Friday, July 21, 2017

Make Your Own Fidget Spinner Display Stand

Are your kids totally into the fidget spinner craze?  I know mine are.  We definitely have quite a few of them all over the house...which means, mine are always looking for their spinners.  This got me thinking, they need a great way to store or display their spinners.  Luckily, I received an offer from my friends at Oriental Trading Company to share some creative ideas using spinners.  So....I am.

I knew I wanted an easy way they could display the spinners creatively.  All summer, my kids have been watching videos on how to modify or customize their spinners.  I found my solution - a wooden frame, a metal hook, and paint.

My kids were super excited about this craft.  I hadn't told them that I had a box full of new fidget spinners for them.  We worked on this on a Sunday afternoon and it provided a few hours of fun away from video games and bickering....and bad snacking.  I had the kids sand down the edges of the wooden frames to avoid splinters.

Once sanded to smooth, they painted their frames.  My kids got so son used his favorite video game character, Sonic the Hedgehog as inspiration for his frames.  My daughter wanted to do paint splatter technique on hers.

Once the frames dried completely, we used a bed of E6000 to adhere the frame backer in place.  You will need to allow time for the glue to dry and set - about 20-30 minutes.

Once the frames were completely dried and set, the metal disk was glued in place and the magnetic hook set in place.  You can also make the frames without the use of a washer and just glue the magnet to the frame backer.  The washer just gives the hook extra support.

Once done, the kids were able add the spinners to the hook.  There's a small peg in the back of the square wooden frames that allowed each frame to stand up.  A picture hook can also be added to the back if you want to hang the frame on a wall.

This spinners frame display is definitely an easy project to make and a great summer craft!  Not only do they make a great way to store the spinners, but they're a great way for kids to showcase their artistic talents!  I'm sure we'll be creating more of these in the days to come as my kids come up with creative and unique ways to customize their fidget spinners!

Are your kids loving the fidget spinner craze?  Have any questions on how to make this or other summer crafts?  I'd love to hear from you!!!
Visit me @cwbdparties on 
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and tag me when share your best crafting moments using craft ideas from my site!

(I was provided with free products from Oriental Trading Company for this post. The reviews of the products are solely my own honest opinion and may not reflect the views of others.)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Host a Backyard Crab Boil Party

Here in the great state of Maryland, summer is NOT summer unless there are delicious, steamed and seasoned blue crabs on the table AT LEAST once a week!  If you're a crab lover or of seafood in general, why not call up your best group of friends and host a summer crab boil right in your backyard.


  • Utensil Cart
  • Nautical Inspired Napkins and decor
  • Chalk Paint Tray for Crab Dipping station
  • Twine wrapped Mason jars

Crab boils are great because the menu is simple, and while the whole eating experience is quite messy, the cleanup is effortless.  My family absolutely eats crabs on a weekly basis during the summer....I was seriously not kidding.  I personally am not a fan.  I grew up in Connecticut and I prefer my crustaceans a little on the Lobstah side so, I don't really get into the business of cracking open crabs.  So, I'll usually toss in a few shrimp or snow crab legs to the mix to satisfy my palette. Still, there's a lot of fun to be had by gathering together friends and family and enjoying a tasty seafood spread.  Here are my tips on organizing a festive summer crab boil.


This party is all about the food.  So, there is really no need to go all out with decor.  Small nautical touches here and there, will add the perfect details you need to make this affair festive. I worked with Oriental Trading Company to add just a few decorative touches around the yard. Set up your party space in advance of cooking your food.  Hang a simple Nautical fabric pennant banner along a plain wall or structure in your yard for a pop of color.  A fun sign, fish netting, sea shells, and small lanterns can add a bit of whimsy and character to the overall decor.


Order your fresh, in-season crabs and cook within a few hours of purchase.  If you aren't sure how to steam them your own, you can purchase them steamed and seasoned from your local seafood purveyor.

Crabs on their own are not very filling, so you may want to toss in a few small potatoes, smoked kielbasa, shrimp and corn on the cob - we cut our corn into thirds and's a great way to stretch the meal.  Cooking everything is pretty much a one pot deal, which is why it's such a great way to feed your guests.

Start by filling a large stock pot with enough water to cover your potatoes and sausage.  Once cooked through, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Alternately, you can cook the potatoes and sausage separately and pour out onto the table along with the crab, corn and shrimp.  Sprinkle a bit of crab seasoning over the entire spread for additional flavor. The crabs and corn should be cooked in the same huge pot of water along with crab seasoning, like Old Bay (make sure to bring your water back to a boil, if needed).  The crabs take about 15 minutes to cook through and will be done when they turn bright red.  You can add the shrimp during the last 3-5 minutes of cooking, they're done when they've turned bright pink and opaque.

Eating crabs are plain out messy....that's the fun of it (so, I'm told).  Roll out a disposable plastic table cover under some kraft paper (brown packaging paper works well, also) or newspaper on a long table.   You will need something to protect your table from the crab juices and spices.

