28 November 2012

Wild West Party How To's (with Free Printables)

Here's how I created the clever bits for our Wild West Campout Party. Everything is super-simple and cheap cost effective. There's even a bunch of free printables for ya... enjoy!

Rustic Burlap Jar Lanterns
  1. What you need: Clean jars (with labels removed), loose weave burlap (hessian); spray adhesive, copper craft wire, scissors
  2. This Scotch spray adhesive is FAB - super sticky, you don't need much at all
  3. Cut a piece of burlap/hessian to the right size by rolling the jar and roughly cutting the fabric as you go
  4. Spray the jar with the adhesive and press 'n' stretch the burlap around as you go until the entire jar is covered; trim off any excess (make sure you spray and stick the burlap to the neck of the jar as well)
  5. To form the handle, wind the copper wire tightly around the neck of the jar and twist
  6. Loop the wire over to the opposite side of the jar, poke the wire through underneath the wire and twist up to form a neat little handle

Put a tealight candle inside for a rustic glowing lantern, perfect for a night by the campfire.

 Rugged Wanted Posters
I created these Wanted Posters in PhotoShop, personalised for each of our party guests. They were fantastic as a decorative feature (and talking point) but were also a very cute take-home gift.

(Feel free to borrow my posters and add in your own outlaw faces and names in  PicMonkey or Photoshop; you'll need to crop each one individually and save it as a new file, then blank out the names, replace them with yours & add in faces)

I was lucky to have photos of all the party guests from soccer and school photos, which I PhotoShopped on to pictures I found of cowboys online (Google Image search). You can create similar Posters yourself (or borrow mine); if you don't have PhotoShop you can download a trial version for FREE here. You can download free Western-style Fonts here. Or you can get me to make them for you (NEW on my Etsy Shop: Personalised Wanted posters

I made the posters black and white and printed them onto A3 paper very cheaply at Warehouse Stationery (.25c each). Then Scrag and I had fun making them look old and crusty. 
Here's how...
  • scrunch up the poster into a ball, then smooth it out flat again
  • make a jug of very strong instant coffee
  • apply the coffee liberally to the poster
  • the paper is very easily ripped when wet so handle carefully
  • lay it out on an old towel to dry, so it doesn't stick to a hard surface

Along with their Wanted Posters, we also sent the boys home with a bag of sweets (Milky Bars, gold coins etc); the manila labels are from Typo and the alphabet stamp set from Kikki K. Nice and rustic.


FREE Printable Wild West GingerBeer Labels

Printable themed labels turn cheap bottles of soda into part of the party atmosphere. We bought six-packs of Home Brand Ginger Beer, peeled off the labels and replaced them with the cute ones I created, using a glue stick.
I made two sizes of labels, for the individual bottles and the 1.5 litre bottles. The old labels peel off very easily. So that's how you turn .95cent Home Brand ginger beer into something way cooler!

Here are the Printable versions for you to use at your party...
(simply right-click the image to save it to your computer; they print out on A4)

Large Bottle Labels (A4 Horizontal)
Mini Bottle Labels (A4 Vertical)

Campfire Cupcakes
These were so easy to make, tasted divine, and looked so cute!
Here's how to turn cupcakes into mini campfires...

  1. I used my fail-safe cupcake recipe, with gluten-free baking mix substituted for flour (not that anyone could tell; they are light and delicious). The buttercream recipe is also found here. Add cocoa powder to make it chocolatey
  2. Smear on a swirl of chocolate buttercream; make it a neat and tidy swirl by holding the knife still and turning the cupcake to spread the buttercream evenly
  3. Use mini Flake bars to create the "logs"
  4. Carefully cut the mini-flakes into slivers for your campfire wood
  5. Arrange the "logs" on top of the cupcakes as shown
  6. Make a half-batch of stiff buttercream and colour it orange
  7. Apply "flames" using a piping bag; start in a gap between "logs" and flick up, to create a flame effect (I used a star nozzle)
Yum yum yum.

Now what are you going to do with all that leftover buttercream? Well create a giant campfire birthday cake of course!

Campfire Birthday Cake
This was so easy to decorate, and yet it looks very effective and tastes delicious too.
Here's how to do it...

  1. Bake a double mixture of your favourite chocolate cake batter in a round or ring tin. (My favourite easy never-fail recipe found here)
  2. If you used a ring tin, fill in the centre with Pascall Mallow Bites (or Snowballs or similar). It should rise just above the level of the cake to create some height to build your log pile on. If you have a regular round cake build up a little pile in the centre.
  3. Slather the whole cake with delicious chocolate buttercream icing. Don't hold back, pile it on.
  4. Create a ring of "stones" around the perimeter of your cake with more Mallow Bites
  5. For your log pile use Cadbury Flake bars
  6. Slice your Flake bars in half and then into thinner slices to create your logs, and arrange your campfire logs, as with the cupcakes (but bigger)
  7. Mix up a half batch of buttercream, and colour it orange (or even better use the orange buttercream leftover from your cupcakes)
  8. Pipe "flames" onto your campfire as with the cupcakes, but bigger.
...then light the candles and sing happy birthday...

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