With lov­ing touches

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FAMILY -

SOME par­ents would rather not leave their pre­cious ones’ par­ties in oth­ers’ hands.

Azliya Yas­min Ya­haya, 31, or­gan­ised her four sons’ birth­day par­ties. She cel­e­brated her first­born, five-year-old Ai­den Ir­fan Ah­mad Sid­diq birth­days, ev­ery year with themed par­ties in­spired by Dis­ney’s Cars, the beach and even pizza.

“I had hired a party plan­ner for Ai­den’s first birth­day, but they didn’t quite meet my ex­pec­ta­tions. While the party went well, I felt no one would care more about the party than the par­ents.

“So, I de­cided I’d DIY all of my chil­dren’s par­ties from then on and pre­pare my own favour bags, cake, dec­o­ra­tions, ta­ble cen­tre­piece, dessert ta­ble and bal­loons,” says the mother-of-two, who blogs about her DIY par­ties at lizzieasa­mummy.blogspot.com.

The off­shore struc­tures project en­gi­neer finds in­spi­ra­tion from Pin­ter­est, a vir­tual pin­board.

“I have pinned ap­prox­i­mately 1,900 pic­ture in­spi­ra­tions to my boards. Be­ing the per­fec­tion­ist that I am, I usu­ally have the theme for Ai­den’s birth­day party a year in ad­vance – when Ai­den cel­e­brated his first foot­ball birth­day, I knew his sec­ond birth­day would be on Cars, and his third birth­day, a pool party. Plan­ning that far ahead al­lows me to form ideas and even slowly col­lect props and dec­o­ra­tions re­lated to the theme,” she says.

As Azliya has dis­cov­ered, DIY par­ties re­quire tremen­dous ef­forts and costs. Azliya spends an aver­age of RM3,000 on each of her son’s par­ties.

“Party plan­ners give you the peace of mind that some­one out there is or­gan­is­ing your party for you. But with DIY par­ties, you are tak­ing on that re­spon­si­bil­ity. When one is ac­count­able for so many things, one may drop the ball es­pe­cially on the mi­nor de­tails.”

That said, Azliya be­lieves that her son ap­pre­ci­ates his par­ties bet­ter when she’s the one or­gan­is­ing it.

“I al­ways work on his par­ties three week in ad­vance, and that helps to build up his enthusiasm as it gets closer to the date. I also let him help out with the prepa­ra­tions, es­pe­cially in arts and crafts. The cut­ting and past­ing im­proves his fine mo­tor skills and he en­joys show­ing off to his friends the dec­o­ra­tions he did. I also ask Ai­den for his opin­ion to get more in­volved with the party plan­ning,” she says.

Agnes How, 36, spent sev­eral months gath­er­ing the props for a DIY Win­nie The Pooh party for her daugh­ter Adele Khoo’s first birth­day.

Ev­ery night, she’d burn the mid­night oil trawl­ing the web in search of Pooh and Tig­ger cookie moulds, and later man­aged to snag a cheer­ful Pooh-themed cake top­per off Etsy.com for RM60. “DIY was very much a part of my wed­ding, so I knew I wanted the same for my daugh­ter’s party. I’m a stick­ler for de­tails and en­joyed de­sign­ing the in­vi­ta­tion cards and dé­cor. I also have a pas­sion for bak­ing, so mak­ing the cook­ies and cup­cakes was re­ally no prob­lem for me. The most chal­leng­ing though, was bak­ing the birth­day cake – I stayed up un­til 4am the night be­fore the party as I had to make long leaf-shaped fon­dants to cover the cracks on the cake,” says How.

All in all, How says she spent over RM2,000 to throw Adele a mem­o­rable birth­day party.

“It was tir­ing, but well worth it. DIY par­ties can give you a great amount of sat­is­fac­tion, but only if you’re into stuff like that.”

If you’re plan­ning to or­gan­ise your own party, get fam­ily and friends to help, says home­maker Na­dia Ak­wal, 31, who re­cently cel­e­brated her daugh­ter Haya Khan’s first birth­day. Over 150 guests at­tended the party, which had a theme based on Haya’s favourite TV show, Char­lie And The Num­bers.

Na­dia spent nearly RM5,000 on the party, mostly on food from hired ven­dors.

“Throw­ing a DIY party isn’t too tough if you have the right help. My fam­ily was ex­cited about the party and did ev­ery­thing they could to lend a hand. Our cousin vol­un­teered as the pho­tog­ra­pher. An aunt helped with the Char­lie fig­urine cake top­per.

“My mum knew food ven­dors. My sis­ter and brother-in-law made a piñata from scratch. They also or­gan­ised the games and prizes for the kids and took care of the dec­o­ra­tions and the 100 he­lium bal­loons. My fa­ther did the in­vites and on the day of the party, my hus­band took care of the baby. All I had to do was pick out the baby’s dress,” shares Na­dia.

Khan ak­wal and Saif fam­ily, na­dia With the Haya’s help of their first birth­day. party for

their daugh­ter threw adiy

agnes How even baked

all the treats.

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