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Fireman Birthday Party • Hottest Bash on the Block

We’re back with Liesbeth and her fabulous birthday party blowouts for the #4 most popular post of all time.

A complete party package for a fireman- (or woman!) themed toddler bash. Firetruck hand-stamped party favours, “rescue puppets from the burning building” game, pin the tail on the dalmatian, red velvet cupcakes, vintage-firetrucks-in-a-mason-jar decor. It’s all here. Steal one of these ideas or grab the lot.

By: Liesbeth Teerink

Did I go over the top for my son’s 2nd birthday party? Absolutely. For about a month I went into DIY hybernation and I loved doing it. Though toddlers couldn’t care less about some of the details of the decor, they went nuts over the games. Some things you do for yourself, some for the visiting parents and some for the kids.

Because there are so many elements to this party, I will keep descriptions fairly basic. However, if you, the blog reader, are not clear about something or want more info about something in particular, just post a comment on this blogsite or on our FB and I will be happy to elaborate and share the details of my DIY magic.



How can you go wrong with red velvet cupcakes? They are tasty and they are red! Any recipe will do. I actually used a box of the powdered stuff which surprisingly was absolutely delish. Of course you can go all out on this too and get a fancy recipe or drop some more coin and get red velvet cupcakes at a bakery. For me..the DIY was in the toppers. I designed some different toppers in my color scheme (a fun red one with a fire truck and one using polka dots as a neat reference to a Dalmatian pattern. Print on cardboard stock and cut. I used a paper cutter with scalloped edge (it cost me around $15 to buy a few years ago, but I use it all the time to make custom cupcake toppers for various occasions). I also had some extra time (yeah….) and made some quick sugar cookies and decorated those with polka dots and some other freestyling designs using black, red and white frosting.

Click this link for the pdf with the cupcake toppers: cupcake toppers yr2

Total Time required: 1 hour to design, print and cut the cupcake toppers

Project Costs: $0. I used paper and equipment I already had.  If you start from scratch you would need less then $1 for paper and around $15 for a cupcake topper cutter.

Materials & Tools Required:

  • A printer
  • A few sheets of heavy-stock paper
  • paper cutter (circle shape)
  • cupcake liners (I used simple white ones as not to distract from the toppers)



I am pretty proud of this creation. It is hard to find games for small toddlers. Things get complex too quickly and their attention span is 24 seconds. A Google search showed me how to make a box with cut-out circles and to line those circles with tissue paper. Kids were invited to punch through those circles to find little presents. This inspired me to create my own “punch through the tissue game”. My box became a burning building. I found a photo of a building online and did some design work to create multiple windows (I am a designer so that’s a plus in me creating things like this. Lucky you, I am sharing some of the designs in high resolution at the end of this post so you can create your own, designer or not). I cut out the windows of this building and backed them with red tissue paper. Then I bought a bunch of little stuffed creatures at IKEA for $1.25 per piece and stuck them with duct tape on the back of the box (see image above). I added a bunch of red and orange tissue paper on the top of my box to resemble burning flames. Then I took it to a new level and, the day of the party, put a lamp behind the box. The light shining on the red tissue from the inside of the box really made it look like the building was on fire and toddlers turned heroes when punching the windows to rescue the poor critters. They LOVED it!

Click this link for the pdf with the building ready for print: BRICK HOUSE POSTER

Total Time required: 2 hours (for me much longer because I had to design the building)

Project Costs: $20 ($1.25 per little critter at IKEA / $7 to print the poster with Vista Print / $2 for tissue paper)

Materials & Tools Required:

  • an old box
  • scissor, tape, duct tape
  • orange and red tissue paper
  • little dolls (i found stuffed ones at Ikea, but little plastic figures or animals could work equally well)



A classic. Always fun and so easy to adapt to the fireman theme with a Dalmatian. Print tails and the dalmatian poster size at a store (I like Vista Print). Cut the tails and, at the party, write the name of each kid with a black marker on the tail. I backed each tail with double-sided tape. You know the rest!

Click this link for the pdf of the dalmatian (without background) ready for print: dalmatian

Click this link for the pdf of the tails (7 tails on one sheet) ready for print: 7 tails

Total Time required: again, for you, just a few minutes to cut out the tails!

Project Costs: $10 printing

Materials & Tools Required:

  • scissors
  • double-sided tape
  • blindfold (any scarf will do, though if you want to go nuts…use a polka-dot bandana)



This one really turned out well but was a lot of work. I made my own stamp using foam from an old take-out box, but any other technique like potato-stamping would work fine. I used plain acrylic paint which is perfect for fabric. Below are some links to instructions on various stamping techniques:

how to make a potato stamp

how to make a foam stamp

Then I made the drawstring bags myself from canvas material, freestyling a simple, drawstring pattern. I used a heavy cotton for the string. Top off with some cute hand-written tags on an “earthy” craft paper and you have some really cute fireman loot bags. Have your kid help with the stamping!!!

Total Time required: 3 hours

Project Costs: $7 ($3 for the canvas, which made 15 bags / $3 for the string (with plenty to spare for other projects) / $1 acrylic paint at Dollarama)

Materials & Tools Required:

  • acrylic red paint
  • potato (or other materials pending on your stamping technique)
  • canvas fabric
  • thick cotton string
  • sewing machine



For the rest of the decor; go crazy, go creative, go bin diving and basement digging. Fill up some jars with red candies and give them appropriate names like “hot tamales” and “great balls of fire.”  Another great decor item for a lower table are the vintage firetrucks (collected at a flea market) in a mason jar on top of some stones. Kids and parents will be delighted. I happened to have some little square baskets that were a perfect fit with the glass jars – sometimes DIY luck strikes, especially when you are a hoarder! I also found some old frames and printed some retro monotone fireman imagery to go in those. And if you went through the trouble of creating a custom invitation for the party – why not showcase it again by framing it and adding it to the decor! And never shy away from trusted and proven balloons and tissue flowers. They are an easy and cost-effective solution to make a big statement and help your colour/pattern theme come to life throughout the room.

Have fun with this. Add your own spin and don’t forget to enjoy the party and take tons of pictures (something I forgot until it was over and collapsed on the couch in post-party bliss).

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Betty Lenard #

    I was fortunate to be a guest at this unique birthday party. Liesbeth’s novel ideas and the great effort she put into the planning and preparation impressed everyone, most of all, the little guests who enjoyed the decorations, games, treats, etc. so much they hoped the party would never end.
    Kudos to you Liesbeth! Hope you continue to share your great ideas with other mothers on Mother-Board.

    April 18, 2013

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