Evan’s Second Birthday: Decorations
After Evan’s big fancy over-done 1st birthday last year I swore I wouldn’t be doing a major party again until he was well into elementary school. But as this year’s birthday approached it occurred to me that throwing the party had very little to do with him and everything to do with ME. I wanted to celebrate the day I gave birth to my baby, I wanted to hang out with all my friends, I wanted to make my house pretty, I wanted to eat a disgusting amount of cake.
So I threw another party.
(Edited to remove my address & phone number so you can’t crazy stalk me. I know you were planning on it.)
I made the invitations on my computer with an old graphics program I
stole borrowed from my office job. Then I ordered them as matte photo prints from Snapfish using a coupon code. Total cost: $4.05
The biggest difference between throwing a first birthday party and throwing a second birthday party is that 2 year olds need to be entertained a lot more than 1 year olds. So I went with a play time theme featuring the three things Little Evan loves most in the world: bubbles, balls and balloons. Then I categorized all those things as “round” and ran with it. I ran like I was in the Boston Marathon being chased by rabid badgers on roller skates carrying flame throwers.
As usual, all the “tablecloths” are just yards of fabric from Joann’s. The ones on the main table are really 3 piece of fabric just laying there. I am too lazy to sew.
The ball pit is actually Little Evan’s birthday present from LAST year. We left it up in the living room for a few months but I eventually wanted my house back and put it away. He was REALLY excited to see it again and I’m sort of amazed it didn’t get popped considering how much fun was had in it.
A few decorating details:
I bought the bottles of bubbles at Michael’s ($3 for 6), cut scrapbook paper into strips and then printed the circle stickers I designed on sheets of label paper. I used a big hole puncher to cut them, stuck them on the paper and hot glued the paper around the bottles. Boom, party favors!
I bought a 50 balloon helium tank at BJ’s for $21 and my dad blew them all up for us. Some of the strings were long enough for the taller kids to grab, but Little Evan kept losing his so we made sure he always had them with him:
My mom had the brilliant idea to anchor some of the balloons with the adorable polka dot chalk we found at Michael’s ($1 for 5 pieces) and send them home with the kids.
There are also lots of round candies, so I filled a bunch of glass containers with them at stuck them on the mantel – jelly beans, peanut M & M’s, gum balls and DumDums. I ordered the giant rainbow lollipops from Oriental Trading Company and used more of my label paper, graphics program, and giant hole punch to make the stickers. Then I raided my milk glass collection for vases.
Other stuff I got from Oriental Trading:
And to round it all out (BA DUM CHING) I picked up flowers in the colors that matched my theme: yellow, orange, blue and green. I was very excited to find blue flowers – and NATURAL blue flowers at that!
You know what DIDN’T work out great? The bubble machine. It got sort of sticky during our pre-party trial run and didn’t make the huge number of bubbles it used to. I put it on the porch to avoid slippery floors but it made the floor out there slippery so I turned it off until the kids found it. I had imagined gorgeous photos of children and bubbles but didn’t get any at all. But when it WAS working (for about 10 minutes) the kids really liked it!
Actually, the kids liked all of it. Especially the birthday boy.
I had intended to just do one post for the whole party but this is getting ridiculously long, so I’ll save food for tomorrow. Or maybe later today. It really is the best part – I went a little crazy on the theme. I also ended up making the cake, frosting and filling from scratch (recipes and links coming soon!) so I need to give it the attention it deserves. And if you come to my house I have some left over for you to try. Please, please come eat this cake.
I linked up at Tip Junkie – she’s got some amazing parties on her site!