Kids Football Themed Birthday Party Decorations

In October, our oldest turned 6. A sports fan fanatic at heart, it was not surprising he wanted a football-themed birthday party.

We were a little behind in planning his party, so we were grateful he picked a low-maintenance theme we could actually deliver.

Invitations

Kids Football Themed Birthday Party Decorations | thisgratefulmama.com
Two weeks before the desired party date I scrambled to get invitations out and decided the fastest way was to just do email invitations. We live in a young neighborhood, so we invited his friends mainly from our street and their families. Email invitations were created quickly using PicMonkey.

Water Break Beverage Station

Kids Football Themed Birthday Party Decorations | thisgratefulmama.com
The Water Break sign and footballs were made with construction paper and a white paint pen. Easy-peasy.

Football Themed Photo Birthday Banner

Kids Football Themed Birthday Party Decorations | thisgratefulmama.com
My favorite part of any birthday at our house is making a photo birthday banner. This includes one photo from each month of the year. Picking the photos and putting this together is a sentimental joy.

Entry Way Sign and Banner

Kids Football Themed Birthday Party Decorations | thisgratefulmama.com
Black poster board and that same white paint pen and a few more paper footballs were all it took to make the sign. This Chalkboard Pendant Garland was purchased at Hobby Lobby. It was a gift from my mom, who knows me well, and she joked, ‘just think of how much paper you’ll save’. Ahem, true story. She was right,I use it all the time.

Football Themed Silverware Holders

Kids Football Themed Birthday Party Decorations | thisgratefulmama.com
The silverware were placed in glass cups covered with construction paper designs – football, playbook, football field and referee. You can make these using your children’s art supplies of paper, scissors and glue sticks :).  Gold napkins were used as ‘Penalty Flags’.

 

Goal Posts and Game

Kids Football Themed Birthday Party Decorations | thisgratefulmama.com
We played a little game of Pin the Football on the Uprights. Blindfold, and use painters tape to ‘pin’ paper footballs on the wall. The winner is right in the center. We had a few right on the line, so we put those footballs in a bowl and drew the name that won the prize (a mini Nerf football). 

Balloons, Additional Decorations

Kids Football Themed Birthday Party Decorations | thisgratefulmama.com
How can you have a birthday party without balloons? Our son’s favorite team is the Minnesota Vikings so these football balloons were a hit. For additional decorations, we printed the words, GO Vikings!, SKOL!, First Down! and Touchdown! on plain cardstock. Then we taped them over our existing framed pictures using painters tape. And finally, the table was covered with this plastic football field tablecloth from Party City.

Voila!

Most of the decorations were put up while our son was at school. When he came home, he was pretty excited (which is why the photo is blurry – he was literally jumping up and down).

Kids Football Themed Birthday Party Decorations | thisgratefulmama.com
Happy Birthday little man.

 

 

 

A Ballerina Themed 3 Year Old Birthday – Ballerina Birthday Decorations

We celebrated our daughter’s third birthday last month. It was a lovely time with both sides of our family. By request, her party decorations were ballerina-themed.

The banner below was created using a chalkboard banner I received as a gift. You can find this similar product at JoAnn Fabrics. The ballerina image is a free downloadable vector designed by Freepik.com. The paper fan is one of a pack of 5 Paperchase Card Fans from Target used throughout the house for the party. They will later be used in our daughter’s ballerina and flamingo themed bedroom.

This cake was homemade and topped with cut-out ballerina figures using glittery scrapbook paper and wooden skewers. For the cake and frosting recipe, see here.

Happy Birthday Adelyn

A paper birthday photo banner was made using black and white photos printed on cardstock, hung using clothes pins and twine.

Birthday banner.jpg

The walls were decorated with 2 inch gold or pink glitter polka-dots and ballerinas made using the remaining glitter scrapbook paper from the cake toppers.

polka dots and ballerinas.jpg

Several strings of tissue paper tassel garland were made with 3 colors of tissue paper and twine. I followed this great tutorial from PIZZAZZERIE.com to make the garland. The tassels are easy to make. I love the look of them, but they were a little more ‘putzy’ than I prefer for quick decorations. I’m not sure I would be motivated enough to do it again.

Garland

A Ballerina 3 Year Old Birthday: A Homemade Ballerina Birthday Cake

Our 3 year old girl loves to twirl. I think she spends a quarter of her day spinning.

So, when she saw one video of a ballerina, she was hooked. This made it no surprise that she wanted a ballerina birthday cake.

