A ballerina birthday party.

My youngest daughter, Scarlett, turned one yesterday and to celebrate (more like, distract me from my “My baby is growing up” misery) I held a ballerina themed birthday party.

In my family, birthday parties are a luxury. They cost money (which we don’t always have a lot to throw around), require a lot of energy to organise (which comes in short supply when you have a busy household), and are quite exhausting! Hence why I feel so blessed to have been able to do all of this. We are in good health, my husband has a great job, my family is very supportive, and being a WAHM means I had plenty of time to put all of it together over a few weeks which actually meant I could cut costs and satisfy my creative yearning by making nearly everything myself. Without all of these things, I really wouldn’t have had the opportunity to throw such an elaborate shin-dig.

In planning, I gathered most of my inspiration from Pinterest (long live Pinterest!) and had a LOT of fun putting everything together for a number of weeks leading up to the party. I got to play with ribbons, and tulle, and pink stuff, and more pink stuff and even more pink!

The very first thing I made, was Scarlett’s birthday outfit – and boy did I have fun with this one! I made her a tutu, and also sewed some adorable felt in the shape of the number one onto a body suit to go with it – and then I had me a little photo shoot! I didn’t manage to take a really nice photo of the birthday girl on the day, so here is my favourite shot from our little shoot a couple of weeks prior… first birthday outfit tutu


For party favours, I wanted to have ribbon wands ( perfect for a ballerina theme too, of course). Being budget conscious, I knew it’d be much more cost effective to make these myself. I bought dowel rods from Spotlight ($10) and cut them in half because they were just too long for littlies, and also some little silver bells ($3-$4). I grabbed some tiny eye hooks from Bunnings ($3), tiny little split rings from a tackle shop ($3.50), a 24mm satin ribbon from Lincraft (50% off baby!) and cut it into 1 metre lengths, and employed the use of my little pink hot glue gun. EASY PEASY!

 ribbon wand

party favours

For the little boys, I thought they’d enjoy some star wands more than the ribbon wands, so this is what I made from some felt, stuffing, silver thread, a rod and one of the jingly bells inside: star wands

I also made a cute wreath, inspired by ones I had seen on Pinterest. I used some cheap-o muslin and tulle ribbon from Spotlight, as well as a wire circle thingy, and a butterfly from my craft stash. A simple monogram made from an MDF letter, glue, and glitter added some bling for the centre. I think it turned out rather cute and will keep it to hang in Scarlett’s bedroom. wreath

And then, there was the food…cookie wands oreo pops ballerina cupcakes cake swirly twirly cookies party decor loly pop pot marshmellow pops rice crispy treats ballerina birthday party food home made meringue ballerina birthday party ballerina birthday party

The mini milk bottles were a bargain – 2 for $2 at a local bargain toy/party supply shop. I bought the paper straws there too, and filled the bottles with strawberry milk, YUM! I also bought the glass jars for $2 each, and filled them with marshmallows. I tied little pink ribbons on nearly everything, as you can see, including some small recycled jars which I used for the Oreo pops and party favours.
I made the cake and cupcakes from a delicious and trusty vanilla butter cake recipe, and used a white choc ganache to decorate them. The cake topper is a little something I made myself too, using two of the paper straws, this all purpose ribbon, some of the left over tulle and some letters I simply printed onto paper. The cupcake papers were $2 for a tube of 25, I used some for the cupcakes and some more to hold some sliced strawberries.

The rice crispy squares were eeeeeasy! I had never made them before, and now that I have discovered how easy and delicious they are, I do believe I will be making them a lot! THIS is the recipe I used, and after I had cut it up, I dipped each piece in white chocolate which I had melted and coloured pink. I then popped little flags on top which were part of a party printable pack from Sweet Tashie 

The meringues are also made by me, they were actually surprisingly easy. Hubby ate my first batch, which I somehow fluked a perfect 10/10! The second batch was still acceptable (lucky for hubby, hehehe). Made from egg and sugar, they only cost a few bucks to make, and are free from nasties that may be hidden in store bought products.

I used a brilliant sugar cookie recipe that I found HERE to make some cookie wands, swirly twirly cookies, and also the decorated heart cookies. Here is a basic demonstration on how I made them: starwand cookies hearts cookies

With a batch of my home made sausage rolls and some Woolworths party pies, I really think it was a success.

Like I mentioned earlier, one of the only reasons this wonderful day was made possible is by making nearly everything myself and hunting around for affordable bits and bobs. I gained a lot of inspiration, tips, and tricks from Pinterest and the blogs that it sent me to. If there is anyone who would like me to share more details on how I made or managed something from the party, just let me know. I’d love to share recipes and tutorials if there is anyone interested, but for now, I need to get back to cleaning up ;)