Frequently, I take inspiration from a variety of websites and products when I’m making things around my house, but from time to time the stars align and inspiration strikes me of its own accord. With so many preparations in the last few days before the big event of my daughter’s golden, first birthday party, it might be deemed miraculous that I still had my wits about me enough to get the surplus creative juices flowing. Sometimes, I even surprise myself. If my previous posts had not been any such indication, I operate under a budget and where I can cut costs, I most assuredly will. It was thus that I decided to not only create my own fruit tray (I mean really, it’s fruit… not that difficult), but to also make it a butterfly fruit tray to further augment the theme within my modest home. In addition to the obvious need of fruit (I chose bananas, blueberries, strawberries, and grapes — a variety of colors is helpful for my plan, but you can use whatever fruit you like), my plan also called for a large, flat, clear plastic tray (purchased at my local grocery store for just a few dollars), some wax paper, scotch tape, and a permanent marker. I outlined the tray onto the wax paper so I would know how much space I had to work with, and then I set to work on my butterfly making. It took me a few tries to get it to look the way that I wanted, but I finally created a simple design that best utilized the space provided and was, more or less, aesthetically pleasing.
Once the design was complete, I cut out the butterfly, and taped it with clear, scotch tape to the *bottom* of the tray. Like so:
Are you getting where I’m going with this? From here, it was a simple manner of placing the fruit in the allotted space as indicated by the outline showing through the bottom of the tray. I used the bananas for the body, cut the blueberries in half for little antennae, and then used alternating colors of the strawberries, grapes, and remaining blueberries and bananas to best fill in the pattern.
I found that cutting some of the strawberries and grapes in half made for a more sturdy foundation for stacking of the fruit, otherwise the little guys would roll away. In addition to the fruit tray, we also served some freshly cooked shrimp with cocktail sauce, pizza dip (thanks, Paula!), Chili & Garlic Chex Mix (gluten-free recipe — I baked it on a cookie sheet at 250 for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes, instead of microwaving to make it more crisp), deviled eggs (my mom’s most yummy recipe), Squisite Squares (they are peanut butter and chocolate bars that we have a recipe for), Ham Delights (another old family favorite — think a sort of ham and cheese roll), and some sherbet punch (1 part OJ, 2 parts Hawaiian punch, 2 parts ginger ale, and enough scoops of rainbow sherbet to cover the top of the punch bowl — I really did it all based upon color. Poor the juice and punch appropriately until you get an appealing color).
Paper plates and napkins were found on sale (of course!) at Target. And if you were wondering, I was not so silly of a Mama to forget the most important thing: CAKE!
My local grocer will give you a free “Smash Cupcake” to go with any sheet cake purchase for a 1st birthday. Perfection! I took the bakery a copy of the image that I created for the invitations, and they were able to put it on both the cake and cupcake for me. If you noticed my vase in the corner, I took my handy permanent marker, hot glue gun, and some plastic butterflies that I had gotten at Michael’s (I told you in my post on the high chair that I found a million uses for my clearance priced butterfly assortment!) FYI: the butterflies still came off easily with a bit of pressure applied and the permanent marker washed off with some detergent, so I had my old vase back at the end of it all, but I would still recommend only use one that you’re willing to sacrifice to the cause, just in case.
The roses are Rainbow Roses from Argentina. I don’t question their methods in applying the dyes as they do, I just accept them as really pretty flowers and the perfect touch for my little Munchkin’s first birthday party!
Finally, after putting up some more butterflies in various places around the house (remember the ones I had on the cookbooks near my party favors?)…
…and carefully putting up some pink and polka dot streamers, pink balloons, butterfly and birthday-themed mylar balloons, banners, and other signs displaying the excitement that was my little one’s first birthday…
…I was done! The party went off without a hitch, and every last detail over which I had labored came together to make for the perfect event befitting a butterfly-themed first birthday, and for a golden first birthday, at that (1 on the 1st!).
Is there a little one for whom you are planning a birthday party in the future? What theme are you using? Have fun, no matter what you do, and take pictures!!