Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fishy birthday party - part 2: water bottles

This is only my second time throwing a real kids' birthday party. And already have strong opinions about favors. I like them. But I think they should be at least somewhat useful, unless they're candy of course. Last year we had a construction theme and favors included a tiny dump truck, which was great, and some plastic digger-shaped toy that was quickly tossed. Also, it was way too much. So I vowed to do better. Well, it's still too much this year. I just love picking up little things that match the theme. Got to work on that.

Anyway, weeks ago I found tiny little aluminum bottles in red and blue on sale for a Euro each, so I bought a couple of them thinking they would be perfect with the outdoor/fishing theme and also guests could take them home and use long after the party is over. With the weather here being temperamental, I have no idea yet if the party will be indoors our outdoors, but I thought we'd still use them for the party. So I made labels for the bottles so guests (or parents) could tell them apart.

I used the same fish stamp I used on the invites and cut out around the fish, then used letter stamps on the back for the names. The letter stamps are from a simple set and I'm not particulary good at this so they didn't come out perfectly but I still like the look.

I also laminated them since they're pretty sure to get wet and then tied them with red-and-blue baking twine (don't you just love baking twine? I wish I could get all the colors, but for now red/white, beige/white and this one will have to do) to the neck of the bottle and to the cap so that won't get lost.

A few lessons learned:
  • don't multi-task - even if it's trying to get the ink off your fingers while waiting for the laminated sheet to come out. It could get stuck and you won't even notice until the fish are all crumply. Not that that ever happend to me.
  • tie the tag on first. Might seem obvious, but I did actually tie the string around the bottle the first time and then tried to get that tiny end into a knot around the tag. Telling you I'm no good at this.
  • try to do this after you have your coffee or at a time when you're somewhat focused. For some, crafting comes naturally. Not for me. I managed to misspell my son's name with those stamps. I did two bottles before I realized that there was a tiny hole in the cap where I could thread the twine through. Oh well.

Still, for me they're great and I can't wait for the party! Except that there are a few more things to do:
  • make a garland using red, light blue, dark blue, yellow and white paper and of course the fish stamp
  • find a cake recipe. Plan is to do a round cake, maybe something chocolate and cover parts of it in something blue (marzipan with food coloring? Blue royal icing?) and the other part with melted chocolate and chocolate crumbs (or oreo crumbs) so it looks like dirt. Then I'm going to put a Lego fishing trip set on top. So far for my plans. Need to work on the details. Maybe I should just do cupcakes...
  • make goodie bags. First attempt with white lunch bags failed, the ink doesn't really dry. Maybe I need to be more patient. 
  • make some sort of decoration for the door. Ideas, anyone?
  • order and pick up balloons. They usually last a while so this and the garland will go up for his actual birthday, which is a week before the party. Means I got to do this next week. Yikes!
  • prepare the fishing rods. We have one of those cheap plastic bath toys, but it comes with a reel and the kids love it so much they fight over it. I got more of them on sale but I need to get them out of their plastic wrapping and put names on them, maybe add some gummy bears to the plastic fish so we can have a fishing came with some real catches
  • cook and bake for his actual birthday
  • pick a destination to go to based on the weather
  • pick up his birthday gift (a giant pedal go-kart)
  • think about some more games (pin-the-lure-on-the-fishmouth, maybe?)
  • make a plan for food for the fish party. I'm thinking simple, non-messy stuff like fish-shaped sandwiches (ordered a large fish cookie cutter), goldfish crackers, fruit & veggies (I have some smaller cookie cutters that can be used to cut out carrot or cucumber fish). No fancy dessert table planned. I can't seem to find gummy worms or fish, only those horrible neon-colored sour worms, ugh. If I find them maybe I'll put them in homemade jello or ice cubes.
  • and a lot of other ideas that I'm not going to post because frankly, the above is enough and I'll be happy when I get that done...

So any birthday party advice and ideas for more decorations even someone like me can do?


1 comment:

I don't know about you, but I love reading comments. That's a hint for you to leave one, btw. Not that I'm begging here. But I do love hearing from you...