Friday, 18 March 2011

Fabulous Kids' Parties (on a budget)

A friend recently asked for some advice/ideas for her son's 4th birthday.  When I was planning my son's 2nd birthday, I fell in love with this site: The Cake Blog it has amazing images and descriptions of real birthdays that parents have thrown for their kids.

I used it as my inspiration for his Transportation themed birthday.  I tried to stick to a blue & brown colour scheme and I made everything myself, to the chagrin of my DH because I was up until the wee hours of the morning almost every night for over week before the party.

Candy Bar, Favour & Cake Table
I made the invitations (unfortunately I don't have a pictures of one!) and used the design details from them to guide the rest of  my choices.  For example, in the picture of the cake below notice the pinking shears edge on the brown bands of the cake - they're also on the signs for the candy and the party favour tags.

The polka dot table cloths were a complete find! I was at my local grocery store a week before the party and stumbled upon bedsheets with the exact blue and brown colours I was using.  I think they were $5.00 each and no one would have ever guessed the price tag or their intended function!

When I was looking through the cakeblog site, I fell in love wtih the candy bar.  Which kid doesn't love candy and to be presented with an entire table full ... it's kid heaven!  As you can see, I chose candy specifically based on colour (yes, I'm ridiculous).  There was a TON of candy left over and I spent around $150 on candy alone which wasn't as budget-friendly as I'd hoped.  I think if I did another candy bar in the future, I'd put 1 to 2 inches of mini marshmallows in the bottom of each jar before putting the candy in.   

Plane, Train & Car Cake

I was pretty happy with the cake.  I'm still not fantastic at leveling the cakes before I fill, mask & cover with fondant.  This creates a few issues when they're stacked because you have to adjust the cakes after you stack each layer to adjust for the discrepancies.  But overall, it looked the way I wanted it to.  I had a couple big discussions with DH re. whether the cake should be more kid-like.  He thought my vision was too grown-up despite the clear kid theme.  His position was that I was making the cake for myself, rather for our son.  I think in some ways he was right.... but I wouldn't have changed a thing.

Homemade Oreos & S'Mores

I spent a week perfecting recipes for homemade oreos and s'mores.  They sound easy to replicate and the recipes looked straightforward, but even after 5-6 different tries they still weren't as perfect as I'd hoped!

We rented a riding train for the back yard.  It cost $89.00 for the day.  Who knew it would cost so little?! We picked it up Friday evening and returned it on Monday.

I made t-shirts for the kids with pictures of planes, trains & cars with their names.  I searched high and low for the right plain white shirt to use.  You'd be surprised how hard it is to find them.  I ended up getting them at Old Navy not only because they were the best ones I could find but I also got a discount code via email to receive 30% off a couple weeks before the party (what good timing!).    The shirts were done in exactly the same pattern for both the boys and girls but I used orange images for the girls and blue for the boys. They were given as party favours at the end.  That's my son wearing his shirt for the party!

The blue chairs were $2.00 each at Dollarama - I just love them because even though they're blue, it's a beautiful vibrant blue that can easily be used for either girls or boys.

My daughter's 1st birthday is coming up in the next couple months.  We'll likely have a family dinner.... but there's still the invites & the cake to plan!  So much fun :)

- Jacs

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