Minnie Mouse Birthday Cake

Minnie Mouse Cake

When my daughter told me she wanted a Princess Sofia birthday cake, I thought…uh oh. That sounds like a stretch. 

We’ve had trouble finding a nut-free bakery, so I have been making birthday cakes in recent years. So far, they’ve turned out fine, but Sophia is far beyond my limited skill set.

I was grateful a week later when she decided she wanted Minnie Mouse instead.

Minnie Mouse? Phew, I actually think I can do that.

My talented best friend made a Minnie Mouse cake last year for her daughter’s first birthday. She sent me pictures and it was so pretty! It was her cake-making skill and encouragement that gave me confidence to make this cake for our daughter’s Ballerina third birthday party. With a little practice under my belt, a Minnie Mouse cake seemed reasonable to attempt.

The process is pretty straight forward. Bake, freeze, assemble, and decorate. I carefully took a ton of photos while making it only to have my trusty camera memory card meet its untimely and frustrating death…along with those photos. Ugh. Such a bummer!  But, I think you’ll be able to figure it out from the description below and I’m happy to answer any questions.

The birthday girl couldn’t decide between Funfetti or Chocolate cake, so I made a two-layer cake. One layer Funfetti, one chocolate. I am so grateful to Rose Bakes for her Crusting Cream Cheese Buttercream Recipe {Great for Decorating}. It is quick, easy to work with and tastes delicious.

You guys, you need to make this Buttercream. It’s fantastic.

One box of each cake mix was divided between one 10″ pan (head) and two 6″ pans (ears).  After cooling, each baked cake was wrapped in cling wrap and frozen overnight. Freezing makes them easy to handle. Cutting a semi-circle from each 6″ cake so they fit snugly against the 10″ cake was easy. The bottom layer was Funfetti, the top Chocolate.

A generous layer of frosting was used to secure the ears, head, and layers together. For a little extra flavor, Santa Cruz Seedless Red Raspberry Fruit Spread was added between layers with the frosting. Who would have thought a little jar from the jelly section of the grocery store could taste so decadent?

So far, so good.

Then I started to decorate the cake and things got a little messy. Literally, frosting was getting everywhere. The cake board is a mess (see those greasy spots?). Next time it will be covered while decorating since I’m apparently incapable of not making a mess.

That is when I began to panic. It had been a while since I piped frosting and I was quite rusty.

I decided this was going to be the ugliest cake attempt that ever was.

At that point, I may have asked, er…demanded that my husband remove the children from this house. He may be a saint because he patiently and kindly obliged, asking no questions and reassuring me it was going to look great as he swept them out the door. True story – he’s awesome.

20 minutes later in a silent house, I stood looking at a finished cake feeling foolish for freaking out.

My husband was right, the cake did turn out fine and was delicious.

In the coming weeks I’ll post the Minnie Mouse party decorations but in the meantime…

sunshine girl 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday Sunshine Girl.

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DIY Dinosaur Birthday Party Decorations

Dinosaurs.

The perfect theme for a 4-year-old boy’s first-ever birthday party with his little friends.

A gold mine of birthday decor ideas.

My ideas, combined with those gathered on my Birthday Boy Pinterest board, and I was soon a little overwhelmed!

Limited by both time and budget, I couldn’t do it all…so I picked four decorations I could make myself using common and inexpensive materials that, for the most part, I already had on hand. The party was a big hit with both kids and parents.

Today’s post is all about decorations you can make yourself, with materials you probably already have. Using simple materials like paper, tape, string, markers, stencils, and chalk, your house can be Dino-party ready!

Each of the following ideas were completed during nap time, and each took an hour or less. Here is a little tour of the decorations people saw as they arrived for the party. Best of all, when my son saw it all, he was just delighted. It made every effort completely worth it.

