Birthday Blueprints | Birthday Blueprints Birthday Party Ideas for Everyone! Fri, 31 Oct 2014 04:30:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Why Not Make A Birthday Banner? Fri, 26 Apr 2013 01:26:25 +0000 The Lasting Memory of a Birthday Banner I remember way back when my eldest female cousin celebrated her first birthday.... Continue reading »

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The Lasting Memory of a Birthday Banner

I remember way back when my eldest female cousin celebrated her first birthday. On her birthday banner were the words: “Happy 1st Birthday, Sara!” I remember feeling that she was really darn lucky as she got to have a big Kids Birthday Bannerbirthday party for her first birthday. I sure don’t remember if my parents did the same for me.

Firstborns tend to receive lots of gifts from everyone in attendance. It’s a milestone! Parents may even go well out of their way to have clowns or mascots at the party! Maybe it’s just an excuse to get the whole family together, and if so…might as well just make it into one big festival. As I look back on an old photo of that first birthday party for my cousin, it seems a little strange that she now has her own daughter, also celebrating her first birthday with a huge birthday bash.

Making the Birthday Banner Fabulous

Did I get a big birthday party for my first birthday? I’m not sure. I never really asked my parents whether I did or not. All I know is that the photos of my first birthday party didn’t have one visible—although, I did have a lovely, homemade Minnie Mouse cake! Either way, I never got to confirm if I indeed did have Shiny Mirror Happy Birthday Bannerone of those birthday banners reading “Happy 1st Birthday!” However, I do see a theme of birthday banners being present in parties of younger children as well as seniors—perhaps they simply aren’t as prevalent in the “middle” years.
Just a few months ago, Sara’s daughter celebrated her third birthday; it became a big family affair with my younger sister making personalized birthday banners to hang on the entrance of the restaurant where the party was held as well as behind the birthday cake. It was, of course, for picture-taking purposes. Everything that my family put up in the place was actually personalized – the invitations, the banners, the balloons, the candy decors. Everything!
When I saw the importance of the banner at that birthday party, it made me start to think of how to make the banner more special. You want the banner to stand out; obviously, your guests will know whose birthday it is, but this particular piece of decoration is meant to accent and complement your party rather than just blend in with the background. Consider giving it a colour theme to match the rest of your party or to have it made on a special fabric—perhaps lace or doilies? Placing the banner at a high profile spot would give it the most bang for its buck, too. For example, it would be much better to have the banner hanging under an archway rather than simply on a wall. If you do want to place the big birthday sign on a wall, though, it would be best near the buffet, snack table, bar, or anywhere else the guests will be going to frequently. Having the banner in a high-profile spot will create a more festive feel for the party!

Catching the Eye with your Creativity

Many people spend so much time thinking about and planning the birthday party that when it comes to enforcing all of their plans, they have all but lost their motivation. It’s only after the fact you realize that you now have Banner Birthday Cardto wait a whole extra year to celebrate your birthday again! This is why it’s so important to really put time into planning your birthday; the main event doesn’t need to be the party, but the process of celebrating. We’ve gone over personalized invitations and party favours, so now let’s discuss ideas for you to have custom birthday banners!
Personally, I love the idea of baby pictures or progressive pictures of major events in ones life for personalized birthday banners. This would particularly be a good idea for 50th birthday banners; you could add pictures of their graduation, wedding, employment (maybe even their first job, if you have that available to you), big vacations, and anything else that serves as a good memory! Naturally, you might want to add their name to it, too, and maybe even make the banner their favourite colour(s).

Why I Wish for a Birthday Banner

I feel that birthdays just feel more complete every time I see a sign that reads “Happy Birthday!” It sort of gives one that feeling of happiness for being being greeted and remembered by everyone. That, along with seeing your name on the banner, just gives that awesome feeling of a personalized greeting.Happy Birthday Chuck
One time, my co-workers and I had made a simple birthday greeting on a cardboard and posted it in the cubicle of another co-worker who was celebrating her birthday. She was so happy that we remembered her birthday and cared enough to create her her own personalized birthday banners. And I, deep down, wished that my co-workers would have done the same for me when it had become my birthday. I suppose that everyone there had that same small wish at the back of their mind. I generally have cake and intimate gatherings for my birthdays, but I don’t really recall ever having had a birthday banner. It might just be me, but I still wish to see a birthday banner that is made just for me, and I’m sure whoever you’re celebrating has that wish somewhere in their mind, too.

written by Rebecca, birthday December 3rd

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Most Excellent 18th Birthday Party Ideas Thu, 25 Apr 2013 05:42:55 +0000 The Underlying Message Behind an 18th Birthday Every teenager dreams about their 18th birthday! That’s the day when they are... Continue reading »

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The Underlying Message Behind an 18th Birthday

Every teenager dreams about their 18th birthday! That’s the day when they are officially accepted by society as an adult. In fact, in most European countries, eighteen is also the age that they’re legally able to start purchasing and consuming alcohol, plus join the military, so over in Europe it’s an extra big ordeal when that special day rolls around. Regardless, in the minds of teenagers, as that magical number—18—approaches, their lives truly start! 18th birthday party ideasAs such, they plan their 18th birthday party for months in advance, looking for the perfect birthday theme and determining who will get one of their special 18th birthday cards as an invitation.

Remember that reaching this milestone is generally during their senior year in high school, and while the birthday person may assume that their current friends are the most important, they still have that shallow voice reminding the birthday honoree of high school politics.  I’m sure you all remember, or have encountered, the side that tells you that you cannot invite so-and-so because others in your class will whisper behind their hands.  Maybe that you have to invite a certain someone… and somehow make them show up, otherwise you simply won’t be cool anymore.  Ah, high school politics… I can’t really help with deciding who is special enough to attend this milestone event; however, there are many themes and ideas for presents that may not be obvious unless you were recently eighteen. (Fortunately, I was 18 not that long ago—sort of!)

Ideal Gifts for Someone’s 18th Birthday

There are two key aspects to keep in mind while trying to come up with 18th birthday gift ideas: The first is that these boys or gals are maturing into adults while still wanting to remain popular (i.e. Don’t get them a fanny pack). The second aspect is that they are at a point in their lives where at 18 years old… they shortly will either leave for university soon or prepare for work. If it just so happens that the blossoming birthday honoree is preparing for college, then it would be appropriate to buy a gift that they will need while away and potentially cannot afford to purchase on their own.

