My friend (and coworker) is amazing at creating celebrations for holidays & birthdays, but isn't the type to make a fuss over herself. When we found out her birthday was fast approaching (thanks to the wonders of Facebook), we had just 24 hours to throw together a right-after-work surprise party…
- I had planned on getting some sensational paper to use for both tablecloth and garland, but my neighborhood art store was closed and there wasn't time to trek all over town. Tiny gold stickers stickers to the rescue! I cut a length of kraft paper the size of her workspace and spangled it with stars.
- Gold paper plates (left over from my birthday party), gold poster board (left over from an airport pick-up sign), scalloped scissors, and more stars came together to make a festive- if slightly wonky- garland. It was originally going to say "Happy Birthday" but the four letters of her name were more than enough of a challenge for my non-existent cutting skills.
- Champagne poppers (left over from this project) got everyone in a festive mood, as explosive streamers & the smell of fireworks tend to do. I wrapped each popper with a piece of kraft paper and affixed it with a star sticker. If I had been serious I would have used a glue stick, too, but the stickers held, thank goodness!
- And for the actual Champagne (well, sparkling white wine), more star stickers glitzed up plastic some-assembly-required champagne glasses from the dollar store. $1 for 6, and there were 6 of us! Nice.
- I happened to have some fake tea-lights on hand for a (failed) project, so I set them in gold cupcake liners (again, left over from my birthday) and scattered them around. Magical!
- The thing that really made everything come together quickly is that everyone chipped in: someone made awesome hummus, someone chopped up all the excellent veggies from their CSA box, someone brought potato & pita chips, someone picked up a bottle of Champagne. Easy!
- Now, I am under no delusions that making a six-layer cake (vanilla cake, pear compote, pear-vanilla buttercream, all vegan) and yogurt-maple syllabub with pear compote (gluten-free but not vegan) qualifies as "instant"- but it is one of the many perks of working in a pastry kitchen. If I didn't have such a luxury, I would have...I'm actually not sure what I would have done! Any favorite bakeries to recommend, that can accommodate vegan & gluten free requests?
- As she was finishing up her workday, we simply installed the party right under her. (It would be just as easy- probably easier!- to surprise someone with an instant party at their house.) From work to party in about a minute! Happy Birthday!
Images: Tess Wilson