Monday, August 20, 2012

Construction Truck Birthday Party

I've never claimed to be amazing at creating stunning party decorations, although I must admit that there are days that I wish it was my secret super-hero skill. 

What I am good at is some creative ways to pull things together in a pinch, and usually on a dime. I'm a firm believer that with some careful thought (you know, the kind you can do in the car when you're driving from work to daycare or from home to the "chicken nugget store") it can all come together quick, easy, and still fantastic.

This year's second birthday party was a construction theme. I had the party early in the day because frankly, that's when Ethan is at his best. 

Decorations included:
  • Small road cones- Dollar store find
  • "Working Hard" sign- major score from the Target dollar bin
  • Orange Pennant Banner- Oriental Trading $8.50 for 100ft!  (BTW, 100 ft is A LOT of banner!)

DIY decorations:
  • "Dig In" sign- Here's where I took a major short-cut. When I say I was pressed for time, I mean that even the idea of cutting construction paper into a perfect square seemed like it was going to take too long. To really speed up this process, I bought a pack of 6x6 scrapbook paper and used one of the yellow pieces to make the sign. Origami paper would have worked great too. The idea was to have paper that was already a perfect yellow square.  I also used vinyl lettering. All in all it wasn't the most cost-effective sign (although certainly not expensive), but it definitely was super quick!! 
  • Food labels- I found an awesome quick solution for these signs. There are new sticky notes that have adhesive over the entire back of the paper square. I wrote on them with Sharpie marker, cut an orange straw to size for the pick, and sandwiched them between two of the yellow sticky notes. Could not have been easier!

  • Bagels- Love that I can place an order for bagels and spreads and just pick them up. Versatile, easy, and cost effective.
  • Fruit Salad- I opted out of the fruit tray and cut fruit on my own to save a few bucks. This was probably the most time consuming preparation of the whole party, but at least it could be done the night before.
  • "Tires"- Chocolate donuts. BIG hit with the kids.
  • "Bricks"- Red Licorice bites.
  • "Logs"- Pretzel sticks.
  • Cupcakes- The cupcakes were excellent. We have a locally owned grocery store that makes fantastic cupcakes (at an awesome price). I got marble cupcakes with chocolate frosting and asked them to use Oreo cookie crumble to make it look like "dirt." I then topped some of the cupcakes with truck erasers from Oriental Trading ($5.25 for 12). The erasers looked awesome, although like a review on the merchant site said, they fall apart easily and aren't appropriate for kiddos who still put things in their mouths. The looked great for the price though!
  • Paper Goods- A good cost cutting tip is to buy plain paper goods in coordinating colors. The fun design plates, napkins, and tablecloths are just too expensive, and I find I like the solid colors better anyway. For this event I got orange plates, yellow and white striped napkins, and black table cloths. 
The invitation:
Got a great deal at Snapfish on the invitations! :)

So that's it in a nutshell! We had a great time, especially the little dude...and isn't that what matters?


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