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Archive for the ‘Birthday’ Category

Bridal Barbie Birthday Cake

Posted by Kyle Design on November 14, 2013

Unique Homemade Barbie Bride Birthday Cake

barbiecake.jpgBridal Barbie cake for Kayden’s 4th birthday features a strapless gown with full skirt. December 2002.

Bridal Barbie Cake Instructions

  • Mix a white cake mix and pour into both a deep Pyrex mixing bowl (mine is from Pampered Chef) PLUS a small Pyrex cruet (4 oz. type).
  • Because the large bowl is flat on the bottom, the cake needs the extra small domed filler of the cruet at the waist to smooth out the angle.
  • Put cake on cake stand.
  • Rim edge with wax paper strips to keep cake stand clean while frosting.
  • Hold small cake in place on large cake with some white frosting. Use a grapefruit corer to cut oval leg hole through the center of this stack.
  • Insert washed Barbie doll.
  • Frost all the way up to top of dress.
  • I made tiny swirls in dress all over.
  • Tie her hair with some white ribbon and add some tiny white flowers to her hands and her hair. Very well received!


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Unique Custom Photo Frames from Kyle Design

Posted by Kyle Design on October 25, 2011

New unique photo frames at Kyle Design are just in time for this holiday season! These sturdy, wooden frames come with a custom decorative metal design and there’s 6 fun colors to choose from. Just like all our other products, they are fully customizable – you can select from one of our hundreds of images and various background colors. Choose a holiday design and put out your family’s holiday photos in style. They’re also great for pictures of pets! Or, give them out to friends, family-members or co-workers this Christmas.  They’re great for your parents or grandparents and come in both 4×7 and 5×7 sizes. Get yours today!

If you’re looking to decorate your tree, don’t miss out on our photo frame ornaments. We also have pretty photo lockets and picture frame bookmarks if you’re needing one-of-a-kind gifts or stocking stuffers.

Shop Kyle Design for unique gifts to impress any animal lover

Shop Kyle Design for unique gifts to impress any animal lover

Shop Unique Photo Frames in Silver or Gold at Kyle Design

These photo frames are sure to be appreciated by Grandma & Grandpa this holiday season!

Posted in Animals, Birthday, Bookmarks, Christmas Ornaments, Gifts, Holidays, Unique Gifts | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Beverly Hills Chihuahua Party with Aztec Temple, Dog Pyramid Cake

Posted by Kyle Design on August 27, 2008

Whew! Just survived an over-the-top, really fun Aztec Chihuahua party we threw for our 9-year-old daughter’s slumber birthday party. She saw the upcoming Beverly Hills Chihuahua movie trailer (film comes out October 3rd), with the Aztec warrior dogs on a giant temple, thought it was hilarious and decided that would be a blast for a party of 8 rambunctious girls. Here’s what we did to create the right atmosphere:

Aztec Temple Makes a Great Driveway Center Piece

Aztec Temple Makes a Great Driveway Center Piece

Aztec Temple/Mayan Pyramid: My husband built a huge South American pyramid – a quasi Aztec or Mayan temple – in our driveway. It is 14′ wide at the base and about 11′ feet high. Made quite an impression on the arriving girls as they clamored to play on it and check out the view from the top. The prize for one party game later was a Slinky and we got it to slink down the full set of stairs on the pyramid, sending up a round of cheers from all of us!

Chihuahua Dog Birthday Cake with Mayan Temple Pyramid

Chihuahua Dog Birthday Cake with Mayan Temple Pyramid

Birthday Cake: I created a three-layer stepped-pyramid cake out of alternating vanilla and chocolate layers that I topped with a seated Chihuahua dog. My 12-year-old daughter made a golden headdress for the chihuahua giving it just the royal warrior look we were after. For instructions for making the cake, visit Aztec Chihuahua Dog Cake on Mayan Temple.





