Mum's Birthday Party Preparation: Decorations

7/10/2008 02:10:00 PM

Who ever thought I'd be doing a whole post on decor and decorations? Not me! How things have changed since I started cooking. Nowadays I am totally obsessed with party planner to the stars Colin Cowie, and I am loving the process of choosing and making party decorations. In his lifestyle bible, Colin Cowie Chic (ooh, the cover is textured, like a crocodile-skin wallet. Such attention to detail!), Colin suggests that you choose a theme for your party and stick with it, right from the invitations, through to table settings, and to the dessert.

My mum's favourite colour is red! So that's a start. Obviously, just red won't look good, so we decided on a colour scheme of red and gold. (I know, could we be any more Asian?)

For the invitations, I had a few good walks around Kikki K, Pepe's Paperie and Riot Art and Craft for inspiration. With a bunch of good ideas, my bro and I had a bit of an Art Attack, and made them ourselves. We bought some sheets of red cardboard, red DL size envelopes, gold heart stickers, and pearly translucent paper. We cut the red card into 3, printed the invitation text on the translucent paper, and stuck the translucent paper onto the red card with the gold heart stickers. Then we sent them out. I didn't get a photo, and we've sent them all now, but they did look pretty good, even if I do say so myself.

The first photo in this post is of a sugar rosebud, from Cake Deco. I bought 5 of them (at $3.90 each - faint!) to decorate the croquembouche, and a few other supplies to assist with my croque-making. I found out from the staff that styrofoam cones don't come larger than 25cm in height. D'oh! So I'll either have to go free-form with my croque, buy a $100 metal mould, or fashion one out of cardboard and staplers, MacGyver style.

Stiff-syringe-icing set (easier than piping bags for injecting choux puffs), gold cachous, sugar rosebuds in the box, red ribbon.

The next day I went to Spotlight, for more supplies.

2 bunches of fake roses - only $2 a bunch! I'll be using a few of these around the bottom of the croque. They're not expensive like sugar or real roses, and are easier to maintain. At the shop, I hadn't decided if I'd definitely use them, but they were cheap, and I figured that they'd look pretty festive in a vase in the corner even if I didn't end up using them for croque decoration.

4.5 metres of red cloth. It's going to be a table runner for our island bench in the kitchen. I'll get mum to sew the ends in. Napery can be so expensive, but if you have basic sewing skills and a machine, you can save a lot of money and get more creative with your table settings. (I have no sewing skills whatsoever, but I'm very, very lucky that my mum does!)

More decoration stuff...

In the background we have a 2-tiered cake stand, which I picked up for $10 on sale at Matchbox.

These are some little teacups that we got as a gift from a family friend who used to own a Lebanese restaurant. Their gold colour fits in with our theme, and we can fill them with tea-light candles!

Now, speaking of candles, Colin says (yes, this will be a recurring theme) that having lots and lots of candles creates a great atmosphere for a night-time party, making everyone look younger and "as if they've just come back from somewhere fabulous". Sounds good to me! Dimming the lights and lighting candles will take our kitchen and lounge room from "drab to fab in an instant!" Excellent entertaining and home-organisation advice aside, those ostentatious little phrases are another reason I just love Colin.

I put my brother and his girlfriend on candle duty. Daniel is arty, and Su loves candles! They went to Ikea and came back with the following...

1. Potpourri

For strewing about the place. Scented flowers and candles are generally a no-no at a gathering where food is served, but it's going to be spread out, and potpourri never really gives off a strong scent unless you stick your nose right in it.

2. Little black plates for arranging candles. I LOVED these plates! Good work Dan & Su!

3. Candles in various sizes, and the essential tea-lights.

There are only 3 more sleeps to go until the party! Yay!

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  1. WOW! so much attention to detail. Have you ever considered going into party planning? The whole red and gold theme looks v cool :)

  2. I say go MacGyver style, pull out your Swiss Army knife and make a bomb....oh I mean make a cardboard mould.

  3. Anonymous10:24 PM

    You can hire big/tall metal Croquembouche moulds from cake decorating stores. I hired one years ago from Greensborough cake decorating centre for about $20 pick up Sat return Mon. I think Marg and Marees in Heidelberg also hire them as well.

  4. Anonymous7:34 PM

    Awesome items!! Last week, I too got some beautiful designs of candles for my home from Illuminations...



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