Order one, right? Wrong. We have food allergies in our family and have trouble finding a bakery that guarantees a peanut and tree nut free cake.

This ballerina cake needed to be homemade – a tall order.

Baking is not my strong suit. But I’ve been making an effort to learn and develop the skill because baking safe birthday cakes will be my job for years to come.

After much research, I decided to make this chocolate cheesecake layer cake from Recipe Girl. The recipe was well written, easy to follow, and the cake is delicious!

The recipe was modified to fit our needs as follows:

  • Line the pan with Parchment Paper: After reading reviews of how to ensure each layer of cake releases easily from the pan, each pan was lined with parchment paper. Not only did it work well, it was less messy than greasing and flouring the pans.
    • To line with parchment paper, spray the pan with cooking spray (I used PAM), then trace and cut out a circle of parchment paper to place in the pan. Finally, spray the top of the paper with cooking spray.
  • Freeze all layers: Due to time constraints, all cake and cheesecake layers were baked 3 days in advance and frozen.
    • Once cool, wrap each layer individually in a double layer of plastic wrap followed by one layer of tin foil. Place them in a freezer bag and store in the freezer until ready to assemble the cake. NOTE: To avoid freezer burn, don’t freeze in a frost-free freezer (that heats and cools to remove frost). I used our chest freezer.
  • Use a decorator cream cheese frosting: Instead of the recipe’s chocolate sour cream frosting, this cake was decorated with this fantastic crusting cream cheese, butter cream frosting. With so much chocolate, the cake is plenty rich so skipping the chocolate was ok. Plus, decorating with sour cream frosting won’t work – the designs will just melt away. This cream cheese frosting is great for decorating a ‘girlie’ cake.
    • FYI – my hand mixer started smoking and died while mixing the frosting – it gets thick before it is thinned out! My off-brand mixer wasn’t a very good one. I sprung for the Kitchen Aid hand mixer because it happened to be 20% off and similar in price to the one I had before. I was amazed by how much better it worked. If you feel like YOU are doing all the work when mixing this stuff, I recommend borrowing or buying a better hand mixer (or use a stand mixer). Your arms will thank you and it will cut the prep time in half.
  • Assemble with frozen layers: Handling frozen layers is a cinch – they stack easily without crumbling, frosting is easy to spread, and the cake turns out super moist.
  • Decorate with rosettes: After watching this Cake Trend video, I was able to decorate the cake with rosettes. The process was really forgiving! When things don’t look perfect, you can cover the edges with the next rosette. And because this cake used only one color, it was easy to blend and fill any gaps after finishing.
    • This cake was assembled and decorated one day before the party and stored in an airtight container overnight in the fridge.

Rosette cake

Now, didn’t I say she asked for a ballerina cake? Well, drawing a ballerina with frosting is simply beyond my skill level, so I needed something to stick in the cake.

I bought two sheets of glittery cardstock from JoAnn Fabrics (one gold, one pink). Then I traced and cut out ballerina figures. Each figure was taped to a wood skewer and stuck in the cake the day of the party.

Approval.jpg

I think she liked it and it was delicious!

Trust me, if I can make it, so can you!

 

‘You Are My Sunshine’ Birthday – DIY Bird and Sunshine Garland

You Are My Sunshine Birthday DIY Bird and Sunshine Garland

In March, we celebrated our daughter’s second birthday. The house was decorated with a ‘You Are My Sunshine’ photo birthday banner, strung using patterned paper covered clothes pins. To brighten things up a bit, we made a few strings of bird and sunshine garland using patterned scrapbook paper and thread.

Patterns:

birds and sunshine

Five patterns of colored (non-yellow) scrapbook paper were used to cut 15 each of birds and wings. To mix things up a bit, 5 birds were cut facing one direction and 10 the other direction. Three patterns of yellow scrapbook paper were used to cut 12 each of suns and 2″ circles.

assembled birds and suns

Birds and suns were assembled using a glue stick, making sure each bird and sun had two different patterns.

Bird and Sunshine Garland

The birds and suns were strung on both using a needle and thread in a pattern (1 sun, 1 bird, 1 sun, 2 birds), 6 inches apart. Tape was applied over the thread in the back to secure each bird and sun in place. Both horizontal and vertical garlands were made.

Since similar paper was used for the photo banner, the garland was a great compliment. The light-weight garland was was hung using Scotch tape – easy to put up and remove.

The kids loved the garland and photo banner so much, we left both up through the Easter holiday. We are just taking it all down today, almost a month later! The decorations will be saved so some will be modified for our daughter’s room when she transitions from her crib to a bed in a few months.

