Sunday, August 29, 2010

Roar! - A Retro-Inspired Dinosaur Party

As my "soon-to-be four year old" and I sat down to plan his upcoming celebration, one thing was made very clear to me...the theme was to be Dinosaurs and that was NON-NEGOTIABLE! I've had some tough design challenges in the past, but as I soon discovered, there aren't many choices for "cute prehistoric lizard decor." I decided that I could make the theme workable with a great color palette and that led to the retro feel.

We decided to have the party at a local toddler gym where Nikolas and his friends would get to jump, run and play dino games with the teachers until their hearts were content. This theme would make a great backyard party, but unfortunately in Texas, it's just too hot to be outdoors in August!

I'm a big fan of home birthday parties, but I have to tell you that the last two parties that we've had for Nikolas have been so much more relaxed knowing that we didn't have to deal with clean-up or making sure the house was perfect beforehand, only to be a mess two hours afterwards. I was actually able to be a "part" of the festivities instead of playing hostess the whole time. The girls that ran the class were amazing with the kids and kept them entertained the whole time with songs and games.

My mother-in-law and I had a blast putting together the special touches that really personalized the party for Nikolas. We started with purchasing this fabulous cupcake tray at Michael's. I had a 40% off coupon and it only cost $12 after the coupon. I plan to use it for a ton of different events and it folds up compactly for storage.


I ordered the cupcakes from Sam's Club. They really are the best cupcakes as far as grocery store cake goes. We used to order custom cakes for his parties and they were over $100 every year. The buttercream frosting on these babies is so rich and the best part is that you get 30 cupcakes for $12. Can't beat that!

I made the cupcake toppers to match the invitation and theme of the party in the red and turquoise colors. I just hot glued the printed circles to candy sticks that you can find down any baking aisle in a craft store.

For party hats, I got the basic red and blue dollar store hats and hot glued on a cotton ball that I rolled in silver glitter. My favorite idea that I had seen in a craft magazine, was to take a tin baking cup and use it as part of the hat embellishment.

I made my own soda, juice and water bottle labels. I realized that next year I need to use glossy photo paper because cold bottles sweat and make the ink run on regular paper labels....oopsy!

I had big blue and red galvanized buckets that we use in Nikolas' playroom for toy storage. They held drinks and party favors.

My favorite part of the party prep was making the Candy Kabobs! These were so much fun to put together and I literally screamed when I came upon the cute Dino Gummies at CVS Drugstore. They were the perfect topper for the Kabobs!

We secured these fun party favors to floral foam in big plastic pails from the dollar store and covered the foam with jelly beans to make for festive centerpieces.

These were a last minute decision. I found these gigantic marshmallows at CVS the other night and thought I could find a way to use them on the cake table. I had seem something similar on another party blog but wasn't sure how they got the sugar crystals to stick. Literally 15 minutes before walking out the door to set up for the party, I decided to try it. I dumped the blue sugar in a bowl and red sugar in a seperate bowl. I ran the marshmallow under the sink to moisten it and make it tacky for the sugar to stick. Then I rolled each end of the marshmallows in the different colored sugar to create these fun "Sweetivore Treats!" They were quite the hit!

For party favors the kids got a dinosaur book, dinosaur finger puppets and a candy kabob. The books and puppets were a great find down the dollar aisle at Target. I wrapped them in cellophane and tied a little matching tag on that said "Thank you for coming to my Party!" with a pteranadon flying past.

I think my lil' sweetivore had himself a grand time at his 4th birthday party. I will never forget how fast these years go by and I count my blessings everyday to have such a beautiful, silly, smart and sensitive little soul in my life.

August 28, 2006
3 lbs, 4 oz.
4:21 p.m.

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