Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Tutti Frutti Party

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My daughter recently turned four and we threw her a Tutti-Frutti party. I originally chose the theme, bought a cute shirt that reads "Cutest of the Bunch" and made the invitation at the end of summer so when the time came, all I really needed to get together was the food and being that the theme is Tutti-Frutti, all you technically need is a bunch of fruit and fruit like foods. Who would of thought that throwing a fruit party in December would of been as easy as it was! Check out what I did below.

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Food Table:


I arranged the food along with a few signs I designed on the kitchen bar. I tried not to go over board with the party since it was just close family but I did end up going a little overboard with the food table... opps... but at least the majority of the food was fruit so it made for healthy leftovers and a handful of the snacks such as the gummies and Nutri-Grain bars were snacks we already had.

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The food table consisted of:

  • A Fruit Tray (Strawberries, Pineapple, Cantaloupe, Grapes, Oranges)- My MIL bought the fruit from Kroger
  • Bananas
  • Halo Oranges
  • Blackberries & Blueberries
  • Watermelon Fries - Yes we were able to find a watermelon in the middle of winter in the north at Meijer. It was a small watermelon but it got the job done. My husband cut the watermelon to look like fries so it was easier to pick up.
  • Fruit Dip for all the fruit
  • Motts Fruit Shape Gummies
  • Yogurt Covered Raisins
  • Peach Rings, Watermelon Bites & Orange Slice Gummies
  • Trail Mix with nuts & dried fruit in it
  • Nutri-Grain Bars
  • Tutti-Frutti Cookie Clusters - I found the recipe from The Domestic Rebel HERE. The cookie clusters aren't the most appealing to look at but they taste pretty good especially right after you mix everything together and they are still warm.
  • Strawberry Jelly Donut Oreo Balls - a twist on regular Oreo balls, recipe tutorial hopefully coming soon.
  • PB&J Sandwiches
  • Sprite Chicken Sliders *see below
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Sprite Chicken Sliders are easy to make because you can throw everything in a crock pot and let it cook while you decorate for the party. I found the Sprite Chicken recipe from the Cha Ching Queen HERE. The Sprite Chicken Sliders were a big hit with the guest and go with the party theme perfect because the Sprite gives the chicken a mild citrus flavor. 

If you are making the sliders for a party I recommend cutting the chicken breast in half so they fit better on the Hawaiian rolls or shredding the chicken up. I personally like to top mine with cheese, ketchup, mayo and pickles but you can top it with whatever you'd like or eat it plain. We let the guest serve themselves since everybody likes different toppings. 

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Beverages

  • Sweet Tea
  • Juice
  • Cherry Pepsi
  • Mist Twist Cranberry
  • Cranberry Punch

The Cranberry Punch recipe used is:
 - 3 cups of Cranberry Juice
 - 3 cups of Pineapple Juice
 - 3 cups of Ginger Ale

Mix all ingredients together and chill on ice. You can add frozen fruit to the punch to make it taste fruitier. Make sure not to buy diet cranberry juice because my husband made that mistake so it didn't taste as good. Almost all punch is fruity so you can make any kind you want!



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My daughter picked out a Strawberry cake so I made it, but I made it look like a watermelon. I added chocolate chips to the cake mix to make it look like watermelon seeds once it was cut but they all sunk to the bottom and stuck to the pan so I probably shouldn't of done that but the chocolate chips enhanced the strawberry cake flavor. 

I decorated the cake with pink and green frosting then personalized it and added chocolate chips to look like seeds. (Tutorial Coming Soon)
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Decorations


Invitation:
I created my daughter's birthday invitation from scratch. I made the background, found some free fruit clipart and typed up the invitation. If you have been following my blog you know I love designing things. I used Illustrator but there are several free programs out there that allow you to design simple invitations for personal use.

I sent the invitation via e-mail and messenger to our family to save on postage plus everybody ends up throwing invitations away so why waste paper? If you are inviting guests that live close to you, you can print off the invitations and give them to your guest in person. 


Food Table Signs:

I found some cute fruit sayings, designed some fruit in Illustrator, added a background and wha-la, I had my signs. I had them printed and framed them in 8x10 picture frames I already had minus the glass incase they were knocked over. I then set them up along with the food to add an easy, cute and cheap decoration.

You can print the three signs I made for FREE HERE!


I found the backgrounds for the "you're berry special" and "life is sweeter with you!" signs for FREE from Free Pretty Things for You. The site has several free digital paper designs you can use. I used the same background I made for the invitation for the "you're one in a melon" sign. 

