Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wizard of Oz Party

As much fun as it was to visit the merry land of Oz last week, I wanted to remind the children that there is no place like home. So I surprised them yesterday after school with a little Wizard of Oz party.

We had a blast dressing up as favorite characters from The Wizard of Oz for festivities at church last week. Left to right, Mary Ashley as Dorothy; Carson as the Tin Man; Emma as the Cowardly Lion; and Christian as the Scarecrow. (Costumes here.)

I even joined in the fun, dressing as Glinda the Good Witch of the North. It was worth it to dress up just to see 5-year-old Emma look up at me with such admiration. Several little girls approached me at trunk or treat wanting to have their picture made. As a nearly 40-year-old mom of four, getting the "princess treatment" was quite a surprise. But it was such fun, I might start wearing glitter all the time. (I wonder if sequins could get me out of doing laundry?) Costume purchased here (crown misplaced, but it didn't look like the picture anyway); wand made by hot gluing a snowflake ornament to a painted wooden dowel. Visit yesterday's post for more dress-up photos.

Time to Make Some Party Magic ...

I wanted to serve a party snack to represent each child's character, so these ruby red slipper cookies were an easy choice for Dorothy. To make these, melt red Wilton Candy Melts on the stovetop in a double boiler. Dip Nutter Butters in the melted candy, place the cookies on a freezer-safe plate covered with parchment paper, and sprinkle the wet cookies with red sparkling sugar. Put the cookies in the  freezer to harden the coating, then add white icing accents. (Find more shoe cookie ideas here.)

Scarecrow Crunch looks even more festive served in a scarecrow hat: a copper foil cupcake liner embellished with twine. A few dabs of hot glue will help the twine stay in place. For our party I used one cupcake liner, but later when I assembled treat bags for our adopted college students, I found that using two liners worked much better. Scarecrow crunch provides a tasty combination of salty and sweet; find the recipe here.

And for our Cowardly Lion, who's afraid of a cupcake? I made these simple cupcakes by piping a dome of icing into the center with a star tip. Then I piped the mane around the circumference with a V-shaped tip. Wilton candies added the facial details. I purchased a bottle of Wilton bronze icing paste for this project, but it added more of a peach tint to the icing than bronze, so I would recommend using orange instead.

And in honor of the Tin Man, I wrapped bottles of soda with sparkly scrapbook paper. Canned drinks would have been an appropriate choice, but I knew my children would be more excited to have bottled drinks.

Colorful gingham details like name tags, napkins and fabric pulled our afternoon snack table together. Years ago I covered the underside of the glass plates with red checked fabric, but I don't remember what product I used for that project. Mary Ashley's Dorothy basket and stuffed Toto made an easy centerpiece, and pictures from last week's event further personalized the look.

My blue and white tablecloth was too big for our childsize table, so I used ribbon to draw up the corners. This created pretty gathers and added another pop of color.

Here is a view of the table set for a surprise celebration.

Years ago I found miniature lidded baskets on clearance at a craft store. I bought four, knowing someday they would come in handy. With a fabric liner cut from scraps of blue gingham, they were perfect for giving each child a surprise related to his or her Wizard of Oz character.

The children were so enthusiastic about dressing up together -- even almost teenager, seventh-grader Carson -- so I wanted to reward their cooperative spirits with a celebratory treat. Clockwise from top left: Instead of a medal of courage, Cowardly Lion Emma was honored a bracelet and necklace. In lieu of a diploma, Scarecrow Christian earned a certificate entitling him to a book valued at $5 or less from Books-a-Million. Dorothy Mary Ashley discovered a pair of ruby slippers for her doll from Jo-Ann's Fabrics. And Tin Man Carson found something dear to his heart: a $5 gift card to Game Stop. Dress-up photos printed for each child also serve as mementos of our trip to Oz. 

Cowardly Lion Emma sees the snacks and says, "Let me at 'em!"

Visiting Oz with these four reminds me what fun it is to go down the yellow brick road, over the rainbow and back home again. As long as we're together, I know we're right where we belong.

I'm linking this post to "Get Your Craft On" at Today's Creative Blog.

"Family is the one thing we long for when trouble strikes. It is our true means of escape from life's restlessness ... the place where the Wizard of Oz syndrome ends and lasting peace and contentment begins ... where we finally learn, as did Dorothy, that life's greatest treasures are closer than we think." -- Michael O'Donnell, Home from Oz

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