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Liesl’s Old-Fashioned Carousel Party


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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  1. […] sweet are these Carnival Krispie Ice Cream Bars?! I’m sure the kids will love […]

  2. […] boxes and add some candy and treats for your little guests to take home. How sweet are these Carnival Krispie Ice Cream Bars?! I’m sure the kids will love these! LOVE these Cotton Candy Ice Cream Cones! They would make […]

  3. avatar Rosemarie Maldonado says:

    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



  4. avatar Melissa says:

    I LOVE EVERYTHING!!! Are you selling those pinwheels???? I need you to make me some!!!!!!

  5. avatar Cyntia says:

    Hi i love your invitation design do you have the link for the invitation?

  6. avatar angela says:

    What an amazing job on this party! Can you tell me how you the custom pirate booty bags?

  7. wow…GREAT JOB!! Can you tell me how you made the sandwich cut outs?? Really would love to do the same for my little girl’s party next month…thank you!!

  8. avatar Emily says:

    Julie – you have to click on the arrow on the right to see more – there are 25 pictures total.

  9. avatar Julie says:

    Do you have more pictures of the party? I can only see the first 5.

  10. avatar Florence Amber says:

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

  11. avatar AuntKiki says:

    Great job, love it! I couldn’t imagine only having 45 minutes to do a full party set up!