Dressed Up an Aztec Chihuahua Pinata with Golden Headdress

Dressed Up an Aztec Chihuahua Pinata with Golden Headdress

Chihuahua Piñata: For the piñata, I started with a pink pony piñata that I stripped down and converted to a golden Chihuahua. Again, my daughter made a stunning headdress for it out of golden poster board and wrapping paper. At the last minute the kids decided they couldn’t bear to destroy the fancy golden piñata, so we grabbed a Hawaiian hula girl piñata we had planned for another party, quickly spray-painted her Apocalypto blue to create an instant sacrificial Aztec maiden, then let the kids have at it. (Explanation: in the movie Apocalypto, the individuals captured for human sacrifice were painted blue before being sacrificed to the gods. Not that any of the girls (or me) had actually seen the movie, but they’d heard of it.) We filled the pinata with gold foil wrapped chocolates or golden colored candies such as toffee, caramels, Werther’s, Nestle Treasures, etc.

Kids Loved the Aztec Temple French Toast Pyramids

Kids Loved the Aztec Temple French Toast Pyramids

Food: For breakfast, we created Mayan Temple French Toast by stacking up three progressively smaller layers of bread and topped them off with a Chihuahua skewer, strawberries, powdered sugar and maple syrup. Big hit!

For dinner, had the girls create build-your-own personal pizzas. We used the refrigerated pizza dough from Trader Joe’s and let each girl roll out and add toppings to create their personal favorite. For 9-year-old-girls, apparently this, sadly, is still just pepperoni or cheese pizzas….

We served apple juice and sparkling water so the girls could create soda-like drinks that were free of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

Entertainment: The girls played on a slip-n-slide until all the children arrived. Pink seems to be the color of the Beverly Hills chihuahua dog, so what movies could be more perfect than the Legally Blonde movies? We rented videos of Legally Blonde and Legally Blonde 2, which feature heroine Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) and her pet chihuahua Bruiser.

Party Games: Traditional favorites included tape the Chihuahua to the temple top, memory game with 25 assorted items on a tray, and a treasure hunt. The prize for the memory game was a stuffed toy – the Taco Bell Talking Chihuahua Dog that we got from It says, “Here lizard, lizard”, “I think a need a bigger box” and “Yo quiero Taco Bell” (“I want Taco Bell”). The kids thought it was cute (they don’t remember the original TV commercials), but the adults thought it was a scream. And we actually did scream while watching the Legally Blonde movie when we realized that the commercial was playing in the background of one scene!

The Girls Loved Wearing the Colorful Dog Necklaces

The Girls Loved Wearing the Colorful Dog Necklaces

Party Favors: Instead of traditional party favor bags, I made a choker dog collar necklace with Chihuahuas on it for each girl. Every dog collar was a different color and the girls could pick out their favorite as they arrived. What girl doesn’t love jewelry?!

To see more or larger pictures and read tips and tricks for the fancy dog piñata, games and food, visit Beverly Hills Chihuahua Dog Party. If you love chihuahuas, be sure to check out my Cool Chihuahua Gifts like the Chihuahua Night Light or Chihuahua iPod Case.

"Beverly Hills, Here I Come!" Chihuahua Dog Night Light

“Beverly Hills, Here I Come!” Chihuahua Dog Night Light

Protect Your iPod with a Chihuahua Dog Warrior Travel Case

Protect Your iPod with a Chihuahua Dog Warrior Travel Case

Shop Chihuahua Party Gifts

Posted in Birthday, Cakes, kids, Movies, Party Ideas | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Wild Monkey Party Is A Barrel of Fun with Unusual Games

Posted by Kyle Design on July 20, 2008

Kevin Keith Shows Off Friendly Baboon

Kevin Keith Shows Off Friendly Baboon

We helped friends plan games for a really great Monkey Party that was held recently for a 9-year-old girl. There were about 50 kids at the party – wild fun!

Live Monkey Performance: There was a presentation with live Baboons and birds which was GREAT! Check out Martina and Kevin Keith and their Monkey Business Productions based in Napa Valley, CA. Call them at 800-278-0002 if you’d like to have them perform at your party in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Good looking, funny, fast-moving (both the humans and the primates). Very entertaining, informative and fun!