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Fruit Bunting/Garland:

I found this super cute fruit bunting from Party Delights HERE. They have a free printable you can download along with some other Tutti-Frutti party ideas. All you have to do is download it, print out several copies of it, hole punch it and thread a string or yarn through it so you can hang it. 

I hung the bunting on the window to act as a back drop for when m daughter blew out her birthday candles. I also added it above the gift table and taped some of the fruit triangles on the kitchen cabinets above the food.

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Party Colors & Other Decorations:

As far as colors go for the plates, napkins, table cloths and streamers, you can pick any color you want because fruit comes in all different colors. I chose pink, yellow and orange because that is what I had leftover from my daughter's Pink Elephant Birthday Party and my son's Construction Birthday Party thus saving me from buying new ones. 

I repurposed some formula containers to hold the utensils. Formula containers are perfect for holding utensils and storing other things. 

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My husband hung streamers over our hallway doorway to surprise our daughter when she woke up. The kids loved running back and forth under it and watching the streamers fly up. Streamers are a cheap and easy way to decorate for any party.

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Since my daughter's birthday is in December, our elf, Luna, couldn't help but decorate as well. Luna used Expo markers to write all over the kid's bathroom mirror.

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Overall, my daughter's fourth birthday was a success. I think everything turned out super cute and the party was pretty easy to plan! My daughter was blessed with several princess dolls, games and a bike. As far as cost goes, we had to buy ingredients to make the cake and the food because I used leftover party decorations and supplies. There are tons of other decorations and party ideas out there for a Tutti-Frutti party; just search Google or Pinterest (follow me if you'd like) for more ideas.  I saw tons of cute ones, I just tried to keep it simple since it was just family. Your best bet for finding fruit decorations is in the summer or end of summer clearance sales so if you are planning a winter Tutti-Frutti party make sure to plan ahead. I was just at Hobby Lobby yesterday and they had a ton of super cute fruit decor and party decorations from pineapple table cloths to a food tray and party plates all 40% off since it is still winter. It's crazy how stores start releasing their summer decor in January so you can always check Hobby Lobby or your local party store for some decoration ideas!

If your daughter is turning two this would be a great party theme because you can use a play on words and have a "TWO-tti Frutti" party. I tried to use a play on words using four but the only thing I could come up with was "Tutti FOUR-ty" party which made it sound like my daughter was turning forty instead of four so decided it best to stick with "Tutti-Frutti".  I hope you enjoyed this post and it inspires your own Tutti-Frutti party. Feel free to drop a comment below!

Check out my daughter's "Cutest of the Bunch" fruit shirt I got on sale at JCPennny!

Although I did not use them, I figured I would share incase you wanted more options; I found another FREE printable fruit garland from the blog, The Crafting Chicks and watermelon printable from the blog, Hey Lets Make Stuff.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Construction Birthday Party

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My son just turned the big O-N-E, I can't believe he is already one and walking all over the place, they grow up so fast. For his first birthday, we threw him a construction party. I have wanted to throw a construction party since I had my first son and finally got around to throwing one. Since I took my second son's newborn pictures in a toy dump truck I thought it was only fitting that he had a construction party. Isn't he cute!


As usual, I made everything myself and used Pinterest to help come up with a few ideas. You can go all out for a party without breaking the bank by making your own decorations. Here are some pictures from my son's party:

Birthday Outfit:

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My grandmother once again made my little one's first birthday shirt. She loves to sew and quilt and has done an amazing job on all three shirts she has made for my kids parties. We both drew out the design and she cut out the fabric and made the design come to life. I think it turned out pretty cute! I bought the the solid white shirt from Hobby Lobby for around $3. My grandmother already had the rest of the fabric used.

You can check out her Etsy page HERE (she hasn't posted any birthday shirts yet but may soon). You can check out the other shirts she made me here: Elephant Onesie and Monster Shirt.




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Food Table:


I tried to come up with food and food labels that related to the construction theme. There are tons of different things you could do for food. My favorites were the Build your own Pizza/Burger/Taco station but because of the time of our party we decided to go with snack/dessert foods. 

