Saturday, November 10, 2012

Celebrate the Release of the Breaking Dawn Part 2 with a Twilight Vampire Party

Getting ready to see the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 in theaters next week?  Gather all your vampire girlfriends and watch Part One together at a black-and-white-themed party!

I transformed my family room into a haunt fitting for vampires, covering my kids' Star Wars posters with Bella, Edward, and Jacob.

I also covered my husband's Red Wings posters with black and white fabric and hung some white Christmas lights over that.  (The white fabric is my mother-in-law's old curtains she wasn't using, and the black fabric is a sheet.)  Unfortunately, my camera showed no love for this project and refused to take an un-blurry photo of it.

The food table was the most dramatic part. I bought a white sheer curtain on clearance and hung it with multiple strands of white icicle lights behind it to make the backdrop. I placed an arrangement of black & white flowers and white feathers along with two black taper candles on the table.

The food even fit with the black-and-white theme.  I served cupcakes, Oreos, popcorn, cheese & crackers, and chocolate fangs.

Around the room were other small touches, like white candles, a white feather boa, and the sheet music for Bella's Lullaby was placed on the piano.  I made little collages of Bella and Edward from each of the previous four movies and hung them on the wall leading down into the family room.

I had prepared two quizzes for my guests: one to sort the vampires into their various covens, and one to match the vampires to their special gift.

The guest with the most correct answers won this gift bag filled with vampy prizes. 

After the party, my guests received a little party favor bag. 

I made some wrappers featuring each of the book covers in the Twilight series and used them to cover some Hershey's Nuggets candies.  I think they turned out cute, although the shiny silver wrappers made it difficult to take a picture!

Here we are at the party!  Some friends even dressed like members of the Volturi.  I love that the camera decided to give us all red eye and I didn't bother to fix it.

To see my black and white invitation to this party, click here.

To see last year's Twilight party, click here.

To print your own copy of the quizzes, here they are!

Free printable vampire quizzes for Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 party activity.

Friday, November 2, 2012

DIY Wizard101 Wraith Halloween Costume

My Spencer, the same kid who wanted a Wizard101-themed birthday party this past summer (see post here), wanted to be a Wraith for Halloween.  He likes to stretch my creativity.

The robe is pretty straight-forward.  I used the Simplicity 5512 Costumes for Kids pattern and some black fleece.  (This pattern is awesome, by the way.  I've used it for a number of costumes for my kids over the years!)
The staff was also fairly easy.  I already had a wooden dowel from Home Depot leftover from something.  I cut a crescent moon shape out of cardboard and taped it to the top of the dowel.  My husband reinforced it, and made it look cooler, with silver duct tape.  We didn't have time to paint the dowel black, but it worked.
The wings were the biggest challenge.  I'll try to explain how they came together the best I can! 
The Wraith in Wizard101 seems to have wings made out of feathers.  Well, feathers are expensive.  So I used some creepy-looking fabric that I had snapped up as a remnant.  The fabric came with "holes" in it already.  (In retrospect, I thought that a black garbage bag would have worked, too.  You could really shred it and it might look more like feathers than the fabric did.  And it would be waterproof!)
For each wing, I took a strip of the fabric and sewed it on three sides like a pillowcase.  I just stitched on the top of the fabric -- I wasn't going for neatness here.  Then I snipped the edges with pinking shears.  I draped the "pillowcase" over a black hanger with the open side at the bottom.  I had left a  gap in one side seam for the hanger hook to stick out.

My husband figured out how to attach the hangers to something Spencer could actually wear.  He took an old backpack that we had gotten free from somewhere and cut off the backpack part leaving just the black straps and black back.  He pierced a hole in the strap fabric to insert the hanger hook (which he had straightened) and held it there with a zip tie.  (See photo below.)  He also attached the hanger to the back of the backpack with another zip tie at the bottom of the wing.

To keep the wing tops separate, he stuck a wire between them. The wire was taped to the hangers and poked through the fabric.  You can see the wire in the photo below, but it wasn't noticeable when Spencer wore the costume.
Once the wings were all attached to the backpack, I went after them with the scissors and made the fabric into more of a wing shape and I cut strips in the fabric to better resemble feathers.
Here's another look at the wings and the robe hanging on a hanger.
At trick-or-treat time, with the skull-like face paint, Spencer looked downright terrifying!

Quick Mantel Change

Ever notice how time seems to fast-forward once school starts and it doesn't slow down until January?  Yeah, me too.  Before my  kids were in school, I spent a lot more time at home and could play around with flower arrangements and whatnot on my mantel while the kids threw toys around.  Now that they're in school, I feel like I'm never home and my seasonal decorating has taken a back seat to soccer practices and volunteering in the classroom.

Once the end of September neared and I saw that my mantel still sported the red, white, and blue from the summer (see my post on the USA banner made from old jeans!), I figured it was about time to change it up for fall.  But I didn't want to go full-on Halloween; I wanted something that I could leave up there for longer than a month.

I went with owls.  You can't go wrong with owls, right?  They go with both Halloween and fall in general.  Plus they're all trendy right now and I have quite a collection of them.  I arranged some birch logs (thanks, Dad!) and my owls and a feather boa on the mantel.

When Halloween got nearer, I made it a bit creepier by draping a skull printed on cheesecloth-type material over the mirror.  His red eyes went nicely with the red candles that were still sitting there from summer.

Now that Halloween is over, I took down the skull and red candles.  I put up a brownish-orange candle and matching pumpkin instead.  And I put my little fall snowman in the front.  In less than 5 minutes my mantel went from Halloween to Fall/Thanksgiving.
Yes, I live in a part of the country where snowmen are perfectly acceptable as fall decorations.  And I like it that way!
Now that I think about it, all the white in the birch logs and owls might work for Christmas and winter as well!  Considering how busy December is, I'm guessing I'll make it work!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn part 2 Party Invitation

Only a few weeks left until the premiere of the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2!  Whenever a "part 2" of a movie comes out, it's almost required to get together with friends and watch "part 1", right?  Yeah, I think so, too.  So I'm planning a little black and white soiree next week for all my Twi-hard friends.  Here is the invitation I made for the party.

To make these, I purchased a package of blank black cards and envelopes from the craft store.  I layered a piece of grey cardstock and a piece of black & grey dotted cardstock on the front with a lacy ribbon where the 2 pieces join.  The flower was made by punching circles from pages in my Twilight book. (Yes, I destroyed a book.  But I still have the digital version on my e-reader!)  I found a tutorial for making the book page flowers on Under The Table and Dreaming by Stephanie Lynn who actually made book page flower ornaments!  Then, to finish it off, I hand-wrote the word "forever" on a scrap of black cardstock with a white gel pen, snipped the ends like a little flag, and tucked it in under the flower.

For the inside of the invitation, I typed up the party details in Photoshop Elements and printed them out on white cardstock.  You need a white gel pen to address the envelopes, or maybe white stick-on address labels.  Obviously, regular pen won't show up on black envelopes!

The invitation is just a preview of the party to come!  I'm sticking to a black-and-white color scheme and I plan to use some other book page crafts for the decorations.  I'll be sharing more over the next couple weeks.

To see last year's Breaking Dawn part 1 party, go here.

(Edited to add: to see this year's Breaking Dawn Part 2 party, go here.)