Borrowers’ Birthday

Last summer my daughter Maddie decided it would be fun to have her birthday theme be based on “The Borrowers” books by  Mary Norton. With this in mind we set out to create a world of large items which would make Maddie and her friends feel Lilliputian in comparison.


 I decided to keep the dessert table relatively simple for this party. I wanted it to feel like the desserts and decorations could have been nabbed from gargantuan humans. In the movie corresponding to The Borrowers book, The Secret World of Arrietty, the first item  Arrietty “borrows” is a sewing pin.  I took that element and carried on to the party elements.


I started with the big button cake which was a fun way to incorporate the party colors. The buttons were a clean graphic element that were simple to make from fondant.


For the other cake I added a giant flower constructed from Icing Sheets. (Arrietty likes to gather flowers from the humans’ garden!)


 I also incorporated some mega cookies. It is hard to tell from the image but this is a 12-inch cookie with Hershey kisses for chocolate chips.


 Here is another with candy melt wafers for white chocolate chunks.


 And a mondo sugar cookie because they are delicious!


I also made some cake pops and the kids and my mom helped me construct a large pincushion with the pops sticking out like sewing pins. There was a foam cube in the center of the tomato and stuffing was added around the sides to fill out the shape.


In the jar were some giant homemade caramels. Yummy, I love caramel!


Early on in the planning process I thought it would be cute to make some big spools for the table. My sweet friend, Jessica Harris, suggested I wrap them in yarn. This would have been the smart thing to do, but I am a glutton for punishment so I chose to use fondant. This was probably the biggest waste of time in the whole party prep process.  Hours for a simple decoration! Next time I will listen to the voice of reason 🙂 All in all they came out cute though. The tops were scanned from vintage thread spools from my great-grandma’s sewing table.  Love that!


I had my family on some serious tissue paper flower making duty! Mom, sister, niece, anyone I could find on the street was put to work creating these flowers for around the house. I used a modified version of Martha Stewart’s crepe paper flower tutorial for these.


More flowers! Plus a giant postcard that I had printed at Costco from an image I found on Pinterest.


The best décor element by far though was the massive chair.  My brother-in-law built this 8-foot tall doll chair for the kids to climb on.  Not just for the party, it stayed around for weeks and Maddie and Asher would eat snacks and watch TV from this perch. Here is Maddie and Raquelle (Jessica’s sweet daughter-love her!)


For favors, we made these fun shoulder bags for the girls to store their borrowed items. I chose this material because it looked like something the Borrowers could have taken from an old curtain or sheet the humans had discarded. I modified the Reversible bag pattern from extending the straps and adding a flap and button.


The girls searched the house for items to borrow including giant glasses and huge bubble wands. Here you can see some of the girls in their glasses.

notepads2The guests also decorated notepads made from borrowed paper. They were a compilation of graph paper, notebook paper, legal pad, sticky notes and sketch pad. l will post a tutorial on making these soon!


And here is my sweet girl with her cake. She is so lovely and spunky and funny and strong. I am so proud of her. Every day she grows into someone that I am more impressed with.  I love you Maddie!


And just for fun here is my Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie


  • ½ cup (1 stick/4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted but not too hot
  • 2/3 cup (4 ¾ ounces) brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (2 ¼ ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups (7 ½ ounces) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt (rounded if you like salty cookies like me!)
  • ¾ cup Hershey’s kisses (or half milk and half semisweet chocolate chips for small cookies)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Whisk together butter, sugars, egg yolks and vanilla.
  3. Sprinkle dry ingredients over butter mixture and stir in with a wooden spoon.
  4. If using chocolate chips stir them in.
  5. Press into a pizza pan for a large cookie and top with kisses pushing slightly to impress. Alternatively drop cookies onto a cookie sheet, preferably dark in color for the best texture.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden on edges and starting to set in middle (10 minutes for individual cookies). Don’t over bake! Unless you like crispy cookies in which case bake the crap out of them.
  7. I slam my cookie sheet on the counter when they come out. This seems weird but it compacts them and gives them the craggy dense texture I like. Cool for a couple of minutes on the sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack. Or just gobble them off of the cookie sheet while they are still warm. Adapted from The Best Recipe by Cook's Illustrated

These are the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever had (and I have eaten a lot!).


5 thoughts on “Borrowers’ Birthday”

  1. As Mom and Grandma Patti I am blessed to be a part of birthday party preparations and the celebrations. The Cake, cake table, decorations and party activities are always so much fun but the best of all are the family and friends and especially the Birthday girl (or boy, or other special person we celebrate.) Thank you Summer, for sharing all the delightful party … with others on your blog!!!!

  2. I love the spools of thread and the fact that you persevered with them for hours in order to perfect them. I am a new follower …. love your work / art / blog, thank you for sharing and inspiring others x

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