Monday, February 22, 2010

A Giraffe Party!

I was so lucky to have my first "paying" party planning job just a couple of weeks ago, and I am pretty proud of the way it turned out! Our good friend's daughter just turned 6, and I was asked to put together a party for her. Ellette is quite the little girl... not nearly as interested in pink, fairies and ballet as other 6 year old girls, but far more interested in creatures of all sizes: insects, dinosaurs, penguins...and giraffe's. This is what we settled on for the theme of her party.

I found that it was very difficult to find giraffe items on their own... most everything "party" related came in a jungle theme with the giraffe playing second fiddle to the lion and the monkey. I wanted to keep this party as true to the giraffe theme as possible... and once I started looking, I started to find much more. It did take much more creativity however! The added challenge... everyone seems to have a very different idea of what colors a giraffe is!? Some giraffes were yellow and brown, some were tan and brown, some were yellow and orange! Ack! All these colors made it hard to stick with one color theme, so the only cohesive tie was the giraffe theme itself. Maybe I need to get over my matchy-matchy color obsession?

Anyhow, I hope you find some ideas, or at least some enjoyment in the details:

The Birthday Girl: Did I mention this was a "surprise" party? Made the whole thing even more fun! I found the cute little felt giraffe cap at Michael's for $3!

Invitations: Found the yellow and white cards, as well as the giraffe stamp and brown ink at "Impress"

The Decor: We had tons of black, gold and yellow balloons all over! I hung several yellow, and brown and white tissue paper "poofs"  amid the balloons. I used a "cricut" to cut out a sweet Happy Birthday banner from yellow and white papers that I found at my local scrapbooking store. Originally, I planned to buy a couple little rosemary topiaries and position some wooden giraffe's to appear as though they were eating from the little "tree"... but the topiary cost $20...and I was on a budget! So instead... I saw a flat of wheat grass for $2.50 in my grocer's produce section, and plugged it into some small  terra cotta pots and, viola, giraffe's on the grassy plains! I found a few cute little wooden giraffe's to place around the party, including a little giraffe clip to hold the menu cards.

Games and Activities: There were several activities for the kids: a wooden giraffe puzzle and markers for them to color and take home, some cute paper bag puppets to make, and "Pin the Tail on the Giraffe".
The Favors: I am having lots of fun with sugar cookie decorating... and this party would be no exception. I found a giraffe cookie cutter at "Cookies" and decorated with royal icing. Instead of spending hours on the details, I applied wet royal icing brown spots to the wet yellow base and I was very pleased with the way it turned out. I was a little afraid it would not look like a giraffe... but I think it worked out well! This was a pretty small party, so only a few "goodie" bags for the kids. They included some candy, giraffe stickers and a little giraffe toy (that expands and grows in water!)

The Food: We had a great dinner of spaghetti and meatballs, garlic cheese bread (recipe courtesy of Pioneer Woman!), and appetizers of a veggie tray and cheese dip and crackers... but of course, none of that matter's to the kids (right?) All that really matters to the kids is BIRTHDAY CAKE! So, I found this fun Wilton "Animal Crackers" pan that can be made into all different kinds of animals, including of course, a giraffe!

I had a lot of fun, and I was very honored to have been asked to help in planning this party. I am up for more, anyone interested?! :) In the meantime... I am trying to resist the temptation to throw together a quickie spring party, just to enter the current contest going on a Maddycakes Muses, but oh boy, does it look like I would have some stiff competition. Maybe next year?


Corinne said...

OMG Cicely! No wonder you haven't posted! You have been a busy busy girl! I love the party! :) And... all the ideas. :)

Life, Love and a Lil Sauce said...

So cute! My dream job is a party/wedding planner ...

Corinne @ The Splendid Stuff said...

Can I take a pic and post it?? :)

Cicely said...

Corinne- go for it!

Kim @ said...

Very sweet party!

Kim @
party inspiration

Simple and Posh said...

I love it! I'm planning my little one's first birthday party right now and it's a giraffe theme. I'm planning on using the Animal Crackers pan too and hoping it turns out as good as yours!

Tracy @

for travel's sake said...

What a great idea! I love the cake.