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Thursday, March 18, 2010

How-To: Robin Hood Birthday Party

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This year my son, Levi, turned 5. And since we don’t do birthday parties every year (this is only his second party, ever) I wanted to do something fun, and creative that he and his friends would remember. Since Disney’s Robin Hood is one of his favorite movies and it is boy and girl friendly, I knew it would be perfect. I’ll share the things I did and give other ideas to make it work for older kids, scaled down or scaled up. Feel free to add comments if you come up with things to add!

Invitations
I love to use e-vite. It’s free and I can customize them to whatever I want. I searched the Internet for a Robin Hood image and found the one above. I added that to the e-vite and wrote a message to match: Then I customized the responses with quotes from the movie. For Yes replies it read “A perfect bull’s-eye”, for Maybe it said, “Maybe it’ll even be a double hangin’” and for No it was “It’s so miserably unfair!”. Afterward I thought of another quote to use for yes replies, "Coming...coming!" Our guests even responded in the same manner with mentions of Sir Hiss and a condition of attendance based on a tax cut. If you are into paper crafting you could make a bull’s-eye out of red and white paper with all the party information on the reverse side. If you make it the size of a CD you can use CD sleeves as envelopes and tuck in a few paper arrows too.

Crafts
For all the craft items I tried to use things I (or my parents) already had, were cheap, easy to find and uncomplicated. Also being frugal, I started purchasing items a few months in advance using my weekly Jo-Ann’s and Michael’s coupons. I won’t say you already have all these things (even though you might) because I hate it when shows say…”Using only things you already have…” and I think “Great!” until I realize that I have none of those items. Like the time Rachel Ray made a meal from pantry staples which included a can of anchovies… Really? Anchovies are a staple? Anyway… All of the crafts are simple. If you can cut, glue and sew a straight line (or know someone who can) you can make these fun party hats and favors.


Hats

Robin Hood
  • Green felt
  • Craft Feathers
  • Hot Glue
  • Green Thread
I searched high and low on the Internet for a Robin Hood hat pattern and found a few. One was in metric and the other had incorrect measurements (good thing I tried it with newspaper first!), so I created my own pattern on a 12x12 piece of card stock. You can use newspaper too. Adjust the pattern proportionally for bigger kids, and make a sample with newspaper to make sure it’s the right size. For our size pattern, we needed a 12x24 inch rectangle of green craft felt*.

Fold the rectangle into a 12x12 square (right sides together, although it doesn’t really matter with felt), Place the pattern on the felt, aligning the folds. Trace or pin the pattern and cut out. Stitch along the two sides as shown. Turn it right side out and tuck a feather in one side. Glue a scrap of felt to the underside to secure the feather. Turn edges up as shown.

Using my coupons I was able to get 1 1/3 yards of 72” wide fabric (enough for 12 hats) for less than $5 and feathers for less than $2. *Use the 12x24 measurement when estimating the amount of fabric to buy, but just fold the fabric with enough room to place the pattern and cut. Cutting out rectangles and then the hats just doubles your work (Thank you Mom, for saving me from doing that!)


Maid Marian
  • Pink felt
  • Assorted curling ribbon
  • Pink thread
  • Glitter (optional)
  • Small, wooden, kitchen skewers (optional)
  • Satin ribbon, thin (optional)
All the online patterns I saw for this medieval style hat involved tons of sewing that I wasn’t equipped or in the mood to do. So, I just made this one up. In hindsight I wish I would have done things a little differently. My directions will include things I didn’t do, and therefore aren’t in the pictures. Cut a large half circle out of newspaper. Fold it to make a cone with the circumference and height you want. Allow for a ½ inch seam and trim the top off the point as shown. Cut the newspaper to make your pattern. Take your pattern with you to the store and lay it out on the felt, counting out as many as you need and measuring accordingly. To save cutting time, fold both you pattern and fabric, align folds, and cut. Count out 12-15 pieces of curling ribbon, cut to 30 inches when pulled straight. I used, white, purple, light and dark pink ribbon. Tie a knot at the top of the bundle, do not curl. Lay fabric open right side facing up, lay ribbons along the middle with the knot at the top. Fold fabric, closing the ribbons inside.

Stitch a ½ inch seam, sewing through the ribbons to prevent them from falling out, stitch a second seam, ¼ inch. Turn right side out. Slide a kitchen skewer (trimmed if needed) in between the two seams for extra support*.

