Check out all the food pics and party decor from our daughter’s first hobbit birthday party!

(Scoot over here for the full post on preps for this DIY party! I wrote about all the materials we used, our handmade invitations, and our hobbit party frocks.)

family bending over hobbit birthday party cake

Pre-Hobbit Party realizations and last-minute adjustments

Now I had enlisted the help of a lot of friends and family to decorate the venue and set up the party. But my daughter’s birthday, while falling a couple days after Bilbo and Frodo Baggins’ actual birthday, is also right smack in the middle of typhoon season.

And as one would expect, a typhoon hit Metro Manila the day before party day. I’d been on the verge of canceling (I also had people texting me that day if the party would push through), but my husband said to wait it out until we’d seen the effects of the typhoon.

Thankfully, it wasn’t as destructive as previous typhoons or habagat rains, but it still altered our party plans drastically.

framed pencil sketch of a hobbit girl

Many of my hobbit helpers ended up not coming at all, as they were either stranded in their homes or had to do post-typhoon damage cleanup. So it was basically just me, my husband, and a handful of friends to set up. Naturally, we weren’t able to put up everything I’d planned. Ah, but what can we do against nature’s mood swings?

That’s the thing with events and DIY parties: You need to have the mindset that not everything will fall according to plan. And rather than sweat all the details to perfection, I’ve learned to give myself (and the people around me who’ve promised to help) the grace to know that I’ve done everything I can to make an event that will be perfect only to the ones who matter. In this case, my daughter!

Hobbit party food!

A lot of guests who’d initially RSVP’d they were coming also could not make it, so we ended up with a rather intimate get-together. 

We hired my sister’s catering company, Pink Plate Food Company (which also catered our wedding), to come up with the customized hobbit-food-only menu.

We brainstormed this menu together, making sure to use a lot of references from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

shot glasses filled with squash soup

Squash soup of The Shire, served in little shot glasses. Shown above also are the Gerber baby food jars, which we repurposed into earth-filled, food-label stands for the buffet table. 

Bombur's Minced Meat Pie

A delicious ground-beef based pie covered with a layer of mashed potato and shredded bacon bits and cheese. We called this one Bombur’s Minced Meat Pie.

If I had been a little more extra, I would have asked that the food be served in hobbit-looking platters and bowls. But given our small budget, these standard catering serving dishes did the job!

serving dish with bacon-topped food

What’s a birthday party without the noodles, for long life? This one was called Meriadoc’s sausages, tomatoes, and nice, crispy bacon pasta.

Samwise Gamgee's Roast Chicken with Shrooms and Carrots

The ubiquitous roast chicken reimagined as Samwise Gamgee’s Roast Chicken with Shrooms and Carrots

Serving dish filled with fish and chips

Gollum’s Fried Fish & Poe-Ta-Ters (despite the name, this dish was a big hit!)

We also had Aragorn’s Athelas Tea for drinks, which was really my sister’s great-tasting concoction of iced lemongrass-pandan tea. 

hobbit style cupcakes

For desserts, we got Tonette Maniquis of Food Serendipity to make mini sweet cakes using the same icing from the main hobbit birthday cake (pictures of that later!).

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DIY decor for our daughter's hobbit birthday

Now on to the decor!

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, we intentionally started way early (four months early) to create our DIY birthday party decor.

But of course, with our lean party preps crew, we had to make adjustments. Still, I was happy with how everything turned out. 

Party entrance

hobbit party venue entrance

This was obviously supposed to be a round door, but we ran out of cardboard to form the arc over the door. 

Instead of covering the double doors of the venue, we just used crepe-paper streamers to evoke Bilbo and Frodo’s green doors at Bag End. 

The birthday banner with the multi-colored streamers took pride of place above the doors, too.

Box of toy weapons and party signage on stand

When DIY-ing parties, you shop—nay, scour—your house for in-theme items you could use for decorative setups and vignettes. 

In my case, anything we had that was wooden went into our decor pile. 

We placed a crate of toy bows, arrows, and swords for the early birds to take, but with a sign that said, “Park your weapons here.” You know, for wandering elves and rangers and such.

The wooden crate is from Urban Abode, which I had previously installed with wheels, and which we use on regular days as our daughter’s toy storage box.

Map of the Shire on manila paper

At the entryway, guests are greeted with a map of The Shire, which my husband lovingly and painstakingly drew on manila paper using a projector.

pick your hobbit names on display

We littered the entryway table with green crepe paper and gold chocolate coins (you know, dragon hoard).