Preening Contest

Fun Monkey Party Activity: Preening Contest

Monkey Preening Competition: This quirky party game idea was a hit with the kids. Buy brown fake fur yardage that has a pile about 2″-3″ long – the long length makes it more challenging to preen. Each team should have a piece of monkey fur about a 3′ to 4′ feet long and around 45″ wide, or at least enough to cover a card table or area that a group of kids can stand around. Throw a generous handful of rice on it and set a small paper bag or dish in the middle for collecting the ‘bugs’. Whichever team does the best job of preening and collects the most wins! Use a postal scale to determine the winner if you have a close competition – wasn’t necessary at this party, but just in case.

Kids Loved Climbing Ropes to Grab Bananas

Kids Loved Climbing Ropes to Grab Bananas

Vine Climbing Race: Hang 1″ thick ropes from an arbor or garage door frame. Tie knots in them about 2′ apart down the length of the rope. Create paper bananas out of yellow paper and staple them to a piece of yarn in a loose bunch, tying these at the top of the rope. Timed race to last 3 minutes. Line up teams of kids behind each rope. Kids have to climb up the rope, grab a banana, climb back down and put it in a basket. Team with the most bananas at the end of 3 minutes wins.

Monkey Light Switch Plates Add Some Fun To Any Room

Monkey Light Switch Plates Add Some Fun To Any Room

Monkey Decorations: There were lots of inflatable monkeys in all sizes that were hung everywhere. Large paper doll monkeys were cut out of red wrapping paper then decorated. Start by accordion-folding the wrapping paper about 3′ wide. Cut out shape of monkey like in the photo here. Add construction paper eyes and mouth to each one. Tape across banisters, railings, windows or walls. Or you could decorate with Monkey Light Switchplates like the one here.

Instructions for Homemade Monkey Cake - Your Kids Will Thank You

Instructions for Homemade Monkey Cake - Your Kids Will Thank You

Although our friends actually served a store-bought cake with plastic monkeys stuck on it at the party, I decided to create my own monkey cake later. Click here for the instructions on how to make the Monkey Cake shown at left – your kids will appreciate a homemade cake and you can all have fun making it together.

For more ideas for games and decorations, plus more photos of the baboon or to enlarge the ones here, please visit Fun Monkey Party.

Cute Monkey Vitamin Cases Make Taking Your Daily Supplement Fun!

Cute Monkey Vitamin Cases Make Taking Your Daily Supplement Fun!

I started making monkey themed gifts about a year ago when I wanted to fill out my selection of Chinese Calendar animals, and it turns out they are quite the popular animal! The Year of the Monkey was in 2004 (coming up again in 2016), so if figured there may be some little monkeys out there having birthday parties now.

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Fun Caveman Party with Cave Girl Costumes and Cave Cake

Posted by Kyle Design on September 11, 2007

My eldest daughter’s all-time favorite party was the Cave Girl Slumber Party we threw for her a couple of years back when she was nine (third grade). Based on the popularity of the Geico Caveman, I suspect Caveman Costumes will be big for Halloween this year.

Cave Woman or Caveman Pinata for Birthday PartiesCave Girl Piñata: I created a cave girl piñata from a hula girl piñata by using animal print tissue paper and clip art from the Microsoft Clip Art Gallery. I gave her more dramatic eyes and some bone jewelry.

Easy to Make Cave Woman CostumesCaveman or Cavewoman Costumes: I made costumes for each of the girls from animal print knit fabric that I got on sale at the fabric store. The dress just required a simple seam down a section of one side of folded fabric. (Click Cave Girl Costume for the specific measurements and directions.) The girls could just slip into them and tie a knot over one shoulder. Simple to make and one size fits all. I bought some bear claw and shark tooth necklaces from Oriental Trading to complement their costumes.

Cave Birthday Cake: This turned out really fun. The girls love discovering all the detailsCave Birthday Cake with Camp Fire in the decorations. It featured a chocolate cave with pretzel stick door frame, gumdrop glowing embers in the campfire, malt ball boulders and a roasting pig made from a strawberry Tootsie Roll that looked very realistic. It is kind of hard to see in this photo, but if you click Cave Birthday Cake, then click on the photo, you’ll get a large version.

