Back in the fall, we cleaned out our unattached garage and made it into what I've dubbed "The Carriage House Studio." I've had been dreams for it, but for now, life and weather tend to get in the way of using it as much as I'd like. (We're rather dependent on good temps since it's not heated or air conditioned.)
Anyways, I was really excited about the potential for using it for birthday parties because everyone but Sabriel has a birthday in either the fall or the spring, so we could use it to host a lot of celebrations! Emerson's was the first one we got to try out in it, so I thought I'd share it with you guys.
An old crib spring hangs on the wall, which was the perfect place to hang a chalkboard and put the food table underneath.
When each girl arrived, we took a quick photo of them with Emerson holding this frame we have (it's actually the frame for the chalkboard hanging up in the pictures above). Later, during the party, my sister went inside to print them off on my little photo printer.
The garage was already decorated for the "studio" aspect, so I just had to buy a couple of pink tablecloths and we were pretty much ready to go!
After the girls got their photo taken, I let them draw on the walls with chalk as we waited for the rest of the guests to arrive. A playlist from Spotify with all of Emerson's favorites (including "Soul Sister" by Train and "Dream" by Priscilla Ahn, and the soundtrack to "Annie"- ha!) kept them moving around.
Once everyone arrived, we began our painting project- using canvas boards to create a mermaid scene! Canvas boards are super cheap; packs of 3 at Walmart are a little over $3. I cut out a mermaid with my Silhouette machine so the girls got to experiment with Mod Podge and make a mixed media picture. ;)
Once they were done painting, they set them down to dry in front of a bag with handles that they could carry it home with. We later printed off their photos and adhered them to a simple shaped card/frame cut with my Silhouette machine (but I've seen similar cards in the stationary section of Target!).
We attached little cards that I found at Target to the bags so that Emerson could go ahead and write a little thank you note... I'm horrible about sending out cards so I knew at least this way, something little had been done. I decorated the card with a cute Dear Lizzy stamp that came in a NoelMignon kit, and then Emerson wrote the sentiment.
We played Twister while we waited for the food to finish cooking
(fries & Sister Schubert's pigs in a blanket- easy peasy!).
Then it was cake time! I usually just order a cake from my friend who is an awesome baker, but Emerson wanted a rainbow cake and I thought it was something I could attempt. She asked for chocolate frosting, and I love the way it ended up looking against the variation of colors we chose to dye the cake layers.
My cake topper- two paint brushes with a tiny banner hanging between!
Another thing I did to help organize things was have a "drop off" and "pick up" time on the invites... I always struggle between roles as a hostess to the other parents and as the party director. This gave moms a little time to themselves and me an end time to the party! 2 hours was just right for this type of party.
She was so excited to get art supplies from a thoughtful friend!
The girls swang on our tire swing as they waited for pick up... it was such a sweet, sweet party with my girl and her friends. I'm so glad I got to enjoy this time with her! I could NOT have done it without my besties there to help out... I had a crew of my three besties here to do all the hands on stuff: helping pour paint, grabbing last minute things that I'd forgotten, heating up food, organizing Twister. They were essential!!