Ruffly Birthday Party!! Part One

Pay no attention to the child's arm on the right of this photo as she is trying her darndest to get into this picture. We just celebrated our youngest's first birthday. We had a great time. I thought I would share some of the fun things that we did. Everything we did was on a tiny little budget, and was really easy. I thought they turned out super cute (not to toot my own horn or anything, I got a lot of my ideas from other people.)
Here is our invitation for the party. I know the saying makes it seem like we should have decorated with a balloon theme, but I thought the string globes could pull it off. Whether they did or not, I don't think people really cared since we had food. For the invitation I created the words, banner and little swirls on photoshop, glued on scrapbook paper air balloon pieces, and then sewed the invitation to a scrap of burlap. I think it would have been cute on printed fabric too, but the burlap was super cheap.

Next I spent my time working on the decorations. There is a great tutorial outlining how to make these string globes here. The tablecloth was a little more intense than I thought it would be. I estimated that it would be a good afternoon nap or two worth of time, but it ended up taking me a good week's work of afternoon naps and some work at night to finish it. I did alter it so that there were three narrow ruffles instead of the two larger ones on this ruffled tablecloth tutorial, so if you stick with the original instructions it probably won't take nearly as long. I used the ruffled crepe paper tutorial here. They were quick, cheap and easy. I think if I make them again though, I would buy a gathering foot, since keeping my machine on such a tight setting made me feel like I was abusing it.

What's a party without food right? We served sweets and italian sodas for this party. I wish I would have gotten a closer shot of the cake. Oh, the things you forget when you have a bunch of people over at your house! We made a mini ruffle cake for the birthday girl, and a double layer cake for the party goers. We made a mini banner to go across the larger cake. We got the directions for the ruffle cake off of this awesome video here. It was so easy and it looked really cute.
We also served the oreo truffles from Bakerella . Those are awesome because they can be made about a week in advance. We just dipped them in colored vanilla bark.
Macarons were the trial dessert of the event. I had never made them, and some of the blog posts about them made them seem outright terrifying, but I found this site with a video that I followed to the letter and they turned out great. The filling is awesome, totally worth the extra work. I froze one batch of macaron shells for about a month and filled them the day before, and they still came out great.

I got the italian soda idea from this post . It seemed like something fun,  especially in the heat of summer and everyone seemed to really like it. I got this frame from Hobby Lobby for $10 on clearance, it was 24x36 and a rockin' deal! I wanted to make a sign like we used to see at an ice cream shop we liked to go to before we moved. I primed a large piece of cardboard and sketched the italian soda picture with pencil. I then painted the color in with artist acrylics (I'm not sure if the quality would have really mattered.) Lastly, I outlined it and wrote in the ingredients with a Sharpie. I wish I would have used a thicker marker, but that was all that I had on hand. The Sharpie didn't take very well with the primer and I went through two markers.

All in all, things went really well. My two splurges were the table cloth ($15) and the picture frame ($10). I have a tutorial of a great way to use up an empty picture frame coming up soon too!