Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Cat in The Hat -inspired Birthday


Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party Desserts Table Ideas - via BirdsParty.com


“The sun’s shining bright, it is now time to play, so we hope you’ll join Aashi, for her 3rd birthday”. So began the birthday invitation for Aashi’s Cat in the Hat-inspired birthday, in much the same way as the book. She loves Dr. Seuss (who doesn’t?), especially Cat in the Hat. She can’t read yet, but she has memorized the entire book, so this seemed like the perfect theme for her birthday party.

Since there’s so much great party inspiration to be found in Dr. Seuss’s other books, part of the challenge here (and the fun) was to stay focused on Cat in the Hat. This was a very artistic party -I hand-drew the vast majority of the images for the decorations and games with Sharpie markers.


Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party Desserts Table Ideas - via BirdsParty.com

Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party Desserts Table Ideas - via BirdsParty.com


Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party Ideas, DIY Decorations & Printables - via BirdsParty.com



Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party Desserts Table Ideas - via BirdsParty.com

Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party Desserts Table Ideas - via BirdsParty.com

Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party Cupcakes - via BirdsParty.com


Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party Desserts Table Ideas - via BirdsParty.com

Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party Desserts Table Ideas - via BirdsParty.com

Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party Desserts Table Ideas - via BirdsParty.com

Cat in The Hat Inspired 3rd Birthday Party - DIY Invitations

The invitation for this party was a red and white striped hat, containing a pop-out cat. The party details were written, in rhyme of course, on the back of the cat. The invitations were hand-delivered and, once the guests figured out how to actually open the hat box, the reactions to the pop-out cat were priceless. 

Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party Desserts Table Ideas - via BirdsParty.com



Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party Desserts Table Ideas - via BirdsParty.com

Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party Desserts Table Ideas - via BirdsParty.com

Cat in The Hat Inspired 3rd Birthday Party - DIY Decorations

The guests were welcomed to the party by a giant cut out of a Cat in the Hat on the door and a whimsical wreath made with feather boas, reminiscent of Thing One and Thing Two hair. The Cat in the Hat (in costume) was also there to welcome them when they stepped in on the mat! The centerpieces and fluffy table runners also played off of Thing One and Thing Two hair. I also made a giant wall mural with elements from some of our favorite scenes from the book. I hand-drew all of the pieces for the mural on poster board with Sharpie markers. My favorite party decorations were the Thing One and Thing Two that I made, complete with kites and fluffy blue hair (made with paper pom poms) that we set on the bar top. Their kites stretched out over the kitchen and created a great 3D effect.

Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party DIY Decorations - via BirdsParty.com

Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party DIY Decorations - via BirdsParty.com

Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party DIY Decorations - via BirdsParty.com

DIY Costumes

In addition to the Cat in the Hat being in costume (from Party City), I made Thing t-shirts for the family members who were helping out with party game. The “Thing” patches on the t-shirts were also from Party City. The birthday girl wore a cute Cat in the Hat pillow dress from Doodlesbabylicious. 

DIY Banner

No books were harmed in the making of this dessert table: I made the banner over the dessert table from book pages that I copied onto card stock, not the actual book pages! 

Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party DIY Drinks Station - via BirdsParty.com

Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party DIY Drinks Station - via BirdsParty.com

Cat in The Hat Inspired 3rd Birthday Party - Desserts Table

DIY Birthday Cake Stands

When planning this dessert table, I couldn’t shake the image of the cat balancing numerous objects (including a cake) on himself and the image of the cat eating cake in the tub (from the second book).  I HAD to figure out a way to make this happen! So I created my own elevated cake stands on which to balance the birthday cakes. 

Rather than a tiered cake, I opted for two cakes, one for each stand. The first stand was created using a plastic toy bath tub, containing a hand-drawn cat in the tub. I rigged several clear glass platters and stands together to “balance” the cake so it looks like the cat is holding it and eating from it.  Rigging together a tall, clear glass vase and a clear glass cake stand, I managed to create the second stand tall enough to feature the hand-drawn cat balancing everything on himself—including the birthday cake on his head. The two cakes were topped with the fish in a fish bowl and Thing One and Thing Two fondant toppers from MyArtisanBakery.

Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party DIY Drinks Station - via BirdsParty.com

Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party DIY Decorations & Printables - via BirdsParty.com

Other DIY Food & Drinks Table Ideas

In the book, the cat tells Sally and Conrad that he will play games with them, including one called “Up, up, up with a Fish”. This game featured on the dessert table in the form of tiered stands, going up, containing jello fish bowls, topped with a hand-drawn fish in a bowl of sixlet. 

