For my niece Aria’s 2nd birthday a couple of years ago, I had the privilege of planning and creating the decorations. Aria’s sister, Naiya, was scheduled to make her grand entrance into the world a few weeks after her big sister turned 2 and my super prego sister-in-law had no energy to tie her shoes, much less devote to planning a party. I wanted to help out with everything but being so far away (they live in ATL and I’m here in SoCal) I could only do so much. One afternoon, after a short party planning conference call and not too much convincing, it was decided that I’d be in charge of the decor. I was honored to help and even more excited once I knew that an elephant themed invitation had already been selected. If you know me, you know that I adore all things ELEPHANT!
SIDENOTE: The party was being held at their house that year. Can I just say how much I love events thrown at home…in your own space? Of course it’s not always possible or doesn’t make sense some times depending on the number of guests or other circumstances, but it just feels that much more special to be in your own home or backyard for something so sweet like your baby or kid’s birthday party.
Anyways, back to the decor. As far as the decorations went, I kept it pretty simple (really anyone can do this! just incorporate your theme and let your imagination fly!) yet I think it turned out really cute. I mainly stuck with the colors on the invitation which were a light pink and green and of course added elephants into the mix everywhere I could.
Most of the decorations for this party were made simply by using supplies from the dollar section at Michaels (pretty folders and spools of ribbon), some unique paper from Paper Source and digging into my own supplies, Here’s a list with pictures of exactly what I created alongside my incredibly talented friend who I enlisted to assist…thanks again, C!
Elephant themed banners
hung on both mantles and in the dining room
Materials: medium to heavy grade paper (card stock, folders, die cut papers), decorative paper (can even use stationary, wrapping paper, cut pieces from decorative gift bags), ribbon, glue gun or double sided tape, hole puncher, scissors
1. Simply cut card stock into any shape or use die cut papers as the base. For the banner below, circle die cut papers were used as the base.
2. Glue or tape decorative papers to the base.
3. On top of those, we glued on white spray painted letters (I found these at Jo Ann Fabrics).
4. Next, punch holes on both sides of the circle bases.
5. Cut ribbon into little pieces. Loop it through the holes in the bases and glue the ends together to secure.
6. Finally, loop two long pieces of ribbon on both sides of the banner so you can hang it.
Voila! You’ve made your very own homemade banner! So easy and so much better than a generic store bought banner…riiiight?!
Same concept for the elephant banners. Find a template you like online to trace – there are hundreds to choose from, just search. JFYI -The elephants for all of these banners were drawn freehand.
Door sign to welcome guests into the party
hung outside the front door of the house
This was made also using the same concept as the banner…there really are no directions, just get creative!
Elephant shaped party favors
these were originally teacups which were cut and transformed into little elephants which were hung on the dining room buffet table for the kids to grab, take home or even wear
Suspended elephant mobile
hung from the ceiling all over the family and dining room
Materials: cardstock, decorative papers, glue/double-sided tape, hole puncher, scissors, fishing line
1. Cut shapes out…we created elephants in different patterns and sizes.
2. Affix decorative paper however you like – there is no wrong way! Did you see how the hole punch left overs were used as the eyes for all the elephants?!
3. Punch a hole at the top.
4. Loop fishing line through each elephant and knot to secure, keeping enough of the line to hang.
5. Tape each elephant at varying lengths to create a mobile effect.
This combined with some pretty lanterns and balloons was more than enough to create a fun, whimsical space that I’m pretty sure Aria loved.
See that face? Actually, I KNOW she loved her 2nd birthday elephant party!!
What kinds of party decor have you created? Share your ideas!