Sunday, July 31

{TUTORIAL} Teacher's Oreo Apple Pops

I'm always so torn this time of year. Back to school time makes me both a little happy and a little sad. Sad that the un-scheduled days of summer with no homework and after school activities will soon come to an end and happy that once again mama can work in a quiet house without 3 little ones fighting over who ate the last of the Chocolate Cheerios. Ah, the joys of childhood and siblings!

And with back to school comes the fun of meeting new teachers and classmates. My kids have always loved taking a little something special in for their teachers on the first day of school. I think it makes them feel special, too, when they can walk in and hand their teacher a sweet treat.

With that in mind, I've worked up a cute FREEBIE BACK TO SCHOOL printables set and a tutorial for some chocolate covered Oreo Apple Pops that I hope the teachers out there will love. The printables include a monogrammed note card set for teachers, teacher gift tags and lots more so be sure to grab your download and be ready for all those teacher gifts we like to give throughout the year.

These are much less difficult to make than they look with the help of Chocolate Covered Oreo Molds from Spinning Leaf I must say these are the easiest and most amazing tools for making a professional looking cookie in minutes. And at only $6.00, I recommend buying 2 molds so that you can make a dozen treats super quick.



What you'll need:

- Plain chocolate covered Oreo molds from Spinning Leaf
- Wilton Shaped Party cellophane bags (I bought mine at Walmart)
- Red candy melts
- Wooden skewers (find in grocery store, Dollar Tree, etc.)
- Double Stuff Oreos
- Green Air Heads candy
- Stick pretzels
- Sharp Knife
- Back to School FREEBIE printables - print the "Welcome Back" tag and the green chevron paper to make your "ribbon"
- Shredded red paper crinkles
- Pencil vase or another simple vase to hold your apple pops

Step 1:  Melt your chocolate in a double boiler following the instructions on the candy melts bag. Spoon chocolate into your cookie mold, filling about 1/3 of the mold cavity. Place your Double Stuff Oreo into the mold and press into the chocolate, making sure the Oreo is slightly lower than the top of the mold and level.

Step 2: Spoon more melted chocolate over your Oreo to cover. Tap your mold onto the countertop to make sure the chocolate slides down the sides of the Oreo and to remove any air bubbles. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 until your molds are filled.

Step 3: Using the back side of a knife, scrape the excess melted chocolate over the mold to create an even surface of chocolate over your Oreo cookie.

Step 4: Repeat step 3 over again until your molds are level and ready to place into the refrigerator for 10-15 to set.

Step 5: Remove molds from refrigerator and slightly bend and tap the Oreos gently out of the mold.

Step 6: Using your knife, cut off the excess chocolate around the base of your cookie.

Step 7: Take the pointed end of your wooden skewer and gently twist it into the side of your chocolate covered Oreo until you've made a hold large enough for your skewer to fit into the cookie. Once the hole is large enough, dab a little melted chocolate onto the end of your skewer and insert it into your cookie.

Step 8: Make another hole with another wooden skewer on the opposite side of your cookie for your apple "stem."

Step 9: Place a small piece of pretzel stick in the hole with a little melted chocolate on it as well. This will help the pretzel stay in place.

Step 1: Unwrap your Air Heads and cut a diamond-like shape with a sharp knife.

Step 2: Mold the cut candy into a leaf shape using your fingers.

Step 3: Using the back side of the knife, make a crease down the center of your leaf for "veining"

Step 4: Put a dab of melted chocolate on the bottom point of your leaf and place it on top of your chocolate covered Oreo apple.

Step 5: Press and hold the leaf until the chocolate sets.

Step 6: Insert your apple pop in your cellophane party bag.


Step 7: Add a small piece of green or red ribbon to the base of your apple pop and tie in a bow.

Step 8: Insert your apple pop into a vase filled with styrofoam or green florist foam.

Step 9: Add red shredded paper crinkles and you're done!


