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.


Dining Room

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.

Entryway - please ignore one wonky circle in the banner. It's glitter paper and my sticker didn't stick


Living Room - I made the banners with scrapbook paper, my printer and salad bowls for circle tracing

Living Room

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.

I love this picture the most because you can see decorations in both rooms, the gorgeous colors, and the children having a great time


Blurry photos of other people's kids to protect privacy

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:

That's the shirt I made! The same fabric is on my headband and on the entry table.

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.

Adorable, right?

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:


Party Lanterns (And they fold up, so they're reusable!)

Beach balls and mini beach balls - perfect sized for small hands and helped fill up the pit nicely. I *think* some of the kids took them home (which was the plan) but we still have tons. They were cheap.

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.

How can I help but give this kid the best parties I can?

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!

Tip Junkie handmade projects

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31 Responses to “Evan’s Second Birthday: Decorations”

  1. Amanda says:

    Fantastic, of course! I LOVE the colors! Little Evan looks like he had a great time too!

  2. Cole says:

    Mommy and I have been waiting for party posts! You set the bar high last year – and it looks like you’ve exceeded expectations :)

  3. Shari says:

    Oh wow, what a party! It’s obvious how much time and dedication you put into everything – and also obvious how much your little guy enjoyed it. What a special celebration!

  4. Jennie says:

    LOOOOOOOVVVVVVEEE IIIIIIIIIIIIT! I actually was waiting on pins and needles to see everything form his birthday. Especially after I saw what yo did last year! I love knowing that someone else I know goes boinkers for birthdays and runs with themes as much as I do!

  5. Krista T says:

    1) I LOVE that you can admit it was for you, LOL!!!
    2) It sounds like you had a GREAT time decorating AND celebrating.
    3) I love the flowers!!!! I need to see lots and lots more flowers to get me thru these next few rainy days, LOL!
    4) I spy…. April’s M! LOL!

    Thanks for sharing all your beautiful pictures!!!

  6. TMae says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY EVAN! And Suzanne! The party looks like it was so much fun, and the decorations are perfect! (Of course!)

  7. Very creative and awesome! And it looked like Evan loved every minute!

  8. Other Erin says:

    I could write a book on what I know about natural blue flowers. Hydrangea was the correct choice.

  9. Ms. Megan says:

    ohmigoodness!! This party looks super awesome!!! I want to come to the next one!! ;) I love the theme and all the super decorations!!!! You should be a party planer girl!! xoxo

  10. Natalie says:

    Wow lady, you outdid yourself! It looks fantastic, and I love all the little details. I’m glad the birthday boy had an awesome day!

  11. I love it!!! The chalk balloon anchor is genius. I see where you get your smarts.

  12. Julie S. says:

    What a great theme! I love all of the photos- so fun!

  13. Kimberly says:

    I’ve decided you should write a book about kids’ parties, and I will buy it, because I can’t get enough :)

  14. Everything looked AMAZING! I adore the colors!

  15. Other Erin says:

    You are such a tease about posting the food stuff later today. I’ve checked back about 12 times since I read this post this morning. Of course, I realize you have a life, two kids, out of town guests and a house that probably needs some post-party clean up but just know I’m anxiously waiting. :)

    • bebehblog says:

      Well, I was going to post it tomorrow, but because I don’t want to torture you I will go finish it now and save adorable pics of my friend’s kids for tomorrow :)

  16. sara says:

    super cute!! so sad we couldn’t make it! the food looked awesome too! =)
    lookin forward to seeing you and your clan in a month!

  17. trisha says:

    found you through tip junkie’s linky party. This party looks awesome, so pretty and very creative. You filled it with lots of love!!!

  18. Jacki says:

    seriously? why haven’t you started your business?
    what are you waiting for?

    You, my friend, should be making some money doing this!!

  19. OMG can you please plan Mason’s 2nd birthday?! You’ve got 11 months. Pretty please?! LOL

  20. Sarah-Anne says:

    dude, i wanna come next year. because you throw AWESOME parties. just saying!

  21. So colorful and fun looking!!

  22. andrea says:

    WOW. This is just priceless. The food looks absolutely delicious. What a fun party :)

  23. […] old is such a fun age. Kids are really coming into their personality and able to express themselves. Suzanne from Bebehblog decided the best way to celebrate her son Evan’s second birthday was to focus on his favorite […]

  24. Ginny says:

    Stumbled upon your blog while searching for party ideas for a Bubbles, Balls and Balloons party for my upcoming baby’s 2nd birthday. Let’s just say you had me at big fancy over-done first birthday — I rented out a pool. I love your ideas and plan to use some of them thank you very much. Particularly the chalk and balloons! Very awesome. Thanks for listing where you got all of the stuff

  25. […] shop. I relocated them from our entrance bench. -The fabric on the garland was tablecloths at Little Evan’s 2nd birthday. -The plates are straight up dinner plates from our cabinet, purchased at Walmart in 2001. 6. The […]

  26. Jenna says:

    I have been looking for a ball pit like the one you have! Where did you find it? or what brand is it?

  27. Ashley says:

    Where did you get your invitations from? I am looking everywhere for something just like that. :)

    • bebehblog says:

      Ashley – I actually made them! I would send you a template but it was with an ancient photo editing program on my old, old work computer and I can’t open it or edit it any longer. I am sure you can find something like it on Etsy!

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