run out of womb

... learning how to be a mum from scratch

Tuesday 19 April 2016

Party planning with Hobbycraft

You know those nights when you head to bed early and lie down to gorge on sleep (for at least five hours..). But then you have a peak at your phone and suddenly it's an hour later and you've lost your sleep time to image envy on Instagram? 

That was me in the weeks leading up to tiny man's first birthday - ogling Insta baby parties and accessories. Yeah, how lame does that sentence sound? 

But who knew sleek black-and-white-and-flamingo (seriously, this is Instagram) parties could look so good? Or that some parents appear to redecorate their homes for their baba's first birthday? Or that I could find my finger hovering over the 'buy' button on £5 packs of stripey straws? Very cool looking straws, sure. But a fiver to suck liquid out of a glass in a way that the average pair of lips are pretty good at doing anyway? I had to tell myself it was more important to get over the cool party styling fomo... and have enough money to spend on nappies... 

But then I discovered Hobbycraft. 

I had no idea this place (I went to the Staples Corner branch, it's huuuge) also stocked everything you need to throw a super stylish party - but (don't tell anyone.. ) on the cheap.  

Like these fab-looking honeycomb ball decorations, which were £7 per pack from Hobbycraft, were so easy to hang all over the ceiling with masking tape - and tiny man loves them so much we're going to relocate them permanently to his nursery. 

Ditto the balloons - I found every colour so went for three shades of blue. Instead of spending loads on helium (although I did splurge for this cute '1' silver foil balloon) just looping some masking tape and adding a tail gives you the same look.

Their cute rolls of twine and tiny washing pegs were fab for a high-impact 'washing line' of baby photos - it's insane how many I had to pick between after just one year.

Then there's the store's baking section... Another drool-worthy one for me. There are loads of cake tins which make complicated Cake Boss-style bakes really easy - but I went for another cheat. I baked tiny man a two-tier cake and decorated it myself with hot air balloons, clouds and flowers, but used ready-mix packs of icing (again, Hobbycraft has every colour and it's so nice to browse IRL rather than online) to do the decorating. Eliminating that stage of dying another wad of white fondant a particular colour (and getting hands dyed in the process) made the baking process so much more fun.

Another amazing decorating idea came from Hobbycraft's die-cutting section. I used a Cricut machine (a whole post on this is coming soon.. It's basically the best crafting thing ever) to make a ton of personalised decorations like this one:
and stuck them all over the house. Someone in-store showed me how  die-cutters work - and once you've made a template like the duck above, it's so easy to have hundreds of perfect shapes cut out for you.

Hobbycraft also have great bunting - I went for a natural brown card set which was only £2 but really long. The holes were pre-punched so I just used the Cricut to cut out the letters for happy birthday and tiny man's name, then stuck them on. This is definitely a string of bunting that'll be coming out for every birthday - as will a lot of the decorations: all reusable, including this white twig tree which I forgot to snap but made a fab centrepiece - and I'm lending to a friend for her wedding soon too.
Yes, the cynics will say tiny man will never remember his first birthday party - but we will. 

I'm feeling so happy, proud and pretty emotional to have been his mummy for a whole year - it's gone so fast. We're really pleased to have been able to throw a party full of personal touches that we can keep to show our baby boy in years to come.

* Hobbycraft gave Run Out of Womb spending money for an in-store spree - but rest assured, we only rave about what we love and will definitely be spending far more of our own in the future.. 

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