If your kiddo has a winter birthday having an outdoor birthday isn’t an option for most of us. So how do you go about planning a winter wonderland party that’s fit for a tenacious two year old? If your mom happens to be Lea of Fly Away Design, you’ve got one mama who’s part superstar designer and part awesome party planner. Lea created almost everything at this polar bear-themed party herself for her two year old son, Brody. Scroll through the sweet photos and start taking notes!
Lea hosted Brody’s 2nd birthday party at home, where she was able to transform their house into an igloo-filled snowscape complete with polar bears and Coca-Cola themed memorabilia. When we asked her about her inspiration for the party, she said that she wanted to do something different from your typical winter-themed birthday. She swapped penguins for polar bears, and in doing so, was instantly reminded of the old Coca Cola commercials. After raiding her father-in-law’s basement (who used to work for Coca-Cola) Lea incorporated the red color scheme in with the white and powder blue that dominated the rest of the party.
Lea’s best friend in planning this party? Pinterest. She claims it’s her go-to source for inspiration and ideas. And being a designer by trade, she was able to create the invites, banners, cupcake toppers, labels, favor cans, table cloths, signage and backdrops all herself. For the decorations she didn’t create herself, Lea purchased them from save-on-crafts.com–another great website for any party decorating. According to Lea, “They have tons of ideas and are priced very reasonably.”
The snowflake pattern on the table cloths and backdrop were made from a craft paper roll purchased at Home Depot. Using a sponge dipped in white paint, Lea dabbed along the edges to make them look like they had snow on them.
The first stop on the polar express: the ARTic stop. Here, little partygoers could craft to their heart’s content. Lea printed custom polar bear coloring sheets and set up a snowflake decorating station. Lea admits that the snowflake stickers were a bit hard for the little ones to handle, but the ARTic stop was a big hit with the kids.
No winter wonderland is complete without an igloo for the birthday boy. Lea filled the cubby space in their front room with “ice blocks” made by wrapping the cardboard red blocks that Brody got as a gift for his 1st birthday in white paper. Inside, the igloo sported its own hanging icicles, fake ice cubes scattered on the floor, and even a blue light for ambience. How cool!
Any self-respecting polar bear party needs treats for the little polar bear cubs. And what do polar bears love most? Fish, of course. Lea purchased the craft bags that held the little fish-shaped sandwiches from Etsy then decorated them with her custom “Catch of the Day” tags. The tags were held on with mini clothespin decorated with mini snowflakes.
Before guests left the party, they were each presented with a fun favor can. Made using old soup cans, Lea used the same craft paper from the backdrops to wrap the cans and then painted the edges with a white sparkly paint to look like snow. Using thick yarn (purchased at Walmart), Lea fastened her custom tags to the cans. Each one was filled with a set of adorable red mittens that are great “For chillin’.”
We’re truly envious of Lea’s crafting and designing abilities. We can’t imagine everyone has the skills (or patience) to pull something like this off, so we asked Lea her tips on making your party prep go smoothly. She suggests browsing through Etsy to find design printables. With printables for practically every theme, you can purchase themed designs for whatever party you’re planning for your kiddo. Similarly for DIY crafts, if you see one that interests you but aren’t sure how to tackle it, look for tutorials online. Youtube is a great resource for videos that will show you how create things step by step.
A final tip from Lea: start early and have fun! Lea starts planning her parties a few months in advance, doing one thing at a time, so as not to get overwhelmed.
Impressed with Lea’s work? Visit her Etsy store, where you can find everything you need to create a wonderful party. Lea will even make custom designs if you’ve got a special idea in mind.
“Like” this story if it inspires you to create your own themed party. What do you have planned for your little one’s upcoming birthday?
— Scott Wardell
all photos courtesy of Lea at Fly Away Design