Category Archives: party favors

Make Your Own Stick Star Ornaments

How to:
Use a good pair of garden shears to cut some straight branches. From these branches, cut 5 stick pieces the same length and approximately the same diameter. Cut the first stick (whatever looks right) and use that stick to mark the length of the remaining sticks. I used sticks that were about 6 ¼ inches long and ¼ to nearly ½ inch wide. The exact size doesn’t matter as long as it appeals to your sense of proportion and all the sticks are the same length. Keep in mind; thinner sticks are easier to bend into place.

Tie two sticks together than tie another two sticks together near the end (see X and Y in photo).
Spread out the non-tied ends and overlay as in photo and tie top of star (see Z in photo).

Tie on the last stick. Play with the sticks a little; some go over, some under. Do whatever works for that star.

Party Craft
I prepared enough for my daughter’s whole class. I made bundles and tied them together with nice red yarn that was used to hang the star ornament after the star was constructed. The ball of wool yarn was used to tie all the sticks together.

How To Fold Origami Gift Boxes: Easy To Follow Photo Instructions

Origami gift boxes are very versatile: organize your little things, use as party favors, or hold keepsakes. You needn’t spend a lot of money for wrapping paper; they look cool as is. You don’t even have to buy origami paper. All you need is to keep your eyes open for some cool paper just begging to be put to good use. Magazines usually aren’t made with thick enough paper for these boxes but sometimes their covers are.

I made this box from a brightly colored poster found at a garage sale. It was damaged but I only needed part of the poster to make the box.
Cut the bottom square ¼ inch smaller than the top square. (I used an 8.5 inch square to make the top and an 8.25 inch square to make the bottom.

Remember to line up corners and sides exactly and run the back of your nail across the folds.
1. To make this origami box you will need a perfectly square piece of paper. A paper cutter works great but if you do not have one you will need to measure carefully and then cut with scissors.
2. Before doing your first fold, place your square so the back side is up (the good side is face down). Then bring opposite corners together and make a nice crease.
3. Unfold and bring other opposite corners together and make a nice crease.
Your paper should now have fold lines in the shape of an x.
4. Again, with the back side up, fold your paper in half vertically.
5. Unfold. Fold paper in half horizontally. This means fold the bottom corners up to the top corners. (I forgot to take this picture: sorry.)
6. Unfold. Next fold in one of the corners. Point the corner to the exact center of the paper. You will know where that is by looking at the fold lines that you already made.
7. Fold in another corner.
8. Fold in another corner.
9. Fold in last corner.
10. Fold the bottom up to the center as shown in the picture.
11. Fold the top: they should meet in the center.
12. Unfold. Fold one side to the center.
13. Fold the other side. They should meet in the center.
14. Unfold last two folds. Pull open opposite corners.
15. Fold up two (opposite) sides. These will be two of the sides of your box.
16. To finish your box you will have to fold the paper in as shown.
17. I thought another view might be helpful. This is the hardest step to figure out. Hold your soon- to-be box top in the same orientation as shown in the photo and you should be fine.
18. Bring the corners up and around to the inside.
19. Completed box top.
20. Follow the same instructions to make a bottom for your box; remember to cut the square for your box bottom ¼ inch smaller that the square you cut for the top of your box.

Project ideas: Valentine card reused to make origami box, vintage Valentine embellished origami box, and magazine page made into Valentine gift box.

Easy Ghost Party Favors Made From Recycled Single Serving Milk Bottles

How to:
Set aside suitable single serving milk bottles. Make sure you wash them out really well; old milk smells really bad. I got these bottles at Chick-Fil-A. If you don’t eat at that restaurant, ask all your friends to save them for you or find a similar bottle elsewhere. Depending on your needs, you may want to start collecting well in advance. (I’ve been known to save all year or longer for projects.)


Paint on the faces with black acrylic paint and let dry. Alternatively this might be an activity for guests at your Halloween party. Even young children can do this simple craft. Make a few in advance to set out as examples. I accidentally discovered that if you paint the face and let it dry a little but not all the way, you can use your brush to slide around the paint to make even scarier faces.


Print out ghostly messages on your computer, cut into strips and glue to the bottom of each bottle (See photo.) Write “Find a trick or treat inside. Maybe both”. Or write ” No trick, there is a treat inside!”
For fun, you may want to surprise your guests with a “trick” inside. Take a strip of paper and fold it accordion style with the word “Boo!” at the end. Glue the other end to the inside of the bottle cap. Children will find it when they open their bottle.

Fill these Halloween themed party favors with gummy worms or other treats.

How To Make Fun Recycled Sweater Produce Pillows

Don’t be limited by the designs I have here. Have fun! Be creative!

For detailed instructions including ball stencils, check out my post called How To Make Fun Recycled Sweater Beach Ball Pillows.

