My daughter's 2nd birthday was fastly approaching! Yikes!! Picking the theme for her party was easy since she was so completely IN LOVE with Elmo. Not sure what it is about that furry red monster that appeals so much to toddlers but she definitely was under his spell. She would happily watch Sesame Street and the various Elmo movies she has all day long if we let her.
Being the obsessive planner I am (AKA performing multiple searches on Bing for "Elmo themed birthday party" and every variation imaginable) I finally decided on a basic color scheme (red with orange and white accents) and purchased all the essentials at our local Party City store with a 30% off coupon. Tip: Sign up for their email newsletters to stay informed about the latest sales and get any available coupons. Target and your closest dollar store are other great places to shop too.
To save a bit more money, I went with plain red plates, cups, and utensils. It looked just as nice and was about half as expensive as the licensed tableware. Favors for the handful of kids that attended were Sesame Street coloring books, crayons, and reusable crazy straws.
Performing the aforementioned Bing searches brought me to several wonderful listings for Elmo birthday banners, signs, and other various party decor. I found a couple of banners I liked but didn't really want to spend the $30+ that most of the vendors had priced their wares. After a quick inventory of basic materials, a glance through my Cricut cartridges, and a 20 minute shopping trip at Joann Fabrics (LOVE that place for cardstock/paper and ribbon) I decided I could create my own.
Below, I'll entail the materials I used along with instructions on how to make the banner. If you have any questions please let me know.
1. 2 - DCWV (Die Cuts With A View) 12" x 12" Citrus Cardstock Stack - You'll use the matte red, foil red, glitter orange, and matte orange pages.
2. 4 - 12" x 12" pages of medium-heavy weight white cardstock
3. We R Memory Keepers Crop-A-Dile Punch Kit - You'll need 32 eyelets total (I used the dark bronze colored ones)
4. Cricut Expression Machine
5. Cricut Cindy Loo Cartridge and 12" x 12" cutting mat
6. Cricut Stone Script Cartridge
7. Narrow width ribbon to tie banner together (I used 3/8" - 3 yard spools of Offray ribbon in sheer white, sheer orange, and red and white polka dots)
8. Scotch Scrapbooking Double-Sided Removable Tape
9. 3 - 4" Elmo face graphics printed on white cardstock - These are easy to find by typing Elmo in a keyword search on Bing and clicking the Images tab. Of course if you're planning on selling these you'll need to purchase the rights to the image and/or include the copyright and trademark information.
1. Cut 1 page of the white cardstock to 8.5" x 11", print 4 Elmo face images, cut out images, and set aside.
2. Lay out 2 pages of red foil cardstock, 2 pages of glitter orange cardstock, 8 pages of matte orange cardstock, and 6 pages of matte red cardstock.
3. Insert the Cricut Cindy Loo cartridge into the machine along with the key overlay, set the size to 5.5" and cut 13 scalloped circles using the blackout feature + scalloped circle image from the matte orange cardstock and 3 - 5.5" scalloped circles from the glitter orange cardstock. You can get 2 circles out of each page if you space it properly. If you have the Cricut Design Studio software I'd recommend using it to make the spacing optimal.
4. Cut 13 - 4.5" scalloped circles from the matte red cardstock and 3 - 4.5" scalloped circles from the foil red cardstock. You should be able to get 3-4 circles from each page.
5. Center the smaller circles on the larger ones and adhere together with scrapbooking tape. The foil reds and glitter oranges will be used with the Elmo face images.
6. Next, insert the Stone Script cartridge and corresponding key overlay.
7. Cut 2.5" letters from white cardstock for the "Happy Birthday" message, center on smaller circles, and adhere with the double-sided tape.
8. Arrange prepared circles so that the letters are aligned and punch holes on left and right side of each with the Crop-A-Dile to "install" the eyelets.
9. Cut 4"-5" lengths of the 3 different ribbons and tie one between each circle. I alternated them so none of the colors were directly next to each other on the banner. I arranged the banner like this: Elmo face, H-A-P-P-Y, Elmo face, B-I-R-T-H-D-A-Y, Elmo face.
10. Cut long lengths (20" or however long you need to hang the banner) of all 3 ribbons and tie to the end pieces.
11. Sit back, relax, and revel in the awesomeness of your crafting skills! A Venti White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks (my favorite!) or other delicious beverage of your choice would be an appropriate way to celebrate too. (You deserve it, right?!)
Since we had the party at 2:00 PM (after Miss N's nap) we were able to just serve some basic finger foods (veggies, fruit, pretzels, and dip), drinks, cupcakes, and punch. Instead of baking and decorating a couple dozen cupcakes we decided to give our local cupcake bakery, Holy Cow Cupcakes (http://holycowcupcakes.com/), a call. They made the cutest red velvet cupcakes decorated with red frosting and fondant to look like Elmo's face. Not only were they delicious, but we felt good being able to support our community through our purchase.
The party not only looked great but was a lot of fun for the birthday girl and our guests! Definitely worth a bit of planning and shopping for the memories we will always cherish.