Tennis Party Favor

t’s pretty hard to find favors for tennis so I made some using leftover Moo Mini Cards that I received to make my mosaic stool. for a tennis themed party.  It’s a tennis ball filled with candy.  Easy.  Cheap. Perfect.

I made these cute tennis party favors for the end-of-season tennis banquet for my daughter’s tennis team and finished them off with left over Moo Mini Cards. Here’s how I did it:

Materials: Tennis balls, candy, cardboard paper towel tube, favor bags, ribbon and Moo Mini Cards.

Tools: A circle to trace (a shot glass is a good size), pen, utility knife, scissors

1.  Trace a circle onto the surface of the tennis ball. I used a shot glass.

2.  Using an utility knife, cut out the circle traced. 

Did you ever wonder what the inside looked like?  It’s black rubber and a little dirty.  Wipe out the inside.

3.  Fill tennis ball with candy.

4.  Cut a ring off the end of a cardboard paper towel tube to use to keep the ball standing up.

5.  Finishing touches:  Place the stand and ball filled with candy inside of a cellophane favor bag, tie with a ribbon and add a Moo Mini Card tag…

These were a big hit with the girls’ tennis team!


A BBQ/Baby Shower

Some of you know that I just hosted a co-ed baby shower/BBQ and I want to show off! I hope it’s inspirational and helpful to those planning the same since I found very little info via a google search for BaBy Q when I was planning.
Entertaining involves a different kind of DIY, but anyone planning an event knows there is a lot of DIY involved.

Note: Some of you have seen bits n pieces but I wanted to include it all in one post for those who haven’t…please be patient with me or really, go ahead and holler out that you saw it first – I don’t mind!

I want to share what I’ve been working on for a few months – in addition to the barn/patio/grape arbor projects. :) Lots of hard work, some injuries, a deadline and lots of fun. I love party planning!

Yes-rsvp’s total was approx. 106 including women, men and children. It evolved into a fun family reunion. (Getting 50% yes rsvps was a myth in this case. Every one loves a family event!)


I created the above mosaic courtesy of DIY instructions from Bargain Hunting & Chatting with Laurie.
Thanks Laurie!
(Laurie – Now you can tell your family & friends that you’re an international computer software instructor…if only that came with a $$$ income and benefit package, huh?)

Invitations
I couldn’t find what I had in mind for BBQ/baby shower invitations. Red/white checkered tablecloths are fun…but not the theme I wanted for a baby shower. So I used Photoshop to create my own simple post card. Vistaprint was running a special for 100 free postcards – how awesome! I paid the extra for faster shipping but 100 invitations cost me about $25 which when pricing them – is an awesome deal. Postcards are also less expensive to mail out.
(The word “beer” encouraged the male species to look forward to attending…tricky, ain’t it?)

Decorating

I considered doing a nest/baby bird theme but since it was a BBQ/baby shower with women, men and children, I opted for just using shades of blue so Iwasn’t tied to just 1 theme. “Blue” is a pretty wide range for being able to find things easily.

I purchased the Martha Stewart pom pom kits from Michaels. They’re beautiful decor. Martha Stewart even has DIY instructions for making them out of any color of tissue paper (without purchasing the kit). They’re such a pretty option for an event decoration, don’t you think ?




We were lucky enough to get tables/chairs free of charge from a local club since my sister is a member (A membership is $30 a year…it’s worth joining just to have access to free ta
bles/chairs…have you ever rented them? $$$! ) We did have to set them up without tablecloths and under trees because of the sprinkling rain. I was way too distracted to have an OCD flare up about the tables not being evenly spaced & lined up. :)

I also put together a little clothesline using baby clothes (gift for mom-to-be & decoration – hurray!) and added a simple quote to our DIY chalkboard:




Centerpieces & Prizes

Centerpieces are mason jars tied with ribbon. I added fresh flowers purchased from Sam’s Club. I also tied on little envelopes with lottery tickets. I numbered them because I wasn’t sure how I would do the drawings, but didn’t end up using the numbers. We just drew names from envelopes that guests had signed with their name/address – to use for thank you cards. It was a hit. Who doesn’t love flowers & lottery tickets? We even had some winners! :) Giving centerpieces away as prizes was also cost-effective, not to mention…a few $1 lottery tickets are more fun than dollar store kitchen towels, right? If not…I bet those who won will run out and buy dollar store kitchen towels with their winnings (nothing personally against those…just using them as an example, btw).

I over-estimated my flowers and had enough to make a few bouquets as well.



