Since it’s the beginning of October I figured I’d do a flashback post about my most memorable October… When my daughter was 10 months old, I decided that for her first Halloween we would have to do something special. And for some insane reason, I decided that the “something special” would be creating a different costume for each of the 31 days in October, ending with her “real” costume, a penguin suit that would be part of a family costume.
The first few costumes were easy– put her in a pot with some white yarn, and she was a pot of spaghetti; put a tutu on her, she was a ballerina– but as the days went on I had to get more creative. Perhaps in some cases too creative. Read on for the grand list:
Going to Anime Boston this year reminded me that I haven’t told you all about my hat project. THE hat project. The big one. The mother of all projects. The project that spanned years, involved international commerce, and still has remnants floating around my house. And it all started with a single hat. Or, the lack of one.
A few years back, as the steampunk trend was just on the upswing, I decided to make myself a steampunk costume for Anime Boston. It would have a tweed skirt, a brocade bustier, some interesting leather doodads and brass thingies, and of course a miniature top hat. The problem was, I couldn’t find a hat that I liked– the pre-decorated ones were insanely expensive and the craft-store felt ones were really cheap looking, being more like flocked plastic than real felt and too small for what I had in mind. I did try to place an order for the largest available cheap felt hat from an online supply store, but they were out of stock. That, I think, was the turning point in the whole endeavor, because I had to think outside of the box. (why I didn’t just make a hat out of cardboard and cover it in fabric, I have no idea…)
As you know, if you do an in-depth search for an item on eBay the regular results eventually give way to hits for overseas wholesalers who will sell you bulk quantities of said item. While I personally had no need for huge numbers of tiny hats, it occurred to me that if I was having a problem locating a reasonably priced, decent-quality mini top hat, other people might be having the same problem. Pretty soon I had an email conversation going with a hat company in China that could ship me 150 black felt mini top hats for what worked out to be just under $4.00 a hat, including shipping (which was the most expensive part).
Sparing you the logistics, eventually I ended up with two giant cardboard boxes of hats and about 3 months in which to prepare them for sale at an Artist’s Alley table at Anime Boston.
For my daughter’s first birthday I went all out with the pink elephant theme. It started with the invitations, which I got customized on Etsy, and then added hand-punched elephants in pink shimmery paper (mounted on 3D adhesive squares), plus tiny pink rhinestones for a little sparkle. The invitations were handed out in pink shimmery envelopes, and I actually had to go out and buy a special pen to prevent smearing of the purple ink I used to address them. And that was just the beginning…
Allie’s cake was four layers high, in pink ombre, and was topped with a homemade bunting made out of pink fabric scraps (that match the bunting decorating her bedroom).
There were also pink polka dot elephant cookies, pink macarons, pink candy popcorn, meringues, candy kisses, and pink Pocky. Everything was presented either in clear glass apothecary jars (from TJ Maxx, so much cheaper than anywhere else), or on homemade glass cake stands, made by gluing glass candleholders to glass plates with my trusty E6000 adhesive. Oh, and at the last minute I picked up a papier mache elephant and painted it pink to put on the table.
And of course, we had to do a cake smash photo shoot (which was several weeks after the party, but hey, still fun!). The background is just a big piece of pink fabric, binder-clipped to our bookshelves, and I got the wooden letters on Etsy and painted them white to use as props. Yes, I’m aware (now) that the E was upside-down…
She’s wearing a custom pink and gray tutu, and her shirt has a pink elephant on it with “I’m One!” embroidered underneath. Etsy is awesome. And yes, the smash cake is pink on the inside too. 😉
The scary thing is, this party is arguably NOT the most elaborate one I’ve thrown for her birthday…