Well, you had to know this day was coming. Miss Priss asked for an American Girl birthday party, and TheRoomMom complied. We have attended a few AG birthday parties recently, and we needed a new spin to the theme. I was already working on the American Girl camping supplies, so we opted for a backyard American Girl campout birthday (sleepover NOT included– I did recognize my limits on this one).
I know it is popular to use Paperless Post or Evites right now, but I really like paper party invitations delivered via snail mail. There were several fun camping party choices on Etsy. I ordered through a store called Memories Too. The store owner e-mailed a JPG file to me after about 4 business days. I had one edit, which she turned around in a few hours. I uploaded the image to FedEx Office and had the invitation printed in color on white cardstock. I found plain pink envelopes at a local paper store.
The invitation asked guests to bring a doll or stuffed friend with them to the party, so they would have a camping buddy.
When guests arrived, they received a doll sleeping bag that had a name tag with a number. We grouped the guests based on the tag numbers on the sleeping bags and rotated the party guests through three stations. That kept all of the guests spread out for most of the party and gave everyone something to do until it was time for cake.
Station 1— We set up 3 camping tents in the backyard. This group played in the tents with the dolls and the sleeping bags. TheRoomDad monitored this area and provided some monster invasions from time to time.
Station 2— This group searched for small twigs in the yard then used the twigs to make small bug jars and marshmallows on a stick. I had a table with the supplies as well as my regular babysitter to run this station. My sitter showed everyone how to set up the bug jars, make the fake marshmallows, and she monitored supplies. For full bug jar and marshmallow instructions, visit the American Girl Camping Post.
Station 3— This group made a doll sized campfire. I ran this station, and it was set up in a similar way to the bug jar area. For full campfire instructions, visit the American Girl Camping Post.
Each guest had a paper plate with her name on it. When the child finished a craft, she put her item on the paper plate. We set the plates to the side, so parents could easily carry the crafts to the trash can at their home home at the end of the party.
Miss Priss wanted chocolate! We ordered a mini chocolate fudge cake from the grocery store. I call these “smash cakes” and see this mini size at first birthday parties a lot. We put candles on the cake and sang, but we did not cut the smash cake. Instead, guests ate mini brownie bites that had been decorated with pink and white flowers.
Keeping with the doll theme, I tried to do all mini or bite sized food. After we sang, the kids went through a buffet line and picked up the little snacks and brownie bites. It was all finger food, so it eliminated a need for any forks or spoons.
Pigs-in-a-blanket— Basically, a mini hot dog. I used 3 rolls of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and 2 packages of Lit’l Smokies, which yields about 60 pigs. I cut each crescent roll into 3 triangles and then wrap a triangle around a Lit’l Smokie. I follow the baking instructions on the Pillsbury Crescent Roll package.
Dill Dip— This is Miss Priss’ favorite snack, and one of my signature recipes. I purchased 1-oz plastic shot glasses at the party store and put a dollop of dill dip at the bottom of the cup. We stacked mini carrot sticks, mini celery sticks, and mini red pepper slices in the cups, so they were ready to serve. Click here for the Dill Dip and Chex Mix Recipes.
Chex Mix— We saw mini pink popcorn boxes at our independent party store, but I also considered using Wilton mini cake boxes from Michael’s Crafts to hold the snack mix. I did a variation of one of my Chex Mix recipes. This version has popcorn. Click here for the Dill Dip and Chex Mix Recipes.
S’More on a Stick— We used brightly colored cocktail sticks and stabbed marshmallows. I melted semi-sweet chocolate chips and plain Hershey milk chocolate bars in a double boiler. I crushed graham crackers and placed the crumbs in a flat bowl. I dipped the marshmallow in the melted chocolate, and Miss Priss rolled the chocolate end of the marshmallow in the graham cracker. I must say, these were delicious and much safer than having 17 six and seven year olds standing around a fire pit.
The Party Favors
Guests took home the bug jar and campfire crafts. They also took home the doll sleeping bag. If you have a sewing machine, the sleeping bags are easy to make. However, had I known I would need 17 doll sleeping bags, I might have rethought my decision to have these as party favors. For full doll sleeping bag instructions, visit the American Girl Camping Post.
I am exhausted and am considering canceling Halloween. Anyone with me?
Miss Priss ran out of sleeping space for her American Girls, so I offered to make some sleeping bags. Well, if you make an American Girl a sleeping bag, she will need a campfire to go with it. If you have a campfire, you will want to toast marshmallows. If you toast marshmallows, bugs might show up for a snack. If bugs show up, you will need a bug jar…
Cut one piece of 30″ x 21″ cotton and one piece of 30″ x 21″ fleece.
Pin the two pieces of fabric together. The cotton should have the wrong side facing out.
