Celebrating your 18th birthday under quarantine is a bummer. But my daughter went the extra mile to make it special for her sister! Here are some birthday decoration and cake ideas to help your birthday girl smile during this difficult time.
Admittedly there are worse things than celebrating your 18th birthday under coronavirus quarantine. For one, you could actually HAVE Covid-D on your 18th birthday. Or you could have the Spanish flu on a Navy ship on the way to fight in Europe during WWI. This is not to make light, in anyway, experiencing true hardship during the coronavirus pandemic right now.
All that criticism that kids’ difficulties are because they spend too much time on social media and don’t know how to socialize face to face? This drives me nust. Don’t even get me started on on adults who blame everything on teens while taking none of the responsibility themselves. If anything, this quarantine is proving all those critics wrong. Not seeing their friends is one of the hardest parts of this quarantine for my teens and young adults.
It’s a big disappointment to miss the chance to celebrate your 18th birthday with friends. Coming on top on cancellation of so many special senior year experiences – musical theater award performance, last dance performance, graduation, PROM, and even first year college experiences like orientation… makes it even tougher.
Our youngest is going through this, and I’m mourning right along with her. Because it will be my last for so many of those too. And as she just reminded me – “Hey, Mom. All your children are adults now! How does it feel to technically have any children anymore?”
But now’s not the time to think about that. This isn’t about me.
It’s about the birthday girl!
Special Quarantine 18th Birthday
You don’t have to have a big party for people to let your daughter know how appreciated she is. I was so pleased when her big sister spent all day, and late into the night, to let her know how special she is on her special day. Decorations and a cake really add something special to the day.
Looking for things to do during quarantine? Check out my list of best books for kids to read during quarantine.
Here is what surprised the birthday girl when she came downstairs on her birthday morning.
Like I said, my older daughter worked all day on this – and late into the night. (Well, late to me. I think all of our teens were still up. But I was asleep!) So I’m not saying this is fast. But several of the things she did actually weren’t hard, or you can take shortcuts.
Here are some of her ideas and resources she used.
The 18th birthday, cake that you can actually make!
I love, love, love all the amazing cakes that you can find on Pinterest. But let’s face it, some of them can only be made by professional bakers.
This one, my daughter DID make the macaroons from scratch – because she’s an amaze-balls baker. But, you can get the same effect with bought macarons much more easily. (Trade Joe’s has some very good frozen macarons.)
The icing decorations are of the easiest type. Piped with a Wilton icing decorators tip.
Laser-cut birthday cake topper
The Happy Eighteenth birthday cake topper was cut on our home laser cutter, a GlowForge.
But you can find birthday cake toppers to order on-line.
Sweets Tier- dessert stand for 18th quarantine birthday
Can you just smell the SUGAR? That is one thing that surprised me – there was so much sugar that when I got close to take the photos I could actually SMELL it.
For the best look, you want color and variety for the sweets on your tiered dessert plate. My daughter started making these pretty late. It was already something like 9 pm. So after putting the extra macarons on the middle layers, she added some simple things.
Bottom layer, some lemon bars from a mix, Krusteaz Meyer Lemon bars.
Top layer, brownie balls from brownies made from a mix and dipped in chocolate. They are yummy! Resource below.
The tiered dessert stand came from Macy’s, but any one will do.
Don’t have one?
Ideas for making a tiered dessert plate
Stack a couple of tiered cake plates.
Or you can make them out of a couple of plates and an upside down glass! If you make a temporary one, be sure it’s sturdy. You might even be able to use a small glass bowl for the spacer between the plates. See below for resources.
The decorated balloon garland for the 18th quarantined birthday
My daughter used this amazing “how to make a balloon garland” video to start.
It was her idea to add the tissue paper streamers and paper leaves for the “Into the Jungle” theme.
She designed the leaves on Photoshop and then used the laser cutter to cut them quickly. You could also use a Cricut to cut out these leaves to add to the balloon garland. I’ve listed an amazing craft blogger who has lots of free Cricut paper designs in the resources below.
My daughter hated to waste the paper between the big leaves, so she made the confetti that she sprinkled on the table.
Notice how the three different colors of green really add to the effect! I wouldn’t have thought of that.
Make the Balloon Garland easier!
My daughter made the balloon garland just with ribbon and her own balloons, but you can buy balloon garland kits that make it easier.
Tissue paper streamers for the garland – birthday party decorations
For the tissue paper streamers, she just stacked the tissue paper up to cut strands. Mixed the colors, and secured them in the middle with plastic bag twisty ties. Then she tied them on the balloon garland.
The curly ribbon garland chandelier birthday party
You could add this to any chandelier really. It does work especially well with our modern linear crystal chandelier.
The curly ribbon garland itself you could call a ribbon chandelier. It couldn’t be any easier.
The curling is just the natural curl as the ribbon comes off the spool.
Long strands are just tied at their middles in graduated lengths.
Things that made my daughter’s quarantine 18th birthday special
Among the things that made my daughter’s day on her 18th birthday? Friends who made special birthday posts for her on social media!
Things to be thankful in the midst of the coronavirus Covid quarantined birthday?
Friends and big sisters!
More ideas for making your kids birthday special in quarantine
These seems pretty obvious to me, but here are some other things we did to make her day as special as possible on her birthday during quarantine.
- She got to choose all the meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus choosing the type of cake (Just the decoration was a surprise. I was in charge of making sure we got all the ingredients ahead of time, during shortages at stores this took some early planning. A special thanks to the local HEB grocery store bakery that made sure to include their excellent pan fracais in our curbside pickup, even though it wasn’t typically available for that! My daughter has a standing order in for her birthday dinner, and thanks to that we were able to keep the meal exactly the same.
- We made sure to wrap the presents the night before, so she could eye them all day long in anticipation. (Typically they are wrapped just a couple of hours before opening!)
- As much choice as possible with how the day goes. Let them pick a movie, game, or other family activity. In a family with lots of siblings, this can be special.
- Let them choose how the day goes! Those family games we thought we’d play (she loves games)? We didn’t get to play them because so many of her friends surprised her with things like virtual gatherings. That’s what she wanted to do! Let your kid do what makes them happy.
- The extra desserts? Available to nibble. All. Day. Long.
- As much as possible, just let the day be all about them.
Best of luck with your own quarantine birthday! Check out the decoration and quarantine birthday party resources below! Celebrating Easter during quarantine? How about an Easter texting scavenger hunt for teens and tweens.
Resources for the quarantined birthday party
How To Make a Temporary Tiered Serving Plate by Make and Takes – Uses Scotch Restickable Strips to secure the temporary tiered dessert stand.
Here’s a video tutorial for a make your own tiered glass cake stand.
More Covid-19 quarantine birthday party ideas
Even More ways to celebrate a quarantine birthday or graduation
Another blogger has some fantastic ideas for unique ways to celebrate a quarantined high school graduation or college graduation. Both lists look like they could be used for either graduation. I think these also make great ideas for quarantined birthdays for many ages!
When looking at the idea of a personalized video message, don’t forget that there might be some smaller celebrities, like a YouTube celebrity your birthday or graduation boy or girl might enjoy hearing from.