The other game the cat plays is called “Fun in a Box”, which featured in the form of Thing cotton candy cups in two red boxes, complete with a big hook on each box! 

I wanted to include as many elements from the book as possible, so the table also features rakes, a tea cup containing rock candy, a milk bottle fill of candy, “hat”-inspired sugar cookies fromTreatsBuyTerri, “thing”-inspired cake pops from Fayes Cakes Pops, and “thing”-inspired cupcakes topped with fondant toppers from My Artisan Bakery. 

Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party DIY Decorations & Printables - via BirdsParty.com

Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party Food & Drinks - via BirdsParty.com

Cat in The Hat Inspired 3rd Birthday Party - Food and Drinks

The food and drinks followed the theme. Look out for strawberry banana “Things”, Catnip Dip, Stripes-On-A-Stick, Cat in a Blanket (shaped like fish), Goldfish crackers, and the Cats’ Whiskers pasta.  Drinks for the children (Things 4 Kids) included Pink Ink (strawberry milk), while Things 21 And Up enjoyed Adult Things (beer and wine). I had to really resist the temptation to serve Green Eggs and Ham! 

Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party DIY Games & Photo Booth - via BirdsParty.com


Cat in The Hat Inspired 3rd Birthday Party - DIY Games & Party Activities

When the guests arrived, each guest was given a cat in the hat headband and neck-tie to wear during the party (and also to take home as party favors). They were then free to explore the various activity stations, each described by rhyming signs placed throughout the party: 

Cat Hat Makeover

The children could design and decorate a new hat for the cat, using various craft supplies. The hats were actually store-bought Cat in the Hat headband that I just flipped inside out. 

Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party DIY Games & Activities - via BirdsParty.com

Get those Things with your Net

The kids loved this game, consisting of two blue butterfly nets and some plastic balls bearing Thing One and Thing Two patches. They had a great time throwing and catching balls in nets--almost like a mini Lacrosse game! 

Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party DIY Games & Activities - via BirdsParty.com

Cat Hat Stack

This game was inspired by The Cat in the Hat Comes Back. I painted some stacking blocks and decorated them with letters and Cats A, B, C, D, E, F, G , H, I, and J! The children, mostly 2-3 year olds, had fun stacking them up. Simple games are great at this age. 

What’s in the Cat’s Hat

The children had to feel around various objects in the hat and guess the contents of the hat.  

Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party DIY Games & Activities - via BirdsParty.com

Thing Corn Hole

I decorated each corn hole board with hand-drawn cut outs of Thing One and Two, each holding a fish bowl on its head. The children had to try to get the fluffy fish, which we used instead of beanbags, into the fish bowls. 

Pin the Hat on the Cat

I hand-drew the cat onto poster board, without his hat. The children had to pin store-bought hat cut outs onto the cat’s head. Instead of a blindfold, we just used a large, striped hat to put on their heads and cover their eyes. 

Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party Photos - via BirdsParty.com

Thing One and Thing Two Photo Booth

Again, I hand-drew the Things for the photo booth. The children had great fun posing as Thing One and Thing Two. I also had various other photo props on hand. 

Story Time

We ended the party activities by sitting down and reading the story aloud. It was a great wind down after all the fun. 

Cat in The Hat Inspired Birthday Party DIY Favors - via BirdsParty.com

Cat in The Hat Inspired 3rd Birthday Party - Party Favors

The children left the party with treats from the dessert table, in gable boxes decorated to look like Sally and Conrad’s house. Each family also left with a new pet - a betta fish, which hopefully didn’t make the parents as grumpy as Sally and Conrad’s disagreeable pet fish. 

Cat in The Hat Inspired 3rd Birthday Party Favors - via BirdsParty.com

Cat in The Hat Inspired 3rd Birthday Party - Credits


Party styling: The Party Wall                          
Photography: Kathie Tam
Party Printables: Bird's Party
Cupcake toppers and cake toppers: MyArtisanBakery
Cake Pops: Fayes Cake Pops    
Sugar Cookies: Treats buy Terri
Cotton Candy: County Fair Goods
Birthday Girl’s Cat in the Hat Dress: DoodlesbyDelicious
Party supplies & Cat Costume: Party City

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Origami Dojo--A Japanese Inspired Birthday Party

As featured on Kara's Party today, here's our Origami Dojo, Japanese/Ninja Party...


Origami, Ninjas and Sushi…that’s what the birthday boy likes—the perfect combination for a Japanese-inspired birthday party that was fun….and very educational! I chose a contemporary Japanese theme with a bold color scheme of red, orange, yellow and black for this party. 


The invitations consisted of personalized origami paper fortune-tellers, delivered in origami envelopes. 


