Free Printable Summer Vacation Countdown Calendar


Hi, it’s Natalie from Katarina’s Paperie.  I’m so excited that summer is officially here.  We’ve been busy sipping ice cold lemonade, making homemade popsicles and playing outside from morning till night.  I love summer!


One of my favorite parts of the season is our annual summer vacation.  We always try to get away with the kids – at least for a little bit.  It always seems that the vacation is over in a blink of an eye, but waiting for it to get here takes FOREVER.  If my family is anything like yours, we are not very patient either.

countdown-calendar-paper-chain-loopsSo to help make that wait time seem a little shorter, I created a free printable summer vacation countdown calendar.  I’ve added a summer touch to the traditional paper chain countdown calendar – summer patterns and bright colors.  To countdown, just have your kids pull off one paper loop a day.  They can even count the remaining pieces to reinforce math skills and help them answer the age old question – Do We Go Yet?

You Will Need:

Free Printable Vacation Paper Chains

Free Printable Vacation Countdown Calendar Signs - Choose between hot pink or lime green

Paper Cutter or Scissors

Glue Stick or Stapler

1.  Print out your free printable summer vacation countdown calendar.  Cut out the number of paper chains you will need.  I recommend creating a calendar to count down 2 weeks prior to your trip, but you could use more or less.


2.  Download your free printable vacation countdown calendar sign.  Cut out the Do We Go Yet? sign.  Use scissors (or a razor blade) to create a slit for the first paper chain.


3.  Slide the first paper chain into the slit.  Attach in a loop with a glue stick or stapler.  Attach additional paper strips to create your calendar.


Place your calendar in the kitchen, playroom or another location where everyone can see it and join in on the fun.

Happy Travels!

Download your free printable summer vacation countdown calendar and sign here.


Fourth of July Dessert Party Favors


Hey everyone! It’s Mel again from So Festive! Can you believe that the Fourth of July is just one month away? I’m sure happy that June is here, but since the Fourth of July is probably  my all-time favorite holiday, I just had to share something patriotic today.

Will you be hosting a BBQ? Or would you like a fun Fourth of July gift idea? I’m combining my favorite holiday with one of the most popular summer treats. Let me introduce you to the Patriotic Smores!

Fourth of July dessert smores are really quite easy to put together.


What you need:

1. Homemade Graham Crackers (recipe is over on SoFestive! today) shaped into stars

2. Starmallows aka star-shaped marshmallows (can be purchased at your local grocery store)

3. Your favorite chocolate

4. Skewers, striped bags, and the Smore Fun printables

The How-to:

Let’s twist up the good ole’ Smores and have them Fourth of July style! Simply put them all into a striped bag, fold the top over, and staple the Smore Fun printable on top.


Let your party guests take them home or have a bonfire right in your own backyard.


If you love the 4th of July, check out these other festive ideas from So Festive!

patriotic-cupcakes 4th-of-july-banner flag-waffle

Easy Patriotic Cupcakes | 15-Minute Patriotic Banner | Festive Flag Waffles

Frozen Party Supplies – Snowflake Backdrop

So creating a ton of pretty food is just part of the fun of a party!  I told you I’ve been working more on my overall table, decorating and such.  Well the BACKDROP is key!  It needs to cover your walls, keep to the theme but also not take too much attention away from everything on the table!

how to make your own extra large snowflakes to create a pretty backdrop

I debated doing a few hundred itty bitty snowflakes but I decided to create these HUGE snowflakes instead!  I love love LOVE how they turned out, and they didn’t take too long either, I did them all while watching a movie one night.


I ordered this roll of white paper (I love amazon prime and getting party supplies delivered to my house~).  I tried a few different measurements, when I did this using a square shape the snowflake wouldn’t close, so I ended up doing 1×1 1/2 measurements


to get the right length I folded the wide side diagonally, that will help us find the square shape


fold it down, to mark that line.  Now how to get the 1 1/2 length? open it up and refold just to that line, that creates our 1/2 length.


