Finally more than two months after, I’m now blogging about mi amocito’s super fun and super DIY birthday party at Gymboree Sta. Rosa! This time around, the theme was dinosaurs! Raviv’s interest in dinosaurs was recycled. Perfect, because Gymboree already has a customized dinosaur-themed play & learn birthday party celebration.
Since I knew that I’d be fulfilling one of my passions—event styling—through Gymboree, I decided to make Raviv’s party super DIY. As in no catering, no chairs supplier, everything will be done by me and “my team”. That way, we could already practice our artistic prowess (naks!) in case someone who books a Gymboree party in Sta. Rosa also opts to get an upgrade and have customized and special decors.
So without further ado, here are the details:
Raviv’s birthday party was held at the room adjacent to the Gymboree playfloor. The room was really bare and had a low ceiling.
DIY Dinosaur Party Set-up
Tables and chairs
Since I had no catering, I had to make use of Brain Train’s existing monobloc tables and chairs on top of Gymboree’s colorful kiddie tables and chairs. Since the monobloc chairs look so plain, I bought some cloth as and had a seamstress create table cloth and table runners out of them. I would have wanted to cover the chairs as well, but since we were running out of time, I just put a rosette with dinosaur foam shapes on each chair.
DIY dinosaur party chair
It was matrabaho, yes, but it definitely made the place look hundreds of times better.
The Ceiling drops
I used latex and mylar polka-dot balloons to further prettify the place. But the highlight among the ceiling drops were the diosaur pompoms that Yaya Beth and I painstakingly made.
DIY dinosaur birthday party pompoms
I would like to say that it’s easy to do that, but we actually had several tries before we perfected it. Once we were able to discover how to properly do it, medyo dumali na rin.
DIY dinosaur birthday party invitation
If you’ve been following my blog since Raviv’s first birthday party, then you’d know how maarte I am when it comes to invitations. I’m almost allergic to generic, impersonal invitations. #sorrybutnotsorry Thus, career kung career ang invitation ni Raviv. I designed the dinosaur cut-out (I just looked for an image of dinasaur online and took it from there). Then I bought cardboard and cut out the “cracked egg” shapes. But the most madugo part is the green mosaic you see—that’s real egg shells that I’ve painted, dried, pound, and stuck to the invitation. Yes, I rounded up our neighbors and asked for their egg shells for 50 handmade invitations. Sulit din naman because people gushed how cute Raviv’s invitation was!
Main Course and Drinks
I would have to admit that I failed in this department. Although I didn’t get a full-fledged caterer, I ordered food from someone. The food was delicious naman, but I realized later that we should have prepared more variety of food.
The menu consisted of:
- chicken wings
- fresh vegetable and fresh fruits salad
I thought that was enough because those are also the food served at children’s parties in fastfood chains. But still, I should have added more main dishes, I realized.
Dinosaur themed menu
The salad, dino jellies, and beverages were made and mixed by May (our cook in our house) and Ace, an HRM student whose services I got to help us. Ace also carved this dinosaur watermelon:
Dinosaur watermelon sculpture
On top of the drinks at the “Watering Hole”, I also prepared bottled fruit juices (bottles are recycled at Gymboree Arts lessons, don’t worry) with personalized stickers for the kids.
So I also thought of a way to make the spaghetti dound like it belongs to a dinosaur party. Here it is:
OK ba? Hehe.
My favorite carnivore food was the sliders. I wasn’t able to eat much because they ran our pretty quickly!
There were supposed to be hotdogs. Unfortunately, the HRM student I hired totally forgot about them! Tuloy, mas naging konti pa ang handa!
The Sweet Treats Table
Dinosaur birthday party sweet treats table
Of course, the design of this table was also DIY. Honestly, it was quite difficult because we just made do of anything that we had. We didn’t have fancy cake stands and other layered eklavu. Then I also realized that both of my cupcake towers were broken. Sheesh!
Anyway, here are more details.
Raviv had two cakes:
A 3-D dinosaur cake with boiled icing (I’m not a fan of fondant—too common these days!)…
…and a volcano cake with chocolate ganache icing
So bakit kamo dala-dalawa pa ang cake? Well, I wanted Raviv to get excited about his birthday. So I made him look at photos of dinosaur-themed parties online. When he saw a certain rectangular ccake with a forest and volcano and dinosaur plastic figures, he fell in love with it. He said he wanted that cake. Que horror—it looked like the kind of old-fashioned cake we (those my age and older) used to have when we were young…alam kong alam n’yo yun: ‘yung rectangular lang tapos may kung anu-anong design lang sa taas! That’s what Raviv wanted! I have already ordered the 3D dinosaur cake, but when I showed him how his cake is gonna look like, sumimangot nang bongga. He insisted he wanted a volcano cake. As usual Randy said to give Raviv what he wanted. It was, after all, his birthday. K, fine. So I told my new cake suki, Nek Penalba of Bakeville to make the 3D dinosaur smaller and add a volcano cake. As for the cupcakes, I told her I wanted them to look like nests.
Aside from the cakes (that were too pretty to eat!), there were also the dinosaur cookies that I baked to relax me when we were all so nervous about the delivery of our equipment. Those that were shaped like dinosaurs were of course spread, while regular round chocalate-chip cookies were placed inside jars that I decorated with—yep—dinosaurs!
To further add the dinosaur ambience, Kuya Marlon from Gymboree Manila Polo Club branch painted the windows. It did a lot of wonders!
Looking back, I feel a sense of accomplishment. I still see a lot of things that could have been improved, but I am proud of myself and my assistants for pulling this off! I mean, with all the challenges that I encountered for this party, I am glad that I still made it this far. Honestly, my friends were nervous that I did not get a caterer. But upon seeing how everything turned out, they said that they were definitely impressed and that I have a future as an event stylist.
Please watch out for the next part as I tell you in detail how much fun a Gymboree birthday party is!
Tell me what you think!
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