2 Places to Shop Sustainable Party Supplies – Great for Weddings Too!

Upcycled Birthday Banner – $64.95 from Green Planet Parties!

Hello there! At Make A Birthday Wish we try to do our part by sharing  DIY, healthy, and sustainable ideas for

everything from planning daily lunches to your families birthday parties and celebrations. Today we’ve got two great places to shop for sustainable, fair trade, and eco-friendly party supplies that are perfect for your next birthday, anniversary, or even wedding! Each site features handmade goods and supplies made from eco-friendly materials. And in case you are wondering, does going green mean you have to sacrifice style? Not at all. Check out some of our favorite goods from each site!

Green Planet Parties – The goods on this site are more suited to birthdays, but ther eare still lots of ideas for other celebrations as well. We especially love this recycled burlap birthday banner loaded with crafty rustic charm!

 

 

The other place to shop sustainable party supplies both online and in some Whole Foods Stores is:

Susty Party – They have so many options for cups, plates, straws, napkins, and party kits available in some well-designed prints and colors. Their cups are now being carried in select Whole Foods Stores! Check out these whimsical compostable paper straws?

Susty Party Paper Straws – $6.99 per Pack of 50.

And how about these cups you can find in Whole Foods? Love the prints, and these are completely non-toxic, compostable, and manufactured with 75% blind labor in partnership with Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Clovernook is a non-profit that aims to empower people who are visually impaired. How awesome is that?

10 oz Compostable Cups by Susty Party- $4.99 per pack of 12.

Do you try to make smart choices that are good for people and planet when planning your events?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Happy New Year! Looking Back to the Best of 2012!

Image from the Huffington Post.

Happy New Year to all our readers and supporters out there! It was a fantastic year in 2012, we were able to help bring joy and relief to hundreds of kids in San Jose during their birthday months. And in 2013 we hope to reach even more :). With 2012 behind us it is important to reflect back on what was good, so today we have our top 5 posts from this past year! You guys really like to craft don’t you ;)!

Make A Birthday Wishes Top 5 Posts in 2012:

  1. DIY Decorations: Paper Stars – A great tutorial for handmade paper stars perfect for a party or just because!
  2. DIY Party Decorations: Pennant Banner – Both fabric and paper options abound in this post!
  3. DIY Owl Crafts: Part 1 – Seriously adorable owl crafts at a variety of difficulty levels! Who doesn’t love owls?
  4. DIY Crafts: Button Bracelets – So simple and so cute. These make great little gifts or packaging additions.
  5. 3 Party Favor Packing Ideas We Love – And apparently you love these unique ideas too!

What was your favorite post this past year? And what would you like to see more of in 2013?

If you are interested in supporting what we do at Make A Birthday Wish or learning more you can go to our website by clicking here. Have a great New Year’s Day!

Our Top Craft Books For This Holiday Season

If you are looking for a unique, thoughtful, and purposeful gift for a friend or your children, why not give them a book? Books make wonderful gifts and today we have selected 5 of our favorite crafting books. So you can be sure that your gift will not only give the gift of knowledge but also help unlock the creative juices of your someone special! Several of the books we selected even feature “green” craft ideas and specialize in crafts suitable for younger kids! Onto our picks!

Craft-A-Day: 365 Simple Handmade Projects

This wonderful little gem is jam packed with tutorials and crafting ideas. Great for adults and kids alike, and a pretty good bang for your buck at only $16.47 on Amazon.


Drawing Lab For Mixed Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises To Make Drawing Fun

This book is perfect for both seasoned drawers and beginners. It will help reinforce good techniques and expand any readers’ artistic side. And with 52 exercises, the book lends itself well to a year-long self-guided study in drawing. Pick it up from Amazon for $15.63.

 

Green Crafts For Children: 35 Step-by-Step Projects Using Natural, Recycled, and Found Materials

This book would make a great gift to both kids and parents looking for ways to engage their children in the arts while teaching them about environmental stewardship. A great deal at $11.73 on Amazon!

 

Sewing School: 21 Projects Kids Will Love To Make

This book is fantastic if you are interested in teaching your kids how to sew and is available on Amazon for $11.53.

The Big Green Book Of Recycled Crafts

A great collection of crafts that reuse, repurpose, and recycle materials into handmade treasures. Just $3.98 on Amazon!

