If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you will know that my little prince recently turned the big T W O and fortunately for him I am a lover of a themed Birthday Party and can’t resist getting a bit crafty (think less fox like, more arts and crafts) Last year for his first ever birthday I held a Nautical themed party for the small man, and after a pretty minimal amount of musing I swiftly decided to go for a very minimalist Tribal/Native American theme; inspired by Judes much loved Disney classic Peter Pan. I have always tried to gently persuade Jude to fall in love with Disney and he is usually more of a Pixar lover but he adores Peter Pan; Tiger Lily (who our cat is named after!) and the Big Chief lend themselves greatly to inspire and culture young minds… and party themes obviously…
Image sourced from Google Images.
I figured that tribal patterns and style could lend itself easily to a children’s party and after a gathering of inspiration from a newly created Pinterest board, I was on my way. The simple, abstract yet stunning combination of geometrics can be iced, drawn, cut out, stencilled, painted… now to decide on cutting down from the plethora (possibly one of my favourite words i thought I’d just put out there) of ideas spinning around my head; any fellow crafters will know the excited craziness that is a woman that has been unleashed on a party theme. I had originally planned much more than what I ended up doing, as time was not my friend it seemed, but firstly and most importantly for any party is bunting. No gathering of any kind is complete without a themed version of that childhood classic.
Im a monochrome enthusiast so I went with a ‘minimalist tribal’ colour scheme, you could adapt anything Ive done any way you want, the possibilities of shapes and colour with this theme are endless. With that in mind, I collected black, natural and patterned papers for the basis of the bunting, natural twine to attach it to and an array of monochrome and natural feathers and buttons to decorate (The Range was my saviour here, and kudos to Ebay for the feathers)
I was going to post a nifty lil ol’ tutorial on how these bad boys are made but the response wasn’t greatly enthusiastic so I will just summarise that they are pretty easy peasy; I used A4 pages of black card folded in half and cut into a triangle, ensuring that the fold makes the top of the triangle as this is the part the folds over the twine. I made around 30 triangles i think but I was covering two rather large curtain rails, its trial and error really and always best to have too many than too little.
I found this stunning pack of pattered squares of paper which I think looks pretty damn effective cut into slightly smaller triangles and glued on top using PVA. I did leave half plain and some were made with white card too as I figured… diversity ‘n all. Now the fun part, decorating the triangles; here is where a crafters best friend the glue gun comes into play, if you don’t have one and wish to become an avid crafter it is a no brainer, go forth and get one. PVA can work just fine though, if only just a little slower in terms of drying time.
I went for a cluster of different feathers and a button in each triangle corner, I used black buttons for the white triangles and vice versa, just to mix it up a bit. Again the glue gun is the best option for popping the finished triangles onto the twine and gluing them together. I loved the finished effect of this bunting and I hooked it over the curtain poles on a walkway into the dining area with all of the party food and the curtain pole at the back of the same room, glorious.
Now I had planned on creating some sort of Totem Pole but ran out of time as I spent a while baking sweet treats inspired by Nigella Lawson’s epic party biscuit recipe. I used her recipe as a base but cut out circles and triangles instead to better serve my Tribal theme. Icing these was a mission as I am admittedly a perfectionist so wasn’t happy until they looked Instagram worthy! Again, as Nigella aptly suggests I used a thick water icing as the ground, again I monochromed it up and went for white and shades of grey… or 50 tastes of grey… (ok that was bad I know but I’ll continue) I had planned on simply black and white but the black food colouring would just not get dark enough and so I went with the grey hues which I actually liked more in the end!
For the decorative icing I cheated slightly and bought a pre packaged black icing tube and just made the white icing myself; again thick water icing. I love how arrows look when drawn simplistically so did a few of those, tessellating triangles, a basic teepee design and diagonal tribal patterns. I am rockin’ how these turned out, and they disappeared off the plates so quickly i have a feeling they tasted great too! Cheers Nigella!
Note to self: M U S T invest in Nigella cook books.
Now again I did cheat for the Birthday Cakes too, If you have a little more time on your hands than a full time working, wedding planing, party planning, blogging rockin’ mama then you may want to make your cakes yourself. In fairness I did do it last year but had a little less on my plate… nice pun… *bows* …but this year I just bought two plain cakes, one Victoria sponge and one chocolate, and decorated them myself. I had dreamed of a giant dreamcatcher cake but I iced a small,yet very effective, one on top of the iced sponge (I had some ready to roll royal icing kicking about in the cupboard) I also kept a similar icing theme to the biscuits and went for a lot of diagonal geometric tribal patterns. They were both also devoured instantaneously so I did something right!
The Birthday Boy’s main present after deciding the theme just H A D to be a teepee, and I also went with a monochrome tribal for this too. Jude loves to crawl under and behind his easel/chalkboard and read his books so we thought a teepee could lend itself cutely as a reading pod and possibly a chilled afternoon nap time location. Needless to say he adores it! I was dubious about its construction but it was actually a breeze with two of us; if your putting one up solo I’d maybe just not… until you have a helper. It even came with a cutesie little natural wooden feather to adorn the cluster of poles.
Teepee purchased from a great company called Grattify. They have loads of different designs too.
I had been scouring Ebay, Etsy and Amazon for dressing up items, as I am also an avid believer that a themed party requires dressing up, and found beautiful headdresses for myself, the Mr and small man. I decided on a hanging feather one for myself as then the feathers would fall nicely within my hair, the Mr just H A D to go Disney’s ‘Big Chief’ and ordered a huge feathered masterpiece, whereas I chose a delicately handmade felt creation for the Birthday Boy. He didn’t keep it on for very long and kept asking for it to be put back on then taken back off immediately after it touched his blonde curly locks, but I did manage to bag a few cheeky kodak moments with it on!
Excuse the faces… this is my partners ‘photo face’, getting him to attempt to pull a normal or nice expression is quite trying. Weddings and formal events are a photographic nightmare!
Even the guests got involved with the dressing up, the cutest of which were my little baby broseph and sister. His outfit was quickly unclad as it did get quite warm as the afternoon went on bless him; he was the one that spent a lot of his time standing inconspicuously next to the dining table looking longingly at the spread of sweet treats. Between him and my own little man they cleared up a substantial amount of the cookies and birthday cake icing while no one was looking.
I was complimented greatly on my party theme and I was amazed at how many endless craft and baking opportunities there are for it too. I was even going to go as far as to make our BBQ chicken skewers into makeshift arrows but again, not enough time. Maybe cake pop arrows? Next year I’m thinking Wonderland… thoughts?
Share your favourite party themes and let me know how you get on if you decide to take my inspirational post and create your own rockin’ tribal style party!