I’m not going to suggest buying them a car, because all of those teenaged-birthday shows where the birthday girl cries because she didn’t get a car are ridiculous—if you live in a city, then you don’t need a car since you can either take public transit or you will live on campus so you can walk (a tip here…don’t buy them a bus pass as a gift). If you live in a town, then a bike would be a great investment—plus, it’ll keep you fit!

Instead of dwelling on spoiled gifts, let’s move on to more practical birthday items: Laptop, Tablet, Gaming system?

  1. Laptop: You don’t need to go and overspend on a MacBook Air–Especially because they are mostly known for their brand name and superb marketing team rather than great quality. However, do some research and find a high-quality, light laptop that they can easily take to class to take notes on—I would recommend any Sony Vaio or for a more wallet-friendly alternative the Toshiba Satellite.
  2. Tablet: An eReader works just as well here, but the winner here is clearly the tablet. They’re light, they work as an eReader too, and they’re amazing for note-taking. (Particularly if you invest in one of the “Note” tablets, which writes really smoothly and only costs a fraction of the price of a laptop.)
  3. Travel Bag: A chic travel bag or suitcase that they can call their own would be perfect whether the eighteen-year old is going to college or getting ready for a blue-collar job! They’ve got to pack their bags eventually, right?

Leather toteJust in case the person being celebrated isn’t interested in the aforementioned items (or for whatever reason already has all three), there are birthday gifts you could get them that are a little more subtle.

Maybe you’ve already thought about whipping up a gift yourself.  A gift that might be a bit more handmade and personal.  A gift that takes a little extra effort on your part, and comes from the heart might be one of those items that actually gets held onto from 18 on.  Just think, this gift is the one that might just be something they will treasure and set aside on a shelf as a reminder of the care you put into a gift.  It might also be a present that conveniently gets left behind when moving out, or misplaced in the garbage.  You could really go into any direction with this one, but I’ll try to push you into the right direction:

  1. Sunglasses. Have they worn a certain style of sunglasses for the past few years? If so, this would be the perfect opportunity to invest in an authentic designer pair of those sunglasses! They’ll last a lifetime (if they’re careful) and will only cost a couple hundred bucks.
  2. Jewellery. Fine jewellery is truly timeless, so you may want to buy them a nice watch (no pun intended). While most teenagers have a cell-phone nowadays, a watch is a more elegant alternative for telling the time (Not to mention the fact that it’ll look better at a job interview). You may be seeing a pattern with these gifts; basically, if they’ve been using the cheap version of something for a while, it would make a great gift to buy them the quality version of it. (For example, replacing their budget Payless rain boots for a pair of Hunter boots.)

Keeping Your 18th Birthday Simple

When it comes to planning the party, try to keep your 18th birthday party ideas elegant and simple. For example, if you’re going to have a theme, then a masquerade birthday theme would be enjoyable for the general Jello shotpopulation, it’s a classy theme, and it wouldn’t take any extra effort other than the purchase or creation of a mask! If you feel inclined to serve dinner at your birthday, then rather than making individual servings for everyone, have a big dish that people can cut and self-serve! In Sweden, it’s normal to have a “sandwich cake’ as the main meal at parties and events; it’s really simple to make, savory, and everyone loves it! (Plus, it’s extremely versatile.)

Depending on whether your 18th birthday party is in a country where you’re now legal to drink or not, colorful, fruity drinks are more age-appropriate than a whiskey tumbler with scotch. Jello shots are delicious and fun for everyone, or if you’re interested in serving cocktails, then fishbowls or punches with tonic, vodka, and a fruity addition such as peach schnapps would be popular with the crowd (and it would glow in the dark!). And if you really want to keep your childhood memories alive at your 18th birthday, then you could fill balloons with water and freeze them so that the balloons could serve as the ice to cool the drinks down!

written by Rebecca, birthday December 3rd

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50th Birthday Gift Ideas Sun, 14 Apr 2013 18:07:31 +0000 50th Birthday Gift Ideas: Pick Out the Perfect Present It’s common to be stumped when trying to come up with... Continue reading »

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50th Birthday Gift Ideas: Pick Out the Perfect Present

It’s common to be stumped when trying to come up with 50th birthday gift ideas. This is a pretty major milestone in the lives of most people, so the pressure is raised to come up with something both memorable and amazing! Spend some time considering who this special person is. Are they the serious type, or a fun and bright personality?  Frivolous and flashy, or grounded and nostalgic.  Choose a gift that really says something special about the birthday celebrator. With a little planning and a lot of love, you can pick out, or make the perfect present.

50th Birthday Gift Ideas for Men

50th birthday giftMen are notoriously difficult to shop for.  While much depends on the interest of the man in question, there are a few ideas for 50th birthday gift for men that tend to be universal. A watch is always a classic choice. Most men wear watches, and the bands can wear out quickly. Wallets are another item that nearly every man uses, and chances are good that his is falling apart. Like most men, if they find something they like, they’ll hang onto it until threadbare and worn out.

Does he wear a lot of suits? If so, perhaps he could use a new pair of cufflinks.  It’s a milestone birthday, so don’t be stingy on the funds.  Look for a pair of cufflinks, or tie clip, that he will actually wear on occasion.  Ties and belts are solid options for almost any man, however I can’t imagine him putting on a belt and taking two seconds to remember who gave him the belt.

Golfers can always use more golf balls and tees, or perhaps you want to spend a little more money and pick out the latest driver or pitching wedge. Considering the personal nature of selecting a set of clubs, maybe look at a gift certificate for lessons…in his own back yard over a case of beer.

Is he a voracious reader? A copy of the latest bestseller or a childhood favorite comic book might tickle his fancy.  Yes a little research might be in order here, but that birthday effort is always well received in the end.  Of course you could offer up some subliminal hints too with books on topics of items you really want him to look into…such as ‘How to Sail’, or ‘Gardening Tips for Beginners‘.

If he’s a workaholic, a great and unexpected gift would be arranging for him to have a day off of work, and planning a full day’s getaway. The destination would vary depending on his preferences and activities, but anything that would get him away from the everyday work craziness, and into something that both you and he enjoy would be fantastic.  Someone say fishing?

