Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??


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Hen party series ~ the t-shirt you’ll wear again & again

Welcome back to my hen party series! Over the summer, blogger Claire from Lacey in Places  blog has been sharing her top tips for planning a hen party (read her first article here), including a downloadable budget spreadsheet and invitation templates (read this planning article here) to make it super-easy to keep track of the hens, the accommodation and activity costs. She has also written about making crafty decorations for the hen party and creating a DIY memory book for the bride . There are lots of useful articles in the hen party series, so check out the links below or click here to see all of the articles in the series. This week we are talking about stag and hen party t-shirts, and why you’ll want to wear them again and again.

During my research into hen parties and the traditions that have become synonymous with the ‘last night of freedom’, I have discovered a desire to create a homogenous group of stags or hens – especially when there is a large quantity of guests at the celebration. This could be in the form of fancy dress, or simply dressing in a similar way, in order to define the group as a ‘party’. This serves as an easy way to identify members of the group and helps to keep large groups together on a night out – a simple head count of guests wearing the same outfit can help ensure that stragglers don’t get left behind when the group moves on to another place or activity. And this is where t-shirts come in!

quality stag and hen t shirt printing from stagandhentshirtscom

It’s been a massive trend over the past decade to design and print special t-shirts for hen and stag party groups. A little more wearable than fancy dress, it allows the group to dress the same, but retain some individuality – usually in the form of nicknames on the backs of t-shirts. It also means that the bride or groom will be more easily identifiable in the group, as they will probably be the only one in fancy dress – tutus, wedding dresses etc – and can easily be picked out for ‘special treatment’ from bar staff and activity providers! However, many of these t-shirts will be designed solely with the hen or stag night in mind and can rarely ever be worn again. But with a little extra thought about the design, you can easily create a top that commemorates a special occasion and can be worn again and again as a fashion item.

After investigating many t-shirt printers, I came across StagandHenTShirts.com and realised they would be able to provide exactly this kind of custom-design service. Gone are the cheap thin t-shirts and the plasticy PVC printed designs that crack while wearing; this company offer a full design and printing service to create a t-shirt that you will  be able to wear again, and on top of that, will actually want to wear again! When a company kicks off their design process using high-quality t-shirts, vests and tops, you know that you’ll be getting a hard-wearing, top-quality product, and that’s before you’ve even added a design. I spent an enjoyable hour flicking through all their funky designs and colour options before getting in touch with their design team to discuss my requirements.

stagandhentshirts customised retro cool pink design for hen party

One of my favourite fairies is getting married next year and I wanted to treat her to a t-shirt to get her excited about her hen do. I chose my preferred design of a chunky, retro text with pop-art image of the hen, then I sent off a facebook profile photo of my friend for the design team to work their magic on. I couldn’t believe my eyes when they sent back a ‘proof’ of the design that looked exactly like my bestie in a super-cool Andy Warhol-esque screenprint style – so glamourous! I was given a few suggestions of colour ways and I chose the ink to be a hot pink (her favourite colour) printed on a classic white t-shirt (she is the bride after all!). I waited excitedly for her reaction as she opened the parcel and although we live 100s of miles apart, I swear I could hear her squeals of delight! It certainly got a good reaction when she posted a photo of it on Facebook and the ‘likes’ came flooding in!

stagandhenthirts custom design hen party cool high quality tshirt printing

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Sausages & bingo!

Can you guess what I got up to this weekend? Does the title of this post kind of give it away? Yes, I had one of the most laughter-filled days ever on Saturday when I met up with my friends for a day filled with sausages, cider, glitz and bingo – let me tell you all about it..!

Only a couple of weeks ago my friend invited me to a Sausage Festival – she’d seen it advertised on one of those deal-sharing websites and the tickets were half-price. Given that our group of friend are known for our love of sausages, we quickly booked up for the event and started the ‘countdown to sausages’. I was worried I’d be a little disappointed, after I’d hyped it up so much in my mind, but I’m happy to say that the sausage festival was great. There were sausage tastings from local producers scattered around the town, and after travelling around the sausage trail 3 times, (with a couple of rest breaks for cider), I worked out that I’d eaten around 30 inches of sausage! That surely must be the best way to spend a Saturday, yes?

sausages from beyond baked beans

Sausages!

