Parties & Entertaining

Crafty Fridays: How to Make Custom Water Bottle Labels

by Shawnda on February 24, 2012

in Cat in The Hat,Crafts,DIY,Parties & Entertaining

How to Make Custom Water Bottle Labels

Those are the water bottles for our daughter’s 2nd birthday party. Cute, huh? And we made them ourselves. Oh, how I do love Pinterest!

We designed the labels in Inkscape, a free open source vector graphics program that’s similar to Illustrator, and printed them on 80lb white cardstock. Then I used a paper cutter to cut the labels apart and clear packing tape to stick them onto the bottle.

And that was it. (Note: If you’re interested in the files for these exact water labels, they are available with the other Cat in the Hat Party printables – you can find more information here.)

The upside: Besides being totally cute and completely customizable to match any party’s theme? They weren’t really labor- or time-intensive. By the time I decided to do water bottle labels, the decorations for the rest of the party were done so I easily converted one of the other pieces into a water bottle label.

The downside: If you use your home printer, the ink on the labels will not stand up to condensation. If you’re going to ice down your fancy-labeled water bottles, you’ll either want to have your files printed professionally (or, um, maybe pay a visit to that lonely printer up on the 4th floor that no one ever uses) or use already-designed paper (like scrapbooking stock).

How to Make Custom Water Bottle Labels

Materials needed
Clear packing tape, 2 inches wide
Custom labels or decorative paper, cut to 8.5 inches x 1.75 inches wide (double-check the circumference of your water bottle to make sure 8.5 inches will suffice)
Scissors
Water bottles, labels removed (I used store-brand 16.9 oz bottles)

Instructions
Unroll a long strip of tape on your work surface. (I left the tape connected to the roll at this point but you could go ahead and cut it to 9.5 inches if you have a ruler handy.)

How to Make Custom Water Bottle Labels

Leaving ~1/2-inch of tape at the end, carefully center your label across the 2-inch width of the packing tape and press into place. Lightly rub the back of the label to remove any air bubbles.

How to Make Custom Water Bottle Labels

Leave ~1/2-inch of tape on each side of the label and then cut the tape.

How to Make Custom Water Bottle Labels

Place the label onto the bottle – I lined up the top of the label with the first groove on the water bottle – and smooth. The ends of the label will slightly overlap.

How to Make Custom Water Bottle Labels

That’s it!

Inspired by: Glorious Treats via Pinterest.

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Dr Seuss Thing 1 and Thing 2 Cupcakes

I have been in love with the idea of Thing 1/Thing 2 cupcakes since they popped up online a couple of years ago. They really are absolutely perfect for a Dr. Seuss-inspired party or shower.

We baked our very favorite red velvet cupcake recipe in “greaseproof” (ahem, allegedly greaseproof) red and white-striped cupcake liners (although you can’t really tell there’s any white there) and topped that with a quick buttercream frosting. I chose that frosting because it crusts (and would hopefully make the cotton candy last a little longer), unlike my favorite cream cheese frosting – I frosted the cupcakes the night before, attached the labels, and then topped with cotton candy after the guests had arrived.

Dr. Seuss Thing 1 and Thing 2 Cupcakes

For the labels, we created 1.25-inch circles using Inkscape (a free, open-source vector graphics that’s similar to Illustrator) and a free “Dr. Soos” font. I attached those to the cupcakes with a drop of hot glue. And I didn’t burn myself, not once!

Dr. Seuss Thing 1 and Thing 2 Cupcakes

I purchased 3 containers of cotton candy from Oh Nuts! but only used 2 of them for 24 cupcakes. The cotton candy will begin to melt on contact with moisture so don’t top the cupcakes too far ahead of time before serving (your mileage will vary based on factors, like frosting type and humidity).

Thing 1 and Thing 2 Cupcakes

The perfect treat for a Dr. Seuss-inspired birthday party or shower: red velvet Thing 1 and Thing 2 cupcakes topped with blue cotton candy.

Ingredients

  • For the cupcakes:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp - 1 tsp red gel food coloring (I used Americolor Red Red)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • For the frosting:
  • 2 sticks of butter, at room temp
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 Tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, optional
  • Blue cotton candy

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tin with baking liners or grease and flour the muffing cups.
  2. Cream butter and sugar on medium-high for two minutes. Mix in one egg at a time, beating after each addition.
  3. Turn mixer off and add food coloring and cocoa powder to bowl. Turn on low until just incorporated and then beat on medium for 4 minutes.
  4. Sift together the flours, salt, and baking soda and set aside. Stir buttermilk and vanilla together. Add dry ingredients to the bowl in three batches, alternately with the buttermilk in two batches, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat on medium until just combined. Add sour cream and vinegar and beat on low until combined.
  5. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for 25-35 minutes until the cupcakes test done with a toothpick. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then cool completely on a rack.
  6. To make the frosting, place all ingredients except the vanilla bean in your mixer bowl. Beat on low just until you have no more dry streaks of powdered sugar.
  7. If using a vanilla bean, split the pod in half, scrape with the edge of your knife, and add the scrapings to the mixer bowl.
  8. Turn to high and whip for 3-4 minutes, until light, fluffy, and smooth, stopping once to scrape down the sides.
  9. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a decorating tip or simply scoop and spread frosting with a small knife or spatula.
  10. Let frosting crust - it should feel dry to the touch and not stick to your finger.
  11. Just before serving, pull off small pieces of cotton candy, fluffing the "hair" before lightly pressing into the frosting.
  12. Extra frosting can be stored in the fridge for quite a while and even longer in the freezer. Bring to room temp and whip for a couple of minutes before using.

