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Cupcakes and Polka Dots 2nd Birthday Party


A second birthday party with the theme of cupcakes and polka dots! Colors were purple, lavender, and hot pink. Food served included chili, mac-n-cheese, veggies, and fruit. A cupcake bar was used for the dessert!

Design Inspiration

A special dress from her Godmother gave me the perfect inspiration for Julianne’s party. The Bonnie Jean dress has a cupcake on the hot pink top and a dark purple skirt with polka dots. Perfect for a fun loving second birthday party for our sweet little cupcake!

Project Details

I designed the custom invitation around the dress design. I created a swirly cupcake design similar to the one on her dress. Placing the cupcake in the center of the invitation design, I then added the polka dots and a picture of Julianne. I used purple cardstock as a backing to the invitation to simply give it more weight and depth.

After designing the invitations everything else fell in to place. I incorporated the swirly cupcake design and polka dots through all of my party printables. I decided the backdrop for the dessert table had to have polka dots. I remember seeing polka dots sewn on string, but my sewing skills are not great. I knew I had to find something that did not require sewing. Using fishing wire, cardstock, glue, and circle punches in two sizes I was able to create the polka dot backdrop for the dessert table.

I used a plain white tablecloth for the dessert table and placed a lavender piece of cloth to the top of the table. I added a long string of polka dots to the front of the table and a few balloons on the sides.

Folded and flat food labels were used to help guests identify the food and drinks available. I used mason jars that I already owned to serve the drinks in and added purple polka dot straws with straw flags to dress them up.

{Food & Desserts}
I knew from the start that our party food would include something warm since the party was in the middle of January. I finally decided on a menu of hearty beef chili, white bean chicken chili, chili toppings, cornbread muffins, macaroni and cheese, veggie tray, and strawberries. Perfect for a chilly wintery day! Drinks served included water, sweet tea, coke, and sprite.

What else do you have at a cupcake party but cupcakes! The dessert table held 3 dozen chocolate, strawberry, and yellow cupcakes with buttercream icing. I decided to create a simple cake to place in the center of the table as well. The cake was a layer of strawberry and chocolate with buttercream icing. I topped the cake off with a 4″ party circle on a long lollipop stick and tied a ribbon on the stick.

I thought it would be perfect to have a Decorate Your Own Cupcake bar at the party! Guests were welcome to choose from mini M&Ms, mini Reese’s Pieces, mini chocolate chips, coconut, sprinkles, and crushed mint Oreos. Many guests went back for seconds!

I created a cupcake and polka dot coloring page for our younger guests to color. Even some of our older guests joined in the fun!

Julianne and I baked homemade sugar cookies shaped like cupcakes to send home with the guests. I placed two cookies in each bag and attached with baker’s twine and a 2.5” favor tag. While doing some last minute shopping the day before, I came across some clearance toys and picked up three for our tiny guests in lieu of cookies.

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  1. […] This DIY cupcake bar is perfect for birthday parties, sleepovers, or weekends that require a sweet treat.  Quick, easy, and awesome is what EVERYONE will be saying!  You can get the full instructions here… […]

  2. […] I think anyone would love to decorate their own cupcakes. You could do this with cookies too. Decorate Your Own Cupcakes […]

  3. avatar Eivi says:

    I loved everything you make/did for your daughter’s birthday! Could you please share the company you used for the party printables and the printing of the invitations? Would you also e- mail me a copy of the invitation.
    I would apreciate it very much!

  4. avatar Anjie says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this theme!! I am going to do the same for my little girls 2nd birthday in November! Is there any chance I could get you to email me a copy of the invite so I can use????

    Thanks heaps

  5. avatar Jo Castro says:

    Hi! I like what you did on your daughter’s 2nd birthday! Im from the Philippines and have been visiting project nursery for ideas on how to go about my daughter’s 1st birthday.Like you, I have been organizing events (weddings most especially) I’m excited to do my first child’s birthday and you just gave me ideas and inspiration. I don’t need to buy lots of apothecary jars anymore, thanks to you:) I just need to learn how to bake my first real big cake now. You did a nice job on the decorations too.

  6. avatar Rachael Johsnon says:

    My daughter turns 4 in a few months and is obbessed with cupcakes right now, wants a cupcake part. Your idea is great, love the decorate your own idea. So these printables? What are printables and can I get Adobe Illustrator online without payign for it? Thanks for the help.

  7. Congratulations on the feature Kathy!

  8. avatar cjko says:

    Very cute idea!

  9. Three Little birds,

    I use Adobe Illustrator to make my printables. Thanks!

  10. avatar Three Little birds says:

    I absolutely adore your cupcake theme party. It almost made me wanna try to have a girl.. nahhh I have enough with my 3 boys…any ways, I just wanted to ask you, do you have a special computer program to design your very own printables. Do you mind sharing that with me… thanks

  11. Mischa,

    Thanks Mischa! I baked all the cupcakes the day before and stored them in air tight containers. Then the morning of the party I whipped up my favorite buttercream icing recipe from Johnny Gabriel’s Cooking in the South cookbook. I frosted them about 3 hours before the party started. The toppings stuck beautifully! Any leftover cupcakes were stored in air tight containers and were still fresh days later.

  12. avatar Mischa says:

    Such a cute idea! A question about the decorating… sometimes it’s hard to get toppings to stick unless you decorate them immediately after applying the icing. Did you use a special frosting recipe, frost them right before guests arrived, or did it just work out?