Posting about my daughter's first birthday today made me also stop and look at her second. This is from an older post on my former design blog so sorry if some of you are seeing this twice!
For my daughter's 2nd Birthday we celebrated with an Elmo's world party. I admittedly went a little overboard but had a blast doing so! Below I have given a detailed account of the party and I hope you enjoy the photos and maybe get some ideas for your own party planning.
I designed the invitations myself. I wanted to keep the colors bright yet girlish so I chose the colors Red and Purple. I photographed my little one with her favorite Elmo doll. I included phrases on the invitations that are commonly heard on Sesame Street. "La, la, la, la..." is from the Elmo's world theme song and "Can you tell me how to get..." is from the Sesame street theme song. At the close of every episode, they have a number and letter of the day. I chose to use the letter E for Elena and the number 2 for her age in the commonly used phrase at the end of the invitation. I asked everyone to wear red and most everyone did, making the event festive indeed!
I made a simple white sleeveless A-line dress and trimmed it with large purple rick-rack. I ordered an Elmo applique from etsy.com and affixed it to the center of the dress. I used the same fabric as the dress to make her hat and appliqued the number 2 in red. I trimmed the base of the hat in purple rick-rack and found a purple feather poof at Hobby Lobby to attach to the top. I also made a matching bow since I knew she would not be wearing the hat the entire time. I used a plastic Elmo ring that I cut the top from for the center of the bow.
I kept the decorations pretty simple. I used Elmo books, stuffed animals, and toys that we already had in various places around the house. I used red and purple balloons with some Elmo balloons here and there. I also had "Dorothy" fish in bowls around the house which I later gave to the kids as they were leaving. I purchased red paper lanterns on sale at Hobby Lobby and made Elmo faces out of card stock to go on them. I hung the lanterns from light fixtures throughout the house. I used purple table cloths, white napkins, red and purple cups and plates. I put Elmo stickers on each cup to help guests better identify their own cup in the crowd.
Food: I kept it simple and easy on myself by ordering Publix party trays with the exception of desert. I made my home-made ice cream. I made pound-cake cupcakes from scratch (vanilla-lemon and chocolate-almond). I decorated them with red frosting and made home0made marshmallow fondant that I colored and formed into eyes, noses, and mouths to make Elmo faces. I also made Elena's cake from scratch. I used a small cake pan and covered the cake with purple fondant stripes and white fondant balls to match her invitation. I made an Elmo figure for the top of the cake using the same fondant and found crayon candles for Elmo to hold in each hand. I served tea, water and coffee for the adults and juice boxes for the kids.
Each family received a 3" Thank-You magnet with Elena's photo on it.
For the children, I purchased solid red paper bags and made Elmo faces out of card stock to glue on the fronts of the bags. I found inexpensive toys at Party City to include in the bag: Sesame street coloring books, crayons, purple straws, purple kazoos, red whistles, and red bubbles. I put Elmo stickers on the whistles. Each child's bag included a smaller 1.5" version of the thank-you magnet as well. The "Dorothy" goldfish that I used as decorations were also sent home with each family. I emptied some of the water and put the fish bowls into plastic bags for a safe ride home. I was sure to include a small bag of fish food so the parents would not have to go out and buy food for the fish. In the bag I placed a little note that said, "Elmo wants you to take care of Dorothy for him. She needs 1-2 flakes of food each day, clean water, and lots of love." The fish seemed to be a big hit.
Thank You Notes:
I used the same design elements as the invitations and magnets for the Thank-You notes. We wrote personalized thank you messages to each of the families that came or sent gifts.
I think the party was a great success. My hope is that our guests had a good time and felt appreciated by our family. I know that Elena had a great time and it will be a day we will remember for years to come.