Since Eva's birthday party, I've gotten tons of questions about her party goodies- the homemade bunting , the retro sweet-as-a-pie doillies, the spiced-up moleskine notebook favors, etc- that I decided I probably should do a round-up on the blog, since (1) I'm lazy and I want to answer all the questions in one shot, and (2) the guest of honor probably would have no recollection of the party itself, I hope that some day she'll be able to look back and appreciate the fabulousness of her first b-day bash.
So here, in no particular order, are the FAQs:
Q1: Did you make the bunting? Wait, did you make 2 buntings?? How long did it take you???
The short answer is: Yes. Yes. And forever.
Well, let me elaborate. Buntings for kids' parties are all the rage now. Just go do a search on etsy and you know what I'm talking about. And really, can you resist the temptation of such a "simple" project that let you piece together all your favorite fabrics in hang it in such glory for all to admire? I can't. Although this "simple" idea took a whole lot longer than I expected...
First, you have to cut out 5"x5" square pieces of fabrics, 3"x5" pieces for the top section (folded over), letters that I free-handed and then cut out of brown felt, gingerbread-man and asterisk felt shapes for the back (that thank goodness come pre-cut, here), lengths of coordinating trims and pom poms, and a super-long piece of yarn for hanging. Whew!
As if that's not enough fun, count this: "H-a-p-p-y B-i-r-t-h-d-a-y E-v-a-!". That's 17 characters (and thank god we didn't name her "Ophelia" or "Alexandria" or something like that). This means I get to cut- and don't forget about the sewing- the above pieces 17 times. Yes, SEVENTEEN. That's many, MANY nights after Eva falls asleep and before my eyeballs pop out.
But well, when it's finished and all strung up, it's so darn cute if I may say so. I guess it's worth the labor of love (and kiddo, expect to see this bunting at your next 17 birthday parties).
And just when I thought I was done bunting-ing for a while, I looked over to the other side of the room, which somehow looks bare and lonely in comparison...
So I decided to make another bunting. And no, I'm not a complete lunatic, I have a 24-foot wall space I need to cover, and to make another similar bunting, it'll probably be done around the next ice age. So I opted for something that involves sewing scraps of fabrics together and hanging it off a couple of "rings". I literally finished this in one day (pardon the poor quality pix as I shot these against a blazing setting sun):
Here's a closeup of the ring, which is essentially a cardboard ring covered in some white silk salvage fabric, with various fabric flowers and more gingerbread men appliqued (ah hem... glued... ah hem) on it. The fabric flowers are super easy to make- cut out wonky circles of fabrics (cotton or felt) in a few different sizes, and sew them together with a button in the center.
And here's the other part of this scrap bunting after it got taken down (which I'm thinking of repurposing as part of Eva's nursery decor):
Q2: Hey, did you make that crown too? And eh, where do you find the time?
If you must know, yes! I most certainly did make that crown. And where do I find the time? Well, this is the time I divulge my secret- I have one very capable, and very devoted stay-at-home husband, who kindly allows me time to craft while he tackles a budding toddler. I know, a woman doesn't get luckier than that *sob sob... dab dab*
There are tons of tutorials out there for felt crowns, use any you feel like, but they all boil down to these essentials: measure your kid's head size, cut out 2 pieces of felts that give you your desirable # of peaks and height (Eva's had 5 peaks and measures approx. 2.5" tall at the tallest peak). Fuse the piece of felt that will become the inside with a stiff-ish interfacing to make it stand up. Decorate the outside piece however you like- for this I made one gynormous fabric flower (with a pretty faceted mirror button in the center for some bling), felt leaves and felt birds, with a few embroidered squigglies to link them all together.
Of note, I used a good quality 100% wool felt for the outside (the white layer) which is nice and lofty, and a bamboo felt for the inside which is much softer and less scratchy (but not as nice and thick). But this combination (together with a stiff interfacing) seems to give it the right amount of body, and she never complained while wearing it so I assume it feels reasonably comfortable against her delicate baby skin.
And to make sure other kids at the party don't feel left out, I made paper crowns out of old maps and gold cardboard paper for everyone else:
Look! It fits Bryson too!
Whew! I hope I answered these 2 questions satisfactorily. I'll save the rest for post #2 (which hopefully wouldn't take another month to post :P) And if you have other great ideas you used for your baby/kids' birthday party, do share! This kid will turn two in the not-too-far future, and at my speed, I might have to get started soon.