You’ve gotta fight, for your right

The jman is one this Friday. And slightly bored maternity leave mum who hasn’t done much apart from vacuum, wash and cook, thought she might do a few things to make the party memorable (for us!).

I completely agree that a theme or entertainers for a one year old birthday are ridiculous. We haven’t even bought the poor child a present yet. And making a huge fuss is more about the parents’ need for validation than the child. But.

I used to be a bit crafty. I made stuff, sewed clothes, cooked interesting things. I haven’t done much lately except get dinner on the table and stress about the state of the carpet. So I thought jman’s birthday was a good opportunity for a bit of “Kraftwerk”. Possibly not in the party soundtrack sense…

But it had to be a) brainless b) easy and c) fun.

So I started with buying a metre of each of these fabrics. And some pom poms. And some ric rac. Because there’s no party without pom poms and ric rac, right?

After checking out handmade stuff for parties on etsy, i did the usual (and often fatal) “nah, im not spending money, i can do that”. There was a lot about cake smash outfits, handmade favour bags, bunting and the like.

I loved the party hats. And not of the nasty Chinese $2 shop variety. I was cruising the Internet late one night and stumbled upon this blog, Oh Happy Day. The hats were so pretty.

So I made one for the birthday boy, using this template. Finally, the stack of welcome baby boy cards I couldn’t bear to chuck had a purpose, and I’m never against recycling. So the larger cards from his birth and baptism have become party hats! I decided to cover the hat in fabric. Later on I sewed on pom poms, and skewered a hole for some hat elastic. Hat elastic which, as the worst parent in the world, I measured by trying the hat on jman as he slept in bed. Then I churned out another eight. Because I could. I’m really pleased with them.

The other half of the fabric was designated for bunting. My niece hates the word bunting. She thinks it a) sounds really rude and b) is just a made up word. So to piss her off, we use the word as much as possible. And to really piss her off, I made some bunting.

The other truth is, a friend of ours made bunting for her kids which we borrowed to decorate our baby shower happy hour a year ago . And I’ve had bunting envy ever since. It looked so cute. So I originally bought my three fabrics with bunting in mind.

This guide to bunting was much easier than most. I mean, sure, you can do the piss weak version with wrapping paper or a single piece of fabric and pinking shears, but that was never going to cure my bunting envy. And anything involving a template just sounded like a pain. This was easy, so I grabbed my tailors chalk and ironing board and ruled up my 50 centimetres of fabric one night.

It took another four days to cut it out as we only had crappy scissors and I’m left handed, and left handed scissors are expensive. Plus jman tried to eat the tailors chalk, and tried to grab the ends of the scissors every time I used them.

In the longest craft project in history, the cut up bunting then sat patiently in a plastic bag awaiting sewing for several weeks whilst we all got sick, then well, then sick again. My mum has the family sewing machine combined with low immunity for colds etc, so we couldn’t go down to see her and sew.

Finally, this week, on designated bunting day, mum had had a fall and broke a bone in her wrist. Precious bunting hours slipped away as we waited for her plastering by the Physio. (That sounded unsympathetic. It was just a loooooong day), Lordy. Then I was worried jman would freak out at the noise of the sewing machine (he loses his shit at vacuums, hair dryers, coffee grinders and pull back cars at present ). But no, the sewing machine was interesting, and he stood very still beside me watching making “brmmmm brmmm” noises.

It’s easy, but it takes longer than you think.

Especially with a toddler.

And a helpful mother.

And an idiot kraftwerker who thought she bought 20 metres of 5mm tape, but actually bought 5 metres of 20 mm cotton tape… ran out of tape at 6pm at night…..I sewed the tape on, hemming web sounded too fiddly for me when I could zig zag at a million miles an hour.

We cobbled together some other tape from the gift wrapping box and an overlocked piece of bias binding.




It is by no means perfect, but we’re going for a quick and dirty bunting envy cure here, and pretty party decorations. They’ll do the job. Jman nearly had apoplexy with excitement when he saw the bunting. It was very cute. He was grabbing at them and laughing.

Of course, then I had some scraps if fabric left. And, you know, you can’t let them go to waste. So at the end of the hat construction and bunting cutting up, I fiddled and fiddled and came up with a table runner. Because tablecloths are useless with small people. I couldn’t even be assed ruling it up and making it square. I was so lazy I even free cut the number one out of my spotty fabric, I didn’t chalk it out first. Once at mums I started fiddling with the leftover pom poms, and the runner was together 40 minutes later as jman slumbered on (this time without trying on hats).


Once a type A, always a type A…you start, you have to overachieve. So last night I whipped up these pom poms. I had no idea they were so cheap and easy!

I have completely failed in my balloon shopping, accidentally buying “linkalloons” instead of balloons, so our balloons are going to either be tied together or look like a giant bunch of boobs complete with nipples. Traps for young players.

Finally, jman and I had a photoshoot for his invites, I got some ridgy cardboard offcuts from Reverse Garbage, and after a bit of fiddling and chucking pieces of fabric on my scanner, the invites for party one were done. Sadly, party two, the family party, has not advanced beyond a Facebook event. I’m all created out.

And our plans for Party games? Several tubes of bubbles, and a box of tissues each. To, you know, pull out one after the other and throw around the room and possibly eat. Because that’s what you do when you are one. And Jman’s main entertainment will be…..cake.

Do you have any suggestions for (healthy) kids party food suitable for one year olds?

Party pics to follow after next weekend.



2 thoughts on “You’ve gotta fight, for your right

  1. Pingback: Almost one | maybe baby, J-man & the adventures of hub-in-boots

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