Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Airplane Themed Birthday Party {on a budget}

This last Saturday was my son's second birthday party and the grand finale of my 6 week party planning marathon! After planning the toddler costume party for Halloween and my friend's baby shower two weeks later, I didn't think I had much left in me for Thanksgiving and my son's birthday party but I rallied. The birthday party was a huge success...my toddler's awe struck face was the judge. I had so much fun carrying out the airplane theme, and spent a total of ZERO-bucks on the decor. Read on for pictures and details...

So let's start with a tour. Here is the front door...
With all the hype currently surrounding the new airport security measures, I poked a little fun and made this homemade sign for the entry...

As you enter the door, you are cleared for runway zero-two...
To make the runway, I split and laid down about 5 large black trash bags, securing all edges with clear packing tape. The white lines and runway markers were made with athletic tape.

Here's a shot of the family room "airspace" ...
I wanted to fill the ceiling with white latex helium balloons to give the effect of clouds, but with a large open floorplan at $1 a balloon, my dreams were popped. I had to get creative, so I cut scalloped cloud shapes out of white scrapbook paper, and hot glued the batting from an old pillow to them. Ta-da! Storybook-like suspended clouds...
I cut paper airplane shapes out of colored cardstock and suspended the clouds and airplanes using clear thread (you can use fishing line too) with tape and tacks.
Here's another shot towards the kitchen...

Speaking of the kitchen, lets talk food...
It was a pizza party (my son's favorite) so I kept the food simple but I had fun in keeping with the theme...
I named these bacon-cheddar-chive crescent roll-ups after an aircraft acrobatic manuever.
I kept the cupcakes simple with the fluffy white "cloud" icing, yet colorful with the airplane toppers
(available for download at the end of the post).

We even had a control tower...
I had been saving two large cardboard boxes for this occasion. I had my hubby cut out a door and some windows, and then I painted it. This was probably my son's favorite thing about the party. All the kids loved it, and it was so simple to make. Keep a cardboard playhouse in mind as you are unwrapping your Christmas gifts this year. Last year my nieces and nephews were entertained for hours decorating the playhouse I made for them, adding rugs and flowerboxes with their markers. We even taped up some curtains with wrapping paper.

Back in the family room, ahem, I mean first class lounge...
I aptly named the airline "ARK-tic Airlines," playing off my son's name (Noah), and our impending move to Alaska. For the logo, I added some wings to an image of Noah's Ark.

We even had some in-flight entertainment...

Can you tell we had fun? I think the most fun comes when you have a tight budget and you have to let your imagination do the decorating. Those are the times I come up with the most creative ideas. Most importantly, my son was thrilled. He was in sheer bliss.

In case you might be planning an airplane themed party, I went ahead and included some downloadable printables for you. Hopefully, it saves some of you some time!

Click HERE to download the airplane cupcake toppers.

Click HERE to download the food labels.

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