Make-It-Yourself SpearsHomemade Spears: Each kid made their own spear out of polymer clay (Fimo or Sculpey) and a wooden dowel. First, they shaped an arrowhead with notches at the base where it would be tied, then pressed it against the end of the dowel to create a recess in the clay that would help hold it in place. While the clay was baking, the kids decorated the dowels with stripes, dots, symbols or their names using a wood burning tool. After the spear tips had finished baking and had cooled, the kids tied the tip onto their spear with twine. They added extra twine in the middle to create a grip. We then had a spear throwing contest at the park (any grassy area will do). My husband painted a deer petroglyph on a piece of plywood that they could aim at for a target. One girl actually did hit the deer target, but needless to say, these were not precise implements, so if they did get a hit, it was probably just luck.

Games and Activities: The kids all roasted marshmallows over a small patio fireplace in our backyard. We also had a slingshot contest using one slingshot that we purchased beforehand, but you could also have the kids make their own (depending upon their age) if you have suitable forked wood, a bit of leather and large rubber bands. (I made my own slingshot as a kid.) I also had a treasure hunt for breakfast using clip art of wild animals. Each clue would be for the next animal that they would have to hunt down around the house and yard. Tape up the larger clues of animals and cavemen with the next clue hidden behind each one. Spread them out so they have to run a bit far to the next one: upstairs and downstairs, front yard and backyard. This helps burn off some of their energy and builds their appetite, too. Our hidden breakfast was bagels. Find a closet, kitchen cabinet or even the dryer as a place to hide them where they are not likely to go snooping ahead of time.

Food: We had the girls make DIY shish-kebabs using bamboo skewers. I just laid out a whole collection of meats and vegetables (and pineapple) and let then assemble the kabobs to their liking. (I marinated the meats ahead of time.) Results ranged from all meat to all veggies, so I’m glad I didn’t attempt to guess what they would like. You can BBQ them or just broil them in the oven. (If you think there might be any confusion about whose kebab is whose, just have the kids put their name or initials on the skewer with a permanent marker first.)

Cave Drawing Light Switch PlatesCave Man Party Decorations: How we turned our kitchen into a cave: We covered the walls with brown Kraft paper that weCaveman Party Decorations with Animal Furs, Cave Walls, and Cave Girl Pinata then decorated with “cracks” and shadows using magic markers. (We even covered up the window, adding to the dark cave-like feeling in the room.) I added clip art and photos of wild animals – tigers, deer, lions, buffalo, bears, etc. I bought animal fur fabric in different prints and styles and tossed them on the ground like giant animal skins where they would be sleeping.

Party Favors: The girls got to take home their costumes, spears and necklaces. In addition, each girl was given a plain wooden box (available at crafts supply stores) to decorate with the wood burning tool. We had one larger box as a party keepsake for my daughter onto which each of the party guests burned their name and patterns. She has it to this day.

Note: If you’d like to see larger versions (6″) of any of the photos here, just click on Caveman Party and then click on the photos there to enlarge.

Click this link if you’d like to add rustic decorations like ourTiger Flask for Liquor, Alcohol or Wine Cave Drawing Light Switch Plates shown at left. Of if you’d like an animal flask to go with your Caveman costume, be sure to check out our Tiger Flask.

Posted in Animals, Birthday, Cakes, Cooking, Costumes, Decorating Ideas, Party Ideas | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Gift Ideas for Friendship Day – Forever on August 5

Posted by Kyle Design on August 5, 2007

Friendship Stamp Holder with Forever StampsToday is Friendship Day and it will be forever held on August 5th of each year. Last night I attended the 40th birthday party of my good friend Robbie and had a fabulous time. As a gift for her, I chose one of my magnetic stamp holders in my new Friendship design. I included a strip of the Forever Stamps to create a gift that means “Friends Forever“.

