Monday, April 14, 2014

SPY Birthday Party

My little man loves to play "spy on the adults". We have to pretend we don't see his fingers or toes sticking out from under the table or hear his immense giggling while he hides behind doors. He thinks he is stealthy and sneaky and it's adorable.

One day, I causally mentioned that I found spy glasses. The kind that have mirrors on the inside so you can see behind you. He was hooked from that moment on. He was determined, this year was going to be a spy themed birthday party.

Luckily my Birthday Express friends know kids so very well and were already creating a new spy collection. The colors were perfect- vibrant, boyish, and playful. I decided to accent the silly masquerade side of the spy theme rather than the spy tools and weapons. The outcome was a super fun filled day of spy games, secret codes, costumes, and lots of laughter.

Party Theme: Secret Agent 6th Birthday Party
Party Colors: Black, Turquoise, Yellow, and Red
Party Highlights: TNT with digital timer, magnifying glass spy banner, secret agent badges, and briefcase favor boxes.
Dessert Highlights:  Custom cotton candy bags, chocolate covered Oreos with spy theme fondant toppers, and cake pop bombs topped with birthday candles.
Planned Party Activities: Finger scan check-in station, trip wires, invisible ink test, pass the bomb game, and a lesson in peg pen secret code.

Upon arrival, guests were fingerprinted using a free app called Finger Scan. Luckily all guests had clean records and received their badges and clearance to enter the party. 

The birthday boy looked especially handsome wearing his custom birthday shirt from Great Stitch. Brenda did an amazing job matching the shirt to our party theme and colors!

The truth serum (a.k.a. lemonade) was a super huge hit. The kids bravely drank it and then asked each other all sorts of funny questions to test how well the serum worked. 

Do and J of Piggy Bank Parties created the most UNBELIEVABLE banner I have ever, ever, ever seen!!! The panels were inspired by secret codes and circuit boards and could be put together like puzzle pieces. The magnifying glass had a transparent glass center and 3D fisheye letters that looked like they were being magnified. How they made this out of paper is beyond me. Again, they are AMAZING!!!!

Samantha's Sweets created cake pop bombs with real candles on top

Custom top secret cotton candy bags by Soiree Event Design were stashed alongside stolen passports and gold coins

I baked cupcakes using recipes from Jenny Keller's brand new book Eat More Dessert. They were extremely moist and delicious (most importantly simple to make). Glitter cupcake toppers were from Made By A Princess, they really added a WOW factor to the dessert table!

Maria of Love and Sugar Kisses made chocolate covered Oreos with spy themed fondant toppers. Just to warn you, if you ever come to one of my parties, you must RUN to the dessert table get one of these Oreos... they go FAST!

My nephew is twinsies with the Oreo

The trip wire challenge was super fun. I attached red yarn to the walls at various heights with painters tape. The kids had to maneuver through the wires and then head into the living room to find the hidden bombs.

Some kiddos went over...

Some went under... 

and 99% had their tongues sticking out - such serious concentration!

This was an activity that I had planned to do but ran out of time so I did it with my buggers the next day. You can make your own invisible ink by mixing 1/4 cup baking soda and water. Write secret messages using Q-Tips. When the message is dry and invisible, dab grape juice over the paper to reveal your message!

This game was called pass the bomb. I made TNT using red tissue paper, 3 paint rollers, electrical tape, and a digital timer. I set the timer and the kids passed the TNT. Whoever was holding the TNT when the timer went off was out. This game got very competitive!

This was another activity I had planned on doing but ran out of time, I wanted to teach the kids Pig Pen Secret Code. It's super simple and something they could do on their own for fun at home. 

I know always say this, but THIS is my favorite party theme to create! A HUGE thank you to my incredible vendors/friends for making this day so special:

Photography: Allison Duda of A. Joy Photography
Spy Party Supplies: Birthday Express
Printed Spy Graphics: Creative Loft Team
Glitter Cupcake Toppers: Made By A Princess
Chocolate Covered Oreos: Love and Sugar Kisses
Custom Labeled Cotton Candy: Soiree Event Design
Spy Banner: Piggy Bank Parties
Cake Pop BombsSamantha's Sweets
Spy T-Shirt: Great Stitch
Cupcakes, TNT, styling, some photos: me, Craft That Party

All photos are copyright to Craft That Party
Craft That Party is a proud partner with Birthday Express 

and as so recieves products for inclusion of products

Craft It: Nautical Mason Jars Tutorial

I just shared this fun craft tutorial on ediTORIal, re-posting here in case you missed my Spring mason jars! This is a paint and wait kind of project, but super easy and well worth your time.

