There’s nothing like a little electric neon to match the energy of a two year old…which is exactly why we used it for this farm animal birthday. However, we found out neon is a funny little beast. Not the most common range of colors in materials, so I found myself grabbing absolutely everything I saw in neon. The more normal crafty stuff like paint and papers, to the much less likely materials of girls tights and cargo cord. Also – neon doesn’t print well unless you’re doing spot color with a printer. With a small invitation order, this just wasn’t realistic, so I had to settle for good old CMYK colors that could print much easier (and more cost-effectively). That’s why you won’t see as much here from a printable perspective – I wanted a vibrance in the colors that I wasn’t getting from CMYK. (you can ignore this part if you’re not in the design world…and skip down to the next paragraph).
After an hour of animal cuddling (post on that here) we turned on the grill and got dinner ready for the crew. We lucked out with an amazing day of sunshine and warmth so we took advantage of it with the menu (the day before was 20 degrees cooler!!). Sausages, hot dogs, mango salsa, grilled asparagus…don’t you just love springtime food?! For desert we did something a little different because Felix doesn’t like all the traditional stuff like cake, cupcakes, cookies, chocolate…etc. I wasn’t sure if he’d go for a fruit tart, but he does absolutely love fruit! He dove right in – blew out the candles like a champ and grabbed a big juicy blackberry, then some blueberries, then a strawberry…
NUMBER 2: It’s tradition to create big numbers for birthdays, and then use it in the kids room decor for the next year. With this theme I had several ideas on what to execute, but with time getting tight I opted for a fairly simple version of what was in my head. I love the different size neon animals spread over kraft paper. I used my trusty Cricut machine to execute all the animal cut outs (which I also glued to the neon balloons and used on the pennant), you better believe I wasn’t going to do that all by hand!
BACKDROP: A lot of the neon I found was in the office supply section of stores. I guess that makes sense. I decided to use neon post-its to create this patterned backdrop board for the food and desert table. I absolutely love the scale that it added, and the texture created by all the individual post-its was amazing! I definitely recommend this for anyone looking for an easy to execute backdrop – just taped three foam boards together, wrapped in kraft paper (you can skip this step if you like the color of your foam boards) and then started making the pattern with the post-its. Can easily be done in one evening in front of a good show or two!
TABLE RUNNER: For this party, instead of putting a standard table cloth on the table, I decided to leave it bare and add a sizable paper runner almost covering the whole top. This allowed me to keep in the color scheme but also not spend much to do so! I found neon washi tape at Target and Paper Source and created a haphazard pattern on a big sheet of paper. Just around the edges (but like 6 inches of the edges all around). It worked really well under everything I put out that day. (we still have it on the dining table too!)
DETAILS: paper straws (green) and balloon from shop sweet lulu and birch straws from paper source (can’t find online). White frames & 2 smaller pillars from Ikea. Kraft boxes from Target. Candy jars and large white pillar from Home Goods.
NEON ANIMALS: So, I’ll be honest, those cute little neon animals you see were the biggest pain in the ass of the whole dang party. I almost ditched them on several occasions. But I had a vision. I do love the depth they added to the decor, but it was seriously annoying to get there. I purchased some inexpensive neon paint and a few tubes of farm animals. I just wanted some neon farm animals to do who-knows-what with. The first paint did just about nothing to cover the toys. I tried to spray a sealer on there first, but that did nothing. Next up, nail polish. Seriously, what can’t nail polish paint? Well, if it was going to work it was going to take almost a whole bottle of the stuff per animal, and get all over the damn place. Bought some neon spray paint and took the project outside. I can confirm that I threw the animals into three different boxes and sprayed each side maybe 5 – 10 times over the course of two days. FINALLY got good coverage on most of the animals. Not even all of them! Any with bigger grooves (like fur) just didn’t take. But they’re cute in photos, no?
CANDY: I’m not a big candy lover, and I don’t usually let my boys have it. But it’s a birthday and I figured a couple fun things weren’t going to hurt anybody. You remember those dots from when you were kids right? Basically just a dot of sugar onto a piece of paper, and you peel it off to eat it? I found this HUGE ones at our local CVS the morning of the party. They came on these two big sheets and I just cut them into strips. The kids got a kick out of the interactive nature of it – but most ended up in the trash afterward.
BASKETS: These little green baskets were an early party purchase when I decided on the theme a couple months ago. Found them at Target for a steal so tucked them away in the basement until I could figure out what to use them for. How cute are they with a neon napkin and animal crackers?! While it looks like this was planned, it was a total last minute execution – love it!
GARLAND: I obviously used the neon ball garland that we made a while ago – it was inspiration for this theme! For a tutorial and more pics, go here.
Hope this party brought some smiles. Happy party making!!