By Friday I just knew I had to think fast and change both my set up and my attitude. And so we rallied. I put LOML on papercraft cut-out duty (that man has cut out more paper decorations than Martha) and myself on printables and bunting duties and came up with an indoor carnival that was one big messy, crazy, loud, boisterous blast.
Just how a party should be.
I couldn’t quite bring myself to do the standard “red, white and blue” carnival kind of thing. The Badoo just isn’t really a red, white and blue kinda girl. So we went with “red, white, yellow and floral” instead. Still distinctly carnival, but with a girly Badoo-esque sort of twist.
Naturally the birthday girl needed a special carnival outfit for the big event. I found a how-to for this dress over on The Girl Inspired and knew instantly that The Badoo would be in heaven. My clever clogs MIL made the dress for her (scoffing slightly at my printed instructions from The Girl Inspired blog and doing her own thing so beautifully).
I very proudly made the rosette all by my tired little self. It was one of my famous “late night projects”, but there was no way in hell I wasn’t learning how to make a fabric flower yo-yo despite not knowing what a yo-yo actually was until 2am the night before the party. Thank you Heather Bailey and Little Livingstone because a fabric yo-yo rosette is guaranteed to light a little girl up like she’s sunshine itself.
The Badoo wasn’t the only one who got dressed up. I made myself a similar rosette that was practically bigger than my head – I blame the 2.30am time slot – although I failed to get a photo of me (probably on purpose). Here are shots of my very cute sister C and of LOML with his sister Lucia (who is wearing a child’s tiger costume as a vest, I might add).
Good Italian genes in action!
I made the paper pinwheels out of scrapbooking papers (they match the ones on the invitations) and the bunting out of scraps and leftover fabric from the dress. Bunting like this is super-easy to make. I just cut the flags out with scissors (I usually use pinking shears, but they do slow you down and in this case, we needed speed) and then I folded the top of the flag over the cord (this is pink builder’s “high visibility cord” from Bunnings – $4 a giant roll) and sewed along the fold. If you can sew in a straightish line, you’re good to go.
Signs were an important part of our carnival decorating and really helped tie the theme together. I created all of the printed signs in Photoshop and had the Kwik Kopy guy up the road print them as posters for me. It’s really worth doing – for a mere $2 per print I got a cardboard poster with a glossy finish that totally looked the biz.
A blackboard like this is good to have on hand – just paint a piece of mdf with blackboard paint. You can “welcome” guests to any party you have down the track or even the postie to the mailbox someday if you were feeling generous. You could also hand it over to the kids after the party to chalk away.
The food table decorating was so fun. The popcorn machine was borrowed from a friend and the gorgeous puppet theatre hiding the cake is just a cheapy from K-Mart. Zia Lucia (indisputably the World’s Best Aunty Zia) helped me create an assortment of amazeballs carnival food items. Pinwheels, ice creams, biscuits, cupcakes and lollies galore.
Our carnival table was appropriately like a hall of mirrors… all was not as it seemed…
These little ice creams are actually cakes baked in icecream cones. Clever!
Lovely lollipops that are really biscuits.
Toffee apples that are really cake pops.
Hot dogs that were really Lottie dogs… !!
Gumball machines that are really cupcakes.
And a sweet, simple cake that’s really a crazy mixed-up sprinkle cake on the inside.
The pastry pinwheels are from Donna Hay’s latest kid’s issue. The girls practically made them by themselves and they were really yummy but not a single one was eaten by the children at the party… bit like the fruit offerings.
We sent our guests home with a wrapped gumball cupcake and a goodie bag. The bags were from the $2 shop, I made up a printable to add to the outside and wrapped some wool around the top to make things suitably carnivally and festive. Inside were a few sweets, a bear stamp, a sparkly bouncy ball, a rubber dice and a packet of circus cards.
Despite the rain and despite mummy almost having a meltdown a couple of hours before the party, our sweet lil’ Badoo and her 23 buddies had a roaring good time.
Which is all that matters in the end. Always.