Idea No.


Pink Poodle Party -1yr- Pennants & Balloons



April 2006


Stephanie in Exton,Pa,US

Runner Up

Pink Poodle Party

For my daughter Charlotte's 1st birthday we did a Vintage style Pink Poodle theme. I got the idea when I saw the perfect present for her--a pink poodle plush rocking horse.

For the invitations I used the standard invites from Birthday Express that announced "You're invited to my Pink Poodle party" so the theme would be clear. We had about 90 guests including about 25 children. My daughter was born the night of an annual major fireworks display in July that takes place at a fair just across the valley from our deck, which is on a  steep hill.

So there is a fabulous view of the fireworks from our deck, and I knew this would be a great night to have our party and a highlight for our guests. We wrote "fireworks at 9pm" on the invites so guests would know that even though the party was starting at 4, they were encouraged to stay all evening. I ordered 60 fiberoptic glow flashlights and 100 glow bracelets from for the little (and big) kids for later in the evening. I also found a dress for Charlotte to wear at an ebay boutique, which was pink cotton with a vintage poodle print all over and deeper pink piping.

For decorations, we had 150 mostly pink helium balloons (with a few white) tied in bunches of 15 or so at each post along our deck. I got two pink poodle mylar balloons from Birthday express, one for the mailbox and one for her highchair. We set up a large tent on our deck and another one below in the yard.  We suspended pink paper lanterns from walmart from the center of each tent. I had two banquet tables set up on the deck with gold ballroom chairs, pale pink paper tablecloths, and mason jars with arrangements of pink roses, pink gerber daisies, and chartreuse mini poms for accents along the centers of the tables. I think there were two arrangements on each table, with pink gingham bows tied around the jars.

My friend helped me make about 20 10-foot pennant decorations using a pack of scrapbook paper that came in assorted pastel/retro geometric designs like stripes and polka dots in pinks, lavenders, aqua, light green, etc. We cut the paper into triangles about 8 inches long and taped them front to back over pink curling ribbon in 10 foot lengths. We draped these in a crisscross fashion throughout the kitchen, and all along the white deck railings. It gave a festive, almost carnival looking effect that unified all the party spaces for about ten dollars! They looked like the pennants you see in the Land of Nod catalog, but were paper instead of cloth(thus cheaper!).

I made the kitchen island into a tower of sweets with vintage glass jars filled with candy necklaces, wax bottle candies, blow outs in vintage polka dot designs in pink, aqua, and green. I also had stacked glass cake stands with iced cookies I made on them. I always make sugar cookies with detailed piped frosting designs on a flooded icing background. I have been doing these for several years.

For the party I did pink poodles with pearl necklaces and glittery pompoms, white poodles with pink necklaces, pink dresses that looked like Charlotte'e dress, light green gift packages with white ribbon, pink and white iced cupcake shaped cookies with a single light green "lit" candle coming out of the top, pink C's with white lattice or swirls, pink three-tiered cake shaped cookies with rose colored icing, pale pink C's in the center, pale polka dots, and white rosebuds on the top tier, and finally, rectangle cookies that were pale pink and said "Charlotte is 1" with a swervy border.

In the center was the cake on a tall pedestal cake stand. It was a two-tiered pink cake I had done by a wedding cake maker. It had polka dots and white poodles going around the bottom tier. To decorate the kitchen table, I laid down a five foot wide "runner" of pink and white gingham fabric with a narrower vintage chartreuse runner going the other way across it. I had pink hydrangeas in a pink bowl in the center, with pink taper candles in yellow ceramic holders on either side.

I draped my bronze chandelier with pink pom-pom trim, chartreuse satin ribbon, and pale pink organza ribbon. On this table we had the fruit tray, cheese tray, and wraps, plus two chafing dishes with pigs in a blanket in one and chicken nuggets in the other. There were pastel bowls of animal crackers and goldfish scattered about the party. We had plain pink cocktail napkins, dinner napkins, appetizer plates, dinner plates and transparent pink plastic drink cups from party city. I put clear plastic silverware in terracotta pots painted pink with white polka dots, vice versa, and pale green with white stripes. I ordered the pink poodle cake plates from Birthday Express for dessert.

We had an adult beverage area on a two tiered aqua plant stand on the deck with wine in ice in galvanized tubs, pink lemonade in a clear glass jug with a spigot, with lemon slices floating on top. It was decorated with pink gerber daisies and pink zinnias in galvanized pails. Inside I set up a kids beverage area with bottled pink lemonade from a specialty market, a pink sherbet punch in a huge "cut crystal" plastic bowl with an ice ring with lime slices in it, juice boxes in ice in a galvanized tub, and pink, green , and aqua sippy cups I found at walmart.

For the lower tent down in the yard we had another banquet table with a pink tablecloth with white daisies  set up for coloring. We tied big bunches of balloons onto the tent corners which looked neat from the deck. We bought mini pink plastic lawn chairs for the kids, and 2 enormous 4-foot beach balls from party city for the kids to kick around. Those were a huge hit. There were also medium and small hot pink rubber balls from Toys R Us and Walmart. We piled the gifts up in the family room behind the pink poodle rocking horse which the littler kids had fun riding all day.

For dinner we served sandwiches and cold salads. For music we played a mix I made on Rhapsody through our outdoor speakers. It had about 200 songs, with everything ranging from upbeat adult alternative "Runaround", "If I Had a million dollars", "These are Days" to oldies like "French Poodle", "Sugar, Sugar", "Jump in the Line", to jazz versions of "Take me out to the ballgame" and "Rainbow connection" to the Sesame street theme, "Teddy bear's picnic", "Good ship lollipop", etc. I compiled this for weeks and would listen to it and edit it while working on the party to create a mix that adults and kids would like. It played on random shuffle all day and night.

The only structured game was the pinata. We got the pink poodle one from Birthday Express, to which I attached the pull string kit which took FOREVER the night before the party and then it didn't work. I promised everyone it would be a "peaceful" pinata, and instead the kids ended up attacking it after the last string ripped off without it opening. They ripped the legs off it. It got a little crazy. I think we will avoid pinatas for a few years.

We cut the cake fairly early so that people with young infants could leave before the fireworks. We showed a video I edited to Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" of Charlotte's first year video highlights in black and white. Then we brought out a huge chocolate covered fruit tray and the flashlights and glow bracelets, which were a huge hit with kids of all ages and adults as well. Everyone found a spot on the deck or the hill below for the fireworks. It was really magical seeing everyone waving their glow wands and the kids running around with them or sitting in awe for the fireworks, with the pink paper lanterns glowing. 

For favors they took their glow items plus a pink paper bag with raffia handles from michaels with a pink poodle sticker on it (Birthday Express again), filled with assorted vintage candies, and those ice creams cones that have marshmallow type icing instead of ice cream, plus poodle stickers and bubbles.

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