Thursday, September 15, 2011

Octopus Puppet Invitations

Having my family spread all over the country is really tough. As much as we'd love to, we can't get together for all of those special days in the little ones' lives. Birthdays, baptisms, and many holidays are attended by whoever is geographically closest. The whole gang can normally only manage to get together once a year, and even then, schedule conflicts can end up keeping some members of the family away.

This year, we were extremely lucky and managed to get the entire family together twice.

Once at Christmas.

And, once this summer for my in-laws annual trip to Long Lake.

I know. The kids are beautiful, right? I am so blessed.

As it happened, the trip to Long Lake was scheduled for the week before my baby James' first birthday. Since none of this side of the family was going to be able to make the multi-state trek down our way for his big Sweet Baby James Cowboy Birthday Party, I decided to throw James a second, smaller party at Long Lake.

The party was going to be pretty simple: hotdogs, cupcakes and a water balloon fight, but I still wanted the invitations to be special. To go along with the "splashtastic" party theme, I designed the octopus hand puppets pictured at the top of this post. You can find the pattern for them here.

To make the octopus puppets:

1. Cut out all of the pieces in the pattern from your chosen colors of felt.

2. Sew the eyes, eye pupils, mouth, and front legs to the front octopus body piece. I did this by hand stitching, but you could use a sewing machine if you wish.

3. With the right/good sides facing each other and the wrong sides facing out, pin together the two octopus body pieces.

4. With a 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew up the sides of the octopus body and around the head, stopping before you reach the legs. (I would suggest back-stitching a couple of times near the ends of each seam.) Do NOT sew around the legs. If you do, the legs will become very skinny and impossible to turn right side out.

5. Turn the octopus puppet right side out.

6. Hand stitch around the legs, and you're finished!

After the octopus puppets were finished, I created submarine shaped invitations using Photoshop Elements. I printed the invitations on card stock, cut them out, and safety pinned one invitation to each octopus.

You can find the submarine invitations here. They are in a Microsoft Word document, so that you can download them, edit the text, and print your own.(Note: You will not be able to see the submarines when viewing the document in Google Docs, however they will be there when you download the document and open it with Microsoft Word.)

Each of James' cousins received an octopus puppet with an invitation addressed to him or her personally. My original intention was for all of the octopi to be orange, however I quickly realized that I didn't have enough orange felt for that. So, the boys got orange octopi and the girls got pink octopi, both of which are octopus colors commonly found in nature. Really. They are. You can do a Google Image search and see for yourself.

The kids loved the invitations and the birthday boy had a wonderful time at his party!

Happy Crafting!

1 comment:

  1. Valerie does love her octopus. I think she'll like it more when her hands get a bit bigger.