real parties: arts & crafts

Creative doesn’t even begin to describe this art party, submitted by Brooke. She used a rainbow of colors to decorate and let imaginations run wild by offering a variety of arts and crafts projects. Even the desserts are cheerful and bright, with a painter’s palette cake as the piece de resistance. The craft ideas are fantastic... The kids got to do everything from painting a mural on a sheet of drywall, to decorating rainbow cupcakes and creating their own pinwheels. Brooke has links to all the craft tutorials through her blog, in case you want to try some of these wonderful projects with your kids.

{images via shorties funny farm}

Merry Happy by CAKE. | County Fair Invite

I've been secretly working on a project for Michele from Cakewalk Baking and I've been dying to share it with you. At last the time has come! Michele's son Graham is turning 5 at the end of October and I'm assisting her with what promises to be a fun-tastic County Fair themed party. She had the brilliant idea to incorporate a prize ribbon, so I used her inspiration to create a custom invitation & ticket set (now available on Etsy). She printed them out on brown kraft paper with a coordinating red envelope, and I couldn't be happier with the results. I can't wait to share the party pictures with you next month...

custom inspiration board: classic trucks

Christina is throwing a 'classic truck' 2nd birthday party for her son in March. She wanted to focus on 50's chevrolet pickups using the colors cherry red, deep grey and white. The theme left me with the image of a country drive in the spring, so I thought it would be fun to create the party like an outdoor picnic with diner style food and rustic details...

: Classic Trucks

Party Ideas
Colors: red, white and dark grey
Setting: a rustic, country style backyard party
Decorations: create a logo of a single classic truck and use it for the invitations and party printables. for the tables, use red and white patterned tablecloths and wildflowers in mason jars to lend a rustic outdoor feel, and search ebay for vintage truck toys and models to be used as centerpieces. consider using wagons to hold party supplies and let kids take rides. set out some rubber tires that can be stuffed with toss pillows for seating. write the food menu and other notes on chalkboards, diner style.
Food: if possible, consider using a food truck to cater the party or a retro ice cream truck for dessert. otherwise, set up a buffet on the edge of a truck's flatbed using a board underneath to create a smooth surface. consider american home-style foods like mac & cheese, baked beans, potato salad and apple pie, with lemonade to drink.
Activity & Favors: purchase small simple wood trucks from a local craft store and have kids decorate or paint them to bring home. if dry in time, you could even hold a soapbox derby for the older kids.

Photo Credits
Row 1: truck print via
etsy; invite via etsy; wood truck via spearmint baby
Row 2: wagon via
brides; centerpiece via snippet & ink; cupcake toppers via paper & pigtails
Row 3: candy jar via
our semihomemade life; sandwich cut outs via jack & izzy; picnic table via the party dress
Row 4: child via
imprintables; setting via snippet & ink; gable box via tomkat studio; food truck via unruly things

real parties: monkeys and bananas

I flipped for this banana split party created and sent in by Mini Gaga from her son Jacob's 3rd birthday. So many clever DiY touches! The three layer cake matches the party colors in a combo of chocolate, vanilla and red velvet. It's covered in a buttercream frosting with DiY fondant monkeys... and wow does it look delicious. The cupcakes have little monkey faces made following instructions from the frosted cake n cookie . To top the banana splits there was assorted candy, chocolate topping, cherries and sprinkles, along with coconut ice in yellow to match...

{images via mini gaga & printables via chickabug}

and here is the inspiration board that started it all... what a delightful twist on a classic theme!

real parties: 80th birthday luau

Sally Ann of Invited Ink sent me these fantastic photos of her Grandfather's Hawiian style 80th birthday luau. Her family wanted him to feel like he was home in O'ahu for the evening, so they had Kona Deep water, Hawaiian Sun Soda and poi flown in for the occasion. Recycled coke bottles were used for the centerpieces and tikis to decorate the tables. They created beautiful chains of paper flowers and even collected vintage materials including fabric swatches, souvenirs scarfs and Hawaiian shirts for the handmade banner. I was so enamored by the detail and creativity put into this event that I was thrilled to discover Sally Ann lives in the Bay Area too. We've even decided we'll have to join forces on a project or two... but that's a story for another day. ;)

{photos by krista lund}

custom inspiration board: a girly garden party

Melanie is having her daughter's 1st birthday in an amazing garden setting called My Big Backyard in Memphis and wanted to include some girly details to add a sense of elegance and enchantment to the occasion for both adults and children. She also wanted to highlight the special date since the party falls on 10.10.10.

: Girly Garden Elegance

Party Ideas
Colors: pinks, orange & yellow
Setting: a outdoor 1st birthday soiree held in a large botanic garden.
Invitations: create a logo highlighting the special date of the party (10.10.10) and ask guests to join in 'an enchanted afternoon in the garden'.
Decorations: although the location itself offers a beautiful setting, add to the ambiance by hanging different textures and lengths of brightly colored ribbons from trees and tied to chair backs. add centerpieces of lush flowers to tables draped in bold fabrics. group large paper pom flowers as accents wher
ever possible.
Food: offer a light lunch of tea sandwiches, salads, fruit and kid friendly fare. create a dessert station with an abundance of cupcakes and bite sized treats. to drink, bring oversized jars of lemonade and pink lemonade with slices of lemons mixed in.

Favors: bubble 'wands' tied with ribbon streamers and bottles of bubbles (to play off the '0's in the date).

Photo Credits
Row 1: table scape, invite and gifts via martha stewart; paper lanterns via beau coup
Row 2: macaroons via taste; tent streamers via karen wise
Row 3: poms via imprintables; tent bunting via once wed; flower martini via snippet & ink; cupcake tower via jose villa
Row 4:
flower cake via the tomkat studio; posy cupcakes via country living; ; bubbles via style me pretty; cookies via amy atlas

real parties: sweet vintage in salmon & teal

It seems I've been featuring a lot of vintage looks lately... which really only goes to show that the classics never go out of style! This party came to me from a blogging friend who wishes to remain anonymous. I just had to share a few of her party photos because the color combo is so uniquely beautiful and the handmade details like the embroidery hoops, pom garland and flowers are truly inspired. If you're as interested as I am in creating your own paper flowers, here is the link to a wonderful tutorial (and blog as it happens).

{e-mail for source info}

real parties: vintage barbie

Evelyn submitted this classic barbie party in celebration of her daughter Mackenzie's 6th birthday. It all started with a creative Barbie cake using an actual barbie doll for the body. The rest was inspired by the black & pink color scheme and vintage silhouette of barbie, which was incorporated in everything from the invites to the decor... even the birthday girl's t-shirt. You may recall I created a custom inspiration board for a barbie party some months back, and this party is the perfect compliment to the look I had in mind.

{images via evelyn meade}

real parties: sailing away

Anna of Around My Table shared this darling sailing inspired party created for her son Phillip's 3rd birthday. He loves boats and the sea so his only birthday wish was for a choco boat cake... it was granted of course, along with a beautiful display of classic nautical details.

{images via Around My Table}