Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Birthday Party craft featuring Simple Stories Emoji Love

Hi folks!  My eldest, Ellie, turned 10 a couple weeks ago.  Yikes!  It really does go by quickly!  Anyway, this was a big one, and I'm kind of tired of throwing birthday parties, so I told Ellie that this was going to be her last 'big' party and we'd do something special.

She desperately wanted to have a sleepover party.  We desperately did not want to have a sleepover party because we have a smallish house and we are old and lazy.

The compromise was that I was able to find a really good rate on a hotel suite nearby.  There were two bedrooms (one for me) one for the girls and the main area where the girls could sleep as well.  The plan was to have dinner, swim in the pool, do a craft, watch a movie, go to bed (ha!), eat the free hotel breakfast, and then I would shut the door to the hotel room and we would all go home.

I did want one crafty activity for the girls to do.  Ellie is very into emojis right now and so her party was loosely emoji themed, meaning there were emojis on the evite and the party favors were emoji themed.

Simple Stories has the cutest paper line called Emoji Love, so I thought it would be perfect if I could work those papers in.  I decided we would decorate composition books.  Because of all the back to school sales, I was able to pick them all up at Staples for 50 cents a piece, score!

I ordered a bunch of the Emoji Love papers, regular prints as well as the elements sheets which are basically journaling cards printed on 12x12 paper that you cut down to 4x4, 3x4, and 4x6 journaling cards.  I also got the Snap Pack which contains journaling cards of various sizes as well as some bits and pieces/ephemera.

In terms of prep, I cut the papers down to the size of the composition book covers, and also cut out all the journaling cards from the 12x12 papers.

At the party I let them pick their front/back cover papers and then we used spray adhesive to attach them.  Then we spread out all journaling cards and bits and they were able to pick out pieces they wanted to decorate their books with.

In addition to the Simple Stories stuff, I had a whole stack of old Creative Memories alphas for them to use, a bunch of scissors and tape runners and a corner rounder for the covers.

It was really fun to see them go at it.  If you do this my one piece of advice is bring a lot of are heavy adhesive users, but we luckily made it through without running out.

Most of the girls ended up decorating not only the front and back, but also the insides.  Here are some shots of Ellie's:

I had a bunch of paper scraps from cutting down the covers, and I thought it would be fun to use those for the thank you cards.

I used basically the same design for each of the cards, but varied the papers.  The alphas were die cut using Altenew's Bold Alpha Dies, and the pennants were cut using My Favorite Things Fishtail Banner Stax.  I used my round paper punches to cut out all the little emjois from the patterned papers and also did a bit of fussy cutting.

In case you're in the market for a similar birthday party or just enjoy reading about my party escapades, here are some more details for you:

Ellie was having a really hard time narrowing down the number of girls to invite, but it was a holiday weekend (Labor Day), so I ended up lettering invite nine girls because I figured a bunch of them wouldn't be able to make it.  WRONG.  Only one girl couldn't come....

Also along the lines of best laid plans, the pool was outdoors and we've had an unseasonably cool August, so the temperature that evening was supposed to be 65 and rain was possible.  I ended up just sending out a note that we were cancelling the swimming portion of the night, which turned out to be OK because one of Ellie's best friends managed to break her leg and was in a full cast for the party.

Still, I now needed some entertainment options.  The two things I picked up and highly recommend are:

Watch Ya' Mouth or Speak Out and small dental retractors.  You definitely want the small if kids are playing them or they'll be really uncomfortable.  If I had to do it again, I'd probably order Watch Ya' Mouth as it's recommended for ages 8 and up.  Speak Out I borrowed from a friend and it says 13 and up.  I went through all the cards and they were fine, but I think some of the phrases and words were ones that 10 year olds might not be familiar with (just longer or more esoteric not bad), I'm guessing the other one has smaller more normal words.

The Sleepover Party Game - This one was a huge hit and I HIGHLY recommend it.  We ended playing this Saturday morning in the breakfast area and it was just funny to watch.  They had a great time with it.  In fact an older lady staying at the hotel came up to me and said she had so much fun watching them play, that it brought back a lot of memories, which was nice because I was worried they might be disturbing other people.  

We also watched Boss Baby, the nice thing about the hotel was that a lot of folks use it as a residential/short stay hotel, so there was a DVD player we could use, and a full kitchen which we took advantage of as well (Ellie chose Magnum bars instead of cake), and we had popcorn and M&Ms for the movie.

Because there were so many girls, they couldn't all fit in the same room which wasn't ideal, but it turned out that the earlier sleepers ended up in the living are on air mattresses and the chatty folks were in the bedroom.  And chatty they were....they were up until after 2 and then again around 6.  We were definitely tired the next day!

Apparently they had fun though, because I saw one of the mom's at church this past weekend and she said the girls were still talking about it.

Happily this is the end of our birthday parties for the year.  Carina decided she did not want a party this year, she wanted to go to Hershey Park, so we're actually headed up there Saturday night.


  1. LOVE this post, Miriam!!! Jackson, my youngest, will be turning 10 next month, and I'm already sad that it will be our last birthday party. And YES, I cringe watching kids go thru the adhesive 😱 So I always get a bunch of cheap dispensers. Thanks for the tips on the games. Cute thank yous and journals. Sounds like such a fun time with all those girls in a hotel room (who would have guessed they could all come?!)

  2. You are such a creative and talented Mama ;-)