Okay, I don’t know how it happened, but Photo Book Baby’s 2nd birthday party was supposed to be a low key affair. Just our families alone would make the guest list about 35 people, but add a sprinkling of a few friends and their kids and all of a sudden you’ve got a packed house. Luckily we had great weather so we could make use of our outdoor space, and it was nice to be surrounded by so many good friends and family.
I love brainstorming party ideas and Pinterest was awesome for that. I collected my party ideas on a board and easily accessed and added to them over time. I already knew the theme would be based on pirates – more specifically Disney Junior’s Jake and the Neverland Pirates, as that’s one of Photo Book Baby’s favorite shows. The ever-addicting Pinterest fed my obsession with cute party decorations and details, and I’d like to share some of the ideas that inspired me. Many of the ideas have to do with incorporating photos into your event, though not all of them are photo related – some are just fun tips. Besides photo books, party decor and interior design have been other strong interests of mine. Seeing all the detail shots of the the festivities and how it was enhanced by the fun party supplies I was able to hunt down, it’s even more exciting for me to put together Photo Book Baby’s birthday photo book!
Here are my favorite party planning ideas from Photo Book Baby’s second birthday!
1) Photo Invitation
I used several digital scrapbooking kits to create Photo Book Baby’s pirate themed invite. I used a photo of him taken in his Hook costume by a photographer on our Disney cruise and then erased the background to get just his figure. Add the seafaring scrapbooking elements and voila – a cute custom photo invitation!
2) Photo Banner / Custom Pennants
This is a party decoration tradition I continued from last year’s birthday. (Can I call it an annual tradition if it’s only been 2 years? haha…) I wrote an earlier post with a tutorial on how to make your own custom photo banner so you can see step-by-step how I did it. This time I printed them on my home computer instead of going to Kinkos and made three separate ones to go across the three main windows in our kitchen. These photos were taken from age 1 to 2. I think they really add a special personal touch to your party decor. What’s great is after the party I hung one of the banners in Photo Book Baby’s room so we can continue to enjoy it. I love repurposing!
3) Pirate Decorations
I recently found a really fun place to buy party supplies and decor online. While searching for pirate themed party decorations, I found a site called Meri Meri. I bought several items from this party supply boutique including a very large, very well made pirate ship centerpiece, cupcake liners and picks, cake plates, cups, party favor bags, balloon holders and wall stickers. Everything is super cute and of high quality. I also got many of the items on sale (and in some cases they were way, way cheaper than the prices on Amazon which I usually find as the cheapest. It’s good to shop around!).
One of our family friends loved the theme and especially the pirate ship and told me she planned to help throw her grandson a pirate birthday party (he happens to be a huge “Jake” fan too). I gladly gave her a lot of the decor for her to reuse. All the Meri Meri items were still in good shape because it was made so sturdy. In particular I took apart the pirate ship so she could reuse it at her event. It’s such a substantial and eye-catching piece, it made for a great focal point. You can also put treats or cupcakes on it.
I did however hang onto one of the pirate figures. I cut out my little Hook from one of his invitations and pasted it on to one of the pre-made cardboard cutouts. It was an easy way to personalize something store bought.
4) Jake and the Neverland Pirates cake
I wanted my son to have a special cake, but I was concerned about baking and decorating it myself due to time constraints. I also didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a custom cake. I did find a number of relatively easy tutorials online about how to make a pirate ship cake, but in the end I decided I would have the cake made, but decorate it myself. A close family friend generously offered to buy the cake as a gift and I asked the bakery to give me a simple sheet cake with a design of a beach and ocean as a foundation. I bought the Jake figurines at the Disney store (only $12 or 2 sets for $10 each – again way cheaper than what I saw on Amazon), the gold coins at the local party store and the palm trees on Amazon (these were cheaper!) When I went to decorate the cake with the figurines, I accidentally dropped one on the front edge of the cake! (Can you see it?) Yikes! Oh well, I tried to fix it as best as I could but I couldn’t hide it completely.
Photo Book Girl Tip: Make sure to always have some decoration on the cake that you can give to the kiddies. I almost made a rookie mistake! All the kids were clamoring for a piece with something special on it. Thank goodness I had enough chocolate gold doubloons for each child. (I was saving the Jake figurines for Photo Book Baby.) It saved the day!
I still have several more tips to share! This post is getting a bit long so I’ll continue more in Part 2!
Photo Credit: Pirate ship and pennant photos by Moonhouse Productions