Friday, October 25, 2013

{Tutorial} Sock Hop Party! + Template

Ya'll know I have two blogs - a personal one and this - the Pressed Clovers one.  I like to put all my fun crafty things here, so if you are looking for fun crafty things, you can just keep scrolling through the pages and won't be bogged down with photos from my family and friends.

This post is THE MOST visited post on my personal blog.  The Sock Hop Party. When my sister and I wanted to do this theme we knew we had a lot of space to cover and not a lot of money.  With lots of online research for ideas, this is what we came up with, which was very budget friendly.  I hope you can use it for your own party and please share your ideas with me! Well do it again one day and I'd love to have your feedback and input. :)

Enjoy the Sock Hop Party and have a great weekend!

Sock Hop Party Ideas

When my sister and I decided to decorate for my Mom's 60th birthday party, we really wanted to do the "Sock Hop" theme.  We were, however, flat broke and couldn't spend insane amounts of money on decorations. Therefore, a little creativity came into play. :)

After searching and Pinning my ideas and thoughts, I came up with centerpieces, a birthday sign and a focal point for very little money.  Work - yes. But I can handle work.

** NOTE ** please use these idesa and abuse these ideas! I'm loading them here for you to steal and improve and enjoy! This way YOU aren't starting from scratch like I did! :)

1)  The centerpieces.  I found this picture online of records stacked up with a dancing couple on top. Loved it!

Surely I can re-create this, right?  Indeed, I can. And I did. I used one real record, purchased at a thrift store, for each centerpiece. If I would have had more time, I'm sure I could have stacked.

But anyway, I covered the labels using circles that I cut out from blue poster board. I used superglue to attach the circles to the records.

I also used spray glue and gold glitter to jazz it up, but that was a mess, smelly and a pain. I don't recommend it.

The templates for the people are below. I used their people for a guideline and tweaked it into what I liked just a bit better. Each person took up one piece of 8.5" x 11" paper.  Then I traced it onto a flat box top to use as a template, placing their hands close together, like they were holding hands.  My template piece combined the two people into one solid piece, joined at the hands.  When you print these out and cut them out, you will need to flip one over, so they are facing.  I could get three couples out of one piece of black poster board, thanks to the sticker that I couldn't remove on each piece (otherwise, I could have gotten four). GRRRrrr....

A little note about black poster board - when you cut it, depending on how you cut, there is a white outline on one side of the poster board. This didn't bother me, however, if you are a perfectionist, I'm giving you forewarning.

The long tabs are where you will bend the paper and glue it to the record. (This is where the glitter caused havoc, making my people not want to stick to the record.) I also used superglue for this. I spread their legs apart a ways to help steady them on the record.  I also tied a piece of pink ribbon around her ponytail for cuteness.  My picture is on this page... one that I didn't glitter. I do recommend waiting until you get to your location to do this, because it is very hard to travel with these.

Don't make fun of my shoes and say it looks like a drunken monkey did it. I couldn't see their feet on the example, so ... yeah. Just make yours look better, ok?

I also used this same template and a projector to make life-sized people.  Instead of carting the fridge box everywhere, I taped wrapping paper to the wall with the white side up and copied the people onto that as a template. The girl requires two strips of wrapping paper because of her skirt. Then we traced it onto the cardboard and used an exacto knife to cut. When it got dull, we used an old bread knife, which worked pretty good!  Instead of tabs on their feet, I just made them into a large rectangle at the very bottom, so I could glue/tape a box to the bottom for steadiness.  It worked great. We did have to put a brick in one box, but that was pretty much it. For the girl, just to make sure she was ok, I used a piece of cheap pipe from Lowe's and taped it up her back. This was cheaper than dowel rods.  I also bought some yard sticks for .69, but didn't end up using them. Of course, you need to spray paint your people.  I also used a scarf to tie around her ponytail. Here is the entire focal point section below.

