The Invitation, Caterpillar banner, food tags, and Thank you notes were Printables all done by Top That! Designs by Jennifer Leonardini. She was fast to respond and did everything exactly like I asked. Visit her etsy shop here.
Invitation printed on white cardstock and cut out with some sort of scrapbook paper cutter that I don't really know the name of but I've had for ten years. :)
There were two letters on each sheet of cardstock. I cut them out with scissors. I used a glass to create a larger circle out of green construction paper, cut them out, and glued the letters onto the green circles with rubber cement. I find that rubber cement works better than glue because it won't wrinkle/warp your paper. I then used a hole punch to punch two holes in the top of the circles and strung together with red yarn that I've also had for ten years. I cut out little feet from brown construction paper and taped to the back of a few of the letters.
Jen made the food tent cards for each day of the week for me and I printed and cut them out. She also gave me a few blank tent cards so I could write in additional foods, like the mini-sandwiches. For some of the foods, the tent cards didn't really work, so I just cut it in half and taped where necessary.
I also used the blank tent cards for the goodie bags. I cut them in half and wrote on the front and taped to the bag. I punched a hole in the tag to go along with the book and the caterpillar "eating through" everything.
Once I knew that I wanted to have each part of the book represented at the party, I thought it would be cute to have the first line of the book painted on a sign in the yard to set the tone for the party. Like I mentioned before, I really wanted make it an "official" painting, but I really tried to limit my costs as much as possible and didn't want to spend $100 just on a canvas and the paint. So, I opted for a foam board and regular ole paint. If I were to do this again, I would probably just suck it up and buy the canvas because the foam board warped really easily and I had to "rig" it to the wood board to stake it in the ground. But I don't think you can really tell and I thought the painting came out cute. I painted in a few phases, obviously, letting one color dry before I started on another. I used a large, white Sharpie Paint pen to write the letters.
There are lots of instructions for tissue poms all over pinterest and other places on the internets. Martha Stewart has one here. I used 20 x 20 tissue paper. For this small caterpillar, I cut the sheets in half and used 8 sheets. I just used regular white curly ribbon to tie in the middle and just made the long piece really long so I could hang it and trim it if I needed to. I used green and yellow construction paper to cut out the eyes and nose and taped to the tissue paper.
For the large caterpillar, I used the full 20 x 20 sheets and I used 12 of them to make sure that the poms would be full enough.
For the cocoon, I just used cheap brown yarn. I wanted to wrap it around something to make the cocoon bigger, but really I just got lazy and cheap. I didn't want to buy something only to put yarn around it and I didn't feel like searching high and low in my house for something that might resembled the shape of a cocoon. So there. So I just unraveled most of the yarn and then rewrapped it to make it look more like a cocoon and less like a bundle of yarn, and then hung above the mantle. Success? Sure.
For the beautiful butterfly, I used multi-colored tissue and pipe cleaner to secure in the middle and make the antennae. I alternated colors one on top of the other, leaving just enough tissue on either side of the pipe cleaner to be secure. I then placed the piece of pink tissue in the middle and on top. I tied a piece of ribbon through the pipe cleaner in the back and hung with that. The caterpillars and butterfly were up in our house weeks before the party and PMan and Princess loved seeing them every day. I think they thought they were actually part of the house decor. They are major disappointed now.
For the "beautiful butterfly" station, I used multiple colors of tissue and cut them in half to make squares. I just laid out the tissue on the table, along with pipe cleaners, an example of a butterfly, and the instructions and let creativity reign.
PMan's outfit and Princess' shirt were made by childhood friend Stephanie. :)
I made Princess' tutu skirt with just ribbon and tulle. I used about 4 yards of tulle. For the ribbon, I just measured her waist and added 20 inches on each side to be able to tie and double knot it. I knotted the ribbon at the 20 inch mark on either side so when I tied on the tulle, it wouldn't slide. I needed the skirt to be about 11-12 inches long so I cut the tulle at 22 inches. Once cut, I rolled up the cut section and then cut every 3 inches to make my strips. To secure it on the ribbon, I tied it like a "slip knot." Like this:
Do that for each piece around the ribbon and voila! A tutu.
As for the food, a lot of it I was able to buy (fruit, salami, cheeses, etc.) but I made a few things as well.
1 lb package of little smokies
1 cup of BBQ sauce
1 cup of ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
Stir all ingredients together in crockpot. Cook on low for about 2 hours. I cooked mine a little longer and they turned out fine.
one ice cream cone
24 flat bottomed ice cream cones
1 box cake mix (or if you wanna be all Paula Deen, make your own cake batter)
Prepare cake mix as instructed on box.
Put ice cream cones in muffin pan
Fill cones about half full with batter. If you fill them too much, when they bake, the cake will run over the sides, so make sure to only fill half way.
Top with white icing. I used icing out of a can because I didn't have time to be all Paula Deen.
one piece of cherry pie
I found a recipe for mini cherry cheesecakes at this blog, and thought it would be perfect for the party. They would like like cherry pies, but they would be easier to make, and I could make them the day before and put them in the fridge overnight.
(you won't need a whole box, just however many cheesecakes you want to make. I just made a dozen, but the mix will make more than that. At least 24.)
2, 8 oz squares of cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 can cherry pie filling
Place one vanilla wafer in each cupcake wrapper in a muffin pan.
Mix ingredients (all except pie filling) together with hand mixer until smooth. (Set pie filling aside until later)
Spoon the mixture into the cupcake wrappers, filling about 3/4 full.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Let the cakes cool about 5-10 minutes. I took mine out of the hot muffin pan and set on a cooling rack. The cakes will sink just a little creating a perfect crater.
Spoon some cherry pie filling into the crater.
Once the pies cool to room temperature, put them in the frig for a few hours to set.
I placed mine in a 9x13 baking dish and covered and left them overnight in the frig. They were very tasty!
My MIL makes a mean Sangria and I asked her to make some for the party. She doesn't really measure it out but this is what she uses:
1 bottle of red wine
1 bottle of white wine
A little Peach Schnapps thrown in
1 apple, 1 orange, 1 lemon cut up
We made it the night before and let it sit overnight in the frig.
Their cake was made by Brandy Sexton. She made their birthday cake last year as well. It looked so cute and it was delicious as well.
Whew, I'm tired. And hungry.