Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ava's First Birthday, a recap

We celebrated Ava's first birthday party last weekend, a celebration that was long over due. I'd been planning her party for a couple of months, pinning things on Pinterest, making the decorations, etc. Her hospital stay and emergency surgery pushed everything back two weeks, but it worked out okay in the end. 

I decided to go with a circus/carnival theme, with the colors red, turquoise and yellow. 

Luckily, I had help with the food. Julie, from It's Sew Stinkin' Cute, took Friday off of work and came over bright and early to help. We had fun making all of the goodies. Chocolate covered pretzels, dipped marshmallows, layered jello, shortbread cookies from scratch. It was a smorgasbord of sugary goodness. I also made crackers and star shaped cheese, and star shaped pastry puffs on sausages, but those aren't as colorful and fancy. I love how we stuck with the color theme. I'll have to do a tutorial on the pretzels soon, they were super easy (or at least, they looked easy, since Julie did those), and I've heard of places selling them for $1 a piece. We made 30 of them for under $7.

I made three centerpieces that were super easy to make. I went onto Google, typed in (animal name) clip art, found a shape I liked, and printed it out. I then cut it out, traced it onto cardstock, and cut that out. The saddle and the base were found on the Silhouette store, which cost me 99 cents (under their circus elephant cut out), I just resized it to each animal. Once it was assembled, I backed it all with black cardstock. The stars I got for 20 cents a piece (4th of July decorations at Hobby Lobby) and the blue star weight I found at Party City for a dollar. So each centerpiece cost me about $2 a piece. 

I was really impressed with the smash cake. I got it from a local lady named Elizabeth who runs Poppy Locks. I sent her some pics of cakes that I liked, and she took those ideas and created this masterpiece. I loved it. Did I mention that the inside was marbled with different colors? How awesome is that? The simple pennant across the top was made at the last minute. I just cut out triangles out of left over invites, glued them on a string, and glued the ends to straws. The wall banner was simple to make. I printed out letters in a circus font, cut them out, cut out carstock in a triangle shape, punched out circles, and glued it all together. The party favors were drink tumblers that I bought at Party City for $1 a piece. We didn't have an age group that we stuck to when we invited kids. All of our friends kids were welcome, so I needed a favor that was good for a one year old, up to a ten year old. 

We also did a photo booth. Luckily, my husband is a graphic designer and designed the background based on a few examples I sent to him. Julie (thank you!) play paparazzi with her awesome camera. It really took the stress off of me, being able to just enjoy the party and not stress about taking pics. I made the props out of cardstock and kebab skewers. I just went to google, typed in the different shapes I wanted, found a pic that I liked, printed out the pic in the size I wanted, and cut it out and used it as a stencil on the cardstock. The fake suckers were purchased at Party City for 50 cents a piece, and the clown noses were $2.

Did you see Ava's dress? My mom and I made her a ringmaster dress! I bought the pattern when it was on sale at Hancock Fabrics for $1. The fabric cost me about $4 at Hobby Lobby. I already had the gold buttons and the gold trim, so her dress cost me about $5. For her smash cake, I found a shirt on clearance at Kohls for $2 (and I had a 30% off coupon). It said "Cutest Birthday Girl Ever". I knew that she would get messy, and I didn't want to worry about staining anything. 

Thank you for letting me share! Hopefully you enjoyed our birthday party on a budget as much as we did!

And one final recap?


Let's party...

11 people love me:

Elaine Welte said... [Reply to comment]

Absolutely adorable!

Bella @ Bella before and after said... [Reply to comment]

I love it girl, everything turned out so cute. The decorations, are amazing. The photo booth, way cool, and Ava is just a doll, I love her little smile, soooo cute.

Now tell me girl, when the heck did you cut your hair?

Did I miss the post where you told us? You look smashing yourself mama, seriously cute, you pull it off perfectly!!!

Good job Jenn, everything turned out great, I'm so glad to see everyone smiling, happy AND healthy!!!

Hugs, Bella :)
Bella Before and After - WIWW post
Euro Style Cakes.

Ness said... [Reply to comment]

OK, Google ate my comment! Grrr...

Anyway, from memory(hah!) the colors and party were phenomenal! Like the concept of a smash cake. Ava looked so happy. Who can not believe in God when you see where that little one started at birth and where she is now. Love the dress you made for her. Now can you plan my daughter's wedding for Sept. 12? :-) Outdoor, inexpensive and meaningful. Hugs to the birthday girl! She has captured my heart!

SkinnyMeg said... [Reply to comment]

So fun, what a great party!! I love love love the photo booth, great pics!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Aw, that lpoke like such a fun day! I'm so glad you finally got to celebrate sweet Ava's birthday together. Your family has been through so much and certainly deserved this day of celebration and happiness. Great job on all of the snazzy, affordable decor!

Thanks for sharing at So Sweet Sundays! :)

-Lidy said... [Reply to comment]

Everything looked great!!! I want to eat some of those pretzel sticks...yum! I absolutely LOVE the colors of the smash cake.

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

WOW! What a great job! :)

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

You went to a lot of work, and it turned out so fun!

annies home said... [Reply to comment]

looks like an awesome party where all goers can have fun and the guest of honor has the best seat in the house come see what I shared at

Janice said... [Reply to comment]

Just realized I never commented and told you how great all this was! I LOVE the photo booth idea. Those pictures are so great.

And thanks for my 5 cool points for commenting. I needed them today. I'm feeling more like a flabby, frumpy, sleepy milk machine today.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

This looks fantastic! Nice job:)
Also love the props for the photo booth.