Monday, August 26, 2013

DIY Napkins for a Shark Party Theme

One of the simplest projects that I did for Logan's "jawsome" 4th birthday party was stamping the napkins to go along with the theme. It's a simple trick I've used for various kids' birthday parties over the years. I just found a package of inexpensive party napkins (Dollar Tree has them in several colors, and this is where my package of 30 for this project was purchased) and a stamp that goes along with the theme. In the past, some of my stamps didn't perfectly "match" the theme, but if I had an ice cream cone or a cupcake stamp on hand, and my kiddo approved of it, then that's all I needed.

However, in this case, I didn't have anything suitable for Logan's desired shark theme. I found a stamp an under-sea stamp set on clearance at Wal-mart a few months before the party. It was just 50 cents, so I bought it, not even sure how I would use it at the time, but knowing that for that price it would be well worth it. (This is when it pays to listen when the kids start tossing out party suggestions. Then, whenever you happen to be out shopping, take a quick cruise through the clearance section and see what is there that could be useful for your upcoming celebration.) I strongly encourage advanced planning, if like me, you don't want to spend much money on birthday parties!

After pulling out the stamp pads that I had in my craft stash, I quickly decided to go with the teal color. Paired on top of the dark blue, it made the most sense to me as a shark swimming in the water. To get the best coverage on the stamp, I lightly tapped it about 3 or 4 times on the stamp pad and then firmly and evenly pressed it down onto the napkin. I re-inked the stamp before each impression to ensure even coverage.

One important thing to note about stamping on napkins, is that you will not get perfect delineation. The ink gets absorbed into the paper a bit, so don't expect crisp results. My shark stamp actually had an eye that showed up on first impression but then quickly faded as the ink was dispersed on the napkin. To me, this was not a big deal. I still got the shark I wanted (albeit eye-less), but it might make a difference if your stamp has lots of details that you feel are important to the overall design.

{Left: freshly stamped, Right: after ink dried}

In the end, I had 30 shark party napkins that cost me a total of $1.50. I fanned them out in two areas of the counter near the food and lemonade (which I had dyed blue to go along with the theme). Big impact, small price tag, happy birthday boy. Totally "jawsome!"

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