All Aboard! A 3rd Birthday Party

Hello there!  I am finally delivering on my promise to share the craziness that we call birthdays around here... at least for baby hughes.  If you haven't seen them before,  you can see his 1st birthday and 2nd birthday parties to know that we have been sick for at least 3 years now, but most likely longer.  We woke up to a rainy day which sort of put a kink in our photo booth plans... we still did it, but the photos were a little dark and foggy.  That sort of bummed me out, but I got over it pretty quickly.  We had loads of fun, baby hughes especially.  So, here are a few (I mean, A BUNCH) of photos of the decorations before everyone came.

Mr Hughes made all the signs.  This one was to let everyone know where the party was, just in case the 3 foot yellow balloon wasn't a dead giveaway.

I almost painted the front door for contrast.  Almost.  
It needs to be painted anyhow.

I originally started out with a color theme of aqua and yellow.  Then baby hughes said he wanted orange.  Then I got all the balloons in and I threw the scheme out the window and just went with it.  I got the round balloons from a car lot supplier.  I couldn't be picky with the colors for the price.

My stack of vintage suitcases was broken up and spread out... some out side with balloons tied to them and here in the entry.  Mr. Hughes (who, no matter what he says or people think, is not a hostage... he willingly participates in the parties) found this vintage post bag and I filled it with the presents from us.

Months ago, I found this old chalkboard.  The lines were painted on it already... I almost positive that it is a train board.  I added the Arrivals and Departures to it with chalk pen.  This table had the engineer caps and the treat bags amongst all the vintage train stuff.

Mr. Hughes found this old handmade engine push toy and painted it.  Then, he decided it needed a caboose and a extra car. So he made them.  And I made jumbo confetti with a circle punch.  Be honest.... the confetti is what you notice... not the train *wink*

I just happened to have a metal 3 in my stash and he was able to rig it so that it worked.

Mr. Hughes had some vintage cross sections of steam engines and railroad maps blown up and printed and I taped them up all around the schedule board.

And, of course, we needed a brass whistle.

I forgot to take photos of the treats, but I included train stickers, a engine lollipop, a wooden train whistle (you are welcome, my dear friends and family!) and some graham crackers called Chugga Chews... they came in a train shaped box.  I painted some tags in chalkboard paint and wrote Thank You on them.

You can barely see them here, but I asked everyone to fill out a birthday wish for baby hughes on tags that sort of look like the vintage luggage tags.

Usually a few days before the party I will see something or come up with something at the last minute.  These streamers were that thing.  I also printed out photos from the past year of all the train related stuff that we have done.  As you can see, we usually stop anytime we see a train museum or depot or tracks!

A few more things the Mr. found on top of a stack.

He also found these vintage images... I think they were like a learning tool... anyhow, they were of bridges and tunnels and tracks.  baby hughes loved them!

Of course we had food!  I tried to think of train related noshables, but I came up short.

Kettle corn... well, because baby hughes loves.loves.loves kettle corn.

We even had some friends who donated some train things... this was a whiskey decanter that I spray painted

One of the the only "train-y" foods I could think of... Henry's Special Coal....which was chocolate oatmeal cookies (we call them No Bakes.)

The cake table!  I love cake!  And the hyena loves his cupcakes.  This year I made cupcakes for the party and a small cake for his actual birthday which was the next day.  I didn't make the fondant this year.  I ordered it and it was lemon flavored and delicious!  A sweet friend gave the bambino a vintage train set as an early birthday present and I used it on the table to circle the cupcakes.

This was another thing found by Mr. Hughes... a teeny vintage train and station.  It is so cute... there is a guy riding a scooter and a woman pushing a baby carriage.  Oh and if you had any doubts, I am NOT a professional cake decorator and fondant isn't my strong suit.  Just to clear things up.

I made little railroad crossing signs out of the fondant.  I may or may not have had the caffeine shakes while lettering them! 

See the baby carriage?  Can you believe people used to just give this stuff tho their kids?  It was from out  of the country, but I am pretty sure there was no warning for kids under three.

So that's all!  It was a shame that it was so cloudy... the photos weren't as clear as I wanted.  We had a great time, that is all that matters.  The balloons quickly became bopping weapons and the green one was fought over quite a bit.  We also had a little train table that you could decorate your own Thomas Wooden box car or fuel car... I am not sure where those photos are.  My baby is 3!  I can't believe it!  In the words of the hyena himself it makes me very "upcited."

Until next year... the birthday madness is over.

bye for now!


  1. You are truly a special Mom with talent to share I see . It all must have been a hit . Wish I could have been a passenger on this train. Wonderful!

  2. This is the best birthday party I have ever seen!

  3. How fun! You are what I will now consider a "birthday party planner extraordinaire"! And Mr. Hughes is quite the sign guy, you are so lucky!

    And by the way...I am half tempted to head south after the Country Living Fair next month to come to your barn sale. I have to look up the distance, but that would be awesome! ;o)


  4. It is an absolutely adorable party!! Love all of the decor!

  5. girl, (and mr. hughes) you outdid yourself this time. everything is fantastic. the wall of streamers with the tags and the's just so lovely!!

    i think vintage junky needs an offshoot...vintage party planning.

  6. I just have one question...will you adopt me? My birthday is Sunday, (wink).
    What a fabulous job you both did, I am in awe!

  7. Michelle you and your husband are just amazing parents. So much creativity goes into these wonderful birthday parties you have for your little hyena. Your son will look back at these parties with amazement when he gets older as the rest of us very uncreative people do!

  8. insane.. i want to be your baby. do you care that i'm 41, mama?

  9. Wow, just wow. I loved it. I hope your guests gave you lots of compliments, because that took some doing! So clever. Everything looked just right. What great finds!


  10. Omigosh this looks amazing! So much fun. I love your ideas.

  11. Well done!!!! Outstanding party!!! Oh my goodness I adored it all,

  12. Michelle, you are UNBELIEVABLE!!!!! This was the most amazing post ever. I had to stop at each photo and just study it all. How lucky your little man is! Can you tell me~ where oh where did you find those treat bags (and are they paper or fabric??) and where oh where did find the adorable yellow and white striped banner that hangs around the cake table?! I am waiting for you to tell me that you made them..... but if you bought them somewhere, please share! I am so into stripes at this moment!!! I love all the details and hard work that you put into this. It was just perfect!!!!!

  13. That is an amazing party! I LOVE all the details. And I spotted the metal chairs that we share!! :) Great job on the party. Your little guy is so lucky!!!!

  14. Oh my...this might be the cutest party I've ever seen! I just found your blog and love your style. Looking forward to following along :) Laurel@chippingwithcharm

  15. Amazing! I am a freak for vintage anything....and you had some great man-tiques! Loved it!

  16. I'm late to the party but it was a good one! Wow!! Every detail is so awesome!! My little one would have LOVED this party when she was three.

  17. Hey! I am looking for some train inspiration for my son and out of all of my searching, your party is truly my favorite. It all just blows me away! I was "trying" to not go crazy, but after seeing what you have created I am not sure I will be able to control myself! I also included you in a post about train parties!

  18. I love the first sign you that says "To The Trains". I'm planning a train-theme birthday for my boys too and would love to know how you made it or where you bought it...Thanks...


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