Monday, October 15, 2012

40 Days of Birthday: Day Twenty-Three {Looks Like We Made It: Baby Birthdays)

Today my husband, son, and I attended two birthday parties for little boys turning one year old. I like making birthday gifts, especially for my littlest friends. Alex received bunting with his name sewn on in felt letters. Otis received one of the animal costumes I’ve been working on all week for his animal themed party where all the little guests were meant to attend as their favorite animal. The big reveal: Otis is dressed as a Donkey and Lennon is dressed as Jenks the Beagle.


We’re still trying to get the network in our apartment sorted to the way we like it and the photos from Lennon’s first birthday party last month have been sitting on my husband’s computer, allowing me to forget to post about all the things I crafted for it. Attending  two lovely one year old’s birthday parties today reminded me that it was time to share what I’d made.

There was a minor moustache theme for our party. Lennon’s sweet Mr. Moustache mobile by Jaell und Tofta served as the inspiration. I was also very much influenced by the visual story of Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, which we had seen a few weeks before Lennon’s party. I usually prefer a monochromatic, organized palette and the film inspired me to be more playful.

There were several items on my list to make for the party: fabric bunting, a banner with mustaches to hang above the cake table, a birthday boy hat for Lennon, and one homemade gift. There was also a table full of cookies, bars, and breads that I made in addition to the birthday cake and cupcakes. Lennon had his own birthday cake, sweetened with bananas and frosted with cream cheese. I made two trial runs of this cake—one as a test the weekend before and one for a “Cake Smash” photo shoot taken the day after his actual birthday. With all the madness at his party, I failed to get a really good shot of the cake that day. Luckily, there is a shot of a near identical cake taken at his photo shoot.

Lennon’s gift was made several months ago. It’s a pattern I created myself based on a few others I found online. His little Orca whale is made from his Papa’s old blue jeans.

Lennon’s birthday hat is made from two colors of yummy wool blend felt. The trim at the bottom is vintage and was thrifted by my mother in California.

The bunting is made from scraps of my favorite vintage material, all of which was purchased by my mother, the professional thrifter, at estate sales in California. Lennon’s "Little Mister" moustache banner is hand painted on burlap and is trimmed in vintage fabric.

Each child at the party was given a goodie bag that contained a bottle of bubbles, a thick piece of sidewalk chalk, and a fake mustache. I made the mustache from black felt and hot glued a knit ribbon in a circle to the back so one could wear it on one’s finger.

Vintage books—"The New Teachers Almanac" from 1980 and "838 Ways to Entertain a Child" from 1960—served as stands for the party menu and goodie bag explanation.

 As happy as I was with the outcome of our party, there is always a detail I feel like I missed here or there. It was an incredible amount of worthwhile work. I’m so very grateful it happens only once a year.

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