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The  construction labels and food I used:
  • Tools - Utensils (not food)
  • Traffic Lights - Chocolate covered pretzel sticks with M&M's to look like traffic lights
  • Spare Tires - Oreos
  • Bricks - Chocolate Fudge
  • 2x4's - Rice Krispie Treats
  • Wrecking Balls - Cheese Balls
  • Boulders - Mini Pigs in a Blanket
  • Top Soil - Dirt Pudding
  • Gravel - Reese Pieces
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Other construction labels and food possibilities are:

  • Build Your Own ____ Bar - Burger, Taco, Pizza, Ice Cream Sundae
  • Traffic Cones - Candy Corn, Bugels, Rice Krispies in shape of traffic cones, Carrot Sticks
  • Boulders/Wrecking Balls - Mini Pigs in a Blanket, Meatballs, Sausage Balls, Mini Sandwiches, Rolls, Brownies, Grapes, Oranges, Cheese Balls, Mini Chocolate Donuts or Donut Holes, Gum Balls
  • Spare Tires - Oreos, Mini Chocolate Donuts, Cookies, Lifesaver Gummy Rings
  • Gravel/Pebbles/Rocks - Reese Pieces, M&M's, Chocolate Rock Candy, Puppy Chow, Chocolate covered Raisins or Nuts
  • Plywood/2x4's/Lumber - Rice Krispie Treats, Graham Crackers, Vanilla Wafer Bar Cookies, Pretzels, Veggie Straws, Cheese Sticks
  • Nuts & Bolts - Chex Mix, Trail Mix, Popcorn Party Mix
  • Drill Bites - Pasta Salad, Cinnamon Twists from Taco Bell, Curly Fries, Fritos Twist Chips
  • Traffic Lights - Chocolate covered pretzel sticks, Brownies or Rice Krispies with M&M's to look like traffic lights
  • Ropes/Cables - Twizzlers, Cheese Sticks, Nerd Ropes, Pixie Sticks, Sour Straws
  • Measuring Tape - Bubble Gum Tape, Sour Straws
  • Worms - Gummy Worms
  • Bulldozer Tracks -  Chocolate Wafer Bar Cookies
  • Dip Ahead - Party dip with chips, fruit, vegetables to go with the dip
  • Construction Workers - Teddy Grahams 
There are tons of different food ideas and labels that can go with a construction party, these are just a few to help give you some other ideas incase you didn't like mine. If you come up with more creative food/label ideas feel free to share in the comments below!

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Beverages aka Fueling Station:

  • Sweet Tea labeled as "Diesel Fuel"
  • Pineapple Punch* labeled as "Gas"
  • Orange Hawaiian Punch
  • Water
  • Juice Pouches

*Punch Recipe: 2 cups Country Time Lemonade Powder, 64oz chilled Pineapple Juice, 2L Sprite, 2 cups cold water

The punch was so good, probably the best party punch we have had at a party, special thanks to my husband for finding the recipe and making it! 

I also created and posted a sign above the beverages that said "Fueling Station".




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Smash Cake & Cupcakes:


I made a chocolate smash cake using a small glass dish I have. I bought yellow frosting, whipped it to make it easier to work with and frosted the cake. I then used the biggest circle icing tip I had to decorate the bottom of the cake with dots. I crushed up some Oreos and sprinkled them on top. Add a small construction vehicle and a candle and you have a cute construction smash cake. The cake was about the size of two cupcakes.



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I then used the rest of the batter to make cupcakes.  I used the same circle icing tip for the cupcakes. I swirled a couple and created spikes on others. I then sprinkled some crushed Oreos on top of a few to make it look like dirt. The cupcakes turned out very cute and looked a lot nicer in person. 

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Decorations:



Invitation:
I created my son's birthday invitation from scratch and even took the picture used. If you have been following my blog you know I love photography and designing things. I sent the invitation via e-mail and messenger to our family to save on postage plus everybody ends up throwing invitations away so why waste paper? If you are inviting guests that live close to you, you can print off the invitations and give them to your guest in person. 


Stations:
I made a few signs to label different stations I had set up around the house. The stations included:

  • Cake Smashing Zone - above the high chair
  • Fueling Station - above the beverages
  • Toddler Work Zone - above several toys I had pulled out such as a tool bench, dump trucks and a bulldozer that matched the theme for the children to play with. If it is warm outside you can always have this as a sand pit or building blocks area.
  • Dump Gift Here - above the gifts table. I thought it would be cute to have the gifts placed in a wheelbarrow but unfortunately I didn't know anybody that had one. The coffee table got the job done since it is perfect height for my little one.
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Food Table:
- Yellow and orange streamers were taped behind the food table to cover the window. I made a "Dig In" banner and hung it above the table as well. I may make a blog about how to make a banner but for now here is the quick tutorial - make or find images, print, cut, hole punch, run sting through, hang.

