DIY Tumble Leaf Birthday Party!

It was last year when my family, and especially my then 1 yr. old son, welcomed a wide-eyed, blue fox named Fig into our home. From the time we started watching Tumble Leaf until we had devoured every last cinematic quality, wanderlust provoking frame, we were mesmerized. As a mother I was thrilled to finally see a television program geared for children that sparked out-of-the-box thinking. I don’t know how many kid shows I’ve seen that focus on left-brain thinking only and force children to memorize facts instead of teaching them how to think for themselves. Fig along with the many other beautifully crafted, colorful characters are warm and endearing. My son truly loves them and believes them to be his best friends. Luckily the Tumble Leaf series has brought home a myriad of awards since it’s debut and will be coming back with a second season. Yay! Sadly, merchandise has yet to be seen for this amazing series. Seeing as how much my son loves it, I knew it had to be the theme for his second birthday party. However, what to do, what to do? What would Fig do? (Haha) He would get creative and that’s exactly what I did. It turned out to be a lot of fun and it’s something everyone can do!

The show itself is very colorful and thus decided the color palette. I started with a fun backdrop which consisted of a white flat sheet from Walmart. With blue and green craft paint, I painted a sky and rolling hills. Once that was dry I was added all of the main characters from the show. The characters of the show are stop motion and I knew if I painted them they wouldn’t look the same. So I went to Michael’s and bought a couple packs of printable iron on sheets (for dark fabrics). I printed off some images I found of the characters, cut them out and ironed them onto my sheet where I wanted them to be in the seen. Pretty simple and took hardly any time to do.

Next while I was printing stuff off, I decided to make my son a special t-shirt. Using the transfers again, I printed out a picture of Fig (his favorite of course) and ironed it to the front. I then found an image of the iconic red leaf and wrote a special message. However I didn’t stop there. What Tumble Leaf shirt would be complete without Fig’s furriest and portable pal Stitch? So I added Stitch to the sleeve of his shirt to mimic how Fig carries his friend about.

DIY Tumble Leaf shirt

DIY Tumble Leaf shirt back

My son’s birthday banner spelled out a simple HAPPY BIRTHDAY and his name. What makes it fun is that each letter is shaped like a leaf hanging from a rope by a clothesline pin. This is a nod of course to the hanging leaves outside of Fig’s bedroom. To add further interest I suspended a few light weight branches from my yard above the backdrop and banner to make it feel 4 dimensional (another detail I borrowed from the show). You will also notice the fuzzy balls over them. They represent the fun little barnacle creatures living on Fig’s boat. In the show Fig has a playful collection of odds and ends, mainly all sorts of keys, hanging from his branches. So, of course we needed those as well! Luckily Michael’s has a large assortment of metal keys in their scrapbooking section and wood keys (I quickly spray painted) in their seasonal section. Instead of crepe paper, I used multi colored yarn. As it zig zags across the ceiling you see it connects into the scene in the backdrop (as Auntie Pine is knitting with it).

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As for the food and drinks I simply grabbed anything fun shaped and colorful to serve to our guests. The cake I made from fondant and modeling fondant/gum paste mixture. I’m not gonna lie this was a lot of work but I made the figurine days before the party and let him dry out (I painted him with food coloring and edible shimmer dust). The rest I did two days before and once assembled I left it in the fridge uncovered until the party.

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To finish off the Tumble Leaf world I decided we needed a “Finding Place”. Which in the series is where our beloved blue hero finds his intriguing treasures. This to me made perfect since to have one for our birthday boy to find his presents in. You can create one too. It’s really simple and everything you need for it can be found at Michael’s. 

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I started with a plane wooden box they had on sale 40% off (check online for their coupons at michaels.com). I drilled two holes on each side about 3 inches apart for handles I added later. Then I stained the entire inside of it a mahogany finish (with a foam brush). Once dry, I closed the lid and spray painted the entire exterior gold. I also spray painted the latch gold as well. When all of that was dry I painted three blue rectangles (using blue craft paint) on the front and back and on the lid. I made sure they were about an inch apart from one another. On the sides I painted an arch and rectangle below leaving the same distance between as everywhere else. (This creates the look of straps) Finally, I added some small details. I attached the latch to the front using only a screw driver (no need to pre drill). I cute two ropes for the handles, fed them through the holes and knotted them off on the inside (I used the leftover rope from his banner), and lastly used finishing tacks (I found in the bedazzle section) along the sides.

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If you’re viewing this and planning your own DIY Tumble Leaf party I hope this helps. Also, if you have any further questions on how I did something let me know! Until, next time…..

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