Be creative and design your own leaves or use the Leaf Stencils for Produce Pillows

To make the leaves on these clever pillows you will need to score a wool sweater from a thrift store, friend or yard sale. It is not uncommon for people to accidentally felt their sweaters by machine washing with warm or hot water. During the felting processes, the sweater will shrink; thus, they end up at donation spots. Sweaters with a hole or stain can easily be worked around. Another good idea is to use an old army green wool blanket. I didn’t use it for any of these leaves but it works great.

Felting Wool Sweaters
You can intentionally felt old sweaters by putting it in the washing machine and wash with hot water and detergent. Not much to it.

Delicious looking Red Apple Pillow
To make an apple pillow, you will need a red sweater or a T-shirt, a scrap piece of a brown sweater and a small piece of a green felted wool sweater. Follow the general instruction on how to make a beach ball pillow only sew on a green leaf cut from the wool sweater. Felting instructions above.


Vine-Ripe Tomato Pillow
To make a tomato pillow, you will need a tomato red sweater or a T-shirt, and a few small pieces of a green felted wool sweater. I used a very thin red sweater. Follow the general instruction on how to make a beach ball pillow then sew on three green leaves cut from the wool sweater. Felting instructions above.


Berry Blue Blueberry Pillow
To make an blueberry pillow, you will need a blue sweater or a T-shirt, a scrap piece of the blue sweater for the top circle and a piece of a blue felted wool sweater. Follow the general instruction on how to make a beach ball pillow only sew the circle on top of the felted piece as in the picture. Felting instructions above.


Autumn Pumpkin
To make a pumpkin pillow, you will need an orange sweater or a T-shirt, a scrap piece of a brown sweater and a small piece of a green felted wool sweater. Follow the general instruction on how to make a beach ball pillow only sew on a green leaf cut from the wool sweater. Felting instructions above.

Orange Grove Pillow
To make an orange pumpkin pillow, you will need an orange sweater or a T-shirt, a scrap piece of a brown sweater and a small piece of a green felted wool sweater. Follow the general instruction on how to make a beach ball pillow only sew on a green leaf cut from the wool sweater. Felting instructions above.

How To Make Fun Recycled Sweater Beach Ball Pillows

Girl in a pile of beach ball Pillows

Fun with recycled sweater beach ball Pillows.

I made a whole bunch of these pillows; they make great gifts!

Beach Ball Pillows made from recycled sweaters.

Add a little fun to your home decor. Perfect for children’s rooms!

Beach Ball Pillow with Nautical or patriotic look.

Using the right sweaters you can create a pillow with a nautical or patriotic look.

 How-to:
1. Set aside unwanted or damaged sweaters in desired color(s). Keep in mind that thinner sweaters are easier to sew.

2. You will need a Beach Ball pattern.*

*Because it takes a tremendous amount of time for me to develop projects like this, design and draw a pattern, test ideas, make, take pictures, edit pictures, write the how to, etc… I’m asking for a mere 2 dollars (see side donation button for quick payment with paypal). E-mail me and I’ll e-mail you the pattern in two sizes (large and small).

 Print out the ball stencil that I made and use it to make your own stencil out of a cereal box or other scrap cardboard.

Size: The large ball is about 11 to 12 inches tall and the small pillow is about 6 inches tall. The size of your pillow will depends on how stretchy the fabric is and how much you stuff it.

3Make your own recycled sweater beach ball pillows..

Use your stencil, a rotary cutter, and a cutting matt to cut out the pieces of the ball. If you don’t have a rotary cutter yet, trace the stencil and use fabric scissors to cut them out. You will need 6 pieces per pillow. In addition, you will need two small circles: one for the top and one for the bottom. I just free hand cut the circles two at a time so they are the same size. Alternatively you can trace a small glass or other small round circular item. Keep in mind that the circles have to be bigger than the desired finished size because the raw edges are turned under.

4. Lay out the pieces in a flower shape to help you visualize the pattern and to see how the colors look together. I suggest you find 3 colors that look nice together and then cut 2 pieces of each color or pick 6 colors one piece of each color.

Sewing a Beach Ball Pillow.

5. Stack the pieces in the pattern order of your choice. Take the first two and sew (right sides together) along one side leaving about ¼ inch seam. Then sew the next piece on and the next until all 6 pieces are together. Don’t bother to place pins because sweater fabric is so stretchy and each piece might stretch a different amount. Also don’t worry if you have a bit of a hole on the top and bottom of your ball because these spots will be covered up by the circles.

6.Sew up the last seam (ball should still be inside out) leaving about 3.5 inches un-sewed.
7.Turn your ball right-side out and add stuffing through the hole you left.

8.The last part is to hand-sew the stuffing hole closed and hand-sew the “buttons” on the top and bottom. Turn under the raw edge as you sew along.