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a pirate party for harrison

What does every 4 year old boy love? Pirates, of course! When we asked Harrison what he wanted for his 4th birthday party we easily settled on a pirate theme, with a hint of Jake and the Neverland Pirates. His party falls at the end of July so I usually try to plan for it to be hot! Would you believe the day of the party was a breezy 70 degrees? Just gorgeous! So our bouncy house/water park for the kids turned into just a bouncy and slide day. I planned a couple games for them which can be seen below. I love seeing the kids faces light up when they start playing a game. Even the easiest games can entertain and create a sense of excitement when they win a prize.

The party planning started with a Zulily sale, obviously! Invites and paper products were the featured product from Meri Meri so I stocked up on invites, thank you’s, treat bags, a pirate center piece, a banner, plates & napkins and pirate hats (also found on Amazon).

pirate hat invites

pirate hat invites (photo from merimeri.com)

A pirate party isn’t complete with out dressing like a true pirate. I used a 6 ft. folding table and used a couple yards of red and white striped fabric as a table skirt. The top is covered with a long piece of grey and white striped wrapping paper. We had a selection of paper pirate hats, eye patches, giant pixie stick swords, compasses, muslin bags to fill with gold coins and pirate tattoos.

dress like a pirate table

dress like a pirate table

get yer pirate booty

get yer pirate booty

ahoy! pirate hats

ahoy! pirate hats

thar she blows

thar she blows

anchors away... pirate swords

anchors away… pirate swords

which direction... compasses

which direction… compasses

eye patches

eye patches

fishing... tattoos

fishing for tattoos

gold coins

gold coins

muslin bags for coins

muslin bags for coins

The sweets bar was fun to put together. I hung a nautical fishing net, found at Hobby Lobby, behind our dining room buffet. Then I covered the front of the buffet with a couple yards of burlap fabric. I also used an empty frame and hung two plastic swords from it for the backdrop. We had cupcakes, cookies, twizzlers, gold cannon balls (Ferrero Rocher truffles), gum balls, sour gummy worms and ring pops.

pirate sweets bar

shark bait and gold cannon balls

shark bait and gold cannon balls

cookies

cookies

pirate jewels & creepy crawlies

pirate jewels & creepy crawlies

anchor, swords & gum balls

anchor, swords & gum balls

My favorite part… the cookies. My husband’s aunt has been doing cakes for friends and family for years. This summer she decided to try out decorated sugar cookies. I told her our theme and she and her daughter ran with it. Julie & Anne blew me away when they dropped off dozens of perfectly decorated pirate cookies. They seriously looked better than any I have seen online and tasted just as good. We had pirate boy faces, skulls, number 4’s and gold coins with a ‘H’ for Harrison. I hope these pictures do them justice but they probably don’t. Just writing about them is making me crave them. Amazing is all I can say.

decorated cookies {4's, pirate faces & skulls}

decorated cookies {4’s, pirate faces & skulls}

cupcakes & cookies

cupcakes & cookies

gold coin cookies

gold coin H's

gold coin H’s

so many cookies

cookie tray

I loved this pirate ship centerpiece from Meri Meri on Zulily. Complete with little paper pirates and a drop anchor with gold chain.

pirate ship centerpiece

pirate ship centerpiece, cookies & treat bags

pirate ship

pirate ship

pirate plates and napkins

pirate plates and napkins

I was inspired by Miss Martha’s party cup garland game and created this little Pirate Pong game. A twist on this post on her blog. I thought it would be simple and fun for the age group of children we were having. And they loved it wanting to play again and again. Very simple to create with red solo cups and paper lunch bags. I used a stencil to cut out the letters for the cups and bags. Then put the ping pong balls in a glass jar with a Pirate Pong chalkboard to top it off.

pirate pong

pirate pong

Pirate banner from Meri Meri on Zulily.

pirate flag banner

pirate flag banner

Another simple game for the kids, we filled a few buckets with sand to dig for treasure: necklaces, rings & gold coins. They had a blast doing this and it lasted longer than I thought too.

treasure dig

Last year, I made my first piñata for Harrison’s 3rd birthday. In keeping with that tradition, I made a treasure chest piñata. So easy to make with a few simple supplies… cardboard, tissue paper, packing tape and ribbon. I like to make pull string piñatas for this age so we aren’t worried about a bunch of 2-4 years olds blindly swinging a bat. The best part is it is practically free except for the candy filler.