Or perhaps the best way to spend a Saturday is at the bingo? Well, that’s what I decided after taking my pals to the Gala bingo hall in the nearby town for a girl’s night out. I was expecting a cheesy and tacky night out, and although it was both of these things, it was also so much more! Bingo halls are loads more glitzy nowadays, whilst retaining their retro features like these cute booths and garish playing boards, and while chatting to the hall manager I found out that lots of their clubs are having vegas-esque makeovers and they even put on cabaret during the festive period. I am SO coming back for that!

girls night out at gala bingo hall and prizes photos 2013

Having only ever played prize bingo at holiday parks in the past, I soon realised that I was a little slow at bingo – the numbers were being called at a faster-than-Cassie’s-internal-processor speed! But I soon got used to the pace (with a lot of concentration at first) and luckily the numbers came up on the screen so I could easily check to see if I’d missed one. I made this mistake while ordering my drink and missed a couple of numbers (apparently it’s hard to talk and dab at the same time!) but I checked my numbers during a break while a line claim was in progress, and thankfully caught up – not that I won anyway haha!

girls night out at gala retro bingo hall and board photos 2013

As we’d booked a party night out, our table was decorated with balloons, streamers and party hats, and the girls loved the cheeky bottle of bubbly that Gala had prepared for us! We actually felt like we were on a hen party and it would be great fun for that kind of event, or for a birthday or anniversary. We had a good giggle between bingo rounds (and stayed respectfully quiet while the games were in play) and when the interval came round, our tummies were rumbling! Who knew that bingo halls served food?? We enjoyed a naughty burger, popcorn-prawns and chips, yum! By the way, I must say that I was very impressed with the prices. I’m still a student-at-heart and hate spending a lot on a night, but Gala bingo have been reducing their prices and we got lots of discount vouchers for joining.

 girls night out at gala bingo food and drink photos 2013

At times, we lost track of which game was being played (there’s a surprising number of different types of bingo!) with mutterings of ‘is it this one?’, but thankfully there were lots of lovely members of staff around the hall ready to help us newbies keep on track. We were all a little surprised at how much we were enjoying ourselves and stayed right to the very end, playing the national link-up game and even having a sneaky go on the slot-machines where a couple of us won a little prize yay! So we all headed home happy with a warm cider-glow after promising (or threatening!) we’d definitely be back for more bingo soon!


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Hen party series ~ Some more costume ideas for the hens

Welcome back to my hen party series! Over the summer, blogger Claire from Lacey in Places  blog has been sharing her top tips for planning a hen party (read her first article here), including a downloadable budget spreadsheet and invitation templates (read this planning article here) to make it super-easy to keep track of the hens, the accommodation and activities costs. She has also written about making DIY crafty decorations for the hen party and creating a DIY memory book for the bride . There are lots of useful articles in the hen party series, so check out the links below or click here to see all of the articles in the series.

Today I am sharing a few photos of the lovely hen party tutus that I’ve made during the summer through my fancy dress business www.TutusWingsandPrettyThings.com and I hope to be able to inspire you to create your own hen party costumes!

cassiefairy hen party custom made bridal fairy tutus from tutuswingsandprettythings com

These are just some of the pretty custom-made tutus that my lovely bride customers have been requesting over the summer hen-party season. I love the purple-and-white theme which incorporates lots of sparkles and sequins! On my website www.TutusWingsandPrettyThings.com you can design your own fairy tutu for the bride and for all the hens, with any colours and fabrics that you like . Tie it in with a fancy dress theme, or create something to match your hen-night t-shirts – simply get in touch with your requirements and your tutus will be custom-made for you and your hens at no extra cost!

Next week, we’ll be discussing hen party fashion looks that you can wear again and again – not just for the hen do! So come back soon and check out the articles below for more hen party inspirations :)

More hen party series articles


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Hen party series ~ Ideas for cheeky hen party games

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that over the last few weeks the wonderful Claire from Lacey in Places  blog has been sharing her top tips for planning a hen party (read her first article here) and today she continues to share her experiences of organising a vintage-inspired hen party for her friend Becky.  She has previously shared a downloadable budget spreadsheet and even invitation templates (read this planning article here) to make it super-easy to keep track of the hens, the accommodation and activities costs and she has also written about making DIY crafty decorations for the hen party! Last week she shared ideas for making a DIY memory book for the bride and in today’s blog post, Claire is discussing DIY games that will be sure to get all the hens involved in the bachelorette party:

Here’s a couple of ideas to get the party started and make sure that all the hens throw themselves into the fun of the hen party!