- Mason Jars
- White Paint (I used Americana Decor Chalky Finish in everlasting)
- Accent Colors (I used Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Craft Paint in Couscous, Pea Shoot, and Surf, and Taupe chalkboard paint from Craft Smart)
- Foam Brush
- Painters Tape
- Plaid Clear Acrylic Matte Sealer
- Decorative accents (optional): buttons, sea shells, etc...
- Super Glue
- Sandpaper

Step 1: 
Paint mason jar white using a foam brush. Let dry upside down. Once the jar is completely dry, apply a second coat. Repeat again with a third coat when ready.

Step 2:
Apply painters tape to jar where you would like to keep your white stripe visible. I used my nail to seal the tape tightly to the jar. Next, apply a coat of your accent color on the jar. Wait until completely dry and repeat for a second coat.

Step 3:
Peel off tape. Use sandpaper to lightly distress the raised letters on the jar and anywhere else you may like. This gives the jar a worn, vintage feel.

Step 4: 
In a well ventilated area, spray sealer all over the outside of the jar. This will protect the paint from getting scratched or damaged.

Step 5 (Optional): 
Attach embellishments to your jar with superglue.

A shout out to The Crafted Sparrow and other blogs with great mason jar tutorials. I researched and tested many different methods before creating what worked best for my personal craft style. So thank you all for the guidance and inspiration!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Eat More Dessert Book Review & Giveaway

I am so delighted to announce that today is the official release date of my friend Jenny Keller's book, Eat More Dessert: More than 100 Simple-to-Make & Fun-to-Eat Baked Goods From the Baker to the Stars (Page Street Publishing; April 2014). This book is brimming with creative themes, beautifully orchestrated dessert tables, and more than 100 simple-to-make recipes (hooray for simple!). 

Jenny is one of my absolute favorite bakers and party stylists. I gush about her any chance I get. Her style is so elegant, simple, and distinctive. I can spot one of her parties immediately as she adds a plethora of cake plates, vintage props, ruffled cakes, cookies, and cake pops to every dessert table.

Jenny's work has been featured on Tori Spelling's reality show as well as Tori's party book celebraTORI. Since then, Jenny has worked with The "Guncles", Tiffani Thiessen, Lisa Rinna, and many more celebrities. I have had the pleasure of collaborating with Jenny on two of her celebrity parties. She is as sweet and down to earth as it gets. Even her children and pet goats have cameo appearances in the book!

Jenny's book has over 100 simple-to-make recipes, from basic sugar cookies to cakes, frosting, and unique holiday treats. This book is the perfect cookbook for any dessert table enthusiast!

Jenny has graciously offered to give one Craft That Party reader a copy of Eat More Dessert: More than 100 Simple-to-Make & Fun-to-Eat Baked Goods From the Baker to the Stars

Enter The Giveaway

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Real Party: Disney's Jake and The Neverland Pirates

Remember this cutie that was just featured on Disney Baby last month?  Not sure how time flies so fast, but my sweet red-headed nephew turned three last week! He requested a Jake and The Neverland Pirates Party. Sadly, we live far away and couldn't be there but I was able to send up some pirate pegs & fun goodies from Birthday Express. My sister-in-law did an awesome job pulling this party together!

Aidan is THREE!

I ordered the custom stamp peg with Aidan's name on it from 
and then painted a "Jake inspired" red-headed pirate on it 

I love that my sister-in-law continued the "Birthday Book" tradition. Each year it's fun to find a new book that matches the party theme and guest are invited to sign the book.

Birthday party favors locked up in the treasure chests

Tasty grub & cake served up for guests

Happy 3rd Birthday Aidan, we love you!!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Secret Agent Party Sneak Peek from Great Stitch

As you might guess, a lot of prep work goes into party planning. I am currently working on a brand new Birthday Express SPY THEME for my son's 6th birthday. I will be transforming our house into the C.I.A. (Crafting Incognito Agency) for some good old birthday fun.

Here's a sneak at what the birthday boy will be wearing. It is a personalized t-shirt from Great Stitch and it is absolutely PERFECT! You much check out the huge selection of personalized birthday shirts listed in Brenda's shop!
For more Secret Agent/Spy inspiration, 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Welcome Back Baseball & Balloon Party Trend

It's that time of year again... baseball is back! What a perfect opportunity to show you a brand new item from Birthday Express- a vintage scoreboard and combine it with my favorite new party trend-- balloon tassels! These gigantic 36" balloons are popping up everywhere and add height and texture to any dessert table.

Oversize balloons & tassels make a BIG statement at any party!

Vendor Credits:
All baseball party products and scoreboard: Birthday Express
Balloon & Tassel: Party On! | Personalized Party Supplies and Decor
Styling: Jenny Dixon
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