It started with a stack of books and a lucky find in Target's $1 section last year...and soon an idea was born for a sweet, little birthday party that would be appealing to both lads and ladies. Babar bien sur!
I popped onto etsy and lo and behold there was a shop selling Babar envelopes and cards--made from vintage books. I couldn't believe my luck...hello invitations! With the addition of some labels from Martha's fabulous, new label collection at Staples, we were good to go (all sources listed at the bottom by the way :)).
p.s. did anyone else used to make envelopes like this as a teenager like I did? Total flashback.
We set Babar at the head of the table and allowed him to provide the inspiration for the tabletop. I couldn't believe how lucky I was to find a craft store with a crown die-cut that looked just like Babar's crown. They made for the perfect bowls and held all sorts of snacks and treats during the party.
Accompanying the crowns were extra loud party horns (the kids looooved these) and wooden forks.
One of our vintage, French Babar books was in poor condition and so I decided to recycle its pages into a simply party banner. It felt like a fun way to celebrate how loved that book truly was. The beautiful French cursive made it even more charming.
My daughter requested turkey/cheese and ham/cheese sandwiches for her party. I opted for a daintier, easier-to-eat-version by making them into sliders. Sara Lee's mini buns to the rescue! Little flags fashioned from toothpicks and Japanese washi and masking tape made lunch a lot more celebratory. You might think kids don't notice and/or appreciate details, but they really ate it all up, both literally and figuratively.
My oldest daughter, who assisted me with this party, suggested to the little guests to place the flag into the top of their party hats. Such a festive addition! I'll definitely recycle that idea again :)
I had to show you the inside of a Babar book, in case you hadn't seen one before. Even though ours are all in French (we purchased them on amazon.ca and at vide-greniers), they are just as readily available in English. Your local library probably has a copy or two on its shelves. They are really sweet little books and I love the illustrations too--very reminiscent of one of my favorite childhood books.
One of my daughter's few requests for the party was a "big, chocolate cake", which she later tried to talk me out of because she didn't want me to have to "work too hard to make it". I was so touched by her concern and sensitivity that all I wanted to make for her was a big chocolate cake! I made sure it was chocolatey, but not overly rich (wanting to cater to the 4/5-year-old crowd). As it turns out though, adults were big fans too (I sent home each parent with a slice) and now I'm thinking this is more versatile than I originally thought. The addition of chocolate ganache (or "frosting" as the kids called it) really hit the spot and now I'm looking for another excuse to make it again. In case you're curious, I'll be posting the recipe tomorrow...
Inspiration for the cake's mini banner came from Danyelle...she posted something similar on her blog months ago and I've never forgotten how sweet it looked.
Case in point...you never know what you'll find in that $1 at Target! These over-sized Babar pencils made for the perfect game prizes.
Since it was the stack of Babar books that partially contributed to the inspiration behind this party, I thought it apropos to gift each child with his/her own vintage Babar book (in English). I found them for a reasonable price on etsy, but you can also find them on ebay too. Wrapped up in good, ol' fashioned kraft brown paper, red cording and an upcycled label, they made for great, little party favors.
On a side note: while this wasn't my motivation when planning the party favors, but I like the idea of gifting children something meaningful--something that won't end up at Goodwill or in the trash by next month. You just can't go wrong with a new or used book...in any language!
1, 2, 3...make a wish!
p.s. I still can't believe my youngest daughter turned 5 last week. Crazy! I started this blog a couple of weeks before she was born, per the encouragement of my sister, and thought maybe two people would view it regularly--my sister and my mom. Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing. It's so fun to interact with you all and I am so grateful for all the wonderful people I now know because of this blog. xo
Party Supply Sources:
crown die-cuts / party horns / party hats / "milk" bottles / striped straws / ribbon / toy / tape
giant balloon / pencils (mine were from Target) / vintage books / tablecloth / invitations / labels