Keep plenty of napkins or wet wipes on hand.  If you like the feel of cloth napkins, these navy anchor print nautical napkins from Oriental Trading are a perfect addition to your table setting.  I rolled ours up and placed them at the table in large tin buckets with paper napkins, a wooden mallet and fork.  The shells from the crabs can be placed in the buckets.  You can also place shells into large bowls to leave room for eating.  Any extra napkins or utensils you have can be placed on a separate table or cart out of the way of your main table.

Place a painted wooden tray out on your table to present different dips or sauces you like, to go with your crabs.  At home, we make a no fuss dip out a cup of ranch dressing, a cup of sour cream, a squeeze of half a lemon and about a tbsp of Old Bay Seasoning....stirred and blended to taste....super simple.  You can also put out melted butter with a bit of garlic, extra crab seasoning and fresh cut lemons.

Tip: The bugs love when food is sure to place Citronella candles and Oscillating fans around the perimeter of your party space to keep insects at bay.


Speaking of lemons, the easiest beverage to enjoy with this meal is fresh squeezed lemonade.  Serve the lemonade in tall wide mouthed mason jars wrapped with a bit of twine.  The twine helps guests grip the glasses easier, as their hands will most likely be pretty messy from eating.  My husband, who I consider easily one of the most genius people I know, used a glass baking dish as a tray to hold the mason jars.   Keep extra lemonade at the ready in a glass pitcher or dispenser for guests to go back for refills.  If you're looking for a delicious lemonade recipe, you may want to try my Watermelon cucumber Boardwalk Lemonade.

I never like to send guests home empty handed and always love to have small favors as guests leave.  Crab shaped lollipops are a fun way to say thank you for sharing in all the great eats, good times and laughter.

Don't let your summer end without putting some of these fun party ideas into action.  A crab boil is the perfect and practically effortless way to entertain.  So, gather those closest to you around the table to enjoy good fun and company.  I hope you were inspired today to create a fun food-filled bash for your seafood loving pals.

Have you used any ideas from this party or others from our posts?  Have any questions on how to plan or setup a backyard soiree?  I'd love to hear from you!!!
Visit me @cwbdparties on 
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and tag me when share your best party moments using any of my party ideas!

(I was provided with free products from Oriental Trading Company for this post. The reviews of the products are solely my own honest opinion and may not reflect the views of others.)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Nerf Battle Party

It's been a while since I've shared some handmade party fun with you lovely readers.  Lately, I've been busy with Etsy shop orders, family obligations, trying to stay healthy and obsessing over the new creative planning trend (I'm so obsessed).  We won't get into all of that today, this post is all about my favorite little boy, my son, Adam and how we celebrated his 9th birthday with an epic Nerf Battle Party!

Here's a look at all the fun we read about how we pulled it all together scroll down for all the details


  • Battle Gear Station
  • Mini DIY Obstacle Course
  • Simple Party Cake Topper
  • Treats station with all the battle fixins


If you've been a reader for a while, you know that I've planned some pretty fun celebrations for my kiddos.  We've hosted a Monster High spa party, a Sonic the Hedgehog party, and since both kids celebrate their birthdays in the same month, we even once had a dual Rock Star Party. Well, this year, we decided that we'd make this our last year to do big parties for a while.

April is always such a busy month for birthdays in our family and the following weeks just end up being a bit too crazy.  So, getting back to normal is always a challenge during that time of the year.....which is why I'm FINALLY able to sit down and share this party recap with you!

In the past most of my son's parties have been focused on some sort of video game character or a super hero.  Well, when he told me the theme he wanted this year, I was a bit shocked.  I was mostly shocked because he initially didn't even want a birthday party, opting instead to just have a quiet pizza dinner at home with his family.  Well, at some point, (notably after my daughter's birthday party) he changed his mind....and said he wanted a Nerf Battle party.

This whole theme threw me off because the boy barely plays with his Nerf guns.  So, I'm blaming You Tube for this new-found obsession as it seems that all roads point back to online videos.  My best guess is he came across a Nerf Battle video and the seed was planted.  Regardless of the theme's inception, I was all too happy to oblige.


After we set the date, I started planning all the details.  I knew automatically I would use lots of bright bold yellows, oranges and blues for the color scheme.  It was an absolute must that we had lots of darts, Nerf Guns of course and battle gear.  Once my basic ideas were in place, I began shopping for fun items that I could use to pull this shindig together.

I'm all about throwing theme parties, but I like to do it on a budget...and by budget, I mean, try and keep the cost very low.  So, I tend to shop my home, my party stash, the Dollar Tree and online deals for most of our parties.  I really tried to keep the decor as simple and affordable as I could so, there were plenty of DIY elements to this party.

Half of our yard was set up as an obstacle course using, inexpensive hula hoops, rope, wood planks (already owned and used in our yard as a garden border), repurposed wooden pallets constructed using rope to create a battle bunker and cardboard boxes spray painted camo style for our training area.

To add color to the whole yard, I originally wanted to use crepe streamers, but it was very windy the day of the party and the streamers wouldn't hold up. So, I used plastic table covers instead.  I cut cut them into wide strips and tied them just about everywhere that needed a pop of color.   It was great because they could be as long or short as I needed them to be.  In addition to the colorful plastic streamers, I also added lots of balloons onto things. I also added balloons around the yard for more color.

