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Welcome to the BIC Mark-It Ask-A-Crafter blog where you can get tips and advice on crafts. Our crafting experts will be posting various ideas to inspire creative use of BIC Mark-It Permanent markers in a variety of projects. We'll also bring you the latest news on our products and encourage you to submit any questions that you may have. Please also feel free to comment on any blog posts with questions and suggestions. Happy Crafting!

Arrrrrrrrrrrrr! It’s a Pirate Party!

Ahoy Matey! Grab your BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers and get ready to set sail on a pirate adventure! I am going to share with you some pirate party ideas that I created for my son George’s 3rd birthday party that will sure to please any little buccaneer!

Pirates Only!!

I always believe that not only an invitation creates excitement for a party, but so does a grand entrance! I created my “pirates only” sign with a BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Marker in Rambunctious Red, then added a skull and cross-bones cardboard cut-out from a party store. Black fabric and a fish net were draped over the gate, and a nautical red and white striped “carpet” made from a window shade (that I found on clearance) led the way to the pirate adventure!

Walk-The-Plank

As soon as you entered the party, guests were encouraged to “walk-the-plank” without getting eaten by “sharks”, and to visit the “mermaid lagoon” where pirates could play on a cardboard pirate ship. The plank was easily made with a BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Marker in Tuxedo Black and a piece of wood. You could also use a piece of cardboard. A blue table cloth placed under the plank was used as the ocean, and shark fins were made out of silver sparkly foam sheets! The mermaid was made out of cardboard and created using BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers. Her flowing hair was a wig from my daughter’s dress-up trunk!

Pirate Table Decorations

Another focal point of a celebration that I always spend a lot of time creating is the party table. I decided to create a pirate mast that said “Happy Birthday George” on the sail, complete with a crow’s nest and treasure chest. Using a BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Marker in Tuxedo Black, stencils and a large sheet of white craft paper I created the sail. The mast was made from shipping tubes covered in black paper and the crow’s nest is a bucket from a home improvement store that I spray-painted black.

At each place setting I also had a place card made to look like a pirate ship with each of the guests name on the mast. BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers, stencils, paper, and a brown Chinese take-out container was all that I used to make these vessels which also held Pirate dress-up items like an eye-patch and bandana.

Pirate Treasure!

Every pirate party has to have a treasure hunt! Before the pirates set off on their search for their loot they were given a map that was created with BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers and an alcohol blending solution to give the map an aged look. I also decorated inexpensive paper bags with BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers for the “pirates” to collect their treasure.

Once the treasure was discovered, my son and his pirate friends helped themselves to a gold themed candy bar and dined on a pirate ship cake and fruit salad. The salad was served in a watermelon that was carved to look like a pirate ship complete with a paper mast that said “Happy 3rd Birthday George”.

Please note that blending is challenging for a first time user. Should you decide to use an alcohol blending solution, please be sure to follow the directions and heed any warnings provided by the manufacturer.

I hope these pirate party ideas inspire you to get out your BIC Mark-It Permanent Markers and create your next birthday party! I would love to see your wonderful creations!

 

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Fiesta Cooking Birthday Party!

 

My oldest daughter Alexa wanted to have a cooking party with her friends this year for her 9th birthday. Since her birthday is around Cinco de Mayo, we decided to do a Mexican theme and call it a Fiesta Cooking Party!

 

The piñata invitations that I created, tied in with the centerpiece and favor/place cards that were used as decorations. To make the invitations, I used the piñata stencil from the bicmarkit.com website as a guide, along with colorful tissue paper and my BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers!

 

Brightly colored Mexican decorations were used all over the yard and my kitchen, plus some were made using inexpensive materials and BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers. A faux wood sign with fun, different locations, greeted guests as they came into the party, along with a cactus, Mariachi musician cut-outs and lots of sombreros!

 

Sign

 

Guests were given their very own apron with their name, and a sombrero to wear while they learned how to cook several Mexican recipes. I created a scrapbook of all of the recipes the guests made to take home as part of the favor. The Cinco de Mayo stencils from the bicmarkit.com website were used to decorate the cover and pages throughout the book.

 

Recipes

 

After Alexa and her friends assisted and learned with me how to cook a delicious Mexican meal, they got to enjoy eating it at a very colorful table decorated with piñatas and tissue paper flowers. The centerpiece was a donkey piñata dressed up with a chef hat, and decorated with cooking utensils and flowers. A large rolling pin decorated with BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers said “Happy Birthday Alexa”. The favor/place cards were mini piñatas filled with goodies and had a mini decorative rolling pin attached with the guest names written with a BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Marker, great for putting on display in your home afterwards.

 

Table

 

Mexican inspired games were played after lunch such as “Pin The Mustache On The Man With The Sombrero” (created with BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers!) and “Mexican Musical hats”.

 

Game

 

Then instead of a traditional cake, the guests celebrated Alexa’s birthday with cupcakes shaped like tacos! They looked as good as they tasted!
Alexa’s Fiesta Cooking Party was a huge success and she and her friends had a lot of fun! Now I am working on my son George’s Pirate birthday party next. I have a lot of ideas to share with you that can be made with BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers! Stay tuned for my next blog!

