wedding and baby inspiration, diy, design and other loveliness

Construction Birthday Party

Yes, yes, it seems as if the blog has become the neglected second child but my excuse is–I had a second child. With that said, I have a post loaded with visual goodies for you. Motherhood has been extremely busy but another great part of it, you get to throw your kids fun birthday parties and see their happy faces when they see the final result. This year, we were originally supposed to be in Maui for a wedding but plans fell through and we decided to host a small birthday party for my son’s third birthday. I asked my son if he preferred a construction themed party or a fire truck party. (He loves all things transportation so I had to narrow it down for him). We decided to go with the construction party because he has tons of construction trucks already. I wanted to keep it low budget and an easy DIY construction theme party mainly because on the limited amount of planning time and my home isn’t that big. For the party itself, while there are some really cool black and yellow theme construction parties out there, I wanted to change it up with some color.

Construction Party Invitations
For the invitations, I’ve always found blueprints to be just so cool and I thought it would be a fun way to incorporate into the party invitation and mail it off in a shipping tube. The kids had a blast receiving it in the mail. A little on the pricey side to ship, but with a small guest list of ten, it was manageable. Because the intent was for the invitation to be “blueprint”esque–large and thin paper.  I ended up just printing them on my laser printer which also reduced cost.

construction party invitation

Construction Party Invitaton

Construction Party Decorations
I had a lot of leftover yellow tissue paper from a previous project that I used to make some tissue garlands around the house. I found an easy tutorial from Martha Stewart that I used.

Tissue paper garland

The backdrop was created from blue paint chips from the local hardware store. Over it, I had cut out a cardboard L and lined it with yellow tissue paper tassel. By the way, a leveler is your best friend for this particular task. Don’t mind the last few greenish paint chips, my husband grabbed the wrong colors 😛

DIY paint chip backdrop

My son loves egg tarts so rather than cupcakes, we decided to go with some egg tarts and the yellow color of the tart matched so well. Also with younger kids, I’m just hesitant to turn the party into a sugar fest. We can save that for my birthday 🙂 The translucent acrylic cake topper is something in the works in our store so if you’re interested, feel free to contact me. Moving on…

number cake topper

My son loves to turn anything he can into a road for his cars and trucks to travel on. I thought it would be fun to make him some XL roads–or as my son calls them, “woads” for the party. I lined the tables with some black paper and using some bright yellow duct tape, added the yellow lines and dashes. I’m in awe of the color duct tape selection nowadays! For the table settings, I also cut some slits into yellow paint chips and stuck in the utensils. Also included, obligatory striped paper straws.

diy roads

Construction Party Decorations

Construction Party Activities
This was one of the more fun parts of the party planning. Now if you’ve ever had more than three kids over playing at your house, you know it can turn into quite a mess with the toys everywhere and then the wonderful “sharing” going on. I find sometimes with toddlers, they play better with each other when there isn’t anything to fight over. Since my son’s birthday is in the winter, it’s a crapshoot to do it at a party where the kids can burn off energy running around so I wanted set up construction related activities or stations for the kids to participate in. I also happen to have a handy button maker my husband gifted me a few years back so the idea came about have the kids each complete a station and “achieve” a skill button to pin onto their tool belt that they would all receive at the beginning of the party along with a construction party hat.

construction party tool belt

construction party hats

construction party games

One of my favorite stations was the hammer and nails station. I found this great activity idea off Pinterest. You basically mimic hammering a nail but you use golf tees and styrofoam blocks. The kids loved this! A little noisy, but safer than a real hammer and nail! Now, I don’t know about you but I searched far and wide for some kid toy hammer favors to use but all I could find were the ones sold in sets and inflatable ones. I mentioned my hammer distress one day to a family friend and being the handy guy that he is, he volunteered to make some mini-sized mallets for the party! He had an old wooden closet rod that he cut up, drilled a hole into and glued a small dowel into. It was the PERFECT size for the kids and had such a natural look and feel to it. I told him he should start selling these himself!

kid toy hammers

Another favorite activity was the bulldozer stations. My toddler loves loves loves to bulldoze anything–like most little boys his age. He will take puzzle pieces, legos, blocks and just doze and dump all day long. This sparked the idea of the bulldozer yard. I set up three large trays and filled them with beans and dry macaroni. I just couldn’t deal with sand and dirt in the house 😛 although I am still finding pinto beans on the ground. Inside each child’s toolbox, they received a small construction truck to take to the construction yard to dig around. I also threw in some “lumber” for good measure.

My son was at this station for about four hours (with a lunch break of course) and the kids all played at this station the longest. Later on, I did notice that my brilliant idea wasn’t so brilliant and was done many times on Pinterest already. HA! Oh well, here’s to sensory play!

diy construction party activities

Construction party activities
Construction party activities
Construction Party Toolbox
Each child received a little toolbox with some goodies with a little DIY flair. 

Tool box party favor

Construction party favors
Initially, I was going to purchase a few small construction books but being the graphic designer that I was, IT DIDN’T MATCH! So utilizing some stock art and my handy dandy Xacto knife, I put together some custom construction coloring books.

Construction Coloring Book
construction-coloring-book

I mentioned my son’s love of “woads” right? Whenever we go out to a restaurant, he will grab whatever he can to make a track or a “woad”: chopsticks, napkins, whatever. I saw the idea of DIY felt roads awhile back and thought it would be a fun addition to the toolbox. I dubbed them, “Ride-Along-Roads”. I basically cut up strips of black and felt and once again utilized my yellow duct tape for the dashes. Each set of roads came in a little muslin bag to take with you when you are out. A great way to occupy the kids at restaurants when waiting for the food.

