Saturday, June 2, 2012

Train Races and Goodie Bags

The other day I mentioned that I was disappointed about the goodie bags I had planned, and because I waited too long (not really, but apparently) to order what I wanted, the items I'd planned on were unavailable.  Well, I wanted to give each kid an engineer's cap and a red bandana, but the caps were unavailable unless I wanted to pay close to $5 per cap, plus overnight shipping.  (Um, no thank you.)  So, naturally, I freaked until I could think of of a Plan B that would make me happy.

I went to Hobby Lobby the other day and although I wasn't looking for them at all, I happened upon bandanas for a price I thought was reasonable.  I already had the bubbles for the goodie bags.  I bought some Thomas stickers and used the "ticket" stickers I bought ages ago, and decided to make hobo packs as goodie bags.  I had a big old canister of craft dowels in the basement, and it worked out perfectly.  

Of course, I also had Thomas fruit snacks that I forgot to put in the packs (what's a hobo pack without a snack?!) but that was fine.

One of the worst photos ever, I know.  This was a morning one, when I was feeling so crummy. Anyway, the individual hobo packs were pretty cute and it was obvious what they were.  Phew.

I also had to make trains for our races.  I mean, what can you do with a bunch of three-year-olds at a birthday party?  We needed to have activities!

I went to Home Depot and bought three of their small moving boxes. I think they were 70 cents each, or something like that. 

The bigger boxes are two that I bought to test for our move.  They had nothing to do with the party.
 I stood them each up, unfolded, on a tarp, and painted them...

Note:  I really should have primed the red box first.  The blue covered super well, the green pretty well, but the red?  Not so much.  Took an entire can of paint, almost. 

I found a printable Thomas face online and figured I could get away with using Thomas on all three trains.  I hand-lettered the numbers on yellow card stock and edged them with a thick red (or in James' case, blue) marker.  Let me know if you want the link to the printable face.
I cut the wheels with my Cricut and glued them, the numbers, and the faces with sprayable glue.  And I cut the funnels with a box cutter and then carefully painted just the funnels.  I also cut strips along the sides so the boxes weren't quite so tall on the sides and the kids could have a place to hold on.

To do the details for Thomas, I loosely put long strips of thin masking tape on the tarp, actually tacking it down in only one or two places, and painted the tape red.  Then I cut strips down to size and did the details by eye.  For the semi circle, I basically pleated the tape to get the curve.  For reference about the spray paint, this last step emptied my red paint.  Definitely prime if you do this!

And then this ...

... turned into this!



  1. Can I get the link for the printable Thomas face? Thank You!!!!

    1. Xavier, I did a quick search for it and wasn't able to find it yet -- but I did find it originally just by doing a Google search. I'll keep looking and will comment again when I find it. Good luck! :)