Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Preparing little brother's doggie party

You won't be surprised if I told you that I've been preparing little brother's birthday (we're talking March here) since January, right? Yeah, didn't think so.

For the longest time I was sure we were going to have a party involving some of his favorite things on earth: cars and keys. But looking through all my ideas I realized that with a birthday party for a three-year-old you can choose cute themes and they'll likely be excited about it.

There will be plenty of birthdays left for themes such as cars (not the Disney kind, mind you), dinosaurs, dragons, monsters and such.

But how much longer will they be carrying their stuffed dogs wherever they go? And since by coincidence my kids' two best friends, who are about the same age and go to preschool with them, also love their stuffed dogs, it hit me: of course! We're having a doggie party!

A party for three identical golden retrievers and one dalmatian to be precise, all from a certain Swedish store.

So the four boys plus their dogs will be the only guests we're inviting. I mean come on, he's turning 3! I don't need a mile-long guest list, and unfortunately they don't have any cousins.

Writing this post I realized I actually have no idea what sound dogs are supposed to make in the English speaking part of the world. Here they say "Wuff" or "Wau". Do help me on this one, please. Is is "Arf"? This part of foreign languages always cracks me up.

Anyhow. Back to the party. If you remember anything about big brother's fish party, you'll likely recall that I found a cute themed stamp and used that on pretty much everything, from invites to water bottlesfishing game and goodie bags (except for the cake). I can't draw, I'm no graphic designer and I either don't like the store bought party kits or they don't come in the theme I want (and if they do they're usually expensive). So I think of a theme, find a matching stamp and use that to tie it all together.

This time it took me forever to find a dog stamp that was cute but still looked like a real dog and not a cartoon character. But when I finally found it, it was perfect. I think it even looks a little bit like a golden retriever. And there was a dalmatian to go with it. Oh, and did I mention both stamps are mounted on olive wood that smells divine? What more can you ask for? They're both from Etsy seller ahueofduckeggblue. You know, just in case you're in need of stamps (she also does the most gorgeous pine trees. And apples. Pears. I'll stop here!)

I stamped simple white long sleeve tees (above) for the boys to wear to the party (and beyond, hopefully), using my new fabric ink pad. I love it so much I have to keep myself from stamping everything around me (I mentioned those apple and pear stamps, didn't I?).

Then I made simple invites, using the dog stamps plus my DIY bunting stamp. I didn't even bother printing the details on the cards and wrote them by hand instead. Not because I'm lazy but because everything takes way longer once I turn on my laptop... And because I'm trying to let go of my perfectionism. Sometimes good is good enough.

I also made some bookmarks and bone shaped tags and laminated them. In case you're wondering, those are the names of the dog guests. And yes, we have two dogs by the same name (those would be my boys who both named their dog after their grandma's dog). The tags are color coded the same way we usually use those melamine dishes by rice (do you know them? I know I should be getting rid of plastic, but they are so great) when all the boys play at our house. Each of them gets their favorite color, except for big brother, who has recently decided that he loves turquoise (my husband argues real men don't even know a color by that name exists). Don't have that color, so he's happy with white. Anyway.

The finished bookmarks. At our house, we never seem to have enough of them! Little brother made some as a sibling gift last Christmas and so we're recycling the idea here.

More laminated tags. These ones are going to be for the little party guests, who will be attending obedience school and getting their own tags.

And here's the loot for the goodie bags. The day I had the party idea, I found these little plastic dogs. They're made by German company Schleich and one of our all time favorite toys. Their animals look very realistic and are extremely durable and high quality, with a softer touch to them than the usual plastic toys.  They're usually fairly expensive so I was thrilled to get them on sale and therefore as party favors. Of course I got three golden retrievers and one dalmatian.

These activity and coloring books were also on sale. Don't you just love it when things fall into place like that?

Then I made some simple felt dog biscuits and stuck them in tiny brown paper bags. The dogs need some treats, too, after all. 

Still on my to-do list:

  • the bunting. I plan on re-using the one from big brothers party but add some bright yellow. That's little brother's favorite color.
  • finish making felt dog ears. I made a prototype to get little brother's approval because he is very particular about the way dog's ears have to be a tiny bit pointy and shouldn't just hang down. Sigh. Where did the kid get that from?
  • decide if I want to buy a piñata. I've seen a really cute one, but these things are no tradition here and I don't think the boys will want to hit a dog with a stick. Not sure this sends an appropriate message... So I might just get it as centerpiece. Or not. Anyone out there who has made a piñata? I've seen tutorials but I'm not sure it's worth the effort. Not like we need any excuse for more candy around here!
  • make the cake. I came across these great ideas for making chocolate cake, adding chocolate frosting and then chocolate cereal to make it look like dog food. I might make a cupcake version of that. I bought some small plastic pet dishes and I'm sure the boys would have a blast if I let them eat their cake out of those without any forks involved. It's going to get messy anyway. 
  • finish the collars. I'm making felt collars for the stuffed dogs that the kids can decorate a bit as a party activity.
  • make a plan and treats for the obedience school. Simple stuff like sit, fetch and the like, and I'm thinking the ever popular gummy bears attached to card stock bones. 
  • balloons! 
  • bake doggie biscuits but with sugar cookie dough
  • show you the gifts that big brother has made for the big day

Any other suggestions?

I'm off searching for my sugar cookie recipe. And finding out if rice makes turquoise plates and cups.



  1. You are amazing at this stuff, I love it!!!

  2. Oh my GOSH!!!!!
    Girl, you are amazing.
    This stuff is so dang cute.
    So much fun.
    I just can't believe all the details you are putting into this.
    I mean, I can, cause it's you.
    But I can't because you aren't forgetting a thing.
    Love from,
    PS. Dogs here generally say "woof". "Arf" is used less frequently as is "bow wow."
    We also say "the dog barked" but don't usally say, "bark, bark" as the dog sound.
    Does any of this make sense?


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