I just love it and I hope those wonderful teachers out there will, too! If you'd like to make a few extras, the apple pops would make a great prize for your child's classmates as well. Just wrap a pop individually in cellophane and use a lollipop stick instead of a wooden skewer for the stick (it's safer with no sharp points).

Be sure to check out tomorrow's tutorial for the Teacher Pencil Vase. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and Freebie Back to School printables download! If you like the printables, be sure to let me know by becoming a FAN of Amanda's Parties To Go on FACEBOOK by clicking the "Like" button. Thanks everyone!

Monday, July 25

{Customer Feature} Camp Out Party!

I've been super excited to reveal these photos from a fabulous party collaboration I worked on with Kate Petronis of And Everything Sweet. Kara's Party Ideas ran the party photos over the weekend - Whoo! Hoo! So be sure to check out that post, too, if you get a chance. And now I can post them on my blog to show to all of you.

Kate put together an amazingly fun Camping party for her daughter, Bailey, and a few of her closest friends. She asked me to design all the printables and had such a great time coming up with all the little details of the Camping Party set.

From the dessert table to all of the party activities, Kate made sure the girls would have a blast as you can see from all of these amazing photos.


I love Kate's simple use of fabric scraps, pinecones and twine which makes such a statement in a garland on the front of the burlap covered table.


Kate designed her own fun invitation - so cute!


I could look at the details of Kate's cupcakes all day! Adorable!





S'mores, S'mores, Everywhere! Even as cake pops!


Kate found these stumps on the side of the road the morning of the party and says, "the lightbulb went on" and she grabbed them up for $1.00 a piece. Simple perfection.



Making the teepees herself, Kate says she made them "out of 4 pieces of 5ft PVC pipe, 2 yards of fabric and some duct tape. Easy and inexpensive."

And did you notice the personalized signs she made from small branches for each of the girls tents? Outstanding!




Kate says, "The timing of this little shindig was perfect. Our butterflies from our butterfly garden just hatched and it was time to release them to the wild! There was 5 butterflies, 5 girls...each girl got to hold one and release it."


Another favorite activity was the Make Your Own Trail Mix bar where there were jars of M&M's, marshmallows, pretzels, teddy grahams and more for the girls to create their own mix of snacks.


It looks like those girls had one amazing playdate! Thanks so much, Kate, for asking me to design the printables for Bailey's Camp Out party. You bring such inspiration to us all!

Thursday, July 21

Campfire Cake


I saw this cake the other day made by a Megan from Fowl Single File - so adorable, right? Megan made this for a cousin and it was her first time using fondant! Amazing!


Just take a look at that adorable campfire made from fondant! Those little rocks and logs - too cute!

Megan says, "No camp out cake would be complete without a campfire!  The stones and logs are fondant and the flames are colored candy melts."

And coupled with those outstanding little campers peeking out of their tents, those super cute marshmallows on sticks and the crushed graham crackers used under the fire, Megan hit this one out of the park!


What a great cake to use with Shindig's Camping Printables and Invitation set 
for a fun CAMP OUT PARTY -- a perfect theme for these summer days.

Great job, Megan! Thanks for letting me share your cute cake idea!




The Happy Camper Set is perfect for those summer birthdays for boys and for girls! It includes so many fun items for outdoor fun including a Nature Hunt checklist, Merit Badges, a Camp banner, and of course, all of the different sized party circles to use for cupcake toppers and centerpieces.


Just yesterday, the Happy Camper set was featured in a summer printables round-up on She . What a thrill! You should definitely check out the entire feature with lots of great printables sets for summer birthdays.


Wednesday, July 20

New Printables to the Shop - MICKEY MOUSE!

I've been working on getting some new printables in the Etsy shop and today I'm going to show you a super cute set that is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse inspired. My kids to this day still love watching Mickey Mouse.... even at 12, 10 and 5. Just don't let my 12 year old know that I let you all in on her little secret! Mickey seems to have withstood the test of time and keeps evolving and making each new generation as happy as the last.

For these printables, I wanted to design something a bit different from the red and black standard Mickey, so I added a bit of color and this is what I came up with -- A Mickey Mouse Clubhouse inspired party pack.



