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…
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!
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.
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:
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 ;)