It was MY circus, and they were MY monkeys, and I am here to share it all with you! For my daughter's 8th birthday, her primary objective was to celebrate with her friends. Her focus was to make sure that all of her friends, boys and girls, enjoyed fun activities in unison.
We start with a list of ideas that all friends may enjoy and, over a period of months, whittle it down with thought provoking conversations. Not only do we dig deep into thinking about what others may enjoy and why (or why not) but it also presents her with an opportunity to understand her own preferences. We settled on the circus because turning 8 is undoubtedly the Gr-8-est Show yet! Now comes the really fun part... letting your imagination take you to new heights! Themes, color palettes, venue matching, graphics, and decor... OH MY!
Pittsburgh, PA folks are fortunate to have Iron City Circus Arts in our backyard. They foster an inclusive, joyful circus movement and all are welcome to join the community! They were well equipped for a children's birthday party and their venue added authenticity to the event theme. DIY celebrations offer substantial flexibility because they work within your home or on-site at a venue. I was quite pleased with our selection and hope you take time to check out such a creative place.
Next, I shifted focus to design and how it would bring our DIY party to life. Let me be clear; printables are key. I work with an incredible graphic designer, found on Etsy, to bring my vision to life. She intently listens to, interprets and perfectly executes my theme every single time. Inspirational photos, colors and your overall desired look is important to communicate clearly to your designer. For this Greatest Show, vivid colors with a modern and clean aesthetic were clear priorities.
The color and themes were carried throughout and offered a tasteful, yet vibrant look. Printables were used to design this fantastic tiger cage inspired fully collapsible mobile dessert table, built by yours truly, and now available for rent through Pitch A Fête! A resized graphic, of the same image, was attached to each of the favor gable boxes and topped off with paper bows constructed from scrapbook paper, printed on my Cricut and affixed with a strong adhesive. Each favor box was filled with some of the birthday girl's favorite things, Jacob's Ladder, Jacks, mini Uno and Pittsburgh's own, Mille's Homemade Ice Cream Scoop Chip. The dessert cart was flanked by this adjustable easel topped with a 24x36 foam board poster, printed from the stationary suite, a DIY cotton candy box filled with powder pink balloons, some of which were stuffed with dyed polyfil for a cotton candy-esque impression, and a classic Pitch A Fête tipi with a specially designed circus tent topper designed by our incredible Pittsburgh based seamstress, Topaz Thimble. The dessert table was "topped" off with vibrant balloons, crafted by the incredibly creative team at Von Walter + funk Balloon, and displayed above an artistic aerialist painting on the wall of Iron City Circus Arts.
Upon arrival, the young guests participated in circus training using aerial skills and silks for one hour. They took a quick break to enjoy freshly tossed pizza, by Chef Garland at Benvenuti's Pizza Factory Food Truck. Pizza was followed by a chorus of Happy Birthday which quickly led the children to dig into the many sweets on hand.
Bella Christie and Lil' Z's Sweet Boutique made the most stunning centerpiece circus tent cake and funfetti cupcakes topped with hand painted carousel horses in coordinating colors, which were housed in these lilac carousel cupcake wheels. They also provided a chocolate cake option with popcorn inspired cupcakes wrapped in these Pitch A Fête DIY printable popcorn wrappers.
The entire dessert table was staged with clear acrylic risers and stands. For the non-cake lovers, we had cotton candy placed in fringe Meri Meri paper cups and incredible custom sugar cookies, designed by none other than The Pop Cakery. If you're looking for the perfect sugar cookie coupled with artistry, look no further. The Pop Cakery makes all of our personal event cookies with intricate design, color and theme matching and a pinch of love. If you think you're seeing visions of the invitation graphics on our cookies, blink again - you are! The Pop Cakery recreated the images, by hand, on these cookies!
Little tummies were full of sugar and more fun was to be had. Our very own Pitch A Fête Petit Maker Build A Teddy Bear Bar was set up for the children to stuff and adopt their own circus elephants. After stuffing, they made a wish, gave a kiss and stuffed a plush heart into their new friend to bring it to life! They formalized the adoption with an official birth certificate and dressed their new companion in a t-shirt,
decorated at the stuffy station.
P.G.H. Party Creations LLC provided colorful face painting services and went above and beyond to incorporate circus and carnival themed options for the kids. A balloon twister entertained the children with colorful hats, swords, bracelets and more. Lines for each of the activities were lessened by DIY carnival games of ring toss and fishpond. Every child was a winner and became the proud owner of a pet (soap) goldfish! Real goldfish were on the table until I was convinced that I may leave with less parent friends than I started with! Humor aside, I picked up these soap molds, faux fish, glycerin soap, scent and got to work in the kitchen!
With the help of good tunes and dancing in the kitchen between batches, these adorable carnival fish pet goldfish soaps were a hit with kids and parents alike!
Once the soap hardened, each soap was bagged in a clear treat bag. I quickly created a business card sized hang tag, using Canva, and applied the same theme colors as the invitations and other printables. I used my local print shop for printing, hole punched the top and attached with a coordinating purple ribbon.
Families enjoyed themselves and core memories were made. What more can you ask for from the Gr-8-est Show on Earth? All of the memories were captured by bubbly Pittsburgh photographer, Mia's Memorable Moments, and will be shared with guests as a keepsake. Gifts are outgrown but memories last a lifetime, and I hope that I have inspired you create more colorful core memories with your little ones.
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