Fruit Straw Kabobs on Retro Party Straws

Fruit Straw Kabobs

I thought I’d share a quick and easy DIY project using our Retro Party Straws: Fruit Straw Kabobs! They took just a few minutes to make – all I did was poke holes through the fruit with an object smaller then the straws, then slide the fruit onto the straws! It’s as easy as it sounds!

Our retro party straws are Made in America with non-toxic, FDA Approved food safe materials. They contain no BPA and are 100% Chlorine Free! They are also compostable in 45-60 days, but durable for several hours in liquid!  Buy them at littlefreeradical.etsy.com

TIPS:

  • Since the straws are paper, I wouldn’t recommend doing it the night before your party! Wait til an hour or two before!
  • *a paintbrush, meat thermometer, or plenty of other random utensils in your kitchen drawer would work for poking the holes!

 

Photos: Custom Chevron Mickey Hat

 Back in November, a customer contacted us asking if we could customize our Mickey Mouse Fabric Birthday Hat to make it with red chevron instead of red polka dots!

So we did! And she sent us these adorable photos taken by Still Frames Photograhy!

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          I love the photos, and I love that little face! :)

DIY Retro Straw & Paper Cup Reindeer

Estéfi Machado shared this adorable idea on her blog this week with retro party straws, so we thought we’d show you if you’re looking for ideas to make with Little Free Radical’s Retro Party Straws!

 

Supplies Needed:

2 Retro Party Paper Straws
Scissors
Hot Glue Gun
Red Cardstock
Permanent Marker

Her blog is in Portuguese, so here ‘s Google Translate’s rough translation into English:

  • 2 straws of paper, cut into 4 parts
  • In the photo you see the proportions, 1 large, 1 medium and 2 small.
  • It is not a rule, but it helps to look that elk horn.
  • Make diagonal cuts always, it helps to mend the pieces!
  • Hot glue or instant, and then shove the whole horn in a hole made in the side of the cup.
  • It all fit, no need to paste into the cup.
  • Make the 2 sides.
  • The little ears are 2 pieces of red cardstock, which also sunk in the cup, making a “butcher”, a rasguinho with stylus.
  • And finally, little eyes and muzzle permanent marker!

check out the photos on her blog of step-by-step how she did it,

and be sure to go tell her you love her if you love her idea!

And Little Free Radical is currently well-stocked in straws if you’re looking for some! :)
We just got brown in as well if you want brown antlers!

NOTE – Reindeer Cup Photo Credit – Estéfi Machado

15 Minute Peeps Marshmallow Ghost Pops

If you’re looking for alternatives to packaged candy for Halloween “Trick or Treat” favors, these Peeps Marshmallow pops are quick, cheap and easy to make!

 

Supplies you need:

  • PEEPS® Brand Marshmallow Candies – sold in the Halloween Candy section at most grocery stores, department stores or drug stores – Typically 2/$3 for a package of 9 ghosts
  • Retro Paper Stripey Straws – we have them available in 13 colors in our Etsy shop $3 for 12 – which would make 24 pops.
  • 3″ x 4″ Plastic treat bags  (I got them for about $3 for 100 at Michaels)
  • Ribbon or Raffia to tie them
  • Scissors (to cut the straws & ribbon)
  • Knife with a sharp tip

Start by cutting the straws in half. Your Pop Sticks will be approximately 4″ long.

With your knife, poke a hole in the bottom of each to make a hole, then insert the stick.

 

Next, put a food-safe baggie over top of each ghost.

Then cut a piece of ribbon and tie it around the bottom of the bag to secure it.

And you’re done!
Wasn’t that easy? It took me 15 minutes to make 18 of them! :)

 

Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat – Cake Smash – by Rebecca Ryan Photograhy

While the majority of our customers buy our products on etsy for their kids rooms or birthday parties, we often sell to photographers too! A few months back, Rebecca Ryan Photography purchased one of our Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat Banners for a photoshoot.

 

 

We finally got to see photos of the “Cake Smash” she did for Jude’s first birthday!
Meet the Birthday Boy:

 I LOVE his shirt:

How cute is he?

The Cat in the Hat cake was designed by Sabrinas Sweet Temptations.

