Monday, February 25, 2008

Firecracker Favors

I never did post how I made Nicholas' Firecracker Birthday Favors. They were easy to make, a great kids' project, and everyone really enjoyed them. I saw the idea on Martha Stewart's website right here and was immediately smitten. Martha uses tissue paper and craft punches in various sizes. I had tissue paper, but I didn't have the craft punches. I also didn't have a big budget, and craft punches can run up to $20 or more a piece. Since I needed at least three, I knew there was no way I could spend $60 on three punches I would rarely, if at all, use again. I decided to improvise.

First, I took one sheet of basic printer paper and covered it in hearts of various sizes.

Many Little Hearts

Then I gave Mikey his crayons and let him go to town.

Color in the Hearts

After that, I ran the sheet through the color copier. I knew Mikey wouldn't color several sheets of hearts in one sitting. (Um, and I didn't have the patience time to draw out pages and pages of hearts) I also downloaded this font and printed out on 3 or 4 other pieces of paper the number 1, his initials and the month, date, and year of his birth.

Color Copies

During the Superbowl, I cut out all the little hearts, the initials, and the numbers.

Cut Out Hearts

When I was ready to make the paper, I tore out two long lengths of wax paper of the same length. Then I spread my hearts evenly across. I laid paper towels underneath everything because I wasn't sure how the wax paper would respond. It ended up not being necessary, but might be something you consider doing the first time around.

Laid Out and Waiting

The I laid on top the second sheet of wax paper.

Cover w/ Second Sheet

Set the iron to medium-low, covered the entire thing with one layer of paper towels, and started ironing. I ended up setting the iron a little hotter, but I think my iron might be a total piece.

Iron Together

It was that easy! Here is the final product. This is actually the second batch. Notice I was starting to run out of hearts! I went a little crazy with the first batch and almost didn't have enough to make more paper.

Wax Wrapping Paper

I originally planned on wrapping a slice of pound cake for each guest in the paper, but I ran out of time. Instead, I took 9 Valentine Hershey's Kisses (Nicholas was born on the 9th), rolled them up in the paper, and tied off the ends to make Firecracker Favors.


I'll be honest. There's a reason why Martha suggests tissue paper. It's thinner, and makes for a more pliable end product. The regular paper wasn't that bad, though, and worked fine for what I had intended. I would love to try it with different papers, or maybe even melt crayons shavings for a multi-colored effect. Who knows? Maybe, if I remember, I'll dust off this idea for Mikey's school Valentines next year!