Friday, April 22, 2011

The Circus Comes to Town!-Part 1

Designing for a party always makes me anxious to play hostess!  The circus theme is especially fun because it can be incorporated into so many different, birthday, summer fun. I really enjoyed crafting up these "Big Top" creations.  I am always amazed at what patterned paper can do to create a mood and theme.  For these ideas, I used two unique lines to style two completely different circus themed parties. I hope you enjoy these fun ideas that can be transformed into many different themes.

This first party section is all about the kiddos.  I used the adorable Alphabet Soup line from My Mind's Eye to craft up these circus animal creations.  I love the bright colors that really bring home the circus feel.
All of the decorative picks were created using the preprinted playing cards and die-cuts from the Alphabet Soup line. Just attach each shape to a BBQ skewer using a little adhesive, tie a ribbon and you are set to go.  Skewers are a great way to add height and color to a centerpiece with very little expense

Every good party starts with a great invitation.  This simple invite is one of my favorites (with a little added circus ticket twist)
To recreate this invitation envelope:
1. Cut a 4" strip from a 12X12 double sided patterned paper (you will get three invitations per piece)
2. Use your scor-pal (or scoring blade on your paper cutter) to scor and fold 3.5" from the bottom of the paper.
3. Wrap a strip of patterned paper or ribbon around the folded paper to secure it.
4. Tuck invitation in pocket.

The ticket shape is easy to create using a large circle punch as shown in the picture.
No party is complete without a party hat!  It is so simple to create custom party hats to fit your parties theme. You can generally make 2 hats out of 1 12X12 piece of patterned paper.  I added a little crate paper flair and a fuzzy red ball to top it off.

To make your own custom hats:
1. Download and print the party hat template
2. Trace the template onto your patterned paper and cut out
3. Apply adhesive (I used and loved scor-tape) as shown in template.
4. Fold hat and adhere as shown in template
5. Measure 4-6 lengths of crate paper to go around the hat's rim.
6. Fold layers in half and snip with scissors to create a fringed edge.
7. Open up folded strips and staple onto rim of hat.
8. Crinkle crate paper until it hides staples.
9. Hot glue a fuzzy ball to the tip of the hat.
10. Add elastic string or ribbon to hold onto head as desired.

A centerpiece brings the party theme to your table.  I know that I have really been on a popcorn kick lately, but it is just so inexpensive and easy to do.  To create this circus animal centerpiece, I paper pieced 4 different animals and adhered them to each side of a popcorn bin (gotta love the dollar store)! You can do so many fun different things with these pieced animals.  They would be adorable hanging on a wall or door in a child's room or classroom.  As a bonus to my favorite Studio 5'ers, I am posting the template downloads free until May 1st.  So, download them quick before they vanish!
Elenor the Elephant
Leo the Lion Part 1
Leo the Lion Part 2
Mel the Monkey
Thomas the Tiger Part 1
Thomas the Tiger Part 2

A banner is a fool proof way to scream party!  I love using banners to dress up dull walls that seem to large to tackle with anything else.  I especially love the vintage accordion banner because it fits perfectly with the circus theme. These little pieces are some of my favorites for dressing up my art. I love to make them in all different sizes.  In fact, I used the same pattern to create lots of the clown creations you will see in part 2!

Here is a simple how to for creating the accordion folded pieces: (these are the instructions for creating the large 12X12 pieces, but keep in mind that you can make all different sizes by changing the size of your paper strips and the width of your fold)

1. I like to scor a complete 12X12 sheet before I cut it into strips. This saves time in scoring.  Using your Scor-Pal, scor your paper in 1" intervals alternating front and back side so the folds go back and forth.
2. Cut your paper across the scors at 6"(this will leave you with a 6"X12" strip.
3. Repeat process until you have 5 strips (2.5 sheets of paper).
4. Adhere strips together using strong adhesive (gotta love the scor tape).
5. Adhere two ends together to create a ring.
6. Press ring down so that it fans out.
7. Use hot glue in the center of the fan to adhere it all together.

To the accordions, I added circles and letters.  I then hung each piece using the rolled tickets that are available at office stores.  To adhere the tickets, I punched a hole in the top of the accordion and tied the tickets on with ribbon.


  1. THANK YOU for the wonderful ideas! I decided several months ago that I was going to do a circus them for my twins 1st birthday party and have been looking for LOTS of fun ideas... I think I found exactly what I am looking for here! You are amazingly creative!

  2. This is adorable! You are amazing! Do you know where I can purchase this line of paper? I can't seem to figure it out on the My Mind's Eye website...

  3. Two Peas in a Bucket {} is a wonderful source for all scrapbooking supplies, including My Mind's Eye!

  4. Thank you so much for the How To for the Circus Banner. I used the idea for a get-to-gether I had recently and I loved the way it turned out. I credited you in my blog post!
    Your party looked amazing!! =D

  5. Super cute! Love the vintage feel and the popcorn covers are so simple, genius! Going to share with my FB followers...

    hugs! Kim @ Party Frosting!

  6. Hi so you glue all the five strips together to make one circle? I'm new to this crafting and I think I'm missing a step