Alexander was originally slated to have a "cars and trucks and things that go" party, but I grew tired of making things for parties that would only be disposed of. Instead, I tried to buy and make things this year that we could use in subsequent "birthday" themed birthday parties.
We bought a cool felt "Happy Birthday" train a few years back, and I loved how it could be stored and saved for future years. This year we supplemented it with: reusable train candleholders, reusable airplane candle holders, (Alexander chose the airplanes this year) a birthday candle train (in lieu of a birthday candle ring), homemade felt and paper banners and garlands, (as well as some purchased at Target), some colorful melamine plates to use as "party ware," and a reusable felt birthday crown. I've made my own before, but I wanted a simple one that didn't have an age or theme, and could be used for both boys. I bought it at Felted Kitten's etsy shop, and we love it.
One of my favorite DIYs is the polka dot table cloth, made from a tutorial found on OhHappyDay.com.
Even though I do some amateur graphic design, I challenged myself to use all free resources found online for the "party printables." When you don't have a theme, and use many colors, this opens up a lot of options. The labels for the water bottles were made using "lunchbox jokes" printables, for instance!
We did wind up using some paper plates and napkins for the cake and dessert, having run out of "normal" plates. My goal for next year is to create an inexpensive stash of multicolored cloth napkins to use for birthdays and other shindigs.
Thanks JoAnne! Readers, see more of Alexander's party here.
(Images: reader JoAnne)
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