I had so much fun planning this party. It was a big one…my girls’ first birthday party! A celebration for the twins, a gathering of loved ones and, for me, a triumphant commemoration of surviving an entire year with TWO babies. I had an immense amount of pent up creative energy that just needed an outlet.
I think that it’s the little handmade extras that really make a party stand out from the rest. If you’re like me, you’re always looking for new ideas to incorporate into your next fete. Although not necessarily original ideas, here are the handmade elements that I used to celebrate my two silly monsters in style. Hopefully it will give you some inspiration for your own party planning.
These darling party dresses were made by my ultra-crafty mom. I found the festive colors and adorable birds in the pattern to be irresistible. So irresistible, in fact, that I decided to design the party’s entire theme around it. The image of the little birds in trees paired with bright orange, deep magenta and lime green gave me lots to work with.
Here is what I came up with:
I worked with the bird theme and created this square to seal the invitations. (I used Envelopments for the paper elements).
Using the same colors in the dress fabric, I tried to recreate the trees and birds in the pattern with paper punches and stamps.
I found this sweet border punch at a local stamping/crafting store, Impress, which I used on the card with the printed party details.
2. Photo collage
I printed out a number of pictures from the twins’ first year and strung them up on ribbon in a corner of the room. I used tiny white clothespins to secure each photo to the ribbon. This was a great way to focus the party on the birthday girls and to give the guests something to look at while they were mingling.
*Bonus Idea* – I took a photo of the twins in the same position every month on their ‘birthday’. I then added each monthly photo to the collage. (These photos are on the left in the picture above). This was an interesting way to document their development and a great conversation piece at the party
3. Tissue paper pom poms
To make these, I used Martha Stewart’s instructions. These added a really festive pop of color to the party decor. I made them in different colors and sizes and strung bunches of them from the ceiling around the house.
4. Water bottles
I purchased bottled water at Costco and covered the labels with strips of paper stamped with a bird image. I simply secured them with double-sided tape and displayed them on the table for guests to grab.
5. Flower vases
Look familiar? I used baby food jars as vessels to hold Gerbera daisies. A hot glue gun came in handy to adhere strips of ribbon around them. This served the purpose of hiding the residue from the baby food label and fitting in with the color scheme.
6. Menu cards
I am vegan, and I feared that some of the food served at the party may be unfamiliar to a few party guests. I made menu cards identifying each food item so people could feel confident serving themselves without having to ask what each item was. This also served as another way to bring some of the party colors into the decor.
7. Treasure hunt
Although the party was for two one-year-olds, there were quite a few ‘big kids’ who attended. I wanted an activity to keep them entertained during the party, so I devised a treasure hunt sending the kids around the neighborhood to gather clues. Eventually, the clues led back to the house where each kid was awarded with his or her ‘treasure’ (a goodie bag).
8. Goodie bags
I simply used stamps and paper cut outs to identify each goodie bag recipient. Again, this was another way to bring some more of the party colors into the decor.
9. “Picture frame”
A rip off of the photo booth idea. I bought an old picture frame at the Goodwill and spray painted it in one of the party colors. I then purchased some silly hats, masks and mustaches for partygoers to play with and take pictures of themselves within the ‘picture frame’. It was a fun diversion for kids and adults alike.
10. Cupcake picks
This is a simple way to decorate cupcakes even if you’re not very adept with a pastry bag. I used a paper punch in the shape of a bird and glued it around oversized toothpicks. I embellished each bird with a jeweled ‘eye’ and a colorful wing.
11. Cookie bags
As parting gifts for all the guests, I made sugar cookies with royal icing in the colors of the party. I put them in simple craft paper bags embellished with paper-punched birds. Displayed on the fireplace mantle for each guest to grab on their way out, it added another element of color to the party decor.
12. Thank you cards
These thank you cards aren’t exactly handmade, (I used Tinyprints), but I thought the idea was kind of clever if I don’t say so myself. I think photos of crying babies are absolutely hilarious (does that make me a bad mother?). I wanted a silly way to say thank you to all the party guests for their birthday gifts and this is what I came up with.
You know what? I’m really proud of this post so I’m going to link up with these lovely sites below. If you’ve found me through a link up party, then welcome!