Thursday, March 13, 2014

Whimsical Woodland Deer Birthday Party

I began this post last summer and I am ashamed to say I never finished it! Until now that is. I guess I did better than with her first birthday which had a "country fair" theme. I never finished that post at all. Maybe I still will...hopefully before she moves out of the house :)

If you have a party to plan this spring or summer and are looking for whimsical, woodland inspiration, you have come to the right place. The whole party came together with lots of help from extended family and turned out beautifully. I have left what I had originally started writing, only added on to it. 
Hope you enjoy (even though it is so late!)


My sweet little girl turned two back on June 30th, 2013. Hard to believe our once three pounder is growing up so fast. 

Her favorite animal for the longest time before her birthday had been deer. She saw them often in our backyard and really enjoyed watching the movie Prancer with me (it's my favorite so I didn't mind watching it all spring and summer).

When it came time to plan the party, I thought, what better than a deer party. A little odd perhaps, but  Hazel was excited (telling everyone she was going to have a "deer party" is another story. You should have seen their faces).

The first thing I created was the invitation. I love doing my own graphic design work, so this is one of my favorite parts to hosting a party. I incorporated some photographs I had taken of Hazel earlier in the year with vintage graphics from The Graphics Fairy.
My mom makes banners and party decor in her Etsy shop AlteredEcoDesigns, so I asked her to make some pennant banners for the party. They turned out beautifully (and are now hanging in our playroom).
I made a little area where I thought Hazel and the invited girls (one cousin and three neighborhood friends) could hang out and play although it didn't end up happening because it was too hot and filled with mosquitoes under the tree (at least it didn't rain though). They had more fun swimming in the pool anyways. 

The day of the party, my step-dad, actually helped me hang up some vintage curtains and the banners. We had lots of fun even though decorating isn't really "his thing".

Hazel has a thing for chandeliers, so we had one of those out there too (purely a prop - no lights!).
I found a target deer on the side of the road one day while driving with my husband and made him stop, so we could pick it up (yes, you heard that correctly...thankfully he is a very obliging fellow and gets my "crazy" ideas). 

Turns out this thing scares kids though...namely the birthday girl. So, I tried dressing her up a bit, but we still kept this pretty lady at a distance just to be on the safe side and avoid any tears. 

I made a "2" out of fake flowers that I simply pinned to the side.
It worked. By the end of the party, Hazel actually approached her...for about a minute. 
 Thankfully, Bambi didn't seem to offend anyone.
We had marshmallow sticks with sprinkles, deer cookies and fresh fruit.
The stunning cake was made by my sister-in-law and it turned out exactly how I hoped. I wanted a "naked cake" (no frosting on the side). I thought that would fit with the rustic, woodland theme. It had a hazelnut mousse frosting. So delicious! 

(My mom also made the cake banner and my step-dad found the adorable deer at Walmart). 

The "cake stand"? A vintage hat box.
There were many deer and other woodland friends around...
I created simple party favors with brown paper bags that I wrote each girl's name on. (Trick to get it to look so nice? Print off the names with a font that you like on the computer and copy it!) I added decorative stickers and deer stamps.
Inside, each one had a "flower wand" made by mother similar to the ones offered here, along with other small treats and treasures.
For the birthday girl, I made a special pair of "antlers" just for the occasion. (I will share a DIY tutorial on these in the near future.)
Of course, getting her to look at me while I take her picture is a definite challenge these days.

Well, looking and smiling anyways. Sigh.
And here is the sweet moment when our girl blew out the candles (with a little help from Daddy)...
So even though this post comes quite a bit late (Hazel is already "planning" her third birthday party!), I hope that you enjoyed seeing how it all came together. 

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Till next time,
~Alice W.