Featured Parties: Lachlan's Vintage Circus Carnival Birthday

Good morning everyone!

Quite often we send out a set of printable birthday party decor to a customer, customized and read y to go for their special event, but we never hear back on how it went. We would love to receive photos and information regarding the products we sell. We want to be sure that everything has worked out well and that you are satisfied!

The party we are about to show you is from our Vintage Circus Carnival collection. This was our very first printable set up in the Etsy shop and was very popular last year. We even used it for our own son’s 2nd birthday party! (click here to see it) 

This party however, was for a special little man named Lachlan. His mother Elesha contacted us about the printables on Etsy, very excited to make it a grand affair and fun for all ages. We think it turned our spectacular and are sure the kids had an amazing time!

Here are all the party details as told by Lachlans’s mom, Elesha!

  • The circus peanuts, cherry sours and candy buttons were from oldtimecandy.com
  • The popcorn stripey bags, clear cotton candy bags and tissue paper were from Hobby Lobby.
  • Party Favors, game prizes, ducks, clown noses and wig, and big swirly lollipops were from orientaltrading .com
  • The crazy straws, game prizes, lions and tigers, and sunglasses were from the Dollar Tree
  • The popcorn boxes were from amazon.com
  • The red stripey straws were from Sophiesbigday@etsy.com
  • Lachlan’s Elephant Shirt was from CottonLaundry@etsy.com
  • Lachlan’s Clown Shirt was from Vintagelucy’s@etsy.com
  • We made the coloring books.
  • Party Favors and the crayons came from Target.
  • I made the balloon wreath and covered the “5” with glitter, the 5 came from Hobby Lobby.
  • I made Lachlan’s shirt.

 If you are interested in purchasing this printable decor for your Vintage Circus or Vintage Carnival party we would love for you to visit our shop right here! And be sure to come back and show us some pictures!

Vintage Circus Carnival Printable Giveaway

We've decided to give away our funfabulous set of Vintage Circus Printables, with fully customized text to suit your party needs, to one lucky commenter this week! You can also purchase a custom set of our Vintage Circus Party Printables in our Etsy shop HERE!
This complete set includes:
  • Decorative Patterned Paper Designs
  • Drink/Cupcake Flags
  • 5x7 Invitation (customized with your party info)
  • Large and Small Dessert Tags/Decor
  • Decorative Cupcake Wrappers

You will receive: one PDF file via email in which you may print the included pages as many times as needed in order to have the desired quantity of decorations.
THE PRIZE: A complete set of printable VIntage Circus Party Decor from Hello My Sweet
HOW TO ENTER: Comment on this post with the words “UNDER THE BIGTOP” and…
WE WANT TO KNOW: … share what your favorite memory of the circus was when you were a kid.
CONTEST ENDS: Friday, July 1st at 9pm EST
NUMBER OF WINNERS: One
PRIZE DISTRIBUTION: via Email
RULES: One entry per e-mail address is permitted. The winners will be selected using random.org and announced on  Saturday, July 2nd as an update to this post. So come on back here on Saturday morning, July 2nd, for the announcement of the winner. Happy commenting!

 

Sweet Parties: Vintage Circus Carnival Party

Planning your own Circus Party? Purchase a custom set of our Vintage Circus Party Printables in our Etsy shop HERE

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We promised it and here you have it, our very own Vintage Circus Themed Dessert Table! We’d like to take you through our process of creation, step-by-step by discussing how we came up with our theme and inspiration, to what we chose to serve and how we chose to serve it, to the little detail decor that helped bring everything together. Let’s get started!

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The first decision we had to make was of course, what kind of theme will we go for? Well we sort of stumbled upon the inspiration for our theme. Jason and I are bargain hunters when we venture out to shop, so it is only natural that we gravitate to the clearance aisle or bin or whatever you want to call it. During a trip to our local Michael’s craft store to return a few un-used items we did this very thing. Michael’s usually has a ton of dollar items in black bins near the front of the store. While browsing the bins we spotted the masks you see pictured (Lion & Zebra). We thought, “wow, Desmond’s birthday is coming up not too far off, we should incorporate these into the party theme and do a vintage circus!” The rest, as they say folks is history.