CAKE SMASH!!!

uh oh:

The End!

 

Love it?

See more of Rebecca Ryan’s work at rebeccaryanphoto.com or follow her on Facebook!
Follow Sabrina’s Sweet Temptations on Facebook here! 
Both are based in Beaumont, CA

And check out Little Free Radical’s Bunting Flag Banners here!
We ship worldwide! :)

Our Customer’s Vintage School-themed Party

I often spend hours working on a custom party order for a customer… when it’s done, I ship it off. I typically know the date of the party and think of the mom on that day, wondering how her party is going!

Sometimes I hear back after with a message or feedback, and occasionally, I get pictures from the party! Of course they always make my day!

This summer, a customer contacted me wanting to do a vintage schoolhouse theme. After poking around for fabric options, I found Michael Miller’s Dick and Jane collection. Of course, it was out of print, but I was able to still find a couple of fat quarters of it – enough to complete her order! :)

So I made little Caroline bunting flags & a birthday hat out of it it, and a cake bunting as well!  And when I took it to the post office to mail it, Sweet Caroline was playing on the radio at the post office!

Caroline’s mama was happy to get it, and we got to see some photos taken by Through the Looking Glass at the party! :)

I LOVE this photo with the bunting flag & the chalkboard to go with the theme.
See Caroline.
See Caroline have fun.
See Caroline turn one!

 

Cake Bunting I made!

Her Mama asked for a “girly” hat, so I found some ruffley pink ribbon to trim the hat! :)

and topped it with a pink pompom handmade {with love}

Here are the Bunting Flags in Color

and one last picture of Sweet Caroline!

Love it? See our etsy shop for our party packages! – We do custom themes! :)

Pink & Orange Baby Shower + FREE Printables

The last few days have been busy, planning a surprise baby shower for one of my neighbors!  We have a theatre & club room in our apartment complex, so we reserved it to do the baby shower in there. Though of course theatre’s don’t have the best lighting so sorry about the poor lighting in my photos.

I’m not a big fan of pink pink pink everything for girls, so I thought pink & orange would be fun for a summer baby shower!

We only had a small budget (under $100), so here’s what we did that looked fun & kept the costs of a shower down:

On Thursday, we made marshmallow pops, (See my full tutorial for them here!) They doubled as party favors and table decor! It cost us about $12 to make 25 marshmallow pops!

 

 

I made 5 tissue pompoms using 5 packs of tissue paper. It took me about 30 minutes to make 5 pom poms. I highly recommend using premium tissue paper though!  If you buy the “cheap” kind, they get really limp.  Martha Stewart has an easy tutorial if you’re looking for one:

 

For additional decor, I did printables in photoshop! It took me under an hour to design chalkboard-inspired straw flags, water bottle labels, and candy wrappers! The Mom-to-Be is from Colombia, so since her first language is Spanish, I did printables in Spanish & English!

And since I’m in a sharing mood, I’m uploading the English printables to share with my readers for FREE. (See Terms of Use at the bottom of my blog).

To Make the Water Bottles:

  • For $3.00 I got a case of 24 bottles of water at CVS.
  • Then I made an 11×17 sheet of 8 water bottle labels (2″x9″) and had staples print 3 of them ($2.94 total).
  • I removed the original labels on the bottles of water.
  • Then used a paper cutter to cut them (scissors would work too!) and a roll of scotch tape to attach them to the bottles.
  • Total Cost = $5.94 – Cheap & Easy!
  • CLICK HERE to download the English Water Bottle Labels!

To Make the Candy Wrappers:

  • CVS had bags of Hershey’s Miniatures on sale, 2/$5.00
  • Then I made a sheet of 15 printable custom candy wrappers and had Staples print me 4 sheets of them on Elite Gloss 8.5×11 Paper (.99/page)
  • Then used a paper cutter to cut them (scissors would work too!) and used scotch tape to attach them over the existing labels!
  • Total Cost = $9.96
  • CLICK HERE to download the Candy Wrapper Labels

To Make the Straw Flags:

To add a bit of pink to the table, I (re)used a candy jar I had from another party and filled it with pink gumballs! Another neighbor went and got us some pink & orange balloons, and another neighbor made the cake! I also made a bunting flag banner for decor that can be reused for her girls room later! :)

And instead of doing a traditional diaper cake, I made “diaper cupcakes” using a Newborn diaper, baby socks in the center, and rolling onesies or leggings around them (washcloths would work too!) and placed them inside coffee filters as “cupcake wrappers” :)

Maria was very surprised! And we all had a good time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Straw FlagsWater Bottle LabelsCandy Wrappers
Buy your paper stripey straws here!

