I get sentimental when Samantha’s birthday comes around; there are traditions I’ve created that I just have to follow – even if I’m the only one who appreciates them! One important tradition is not to make things too easy. This year, even though we got out of hosting a party at home, I made things more difficult by deciding we should make the birthday gift. I couldn’t really find a doll bunk bed that I wanted to buy, so I started looking online for plans to make one and I fell in love when I found this. My husband was a very good sport about building it for us, and didn’t he do a fine job! My part included buying the wood and getting it cut at Southern Lumber as well as making the bedding.
If you’ve visited this blog recently, that bedding might look familiar. Yes, that Hästens bed was my sole inspiration. This blue check is actually a fine Italian shirting fabric that I bought at Britex at their 30% off sale last week. Too bad the Liberty fabrics weren’t on sale too, but I couldn’t resist buying a little of that sweet little blue floral for a pillow. The bed plan site also has instructions for making the mattress. I didn’t tuft mine which is just as well. Samantha has her own ideas about bedding. We’ll probably paint the bed frame too, although I think it would look great with just a clear finish.
A couple of notes on building the bed: read the comments under the instructions; they are correct about needing additional 1 x 1 lengths. In addition, be prepared to spend more than $10 on materials (I paid $32 for the wood and $10 to have it cut) and a lot more than one hour to build the frame. Still, it’s a beautiful design/plan.
Making and decorating a cake is another favorite birthday tradition. Samantha wanted a yellow cake in the shape of a rectangle with chocolate frosting and caramel filling. It was a little dry, but a spoonful of extra caramel sauce fixed that. Cecile and Marie-Grace (American Girl dolls) are simply cardstock color copies that I cut out and taped to a lollipop stick. That’s one of my best tricks; you can put any character or thing you could possibly want on a cake with a color copy on cardstock. The candles, happy birthday candle picks, and Japanese pineapple marshmallows all came from Daiso, a really fun store with lots of cool, inexpensive Japanese things; there are several Daiso shops in the area.
I try to make things pretty with lots of flowers. These are from Trader Joe’s.
Instead of a party, the birthday girl really wanted to visit an amusement park with a couple of friends this year. Luckily, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk was open and the weather was unexpectedly idyllic.