D├ęcor included bamboo centerpieces, created using live bamboo from our garden. The bamboo was placed in vases wrapped with inexpensive bamboo placemats.  We hung paper lanterns and origami paper cranes throughout the party area and used rice paper screens as backdrops. A banner reading “Happy Birthday” in Japanese was hung on the door. 


Upon arrival at the party, the children were given a personalized ninja headband to wear. They all looked so cute in their headbands!


In addition to a ninja birthday cake, the dessert table included shuriken cupcakes, shuriken and ninja cookies, ninja cake pops displayed in Japanese bowls, candy sushi made from rice cereal, ninja lollipops, fortune cookies displayed in Asian spoons, jellybeans (doubling as Salmon Roe and Wasabi), and rice crackers served in a bamboo steamer. I gave the cake stands a little Asian flair by adding black cardstock to mimic curved Asian rooflines. The cake pops, jellybeans and fortune cookies were displayed on stands that I created using can racks (from my pantry!) topped with bamboo placemats. My favorite element of the dessert table was the Japanese candy station—I bought various Japanese candies and chocolates at my local Asian market and displayed them in a Bento box. The children loved trying new treats that they’d never had…as well as old favorites like Pocky! 





























The Japanese theme was continued in the food and drinks for the party—no pizza or chicken nuggets here! You may be surprised, but all of the children were very excited to try new foods and were extremely adventurous eaters. After snacking on snap pea crisps, roasted seaweed, fruit served in wooden boats with bamboo picks, and “anti-sushi” (finger sandwiches rolled into sushi shapes), the children enjoyed a dinner of sushi, udon noodles and chicken teriyaki and got a taste of some Japanese Ramune soda. We did have vegetarian sushi for the less adventurous folks! The adult ninjas also enjoyed iced green tea, cucumber sake-tinis and Saporo beer! 
















The children sat on floor cushions and enjoyed their meal at low Japanese-style tables. The place settings included paper napkins folded into ninja stars and origami place-card holders!  





We had numerous Japanese arts and crafts stations set up for the children to enjoy: Origami (the Japanese art of paper folding), Kokeshi (Japanese wooden dolls), Koinibori (Japanese carp windsocks) and Kakemono (Japanese rice paper scroll paintings). Yes, this party required some serious research! I placed signs at each station explaining the Japanese traditions associated with each craft and the children actually had a great time reading them and educating themselves on Japanese culture. 


At the origami station, the children enjoyed making ninja stars, transforming ninja stars and Samurai hats, as well as numerous origami animals. 


The Kokeshi dolls we made were “ninja” dolls, wrapped in washi tape, with ninja sword cupcake picks. 



The rice paper Koinibori were decorated with markers, then painted using water colors. We then sprayed the Koinibori with water to make all the colors bleed together. It created really pretty windsocks! 


The Kakemono scroll paintings were composed of calligraphy using Japanese Sumi ink, scraps of Japanese decorative paper and washi tape.


In addition to the Japanese arts and crafts, we also created our own version of a Ninja training station, consisting of Sumo Sushi Toss, Nunchuck Ladderball, Shuriken Target Practice, and the Fastest Chopsticks in the West (we do live in Texas!). 

The Sumo Sushi Toss was creating using a corn-hole game, on which I taped a hand-drawn 
picture of a sumo wrestler. The goal was to feed the sumo wrestler the hand-made sushi 
beanbags. 


Nunchuck ladderball was just that; ladderball, but played with foam nunchucks instead of the 
typical balls.

For the target practice game, I bought some rubber shuriken (ninja stars), which were tossed at the foam-backed ninja target. 


Fastest Chopsticks in the West consisted of racing to fill take-out containers with as many marshmallows as possible in one minute.

After a culturally rich afternoon, the children left the party with a “ninja” take-out container full of treats from the dessert table, their own candy sushi to-go and an origami book. 





This party was a labor of love and required tons of research, but the children all had a fantastic time and the birthday boy was thrilled with everything…which makes it all worth it!

Vendor Credits:

·       Party styling by The Party Wall                                            www.thepartywall.com

·       Party Printables                                                                        www.birdsparty.com

·       Photography by Kathie Tam                                                http://kathietamphotography.com

·       Birthday cake by Cake Crumbs SA                                    http://www.cakecrumbssa.com                                               
·       Cake Topper, Cupcake toppers and sugar cookies
by MJ Tabush Sweet Designs                                                  http://www.etsy.com/shop/mjtabush

·       Cake pops by Fayes Cake Pops                                                www.fayescakepops.com  

·       Birthday boy’s costume, foam nunchucks,
tableware, jelly beans, lollipops                                                www.partycity.com                                                                                               


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...