Sunday, 15 April 2012

finger-print flowers mother’s day cards

Oliver and Cyan made these cards for Grandma and Nana for mother’s day this year, they were super easy to make and turned out really pretty.

We punched out two circles for each flower, the scalloped circles were stuck down flat, and the kids cut slits round the edge of the plain circles, which were stuck on top and shaped to give a 3d effect. They drew the stems on and then finger-painted the petals and leaves. The flower centres were printed with a wine cork.

Monday, 9 April 2012

chocolate factory birthday party

The first activity at Oliver and Cyan’s chocolate factory birthday party was for all the kids to make their own custom Wonka chocolate bar. We did this first so the bars would have plenty of time to cool and harden so they could be wrapped up ready to take home at the end.

I melted a LOT of chocolate at the start of the party, I used 23 milk chocolate to 13 dark chocolate which tasted great, not too sweet.


I collected loads of different ingredients which the kids used to create their own custom chocolate bar (though most of them ended up with a bit of everything in their bar!).

Custom Wonka bar ingredients:
  • numerous assorted sprinkles
  • cake decorating pearls
  • chocolate crispy balls
  • white chocolate chips
  • mini smarties
  • popping candy
  • mini marshmallows
  • coco pops
  • chocolate and toffee cereal stars
(Popping candy was the best!)

I set out all the ingredients in little bowls on our dining table, gave each child a foil takeout container and when they were happy with their mix I went round and poured melted chocolate into each one, they then added more toppings if they wanted. I made up little flags in advance with their names on cocktail sticks which were placed in the corner of each one to identify them later (I removed these when I wrapped them at the end of the party). We then put them all in the fridge to set.

These were Oli and Cyan’s bars. I wasn’t sure how they would taste with all the assorted ingredients added, but they were actually surprisingly delicious! (I did get to sample theirs :)

At the end of the party I wrapped each bar in baking foil and pre-printed custom wrappers with each childs’ name. The kids all had a lot of fun making the bars! I would highly recommend this as an activity at any party.

The kids then used the remaining sprinkles and some purple icing to decorate their own chocolate cupcakes (except Jack who wanted to leave his cupcake plain!) and I had made up golden toppers with their names to go on each one, these were put aside until it was time for food.

In the party madness I sadly neglected to get a photo of all the food laid out, but we did have a few of these biscuits left at the end, they were lemon/chocolate pinwheel cookies and we baked them on cocktail sticks so they were like lollipops.. very cute and tasty too :)

I wanted to make a cake reminiscent of the chocolate factory landscape in the Charlie and The Chocolate Factory films, so I baked a rectangular cake in a large roasting pan, then cut it in half diagonally. I added a cut off piece of cake to make a hill on one side.

I iced the cake with green butter frosting on top and brown chocolate frosting around the edges. Karl made the chocolate river by streaming some melted chocolate onto baking foil, and then trimming it to the right size to fit between the cakes. The bridge was made from half a Curly-wurly which we warmed gently, laid over a mug and then cooled in the fridge. I added a path of chocolate minstrels and brown and orange smarties.

I then added fruit rock and swirly lollipop trees and candy canes. The cake was completed with 6 candles on one side for Cyan and 8 candles on the other side for Oli.

My favourite part of the party was the sweet shop. I bought a whole selection of old school sweets and filled all my glass storage jars from around the house. These were set out in the glass cabinet on our sideboard, I temporarily removed the sliding doors and added some pastel colour paper backing. The sweet shop was covered up during the party, I unveiled it at the end and the kids all picked a bag of sweet treats to go in their party bag.

I had fun coming up with names for some of the sweets, we had: Flumpa Lumpas (super flump marshmallows), Parma Violet Beauregardes (parma violets), Fizzy Lifting Saucers (sherbet flying saucers)..

I had two jars with chocolate minstrels and smarties in, and labelled them Chocolate Smarties and Chocolate Sillies, when I unveiled the sweet shop and told the kids all the goodies to choose from, I said “.. chocolate smarties, which make you smart; and chocolate sillies, which make you..?” and they all chorused in delight “SILLY!!”. The chocolate sillies were THE MOST popular item, the jar was empty at the end, and the kids took great pleasure in sampling the sillies and demonstrating their silliest behaviour!

I made some signs to put up, the SWEET SHOP sign was hidden until the big reveal, I covered the whole thing up with a large piece of purple fabric from my stash, and a sign which read CHOCOLATE INVENTION ROOM, as this was where we made the chocolate bars at the start.

To make the signs I simply printed all the letters in purple on white paper, punched them out with a circle punch and stuck them onto gold card.

We had balloons and a PARTY sign on the front door..

Our living room was the FUN AND GAMES ROOM..

More balloons in purple, gold and chocolate brown for décor, these were hung down from the ceiling with strips of double-sided sticky tape..

I ordered some purple and white candy stripe paper bags for the party bags, I folded down the tops, punched holes and tied them with a golden yellow ribbon. I made name tags printed on the same golden vellum paper as the golden ticket invites. They looked cute.

Inside, along with their custom Wonka bars, they had their sweet shop candy selection..

I designed some custom stickers which were printed by the lovely There were two sheets, one with colourful candy designs and one with chocolate squares, with each child’s name on..

I also included a few small stationery items, mini coloured pens and striped post-it note pads..

So that was our chocolate factory party.. a bit crazy and a lot of fun!
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