Friday, December 21, 2012

Talia's Third Birthday {Garden Theme}

Our little girl turned three last month and we celebrated by throwing her a garden party. It was such a great day and she really enjoyed it.
This year I didn't have a lot of time to spend preparing for her party. I went super simple but still made it look very cute and handmade. Little effort, big impact!
Here are a few tips on throwing a simple but cute party:

1. When decorating, focus on one or two areas.
Don't feel like you have to fill every nook and cranny with decorations. Instead, make one or two areas the focal point. I always like making a pretty dessert table area, perhaps a photo display spot and I'll do just a few touches of decor around the food table.

2. It doesn't have to be expensive or time consuming to look great
I went to Michaels while they were having a sale on their scrapbook paper and picked out 12 sheets of paper in my color scheme for about $3. Out of those 12 pages I made:
- two wall banners
- the cake bunting
- three dozen cupcake toppers
- a few circle garlands
All that for less than the cost of a Starbucks latte and I had paper to spare! These decorations were so simple to make that it took me just one evening to make them.
-The cupcake toppers are just a scalloped circle punch glued to a toothpick
-I cut out the banner and the cake bunting flags and fed the paper through my sewing machine. I was actually joking with a friend that I sew more paper than fabric! I used wooden skewer sticks for the cake bunting.
-For the circle garland I cut a bunch of 1" circles with a punch and (you guessed it) sewed them together.

 3. Keep It Simple, Sister!
A little can go a long way. Don't think you need to go all out to make an impact. For the goodie bags I threw some treats in a brown paper bag and stapled a doily on it. Easy: check, cute: check :)
I also had packaged-up cookies for the adults to take. I bought a pack of paper cd sleeves, put in some store bought cookies, sealed it with washi tape and voila.

4. Know your (non)strengths and don't sweat it
Baking is not a big strength of mine so all the goodies and desserts were store bought. I just ordered the cake and cupcakes from my local grocery store (Stater Bros. for those of you in Southern California.) I asked them to ice the cake with that choppy look and for the cupcakes to ice them smooth and flat.
Store bought ease, homemade look :)
All the other cookies and treats were bought at Costco and put on pretty plates. So many people asked me if I had baked everything!

5. Use what you have
I used a lot of things that I already had in my house to decorate. The birdhouses, the crates, the old suitcases... they were things that I already owned. A few other things were borrowed like the Chinese paper umbrellas. No need to go buy new stuff, just shop your house for things you can use. If you don't own it and can't borrow it then take a look at thrift stores or yard sales.

6. Have fun and don't get overwhelmed 
The internet is a great resource and you can find so many good ideas online but sometimes it's easy to fall into the idea that everything needs to be picture perfect and "Pinterest-worthy." Let go of perfection, make it your own and have a good time :)

This is always a nice touch for birthday parties. Print out some of your favorite pictures from the year and use clothes pins and string to make a pretty photo display.
A few touches of decoration for the food table
I bought a bunch of $1 wooden bird houses from JoAnn's and set them out for the kids to paint. This was a great activity for both the younger and older kids.
Talia and her Yaya

hint- garbage bag smocks for the little ones is a good idea ;)

I asked two girls from our church to do balloon animals, face painting and to help with the birdhouses. They were awesome with the kids and it was a huge help to me!
Batman face paint for my girl per her request. She is such a character :)

PiƱata time!

Happy Birthday my beautiful three year old!


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