Man, time sure flies. I can’t believe the big girl’s 1st birthday party was almost 3 weeks ago. I’m way behind on giving y’all the party update (and writing out thank you cards…eek!), so here goes…
This was our first real DIY party. We usually have the kids’ parties somewhere like Chuck E Cheese’s or a bounce house, but this year I was feeling a little adventurous. Overall, I’d say the party turned out pretty well. Little Christiana was all over the place playing, dancing and coloring.
I will say that DIY parties definitely have their pros and cons. I’ll give you my 2 cents on Friday, but for now let’s talk PARTAY!
Don’t judge me when I tell you that Will Smith’s Summertime music video was the party inspiration. Yes, I know the party was for a 1-yr old, but I was really into the old school cookout vibe. So, I thought–why not have a B-Day-Q! Don’t you think it has a catchy ring to it?
I usually go to etsy.com for printable invitations. But as I said, I was feeling adventurous and decided to make my own. Other than using pennants and a Western-style font, I had no clue where to start. In the end, the invitation turned out pretty cute.
For kids’ parties, I’m all about sending invitations by email. It’s cheap, convenient to RSVP and easy to send reminders. My favorite service is Paperlesspost. They seem to have the widest selection of design options.
I’d hoped that hubbie would barbecue, but he quickly nixed that idea. Plan B–have the food catered. Thankfully hubbie was on board with springing for the good stuff instead of getting so-so barbecue. Here’s a shot of the coordinating food tags.
Of course, you can’t forget about the birthday cake. I wanted pennants on the cake to match the invitations, but had no idea they’d jack up the cake cost so much. I finally opted for a semi-DIY cake with the bakery doing everything but the pennants which I planned to add myself. Somehow the bakery messed up the order and ended up doing the pennants anyway. While it meant paying more, it ended up being a God-send because I was running short on time.
Of course, I can’t help but go overboard, so we also had strawberry cupcakes and jello cups to add to the all the pink-ness. (Lesson learned– jello does not do well in Texas heat.) In the background, you can also see the bubble wands we gave away as favors to the kids. The tags said, “Thanks for coming to my B-Day-Q. You blew me away.”
In my head, the party decorations were supposed to be pretty extravagant (like, even decorating the trash cans extravagant). But of course, I procrastinated and didn’t get going on everything until the week of the party so a lot of my ideas were scrapped until the next go-round.
I did get to use the pom-poms that have been popping up everywhere. What they don’t tell you, is that these boogers take forever to fluff up. Since the tissue paper is so delicate, you have to go really slow or risk tearing off a bunch of paper like me. Fortunately, they’re also very forgiving, so it wasn’t too obvious. After all that hard work, these babies will be making a reappearance as part of Christiana’s bedroom decor.
The other time-intensive thing was hand-painting pennants on all the table cloths. The painting itself wasn’t so bad, it was waiting for the paint to dry in between coats that took awhile.
They turned out pretty cute so the wait was worth it. Way more festive than plastic table cloths. As an added bonus, these were cheap to make. I already had the acrylic paint and picked up a huge roll of this masking paper from Lowe’s for maybe $5. I covered five 8-foot tables and still had a bunch of paper left over.
Since I was on the cookout vibe, there had to be music. Putting the playlist together turned out to be more difficult than I expected. I was surprised by how many songs I thought would be family-friendly, really weren’t once I listened to the lyrics. Of course the Back Street Band was a big hit. The kids about lost it when “Just Like a Rockstar” came on.
There was also a coloring “rug” for the kids. To make it, I just glued pages from a gigantic coloring book I picked up from the dollar store onto the masking paper. Super simple, and the kids seemed to like it.
Now that the big party is over, we get a long break until the next one in November. What theme will be next??
p.s. I may have gone a little crazy with the photoshopping. That’s what happens when you start learning new tricks. Also, a big shout out to my mom and Christiana’s godparents for taking pictures during the party. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have a single one.