Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Mane Event (Planning the Party)

If you didn't know it, I am quite the planner.  I love getting to use my creative talents.  When I taught Kindergarten, I loved getting parties together, decorating my classroom, and coming up with incredible ideas for everyday lessons.  So, when Daniel's first birthday party was quickly approaching (4 months ago), I let my mind run WILD with ideas, and I finally decided on a lion theme.  Who would have thought lions would be so difficult?!  I couldn't find anything lion-themed, other than some adorable baby shower decorations that I adored!  So, I used them as the decor and created the rest.  Here are just a few of the decorations and ideas I incorporated into Daniel's Mane Event!

This is the invitation I created using Photoshop.  I had them printed on 5x7 photo paper on Shutterfly.

I was given the amazing idea to save at least one item/decoration from every party throughout my child's life and reuse them each year, so as you can guess, this "Birthday Banner" will be a staple at all of Daniel's future parties!  I have seen this done at many parties and decided to create my own!

This was the gift table prior to guests arriving.  It gives you an idea of what the decor was, lions and polka dots.  I found the inflatable lion at a consignment sale and knew it was the perfect centerpiece.  I also displayed Daniel's newborn, 3, 6, 9, and 12 month pictures and used the same cardstock from the birthday banner to create labels for each picture.

I loved the favors!  We used clear acrylic boxes, raffia ribbon, and animal crackers for each one.  I also made small labels that said:  "We're not LION when we say, You've made this a special birthday!"  I attached more cardstock to the basket to give it a "ferocious" look!

The food table was decorated with more lions and polka dotted napkins, plates, etc.  I also had Daniel's 1 year pictures taken in his birthday shirt (which was created by a good friend of mine) and used the picture as a starting point to the food.  The lion is actually named, "Manely"; he is a bubble-blower which was a huge hit with our little guest cubs.

 Here Daniel is playing with Manely (the bubble blower), Daddy, and Grandpa.  The bubbles were such a hit!

I had cut out sandwiches in the shape of crowns (get it?) and gave guests 3 different sandwich options.  Orange toothpicks, of course, and the "King of the Jungle" dessert plates.

The cake/cupcakes helped set the lion/polka dot tone!  My sweet friend, Lori, used Daniel's napkins to create a 2-tier white cake and 24 chocolate cupcakes, which included spelling out Daniel's name.
The centerpieces for each table were small baskets with "Rules from the Birthday King" on them.  Each basket was filled with colored 4x6 cardstock, pens, and a game sheet called "Daniel, Now and Later."  I also included either a plush lion or lion picture frame at each table to hold the orange, yellow, and brown balloons.  Guests wrote sweet messages to Daniel on the cardstock.  The game was one in which guests had to decide which things Daniel is doing now or will be doing later, and in case of a tie, the bonus question was to guess the time at which Daniel was born.  The winner received a box of Now and Later candy!

The "Crazy Coloring" table

The "Wild Game" table

Daniel's birthday bib 
He ate his cake in it, and it cleverly included a washcloth as the candle!

After eating cake, Daniel changed into his Birthday Shirt designed specifically for him by Maggie Moo's Mom.  All of the planning fell perfectly into place!

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