Sometimes we see little snippets of party pretty that may not be strictly “W-day” related an first glance but the ideas, decor and colour schemes can easily be utlised for any kind of celebration.
This is what I thought when I saw the beautifully designed birthday of List member David Long’s cute-as- a-button son Rafferty a few months ago. David’s partner Claire and planner Louise from Purely Events set about creating a fun filled village fete theme for Rafferty’s special day and used a selection of DIY down-loadables and easy to replicate supermarket finds to achieve the finished look.
This is perfect for a hen party, big day reception or indeed a similar birthday bash you may have in mind for any of your little ones in the very near future.
I’ll hand over to Claire to share the whole “How-to”
Claire: Inspired by the many beautiful weddings, parties and events seen on the Internet and in magazines I enrolled Louise from Purely Events to help create the 3rd birthday party of the year.
I had some amazing ideas about how she wanted the party to look with a village fete theme, the most exciting of her ideas was an ice cream parlor and sweetie table! The challenge was that this was all decided just 2 weeks before the big day!
We wanted a village fete style party with a pretty feel, using lots of bunting, bright balloons, lucky dip, tin can alley and hook a duck!
All kids love ice cream and sweets – and when we thought about how to present these we decided we could get really creative with it using an ice cream parlour and sweetie table. Rafferty’s age group also really enjoy dressing up and with my partner David Long frequently setting up Photo Booth’s at his weddings we thought why not emulate this for the kids.
We wanted the tables to be clean, crisp and light so kept the color palette simple. Both tables were heavily inspired by Amy Atlas and the beautiful tables she creates for parties, weddings and other events. Taking her ideas, downloadable graphics and the ice cream parlour concept from Eat Drink Chic we personalised them and made them bespoke for Rafferty’s Ice Cream Parlor!
We measured the tables at our local village hall where the party was held and bought some mdf wood of the same length to create a backdrop to rest behind each table which we covered with blue and white stripy wallpaper. Backdrops really do add something special to the tables and are a great way of pulling together your colour scheme. The wallpaper used here was bought from Laura Ashley.
We chose pure white tablecloths for the ice cream parlor, as we wanted to highlight the pretty tone of blue that we were using in the signs/napkins/spoons etc. The tablecloths were £3.50 each bought from John Lewis. We were really pleased with the quality of these cloths, as they were paper made to look like linen. Most of what was on the table was sourced from our own homes – or charity shops. We were lucky enough to find some lovely wooden trays in a charity shop and painted them white. The main topping dispenser was just 3 cheap box files from Ikea which we superglued together and also painted white.
We picked up some pretty card in our colour scheme from a local craft shop and used these to give colour to the white ceramic plates, which held the meringues.
The glass drink bottles were actually just tonic water bottles bought from Sainsbury’s. We washed them with soapy water and scraped the labels off – which was surprisingly easy to do. We used nail varnish remover to completely clean the bottles of all the glue. I had seen stripy paper straws on an American website and we managed to search the internet to find them in the UK from Pippi. This was another great way of bringing the colour palette to the table. The “drink me” labels were designed by Michelle Fiedler and were just printed on address labels. Using the Amy Atlas downloads from her website we passed this onto our designer Michelle who changed the colours and played around with wording adding Rafferty to the Ice Cream Parlour signs and Ice cream cups.
The topping signs were stuck onto paddle sticks bought from the local craft shop.
The ice cream cups were 9oz cups bought from the local party shop and using the cutout designs from Amy Atlas we glued them onto the paper cups. This was really easy and quick to do. You can use any toppings you like for the table – but keeping the colours soft and within your colour scheme where possible does help. We used only blue smarties and the popping candy was really popular!! We filled a drinks bucket with ice to keep the ice cream cold for the duration of the party.
We had a separate sweetie table. Again we sourced mdf wood for the backdrop and covered it in the same wallpaper. We created a sign for the backdrop and also created tags that were tied with pretty ribbon to each jar with wording such as EAT ME, YUM YUM , SWEETIE HEAVEN. We bought white paper bags from e-bay and using a hole punch and pretty ribbon from a local craft shop we tied personalised gift tags to them. These bags were used as going home presents and each child could fill their own bag, which added to the whole experience. Our jars were sourced from The Wedding Of Your Dreams, Asda and also from local charity shops.
The sweetie scoops were sourced from the internet. The sweets themselves we bought from supermarkets as they were reasonably priced. The pretty bunting was sourced from e-bay and borrowed from friends.
The little guests and their parents were in awe of the fabulous ice cream and sweetie tables and everyone commented on how amazing they looked and what fun they added to Rafferty’s birthday party.
The children and adults loved dressing up to have their photo taken in the photo booth and the photographs made a lovely memento of Rafferty’s party which were then used on thank you cards.
Photography – David Long
Styling – Claire Baird and Louise at Purely Events
Sweet Table Inspiration – Amy Atlas
Wallpaper – Laura Ashley
Table Cloths – John Lewis
Straws – Pippi
Label Designs – Michelle Fielder
Downloadable Graphics and Ice Cream Parlour Concept Inspiration – Amy Moss at Eat Drink Chic
Sweets? Ice Cream? Fancy Dress?
Sounds like my kind of party 😉
Do let us know if any of you gorgeous lot are planning a creative affair for your hen, birthday or just for the hell of it (!) anytime soon and tell us what you have in mind, any excuse to gossip about styling and decor!
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