Come on down to Wiggle Town, do the propeller, I can stand like a statue, wake up Lachy, it’s Emma’s yellow bow. These random lyrics have been stuck in my head for the past year as my kid regularly watches, sings, and dances along to the Wiggles.
The Wiggles are an Australian based children’s rock band that originated in 1991 with a few line-up changes over the years, and they are still going strong as one of the top children entertainment groups in the world. I had heard of them in my pre-baby days, but I think the first time I heard one of their songs was on an episode of Arrested Development when Charlize “Mr F” Theron sang “Hot Potato” in a car ride with George Michael. Classic.
Since my little peanut has been a fan for nearly half her life, I decided to go “all out” with a Wiggles themed 2nd birthday party. Some factors went into planning this though. A) we don’t have space for a home party, and she doesn’t have a lot of friends her age yet anyway, and B) most official Wiggles decor and toys must be shipped from Australia, and unfortunately that is not in my budget. So I opted to make a fun pull apart cake adorned in Wiggles colors, and a colorful balloon backdrop to take pictures of her opening a gift and eating cake. For a Wiggles inspired gift, I made her a “Dressing Up in Style” dress-up trunk (click here to see how I did that.)
Here’s what I did along with some tips that can help springboard your own Wiggles themed party!
Since we couldn’t have a party at home, we met up with a bunch of friends and family at our usual stomping ground, a family friendly beer garden. This pull-apart cake was easy to transport there, easy for guests to grab a piece as they are cupcakes, and made for easy clean-up.
To make the “2” shaped cake, all I needed was 24 cupcakes, about 2 cups of frosting, icing, sprinkles, and a cake board*.
*TIP: To save money, instead of a cake board, you could use a baking sheet. Brighten it up by wrapping it with wrapping paper!
To make the cupcakes, I opted for a box mix I already had on hand. To make it fun and Wiggly inspired, I added blue food gel and about 3/4 cups of sprinkles. Yum! To get 24 even-ish cupcakes, fill each cupcake liner about halfway up. If there’s any leftover batter, eyeball it and distribute it into any cupcake liners that look low in comparison. If there isn’t enough batter to make 24 cupcakes, try spooning a little bit out of several to make a 24th cupcake— you’ll need 24 to get the “2” shape. The amount of cupcakes you’ll need may vary depending on what shape you are making. Check out this super handy pattern guide to help plan your cupcake layout (pulled from google images):
Once they are baked, make some frosting while they cool completely. You could opt for a couple cans of pre-made frosting, but if you have these ingredients on hand, you can whip up enough awesome fluffy buttercream to coat all the cupcakes and then-some! For easy home buttercream frosting (recipe by Chef in Training), all you’ll need is 2 sticks (1 cup) of softened butter, 4-4.5 cups of powdered sugar, a few tbsps of milk, big pinch of salt, and a tsp of your fave extract (almond, vanilla, etc.)
Using a stand mixer is the easiest option, but a hand mixer works as well. Beat the softened butter for a few minutes to get fluffy, then add the sugar, extract, salt, milk, and beat for about 7 minutes. You can add more sugar to make a thicker frosting if desired.
Once the cupcakes are cooled, arrange them on the cake board in the shape you desire (and as close to touching each other as possible so there are no big holes for the frosting to cave into.) TIP: When you have them laid out to your liking, secure them to the board using a little smudge of frosting on the bottom of the cupcake liner.
Next up is laying that lovely frosting on top of the cupcakes. I used a silicone spatula to smear the sugary goodness over all the cupcakes. There was plenty of frosting to cover it all, and maybe a few spoonfuls leftover that went directly into my mouth.
After all the cupcakes were covered, I went to work on decorating it Wiggles style with red, blue, yellow, and purple sprinkles. I crafted some Emma Wiggle bows with Wilton’s Sparkle Gel, and added candy stars I made using purple candy melts in a star mold and some peppermint oil to give it a refreshing flavor.
The cake topper that brought it all together to scream “yes this is a Wiggles cake!” was a cartoon image of the gang in their infamous Big Red Car. I printed it out, glued it to some card-stock to make it firm, and taped it to a toothpick. Voila, DIY cake topper. 😉
BTW, there is so much sugar in that frosting that it is safe to leave out of the fridge for 2-3 days. After that, it may start breaking apart and melting, so that’s when I ended up putting the 1 cupcake that remained after the party into the fridge.
To rock out this fun balloon backdrop, I stuck with the 4 main Wiggles colors: red, yellow, blue, and purple. Drumroll- I was able to find all these balloons at the dollar store! We don’t have a lot of wall space in our home, so I took down the wall art from one of the best naturally lit areas and crafted the backdrop there.
Before I began taping the balloons to the wall with masking tape, I blew up about 30 of them to get a good start, and blew up more after I taped those up. Consider blowing up the balloons in varying sizes to add more dimensions!
One TIP I discovered after trial and error: Start from the bottom up! Initially I had started from the center out and it was difficult trying to place the tape on the wall without popping other balloons, which happened, in my face, several times.
I tried several ways of taping, and the way that worked best for me was putting one end of the tape on the nubbin of the balloon and the other end onto the wall.
If making this backdrop several days before the party (like I did) there may be a chance that some balloons will deflate. For a quick fix, tape a new balloon on top of the deflated balloon, bam!
I used the balloon backdrop to get pictures of the cake, pictures of my little wiggle dancing in her Emma Wiggle inspired outfit, and something to stare at during dinner as it hovered over our dining table. In some of the best pictures of my girl dancing, the edge of the table made the shot, and I wanted to edit it out without cropping. Here’s where the PicsArt comes in handy to make wild photos.
If you need a free app to edit your photos, check out PicsArt. It has a lot of fun features and won’t destroy the quality of your photo if you want it printed in large scale! To get the swirls as seen above, open the picture in the app, go to “Tools” on the bottom bar, and click on “Stretch.”
While in “Stretch”, tap on the brush icon on the upper bar. With that tool, you can mark all the areas of the photo you don’t want affected by the swirling tools. Once the areas are brushed, tap “apply.”
From there, go crazy and play around with all the fun buttons, from swirls to warps! (I’m not affiliated at all with the app, I just use it regularly when away from my photoshop.) The end product could make for a good Thank You card base, or straight up art:
Here are more fun things you can incorporate into your Wiggles themed party:
- Fruit salad “yummy yummy” cones! (by The Fussy Eater)
- Sugar cookie fruit pizzas! (by Cooking Classy)
- A Big Red Car photobooth with Wiggles character face masks.
- Pin the Tale on Wags the Dog
- Pin the Flower on Dorothy the Dinosaur
- Pin the Yellow Bow on Emma
- Henry the Octopus Pinata
- Printable Wiggles birthday banner (free)