Sew the two pieces of fabric together about 3/8″ from the edge. Leave an opening along one long side.
Turn the fabric right side out through the opening. Push the corners out with a finger, so they are square. Fold the fabric in half.
Cut a piece of ribbon about 30″ and fold the ribbon in half. Insert the folded end of the ribbon into the fabric opening and secure the ribbon with a pin.
Pin the fabric along the edge that has the ribbon and halfway up the open side.
Sew the edge with the ribbon and the partial side together.
Campfire and Toasting Marshmallows
tissue paper in fire colors cut into small squares (2″ x 2″?)
Miss Priss is attending an American Girl camp this week, which got my creative juices flowing. Since the camp is being held at a school site, I thought we could make school supplies for the dolls. Like all good mother/daughter projects, Miss Priss got bored; TheRoomMom went overboard.
I will say that the 2-ring binder requires a steady hand and a glue gun, so some of the school supply construction was beyond Miss Priss’ capabilities. She made all of the pencils and did most of the work on the pocket folders. On the horizon are some sort of camping supplies for American Girl. Project brain is already engineering fake s’mores and lanterns.
American Girl Pencil Cup with Colored Pencils
Sharpie markers, various colors
sharp cutting tool (like an X-acto knife)
plastic lid from a non-aerosol bug spray bottle (these are the same lids I used for the smoothie/milkshakes)
Cut the toothpicks in half and sand the cut end until smooth.
With a Sharpie marker, color the very tip, leave some space, then color the base of the toothpick all the way around.
The proportions are a little small for American Girl, so you may want to cut the toothpick down about 2/3 to get a longer pencil than what we have.
Use the plastic lid as a pencil cup and place all finished pencils in the lid.
American Girl Pocket Folders
cardstock, variety of colors
paper cutter or scissors and ruler (highly recommend a paper cutter)
little decorative stickers, scraps of paper
Avery labels (1/2″ x 3/4″), optional
Cut a piece of cardstock into a rectangle 5 1/2″ x 3 3/4″. Carefully fold in half and press the crease firmly.
Cut 2 pieces of cardstock into rectangles 1 1/4″ x 2 3/4″. These will be the pockets. If desired, cut a diagonal out of one side to make the inner pocket edge slope. We liked the pockets in contrasting colors, but you could make the pocket color and folder color match.
Put a thin line of glue around the bottom and outside edge of the pocket piece. Press each pocket piece onto the interior bottom of the left and right side of the folder. Let dry. Remember to leave the top and center sides unglued, so you can add papers to the pockets.
Cut scraps of paper into small pieces. I used some junk mail I had. Slide papers into the pockets.
On the exterior of the folder, decorate with mini stickers or the Avery label with a class subject written on the label.
American Girl 2-Ring Binders
cardstock, variety of colors
paper cutter or scissors (recommend a paper cutter)
ruler (recommend metal)
printer or notebook paper
silver jump rings (7 mm)
silver paint pen
silver colored poster board
hot glue gun
needle nose pliers
I originally saw the the binders in this Pin. This woman makes items for dollhouses, so the proportions were too small, but her directions are very good.
Cut a piece of cardstock into a rectangle 6 1/2″ x 3 3/4″. Put the piece of cardstock landscape direction on a table. Draw a line 3″ in from the left edge and 3″ in from the right edge. Using a ruler (I recommend a metal ruler), wrap and crease along the lines.
Cut a piece of silver posterboard 3 1/2″ by 3/8″. Round off the ends if desired. Glue the skinny piece of posterboard to the center of the cardstock between the 2 folds. Let dry.
Cut 3 pieces of printer or notebook paper 5 1/4″ x 3 1/4″. Stack the 3 sheets and fold in half.
With the pointy end of an X-acto knife, poke a hole through the folded sheets of paper near one end. Repeat at the other end. If you want a 3-ring binder, you could poke 3 holes, but this stuff is tiny, and I think 2 holes are sufficient.
With pliers, pull open 2 jump rings. Thread the jump ring through the paper. With the pliers, close the ring.
Hold the papers with the jump rings over the skinny silver posterboard piece and eyeball where the jump rings sit. Put 2 small blobs of hot glue on the silver posterboard piece and push the jump rings into the glue. You can use a toothpick to push things around if needed. Blow on the glue to cool.
It is easy to get the folded side of the papers stuck in the hot glue. I was able to peel the paper away without separating the jump rings from the glue.
Finally, put 2 silver dots on the outside spine with the silver paint pen to look like the screws on the outside of a binder.
You can add pockets to the binders following the directions for the pockets in the pocket folder above.
American Girl Clipboard
flat, wooden rectangle 3 5/8″ x 2 5/8″
mini binder clip (I think I found these in the fancy brad fastener area at Michael’s.)
