Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Toy Story third birthday party

On Tuesday my Little Bear turned THREE!!! Can you believe it? Three years have passed already in what feels like only the blink of an eye. Everyone (and I mean, EVERYONE) told me that it would happen so try to remember and write down as much as you can because I know I will forget and that before I know it, the time will be gone, and were they ever right.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand here - the birthday party. It was awesome! Sure it was a bit stressful the few days leading up to it and certainly the night before when Mom and I are finishing the last few projects I had planned. But, it went off without a hitch, everyone seemed to have a lot of fun and most importantly, the Birthday Girl had a blast!

One thing to know about my family is that we're a pretty big group when you have everyone there from both sides. However, this party was actually not that big. I mention this because of this funny story. I kept saying to my husband, "It's going to be a small group so it won't be that bad." And by small, it was 27 people, including us. His response, "27 is small???" Obviously it's all about perspective. But then the funniest part is that both my brother and sister-in-law made the comment to me about how nice it was to have it be such a small group so they could actually talk to everyone there (which isn't always the case when it's a "big" group.) That just made me laugh out loud because yes, to us, it was a small group. My poor Hubby =D

There were several things I made for this party. The first project was the invitations. I looked at several examples until I found this one at an Etsy shop called uprint4less that I really liked. The great (and easy) part of doing the invitation myself is that there are tons of free images online for Toy Story 3 and since it just so happened that the Bear was turning three, this really worked out to my advantage. Here is the invitation I came up with:

The second project was a Sheriff Woody vest I made out of felt. I used the pattern from MADE: Frontier Vest but decorated it like Woody's off the tutorial from Disney Family. The SUPER helpful lady at Jo-Ann Fabrics showed me a way to lay out the vest pattern so that the only sewing I had to do was the two inches at the top of the shoulders. Way cool! I used a heat and bond fusible webbing to adhere the black felt cowhide spots and I found a sheriff star on Google's image search that I traced onto yellow felt and fused that on as well. Lastly, I used embroidery floss to do a whip stitch around all of the edges to give it the more authentic Woody's vest look. I ended up with enough materials left over to make a fourth one (the other three were for K and her two cousins) that we gave to our Buddy Pal. Unfortunately I don't have any great pictures of her in it but you can get the idea from this one:

(The boots were a great find at just $3.50 from Once Upon a Child)

The last part of her outfit came in the form of a Woody hat. I found a foam one at Michael's for $5.99 and purchased some leather cord to do a whip stitch around the brim. Thankfully Mom did that part for me because it was time consuming and it was already getting late the night before the party and I was still working on the banner. She had to use a hole punch first and then threaded the leather around and stitched the end pieces together. It turned out amazing. Since the hat is a little big for Bears head, we had just enough leather cord left to put in a chin strap with a bead to cinch it up so it will stay on. She's *ok* wearing it. Like most kids, she's not a super fan of wearing a hat but I'm hoping that by the time Halloween comes, she'll keep it on since Sheriff Woody is going to be her costume after all the time and work that went into this birthday outfit.

(You can also see in this picture that she is wearing
a Jessie shirt. We picked this up much earlier in
the year at the Disney Store in Columbus)

I also made a birthday banner from different colored bandannas that I picked up in the dollar bins at Michael's. I had a box of stencils back from my teaching days so I traced the letters of her name and the number 3 from all different colors of felt and then just basted them onto the bandannas. My Dad had some jute (or maybe it was twine) that he attached to the mantel and then I was able to slide each of the letters onto it before he tied off the other end. I think it added a fun and colorful touch:

(You can barely see the red bandanna behind her head but I
had green, blue and red.)

The last part of the decorations were for the tables. We had three long tables that I covered in red table cloths and then I purchased cowhide pattern cotton fabric from Jo-Ann Fabrics that I cut into rectangles using pinking shears. I asked Mom if Bear could open one of their gifts early (Talking Woody) so I could use him as a centerpiece along with the Talking Jessie and Buzz we brought from home. We looked for doll stands for Jessie and Woody from a local toy/hobby shop but they didn't have any so we came up with a great idea of using a standing spoon rest (minus the bowl portion) as a doll stand and used a very thin wire to attach the toys. Here are the three tables:

The bandanna print plates and napkins were from the dollar
section at Michael's as well. I was really lucky that they were
clearing out their summer prints at just the right time for the party.

You can see how she is sitting on part of the spoon rest and
her back is leaning against the tall part where we used the wire.

The toys behind Woody are the goody bags for the kids.
Again, I was super lucky that at Target earlier this year
they had tons of Toy Story items in their dollar section
so I bought up a bunch and just held onto them until now.

For the menu, I went with a more "cowboy" theme that incorporated a bunch of foods that Bear likes and I thought would go over well with the other two girls. We had cold cut sandwiches, barbecue meatballs, macaroni and cheese, grapes, chips and pretzels, a veggie tray, and applesauce. For dessert we had ice cream, Rice Krispie treats, sugar cookies and Baby S'mores cupcakes from The Village Cook. Oh man, were those awesome! I highly recommend trying them. I didn't have chocolate ganache so per her suggestion, I melted chocolate chips with 1/4 cup cream for a smoother chocolate when they set. Also, she mentions 1/4 cup sugar in her list of ingredients but then never says where to use it so thankfully my Mom is familiar with making graham cracker crusts and instructed me to use it there. Delicious!

(I had some extra Paratroopers from the goody bags so I asked
Dad to hang them from the light fixture above the island. Bear
loved them and kept wanting to play with them up there.)

That's all the pictures as far as crafty things go. I have a few left that I will put in another post tomorrow that show the Bear getting her first haircut and other general cuteness.


  1. love it!! great looking party, I can't believe how much work you did for it! And this is by far the longest blog post from you evar! Can't wait to see more photos!

  2. Yay! The party was FABULOUS, sweetie. We all had such a great time.

    I find it hilarious that there were 27 people there. In your folks' house, it just didn't feel like that many people. Horror of horrors...does that mean I'm getting used to it?!

    And I absolutely love that the picture of Bear in her vest was taken in your parents' shower. The girls sure love it in there, don't they? :)

  3. Hey Sis. Yeah, I invited 27 but I think there were only 20 there total so that's probably why it didn't seem so overwhelming. And yes, you are slowly being assimilated into our collective and just don't realize the steadily growing numbers anymore. Muhahahaha!