Wednesday, April 11, 2012

choo choo train themed birthday party

recently, my two sweet boys turned two and four. to celebrate their big days we threw them a joint train themed backyard birthday party. (wonder how much longer i can get away with a joint party?)  i made the number shirts (above) to commemorate the day and in the party colors using an applique process. (tutorial coming soon).

this balloon wreath was on the front door and greeted everyone as they arrived. it was something that i was asked several times, "how did you make it?!" it was a little time consuming, but really simple. i think it will be a treasured tradition in our family to hang on birthdays. fun, right? you can find the diy tutorial here.

i made and hung tissue paper pom-poms in the party colors from the trees for a festive look. you can find the tutorial here.

fabric flag pennants decorated the front and back on the house. they were bright and colorful and ensured that guests could find our home quickly and easily. (tutorial coming soon).
the bubble station was a fun and messy hit! the bubbles were wrapped in train themed wrappers, there was a "bubble station" sign and we used a plastic drink dispenser (picked up inexpensively from target). if you do this, be sure to have a plastic storage bin underneath the spicket as a catch-all. it was a last minute addition and proved to be *very* useful.
all printed material was by jenn at nickwilljack. you can have the entire collection emailed you in editable files for a inexpensive rate through etsy.  she was a pleasure to work with and as long as you are willing to put in a little elbow grease printing, cutting and gluing you too can have a fabulous train themed party.
*super* cute water bottle wraps were my all-time favorite. they said "chugga chugga". how cute is that?! again, all thanks to jenn at nickwilljack via her etsy shop.
silverware wraps that say "chew chew". too cute!
"goldfish crackers" pillow box. 
hanging circles from the dining room light fixture so no one would hit their heads.
cutest "happy birthday" banner that is totally customisable with whatever you want it to say. again, all thanks to jenn at nickwilljack via her etsy shop.
homemade cupcakes with butter cream frosting. anyone want the recipe? the frosting alone is to die for.
cupcake toppers using the printable files and coffee stir sticks (cut in half) from starbucks.

last minute cupcake stand made by wrapping a cardboard box with wrapping paper and gluing on printable circles. easy peasy.
time to sing and celebrate my birthday boys! 

i believe that one of the keys to a successful party at your home is having enough for the kids to do. since these munchkins were mostly between the ages of 2 and 4, a lot of organized games were not going to work. we were lucky to have some generous friends that let us borrow the jumpy and roller coaster and we also had a few play things already in the backyard arsenal. here are some of the things that kept the kiddos happy and busy the entire party:

step2 naturally playful sand table

when it was time for the guests to go home, we had a basket with favors.  (a train whistle from oriental trading company and *super* cute thomas the train crayon rolls. we also included a pillow box with candy inside for the older siblings that came (or if the parents wanted a sweet treat to go). 

 the crayon rolls were from a fantastic little shop on etsy. (you can find them here). they were so amazing to work with. responsive, quick turn around and great prices. i highly recommend using them.

all in all the party was a huge success. the kids were happy and that is all that really matters, right? wonder what they will be into next year? 


  1. Over achiever! Just kiddding. This is really fabulous! I always think I'll do a clever themed party like this and back out last minute when I realize I've waited too long to put it all together. I LOVE the balloon wreath! You should sell those!

    1. thanks, beth! i am not sure i will ever do it again, but it was fun. :-) tutorial on the balloon wreath coming soon in a post. it is super easy to make--you can do it! :-)

    2. It looks like fun was had by all. And of everything you've displayed here, I'd have to say... the train items were adorable and the balloon wreath was off the rails! Loved it.

      Stopping by from SITS to extend greetings... and to wish you both a Happy SITS Featured Blogger Day!

    3. thanks for stopping by. we're so happy you like the ideas!

  2. Happy Birthday to your boys! My oldest is also a train fanatic. We live in NYC and for his 3rd birthday, we threw him a subway themed party. It was so much fun but may have also convinced me not to throw another themed party again! Love the balloon wreath! Visiting from SITS. Hope you have an awesome day!

    1. thanks so much! i bet the subway themed party was adorable. wish we could see it!