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We had a theme idea and a couple of masks to decorate with, where did we go next you might be wondering? Well online of course to browse the web for other vintage circus accessories. What we found however is that “vintage” mostly equates to expensive when it comes to serving pieces. So if you can’t afford what you like, but you still want the look what do you do? DIY it of course! 

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The DIY White Pedestal above is just one of the several DIY projects we took on for this theme. Isn’t it cute? We thought so. Jason was really the mastermind of the stand, I just took the pictures :) Find out how to make it HERE.

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Our next step was to decide what we would be serving. Now that we had our theme down pat and our “look” well on it’s way, some food decisions had to be made. In keeping with the circus we decided on traditional junk food fare. Not really the healthiest of parties here, but certainly delicious and hey, you only turn two once right? Right.

So the menu was as follows:

  • Deep Fried Dogs (corndogs)
  • Soft Pretzels
  • Sodee Pop (Coca-cola)
  • Popped Corn
  • Cotton Candy
  • Elephant Feed (peanuts)
  • Tacky Taffy
  • Lion Tamer Whips (Licorice)
  • Sticky Apples
  • Animal Cacklers (animal crackers)
  • Clown Noses (cherry sours)
  • Birthday Cakes (cupcakes)
  • and of course Circus Peanuts
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Where did we put all of that sweet stuff? Prepare for the link love. We used white melamine serving trays from Target to serve as our circus vendor snack trays, placing them on each side of the table for symmetry. We used a simple glass cake pedestal from Pier1 for the Sticky Apples, as well as a constructed pedestal (one red melamine plate and a glass candlestick held together with krazy glue) for the Circus Peanuts, which we placed in the center of the table for our mid-height displays. A small glass footed bowl from AC Moore was used to hold the clown noses and also placed in the center. We used a small zebra striped dish from Pier1 and a large white rectangular serving platter from Crate & Barrel for the corndogs and pretzels, which we placed in the front center of the table for our low-height displays. We used a tall footed vase we found on clearance from AC Moore for the Lion Tamer Whips which we placed in the back left corner of the table for our high-height display.

Our DIY White Wooden Cake Stand held the salt-water taffy and stood in the back on the right side of the table to complement the high-height display and make our display more symmetrical.

Our DIY Wooden Risers kept things grounded in the back as a high-height diplay for our cupcakes and animal cracker boxes as well, which helped pull together the vintage circus theme by emulating what spectators used to sit on at the circus. 

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More details please! Where did you get all that awsome circus decor?

The “Elephant Feed” was served in brown paper lunch bags (from the grocery store) which we cut down and tied with twine and added a circus admission ticket (from Walmart) to jazz up the look. These bags could also be used as favor bags or for popcorn as well. We wanted something our guests could pick up and carry around with them so that they could re-deposit the peanut shells back into the bag after they ate the peanuts:)

We splurged a whole eight cents a piece for the cutest red and white striped paper straws from Garnish. I am sure you all have seen these all over the internet so we did not want to disappoint you by leaving them off our table. 

The DIY Circus Tent was our big experiment. The original idea was to use a pole in the center of the table and somehow drape our tent fabric (a tea stained white sheet) over it and make it look like a tent. Logistically we couldn’t figure it out, bummer. With time a wastin’ we decided on a different idea and hoped for the best. The end result was our big red tent fashioned from crepe paper.We were pleased with how it turned out in the end but beware the ceiling fan as it does not play well with crepe paper. 

What vintage circus is complete without a row or three of DIY Wooden Risers in the back for the spectators to sit on? Jason and I formulated a plan to build a set of three risers for more authenticity under the big top. We used small 1x2 boards to make a stair like frame then added a few supports underneath to keep it upright and finished by painting it brown to blend in with the scene.

