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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Let's Get Homey-Birthday Countdown Blocks

Yay for Birthdays!!!

Birthdays are kind of a big deal around here, at least for me! I love birthdays...even my own (weird thought huh?)

I love making a big deal out of birthdays, especially when it comes to my kids or the hubs. I plan them for months in advance, thoughtfully consider each gift, and I'm pretty sure whether it's my birthday or not I'm the most excited person in the room!

While I love celebrating birthday's and going all out, I am a woman of reason with limits (Did you just hear someone laugh?). As a general rule, like most of you out there I'm sure, we try really hard not to spoil our kids. Don't misunderstand me we still gift, but they're smaller more meaningful gifts, and just 1 or 2. We leave the spoilin' to the grandparents...because who are we kidding really it's their right.

And since our kids are drowning in grandparents, the hubs and I decided last year that we would shift gears when it came to birthdays and focus more on making each birthday a memorable experience.

How you ask?
By jam packing each birthday with FUN of course!

So fast forward to the little man is turning 6, and I'm of course super pumped to stuff this birthday with fun until it pukes (confetti is what I imagine a birthday would puke?) and this is what I created as our helpful family birthday visual aid (because there has to be a visual doy...yea that just happened)

Our Family Birthday Countdown Blocks!!!
Ta DA!
Are you loving it as much as me?

Here's how these bad boys work:
Okay so to truly make each birthday a CELEBRATION, we've got to really celebrate it. With the countdown blocks we are doing just that...celebrating for an entire week! Yea you read that right...I said a week of birthday...Genius Right?

So what I do is have the birthday boy/girl sit down and think up 8 fun things that they want to do to celebrate (within reason... I'm not flying anyone to Paris here just going mini golfing). This is key to ensuring a memorable birthday celebration! So the 8th event of course is the major event that they actually want to do on their birthday. For us this usually entails an entire day of "whatever you want." Your favorite breakfast, favorite lunch, favorite activity, and favorite dinner and dessert. (Get the drill?)

Each candle holds one event, the biggest candle in the middle holds the Birthday day celebration. A week before the birthday we fill out the candles, and each day the birthday boy/girl picks a candle from the countdown and we do whatever fun activity is listed on the back. Easy Peasy right?

I didn't do it for this birthday, but from now on out I'm thinking we should add a photo journal showcasing photos of each event- you know for memories. Who doesn't love memories?

So, Would you like to make your own Family Birthday Countdown Blocks?

First thing you want to do is to cut, sand, and paint your blocks. My blocks were 3 1/4x3 1/4x10", 3 1/4x3 1/4x7", and 3 1/4x3 1/4x4"
After sanding, paint them up whatever color floats your boat and let dry completely.
(I spray painted mine for faster drying and because as we know I am impatient)

Next you'll want to get out your cutsie stock pile of scrapbook paper, find a few sheets you love and that match and cut some pieces to cover the front of your blocks. (I just traced the blocks to find the size and cut a little smaller to show edging)
Mod Podge those suckers on, use a credit card or scrapping tool and start from the middle and go out to the edges to help avoid bubbles. Let dry completely.

Once your blocks are dry, or slightly before if you can't wait like me, you'll want to take the top block and poke 8 holes randomly in the top of the block for the candles (be sure to center 1 hole). I did this with a nail, hammer and my brute strength (seriously do you keep hearing someone laughing?). You'll want to make sure your hole size coincides with the gauge of your wire. Also, poke your holes about 1/4-1/2 of an inch deep.

Take your wire, and wire cutters and cut yourself 7 pieces of about equal length and 1 slightly longer. You'll first have to eyeball how tall you want your candles to stick up, to decide how long to cut your pieces.
For mine, I wanted the candles in total to be about 5-5.5 inches tall. The candles themselves are about 4 inches with the middle candle slightly taller so I cut my wire 2 inches long and 1 about 2.5.

(you have to add a little for the 1/2 inch deepness of the hole and also for the curling of the wire)
Once you have your pieces cut, take your pliers or fingers and curl your wire into a spiral (I just curled twice).
Really just play around with it until you like the look. Keep the spiral fairly tight so that it can hold the candle.

On to the Candles...for this part we need the services of our handy dandy Silhouette Machine. So bust that bad boy out!

I first visited the Silhouette Store and found myself some lovely birthday candles, and for this particular project we used the print and cut feature. I colored in my candles to my liking,


printed and then cut out each candle and...

At this point I had my little man fill out each candle with his chosen activities...

Here's the activities my little man choose:
1. Photo Shoot for 6 year pics (that one was mine)
2. Bouncy House
3. Day @ the Park
4. X-Box Kinect Day
5. Library
6. Wii Day
7. Bake Cookies
8. The big one: Chocolate Chip Muffins for Breakfast, Grilled Cheese for Lunch, Rumbi for Dinner (Hawaii Noodles as we call them around here), Fun Day @ the Family Fun Center (mini golf, bouncy house, bowling...), and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake for Dessert.

Next, add each candle to the wire spirals and adorned them to the top of the cake.

For a final touch I cut out some vinyl lettering and there you have it.

All ready to make those birthday's something special to remember!

If you're lucky like me, all your hard work will pay off with your little one telling you as you tuck him in that final night "This was the best birthday EVER!"
(You better believe that brought on the waterworks!!)

Happy Crafting!
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1 comment:

  1. I am in LOVE with this idea! You did a wonderful job! I can't wait to make one. I wish I had a Silhouette to make the candles though. Thanks for this cute idea!


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