In addition to the table linens, I also made a stack of cookies and a cake. The cookies were easy: one sheet of thick beige felt cut into rectangles with my pinking shears. Then I took a sheet of dark brown felt and cut slightly smaller rectangles. Then I just hot glued my 'chocolate' top to my cookie base. They remind me of the Leibnitz cookies that are so common here in Germany. Apparently even the felt ones taste good!
For the cake, a friend had sent me a link to this tutorial, so that was the foundation of my creation. I used to LOVE the flannel storyboards from my childhood Sunday School days, so I knew flannel cake decorating would probably go over well with my niece! I didn't have freezer paper, and making the flowers and candle base proved to be tricky for some reason, so after a few failures, I found a few solutions and want to share a few tips.
DO use thin felt to cover the outside of the boxes and make flowers.
DO NOT use thin felt for the candles or they will flop over. Either find thicker felt or glue together a few pieces of thin felt for stability.
I used a hot glue gun, which worked, but a sponge brush application of tacky glue would probably be less finger-burny (gotta smooth out those glue globs!).
DO use pom-pom trim on the cake (I glued mine on permanently) - this was awesome and more 3-d/tactile. Just make sure if you need to pack your cake tiers inside each other that they still fit with the trim on.
DO go all out on the crazy girl colors; even though they make me cringe, you know the kids love it.
DO NOT worry if your candles are tippy! I couldn't hack the tutorial's directions for candle bases, so I just ended up winding strips of felt cinnamon roll-style for a less-glamorous, but less-tippy candle - and they are still pretty tippy! However, as soon as my niece unwrapped the felt cake and it's decorations, her dad set up the candles on top and told her to make a wish. When she blew that too-soft 2yr old blow, they all toppled over and she was thrilled! So much for me worrying about them falling over...she loves that they fall over!
DO use this tutorial to get ideas on making the decorative felt flowers. The ones in the original tutorial are lame-o no matter what you do. I initially had trouble making flowers because my felt was too thick, or I had too many layers of thin felt glued together, making them too heavy to actually stay on the cake. Using the printable pdf template from the Purl Bee tute, I discovered the 'large and small asters' are great for this cake. I also used the 'small fringe center' to make the yellow centers for the flowers so they didn't look too generic. Cutting the flowers out with both pinking shears and regular sheers gave them a little texture and variance. (that pdf is pretty awesome btw! I can see making felt flowers from this template in lots of colors for all sorts of occasions!)
DO make sure you make enough candles for how old the recipient currently is! I made four candles, but all the pictures my sister sent show how LiLi set her cake up with two because she's two, ha!
Covering the boxes was the most time consuming part of this project (and figuring out the flower dilemma, but I just saved you that trouble!). I'd say if you have everything lined up, you could pull this off in an hour or two.
I'll be posting on the menus soon!