For her daughter’s fifth birthday party, Jenny of Jenny’s Cookies was debating having either a Cinderella party or an owl party theme. The wise bird won out and Jenny set out creating a nature-inspired party full of little birds in the most darling barn, absolutely perfect for an owl party.
Jenny is a firm believer that an invitation sets the stage for a party. For this invite, she was inspired by Ally’s Pottery Barn Kids bedding colored with green gingham, bright pink polka dots, brown polka dots, floral patterns, and of course, owls. She went to invitation designer Sara of Less Ordinary Designs to create this cute party starter. “I added a swing in the tree because Ally had gotten it in her head that she wanted a cake with a swing. Sara has designed every card, label, tag, business card, logo, you name it, that I’ve needed for the last two years. Sometimes it takes 50 back and forth emails to get it just right, but in the end it’s always exactly what I want!” Sara also created all the coordinating labels and paper products for the party.
“I had a lot of fun ideas once the theme was decided which included making the owls very girly and feminine. I incorporated different shades of pink and added lots of tulle!” Ally was an owl for Halloween with the sweetest litle costume from PBK. “I took the wings of her costume over to my friend Elaine. She took Ally’s costume and made the most darling set of wings for each child coming to the party.” Jenny’s Aunt Susan created owl masks out of felt. “They were adorable!” Jenny exclaimed, and added that a yard of felt at Michaels cost only $2.99.
“When we decided on an owl party, the stumps were a must! I had seen wood tree stumps used for a wedding and always thought it was such a cute idea. They are not easy to come by! I ended up getting scraps of wood from a local tree company at the very last minute!” After all the details, decorations and desserts, Jenny couldn’t justify using plastic tablecloths. “Plastic tablecloths should only be used when it’s a messy activity table like painting or play doh! Luckily, Jenny found brown table cloths on clearance at Target for $5 each.” Thinking they were on the plain side, Jenny also purchased pink tulle panels at PBK. “I thought they could be sewn around the hem of the tablecloths to add a little something girly. In addition, Jenny’s friend Lorelei sewed on sweet polka dots in green gingham, pink polka dot, brown polka dot and pink floral fabric.
Since Jenny loves the look of different textures hung above dessert tables, she spent two nights making tissue poms and tulle balls. “It’s a chore,” she said, “but so rewarding when you finally get them open and they just smile back at you. I love them. After the poms I cut felt circles. I line up a bunch of felt circles, sewed through each one and joila! The cutest garland.” Along with the tissue balls and paper lanterns, she made tulle balls and added sparkly tree branches into the big cluster. “It was my favorite detail of the party. It turned out exactly how I had imagined.”
Ally’s cake had four tiers, which alternated chocolate cake and white cake, all with butter cream filling. Since Ally loved the owl on the swing idea so much, Jenny made an owl out of fondant, stuck him on a piece of wood chip, drilled holes in the “swing”, attached some jute to a branch and stuck it in the cake! Presto, a swinging owl cake topper!
Being in the dessert business, nailing the desserts is very important. “It’s what I do, so it needs to be perfect! I wanted the dessert table to have a combination of girly pink desserts but also a woodsy look, so I made owl shaped sugar cookies, pink cupcakes with fondant owl toppers, red velvet owl cake pops, marshmallow pops, pink chocolate dipped rice krispy treats, flower shaped fudge, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and owl chow. “My favorite thing about dessert tables is the execution of them. The backdrop, the hanging arrangements, the cake stands, the vessels, the coordinating candy. There are so many element involved in creating a beautiful table!”
The party was a hoot! “I found ceramic owls at Oriental Trading and the paint at the dollar store for the kids to have an owl painting activity.” The kids had a great time painting ceramic owls, making pine cone owls, playing musical chairs and fly the owl to the tree.
They left with all sorts of treats. ”I made a pink owl trail mix for the kids to take, muslin favor bags filled with owl buttons, owl chapstick, owl whistles, etc, and each child was given owl wings and masks.” We have an amazing group of family and friends who came and helped set up and clean up. It is a lot of work to throw a great party, and without their help I never could have gotten it all done!” Thanks Jenny for sharing Ally’s special day with us!
Photography – Molly Vaden Photography
Owl wings – Elaine Cobb of The Pickie
Needle Venue – A Country Location
Stationery and Paper products - Less Ordinary Designs