I needed the perfect backdrop. Something painted, something that would look like a custom backdrop from a stage production of a ballet. I thought of the idea of a photographer's backdrop, but new ones ran about $400--more than my budget for the entire party! I looked on Craigslist, but no luck. I posted a wanted ad on Craigslist, and within a day the perfect backdrop found me.
Look at what my inspiration photo had been:
To further evoke the idea of a stage, I came up with the idea of using leftover hardwood flooring to top the dessert table. We'd installed hardwood floors at our place a couple years ago, and the extra boxes had been sitting in our garage since then. I couldn't imagine a better use for the scraps than to create my dessert table's dance floor!
|In the foreground you can see the Russian (Dancer) Tea Cakes on the dessert table.|
Curtains were important in creating the look, too. Happily, I had deep purple velvet curtains in storage (left over from our old house, never donated for some reason). Just the thing for my "stage curtains."
On the table, I wanted goodies that reflected the theme of the party. At the very least something snowy and lacy, and whenever possible, I wanted to reference characters from the ballet.
|Real sugar plums, of course! Made from a 16th century recipe.|
|A Gingerbread House for the Land of Sweets|
|Icing forest made simply by adding royal icing with a leaf tip to upside down ice cream cones (plus disco dust, of course, for sparkle!)|
|I love the snowflake-like patterns on delicate Scandinavian Krumkake.|
|Iced sugar cookies adorned the tree. I even made the cookie cutter for these pointe shoe cookies myself! Tutorial coming soon.|
|Lacy rosettes have always reminded me of snowflakes, and taste like funnel cake. Yum!|
|The birthday girl requested cupcakes instead of a large cake. I made chocolate and vanilla caramel flavors, and tried my hand at making my own cupcake wrappers.|
|The only item on the dessert table I didn't make! The birthday girl's mom found these perfect lollipops.|
|The Mouse King and his soldiers, made out of chocolates.|
And, of course, every stage needs stage lights. I repurposed booklights from the dollar store for mine.
One last touch that you can't capture in pictures, but I wanted to share. We wanted to have music from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet Suite playing during the party, of course. I wanted the music to emanate from under the dessert table, just like the music would come from the orchestra in the pit at the theater. An iPod on a portable player was the perfect solution.
I wanted to make a comment about the exquisite Nutcracker Suite party designed by Kate Landers Events, LLC. Kate actually contacted me to provide a custom tiara for her birthday girl and let me in on her super-secret theme. I was so surprised to hear that she was working on essentially the same theme as I had been planning for several weeks! I only knew her color scheme and the tiara I'd made, but the rest of her details were a surprise to me, too. I loved seeing how she interpreted the theme, the similarities and differences in the way we approached the problems and points of inspiration. If you haven't checked out her party, please do--it's an amazing visual treat! And what a fun opportunity to see how different people work with the same basic inspiration pretty much simultaneously!