The tip jar

Get the biggest jar you can find (like this olive jar from one of the hens – the lovely Lisa!) then decorate it with glass paint to celebrate the hen do. Add a note book and pen, and you have the beginnings of one of the easiest games – the plan is to use the paper to add words of wisdom for the bride – whether it’s about relationships or life in general – then pop your top tips in the jar. It’s a great game to play during a quiet period of the hen party – perhaps when you’re having lunch (pass it round!), getting ready for a night out, or during a cup of tea and a rest before the big night! When the tip jar is full, give it to the bride to read through all the advice – it’s amazing what funny, sensible and downright rude tips she’ll get!

DIY craft making tip jar game for a vintage hen party by laceyinplaces

The truth or dare jar

Another variation on this game is adding cheeky dares to the jar throughout the day (watch the dares getting more and more naughty as more glasses are champagne are enjoyed!). Then all of the hens take it in turns to answer truth or dare questions during the evening celebrations. If the hen chooses not to answer the probing questions posed by the other girls, they can pick a dare out of the jar and all the hens can enjoy watching her carrying it out straight away!

Just don’t forget to drink responsibly(!) and don’t forget that whatever happens on the hen party, stays on the hen party so avoid taking photos of the dares ;) or at least if you do take photos, all of the hens can have a look at the pics over breakfast the next morning (in a Hangover-esque recap of the evening) and then delete them!!

inspiration challenge for august 2013 vintage wedding dress from lucylovesya blog

One more thing – how are you getting on with your crafty projects for the Inspiration Challenge? The theme for August was set by LucyLovesYa.com  and is vintage wedding dresses (see above!). And lovely haberdashery Abakhan Fabrics have offered us a fabulous prize of a Simplicity Sewing Pattern for special occasion dresses – very appropriate considering our wedding dress theme! I’d love to see anything you make inspired by the theme – I’m currently making a little tutu for my niece using pieces of wedding dress fabric! All the lovely craft, art and sewing projects received by 1st Sept will be put into a prize draw and the winner will be sent this lovely Simplicity sewing pattern with instructions to make these special occasion dress in 6 different styles – great for bridesmaids, wedding guest outfits, prom dresses or just for wearing on a night out!

simplicty sewing pattern from abakhan prize for aug inspiration challengeIf you can’t wait to win the prize – all of the Simplicity sewing patterns are 50% off at Abakhan Fabrics online until 14th September so you can get your hands on any of their easy-to-sew patterns right now!

 

More hen party series articles


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Hen Party Series ~ Making it personal

If you’ve been following my fun hen party series, you’ll know that we have been spoiled-rotten with lots of lovely articles from my fellow bloggers, sharing ideas for party themes (check out the links below!) and how to plan the perfect hen do. In her past articles for this series, Claire from Lacey in Places  shared her top tips for planning a hen party (read the article here) and very kindly shared her downloadable budget spreadsheet and invitation templates! Plus we’ve had articles on his ‘n’ hers hen and stag parties, costume ideas and much more! If you’re planning a hen party for your friend, are going to a hen night or even want to get ideas for your own party have a read  back over the previous articles in the hen party series – you’ll be sure to get lots of good ideas – but for today, we’re discussing how you can personalise the big night for your bride!

The bride will only ever have one hen party in her life, so you certainly want to make it the most personal party that you can for her to remember for a lifetime. Did you see Claire’s blog post in this hen party series that shared how she personalised her best friend Becky’s hen party and made it an especially vintage affair, full of Becky’s favourite things. Claire and the other hens crafted some unique decorations and organised activities that fitted in with the theme. I think it’s lovely to take the time to make personalised items for the hen party and the bride will know that you’ve gone to a lot of extra effort to make the party personal to her.

hen party series cassiefairy lifestyle blog hen party superstore t shirts and sashes

