Thursday, May 28, 2009

It's Not a Tie.

It's a beautiful photographic collage of your precious child and his (or her) artwork. Isn't it just too sweet? And more importantly it's not a tie. Give the dad in your life something extra special this Father's Day.

See Jack Draw is offering a special edition photo collage, still 12" x 12", but with 1 to 3 photos of your choice for $40. Visit the Etsy shop today, and order just in time for Father's Day.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pirate Birthday Party {part two}

Want to create this party for yourself? This Pirate Birthday printable party set comes with invitations, decorations and tutorials. Only available at Paper & Cake!

Ready for more Pirate Birthday Party ideas? Well, thanks for being patient because this info is worth it's weight in gold!

Dress Up

Every pirate needs at least a good hat and a sparkly sash. Oh, and a tattoo or two too. These felt hats were fairly inexpensive and easy to customize with some metallic silver dimensional fabric paint from Michael's. I wrote every child's name in under 10 minutes, me, Mrs. Print-it-out-on-the-computer-and-trace-it-so-it-is-perfect, freehanded all 23 names.

The black and gold sashes were cut from 4 yards of fabric purchased with a coupon (thanks Aunt Janet) from our local chain store.

And to help those pirates feel more, well, like pirates, temporary tattoos work every time.


Pirate Ship Battle

While doing some Pirate-y research one day, I happened upon one fabulous idea over at Party Planning Mom. She made two large cardboard pirate ships and had a game involving paper canon balls.

So, putting my own spin this super idea, I had access to giant 4ft. by 6ft. ultra heavy duty cardboard server boxes from my husband's work (every time he sees a new one, he brings it home - so we've made; a house, a market, a cafe and a pirate ship). Using a sawzall, he cut two of them down into ship-shaped shapes. After some failed experimenting with (notches and slits) we decided on a roll of duct tape to hold them together.

The night before the party, my friend Julia came by (as she always does, bless her, to help with all the last minute ridiculousness) and helped me paint them, using leftover cans of brown, blue and red that I found on the "old paint shelf".

To round out this "game" (if you've ever been here before, you know I am a fan of the non competitive games - everyone is a winner!), I made canon balls out of wadded up paper covered in aluminum foil. Not wanting to be wasteful, I used the ripped out pages of outdated catalogues and covered them in the smallest piece of foil possible. There were probably a hundred of the balls, and grown-ups and kids alike threw these almost constantly throughout the 3 hour party.

Treasure Hunt

What would you do with a couple hundred necklaces and 300 plastic coins? Well hide them of course! We draped and sprinkled pirate treasure from stem to stern, I mean all over the house, inside and out - just randomly. Using their decorated tresure loot bags, the kids picked up what they could find as part of their "goody bag" to bring home with them. We didn't set any rules for this one, in fact tresure hunting went on throughout the party (and yes, I am still finding necklaces... especially outside).

Craft Activity

Make your own treasure map! Again, I took it a little further by formatting the little icons to fit on a sheet of clear Avery address labels. I wanted the children to create their treasure map and immediately be able to use it - without having to wait for glue to dry.

Also at the craft table, I set out brown paper lunch sacks (for treasure collecting) with name tags for them, along with crayons, markers and self-adhesive jewels for decorating till your heart's content.


I LOVED making this ridiculous cake! It was very easy... well... comparatively. I used plain old box of cake mix (it works just fine and tastes good too) and splurged by frosting with a chocolate mousse buttercream.

1} Bake 2 9x12 cakes, cool them completely. Using the template below and a long serrated knife, cut your cake into 4 sections.

template 1

2} cut one of the long rectangles into triangles that will form the bow (front end of the ship).

template 2

3} Take a piece of cardboard, and cut it into the shape of the finished size/shape, to use on the bottom of the cake. That is, one rectangle plus one triangle.

4} Place your first rectangular layer on the cardboard and frost (or use any filling of your choice). Place second rectangular layer and frost. Repeat with third layer.

5} Next, stack and frost two small rectangles overhanging at the back. Use wooden skewers to hold cake in place. Trim skewers to height by first inserting all the way into the cake, mark the height with a pen, pull them back out and cut at your mark, then reinsert.

6} Stack and frost in between each of the 5 triangular layers that make up the bow of the ship. Again, use wooden skewers to hold in place. Your final side-view should look like this diagram below.

diagram 3

7} Frost entire ship until covered, and refrigerate.

8} Place cake on a larger cake board to decorate according to the photo below. The water is strips of "Blue Raspberry Sour Belt", I used red and white m&m's, black licorice for the anchor (this was difficult, to get it to stay in the shape my friend Julia used twist ties to hold it in place overnight), and made printable sails on my computer - again held in place with wooden skewers.

