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June 27, 2013

Sesame Street Birthday Party

Today my sweet little girl is 18 months old! It's her half birthday! I never did share her magnificent first birthday party so I thought today would be the perfect day to do so. Her birthday party was a ton of fun, and both the kids and adults who were there loved it! A first birthday party is as much a celebration  for the parents (we made it a year and everyone is still alive!) as it is for the little one. I had a blast creating this fun party!

My daughter loves Sesame Street so it was an easy choice for her first birthday party theme. I searched every corner of the internet for Sesame Street birthday party ideas, and there were TONS out there!! But what I noticed was that a lot of the ideas out there were from fancy people who could afford to outsource every last piece of the party. I'm talking they hired someone to make the invitations, someone else to bring in a candy table, another person for catering, etc etc. So I gathered a few ideas, tightened my belt a little, and set about to make our party a total DIY affair. Hopefully these ideas will help others as they scour the internet for Sesame Street themes they can do themselves.


To start with, I created my own invitation, and honestly, I just did it in Word. No joke. I sent it via e-mail because stamps are expensive and it would get thrown away eventually anyway. BUT I am a big proponent for buying handmade, so if you can't make it yourself or don't want to, check out Etsy for lots of invitations you can buy.

I created the invite in Word, including the striped background.
A lot of the planning and creating was done in advance so that we could just enjoy the party and our daughter's birthday. I think goodie bags are optional, but I wanted to make them because I was just going all out with this Sesame Street theme and had too many extra ideas. All my leftover ideas got thrown into goodie bags :P

I kept the theme and created tags and labels with the same background as the invitation. If you know much about Sesame Street, these favors will make more sense to you. 
Included in the goodie bags were goldfish crackers (stored in a clean baby food container, way to up-cycle!), crayons, bubbles, candy necklaces, a rubber ducky and a couple extra balloons. Most of the things came in party favor packs so they were pretty inexpensive.

I also decorated in advance. It made it especially nice because the birthday party was two days after my daughter's actual birthday, so I was able to decorate so her birthday was special and then leave it up until the party. I blew up balloons and let them cover the living room floor so that she could play with them. She had a blast and the other kids who came to her party enjoyed it too! Helium might be fun and look good, but hot air is free and makes the balloons more accessible for little kids to play with.

I can't take credit for the "Happy Birthday" banner; it's from Target and it's fantastic. I did hang the streamers and create the signs. The picture frames are just the simple ones from Target, and I used them for regular photos after the party.

I did make the famed Sesame Street cupcakes. I had never even made cupcakes before *gasp* let alone decorated them. I don't like cake so I don't make it very often. But I found a bunch of ideas on the interwebs, and this video was quite helpful as well. Then I just added my own personal touch. I think they turned out quite well. Except Abby Cadabby. She's quite scary. I won't give you a close up because you might be scared. :P

Elmo, Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch and Grover cupcakes. I'm especially proud of Cookie Monster and Oscar!

I made these the night before and covered them. That gave the icing time to set and freed up my morning to do the rest of the preparations. In case you would like to re-create these in the same way I have, I'll list some of the ingredients. I used the spray can icing and candy melt wafer eyes, just like she did in the video. The mouths are Oreo cookie halves, cut carefully with a serrated knife. Except Cookie Monster, who has a Chips Ahoy cookie in his mouth. I did serve the leftovers of these at the party so none went to waste. Elmo's nose is a peanut M&M and Grover's nose is a gum ball. Oscar's eyebrows are pink icing (used from Abby Cadabby cupcakes) mixed with a little chocolate syrup. I hope that helps!

Here they are all lined up and ready to be eaten! See, I told you Abby Cadabby is scary! To be fair, she is really hard!
I wanted my daughter to have a fun first cake experience, but I am not a fan of the huge "smash cake" for kids. Too much cake gets wasted when the kid (hopefully) doesn't eat it all. I made her her own little cupcake with considerably less icing than the characters. She loved it and I got video of her eating it so I am a happy mama!

The actual birthday party was only a few hours long because little ones get tired and need naps. She only had two other child guests, the rest were family and friends who came to celebrate her with us. When the guests first arrived they all got a party hat. These were from Target and just happened to match the striped designs I had already created. Then I printed and cut out the Sesame Street characters and stuck them on. Voila!

Easy DIY Sesame Street party hats, and they cost less than the licensed ones you can buy in the store.
We all stayed in the living room and played with the balloons on the floor. I checked out a Sesame Street DVD from the library that was all about birthday parties and we watched that and colored as well. I downloaded free printable coloring pages from SesameStreet.org, which has a ton of other resources as well.

