Planning a party excites me.
It’s like a euphoria.
Although it translates into
burning the midnight oil,
paying attention to the most intricate detail and
the occasional splurge on things that will only last momentarily —
— it’s just… So. Much. FUN!
So this is how I planned and executed the birthday party of my baby who turned one.
Turning ONE. Big deal right?
First and foremost, get these items ascertained before you dive deeper into planning:
If you can’t think of any specific theme, I suggest coming up with at least a colour theme. A theme will give you direction on how you plan your party subsequently. Additionally, party decor will turn out sooo much nicer with a theme in place.
The theme I chose on behalf of the little Princess was………(drumroll please)…….”Under the Sea”!
You will need an idea on the size and scale of the event, according to your budget and the number of guests.
Whether it will be
small but not too small,
moderate in size or
simply a huge bash.
When you have an estimation of the number of guests, you will be able to figure out the next item on this list: Venue.
My baby’s birthday bash was held at Teh Tarik Place (TTP), The Mines.
Why? Here’s why:
> In-house catering; which lessens the headache of searching for external vendors.
> Food is good. Although categorically ‘Mamak’ food with higher price tags – as compared to what you find at your typical kedai mamaks – food quality at TTP is obviously up several notches. Therefore you get your money’s worth. 🙂 Check out their menu here Teh Tarik Place Menu
> There’s a designated closed event area. Plus, there’s a mini stage — the perfect spot for photo opps.
Here’s where I strategically placed the dessert table that witnessed the cake-cutting, and evidently became the centre of party decor.
With help from my loyal minions, we arranged the desserts, cakes and goodies on this magical table.
Before the dessert table entered actualisation, there was visualisation! I made a sketch of what I envisioned it to look like…
So these were the items featured on the dessert table:
2) Party Favours I : Rubber Toys
Initially, I had a hard time figuring what to give out as party favours for babies. It had to be something non-edible, plush/soft and of course, something that would fit the theme.
Finally, I had a light-bulb moment.
Since they’re used to accompany babies and toddlers during bathtime, they’re bound to be soft and safe.
they usually feature sea creatures!
3) Cupcakes and Cheese Cuppies
The cardboard cupcake cake stand was purchased from Spotlight, approximately RM20.
I had requested for dual-coloured cupcakes from the talented cake artists of Jem Cakes & Cookies (IG @jemcakesandcookies). It really added that underwater spark to the setting!
4) Little Mermaid inspired themed cake
Another amazing work of art from Jem Cakes & Cookies! Not only are they impeccable on the outside, the cakes are deliciously baked. The right amount of sponginess, I might add. 🙂
5) Clam Cookies
Here are super super simple DIY clam cookies. Buy any type of biscuits/cookies to represent the shell, throw in some homemade cream filling and with the final touch of an edible pearl — you have a clam!
I used Ritz biscuits, because you get a lot in just one box. The filling made is the very same used as cupcake swirl toppers.
6) Party Favours II : Of Sweets, Munchies & Sugar Cookies
For the older kids, I packed some sweets and fish munchies as goodies. Fish because of the theme, of course. You can buy them in bulk at supermarkets like Cold Storage. The ‘kaut dan timbang’ concept. Hehe.
I had also ordered themed sugar cookies from Jem Cakes & Cookies to be given out as party favours. They’re no ordinary cookies, when they come in shapes and colours like these. “Under the Sea” theme superbly executed!
* * *
You’ve seen my sketch above.
This is how it turned out: 🙂 🙂
For a DIY project, isn’t it pretty impressive? 😉 I was pretty happy with the way it turned out. You could do it too!
i) Party Streamers
A crucial element to this would be the backdrop. It will scream and stand out in pictures, so a dandy backdrop is essential. It doesn’t have to be sophisticated or fancy.
I decided to go with party streamers.
They’re cheap and easy to handle. The cheapest I’ve found so far are at Spotlight (approx RM7 per roll).
(On that note, drop me a comment if you know any party shops with cool and cheap stuff!)
