Posted by on Sep 19, 2012 in decorating for a train themed birthday, second birthday party ideas, toddler birthday ideas, train birthday, train birthday party decor, train-themed toddler birthday | 0 comments

I’ve had a couple of requests for more explanation on how I created some of Ryan’s “Choo-choo-choo! Ryan’s Turning Two” party decor.
This is sort of amusing to me, considering I’m usually the one who needs the help — perhaps evidenced by the fact that none of these ideas were entirely original. They were all stolen inspired by other more crafty folks. (But I give credit where credit is due!)
(If you’re not into toddler birthday party decor, this would be a good time to exit this post. Instead, may I suggest you go here to read 10 Things You Should Know About Amanda Bynes.)
The train mantle banner was my main labor of love:
It was inspired bythis train banner by GiggleBees on Etsy. But I decided I wanted the banner to actually BE a train. So a crafty-co-worker walked me through the little pieces I needed and suggested using a bottle cap to trace and cut out the wheels (the cap from a Vitamin Water bottle happens to be a good size, by the way). She told me the front car is key – if the front one looks like the front of a train, the cars behind it can be super basic squares with wheels.
I knew I wanted the colors of the party to be red, light blue and ivory, so I bought some card stock in those colors and commenced with lots of cutting and gluing. I found the large sparkly letter stickers on clearance at Michael’s. I made each “train car” separately and then hung each piece from a long ribbon with mini clothes pins, which I had stashed away after making Ryan’s first birthday banner.
What you need to make this: Card stock in at least three colors, scissors, glue stick, letter stickers or stencils, mini clothes pins, and ribbon. (Vitamin Water cap to help stencil the wheels is an added bonus.)
I had a ton of those sparkly letters left over and decided I needed to put them to use at least once more. I had thought about setting up a newborn-to-today picture display of Ryan and remembered I had a cool 8×10 frame that wasn’t being used. So I snatched one of my ivory pieces of card stock and created a sign for the entry-way table:
I was inspired by GiggleBees on Etsy a second time – this time for a “Ryan’s Railway” sign.
I used leftover card stock, creating a simple square sign (light blue on ivory). I cut the corners with a corner rounder and used red felt letter stickers I found at Michael’s. I bought these stencils (only $1.50!) for the trainI used a hole puncher to punch a hole in each top corner and wound some red twine through it so it could be hung.
 What you need to make this: Card stock in two colors, scissors, glue stick, corner rounder, letter stickers or stencils, train stencil, hole puncher and ribbon/twine.

I was on a roll, so I thought maybe the buffet spread should be identified as the “Dining Car” to use up some of the extra red felt stickers and have more stenciling fun. I made it the same as the Railway sign, minus hole punches and twine. It sat nicely on a stand that I usually use to display an old family cookbook.

 What you need to make this: Card stock in two colors, scissors, glue stick, letter stickers or stencils, train stencil and a book stand.

I still felt like I needed one more large display to tie the whole theme together. Once I decided on a Sundae Bar instead of cake, I knew what I had to do. I had seen this train snack display over at ReMarkable Home and thought I could use the same idea to create a “toppings train.”

My mom and I wandered around the party store for a while before finding a set of basic silver, disposable loaf pans. My mom had the idea to buy Ryan a toy train as a birthday gift to use as the front car (we found this one, which was the perfect size – as a bonus, he loves it).

I punched holes in the containers and tied them together with red twine and used my bottle-cap stencil trick to cut out and tape wheels to each one. Instant “Sundae Toppings Train.”

What you need to make this: Toy train, four disposable loaf pans, hole puncher, twine, card stock and scotch tape.

But my best advice? If something goes wrong, shrug your shoulders and move on. We discovered last minute that the party store didn’t open in time for the start of the party. I had grand plans for train balloon displays and a giant #2 balloon. In the end, this is what we were able to get our hands on; somehow, everyone still had a good time.

Other fun things:

I opted to give out Train Conductor Rubber Ducks as favors for the kiddos, but if I’d needed favor bags, I totally would have bought or attempted to make these. And I love the shirt with the giant #2 that we got Ryan, but this one was in the running for a while, too.