My Son's Cars Themed Second Birthday
Having a child with special needs can sometimes feel like you're missing out on a lot of things. It can make you feel like you're not doing a good enough job, or just make you feel like you can't do anything right, at all. When Lucas was first diagnosed with NKH, we were told that "wherever he's at developmentally at age two, is where he'll most likely as far as he'll go." That statement was haunting for me. I thought about it way too much, and let it get me down way too often.
I needed his second birthday to be extravagant. I needed it to be Pinterest worthy, because while I can't physically "fix" him, I can give him incredible experiences that he WILL (in the name of Jesus), someday appreciate.
Cars has always been his favorite movie. I'm sure it's the bright colors and great music, and the fact that he's ALL boy; but even though he can't actually tell us what his favorite movie is, Cars always gets him engaged.
I remember being in the hospital with him for one of his many admissions. Phoenix Children's always has a variety of Diseney/Pixar movies playing so we put Cars on for him. Everytime a nurse would come in to check on him, or do something, he would do whatever he could to look around the nurse so he could see the movie! I'll never forget that, it was his own way of telling us that he had a favorite film, and he wasn't going to miss a second of it.
When I was researching Cars themed parties, I can't tell you how much content I found! Some of these parties on Pinterest were so over the top, and creative it gave me so much inspiration!
My must have was a Mack Truck Food table. I had seen so many on Pinterest, I knew I would be able to pull it off. Since we're Amazonaholics in this house, we had plenty of boxes in all shapes and sizes, so my husband and I went to work. Stacking, stepping back, re-stacking, stepping back, cutting, tapping, un-taping, etc. It took us about an hour and half to get Mack's body complete. After that I ordered some red craft paper* from you guessed it, Amazon, and wrapped him like a present! I created his eyes, lights, hat detail, and decals in Illustrator and had them printed with a fantastic print company. They were affordable, fast, and the quality was incredible! I made his mouth, chrome Mack decal, the grill, and the tires with my Cricut Maker and his mirrors were made out of cardboard and polymer clay. The smokestacks were my favorite! We picked up some duct tubing and PVC pieces from Home Depot and sprayed them with chrome spray paint. After he was finished we just pushed the table as close to him as possible and I picked up this red rectangular tablecloth to look like his trailer. My favorite part was the Cars logo I made in Photoshop. I replaced "Cars" with "Lucas", and it looked so so good!
For the food table signs, I made all of the Radiator Springs storefront logos in Illustrator. Just using reference photos I found on google. Then I used double sided tape to sandwich two signs between some bamboo skewers. The characters were all PNG's I downloaded and had printed at FedEx, cut out, and propped up with little paper stands.
The "Happy 2nd Birthday" banner I made with my Cricut Maker and some cardstock from Michaels and a black "notch" banner.
The fireplace, which looks like it took forever, is another one of my favorites! I saw the idea on Pinterest, someone did it as a backdrop. It literally took me no time at all! I just weaved the crepe paper* to look like a checkered pattern and used the red to hide the edges. So easy!
Not Pictured: (and believe me I'm so sad about this) Right when you walked in the front door I had a race track floor runner down, lined with cones holding balloons, and a small rug in the entryway with a Goodwill racetrack set up for the older kids. It was adorable and I didn't get one photo of it. 😞
I also wrapped a case of bottled water with some checkered duct tape, just for some added detail.
I made so much Cars themed decor because honestly, everything I found online was just.. well.. cheesey, in my opinion. It just didn't fit the look I was going for. Especially since I wanted a classic original Cars theme. Most of the premade decor was all Cars 3 since it's the latest movie.
This sparked something in me. I could do this for other people! I could make custom party decor, mail it, and even do a consultation on how I think it should be set up!
So, if you're in the market for some custom party decor, lets talk!
I have linked the rest of the decor, that I didn't make myself. These are Amazon affiliate links, when you buy from my affiliate links, you're supporting my business, and I sure appreciate that!
Checkered Pennant Flag
4" Rubber Tires
Finish Line Flags
Electric Balloon Pump
Red, Black and Yellow Balloons
Qualatex Black 260 Balloons
Red, Black, and White Balloons
Balloon Column Stand
Cars & 2 Mylar Balloons + White Racing Flag Balloons
Also, shout out to two AMAZING bakers! Lucas' cakes were provided by Lesley at Lesley's Creative Cakes in Mesa, AZ. They were both delicious, and exactly what I wanted! The cookies were made by Rachel at Sweet Nibblets PHX. Both were hired last minute, and did an outstanding job! If you're local, I highly recommend both of these talented women!