With an “Under the Sea” theme, it was imperative for the backdrop to represent the sea/ocean, home to breathtaking coral reef and other underwater creatures. Hence, it was logic for me to use streamers reflecting the colour tones of the water, such as a combination of dark blue, light blue, green, turquoise and white.
But this is a kid’s party.
While a set of colours like that one truly exudes an ambience of being under the sea, I wanted something more lively and bright.
So I went with
There are several methods that can be deployed to make a backdrop made of streamers; I found this one to be the easiest and fastest: How to Make a Backdrop Made of Streamers. It would be very ideal to have a partner help you out for this one.
To enhance my backdrop of streamers, I made two big cutouts of a mermaid and seahorse. Not bad lah. Haha. On top of that, I bought white and transparent balloons to be placed on either side of the backdrop to symbolise bubbles!!
This is how I made the HAPPY BIRTHDAY banner:
a) Choose your preferred font in your computer and print the needed letters in the actual size you want them to be. Ideally, two letters per page.
Moving forward, there are two options to choose from:
Either print them on standard white printing paper. Then, cut them out and trace the letters onto coloured paper.
Or, if you want to cut to the chase, you can print the letters on coloured paper straight away. However, make sure the letters are merely outlines with no coloured fillings.
b) To make the triangular flags of which the letters are pasted onto, simply cut them out from coloured A4 paper.
c) Once each letter has been pasted onto their respective “flag”, they’re ready to be arranged on a string.
This could be tricky, as the method deployed must ensure the flags have no room to move and stay intact once hung. I punched a hole in each flag for the string to be inserted to.
There is a slight overlap between the flags, a “grey area” where I’ve stuck double-sided tape to keep the flags together.
And voila! You’ve got yourself a party banner!
Most of my time was consumed with creating centrepieces. So you can imagine what I felt when I had a scare upon arriving at the venue on the day of. After unloading all the things from the car, we couldn’t find the paper bags of which I had stored the centrepieces in.
All the hard work. The tedious, hard work. Gone?
How can that be? I had packed and arranged everything so efficiently the night before and placed them near the front door for ease of loading. As well as to not miss out on anything.
I was so upset and was on the verge of having my father drive back home to make everything perfect again. But how could I do that? My family had done so much to put this party together.
Deep down though, I knew something was amiss. The paper bags must be here somewhere!
Just as my dad was about to drive back home…we found them. Hidden behind some chairs.
Seriously, a huge WHEW.
So why all this fuss? This is why, in step by step version aka a how-to guideline LOL:
a) Search online for images of underwater creatures and have them printed out.
b) Use these printed images as a template for making cutouts using coloured paper. I used normal construction paper and glittered paper. I had to make two cutouts for each centrepiece, for both sides. The cutouts came in different shapes (whale, seashell, crab, octopus, seahorse, etc.) and not all were so easy to cut.
c) The original idea was to have these cutouts glued onto sticks which are then embedded into styrofoam, placed inside a paper cup. But the styrofoam I bought was too big to fit completely into the paper cup so I had to make some adjustments.
I did away with using a stick and came up with this:
It wasn’t a bad idea because it provided stability to the centrepiece structure. Although, I would still advise to tape it to the table.
d) I couldn’t afford any additional time to get the styrofoam painted. So I added coral-like decor to cover up the plain styrofoam, using fuzzy wires which are easy to shape.
e) The final result:
It was a day for family and friends, celebrating a special milestone for my baby. So you can expect a lot of kids to be present. I engaged with Wonder Cotton Candy (IG @wondercottoncandy) for a very cute cotton candy booth set-up. The kids loved it, of course.
Cotton candy commonly comes in pink but for this Under the Sea birthday luncheon, I chose purple, baby blue and green. Yum!
* * *
The temporary role of party planner was full of “Es”.
Everything, all in one. 🙂
I really, really can’t wait for the next party.
Now, time to unwrap the presents!!!! Oh wait, we did that already. The minute we got home! ;-D