If you’re looking for something more unique or personalized, but aren’t sure what the birthday boy’s preferences or interests are, approach his close family or friends. Even coworkers may be able to help you pick out something that he’ll love.  If all else fails, a nice bottle of Scotch is always appreciated.

50th Birthday Gift Ideas for Women

50th birthday gift ideasWomen are a little trickier than men. Our tastes vary so widely that it can be difficult to find something that fits our personality. Try to consider what type of woman you are buying for when you come up with ideas for 50th birthday gift for her.

If she is a devout churchgoer, perhaps she would enjoy a leather case for her Bible. A woman who enjoys cooking may love some new kitchen gadgets. Does she enjoy gardening? Get her a nice sunhat or a new set of gardening gloves.

When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a gift card…as long as that gift card for someplace she really likes to shop.  It may seem like a cop-out gift, or something that is impersonal, but it doesn’t have to be. Write a heartfelt letter, thanking her for being who she is, and include the card inside the envelope. Buy a card, but direct her in how to use it. For example, you could buy a gift certificate to a local spa, and call to set up services for her. Surprise her by picking her up and whisking her away to a day of relaxation.

50th Birthday Gag Gift Ideas

Gag gifts are a great birthday idea for jokesters, or anyone with a good sense of humor. Since 50 is the age considered “officially old” by many, you can play this up. Any items that are considered geriatric make Gag Giftsperfect gag gifts. Purchase an old walker, wrap black ribbon around it, and add a sign that says “Birthday Boy/Girl!” Buy a pack of adult diapers and wrap them up, to be opened with the other gifts.

How about a bundle of gifts?  Present them with a bag containing items like arthritis cream and denture cleaning tablets. The possibilities are endless. Just be sure that you are aware of any medical conditions that the person might have. Gag gifts can be hilarious, but not if they inadvertently make fun of a real condition.  Let’s not embarrass anyone by mistake now.

There are so many great ideas for 50th birthday gifts. Even though it can be difficult to pick something out, remember that it truly is the thought that counts; that’s not just a clichéd statement!  People truly appreciate the fact that others took the time, and thought to give them special birthday gifts. Knowing that another person not only thought about you, but thought of you highly enough to put effort into a gift, is a wonderful feeling. Try out some of these 50th birthday gift ideas, think of the personality of the recipient, and you’ll end up with an amazing gift.

written by Ashley, birthday July 24th

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Tips for Composing a Happy Birthday SMS Thu, 28 Mar 2013 14:27:37 +0000 Happy Birthday SMS: Short & Sweet Messages for Your Birthday Buddies There was a time when a happy birthday SMS... Continue reading »

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Happy Birthday SMS: Short & Sweet Messages for Your Birthday Buddies

There was a time when a happy birthday SMS was seen as an impersonal or cold way to wish a friend or family member a happy birthday. After all, SMS does stand for ‘Short Message Service’Happy Birthday SMS…which is exactly what a text message is.  Straight to the point, avoiding any need for regular conversational pleasantries.

That’s not the case anymore. With smartphones now becoming the norm, believe it or not…texting has now exceeded the traditional telephone call in popularity.  For some people, sending SMS messages are a preference over phone call.  With the addition of built-in cameras, that basic SMS can now have a picture or video added.  As a result, it has become commonplace to send their happy birthday wishes via SMS, whether it be a short note or comical picture.

I know that in years past, I’ve spent hours picking out just the right card for a friend or a cousin, only to have it get lost in the mail, or arrive long after their birthday has passed. On the other hand, sending a text is convenient, and given the fact that most folks’ cell phones are an extension of their arm these days, they’re sure to receive the message.  Smiling and hugging happy face emoticons too!

Tips for Personalizing a Happy Birthday SMS

Even though birthday texts are now a socially acceptable method of delivering birthday wishes, it can still come across as cold if you don’t personalize it. Always include your friend’s name in the text, along with a quip about that nostalgic event, maybe one you’d both like to forget. Think of that last time you had terrible bean burritos together, or maybe it was a car breaking down or a memorable rollercoaster ride?

Happy Birthday SMSOften, when a friend is inundated with standard “Happy Birthday!” messages on their phone, and on social media sites like Facebook, it can have the opposite of the intended effect, making the recipient feel as though no one cared enough to acknowledge them personally.  Don’t be one of these folks.  Take the time to keep it a bit personal!

The simple addition of the birthday honoree’s name, and even their age, can go a long way toward alleviating that feeling. The purpose of a happy birthday SMS is to make your loved one feel instantly special, so take the time to add a few extra letters to ensure that feeling gets across. You’d be surprised what a big difference that can make.  Think of how you like receiving those special messages throughout your birthday!

When to Send a Happy Birthday SMS

Equally important in communicating that feeling of celebration and goodwill to your friend is the timing of your text. Too early, and it can feel like you’re just getting it out of the way because you received a notification. Too late, and they may think that you’d forgotten about them, or were too busy to take even a moment to send them a message. Unless you and your friend have a running competition to see who can congratulate who the earliest, there is no reason to text your friend at one minute past midnight.

If you don’t know your friend’s schedule, you also want to avoid sending a message too early in the morning. We all love being wished a happy birthday… we may not, however, enjoy being woken up at six o’clock in the morning to receive it. Aim for late morning or early afternoon. Don’t wait until late evening or that night or your heartfelt message will seem more like an afterthought. If you do happen to forget, however, don’t offer excuses as to why you’re texting so late. They’re unnecessary.  When would you like to have those birthday texts start rolling in?

Tips on Writing an SMS for Happy Birthday

The best happy birthday SMS is one that comes from the heart. You have limited space to work with, as many cell phone carriers assign a length limit to texts, but that doesn’t mean that your short message can’t be packed with sentimentality, humor, love, and well wishes. Feel free to use “text speak” and abbreviate words to fit more into the message. It’s socially acceptable, and a great space saver.

happy birthday smsReminding your friend of a birthday that you spent together in the past can drum up pleasant feelings of reminiscence. Telling a short joke, or dirty limerick, along with your wishes for a happy birthday will instantly put a smile on their face. In my experience, the cornier the joke is, the better the reception will be. Avoid mentioning anything not related to either the birthday or a shared memory/joke. A happy birthday text isn’t the place to remind your friend of a favor they owe you. That’s just tacky.

