Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Bon Voyage Birthday

Jake's birthday isn't until July, but we let him have a party super early this year, so more of his friends could come. This year it seemed especially important to make sure his friends could celebrate with him, since its almost time to say goodbye. We had his fete at one of those indoor kids play places (on a beautiful, sunny, summery day of course), and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I made goody bags for all, and included little favors that marked both Jake's birthday and his departure. He designed the bags and assisted with making some of the contents.
Here's what we came up with:

Jake wanted red drawstring bags with black ribbons for the boys and yellow bags with white ribbons for the girls. I made a total of 25 of them, assembly-line style, over the course of a week and a half or so, using my favorite simple drawstring bag tutorial from Skip to My Lou. I made chocolate lollipops using the same molds and sticks and stuff I had left over from Charlie's party in the fall. (The chocolate was not left over. There is never left over chocolate in this house.) I printed out some stickers that I made with the American flag and the Union Jack and stuck those on the wrappers.

I made tattoos using printable tattoo paper. The girls got Rosie the Riveter (whose speech bubble I changed from "We Can Do It!" to "Girls Rule.") The boys each got their names in a sort of comic strip/super-hero-y looking benday bubble that I lifted off of the internet. I included a little piece of paper with instructions for applying the tattoos, and stuck each one in a little glassine envelope.
Charlie models his tat below.

For the goodbye portion of the program, I got a pad of airmail paper and had Jake self-address an envelope for each bag. We stamped them (a dollar and five cents now to send a letter to the UK-ouch!) and included a little printed card inside each asking his friends to please write to him this summer. He promised to write to them too, and report back on life in England. We also included a blank vintage air mail postcard in each bag, just for fun and to keep with the theme. To write the letters (and whatever else they want), each kid got a pencil with "Happy Birthday Jake!" printed on it. I didn't make those; I ordered them from Miles Kimball.

Finally, I couldn't resist making bath bombs with "BOMB VOYAGE JAKE" stickers to seal the bags. Each kid got two bombs (they were kind of small). I listed the ingredients on another sticker, and was sure to avoid using any nut oils to make this batch, since several kids in Jake's class are allergic. I also skipped colorants, but I did used oils of lavender, lemon and clary sage (not all together). I hope Jake's friends don't think they're too smelly or girly. My boys love them. I used the recipe I like for water softening fizzies from the Teach Soap website.
Charlie couldn't wait for the party-I had to give him his bag early.

I probably went a little overboard on the whole handmade goody bag thing, but I wanted to make something memorable. Jake loves his buddies so much. They're a super sweet gang of kids, and I know he'll miss them a lot.

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