Some DIY Race Car Birthday Ideas

I have a few projects in the works this weeks so hopefully I'll have some fun stuff to share later this week or early next. In the mean time, I thought I would share a couple of Alex's birthday details which I think really made the party extra fun.

First, the bunting flags which are all over the place in the blogosphere. Somehow they always seem fitting for birthday parties but even more so for race car themed birthdays. I considered a lot of options before taking the dive. I considered a ridiculous number of options of how to make them and didn't have much confidence in my ability to get it done in the tight timeframe I had for myself - 3 evenings. I liked the idea of using patterned fabric like Sherry, but didn't feel I had time to finish the hems on all of the flags that I would need for the 16 or so yards of bunting that I would need to cross the yard. I decide on felt because it's easy to cut and doesn't have to be finished. It also comes in lots of colors and is inexpensive ($5 per yard at JoAnn Fabrics minus any coupons).

I made a template using some twisted geometry of which Jim did not approve, but it worked. The top edge is about 12" across. I then cut out a big pile of triangles in blue and orange felt. It took about an hour and a half or so.

Next I pinned the triangles to the seam binding tape. Since I picked up the seam binding tape at JoAnn, they only had shorter pre-packaged lengths. At the fabric store, you can buy it by the yard which works out cheaper but I was feeling lazy and pressed for time so I grabbed it and used a couponfor 25% off the entire purchase.
 Here's what to look for if you're lazy and pressed for time as well -
Next I sewed a bit haphazardly using a zigzag stitch to be sure to grab as much felt and bias tape as possible for added strength.
I really love how it turned out!
 I think it took about 5-6 hours total to complete the entire project.

Next the gift bags...
They definitely received a few "You made these?" (with eye rolling). Yes, I made them but I honestly expected it to be another total failure. I found the bags at the Target dollar spot for 3 for $1. I then searched EVERYWHERE for a race car stamp but with no luck. I finally settled on this stencil which I found at A.C. Moore for $2.99 ($4.99 minus a 40% coupon), and a bottle of orange fabric paint.  I taped the stencil on with regular scotch tape and then dabbed on the orange paint. 

 45 minutes later, I had 30 stamped gift bags.
Each child went home with a bag holding a pull-back race car, a bottle of bubbles and a bag of Cars-shaped pretzels (another lucky Target find). Everyone seemed excited about them!

Finally I wanted another activity for the kids so the parents could enjoy themselves for a few minutes longer. Since it was a race car themed party, a race track seemed only fitting.
Handy Hubby had made this step stool several years ago for Elizabeth to use for teeth brushing. We've since switched to a plastic stool so this one has been hanging out in Jim's work shop to give the kids a leg up when they want to help at the work bench. In short, he added a piece of plywood and attached strips about 1/2" thick to allow for 3 tracks. He then taped them off and spraypainted the tracks blue with some spraypaint we had on hand. We new it was a hit when a couple of the kids' friends dropped by and played with it non-stop for more than 30 minutes.

Alex would probably still be out there playing with it if we would let him!

So, those are the details. Let me know if you need more info about any of these projects.