Sending a picture or video message, or MMS for you technophiles out there, is another great way to both personalize a text and make it more interesting than a run-of-the-mill “Happy B-Day, bro!” Make a silly face and add it to your humorous text. If you’re texting a significant other or close family member, you could snap a pic of yourself holding up a sign that says “Happy Birthday, I love you!” or making a heart shape with your hands. You could even search online for a funny or cute birthday-related picture and attach it to your message. The options are endless.

Whether you choose to send a sentimental or a funny happy birthday SMS, keep it personal and on-topic. Keep that birthday text concise, sweet, and sincere. Your loved one is sure to love it, and your happy birthday SMS will stand out from the crowd.

written by Ashley, birthday July 24th

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Decorate with Birthday Cake Toppers Thu, 21 Mar 2013 03:11:11 +0000 Cake Toppers Aren’t Just for Weddings One of the best things about preparing your own cake is that you get... Continue reading »

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Cake Toppers Aren’t Just for Weddings

One of the best things about preparing your own cake is that you get to pick the decorations.  When it comes to birthday cakes, most people decorate with loads of icing and candles, but rarely with cake toppers! Why not?  Maybe it’s because cake toppers seem to be most closely associated with weddings.  Making a custom cake topper might also seem like unnecessary extra work!  cake toppersWith all the birthday party planning underway, coming up with ideas to decorate a birthday cake with that unique cake topper every year might just make those milestone birthday cakes a little less special.  That’s what I think anyways.

Birthday cake toppers are a fantastic and easy way to intertwine the cake decor and the theme of the birthday party.  With a little creativity and research, you can create the illusion of an extravagant cake with minimal effort. Think of it this way, since most people only have a lonely cake with the frilly white icing and basic birthday candles, adding toppers to that celebratory dessert will seem monumental in comparison to those “boring’ plain old sheet cakes from your neighborhood supermarket.

Cake Toppers Gone Mini

Let’s start with baby-steps: if you’re not prepared to go with the bigger toppers for your birthday cake, you can start small with birthday cupcakes! In fact, I would even say that you could decorate your cupcake the way you envision your cake to look.  Extra practice never hurts—especially when you can enjoy that practice with coffee or tea afterwards!

Cupcake toppers should generally be small and simple since you don’t have much room to work with.  It might look weird if you had a big DIY decoration looming over a small pastry (although, if anyone asks, you could just call it abstract art). cupcake toppersNow, there are two routes you could take with these toppers: you could either have edible toppers or the obvious alternative of toppers that are not edible. For edible cake toppers, in my opinion the easiest route you could take is to create it out of fondant or marzipan—you can buy either one of these at either your chain grocery store (bakery aisle) or a cake decorating store.

Now that you’ve decided whether you want to be able to eat the topping or not, when it comes to cupcake decorations, you only need to put in minimal effort to make your cupcakes wow your guests. For the edible topping, mold that fondant into your desired shape or creature.  Make sure you add some cute eyes and a smile to any little critters.  Try using cookie cutters on your fondant or marzipan, and stick a colored toothpick into the simple creation to make your topper display ready.  Maybe there is another purpose for those Christmas cookie cutters.

For the non-edible approach, again, I once again recommend using those always versatile toothpicks—just find a few easy, printable designs, some craft paper and glue the lot together. There are many printable cupcake toppers online or you can go and purchase some from your local craft store.  Maybe scavenge a few items from around your home for cake toppers that are unique or nostalgic to make—use your imagination and the internet!

The Difference between Marzipan and Fondant

5153480031_1baa86f353_zMany people are confused over the difference between marzipan and fondant; so just to clear things up, marzipan is made of almond paste whereas fondant is basically moldable icing.

Both cake decor options are easy to make with fondant easier, in my opinion, as you can create a workable version with just marshmallows and powdered sugar. You may hear that fondant is flavorless, so if you want to make the little, edible decoration tasty then just add a couple drops of an extract of your choice to the fondant before rolling it into your desired shape!  Peppermint or almond anyone?  How about something more exotic like hazelnut or licorice?

Choosing the Right Cake Toppers

Birthday cake toppers might require a bit more work if you’re planning on making them yourself.  You want that labor of love to be an impressive presentation piece since most of your guests will be eyeing it and snapping pictures for a long time before you cut the cake. For a foolproof birthday cake topper that won’t be a generic one from Target, head over to for handmade, unique, and one-of-a-kind cake toppers that will impress everyone! The good part about online shopping is that you get to see what the topper looks like, and you have dozens—if not hundreds—to choose from.

sesame street cake toppersMost people who do go for these stand-up cake decorations have monogram cake toppers; these are usually in the form of a pop-up name of the birthday honoree or their age. While these cake decorations are neat (in that they really are better than nothing), I think these are best reserved for the milestone birthday years (i.e. 16, 18, 21, 40, etc) rather than as a yearly decoration. However, for younger children, it would be cute to have a figurine topper—like their favorite Disney character or a Winnie the Pooh character—holding their age. Themed toppers, in general, are a great way to tie in your cake to your cake in more ways than just the color.

All-in-all, toppers should be added to your list of birthday cake decorations, because they’re just so easy to make, buy, and add! You can liven up the entire cake with a funky, unique topper; for example, you can have a “hip” cake by adding a jeweled crystal ball to the top of it or elegant by adding edible rosebuds and pearls.  In fact, you can even be as lazy as adding Christmas ornaments to your cake for a beautiful, winter-themed cake.  How about adding cocktail umbrellas to your cupcakes for summer-themed cupcakes? When in doubt with what to have as your cake toppers, choose a small aspect from your party’s theme, whether it’s the season, the color, or the place…and run with it!

written by Rebecca, birthday December 3rd

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Where to find Free Birthday Cards Sun, 10 Mar 2013 18:20:42 +0000 Time-Friendly, Free Birthday Cards Normally when it’s someone’s birthday, you get so caught up with deciding on a present that... Continue reading »

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Time-Friendly, Free Birthday Cards

free birthday cardsNormally when it’s someone’s birthday, you get so caught up with deciding on a present that you forget about the card; fortunately, the Internet and your PC can provide you with thousands of free happy birthday cards! (But you will probably only need one.) I’m not going to lie; I never really remember that you can send cards via email for various occasions. I mean sure, you get the occasional “birthday card” through the birthday card app on Facebook, but for the most part it’s seemed that people write a simply happy birthday message through the various social networking websites that you may use.

