Some of you may recall that I made my blogging debut by writing about my daughter’s first birthday party. In fact, the helpfulness of other moms in the party planning arena was what pushed me to start my own blog. If you would like to refresh your memory, feel free to to take a glance at Once Upon A Birthday Party Part I, II or III.
Well, it turns out that kid parties- when you go all out in a crazy crafty kind of way- are exhausting. I needed a full two years to recover from J’s first. I vowed to hold off on another one until at least school age. And then J started day care, and we started to get invited to lots of other birthday parties. In fact, J’s entire class seems to have birthdays that fall between October and January. She naturally assumed that I too would throw her a party that included cake, a bouncy house and goodie bags. I could not disappoint, and that is how Juliette’s Big Birthday Adventure came into being. The theme- D-D-D-Dora… Dora, Dora, Dora the Explorer.
I must admit that I was a little disappointed that she did not like my ideas for a Blues Clues or Peppa the Pig party. Ultimately though, I embraced the theme and found that ideas abound on the web for Dora/Diego parties. See my pinterest inspiration board here for a few examples.
Every great party must have a great invitation. When you google “Dora” and “Birthday,” you are sure to come across the DVD or game Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure.
I loved the DVD logo and the idea of the party being a map adventure. Both had to be incorporated in the invite. I also really loved all the hand made backpack invitations I saw online. Here is one of my favorite examples from HighHeelsAndDiapers.com
Super cute and there are several templates available online including this one and another FromBeccasHome.blogspot.com. Problem was I wanted both an adorable card stock backpack and a clever photo invite. This is how I came to spend several sleepless nights unsuccessfully attempting to build an invite on google docs (MS Word, Powerpoint and Google Art), downloading several free photo editors and even a free trial of Adobe Photoshop before finally begging my sister to help me. She is a pro at PhotoShop and came up with this invite (minus the personal details which have been removed). If you do not have a talented sister, may I suggest this invite template by Shery K Designs.
I could not possibly be satisfied with this awesome invite by itself. Nooooo. I had to still house it in Backpack or Rescue Pack. Must not have gotten my fill of cutting and pasting as a child. Of course, since I wanted to fit a 4×6 vertical photo card in the backpack, I needed to draw my own template. I promise to scan it and post it here when I get a chance. Of note, I made a 2 piece template as I wanted to use 8.5 x 11 card stock that I already owned. I could have done it in one piece if I had purchased 12 x 12 card stock.
After another sleepless night of tracing, cutting and folding, I ended up with a pile like this:
One more sleepless night for assembling and gluing and Backpack and Rescue Pack finally came to life.
Did I mention that I made 21 of these? Do not let those Pinterest Mommas- present company included- fool you. This was no easy feat. I delivered these invites to J’s classroom on a Monday. By the time Friday rolled around and some of the invites were still in cubbies instead of getting their due fridge time, I was very much inclined to give the evil eye. Ok, I might have. There, I’ve admitted it. But it was a labour of love- both for my J and all things crafty. Wait until you see what I came up with next in Part II- Party Favors.