Now repeat the diagonal fold (while the 1/2 is still folded) and cut!


open it up and now you have 1 x 1 1/2 length!  So for this example my rectangle is 48″x72″.  Now you want to accordion fold the rest.   For me I did it by folding in half, opening and folding bot sides to the center, etc… keep opening folding  until your happy. Mine ended up 48″x4″ all folded together


Now we want to find the center, fold your accordion in half, and I just used a stapler to connect it.


not to take it from a simple fan circle to a snowflake… cut the ends, rounded or a point, whatever you want, I did a bit of both.  Then cut into each fold diamonds, ovals, circles, etc…


Not to open it!  Hold 2 of the rough edges together and staple along the edge.  As you hold the one side you can see the other end opening up!  Flip it over and staple the rough edges of that side as well!  YAY! now you have a snowflake!


You can see that I created a bunch of different sizes and filled the backdrop with all the different sizes!  But I used the same technique for all of them.  The smaller the snowflake you might not need the full 1 x 1 1/2, but I found it easier to work with that way.

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Garden Party Ideas


Hi! It’s Mel from So Festive! It’s officially May. And you know what that means? It means spending time in the yard, eating lots of fresh fruit and veggies, and getting excited for summer! I always find a new wave of inspiration come this time of year.

Since this is the season for outdoor entertaining, I’m going to share some simple Garden Party ideas with you. A Garden Party would be the perfect theme for a Baby Shower, Wedding Shower, or simply a Backyard Party to share garden tips. But, even if you won’t be having a formal Garden Party, these Garden Party ideas would be perfect for a BBQ or any other Spring and Summer party you might be hosting.


A simple bunting made with floral and striped paper can be the perfect decor to set the tone.


Instead of a typical veggie platter, serve the veggies in individual cups. A good idea is to place dip in the bottom of the cup of veggies and then your guests will able to quickly grab it and go. Have you ever tried jicama? It’s my new favorite veggie. It has a mild flavor, but has an awesome crunch and compliments other veggies nicely.


Your focus may be on veggies and fruit, but come on, isn’t chocolate a necessary ingredient for a good party? Serve Grasshopper cookies and get a win-win. They tie in with your Garden theme and help satisfy that chocolate craving.


Water is always a good beverage to serve at your parties, but why not spruce it up a bit? Beverage labels are super cute and all, but if you need a quicker alternative, simply remove the wrapper and wrap a piece of washi tape around each bottle.


Have fun with your Garden Party! If you do end up hosting one, let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear any ideas you have as well.

If you liked this post, head over to So Festive for even more simple ways to celebrate and party! Celebrating doesn’t have to be complicated and I’ll show you how to make it easy.


Party Theme Ideas | The Best Party Supplies | A Rainbow/Color Party! 

End of School Printable Bookmarks


Hi, it’s Natalie here from Katarina’s Paperie. Today, I am sharing these adorable end of school printable bookmarks just in time for summer vacation. They’re the perfect little gift for end of school parties, graduations or just a something for your kids to give to their classmates to help stay in contact over the summer.

It’s amazing that once April arrives, the end of the school year seems right around the corner. When I was a teacher, believe it or not this time of year was always hard on the kids. Although they were excited about the upcoming summer holiday, they were also sad to say goodbye to their friends. Even though many of their closest pals lived in the neighborhood, our school was very big and many kids lived blocks or neighborhoods over. I always wanted to create a way to encourage them to keep in touch with each other over the summer, but never was able to find the time in the end of year chaos.


Fast forward a few years and I finally designed a set of adorable end of school printable bookmarks. Each bookmark features a cute little owl dressed for graduation and saying “Owl Miss You!”. Although I can’t use them with my own students, hopefully they will help your kids keep in touch with their friends this summer. My favorite part is that they are editable. You can type in as much or as little of your child’s information that you want. What a sweet way to stay in touch over the summer break!

You Will Need:

Free End of School Printable Bookmarks
Embroidery Floss or Yarn to Match
Hole Punch

1. Download your free end of school printable bookmarks. Using Adobe Acrobat Reader, add the contact information for your child. If your child is younger, it might be best to include your email address and phone number. You could also create a new email account for your child just to keep in touch with their friends.