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- I also designed and printed out labels to place in front of the food. 

- The tools aka utensil holders are decorated formula cans. You can find out how they were made HERE (coming soon). The Traffic Light pretzels are place in a toy dump truck and formula cans. i think the pretzels turned out pretty cute thanks to my mother in law for making them!

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High Chair:
I originally made the "ONE" banner to go around the high chair but I didn't like how it looked so I changed it the night before the party. We pulled a wood shelf from the garage and placed it behind the high chair. Taped the "Cake Smashing Zone" sign and the "ONE" banner to the wood shelf then taped yellow and orange streamers to the high chair. 

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The construction hat pictured was given to me from my mom as a toy for the kids. I laughed and told her that was going to be my little one's party theme so it worked out perfect besides my little one not wanting to wear it. I'm not sure where you can get a construction hat from, possibly a party store or in the party section at Hobby Lobby. 



"Watch Me Grow" Pictures:
Since this was my son's first birthday party I wanted a way to display his "Watch Me Grow" newborn to one pictures. The only thing I could think of that I liked was making it look like the dump trucks were dumping the pictures out. I think it turned out pretty cute. If you don't like this idea you may be able to place the pictures in a circle and make them look like a wrecking ball.

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Construction Signs:
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If you have a printer, you can easily print the images out at home, you just need to make sure your printer is set to quality not speed. This will make the images look nicer. I also recommend printing them on cardstock paper if possible. You may also be able to print the images out at your local library for cheap.

I found some of the construction signs I used from the blog, Baby Shower Ideas 4 U. Here is the link to their free printable. You can find the Dump Truck Free clipart HERE.

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My son's first Birthday party was a success and I think everything turned out super cute! My son was blessed with tons of new winter outfits and toys. He was unsure about all the people and followed daddy around but he loved the smash cake. He was my first kid to dig in and make a mess without us helping. As far as cost goes, we had to buy the table cloth, plates, napkins, streamers and the food/supplies to make the food so we didn't spend to much since all the party supplies were dollar items and we have several left. That's the benefit of being crafty and making all the decorations and cake yourself, you save money! I hope you enjoyed my son's Construction Birthday Party pictures and that they help inspire you when planning your child's Construction Party!

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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Milk Jug Snowmen

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I've been making Milk Jug Pumpkins (Coming Soon) for a couple years now and this year I decided to make some Milk Jug Snowmen. I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner as it's pretty much the same thing just cuter! Milk Jug Snowmen are super easy to make and can be used to decorate both inside and outside your home. 

All you need are some empty milk jugs and sharpies. 

Make sure to rinse out the milk jugs because nobody likes the smell of spoiled milk and let them air dry. 

You can remove the label if you want but you don't have to because you won't see it once set against a wall.

Also make sure the milk jugs have a flat side to them so you can draw the faces on a flat surface.

Using the sharpies, draw snowman faces on the flat side. You can make any kind of snowman face you want or any expression. You can also use colored sharpies to add accessories like hats, scarfs and ear muffs.

Place around the house or fill with a little bit of water and set outside so they won't blow away and  you're done! 

Now you have a cute, practically free decoration for inside or outside your house. You can also cut a hole in the back and stick some Christmas lights in them to make them light up. If you plan on keeping them inside you can always get more creative by making felt/fabric hats and scarfs for the snowmen or just leave them as is. I would only do this if you plan on keeping them inside though because if they are outside, the rain, snow and wind may make the felt/fabric accessories fall apart or fall off.
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I originally made five snowmen - three regular snowman, Frosty and Olaf. I was planning on making more snowmen but my son got a hold of a couple of the milk jugs and used them as drums therefor destroying them. I did add a few more throughout the month though as we emptied milk jugs. 

Milk Jug Snowmen are super easy to make and you can make them out of supplies you already have around the house. Milk jugs and sharpies; so next winter save a few milk jugs and decorate them to look like snowmen then decorate inside or outside your house with your new decor. I'm sure you could even draw Santa, reindeer or an elf on the milk jugs if you'd like! This is a super easy craft like I said before. You can even have your children draw the snowmen faces on the milk jugs and add their  favorite accessories if you want to get them involved. This would be a fun activity for the whole family to join in on. 

