Challenger - Frog Prince Paperie
Plant a Seed
I really enjoyed working on this $100 design challenge project – scaling back the budget meant the creativity had to get kicked up! In this party design meant to “go green,” I decided to use an earth-friendly “plant a seed” theme for a child’s birthday where most of the materials were found around the house, recycled, or reusable. And to put me on a level playing field with all the moms out there that might want to try this at home, I did this party at grandma’s house – well away from my overflowing prop closet. I pulled off this party for four for a whopping $58!! You could add more kids to this concept for well under $100.
The design work I did for this party was done in such a way that anyone could do it; I used a free font from the internet and kept it to text and a piece single leaf art. All the signs, etc. could be created in something as simple as a Word document.
Grandpa’s garden was the perfect backdrop for this party. Mid-summer (and 97 degrees!) meant for nice lush green surroundings. We set a patio table in the hosta alcove under the Japanese maple trees to create a sense of intimacy. Little orange garlands hung from the trees for a pop of color. The table was set with a plain white tablecloth (free), and to add a little more interest, I made runners from brown craft paper (from the dollar store) and finished the edges with pinking shears.
Sheets of scrapbook paper served as placemats (29 cents a sheet). To give them some style, I used an exacto knife to cut leaf shapes from the paper and then layered a contrasting green underneath. I used plain white plates that were on hand – I prefer to use porcelain to paper whenever I can for less waste, and decent plates can be had at the dollar store if you need lots that can be used again and again.
One of my favorite touches was the napkins on the place settings. I bought plain white napkins (dollar store) and using a few green ones from an old party that were on hand, made ruffles and sewed them to the white napkins for instant drama. This was an extremely inexpensive way to get a very designer look.
The children loved the little terra cotta pots at each setting. I picked these up on sale at Micheals and handmade the paper flowers that went in each, using corn cob skewers as the stems and Styrofoam from and electronics purchase as the base. Silverware (“gardening tools”) sat on top of each pot tied with jute and a name tag.
The birthday cake made for a perfect centerpiece, and surprisingly, there were no little finger prints in it until it was time to cut the cake! I used a box cake and canned frosting. The decoration were leaves taped to skewers and artfully arranged. The cake stand was my mother’s.
The cups tied with twine for lemonade were set to the side with a new watering can ($3) as the pitcher. I used old jam jars that were in my mother’s cupboard. The frog prince paid a visit there as well.
In the name of all things recycled, we used an old army field table to display the food for the kids’ party. PB&J (crustless) wrapped in parchment, skewered grapes, recipe red strawberries, paper cones with Pirate Booty, and “dirt” pots fill of worms were served. All the containers were either on hand or picked up at the local thrift store. A tiny sewn bunting stretched across the front of the table and big paper flowers in orange and leaf green set in recycled tin cans adorned the table as décor.
For favors, I took several marigolds from dad’s garden that had gone to seed and dried and separated them. I sewed the edges of ¼ page prints that I made to form a seed envelope. The children took these, their place setting pots, and party activity home as a treat from the party.
To keep the kids occupied, we planted marigold seeds in recycled yogurt cups. My father, a master gardener, showed the kids how to plant that particular kind of seed. Afterwards, he treated them to tractor rides around the neighborhood. (I think this was the favorite part of the day!)
The kids had a really great time, and I think the best compliment I received was from Gracie who said she wanted a “plant a seed” birthday when hers came around!
This was so much fun, and I must thank grandma, grandpa, the kids and all the others that helped with the staging of this party. And thank you to Ebony for inviting me to be part of your challenge!
|terra cotta pots||$5.68|
|berry basket (thrift)||$0.50|
|basket for pots (thrift)||$1.00|
|Double stick tape||$0.75|
|Items we had:|
|army field table|
|riding lawnmower & cart|
|Recycled tin cans|
|Recycled plastic cups|
|Foam from electronics purchase|
|Marigold seeds from garden|
Grand Total $58!.................................................