TERMS OF USE for Little Free Radical’s Baby Shower Printables:

These are for personal use ONLY.
Please do not share, forward or distribute my PDF files.
Feel free to link to my blog for your friends to come download them for themselves!
Please credit www.littlefreeradical.com if sharing photos of these in use at baby showers.
© 2012  Little Free Radical

DIY: 30 Minute Marshmallow Pops Tutorial

Need a quick treat for a shower or party? Marshmallow pops are cheap, quick & easy!

My friend and I made these this week in about half an hour. We got 25 party favors which doubled as baby shower table decor for $12!

What you need:

 

First, insert the Paper Stripey Straws into the marshmallows.
Then put them in the freezer for 10 minutes.
By freezing them, the sticks stay ‘stuck’ better, and the melting candies will harden faster!

While they were freezing, I found a box and used a screw driver to poke holes in it so I could stand the pops up as they cooled so they didn’t get a “flat edge” and so I could work quickly before the candy hardened.

Next, melt the melting candies using one of the manufacturers suggestions

Then dip the marshmallows in. If you are using sprinkles or other toppings, immediately put them on before the candy hardens. Then set them in the “box stand” until they harden! If you are using additional melting candies to drizzle, add them once the first color hardens! I used Wilton’s Candy Decorating Bags to drizzle pink on top.

Once they are complete, you can use food-safe bags to cover them for your event!
Wasn’t that easy? :)

Fun with Silhouette Cameo: Luau Themed Bridal Shower

Last fall, when I first became a Pinterest addict, I was browsing  House of Smith’s blog, and fell in love with her photo wall:

 

 

Who wouldn’t love that?!? I found her tutorial on Vinyl Decals on Glass in Frames, Photo Wall, and saw that she mentioned the Silhouette. Then I found her Large Address Subway Art for Gallery Photo Wall tutorial.   I had just ordered the decals for Sophie’s Wall shelves when I looked up to see what this “Silhouette” was. As soon as I saw the Silhouette CAMEO Electronic Cutting Tool, I knew right then that I needed one and added it to my mental list of must-haves. I figured if it would pay for itself after a few decals. I’d had the original Cricut Machine about 5 years back, but disliked how expensive the cartridges were each time I wanted to do something new so I ended up selling it on eBay after making a get-well card and a scrapbook.

Silhouette CAMEO Electronic Cutting Tool

So, in March, my friend, Robyn, had asked me to help with her sisters luau-themed bridal shower in June. of course that required a visit to Paper Source! to check out their assortment of paper to start planning a color scheme. And there in the store was the Silhouette CAMEO Electronic Cutting Tool! I was totally psyched to SEE the machine – even more excited when I realized I could use their software with a Mac- an option Cricut didn’t offer!

So, since my Birthday was in April, I convinced my husband to go 50/50 on the Silhouette Cameo with me!  So, I sold a few things on Craigslist, to get my half of the $$$ and my husband paid the other half. :)

I had a few custom orders from my etsy shop that I was trying to finish, so the Silhouette Cameo box sitting there was totally an incentive to finish those big orders! Then I could go hit up Paper Source for Solid Cardstock Paper .

Robyn  wanted to go with bright colors, so we decided on a color-scheme, then we started a shared board on Pinterest so she could show me ideas of what it was she was looking for. She’d pin what she liked, and then I used the Silhouette CAMEO software  to design what it was she was looking for! It was so much better then the limitations I had with the Cricut. I had a blast doing it!

Jenn Frankavitz Photography of Beverly, MA photographed the bridal shower so I’ve got some excellent photos to show of how it turned out:

Sign by 4TheLoveOfHannah on Etsy

The Bridal Shower was on a beach front house in Scituate, MA

The beverage table:

I used my Silhouette CAMEO to cut out signs for each beverage container:

The lemonade also got a sign:

I cut paper flowers with my I used the Silhouette CAMEO to attach to ribbons for mason jars.