That small version of the Party Tree was something I’d crudely fashioned out of a vase, craft, crepe paper, and a looooot of tape.

cutout letters made of carton

The 3D karton letters from Divisoria promptly spelled out “#MAYAISONE,” which guests obediently used as the official party hashtag.

Hobbit party effects

I got the idea of having guests pick their hobbit names from another friend’s kid’s themed birthday party.

boy and girl hobbit names in baskets

With the help of a hobbit name generator online, I came up with a list of male and female hobbit names, printed them on sticker nametag labels, and placed them in baskets for guests to pick from.

Party giveaways

burlap bags and a treasure chest filled with chocolate coins

The giveaways—guests’ share of Bilbo’s dragon hoard (gold chocolate coins in burlap bags tied with rope)—were placed on a long table just behind the entryway wall, which is what guests see on their way out of the party venue.

The toy leather chest was something I’d received from press giveaways back when I was still a magazine editor. We didn’t place all the chocolate coins in bags (I didn’t know how many guests were actually going to come), so we just put up a sign that said “Help yourselves to gold from the dragon’s hoard.”

Inside the toy chest were more gold chocolate coins and burlap bags that guests greedily filled with their share of the loot. It was such a hit among kids and adults alike that we didn’t even get to take home bags for ourselves!

The One Ring on the wall

My husband and I initially planned on using the gold hula hoop as a ring of fire which we’d hang from the ceiling so that kids could jump through it.

But since we didn’t have as many hobbit helpers to set it up, I had to improvise and put it up on the wall instead as The One Ring.

Those leafy vines were also something the hubby and I had worked on for over a week on (while marathon-watching the extended LoTR films, of course) out of green crepe paper and glue.

The "Party Tree" stage

happy birthday hobbit party banner and buntings

For the stage area, I printed out a bunting-style birthday banner which I hung from rope.

I’d planned on putting up an elaborate ceiling treatment—soft, billowing swags of white and green crepe paper to mimic a tree-laden venue—but alas, no helpers meant simplified version.

Again, we do what we can with what we are given.

The Party Tree and the Bag End cake

We placed another table on the stage covered with brown cloth (oh how I wish I’d ironed those tablecloths the night before…), green “leaves”, and the hobbit-hole cake by Tonette Maniquis of Food Serendipity.

Edible and easy-to-CLAYGO table centerpieces

Gerber baby food jars as food label

Oh look, recycled Gerber jars! The jars bought from the public market at Divisoria were used as label stands for the buffet and cake tables.

We used our own (clean!) personal stash (10x cleaned and boiled and sun-dried for maximum food safety) as receptacles for butter, peanut butter, and strawberry jam, which we put as centerpieces for the guests’ tables. Thick popsicle sticks we bought from the grocery were used as both jam label and spreader.

I pre-ordered about 150 rolls of freshly baked pan de sal from our neighborhood bakery and placed them in small baskets (bought from Kamias Wet Market!).

rings, breads, jams, and spreads for hobbit party centerpiece

Those cardboard rings lying on top of the dried palay (rice stalks) bunch are actually made from toilet paper cores that I’d saved for over two months, then cut up and spray-painted gold.

The day before the party, I picked up ten pots of these plants (I’m sorry I’ve forgotten what they’re called!) from a nearby plant nursery, because what’s a hobbit party without the flora?

In hindsight, it would’ve been nice to have potted herbs instead as well. Or, um, weeds 🙂

The printed-out maps of Middle Earth and The Shire nicely rounded out each table centerpiece.

I don’t really like cleaning up after a party, so I made sure the centerpieces and most of the decor were things guests could take home. And take them home they did—from the baskets and plants down to the bread spreads and maps!

What's a hobbit party without a hobbit-hole cake?

Tonette and I had discussed the cake only over Facebook messenger. We volleyed several ideas (at first I wanted it to look like Bilbo’s actual birthday cake from the film). 

But then we saw some hobbit cake ideas on Pinterest and decided that a hobbit-hole chocolate cake would be much more appropriate.

Hobbit-hole birthday cake in the style of Bag End, with framed pencil sketch of girl hobbit

She’d baked the fondant-made pumpkins, stone steps, and door a couple of nights before and excitedly sent me photos. It was so fun “collaborating” with her on this one (really, it was all her), and we couldn’t be happier with the result!

framed hobbit girl sketch

Check out the portrait my hubby made of our daughter.

We made her wear her hobbit dress a few days before and took a photo, which the husband drew on parchment paper. We wanted it to look like one of Bilbo’s illustrated portraits.

More hobbit party goodness in part 3!

Check out the third and last installment of this throwback post for pics of the guests, the costumes, and the games!

All photos by Jico Joson.