Attach 12 inches of satin ribbon with hot glue to each side for tying under the chin, keeping the seam in the back. Apply a super-fine glitter with a dry, coarse craft or paintbrush, the felt will trap the glitter very well and it won’t transfer off much at all. Or, if you can find it, buy glitter felt. I found it in other colors, but not pink. I used an iridescent embossing powder/glitter my mom found in her craft box. If you can’t find glitter felt or have any glitter to use, fore go this step. Again with my coupon I made 12 hats for less than $5.

*I figured out that I could sew through the ribbon on the last hat I made, and I highly recommend doing it that way after we had a few ribbon bundles fall out at the party. Also, I had planned to glue skewers to the inside of the hat, but it was too tricky. I hadn’t allowed for the ½ inch seam, so I just left them with out anything for support, and while they stood up fine on their own, once the girls were wearing them and running around, they tended to flop over.



Rings

  • Small plastic rings
  • Fabric embellishments or silk flowers
  • Rhinestones
  • Hot glue


Go to a party supply place and look through their party favor bins. I found small rings for $.15 each, or $1.50 for a dozen. Even though these rings already had a charm on top (hearts, happy faces, etc.) some had already fallen off. So, I dug through the bin and pulled out those with missing pieces. Find the smallest flowers you can at a craft store. I used fabric embellishments. They were the perfect size, prettier and more durable than plain silk. They were more expensive though. I got them for around $6, but you could easily use a $.50 bunch of silks. Hot glue together petal layers if you choose then glue to the ring. My flowers already had centers on them, but if you use silks you can use rhinestones to seal the center.




Favors
  • Brown or tan fabric
  • Brown or tan thread
  • Embroidery thread
  • Tags
  • Marker or printer
  • Chocolate coins
You can use any type of scrap fabric for this. I found a piece of tan felt in the remnant bin for $1. Cut the fabric into 4x5 rectangles. Place two rectangles, right sides together and stitch on three sides with a ¼ inch seam, leaving a 4 inch edge open. You can round the bottom if you choose. Trim corners and turn right side out. Using a large craft needle, weave a 10 inch length of embroidery thread in and out 1/3 of the way down the bag to make a draw string. Fill bag with chocolate coins, we used 5, that being the birthday boy’s age and all. I borrowed a friend’s cri-cut machine to make the tags and hand wrote Thank You on one side and Farthings on the other. I wish I would have used my computer to print them with a nice calligraphy or Old English style writing and then cut tags. My handwriting is terrible. Either way, attach a farthing/thank you tag to each bag and tie a bow.








Games

  • Shuttlecocks
  • Badminton rackets
  • Bows and Arrows (optional)
Since most of the kids at this party were fairly young I ruled out having an archery tournament or organized badminton game. Although that would have been fun, I kept seeing them whacking each other with rackets, or someone walking in front of the target and thought it best to avoid those scenarios. Instead we laid down a hula-hoop (a basket would work too) and had the kids try hitting shuttlecocks with rackets into the hoop. While this proved to be more difficult than I thought (not one kid, with six tries each, made it in), it was fun to watch. We marked the driveway with sidewalk chalk and drew lines every two feet and then labeled them 1-10. Each child found their age on the number line and shot form there. 2 feet per year of age for the child evened the paying field a bit, with 5-year-olds being 10 feet away, 6-year-olds being 12 and so on. If you do this for older kids, you could definitely set up an archery area (suction arrows or real, depending on your preference and home owners insurance), play badminton or play a game of tag where the “Honorable Sheriff of Nottingham” has to capture citizens for tax evasion and throw them in jail.

Cake
Now, that is another blog entirely… stay tuned!

8 comments:

  1. You are super woman! I'm amazed that you put this all together - and I can't wait to hear about the cake :)

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  2. Thanks! Hopefully I won't have as many problems posting it as I did with this one. I'll try for this weekend.

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  3. I came across your blog while searching for a DIY Robin Hood party since my son loves that movie and is turning 5 :) Did you post about your cake because I would love to know what you did. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Miranda, I'm glad you found my blog! I hope you can find some helpful ideas for your son's party. The how-to for the cake was posted in April, it's the only post that month. Let me know if you have any questions :)

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  6. Wow amazingly beautiful party arrangement..its looks so unique and splendid. The Robin Hood hat that you have prepared is great...Can't wait to see how the cake would like...please share some pictures related to that...

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  7. Hi I want to make my son a peter pan hat do you happen to have the template for me to print out? thanks!

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