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Last fall my daughter married her sweetheart. My job was to create activities to keep reception guests busy until the bridal party arrived. Since the bride and groom met as puppeteers at a local children’s theater, we decided on puppet-making as one activity.

The trick was to think of a way to make puppets quickly, without a lot of mess.

I settled on pre-making sock-puppet blanks. It went pretty fast, using Dollar Store socks, recycled cardboard, hot glue and a few sheets of pink felt.


I included in the station:

  • the sock puppet blanks
  • double-stick carpet tape (for attaching eyes, etc.)
  • child’s scissors
  • sheets of colored foam and bits of colored felt
  • bits of fake fur (I cut them ahead of time — I didn’t want fur everywhere)
  • google eyes in a variety of sizes
  • colored pompoms

I left a couple of example puppets at the station, to help people visualize.

The portable puppet stage was made of 4 art canvases ( 36×48″ for the front panels and 24×48″ for the wings).I used cheap ready-made stretcher frames and stapled the canvas on, but you can also get big canvases on sale a craft stores. We installed the hinges so the wings fold backward, but the front folds forward — i.e. a W shape — so that it could fold flat to carry.)

I was so thrilled to see people actually making puppets and playing with them!


I’m helping out with a window display at Wild Joe’s Coffeehouse to promote the Equinox Puppet Theatre’s new original play, “Father of the Bride of Frankenstein,” which runs Fridays + Saturdays Oct. 12-27. The show is a romantic comedy by Ryan Cassavaugh, co-directed by Sadie Cassavaugh and Christian McDaniel. It’s the company’s second full length play for adults (13+) featuring a full cast of larger than life puppets. Coolio!

Anyway, I liked the poster for the show, which has the title text arranged in the shape of a wedding cake, with little Frank + Bride on top, so I thought that would be a fun thing to work into the window display.

All I needed was a giant cake…

So, this afternoon I went shopping. At the craft stores, they sell Styrofoam rounds that you can frost to look like a real cake, but they were really expensive, and they still weren’t quite as big as I wanted. So I decided to try using hatboxes.

I found three in descending sizes at Ross, for cheaper than the Styrofoam would have been. The boxes are pretty sturdy and covered in coated paper, so I figured they might not warp or slump under the damp frosting. I also bought a package of cheese cloth, a can of meringue powder and two big bags of powdered sugar. Oh, and a couple of Frankenstein figurines!

I taped the cheesecloth around the boxes using packing tape, to give the icing something to stick to. (Not sure if that was necessary, but it seems like it was probably a good idea.)

It took two double batches of royal icing to cover the boxes and do the piping.
1 double batch of royal icing =
2 lb bag of powdered sugar
12 Tablespoons of water
6 Tablespoons of meringue powder

I didn’t really worry about getting my icing spread perfectly since it is supposed to be a monster cake! Plus, I wanted it to look like real frosting when seen from a distance in the window display.

The icing stuck to the cheesecloth-covered hat boxes easily. I piped on some wedding-y looking swirls, again, not worrying if they were sloppy, and finished with goopy piping in green, to match the poster. I added more goop around the bottom of the cake to hide my icing mess. Now to add the cobwebs tomorrow.

The whole process took me 2 hours or so, not counting the shopping. Monster cakes are the best!

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beach wedding program

We used organic sugar as "sand" in these favors. My sister baked sugar cookies in the shape of sand dollars and bought sea shell chocolates.

Beach pew decorations

In these pew decorations, I used a sand colored tulle and a little bit of pink to coordinate with the pink in the bride's gown.

beach wedding table poem

My sister wrote this little poem to encourage guests to serenade the newlyweds. I made a simple standee out of two shells and a glass marble.

Beach wedding photo panels

Since the wedding is in Montana, I broke a seascape into 5 20"x30" photo panels. Just $8 each to print them at Costco! They'll be hung on a room divider, separated by tulle ribbon with shell ties, to suggest a beach landscape.

cable tie mounts use on foam core

David came up with a great way to mount hardware so we could hang the foam core backed photos on the room divider. It's a self adhesive thingy used to mount cable ties for electric wiring. They are pretty sturdy, easy to tie to, and they don't stick out much.

Beach wedding centerpiece

We used a fishbowl centerpiece with shells. I used $1 scrapbook sheets as place mats.

Beach wedding chair sash

In order to use a shell as the tie on the chair sash, I used precut wooden starfish shapes from the craft store as a backing to hot glue to. They were 29 cents, but I used a coupon to buy 80 of them! I ended up having some extra sash ties, which I have for sale on Etsy.




beach wedding chair sash

We alternated different shades of blue and green, and used a variety of shells on the sash ties.

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