do it yourself, my works

My daughter’s hobbit birthday party: Preps

Since it’s Thursday, here’s a throwback post to when my hubby and I DIY-ed a hobbit birthday party for our daughter some eight months ago.

Now let it be known to all that my husband and I are major Tolkien fans. I must admit that my Tolkienitis has lessened of late (you know, like the courtesy of Edoras Hall *wink wink* {yup, that was an only-serious-Tolkienites-will-get-it kind of line}) as I haven’t been rereading my books at least once a year as I used to. I totally wanted to make like a Christopher Lee-type of geek at one point.

But it wasn’t so hard for my husband and I to pick a theme for our daughter’s first birthday party last year: a long-expected hobbit party, just like Bilbo Baggins’ fun 111th outdoor fiesta.

A long-expected party (image via Buzzfeed)
A long-expected party (image via Buzzfeed)

Unfortunately, we couldn’t hold the babycat’s (um, yeah we call our daughter “babycat”) party outdoors because her birthday falls right in the middle of typhoon season. So we tried to DIY the elements and decor as best as we could just to get that festive, outdoor hobbit picnic party feel, even while inside an airconditioned clubhouse.

I began with the preparations months ahead. I created a Pinterest board to get inspiration from fellow Tolkienites, and was pleased to find so many cute and cool ideas. I had a budget to work with, and back then, a day job that took up most of my time, so I could only work on my DIY projects at night. But toil I did, given I had much lead time.

From June to August, I bought the following materials:

  • rope and wooden clothing pins (from IG seller @zoedesignpaperie)
  • crepe paper in different shades of green, and pink, blue, orange, and yellow;multicolored construction paper and reams of short and long bond paper; parchment paper; popsicle sticks; laid and cardboard paper; sticker nametag labels (all from National Book Store)
  •  Toy bows and arrows, swords, bubbles (from various department stores)
Rolls of rope and wooden clothing pins from Instagram seller @zoepaperiedesigns
Rolls of rope and wooden clothing pins from Instagram seller @zoedesignpaperie

I also did a trip with a friend to Divisoria, who was also shopping for materials and decor for her about-to-be-opened nail salon. From that trip, I was able to buy:

  • a thick, wide roll of craft paper
  • more rope
  • packs of chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil
  • 3D letters made of carton
  • some boughs of holly which I thought we could use for a Party Tree
  • small baskets for table centerpieces
  • about 10 bunches of dried palay
  • flower wreaths for me and the babycat (which she refused to wear at the party haha)
  • two sets of brunette curly-haired wigs for me and my husband
  • a skirt and a pair of sandals to complete my costume 🙂
  • a palayok
  • and 100 pieces of burlap bags (which I thankfully found through this bride-to-be’s blog)
Bought a thick roll of wide craft paper and quickly began working on the birthday banner.
Bought a thick roll of wide craft paper and quickly began working on the birthday banner

I then downloaded a couple of hobbit-related fonts online (there are so many of them!), which I mixed up in the invitation and used as reference for the birthday banner.

hobbiton brushhand font
hobbiton brushhand font
party business font
party business font
Testing colors, fabrics, and fonts. I even tried staining paper with coffee to create a weathered looking invitation.
Testing colors, fabrics, and fonts.

I even tried staining paper with coffee to create a weathered looking invitation. But after realizing that I didn’t have the budget to send physical invitations to all the guests on our list, I simply printed out invitations for our families and next-door neighbors, then invited the rest through a Facebook event page. I simply styled and shot an online invitation and event cover photo (also co-art directed by the hubby), to let everyone in on the party theme.

The invitation posted on a Facebook event page
The invitation posted on a Facebook event page (with more readable details on the page itself, of course)
The cover photo, co-art directed by my husband
The cover photo, co-art directed by my husband. Many of the materials in these photos (sword-shaped pen, quill, inks, wax sticks and sealers, and a leather chest) were stuff I already owned. The gas lamp was on loan from my mom.

For the table centerpieces, I decided to make use of the Gerber baby food jars we’d collected since the babycat started eating solids, and I simply added more to our stash by buying from Divisoria. I suspect that these latter ones were from recycled trash (they didn’t smell so clean), so I boiled them five times in clean water, then washed them with alcohol and soap and water, and boiled them again five more times. I had been planning to use them as receptacles for sandwich spreads, but because I wasn’t sure of their origins, I relegated the Divisoria-bought Gerber jars for food-label stands for the buffet.

As for the babycat’s costume, I saw this toddler-hobbit dress from Etsy  via Pinterest, but I didn’t have budget for it (plus it had already been sold out):

The toddler-hobbit's dress from Etsy
The toddler-hobbit’s dress from Etsy

So I asked our family dressmaker (the same one who made my wedding dress) to make one like it (only cost me about P1k too!). I would’ve wanted a better choice of fabrics, but I didn’t want to sweat the small stuff, and trusted her picks. Anyway, everyone liked the babycat-hobbit’s dress!

The toddler-hobbit in her birthday frock
The toddler-hobbit in her birthday frock

I also tried to make (in vain) a map to the venue (the clubhouse at Filinvest I Homes in Batasan Hills, Quezon City), and realized that I could do a better one on Adobe Indesign rather than by hand.

The BEFORE invite :p
The failed, hand-drawn map :p
The ACTUAL map to the venue, which I posted on the FB event page. The Tolkienian icons were also downloaded from the Internet.
The actual map to the venue, which I posted on the FB event page. The Tolkienian icons were also downloaded from the Internet.

That’s about everything I prepared for the party. On to the next post for the rest of the party decor and food pics and notes!

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