With no offense to her own Boston Terrier, Gabby, Jennifer of Jennifer Bishop Design has always loved Dachshunds, or as she likes to call them, wiener dogs. When it came time to celebrate her daughter Sydney’s first birthday party, she came across a onesie with a silhouette of one of these hot dogs, with the head on the front and the long body wrapped around the back and was sold on the idea of a wiener dog birthday party.
“When I design I always have a starting point. Fabric, many times is that starting point for me. I found the teal, aqua and floral print and knew it would work really well because I could bring the floral motif into the party as well instead of just having dog explosion everywhere!”
She celebrated the party with about 60 guests at her friend’s amazing back yard. “Entertaining was one of the reasons they purchased it. We often hang out in their yard when visiting. Jen and I love to sit in the rocking chairs and Sydney loves to chase their cat Paris as well as climb their retaining wall which gives Mommy a heart attack!”
The first detail she finalized was that she wanted a hot dog bar. “In a struggling economy, I wanted to keep the food cost down and felt a hot dog bar was just the ticket. What better dog to incorporate into a BBQ where you’ll be serving hot dogs than a wiener dog? Plus, I could still make it look fabulous.” The second detail was Sydney’s outfit. She put my Mom (“who is an excellent seamstress”) to work on her onesie and tutu. She found a sweet image of a little girl holding a dog balloon and thought it would be just perfect for the invitation.
“Sometimes some of my favorite details are the simplest. I loved the wooden dogs that I painted and dressed up with tutus to match Sydney’s outfit. It was an easy project that anyone could do and was just so funny for people to see. The tutu element was also sewn as a fringe for the tablecloth on the cake table. Another easy detail was the dog silhouette streamer that hung over the cake table.”
For the first time, Jennifer decided to try and make tissue pom poms herself, and offers great advice to others looking to attempt to make the fluffy decorations. “I did NOT like this project. “I think my main beef with the tissue poms was that my scissors weren’t sharp enough to cut through all the layers. Maybe if I had used a better pair, I wouldn’t be cursing the poms! They were also pretty time consuming to fluff them all. Put it this way…if your budget allows…buy the poms instead of DIY!”
Jennifer applied custom crayon colors to coordinate them to the party with coloring book covers made by her friend. “She used a scanned image of my fabric pattern and the dog silhouette that repeated Sydney’s image on her outfit again. The inside of the book contained free coloring book pages to download I found online.”
Jennifer wanted to make sure that there was plenty to do for the kids and came up with the concept of “Bean’s Bubble Bar”. She set up a little station with the jars of bubbles and a bubble machine blew bubbles off the table to attract the little ones over to the fun. “Each jar had its own wand I made from pipe cleaners. There was a bubble machine blowing bubbles off the table for some extra fun!” The bubbles were loved by the little ones…but weren’t so loved by Jen and Scott…who had their grass killed under the bubble bar! Luckily a little grass seed fixed the problem.
In sticking with the theme, Jennifer created a hot dog buffet with a completely elegant feel instead of the usual backyard BBQ. “Originally I wanted each bun in its own paper tray. I had purchased white single trays for each one to lie in but my buns were too long! We ended up just stacking the buns into a tower which I thought was a pleasant mistake! Taking the condiments out of their original packaging is another way to get rid of the “BBQ” look.”
The Manzanita tree branches on the decorating the buffet table were the same ones used at her baby shower. “My best tip would be to gather a collection of items that can be used over and over again at each party. I have so many vases, mini benches, baskets, frames etc. that I use over and over. I love figuring out how to use them in new designs yet make them look entirely different. This also saves money, which is great if you are someone who loves throwing parties at home or you have more than one kid!”
Jennifer’s talented friend was able to create a Dachshund cake out of cupcakes. “I had originally sent her a similar idea with a caterpillar and told her to replicate it into a dog. When she showed up with this, I was totally blown away! The sweet little face of that dog was just precious and it was so realistic. For the finishing touches, she even replicated the flowers from my fabric using fondant.”
“When you have your child’s first birthday, you envision them going crazy when they get their smash cake in front of them. Don’t we all want that messy little face photo for their memory book? Well not my kid. She wanted nothing to do with her cake. Instead we set it on the ground and all the other kids went crazy digging into it. It was hysterical and just as good of a memory for me then my own child smashing it.”
Thanks Jennifer for sharing this adorable wiener dog birthday party with us!