Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Birthday Carnival

Lately, I've had a few people ask me about the details surrounding the Carnival Party I planned last November. Things have been crazy since then and I totally forgot to post about it. The party was a HUGE success and I'm very proud to have been involved. The birthday boy had a wonderful time ~ the only shame is that he won't remember any of it (it was his 1st birthday party!). So, here goes....

For me, two of the MOST IMPORTANT party items (for any party really!) are the invite and the cake. They set the tone for the entire party. I believe they should go together like a good bag and great shoes. So I'll start with those. The invite was from Tiny Prints and my friend, Elizabeth, made the cake based on a photo I provided to her. Is she talented or what? I've never received that many compliments for a cake but it really was THAT GOOD. Tasted damn good too! Isn't it just perfection? Elizabeth also made the accompanying cupcakes on the stand behind the cake.

Invite was cropped by me to take out personal details of the party folks.

I also received tons of compliments on the wreath I made for the front door. I'd bookmarked the directions on how to make it from this site months prior and was so pleased to finally have an opportunity to use it. My fingers were really raw and sore after making the wreath but it was SO WORTH IT. This is an inexpensive and easy craft that would add a really nice detail to any event. This Mom liked it so much that she asked to keep it to hang it in her son's room after the party.

The kids attending really went wild over the PRIZE board. I was so happy because this was another of my favorite details and I had a lot of fun making it. Another easy and fairly inexpensive craft....

I wish I had a better, more clear photo of the Favor table. We had gumball machines and extra gumballs for the older kids and animal crackers for the younger bunch. I stacked the crackers on a cake plate I already owned and filled in around it with extra animal crackers. It looked so cute.... The gumball sets were tied with red/white twine and had little star cutouts attached with each child's name. Then I hand stamped the little signs with the star cutouts that thanked the guests for attending, etc...

I am no photographer. I wish I were. I tried to take a photo of the dessert table but it turned out so dark. And I worked SO VERY HARD on the backdrop. I'd never worked with PVC or PVC cutters before but I figured it all out pretty quickly. My friend, Jennifer, helped me to sew the fabric pocket to slide the fabric curtain on the PVC rod. Many thanks again, Jennifer! The backdrop worked out so well. I chose a fabric that complimented the red and white stripes on the popcorn bags.

The "Party Hop" bags hanging on the fence just awaiting the first game.

The cotton candy machine was a huge success....very popular!

The carnival tent pinata....

I made several flower arrangements in plastic Popcorn boxes (Dollar Tree).

I think one of my signature party decorations is some type of tree that fits into the party theme (we had ribbon topiaries for July 4th, felt pine trees for the camping party, etc). For this party, I made these little trees out of tickets. There were a few and they were placed around the house as decor.

I couldn't even believe my luck when I found these "Ferris Wheels" at Hobby Lobby. They were SO PERFECT for the dessert table. I had two, one of each side of the cake, and they were filled with candies. There were little bags available so that the kids could fill a bag with candy as an additional favor. Here, you can also see the very sweet little paper goods that we used for plates, napkins, etc (also a Hobby Lobby find).

The balloon guy made this crazy birthday hat for the birthday boy. Needless to say, it was too large for him. But we all had fun trying to wear it and balance it (it reminded me of the cool birthday party hat that the female poodle wore in the book GO DOG GO!!!). It was HUGE!

We had a face painting tent and this was our banner that we hung on the outside. My daughter, Sophie, shows off her face painting (she'd requested a green elephant)...

The birthday boy loves balloons. If he could talk and make a request, he'd probably have asked for lots of balloons. So we made sure there were plenty around. He was enthralled, of course!
(Note: I purchased those little star buckets - in photo below - at Ikea and they were on each food table, filled with peanuts.)

A party can be complete without a Photo Booth but it's certainly more fun with one.

SO, there you have it. I took my own photos so that's all I have. In hindsight, I wish we could've hired a photographer to take photos that day but it wasn't in the budget. There were many other details for which we don't have pictures. But you get the gist. I think we captured the more magical parts of the party. Feel free to email me if you want directions for any of the crafts, purchase details, etc. Glad I could share and thanks to those of you who asked for the details and photos!!!

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