Halloween = Pumpkin Carving
Christmas = Snowman Drawing

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DIY Milk Jug Snowmen, Ornament Wreath, Pallet Christmas Tree, Christmas Wood Sign, DIY holiday decor, DIY holiday decorations, Christmas decorations, cheap Christmas decorations, outdoor Christmas decoration, decorating on a budget

Check out my blogs Christmas Ornament WreathPallet Christmas Tree and Happy Fall Y'all / Merry Christmas Reversible Welcome Sign pictured above for some more outside Christmas decor ideas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Rotating Christmas Character Blocks

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Last Christmas (Christmas 2016) I painted these cute rotating wood blocks to use as a decoration in my house. I had originally set out to make a stackable snowman but kept painting and this is what I ended up with. I currently set it on a shelf in living room but it can be used to decorate any room. You can stack them as pictured or set them side by side. You can rotate the characters however you want to give off different looks. The added bonus is your children can match up the characters so it acts as a fun matching game for little ones as they learn the different characters. This craft does take some time to make as you have to let each side dry before moving on to the other side but the character faces are simplified to look more like cartoons, making it easier to make these cute character blocks.

Supplies:

  • 3+ wood blocks - the blocks pictured are the in-between support of the corners of a wood pallet
  • Sandpaper/Sander
  • Paint: White, Black & Brown
  • Paint Pens*: Black, Orange, Red, Green, Gold, White, Pink  - I recommend Sharpie paint pens
  • Paint brush/sponge brush
  • Wood Sealer/Mod Podge
*You can use regular paint instead of paint pens if you have a steady hand.



How To:


1. Sand any rough edges and wipe off any dirt if you are using repurposed wood.

2. Paint the blocks white. Add a second coat if needed. Let Dry.

3. Decide what character faces you want to paint on the wood blocks and what order you want the blocks to be in. I chose 3 snowmen, 3 penguins, 3 reindeer, 2 elfs and Santa Claus.

4. Snowmen: Using a black paint pen, draw the eyes and mouths. Add an orange carrot nose using an orange paint pen. Let Dry.

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5. Rotate the blocks. Penguins: I outlined the penguin's body with a black paint pen and then filled the rest of the block in with black paint to save on the paint pen paint. I then added some eyes and wings with a black paint pen; a nose and feet with an orange paint pen. You can add white dots to the eyes if you would like. Let Dry. 

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6. Rotate the blocks. Reindeer: Paint over the white with brown paint. Let Dry. I used white paint to paint the eyes and outlined them with a black paint pen. I also used the black paint pens for the nose and mouths. If you want Rudolph, use red paint or a red paint pen instead on one of the reindeer faces. I then used a gold paint pen for the antlers. Let Dry. 

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7. Rotate the blocks. Elfs & Santa Claus: I mixed white and brown paint together to make a skin tone color. I then painted the bottom ⅔ with the skin tone color. Once dried I used a red paint pen and drew a zig zag to cover where the white and skin tone color met. I then used a green paint pen to fill in the rest of the block. For Santa I used white paint and a red paint pen to make the hat and mustache. I then added a pink nose and used a black paint pen to make the eyes, mouths and outline the noses, hat trim and Santa's mustache. Let Dry.

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8. Optional: Once dry, you can seal all the sides with a wood sealer or mod podge. This will help seal the paint and give the blocks an extra shine. If you plan on letting your little ones play with the blocks you need to seal the paint so the paint doesn't chip off. 

If you use a wood sealer make sure it is compatible with your paint pens. I used a different brand black paint pen and the sealant caused it to run so I had to re-sand and touch up parts of my blocks.

9. Set out around Christmas time to help decorate your house and enjoy!

The rotating Christmas character blocks are a fun and creative decoration that didn't cost me a thing because I already had all the supplies. If you don't have access to wood to repurpose, I have seen wood blocks at craft stores such as Hobby Lobby in the past that might work as long as they still carry them. You can make any Christmas characters you'd like or make a few look like presents or Christmas trees. Be creative and make the character's your own and make each one unique by giving them a different facial expression. Once you are done with your cute Christmas craft you can display it anywhere in your home. I personally have mine in my living room but may move it over the next few years. It would look great on a book shelf, on a night stand or even on the back of the toilet. You can use it to help keep Christmas books from falling down or even stack the blocks side by side and put them in front of your television. If you have children, you can use the blocks to teach your children about the different characters and let them give them names or match up the characters. If you aren't into Christmas or have enough Christmas decorations you can make a Halloween/Fall version of the rotating blocks. There are so many possibilities for the character blocks. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

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