Party Planning…

I’m going to warn you now, Husband stole my camera, so half of the photos in this post are Terrible.  I really mean that.

A friend of mine, and Son’s, is having a Halloween party on Saturday, and I volunteered to help out.  The guests will mostly be 1st graders, with a few three/four year olds thrown in, so that means snacks and games, and drinks when it’s all over.  I opted to make one of the games, and then tonight, I’ll be helping with food prep.

The game we settled on was a Toss Box, you know, a box with holes that you toss bean bags into.  And although we wanted the game to be fun, we also had a budget — as close to free as possible.  I got lucky.  Somebody down the street from me got a new recliner, and placed the box on the curb.  Son and I went for a walk, and snagged it.  FREE!

We quickly cut one side of the box so we could lay it out flat.

I decided that I only needed three sides for the box to stand up, so I cut one panel away, and then taped the flaps together at the bottom.

Then I had to draw something for the kids to toss their bean bags into.  I chose jack-o-lanterns, stacked on top of each other, and then I cheated.  Well, maybe cheat is a bit harsh, I used the tools I had on hand.

Yep, a few months ago, Husband surprised me with a craigslisted overhead projector.  I was so excited.  I used it to project an image I found online, onto the box…

and then I traced it, leaving off the mouths; I figured the teeth would make it hard to score a point, and kids always want to win.  So I drew the mouths on after, by hand, and cut them out.

I don’t know if it comes through, but I was hoping to give the pumpkins some personality.  I feel sorry for the poor guy on the bottom.

When it came to painting the image, I wanted to keep it simple, and free.  I already had some paint on hand, white from my college days, and orange from when we painted Son’s room the first time.  I needed green, black, and purple for the background.  Those set me back about 20 bucks, but I have lots left over that can used for years to come.

Yeah, can you believe we painted Son’s room that colour?!  It made the hallway glow.

One of the complaints I’ve heard about cheap paints, is that they don’t cover well.  I’m here to tell you that I have a secret.  Water.  Most acrylic craft paints are a bit think for even coverage, but if you add a bit of water, things can move smoothly.  You really want your brush to feel like silk when painting; you shouldn’t feel the brush dragging.

After what seemed like hours of painting, I was finished.

I wanted the background more purple, but I added too much black when mixing, and after several coats, I gave up.  You can also see, in this photo, that the sides come together in the back.  I figured it would be more stable this way, and just marked, and trimmed, the top flaps to allow it.  When I get the box to the party, I’ll tape it all together.  It should be plenty tough, then.

After I got the box all finished, it was time to move on to the bags.  Luckily, I had some left over Halloween fabric from when I made Son’s trick or treat bag last year.  (This is where the bad photos begin!)

I cut a piece out, and then divided it into fifths, on the back side.

While the fabric was still in one big piece, and upside down, I ran it through the sewing machine, stitching 3 sides.

Then, I began stitching on the left side of the division marks, from one side to the other, and then on the right side, stopping just short of going completely across.  After, I used my scissors to cut along the division marks, leaving me with 5 inside out bags, with a small hole in one side.

I flipped the bags right side out, pushing them through the holes, and then went to the kitchen.  Now I know that bean bags are normally made with beans, but I like beans, and I had something else on hand that I don’t particularly like — brown rice.  I know it’s healthy for you, and I like the flavour, but everytime I cook it up, it’s oatmeally.  I gave up, and went back to plain old white.  Go ahead, call Dr. Oz.  I grabbed a funnel, and poured 100 grams into each bag.  To be honest, I settled on 100 grams by chance.  I filled one bag with rice, and when I was happy with how it felt, I weighed it; I was just lucky that it turned out to be such a nice number.

Once the bags were filled, I still had to close up the holes.  I came across a website, Fern and Freckle, a while back, that showed how to properly stitch an invisible seam, and this seemed the perfect opportunity to try it out.  Her tutorial is easy to follow, and in no time, I felt like a pro.

When they were finished, the bags looked like this..

I handed it to Son to test out.

Sure, he’ll have an advantage over the others, but I won’t tell them, if you won’t!

In the end, the box was free, half of the paint was free, and everything I used to make the bags was free.  Not bad for a game that’s sure to give hours of fun!

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1 Comment

Filed under DIY, Fun and Free Ideas, Save my Wallet, Save the Earth, Sewing, Toys

One response to “Party Planning…

  1. Caedwin

    What a wonderful job! I know they’ll have fun. (Hope you do as well!!)

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