It always comes as a surprise to me when I open my old Yahoo! email to find cards for various occasions from my parents. (I’m not sure why they simply cannot adapt to me using a new email provider.) One thing that’s for sure, though, is that there are constantly new and clever cards, and many of them are even better than the store-bought ones—the fact that they’re free just tops the cake! Not to mention the fact that they literally take less than a minute to write in and send off.

Free Birthday Cards from a Distance

How often have you planned to go to a birthday party, but had to cancel last minute or realized that it wasn’t feasible to attend in the first place? (And then there’s the case where we didn’t even want to go, but that’s a whole different story.) Regardless of why you cannot see the honoree on their special day, they will probably be overjoyed that you remembered that it was their birthday and “went out of your way” to email them a card. I put this in quotes, because it’s such a simple, quick, and easy task; what might take you a couple of minutes to do will seem like a world of effort on the receiver’s end.

Free birthday e cards are abundant all over the Internet; you can find customizable cards, singing or animated cards or preset cards that already have a message within them. For most websites, after you have determined which of the free birthday cards online you will choose, simple type in a message (or leave it blank if there’s already a preset message, if you’d like), and then you fill out the basic user information, such as their email and yours, and send it off! If you’re not too picky about which card you’re sending, then this task will literally take you less than a minute. On the other hand, if you need to find the “perfect card”, then one could argue that you could have spent that time heading to the party rather than finding a card to email, but either way the websites are so user-friendly that even if you did spend time looking for the best card, it likely wouldn’t take you longer than fifteen minutes.

Easy to “Make” and Free Birthday Cards

free birthday cardsIn the event that you are going to the party and simply haven’t bought or made a card, then you can once again turn to your computer for help. More often than not, the same websites that offer eCards will also supply you with a wide array of free printable birthday cards! Unfortunately, you aren’t likely to find an animated birthday card to print, but there are assortments of other fun cards! For example, if you don’t want a simple foldable card, then you could print out a layered card. Naturally when you print this, it won’t already be layered, but you’ll be asked to cut along the dotted lines (this may differ depending on the card) and subsequently to glue certain parts together. This will result in a lovely layered card, sometimes with a window and sometimes with a pop-up when you open it. In all seriousness, there are countless various designs for free printable birthday cards, in fact you can even color in some of them yourself—it may be more convenient to ask your little one to color it in for you, though. (And if they go outside of the lines, just claim that it’s abstract art!)

Now you may be thinking that printing out the cards yourself will look cheap, but this is where you can start being creative and make it look like Martha Stewart made it herself. Many art supply stores will carry thicker paper; some of them might even have embroideries in it already for a fancier design. Just pop these into your printer rather than your regular print paper and you now have free happy birthday cards that look as good as one made by Hallmark—maybe even better depending on whether or not you wrote a personal message on the inside! After all, free birthday cards may sound like a cheap alternative, but that doesn’t mean that you need to make them look like a cheap alternative.

written by Rebecca, birthday December 3rd

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Only the Best Birthday Cards are Made by You! Sun, 03 Mar 2013 19:32:43 +0000 Skip Hallmark and Create Quick, Personal Birthday Cards Cards for all events, not excluding birthday cards, are either overpriced and... Continue reading »

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Skip Hallmark and Create Quick, Personal Birthday Cards

Cards for all events, not excluding birthday cards, are either overpriced and impersonal or cheaper at a discount store with an equally unimpressive message. This shouldn’t be too surprising to anyone, since these cards are generally made to suit all personalities and of all cultures; they’re plain sentences sugar-coated in nice-sounding words. Do you really want people to remember you as the person who gave them a happy birthday card that could’ve been written by your co-worker’s mailman (or someone equally random)? If not, then heed my advice and I’m sure you’ll make someone genuinely happy or at least give them a chuckle. Maybe when it’s time for your birthday, they’ll even remember that you gave them this well-thought-out card!

Something I try to abide by is always making the cards I’ll be giving away from scratch and adding personal memories in there. The card ideas always end up unique and genuine.  If it’s a long-lasting friend who’s being celebrated, then you could write one special memory that’s occurred during the year every year—this way, when they go through all of their birthday cards when they’re old, then they’ll have a trail of potentially forgotten memories to reminisce on. (Naturally, this is assuming that they keep all of those cards.) Maybe decorate the card with something related to the memory; for example, if something heartwarming or hilarious happened at the beach, leave a “Happy Birthday” trail of glue on the outside flap of the card and sprinkle sand on it. If you want to go really wild, you could even glue a seashell or two on it.

Best Birthday Cards Hit Close to Home

I don’t know your friends or family, so I really can’t tell you what to write in the happy birthday cards you’ll be giving. If you don’t meet too often or cannot remember/do not have any unforgettable memories from the current year, then think back to previous years. handmade birthday cardsIf you’ve known the person as far back as their childhood, then you could muse over one of those long passed days; try tying in the memory to a personality trait that you admire or–if they had no admirable traits—how much they’ve grown since then! I’m a firm believer of themes, so perhaps you could theme the contents of the card around the present. For example, going back to my beach example, you could create a beach kit for them, complete with a bucket, towel, suntan lotion, and swimsuit.

Now, perhaps you’re a funny lad (or lass); if you see yourself as such, then please do not go to the funny birthday cards section. Don’t even consult it for ideas. When you open the card that presents the half-naked girl/guy on the cover, you will never find them unclothed on the next page.  I’m serious. And if anything, then this will only be depressing for the receiver of the card. Instead of those cards, try to remember an inside joke to weave into your message inside the card. If you don’t have any inside jokes, then try making a joke regarding something that only the receiver will understand—you could even make this a subtle joke in case they don’t react well, in which you can respond, “It wasn’t a joke: I meant it.”

Cheap and fast alternatives to store-bought birthday cards

If you don’t want to buy supplies for the card, then you don’t have to! You have all of the supplies needed for at least free birthday cards at home—granted you own paper. Besides, the content is the important part here, not the appearance. homemade birthday cardsHowever, if you do want a nice look, making a window card is easy: fold the card down once length-wise; fold over it again width-wise; and then cut out a box or a heart or whatever shape on only one of the layers in the folded card (it should be a rectangle at this point)—an X-Acto knife works pretty well here. You can draw in the window, write a message, or glue embellishments inside!

