Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party

Phew, let me just start by saying that hosting birthday parties on back-to-back Saturdays is a lot of work!  Even though I kept Calla's 1st birthday party much more low key, it almost seemed like I was rushing around more in the days leading up to it.  But it was all worth it in my opinion.  I remember some great parties growing up and want to create the same memories for my kids.  (I realize Calla won't remember her 1st birthday but I will.)

Without any further ado, here are the highlights of the meal and decorations.  First, the invitation:

Completely copied from multiple sites and super easy to make with a printer, mini hole punch, mini brads and circle punch.

I also made a caterpillar mobile from lanterns using these instructions:

And a pair of caterpillars using photos from her first year (1 from each month):

(Those are just construction paper dots using my circle punch to add a little more color to the multiple tables we used.)

I made hats using the same tutorial as I did with Ian's party and punched out some stickers to doctor up plain white cups.

I didn't get pictures of the cake (gasp) or the food with the exception of the fruit.  I used the fruit from the caterpillar's Mon-Fri diet as part of the menu with these free printables.  I also made an quick orzo salad and cut up some pinwheel sandwiches using spinach wraps and shaped them into a caterpillar with a tomato head.

I made a caterpillar cake inspired by this design.  I still need working on wrapping fondant over round cakes but I really prefer buttercream anyway.  But it turned out pretty well despite my novice efforts.

And I made a birthday plate for Calla just like her big brother's.  We plan to use it each year (as long as she's willing).

Finally, I made these butterflies as favors for the kids but I totally forgot to hand them out!  They're Skittles and Trix cereal.  Not sure what to do with all these treats now...

So now I have a whole year to recover before the birthday rush begins again.  I can't wait!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fishing Birthday Party

Today we had Ian's 4th birthday party with his friends from school.  Since he likes to go fishing with his daddy, we decided to go with a fishing theme.  I had fun making lots of crafty things for his party over the last month or so and thought I would record them here for future reference.  Overall, it was a fun party and our birthday boy completely crashed afterward!  (Always the sign of a good party.)

First up, the decorations:

The invitations and decor were inspired by the fish on a cake I saw on flikr.  From there, I made a simple fish and used it on everything from the cups to the hats to the favors to the invitations.

Balloon wreath using this tutorial but almost triple the number of balloons and an 18" wreath form.  We'll be using this for many birthdays in the future!

An ocean ceiling

Our favorite felt birthday banner and buckets for each guest.

I made a jello fish bowl for the centerpiece with a fishing net and a few fishing toys we had around the house.

We use this special plate every year for his birthday and you can see the cups and hats I made.

Next, the activities:

We had each guest decorate a foam fish with foam shape stickers when they arrived.  Then they had to take a test to earn their fishing license before fishing with magnetic poles I made.

They also got to take some swings at a fish pinata, also homemade.  It was my first attempt at a pinata and it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be.  But it was sturdy so in the end I cut it open to spill the candy.

Finally, the cake!
The birthday boy in his 4 fish shirt I made with his fishing cake.

The guests went home with their fish, fishing pole, pinata loot, buckets and these little favors for their next fishing trip:

Wow, when I write it all out, that's a lot of crafting!  But since I've been working on it bit by bit over the holidays, it wasn't overwhelming.  And next week we have yet another birthday for Calla.  Her party will be much more low key but I still made a few fun decorations.

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