2. Print out your bookmarks on heavy white cardstock. Cut out your bookmarks.


3. Hole punch the top of each bookmark. To make your tassel, measure out five 6 inch strands of embroidery floss.


Thread the floss through the hole and tie a knot.


These end of school printable bookmarks are perfect for a little gift to fellow classmates. You could even laminate them to make them extra sturdy. And who knows? They might even encourage some summertime reading!

Download your free end of school printable bookmarks here:

Free End of School Printable Bookmarks

And if you’re planning your own end of school surprises for your kids’ special celebrations, check out our new collection of summertime treat bag toppers in our shop now.


Summertime Bear Treat Bag ToppersRainbow Chalkboard Summer Treat Bag Toppers

Paper Mache Jewelry Tray Tutorial

Hey!  It’s Missy from Missy Dear again!  For awhile now I’ve been wanting to try this project.  I’ve needed a little tray for my jewelry but hadn’t been able to find something I liked.


I have an oval casserole dish that was the right shape, but it was too chunky and the sides were a little taller than I’d like.  So I thought, “Hey, I can just use that for a form and make my own.”  So that’s what I did. And I thought I’d make a great little paper mache jewelry tray tutorial for you all to join the fun :).


First I gathered up my supplies:
-dish or other object to use as form
-white glue (I got mine at the Dollar store)
-strips of paper (computer paper will give it a little more strength and make it easier to paint than newspaper will)
-craft paint and brushes
-enamel clear coat spray
-plastic wrap (not pictured)

First things first, you need to lay a piece of plastic wrap in whatever you’re using as your form.  This will not only keep your project from permanently gluing itself to the dish, but it will also make getting it out way easier.  Now you’re ready to paper mache.

Paper mache tray process

If you’ve never done paper mache before it’s a fairly simple process.  You just coat the strip of paper in a mixture of the white glue and water (I dipped it into a bowl and squeezed off the excess with my fingers).  The paste I made was 3 parts glue to 1 part water.  Once the strip of paper is coated in the paste you just layer it into the dish.

One thing I did that I think really helped is that I alternated the way I laid the strips.  So on the first layer I did them horizontal to the long sides of the dish, on the next layer I did them vertical, and on the third layer I did them diagonal. I repeated each of those layers twice (for a total of 6 layers) then I let it sit for about 2 hours while I took my daughter to T-ball practice (for the record, a bunch of 5 yr olds playing t-ball is pretty adorable).  Once I was home I did about 10-15 more layers, alternating the direction of the strips with each layer.

Now the longest part of the process – the drying.

Paper Mache Tray drying steps

First I let it sit on the form for a few hours (a).  Then I took it out of the form and peeled the plastic wrap off the sides and let it dry for a few more hours (b).  Finally I took if off the plastic, flipped it upside down and “hung” it from some paint bottles to let it dry over night (c).

Here’s another tip I learned the hard way – use an even number of paint bottles.  I only had one on one side and two on the other so it dried with a little warp in it.  I had to leave it the whole next day with something heavy in it to try to get the warp to straighten out, which only helped a little.

Paper Mache Tray painting

This next step was the one that required the most brute force – trimming the sides.  In wanting the tray to be sturdy enough, I had used a lot of layers.  Which worked great, it is very strong.  However, I had the hardest time trimming it down.  I tried every pair of scissors in the house – including some wire cutters and a little hack saw.  I discovered that my kitchen shears worked the best, but left a pretty jagged edge.  Nothing a little sanding couldn’t fix.

Then just paint, let that dry, then spray with a clear coat.  I chose an enamel clear coat because I was going for that really high gloss look.


And there you have it, a gorgeous little jewelry tray you made all by yourself.  Maybe now that all my jewelry is laid out where I can see it I might wear it more often.

What do you think?  Is it something you might want to make for yourself too?


Well, if you do make one remember to let me know about it!  I really would love to see it.  You can find me pretty much anywhere, but here are some handy dandy links just in case :)

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