Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Birthday Party DIY

I got a lot of compliments on some things at the party so I thought I'd share where I got the ideas!


I knew I wanted to serve cupcakes versus cake at the party. I craved cupcakes my entire pregnancy and we kept my favorite cupcake place in business! I also knew I wanted her smash cake to have her name on the side of it. I went searching for pink and green and stumbled on this picture.
It was perfect! I had the pink M's on strawberry/cream cheese cupcakes and green 1's on vanilla/buttercream. I told the baker to put pink and green dots on her cake with her name on the side and  a pink '1' on the top. She did perfect! Even though the strawberry didn't taste like strawberry and they weren't pink, there were strawberries in the batter :)


I also made the cupcake holder. I bought 2 cardboard cake sheets from Party City-one smaller than the other- and spray painted them white. I also spray painted a Puff container white(the tower in between layers) and hot glued it to both layers. I then hot glue a thin silver ribbon around the bottom of the container. The pink edging is pink streamers. I noticed when I got home that one side of the bottom cardboard what straight, where the other edges were scalloped. Weird! I wanted to cover it so I did this. Total cost- less than $10 versus those store bought cupcake holders that run $13-$50 and typically hold 12-24 cupcakes. I wanted one to hold all 36 cupcakes so I didn't have to man the cupcake station and refill them if they ran out.
Each cardboard was less than $1 each. The streamers were $0.99 but I also used them as decorations. The spray paint was $4 and was also used on her M wreath(seen below) The Puff container was $2.99 when they were full of puffs so I won't count that cost into it since I bought them a while back and saved the container. I also glue canning jar rims on each corner to lift the bottom layer off the table just a tad :)

I used this video to help because I had some trouble with the first couple I did. The 3 in the window, I didn't cut the ends after folding them. The big ones, 2 on the mantel and one above the stairs/gifts, I cut into a point, like the Dahlia in the picture below the video.

For the small ones I used 1 pack of tissue paper each. I laid out the paper and cut it in half. For the large ones, I just laid the tissue out and fold it long ways. If I had to do over, I would use 2 packs of tissue for each big puff.

Ice cream cups

I decided to do this so someone didn't have to worry about scooping ice cream the entire party. Plus we didn't wait for everyone to eat cake and ice cream until the end so people could eat their sweets with their food if they wanted. This actually turned into a melted ice cream disaster. I only sat out about 20 cups(we had 30 people) and only a few were ate. We looked over and ice cream was everywhere! If I had to redo, I would either get those little personal ice cream cups or put ice cream in a small plastic cups. It was a cute idea anyway.. To do this, you just scoop ice cream into cupcake liners and freeze them. I only have one cupcake pan so I just put them all onto 3 baking sheets, covered them in foil and froze them. 

Mason Jar drinks

I got a lot of compliments on these! One comment was "It's so simple but the liner makes it look elegant". I decided to do Hawaiian Punch in Lemon Berry and Green Berry Rush to tie in the pink and green theme. I got the straws(the are actually plastic!) and cupcake liners from Hobby Lobby. I decided to only do 12 drinks(6 each color) because we also had water bottles and now I wish I'd done 24! People actually drank them :) 

To get a good hole started, I put one liner on the jar to see where the straw would go. I then cut an X with scissors in the spot so when we put the straw in it, it wouldn't rip. The day of the party we filled the jars, put the liners on and stuck the straw in them.

 Mason Jar cutlery holders
Since using mason jars for the drinks, I decided to use some to hold the forks and spoons. I got a roll of really cute ribbon from Hobby Lobby and taped them to the top. It turned out cute! The ribbon tied the colors together and using the jars tied in the drinks too.
Water bottle labels

I wanted to pretty up the water bottles by replacing the brand labels with something to match the party. I found this link which has 5 labels on a sheet. I tore off the labels, cut these and taped them on with 2 inch tape. The only thing was they couldn't go in ice. We filled our fridge with 50 water bottles and sat them out. I didn't get to drink any so I hope they stayed chilled throughout the party! People thought I bought the bottles that way and they really liked them!

Veggie cups

I thought this would be a great way to keep Ranch dressing from being all over someones plate and our buffet, so we decided to do these cups. While people did eat them, I wish we had done these and refrigerated them that morning so we weren't assembling them when people starting coming over :) We just didn't have the room in the fridge, with 3 dozen cupcakes and 50 water bottles and all...I had already cut carrots, peppers and celery. We should have added some red and yellow peppers to help fill them up more. Ah well. Live and learn :)

High chair tutu
I knew I wanted to add some frilly to her high chair and found this tutu at Hobby Lobby. Luckily her high chair tray has a top tray that lifts out so you can put in the dishwasher so we just taped the ribbon under that tray. She didn't play with it as much as I thought. People loved it!

Balloon walkway

I found this picture on Pinterest and knew I wanted to do it. I didn't get a picture but we only lined up 6 balloons on one side of our sidewalk but I would have loved to fill it up like this one. I'm glad we didn't because it turned out so windy that day that they ended up laying on the ground anyway. It also started raining before the party was over and they all deflated due to the temperature dropping and the rain beating them. To stake them in the ground, I used golf tees and tied the ribbon around the top part.

I got rave reviews on my salsa. It's always been my go-to recipe for any function I've needed to bring food to. All of those garden tomatoes I got from my neighbors this year came in quite handy! I think I used roughly 20 cups of boiled and chopped tomatoes and we had a bit left over. I also used fresh jalepenos, lime and cannded whole chiles that I chopped up. Here's my normal, small batch recipe:

3 cans diced or petite diced tomatoes (I always used Hunts brand)
1 jar diced chiles
1 jalapeno, diced (or more to taste)
1 diced onion
juice of 1 lime
1-2 tspn minced garlic (I use the jar garlic)

Mix it all up, add salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate. It always taste better the next day or after being refrigerated a while. Everything is really to taste so add or take away what you don't like. :) One good thing about making it is testing it is taste testing along the way! I have also found that Ingles sells the hottest jalapenos.. Really weird but it's true.. I've bought from every grocery store and theirs have always been hotter.

I will be posting the party pictures soon :)

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