Perhaps you don’t even want to go to the birthday or are physically unable to: you’re in luck! The Internet allows you to send free email birthday cards, and there are so many of them you could spend a week trying to decide which one’s your favorite. They do have preset happy birthday cards, but I generally try to get the ones that just have a nice design and add my own message on the inside. That way, you can show that you care with simple birthday cards even though you may not be physically available!

written by Rebecca, birthday December 3rd

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19th Birthday Ideas for Guys Sun, 24 Feb 2013 16:30:03 +0000 What’s shaking everyone, and welcome to another informative segment.  My name is Lawrence, and I will be your guide... Continue reading »

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What’s shaking everyone, and welcome to another informative segment.  My name is Lawrence, and I will be your guide for the morning/afternoon/evening…whenever you’re finding a few minutes to do this work unrelated research apparently for a 19th birthday. So in this little slice of informative, but sometimes funny article, we’re going to touch on one of those magical birthday milestones that most of us in the world have likely though about…

The 19th birthday!

Now, I can just imagine some of the faces that are reading this, and they’re probably slightly scowled up right now, with thoughts of, “19?!? 19th Birthday IdeasWho really thinks of their 19th birthday?” Well my friends, that’s where I come into the picture. There are quite a few people who have contemplated semi illegal activities they can get away with only because they felt that 19 was the new 21. It has happened before, and it will continue to happen. Especially when there are plenty of Uncle Bobs, and Joes that will gladly sneak their 19 year old nephew into the titty bar for his first official lap dance. Trust me, and believe that it’s probably happening right now, as you read this sentence.

Picking a Theme for his 19th Birthday

So, where do we begin today’s journey? Let’s actually start with the main premise behind why we are really here today, the actual birthday itself. We need to look at this from a few different angles, and then see what we are dealing with. Now, how does one prepare for a 19 year old’s birthday party, or gathering if you will? Well, it’s starts with the bad ass, smart mouth kid, who thinks he’s tough as nails, but cries like a young schoolgirl when he gets a splinter in his finger. Yeah, that kid. No matter what, you love him to death right? So, what do you do? What’s your theme?

2013-Hyundai-Genesis-Coupe-left-side-Rhys-Millen-Racing-2012-Formula-Drift-2Simply put, Extreme Sports! You need to think X-Games, Dew Tour, Formula Drift, all of that good stuff. You would have to do some research on the sport, especially if you’re not really familiar with it. Your easiest form of information is the World Wide Web, and to really minimize that search, go hit up YouTube. So said, so done. Every extreme snowboarding, cycling, drifting, skiing, dirt jumping event is on there for you to just gather up ideas, and then run with it.

So now that brings us to our next topic, 19th birthday ideas. I know I just rambled on with some thoughts of male teenage foolishness that most young guys are into.  It just dawned on me that these themes of sports, are some fantastic ideas to use in multiple facets for a soon to be 19 year old’s birthday party.

Drifting your Birthday Party Idea?

Here’s a solid example of what I’m saying. The theme chosen for your 19th birthday party is drifting. You as the parent will now need to seek out drifting themed items that will help pull this party together, without any flaws. First off, you would need to research where you can have your invitations made for this party. Be prepared to pay some good money to have custom drifting themed, 19th birthday invitations made up for the party. Places like Party City hardly ever have what you need when it comes down to getting things custom made for any real party. More or less, and most likely, you would need to find some people on either, or even that specialize in customizing fliers, invitations, and other such items for specifically themed parties.

19th Birthday CakeNext up is the cake. A birthday party isn’t a party without a cake. You thought I was going to say clown didn’t you? Nah man, dead are the clowns. Now in keeping with the theme of drifting, the 19th birthday cake has to be on point. This is something YOU DO NOT SKIMP ON, and furthermore it should be made/created by a professional. This is one of those, “Don’t try this at home” deals. If the cake looks like it was meant for a 5 year old, and begs to be dropped on the floor…and trampled by a mob…then the party is over. You would have ruined that once in a lifetime 19th birthday moment forever. And if you didn’t know by now, kids remember the bad, and embarrassing stuff before they remember all of the good times.

As I said, this 19th birthday cake will require a pretty penny to be thrown at it in order for it to look like it belongs at the party. Well, in all reality if I think about it for a quick second, you could get a cake from someplace cheaper, and have them put a picture on it, but that type of thing has always creeped me out. Cutting into faces, and stuff on cakes. (Blechh!)

What Are some Awesome 19th Birthday Gift Ideas?

So now we move onto the next section of this tour, and that would be the question in the title itself. What are some good, if not great 19th birthday gift ideas? I’m glad the question was asked, because yet again, I’m going to keep this train rolling into the next station.

19th Birthday ActivityOK, so we have our drifting 19th birthday theme, right? We pretty much locked down the main idea, (Check) we went over the 19th birthday invitations, (Check) and we followed that with a bangin’ ass cake idea. (Check!) So, now let’s keep the drifting going, and incorporate that into the ultimate 19th birthday gift idea. Why not surprise the hell out of the young man, by having part 2 of his party, take place at a race track. Now, this part here will definitely require some serious planning in order to make it work.

Depending on the season of the birthday, drifting events may or may not be hard to come by. If the birthday is in the summer, then you’re good to go, but if your birthday is in the winter, then you will need to find some other means of racing to be a part of. A winter racing substitute would be, indoor go-karting, or a local meet and greet car show. Those are always cool.

Now, I just mentioned a summer time party event, and this is my idea. If you would like to have a gathering at a track, then I would suggest that it be set up as a separate birthday gift. Taking anywhere from 8 to 20 kids to race track, is not only, not safe, but highly expensive. You could have the lucky 19 year old take a ride in a drift car with a professional driver a few times, and or even receive a lesson or two from the driver. This would turn out to be an EPIC happy 19th birthday, that will NEVER be forgotten.

I would like to take a moment to express a feeling about this subject very quickly, if you don’t mind. When a kid turns 19, there’s a bit of independence that has found it’s way over that person, and at that point one of two things will happen. One would be pure, and total responsibility kicks in, and your life gets easier, or the complete opposite happens. 19th birthday idea for guysEither way it is your job, as the parent to make sure that every chance there is to WIN, you do it.

At this age failure is not an option. I mentioned it before, during teenage years, kids will remember failing, or bad times, or even embarrassment before anything else, and we do not want something a simple as a birthday haunting them, instead of blessing them. This is Real Talk people, our teens are our next set of leaders, and we as parents must know that, whatever we do for them will affect them in many different ways. We just have to make sure that we affect them in the most positive way possible.