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The vintage circus posters were indeed vintage circus posters. With our handy dandy friend Google Image we found several old poster images online which we had printed at our local copy shop at 11x17. They were a bit pixelated from being blown up large but from the distance most people were standing no one noticed and they made a nice back-drop for the table.

Our Vintage Circus printables were so fun to create. We really wanted a look that would tie everything together, so red stripes were the ticket. We also had these printed at our local copy shop and simply cut them out and secured them with weathered clothes-pins from our collection. That’s right. Clothespins, straight from the line outside, LOL. 

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Our last decor element was something so simple, balloons! Balloons are such a great way to add color and festivity to a party. We purchased several bags of balloons and a few spools of curling ribbon from our local Dollar General along with a helium tank to inflate them from Walmart and went to town. (The tank pictured in the link is twice what we paid, ours was $20 but apparently they do not have it online.)

All in all it was a great success. Our guests were very satisfied with the fare, mostly with the corndogs which many people had not eaten in ages. The little man had a blast, which was the most important thing.

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If you have any questions on anything we may not have covered please feel free to leave us some  comment love! This is our first table walk-through and we plan to have many more in the future so please add us to your RSS to keep up with our sweet blog :) Have a sweet day!

White Wooden Dessert Pedestal DIY

Welcome to the Sweet DIY tutorial area of our blog!

This tutorial is for our White Wooden Dessert Pedestal as seen on our Vintage Circus Dessert Table. We want to share with you just how easy it is to create your own dessert pedestals for cakes, candies, cookies, cupcakes, whatever you desire to put on them! This particular pedestal was inspired by a vintage circus themed party we planned for our son's 2nd birthday a few weeks ago.

While browsing for the serving pieces we wanted to use we were a bit discouraged by the price tag that came with most vintage serving pieces and new ones too for that matter. As a budget conciencious family we are always on the look out for the best deal or cost-effective option and for us that means DIY most of the time. 

So, let's get down to business here.

For this project you will need several common tools and several items all purchaseable at AC Moore

 

  • 1 clean cloth
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • 1 wooden candlestick
  • 1 rectangular wood block
  • 1 circular wood block
  • 1 small wooden tray
  • 1 pack of woodsies craft sticks
  • 1 tube of liquid nails
  • 1 small square of fine grit sandpaper
  • 1 utility knife + a safe cutting surface
  • 1 can of spray paint (we chose white)
  • empty cardboard box or safe painting area in a well ventilated space

 

Step One: Prep Work

Take your wooden components and lightly sand them all over to get rid of any imperfections or splintering. You want a nice smooth even surface for your glue and paint to adhere to. After sanding, wipe of any fine dust with a damp cloth, then let your pieces air dry for a few minutes.

 

 

Step Two: Measure + Mark + Glue

Select the circular piece of wood to be your base. Find the center of your base piece of wood and mark it by drawing on line horizontally and one line vertically meeting in the middle. Grab the candlestick and find the center of the base of it and mark it the same way. Draw your mark lines slightly up the side of the base of the candlestick about 1/8" in. Take your candlestick and apply a dab of liquid nails to the base then using the marks you made, line it up to match the center of the circular base. Do the same center marking to the rectangular wood block and the top of the candlestick, then line them up and glue together as well. You should now have a candlestick with a wooden block attached at each end. Let the piece dry for about an hour to ensure that it is secure before moving on to step three.

Step Three: Measure + Mark + Glue... Again

Turn your small wooden tray upside down and then find the center in the same method we did in Step Two. Do the same to the rectangular wooden block on the side that will attach to the bottom of the tray. Line 'em up and glue 'em. Let it dry an hour. Just like before. 

Alternative to Step Two/Three: Walk on the Wild Side

If you aren't a fan of measuring stuff, walk on the wild side and eyeball that mess. We recommend you OCD it to death, but if you have a good eye for these things go ahead. Find what looks to be the center of everything, glue them to each other. Done. 

 

 

We wanted a nice scalloped edge on our new pedestal and decided to use craft sticks with their perfect little rounded edges to get there.

Step Four: Cut!

