First, the winner of the Never Been Stitched giveaway: HEATHER!!! Heather, contact me with your mailing address, and you’ll soon receive your copy of Never Been Stitched! E-mail me at thepracticalperfeccionista at gmail.
Now, on to the party! Miss Adventuress thoroughly enjoyed her party, so I consider it a great success! I also had a lot of fun putting it together. Remember that pile of supplies I shared with you a little while back? This is what it became!
The dessert area. We had this party mid-afternoon, so just dessert foods. I made the Feliz cumpleaños buntings with orange construction paper, and added tiger stripes with a Sharpie. I hung the buntings with fishing linen it’s my favorite for hanging everything! We found some tiger print fabric to hang on the wall, and hung lots of green streamers. You can’t see them very well in the picture, but we hung enough vertically in the windows to cover them, which gave everything a nice green jungle color!
I found the small square paper plates and the napkins at Crate and Barrel a few months ago. We already had the plant on the far left, and picked up the little lucky bamboo (which isn’t technically bamboo, but close enough for our purposes!) to give a little more (inexpensive) Asian jungle feel!
We always love sprucing up our water bottles with coordinating labels, and this party’s were extra easy! A tiger picture and border, done! Miss Adventuress wanted to do this project on her own, and she did! This picture is creative commons licensed for sharing, so I can post these as a printable if you are interested. Just let me know.
Animal crackers! A perfect snack for any animal-themed party…though I’m not sure there’s actually an Asian animal among them in this case! We bought some of the more expensive animal crackers…at Aldi’s…and picked out all of the tigers to use as cupcake toppers! It required two boxes to get enough. All of the other animals in those boxes are African, so we just ate them to put them out of their misery due to not being included. 🙂
Miss Adventuress said she wanted cupcakes instead of a big cake this year, and I did a little celebration dance. 🙂 I’m always up until 3 or 4am the night before finishing the cake…and this year, I actually got a full night of sleep before the party! She also requested blue icing, even though blue was NOT in the color scheme…but blue she wanted, and blue she received! And we decided it was like the river through the jungle. We wove cupcakes around the other desserts to continue that idea.
You know how cake pops are ADORABLE but require so much work that you go to the party with bags under your eyes, and when one or more later fall off of the stick you want to gouge your eyes out in frustration? No? Just me? Well, I loved the cake pops I did once…but ONCE is the operative word there! So I was thrilled when I came across this marshmallow knock off. Giant marshmallows are dipped in candy melts, which I colored with Wilton food coloring gel (do NOT try to use liquid drop-type food coloring in candy melts!), and then I drew tiger stripes on them with leftover buttercream icing from the cupcakes, tinted black (also with Wilton gel color).
Green licorice found at the dollar store were perfect for the color theme, and surprisingly delicious as well! And I love making little food tags, because it’s an easy way to incorporate more of the theme, and I always appreciate knowing exactly what I’m eating!
Our cupcake river winds through festive bowls of barbeque chips and goldfish-style penguins…not because penguins live in the jungle, but because they fit the color scheme. 🙂
A close up of those penguin crackers, and a nice view of the mandarin orange tiger cups. I really loved these, and so did all of the children! I shared how to make the orange cups a couple of weeks ago; no need to wait for a party for this fun snack!
Miss Adventuress requested brownies, so I made two pans of our favorite Aldi brownies (seriously, so much better than Betty Crocker, and for some reason boxed brownies are just better than homemade!) and cut them out with a small, round cookie cutter. Perfect for a bite-sized brownie, which is all the kids really wanted since they had several other snack options! I was going to make tiger stripes with the orange frosting, which is the leftover orange candy melt from the marshmallow pops, but Miss Adventuress decided to do it herself!
Cheese puffs and circus peanuts…more orange food! And I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find any food to fit the theme….
You can see the streamers a little better in this picture, though I didn’t quite capture the whole effect. The tablecloth is what was left of an orange twin sheet I used for a previous sewing project; worked perfectly!
Enough with the food…on to the fun! We started out with cookie decorating! The children enjoyed the tiger-striped party hats (I shared about these hats previously!), and were excited by this set up. I baked enough thick, soft sugar cookies for each child to have one. I then make buttercream icing with shortening only, so that it wouldn’t need to be refrigerated, and colored it black, orange, and white. Older kids could make their cookies really look like tigers or tiger stripes. The younger ones just pile on the icing. 🙂 I put most of the icing in simple Ziploc bags and made a TINY snip in the corner to squeeze it out. It’s very easy to make the hole too big! I let them use my real decorator bags and tip for the icing I’d already used for the stripes on the marshmallow pops. For older kids, I’d get out all of the decorator tips! This was a huge hit, though you should know it won’t take very much time with younger children or, for the most part, boys!
Miss Adventuress was meticulous in her decorations. 🙂 We made sure to write each child’s name on their piece of foil, and then let the cookies dry during the rest of the party activities. At the end, they wrapped their cookies up in the foil and took them home!
Remember these No-Sew Love Monsters we made? We were trying out a party activity! We made sock monsters with striped socks…I was hoping to find tiger print socks, but no luck. So, we settled for a pack of multi-colored striped socks! I have no pictures of this because it required all eight of my hands to keep everything going…and thank goodness for the other parents who helped, too! This activity was so popular, though, that one little girl who attended then insisted that they do this same activity at her party the following week!
After the sock monster fun, we headed to the basement, where we’d set up a river using blue sheets we already had. We’d blown up lots of balloons and attached metal paper clips to each one. We went balloon fishing! Fishing rods were made from either rulers or dowel rods, yarn, and round button magnets. I tied the buttons onto the yarn, and then secured it with some tacky craft glue. I tied the yarn to the dowel or ruler, and secured with tape. The ruler fishing poles worked best for the younger fishermen and fisherwomen, and the larger poles were popular with the older brothers…until they discovered that they could catch their balloon fish more accurately with the ruler rods! We also had fishing boats, which was Mr. Scientist’s contribution to the party! He thought we needed some, so he rummaged up some boxes and made them into boats for us! They were quite popular!
No birthday party around here is complete without a piñata…but we’re in the Midwest in February! An outdoor piñata wasn’t going to be a good option for us now that we’re out of the South, so we tried a ribbon piñata for the first time! Miss Adventuress decorated it all by herself, making a construction paper tiger and gluing it on. She also cut all of the ribbons. The piñata itself is simple, but the details of making it deserve their own post! Suffice it to say, that like all first piñata attempts, it fell down before it was broken! We got it back up, though, and they were able to pull it open and cause all of the candy to tumble out! Then there was a mad dash. One thing we’ve learned is to give them candy sacks BEFORE they start hitting the piñata, so they’re ready when the candy starts to fly!
That was the end of our official party activities, so we sang to Miss Adventuress in both Spanish and English, and had cake and all of our snacks and desserts! Then there was more balloon fishing, and boating, and other wild activities led by the older brothers. 🙂 I always like to leave some play time at the party; the children always enjoy it!
And that was the party! Oh, did you notice that Miss Adventuress was wearing her Everyday Princess Dress? More on that coming soon, along with the piñata details!