Yes, this stuff was all over the floor in no time, but everyone had so much fun, it was worth it!
After the Sesame Street DVD was over (it was only about 45 minutes long) and everyone had their fill of coloring and balloons, we moved into the dining room for snacks. Of course, I did themed snacks too, and tried to have a good variety of things that the little ones could eat as well as things the adults could enjoy. And candy. Every birthday party needs candy.

The food table before the party
Some of the food items had the plush Sesame Street character next to it. 
In the interest of making sure this post is not a mile long, I've grouped all my photos together in collages. I hope you can see them ok. I made a tag for each food item so that guests not as familiar with the show would know why I was serving it and which character it was associated with. (Overkill? Oh well)  Included in my Sesame Street themed food were "Oscar's friend Slimy and friends in the mud" (brownies), Cookie Monster's cookies, Telly's cheese triangles, Dorothy's goldfish, and Big Bird's chocolate covered birdseed. If you've never tried chocolate covered sunflower seeds you really should. I couldn't find any locally so I ordered off Amazon. Also pictured are the "singing vegetables" which I just added candy eyes and chocolate icing smiles to veggies I was going to cook later. There was also Abby Cadabby's magical pink punch and Elmo's favorite food, pizza (well, bagel bites). The picture at the top of the collage, Elmo and Jelly Bean, was done by my sister. She takes commissions, if you are interested in custom art. You can find her here: http://multicoloredveins.wordpress.com/

We also had a dress up photo booth type thing at the party. I made Sesame Street themed accessories to dress up with. There was a Grover cape and helmet (helmet bought off of Amazon) and a Big Bird feather boa and feather mask. I printed out giant pictures of Elmo, Oscar and Cookie Monster's faces to use as masks. I also made Abby Cadabby and Zoe hair and found cute little skirts that managed to be literally one size fits all at the Target dollar spot. Everyone had a blast taking pictures.

My cute little family in Sesame Street costumes
Using accessories and making most of them by hand made it cheaper than getting full costumes, and then everyone could participate because they are one size fits all! I kept all of it so that when she gets into dress up she will have them to play with. I plan to make the Abby Cadabby hair and wands to sell on my Etsy shop, Sparkle & Pop, so keep an eye out around Halloween time.

After we were all done taking fun pictures in costume, we went back in for cupcakes and presents. It was such a wonderful party and our daughter was smiling and laughing the whole time! I will cherish these memories and I hope that some of this is helpful to you so you can make some awesome memories too. If you have any questions on any of the elements or want more direction for recreating some of it, leave me a comment and I'll try to help. :)

In conclusion, here is a picture of my dog in a party hat.



Don't forget to check out my Etsy shop, Sparkle & Pop and like me on Facebook for more fun stuff!

~ Rachel

15 comments:

  1. Hi Rachel! thanks for visiting my blog...visiting you back! Wow, you went all out for your daughters' birthday! Have you ever thought of going into the party planning business?!! Those cupcakes look professional! Looks like lots of memories were made that day. Following you on Pinterest!

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  2. Thank you so much for the kind words, I was quite proud of the results of her birthday party!

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  3. Sounds like a wonderful party - I don't know hwo you're going to top that !!

    I love the family picture.

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    1. I'm not sure either, haha. I've already started brainstorming for her 2nd birthday but it's not going to be this awesome, ha!

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  4. Rachel the cupcakes and decorations are awesome! You are so talented.

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  5. Cute party! I love the little veggies with faces on the food table!!
    I found your post in the TBEC group :)

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  6. I love the dog in the hat! What a great party.
    Those cupcakes are beyond cute. I have pinned your blogpost to my "kids corner" pinterest board. Hope you don't mind.

    PS how do you make stripes like that in Word?

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    1. Thanks, I really appreciate the pin! To make the stripes in Word, I used the "insert shape" tool and inserted lines. I made them all the same width in "format shape", changed their colors and made a pattern, then just copied and pasted the pattern until the whole page was full. It did take quite a bit of time and effort but I don't have any other graphic design programs.

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  7. I am a little bit jealous of this birthday party, I would love it myself, you though of everything and it looks like it was a wonderfull day :)

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  8. It looks like it was a great party. Can you please tell me where you purchased the goodie bags from?

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  9. The writer understand better the mind of people what they want to learn through their writing therefore this article is outstanding. Thanks!!!

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