We celebrated Katie's 5th birthday this weekend with a Puffin Rock-themed pool party. Not many of our friends know the show or its characters, but it's a favorite at our house, so when Katie asked for a Puffin party, I got to work planning it and quickly discovered that there is ZERO merchandise available, which meant I had to get creative. Thankfully, the theme lends itself perfectly for a pool party!
All week, it had been raining at the same time every day, which happened to be the exact same time window as the party... So I had an unusual amount of anxiety. I got the cake done the day before and had plenty of time to decorate and prepare food (plus my awesome mom was here and helped), so I had little to worry about other than the one thing I couldn't control: the weather! Fortunately, the rain never came (despite the clouds, wind, and thunder!), the birthday girl was so happy, and everyone had a great time! So here are the details...
First: the cake! It was such a fun one to make. I love making fondant figurines and incorporating all the little details. Most people don't even notice them, but when they do... it's awesome! Plus, the best part is that my kids usually DO notice, and of course, this is all for them.
I made the figurines the week before the party; from left to right: Silky the seal, Mossy the shrew (with his pile of blueberries), Oona the puffling, Baba the puffling, May the rabbit, and Bernie the crab, in case you are unfamiliar with these cute little animals.
After the animals were made, I baked the cakes, filled them with Italian meringue buttercream, carved the cake into a mountain, and then crumb-coated it all before putting it in the fridge to get the icing to harden. At this point, I still didn't have a clear idea of how the cake would all come together; I was just hoping it would all work out once I got the fondant on.
And it did! I don't have any worthwhile work-in-progress photos because I found my groove, was "in the zone" and worked way too late into the night without any thought about documenting the process.
So I'll just show you as many angles and close-ups as I can. One head-on photo isn't enough to capture every detail. Here's Mossy with his berries.
The waterfall side of the island.
Side view of the whole cake.
Oona and Baba with their signature rainbow at the top.
And just for comparison purposes, here is what Puffin Rock really looks like on the show. I left off a few details, but Katie easily recognized and LOVED it.
Now for the party. This was the food and cake table. I decorated it with "kelp"made from plastic table covers and "bubbles" made with clear balloons. My mom and the little ones spread out shells between the platters. The party was between meal times, so we just had snacks to fuel the little fishies as they swam and played.
The food followed the theme too: May's veggies (with hummus), Baba's iggly wigglies (veggie sticks), Oona's shiny shells (Doritos)...
And I made homemade goldfish crackers, which are always a hit (Baba's Fishy-fishies). My mom prepared a bowl full of grapes and berries (Mossy's berries!). I also found some rainbow lollipops on Oriental Trading and put them in a jar filled with marshmallow "clouds" for decoration/a yummy treat.
I printed quick little signs for all the foods... here's a close up of the "worms".
One more cake shot. Ok, time to move on from the food!
Since it was a mostly outdoor party, I didn't go too crazy with the decorations. I made streamer rainbows and printed some cute banners of Oona and Baba. I also printed some coloring pages and placed them on the table in case of rain or if any kids needed to take a break inside.
Since it didn't rain, I didn't expect anyone to color, but at the very end, my coloring-crazy kids (and a few friends) did do some coloring, so I'm glad I had the pages for them.
Katie wanted a piñata this year, and I wasn't sure if she would want to hit it... she always gets piñata-shy at parties, but I went for it anyway. We found a parrot piñata at Party City, bought some puffin-colored tissue paper, and I transformed the parrot into Oona.
She finally overcame her fear and began the attack on the candy-filled puffin. Happily. I filled it with fish gummies, DumDums, and chewy Jolly Ranchers.
And she wore the head as a mask after collecting her candy!
Then it was cake time. My sweet little girl isn't used to being the center of attention. We had to nudge her closer to her cake. But she was so excited. I love the way she is looking at her cake.
Make a wish!
Happy birthday girl with her daddy. After cake, she swam a bit longer, and then decided she was ready to dry off and open her presents, so she changed into the dress I made her. I printed the Puffin Rock logo onto iron-on transfer fabric and attached it to a simple pink dress from Primary.com.
She was so ready to open presents that she sat down and waited for her guests to come in from the pool.
Present-opening is always chaotic, but she enjoyed it!
Her friends were really into it too.
Once it was time for everyone to leave, Katie handed out favors of pull-back toy crabs, seashell candy necklaces, and home-printed stickers to all her friends.
I love this little Puffin, and she had a wonderful 5th birthday party. I cannot believe she is now five!
Happy Birthday to my sweet, strong, clever, willful, precious little-big girl. I want to hug you and squeeze you and keep you forever.