Penelope’s Birthday Party Part I


Phew! It’s over!

I really wanted to make a big deal out of Penelope’s birthday this year. I’ve never planned a party for a little one before, so it was definitely new territory for me. I had a lot of fun being creative, but it was SO MUCH WORK. I see why most parents only do parties every other year, or so for kids. I’m still exhausted. GEEZ.

Penelope’s invitation took hours and hours to put together. Mostly it took so long because I was a loser and didn’t read the Silhouette manual on how to cut vinyl. Yeah. I figured it out after 8 hours of trying. Not kidding. Turns out Silhouette’s FAQ’s are really helpful. Go read the manual, then go read all of the FAQ’s. You’ll thank me later.

I also wasted hours and hours on brain-dead printers. At first, I wanted to avoid printing at FedEx Office because they’re expensive and slightly annoying. I thought printing at the local UPS store would be smart. Worst idea, ever! First, it took the ladies 3 days (THREE DAYS!) to print 10 color copies on card stock. Seriously? Second, the colors were not even close to what I had designed. Third, the employees were annoying and told me that colors always come out different than the computer screen. Yeah, always is right if you have a crappy printer and don’t know how to use it.

By the time I gave up on printing at the UPS store, I was in a bind and needed the files printed ASAP. I headed over to the FedEx Office down the street thinking they’d get the job done fast. NOPE. After an annoying conversation with the employee there, I left. UGH. I sat in the car with my iPhone (hallelujah for the 3GS) calling around different print companies to see what they could do on such short notice. I remember DownEast had done some printing with Documart just downtown so I called them. I explained the type of print job I needed and asked how long it would take him to do it. His response, “Seriously?! They’d be done in less than five minutes.” NICE.

The guy at Documart was on the ball, and he didn’t charge a million dollars per copy, either. Hooray! Seriously. Three cheers for competent and kind printers!!

The Envelopes:

  • I used American Crafts Moda Bella craft paper
  • I designed a CD case template in Illustrator and cut it out with my handy dandy Silhouette
  • I hand addressed each envelope
  • I designed the circular PEN sticker to secure the envelope closed and cut it with the Silhouette

The CD:

  • I burned 4 of Penelope’s favorite dance songs to CD for attendees. They aren’t children’s songs, but they had clean lyrics (CD included: Calvin Harris, Discovery, Yeasayer and Hey Champ)
  • I designed the LISTEN sticker and cut it out with the Silhouette

The Invitation:

I was really excited how the invitations turned out, despite all of the setbacks. After I mailed them, it was like a huge burden had been lifted off my shoulders! This invitation would’ve been much more labor intensive if I didn’t have the Silhouette to do half of the work for me. I love it! Stay tuned for Part II, the party!

Click here to read part II: The Party

Click here to read part III: The Thank Yous

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    1. So in love with the invitation. I hope Penelope appreciates what a super cool mom she has when she gets older.

    2. marissa says:

      i love how it all turned out! plus, you just inspired me to do a real birthday party for xavier when he turns 3 next april. i may steal your dance party idea too; soooo great!

    3. Shanna says:

      I swear Melissa… you are the most amazingly creative person I know! so awesome.

    4. jenn king says:

      you’re amazing! and i love those bands too! but haven’t heard hey champ so i’ll be checking them out.

    5. Kathleen says:

      sooooooo amazing! Totally worth all the hassle (which I was sorry to hear about). She’s going to treasure that invitation when she gets older.

    6. Jessica says:

      I love your drawing, and the fonts you chose. perfect.

    7. beth says:

      those invitations are incredible! boo, for using the ‘r’ word, though. :(

    8. annie says:

      getting that thing in the mail was like christmas….it might even still be on the fridge over here. :) good work!

    9. Hillary says:

      was curious what yeasayer song your daughter likes but you accidentally linked ‘hey champ’ twice. i love that i’m getting music advice from a 2-year-old.

      the boyfriend just bought me a silhouette. haven’t opened it yet but super excited.

    10. Julia says:

      Seriously, those invitations are PHENOMENAL!

      After being witness to multiple birthday parties for children 8 and under, I’ve already decided Phineas is only getting big bashes every four years: 4, 8, 12, and 16. That’s it! :) And I won’t even be making as labor-intensive invites, either. Love it. Love you!

    11. Britta says:

      That’s so going to be her facebook profile pic some day. Wicked Awesome.

    12. Kristina says:

      Completely amazing! How fun to throw a dance party!!

    13. summer says:

      gorgeous invites & super fun party idea! last time i went to fedex for printing, they told me my SIMPLE job would take days to complete and could not be done on the cardstock i’d already purchased. they actually referred me to a mom&pop print shop that completed it in 15 minutes!

    14. Kami says:

      The PEN sticker is my favorite part! Who doesn’t love a dance party?! What a lucky girl!

    15. beth says:

      no harm. i just HATE that word, and know many, many others like me. thanks, the edit wasn’t necessary. still love your blog, and all of your creativity. you’re a rockin’ momma!

    16. Kristol says:

      Melissa, I thought I did a great job on my little boy’s invitations ( until I saw Penelope’s. Absolutely Amazing!!

    17. tiffany says:

      oh my gosh! what fabulous invitation. you’re amazing!

    18. ramona says:

      wow, so much work for a turning-2 party. phew. i guess we’ll just have some fruits and icecream and done.

    19. SarahJane says:

      I need to take a deep breath after reading this post. You are absolutely amazing. I’m planning my son’s first birthday party right now, and I suddenly feel incredibly inadequate. However, I think I WILL take that deep breath and take your amazingness as inspiration!

    20. AmberLee says:

      these were totally worth the battle. they are rockin’.

    21. what a darling party!

      it was great to meet you the other night at the beehive bazaar!

    22. Lauren Reid says:

      i had to giggle at the not reading the sillouette manual… i’m a step worse… i haven’t taken mine out of the box yet OR read the manual…. these came out fab, i think i’m gonna have to break mine out of the box this weekend (and possibly read the manual too ;) ) ox

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