Ella as she walks through the polka dot party streamers she helped me create (stay tuned for Friday’s DIY post for more on this project, perfect for little hands). We hung these from her door frame so she saw them first thing in the morning on her big day. Note the polka dots on her PJs. Not in a MILLION years could I have convinced her to wear these if that was indeed a plan for pictures. Just a happy, sweet coincidence.
Hello Kitty treat cups for Ella to take to school. My intention was to find styrofoam soup cups with lids, but all I could round up the day before the party were taller ones without lids, which resulted in the additional step of the clear bags with ribbon ties. Save some time by planning ahead to source cups with lids. My goodness – this place is actually called “NexDay Supply” and I still didn’t have my act together enough to get these ordered in time for her birthday.
Cakes are not my thing. Well, making them isn’t my thing (eating them is). Making cakes IS, however, this gal’s thing (link here). She has made the kids’ cakes for years and if you are in the Minneapolis market, she is a great option!
These two Ikea frames usually hold other “artwork” but for the party I printed large scale coloring pages (many sources, but an example here) and had Taylor (who loves art) paint them with watercolor. Free artwork with huge impact – visually and emotionally! What a sweet big brother.
Olaf! Ella loves Frozen and loves books, although she rarely lets us read to her. “Me do it myself!” she’ll snap as she swipes books out of our hands. She’ll either be a fabulous reader or completely illiterate.
A plain cake plate, dolled up with ribbon and macaroons.
I added gumballs and pink shredded paper to the bottom of these hurricane lanterns to take them from dining décor to pink party accessories. The flowers are from my garden – the Limelight Hydrangea cooperated by turning a perfect shade of pink this fall. These were a great color (not too pink, not too bright) and best of all – free.
Remember the Cupcake Paper Lanterns post from last Friday? This is round two. With enough liners to cover the whole globe this time around and some embellishments at the center of the pale pastel ones, which I thought needed a little boost of color.
Funfetti pancakes. I spotted these on the Six Sisters’ Stuff blog several weeks ago (recipe in link) and knew they would be a hit “meal” for Ella’s birthday. Why not have cake batter incorporated into a pancake, topped with frosting and sprinkles? Super sweet, but super good.
Full room view, showing projects detailed above (including getting a second use from the streamers on the table), as well as the tip of the birthday banner (post here) and the decorated cabinet in the corner (I did a patchwork design with craft paper on the glass doors and added pops of color with artificial flowers in the vases above).
Birthday girl, enjoying her cake. I grabbed inexpensive pink bandanas to use as napkins. Ella’s cute top is from Boden.
Reality Check. So how much time did all of party décor take me to complete? WAY too much. And remember, I had Ella help me with the streamers, Taylor paint the Hello Kitty art, and the babysitter finish the paper lanterns (I didn’t admit that part before, but there you go). Oh, and at about 3:30 the day of the party I ditched my plan for chicken and artichoke pasta for the adults and decided we’d order Pei Wei instead. Did I mention I took a full day of vacation at work? There must have been some inefficiencies, but for the most part it was just too much. My advice? Choose wisely. Edit. Too much won’t be noticed anyway, and will just add to your stress. I got a little carried away, and if I had to do over again I would skip, for example, the macaroons on the cake plate, using the streamers again on the table, and embellishing the paper lanterns (the cupcake liners are embellishment enough!). And as I wrote in the birthday banner post, it’s all about the pre-planning and getting things done ahead of time.