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Strawberry Shortcake

Sweet Sunshine Party -1yr- Strawbery Party




Carrie in Monterey, CA   USA


September 2011


Special Mention

Sweet Sunshine Party.  INSPIRATION: For my daughter's first birthday I combined a You Are My Sunshine" Theme (which we sing to her almost every night) with her favorite food: Strawberries.   I saw a lot of great Sunshine Party ideas online with several using hot pink as an accent color.  While she was eating her favorite yummy snack I had an epiphany to use red strawberries as the accent instead.

INVITATIONS: I found a simple on-line invitation with red checks and a yellow frame around the space for a cute photo of the birthday girl wearing red.  I used the wording "Our Sweet Sunshine is One" for the title and found a cute little poem  online that I modified a bit: "With sweet strawberries and lots of sun It's time to celebrate our little girl turning one!"

DECORATIONS: The main colors were yellow and white with red strawberry accents (which included pops of green for the leaves).  I covered a 12-frame grid collage on our dining room wall with original "art" made by each member of the family a few days before the party.  I gave them each a 12x12 white square and yellow square of scrapbooking paper and told them to create a sunshine using scissors and glue. 

The project was a super fun one to do around the table as a family and it also turned out incredibly cute!  We only had 9 "artists" so I included in the 12-frame grid two yellow and white polka dot 12x12's with large cut out strawberries and one 12x12 with the words "You Are My Sunshine" in yellow on a white background.  To cover another painting in the dining area I used red wrapping paper and then taped two 12x12 images to it one of a sun the other a neat compilation of the song of inspiration.  I also used scrapbooking 12x12's in yellow white and red and white polka dot for color on the tables and counter. 

In two corners of the room I hung yellow and white 8" and 12" paper lanterns from the ceiling with fun yellow and white ribbons.  I made my own "happy birthday" banner inspired from some on-line crafters using white and yellow checked cardstock rectangles.  I found pre-cut scrapbooking letters in yellow and white for the "happy birthday" and red letters for the birthday girl's name - the letters were all in different fonts giving it a sort of whimsical look. 

Each letter was tied to the next using white or yellow checked ribbon.  I made a similar sign for the front door that said "Our Sweet Sunshine is One!" with "one" in red.  Just before the party started we blew up several large bouquets of yellow and white helium balloons and tied them about the party area.  I also found an 18 inch mylar strawberry balloon to tie near the birthday girl's chair. 

ACTIVITIES: This was only a 1-year-old party so we didn't really have any party activities during the party just eating and opening presents and playing.  I suppose the making of the sun "art" and t-shirts and helping to put it all together would be considered party activities by the family.  If it was for an older child I thought about doing a sunshine craft using paper plates and yellow popsicle sticks or cutting out handprints in yellow and putting them around a yellow circle.

GAMES:  Again we didn't have any games but for an older child I thought about pin the leaves on the strawberry or sunglass on the sun etc. Also thought about a bean-bag toss into a sunshine.

COSTUMES: The night before the party the whole family made yellow tie-dyed t-shirts.  I found cheap white t-shirts at a craft store and using bright yellow fabric dye and lots of rubber bands  we all created individual "suns" on our shirts.  Some were just single suns others had circles all over their shirts.  Everyone wore their shirts quite willingly for the party and it made the pictures turn out REALLY cute. 

I couldn't find party hats I liked so I made my own strawberry-inspired party hats using plain red cone hats black duct tape cut out with a tear-drop hole punch for the seeds and green tissue paper sprouting out the top for the leaves.   The birthday girl was already wearing a strawberry themed dress so her hat was plain yellow with a "1" on it one a scalloped white circle.

PARTY SNACKS: The party was mid-afternoon to avoid having to cook a meal.  Before the cake I served fresh strawberries with toothpicks white chocolate (dyed yellow using food coloring) covered pretzel sticks with yellow M&Ms stuck to them in a line and M&M's separated out in dishes of yellow red and green.

CAKE:  I baked one giant chocolate cupcake using a Wilton cake pan and decorated it to look like a strawberry using red butter cream brown M&M's pre-made green leaves and a single yellow candle for the "stem".  I covered a cutting board with green paper and used scrapbooking letter stickers to write out the Happy Birthday message (because I usually HATE the way it turns out written with frosting). Found some cute 3-D strawberries and yellow & white flowers to dress-up the platter too.  I also made standard cupcakes in chocolate and lemon then decorated them as strawberrries and "suns" respectively. 

The sunshine's were really just simply piped with yellow lemon buttercream and then placed in cupcake liners that could be called yellow flower petals but I thought could also be viewed as sun rays.  The strawberries were piped red buttercream chocolate sprinkles pre-made green leaves and chocolate covered "Pocky" sticks for the stems.  They were baked in red liners and placed in wrappers that looked like a white picket fence or basket.  The cupcakes were placed on a tiered display.  I had also thought about using the pretzel sticks as sun "rays" coming out from a round yellow frosted cake to look like a sun or making the giant cupcake look like a white cloud with a yellow half round sticking out of the cloud.  Decided to have the accent color of red/strawberries be the focal point of the cake.

FAVORS:  For the few preschoolers who attended I had a wooden Jacob's ladder (in rainbow colors - not quite on theme but a huge hit) wrapped in solid red paper tied with white ribbon.  The majority of the guests were adults so for their favors I found re-usable bags that ball up into a strawberry shape. I placed them in real strawberry baskets I washed and I attached a tag that said "Thanks for helping to make my day extra sweet!".  "

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