So now is the time to consider personalising items for the big night out. T-shirts and sashes are classic hen party uniform and creating a personalised outfit will ensure that everyone knows that the hens are part of one big group and highlights the bride from the rest of the group – especially good to make sure that the bride gets all the attention (and free drinks!). If you’re looking for a professional company to print your hen party t-shirts, there are a few companies out there such as the Hen Party Superstore who will do it all for you, to make sure you get a seamless look and take all the hassle out of organising different t-shirt sizes, colours and names etc for all the hens (which can take up a lot of your time if you’re organising a big hen party!). It can also be a lot cheaper than you might think to get your tops and sashes professionally printed, because even the lowest-priced high street t-shirts can actually cost more than a diamanté-printed top! And what would you rather have for your best pal’s big night?! Plus you can get freebies, such as a hen party planner, games and nickname ideas when you order from this hen party specialist, so it’s well worth checking it out!

I know that if I were planning my own hen night all over again, I’d be going the whole hog with customized t-shirts, bridal tutu, personalised sashes and all the fabulous, cheesy accessories that really make a hen party memorable! I think that the trends for hen parties has gone full circle – so that things that might have gone ‘out of fashion’ over the last few years, has now become kitsch and cool, so I would be snapping up all the pink, glitzy diamante accessories and feather boas! Let me know what you think and leave me a comment below about how you celebrated your own or your friend’s hen party! :)

Make sure you come back next week for another crafty article by Claire from Lacey in Places, all about the personalised present that she and the hens made for Becky’s vintage hen party – Here’s a sneaky peek below!

diy personalised craft gift book scrapbook for the bride at hen party

More hen party series articles

 


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Hen party series ~ Crafty fun – making decorations for the hen do!

In this hen party series, we have been spoiled-rotten with lots of lovely articles sharing ideas for party themes (check out the links below!) and how to plan the perfect hen do. In her article last week, Claire from Lacey in Places  shared her top tips for planning a hen party (read the article here) and very kindly shared her downloadable budget spreadsheet and invitation templates! Today she continues to share her experiences of organising a vintage hen party for her friend Becky and discusses crafty ideas for hen party decorations and getting all the hens involved in the party prep:

The hen Becky loves a bit of crafting, so I thought I’d make it extra special by making homemade special decorations for the hen and also to save the pennies, so today I’m going to show you how I spent the grand total of £7 to make decorations for the apartment we were staying in.

In my previous blog I mentioned quite a few of the hen party had offered to help, so I thought I’d kindly take them up on the offer by hosting a crafting evening with my lovely fellow hens Joey, Katie and Sarah. The crafting night gave me the chance to get the opinion of the hens, save time and money, and most importantly have fun! I visited my local 99p discount store to get all the materials for the hen, which cost me the grand total of £7!! As we were planning a vintage hen do, we decided to make the decorations in the colour theme of Becky’s wedding, pink and orange. Also Becky had recently got her first cat – Mr Bigglesworth – who she absolutely adored, so I decided he would make a ‘guest’ appearance over the weekend.

DIY craft making straw labels for a vintage hen party by laceyinplaces

Straw name tags
I knew we were going to be having a few drinks during the hen party, so may become forgetful about which drink belonged to who so thought it would be a good idea to make name tags to hang from our straws, so we could keep track of our own drinks! What you’ll need: Scissors, felt tip pens and a hole puncher, ribbon, stickers (kitten stickers in this case), cardboard (I took a page out of Becky’s memory book to save money)
1. Cut the cardboard into a shape of a luggage tag and hole punch the top side
2. Using the kitten stickers I purchased for £1 (the grey ones look like Mr Bigglesworth) stick these to the cards and write each hens name on the card – make sure you make an extra large one for the hen
3. Finally inset the ribbon through the hole and attach it to the straw
4. Ta-dah – you have your vintage looking personalised tags for your straws!

