Carnival Birthday Party

I started planning this birthday party in my head a few months in advance while perusing the internet late at night. So I had plenty of time to make hundreds of those little yarn pom-pom balls. I love taking inexpensive items & jazzing them up with the help of the craft and hardware store. I think I probably went to Michael’s 4 or 5 times throughout this process. The good news is it’s only about 4 blocks from where I live so it wasn’t a huge deal :)

The invitations and all the paper goods I designed and printed myself, even the envelope liners!

I’ve been on a chalkboard-paint kick ever since Thanksgiving when I created chalkboard coasters for each guest at our dinner. I bought an ornate frame from Ikea, primed & glossed it with bright green spray paint to make it candy-coated, and painted the center with chalkboard paint. I am in love with this frame. All the brightly colored bunting flags I created for super cheap! I bought 8.5×11″ pieces of felt in each color (they’re only 29 cents each!) and some white string. Each piece of felt makes 10 flags, so with 7 colored felt pieces I had a ton of flags and was able to create several long strands. The white letters are also sold at the craft store and already have adhesive on the back. Super simple, and all the flags were under $10!

The food and dessert was the main event. I wanted to keep everything miniature…mini sliders, mini hot dogs, mini donuts, and such. I’ve been collecting soup cans for months because I wanted to do a dish served in individual cans. Micah and my husband love tater tots, so we did seasoned tater tots in cans and they were a HIT!


For dessert I made rice krispy pops because the idea of making cake pops seemed too daunting what with all the other things I had planned. (I ended up making about 20 little cake balls with the tops of each cake layer when I was leveling them out and I must say they turned out pretty good). We bought the wooden dowels from the craft store and cut them to size for the candy popcorn balls (which I ordered from Kernel Encore) and I created the little flavor flags too. The cake I colored with actual fruit (recipe here) which was one of my favorite items. I loved that each layer had a flavor…strawberry, blueberry, lemon, orange… I also did a layered jello in mason jars using this recipe, which was rather time  consuming but well worth the effort. Who knew you could create white jello with gelatine and sweetened condensed milk?! I’ll be using this technique for years to come.

I saw some gorgeous cake plates by Iacoli & McAllister, but they are super expensive! Instead, I shopped around my local thrift stores for several different sized candlesticks. I primed them and painted them with high-gloss spray paint and they look so great. The red one looks so shiny like a candy apple! I found completely flat white platters (I didn’t want the angle of a dinner plate) at Ikea for under $10 each and I used gorilla glue to secure each plate to the top of each candlestick. Presto, I have hundred+ dollar cake pedestals for under 20 bucks each which I used for the cake and dessert pops.


The photo collage idea was inspired by Martha Stewart. We have so many amazing photos of our little guy taken by our good friend Amy Stone, and I wanted to share them all with everyone at the party. It also was a conversation topic, a timeline of Micah’s 3 years, from being a newborn, to walking, his first trip to Disneyland, to potty training, all leading up to now. I bought glossy photo paper and printed these all on my inkjet at home and cut them out to arrange them in the shape of a 3. Another very affordable decoration idea. Overall the party was a giant hit and everyone left in a giant sugar-induced coma :)

Printables, Styling, Food & Desserts: Kiira Turnbow of eyeheartprettythings
Photography: Amy Stone
Craft Supplies: Michael’s & Home Depot

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9 thoughts on “Carnival Birthday Party

  1. You did a fabulous job with this party! I love every detail, the colors used are so fun, and I love how well your cake stands turned out!!!!! Fabulous!

  2. Kaci Lackey says:

    Where did you design the invitation & get the invitation liners?

  3. Lindsey says:

    Hi- what size did you do for each of the bunting flags for the bday banner?

    • kiiraturnbow says:

      Hi Lindsey, I think I designed them about 1.5″ wide at the top of the triangle so I would have enough space to fold over the top over the string.

      • kiiraturnbow says:

        Oh wait, did you mean the cake banner flags or the felt flags? The felt pieces I cut a 11×8.5″ piece of felt into 6 flags, alternating the triangles so I got the most out of each piece of felt.

      • Lindsey says:

        Yeah I meant the felt flags. Do you know the size of one of the 6 from te piece of felt so I can measure and cut using that piece as a guideline for the rest?

      • kiiraturnbow says:

        Each triangle is roughly 4″ wide. The felt sheets I bought at Michael’s are about 12″ wide, so I divided them into three across. Hope that helps!! Best of luck with your flags :)

  4. consuelo says:

    just wanted to let you know that your party decor is great. I love reading your blogs. Each time I look at you blogs I get inspired. I am starting to plan my baby girl 1st bday. I still do not know what theme to go with but since im on a budget I want to DIY.
    I have a question what program do you use to do the invitations. When I was in college a couple years ago we used InDesign but ut is so expensive. Do you know of a program to create flyers or invitations that is affordable?
    Thank you

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