Chinese Symbol for Friendship on Sugar Packet CaseAnother great idea for a friend is the Friendship Tea Bag and Sugar Packet case shown here in silver with a teal aluminum background color. This is gift that shows you are supportive of a friend’s effort to maintain a healthy weight. Throw in a few packages of their preferred sweetener brand, whether Equal, Splenda or Sweet ‘n Low, or some packets of their favorite teas.

Here at Kyle Design we can also custom engrave many of our gift selections and have compiled a list of popular engraving quotes on Friendship if you are looking for ideas. Please check us out!

Posted in Birthday, Friends, Unique Gifts | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Ocean Party with Dolphin Birthday Cake is a Success!

Posted by Kyle Design on July 25, 2007

This weekend we created an underwater world for Kayden’s 8th birthday party.Jumping Dolphins Birthday Cake Rather than have it strictly be a Dolphin Party, my daughter wanted to mix things up a bit and opted for an Ocean Party. Highlights included a Jumping Dolphins Birthday Cake, mermaid pinata, ocean treasure hunt and kelp bed. We really enjoy putting on a party that has personality and is fun and different. Here’s what we did:

I’m not a professional cake decorator, but I enjoy coming up with cute birthday cake ideas and my girls appreciate the creativity. For this homemade dolphin cake, I baked one large sheet cake and two separate dolphins that I placed on top. For complete instructions and the pattern pieces that you can download, go to Dolphin Cake Instructions. The colorful accents on the cake are edible hard sugar decorations in the shape of sea creatures – dolphins, sea horses, fish and starfish – that we got from The Party Works. The kids loved crunching on them!

The only special tools you need are the sheet cake pans – I show you photos of how to do everything else. I used the cake and frosting recipes off the back of the Pillsbury Softasilk cake flour box. They were delicious and really no more work than a package mix, but with no trans fats. We really are trying to cut trans fats completely out of our diet, and store bought cakes, cake mixes and frostings are a great place to start.

Mermaid PinataWe bought the 3-1/2′ high mermaid pinata from a local Mexican grocery store. They always have great shapes to work with and the pinatas are really cheap, too! But being an artist, I couldn’t just use the mermaid straight from the store and so reworked it with new clip art eyes, mouth, dolphin earrings and seashells in her palms. I gave her a fresh new bra top and tissue paper sea flowers in her hair and at her waist. I then added sparkly wrapping paper accents to the basic green crepe paper fish scales. I stuck the wrapping paper on our double side adhesive sheets, cut out large fingernail shaped pieces and and had my daughter stick them on. You can use glue sticks, too, but with the adhesive paper there is no sticky mess so you are less likely to tear the crepe paper.

For party decorations, we transformed the kitchen area by taping up plastic sheeting imprinted with an ocean theme along with solid turquoise sheeting above that. It gave a cool blue cast to everything (and everyone!) in the room. We got the coral reef room setter from online party supply store Party America along with an “authentic looking” fish net. We hung up the fishing net with the mermaid (pinata) “caught” in it.

This was a slumber party, so we decided that the kids had to sleep in a “kelp bed“. 😉Kelp Bed Party Decorations for Ocean Theme Party Ideas We created this by taping up various ocean colored crepe paper streamers to the ceiling of the room in which they were going to be sleeping. We had the length end about 18″ – 24″ from the ground so that it wouldn’t tickle the kids later on while they were in their sleeping bags. We opened the windows and turned on the ceiling fan so the breeze would make the “kelp” the sway in the ocean currents. The kids loved it!

The treasure hunt was a huge hit. I taped up clip art clues all around the house as well as the yard. Behind each one I taped the clue to the next image. It is amazing how quickly they memorize the location of all the pictures, so I moved them around at the last minute to mess with the kids’ memories. We also had water balloon races and a sandcastle pit.

For more party tips, photos, games and suggestions, visit the Ocean Party Ideas page where I offer all my tricks for throwing a great party. All the kids said they had a really good time. Success!

Posted in Arts and Crafts Supplies, Birthday, Cakes, Party Ideas | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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