As if a cake wasn't enough, I made a few cupcakes as well. I used the same box of cake mix, same frosting, and designed a coordinating cupcake "wrapper" to round out the look.

ball and chain accessory and photo courtesy of my sister

I tried extra hard to save money by using what I already had around the house. A pirate theme is simple to accessorize - especially using this Pirate printable partyware collection - and easy to plan. Use some creative thinking to make it your own, spend as little as possible and make it look homemade - even if it isn't!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pirate Birthday Party... on Etsy!

a first mate's hat for every party guest

Yes folks, you heard it here first (um, maybe second?). The Pirate party that I threw to celebrate my son's 4th birthday is now available in our shop.

Go check it out... there are some EXCELLENT items to help you throw your own Pirate Birthday Party.

cupcake wrappers (coins not included, but you can get some at Oriental Trading Co.)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pirate Birthday Party {part one}

Captain Jack

Well. I did it. After all the research, cleaning, shopping, borrowing, building and baking, it's finally over. What's over, you ask?

The big 0h - four. Captain Jack's Pirate themed 4th birthday party. It was SO much fun. I am still recovering. For this party especially, you'll probably notice a reoccurring theme: as much as possible, use what you can find at home.

Want to hear how I did it? There is SOOO much to talk about! Let's start with:


A couple years back, I designed an invitation for a school fundraiser with a Pirate theme. Going back to those old files, I was able to reuse some of the artwork. The background "parchment paper" is actually an inexpensive stock photo, and the compass, skull and crossbones, and ship were adapted from clip art that I had found online.

I used my trusty (but cheep) color ink jet to print double sided, and mailed them off in envelopes I found buried deep in the closet.

I did run out of ink getting ready for this party, and I know ink is not cheep. While out purchasing more, my local Office Max told me about their refill policy. You can have your own cartridge refilled, or you can buy someone else's refilled cartridge for only $10. You heard it, not $40 or $50, but $10. And, it worked fine.

These invites are much more complex than the ones I usually design. If I had to do it all over again? I might run out to the scrapbooking store, purchase 12x12 sheets of pirate-y paper, and cut to fit envelopes I already owned. Using my trusty printer, I would print some wording out on vellum and tape the vellum on top of the pirate themed scrapbooking paper - MUCH easier! Don't you think?


love how easy this pirate pennant banner was!

I began with the pennant banner. I knew these could be done quickly, but have the most impact. Keeping in mind that I did not want to use my ink jet printer to print fields of black (that is what will use up the ink in a hurry!), I chose to design the different components using mostly borders of reds and blacks, printing on yellow cardstock for some, and printing on regular white paper for the rest. I did mount some of the pennants to black construction paper - that I already had around the house.

I punched two holes in each pennant, and used household twine to hang above doors and windows and over the kitchen island.

every living room should have a giant pirate flag to complete the decor

During a trip to the fabric store with my aunt for another project, I found some black and white fabric remnants on the sale rack. I spent a total of just over $4 for the pirate flag fabric. Enlarging my skull and crossbones image, I cut it out of the white felt, and glued it to the black fabric. Again, using the glue, I folded over the top edge and inserted my twine (yup, straight out of the junk drawer) through it, to hang on the wall.

I ALWAYS use the wall mounting tapes and hooks from 3M, I can count on them to not rip the drywall or damage the ceiling.

no, I didn't make the popcorn, who has time for that what with all the decorating and stuff

No you are not imagining it, you have seen my popcorn bar before. It was so popular at my daughter's birthday party (and I already have the jars), that I just added new labels to match the pirate pennant banners.

paper chains, gold coins and pirates

I also covered every horizontal surface with plain old fashioned paper chains. These were 1 in. by 6 in. black construction paper secured with a single staple. At the end of a section, I taped on an under inflated black balloon, to represent the "ball" portion of a "ball and chain".

I was also able to put to use the MONSTER of a toy Pirate Ship that my son got for Christmas, 2 years ago. It made the perfect addition to the decor.

Stay tuned, we will cover the crafting, adventures and cake in part two!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Featured: Creative Parties & Showers

I just love a good story... remember this one? It's about a four year old birthday girl and her Surfer Girl themed party. What do you mean you don't remember it? Well then, I suggest you head on over to Creative Parties & Showers to read up on it.

See you there!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It's Official!

Paper & Cake have a website!

Okay, okay, it's only a placeholder page... but it's a start right?

You just stay tuned. Things are getting HOT!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Just 2 Reasons

race car themed birthday printable partyware

Yup, here are just 2 of the million and a half things I have on my plate right now. Exciting things! Exhausting things...

First up, Paper & Cake is on FIRE right now. Crazy business right now, and I for one LOVE it. LOVE it. The blogosphere has been very kind - not just with sales - but with comments, feedback and just plain old support. I had no idea things would go this way.


Pirate-y pennant banner

Second, I've been planning/designing/decorating for my son's 4th birthday party. Captain Jack is what the kids call him, and that is exactly who he will be with his cute new pirate hat. I mean his piratical pirate hat, Arrrrrrrrgh! Thar She Blows! Ahoy ye maties.... don't be late, or ye'll walk the plank!


Anyway, stop by the Etsy shop this week - we are up to our eyeballs in super fabulous printable partyware!