One of the best things about having a winter-themed birthday party a week after Christmas is that you can find snowmen and snowflakes EVERYWHERE! Seriously...decorating for this party was really pretty simple because there were so many fun, inexpensive things to use to make your house feel more "wintry".
I was a little bummed that all of our snow melted the DAY before Blake's winter wonderland party, so I decided to make my own snow for the house. I raided my mom's quilting supplies and "borrowed" some batting. I used it to spread across my goodie bag table and dining room table to make it look like snow. I think it was a really fun touch. You can get a whole bag of batting for around $5
I was also able to find a ton of different snowflake decorations in the Christmas clearance bins and I hung them from all the light fixtures and chandeliers in our house (you can see just a few hanging in the picture above). I wish I would have taken more pictures of those because they looked cute hanging all over the house :-)
And speaking of cute...I am all about cute birthday banners. My bloggy friend Miss V offered to make me one and so did my cousin Amy. But in the end, Jan came through with something really special. The pennants are made of fabric and the ribbon is strung through the top. She used fun, unisex colors so that I can use a longer ribbon to add Blake or Addie's name on the end of it. For this party, I chose to hang the "Blake" portion above the gift table, and the "Happy Birthday" portion in our entryway. I think it turned out ADORABLE and we can reuse it for both kids birthdays every year :-)
My mom claims the banner was really easy to make. She just sewed a bunch of white pennants and then used iron on letters cut from coordinating pieces of bright fabric. Here is a close-up...
Now, even though I only asked my mom to make a banner, she also whipped up this precious snowman sign with the number "1". I think this is SO FREAKING CUTE!!! The metal frame that holds it can be reused so my mom is making me a bunch of different flags for seasons/holidays/birthdays.
At first I wanted to get a second "Happy Birthday" banner to hang on my fireplace since it seemed so bare, but then I remembered all those pictures I printed for Blake's scrapbook (that did not get entirely finished for the party) so I bought some coordinating scrapbook paper, matted them, and hung them on a ribbon with spiral paper clips. I put it together pretty fast, but I thought it turned out cute...
Everyone enjoyed looking at all of his pictures and it was a fun way to display them.
Before we move on to the next picture, I just want you all to know that I am aware that these cupcakes are not cute. They are homemade and they look homemade. In fact, they look like Blake made them himself. But because I wanted them fresh before the party, I stayed up baking all of them on New Years Eve. And I was tired. And I wanted to spend time with Eric. So I rushed them a little. The idea was to make the frosting nice and fluffy like snow and then use these great blue sugar sprinkles my SIL Diana got me to make them sparkle. Then of course I was going to stick a snowman on the top of ALL of them...that is until I realized how long it took to make one snowman. So I just used them as toppers. I am not proud...but here they are...
See what I mean? Not that cute. BUT...in my opinion...I think they were DELICIOUS! I love fluffy whipped cream frosting and I am a sucker for sprinkles. So even though they didn't look cute, they still tasted fantastic. And really...that's all that matters right? But if you do have extra time (and a lot more patience) I think there is potential to make your own snowman cupcakes and have them turn out SUPER cute :-)
Now, speaking of snowmen, I just had to take a picture of the snowman balloon I ordered online in JUNE! I saw it in a catalog and I just had to have it for Blake's party. And I am glad I did because the party store told me they ran out of snowman balloons long before Christmas. Isn't he cute? He is still hanging out in my kitchen as we speak :-)
And here is one of my favorite parts of any kiddie party...the goodie bags!!!
I filled them with a few of Blake's favorite things, like a punch balloon, a plush football and a container of play-doh. And then I also added a few of Addie's favorite things like suckers and stickers :-) I also found a huge tub of foam stickers that made snowmen and penguins and I put together a bunch of little kits for each goodie bag. This was a great addition because the kids had a lot of fun putting them together after the party. You can find these tubs of foam stickers at any craft or party store. I think I have even seen them at Target. And if you don't feel like dividing them into smaller kits, you can also just put out the whole tub at the party for a kiddie activity.
Ah...activities. When you have 14 kids to entertain, it's nice to have something constructive for them to do. I have been to a lot of kiddie birthday parties lately and this seems to be their favorite part of the party (besides opening gifts and eating cake of course). And because kids love to eat...I thought it would be fun to make some snowman pops!
I used these snowman pops and all of the supplies as table centerpieces. I just made a few myself and stuck them in little vases filled with marshmallows. This was helpful so that the kids (and parents) knew how to put them together.
The supply list for these little guys is pretty simple. Here's what you need:
A bag of large marshmallows (for head and body)
A bag of Twizzler pull-n-peel licorice (for scarf)
Mini chocolate chips (for eyes)
Orange tic-tacs (for nose)
Mini M&Ms (for buttons)
A tube of black decorators gel/frosting
A tube of blue decorators frosting
To assemble the snowman, you start by skewering 3 large marshmallows (Parents should supervise as most skewers have a pointy tip)
Next, poke a hole in the center of the top marshmallow and push in one orange Tic-Tac.
Use black decorators gel or frosting to draw two eyes and a smile
Press one mini chocolate chip into each eye
Next, make three buttons with blue decorators frosting and press mini M&Ms into the frosting before it dries.
Once frosting is dry (after a minute or two) wrap licorice between the top two marshmallows to make a scarf
And that's it!! You can also provide plastic bags so that kids can take their snowman home. If they don't eat it first of course :-)
Here is a closer look at the final product...
Now, in addition to providing a ton of other sugar, Eric and I put out our snowcone machine (which I am going to review in a post very soon). This was a HUGE hit for everyone...even the adults. So if you have a snowcone machine and plan on having a winter wonderland party...bust it out. You won't be disappointed.
And finally, if this happens to be a first birthday party you are planning, you MUST use this fabulous play on words. Make it a Winter ONEderland Party!! When I was searching for ideas for Blakes party, I came across this theme and I loved it. Here is a peak at the invitations I made on Shutterfly:
I know I could have gotten a lot more creative if I would have started invitations BEFORE December, but I still thought these were cute and they fit the theme perfectly :-) So you see...you can have a lot of fun with word play and come out with something ONEderful :-)
Alright friends...that's all I have for tonight. I really wanted to post my party ideas because a few friends were asking, so please...if you have some other great ideas for a winter-themed birthday party, leave a comment so others can read it. And better yet, link to your blog, site, Etsy shop or whatever if you sell decorations for this sort of thing :-)