Leap years only occur once every four years. The reason is that it actually takes the earth 365 days and 6 hours to make a revolution around the sun. That adds up to an extra 24 hours at the end of every four years, so we tack on a leap day to align our calendars with the sun’s position. You might think this extra day is exciting and rare — it comes with all kinds quirky traditions and folklore — especially if your birthday is on a leap day. Can you imagine only getting to celebrate once every four years? So if you are part of that less than .07 percent of the US population whose birthday falls on a Leap Day, then you better go all out when you finally get to celebrate. We’ve designed a leap birthday party celebration of our own to get you started …
If you can wrap a gift then you can create this charming birthday party tablescape. Start by making the box for your centerpiece.
- Just a regular box such as a brown shipping box is available at most office supply stores. Ours was 12×12 inches.
- Fold in the tops of the box to make a flat top edge.
- For the wrap you can use gift wrap or colorful vinyl on a roll. This worked well because it is lightweight and flexible. Lay the box down and bring the paper around the box and secure with tape leaving the top and bottom open and unattached.
- Next trim off the excess on the bottom of the box and fold the edges in and secure with tape.
- Fold the top paper inside the box. If using wrapping paper you may need to cut slits down the edges so that the paper doesn’t rip. Secure with tape if needed.
- Now for the fun part, embellishing the box. We used a simple silver ribbon.
Our centerpiece arrangement is made up of a base of boxwood, myrtle and rosemary. The floral elements include creamy white hybrid tea roses, Stargazer Barn purple and yellow iris and orange tulips. For added drama, curly willow branches were worked in. When arranging flowers, it is nice to use items that are in bloom. In essence, you are making a mini-garden on the table.
We created this arrangement using two blocks of floral foam resting on a dinner plate. We elevated the items on a cake stand inside the “birthday box,” but you could also use a tall cylinder vase or whatever you have handy because the nice thing about this arrangement is that the stems and the mechanics of the arrangement aren’t going to show.
Want to keep your centerpiece simple? Pop a couple of florist bouquets into a vase within the birthday box and presto, instant success.
The cream roses in the centerpiece echo the creamware plates used on the table. The plates are resting on top of custom-made placemats, which coordinate with the floral box. Here are the simple steps for making these colorful placemats:
- Cut out the cardboard placemat.
- Cut wrapping paper to fit.
- Secure paper around the cutouts with tape, or if your wrapping paper is thick you can use a spray adhesive to attach it to the poster board, but we encourage you to test this out first to see the results before applying adhesive all of the placemats.
- Embellish with a ribbon.
Lavender Champagne Cocktail
Liven the setting up with a colorful napkin topped with a Lavender Champagne Cocktail garnished with a fun paper straw. The recipe (borrowed from handmademood.com) is easy!
- Bring one cup of water to a gentle boil.
- Add in one cup of granular sugar, reduce heat, and combine until sugar is dissolved.
- Remove from heat and add in 3 drops lavender essential oil.
- Transfer still warm liquid to a container for storage in the refrigerator. A glass vessel with a cap (such as a mason jar or a vintage soda bottle) and a funnel make this process easier.
- Once cooled, fill about 1/4 of a glass with your lavender simple syrup and then top with a dry sparkling wine, such as La Marca Prosecco.
Tip: Be sure to use food grade lavender oil.
Party Favors & Decor
Since our birthday boy or girl only has a party every four years on their actual date of birth, a fun party favor for all guests is a pocket calendar. Place the gift on each seat for a festive touch.
Instead of tea light votives on the table, we used cupcakes on stands and topped them with assorted silver and gold birthday candles in varying heights. What a way to say welcome to dinner! The candles produce a festive atmosphere, and after they are blown out, serve for dessert.
Essentials from Shop.PAllenSmith.com