A Laid-back Open House Couples Shower

A Laid-Back Open House Couples Shower | www.thisgratefulmama.com

Together with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, I was privileged to host a couples wedding shower over Easter weekend.  The shower was for my niece, Brittni, and her fiancé, Justin – such a fun couple! It was our pleasure to celebrate with them as they prepare for their big day!

Justin had never met most of Brittni’s MN family and friends, and they flew in from the east coast for the shower. We wanted to ensure they had a chance to really talk to people who made the effort to come.  Also, since it was a holiday weekend, we decided to have an open-house shower so people had the freedom to come and go as their schedules allowed. The loose structure and flow of people in and out at different times allowed the couple to talk to everyone who came.

Invitations

Invitations for the shower were created using a free online wedding invitation template found on www.WeddingChicks.com.  All text in the template can be changed, so even though it was designed for a wedding, I was able to modify it for a shower. The invitations were printed on card-stock and mailed along with directions and an index card for guests to bring a favorite recipe to the shower.

A Laid-Back Open House Couples Shower | www.thisgratefulmama.com

Relationship timeline

Because some of the guests didn’t know a lot about the couple, we created a relationship timeline to help guests learn more.  Using white crayon, the timeline was written on black construction paper to create a chalkboard look and bordered by patterned scrapbook paper. The timeline included significant relationship events: how they met, first date, first “I love you, the proposal and wedding details. The timeline was posted on the wall throughout the main room where everyone gathered. As people mingled and ate, they read and learned more about the couple. A few of them are shown below.

Relationship Timeline - FIRST DATE | www.thisgratefulmama.com Relationship Timeline - First I LOVE YOU | www.thisgratefulmama.com Relationship Timeline - THE WEDDING | www.thisgratefulmama.com

What they love about each other

Lists of the things Brittni and Justin love about each other were displayed on the chalkboard sides of two IKEA easels.  They were set up near the entryway to draw people into the house as they arrived. How neat is it that they both listed that they love how the other loves the Lord?

What She Loves About Him | www.thisgratefulmama.com  What He Loves About Her | www.thisgratefulmama.com

Open-house friendly food

Food for the open house was intended to be easy for people to serve themselves, and for us as hosts to keep cold and fresh. We served fresh fruit, chicken salad with croissants, chips with salsa, spinach dip and guacamole, veggies and dip, deviled eggs, popcorn and an assortment of desserts. To keep things simple, we served ice water, unsweetened iced tea with fresh lemons and sugar cubes, lemonade, coffee, and sparkling water.

A Laid-back Open House Couples Shower - Beverages | www.thisgratefulmama.com A Laid-back Open House Couples Shower - Food | www.thisgratefulmama.com  A Laid-back Open House Couples Shower - Desserts | www.thisgratefulmama.com

Other special touches 

In the invitation, guests were asked to bring a favorite recipe. They dropped them off by the gift table. There were some ‘secret’ family recipes in the bunch so the couple got some special recipes. In the main room, there was a place for guests to leave a note of encouragement or advice for the couple to read later. A banner was hung across with their names made from the same patterned scrapbook paper as the relationship timeline. We also framed their Save the Date and Wedding Invitations to display them for guests.

A Laid-back Open House Couples Shower - Gift Table | www.thisgratefulmama.com A Laid-back Open House Couples Shower - Notes of Encouragement | www.thisgratefulmama.com

A Laid-back Open House Couples Shower - Banner | www.thisgratefulmama.com

Since the couple was from out of town, most gifts were small in size, making it easy for them to bring everything home on the plane. Some gave gift cards and money, and some wrapped a photo or description of larger gifts purchased from their gift registry and mailed.

Overall the shower was a success!

We had a great turn out, despite the holiday weekend. This couple is well-loved and people did not want to miss the chance to see them! The atmosphere was laid back and relaxing. Many guests stayed a most of time and were able to spend some quality time with the couple.

Hosting this shower was fun, and was such a blessing to me. Since we don’t live near the couple it was special to get the chance to celebrate before the big day. We had the privilege to finally meet Justin, see Brittni, and watch the respectful, joyful and loving way they interact.  The wedding will be in Maine this June so our family will taking a short vacation to attend. We are also excited that our son Aiden will be the ring bearer (aka. polar bear, if you ask him) in the wedding, so fun!

Congratulations, Brittni and Justin!

We cannot wait to celebrate with you on your wedding day this June.

 

Also check out A Couples Wedding Shower for more ideas.