Our MOPS Christmas Party Photo Booth

In our MOPS group, we love taking pictures. So, having a photo booth at our MOPS Christmas Party was a perfect fit. Everyone got into the spirit and now we have some fabulously festive pictures for our moms to keep! What an easy, affordable way to celebrate together. Now, we’re sharing tips and our free props printables with you! Here’s how we did it…

Photo by Colleen Hazlehurst

The Setup

As you can see, our photo booth was tucked in a corner at the back of the room. We just needed space for groups to gather, without being in the way or interrupting other things going on at the party.

Photo by Colleen Hazlehurst

The background couldn’t be easier. We just hung streamers straight down the wall with tape at the top. We alternated red and green, but, in retrospect, I recommend going with one color if you want a less busy background. We added a “Merry Christmas” banner, too, just for fun.

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In the future, I will be sure each streamer reaches the floor. I didn’t think torn streamers would show in the pictures, but they did and I spent some time in Photoshop fixing messy streamers. Don’t be like me. Neatness counts.

The Props

Off to the side, we had a basket full of Santa hats, festive headbands (like reindeer ears), an elf vest, and tinsel garland to use as boas. Also, we made a frame from foam board and glued tinsel all around it.

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We also had hand-held word bubbles saying “Merry Christmas” and “Ho Ho Ho,” and arrows saying “Naughty” and “Nice.” Click here to download our photo booth signs. We just printed them and cut them out. Then, we glued them to posterboard, cut around them again, and taped a dowel rod to the back. We just made a few, but the possibilities are endless.

Click to download our Photo Booth signs.

Click to download our Photo Booth signs.

The Camera

Here’s a tip. Most of our members have camera phones, but I made sure to bring a reliable camera for the setting. In most MOPS groups, you should be able to find one shutterbug. If she is willing to take the pictures, let her. I ended up taking most of the pictures and shared them later on our private Facebook group. Our room has very low lighting, so you could really see the difference between these and the smart phone photos.

The Demo

I was a little worried our photo booth would be lost in the festivities and not used. So, before the party, I encouraged the Discussion Group Leaders to each get their members together for a group photo. Then, at the start of the meeting, I got everyone’s attention to tell them what to do and snapped a picture of some volunteers using the props. That’s all it took! We had a bustling booth and snapped a lot of fun photos.

A few volunteers demonstrating how to use the photo booth at the start of our Christmas party. They got everyone in the spirit!

A few volunteers demonstrating how to use the photo booth at the start of our Christmas party. They got everyone in the spirit!

The Results

Not only was it a lot of fun, but our photo booth resulted in some very special pictures.

A lovely maternity portrait:

Photo by Colleen Hazlehurst

Our mentor moms:

Photo by Colleen Hazlehurst

Our Steering Committee (this one needed a little editing around the edges because we couldn’t all fit in the booth):

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And so many more:

Photos by Colleen Hazlehurst

The Cleanup

The cleanup was no big deal, thanks to a few of our MOPPETS. And it looks like fun! Thanks little helpers!

Photos by Colleen Hazlehurst

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Happy New Year and a Prayer from MOPS!

We at MOPS of Bethel Baptist Church want to wish you and your family a safe and happy new year! Please join us in saying this special prayer for the new year from our Prayer Leader, Paula.

Dear Lord,

We thank you that another year is completed in our lives. As you well know, most of us have been busy with our preschoolers. We ask you that 2014 will be a year when we really take time to listen – mostly listen to you – but also to those around us. Remind us that one of our most valuable possessions is time. Please help us to use this gift responsibly. We love and thank you for our beautiful messy lives. Once again, we seek to live for you.

In Jesus name,
Amen

Original Graphic by MOPS of Bethel Baptist Church

Operation Christmas Child: Great After-Christmas Bargains for Next Year’s Boxes!

It’s never too early to shop for next year’s Operation Christmas Child gifts. In fact, now is a great time, thanks to the after-Christmas sales. This rack at Target had toys for little ones and even a few things for older children, like cute socks and hair accessories. Have you found any good deals for your shoeboxes already?

Photo by Colleen Hazlehurst

Have you found any good after-Christmas deals for next year’s OCC gift boxes?

Our MOPS Christmas Prayer

Merry Christmas from your friends at MOPS of Bethel Baptist Church. This year at MOPS is all about letting go of perfect, appreciating the beautiful messes of motherhood, and embracing our stories as they are. What a great time of year to remember that theme! As you celebrate in the coming days, everything will not be perfect, but we hope it’s wonderful! Please join us in this special Christmas prayer from our Prayer leader, Paula:

Lord,

We come to you today in the season and spirit of Advent. Help is to remember, Jesus that you are the reason we celebrate. Thank you for becoming a baby with the goal of eventually offering your life that through belief in you, we can have abundant life and spend eternity in heaven.