As with all of my party sets, there are LOTS of goodies to decorate your little one's next party with. And this set is chock-full of personalized items, too.

Here's what you'll get in the Mickey Mouse Inspired Set:

- 2" party circles 
- 2 1/2" background circles in red, blue, green and yellow stripes to go behind the 2" circles in making cupcake toppers
- 2 1/2" background circles in a multi dot pattern
- 3" Mickey Ears cut-outs in red, green, yellow and blue for cupcake toppers or other food toppers
- 5.5" Mickey Ears cut-outs in black, red, green and blue for centerpiece picks
- 4 Centerpiece Circles 
- 8" Centerpieces in two designs of the "Oh Toodles" graphic with your child's AGE
- Favor tags with Mickey Ears graphic and "Thank you for celebrating with me! Love, NAME)
- Treat Bag Toppers to fit 4"x6" jewelry ziplocs
- 12 food label tent cards - (Minnie's Mini Sandwiches, Mickey Cupcakes, Donald Duck Dogs, Daisy's Donuts, Goofy's Goodies, Pluto's Pops, Mouseketeer Cheese, Fruit Kabobs, Chip 'n Dale's Chips, Mouseketeer Brownies, Minnie's Munchies and Pluto's Pizza)
- Blank food label tent cards
- Water bottle wraps with Mickey Ears and NAME
- Napkin/bubble wraps with Mickey Ears and NAME
- 2 different Cupcake Wraps in red/white stripe and multi colored dots
- Welcome door sign - "Happy Birthday NAME!"
- 5 1/4"x5 1/4" square banner pieces in red, yellow, green and blue stripes with "Happy Birthday" and Mickey Ears end pieces
- Straw/toothpick flags in red/white stripe, blue/white stripe, green/white stripe, and yellow/white stripe
- 5 Coordinating papers in red/white stripe, blue/white stripe, green/white stripe, yellow/white stripe and multi colored dots

I hope you all like it, and I plan to work up a Minnie Printable Set soon for all of your little Minnie-loving girls!

Tuesday, July 19

Monster Bash Party

Maybe it comes from my love for Halloween, but every time I see a Monster Mash Bash I just eat up the details. Monsters and boys.... what a great combination and even better party theme!

I was sent this party submission from Tara over at Shindig Diva that she pulled together for her son's 8th birthday. I love how she makes a cute yet inexpensive party. Shopping discount aisles and after holiday sales tables, Tara was able to purchase the adorable stuffed monsters for only $.30/each after Easter.


Tara also made the sweet treats herself from the Monster Cookies to the eyeball brownie balls using candy eyes that she found at Michaels. I think my favorite element is the monster mouth pops which Tara purchased a mold for a Joann's and made them herself.  And well, we can't forget that amazing cake! A friend made the multi layered cake for the party using red velvet cake for the monster-y insides and some oversized cake balls for eyes.

With store bought items such a Monster Suckers from Oriental Trading, large green marshmallows from Walmart and some candy coated puffed popcorn, Tara was able to finish out her dessert table without breaking the bank or spending too much time in the kitchen.


Isn't that centerpiece the cutest? And I love how simple solid paper plates and scrapbook paper are transformed into an adorable monster place setting for each of the guests using only a colored paper bag and googley eyes. A store-bought pinata and Tara's own Monster Bash printables round out the party decor.

If you'd like to grab a set of your own Monster Bash printables, Tara has just opened her own Etsy shop here. The set includes food tents, a door sign, bag toppers, 2" cupcake toppers, 4" circles, a "Happy Birthday" banner, and thank you tags.

If you're feeling lucky, Tara has offered a GIVEAWAY of one FREE set of Monster Printables AND a bonus custom designed invitation! How do you win? Just follow these steps:

1. "Like" Shindig Diva on FACEBOOK
2. Leave a comment on her Facebook page telling her that I sent you there

That's all! And Tara will also be happy to give anyone who "Likes" her Facebook page and leaves their email in a comment there a FREE page of Monster Bash Food Tent Labels.