 

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Ideas for Creating a Fun Filled Field Day

 

During the month of June, my kid’s school always has a day called field day. It is similar to a mini Olympics, but with crafts, games and lots of ice cream! Every year parents are asked to volunteer to help with the day so I gladly jumped at the chance to help out! Below are some ideas that we used last year along with some crafts that I created using BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers.

 

Create Teams

One great idea that we did last year was to create teams within the classrooms using colors. There was a yellow team, a blue team, a red team and a green team. Every child was given a t-shirt in their specific color and was encouraged to accessorize with hats, barrettes, shoes or whatever they could find in their color to wear on field day. Everything was decorated in the classroom using the four colors including all of the lunch tables, signs and awards given out at the end of the day on field day. I made a centerpiece in each color with names of every student on the team. The kids really liked being on a team and wore their colors with pride!

 

Team Centerpiece

 

Crafts, Games and Ice Cream!

Before the games begin, students are given crafts to make that they can use throughout field day. Last year I decorated water bottles and foam visors. They sure came in handy in the hot sun! After the crafts were completed, everyone headed out to the soccer field for an afternoon of games donated by some very creative parents! There was an obstacle course made out of rubber tires, rope and pipes, old king size pillow cases were used for potato sack races, and buckets filled with water and sponges were used for another game! With a little imagination any game can be created with simple items from around your house!

After an hour of games and lots of fun, the kids were very hungry and hot! Lunch was pizza and fruit in all the team colors (yellow=pineapple, blue=blueberries, red=strawberries and green=grapes) all eaten at their team colored tables! As a special treat afterwards the kids received a visit from our neighborhood ice-cream man! Italian ice would also be a great idea for a treat, or an ice cream sundae making station

 

Awards Ceremony

At the end of field day we always have an awards ceremony where all of the kids receive metals and awards for their participation. Every student was a winner that day and received first place metals that I easily created out of buttons, ribbon and BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers. As a parting favor, the kids also received candy filled favors made out of a small trophy that was also decorated with BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers.

 

 

Field day is such a fun event that the students at my kid’s school look forward to year after year! If you do not have a field day at your local school, I hope these ideas will help you to create your own mini Olympics!  I would also love to hear any ideas from schools that already participate! Thanks!

 

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Sugar & Spice Spa Birthday Party

“Sugar and spice and everything nice that is what little girls are made of” is the poem that inspired me to create a candy and sweet themed spa party for a young lady named Amanda who was turning eight years old.

What is better than candy, sweets, nail polish and lip gloss for a little girl’s birthday party? My vision was to create a spa that looked and smelled like candy. The idea sounded easy, but took months of planning and a lot of creativity! I had a small budget to work with so I created most of the decorations myself from items around my house like empty wrapping paper tubes, flower pots and cardboard that were made into giant lollipops. Rolls of cotton left over from Christmas decorating were spray painted with food coloring to create faux cotton candy and ice cream cones! Inexpensive craft and party supplies like paper lanterns, cellophane, ribbon, paper and BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers were used to create gumball and cupcake lined walkways around the house that led guests to different areas of the spa party.

The spa party was broken into six different areas throughout the house, including the candy lounge, the chocolate facial station, the cotton candy hair tinsel area, ice cream scented manicures, make your own candy flavored lip gloss area, and the party room. The candy lounge was where the girls drank cotton candy drinks and ate from the candy buffet while they waited for their spa treatments. Real chocolate facials made from a free recipe found online were hard to resist being licked off as they were being applied to the girl’s faces at the chocolate facial station. The room was filled with the scent of cotton candy perfume as this was sprayed into the girl’s hair after sparkly hair tinsel was woven into their locks! Ice cream scented nail polish (found at a drug store) was applied in an area that looked like an ice cream shop, decorated with a huge ice cream cone made from paper, BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers and rolls of cotton.

After the spa treatments were done, the girls got to create their own candy flavored lip glass that also severed as one of the party favors to take home. The recipe was found free online and was really easy to make. Flavored and sweetened powdered drink mix, petroleum jelly and some edible sparkles were the only ingredients needed! I purchased small metal tins to hold the lip gloss that the girls labeled and decorated with BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers and jeweled stickers. It was so much fun to make and tasted great on their lips!

At the end of party the, pizza, cake and ice cream were served in the party room that was decorated with bright colors and lollipop/gumball filled centerpieces. Candy necklaces and button candy were used to decorate the chandelier, chairs and table. Inexpensive paper streamers covered the walls to look like candy canes and name tags created with BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers were added to lollipops as place cards. No sweet detail was overlooked! The birthday girl Amanda and her friends had a wonderful time at the Sugar and Spice Spa party. Everyone left smiling, relaxed, and a with a goody bag full of sweets!

