As I was recapping our baby’s 1st year photo shoot, I found myself already slaving to create something special for his second birthday.
I don’t think Connor would remember or appreciate a birthday party yet, so I am not crazy about doing a real birthday party. A friend of mine had an idea of having a mini party at daycare, where we’ll order cupcakes and such, and go by during their 3:30pm snack time to have a small celebration. Our little ones are only 5 days apart on their birthday, so I begged her to take me on for a joint party.
INVITES: I want to create a mini train-themed party because both of them love trains. I started with a little invitation/announcement in the form of a retro train ticket, listing out the location and time of our party.
I didn’t plan on using envelopes at first, so I designed a custom sleeve for it. However, after much thought, I ended up buying envelopes for it to protect the invites from all kinds of destruction from children. They will fit very well in envelopes that measures 7.5″x4″, and I am able to find envelopes of this size in my local art store Sam Flax (which strangely didn’t have this envelope available online). Upon further search, this envelope would probably work beautifully with my invites as well.
CAKE TOPPERS: I wanted to expand the train-theme. Since I am not planning to go there and decorate (!), little cake toppers is what I could do. My friend has ordered cupcakes, and I think the modular nature of the trainworks well with it. Each cupcake will get a topper, and the children can play with building a longer or shorter train with the cupcakes.
These toppers are pretty small, and you do need some skills on cutting paper to cut the shapes out. I used both scissors and a xacto knife to cut the shapes out. These cake toppers are two-sided. I glue the two sides together with a toothpick sandwiched in the middle. Don’t worry about getting them to be perfect – I actually like the imperfect, handmade qualities of these final product!
They actually work well on a big birthday cake too. Arrange the train so the individual cars run across the cake in a straight line, or the train can be going around the cake’s circumference.
PARTY FAVORS: Last but not least, we are doing 1 oz bottles of bubbles as party favors. I replaced the label with a custom-created label instead. The train is now hauling a birthday cake and a “2” on it. How cute!
CHOICE OF GLUE: I used Glue Dots (3/16 inch and 1/2 inch dots) to glue everything together – they are basically very strong double-sided “tape” that does not create any mess or stinky glue smell. Love ‘em!
PRINTABLES: For now, part of the project (the blank invite+sleeve, the bottle label) as free printables, so you can create your own DIY train-themed birthday party. For the cake toppers, the original illustration can be purchased at istockphoto.com, and you’ll have to do a bit of work to recreate them. I am planning on expanding it into a complete package and make it available on Etsy soon, so get the free printable when it is still available!
Please note that these printables are free for non-commercial personal use only. They are copyrighted and are protected under Fair Use Copyright Act.
I hope you enjoy this DIY train-themed party and get inspired to do your own!