I have to admit that today’s Real Party feature makes me extra-happy… because it was inspired by a theme found right here at HWTM! Jennifer Gentry took our Bedtime Stories Baby Shower and spun it into a seriously fabulous birthday party for her son!
There are so many clever elements to this party… from the “story book” style invitations and ultra-creative thank you notes to a ridiculously adorable fondant bed – complete with pillows, books, teddy bear, and flashlight nonetheless!
Read on for lots more images & all the party details, as told by Jennifer…
“I fell in LOVE when I saw the Bedtime Stories theme on HWTM! I knew right away that is what I wanted to do, and Connor’s favorite thing is reading books with us, so even he got excited!
When I told my friend about the theme she gave me the idea to do “books” for invites. Since I am a photographer, the invites were my favorite part, and I had so much fun putting them together. I made little “books” written from Connor’s point of view about turning 3 and his party. They were a huge hit!
I LOVED the idea from HWTM about making the table a bed, so I knew that was a must.
Since we had all the main food on the island in the kitchen, I decided to make the dessert “bed” the prettiest one. I got the duvet cover & pillowcase from Ikea for only $19.99, and found little blue pillows for only $2. I wrapped orange string around the blue pillows to make them a little prettier.
The bed canopies were from Ikea too (only 9.99 each!), as well as the throw blankets (just $7.99). I set everything up on the table, along with stacks of books that I’d covered with decorative paper so that they would match well.
I also covered glass cylinders with the same paper used on the books, embellished them with alphabet stickers, and filled them with orange flowers.
I decorated the ceiling of the kids play room with strings of tissue paper poms and hung paper lanterns all over the house.
For the food labels, I punched out moon and star shapes with a craft punch, then used toothpicks to stick them in little fondant books that I’d made.
I hung another bed canopy above the kids table, covered the table with matching fabrics, and added plastic buckets filled with party toys.
Although I didn’t get many photos of the main food set-up, there was a lot of it! In addition to trays of trays of cheese, vegetables, crackers, and fruit, I made parfait cups, caprese skewers, ham & cheese skewers, turkey wraps, mini twice baked potatoes, lil smokies, and pigs in a blanket.
I made cream-filled strawberries, mini brownies, marshmallow pops, lemon cupcakes with fondant decorations, and these AMAZING Chocolate and Strawberry Cupcakes!
The cupcakes were a HUGE hit, and the only change I made was swapping out the cream cheese frosting from chocolate-flavored to regular so that I could dye it to match the party.
For the top of the desert stand I made a fondant bed with a little teddy bear, flashlight, and books. It looked so cute! We also had an ice cream bar set up on the counter top.
I had all the kids come in their pajamas to stick with the theme, and since they were too small for “real” activities, I just made the play room baby-friendly and set all of Connor’s toys out for play.
The kids played great together and the adults enjoyed lots of chatting time over great food. Since there were no set “projects” for the kids, it made it easy for the adults to just relax and socialize.
I found cute little book bags at the party store and made little hang tags for them that matched the food labels. In the favor bags for the babies I put in a little stuffed bear and an Elmo bedtime book. Toddlers received glow bracelets, suckers, fairytale finger puppets, sticker books, a coloring book, and crayons. They looked really cute!
THANK YOU NOTES
Since there were so many people & kids that attended, we decided not to open presents at the party. I had Connor open them the next day, and I took pictures of him opening each one, then I made storyboards for each guest with the photos of him opening the present that they gave him.
Everybody loved them, and it was great because they still got to see him open their present, but without the chaos of the party!”