It only dawned on me as I was drafting her 18 month letter and went to link to it... but there was nothing there. So here we are, just shy of six months later and I'm finally doing it!
I had chosen the theme of the birthday before she was even born. Yes, I'm that pathetic. I have been obsessed with rainbow colour the last few years and it seemed only right that I force that upon my spawn. Also, rainbow things are easy to come by on a budget. Winning!
I grabbed some plastic rainbow bunting to hang around our patio area and a whole stack of pinwheels that I got for 25c each on clearance from Kmart to rainbow-ify the yard, but other than that, I made the food tables our "decoration focus" as much as I could.
I created seven vertical rainbow garlands using coloured cardboard, a two inch punch, fishing line and a sewing needle. I started with a different colour at the top for each strand to give it a bit of variety, and hung them up on a bamboo stick above our Queen Anne dresser (which we found on the side of the road and painted up). In front of the mirrors it made it look like there many more and that I hadn't stopped at seven, screaming I'M NOT MAKING ANY MORE OF THESE BASTARDS.
I snapped up some crepe paper from a Cost Plus store for $1 per colour and made a rainbow tassel garland to hang on the food tables either side of the dresser. They were so easy to make - scissors, sticky tape and fishing line - and they now hang in our playroom because they were too beautiful to throw away.
I reused the plastic milk bottles from Tricky's LEGO party and using the same two inch punch and coloured cardboard as the vertical rainbows, created name tags for all our guests. I punched a hole in the top, tied them on with string and voila. A packet of large straws, some spotty plates and some washi tape in rainbow colours to theme the water bottles and the drinks table was looking mighty fine.
I made the little food labels using Pic Monkey and GIMP, and styled them on (OK, pretty much copied) a design I saw on Pinterest. I themed some of the food too, because if you're going to theme, THEME EVERYTHING.
My rainbow layered jellies worked out fabulously (PHEW!), but sadly the rainbow cupcakes did not. I whipped the cream in to butter for starters, so then I had to make do with cream in a can and it just wasn't thick enough for the rainbow sour straps to stand up in. They all got eaten though, so they must have tasted OK.
On the main table I also had our guest gift bags (containing assorted crap obtained super cheap hehe), and I continued the theme on to them too. I bought plain white bags and used big paint dotters to cover them in "rainbow confetti". They were labelled using the same two inch punch on coloured cardboard and the circles attached with teeny pegs I had in the cupboard for craft from two Christmases ago. I had a few spare coloured circled so I randomly scattered them across the food tables.
I organized a few activities for the kids as most of them were Tricky's age and I thought they might get bored if eating and jumping on the trampoline were the only activities. Plus I didn't want to be cleaning up rainbow vomit, so I wanted to actively discourage the trampoline after the feast!
First up we had our DIY Fairy Bread Station. I had a loaf of white, buttered bread, a few varieties of sprinkles and a few sandwich/cookie cutters. The kids (and a few adults) loved being able to make their own - fairy bread hearts taste better, ya know? It's safe to say that there were sprinkles EVERYWHERE, but I figured the kids were just trying to theme the ground, yes? It was the first time a friend had tried Fairy Bread - she's Chinese and apparently it's an Australian thing? She was trying to figure out why we'd give our kids coloured sugar on white bread. Because it's AWESOME, Viv, that's why. To that she laughed and said "I eat chicken feet and fish heads, and I think THIS is weird". Ahhh, love her.
Next up we had DIY rainbow suncatchers. I stuck some rainbow templates to the table and had containers full of pre-cut crepe paper that could be laid on flat or scrunched up and stuck on to sheets of clear contact. I printed up some instructions and stuck those to the table too, just in case any of the adults were craft phobic. I forgot to bring out the cotton wool for clouds. Oops.
Finally we had some DIY rainbow necklaces because anything that looks pretty and is edible is fantastic in my books. In one container I had lengths of wool and in another, a pack of no brand "fruit flavoured loops" because I'm cheap. These two cuties didn't seem to mind that they were Faux Loops, and got busy creating necklaces and bracelets.
The birthday girl had so much fun running around, hugging people, and generally just being adorable with the two teeniest little pigtails there ever was. She also randomly carried around an empty peanut butter jar for half the day and I have no idea why, or even where she got it from.
It was time to cut our centrepiece. I mean the cake that I'm damn proud of. A 3D rainbow pinata cake FTW!
What's a pinata cake? THAT'S a pinata cake:
It's one of those awesome cakes that looks harder than it actually is, which pretty much how I do most things in life. Enough effort to get an "ooooh" from those assembled, but not enough to warrant me being taken away to the funny farm.
As our guests left, the children were handed their gift bag and everyone received a pinwheel (or two or three) from the garden - some are still spinning to this day, in a lame attempt to keep the birds out of our veggie patch.
Thank you so much to everyone who came along to make it such a wonderful afternoon; to gorgeous Viv for taking so many pictures for us; the stunning Sonya for accidentally arriving two hours early, staying to set up and not once mentioning my pre-party leggings and stained top; my SIL Jen who helped set up and brought the balloons from her business Party In A Box; my sister Aunty Penny for stopping me having a meltdown; and to those who gave gifts or donated to Princess Margaret Hospital in lieu of gifts - you helped us raise nearly $300!