Our son’s first birthday was all about safari animals and this time we knew he would adore a train themed birthday, and how fitting as it matched with the party’s theme of “chugga chugga two two.” I’m a mom who does everything DIY at home taking in inspiration from catch my party. Everything from the balloon garland to the personalized face cupcake toppers were done by me at home, with some help from Etsy and mostly craft materials found at the dollar store! I love the idea of non traditional party hats so I found a conductor hat printable online and constructed all 12 personalized conductor party hats for the kids at home which was a huge hit! (And all it took was some time and scotch tape!)
I wanted to follow the train theme by sending the kids home with party favors shaped as suitcases to fulfill the baggage claim sign I printed off Etsy. I also got the suitcase templates off of Etsy and spent an afternoon constructing the little personalized suitcases for the kids. As a mom I like to send kids home with something fun but productive (as opposed to junk and candy) so I personally designed door hangers for each child to take home and hang. The door hangers were train themed with their cartoon avatar on each hanger and printed on card stock in black and white for the kids to take home and color. In each suitcase I filled it with some crayons, paint, stickers and stamps for them to decorate and hang. Moms love it too, keeping the kids busy!
The personalized cupcake toppers were a hit which I designed on my own, free and easy with Microsoft word. Just upload your little ones picture and a google search will find you some free clip art you can copy and paste into word to make party hats or in my case a train conductor’s hat. Print it on card stock paper and attach to a toothpick, easy! I then pasted a red bow tie I found from the dollar store to create a 3D effect.
The key to a good sweets table is depth and height. I found red lanterns at the dollar store which added color and followed the train theme quite nicely. I stuck some lollipops into tin buckets (again found at the dollar store). The lollipops and water bottle labels were very economically priced from a website called open a party, and I have noted that the American equivalent is oriental trading. You simply send them your child’s name and they mail you easy stick on labels for a VERY affordable price ($12 Canadian total).
Browsing Etsy I found some cute printable signs for just a couple bucks to download, which helped set the theme. I printed them and placed them on some easels found at the dollar store. The signs I placed were baggage claim for party favors, on board snacks, fueling station by the drinks, and dining car for the food station. Total of $5 Canadian for the signs but added so much theme for the party!
I have searched for balloon garlands which party stores were charging me $200+ to make, so a little google and YouTubing made me realize I could do it on my own for a fraction of the price. Literally $20. Some bags of balloons from the dollar store, a few large sized balloons and fishing line string did the trick. The best part is you don’t need any helium and the beauty of a balloon garland is imperfection! Just blow up the balloons in varying sizes and attach them to the fishing line, you can do an easy google search to figure out how or send me a message!
I always have personalized place settings for the kids at the parties to make them feel special, so as name place holders I printed conductor avatars resembling each child with their name , and attached it to a binder clip. The kids fell in love with them!
Finally I had a trackless train at the party which was the main event which the kids loved, and I was able to afford it because of all of my diy projects :)
What People Ate
Pizza, pasta and wings!
What People Drank
A custom cake with a dessert table
A personalized suitcase at “baggage claim” filled with art and coloring goodies to color a door hanger!
Activities / Games
Face painting, cotton candy, and a trackless train!
Cake and cupcake baker
Marley helped me months in advanced to make this cake and delivered a spectacular cake!
Blue sky photography
Zakiyeh is also a mom and was a lovely photographer to work with helping us capture some amazing details!