DIY felt roads

I also found some awesome inkjet tattoo paper on Amazon! You can print out any design you want.

dump truck tattoos

The adults also got a sweet treat to take home. I made some not so appropriately named for a kid party “Better than Sex” Chex Mix for each family. Apparently everyone couldn’t stop eating and finished within minutes.

dump-truck

All month long he watched as his sleep deprived mother labor over his party assets, he would ask “Is that for my construction party?” In the end my son loved the party and the look on his face was priceless. I would do it all over again 🙂 Hope you guys enjoyed it as much as he did!

 

Here are some other great construction themed birthday party invites for your party from my Zazzle store.

  1. Excavator Party Invitation 2. Dump Truck Party Invitation

excavator party   dump truck party invitation

Little Man First Birthday Theme

Last weekend we celebrated another first birthday! At first, the idea of going small for my little man’s party did cross my mind but that idea didn’t keep for very long. Birthdays should be celebrated and I wanted to do just that. I wanted to throw a party to not only have a creative release but more so to show friends and family how much we appreciate them and to show my son how much we have enjoyed being his parents!

We threw him a little man theme birthday party with tops hats, bow ties and mustaches.

I really wanted to focus on the kids and entertain them. So I created a a table and a place setting for each kid with their names that consist of black construction paper as a place mat held down with washi tape and chalk for them to draw on the construction paper. With some help, I was able to make a top hat that floated above the center of the table.

Each place setting came with a box that had a handmade bowtie and bow clip (for the little ladies) and put in a kraft box tied with blue and white baker’s twine with a piece of washi tape. Each child got a mason jar with a vinyl mustache with a top that fits a straw. The wooden forks were wrapped with a striped washi tape and stamped with the letter “e” and a mini tote bag that I silkscreened with my gocco and heat bonded a fabric mustache on the bag to say “my stache”.

For food, the kiddos had a bunch of fun treats like fruit, mac and cheese, kettle popcorn, crackers and Fruit Crushers from Trader Joe’s. For the fresh kettle corn we got from the local farmer’s market, I used my gocco on sandwich bags to hold them in.

For the adults, I created a fun Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich) Bar! I had so much fun setting it up! My fave part was creating this infographic on how to make a banh mi.

I also made ice cream macarons!!!

The challenging thing that I did was I wanted to created a bench for a photobooth for the kiddos… made of cardboard. Yes, of cardboard. This by far was the most time consuming project I have even done! But with help from my awesome brother-in-law, we were able to get this bench done and it was AMAZING!

We had a play area and made chalkboards for the kids to draw on and a water table that was brought out at the end of the party that was a big hit!

Here are some more pictures from the party! I am still amazed that we got 17 little kiddos to sit at a table to eat!

Photobooth fun!

We would like to thank all our friends for helping us make this party possible. Also thank you for donating gifts to a local foster home instead of getting Ezra a birthday gift! We are so thankful!

Check out some of our favorite first birthday shirts!

  1. Balloon Baby’s First Birthday Shirt
  2. First Birthday Candle 1 Shirt

first birthday shirt   first birthday candle shirt

Days to Go Wedding Invitation

Discovered this lovely and unique wedding invitation titled “Days to Go” by Greek designer, Chiara Aliotta.  What an awesome concept. As you turn the wheel to line up the date, it lets you know how many days until the wedding!

From the designer,
“As soon as the couple announce their wedding, what every guest does is counting down the days.

This invitation has a calendar on one side that counts the days from the day the card will be send until the 11th of July 2012, day of the wedding.
Inspired by old vintage wheels, its assemblage and construction required accuracy both in the executive file and in print.

The symbol of Sicily, the Trischele, was reshaped for the event adding tulips, symbol of Holland.”

wheel-wedding-invitation
countdown-wedding-invitation red and orange wedding invitation images via Behance

Superhero / Villain Birthday Party

Over a week ago I threw my husband a fun birthday party for his 30th. He always thought it would be fun to see his friends dress up as super heroes and so I decided to throw one for him. Of course, we tried to keep our ideas to a minimum. =)

Here are some photos of the invites that I sent out to each guest confirmed they were coming. We told our guest that they needed to RSVP before finding any details of the event and this is what we came up with.

So Rachel made these awesome invites and we wanted to make sure it was a “mission” that people were taking. We made a folded card from cardstock paper {Strathmore is what we used} and on a separate card was printed and information. A photo and the information care was paper clipped to the folded card stock.


A small post-it had the time that they needed to be at the location. Rachel made a label that wrapped around the envelope.


We wanted to make this fun! In order to figure out the location of the party, the front part of the card had explained that they needed to use the marker and color the white area of the bottom half of the card and the location will appear. How we did this was that we wrote the location with white crayon which worked PERFECTLY!!!


The photo backdrop was a navy blue flat full bed sheet and we made the skyscraper out of black and yellow construction paper. Added some text and VOILA! 
 
Some VIP guests that attended the party: Optimus Prime, The Crow, Rogue, Wolverine, Chuck Bartowski, Sailor Moon, The Flash, OMG girl.


The Incredibles also made an appearance.


OMG Girl and The Flash duking it out. (Can you believe that Flash costume is all DIY!?)


While we were having fun… we did not forget the tragedy that was happening in Haiti and decided that instead of gifts… we asked our friends to donate money for relief for Haiti. “Heroes for Haiti”.

For centerpieces, I used black construction paper and cut out rectangular windows and folded it so that it had 4 panels to make a square. The center of the square we placed a votive and so light was shining through the windows of the mini skyscrapers.
 Red velvet and banana cake here by Icing on the Cake!

We had a blast!! It was definitely a great night! Happy Birthday Billy!

{Photo of invites taken by Manus Chau}
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