Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Making Vito's Totoro party invitations

Given my already insane schedule as OK! magazine editor, satchel seller, blogger, wife and mommy, I really shouldn't have decided that I wanted a homemade party--from invitations to balloons to food. All I left to the pros was the cake, but since Gel Colet of Swell Sweets is Vince's college buddy, the cake will still feel like it's homemade.

But I wanted a children's party to look like a children's party. I want my baby boy's party to look messy and fun and wild and, well, kiddie! So our party invitations must look like an arts and crafts project!

How to make kiddie party invitations (with a fun Totoro theme!):
First, buy gray felt paper and white cartolina. Draw your Totoro main pattern--ours was done by Jen Inumerable, Smart Parenting's art director and one of Vito's fans! I tried drawing it but couldn't get Totoro's symmetrical roundness. So, folks, it's okay to get professional help here and there!

Trace the pattern on the back side of the felt paper with marker. As you can see, the felt paper's thin enough for a guide to come through the gray side. Cut away!

Totoro inspects the progress. He looks happy at his likeness!

Using your pattern, just trace several more Totoros onto the back of the felt paper.

Cut, cut, cut away! It helps to listen to music or have a silly movie or show playing on TV. Don't watch anything that will need your eyes (haha!) like action movies or a tennis match.

Add the background of your invitation before pasting Totoro. Since Totoro is a monster that can make things magically grow, I had a grass theme. I used three shades of green here for dimension.

Paste Totoro from the bottom up, smoothing out air bubbles as you move along.

Draw in his eyes. I actually wanted to use black beads for his eyes because Totoro has beady eyes but I was worried the beads might fall off or be bitten off. Remember, the guests are one year old!

Draw his nose and whiskers. I also wanted to use black yarn for Totoro's whiskers since I wanted Vito's guests to feel their invitations. Toddlers are very tactile! But I couldn't find any black yarn so I just drew them.

Paste his distinctive tummy patterns using scrap felt paper. This was actually the most tiresome to do because cutting and pasting those tiny things is hard!

Et voila! Really crappy but super cute and cool kiddie party invitations!

I had so much fun making these. I know that with our busy schedules, it's easier for us mommies to just pick up ready-made invites or have them printed out. I totally agree, especially if you have a guest list of 50-500! But since my Vito's party is very small--both in party size and size of guests--a very personalized invitation like this is adorable. Try it!


  1. Very creative! I love the invites.

  2. very cute invites! totoro looks mighty pleased too :)

  3. I love your invites, Frances! And your idea to have a "messy and fun and wild and kiddie" party!

    Can I just say that you're like Martha Stewart? Fully made up pa while doing your DIY invites :)

  4. Cris, haha, I am so not Martha Stewart but my husband is. I'm messy and cluttery and so "bahala na!" with everything.

    Oh, and I was made up because I just came from the OK! staff shoot. My face is thick with makeup. Took me three washes to get rid of it all!

  5. I love doing small parties for my kids, too - where almost everything is home-made.
    I think it is sweet that despite of your busy schedule, you have decided to take a very hands-on approach to your son - and his party!

  6. Amazing, Neighbor! Super Mommy!!! Wish I were there to invite myself to Vito's party!

  7. Hey crafty mom! And cuuute... and the invitations are BIG ha! :)
    Advance happy birthday to Vito gwapito! xoxo

  8. so cute invites and theme for Vito's party... and am so happy to be sharing the same week of birthday with Vito =)

  9. Frances.. Oh my! You're a SUPER mom!! :) The invites are so nice, I love love the personal touch!!!! Swerte ni Vito and Vince!!

  10. Good Job Teacher Frances!!! Cutie!!! *clap*clap*

  11. Love it, Frances! I'm very DIY, too, so I totally love your handmade invites. I'm gonna post nga a DIY post on my sister-in-law's super cute baby shower!

    Uuy, can you change my link on your blogroll to this: http://daintymom.com/feed/rss

    The old link doesn't work, and I get lots of visits pa naman from "loyalists" on your site. ;) Thanks, ha.

  12. Cute invites! DIY things are so much fun to make. This reminds me of my 5th birthday where my mom and I made my invitations together. I drew a balloon on the cover of each and used electric blue glitters to fill in the drawings. Ang tanda ko na pala! Advance happy birthday to vito guapito!

  13. Love your invites! I just did some homemade ones but reliable Pages on Mac helped me out. Food is not homemade though, I did that once and swore never to do it again. Have fun!

  14. Rone, ya, I gave up on the food! Masyado nang stressful =)


This is all pretty new to me so please feel free to share your mommy wisdom!