Cat Themed Party
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My niece, Cassie, recently turned 2 and is very much obsessed with cats - a girl after her auntie's heart! Even though we celebrated her with just immediate family, I asked if I could make some simple decorations along with her kitty cat cake so that I could show all of you how super simple it can be to throw together an adorable and affordable party!
I did 3 very simple DIY crafts that I know you can do, and I found a simple way to decorate her cake that looks like we spent a ton of money on a bakery cake, when in fact it was very easy to put together myself! I'm so excited to share it all with you!!!
Let's get one thing straight first. To Cassie, cats are meow meows, which in my opinion just makes her even more precious! I found this adorable "meow meow" dress for her at Old Navy, and it ended up becoming the inspiration for my garland!
Meow Meow Garland
How cute is this? It is quite possible you may already have most of these supplies in your home and even if you don't, it is so inexpensive to make this custom garland!
cardstock - I wanted bright, vibrant colors so I used this
black marker or pen
How to make it
Draw or trace using my template (download at the bottom!) your cat head onto a piece of cardstock and cut out. Use this template to continue tracing and cutting out meow meows in different colors. I cut out 8 heads total - 2 in each color.
On each head, draw eyes, a triangle nose, and mouth,
Using the hole punch, punch out "cheeks" in different colors. Cut thin strips for whiskers in different colors.
Lay out your heads with contrasting colored whiskers and cheeks and secure everything with glue.
Using tape, attach all of the heads to a long piece of yarn or string, making sure that the heads are evenly spaced out. Hang and get read to party!
Meow Meow Ears
These are not only a great way to get everyone in on the feline festivities, but they make a great party favor too! I made these adjustable by not fully attaching the ears to each headband. Depending on the size of your head, you can adjust how close or far apart the ears are. AND this tutorial could be used for any kind of animal ear, so you could interchange the types of ears for dress up play! An extra bonus? You can use a headband you already own and don't have to ruin it by permanently gluing the ears to it!
felt in assorted colors
ear template - draw your own or use mine (download at the bottom!)
headbands - I chose these because they fit both kids and adults!
How to make it
Take your ear template and fold it in half. Fold your felt and line up the template fold with the felt fold.
Trace your template TWICE and cut out. You'll be cutting through 2 layers of felt. Make sure not to cut on the fold!!!
Unfold your ears and apply a thin line of hot glue around the edge as shown here. You don't want to put glue below the line shown because you will glue the ear completely shut rather than make a small channel to slide your headband through. Fold your felt to secure the other end of the ear and let dry. Repeat with the other ear.
Cut out 2 small triangles in a contrasting color and glue to the front side of each ear. Slide your ears onto your headband and adjust!
Ironically, after I made these my own cat, Freya, kept stealing them to play. Cats love yarn! These make a great, easy centerpiece with minimal effort. You, of course, could just use yarn balls if you have them, but this is an easy way to make them without using up a whole skein of yarn
styrofoam balls - I found mine here, but the dollar tree carries them too!
yarn - I used this. It reminds me of funfetti!
How to make it
Tape the end of your yarn to the ball and begin to wrap the yarn around until the ball is completely covered.
Secure the yarn to your ball with tape, but then leave about a foot of extra yarn loose like a tail. I used tape so that I could easily unwrap these balls and reuse the yarn for another project - like my DIY Yarn Hearts or DIY Yarn Stocking Tags.
Meow Meow Cake
I personally own a cake decorating kit, but I wanted to find a way to decorate this cake in a way that anyone could do it without having to buy a special kit or fondant. Enter CARDSTOCK. Obviously not edible, but cardstock holds up well if you apply to your cake the morning of your event, and it will not affect the taste or quality of your cake. (just remove before eating!) And bonus, I used the same cardstock for the cake that I used for my garland, so the colors matched and I didn't have to buy extra supplies!
While I'm going to share how I transformed a simple white-iced cake into a marvelous meow meow, I'm also giving you my recipe for the cake served at Cassie's party because it's just too good not to share! AND it starts with a cake mix! You can download the recipe at the bottom of the page to save for later!
You can also purchase an undecorated cake from your local grocery store and add your cardstock cat features if you don't want to bake your own. But trust me, you're going to want to make this cake!
Chocolate Cake Mix - I used Betty Crocker triple chocolate fudge
Melted butter - replace the amount of oil called for on your cake mix box and double it
Milk - replace the amount of water called for with milk (ie. 1 cup of water = 1 cup of milk)
1 C chocolate chips
Hot Fudge Whipped Cream (recipe below)
Crushed Oreos - I used 2 sleeves of a family pack
*NOTE - I doubled this recipe for a taller cake! I used 3 layers of cake and crumbled my 4th layer with leftover hot fudge whipped cream and devoured it with my family. No shame in our game!
Mix the cake mix, eggs, butter, and milk together. Pour into 2 greased or buttered 8-9 inch round cake pans. Top your cake batter with the chocolate chips and bake as directed on the box for 2 pans.
Let your cakes cool and remove them from the pans. Place one cake round on your cake stand or plate and top with a generous amount of hot fudge whipped cream. Top with crushed Oreos and then place your second layer of cake on top. If you choose to double the recipe, repeat this step with more whipped cream, Oreos, and a 3rd layer of cake (or 4 if you're going for a colossal kitty!
Let your assembled cake chill for at least 30 minutes before you frost. You can use store-bought frosting or make your own.
What color do you want your cat to be??? I wanted my cat to be white, so I used this buttercream recipe. Want a brown cat? Choose a chocolate buttercream frosting! Want to go crazy with a pink or blue cat? Simply add a small amount of food coloring to your white frosting. A cream cheese frosting would also be delicious!
Hot Fudge Whipped Cream
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1 jar Hershey's Hot Fudge
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
In a standing mixer or using a hand mixer, whip your heavy cream until you produce stiff peaks. Gently fold in the entire jar of hot fudge, vanilla, and salt.
*NOTE - this was enough for my 3 layer cake PLUS extra for the previously mentioned "extra cake feast."
How to Take Your Frosted Cake From Plain to Purrrrfection
large circle punch (or just cut out large circles)
large pom pom
glue (I used a stick for the cardstock and hot glue for the pom pom)
3 black pipe cleaners
Cut out 2 large triangles in a similar color to your frosted cake for the ears.
Cut out 2 smaller triangles in a complimentary color for the inner ears and glue to the larger triangles.
Cut or punch out 1-2 inch diameter circles out of white cardstock. Using a hole punch, punch out 2 black circles for the pupils. Glue the black dots to the white circles. You can cut out a larger black circle to use as a patch around one of the eyes, layer pink circles behind your white circles for eyelids...play around with different sizes and placements! It's fun to watch how the expression transforms based on the placement of the different eye components!
Cut out a small triangle for the nose in your choice of color.
Cut your 3 pipe cleaners in half. Take 3 halves and twist one end of them together. This will be inserted into the cake to the side of the nose. Fan out the other end to look like whiskers. Repeat with the other 3 pieces of pipe cleaner.
Either use a party hat or cut out your own with your choice of color cardstock. Glue a large pom pom to the top of your hat.
Gently press your face pieces into the side of the cake. Insert the whiskers into the cake on either side of the nose. Gently push the ears into the top of the cake and place the hat between the ears.
I hope you find some inspiration here! You could follow my steps to make almost any animal themed party with a few tweaks here and there! I am so grateful that my brother and sister-in-law allowed me to make all the decorations for this sweet little girl! Happy Birthday, my sweet Cassie! Aunt Lee Lee loves you!