When I started planning my daughter Sophia’s second birthday party, I began with a cheerful color palette of red and yellow. For toddler parties, I think it’s more personal to incorporate a character that makes the birthday boy/girl smile. We decided on the classic illustration of Curious George because our daughter loves watching the show and often carries around her own stuffed monkey. The monkey/banana theme is also a perfect fit with red and yellow. To create a polished and charming design, I decided on polka dots and swooping/scalloped edges, and I think the combo turned out to be both cute and elegant. Because I’m a fashion designer, I turned to fabrics for color, texture, and pattern ideas and created a mood board to help me pull it all together.
I scanned images of Curious George from a plush book and included one on the invitation and a few others throughout the party. I created two versions of the invite: one in a lovely frame shape to snail-mail to schoolmates and family members (who’ve yet to enter the digital age!) and another one to email to our friends. The invite set the tone for the vintage-modern look that carried throughout the event.
We threw the party in Plantation, Florida’s Heritage Park because it has a covered playground for the tots and a shelter with picnic tables. For the overlays, I had fallen in love with a yellow and white striped fabric at Ikea, but it was discontinued. To recreate a similar look, I used yellow fabric with large abstract flowers. We had 6 picnic tables, a sweets table, and a food table. I custom made the table runners with mini-polka dot fabric, and for the tassels, I added the DIY rosettes from the tutorial by Paiges of Style.
The showstopper of the party was the sweets table. In the center, I placed the striking DIY red cake stand. I made it with a candleholder and a Lazy Susan from Ikea. After attaching them with a long wood screw, I spray painted it red. The bold color really showed off the white fondant rum cake from Edda’s Cake Designs, which I dressed up with a ribbon and yellow orchids.
I baked vanilla and chocolate cupcakes and finished them with wrappers and toppers of my own design. I also decorated a few of them with the DIY rosettes from Paiges of Style’s tutorial. This gave the table a feminine touch. To create the DIY cake stands, I attached square dinner plates to candleholders. In the candy section of the sweets table, the color theme continued with pops of bright yellow and red candies accompanied by lollipops I brought from a recent visit to my family in Puerto Rico.
This was my first DIY party, and I wanted to make everything myself. But, as my to-do list grew and grew, I started ordering a few things. Lilly, from I heart Sugar Sugar, created the cute and delicious Curious George cookies and number 2 cookies, which helped to tie the monkey character to the sweets table. My cousin Michelle from Mommy Love made the cake pops.
We rented a snow cone machine and made the frozen treats even more special with traditional syrop de piragua, another find from Puerto Rico. Everybody loved the unexpected tropical flavors.
For the youngsters, I wanted to create a comfortable and entertaining environment. Rented kid-sized chairs from Panache Linens and Ikea’s side tables (for the “kids tables”) were the perfect fit. I set up a couple of “Doodling Desks” and a “Play-Doh Place,” and these were a hit with the kids (and easy!).
Before they left the park, party goers filled their goodie-bags with candy, Curious George books, bubbles, and punch balloons.
Paper Goods - Party In Style by elle http://www.facebook.com/PartyInStyle
Cake - Edda's Cake Designs http://www.cakedesignsbyedda.com/
Cookies - I Heart Sugar Sugar http://iheartsugarsugar.com/
Cake Pops - Mommy Love http://www.facebook.com/MommyLovePR
Candy - Bulk Candy Store http://www.bulkcandystore.com/
Linens - Panache http://www.linenswithpanache.com/, Party In Style by elle elle http://www.facebook.com/PartyInStyle
Fabrics - Ikea http://www.ikea.com/us/en/, Jo-Ann http://www.joann.com/joann/home/home.jsp
Tables, candle holders- Ikea http://www.ikea.com/us/en/
Curious George Books - Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/
Punch Balloons, Bubbles - Target http://www.target.com/