Friday, January 28, 2011

A Pink and Yellow Dinosaur Party (Part 1)

My daughters will be turning 1 and 3 in March, which means it is time to start planning a birthday party. We let our 3 year old do a lot of decision making, so she was pretty gung-ho about the discussion on what sort of party to have this year. At first she weighed heavily toward a Dora and Diego deal, but when I threw out the idea of dinosaurs, she got really excited. Once we had a theme, we started looking at colors. As usual, my 3 year old picked pink. My 1 year old picked yellow (by pointing, grabbing, and trying to eat the yellow plates at the store). Now I am planning a pink and yellow dinosaur party.

For those of you with daughters who like dinosaurs, you are probably well aware that dinosaurs are generally relegated to the realms of boy-dom. It seems weird to me because I loved dinosaurs as a kid, but every dinosaur search turned up blues and greens and reds. No pink dinos. In an effort to focus my search a little, I Googled "pink dinosaur party" and found these awesome ideas from the Serving Pink Lemonade Blog. Between that and my new Handmade Pledge, I decided that this birthday was the perfect opportunity for me to get a lil crafty.

Since my daughters are small, we are only going to have two little parties. One party will be at the home-based care where my daughters go during the days I work. The other will be a family party at home. I still have a bunch of pink plastic utensils and pink cups from last year's birthday party, so I will use those and just get some yellow plates and napkins to make the table colorful. We generally decorate with crepe paper and balloons as well. Nana is in charge of the big cake for the family party.

Here's what I will be making:
- Appliquéd pink dinosaur shirts for the birthday girls
- Big stuffed dinosaurs for their birthday presents
- A "Happy Birthday" banner
- Placemats for the family party
- Dinosaur cupcake toppers (for the childcare party)
- Little stuffed dinosaurs for gift bags (for the childcare party)

I am also thinking about maybe making a tablecloth for the party and some dinosaur-shaped crayons if I can find the right mold. I will know more after I poke around in a few stores next week. So far I have worked on the appliquéd shirts and one of the small party-favor dinosaurs.
These are the stencils for the appliqué (top) and the stuffed dinos (bottom). I sketched both designs and cut them out of a manila file-folder:

For the party favors, I cut two pieces out of scrap fabric I had lying around. I machine-sewed the outer edges, leaving enough of a gap to flip the fabric right-side out. I stuffed it with scraps from a fleece tie blanket that were cut into tiny 1/2 inch chunks. Once stuffed, I hand-sewed the bottom seam. I still have 5 more to make, but here is what the first one looks like:

For the appliqué, I raided my daughters dresser drawers and came up with two plain, pink, long-sleeved shirts. They were solid basics from The Children's Place-- just right for jazzing up. I used the stencil to cut the dinosaurs from a flannel fabric to give it a little extra weight. I am too cheap to buy fusible interface, so I machine-sewed a straight stitch around the edge to hold it in place. Then I went right over it with the zig-zag stitch to keep the edges from fraying. It's probably not the best method for appliqué, but I have an ancient sewing machine and little patience for hand sewing. I am open to suggestions! Anyhow, here's how they came out:

I sort of wish that I had picked two different fabrics for the dinosaur since it really blends on the darker shirt, but c'est la vie. I was trying hard to use materials I already had in my scrap drawer. As I get more goodies done for this party, I will post.

Peace, love, and pink dinosaurs.

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