I used to get so bummed out after the holidays, but ever since Annabel was born we’ve had her birthday to pull us all through the holiday funk. When Annie gets sad about all the Christmas decorations coming down, I remind her that birthday decorations are going up in their place. They help make the house look less-empty.
The Dentist Birthday Party idea did not last the test of time. A few months ago, Annie started insisting on a “Heroes and Villains” party. She is very, very excited about it and has insisted on “practicing” almost every day. To Annabel, practicing means putting on a superhero outfit and watching The Justice League, then running around the house screaming about saving dolls from bad guys.
After I asked Annabel what she wanted at the party (“Sooooo many capes! And lots of bad guys that we have to beat. And candy! A PIÑATA!”) I made my list and started stalking Party City/Amazon/Birthday Express/Oriental Trading for the best deals. That’s another good thing about having a January birthday – lots of post-Christmas specials to take advantage of! I love a bargain.
This is what I have so far. A few more things are arriving this week, and I have several DIY ideas that we’ll see if I’ll have time for.
Piñata, “building” candy holders, puppets, bubbles, balloons, tablecloth, stickers, bracelets, green rock candy (deactivated kryptonite, obvs), and stupidly spelled sound effect signs.
Also masks! Because secret identities are important.
Na na na na na na na na Hea-ther!
Annabel flipped (seriously, if she literally knew how to flip I am certain she would have) when she saw the piñata. I have no idea how we’ll pull it off in our backyard, but my dad is pretty sure he can figure it out.
I’m also going to use my new sewing machine to make capes for all the kids. This seamlessly merges my idea to have something on-theme for the kids (the capes are the party favors) with my ability to take on too much. Also, I’m cheap. I’m trying to figure out the machine…I’ve sewn some hems and bracelets with it so far, but the ability to surge fabric seems to be beyond me at this point. I know the stitch I’m supposed to use (the zig zag…right?), but my machine and I can’t seem to figure it out together. I am having fun practicing, though.
My favorite is the illustration I bought for the invitations (this etsy shop customized it):
I showed it to Annabel the other day and she said, “That superhero has a face like mine….oh my gosh, is that…me???” She asks me if she can see it several times a day, and has told me to show the illustration to everyone that comes to our house, like the mail carrier or UPS guy. The UPS guy was very impressed. I’ll let you know what the pest control guy says tomorrow.
Annie’s birthday is two weeks from today (omg can’t believe it), so we’ll see if I get everything on my list done by then. It’s been fun to ask her what she wants, then trying to figure out how to deliver on it (yesterday she said, “Mommy, I want pom-poms everywhere at my party!”). But as much as I enjoy putting parties together, it doesn’t hold a candle to how excited Annie is over simply having her friends come over. As long as her friends are there, nothing else matters. Except the piñata. And the cake (obviously) (the cake is Mike’s job).
If the machine in the photo is what you’re using to serge, it’s not you; it’s the machine. A serger is a specialty sewing machine that uses three to four cones of thread to achieve the effect your looking for. A regular sewing machine can’t do the job.
You might be able to rent a serger, but the learning curve is a bit steep. Might be easier to line the capes with something shiny and make them, essentially double-sided.
See, I thought that I needed a special machine too, but when I was googling it I found a bunch of blog posts from people who told me I could serge my fabric on my home machine with the zig zag stitch. But all my test fabric looks TERRIBLE (and now I know why, thanks to you!) so I am thinking I just need to fold over the edges of the capes and have a regular hem.
You are right, you can’t serge the ends with that machine, you will have to do a regular hem. A zig-zag stitch would work, but will not look super nice, and won’t hold up to the many washings that a child’s cape would need.
You could also make the capes a double layer of fabric, sew around the edge all the way but leave a 3 or so inch opening. Then turn the fabric around (so the good sides are now OUT) and you will have a lovely seam (just need to iron it flat) and you will only have to hand sew that last 3″.
Please feel free to e-mail me if you have any other sewing questions!
Ditto to Jackie’s comments! Also look up “French Seams” and you’ll find an easy way to make beautiful, clean seams. I have a serger but haven’t opened the box (for 2 years now) because I can just do this.
If worse comes to worse you can cut the capes from fleece. Not sparkly like Annabelle’s, but no-sew! I LOVE a good party!
If there is anything I am sure of it’s that you’ll pull off another spectacular birthday party for Annabel! I love the theme and that picture of her is absolutely STUNNING!
You always bring out the stubborn, want to stay inside and hibernate, creative juices out of me and though I am no sewing or DIY kind of gal, you make creating a fun birthday party theme for my own child, very contagious!!
Pom Pom balloons!
Oh, wow, the invitation is beyond adorable. What a great idea. I guess it is too late for my 10-yr old’s birthday:)
Backyard? In January? Waaaaaaa I wanna move someplace warm! It’s been below zero here. I’m not a polar bear, people shouldn’t live like this. Ok, whining over! You have the BEST party ideas! You should totally do party planning on the side, you are awesome at it!
I was convinced of not doing a party for my twin girls turning 3 in March. But my sister and sister-in-law (both live out of town), said they’d be in town for their bday, so what am i doing for it? Ummm…well an hour after researching and now I need to buy a chair for our living room (of course), I have already taken on too much. but like you, they will be SO excited to have some of their friends and cousins over and singing happy birthday. it’s all they really care about!
