As we approach high Summer, those of us who are more organised may already be dreaming of inspiration for our Winter events. Held in April, just as the autumn chill begins to emerge in Sydney, Aiden’s penguin party certainly fit the bill for a perfect Winter Wonderland celebration. The celebration was made extra special by a variety of bespoke creations, hand painted by Aiden’s mum Elizabeth, who runs her own party and wedding stationery business, ELK Prints. Elizabeth’s art, her meticulous technique and attention to texture and colour, combined with a well-thought-out menu, games and styling ensured the right ambience was captured for the day. Elizabeth gives us the details below. 

Aiden's penguin party: a Winter themed 4th birthday

Planning Aiden’s penguin party

To celebrate Aiden’s fourth birthday party we hosted a party inspired by his love of penguins. Aiden was a key decision maker in the planning, choosing a colour palette of blue and his favourite animal as the star attraction.

Aiden's penguin party: a Winter themed 4th birthday

Aiden's penguin party: a Winter themed 4th birthday

Aiden's penguin party: a Winter themed 4th birthday

Aiden's penguin party: a Winter themed 4th birthday
Bespoke Penguin Cake Topper in hand-painted watercolours
Custom watercolour artwork was used for the stationery and decor. The invitation itself heralded the theme and style of the party. It featured an original artwork of penguins, and the aesthetic set out in the invitation was then carried on throughout the party, creating a cohesive vision. Paint strokes of icy blue and deep ocean hues were a key feature of the party stationery and party decor, representing the fields of ice, long winter nights and ocean habitat of the penguins.
Aiden's penguin party: a Winter themed 4th birthday

 The dessert table was set up with an array of beautiful desserts amongst swathes of ice inspired fabric. A backdrop of hand-painted rice paper sheets represented the dramatic ice fields and glaciers of Antarctica.
Aiden's penguin party: a Winter themed 4th birthday

Themed food for the Penguin party

The Nutella “pengerons” from Arelio Sweetbox were a special feature piece and very popular as were the shortbread biscuits with penguins by Deliciously Sweet Gourmet Biscuits.

Macaron flavours of nutella, blueberry and coconut were chosen by the birthday boy along with many of the other food choices; whole steamed fish, “krill” prawns and sushi were all deemed to be perfect penguin food.

When planning a party it is fun to think about how to apply your theme all the components of the party.  To create all the elements so that they work together is rather special and makes the event cohesively beautiful and attractive to guests. As a designer that creative process of thinking about the plates, the drinks, the nibbles, the decor and games are an interesting part of preparing for the party.

A ‘seaweed’ inspired gin for the adults to enjoy.

An “iceberg” cake was made for the birthday cake. Shards of meringue embedded in the frosting were used to represent ice. A custom hand-painted watercolour cake topper featuring a baby penguin was also made, to represent the birthday boy. Watercolour penguins paraded amongst the plates of sweets via the food labels.


It was fun to put the sweet table together with all the different ideas that related to penguins and their icey home. Swathes of fairy floss, meringues, white chocolate and yoghurt balls were all simple treats that enhanced the atmosphere and theme.

Marbled napkins by Harlow and Grey and blue confetti spot plates by Paper Eskimo sourced from Favour Lane Boutique helped to reinforce the Antarctica ice field setting.

Penguin party games

This year party games took centre stage at the party now that Aiden is older and gaining more friends through preschool. Party Ideas in a Box provided an inspirational and useful set of guidelines on how to run a number of party games inspired by the penguin theme. It was very helpful to have the broad range of suggestions along with tips on how to set each game up and what equipment and space would be required for each game. We were able to go through the choices and select those games that best suited the setup of our party and the ideas were all clever twists on traditional favourites or fresh ideas inspired by the theme.

Guests loved the concept of Musical Icebergs to the soundtrack of Happy Feet where pillows became ice floats. Fishing for paper fish in the hammock with spoons was a fun if somewhat chaotic game that the children enjoyed.

The most popular of the games played was the penguin scavenger hunt. Watercolour penguins by ELK Prints were scattered around the garden with stamps and sticker books. The children then had to search for each penguin to fill in their bingo card with a special fluffy penguin prize on offer for the winner. For the smaller children, it was nice to be gently guided by their parent to help look for the penguins and everyone commented on how fun and unique it was to play.

As a thank you, guests were given lollypops made by Delleicious by Elle featuring custom artwork by ELK Prints as a take home gift.


Styling / Design / Backdrop / Cake Topper / Stationery: ELK Prints
Photography: Amelia Soegijono Photography
Party Games: Party Ideas in a Box
Lollypops: Delleicious by Elle
Macarons: Arelio Sweetbox
Cookies: Deliciously Sweet Gourmet Biscuits
Partyware: Favor Lane