The checkerboard backdrop was purchased at Party City, 40 feet for $20.  I didn't use all of it. (The green you see is a chalkboard - our event was held at an old school/now community center). The "records" were huge pieces of round cardboard that I got from work. But with some spray paint and labels from poster board added, they made a great decoration. Superglue didn't work well for paper-to-paper, so hot glue and spray glue was used. The Rock and Roll sign was part of a set of "Scene Setters" at Party City, which included a huge jukebox, 2 guitars (which I didn't use) and the Rock and Roll sign.  The jukebox is at the far side of the stage, but I didn't get a picture of it. Sorry!

For the Happy Birthday banner, I did buy a "make it yourself" type of banner at Party City, so I would have the vinyl background and sticker letters.  Then I used black poster board to make records and orange paper for the labels, so Mom's name would stand out.  So it wasn't quite as cool at my original idea (see below) but it was an acceptable substitute on short time.  Another thing that you want to finish assembling at your venue.
The original idea...

My substitution
I found this great decoration idea somewhere that was a clock/record that had this "Rock Around the Clock" theme. I had to have it. But not at that price.  So, with another piece of round cardboard, I tried to be creative and do a shortcut. I glued a black plastic tablecloth to the circle.  Just don't do that. It's wrinkly and messy.  Spray paint instead. Oh well, live and learn.  However, I found these record plates at Party City on sale!!! Small ones and big ones, which was perfect! More blue poster board and some hot glue and we have our very own Rock Around the Clock theme!  Again - finish it at the venue. This was a very last minute thing, so make yours look better, ok?
Their clock
My clock
In honor of mom, we did a photo collage of pictures throughout the years.  Added a record from poster board from the top with the words, "Barbara's Greatest Hits" on the label.  This cardboard came to our office with posters inside, so it was a solid back and the two sides folded to meet in the front. Perfect - it would stand on its own. You can get these display boards at Wal-Mart, too.  I glued a themed tablecloth from Party City to the cardboard and made the border from black poster board.  We glued each photo to black or blue paper to make it stand out on the background. This is what people loved - photos of mom from baby to 60!  I'm so glad we did this.  Thankfully, I had already scanned in many of her baby pictures and 20's pictures for another project and could just print them at Walgreens for quick pick up. 

For the tables, the venue had white paper tablecloths and we just used cheap plastic ones for the dollar store, cut into diamond shapes, to add some color.  Add the centerpieces and you are good to go! We later added the smaller records (45's) to each side.  The kids loved them - they had never seen records!!

I really hope this helps someone have a great party - at least using this as a jumping off point.  We had a great time, add some oldies music on an ipod with some decent speakers and my Mom and her family danced half the night!!! It was great!

If you do use any of these ideas, or if you have some great ones of your own, PLEASE SHARE some pictures or just the ideas themselves!! I'd love to see in case I ever do this again! :) Thanks!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Autumn is {Finally!} in the Air!

Ya'll, it's finally cooling off in the South, and we are getting a touch of fall color in the trees. I've been waiting to switch the AC over to heat and - although I haven't done it yet - I'm thinking surely before THANKSGIVING I'll be able to make the great switch (right?!).

So here is the latest in pumpkins on the hill.  The hill consists of three houses - mine, my sister and her family, and my parents.  Katie has made three pumpkins for gifts so far.  I've decorated the office with an extremely tacky pumpkin and this one is for the house.

I know I have other "tutorials" on how to make fru fru pumpkins on this site, but let me tell you about this one.  I didn't see burlap ribbon in the dollar store so I had to improvise.

Here is how it goes:

  • Buy a cute pumpkin
  • Visit the dollar store for cheap leaves. Either the pack of leaves or pictured are leaves from two "bunches" so I could get green, red, orange and yellow
  • Grab some hot glue sticks or straight pins
  • Find a cute kitchen towel 
  • Grab some packaging tape
To make my own ribbon I shredded a kitchen towel! Simply snip one end (I wanted shorter strips) and pull really hard. It makes the great frayed ends.  For one strip I put packaging tape down the length to make it stiffer.  This was used for the bow. 

I chose to hot glue everything for this pumpkin. Just a few dots to hold everything in place.  And I tried not to over do it with the leaves, which is usually my downfall.  I have a few more decorative items I can use on it tonight, but I'm liking it ok as is. 

I love these - great inexpensive centerpieces for Thanksgiving and they last forever (not really forever, but through the holidays, for sure!).