Friday, April 4, 2014

Ellie's Sesame Street 2nd Birthday Party

My last post was all about the fun we had at Ellie's 2nd birthday party, but as promised, today I'm going to share all the little party planning details with you!

This party was a lot of fun for me to plan, because this year, I knew she would love it. Ellie is a Sesame Street Super Fan, so I knew that she would be thrilled to see her favorite characters popping up all over her party. As moms tend to do these days, I scoured the internet (thanks, Pinterest) for inspiration, of which there is a plethora. I tried to reign myself in as much as I could (pregnancy fatigue plus a huge work project the three weeks prior to the party made that a necessity), but I still couldn't help but get into the little details a bit. Hopefully my post will return the favor of inspiration for any fellow moms of Sesame Street Enthusiasts out there!

The Invitation

I scoured Etsy for the perfect invitation but ultimately ended up just putting something together myself in PowerPoint, using an Elmo graphic found by Googling, and the crayon-esque font "Pastel Crayon" (free on dafont.com). I then had it printed through Vistaprint.


Ellie's Attire

We opted to skip an actual Sesame Street-themed dress for the party (largely because I procrastinated too long to order something from Etsy and have it delivered on time), so she wore a red polka dot dress from Target. I did, however, order her an Elmo hairclip from seller "eilisamtree" on Ebay. It shipped immediately and was so cute!

The birthday girl!

Decor

The decor was the fun part!

Tables:

We had four dining tables in our pavilion (plus tables for favors, etc. and food). I decided to theme each dining table for a particular character: Elmo, Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird. So, for each table, I used a tablecloth in that characters signature color. For centerpieces, I filled a mason jar with a food item to represent the character in question: Goldfish crackers for Elmo, Famous Amos cookies for Cookie Monster, gummy worms for Oscar the Grouch, and sunflower seeds for Big Bird. Then I stuck some (artificial) gerber daisies in the signature color in the mason jar, along with the character's face that I made out of craft foam. I also put the signature food for each table out next to the centerpieces, so guests could actually snack on it!

A general look at the dining tables

The centerpieces for each table

A look at the snacks next to the centerpieces (oops! Didn't get a picture of Big Bird!)

Signage:

I went a little crazy with fun signage at Ellie's party last year, so I tried to pull it back and simplify this year. There were two signs that I had to make, though. The first was waiting to greet guests at the entrance to the pavilion:

This party is brought to you by the letter "E" and the number "2"

I cut the "Ellie Street" and "E" and "2" out of craft foam for a little extra dimension!

The other sign I made included a collage of pictures of Ellie over the past year, organized to form a "2." Around the photos I wrote lists of things Ellie has accomplished in the last year, and facts about her now.

I thought this was a fun way to capture a little of Ellie's personality at this age

Pom-poms:

I made a bunch of tissue paper pom-poms to hang around the pavilion, using this tutorial. I had planned to cut out Sesame Street character faces from construction paper to glue to each of the pom-poms (similar to this), but that ended up being a "REIGN IT IN" project that got cut. So, we just hung the faceless pom-poms as they were. I still think they looked great, though, and added some more color to the pavilion!

Pom-poms prepped and ready to go

An overall look at the pavilion

For any other signage I needed, I just wrote it out by hand with a crayon. The beauty of a Sesame Street party? Messy handwriting in crayon is totally on-theme!

Food

We went pretty low-key for food this year. The pavilion had a grill, and my dad was kind enough to use it to cook up burgers and hot dogs. My mom provided baked beans, pasta salad and macaroni salad, and we also served chips and dip, as well as Sesame Street Yogurt Pouches for the little kids.

The food table

As you can see in the above photo, the food at the near end of the table was the only themed food we had. First, we had Sesame Street character fruit and vegetable trays:

Festive fruits and veggies

For Elmo, we made his face out of strawberries, nose out of orange slices and mouth out of blackberries. Big Bird's face was made of pineapple chunks, beak and eyebrows of mango slices, and his tongue was an orange slice. Cookie Monster's face was blueberries with a blackberry mouth. All the fruit trays had yogurt or cream cheese dip as eyes, with blueberry eyeballs. Oscar's face was made of broccoli and green pepper slices. His eyebrows were yellow and red pepper slices and his mouth was made of black olives. His eyes were made of ranch dip with olive eyeballs.

The other themed food we had was Ellie's birthday cake, which we ordered from Publix. It was tasty and cute, and Ellie loved the Elmo and Abby on the seesaw!

Ellie's cake

Activities

Cookie Monster Cornhole:

I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was both cute and something that (hopefully) people would actually play. I'm not a big "organized games at parties" kind of person; I prefer to just have some options hanging out for people to make use of if they'd like. Cookie Monster Cornhole fit the bill! My mom already had some cornhole boards, which I covered with blue presentation boards cut to size. I used craft foam for his eyes and colored in his mouth with a black permanent marker. I also made two sets of cookie beanbags out of felt (four light brown with dark chocolate chips, and four dark brown with light brown chips).

Cookie Monster cornhole

Photo props:

We love pictures, and we had so much fun taking pictures of our guests using our photo props last year that we really wanted to do so again. This year, I made Sesame Street character foam visors and encouraged our guests to select their favorite character to wear for a photo. These were pretty easy to make, especially after I had already done the centerpieces. I purchased the foam visors from Michael's for $1 each, and I made the features out of craft foam.

Visors! Big Bird, Oscar, Ernie, Bert, Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby, Grover, The Count, Elmo and Rosita

A closer look at a couple of the visors, plus one of my handwritten crayon signs I mentioned


Visors in action!

The Guest Book:

Last year we started the tradition of choosing an on-theme book to have people sign as a guestbook. This year, Eric selected the Sesame Street ABC & 123 Treasury, and our guests seemed to have some fun finding cute places to sign! I love this tradition, because it's never a bad thing to add to Ellie's library, and now she'll have this book to keep and read over and over (we're already there) that is signed by all her friends and family.

The guestbook, and a picture of Ellie with Elmo and Big Bird from Busch Gardens over the holidays

Favors

We had one table all set up with the guestbook, photo props and favors for our littlest guests.

The one non-food-related table

For favors, I picked up little primary-colored buckets from Target, and attached the following tags to them (designed by me and ordered as business cards through Vistaprint):

For any who may not know, the wording is in reference to the theme song for "Elmo's World"

The buckets were filled with: a Sesame Street coloring book (homemade, using images found by Googling "Sesame Street coloring pages," which yields TONS of results), crayons (from Party City), Goldfish crackers and a small jar of bubbles (also, Party City).

Favors all lined up on the table

And I think that's about it! We had a great time. Once again, thanks to all our friends and family who helped make it such a great day for Ellie, and for us!

Happy family!

And if you are planning a Sesame Street party of your own and have any questions, please feel free to email me. I'm happy to help!

4 comments:

Lauren said...

Love the centerpieces you made and the fruit trays are adorable!!!

Rosemary said...

How big are the centerpiece heads? Sooo cute!

danieliza77 said...

Those invitations are so cute! Would you be willing to share them by e-mail so I could use them too?

Angie.Underwood said...

Love that Thank You card. Are you willing to share? My daughters second birthday is coming up and she is Elmo Crazed! :)