Birthday Challenge Season 17, Week 3

SYTYC Birthday ChallengeWelcome to week three of the competition. I don’t know about you, but I am seriously impressed with the level of competition this season and I think once you have the chance to check out this week’s projects, you’re going to feel the same.

As a reader you might never know that every season there seems to be one theme that “stumps” many of our competitors and this might be that week. We had a lot of fun chatting about birthday projects leading up to this week’s challenge and I think the biggest question the competitors had was “Tauni, why?!”

I answered the question in yesterday’s weekly theme introduction, but suffice it to say I think it’s fun to think that at least one of you is having a birthday today. Happy birthday!

Birthday Challenge

Project #1 Pomander Pinata

What’s a birthday party without a piñata?  This piñata combines the traditional candy filled party game with the flower pomander decoration that is so popular today.  This pomander piñata would be the perfect addition to any little girl’s party!

Pomander Pinata

To make this piñata, I started with a balloon that I covered with paper mache.  Once it dried, I filled it up with the goodies.  Then I dyed the edge of some party streamers to make the tips pink like blushing roses.  I ruffled the streamers on my sewing machine and rolled them into roses to glue all over the piñata.

Pomandander Pinata

This whole piñata costs less than $5 to make and I love it turned out.  I think it is almost too pretty to smash, but I know the kids won’t think twice about whacking it open to get to the candy inside! I hope you guys like it as much as I do!

Pomander PinataProject #2 Sprinkled Mini Party Hats

I was so excited for this week’s challenge! I’m writing this up before I find out if I’m still in the competition.  Hopefully, I’m here for another week and you’ll have the opportunity to vote for me again!  Anyway, back to this week’s challenge. I love anything birthday party related! I especially love handmade party decor and accessories. I knew exactly what I was going to do for this challenge.

Sprinkled Mini Party HatsI’ve had this idea racing around inside my head for a while. The trouble is, it’s getting harder and harder for me to find the time to bring these ideas to life. I knew this project would be perfect for the Birthday challenge week. I mean, who doesn’t love a party hat?

Sprinkled Miini Party Hats My inspiration for the hats came from those candy dots I used to eat as a kid. You know, those candy dots on paper? That’s basically what I did here, except I coated the royal icing with sprinkles. Fun, functional, and edible! So yes, it’s a party hat and a treat. Just ask my kids. They were chomping at the bit to get a hold of these! If you like my project, then I’d love to have your vote this week!!

birthday3Project #3 Casino Birthday Party Decor

Week three, Birthday. This theme gave me a run for my money. I had such a hard time coming up with the idea! I wasn’t sure which way to go with this theme since birthday is such a broad term for a craft theme. I decided to go with party decor and it just so happens that this week coordinates with my boyfriend’s 28th birthday. I asked him what he might want to do… and he gave a noncommittal response like most men do… So I decided to do a themed Birthday Party. I picked Casino, because it fit the need for an “adult theme” and it seemed like a great place for ideas. BEHOLD…My Casino Theme Birthday Party Table.

Casino Party Table

What Casino themed party is at ALL casino themed without a Flashing Marquee?! That’s right, it not only lights up, but on the back side I added flashing lights to give it a real Casino feel. I took cardboard letters purchased at Joanns and cut out the front facing and painted them red. I built a box on the outside to attach the flashing lights to and used Christmas bulb lights to light up the letters.

Casino Party Decor I loved how the sign turned out. It’s the first time I’ve ever try to light up anything. I set the sign on top of a box to give it some height and then wrapped the whole table in “pirate green” felt for a real poker table feel. I used large playing cards on some string as bunting around the table and folded a few in half to create name cards for each of the desserts.

Casino Party Table

Speaking of desserts, in addition to the sign and table decorations I made a tableful of delicious sweet treats to fit the casino theme. Casino chip Oreos, cake pop olives, martini glasses filled with jello, “gold bar” rice crispies, cupcakes and brownie dominos. There were Red Hots for the “hot hands” and Milk Duds for the “duds.”  Even the “to go” boxes for people to take their treats home in were decorated to look like dominos. I think I hit the jackpot with this theme! What do you think?

Project #4 Birthday Party Favor Bags

Let me just tell you, this week I had a hard time with the birthday theme. All I could think of were cupcakes, banners and confetti. I really wanted to do something a little different than all the regular birthday ideas I was coming up with. So I decided to make a handmade birthday party favor.

Handmade birthday Favors The birthday party favors include a favor bag, a chalkboard mat, a tic-tac-toe board, chalk, erasing cloth and tic-tac-toe pieces. I created a boy version and a girl version. I though it was a great alternative to the ordinary party favor.

Handmade Birthday Party Favors

This is a great birthday party favor because it can be used over and over. It is a wonderful way to keep kids occupied during quiet times. It was fun to pick out the sailboat and bird themes. They are such a fun functional party favor. I hope you like it and vote for me.

