So my youngest, Lorelei, finally turned one this month. I was racking my brain for a fun and different theme for her party. Then it hit me ... I could use her nickname, little Lila Bean, to inspire me and started planning a "Lila & the Beanstalk" birthday bash.
When I sat down to start designing the invitation for the event I remembered an accordion style I'd used for my cousin's graduation party. I liked the idea of guests getting to "grow" their own beanstalk as they opened the invitation. I later reused the same design elements in the invitation in the rest of the party printables.
Normally we host a casual summer BBQ each year for all of our friends and family and since Lorelei's birthday falls in July we decided to combine the two events. My wonderful husband and father in-law slaved over a hot BBQ cooking up 40 lbs of meat and grilling veggies for all of our guests.
We served carne asada, lula kebabs and marinated chicken; grilled mushrooms, peppers and asparagus; boiled corn; bean salad; steamed rice; and lavash bread. BBQ is one of my favorite choices for party food. Everything tastes yummy coming off of a BBQ and I can pawn a large portion of the work off on my husband! ;)
The food table was designed as a "Giant Feast." The backdrop featured a large version of the giant's castle with a beanstalk coming up out of the table. Each of the food signs were tiny beanstalks popping out of a white cloud covered table. The food was served in all white dishes to blend in with the cloud decor.
And of course there was a fully stocked dessert table! Since the main food was featuring the giant's home I wanted to showcase Jack/Lila's home and storybook farmland for the desserts.
Once again I utilized the fabulous talents of my friend, Fenella Higgins. I asked her to create Lila's cottage out of cake based off of the cottage I used on the invite. She came through with the adorable centerpiece of the table. She even made mini cupcakes covered in Oreo cookie "dirt" with magic (jelly) beans planted in them.
I had tons of other treats for all the guests to splurge on, such as, cow and pig lollipops, "bails" of rice cereal treats, caramel apples, caramel popcorn, cake pops, Oreo cookie "wheels," magic jelly beans, gold fish, Red Vines, green Laffy Taffy ropes, and green chocolate covered sunflower seeds.
I also made sure that all the items that Jack/Lila "stole" from the giant were represented in edible form on the table. I made golden egg cake pops complete with a yolk and shiny candy coating.
For the backdrop I had the giant's castle again but this time it was a much smaller version floating up above the table scape in the clouds. The beanstalk was placed coming up out of the ground by the cake and stretching up to the castle and then branching out and becoming a banner for the table, "Lila & the Beanstalk."
I was ecstatic when I found mini pots with seed packets at Target in their dollar bin! I removed the packaging and wrapped each pot in green ribbon and attached a matching favor tag. The backside of each tag had instructions for growing the seeds. The seeds were a mix of flowers, strawberries and tomato plants but each guest would have to grown their magic beans to discover what they had planted.
Some of the additional decor for the party was a photo vine I created. Each leaf represented a different month from newborn to one year old. In the canopies I hung clusters of tissue puffs shaped into cloud formations, some of which had strands of leaf ribbon hanging down.
Lastly there were several activities for the kids to participate in during the party. I created some homemade "Lila and the Beanstalk" characters out of felt and I had one of my friends, Dina of Studio E a children's acting program, hold a story time. All the kids gathered around to hear the (slightly modified to be more kid friendly) tale of Lila and her magic beans. This was a huge hit thanks to Dina's wonderful talent at interacting with kids. After the story they all swarmed the felt board and playing with all the pieces.
There was also a first birthday pinata and homemade binoculars for the kids to decorate. I had gathered toilet paper rolls for weeks before the party. I then spray painted them, glued them together and tied them with yarn. I gave the kids precut foam stickers to adhere to them as decorations and then sent them off to search the sky for castles in the clouds!
Tutorial for egg pops: http://eeadesign.blogspot.com/search/label/Tutorials