Posted in Birthday Crafts | 4 Comments

12 Days of Handmade Holiday Crafts: Day 12

Santa Sleigh Gift/Favor

This last handmade Santa Sleigh craft is one that you can give in many different ways. You can personalize the sleigh and use it as a place card. Fill the sleigh with small gifts and your guests can take it home at the end of the evening as a favor. Or you can add a bottle of wine to the sleigh and give it as a hostess gift. Just wrap it with clear cellophane and add a bow and personalized gift tag made with BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers of course! Either way you give it, the person receiving the gift will love that you took the time to create a handmade present just for them!

Santa Sleigh Gift/Favor

I hope these 12 days of handmade holiday gifts and decoration ideas will inspire you to make your own personalized gifts for the special people on your list. With BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers and some inexpensive craft supplies, you can create handmade gifts from the heart that will be truly appreciated and cherished year after year! If you have any handmade craft ideas that you are making for the holidays I will love for your share them on the BIC Mark-It™ Facebook page, or at www.bicmarkit.com. Have a wonderful handmade holiday season!

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12 Days of Handmade Holiday Crafts: Day 11

Snow Globe Ornament

My youngest daughter collects snow globes so I wanted to make one for her small Christmas tree that she puts up in her room every year. This snow globe is made out of those clear fill able plastic ornaments and a wooden napkin ring holder! These plastic ornaments come in different sizes and can be decorated in hundreds of different ways! All you need is some imagination, faux snow, your BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers and some glitter and paint. These not only look great as ornaments, but so cute on top of gifts!

Snow Globe Ornament

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12 Days of Handmade Holiday Crafts: Day 10

Gingerbread Light Up House

Every year it is tradition in our family to make a gingerbread house together then display it on our kitchen counter. Half way into the season, the gingerbread house always seems to either fall apart or gets half eaten by my children or the dog! We will still continue to make these edible houses year after year, but this year I wanted to make one that I can display without being eaten up and that lights up too! Styrofoam board, a craft knife, BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers, Christmas lights and glitter are all you need to make this light-up gingerbread house that can be displayed year after year!

Gingerbread Light Up House

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12 Days of Handmade Holiday Crafts: Day 9

Peace On Earth Candle Decoration

My greatest wish for everyone this time of year is “peace on earth”. What a beautiful way to show this wish by creating this next candle craft idea. A glass bowl decorated to the look like the earth with BIC Markers holds a candle inside and sits upon a pedestal made from a flowerpot base. The base is decorated with holiday greenery and white doves holding the message “Peace On Earth”. This decoration looks beautiful on top of a fireplace mantle or as a table centerpiece.

Peace On Earth Candle Decoration

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12 Days of Handmade Holiday Crafts: Day 8

Bell Bird Ornament

Beautiful red cardinals outside my window at our bird feeder inspired this next handmade ornament. For the bird lover on your list, they will love adding this ornament to their tree! Add their name or the year for that special personalized touch. All you need is a small clay flower pot, a miniature cardinal and some simple craft supplies to make this adorable bell ornament.

Bell Bird Ornament

Posted in Winter Holiday Crafts | 1 Comment

Garlands

In childhood, from the moment we couple a few carefully planted steps into a run across the floor to outstretched hands, we somehow know that life is made up of a series of points that are connected and that the dash between dots is going to decorate the world in which we live in. It is no wonder then, like a ball of yarn in the paws of a kitten, young children just adore the process of getting tangled and untangled in the string of discovery they call everyday life. Perhaps this is the reason this time of year is so magic to children.

The holidays are full of strands, series of connections that string people together. We have strings of twinkling lights, strings of popcorn and cranberries strung around trees, strings on packages begging to be untied, strings of melodies hummed while cutting vegetables in the kitchen and strings of thought balanced between sips of mulling spiced cider on a Silent Night. These incredible garlands decorate the season and drape themselves over the memories we carry with us.

Once upon a time my daughter carried around a clipboard with a checklist of to-dos the minute the Thanksgiving turkey was cool enough to put in the refrigerator. To her December could not arrive until every possible surface had had the opportunity to be covered in twinkling lights and garland swags encircled every downtown lamppost. The progression of things, the string of events, that must occur in order for the Holiday Spirit to arrive safely was of paramount importance and could not be taken lightly. What seemed like a line of tedious “have to do” tasks in a queue, to this child were absolute “need to get dones.” Rudolph needed to safely navigate the airspace between stops. She was keenly aware that the dots between the dashes leading up to the one night every kid dreads screwing up needed to be in line and that the fate of Santa’s arrival was squarely upon her shoulders.

She is now 7. Santa has moved on to be the twinkle in another child’s eye, yet the string of events still remain. The tradition of setting up the tree the day after Thanksgiving, the careful exhuming of friends that haven’t been seen in a whole year from the ornament box, the discussion about their placement around the house and the creation of the “Days left until Christmas” paper chain are all things that not only decorate for a season, but are hooks from which a garland is strung year to year, generation to generation.

Prompt: Garlands come in many forms, some are chains, some are swags and some are strings of thought written in diary. This year use your BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers to create a garland for someone special in your life. Show them that they matter and are connected to you in a special way.

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