Friday, April 13, 2012

Construction Party Cake & Decor

As we all know, Little Dude's 3rd birthday party theme was a construction theme!

    . . . If you don't know this, you might want to start at the beginning of this series here are the links:

We had a sandbox with toy construction vehicles as an activity that fit with the theme. The decor and cake tied in the rest. The overall colors used were yellow, orange, and black. I bought a 1000' roll of caution tape off of Amazon. The tape worked great all over instead of paper streamer. 

The biggest time hog was the cake:
I made it using 3 cakes baked in a 10" square pan. I cute the corners on the squares to make them kind of rounded, then cut up the top layer to make it look like uneven terrain from a work zone. The layers were separated by chocolate buttercream frosting. Both the cake and frosting recipes came from the Joy of Baking website:

Once the cake was assembled, I used more chocolate buttercream to cover the surface of the cake that would have "dirt" on it. Then I crushed a bunch of chocolate teddy grahams and sprinkled that all over the chocolate buttercream to create a dirt-like texture. It looked pretty cool. Then I filled in the rest of the cake using a white chocolate buttercream frosting (recipe from Food & Wine). I added some green food coloring and used a grass tip to create the grass. I considered using toy trucks on top, but opted for gum paste trucks since I could make those several days ahead of time anyway.

Next up was a banner. I figured that I had a ton of colored cardstock laying around so I should try use some up. Lots of freehand cutting later, I had a cute handmade banner:
The lower piece was not initially all crooked like that, but we closed the window in order to light the candles so it was left a little wonky. 

Remember these mason jar utensil holder project from the last birthday party?
I ripped off the old ribbon and paper, then did a little spray paint action:
Once they were painted I added some new embellishments and had some construction themed utensil holders. Yay for recycling!
Speaking of recycling. . . The cups and plates were all non-disposable. I bought them from Walmart for 4/$1. It was obviously more expensive than disposable, but I like that they will be reused many times. We even let people use permanent markers on the cups since a little rubbing alcohol cleaned it right off after the party.

The plate holder in the photo above was a $2 metal basket Goodwill find. I gave it the same spray paint treatment as the mason jars and it fit right in. Here it is before I did anything to it:

Another part of the main table display was the adult beverage. For Baby Boo's party I made a white wine drink for the adults, and it disappeared fast. I figured I would do it again for this one, only I made 2 batches this time and we still almost ran out.
Ingredients for 1 batch: 1 magnum bottle of wine, 1 bottle of Sprite, 1/2 gallon of Tropicana OJ, 1 can of peaches, 2 apples (chopped), and 2 oranges (chopped). Mix everything together and let it all soak a few hours prior to serving. 

Unfortunately, I don't have many photos of the outside decor, but it was pretty limited. We had two 8' tables with lots of chairs for people to sit outside. They both had black table clothes and caution tape wrapped around them.

Cheap plastic hard hats purchased off of Amazon were fun party hats for the little kids. . . and some big "kids":
My brother

I think that about covers it in terms of decor and such. I had planned on doing cute party favors and tool shaped sugar cookies too, but time (and organization) ran out. They didn't happen, but it really didn't matter in the end. I had enough going on that day as it was. Thank goodness they only get 1 birthday per year!

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