We offer ourselves up to you and ask you to renew us and help us to set our focus on you. Thank you for our family and friends. We pray for comfort for those who are grieving or separated from loved ones this year. Our trust and hope in you will sustain us in every situation.

In Jesus Name,
Amen

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MOPS Christmas: DIY Custom MOPS Ornaments

Our annual Christmas ornament exchange is one of our group’s favorite traditions. We each bring a gift-wrapped ornament and take turns swapping them in a fast-paced exchange. It gets a little competitive! The best part – every mom leaves with a special keepsake.

Some of the most popular ornaments are the ones that commemorate MOPS in some way, like these:

Photos: Christin W., Lara S., and Colleen Hazlehurst

About these ornaments:

  1. Christin gave this cute squirrel some personality by adding a “Nuts for MOPS” sign.
  2. Christin used a Sharpie marker to add “MOPS 2010” to this LOVE ornament.
  3. Colleen painted this mitten and added “MOPS” at our pottery painting Moms Night Out.

As you can see, if you don’t win one, you can easily put a special touch on almost any ornament. For more ornament ideas, check out our ideas from our MOPS Christmas Craft Day and these DIY Personalized Christmas ornaments. Merry Christmas from your friends at MOPS!

 

Meeting Review: MOPS Christmas Crafts Day

We spent a morning crafting and connecting at our MOPS meeting on Nov 27. Thanks to Kelly’s and Kristina/Yvonne’s groups for providing the brunch! The food was fabulous, as always (check out this recipe for the Country Breakfast Casserole).  We gave away some great door prizes – this time for Chick-Fil-A ice dream cones!

This was our Thanksgiving-week meeting, so each table was decorated with a Gratitude Tree. The moms were invited to add their blessings to the leaves. The trees were also door prizes for some lucky moms who got to take them home.

Due to a half-day for local public schools, we had a short meeting and it was all about crafts. Our Creative Activities leader, Christin, brought a variety of projects for everyone to try. She did a fantastic job and we all got into the crafting spirit. Take a look at some of the results (with instructions below):

Photos: Colleen Hazlehurst

1. Popsicle Stick Ornaments:
Christin supplied popsicle sticks (plain and in primary colors), ribbon, beads, buttons and other adornments. The moms went to work designing their own creations (here’s a basic tutorial). This one is Jessica M.’s. She made it a special keepsake by adding her family’s names and the year.

2. Felt Christmas Trees:
Christin brought pre-sewn felt Christmas trees, with an opening at the top. The moms stuffed them with batting, tied a ribbon around the top of the tree to close it and hang it, then glued on “ornaments” made from sequins, beads, or buttons.

3. Scented Soy Candles:
Using crock pots, soy chips, and small jars with lids, Christin melted these candles during our meeting. When the soy was melted, a mom could add the essential oil of her choice to a candle, add a wick, and place it in the refrigerator to solidify (we happen to have a kitchen attached to our meeting room). The available scents included cinnamon, “Love Spell,” vanilla, pumpkin spice, tea tree, eucalyptus,and lemon. These were a big hit with the moms. Here’s a tutorial showing a similar method.

4. Felt Snowmen Ornaments:
Christin brought pre-sewn felt snowmen (triangle-shaped) with an opening at the top, and pre-cut scarves and hats (rectangle-shaped). The moms stuffed the snowman bodies with batting, tied the hat on with ribbon to close and hang the ornament, then drew on eyes and glued on other features, like a carrot nose and buttons.

Other crafts, not pictured here:
Moms could also make gift tags by cutting shapes from Christmas-themed scrapbook paper and using rubber stamps to add the “To” and “From.” Also, Christin brought the leftover materials for our birds nest necklaces, so we could make some to give as gifts.

It was fun to see each mom express her creativity. Even though we were all doing the same crafts, no two were the same. It was a great meeting. Big thanks to Christin for all her hard work pulling it together!

Our Next Meeting & Christmas Party – Dec 18

Our next meeting is our MOPS Christmas Party on Dec 18! Everyone is asked to bring a dish for the brunch. Let’s make it a festive holiday buffet!

You’ll want to bring a gift-wrapped ornament to participate in our Annual Christmas Ornament Exchange. Also, Paula will demonstrate a very special Nativity Craft you can do at home later with your children. We’ll also have a fun photo booth, so bring your camera!

Plus, we’ll have lots of great raffles! Tickets will be available at the party for $1 each or six for $5. All proceeds will benefit our wonderful MOPPETS childcare program!

Please look for the event invitation on our private Facebook group (or talk to your Discussion Group Leader) and RSVP by Dec 13. See you there!

nativity craft for kids

Paula will demonstrate this Nativity Craft at our Christmas party so you can do at home later with your children. Here’s a tip: start saving your paper towel rolls now!