Science Themed Graduation Party

Post by Colleen of Lemon Thistle

Science Themed Graduation Party

Let’s face it. Throwing parties can be stressful (with a capital S), but they can also be a ton of fun. A couple of weeks ago we traveled 8 hours by car to celebrate my little sister’s university graduation. She’s a ‘super nerd’ (we lovingly call her) and she graduated with an Honors degree in Cellular Molecular Biology and a Chemistry Degree. I wanted to throw a little graduation party for her to invite some friends to visit with our family while we were in town and celebrate her incredible accomplishments. After telling her to invite her friends over I realized a few things. I had NO idea what her house looks like… is there a good place to put a party table? I had NO room in our car (filled with playpens and snacks for our twins) to pack bunches of decorations but I really, really wanted it to be fun and special for her. PLUS, my sister is my biggest blog fan and has talked me up to all of her friends so I felt like I really had to make it look good.

So I set to the internet to find some ideas for adult science graduation parties and came up pretty empty. Then I came across this Fundamental Party kit from The Land of Nod and decided that was my solution. Since I’m a DIY’er at heart, I decided I’d DIY a science themed backdrop to go along with the decorations. I used black dollar store table cloths to cover the table and wall so I didn’t have to worry what kind of wall/ decorations I was competing with. That wall is actually brown/tan with nails sticking out of it… the backdrop covers it all! I had my sister write equations and diagrams in chalk pen on the table cloth for a chalkboard look. I created some molecules using painted Styrofoam balls and barbecue skewers for something a little extra. I’m so thrilled with how it turned out and it was a ton of fun to get to know her friends a little bit.

Science Themed Graduation Party

Nod Science Party-15061110 Nod Science Party-1506118 Nod Science Party-1506114Here’s some tips to throw a stress-free (but beautiful!) party no matter where on earth you are:

  • Find some awesome pre-made party decorations. Paper and plastic make for a fast clean up!
  • Get a table cloth and backdrop- again, disposable is best!
  • DIY a couple handmade touches ahead of time that you can toss when you’re done (like my molecules, or a centerpiece)
  • Bring everything you may possibly need (I learned the hard way that not everyone stocks tape in their house- save yourself the stress!)
  • Have food either prepped ahead of time or choose ready made options (we hit the grocery store when we got to town since we were traveling on a hot day)
  • Keep it simple – don’t get too fussy, you and your guests will enjoy themselves more if you’re not running around asking them to tape up last minute signs and arrange flowers.
  • Focus on one area – you don’t need to spread decorations around a whole house for a fun party. Make a great table and relax about the rest!

I hope these tips will help you have  a stress-free party (no matter where you are!), they certainly helped me pull this off in 45 minutes in a house I’ve never been to. Do you have any tips for a simple (but fun!) party? Share them in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

Colleen is a wife, Mama to 21 month old twins, and the DIY and lifestyle blogger behind Lemon Thistle where she shares printable art and hands on tutorials for DIY home decor, parties and gifts. Colleen believes you can have a beautiful life, home, and party without spending a lot- we’re keeping it real on a budget so everyone can join in on the fun.

DIY Honeycomb Garland

Post by Colleen of Lemon Thistle

DIY Metallic Honeycomb GarlandI’m excited to be sharing this DIY Metallic Honeycomb Garland with you today! We’ve been slowly adding in mixed metals to our home decor and I wanted to create something that used the metallics without looking too grown-up for our kiddos’ room. This fun garland more than fits the bill- plus it feels like a party all the time in there now. By using paper instead of the traditional tissue, this garland will stand up to a bit more love from little hands.DIY Metallic Honeycomb Garland - 1To make your own DIY Metallic Honeycomb Garland, you’ll need:

  • White printer paper
  • 5mm Double sided tape (and lot’s of it!)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil and round object to trace (mine was 4″)
  • String or embroidery floss
  • Spray paint if desired

To make the mini honeycombs, you’ll need to create a template.

  1. My mini honeycombs are 4″ round, so I marked four inches on a sheet of paper. Those are the pencil lines in the photo. This way, I could fit two across on a sheet.
  2. Then, mark even spaces in alternating colors. I made my lines .75″ apart. DIY Metallic Honeycomb Garland - 3
  3. Tape your template to the table and lay your first sheet of paper on top.
  4. Use your double sided tape and run pieces across the paper over one of the colors .
  5. Then place another sheet of paper on top and lay tape on the alternate colored lines. I used 25 sheets of paper per honeycomb ball.
  6. For your sanity, I’d turn on Netflix. This is super easy to do but it takes a bit of time and is repetitive- you can totally multi-task with some re-runs!
  7. When you’ve stuck together 25 sheets of paper, trace your circle on top and cut it out. Make sure to line up the circle with the top and bottom lines you drew (my pencil lines). DIY Metallic Honeycomb Garland - 4
  8. Mark the center of the circle and staple it. DIY Metallic Honeycomb Garland - 5
  9. Fold the circle in half a few times to create a crease in the center where you stapled, then cut a section out of the middle. This will help it bend easier. DIY Metallic Honeycomb Garland - 6
  10. Now apply double sided tape to each side of your circle and open it, sticking the edges together.
  11. Make sure to insert your string in one of the sides (as shown in the photo) before fully assembling!DIY Metallic Honeycomb Garland - 7

That’s it! Now you’ll have plain white honeycomb balls. I contemplated leaving mine this way- they were so cute and simple! But I stuck with my plan for metallics and misted the balls with gold and nickel metallic spray paint. You could mist them with any color you like!