Paint the wooden rectangle or decorate with stickers (or both). We left ours the natural wood color and added mini stickers from the American Girl Mini Scrap Books (see below).
Cut paper to fit the clipboard.
Clip paper to the clipboard with the mini binder clip.Metal “handles” can be up or down.
In the American Girl craft aisle at Michael’s, we found a Mini Scrap and Stuff Books set. It came with the tiny spiral notebooks and the little stickers we used on the clipboard and outside of the pocket folders.
I located the mini manila file folders in the gift label section of Hobby Lobby. We wrote on the mini Avery labels and attached the white label to the tab.
The teeny tiny envelopes with enclosed notecards were in the baby shower/party aisle at Michael’s. The package had a variety of envelope and note sizes.
It started out innocently enough. Miss Priss needed (wanted?) a shelf to hold all of the American Girl doll food we made at Christmas, so her doll restaurant would seem more authentic. I found a Recollections “Embellishment Organizer” for 50% off at Michael’s (A LOT of assembly required). It really looked like a display at a bakery. Crafty obsessive idea brain immediately took over. Hadn’t Sewing Sister made miniature cakes out of plastic bottle tops? If I just picked up a few supplies, I bet I could make cakes. Did we really have enough American Girl doll food from Round One to fill the display? Perhaps not. And so, food production began again.
Locate any and all plastic bottle caps. I used caps from anything I could get my hands on like water bottles, milk bottles, vitamin jars, juice bottles, and soda bottles. The more size variety you have, the better.
White plastic caps work the best, but I did use acrylic paint for the pale pink and pale blue cakes. It took about 3 coats of paint. If you have white bottle caps, no painting is required.
I like 3 stacked bottle caps the best. Stack them in graduating sizes. Run a bead of hot glue around the edge of a bottle cap and press it onto the center of the top of the bottle cap that goes beneath. Repeat for all layers.
Add decoration with the hot glue gun. I used satin flowers, 3-D flower stickers, thin lacy ribbon, and strings of mini pearls.
Collect twist off toothpaste caps. Thankfully, I had a stash of travel toothpaste tubes from the children’s last dental visit. My kids never put the lid back on the toothpaste tube anyway, so I did not think it mattered if I took the caps.
Drop a blob of hot glue into the bottom of a toothpaste cap. Squish one 3/4″ pom pom into the cap.
Smear a little Elmer’s glue around the top of the pom pom and sprinkle seed beads on the top.
Add a mini 5 mm pom pom if desired.
Taller, clear caps work the best for the milkshakes. The clear caps that cover the top of non-aerosol bug spray or suntan lotion are perfect. I also used small, clear bead jars.
Cut a straw to the needed length to stand in the milkshake cup. Run a small bead of hot glue on the edge of the inside of the cup and attach the straw.
Put a blob of hot glue at the bottom of the cup and press one 3/4″ pom pom to the bottom. Add a blob of hot glue to the top of the pom pom and press another pom on top. Try to avoid getting any hot glue on the edge of the cup because it looks smeary from the outside. Repeat one more time with a third pom pom.
Smear a little Elmer’s glue around the top of the pom pom and sprinkle seed beads on the top. I used rainbow nonpareils sprinkles on a few of the milkshakes too.
Add a mini 5 mm pom pom if desired.
Put a spoonful of powdered sugar in a small Ziploc bag. Add Cheerios and shake.
Put a spoonful of cinnamon in a small Ziploc bag. Add Cheerios and shake.
Remove Cheerios from the bags. You may need to brush excess cinnamon and powdered sugar from the Cheerio.
Using a round hole puncher, punch a ton of black and white circles from foam sheet.
With glue dots, build Oreo cookies. 2 black circles on the outside, one white circle in the center.
small mirrors, mini Altiod tins, flat wood shapes (to use as serving trays)
I have put the bakery display in Miss Priss’ room, although, I am not entirely comfortable with her actually playing with the doll food. It looked so perfect for a few short hours sitting on the shelf, untouched by little hands.
I hit a mini milestone at TheRoomMom last week. I have written 101 posts. When I started the blog 9 months ago, I had a list of about 20 ideas, so I am a little thrilled that I have put together 101 ideas, and I still have a few more in the hopper. As I look back, there are definitely some posts that resonate better than others.
According to my stats, my most popular post is Carpool Etiquette. I also had my best day view-wise on the day I published the carpool rules. Why? I linked to a hilarious carpool post by HotMessMom, and she shared my link on her Facebook page. Wham! I had over 300 views in an hour. It gave me a small taste of what it would be like to have a Superblog.
My most popular DIY post is the American Girl Buffet. It is also my most popular Pinterest referral. Obviously, I need to make more American Girl accessories. I am not sure Miss Priss can handle it.