I have had the pleasure of working with Melisa from Project Nursery on her son’s 3rd birthday party the last few weeks. She came to me with a big request: plan a party that her son, Austin, will think is a “Thomas the Train” party….but without the cartoon-y look, something more modern, that would appeal to the designer in her. After weeks of collaboration – I think we have done just that! Today, I am showing you the inspiration for the party – the virtual party planning that has taken place, if you will. Melisa will be following up with pictures from the party in the next couple of weeks – showing you exactly how she took my inspiration and brought it to life!
The images I am showing you today come directly from the custom party plan I did for Melisa. If you are interested in having WH Hostess plan your next party, check out our website for more information!
As I mentioned above, Thomas the Train was the main inspiration for this party. Austin is turning 3 years old, and I wanted to create a party that visually appeals to both the toddlers and their parents! With a color palette of red, aqua and cobalt blue, I combined polka dots and stripes to create the decorations. My first step was to design a custom logo for Austin – one that resembled the Thomas logo – but with a fresh, modern look. We used this logo for his invitations, and a lot of the party decorations. *tip: using a logo throughout the party helps to create a cohesive look!
Decoration ideas include custom banners, signs, centerpiece sticks and paper lanterns. Two different type of centerpieces: one for kids, one for adults. Using blue blume boxes as the container for both, I suggested red gerber daisies or carnations tightly packed for the adult centerpieces. The kid’s centerpieces needed to be a bit more “fun”; a bunch of balloons (using red tissue filler around the base) and a custom centerpiece stick with Austin’s logo on it.
There are a few ideas for dressing up your basic paper goods: dress up your paper cups with a custom sticker, create coordinating napkin rings either out of paper bands or by using rubber bands or ribbon, attach flags to your straws with cute sayings such as “choo choo”.
We all know that little kids need activities at a party to keep them busy! For Austin’s party, the highlight is a trackless train that will be giving the children rides. How can you top that?! A couple other ideas: storytime, and playing with bubbles. I love bubbles! And so do kids. A basket of mini bubbles will keep the kids occupied for a while! *tip: dress up those bubbles! (I love this inspiration from Abby of Style Me Pretty daughter’s birthday party) Custom labels or ribbons will do the trick.
With a theme like this, you can get really creative with your food. Simple things like cutting train shapes out of cheese, or mini sandwiches (use a train cookie cutter) add a special touch that the children will love. Another great idea is a color-coordinated dessert bar. The inspiration above is from Scissors Paper Cake – and I just L-O-V-E the colors! You can fill Gerson Princess Glass Apothecary Jars, Set of 2cellophane bags for your guests to fill up with candy to take home as a party favor!
Party favors are a big deal when you are 3 years old. I mean – it’s a bag of stuff that typically your parent’s wouldn’t buy you! (especially if it’s a whole bag of candy!) No train party would be complete without engineer hats and train whistles. Another idea is a bag of train-shaped crayons, and a roll of Thomas the Train coloring pages (you can download them on the official website).
Let me tell you, this party is going to knock your socks off! Custom paper goods ranging from signs, to cupcake toppers, to centerpieces, to party favors….all created by us over at WH Hostess. We love to work with customers to create custom parties – so if you are in need of a little help, or a lot of help – check us out! We would love to help you plan your next party!
I can’t wait to see how Melisa pulls everything together! Here’s a little sneak peek of the invitations….just to tide you over until we show you the rest of the party!
Images: dessert table (hello naomi via flickr.com), centerpiece (nancyluichin.com), paper lanterns (karljuengel.com), thomas the train cake (simplysweetz.com), red and blue banner (etsy.com), polka dot party favor box, straw flags (thecelebrationshoppe.com), party favor topper (etsy.com), paper goods (target.com), paper cups (hostessblog.com), blue box (blumebox.com), bubble jars (stylemepretty.com), engineer hat and train whistle (orientaltrading.com), train party favor bags (etsy.com), train crayons (etsy.com)
So adorable! I did a Thomas Birthday for my son’s 3rd birthday and just finished a Lightning McQueen party for his 4th
[…] contributor, Kelly from WH Hostess. She took my idea, ran with it and pulled together an AMAZING Modern Train inspiration board that I could follow in just a short amount of […]
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Is there a way to order all the banners, stickers, etc.? My party is this coming Saturday!!!! Yikes!
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I was first inspired by the “Maxwell” birthday and ordered a fabric bunting flag with his name on it from an etsy seller. I’m posting pics on my blog next week!
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This is exactly what I am wanting for my 3 yr olds party in September. He is in LOVE with Thomas, but I am not a huge fan of the cartoony images. Thanks for the inspiration and ideas!
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[…] mama asked Kelly of The Party Dress to help brainstorm and she came back with this uber-inspiring Modern Train Party design board just for me! Kelly worked overtime to provide me with all the paper goods from her stationary biz, […]
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InkSpot – you created awesome parties for your little man! He is so cute and what you wrote about him in the 3 yr post was so sweet. I love the creative elements you brought to a commercial-themed birthday – it’s a really nice balance and looks like a lot of fun!
Love it! I’m working on my son’s first birthday party (this Saturday) and am using the same color palette, but we’re going with a ‘balloon’ theme, to keep it simple for a one year old. I was first inspired by the “Maxwell” birthday and ordered a fabric bunting flag with his name on it from an etsy seller. I’m posting pics on my blog next week!
Hi Inkspot! I love it all. Great job. I’ve already printed my coloring book sheets. I am right behind you with a love for Cars the movie. That’s also our thing these days but who knows what’s next!
So adorable! I did a Thomas Birthday for my son’s 3rd birthday and just finished a Lightning McQueen party for his 4th. I wasn’t as lucky since my son insisted upon ALL things in character for both parties!! Ugh, didn’t allow me to get as creative as I would have liked, but still pulled it off somehow …
I just received the wonderful package of goodies! Thanks sooo much Kelly. Now the pressure is on to pull this all together! Yikes!!! But with all this great decor, how can I go wrong? Stay tuned everyone!
Absolutely adorable! And my son would love it. He’s obsessed with Thomas!!!
oh… my… goodness!!!! my son will be 3 in july and LOVES thomas, but like this mom, i think it’s so cheesey! so this is absolutely PERFECT!!!!! i will DEFINITELY be revisiting this page when i start party planning.
thank you so much for this one!!!
Exquisite use of color!