OK, let’s get back to business, and wrap things up before I bore everyone to death. Our kids are growing up, and the time when they turn 19 is fast approaching. Our 19th birthday ideas are that of an untold story, that’s waiting to be read, and learned from. When all of the invitations are written, the cake is put away in the fridge, and Thank You notes are mailed out, you then have to wonder. How the Hell am I going to top this for his 20th birthday? LOL! Even if that is a thought, put it to the side for now, and just soak in how great of an accomplishment that was just had, because you took it upon yourself to make things happen. Life can be like a bowl of sweet cherries, you can eat them slowly and savor the flavor of each one, or you could rush through the bowl, and rick choking on a seed. In other words, enjoy life as it comes to you, for if you rush it, and miss something, you won’t get a second chance to do it again.

Thanks for reading, and sharing this time with me. Feel free to leave comments, and or questions you may have in the box below. Until next time, have fun, be safe, and BAZINGA!!

written by Lawrence, birthday November 26th

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Ten Birthday Ideas For Her Party Mon, 18 Feb 2013 19:05:28 +0000 Birthday Party Ideas for Women Here we are again, looking to offer up a few birthday ideas for her, which... Continue reading »

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Birthday Party Ideas for Women

Here we are again, looking to offer up a few birthday ideas for her, which could be your girlfriend, wife, sister…maybe even your grandmother or best friend.  Think back to what you might have done last year for that special lady’s birthday event, and what you might want to do to make this year even more special than the last.  I’ve got 10 birthday suggestions here that could help with planning.  Keep in mind that these are just the foundation for birthday ideas for her.  You’ll have to come up with the unique details that make the birthday party all yours.  In case you’re scrolling quickly through here, we broke this up into two subheadings…but all these ideas are worth a read.  Here we go!

The First Five Birthday Ideas for Her

Number Ten – An Afternoon Brunch. We’re not talking about a big soiree here, just a nice intimate brunch with a few close friends where she can chat and catch up without dance music blaring in the background.  Birthday gifts can be handed over and opened in relative peace.  Maybe there’s even a free birthday dessert in there that could cap off the meal.  Birthday Ideas for WomenFinish the day off with a walk, or an afternoon of relaxing and sipping tea.  Believe it or not, this is what we did on New Years Day!

Number Nine – Have a Picnic.  Sure this is along the same lines as the above noted brunch, but here you’re moving the venue out to a nice natural setting instead of the greasy diner you might picture above.  Make it a romantic one-on-one event, or a whole family affair.  Add in a few birthday games and activities to keep the kids preoccupied and you can have a little adult time.  If it’s a little chilly outside, you could still make it a fun snow day.  White wine stays nicely chilled in the snowbank, and mitt warmers do a fine job of keeping your hands and feet warm.  I think spending a little quiet time in front of a fire is best though.

Number Eight- A Pin-up Girl Boat Party!  This may seem a bit specific, and over the top, but why not look at a mobile venues for your party.  A mobile venue could be a boat, limo, or even a hayride…if you’re into that.  As for the pin-up girl theme, what we’re suggesting is getting everyone in costume for a themed event.  If you’re looking for birthday ideas for her 30th or 40th birthday, costumes are great for pictures and memories that will last a very long time.  Suddenly I have images of a pin-up girl hayride birthday party…maybe I’ll save that for next year.  Besides, when was the last time you dressed up for a birthday party?

Number Seven – A 70’s disco and fondue party.  Find yourself a few fondue pots and melt up some chocolate for some friendly conversation and food dipping.  ladies birthday ideasThis is a great way to almost coerce your guests into interacting over food prep and keeping that chocolate warm.  Keep the afro wigs to a minimum as that synthetic hair can get into everything, and no one wants to find a long curly black hair on their freshly dipped strawberry.  Decorate accordingly though, and offer up prizes for best costume if your guests need further convincing to dress up.  If it’s only birthday ideas for her 16th that you’re looking for, Rebecca did a piece up on Sweet 16’s which has a bit more modern take on the disco party theme.

Number Six – A Roller Skating Party.  If you’re lucky enough to still have access to a roller rink, why not have your party at one of these classic venues.  Unless you just happen to have your own skates, the rental options might be a little broken in and decor a bit dated, but that disco ball will never go out of style.  Could you rent a gym, or might you know of a warehouse that has those smooth concrete floors?  Ice skating also works as a birthday party idea, if you’re into that.

The Final Five Ladies Birthday Ideas

Number Five – A Bowling Night.  Admittedly, this seems to be more traditionally one of those birthday ideas for her guy…but ladies can have just as much fun.  Think that if you have to drag a few guys out too, this might be an option that could entice a few men to the party as well.  Birthday Ideas for HerMake it a 5-pin night, neon bowling, classic bowling shirts, custom team bowling gear…maybe a bowling trophy for a present… she could have a lot of fun with it.

Number Four – Wine, Chocolate or Dessert Tasting!  Ladies like to discuss most anything, so why not keep your ladies birthday plans focused around something that they love, and can talk about?  Certainly there must be a restaurant around that has an obscenely long list of desserts that would keep any group of taste-testing ladies happy for hours and hours.  If not, then why not host the birthday tasting event at your place.  Make it a potluck style event, where everyone brings a dessert, chocolatey treat, or hunk of mysterious cheese for everyone to share in.

Number Three – A Karaoke Party.  Granted this thought came from my girlfriend because she loves to sing.  It was when looking for family friendly birthday ideas for her 35th that forced me to get a little creative.  Get a few friends together and have some old-time singing fun!  We will typically head out to a local karaoke bar, where only some of us will get up there and sing a ditty or two.  Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a singer yourself.  Just grab a drink, sit back and enjoy the show.  If you’re wanting to try this birthday event at home, YouTube has an amazing collection of karaoke versions of songs, at which point all you need is a mic for show and a decent enough sound system to drown out the sounds from those not so vocally talented individuals.

Number Two – A Shopping Spree!  Arrange a limo ride to the mall for her and a few friends, and either give her access to your credit card or a stack full of cash and let her run amuck.  This birthday idea would likely appeal to most anyone, but there’s only a few of us that could really make that work.  Maybe try a stripped down version if you’re a little more budget conscious.  How about a 50 dollar shopping credit at a store that sells everything for a dollar or less?