treasure dig

treasure chest piñata

One of the biggest hits with the kids were the jello pirate ships.

jello pirate ships

jello pirate ships

It’s not a party without the cake… 0ne afternoon I was browsing thru various Jake and pirate cakes and Harrison peeked over my shoulder and requested a pretty elaborate Jake cake that also had Captain Hook and an island with the other Jake characters. So after plan A, which is plan Aunt Amy makes the awesome cake, didn’t work out we went to plan B, make a grocery store cake look awesome. My husband, Scott, was the brains behind this project because I was in my ‘party freak out mode’. Not pretty. The day before the party we purchased a white quarter size sheet cake and a round double layer coconut cake. I had also picked up some Jake & friends and Hook & ship characters at Target. We dyed a jar of white icing blue and spread it over both cake tops to create the ocean. On the round cake we spread crumbled graham crackers to create a little island then put Jake, Cubby and Izzy on top with a ‘#4’ candle and a couple pirate flags. For the Hook cake, we simply put the ship with hook and his alligator on top. Then created a pile of cannon balls with 4 black gum balls. I did this in 2 spots to fill some of the empty space. I also used the gum balls around the base of the cake. I think it created a tougher look for the Hook cake since he is usually up to no good. I also put 2 flags in the corners and used 4 taller birthday candles. Harrison was pretty impressed with his cake when he saw it the morning of the party. Mommy and Daddy were pretty proud of our skills too.

easy jake cake diy

easy jake cake diy

jake and friends

jake, cubby & izzy

hook and ship

captain hook and ship

I created a simple pirate wreath for the front door. I used a wreath form and wrapped it in a wide burlap ribbon then wrapped a black pirate skull ribbon over the burlap. I evenly spaced the skull ribbon and used an additional piece to hang the wreath.

pirate wreath

And the shark park bouncy house kept the little ones entertained.

shark park bouncy house

shark park bouncy house

That’s it – A cool July Pirate 4th Birthday Party! If you have any questions about what I made or where I purchased something feel free to ask in the comments below.

Sources:

Muslin bags & striped treat bags: Pick Your Plum

Invites, thank you’s, treat bags, banner, pirate ship centerpiece, pirate hats, plates, napkins, cupcake wrappers and toppers:  Meri Meri purchased on Zulily.

Eye patches, plastic swords & tattoos: Target party section

Pirate buckets: Target clearance after easter

Pixie stick swords: Sam’s club and diy

Compasses, gold coins, fishing net backdrop, silver anchor, pirate ship, empty wood frame, mini suitcases, mini chalkboards: Hobby Lobby

Red & white stripe fabric and burlap fabric: Jo-ann Fabrics

Grey & white stripe wrapping paper: Homegoods

White tiered tray and Silver tiered tray: Pottery Barn outlet

Chip board words: Michaels-dollar section

Vintage glass bottles: my own stash

Photography by Heidi on Park.

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a vintage baby girl shower

This summer, my mom and I hosted a baby shower for my cousin and her soon to be baby girl. Planning a baby shower for a girl is a breeze and very enjoyable as well. If you have the privilege of knowing my mother you know she has great style, I consider it french-country with a bit of vintage antique thrown in. When we started brainstorming ideas for the shower she wanted to incorporate her collection of vintage baby girl clothing. She has quite the collection considering she raised three daughters and also collects dolls. So, planning a girl themed baby shower was a treat not a feat.

The main decorations were empty vintage frames that my mom has found from various flea markets, thrift shops and estate sales. We then hung little outfits from twine strung across the middle. We placed pink tissue poms at the top for a little added touch and probably my favorite. We also hung a few tissue poms in the dining room and kitchen.

framed outfit & tissue pom

framed outfit & tissue pom

baby socks framed

baby socks framed

vintage baby outfits

vintage baby outfits

My mom had a large print in the family room that was in reds and golds so we decided to use the pink fabric to cover it up and then placed a large white tissue pom in the middle. I think it turned out really cute and helped incorporate the theme while working around the existing decor.

fabric & pom cover

fabric & pom cover

A gifted christening gown from soon-to-be grandmother was hung up and added a tissue pom above it. This was a precious gown that is sure to be a family heirloom.

christening gown

christening gown

We placed several vintage milk glass pieces on her mantle and filled them with bunches of baby’s breath. My mom has done this for years and I know my love of baby’s breath comes from her. And her collection of milk glass is amazing! She must have 25 or so pieces and she keeps them on a white corner shelf. All the white… I just love it. Surprising she likes it since she loves having color and adding pops of color. Where as I am more neutral, with greys, whites, sandy tans and black. We also used a lot of my mom’s fabric doily’s and lace tablecloths for added decor. We used several paper doilies and strung them on a piece of bakers twine. Then, I printed out the letters for Audrey on pink card stock and cut them out individually to create the Audrey banner. I used this banner template from Miss Martha Stewart (of course!). I have used this on several occasions as it is very versatile.

