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Eiffel Tower Birthday

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Elsa fell in love with the Eiffel Tower last year after Winter had her French party with her sisters. A few months later, we bought her a dress at a garage sale that was an all-over Eiffel tower print, and she loved it.
For Christmas I made her this Eiffel Tower purse.
On New Year’s Day, we took the children to see the Bellagio Fountains downtown. Across the street is the Paris hotel with the reproduction Eiffel Tower (“the small one in Las Vegas” as Gru says in Despicable Me. In the movie its shorter than he is, so Elsa didn’t think that the “small” one downtown would be that big–and was delighted that it was much bigger than she thought!)
She told me that she wanted an Eiffel Tower birthday.

We decorated the table with cut miniature daffodils from my garden in blue Mason jars. I put the Eiffel Tower statue that I purchased for Winter’s 11th birthday on the table as well. Winter made her a banner using this free image from The Graphics Fairy. (She also printed her own wrapping paper with it to wrap her present to Elsa).

Elsa wanted an Eiffel Tower cake. I had found these Eiffel Tower chocolate molds by accident when I was looking for this Eiffel Tower cookie cutter. I had planned on making cookies originally, but this turned out to be a simpler project, and it met her request of having an Eiffel Tower cake.

I used Ghirardelli melting chocolate that I purchased in January 2013 on clearance after Christmas at Sam’s Club. It came in a huge bar. Last year they switched to selling melting wafers. You can purchase the Wilton brand melts all year long at Joann’s or Michael’s; they go on sale around each holiday.

I found it best to melt just a small amount (around 1/3 of a cup) at a time (larger amounts burned on me). I heated them for 30 seconds in the microwave, gave them a stir, and then heated them for 30 seconds more. I then stirred them again. I used a small spoon to fill the chocolate molds. I then tapped the mold on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. I needed to melt chocolate a few times in order to fill all the molds, but working with a small amount at a time gave me the best results.

I made cupcakes from scratch and made cream cheese frosting for them (using cream cheese I purchased in November on sale). The cupcake wrappers were a gift from a reader who was moving out of state. Amazon has several different colors of polka dot wrappers.

I put the chocolates on top of the cupcakes and pushed them down slightly into the cupcakes to get them to stay. If you’re going to make these, I suggest putting the chocolates into the cupcakes after you’ve moved the cupcakes to the table where you will be displaying them, to keep them from falling.

I had this dress designed in my head since October. This pattern (Pascale from Martha Pullen) has become my favorite pattern and it’s almost the only one I use anymore. I love the vintage styling and the lined bodice.
I made the dress from poly/cotton broadcloth bought several years ago at a Black Friday sale at Joann’s. It runs around $2 to $2.50 a yard that weekend, and I bought several yards in colors I knew I would use.
The black was a scrap from my grandmother’s fabric. The buttons on the front were vintage ones that were my grandmother’s and the ones on the back were purchased for 40 cents when I bought the fabric (60% off). I always stock up on embroidery thread when it goes on sale. I used 2 strands to embroider the entire thing and it used very little thread; around 1/4 of a skein.
I made the piping using the tiny drapery cord that you can get at Joann’s (last time I bought it was .20 a yard) and covered it with bias strips of the same black fabric as the collar.

I traced the Eiffel Tower image (the same one we used above from The Graphics Fairy) on the skirt of the dress using a blue Mark-B-Gone pen. I’ve found these to be less expensive regular price at Walmart then getting them 50% off at Joann’s. When you’re done embroidering your design, you just get it wet with water (not soap; that will make it turn brown and be permanent) and the marker disappears. Every once in a while it takes a few times to wash it all out, so I always check it before wrapping the present.
The dress cost me $3.50 in materials.
The socks are Circo brand from Target. They fold over once. I used some black crochet thread that I’ve had since I was 9 (we used it to string a marionette that I made) to crochet a simple chain stitch on the edges (5 chains and then I went into the sock, repeat). I purchased these last year with the intention of doing a few for gifts for the girls.
I used my Amazon credit  (I earn a small amount of affiliate credit from purchases made through the links on my blog and website) to purchase this sweet book for Elsa, Adèle & Simon. I found this book at the library last year and we really liked it. Elsa smiled really big when she opened this present and she has enjoyed having it read to her several times already.
Elsa also really likes scarves right now, so I used my Amazon credit to purchase this pink Paris scarf for her. She put it on right away after she opened it.

