Penguin Party
Bespoke Penguin Cake Topper in hand-painted watercolours 

Bespoke Penguin Cake Topper in hand-painted watercolours 

To celebrate Aiden’s fourth birthday party we hosted a party inspired by his love of penguins. Aiden was a key decision maker in the planning, choosing a colour palette of blue and his favourite animal as the star attraction.


The watercolour artwork of ELK Prints was used throughout all the elements of the party and the style of the party was set out for guests from the moment the invitations were sent. The party invitation featured a bespoke original artwork of adult and children penguins and the aesthetics set in the invites was then carried throughout the party itself creating a nice cohesive vision. 

Paint strokes of icey blue and deep ocean tones were a key feature through the party elements representing the fields of ice, long winter nights and ocean habitat of the penguins. 


The dessert table was setup with an array of beautiful desserts amongst swathes of ice inspired fabric. A backdrop of hand-painted rice paper sheets represented the dramatic ice fields and glaciers of Antarctica. 

The Nutella “pengerons” from Arelio Sweetbox were a special feature piece and very popular as were the shortbread biscuits with penguins by Deliciously Sweet Gourmet Biscuits.

Macaron flavours of nutella, blueberry and coconut were chosen by the birthday boy along with many of the other food choices; whole steamed fish, “krill” prawns and sushi were all deemed to be perfect penguin food. 

Penguin party food choices included sushi platters, whole steamed fish and kale 'seaweed' chips

Penguin party food choices included sushi platters, whole steamed fish and kale 'seaweed' chips

When planning a party it is fun to think about how to apply your theme all the components of the party.  To create all the elements so that they work together is rather special and makes the event cohesively beautiful and attractive to guests. As a designer that creative process of thinking about the plates, the drinks, the nibbles, the decor and games are an interesting part of preparing for the party. 

A 'seaweed' inspired gin for the adults to enjoy. 

A 'seaweed' inspired gin for the adults to enjoy. 

Preparing all the little details of the party. 

Preparing all the little details of the party. 

An "iceberg" cake was made for the central birthday cake, shards of meringue embedded in the frosting were used to indicate ice and the custom cake topper represented the penguin.  

An "iceberg" cake was made for the central birthday cake, shards of meringue embedded in the frosting were used to indicate ice and the custom cake topper represented the penguin.  

The central iceberg cake was topped with a hand-painted watercolour cake topper featuring a baby penguin to represent the birthday boy. Watercolour penguins paraded amongst the plates of sweets via the food labels. 


It was fun to put the sweet table together with all the different ideas that related to penguins and their icey home. Swathes of fairy floss, meringues, white chocolate and yoghurt balls were all simple treats that enhanced the atmosphere and theme. 

Marbled napkins by Harlow and Grey and blue confetti spot plates by Paper Eskimo sourced from Favour Lane Boutique helped to reinforce the Antarctica ice field setting. 

Another key hero element of the table styling was the tablecloth that features a water outline repeat pattern. This is one of my earlier design pieces created during my time studying at COFA, UNSW during a textile study elective. 


This year party games took centre stage at the party now that Aiden is older and gaining more friends through preschool. Party Ideas in a Box provided an inspirational and useful set of guidelines on how to run a number of party games inspired by the penguin theme. It was very helpful to have the broad range of suggestions along with tips on how to set each game up and what equipment and space would be required for each game. We were able to go through the choices and select those games that best suited the setup of our party and the ideas were all clever twists on traditional favourites or fresh ideas inspired by the theme.  


Guests loved the concept of Musical Icebergs to the soundtrack of Happy Feet where pillows became ice floats. Fishing for paper fish in the hammock with spoons was a fun if somewhat chaotic game that the children enjoyed.


The most popular of the games played was the penguin scavenger hunt. Watercolour penguins by ELK Prints were scattered around the garden with stamps and sticker books. The children then had to search for each penguin to fill in their bingo card with a special fluffy penguin prize on offer for the winner. For the smaller children it was nice to be gently guided by their parent to help look for the penguins and everyone commented on how fun and unique it was to play.


As a thank you, guests were given lollypops made by Delleicious by Elle featuring custom artwork by ELK Prints as a take home gift. 

Styling / Design / Backdrop / Cake Topper / Stationery: ELK Prints
Photography: Amelia Soegijono Photography
Party Games: Party Ideas in a Box
Lollypops: Delleicious by Elle
Macarons: Arelio Sweetbox
Cookies: Deliciously Sweet Gourmet Biscuits
Partyware: Favor Lane

Check me out on pinterest to get a feel for what else inspires me.