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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Inspirations for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration

St Patrick’s Day is fast approaching on the 17th March and whether or not you have Irish heritage in your family or have a bunch of friends from Ireland, you can still decorate your home with Irish themed decorations and even host a fun St. Paddy’s Day party!

Traditionally, green is associated with St. Patrick’s Day (the saint himself is depicted wearing green!) so get out your green throws, cushions and tablecloths to make your home a little more Irish for the day! The shamrock is also an iconic symbol of any St. Paddy’s celebration, so craft your own shamrock bunting banner or wall-curtain decoration just like the images below. When your home is nicely decorated you can invite your family or friends over for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration and let the festivities commence!

 StPatricksDayGlitterPhotoProps from liagriffith

Fun St Patrick’s Day party props by Lia Griffith

To really get your guests in the party mood, there’s nothing better than adding a little dressing-up fun for children and grown-adults alike. You don’t need to spend a fortune on shop-bought costumes when it’s just as easy to create your own themed fancy dress props! Simply cut out shapes and glue them to straws, chopsticks or even lollipop sticks. Use glitter card and coloured paper which can be bought from the scrapbooking section of any craft shop and cut out your shapes with scissors before taping or gluing to a stick on the back. Let you guests choose their props and have fun snapping photos of your pals wearing their moustaches and leprechaun hats!

shamrock pinata

Tutorial for making a mini St Paddy’s Pinata

You could entertain your guests at your Irish-themed celebration with a shamrock pinata. Fill it with chocolate coins from the ‘pot of gold’ and get your guests to take it in turns to be blindfolded and try to break the pinata with a stick. It’s a classic party game that all your friends and family can join in with and is so easy to make yourself – simply cut shamrock shapes from cardboard and cover with green tissue-paper strands.

To keep your guests hydrated at your party why not serve drinks in bottles with custom-made labels for St. Patrick’s Day such as these lucky Irish tags below? You can use bottles of juice or pop for the younger members of the family so that everyone can be involved in the festivities. Add green paper straws decorated with more shamrocks and you’ve got the party started!

 St_Patricks_Day_Labels from liagriffith

Drinks labels printables by Lia Griffith

I hope that these crafty ideas have given you inspiration for your own Irish themed St. Patrick’s Day decorations and if you have a party celebration perhaps you’ll make use of the printable labels and DIY pinata instructions in the links above to create your own custom-made party decor! Above all, drink responsibly and have fun with all your friends and family!


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Back to school and more dressing up!

Now that the little ones are all back to school and the new term in is full swing (with mock exams going on this week – good luck teens!) I’ve been adding the official term dates to the calendar and have spotted another important date for your diaries – World Book Day on March 6 2014.  I am very keen on the ideas of book week and world book day because as a child I was a keen reader and have continued to enjoy reading throughout my life so I’d like to think that these educational days are helping to encourage a lifetime of reading in the next generation. I really believe that reading helps children to develop an inquiring mind and sparks their imagination in a way that watching TV simply doesn’t. Surely children painting their own pictures of the story in their minds-eye from the clues that they are reading will  lead to a whole new generation of film-makers, artists, actors, writers and influence millions more to be creative and questioning throughout their education and onwards into their working life.

So often I’ve read a book and imagined a scene in a certain way, and am delighted when I watch the film version and see my thoughts come to life – for example, when I watched the recent Chronicles of Narnia films and saw the beavers’ home from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe I became quite emotional at seeing ‘in real life’ the scene that I’d conjured up in my mind so many times as a child – it brought back memories of childhood that, although completely imagined, were very real in my mind. I hope you understand what I mean… it’s hard to explain how a scene I’ve read about and imagined as a child could become as real a memory to recall as any other experience.

girls fancy dress for book week and world book day

Little girls book week fancy dress costumes

Anyway, I’m sure you can see how passionate I am about encouraging children to take up reading and I think that engaging them in any kind of reading activity – such as book week – will be very beneficial and encourage them to above all enjoy reading! World book day and book week always seem to creep up on parents and before you know it, it will be the night before book day and your child will be asking where their costume is – that’s right, you knew there was something you had to sort out! So I’ve been thinking ahead to the storybook costumes that your little ones can maybe wear this year and you’ll have everything organised well in advance! I love these cute costumes above – especially the little evacuee outfit and Mary Poppins – something a little bit different to the Hogwarts outfits that have been so popular over the past few years! Anyway, getting dressed up for book week and world book day will be fun for children and I really hope that many of them start to enjoy reading more as a result.


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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Scary shoes

With Halloween only a couple of days away I’ve been getting carried away while looking for costume accessories and the result is this Tuesday Shoeday blog post about spooky shoes. Now these aren’t really the kind of shoes you’d want to wear all year round (or maybe they are, who am I to tell you otherwise?) but they are good fun and look really cool so I’m coveting these items of freaky footwear as much as any pair of shoes that’ve been featured on my blog. So here are my favourite Halloween-inspired shoes that I’ve found on Pinterest and check out  my Tuesday Shoesday board for all the links to the image sources:

Tuesday Shoesday spooky heels scary shoes for halloween costume 2013

I also found this tutorial for creating your own witches-cat shoes to accompany your Halloween costume so if you’re stuck for a last-minute outfit, why not have a go at this DIY by Scathingly Brilliant blog?

cat diy shoes from scathingly brilliant blog

Image & DIY c/o Scathingly Brilliant 


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DIY scary skeleton Halloween costume

It’s Halloween this week and as usual I don’t have any budget for a costume for all those parties I’ll be going to. But I’m not worried about that because I personally think that Halloween is about making-do and creating some crazy costume yourself that no one else will be wearing – the tattier the better in some instances! I have therefore made my own last-minute skeleton costume using an old (and I mean ooolllddd) stretchy top and I’ll show you how to make one for yourself below:

diy skeleton header image

You will need: old black top, white top to wear underneath, scissors, white pen or chalk

Step by step

  1. Fold your top in half along the centre point.
  2. Use the chalk or white pen to mark out where you will be cutting out the ribs
  3. Cut out the ribs, making sure you’re cutting all the way through both layers of fabric. This will give you a symmetrical set of ribs on each side when you have finished cutting.

diy skeleton step by step

4. Cut out small triangles along the centre to create the spine bones

5. I even cut some bone shapes from the arms, which aren’t clear in the photo, but when I’m wearing it, you can really see them.

6. Wear over the top of a white t-shirt to show off the shape of the bones!

diy skeleton before and after

It’s a great way to get a last-minute outfit sorted out, and I hope you’ll have a go at making this simple Halloween costume. I wrote this blog post for Oxfam Fashion so check out their blog here and have a read of all the other fabulous fashion bloggers’ articles. Enjoy your spooky celebrations, whatever you get up to!

More Halloween articles from Cassiefairy:


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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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