She specifically requested that I make her an Eiffel Tower necklace like her sister and I have. When I purchased the charms, jump rings, and chains for these, I purchased 12 chains and a package of 6 charms, so I had one left over for her. These are similar to the ones I made with Big Ben and English telephone booths. The charms are from this Etsy shop. I saved the money I made from taking surveys to order supplies from Etsy. 
I’ve seen necklaces like this one for sale for as much as $40. It cost me $1.50 to make this.

Totally unrelated to the theme was this dominoes set that I purchased for her at a garage sale for $2 last October. It was supposed to be a Christmas present for her, but I hid it somewhere apart from the other Christmas presents, and I didn’t find it until the end of January! This particular set seems to be discontinued, but eeboo has several other beautiful ones.
I also printed the travel-sized version of Paper City Paris for her on a sheet of cardstock.
A few other fun things if you want to have your own Eiffel Tower/ Paris themed party:
Watch Betty in Paris. You and your children will love it (season 3 episode 16 of Olive Us).
Need some ambiance? Try some 1930’s Charles Trenet.
You can print and construct a 3-d cardstock Eiffel Tower of your own for a table decoration. If you are having a party for children older than 4, you can print one of these for each child to construct at the party. (Click to the next page for the second page of the tower). You’ll need two sheets of cardstock per tower.
This post is linked to Make and Love It.

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25 Comments

  1. Happy Birthday Elsa! You really outdid yourself Brandy! What a lovely birthday. That dress and matching socks……..fabulous!I sure wish I could sew. I’ve tried several times (grade school and high school classes and on my own as an adult). I just don’t seem to have the knack. I have a granddaughter now, perhaps I should try again. 🙂

  2. Oh ! i so look forward to reading your posts as do my girls they are 8 and love all your creative and homemaking ideas.I love the whole Paris theme, the dress and socks everything are so beautiful, so much love and care.

  3. Awesome embroidery!! What a pretty outfit! I want to do something similar on a skirt….I have an easy pattern that I haven’t tackled yet because I’m just learning to sew more than simple aprons. You inspire me to keep learning!

  4. *Sigh* I know it’s wrong to be envious but what an absolutely charming birthday for a little girl. My friend threw a “Paris” birthday for her daughter when she turned 5 and she constructed a “French cafe” on her parents carport by using gift wrap in a Paris print, cardboard cutouts of the Eiffel tower she painted and decorated herself, and white Christmas lights strung up like those in a cafe. It was a huge hit and the girls still talk about that party from time to time and it was almost 5 years ago.

  5. So beautiful! I love that you “used up” materials that you had leftover from other projects as well as “new.” What a lucky girl!Susan–it’s nice, sure, to have a grandma who makes you things, but even more important to have a grandma who DOES things with you. So if you want to give craftiness one more whack, go for it, but don’t despair if it doesn’t work out :-). I can sew a hem, personally, so I guess that’s something to go on–I’m trying to take my skills up a notch to where I can make some of my own skirts at least.

  6. An absolutely beautiful party! However, can you tell me where the Eiffel Tower popularity is coming from? I’m on the other side of the country from you and I see high school girls interested in it also.

  7. What an adorable party and that dress is absolutely delightful! You are so talented! Although I will admit that I was a bit disappointed to find out that the centerpiece was not chocolate. 😉 That’s what I thought at first.

  8. That’s a bit mean, Suzanne. To each their own and all that; but it’s really very judgemental of parents who like to use party places. I’ve done so with both of my kids, because 1) I don’t have to spend the day before and the day after cleaning up; 2) I don’t have to worry about breakages; 3) We live a significant distance out of town which means if we have the party at home, hardly anyone comes; 4) It’s easy – I don’t have to entertain the kids; 5) It’s really not that much more expensive than an at-home party; 6) It’s something a bit special for the kids; and 7) Unlike a home party, a party at a party place is completely tax-deductible for me. If you don’t like them, that’s up to you; but it’s a bit much to actually hope for sick kids (your own or other people’s) when a simple, “No, thank you, we have other plans” will suffice.

  9. I just love that dress, and embroidering the socks to co-ordinate is just fab! You really prove that money is no substitute for what can be achieved with time and creativity. I’m sure your children appreciate how unique and special their gifts are. x

  10. What total fantasticness is this!!! Your daughter is so lucky and so blessed to have such a talented mom!! Way to go for making the effort to give her a birthday she will ALWAYS remember!!!

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