When I was pregnant, I joined a new-moms group that has provided me and my daughter with many amazing friendships. Because all the women were due within a few months of each other, now all the children celebrate their birthdays in close succession, with four birthdays in October alone, including my daughter’s!
Last weekend, when the ladies had a chance to catch up during a moms’ night out, one of the topics of conversation was the upcoming birthday parties, which it sounds are getting a little out of control: elaborate themes, custom-made invitations, ponies. But where some might poo-poo any display of extravagance for a two-year-old’s birthday, I totally get it.
As A’s birthday approaches over the next couple of weeks, I, too, am falling prey to the joys of party-planning. Not that I have an unlimited budget, but I really want to make this day special, because even though I don’t remember my own second birthday party, I have always loved flipping through the faded pictures of that day (like the one above) in the baby photo album that my mother lovingly compiled. I enjoy seeing my younger self, and the faces of our friends and family, as I blew out the candles (all two of them!), opened gifts, and socialized. Now, I want there to be similarly sweet memories of my daughter’s second birthday for me, and photographic evidence for her.
Plus, as a SAHM, I don’t get enough outlets for my creativity, but party-planning is one of them. Once a year, I get to throw a party in my daughter’s honor that I can spend months planning, crafting the perfect look and feel, and even making my own decorations. When else will I be on the lookout for the perfect mini-clothespins??
Even though I drafted an epic post on the Best Birthday Party Themes, I’ve never been able to resist going against the grain, so I’m going with something completely different for A’s party. In considering her very favorite things, I quickly recognized the obvious theme for this party: books. A loves to read. She loves to read with us or in her room by herself; she has almost all the words to all her books memorized; she even asked me to turn off Mickey Mouse Clubhouse the other day while I was ironing so that she could read her books. Uh, okay.
So, books it is! I’ve searched high and low for book party ideas to
steal borrow (“borrow” is teacher talk for steal). Of course, look no further than Pinterest, where I’ve slowly been accumulating ideas on our amazing Birthday Themes board.
My starting point? This amazing invitation I found on Giggleberry Creations, designed by Red Letter Studio in Australia, which I recreated for my own purposes, with literary-themed stamps to compliment:
Next, I had to pick a color scheme (“books,” themselves, don’t really provide one). Since A is lucky to have an autumn birthday, my favorite time of year, we went with the vibrant orange of the changing leaves and a jewel-toned eggplant.
While in the craft store, I stumbled upon these beautiful fall-themed sheets of scrapbook paper. I wasn’t sure exactly what I’d do with them, but I stuck them in the shopping cart, knowing I’d find a use…
And, of course, I did! Stacks of wrapped books will serve as part of the decor.
Google led me to this adorable Martha Stewart book-themed baby shower, and I fell in love with this whimsical garland. (Now you know why I needed those mini-clothespins!)
Martha offers some ridiculously over-complicated directions for creating the garland, so I’m going at this aspect a little more casually. Here are a few of my books, made from dictionary pages, which I’ll accent with fall leaves rather than flowers and stars.
I think I’ll use raffia to hang the garland, instead of fishing line, to go with the paper theme.
And what about this adorable birthday banner for a bookworm-themed party from Knitty Bitties?
Here’s a preview of my interpretation:
No fall party would be complete without pumpkins and leaves. I found these gorgeous plates and matching napkins at Party City! And all you purists don’t have to worry, I have a few real, full-size pumpkins too :)
Of course, A demanded party hats from Target!
Most importantly, let’s not forget the menu! I’ve been so impressed with some of the creative food choices people have devised for book-themed parties, like:
- Three Little Pigs in a blanket
- (Green) Eggs and Ham quiche
- and Giving Tree apple cider
The storybook baby shower at Kojo Designs has my favorite menu ideas so far:
Lastly, favors: I’m thinking I love these stamped library tote bags that I found on The Celebration Shoppe.
What do you think? Have I forgotten anything for our book-themed party? I hope it’ll be one worth remembering! If nothing else, I’m enjoying the planning :)