Take out one of your craft sticks and hold it up to the outer edge of the tray. Decide how long you want your scalloped edge to hang down and hold it in place to mark a cut line. Take the stick and place it onto your safe cutting surface, then use the utility knife to cut on the line you marked. Use your first stick as a guide to cut all the rest to the same length. You will need approximately two dozen cut pieces to cover each long side of the tray. Lightly sand the cut edges to smooth them out. Overacheivers: go ahead and cut more to glue onto the ends of the tray as well. 

 

 

Step Five: Measure + Mark + Glue... Again? Mmmhmm.

Lay your sticks out side by side. Measure the length of about 12 sticks together, then mark that measurement on both sides of your tray, making sure to keep things centered. You want to avoid having a gap at one end with no edging. It will look funny. Use your guides to glue the cut sticks on to the tray sides, lining them up evenly at the top and bottom and keeping the edges flush with one another. Let dry one hour. Did we mention that before? Overacheivers: Do the same for the tray ends. 

 

Spray painting can come off beautifully or badly. Its all in the...finger. And the wrist. Basically your technique is key. If you aren't already a pro at spray painting we recommend a great tutorial courtesy of Becky Higgins which you can find here.

Step Six: Paint Makes it Pretty.

Now that you have glued and measured and marked and glued and measured and marked and glued again and again and again, whew, it's time to paint! So don't sweat all those pesky little marks we made you draw cause they are all about to disappear. Take your pretty new pedestal to your designated spray painting area. Well ventilated and properly protected. We prefer to go outdoors and take our chances with the elements most of the time. Sure it can be annoying with a little wind, but man is that paint stinky! We recommend you spray two to three coats of your paint. The wood is going to soak it up a bit at first, so if you prefer you can apply a light base coat of primer beforehand. If you are an old hat at this stuff, you don't need us to tell you anymore. But if you are a newbie to spraying paint then we do recommend you read the tutorial on spray painting. Allow your paint to dry according to the manufactuer's recommendations. You are done!

Note: If you plan to serve food that is not wrapped on your dessert pedestal you will need to do one of two things beforehand. You can either make an insert to put onto the bottom of the tray area to serve as a barrier between the painted surface and the food or you can apply a foodsafe top coat to the inside area of the tray where the food will touch. We chose the first option. 

Elephant Feed Treat Bags DIY

Welcome to the Sweet DIY tutorial area of our blog!

This tutorial is for our Elephant Feed Treat Bags as seen on our Vintage Circus Dessert Table. We want to share with you this easy and cute as pie tutorial to create a simple and fun treat bag for your party guests to take home and enjoy! This particular bag was inspired by a vintage circus themed party we planned for our son's 2nd birthday a few weeks ago.

Here's the deal, this is so easy it's gonna blow your mind.

For this project you will need several very easy to find items available at Walmart.

 

Step One: Trim

Use either your edging scissors or your regular scissors to trim the paper lunch bags in about half. We suppose you could also just carefully tear them across if you want a more rugged look as well.

Tear off as many tickets as you will need from the roll.

Step Two: Hole Punchn'

Punch a hole into each of the four corners of the bag about an inch away from the top. This will be where you thread your twine. Punch one hole in each ticket as well.

Step Three: Threading

Cut a piece of twine for each lunch bag. We made ours about 12 inches long. Open you bags up and carfully wind a piece of twine through each hole all the way around the bag just like you would with putting on a belt. That's right, we are belting our bags. Fancy.

 

Step Four: Accessorizing

Every bag needs a little bling with its new belt. Thread a ticket onto the twine in the front of the bag where the two ends meet. Then lightly and carefully tie a loose knot so that the twine doesn't release easily and let the ticket slip off. 

Step Five: Personalizing

If you choose to you could write your guest names on each bag, or maybe even stamp them on with some plain black ink and an alphabet stamp kit. The possibilitites are really endless for these little bags.

They will thank you for their new found glory, no longer are they be pre-destined to hold soggy sandwiches and warm fruit cups!