Thursday, May 2, 2013

Not-So Crafty Momma Strikes Again!

It’s that time of year again…that time when Moms like me (aka, not-so-crafty Moms) feel the need to attempt cute, homemade things for their most adorable darlings. Yep…it’s birthday time!

For MONTHS – and that’s in real time, so imagine what it’s like in toddler-time – Sam has been asking for a Mickey Mouse Marching band birthday party. We’re a band family, so I was HAPPY to oblige that request! Plus, I already knew I had a Mickey Mouse Bandleader cake pan – SCORE! I could bake and decorate his cake again! However, I knew the cake from that pan would not be big enough for large number of expected party guests (family alone is nearly 30 people).

What to do? I decided cupcakes – ideally with cute musical instrument-shaped chocolates on them – would supplement the cake. But where to find those? As a friend pointed out, Amazon has everything. I was able to buy instrument-shaped candy molds to make my own cupcake toppers.

I’m not usually one to go overboard on decorations for a little one’s birthday party, but I have to admit I was disappointed to find NO marching band-type party hats available at a reasonable price. I found a really cute one online, for about $4 per hat. Remember that big family we have? $4/hat is NOT in our budget. So, again I opted for home-made. Using a picture I found online of Mickey in his Marching Band uniform, I sketched out a hat outline. I used a copier to make copies and my “fancy” colored pencils to color 4 hats – purple, red, green, and blue. I then made color copies – 10 copies of each color – to get 40 hats! During my lunch breaks and during evening t.v. time in the week leading up to the party, I cut out the hats.

Friday, the day before the party, I took off work. Sam went to school, Bryan worked from home, and my friend Melissa and I did some party prep. We cut out strips of paper and attached them to the cutouts to make headband-type marching hats.

I baked the cake and cupcakes (box mixes, don’t be TOO impressed). Melissa and I made chocolate and white chocolate instruments with the candy molds. Bryan made icing. Melissa and I colored icing and decorated cupcakes and the cake. It was a whirlwind day, but we got just about everything accomplished, even before Grandma and Grandpa and cousins Will and James got in from Houston around dinner-time.

A special present arrived from Aunt Lynne Cookie on Friday. It was so special, we allowed Sam to open it BEFORE the party, because, well, it fit the theme too perfectly.

Come party time, I couldn’t have asked for things to go better. The adults were all awesome sports and wore the silly marching band hats (in fact, the adults wore them and the kids didn’t!). The cake turned out great. The instrument-topped cupcakes were a hit. The birthday boy, who went from about 7am to nearly 10pm with NO NAP, was adorable and charming. Everyone played well together, and nobody fought over toys or games or presents. We have some great memories with my little drum major from his 3rd birthday.

What crafty or not-so-crafty things have you done for birthday parties?

Julie Daneman is wife to Bryan, Stepmom to Jacob and Caleb, and Mommy to Sam. They are a boisterous, loving, happy interfaith family.

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