This past August we celebrated my sweet niece Claire’s 2nd birthday.
This little one is ice cream o-b-s-e-s-s-e-d. She was so excited the night before. Spending time with all of her aunties, uncles, her twin baby cousins, her parents and Mimi and Pops.
And even more excited after we hinted that there may be ice cream involved at her party the following day….
My sister Julia (Claire’s mother) and I are project-partners in crime. We started the brainstorming session months ago, and thought with it being Texas’ hottest month, what better way than to celebrate with some cold, creamy goodness.
Pinterest is our virtual center for brainstorming, since we live about 250 miles apart. So check out some more of our favorite inspirations on our Birthday party ideas board.
We love vintage inspired themes, so we narrowed it down to a vintage inspired ice cream social.
Here is the custom birthday invitation invite I designed for the party, also available at my Etsy shop.
Today’s post will focus on the décor for the party. And in the next few weeks, I will post some DIY tutorials, a source post for some of the party goods, and a few posts on the ice cream stand Frankie (my better half) and I built for Claire.
With a lengthy list of RSVPs, we wanted to ensure guests were able to spot the birthday girl’s house. So up went a playful paper ice cream cone banner.
I crafted the ice cream cones out of pink, brown and cream patterned craft paper. You can make them double sided or single sided (depending on if your guests will be able to see the other side of the banner or not). These were hung up washi tape onto cream bakers twine.
And you can’t have a vintage ice cream social without giving the ice cream shoppe its very own name, featuring the birthday girl or boy of course!
These darling, distressed chalkboard shop signs were a steal at Hobby Lobby. I’ve noticed similar ones at Home Goods, but Hobby Lobby’s by far were a better price, and had more character with the distressed wood frame.
As guests entered the birthday girl’s home, a table displaying delightful sweets and cakes welcomed them.
Along with these darling homemade ice-cream-cone-shaped Rice Krispy treats (thank you Pinterest).
The Mason Jars were a project from Claire’s 1st birthday party last year. So happy that we were able to use them again this year!
And how sweet are these ice cream cupcake cones? We didn’t get fancy with swirling the icing, but I like how my Mom, aka “Mimi”, iced them – they look like they are scoops of creamy vanilla ice cream! Yum!
The kitchen and family room became the central point of all the laughter and hubbub of the party. We had a tent set out back, but Texas decided to have record-setting heat that weekend, so no one ventured outdoors.
Adult guests enjoyed the ice-cold beverage bar and a tray of cheeses
While the little ones played in the sunroom. We bought some paper “soda jerk” hats so each guest could color their own. And I found a bunch of free online ice-cream-inspired clip-art online and compiled onto 11”x17” paper coloring sheets. Think “Kitchen Paper Placements” on a dime. And we covered the little table with polka-dot wrapping paper in case Claire and her friends decided to get extra wild with the crayons :)
The focal points of the party decorations were the white and pink striped, scallop-edged awnings I made (another DIY tutorial will be posted). It was cute to see how excited little Claire’s friends were when they walked into the “ice cream shoppe”.
We wanted an extra special backdrop for Claire’s birthday cake festivities, so I hung up a simple fabric scrap banner I made with discount cotton fabrics. To the right, I taped up a chalkboard sign with some of Claire’s accomplishments and favorites over the past year. You can check out more photos at my Etsy shop here.
The highchair “tutu” was made by tying tulle strips onto a thick piece of string, and adhered to the underside of the highchair. And I hand-painted the T-W-O banner on triangle-cut pieces of canvas fabric.
One of my favorite decorations was the DIY 3D Ice Cream Cone banner. I will be posting a tutorial tomorrow so you can make your own!
Another favorite were the carnation-flower “sundaes”. (another Pinspiration project). They almost look good enough to eat!
We set up “shoppe” at the kitchen table, underneath one of the awnings.
The chalkboard-inspired signs were created from black matboard. I painted each with one coat of chalkboard paint, but I think you could get away with skipping that step. I cut each sign out in a scallop-edged fashion, and hand-painted the lettering.
Our ice cream station was fully equipped. Clear glass sundae bowls and cups filled to the brim with toppings galore- finished with coordinating labels glued onto popsicle sticks – dressed up the already adorable table cloth from Shop Sweet Lulu. Some of the other party goods were also from this cute-as-can-be shop.
These ice cream scoops came with natural wood stained handles. My sister had me paint them to go with each flavor of the ice cream….just some simple acrylic paint and a few dry-brush strokes of black and they look like they have been around for ages!
And when it was time to serve the ice cream, Claire’s little friends formed a single-file-esque line at the table. Out came the bucket of pre-scooped, individually sized paper cups. So festive and easy!
Here are a few precious photos of the birthday girl and my charming brother-in-law, Brian.
And there wasn’t just ice cream! You could have your cake, and eat it, too!
Needless to say, we were lucky to have a piñata out back to wear Claire out after her sugar high. Along with her two cousins. Unfortunately, we were all having so much fun at the party, we completely forgot about it until after most of the guests had left!
You can catch a glimpse of the homemade ice cream stand Frankie and I build for Claire, here in the background. There will be more on this project in Thursday’s post!
We thanked each guest at the door, and gave each of Claire’s friends an ice cream pint filled with all sorts of sweet, summer fun. The little kids got a Curious George and the Ice Cream Surprise book, and the big kids got a sundae-sticker book.
Claire had so much fun with all of her friends. An extra big THANK YOU for all those who were able to make it and to those who sent their wishes from afar. She felt so truly special at her birthday party.
And a HUGE THANK YOU to my sister Julia for letting me help host this very fun birthday party! Claire is so special to us! And to my parents, my better half, and my sisters and brother-in-laws for helping me decorate :)
I think it’s safe to say, it was a sweet success!