Taking it on the chin

My lovely youngest had his birthday on the weekend. Happy 5th birthday Sidney! We celebrated with a Beard Party. I promise this was a request from him and not an attempt by us to leap onto Melbourne’s bearded hipster craze – which incidentally I am still loving, even the bushranger thing. The husband has sported a rather fetching beard for years.
My 5-year old, mimicking daddy, has worn stick-on beards in various configurations over the past year. We’ve made them from cardboard, cotton wool, faux fur, fabric, paper and even the pointy bits inside an egg carton. For a while there, he had a collection of them taped to the door-frame, so he could make his selection for the day.
The party was a hoot. With all that facial hair, at one point it looked like we were hosting a mini Spanish inquisition. Lots of kids brought their own beards – the blue beard drawn on with pastels and the brown knitted woollen one were personal faves. A girlfriend of mine sacrificed some of her own hair which she adhered to her chin and upper lip with eyelash glue. She was a terrifying, living vintage circus poster and frankly, she creeped me out.
We eased into the party with some craft. I found ace blank cardboard cut-out faces at Riot Art and we supplied paper beards, textas and glue for the kids to make their own bearded faces. It was a nice calm start to the afternoon. The peace and quiet was soon shattered with shrieks though when 
the husband bounded in, having reprised his popular role as El Camino, sombrero-toting balloon-animal-maker extraordinaire. We also played Pin the Beard on the Anthill Mob Dude (photo below). The weather was totally crappy so indoor games were an absolute necessity.
The beard cake was super easy to make. I made the beard hair by pushing ‘sausages’ of fondant icing through my son’s playdough string-maker. Ready-made fondant icing is fantastic. It’s super easy to use, and makes such an impressive, smooth coating. It’s simply rolled flat like dough and cut to fit. I used it for the bearded cupcakes too. You can buy fondant icing online (even on Ebay!) or from Merryday Cakes, Something for Cake or CakeDeco on Flinders Street.
The treat bags contained a mini bag of lollies from Aldi, stick-on moustaches from Ebay, a colour-your-own people paper chain from Riot Art, and bearded character badges (or ‘buttons’ for our American friends). One of the badges features a photo of my son’s favourite Thunderbird doll, with a beard and moustache made from plasticine. The girl’s badge features a fab bearded lady illustration found on Pinterest (who looks spookily like my aforementioned girlfriend). My 8-year old and I caught the train to Sticky Institute to make the badges. It’s in the beautiful Campbell Arcade in De Graves Subway – without a doubt one of my favourite places in Melbourne. Sticky Institute have an online badge template on their website, so you can pre-make your artwork. The 8-year old had a ball making all the badges, while I perused the zines and quaffed a perfect coffee from Cup of Truth.
The party food was nearly all eaten, which was a relief as I nearly always over-cater. We had popcorn, little sausages, fruit, guacamole with crackers and carrot sticks, honey joys, bearded cupcakes (I made my sneaky pumpkin chocolate muffins in oval-shaped friand pans), tsukune (teriyaki chicken balls) and cheese and spinach pastries from Oasis Bakery.
Jeez, didn’t mean for this post to become such an epic! Sorry guys. Ciao for now. New recipes coming soonish…

Beard cake

Beard party ideas