Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Arts and Crafts Birthday Party

We had Curly's 8th birthday party here on Saturday. I'm blogging about it now, on Tuesday, because, quite frankly, I'm still recovering. Invited were fifteen 7 and 8 year olds. At the last minute, 4 backed out, leaving us with the perfect amount of eleven.

Now let me be perfectly honest: I LOVE planning parties. I love dreaming up theme ideas, and then once we've chosen one I love thinking up cute invitations. I love coming up with party activities and of course I love dreaming up and making the cake.

All that thinking and planning and creating comes with one distinct disadvantage: by the time the party rolls around, I'm a little bit over it.

Nonetheless, I do want to toot my own horn, so first up is the invitations:

I was so pleased with the way these turned out. They were a fair amount of effort but once I was finished I was so glad I did them. (Thanks for helping me with the blurring, Sharon!) I had to:

Pop all the paint colors out. This was easy as the sets were cheapies from the Dollar Tree.

Then I cut out each of the ovals. This was the MOST time consuming part. About 3/4 of the way through I realized it was much quicker if I made a slit with the Xacto knife and then cut with scissors. If you are going to do this, go that route. Trust me.

I had printed the wording on colored paper that mimicked the original paint tray and cut them down to size to fit in the back of the plastic tray, lining the wording up with the middle of the oval. I didn't do anything fancy to stick them down. Scotch Tape was my friend.

I made a little paint splatter page for the back of the "Come Join Us" tag.

Then I put the whole thing together.

And sent them off to school with a very excited Curly.

Side note: People have gotten really, really bad about RSVPing, it seems. However, rather than having the parents call me, I gave my email address and every single parent sent me a message. I wonder if it has to do with how quick and easy it is to dash off an email rather than make a phone call.

And so every girl was coming. What to do AT the party?

Well we settled on painting pictures, making cootie catchers, coloring placemats (thank you Target Dollar Spot)and making aprons. Then the aprons were shipped too late to make it to the party (thanks for nothing, Amazon) and the aprons became T-shirts instead.

And of course, there was the cake. I made the fondant and the big cake on Friday night (one o'clock in the morning is just so late. Blah!) Then I tasked Husband with the job of cutting the cake into a artist's palette shape. Here he is, trying to pretend it's not crumbling like crazy so his wife doesn't crumble like crazy:

I knew I'd like it better if he cut the shape than if I cut the shape. Plus I preferred to have someone else to blame if it looked less like a palette and more like Pac Man. But he did well. (And now you've seen a picture of Husband. Isn't he handsome?)

Then I covered it with the fondant:

That was before I managed to smooth it a little bit better. It was just barely enough fondant and I had to try to lay it on there 3 times before I was successful.

Then I colored some buttercream frosting and spooned it on there to look like paint, utilizing some paint brushes to somewhat mask a couple of fondant imperfections. And Voila! A cake fit for Da Vinci:

We just used plates and napkins in different colors from the Dollar Tree to represent the colors from the invitations and the cake and it all pulled together really nicely. Our favors were these darling wooden frames with 3 little containers of paint each, also from the Target Dollar Spot.

So let's breakdown what this all cost:

$15 in invitations (Just the paint. I had the rest.)
$11 in placemats (I returned the unused ones)
$2 in scrapbook paper for Cootie catchers (Target Dollar Spot)
$12 in T-shirts
$5 in brushes
$10 in fabric paint
$6 in cake supplies
$6 in plates, cups, etc.
$15 in favors

For a grand total of $82 spent.

Not too shabby. Who says you can't do a party on a budget? I think the girls had a good time and Curly declared it a success, which is, after all, the point of all that work.

Next up: Peanut's birthday at the end of this month and StinkyMan's at the end of March. I'm already dreaming themes and schemes.


  1. I love the invites, and the cake is amazing! What I really like is the email suggestion instead of the phone number, though. It is so easy for me to RSVP to emails as I'm at the computer 24/7 but my cell isn't always with me
    - I wish more parents would give email as an option instead of a phone number.

  2. Awesome! You are so creative! Tell hubby he did a great job cutting the cake. I know your other cakes have been decorated with frosting. Did you like the fondant better or worse than the frosting?
    Ditto Emily... I like the email RSVP as well.

  3. hey, nice blog…really like it and added to bookmarks. keep up with good work

  4. Woah! It is awesome! My daughter loves painting a lot and a cake like this would be such a fantastic idea. I have booked a convention center nearby for her birthday celebration and I am planning to invite all the relatives and her friends to the party.