Handmade Birthday Party FavorsProject #5 America’s Birthday: Pieced Wood Flag

Second to Christmas, the most important birthday is the birth of our Nation…Nothing says “Happy Birthday America” more than a flag.

Pieced Wood Flag

Crafted from a variety of colors and sizes of stained wood planks, each piece was cut and set in place in a staggered pattern.  As our Nation has evolved into a beautiful place I am proud to live, so has this flag evolved.  After many plans and sketches and reworking the pieces, it all came together.

Pieced Wood Flag

Not an ordinary flag, a flag designed to be seen from the minute you walk in the door.  Proudly displayed for all to see, the flag fills the tall space in our stairwell and reminds me daily of how blessed I truly am.  Looking forward to sharing it with guests in my home as well as sharing all the behind the scenes details with all of you!

Pieced Wood FlagProject #6 Rustic Wood Cupcake Stand

I love a good party, heck, I love a bad party. OK, maybe that is a little extreme… The point is that I love to plan a party for almost anyone and any theme. Birthdays are my favorite and I have been known to completely take over the party planning process for many of my daughter’s friends. Luckily their moms are awesome and are all too willing to just hand over the control. Since I have done so many themes, I thought I would make an accessory for a party that I have not had the chance to plan, yet. This rustic wood cupcake stand would be darling at woodland creatures, owl, forest or other related theme party!

Rustic Cupcake Stand

The inspiration for this project came from the tree discs that the cupcakes are sitting on. I have had them forever but I could not think of a good use for them, until now! I knew that for birthday week I wanted to make something that I could use again, and you can never have too many cupcake stands. Well, unless you ask my husband, I am sure he believes it is possible.

Rustic Cupcake StandTo make the stand, I used wood that I had on hand in the garage, which meant it was not all the same type or color. To make it all work together, I knew I wanted to add some sort of stain rather than painting.  Wood stain is not a material I use often so I did not have any on hand for this project, this is where I improvised. I gave a stain-like affect by watering down some dark brown paint and brushing it on and then wiping it off. It worked out well and I will have to incorporate it into more projects in the future!

Rustic Cupcake StandProject #7 Birthday Calendar

As my family gets bigger and bigger it’s hard to remember everyone’s birthday.  So, a birthday calendar was in order.  Thanks to this competition I made the time to get this done.

Birthday Calendar

I wanted something that I could display.  I found this cute wire stand at a thrift store.  It had a wired birds nest hanging in the center that I just removed.  I spray painted and sanded it.  I used chipboard to make each of the pages.  The months are back to back so I can just turn the stand either way to see the current or next month.

Birthday Calendar

I made a list of the days of the month and printed it on cardstock.  I then inserted each behind the paper strips.

Birthday Calendar

I love how it turned out and know it will be very well used.

Project #8 First Birthday Highchair

If you can believe it, my DAD sat in this Highchair…. Yes, this chair is about 70 years old!!  When my grandma passed away last year I inherited this highchair. I knew someday I would do something awesome with it, so when I heard this week was Birthday I knew exactly what I would use….

First Birthday Highchair

I painted the high chair aqua blue using Webster’s Chalk Paint.  I love the color of Krylon’s Blue Ocean Breeze spray paint so I went to Home Depot and had them color match the cap of the spray paint. It was a perfect match.  Then I added Webster’s Chalk Paint Powder to the Behr sample to make it chalk paint.  After that I tore some strips of fabric and tulle and made a tutu for the chair for decoration.  Last but not least I painted on some pink polka dots and Whallaah… a pretty new chair.

First Birthday Highchair

My friend’s daughter is turning one next month. This will be the perfect prop for a great photo shoot!  This week was such a fun project.   Please vote for me so you can see what I have in store for the upcoming Fall Decor Project!!

First Birthday Highchair

The Vote…

SYTYC Birthday ChallengeVoting will run through Thursday, September 19, at 5 p.m. MST. You may vote in the challenge once each week. Please select all FIVE of your favorite projects. If you do not select a full range of projects, your vote may not be counted in the final calculations.


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  1. MJ says

    I’m totally mourning for that old high was such a beautiful piece of history and had so much vintage charm.
    Just because something is old doesn’t mean it needs to be upcycled. Preserve that beauty!

    • Tauni says

      You know, I am a bit of a wood purist myself. I rarely paint things. Having said that, I love going to friend’s homes and seeing how they’ve transformed things with paint too. I guess that’s the beauty of self-expression and personal style…We all get to have our own.

      Thanks so very much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I hope you took the opportunity to vote for your favorites!


  2. Genie says

    I love your birthday hats and the birthday calendar! Such great ideas! I wish i had seen the highchair upcycle before my baby’s fist birthday. So cute!

    • Tauni says

      Oh my gosh Genie, the girls that came up with those projects are amazing. I love running this competition because everything they do is so inventive it makes me feel more creative. xoxo Tauni