Normally, I would design my own printables for our parties but this time I did something a little different.  As I was looking for party ideas online, I came across the cutest Nerf themed party and it just happened to be for the son of two 'sweet' party friends, Heather and Jason of Hello my Sweet, hosted a Nerf themed party for their son a few years ago.  I loved their printables and was so happy to be able to use them for Adam's party.  They were so perfect and so different....and they saved me a good day and a half of designing, printing, cutting and assembling.  

Battle Gear Station

We created a Battle Gear Station for the kids to choose all their 'safety' gear.  The table set up was sort of the 'centerpiece' of our training course area.  I just used wooden crates that we already owned and filled them with Nerf darts, burlap and balloons to dress it up....then added the gear to the table....the printable sign pulled everything together and helped me determine what would be placed on the table.

My son and daughter were team captains and chose their team members.  My son's team was the blue team and my daughter's orange.   Each child was outfitted with team bands, safety goggles, dart belts and darts, along with their choice of Nerf Guns.

The teams color bands were just torn pieces of cotton fabric that the kids used to tie around their arms, necks and heads.  I used fabric quilting squares but bandannas would also work perfectly fine.  I found safety goggles from Dollar me....they're needed.  One of our brave soldiers kept taking his off and got shot in the eye area several times.  OUCH!

For the dart belts, I found a great idea on Pinterest using duct tape and stuck the darts around the kids' waists.  Honestly, this hack was about a 50/50 fail....for some of the kids, the duct tape belts worked great, for some, not so much. You may want to try velcro, elastics or a real Nerf dart tactical vest.  The Battle Gear station was also set up with Battle Juice (Blue Gatorade) to keep our little soldiers hydrated.

Adam has a good amount of Nerf guns, but was worried about certain ones getting damaged during the party.  So, I purchased extra Nerf guns from the Goodwill.  They were all in very good shape and only ran me about $3-$5 a pop.


Before the main games, the kids had target practice.  This activity was very simple, paper cups were set up onto the camouflaged cardboard boxes and they took turns shooting the cups off the boxes.  We also printed out the targets that came with the printable set...for every shot that hit a specific number on the target, the kids could get that amount in extra darts.

We started the big battles after target practice with playing capture the flag where each team had to run across the yard to try and steal the other team's flag. The kids also played Bunker Battle.  For the Bunker Battle, I nabbed 3 wooden pallets from the loading dock at my job and hubby constructed a makeshift fort. We also added those plastic streamers to it for color.  The last game was Every Man for Himself, which was literally every man for himself....last man standing without getting shot with a dart was the winner.

The final activity was the obstacle course where the 'winner' of the obstacle was the one who completed it in the shortest time.  For the obstacle course, we used hula hoops, small cones and poly rope.  We used two types of hula hoops, the small ones for the first obstacle.  The kids had to step through the hoops to get to the next obstacle. The other hoops were the largest we had and those were cut those about 3 quarters of the way off.  We used them to created arches with for the Belly Crawl portion of the obstacle.The next obstacle was a rope challenge, set up so the kids had step through the ropes without stepping on them.  I just used poly rope and wooden dowels staked into the ground


Before we got started with the games, I served Pizza and wings, along with Orange Gatorade.
A festive treats table was also set up with tasty snacks with fun names.....Battle Blasters (Doritos), Gatorade (Battle Juice), Poppers (Popcorn), Targets (peach flavored gummy rings - you can also use orange slices), Gun Powder (Pixie Sticks) and Pretzel Darts (chocolate dipped pretzels).

The birthday cake was from our Safeway grocery store.  I just had them make a Diner Cake (3 layer - top/bottom chocolate middle white) frosted it in the colors of the party.   I made my own toppers using my Cricut machine.


As luck would have it, my poor boy caught a little cold the night before the party, but didn't want to cancel the celebration.  After a long nap, he woke up just as the party got started, toughed it out for the first few hours of the bash, then sat out for the rest of the time.  He had just enough energy to get through everyone singing Happy Birthday and blow out his candles.  We sent everyone on their way with favor bags filled with a pack of extra darts, bubbles that were packaged to match the theme and sidewalk chalk.  They also were able to keep their battle gear goggles and team flags.

Shop the party

I hope that you were able to find ideas and inspiration for your own epic Nerf Battle party!  To shop the items or similar products for this party - use the links below.  You can find items for this party throughout this post or via the following links.

Nerf Printables:  Hello My Sweet

Battle Darts:

Safety goggles:bb

Tactical Vest:

Hope you had a 'blast', buddy!

Even though he wasn't feeling 100%  I know he enjoyed it as best he could.....another one for the books!!!

Are you planning your own epic Nerf Battle using some ideas from this post?  Have questions on how to plan or setup an obstacle course?  I'd love to hear from you!!!
Visit me @cwbdparties on 
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(This post contains affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission when you purchase any from any of the linked items.  Money generated from such links are used to create and deliver content for this blog.)

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