Liesl’s Old-Fashioned Carousel Party

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We held Liesl's 2nd birthday at the historic Carousel at Santa Monica Pier.    It is one of the few surviving all-wooden Carousels still in existence today and its charm & vintage beauty is so inherent.   Ever since Liesl rode The Carousel a few months prior to her party, she couldn't stop talking about the "horses", so I knew this would be the perfect venue to host her 2nd birthday!

Design Inspiration

The vintage Carousel was my main inspiration & central theme of Liesl's party.  The colors for her party - fuchsia, light pink, and gold - were pulled from the carousel itself - from the brass poles and the brightly painted horses.  


The design elements I used favored a "circus" or "carnival" feel - from the starbust pattern and bracket shapes to the and vintage carnival fonts.


The party food was treats you might find a carnival or circus - lots of sweets, goodies, and indulgences! 

Project Details

- Decorated Carousel Horse, Tent, & #2 Sugar Cookies - Lori's Place (Etsy)


- Birthday Cake - Sweet E's Bakeshop


- Cupcakes, Mini Cupcakes, Chocolate Covered Oreos - Sweet E's Bakeshop Birthday Cake - Sweet E's Bakeshop


- French Macarons - 'Lette Macarons


- Muslin Vintage Carousel Horse Favor Bags - paper moon by KAT


- Carousel Cupcake Stand (I painted it white) - Hearth Song


- Cotton Candy & Old Fashioned Hot Fudge Sundae Bar - Soda Jerks


- Pinwheel centerpieces - made by me


- Birthday Banner & Signage -  designed and made by me with Cricut  


- Invitations - designed and made by me with Cricut


- Cupcake Toppers - designed and made by me


- Rice Krispie Ice Cream Treat Bars - made by me


- Pirate Booty Bags - from Etsy, (I printed the design on the bags)

Favorite Items

My favorite things about Liesl's party were:


- The Cotton Candy & Old Fashioned Hot Fudge Sundae Bar - it went along with the vintage carnival/carousel theme and the guests loved it!


- Pink Velvet Cupcakes with Glittered Gold Frosting - I had them custom made to match the party colors!


- The Pinwheel Centerpieces - these took longer to make than I had anticipated, but I loved the end result.  I used coordinating pink candies in the gold boxes to secure the pinwheels.


-The Carousel Cake - I loved everything about how this turned out, especially the edible gold balls.


- The Invitations - I had so much fun designing and creating these for the party.  This was the first time I used my cricut machine.


- The Food - PB & J sandwiches cut in the shape of carousel horses were oh-so-fun!


One lesson I learned during this party: doing an "off-site" party not at your home is waaay harder than i could have imagined.  Maybe it was because I also had a 3 month old on my hands as well, but it was tough!  The party venue only allowed us 45 minutes to set up the whole party - this was much different than my past parties where I had time to set up for a few days!  So, this time, I had to unload my car, unpack, set-up, decorate, and photograph it all in less than an hour.  It was very stressful, but in the end everything came together!


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    The cake is just so cute! It looks like something you wouldn’t want to wait to be sliced!

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    Great job. I am planning my 1 year old’s 1st birthday at Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge park and we too will only have 45 min to set-up. Can you send me the tutorial you used to make the pin wheels? My email is [email protected].



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