Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Party: Vintage Polka Dot Zoo Birthday for Audrey (Printables)

Isn't it interesting how all young children are fascinated with animals? All three of my girls love them--domesticated and wild. The zoo is one of their favorite field trips. I guess the cotton candy, train and carousel help too! So, we invited some friends to the zoo for Audrey's fifth birthday earlier this summer.

I really appreciate the ability to take my girls and show them a tiger or a penguin or a bear without having to journey and see them in the wild. And I love thinking about zoos a century or so ago--so exotic! Such an outing. I love their park-like settings and wrought iron and imagine the excitement of the visitors when they saw wild animals.

I suppose the proliferation of media today lessens the thrill of seeing a wild animal at the city zoo, "oh yeah, I saw a show about those on...," but not yet for my girls!

So this birthday party was all about the zoo of yesteryear with happy children and happy, nearly domesticated wild animals. I incorporated polka dots and rick rack to add more of the lighthearted, vintage feel and there are printables a'plenty, with a promotion too. (Click to read more about the party and printables...)

We started in our backyard with a lunch. I set some tables with white pleated tablecloths that have convertible inserts in yellow and grey polka dots (pattern coming soon). I love this striped fabric (Premier Prints Lulu Stripe)!  I added another tablecloth for the serving table sewn from Michael Miller Ta-Dot in Stone and trimmed in grey jumbo rickrack.

The girls' places were set with the vintage zoo Rickrack Place mats and Napkins and these great aluminum camping plates. I love the brushed metal, also on the galvanized French flower pots from IKEA. And who can resist the striped paper straws. I also used them on the birthday cake to make flag poles for the animals.

Party favors were "zoo pails" (from Target, but these are similar) with zoo snacks, water bottles and bags of Fiddle Faddle, and a wood train whistle for the zoo train ride.

I was lucky to be able to use my neighbors white wrought iron chairs in two styles--so fabulous to have nice neighbors with things that add so much to the party setup! I had been imagining wrought iron chairs and wishing for some thrifting time (not to mention budget and storage space!) but this solution was so much better.

The menu for lunch included PBandJ sandwiches, fruit, jello "jigglers" cut in animal shapes, homespun cotton candy, and of course, birthday cake. I made a chocolate buttermilk cake with chocolate filling and buttercream frosting--probably my favorite combination. Yum! Another neighbor and friend made the cute animal sugar cookies with fondant polka dots. (I love these scalloped enamel cake stands!)

I think it was a pretty kid-friendly menu and I tried to make it somewhat balanced, but, it's fair to say that the cotton candy was the big hit!

After lunch, it was off to the zoo! Quite an outing with seven little girls and two adults (thank you, Sue!) but we didn't even lose one!  And no animals escaped, either.

The carousel was a main attraction. Two rides for everyone.

It was fun to see Audrey and Scarlett running around in their Vintage Zoo Dress and Dirndl Skirt, respectively. And there are always the ideas I didn't get too trailing after them in my head! Would have been fun to make all the party goers hats like these in the vintage zoo fabric. Alas, I ran out of time...

I did however spend some extra cycles on the printables even though I didn't use them all for this party. If you are interested there is a printable package in my Etsy shop including:

Cupcake wrappers and toppers, which can also be used as tags, labels and napkin rings (in sizes 3” and 2.5” round and 3.5” scalloped)

Pennant banners in a few versions and sizes, including customizable

Customizable accordion fold and simple versions of the invitation

Thank you notes, printed papers, tags, hot dog trays and more.

I'm offering 50% for the next two weeks (ends 10/3) with the coupon code: PRINTABLES50


CrochetBlogger said...

Very cute. I especially love those placemats!

Anonymous said...

Love it! I lov ethe snadwich wrapper idea. Might just have to use this idea at my sons upcoming party. And I'm in LOVE with the tableclothes... I've been racking my brain for what I'm going to do for tableclothes... I can't wait for more info on yours....

Jayna Rae said...

This is an absolutely adorable party! I love that as the kids get older the guest lists get smaller, so that more time can be spent on the details.

Seaweed and Raine said...

You have outdone yourself - yet again! How long does it take for you to plan a party successfully (without having to tear your hair out with stress?) I have been working on one for my almost 4 year old son. The past week has been rather stressful - and it won't be a co-ordinated as yours! Do you have a kind of time line for planning/creating for parties?
(Email is written at the bottom of my profile)

Meags Keogh said...

Congratulations, what a super birthday party. All your time and effort was well worth it as everything looks just gorgeous. Although if you're anything like me and enjoy making all the bits and pieces it never seems like your spending to much time or effort.....certainly better than cleaning a house :)

Denise L said...

Hi, I have been reading your blog for a while now and usually don't comment. I really love your blog and this birthday party for Audrey is so nice. All the details and thought are wonderful. Thanks for sharing! Denise

Pam said...

What a wonderful party. Your decorations and the girls outfits are just darling. Your girls will forever have happy memories of all that you do to make each day special for them.

Nicole said...

How creative, and what a precious birthday girl!


Unknown said...

I am blown away...you have created the most amazing memories for your daughter. You are truly talented. So many ideas and they are beautifully done.:)

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