DIY Dinosaur Birthday Party Decor 

1. DIY Chalk Dinosaur Crossing Sign and Paper Footprints

DIY Chalk Dinosaur Crossing Sign and Paper Footprints

DIY Chalk Dinosaur Crossing Sign and Paper Footprints

  • We actually forgot to put these two decorations out before our party began – Whoops! I’m posting them anyway – since they were made in advance TO use!
  • Walking up to the house these construction paper dinosaur footprints would guide you to the front door and into the party
Dino Crossing Sign drawn with chalk

Dino Crossing Sign drawn with chalk

  • This Dino Crossing Chalk Sign was created on our Ikea Easel
    • A diamond with rounded corners was drawn, and a second border was traced
    • A dino-stencil was made by tracing a toy dinosaur onto paper and cutting it out
    • The stencil was placed in the center of the triangle and traced, then the rest of the inner diamond was filled in
    • Colored areas were blended with fingers to give a solid-looking finish
    • A diaper wipe and my pointer finger were used to remove chalk and ‘write’ black letters
      • After each stroke, a fresh piece of the wipe was used
      • Once the letters were dry, any smeary spots were ‘touched up’ with a wipe
      • Any letters that got too thick were colored in with fresh chalk
      • My kids smeared it right away – No problem! I just cleaned the smeary areas with a wipe and colored with chalk as necessary

2. “ROAR means Happy 4th Birthday in Dinosaur” Entryway Sign

Entryway "Roar means Happy Birthday in Dinosaur"

Entryway “Roar means Happy Birthday in Dinosaur”

  • When guests walked in the door, the paper footprints led them by this sign in our entryway. They placed gifts on the table below it
    • Inspiration for the wording of this sign was found here.
    • Pre-cut flags like these were bought on clearance at Target in the party section ($1.20 each for pack of 10 flags and string – I bought 1 blue, 1 green)
    • Lettering was done with these alphabet stencils that I already owned and a black sharpie
    • Flags were hung from 2 orange shoe strings I already had, and the white strings that came with the pre-cut flags
    • Banners were suspended from 3M command hooks to save the wall from pin holes
    • Additional lettering was created using one pack of vinyl wall alphabet decals from the dollar store ($1 for a pack containing 2 of each letter in the alphabet – I had to cut and ‘create’ one additional letter “N” from other letters to write these words on the wall)

3. Homemade Paper 2-Inch Circle Garland

Homemade 2-inch circle garland

Homemade 2-inch circle garland

  • Stung on a window and across two large walls, guests saw our 2-inch circle garland, made from bright construction paper
    • Using a 2 Inch Craft Lever Punch (Hobby Lobby – $6 on sale), holes were cut using several colors of construction paper (4 sheets at a time – different colors stacked in the order they’ll be strung)
    • Circles were strung using a needle and thread.
      • The needle was pushed up through the paper, then down and up again so they would lay FLAT on the string
      • Keep the thread attached to the spool until you’ve strung half of the punched holes
      • Then let out at least the same length from the spool and cut the thread
      • String the rest from the other side
    • Garland was suspended using 3m Command hooks
    • Three 8 to 10 foot long strings of garland took about 45 minutes total, which included punching them, stringing them and hanging them

4. “Happy 4th Birthday Aiden-a-saurus” Flag Banner

Happy Birthday Aiden-a-saurus Banner

Happy 4th Birthday Aiden-a-saurus Banner

  • This banner was the focal point of the main party area of our home
    • This banner was made using patterned 12″ x 12″ scrapbook paper I already had
      • 12″x12″ sheets were cut in half. This sign used 14 pages to create 28 flags
      • A triangle was cut from bottom to create the flag shape; I used the first as the template for the rest
    • Tip: Buy scrapbook paper at a craft store when on sale or use standard solid color construction paper. Hobby Lobby runs a 50% off scrapbook supplies often. Something like this will work great; and with assorted patterns and 80 pages, you could make A BUNCH of banners for $7.
    • Letters were made on white medium weight art paper using these alphabet stencils that I already owned and a black sharpie
    • The flags were hung on a string; fold 1 inch over the string and secure with tape to the back of the flag
    • The banner was suspended on 3M command hooks over the entryway between our kitchen to dining room

Check out the dinosaur birthday party food and decorations in these posts:

Dinosaur Birthday Party Brunch & Dessert that will Please Both Kids and Parents

DIY Dinosaur Tails, Dinosaur Spike Party Hats and Favors