The Mason Jars were wrapped with ribbon (held on by gluedots – greatest invention EVER!) and pink striped paper straws from my etsy shop – Little Free Radical on Etsy - were placed in each for the lemonade!
A great photograph Jenn Frankavitz Photography took of the straws:

A banner I also made on the Silhouette CAMEO

I decorated the napkin tin and rolled all the utensils for her as well:

I used tissue paper from Paper Source to make tissue paper pom poms:

The Bride-to-Be had a reserved sign for her chair:

Attendees got to write advice for the Bride & Groom and leave it in a bottle to be uncorked on their first anniversary

and Just Mixin Desserts made an amazing cake:
Thanks to Jenn Frankavitz Photography for such awesome photos!

My next Silhouette CAMEO projects will be a baby shower for a friend as well as my daughters birthday party!

I’m hoping to try out decals sometime soon too! :)

Red, White & Blue Cheesecake Filled Strawberries!

Remember the  cheesecake filled strawberries I made with Tupperware back in April for my friend’s going away party?

 

I thought I’d change them up a bit in celebration of Independence Day:

I made them the same way I did the first ones (click here for my recipe & step-by-step photos), but instead of drizzling chocolate and sprinkling them with graham cracker crumbs, I used blue Wilton Candy Melts & star sprinkles I got from the bakery at Stop & Shop!

 

It took about 15 minutes, start to finish!
How’s that for an easy treat to bring along to a 4th of July Picnic?

How To: Make Cheesecake Filled Strawberries with Tupperware!

I was in the grocery store this morning and saw the strawberries were on sale buy one get one free! I have a going away party to attend tonight so I figured I’d get some to bring. I was trying to think of something else to bring with them, but there wasn’t very much “party-worthy” in my cupboards. Though I did find a box of No Bake Jello Cheesecake!At first I thought I’d make strawberry cheesecake. Then I remembered having seen people on pinterest pinning cheesecake-filled strawberries and thought, “hmmm I could fill the strawberries with the cheesecake!” I looked to see how they did it. People mentioned filling them with cheesecake mix with a spoon… but I had a better idea!Here’s how I did it in under 20 minutes start to finish:

First I used a paring knife to cut the tops of the strawberries off, and then cut the middles out. This was the step that took the longest (10 minutes for 2lbs of strawberries).*

*NOTE It may have taken me a bit longer then it will take you since I do have neuromuscular disease & I’m on coumadin (blood thinner) so I cut slow plus didn’t want to bleed all over the food. ;)

When I’m not busy creating stuff for my etsy shop, or working on D.I.Y. Projects for my daughter, I also sell Tupperware! It’s not your grandmothers Tupperware though.

They have some fabulous new stuff including the Whip ’N Prep™ Chef and my latest favorite gadget, the Squeeze It™ Decorator!!! I used both of these items to make it quick and easy!

I used the Tupperware Whip ‘N Prep™ Chef  to mix the Jello NoBake cheesecake mix. Took me under a minute to mix it!

Next I poured the cheesecake mix into the Squeeze It™ Decorator. It took me under 2 minutes to fill all the strawberries with this! it would have taken far longer by spoon and been far messier!

The other advantage to the Squeeze It™ Decorator over a spoon is it comes out looking fantastic! It comes with 5 tips (fine threads, closed star, open star, shell and filler) and I used the open star.

NOTE: Squeeze It™ Decorator is on sale til April 27th for $14 – regularly $23.50!

Next, I sprinkled the graham cracker crumbs on top that came in the box.

NOTE: If I didn’t have a boxed mix, I could have used my favorite Tupperware gadgets – Chop ’N Prep™ Chef or Smooth Chopper – to make the same mixture quickly from graham crackers!

Finally, I drizzled  chocolate on the top! You can do this with the Squeeze It™ Decorator fine threads tip! :)

It’s in the fridge cooling before the party in an hour! With just 20 minutes of time and a few awesome gadgets to make it quick and easy, I have a great treat!!!