Thanks so much, Tara, for your cute monster inspirations! It looks like it was a fun day for all!

Monday, July 18

New Printables to the Shop - SPORTS!

Since the very beginning of my Shindig Parties venture, my plan was to add new sets to the Etsy shop weekly. And then life happened. Starting a new business is a daily learning process, and I realize now that my goals in the beginning might have been a wee bit lofty. 

With all of the wonderful response to Shindig Parties, I became very busy and  soon realized that the goals I had in the beginning were falling by the wayside. So I'm happy to say, I've got a plan, I'm back on track, and will hopefully be showing you all many more new printables sets and invitations in the coming months.

In the last month I've added a Camping Party set, a Camp Out invitation, a Go Kart Party set and a Cowboy Birthday Party set. Whoo-hoo! That makes me so happy! And today I'm going to show you another new set that I've been working on, SPORTS BIRTHDAY set.



I've had so many requests for a Sports Party from my customers, that I thought I'd better get busy! It includes so many items -- I like to make my customers happy with LOTS of different designs. There are:

- 2" party circles 
- 3" Sports ball cut-outs for cupcake toppers or other food toppers
- 6" Sports ball cut outs to use as centerpiece picks, signs or banners
- 4 Centerpiece Squares 
- 8" Centerpiece Square with sports ball graphic 
- Favor tags with sports ball graphic and "Thanks for Coming! I had a Ball! NAME)
- 12 food label tent cards in black/white referee stripe - (Quarterback Cupcakes, Chips to Cheer For, Touchdown Treats, Sports Pops, End Zone Burgers, Overtime Punch, Homerun Fruit Kabobs, Bases Loaded Nachos, Goal Time Pizza, Half-Time Hot Dogs, Gatorade, and Water)
- Blank food label tent cards in green/white dot and black/white referee stripe
- Water bottle wraps with AGE and blue dot background
- Napkin/bubble wraps in blue stripe with sports balls (4 different wraps)
- Cupcake Wraps in black/white referee stripe
- Welcome door sign - "Happy Birthday NAME!" with sports ball graphic
- 3 Party Signs: "Locker Room," "Concession Stand," and "Happy Birthday Luke" with sports ball graphics
- 5" x 8" pennant banner pieces in green and blue stripes with "Happy Birthday" and sports ball end pieces
- 5" x 8" plain pennant banner pieces in green/white stripe and blue/white stripe (no text)
- Straw/toothpick pennant flags in green and blue
- 4 Coordinating papers in green/white stripe, blue/white stripe, green/white dot and blue/white dot



And that's not all! There's a super cute coordinating 


If you remember my football table from earlier this year, this set is very similar to it. Want to know some of the party table tricks? I love to make a table without breaking the bank, and this one, even with the Goal post, artificial turf tablecloth and all of the food was just a little over $100. 

It was pretty easy.... here's how. 

Just use a little artificial grass from Home Depot, spruce up some solid color paper sacks from Party City with the favor tags, and cover some white wedding favor boxes (cut off the handles) from the Dollar Tree with the papers that come with the printables set, and you can make a a fun sports themed party table without spending too much. 

Other ideas were the Dollar Tree megaphone shaped water toys that I covered in orange scrapbook paper and added a ball to the top. Then I used pvc to fashion a goal post, glued it together and spray painted it yellow. After adding some plaster of paris to a Dollar Tree trash can, I put the field goal post in and let it set to harden. 

And of course the letters for Chap's name and the number "6" were purchased at Hobby Lobby and covered in the coordinating papers that come in the printables set. And the backdrop was just a 1/4" piece of 4'x4' board covered in a $4 Walmart navy blue sheet.

You could do similar items for the new Sports Printables set, just change out the colors to green and blue and add some basketballs, soccer balls and baseballs to the mix.

I hope to work on a Sports Birthday party table soon, so if you've got any cute ideas, be sure to share! Thanks everyone!

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