Jack’s 2nd Birthday Party – Sesame Street Style!

I’m a little late writing this post…okay I’m a LOT late writing this post. Jack turned 2 in November. But I’m using the holidays as my excuse for being so busy that I’m just now getting back to my blog! 🙂

When I threw Jack’s very first birthday party back in 2010 I was SO disappointed with how it turned out. I was afraid that nobody would ever want to come to another party that I threw because it was so horrible. The room that I rented turned out to be so small that everyone was packed in there like sardines, nobody could see what was going on, what Jack was doing, etc. All in all, I was disappointed. So I was determined to make his second birthday a blast – to redeem myself as a party-thrower, and to make sure that Jack had some good pictures to look at later on in life.

I planned for a few months in advance, planning what treats I would make and what the decor and theme would look like. I googled “Sesame Street party ideas” and found a whole slew of great things! Since I was on a budget, I decided that I was going to make many of the decorations myself, and I love baking so of course I planned on making all of the cakes and sweets. For the food (it was a lunch party) I bought all sorts of sandwich ingredients and had a make-your-own-sandwich bar, and some chips with 7-layer dip.

Here is how the main table ended up looking:

So here’s the rundown: I bought the Sesame Street plates, napkins, and cups at Dollar Tree…along with the red plasticware, the Elmo balloons, and the supplies I needed to make the other decorations. That giant Elmo on the wall behind the table is made out of a metallic door cover that I found at Dollar Tree. It was basically just a huge rectangle of red and I found a picture of Elmo online, printed it out, made a copy onto an overhead transparency sheet and then using my overhead projector I projected the image onto the wall and traced it out onto the door cover. Then I cut it out, added the facial features (made of construction paper) and voila! A giant Elmo wall mural for one dollar! I actually also bought a green door cover and I was going to make a giant Oscar the Grouch, but it was too much work. That Elmo was harder than I expected because when I shined the image onto it using the projector, the light reflected off of the metallic-ness of it. I had to trace the image initially onto a piece of brown mailing paper, cut that out, and then trace it onto the red stuff. Blah. So needless to say, I didn’t make the Oscar one.

For the “Happy Birthday Jack” banner on the wall, I went to Walmart and got free paint chip samples. They have a huge section and there is one brand that makes their samples bigger than all the others (I forget which brand it is right now), so I grabbed the large ones in all of the basic colors, to match the Sesame Street theme. Then I just cut out the letters and used double-sided tape to hang them onto a ribbon. Easy-peasy…and free! Also, if you look around Elmo, you will see a bunch of little pictures all over the wall. I put those all over the room (as you’ll see in the next pictures). I went to Goodwill and bought a couple of old 79 cent Sesame Street books and just cut out all of the pictures and stuck them on the walls. Just to add some pops of color and characters.

Two of my favorite ideas were the fruit platter and vegetable platter – both made to look like Elmo’s face. For the fruit platter I used strawberries and raspberries for the face, blackberries for the mouth and eyeballs, and mandarin oranges for the nose. The whites of the eyes is a fruit dip (cream cheese and marshmallow creme). For the veggie platter I used red pepper and baby tomatoes for the face, black olives for the mouth and eyeballs, and carrots for the nose. The white is ranch dip. Then just for fun, I added a bucket of grapes, because I happened to find a little Elmo bucket at Goodwill for a buck, and it matched the theme.

I made a balloon face for each of the characters, and I thought they were a perfect addition to the main table. This was easy, I basically just cut the facial features out of construction paper, and placed the parts for each character in a ziplock baggie with the corresponding balloon. Then on the day of the party I just had to blow the balloons up and tape the face pieces on.

This picture (above) just shows more of the little Sesame Street pictures that I put on the walls, from the Goodwill books.

Another thing that I did was I made “footprints” of Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Big Bird. I had them leading up to the door, as if the monsters had already arrived! These were just made of colored paper and taped to the ground. The custom Sesame Street signs (we had “welcome”, “Jack Street”, “Sandwich Bar”, “Happy Birthday”, and a few more that you can see in the pictures) were made by my husband using the computer program GIMP. He downloaded the official Sesame Street font (for free on the web) and then made whatever signs I wanted him to make! 🙂

For the sweets & treats, I made two large cakes and a batch of cupcakes. The two cakes were of Elmo and Cookie Monster and the cupcakes were mini Oscar-the-Grouches. The crinkly tinsel stuff under each cake is from Dollar Tree. Here’s how they turned out:

For drinks, I had bottles of juice, but I also made personalized water bottles. I made them on my computer with my favorite program, Scrapbook Factory.

Overall, I was very happy with Jack’s second birthday party. I rented a MUCH bigger room, so everyone had ample space to roam about. Jack opened his presents in the middle of the room so that everyone could see everything, and everyone got full from all the food. It was great, and Jack made out like a bandit. Here’s a picture of some of his loot:

And after the party, Jack was pooped out!

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February 15, 2012. Jack, Parties.

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