Okay friends, I just finished watching an advance screening of TLC's new show "Craft Wars". As you can probably tell from the name, it is the same type of competition based show as TLC's already popular show "Cupcake Wars". All I have to say is tune in or set those DVR's. I loved it! I can't wait to watch all the episodes. I'm sure I'll pick up a trick or two from all these master crafters. It all starts next Tuesday night (June 26th).
Glitz. Gaudy. Games. All there is to a good casino party, right? For my daughter's "Lucky #7" we had just that. The glorious photos are from the uber-talented Stephanie Anestis. (I, of course, forgot to take some pictures during the party, so I have none of the kids enjoying the activities. Bummer!)
To set the stage... these were the "scratch off" invitations which got the guests in the mood to try their luck!
We transformed our basement into a casino for the party by hanging money wallpaper and foil curtains. Not only did it make the party that much more festive, it also hid bumpy basement walls and the washer/dryer. We obviously wanted guests to be thinking about fun stuff in their pockets - money, not dryer lint! :) There were three game tables, the slot machine area and the food table. We also had a piñata hanging between the two playing tables. I often use piñatas because they do double duty - decoration and an activity.
The guests divided into three groups and played games at different tables- Go Fish, Piggy Piggy and Old Maid. (None of which involved gambling! Ha!) I ordered the felt tabletops online, as well as the dice card holders. Using the 7's from cheap decks of cards from the Dollar Store, I designed table signs with the game's names on printed poker chips. After we played all the games, then we busted out BINGO! It was so fun... kids are hilarious!
For another game, we made large dice from styrofoam and black dots. The plan was to play life-sized Yahtzee in the driveway, but the kids took the dice into our inflatable bounce house and were having a blast so why bother them, right!?
This corner was the "slots" area. I found the cardboard cut-out at Oriental Trading Company and couldn't pass it up since it had "7-7-7" across the middle payline. So perfect! The other "slot machine" is normally our bookshelf. I thought the 3x3 square shelves resembled a slot machine. We made signs to hang in the top and bottom paylines and for the main payline we placed the favors. Each guest went home with two favors - dice boxes filled with various casino items and a gumball slot machine. When I found the gumball slot machines, I felt like the party was complete! :) Again, so perfect!
I decorated the top of the bookcase (ahem, I mean "slot machine") with items I already had on hand. I made centerpieces out of leftover play money, cards and tickets attached to skewers. I put them all into a couple of buckets I had from a previous party. Add some dice stickers, coordinating ribbon and my hubby's poker chip set and you have a nice little casino display.
Along with my husband and I, we had a couple friends volunteer as dealers... On top of white shirts and black pants, we also sported green visors and arm bands. It was really fun! Since we had Stephanie there, we took the opportunity to take a fun family photo with all the props.
In addition to our dealer uniforms, I made the birthday girl her own special shirt. Since I can't sew, I used a product called Steam-A-Seam 2, which is a double stick fusible web. This allowed me to cut out a number "7" from the same fabric used in other parts of the party. (The fabric was a print of playing cards.) I added a heart (it is one of the "suits") and outlined it with red sequins. Inside the heart, I put little "7 of hearts" cards which I cut out from the fabric. We tied the side with matching ribbon, put on her fancy gold sandals and she was set!
We choose to have the party at 1:30 so we didn't have to feed everyone a meal. I just made a few snack type items; several of these I saw around the wonderful blogosphere and used since they fit perfectly into the theme... domino brownies, ham/turkey sandwiches in a checkerboard pattern and cheese slices cut into card suit shapes. I also found candy bars at the Dollar Store wrapped to look like money. In addition to trying to get something healthy on the table, I included strawberries and blackberries because they matched the color scheme. Popcorn bags topped with cards, of course equalling "7", is always a kid friendly snack.
On top of the table cloths, I used a couple pieces of the card print fabric and then outlined them with rolls of tickets.
While on a trip to NYC, I picked up a chocolate transfer sheet with a card print and used it to make these chocolate covered oreos. If you squint, you might be able to see the "7 of hearts" card!
For part of the tablescape, I made a card house. No, blowing it down - I hot glued it all together! :)
Now for my favorite part of any party... The CAKE! The cake's top tier was a "fuzzy dice" (made by using a grass piping tip). The next tier was a payline from a slot machine- 7-7-7! I added edible glitter to the numbers and love how they shimmered. And a slot machine wouldn't be complete without a pull handle. The Vegas-style sign (like on the invitation) was made out of fondant and gumpaste. The bottom tier was the "table"; complete with green felt, fondant poker chips and sugar paper printed cards.
Happy 7th Birthday, Lucky Lady!