Apple Party, Hooray!

apple party ideas
Finally, the apple party pictures! I know some of you have been chomping at the bit for these, so I apologize. It has taken some time to get back into a routine and groove after her party and traveling for Thanksgiving.

I had so much fun planning this party. The apple theme was a good pick (pun intended!), the inspiration was endless. I could have done 50 million more apple recipes and decorations. I edited my picks down based on ease of creation and cost, but you could really go wild with this theme.

Ok, so here we go! I hope you enjoy! Planning and creating Penelope’s parties gives me such joy and I very excited to share it with you.

Just fyi, including food (almost all organic) and all decorations, I spent about $250 for this party. I planned this theme almost a full year in advance and slowly bought supplies, so not to overwhelm our budget.
cute apple party ideas

This picture sums up her mood for the day, she was super excited, but then she would have cranky moments because her molars were hurting. She has had her fingers in her mouth, for what seems like months now, I wish they would just break through. I am SO over teething.

Her outfit was made by my friend Bethany (the one who made the cute appliqué onesie for her and the skirt for me). I was so relieved to not have to make her a birthday outfit. I had already bought this apple fabric, but I can save it for next year and make her a fall dress with it.

The welcome sign and apples were bought at Michael’s for less than a $1. I bought them at the end of August, when all the teacher/back-to-school decorations were on sale. Major score.
apple cupcakes
The apple cupcakes. I did not plan on doing sprinkles, but the all natural food dye I used turned my icing into a horrible mauve color and something needed to be done.

The sprinkles do have regular red food dye in them, it was my one unhealthy thing at the party. A yoga teacher once told me as long as you are eating good 80% of the time, you are doing just fine. So whatev.
apple cupcakes
I used this tutorial to get the cupcake into a apple shape. My husband had the genius idea to use a mint leaf instead of candy.
apple cupcakes
I can’t even tell you how happy it made me to see these cupcakes all lined up in a row. I am a dork like that.

Oh and the stand is an empty gift box that I wrapped in gift wrap. I still do not have any cake stands or cupcake stands in my kitchen. Santa, are you listening?
apple party ideas
The food table.
apple party menu ideas
Apple-Peanut Butter sandwiches. This was the very last thing I made for the party. I did them the morning of, and put lemon juice on them so they didn’t brown too bad.
apple party menu ideas
Grilled Cheese with Apple slices. These were a hit. My friend Julie gave me the idea to grill them in bacon grease instead of butter, and man, it really makes a difference! I did these one day before.
apple party menu ideas
Apple chips. I had all these over the top dreams of making the apple chips myself, since I have a dehydrator, but in the end, I just bought a bag or organic ones from the store. They went quick and were a hit with the kiddos.
apple party decor ideas
I got the apple bushels from Hobby Lobby for a few bucks each.
apple party treat ideas
Marshmallow pops. So easy to make, unlike cake pops, but they came out just as cute. These were more of a hit than the cupcakes.
apple party ideas
I painted the apple tree and number 2. I used an old canvas and painted over what I had on it. It required more layers of paint, but those canvases are expensive, so it was worth the extra time. I really enjoyed painting it too. I haven’t painted anything in a long time and it was really calming.
apple party decor ideas
I bought these tissue paper garlands from Party City. Last year, I made them, but it was time consuming and bitch to store before the party. I added the stem and leaf to make them look like apples. So easy.
apple party menu ideas
I have an amazing juicer that my MIL bought for me last Christmas and I used it to make fresh apple juice.
apple party decor ideas
I got scrapbook paper from Hobby Lobby and cut strips and taped them to water bottles. It is not the most environmentally friendly thing to do, but I did recycle all of them. I had been wanting to do this for awhile, and again, just like the cupcakes, seeing them all lined up in a perfect row made me giddy.

Just to the right, of the above picture, you can see the apple fabric I used in each table scape. They are $2.99 dish towels from Target. Much cheaper than buying designer fabric like last year, and I can reuse them for something else later. Maybe make some towel aprons.
apple party menu ideas
I also made Hot Apple Cider. I used pasteurized, store bought, apple juice for this and a package of cider spices and heated it up on the stove. It was super tasty.
homemade caramel apples
Ugh. I can’t even really look at these. What a disaster. I did the best I could to pretty them up with wrapping, but they did not come out good. The caramel was not the right consistency and did not cover the apples in a smooth manner. People said they tasted good, but I don’t believe it.

If I ever get the guts to attempt these again, I will make syrup from scratch.
apple party decor ideas
The party favors. I painted apples and each kid’s name on the cup. I wanted them to have something to drink the apple juice at the party.

I made the yarn apples from this tute. Crazy easy.
apple party decor ideas
I would have preferred for the cups to be all green, but I couldn’t find any packages of all green, they were all mixes. But I figured the reds and yellows were apple colors too and it did work.
apple party decor ideas
I bought 6 lanterns from Party City and added the same leaf and steam to make them look like apples. Got the idea here.

apple party decor ideas
I had four on my back porch and two on my front porch.
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The backyard. The table had a white tablecloth, then a burlap-type material runner, then the Target dishtowel and a bushel of apples.
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apple party decor ideas
I printed out some apple shapes from Google images and had them out at her art table in her playroom.
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Her first guest. She was pretty stoked to answer the door for her party to begin!
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I was really fortunate to win a face painting party package BJ’s Party House on Everyone seemed to get a kick out of it.
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We kept the party activities pretty simple, the kids played on the swing set and in the sand box, but I didn’t have a jump house or anything else like that going on.
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These twins, Emma and Lily, crack me up.
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Grandpa and Nana chillin in on the porch. Peter’s mother, Omi, came the week before and was with us for Penelope’s actual birthday. It was nice to space out the visits so Penelope could spend quality time with everyone.
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My Goddaughter Ella. So pretty.
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Ava the tiger.
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Even my friend’s belly got painted!
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The birthday girl got flowers and a butterfly. She sat still for most of it.