Now I’m just sad to go say goodbye to my friend, who is moving to Brazil on Tuesday. :'(

 

Sophie’s 1st Birthday Party

I’ll never forget the morning when Sophie was 5 weeks old that I went to dress her in her Zutano Itzy-Bitzy outfit we took her home from the hospital in… It fit just 5 days before, I washed it (of course) and panicked thinking, “oh no! her clothes shrunk in the laundry!” Well, the clothes didn’t shrink – Sophie had grown out of her first newborn outfit. Already!!!
 That was the day where I immediately realized I’d have a 1st birthday party to plan…  so I got started that very afternoon by buying fabric to make her a birthday dress!Over the next few months I started poking around at party supplies. Everything had such a “theme” to it in stores, but after looking through hundreds of “themes” and not loving any of them, I finally decided to start from scratch and come up with my own decor and scheme. :)Her birthday is July 1st so we were having a holiday weekend (Independence Day) party so instead of doing red, white & blue, I went with a red, pink & turquoise as the primary color scheme!

We had over 4 dozen people coming to the party, and since we live in a small apartment we decided to rent a function hall so we’d have enough space! We also hired Allison from Twice As Nice Photography to come do photos since I knew we’d be too busy to, and I’d regret it later!
So while we were inside setting up, Allison took Sophie outside for some birthday photos with her little friend, Anvi:
Since we had so many guests coming, I decided to skip the goodie bags, and do a candy buffet instead! Then I purchased some paper goodie bags from sweetestelle on etsy so that guests could pack up their own bags!

I also designed labels for all the candy & food, had them printed into cardstock at staples (which you can easily submit your order online, then have it shipped or pick it up), then I mounted them onto placecards from Paper Source.
I made her a “Happy Birthday” banner out of circles using a template I found on Martha Stewart’s website, then found some mini red clothespins at Paper Source to attach the “happy birthday” letter circles to twine.
The walls behind the table were a bit drab – it was just a room divider from at the Elks Lodge. So, two rolls of solid color wrapping paper from Paper Source did the trick of covering it up! :)
I found great classic candy jars at Target and found some unique ones at Home Goods to add different shapes to the table and hunted down candy in pink and red all over.
  I also found a great blog with instructions for  DIY: Chocolate Dipped Pretzels and made 100 pretzels for $20! With the leftover melted candies, I drizzled them onto white chocolate covered pretzels to add some festive color!

For the beverages, I made labels to wrap around the bottles of soda and water that matched the invitations, then printed those at Staples as well! Then cut them and taped them over the existing labels!
Another tricky thing was trying to come up with party favors for 20 kids – ranging in age from toddler to 14 years old, including a few with special needs! After going to several party supply stores and seeing mostly “junk” that a parent would throw out after 2 weeks or that would wind up in the next years yardsale, I decided to make my own birthday hats out of brightly colored fabrics (prints are by Riley Blake Designs) and then make pinwheels & cloth balls.
For the pinwheels, I bought Martha Stewart’s pinwheel kits but disliked the patterns in them, so I bought 6×6 pads of paper – Lime Twist by My Minds Eye – and cut new pinwheels!
I have an etsy shop – littlefreeradical where I sell cloth toys I make. So making the balls was easy since I do it all the time! The toddlers had fun with them, as did the 10 & 11 year olds!
So, I’ll be adding more party packages in my etsy shop soon for birthday hats and cloth balls! (I already offer packages for tutu’s as party favors!)
 
  Of course if you have a party with a lot of people, you must have a lot of food!
I also made an easy banner out of a 6×6 pad of paper – Lime Twist by My Minds Eye.
I just cut the paper into triangles, holepunched the corners, and strung it on twine!
Best of all, It only cost me about $6 to make!
But one of the most important things in life, is having a friend that you can count on,
who will let you know when you have something on your face:
And of course, by the end of planning for this party, I was full of D.I.Y. ideas for her 2nd birthday party! Next time, I hope to have the decorations & party favors done weeks in advance so that I can save the days before to prepare the food! I’d love to do as much home-made next year as possible and the cost will be much cheaper now that I have party ware & serving dishes that I can use year after year!
 Happy 1st Birthday, Sophie!
Photo Credits: Allison LeBlanc from Twice as Nice Photography