Number One – A Relaxing Day at a Spa.  Regardless of whether she is overworked or not, a day at a spa to get her nails done along with a massage gets her that necessary ‘me’ time to recharge for the rest of life’s drama.  Birthday Party Ideas for HerSurprise her with a birthday cupcake at the spa, just as a little extra something that makes it not just another spa day.  How about a gift certificate to her favorite salon, if she’s not into showing strangers her feet.  You know her best..

You don’t need to stop with just one of these ideas.  How about combining a few of these birthday ideas for her, or variants of them, into a full day of birthday activity.  Start with a birthday brunch, and follow it up with an afternoon of shopping…then some rejuvenation at the spa.  With her all prettied up, head on out for a night of karaoke at a dessert bar.  Hey, if you can make all this happen over the course of a single day, you’re venturing on birthday god-like status.  Might be best to capture that all on video, because no one would believe you could somehow squeeze all those birthday ideas for women into a single 24 hour period. Spend a little time boiling down a few birthday ideas for her and make every last detail perfect.  Good Luck!

written by Chris, birthday November 15th

We also have a quick recap for you non-readers out there.  Mark does a great job in all of thirty seconds discussing the above birthday ideas for women.  Check it out!

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The Real Skinny on Birthday Candles Wed, 13 Feb 2013 20:37:11 +0000 Last-Minute Birthday Candles Although they are the second most important part of having a birthday cake, during the planning process... Continue reading »

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Last-Minute Birthday Candles

Although they are the second most important part of having a birthday cake, during the planning process birthday candles are often forgotten. This can be rather troublesome if time has run out and you’re preparing to take out the cake soon and sing Happy Birthday.  All isn’t doomed, however! I’ve done my research, and some experimenting, so I’ll be able to tell you how to create your birthday cake candles—at home with things you probably already have! But don’t worry—even if you already have your birthday candles, as I’m a DIY fanatic, I have some clever ideas for you to make unique birthday candles out of the candles you have already bought.

Choosing the Most Suitable of the Birthday Candles

If you are reading this article way in advance of the birthday party, then odds are you already have the birthday cake candle portion of the party in mind. Have you considered what kind of candles you will purchase? Although the birthday candle market isn’t particularly wide, there is a surprising amount of variety in supermarkets, craft shops and even your local dollar store.

If you’re going for a color-themed party, then you could go for all solid colored candles.  You could even go for the swirly candles that are dual-colored to suit both of the colors for the theme. How about blue and yellow to match the team colors of their favorite sports team. Get creative with your candle selection, as I have even seen zebra print candles out there if you were thinking of a safari themed birthday party.

birthday candlesHaving a candle for each year the birthday person has been celebrating birthdays, is a traditional way of testing whether or not the birthday wish will come true.  We all now that if all of the candles can be blown out at once, that wish we made before extinguishing those individual flames might just come true.  For every candle that remains lit, well… that’s just saying how many unknown boyfriends or girlfriends we have out there that our family wants to thoroughly embarrass us about.

If the birthday child is under the age of seven, then it might not be as entertaining to blow out all of the candles. For example, for a one-year-old, their 1st birthday candle will literally be one candle, and it won’t be much of a challenge to blow it out. All jokes aside, younger children seem to take more pleasure in candles that signify their age more concretely—it’s almost like they see those big, bold numbers as an accomplishment.

When deciding on birthday cake candles, it might be more appropriate to buy the big “number’ candles for the younger ones, maybe even themed as their favorite character! If your child is starting to get bored with the big bold numbers, or you just can’t find a pretty number 7, then some other fun happy birthday candles are the sparkler cake toppers or candles that sing the happy birthday song!

Making Your Own Birthday Candles

birthday candlesWe are now moving on to the juicy details of this incredible money- and time-saving DIY project! I’m sure you have at least once in your life saved the birthday cake candles from the year before to reuse the following year, so I won’t even go there. Perhaps you regularly save every unused scrap of candle, and is precisely why you forgot to buy candles this year.

Regardless of why you’re left with a naked cake, you yourself can save the day by whipping up some candles.

To get started making your own candles, first and foremost you’ll need the following crafty essentials:

  • toothpicks,
  • any candle OR crayons, tea lights work too in a pinch
  • cookie cutters,
  • wax paper,
  • and a wick!

If you don’t have a wick, then you just need heavy cotton string, borax, salt, and water: Soak the string in 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 tablespoon borax and let dry, then dip it in wax and let it dry. Tada! You now have wick.

After you’ve gathered all of your birthday candle ingredients, then you can follow these easy steps:

  1. Boil water in a pot on your stove and set a glass bowl on top of it with the melted wax from your candle inside the bowl 
Alternative: Forget about the candle altogether and break up your crayons into muffin tin molds or a baking dish lined with wax paper and bake them until they’re melted.
  2. Dip your wick into the melted candle on the stove and then into a bowl of cold water; keep repeating until it’s the thickness you want it to be. Voila: you’re done.Alternative: After you’ve melted the crayons, cut them out with any cookie cutter shape you want and gently press the wick on one end (Don’t use your hands) and the toothpick into the other end.
  3. Allow the candles to dry fully, and they’ll be ready for use. Don’t worry about the crayons, either—they’re non-toxic! (I can’t say the same thing about your candles; you’ll need to read the label.)

Decorating your Homemade Candles

Now that you have your candles, you might want to beautify them. beeswax birthday candlesThere are a couple of ways you could approach making your candles pretty and glamorous.

Firstly, if your candles are thick enough (i.e., if you have big numbers or shapes) then you could buy stickered rhinestones from Michael’s, or another craft store, and press them into the candle for a sparkly twist. The only issue with this is if the candle melts down to the rhinestone, then there’s a chance that it’ll fall off.

If you have edible glue, then what you could do is mix sugar with food coloring and to microwave it for thirty seconds at a time, stirring every time the timer goes off, until the sugar is dry again. This sugar-food-coloring mixture will provide you with edible glitter, so you can now decorate your candles with this glitter with no fear of it falling on your cake! In fact, go ahead and sprinkle it over the cake, too.

The moral of the story is: Just because birthday candles are quickly removed from the cake doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with them before and after you put them on the cake!  If your candles are pretty enough, why not save them as a memento?  The candles will keep much better than the birthday cake anyways.

written by Rebecca, birthday December 3rd

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