Kymmi T says:
That picture of Annie in her cape is the best thing I have ever seen. I’m pretty sure it saved my day.
Will you please make me my next birthday party?
YES. But you have to come to LA!
You almost give me mommy guilt! Almost…the last 3 years I have wimped out and not done any party for my son. But we take him to Disneyland for a couple of days and stay in a hotel with a pool (even though we only live about an hour and a half away!) Trying to plan a birthday party just stresses me out. An adult party no problems!
OMG noooo mommy guilt please! That is an AMAZING birthday celebration – I am certain that Annabel would lose her mind over that. Hell, I would, too! I have always wanted to stay at one of the Disneyland hotels!
I don’t know what kind of fabric you are using to make the capes out of, but most fabric is fine just being sewn, rather than being serged. Another thing you could do is get a second fabric, sew them wrong sides together and turn it right side out through a hole so you don’t have any exposed edges. I just got done making some capes for my cousins and that’s what I did. This website gave me some good ideas on making the capes and then I appliquéd on their initials for fun. ???? http://www.howdoesshe.com/super-hero-cape/
Make sure you use Velcro for the necks so no one gets hurt!
If I can be of any help or clarification, email me.
I’m using costume satin, it was on mega-sale at Joann last week! It unravels but I’ve decided to just fold over the edges and do a standard hem. I didn’t want to do two pieces of fabric because it essentially doubles the price and I’ll be making a bunch of them! And I already have the velcro!
I made super hero capes for my mom for school. We used felt so they didn’t have to be hemmed. Just cut it. It was really easy. Then I used iron on Velcro and the iron on paper to put shapes on the cap (and letters because they where super hero vowels).
Here is the link I used:
Those are cute! I actually bought a TONNNNNNNN of costume satin when it was on mega-sale at Joann, otherwise I’d be all over this!
We have our 3 and 6 year old grandsons with us for a weekend the end of January. I see super hero capes in our schedule … should take up a couple of hours! A wonderful idea — thank you!
I have a January birthday but it is too close to Christmas to enjoy, the 5th. At least you have a little break for hers! I am inspired. I wonder if my soon-to-be 3 year old will like a super hero party.
Is Annabel turning 4??!! Maybe I’m mistaken, but wasn’t she born in 2010? That was FOUR years ago? Crazy. Anyways, great party theme…you’ll pull it off in style as always, Heather
Lisa Maxwell says:
I did a superhero party a couple of years back for now 7yo– best game, hands down? Disarm the bombs– we got some black balloons and scattered them on the floor and had the kids “disarm” them (i.e., sit on them to pop them) before they could have cake. Funniest thing ever. :O)
kathi g says:
could you be any more AWESOME? The pic of Annie in the cape, with the superhero ‘tude is probably my favorite picture of her ever.
p.s. will you adopt me and plan all my birthday parties from now on? I am “this” many (holding up 52 fingers
I admit I often roll my eyes at commenters who say they want bloggers to be their mom, but jeez, Heather. You are a kickass mom. Awesome photo of Super Annie and love the invite illustration. Party on, Heather!
you should definitely show her Amazing Annabel videos on a loop at the party. Or better yet, make a new one for the party!
Love the hero/villain idea. You’ll have so much fun with that one! Happy party planning!
You are the amazing one! Can’t wait to see how this party turns out.
It’s gonna be a great party!
Love the invite!!!
You are so creative…can’t wait to see the great party pictures and hear all about all the fun! Maybe a vid?!
It’s going to be a great party indeed!
She is going to have a blast!!
Annie is a girl after my husband’s heart. We just found out that we’re having a boy, but that changes NOTHING about what my husband will be buying for the baby. A girl would have gotten super hero stuff and Star Wars lego sets, and at some point a party like this. If we ever have a daughter, she’ll be the most awesome fangirl ever.
The party sounds so super fun! I love the invitation and Annie doing her super hero work.
We just had a cape emergency (our daughter announced Thursday afternoon she needed a cape for school Friday am). We found a no sew option that involved a curtain from target, scissors and some ribbon. If we had more time I did come across this idea for decorating capes:
And, I read about a cool non profit, http://www.crafthope.com, that makes capes for kids in shelters. It is on my to do list for 2014.
Looking forward to seeing party pictures! And, I am so glad that you have Annie’s birthday to help get you through the after holidays blues. Sending hope & hugs.
Okay, making my inspiration board for my baby’s room (for my friends throwing the shower to work from) and I came across this old pin. Something that might fit in with your party… http://www.doodlecraft.blogspot.com/2012/04/super-sci-fi-rocket-fueled-jet-pack.html.
Capes are a great idea!
You could ‘wonderweb’ the hems – quick and easy and Mike could help. Then you could appliqué the kids names on the back, using either fabric glue or zigzag stitch to fix it on. That way you have a method of doing what you want in the time without stressing about not having figured out the sewing machine!
Those kids are going to LOVE their capes! I made a cape for our friend’s 4 year old for Christmas and gave it to him the night of their annual Christmas Party, he zoomed around the house in it for most of the night and proudly showed it off to everyone as they got there. Will definitely be making them again as it didn’t take very long to make!