Do you craft with friends or your family for fun? What kinds of crafts do you do?

 

Have A Paper Holiday: 3 DIY Paper Crafts For A Homemade Christmas!

At MABW we love crafting, reusing, re-purposing, and putting a personal touch on special occasions. Today we’ve got 3 tutorials to share with you that will have you crafting most everything you need this Holiday season with paper!

DIY Recycled Paper Tree

We love this idea! Imagine using brown packaging paper, newspaper, or magazines to make mini versions of this tree? Can you say great centerpiece for practically nothing?!!!

DIY Tutorial for Recycled Paper Christmas Tree by Casa Sugar

DIY Tutorial for Recycled Paper Christmas Tree by Casa Sugar

DIY Star Wars Snowflakes or Garland

These snowflakes would make any nerd proud. Such a fun idea, you could try it with different colored paper too!

Free Printable Template from Matters of Grey

Free Printable Template from Matters of Grey

Free Holiday Gift Tags

These printables from Sass & Peril make adorable homemade packaging a cinch this holiday season!

Gift Tag Printables by Sass & Peril

Gift Tag Printables by Sass & Peril

Which is your favorite holiday paper craft? We are partial to the Star Wars Snowflakes 🙂

DIY Decorations: Paper Stars

These awesome paper stars are an easy DIY party decoration, or great for everyday home decor! The materials are cheap and easy to find, and the tutorial we found makes the whole process easy as pie!

Materials:

  • Origami paper or other square paper, such as 12′ scrap-booking paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • String or ribbon to hang the stars

Instructions:

  • Follow this great picture tutorial for detailed visual step by step instructions!

Some fun variations include:

  • Using old newspapers or magazines to make the stars.
  • Mixing and matching sizes to create a pretty cluster.
  • Adding embellishments such as gems, glitter, buttons, anything your heart desires!

This craft is simple enough it could even be a fun birthday activity for the kids! Do you have any great DIY decorating ideas to share?

Enhanced by Zemanta

DIY Party Favors: Make Your Own Seed Bombs!

We came across a fantastic tutorial for making adorable seed bombs on a neat blog called Mademoiselle Chaos. We think these heart shaped seed bombs would make great party favors or gifts for guests at your next party!

What You Need:

  • Seeds – any kind of flower you like, preferably native!
  • Old newspaper
  • Water
  • Bowl
  • Immersion blender
  • Sieve
  • Scrap cloth
  • IKEA’s heart-shaped ice-cube trays or any other soft silicon mold

Directions:

  1. Shred the newspaper into tiny pieces or strips.
  2. Add warm water to the newspaper in a bowl.
  3. Using the immersion blender, blend your concoction.
  4. Add the seeds to your mixture.
  5. Line the sieve with the scrap cloth.
  6. Pour your mixture into the cloth-lined sieve and squeeze out as much water as you can.
  7. Take part of the semi-dry mixture and press it into the shaped ice-cube tray or silicon mold.
  8. After you have filled all the molds and the seed bombs have begun to dry, remove them from the mold.
  9. Place the seed bombs in a warm dry place to completely dry out. But don’t heat them up, or you will kill the seeds!
  10. Once dry, carry your seed bombs in your pocket and plant flowers wherever you go :).

We love these flower, fall pumpkins and leaves, butterfly, and dinosaur molds available on Amazon! The original tutorial with pictures and tips can be found here. What do you think of these adorable seed bombs? Will you make some for your next party?

Enhanced by Zemanta

DIY Decorations: Yarn Chandelier

This awesome DIY decoration tutorial comes from blogger Nicole at Libby Lane! Her blog is full of great decorating ideas be sure to check it out. We especially love this tutorial that shows you how to make yarn chandeliers that you will want to keep up in your home year round! Give it a try and let us know what you think.

