Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Avery's Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star Birthday Party

*Note: If you’re only interested in party pictures, skip to the next Note in this post. This first part is just some background info to the actual day-of that I felt pertinent to the story*

Here’s the funny thing about events … you can plan and plan ‘til your heart’s content, but sometimes life just gets in the way.

Little-known fact about me: I’ve been a migraine sufferer since I was two years old. So, you know, as long as I can remember. And when I woke up Saturday morning my first thought was God, no. Because I knew one was coming.

On my daughter’s 1st birthday.

On the day of her party.

On the day when our house would soon fill with celebrating family and friends.

I tried my best to head off the migraine with copious amounts of medicine and caffeine and managed to make it through the set-up but once the actual party started at 4 pm, I was done. I welcomed the guests, got a few photos of-and-with Avery, snapped some quick pics of the decor and dragged myself upstairs to lay down in darkness while the party went on without me. I crawled back downstairs for the birthday song and Ave’s first taste of cake, and then returned to the solace of my bedroom in utter agony and to be fair, sadness. I effectively missed my child’s first birthday party, y’all. Which sucks. And getting hit with a wicked flu the day after? Another kick in the pants. 

But you know what? Nothing can be done about it now. I did my best, but things happen. Ruminating on it only makes them worse, and we’ll give it a go again next year! I’ve heard the party was a success, with happy children, full guests and an adorable birthday girl so that’s all that matters. And so, may I present to you … Avery’s 1st birthday party! (the official post):

*Note 2: Given the migraine I unfortunately didn’t get quite as many photos as I’d planned to, and most of them were taken just as the party started so bear with me and try to use your imaginations to fill in the holes*

As with Mason’s party, I’d set up a board for Avery’s birthday on my Pinterest page a few months ago. I got the idea for the theme simply because sometimes on rare (very rare) occasions in the car she’d stop crying if I sang Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star to her. Which makes it as good an endorsement as any for her favourite song, dontcha think? It also seemed like a sweet and simple concept to follow. Just … stars. Everywhere. 

DIY Star Mobile -The Domestic Project
See that? That was my diy star mobile, an idea that was sparked upon seeing this image from Sandra Kleist’s blog, The Winding Road. It hung from the light over the sweets table, and added the perfect touch to the decor. I considered using regular string like I see most mobiles done with, but in the end went with twine because (a) it fit my more-rustic theme, and (b) I don’t have a sewing machine, and there’s no way on this green earth that I will spend the time hand-stitching stars one-by-one. Which reminds me … I think I took photos of the creation process for the mobile, so if enough people are interested I could make a post about it. Just let me know!

Since we’re at the table, here’s what the set-up looked like:
Star Party - The Domestic Project
A large fruit tray was added later. (See all that snow in the background? Nice. Welcome to Canada). This table housed the treats, cake, favours and guest book. The tablecloths were two plastic ones purchased from the dollar store … I ruffled the pink one by grasping small sections with my fingers and pulling them apart slightly, and simply pinned the gold to create swag.   

For favours each child received homemade peppermint glitter playdough and a star-shaped cookie cutter (which was attached to the back of the jar, and is kind of hard to see in this photo. Migraines, you know?). I found the containers at the Dollarstore; twine, a star cutout and sparking gold washi tape completed the package.   
DIY glitter playdough - The Domestic Project
Please never, ever buy playdough again … I’ll be doing a blog post on this in a few days since I’ve got an awesome extra-squishy recipe to follow and I want y’all to learn how simple it is to make!  

Soft sugar cookies (made by my mom!) were iced in light pink with edible gold and pink flakes.
Star Soft Sugar Cookies - The Domestic Project
I made a batch of star-shaped Rice Krispie pops a few weeks prior, drizzled them in melted pink chocolate and then froze them until needed. I’ve done this a few times now, and they always taste wonderfully fresh, so trust me!  
Star-shaped Rice Krispie pops - The Domestic Project
We asked guests to sign the book Someday by Alison McGhee for Avery with a wish, hope, or dream they had for her.
Star Party guest book - The Domestic Project
I used an inexpensive plastic frame (you know those $0.99 ones you can buy at Wal-Mart or the Dollarstore?) turned on it’s side to hold the sign. The label on the inside of her book read:

Sweet Avery, the wishes in this book were written for you by loved ones at your 1st birthday party. Cherish them always! November 10th, 2012

And now, my favourite part of the decor … the cake!
Ruffle cake - The Domestic Project
Ahhhhh …. gorgeous. Seriously. I am in love. And isn’t that the cutest itty-bitty smash cake for the birthday girl? I wish the colour showed more true-to-life than it does in these photos. A beautiful pale pink cake, softly ruffled in fluffy, shiny icing.    
Star cake bunting - The Domestic Project
This was my first time working with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, and it was to.die.for. I 100% followed the “Swiss Meringue Buttercream” tutorial and recipe given by the amazing Rosie at Sweetapolita, and I urge you to do the same. While intimidating to make, it was actually quite simple and tasted ah.mah.zing. Light, buttery and just a hint of sweet … my guests were raving about it, many saying that they don’t normally “like” icing. The actual cake was Sweetapolita’s Chocolate Celebration Cake, and I followed her tips on how to ice it in the style I did. And believe me, it was simple. Simple, simple, simple. I won’t be doing a tutorial on this as the links at Sweetapolita do a better job than I ever could, but trust me … you need to try the buttercream.

*sigh* Yummy memories. 