DIY Metallic Honeycomb Garland - 8 DIY Metallic Honeycomb Garland - 9 DIY Metallic Honeycomb Garland - 10I love the way this DIY turned out! You could spray the honeycombs with any color of spray paint- to match room decor or a party theme!

Colleen is the lifestyle blogger behind Lemon Thistle – home to DIY, parties, home décor and lots of babies. She’s a wife; mama to 17-month-old boy/girl twins; and lover of pretty things. Colleen believes you can have a beautiful life, home, and party without spending a lot –  (keeping it real with a budget). Every day deserves to be special, there’s no accomplishment too small to celebrate. She hopes that her children will learn to love the little things in life. 

Milk & Cookies for Santa – DIY Scrabble Coasters

Post by Kelsey Nixon of Kelsey’s Essentials DIY Scrabble CoastersOne of the simple yet classic Christmas traditions that our family always looks forward to is leaving out milk and cookies for Santa (don’t forget the carrots for Rudoph!). If you’ve got one more Christmas craft left in you before the big event, these simple DIY scrabble coasters could be a blast to make with letter loving kids on Christmas Eve. It’s a fun exercise to come up with 4-5 letter words that make up holiday sayings – and a particularly fun challenge when you only have a certain number of individual letters. Even if the kids in your house are a little to you to put together words, this can still be a fun way to work with letters. My two and a half year old Ollie loved fishing out certain letters for me. This craft is inexpensive, quick, and most importantly these can be a memento that your family pulls out year after year to perfectly prop up Santa’s milk alongside his cookies. (This is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe) See the simple directions for the coasters below.

Materials for DIY Scrabble Coasters:

  • Scrabble Tiles (found here)*
  • Craft glue
  • Cork coasters or cork board (found at a local craft store)
  • Scissors

DIY Scrabble Coasters 2 DIY Scrabble Coasters 3DIY Scrabble Coasters Instructions

  1. Choose holiday phrases or words that can easily be made up with the Scrabble letters. We found that there were a lot more 5 letter holiday words than 4 letter words, so our coasters aren’t a perfect square, but the shape didn’t bother us and I’m sure Santa won’t mind.
  2. Organize your letters before using the craft glue to glue each letter onto the cork board or coaster aligning the first letter to the upper corner.
  3. Allow each coaster to dry completely before using sharp scissors or an x-acto knife to carefully trim the edges.
  4. Hint Hint: I found that one set of 100 scrabble letters made about 4 coasters.

DIY Scrabble Coasters 5Hopefully these cheery coasters will get your kids even more excited for Santa’s big arrival and make sure that Jolly Old St. Nick is well taken care of when he stops at your house.

Happy Holidays!

Kelsey Nixon  is the host of Kelsey’s Essentials on Cooking Channel and author of Kitchen Confidence. Kelsey’s Essentials is also currently airing Mon-Thurs at 3pm on Food Network. Kelsey, her husband Robby, and son Oliver (“Ollie”) live in New York City. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Kid Friendly Thanksgiving Table Decor

Post written by Paging Supermom

 

Hosting Thanksgiving is so much fun, but it’s also a crazy bunch of work. We are here to help get the kid friendly Thanksgiving table decor checked off your to-do list, and also to convince you to use our favorite Pumpkin Pie shortcut. Shortcuts not for you? Then don’t miss this killer recipe for the easiest, homemade Pecan Pie.

Kid Friendly Thanksgiving Table Decor We have been known to cringe at store-bought decorations but count on Land of Nod to provide the kind of details you’d expect from something homemade, like those real string bows on the pilgrim’s bonnet in this Thanksgiving Cupcake Kit. We used the liners and toppers to make our Cornbread Muffins more festive (click here for our favorite Cornbread Muffin Recipe).

We adore all the details of the Land of Nod Thanksgiving Decor Collection, including the foil-stamped, gold accents.

The Thanksgiving Mini Garland looks adorable strung together with a couple of Orange Circle garlands. Land of Nod offers these geometric felt garlands in a variety of colors, and they are super handy to have tucked away in your party box.

Kid Friendly Thanksgiving Table Decor - 2Set the kid’s table with our free printable Graph Paper Tablecloth and the Chalk Around the World Globe is the perfect, interactive centerpiece for your kid friendly Thanksgiving table decor. Get the free download of these Atlantic Ocean Placemats then add sails to straws (using this free template) to turn cups into boats. There is also a spot on the placemats where children can write what they are thankful for.

Kid Friendly Thanksgiving Table Decor - 3It’s always a good idea to have a few activities to keep little hands busy on Thanksgiving Day. These Pilgrim Cookie Cutters and a set of playdough will do the job quite nicely.

Thanksgiving Pilgrim Cookie CuttersYour little ones will also get a kick out of taking turns being the chef as they assemble this pretend turkey. Be sure to snag this adorable Pull Apart Poultry toy, and download our free printable Turkey Platter and Garnish.

Kids Play Food: Thanksgiving Turkey

Kids Play Food: Thanksgiving Turkey - 2Before or after dessert, serve up a little educational fun with a homemade Fraction Pie. Print our free Fraction Pie templates on cardstock and cut out the pieces. You may wish to laminate for added durability. We used a recycled pie tin to hold our pie pieces.

Kids Thanksgiving Activity: Make A Fraction PieWant more? Head here for more free printables and family-friendly Thanksgiving ideas.

Paging Supermom is written by “Sometimes Supermoms” Aimée and Bettijo, and came to be after many discussions with each other sharing their best insights on homemaking, parenting, party planning, teaching, playing and sometimes simply surviving. They soon discovered that although they can’t claim to be super all the time, each had their own moments. By sharing successes (and some of the funny moments when they fell flat on their faces), they hope to inspire others to find their inner superhero a little more often.