I let her have one marshmallow pop.
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The boys doing some coloring. I wish I had a better photo of their outfits. These two make me excited about the possibility of dressing a boy.
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I think she was a bit overwhelmed at times and needed to cuddle and nurse for a bit. Love this picture. Mad thank you to my friend Lauren, who took pictures for me that day.
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Happy Birthday time! She had been to so many birthday parties in the last month that she new all about the Happy Birthday song.
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Happy girl. Scary Mama.
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Family portrait attempt number 1.
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Family portrait attempt number 2.
apple party decor ideas
The matching hair bow that Bethany also made. I wanted to wear it in my hair so I had something apple themed on, and Penelope was going to wear a regular red bow,  but when she saw it in my hair, she was having none of it.
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Her amazing birthday invitations that The Polka Dot Press did for us. LOVE them. I also got address labels, and it was still very affordable.
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I made the thank you cards myself. I bought plain white cards and then I cut an apple in half and dipped in in red paint and stamped it on the paper. Then added the leaf and steam.

There you have it! Penelope’s Apple themed birthday party. I am sure this is the last year I will be able to get away with picking out the theme, I wonder what she will want next year?

I am already thinking about it! Maybe I will be able to combine a theme, for example if she wants a Dora party, maybe I can do a Rainbow-Dora party, so I can still get to be artsy with it.

What do you think?! Pretty cute right? 🙂

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  • Victoria @ One Crafty Momma
    November 29, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    I love it! Totally awesome! I'm planning Noah's 4th party, I'm trying veer away from the "commercial" stuff, so I'm trying to get him to go with "super heros" or "robots" haha! 🙂

  • The Annessa Family
    November 30, 2011 at 1:43 AM

    Impressive!!! I'm excited to see next years!!!


  • MermaidLilli
    November 30, 2011 at 5:12 AM

    I really enjoyed reading the whole thing, I guess because I could see the work you put into this creative party theme. By the way, I am dorky like that too. 🙂

  • Anonymous
    December 1, 2011 at 2:40 AM

    The party looks great. You did pick one of the worst things to cheat on though. Red dye is so horrible for kids. Did you use it on the marshmellows too? I would fight tooth and nail to make sure my children NEVER have red dye because of the way it effects their brains and even stays in their intestines because it stains it. I feel for the children that you gave it to.

  • PharmaMom
    December 1, 2011 at 2:51 AM

    LOVE the thank you cards! I'm posting my daughter's bday party photos soon, too.. someday they can see how much work and love we put into this, right? 🙂

    [email protected]

  • Nessa Bixler
    December 1, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    This is amazing. Love all the details and the photo of you two together nursing is beautiful. Happy Birthday.

  • Stephanie
    December 1, 2011 at 8:06 PM

    @Victoria…that is a great idea! My friend did a super hero theme for her son one year and it was so cute. She did capes and skycraper photo op background.
    @Brooke…thank you!
    @MermaidLilli…thanks for reading the whole thing, it was a long post!
    @Anonymous…you are so right, red food dye is about as bad as it gets. That was the first time Penelope had some in her life. I felt so guilty about it, but really wanted to have cute apple cupcakes. Hopefully the parents will forgive me.
    @Nicole…thanks! They were fun to make. Penelope did her own apple stamp art next to me while I did them. Fun craft project to do with kids. Can't wait to see your pictures!!

  • Anonymous
    December 2, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    Thanks, Anonymous. I had heard that the dye was bad, but I had no idea it was that bad. Please keep commenting. It helps other Mamas.

  • Angie
    December 8, 2011 at 4:52 AM

    New follower here. So frickin cute! Love the theme! Looks like she had a wonderfuk day! Love the nursing pic too!

  • Misty
    February 29, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    I found out about your site from Pinterest.
    I just wanted to let you know I totally support you in breastfeeding your 2yr old 🙂 Beautiful! I have 2 children and 1 more on the way and I have breastfeed them all/will until they are at least 2yrs old. I was told by my OB/GYN and Ultrasound Tech I couldn’t breastfeed my 1yr old while I am pregnant – BOLOGNA! I looked it up on Le Leche League and it’s perfectly fine. Science hasn’t even begun to realize all the health benefits breastfed babies get. Anyway, it’s great to see another Mommy lovin’ their babies!

    • Stephanie
      February 29, 2012 at 2:42 AM

      Thanks so much for your support!

  • Michelle
    March 13, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Hi Stephanie!

    I love your site and am going to start the crockpot “scheme.” Can’t wait to try it this weekend. I’ve been reading lots of blogs of people cleaning up what they eat and since I’m gluten free, some of that comes naturally with the diet, since I have to cut out all the cakes, cookies, pizza, sandwiches, etc that I used to eat on the go or at the office. I make nearly all of that myself now so I can control the ingredients. One thing I’m looking for is natural food dye. I don’t have children yet, but when I do, I want to use as much natural stuff as possible while not sacrificing the fun.
    Can you tell me what brand you use for the natural dyes for baking? I’d still love to be able to make theme colored things without worrying about poisoning myself and my family. Keep doing what you’re doing, we all love it!

    • Stephanie
      March 14, 2012 at 12:40 AM

      Thanks so much Michelle! I use a brand called Select.

  • jesse
    February 29, 2016 at 2:11 PM

    Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful party and ideas. My son is turning one in may and i would also like to use the sippy cups and put the childs name on them. Two questions- what brand sippy cups did you use? and what kind of paint? Thank you so much.

    • Stephanie
      March 4, 2016 at 3:43 PM

      I believe I got those at the dollar store or target. And I think they were paint pins from the craft store. 🙂