Tissue paper pompoms – makes approximately 10-15 dependent on the size you choose

What you’ll need: Scissors, jewellery plastic wire or string, pack of tissue paper (20 sheets) = Grand total £2

  1. Put together at least 6 sheets of tissue paper and cut all the sheets into a square
  2. Concertina or fold the tissue paper into a fan, once done trim the edge of each tissue paper into a round shape
  3. Then tie a long piece of the wire and string around the middle of the folded paper (make sure it is nice and long as you will also be using it to also hang the pompom up
  4. Carefully fold them away flat to take to the hen (if you fold them out before you go they’ll get squashed enroute)
  5. Once at the destination pull the layers of tissue paper out layer by layer until it is in a ball shape – then hey presto you have your pom pom!!

making tissue paper pompom decorations for a vintage hen party by laceyinplaces

Doily Bunting

What you’ll need: Scissors, glue and a large marker pen, sequin string (£1 for 15meters from pound store), pack of doilys (£1 for 50 doilys from the pound store) 

  1. Fold your doilies in half, then fold them over the string
  2. Glue the two halves together
  3. Add the remainder of the doilies to the string and leave to dry
  4. You may wish to write some letters or draw on the doilies like we did

Simple, cheap, quick and effective to do!

making doily decorations for a vintage hen party by laceyinplaces

Mr Bigglesworth Kitten masks

I enlarged a photo of Mr Biggles and used my printer to print out a mask for all 16 hens, including Becky.  My mum very patiently and kindly cut out the masks for me – bless her!! So when Becky walked in to the apartment blindfolded she was confronted by a nest of kittens crouched in the corner – after initially jumping it did take her a few seconds to realise it was Biggles!! You could make similar masks using the faces of the beloved pets of the bride – or perhaps even a photo of her hubby-to-be! Which leads us nicely on to…

making cat masks for a vintage hen party by laceyinplaces 

Inflatable Jim

We were concerned that Becky may miss Jim over the course of the weekend.  I therefore ordered a 4ft inflatable man – who turned out to only be 1ft big so a bit too small for Becky to cuddle at night… So we quickly improvised with a balloon and cushion.  Heloise, Jim’s sister then bought some of this clothing.  Here is substitute Jim waiting for her in Becky’s bed for the weekend!! We also through in a photo of Jim above her bed incase she forgot what the real Jim looked like.

making the groom for a crafty vintage hen party by laceyinplaces

Next time, I’ll share more ideas about how to make extra special gifts for the bride, including a tip jar and hen book, but in the meantime, check out the links below for more fun articles from the hen party series!

More hen party series articles


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A busy hen party season here at Cassiefairy HQ!

Well it’s been a busy summer in Cassiefairy HQ! I’ve been inundated with hen party orders and I’m glad to say that I’ve been happily stitching my way from one happy bride to the next! It’s amazing to see what massive differences there can be between party themes and you’d like that one tutu is the same as the next, but ohh no, when it comes to hen parties, only the most unique outfits will do and I’ve learnt a thing or two about what brides and their hens want!

cassiefairy wedding bridal tutu white sparkly outfit neon ribbon

You may remember I showed you this bridal tutu a couple of weeks ago that I made for a neon hen party (above). Now the bride’s tutu was a lovely traditional white but I tied it in with the theme of the party with 3 yards of neon ribbon. But until now, I’ve not share the photos of the hen tutus – so here they are (below) – in all their rainbow neon glory!

The only thing with these bustle tutus is they are quite big (lots of layers!) and getting them into my normal packaging bags is difficult enough. Add to that the fact that there are 15 of them in the order, and then you realize that posting them is going to be a tall order indeed! It’s tough enough to get one tutu through the new 8cm parcel restrictions at my local post office so you can imagine how hard it is to post a parcel the size of a small armchair! Although my parcels are lightweight thanks to the light tulle I use to make the tutus, they ARE quite sizeable, so it’s hard to find a reliable delivery service for my parcels. I always offer free courier delivery for all large hen party and group orders like this, so it needs to be cost effective too!

cassiefairys neon rainbow hen party bustle tutus

That’s where Parcelforce has come to the rescue this summer and thank goodness they have! I can arrange a collection for a day that suits me and the courier come to pick up my parcel direct from my door, so I don’t even have to trek down to a depot to post the parcels – I can carry on working in my workshop and the handover takes seconds! All of my hen party orders have been delivered with plenty of time to spare and the hens always get in touch with photos and messages about how lovely they all looked in their coordinating outfits and telling me of all the fun they got up to on their big night out. I think this is one of the most satisfying parts of the job of fairy-tutu-maker – hearing how much a bride has enjoyed her hen night and knowing that my tutus have played a small part in that! You can check out the Tutus, Wings & Pretty Things website for inspiration for your own hen or birthday party costumes that are handmade and can be customized to your own design – and you’ll know they will always arrive on time thanks to that fabulous courier service!

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