I had a few other prizes on hand as well for the games. A big rubber ball for the kids and a utensil holder with utensils and a few lottery tickets.
We only had two games, (see below) but there was participation and they were fun (I didn’t think the guys would go for the usual baby word scramble. (Although I love that game – I always win!) We also had some outdoor activities such as bad mitten (correction = badminton, who knew?), volley ball and bean bag toss. There was also a bon fire. It’s a little wimpy on the “bon” but it was perfect for roasting marshmallows after dark and in August…no one is interested in it for the heat, right?



Party Favors

Isn’t it nice to include party favors as a way of letting guests know you appreciate them? Coming up with a unisex and usable party favor was easy. I purchased these bbq-sauce and hot sauce bottles from here then added my own labels and tied with ribbon. These also served as double-duty…decorating the tables. (We had a little rain when setting up, so no tablecloths and the centerpieces and favors were the perfect choice because a little rain didn’t ruin anything.)


Kids – Favors & Activities
I did a children’s table with favors just for them. I got Chinese style gift boxes (on clearance from Michael’s), tossed in a mini-container of play dough and a ring pop.
Michaels also had mural coloring pages. It was perfect for covering the table. I added a few bowls of crayons too.

The teenagers also helped with face-painting for the kids. Crayola washable paint pens were perfect:


Menu
BBQ smoked ribs – Russ is famous for these. 7 racks of ribs which are low-maintenance and all of the prep is early in the morning (marinating over night).

Fried Chicken (WalMart…large guest lists warrant easy arrangements. Can you imagine the time it would take to make it myself? 100 pc. chicken was $60).

Hot Dogs - inexpensive, easy and kids love ‘em!

Before I had a chance to continue with menu planning, I found that guests were offering to bring side dishes. This helped out A LOT and we had more than enough food. I’m so thankful for the unsolicited help! :) Since the atmosphere is casual/outdoor picnic – pasta and potato salads, baked beans, hashbrown casseroles, veggie/meat/cheese trays, pretzel salads, etc. were perfect accompaniments!

Dinnerware
The casual cook-out/picnic atmosphere allowed for kegs of beer (plastic cups), bottled water, cans of pop, plastic bottles of Little Hugs (with straws). We also just used styrofoam plates and plastic silverware. I did wrap the silverware individually in blue napkins secured with homemade stickers (leftover labels from party favors). Easy to grab 1 bundle and festive. :)

Dessert

Sam’s Club cupcakes are perfect for a large guest list. I ordered equal amounts of chocolate/vanilla and buttercreme/whipped topping then decorated them myself. It keeps me sane when there’s so much going on and they are tasty. :) I added a plastic baby to the center of one “pregnant” cupcake. It’s another way to give a prize without having an actual game. I chose a microfiber blanket for a prize…since it could have been an any-age-group winner. I did warn guests in advance!
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Games
We did two games:
  1. Don’t Break Your Water (all ages). Guests lined up and a finish line was marked a short distance away. Each guest was handed a water balloon. They were instructed to place them between their knees and to get to the finish line first without “breaking their water”. Kids and adults enjoyed this one and a prize was awarded to each.
  2. Baby Bottle Race (adults). I filled dollar store baby bottles with 2 oz. of beer. You should have heard the guys complaining and bragging that it was only 2 oz. until I said “go”. It’s harder than it looks. A full 8 oz. baby bottle would have worn out their jaw before they finished. Hilarious! This is what it looks like:

Misc. Tips

  • We find that using a kid’s wading pool is GREAT for ice/pop & water bottles.
  • I made a sign on poster board for guests to easily find our house:

  • Inexpensive paper lanterns make a nice entrance:
  • Designate a “photographer”. I thought I’d have time to take pictures but there was no way. (Thanks Celeste!) As hostess, I was busy organizing games and drawings, keeping food stocked, giving home tours, mingling with guests, etc.
  • Add a few bottles of hand sanitizer to the food table.
  • Citronella candles and food tents are helpful for outdoor events. So is having tents on stand-by in the event of rain. (20% rain = 80% sunshine when you see the glass half full…but best to have a back up!)
  • Have band-aids and disinfecting wipes on hand.
  • Open gifts as guests arrive. Most guests are only excited to see their gift opened and it doesn’t create a long time frame of gift opening boredom. We displayed opened gifts on a table so guests could see them.
  • Do not stand on an unsteady wicker chair to hang decorations. Nosebleeds are not on your to-do list. Slow down and breathe. :)
  • Have fun!
The mom-to-be, my sister, Bobbi.

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