“Recently I worked with Jenifer Hill, owner of hello love designs, on a styled shootfor her son Ethan’s 9th birthday. And if that wasn’t fabulous enough … I was invited back to capture all of the amazing details for her daughter Ellah’s vintage ballerina themed 3rd birthday party.
I was completely smitten when Ellah greeted me at the door dressed in the cutest pink frilly tutu, accessorized with a vintage blingy brooch, sparkly top, ballerina shoes and a darling rosette headband. And not certain how Jen could possibly outdo the movie party … she blew me away with the attention to detail to make her little ballerina’s third birthday amazing!Guests dined on oven baked ham and cheese sliders, chicken salad croissant sandwiches and homemade pig in the blankets. For dessert … Ellah’s dad Buster made her the most perfect ribbon birthday cake. It was GORGEOUS. There were also yummy powdered donuts, homemade raspberry muffins and vintage glass bowls filled with candy treats. I’m definitely having Jen and Buster plan my next birthday!”Ellah’s mom, Jenifer Hill (from hello love designs
“My daughter, Ellah, has a love for ballerinas. When I was shopping at the Round Top/Warrenton Antiques Show in Round Top, Texas, I found a stash of vintage little ballerina prints. I purchased them for her room, and when she saw them, the gasp she took helped me to decide the theme of her 3rd birthday – a vintage ballerina.
I kept the party simple and the budget small. Not including the birthday girl’s outfit, I spent a total of $150 on the entire party! I used alot of what I already owned and borrowed from my mom for styling. When the pint-sized party guests arrived, they were given a tutu to wear if they did not wear their own. Sorry boys, it was an all-girls party! The birthday party started out with a brunch where we served oven roasted ham and cheese sliders (as seen on Pinterest!), tiny dancer croissant sandwiches with chicken salad, pigs in the blanket, french toast, homemade raspberry muffins, powdered donuts and an assortment of fruit including watermelon, the birthday girl’s favorite. We served orange juice, strawberry lemonade, and tea to drink. The 2-5 year old girls were given spill-proof cups I found on sale at Target. Those were a clean-up saver.
We took the party outside where the girls first decorated a ballerina coloring page and then made their own ballerina princess crowns with glittery foam stickers. Of course, the tutu-clad girls danced, twirled and plied across the backyard. I set up a mirror for them to watch as they danced around. Ellah had a very faded, vintage-y pink ribbon cake made by my husband. It was strawberry with a raspberry filling and oh, so delicious. Each ballerina received a favor bag and single stem rose as the party ended just like a prima ballerina receives at the end of her performance.
Ellah wore a tutu pettiskirt by Cheeky Chic Baby, top by Baby Gap, and shoes from Nordstrom. Her shoes were glittery, ballerina pink and the bow had a zipper edge – she loved them! Ellah also wore a vintage brooch on her tutu from my personal collection. Her gorgeous headband was ordered from Prim Couture Shop. The headband is as beautiful in person too!
Pink was the obvious choice for a ballerina party, but I wanted to throw in other colors as well. I looked to the ballerina prints I’d purchased for the her room. I found turquoise in a couple of the prints. Turquoise has been a classic vintage color, looks adorable with pink, so I used it throughout the party. I spray painted unused frames I already had to frame the ballerina prints. I hung one at the cake table and the other two hung over the french doors leading into the party area. Since my daughter’s name is Ellah Rose, I wanted to incorporate roses in to the decor. I fell in love with Cath Kidston’s fabric which sparked the entire design for her birthday invitation and all the printable party accessories. I sell the vintage ballerina invitation and coordinating paper party accessories in my store! I asked my aunt of Kustom Kids of Kingwood to sew a pennant banner for the party, and I placed fabric flowers from Lemon Tree Studio at each end of the banner. The paper lanterns and all the paper goods were picked up at Party City. Perhaps my favorite purchase (besides the banner), was a vintage floral sheet from Eager Hands, that I used for the tablecloth. The print reminded me of my grandmother, so I snagged it for a great deal and the seller even threw in extra goodies like eyelet trim I used to trim the party hats. All of the vintage dishes I used were borrowed from my mother. The pieces displayed the candies, and I provided cupcake liners from Cupcake Social for guests to use for candy munching. All other decor were things I already owned keeping to my budget conscious party.
My favorite party moment was watching her blow out her birthday candles. I cry every birthday party thinking how much my children have grown and how fast my time with them goes. There are only so many years I will see them, as children, blowing out their candles before they’re adults. I cherish it.”
Styling, invitations & paper party accessories: Hello Love Designs
Photography: Jennifer Schattle Photography
Custom Banner: Mary Grant of Kustom Kids of Kingwood
Vintage sheet: Eager Hands
Fabric flowers: Lemon Tree Studio
Cupcake liners: Cupcake Social