Audrey banner

audrey banner & milk glass mantle

For the mommy-to-be banner, we also used more paper doilies and folded them in half and placed on a piece of baker’s twine. I then used self-adhesive gold glittered letters to spell out mommy-to-be on each doily.

mommy-to-be banner

I also made a little diaper cake for the mommy-to-be. I love making these. They are very simple and make a great gift because they can be unwrapped and the diapers can be used. We all know new parents buy a lot of diapers. This 3 tier cake took 100 Pampers exactly. I tucked in travel size Johnson & Johnson bath products and 2 pink soothies inside the ribbon. I also put smaller 4 oz bottles in the center of each tier so when they disassemble the cake they find a little useful surprise. You can use any baby products that you prefer or even little baby toys for added cuteness. My mom had a large embroidery hoop with a piece of pink fabric that we placed inside and trimmed down the excess. I drew a letter ‘A’ for Audrey on a piece of decorative scrapbook paper and used glue dots to adhere it. Very inexpensive and it doubles as art for the baby’s nursery.

diaper cake

diaper cake

embroidery hoop letter 'A'

embroidery hoop letter ‘A’

For a simple door wreath, I wrapped a wreath form with pink satin ribbon and attached three little pink felt flowers that were found at Michael’s from Martha Stewart’s craft line. {also found here}

pink wreath

pink wreath

pink felt flowers

pink felt flowers

Let’s talk about shower games. Most people organize them for showers and most people don’t like playing them for one reason or another. My mom and I wanted to keep the games short and sweet, just quick enough to give out a few gifts and leave time for everyone to socialize, which is what we really do at showers anyway. We came across a little game online where you fill a walnut with as many TINY items as you can fit then have the guests guess how many are inside. Well, try to find a whole walnut in the middle of summer and you will learn that they are not ‘in season’. They are primarily found during Christmas season for gift baskets and such. So we decided to substitute an egg shell. My mom had one laying around for her gardening so we went to work and found quite a few tiny items to fill it with. We tried to use items that related to babies also. After filling the egg I carefully taped it shut with washi tape and then we tied  a bow around it with a cute ribbon. I think we ended up having 33 items and could have even fit a few more.

egg game

egg game

egg and ribbon

egg and ribbon

mini items for egg game

a few of the mini items for egg game

The second game we played was also very simple. When the guests arrived they each got a mini cloth diaper to pin to their shirt with a mini clothes pin. Later in the shower we asked the ladies to open their diaper and whoever had a dirty diaper won the gift. We just put a junior mint in one of them before hand, so it wasn’t too messy.

cloth diaper game

cloth diaper game

mini cloth diapers

mini cloth diapers

The guests each took home a little favor… a bottle of pink nail polish tied with a mini baby i.d. bracelet. {pinterest inspired}

nail polish favors

nail polish favors

detail of i.d. bracelet

We served mini wine bottles with striped pink paper straws attached with ribbon. Also sparking french pink lemonade in glass decanter bottles.

mini wine bottles & paper straws

mini wine bottles & paper straws

mini wines and french lemonade

mini wines and french lemonade

My little sister, Amy, is a wonderful cake maker and decorator. She has made cakes for Harrison’s birthday parties and they are always amazing as well as delicious. For the shower we decided to do three small simple cakes and oreo truffles.

three mini cakes

three mini cakes

oreo truffles on crystal dishes

oreo truffles on crystal dishes

oreo truffles

oreo truffles

Adorable cake boxes for guests to take a slice of cake home if they wanted. {Source: Homegoods}

striped cake boxes

striped cake boxes

cake boxes

Overall, I think the shower went wonderfully. My mom and I really enjoyed planning every detail together and it was a great bonding experience for the two of us.

Update on the mommy-to-be… Baby Audrey was born on Sept 16th (1 day past due date), 1:09 pm, 7lb 13 oz and 20″ long. Welcome to the world baby girl!

 

 

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