Materials:

  • Yarn of different colors
  • School Glue (Elmer’s works nicely)
  • Corn Starch
  • Vaseline
  • Dowel rod/pole for hanging
  • Scissors
  • Balloons
  • Bowl for Mixing

Steps:

  1. Blow up balloons: To achieve various sized yarn chandeliers consider using a large punching balloon as the main focal point and add standard balloons for the surrounding areas. Inflate the standard balloons to approximately half capacity to keep as true of a circular shape as possible.
  2. Assemble work space: Place a long pole or dowel rod between two chairs to create a DIY ‘drying station’. Place a plastic trash bag or disposable plastic tablecloth underneath where you will hang the balloons. Your lanterns will require some dry time so, it may be a project best suited for indoors or your garage where wind will not be a factor.
  3. Attach balloons to rod: Tie yarn around the stem of the balloon and hang from the dowel rod. Be sure that the balloon is suspended and not touching the surrounding balloons.
  4. Mixing: Cover each balloon in a light coating of petroleum jelly. This ensures that the yarn will not stick to the balloon once it is dried and popped. Next, mix the school glue (about half of the bottle) with approximately 1/2 cup of cornstarch and approx. 1/4 cup of water. You can add more cornstarch and glue if you need a thicker paste consistency.
  5. Wrapping the balloons: Dip the yarn into the glue mixture, squeeze out the excess, and begin wrapping the yarn around the balloon vertically and then switch to horizontally. Once you have covered a good part of your balloon, cut the yarn and tie to a surrounding piece. I chose to do this near the stem of the balloon so it would not be as obvious when hanging.
  6. Drying/popping: Allow yarn chandeliers to hang for 24 hours in a dry, covered area. Patience in this step is a virtue! DO NOT attempt to shorten this process! When your yarn is dry, it is time to pop the balloons! The dried glue crystals on the yarn will easily flake off when lightly tapped.
  7. Hang and admire your chandeliers!

Green Party Decoration Swap Out: Try Pom-Poms Instead of Balloons!

Balloons are treated loads of nasty chemicals: ammonia, tetramethyl thiuram disulfide, zinc oxide and added plasticizers! Not to mention the harm they can cause to marine life if they find their way to the ocean instead of the landfill. So try making and hanging pom-poms from your ceiling. These look super cute and are a very affordable alternative.  Martha Stewart has a great tutorial here for how to make paper pom-poms in only 4 easy steps!

All you need to get started is:

  • Tissue paper in desired colors (8 sheets per pom-pom), by Martha Stewart Crafts, available at Michaels
  • 24-gauge white cloth-covered floral wire
  • Scissors
  • Monofilament
Enhanced by Zemanta

DIY Party Decorations: Pennant Banner

Feeling crafty? Tired of wasting money on party decorations that you just toss out after the guests leave? Then considering making some of your own decorations. This week we want to share some tutorials we have found for making your own pennant banners to hang at your next celebration!

Making a pennant banner is pretty simple and these tutorials make the process even easier. When you are done you will have a great decoration that we are sure you will want to leave up all the time, or at the very least re-use!

  • Pink Stitches has a tutorial for sewing a fabric pennant banner. Fabric banners take a little more time and skill, but they last forever and look amazing. Click here to get the steps and templates!
  • Hand Jobs for the Home is another blog offering a myriad of at home project guidance. Click here to see their tutorial for a paper pennant banner.
  • Simply Salvage is a cute blog offering a tutorial for paper pennant banners (and lot’s of other DIY decorating advice). Click here to see the tutorial.

Give these tutorials a try, and then share your thoughts with us! Do you have any pictures of your creations, share those too!

Enhanced by Zemanta

eVites

Handmade Wedding Invitation

Handmade Wedding Invitation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Earlier this week we shared some tips for making your birthday party a little greener. One easy tip that saves time, money, and trees is using online invitations, or eVites! Paper invitations are nice, but these days, making the switch to web-based invites just makes more sense. It allows your guests to sync the event to their phones and calendars immediately – so they don’t forget! It also allows you to avoid the hassle of calling around for RSVP’s (which you know usually ends up happening). Instead people can respond right from their computer with the click of a button.

Going paperless doesn’t mean you have to lose your personal flair. There are lots of options to customize your eVites with themes, images, colors, music, etc. Did I mention that most online invitation sites are free to use – ka-ching! Some sites that we recommend looking into to send your next eVite include:

  • Evites – This site is great! It’s easy to use, free, and you can sign-up via Facebook! Features include a variety of pre-made designs, the option to build or upload your own design/image, RSVP tracking, importing contacts, and so many more!
  • Pingg – They have some awesome free designs to choose from, and some that you can upgrade and pay for. We love this design and this one too!

Need some tips on wording your eVites? This blog post has great advice on how to get the right message across for your event!

What are your favorite online invitation resources? Have you sent an eVite or eCard before? What did you think?

Enhanced by Zemanta