This past week, my son turned three. We lived in Vegas the last five years, and flew home to help celebrate his first birthday, but couldn’t make it back for his second birthday. Having moved back home two months ago, I was VERY excited about hosting his third birthday. Finally, a party I could host, plan, and enjoy – watching all of our family celebrate my son’s birthday. Naturally, I went
overboard all out, and it turned out SO cute, I’d love to share my ideas with you!! 🙂
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After having redone J’s entire room in a CARS theme, I was dying for a new theme to play with for his party. J loves a lot of Disney movies, and we once went through a Nemo phase that seemed unending, so I figured he’d enjoy a Finding Nemo birthday! Plus, you know me, I didn’t want to go with anything I’d seen a dozen times. There are Finding Nemo birthday parties out there in Pinterweb-land, but fewer than say Mickey Mouse (another love of J’s.) I tried to avoid looking at too many of them anyway, as I wanted to come up with at least a few unique ideas.
The one I totally ripped straight from the web, though, I have to share and give due credit – I found these Turtle Cupcakes and had to make them – they were a HUGE hit!! And, for once, not a Pinterest-style fail!!
I kept the theme going from start to finish – I made the invitations with my trusty Cricut of course, and I was pretty excited because this time I got to use the Cricut color pens to DRAW instead of cut!!
Remember my Nemo from my DIY Design Dye Shirt?
All I had to do was open my saved project, and shrink him down. I added a few of his icon options from the Best of Pixar cartridge, namely seaweed, and a party invite wording from the Something to Celebrate cartridge, which it just so happens was a FREE CUT the week I made these!!
I love scoring freebies!!
I used the bubble icon from the same cartridge as Nemo cut the blend and cut the shape of my card and outline. I love how they turned out!
My biggest plan and project for this party also involved my Cricut. (My mother bought me Cricut’s Disney Bundle for my birthday in May, and I look for ANY excuse to use the cute characters available!) As some of you know, we are living with my mom at the moment, and as I walked around her house planning the party layout, I was struck by the wall cutout directly over her kitchen sink, which opens to the rest of the kitchen/eating area. It was a perfect little rectangle. Since my mom’s kitchen is galley style, with the cutout serving as sort of the “island”, you can walk completely around it. Sort of like…an aquarium??
Um, yeah. I went there.
I spent two weeks prior to the party designing and cutting the aquarium fish from Finding Nemo, two versions of each mirror images. I figured early on that a wide strip of blue cellophane would do perfectly for water. I made doubles of each character, mirrored, so I could affix one to each side of the cellophane to make it really appear to be an aquarium from both sides. I originally toyed with the idea of putting clear cellophane over either side for “glass”, but it looked a little too cloudy.
We set up the food table in front of the aquarium – sandwiches from my beloved Jimmy John’s, along with homemade pasta salad, pickles, goldfish crackers (duh!) and the cupcakes for dessert.
You might notice some cute hats on the table? Oh, yes!! Those are my “Dory” hats!! 🙂 Blue party hats, plus some eyes and fins, and voila! DORY!!!! 😀 (Come one, we all know Dory is our favorite from Finding Nemo.)
I knew I’d get SOMEONE in a Dory hat – poor baby cousins are the first to be victimized….
He warms up to it.
The hats ended up making the rounds more than I expected!!
What else? Oh! Well, I did leave photographic evidene to my mother, after the party was underway, so I’m pretty sure we completely missed the “Anemone Sticks” – aka pretzels dipped in melted Wilton candy. Personally kicking myself, as that was one of my best ideas (and most popular treat!) and I failed to photograph. GRRRRR!!!!!
The “cake” was a happy accident – the Jewel bakery happened to offer this Pull Apart Cupcake cake in the shape of a clownfish. Perfect!
It wasn’t exactly a cute as the online ad, but it worked….and required no baking by yours truly.
Hmm, what else….oh, of course – the birthday banner!
Using the ever faithful Cricut, I decorated the entrance (with Mom and Hubs help) with this:
And these two were there to greet everyone at the front door:
For the kids, I was able to borrow my friends’ blow up bounce house they own, and we set it up in the backyard, near the swingset. Between those two, we also set up this little roller coaster, so the kiddos had plenty to wear themselves out!
One of my other favorite parts about throwing this party? It was CHEAP! The most expensive part was the food and drinks – I made all the decorations, borrowed the toys, and the put together some super cute goody bags with amazing DOLLAR STORE FINDS!
Dollar Tree rocked my world for these bags. The bags themselves are canvas, and I got a mix of blue and orange.
Bubbles are a must for a Nemo themed party favor! Got SIX in a pack for $1!!
How cute is the little Nemo?? Could not believe Dollar Tree had Nemo toys, and got a mix of Nemo, Dory, Squirt, and Bruce for $1 each!
Bought two packages ($1 each!) of water animal bath toys and broke them up into the bags, so some got a turtle, others were an octopus, a fish, a crab, and a dolphin.
They had a little Nemo book, but only one. Instead I found these sticker/coloring books at Target for $1.29 each!
The biggest splurge was the Nemo stickers, $2 each at Michaels. Not exactly a bank breaker, and how cute are they?
The party was a smashing success, and the best part of it all was getting to spend it with close friends and family. I loved getting to see my little man run and play with his cousins and celebrate with family.
Oh, and our aquarium fish were too fun to throw away….so they are gracing J’s room as a filler for the blank spot we left in his Cars room.
And now I’m ready to NEVER go this overboard for a party again. At least until my next harebrained idea…..
What party themes have you done?
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