Thursday, February 17, 2011

Toilet paper tube mini- campfires

I mentioned in my last post that I was busy coming up with decorations for our Cub Scout Blue and Gold Dinner.  We had fun pulling it off, and it is now over, thankfully.  I had an opportunity to let my creative juices flow, and so I thought I would share.  We had a "Wild West" theme, and a teeny budget, so I really tried to economize by using things we already had or upcycling "junk" to make our own decor.  There isn't room in this blog post to share everything I did, so I will just talk about the tables for now.

The tables were already covered with white butcher paper, and we had place mats that the cub scouts made with the help of their den leaders.  I got blue and goldenrod tissue paper from the dollar store to add some color to the center of the tables, and on top of that I put mini- campfires that I made from toilet paper tubes.  Yep, that's right- I saved dozens of toilet paper tubes and turned 'em into centerpieces!  (How's that for resourcefulness, Cub Scouts?)  I think they actually turned out pretty cute.  Here is how to make them:


Start with a bunch of toilet paper tubes.



Then, 1. cut them so they make a rectangle, 2. cut them again down the middle so there are two rectangles from every tube, 3. pre- fold them into a smaller tube so the gluing is easier, and 4. apply a thin line of hot glue to one edge, then press the other edge on top of it. Repeat these steps 150 times! (Or not.... depending on how many mini- campfires you want to make...)


With your vast collection of mini- logs, start assembling the mini- campfires in whatever formation(s) you like best.  You will use three to four mini- logs per mini- campfire. (Random interjection: saying "mini" over and over is kind of fun...)




Of course you'll need flames too... so grab some red and yellow tissue paper, and 1. cut it into squares about 6"x6"- don't get too fussy about straight lines and all... we are going for authenticity here! :-P 2. Take a red and a yellow square (red on top) and 3. fold both squares into triangles- layering the edges as you see in the picture. 4. Turn the triangle over, and 5. fold the side points up to the top point, forming a square. 6. Fold the side points back halfway, so that they are more or less even with the sides of the square.


Now grab the whole thing in your fist, and squish it together, then fold up the bottom corner a bit.


Hot glue your flames into the center of your mini- campfire logs.


After I thought I was all done with mini- campfires, I got it into my head to make a not- so- mini- campfire (I know, I could have just said a regular sized campfire, but hey, saying "mini" really is more fun.  Plus it makes it sound cute.) for the buffet table.


I used a paper towel tube and four toilet paper tubes. I squished one end of the toilet paper tubes and cut a triangular notch in one side.


Then I hot glued the toilet paper tubes to the paper towel tube, with the notched ends pointing toward the ends of the paper towel tube.


The flames were done pretty much the same way, using a full sheet of tissue paper for each color.

As a finishing touch, I bought marshmallows and pretzel sticks, which we arranged on the tables next to the mini- campfires. The idea was that kids could poke the marshmallows with the pretzel sticks and "roast" their marshmallows over the fire.

The only things I purchased were some tissue paper, 1 bag of pretzel sticks, and 2 bags of marshmallows (1 regular, 1 mini) and the total came to less than $6.30.  We decorated 10 tables, so it cost us less than $0.63 per table.  Cheap!

So... this could be useful to you if you are a) planning a Blue and Gold Dinner with a Wild West theme for the Cub Scouts (highly unlikely, I'm guessing), or b) throwing a Western or outdoor themed birthday party or other celebration. 

Anyway, I will be sharing more Wild West decor ideas in another post, so stay tuned...

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