Jenna’s Garden Party: Getting Started

Lollipop Cake from marthastewart.com

Lollipop Cake from marthastewart.com

The inspiration for my party theme was a lollipop garden cake that I saw on marthastewart.com. It’s very girly and whimsical – and it looked like it doesn’t require a great deal of cake decorating skill – so I decided to create a theme around it.

I started out by researching my party idea on the web, hoping that someone else had already planned and documented such an event. But I didn’t have much luck, and most of the stuff I found was intended for an older audience. Our party will have attendees ranging in age from 4 months to 6 years, with most of the children being under 3.

So, my first step was to list ideas around 3 categories: menu, decorations, and activities.

Decorations:

  • Vintage-looking linens
  • Paper flowers
  • Paper butterflies
  • Potted plants
  • Flowers in vintage-looking vases
  • Outdoor canopy with large blanket underneath for a baby playing area

Activities:

  • Make a paper flower
  • Paper flower and butterfly collage
  • Bubbles
  • Flower beanbag toss into large pots

Menu:

  • Mini Quiches
  • Cheese-Filled Crepes (probably cut into spirals)
  • Finger sandwiches (cut into flower shapes)
  • Fresh fruit (maybe small fruit kabobs)
  • Butterfly and flower cookies
  • Cheese and crackers (butterfly crackers)
  • Mimosas (for the parents)

Next, I made a list of all of the things I need to purchase and/or find around the house (excluding groceries). I also decided on a pink/pale green color palette and a vintage, mismatched looking approach to the decorations.

Things to Buy/Find:

  • Decorative paper (for flowers, butterflies and invitations), floral tape and green pipe cleaners
  • Butterfly paper punch
  • Cards and envelopes for invitations
  • Cake stand
  • Flower and butterfly cookie cutters
  • Pots for plants
  • Buckets for beanbag toss
  • Beanbags that I can modify to make look like flowers or material for making flower beanbags (I should mention that I’m pretty crafty with paper, but I can’t really sew)
  • Vintage-looking linens in a floral motif
  • Vintage-looking serving dishes and vases in floral, feminine design (I’m a minimalist so my own dishes and serving pieces don’t work so well with this theme)
  • Round cake pan
  • Lollipops
  • Dessert plates for brunch (I decided to use our fine china for the meal and then paper plates for the cake)
  • Paper plates (for cake), napkins, forks, spoons
  • Bubble-blowing machine
  • Large white sheet for outdoor children’s canopy and blanket for underneath (some sort of system for holding the canopy up, not sure what that is yet)

I made a list of the invitees so that I would know how many people I’d be planning for along with the age of the children in attendance. I also set a budget of $350:

Food & beverages: $125,  Decorations: $175, Activities: $50

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