This modern train themed birthday party is a black and white take on a kids party favourite! Full of simple DIY decorations and easy food- it’s a quick theme to pull together!
Guys, see that title? I crack myself up. You can’t tell me that’s not gold.
Today I’m finally sharing Windsor’s second birthday party! He turned two back in December… but who’s counting, right? We had such a fun time celebrating this guy and his love for trains. It’s sweet to look back over the photos as I’m writing this post at these memories and all the little details.
Affiliate links are used in this post. Some party supplies were provided by Oriental Trading, more information in post below :) Read all my policies here if ya like.
Looking for the DIY Tutorials?
CLICK HERE for a video tutorial of this chugga two two train décor and 12 more modern DIY Dollar Store Party Decorations that you can make for your next party!
CLICK HERE for the cake and topper tutorial!
I feel like every time that I throw a party, I do less than the time before. I’ve said this before but if you don’t throw parties all the time, I think it’s good to hear. I used to decorate every corner in a room; every table, every wall, every door. It was party time and the house had to look like it. But now? I decorate the table- wherever the focus is. And maaaaybe one other space (a garland or sign) and the rest? I leave as is. And here’s the thing. People still think I’m going all out. And people aren’t tripping all over decorations. And the kids (and adult guests) still have a good time. And then you can save yourself the time you would have spent decorating all those tiny things and make a pot of coffee and enjoy your guests. And get some sleep. And whatever you want. Does this give you permission to do a bit less? I hope so.
So what did I not do that I used to do? Other than focus on ONE space (my dining room), I didn’t worry about having a ton of food (just treats that were already prepped) and didn’t bother moving my dining room decorations (that giant map) to have a blank slate. I just worked with what I have. And that worked well with this theme!
In all honesty… our table is giant. And table cloths for that beast are super expensive. So I tried to work with the colours that we had in there (warm wood and that map) and that meant my favourite color scheme… black and white. You guys, I’m telling you… black and white can make any party theme modern. Did you catch our dino party? Black and white. Or Windsor’s Winter Onederland (first birthday party)? Black and white. Modern as can be.
So let’s talk about food first off… see how freaking easy this all is? Cupcakes and a cake (because it is a party after all) with plain white icing and premade sugar toppers, bowls of popcorn, PB sandwiches (always a hit with two year olds), and coffee. I also made coffee. Because there were a ton of kids there and us parents deserve caffeine ;) I also made a video of that cake. It was really easy to pull off and I recorded the whole process so I’ll be sharing that in the next couple weeks here. If you want to jump the gun, you can grab that cake topper cut file here.
And other than food? I kept that simple too. Oriental Trading was kind enough to supply those rad striped balloons (seriously… they’re amazing and made the party theme IMHO) and the party favors that jump started the theme. The favours are wooden train whistles, conductors hats, and train tattoos. Super cute, right? We had a line of chairs by the end of the party and the kids were all playing trains. But if I could make a recommendation… wait until the kids are leaving to give them train whistles. 12 train whistles should never be blown at the same time if you want to have any sort of conversation.
To run with the stripes, I picked up that striped piece of fabric as a table runner from Michaels. I used it for another party the following weekend (a palm springs themed bridal shower!) so it’s already paid for itself in my mind. The striped table runner helped the wooden train tracks around the cake really stand out (they would have been lost on the wood table!) and added some more black to the table.
I also used what I had for signs. I always love to use my letterboard and lightbox for parties (like at this ice cream party) because they’re so easy to change up, work for any modern party theme and cost me nothing (since I already have them in my home decor).
The only other piece of decor on this table is that big sign. I made that using two pieces of posterboard, a paintbrush and ink. Look familiar? I made almost the identical sign for my twins Picnic Birthday Party a couple years ago. I feel like for the $2 that I spend on the posterboard for these signs… they totally make a statement. I’d be willing to spend more on them, but the fact that I don’t have to? Well, that means I’ll probably make them for a bunch more parties! Maybe I should make a video tutorial of these signs?
The last thing that we did was on the wall opposite this table and that’s the sweet little train of photos of the birthday boy. I just cut a train out using my Cricut (designs included in Access– you can use my project here) and printed off some black and white photos to put in the train cars. He loved that he had his own train and it was fun to go through and choose some of my fave photos of him to print from our family session last fall. I totally found this idea on Pinterest here and just updated it to fit with our black and white modern theme.
That’s it, that’s all! I hope that you enjoyed this peek into W’s 2nd birthday party! We had so much fun with this theme and with every kids party we throw it’s getting easier to pull together (because I’m doing less…it’s life changing. Try it!). I definitely won’t be dropping the black and white modern twist to all the party themes any time soon… it’s so fun! What was your favourite part?