees products. I purchased the ‘Head to Toe’ kit at Target for $13. I tied a ribbon around the tealight holder and put as many of the items as I could into the jar. You could add a gift card or any other small item to the jar if you prefer.

Bumble Bee themed gift for teacher appreciation

I gave it to her with the bee letter that you can DOWNLOAD FOR FREE HERE.

bee anagram letter

I had my son write his teacher’s name at the top, and sign his name at the bottom. I also added the date in small print.

Click HERE to download the Teacher Tags.
(Then right-click and save the file).

Child and teacher with teacher appreciation gift

I think his teacher liked it, and I hope you do, too!

Renee signature

Valentine’s Day Treat Toppers

These treat bag toppers are a unique way to hand out valentines or Valentine’s Day treats, and they are suitable for classmates, coworkers, neighbors, teachers or friends.

various valentines treat toppers filled with candy

 

In my shop you can choose 2 of the topper styles from the following:

Collection of valentines day treat toppers
♥ Nerds saying (2 styles included)
♥ S’more toppers (2 different sayings – see below for an idea of what to put in the bag)
♥ Heart toppers (2 styles – can be used with conversation hearts, or do what I did and make homemade playdough and cut it out with a heart-shaped cookie cutter)
♥ Peeps toppers (4 styles included – you can buy Peeps in red or pink at drug stores, in 2-packs or multiple packs)
♥ Reeces Pieces topper
♥ Mint topper (I used York heart-shaped peppermint patties)
♥ Dum Dum sucker / lollipop topper
♥ A gift card holder for a teacher or anyone else who loves coffee or tea (2 styles to choose from)

S'more themed valentine treat topper

Each page has 2 toppers, so print up as many as you need (eg, 24 students divided by 2 = 12 copies) then cut them and staple them to the top of a zip-top bag. If you don’t have a color printer, put them on a thumb drive or camera card (like an SD card) and take them to a local copy store. It runs around 29c for a color copy, or 39c per color cardstock page at most print shops (UPS for example, but you could also price them at Staples, Office Max, Kinkos, or any local copy shop).

Paper with 2 treat toppers ready to be cut out

Here are downloadable instructions, but they really are very fast and easy to do. Even my first grader had no trouble helping me assemble them, and he filled out the “to/from” info on the back of each topper.

 

instructions on how to assemble a treat topper

 

UPDATE: Sonoran Living viewers, feel free to use the coupon code “ABC15” when you check out in Etsy, to get 15% off your treat toppers! (Good through Feb 14th, 2012, on this listing only).

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

 

Valentine’s Gift Card Holder

2 gift card holders with images of a coffee cup and hearts

I made one version of this gift card holder for teachers, because that’s how I intend to use it, but I also made one without a named recipient, so it can be used for coworkers, bosses, employees, coaches, friends and more!  Because of the hearts, it works great for Valentine’s Day, but it doesn’t specifically mention Valentine’s Day, so it could be used year-round.

Available here!

5x7 print with coffee cups and hearts with room for a gift card

5x7 print with hearts and coffee cups and room for a starbucks card

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Valentine Pocket tutorial

{Tutorial} Valentine’s Day Heart Pockets

My mother, a retired teacher, used to make these with her students every year. She hung them on the bulletin board for February decor, plus during the Valentine’s party, classmates could add valentine cards to the pockets.

Here are some examples of the finished product. My mother, the most creative person I know, made all but one of these (you will note that I am missing part of that creativity gene). She challenged her students to incorporate hearts into everyday items (notice the butterfly and ship below).

2 decorated paper heart valentines day pockets

It’s going to be painfully obvious here, which one was made by me…

2 paper hearts used as pockets for valentines day at school

You can see better on the red heart above, how these open and act as a pocket.

Mom made hers more than 40 years ago, and after about 20 years she decided to extend their durability by  laminating them (then you need to use a craft  knife to cut the pocket open again).  Mom hangs these on the mantel every February even now, and they have held up just fine.

I have also done them with younger kids, too (first grade).  I just help them with the stapling, so they won’t staple in such a way that it prevents it from being used as a pocket.  And for any age group, you can use a salad plate or manila folder template to help them draw the half-circle that becomes the top of the hearts.  Use a toddler plate or something that is approximately the same distance across as the folded paper, otherwise your heart will look cut off.

Use reusable adhesive aka mounting putty to attach it to your walls, mantel, desks or chairs (Scotch and Elmer’s make the putty in the US, and it’s called Blu-Tack in Australia).  You could use tape in a pinch, but in a classroom setting, these pockets can get a little heavy for that.

Here is the tutorial. Click the photo to save or print a PDF version to use as a reference (but trust me, these are NOT hard to make).

Instructions on how to make a heart pocket

I think it’s the coolest thing ever, that I hang (on my bannister, with a heart garland) the very same pocket that my mom used to put my Valentine’s Day card in when I was a kid. And I intend to pass along the ones I made for my kids as well.

Hope you liked this Valentine’s Day craft, and I’d love to see your finished products! (Obviously I need serious help on the decorating portion.)

 

This project featured on:


Tip Junkie handmade projects


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