Way back in May, my friend Sonja and I helped out with a carnival party at our kids' preschool. I was already thinking of doing a carnival themed party for Cora's birthday this year, so it was easy to throw a little extra effort into it, knowing I'd be able to reuse all the decorations.
First, I created this big ticket invite using my Silhouette Cameo. It tore apart at the perforations in the middle, so one side could be returned as the RSVP. I thought they were pretty darn cute.
At the carnival itself, we were assigned to do the decorations and help with games. Sonja and I sometimes get carried away with projects that will be "easy," disregarding the fact that easy does not equal fast. It's a really good thing we enjoy each other's company, because we spent a lot of time on this stuff.
Our pride and joy was the carnival tent backdrop. We used a canvas dropcloth from the hardware store and painted it with acrylic paints. We painted, and painted, and painted. Then we painted some more. It took forever, and soaked up so much paint. We trimmed the edges with polka dot ribbon to clean up the lines, and added a cute scallop detail using felt. We love this tent.
The "ring of fire" is a hula hoop with flames hot glued all around the edges. That was an easy prop, and pretty cute in the photos. I made lots of photo booth props for the kids and families to play around with. Some were cut with my silhouette, some were done by hand, and the zebra and giraffe masks were purchased at Michael's. The strong man's weight was just a spray painted wrapping paper tube, with black balloons strung together through the middle. It was cute, but didn't stand up very well against excitable kids and sharp grass. :)
The carnival games included a Bean Bag Toss, Fishing, Tin Can Alley, and Spray Away (spraying ping pong balls off of tees using a squirt bottle).
We made the bean bag toss game using recycled foam board and shapes cut with my Silhouette Cameo. Each of the game signs were also the foam board, spray painted and card stock letters and trim glued on.
Tin Can Alley and Spray Away both had those red and white game stands, which were sturdy apple boxes that we spray painted red, stacked together, and attached/decorated with white duct tape (the scallop trim is cardstock).
I didn't take a good picture of the fishing game, but it is just an old school magnetic fishing game I made that last winter for my Sunday school class (I've been teaching the 4 year olds at church). The fish are brightly colored paper cut in a fish shape and laminated. Each fish needs a paper clip on its nose. The fishing pole is just a wooden dowel, tied with a long string, and a strong magnet glued on the end.
Sonja and I put together the prize for fishing. There was a lot of debate on what kind of fish to give out ... a real fish? Swedish fish? Fish soap? In the end, we landed on goldfish crackers - always a favorite. We made the bag toppers on the Silhouette (this was a very silhouette-y party).
Sonja made these cute "party animals" to protect the dessert table. We nearly burned our fingers off attaching those tiny hats and even tinier pom poms. :)
Last, but not least (because it might have been my favorite thing at the party), I printed some paper bags for the popcorn cart. The tent image is from the Silhouette online store, and originally said "circus." I did some editing to customize it for the school, and printed them at home. The plain popcorn bags were from papermart.com.
All in all, it was a great party! But I'm still really glad I'm reusing that carnival tent.