Party decor followed the star theme. My fireplace was awash in sparking celestial bodies with ribbons hanging down as backdrop.
Ribbons as backdrop - The Domestic Project
DIY star garland - The Domestic Project
Birthday photo banner - The Domestic Project
The Domestic Project (23)
This ruffled pink “1”  (made with cupcake liners!) was supposed to be hanging on the front door, but at the last minute we decided to keep it inside.
Cupcake liner number - The Domestic Project
Hundreds of stars (ok … maybe 20) hung from the ceiling throughout the main floor.
The Domestic Project (27) 
And party guests used glitter glue to paint star ornaments (homemade from Crayola Model Magic).
Star party activity - The Domestic Project The Domestic Project (2)
A few more party pictures:
The Domestic Project (13)Star party - The Domestic Project (1)The Domestic Project (19)Star Party - The Domestic Project (3)Star party - The Domestic Prooject (2)
And here’s the closest we got to a family pic this celebration:
The Domestic Project (39)Yah … oops.

Well, that’s all I’ve got, peeps! While my attendance at the party didn’t work out like I’d hoped (but how ‘bout my fake-it-til-ya-make-it photo appearances?), it is what it is. Baby girl’s one, that’s all that matters. We’ll get ‘im next year, tiger!
The Domestic Project (30) Photobucket


  1. What an awesome party idea!! I always love reading your posts, Andra. WTG on Ave's 1st birthday party! For someone who had a migraine you looked really good. Happy birthday to your special girl! :)

  2. Gorgeous party Andra - I'm so sorry to hear you were feeling so awful on the day. It all turned out so amazing though, and you can't tell at all from your look great!

  3. Oh, Andra!! What a sweet party theme - so many lovely ideas. I live the month by month banner! Love your blog!

  4. Andra,

    I came across your link b/c I am planning on doing a similar party for my daughters 2nd birthday. Your did a LOVELY job. Absolutely gorgeous. I will definitely be using some of your ideas. (I especially love your star mobile and the sparkly play-dough!)

    I was curious whether you'd be willing to share any of your cute star quote printables. I'd love to use a few of the quotes if you are.

    1. Hi Claire! I have no problem sharing them if I can figure out a way to convert them to a pdf? I, unfortunately, used a program called Printing Press to make them (a holdover from my old invitation-making-days) and I'm fairly certain right now it wouldn't work on your end. If you're still interested, pop me an email and I'll see what I can do. :)

    2. Hey Andra,

      I would still be interested, but of course I don't want to make work for you! I imagine I could print from a picture file too.

      Also-- curious about the awesome star mobile you made. Did you do a tutorial for it? I am pretty sure I can figure something out just by looking at the pictures, but I was wondering if you managed to find the stars pre-cut or if you used a cricut or something. I like all your decorations with the various stars, but I am hoping you found them somewhere precut!

  5. beautiful party!! Sorry to hear you weren't well :(
    I'm planning a twinkle little star party for my daughter (started out hard to find ideas, then they just kept appearing! (whoohoo!)
    Just a question about your star ornaments ... did you just have them decorate with glitter glue/paint? what was the clean up/mess like? I LOVE the idea and want to do it for my daughter's party, but wanted to make sure it was feasible. I guess it could depend on how many kids you had a the party.
    I look forward to reading your reply.

    1. Hi Lilliana! Yes, we just used glitter glue (squeezed onto styrafoam plates) with paintbrushes for ease-of-use. If the kids were a bit older I would've skipped the paint brushes and just used the squeeze bottles, but I find its too hard for them to manage at this point. In terms of messiness: Because of the migraine I wasn't really there for the most of it so I can't comment on the actual painting process (no idea if it got on clothes or anything), but I know there was approximately 1 parent/every 2 children so it was well-managed. What I CAN say for sure is that there was no mess on the walls/floor/table, which was my biggest fear. We had just covered the tables with paper (taped down to the undersides so there was no chance of it slipping), and not a drop was found anywhere else. I would think that if you got to it quickly it would clean up well, but don't quote me on that! :) Let me know what you decide!

  6. Hello! I just wanted to let you know what an inspiration this post was (in the birthday party planning sense :). Whenever I started scouring Pinterest, Etsy and Google for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Party ideas I was sorely disappointend until I stumbled upon your blog. Much to my delight I loved your ideas and couldn't believe that your party was for your Avery as mine was for my sweet Avery - too similar to be solely coincidence if I do say so myself. Anyhow - I just wanted to say thanks and share our Twinkle Twinkle Posting with you. Thanks for the wonderful ideas! Gorgeous party!

  7. Hi! What a fun party! I would also LOVE your printable. Did you find a way to switch it to a PDF yet? Please let me know! Thanks!

  8. I LOVE your theme for your daughter's first birthday! I too had planned on doing this theme for my daughter but didnt really know where to start. Sophia, my daughter when she would get upset I would sing her this song and instantly she would stop crying - and smile. This happened right from the start - so I thought what better way then to plan her first birthday with this theme. One question I have for you is how did you make the star mobile? I would love to do this for her birthday and would love to see how you did it. Thank you!


  9. Hi! I love your party and all the details you added! great photos!! I was wondering if you ever posted the how-to on the star Mobile?


  10. Love your party. I am planning twinkle little star for my baby 's 1st birthday. Can you tell me how to make the ruffled pink “1” with cupcake liners? They look so cute..i wanna make one for my son 's birthday. Thanks

  11. Hi! Did you ever end up writing a post on your star mobile? I can't find it if you did! Also are those stars something you made or bought? Thanks!

  12. For the rice krispy treats star, did you follow the recipe from the box or did you use something different? Most of the time, the recipe from the box gets hard after several days. You mentioned that you made them several weeks in advance and froze it. Do you take it out of the freezer the night before the party and does it get soft? - JV


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