rainbow party- hot air balloons and buntings

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Hi everyone!!  I’m Erin from Our Family Four, and I’m so glad to be here with you today!!
 I used to blog for Lemon Tree Creations, but about 6 months after my sweet Hannah came along I had to step back from that love of mine.  With my husband’s busy travel schedule, adjusting to being a mom to 2 kiddos, and not having slept for more than 3 hours straight in over a year, I decided that for the sake of my sanity, I needed to step back from a weekly DIY blog.  But boy do I miss it!!   I was thrilled with the opportunity to throw myself into planning and creating for a fun bash for my babies and SUPER excited to be able to share it with you all as a part of the Color My Summer series!!  I’m such a big fan of KoJo Designs!  It doesn’t hurt that my babies are so close in age to Kirstin’s babies, so I’m always thrilled when one of her projects is exactly what I’ve been looking to try out for one of my little ones!  (It was really considerate of Kirstin to synchronize her child bearing so well with mine, right?!)  🙂  Anyway, on to the party!

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 My son Jayce turns 4 about three weeks before Hannah turns 1, so I decided to throw a combined birthday party for the two of them.  I planned for it to take place at my mom’s house, which is about 8 hours away from mine, so that she and my extended family would be able to celebrate with us.  But I was a bit worried about how to plan for such a bash.  What would be a good theme that wasn’t too babyish for a 4 year old or too old for a 1st birthday party?  What would be appeal to both genders?  I decided to use a rainbow of color as my inspiration, patterns of red, blue, yellow and occasionally some pink sprinkled in, and went with a Hot Air Balloon and Bunting Birthday!!

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To kick off the fun, I made the invitations and “thank you” stickers from free printables on this site.  I loved them and just couldn’t believe how lucky I was to find something so cute that was just the right price!

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The “thank you” party favors were little pre-packaged smores.  Large marshmallows, dunked in chocolate, dipped in graham cracker crumbs, and then in multi-colored sprinkles.  Easy, inexpensive and yummy!!
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For the sake of space, we decided to have the party outdoors.  I’m obsessed with my mom’s backyard, and let me show you why.
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Well, it’s because of this incredible tree, smack dab in the middle of the yard.  I wanted her beautiful yard to be the backdrop of the party and this tree to be the “centerpiece” of all of the party events.  So I focused on decor that would enhance it: some sweet hot air balloons and tissue paper clouds!
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I roughly followed this tutorial and Mod Podged fabric to various sized chinese lanterns.  I sewed up a few little muslin “baskets,” and used hot glued and white cotton twine to attach the baskets to the balloons.
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I strung these hot air balloons along with white tissue paper poufs around this and another tree in the yard.  It was so whimsical and sweet, I just loved it!!
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I love photography and have enjoyed spending the last 4 years documenting my childrens’ (nearly) every move, so a photo display of the kids was high on my priority list.

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 I have been taking monthly photos of Hannah, each month on the corresponding month’s calendar page, so I chose those photos to display.  Since Jayce would be turning 4, I used a picture from every sixth month of his life.  I wanted to display the photos on this white divider, but since it’s plastic I couldn’t use nails to hang anything from it.  So I got two large empty frames, strung them with a heavy twine (doubled up) and hung them from the posts.  I hot glued two rows of cotton twine in the frames and hung the photos on them with mini clothespins.  I strung a colorful Happy Birthday banner above the photos as well.
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As to the food, since we were grilling meat, chopping vegetables and fruit, and mom was cooking her famous macaroni salad on the morning before the party, I opted to remove baking from the to-do list.  We had the Giant Eagle bakery supply the cake and cupcakes.  It worked perfectly because you get a free “smash cake” if you buy a sheet cake, so each child had their own cake, and we got two cakes for the price of one!
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The large cake was for my son and the smash cake was for my daughter, obviously.
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I asked for the cakes to be left plain, other than the decadent buttercream frosting, just frosted and piped around the edges.  I made bunting out of little stiffened scraps of fabric from my stash.  I loved how bright and fun they were, and it warmed my heart knowing that most of these fabrics had been used to decorate my kids’ rooms or clothing.  A few of the flags even matched the hot air balloon stripes.  (Actually, I made many more flags than I used, so I put a similar bunting cake topper and cupcake flags in my Etsy shop, if you’re interested.)
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Other flags were glued to toothpicks and adorned the cupcakes.
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I used the same cardstock that I had used on the Happy Birthday banner to make these fun 3 dimensional hot air balloons.
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I simply stacked three piece of paper together, cut out the balloon shape and sewed a straight stitch down the middle.  Then I opened them up so that they were 3 dimensional and strung them around the drinks and desserts to spin in the breeze.
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I was too nervous to attempt a party dress for Hannah, so instead I opted for a special birthday bib for the main event, the 1 year old cake destruction!  I had made her this fun Nursery Subway Art based on the line “I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day” from My Girl, and wanted her bib to have a similar theme.  I found shapes online to use as templates for the appliques, used fabric scraps from her quilt, and finished it off with a big button from my mom’s old sewing drawer.
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I spread several colorful quilts underneath the tree and this is where we sat to open gifts,
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and where little Hannah sat to dive into that smash cake!!  And smash she did.
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It was a wonderful day!  Sunny, colorful, and happy, just celebrating the lives of my two little loves with my family.  Perfect. 🙂
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All of the decor was colorful and fun, just perfect for 2 summer birthdays.  But almost all of it could be incorporated into any other summer time party or get together, so I hope you got a few ideas!  Either way, thank you for letting me share it with you, and happy summer!!  🙂
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 Thanks Kirstin and Jordan for having me!!
Love that Erin(and her darling party)! Be sure to check out Delia’s delicious rainbow parfaits as well!

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  1. Beautiful party. Love the photos. Love all the hot air balloons. So sweet and I am a serious sucker for a bunting! Beautiful party for your beautiful kids.

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