Combined Birthday Party: Hot Air Balloons and Bunting

Here are the details from Jayce and Hannah’s combined birthday party.  I shared this post last week over at KoJo Designs, but wanted to share it here as well.  The rest of the party details are here because I thought it would be good to break it up a bit. 🙂
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 Since Jayce turned 4 about three weeks before Hannah turned 1, I decided to throw a combined birthday party for the two of them.  I planned for it to take place at my mom’s house, which is about 8 hours away, so that she and my extended family would be able to celebrate with us.  But I was a bit worried about how to plan for such a bash.  What would be a good theme that wasn’t too babyish for Jayce or too old for Hannah?  What would be appeal to both genders?  I decided to use a rainbow of color as my inspiration, patterns of red, blue, yellow and occasionally some pink sprinkled in, and went with a Hot Air Balloon and Bunting Birthday!!

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To kick off the fun, I made the invitations and “thank you” stickers from free printables on this site.  I loved them and just couldn’t believe how lucky I was to find something so cute for free!

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The “thank you” party favors were little pre-packaged smores.  Large marshmallows, dunked in chocolate, dipped in graham cracker crumbs, and then in multi-colored sprinkles.  Easy, inexpensive and yummy!!
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For the sake of space, we decided to have the party outdoors.  I’m obsessed with my mom’s backyard, and let me show you why.
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Well, it’s because of this incredible tree, smack dab in the middle of the yard.  I wanted her beautiful yard to be the backdrop of the party and this tree to be the “centerpiece” of all of the party events.  So I focused on decor that would enhance it: some sweet hot air balloons and tissue paper clouds!
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I roughly followed this tutorial and Mod Podged fabric to various sized chinese lanterns.  I sewed up a few little muslin “baskets,” and used hot glued and white cotton twine to attach the baskets to the balloons.
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I strung these hot air balloons along with white tissue paper poufs around this and another tree in the yard.  It was so whimsical and sweet, I just loved it!!
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I love photography and have enjoyed spending the last 4 years documenting my childrens’ (nearly) every move, so a photo display of the kids was high on my priority list.

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 I have been taking monthly photos of Hannah, each month on the corresponding month’s calendar page, so I chose those photos to display.  Since Jayce would be turning 4, I used a picture from every sixth month of his life.  I wanted to display the photos on this white divider, but since it’s plastic I couldn’t use nails to hang anything from it.  So I got two large empty frames, strung them with a heavy twine (doubled up) and hung them from the posts.  I hot glued two rows of cotton twine in the frames and hung the photos on them with mini clothespins.  I strung a colorful Happy Birthday banner above the photos as well.
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As to the food, since we were grilling meat, chopping vegetables and fruit, and mom was cooking her famous macaroni salad on the morning before the party, I opted to remove baking from the to-do list.  We had the Giant Eagle bakery supply the cake and cupcakes.  It worked perfectly because you get a free “smash cake” if you buy a sheet cake, so each child had their own cake, and we got two cakes for the price of one!
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The large cake was for Jayce and the smash cake was for Hannah, obviously.  
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I asked for the cakes to be left plain, other than the decadent buttercream frosting, just frosted and piped around the edges.  I made bunting out of little stiffened scraps of fabric from my stash.  I loved how bright and fun they were, and it warmed my heart knowing that most of these fabrics had been used to decorate my kids’ rooms or clothing.  A few of the flags even matched the hot air balloon stripes.  (Actually, I made many more flags than I used, so I put a similar bunting cake topper and cupcake flags in my Etsy shop, if you’re interested.)
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Other flags were glued to toothpicks and adorned the cupcakes.
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I used the same cardstock that I had used on the Happy Birthday banner to make these fun 3 dimensional hot air balloons.
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I simply stacked three piece of paper together, cut out the balloon shape and sewed a straight stitch down the middle.  Then I opened them up so that they were 3 dimensional and strung them around the drinks and desserts to spin in the breeze.
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I was too nervous to attempt a party dress for Hannah, so instead I opted for a special birthday bib for the main event, the 1 year old cake destruction!  I had made her this fun Nursery Subway Art based on the line “I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day” from My Girl, and wanted her bib to have a similar theme.  I found shapes online to use as templates for the appliques, used fabric scraps from her quilt, and finished it off with a big button from my mom’s old sewing drawer.
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I spread several colorful quilts underneath the tree and this is where we sat to open gifts, 
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and where little Hannah sat to dive into that smash cake!!  And smash she did.
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It was a wonderful day!  Sunny, colorful, and happy, just celebrating the lives of my two little loves with my family.  Perfect. 🙂
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All of the decor was colorful and fun, just perfect for two summer birthdays.  
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Happy birthday little ones!

Linking to Family Ever After.

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