Notes

Yields: 24 cupcakes

Estimated time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Source & Vendor Information
Cupcakes: Inspired by Annie’s Eats
Cotton Candy: Oh Nuts!
“Greaseproof” liners: Amazon
Thing 2 Labels: DIY
Dr. Seuss-inspired font: Dafont

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Tropical Punch & Blue Raspberry Lemonade Macarons

When I was planning our daughter’s Cat in the Hat birthday party, I wanted to do a dessert table in red and blue. As you already know, there aren’t many naturally-colored foods that come in blue. There are blueberries. And then there are… no, that’s pretty much it. Blueberries.

I also wanted to make macarons (actually, I wanted to buy them but my party budget had other ideas). After doing a little research, it seemed best to opt for powdered food coloring over liquid for such a vibrant colored cookie, so as not to risk disrupting the temperamental high maintenance delicate moisture balance in the macaron shells.

So I put Kool Aid into delicate, fancy French cookie batter. Because powdered food coloring was nearly $10/bottle.

Tropical Punch & Blue Raspberry Lemonade Macarons

It’s a little bit of sacrilege topped with a whole load of blasphemy. It’s kind of like… putting Kool Aid in macarons :P

I’m pretty sure I haven’t had a glass of Kool Aid in at least 15 years. At least. But it has powdered food coloring so it took care of both flavoring and coloring the macaron shells a pretty red and blue (I did add a pea-sized drop of Americolor Red Red to the Tropical Punch and the tiniest drop of Americolor Yellow to the Blue Raspberry Lemonade to get more of an aqua color than light blue). It’s a very, very odd experience to open your oven and get hit with the smell of hot tropical punch but the cooled cookies are filled with a lemony buttercream – fun, fruity, and matched the party’s color scheme perfectly.

And I mean exactly perfectly – I joked on Twitter that I must have been a paint color matching machine in a previous life because my macarons matched the blue Jelly Belly candies perfectly.

Tropical Punch & Blue Raspberry Lemonade Macarons

I wished that talent carried over into decorating… our old house had 5 different shades of yellow/tan downstairs. And only two of those were supposed to be different.

Tropical Punch Macarons

Powdered drink mix yields a fun, fruity, vibrant-colored macaron.

Ingredients

  • 110 grams almond flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 200 grams confectioners sugar
  • 100 grams egg whites (from 3 eggs, separated 24 hours in advance or microwaved for 8-10 seconds)
  • 50 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 envelope Kool Aid
  • 1-2 drops food coloring, optional
  • 1/2 cup buttercream frosting

Instructions

  1. Pulse the almond flour and confectioner's sugar several times in your food processor until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Place your aged egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer and whisk until foamy.
  3. Add the sugar and turn the mixer to high, whisking until you have a glossy meringue.
  4. Add the Kool Aid and food coloring, if using, to the egg whites and let the mixer run a few circles through the batter to distribute.
  5. Fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites gently, briskly at first to break up the meringue a bit, until thoroughly mixed. The batter will be a little lumpy but will relax.
  6. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe rounds of 1.5 inches along two parchment-lined baking sheets.
  7. Let sit one hour at room temperature.
  8. Heat oven to 300. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool completely and remove from the pan.
  9. Not more than 24 hours before serving, pipe 1-2 tsp of frosting onto one cookie and top with the other, gently pressing down.
  10. Store tightly covered and serve the next day.

Notes

Yields: 24 filled cookies

Adapted from Tartelette's "Demystifying Macarons" master recipe

Estimated time: 2 hours

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Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat Birthday Party

So, as of Tuesday, I’ll have a 2 year old. I’m not really sure how that happened.

I mean I kind of do. I was there after all. But still. A 2 year old. That goes to preschool. And gymnastics. And can roll her eyes.

Right now, she’s obsessed with most things Dr. Seuss and Sesame Street. Every night, she asks for “Sam” (Green Eggs and Ham) or “Cat” (The Cat in the Hat) as her bedtime story. She’s also obsessed with water towers, solo cups, and travel-sized toiletries.

We all have our things, I guess.

Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat Birthday Party

At least one of those things made it easy to put together her 2nd birthday party!

We went with The Cat in the Hat for the party theme and coordinating colors red and white (Cat’s hat) and aqua (Thing 1 and Thing 2’s hair…sort of). We used Inkscape (a free open-source SVG program that’s similar to Illustrator) for the paper products, with inspiration from other Dr. Seuss-inspired parties found through Pinterest.

(Because I have gotten many requests for the food and bottle labels since posting this party, a $10 donation that will in turn be donated to the local preschool’s spring and fall book drives will get you the printable files for the birthday banner, Thing 1 or 2 cupcake circles, address labels, blue & red food labels, blue & red Thank You tags, water bottle labels, and a 4-page coloring book. Email me for more information.)

Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat Birthday Party

Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat Birthday Party

Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat Birthday Party

We sat out a copy of Dr. Seuss’ Happy Birthday to You for party guests to sign and Cat in the Hat coloring books for the crayon-aged guests. The little ones also got their very own Cat Hat to take home after posing for some of the cutest pictures :)

Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat Birthday Party

Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat Birthday Party

Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat Birthday Party

Cat in the Hat Party Decorations

On the food table, we had a goldfish in a teapot and a stuffed Cat in the Hat doll. A framed button monogram and birthday banner hung on the wall behind the table, which included:

Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat Birthday Party

Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat Birthday Party

We suspended red and blue paper lanterns (Target clearance!) over the dessert table, which included:

Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat Birthday Party

I bought aqua and red paper straws to go along with the drinks:

We’ll be sharing the new recipes and some of the craft projects in the upcoming week and updating the links on this post. In the meantime, I have a dining room to de-Seuss.

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