Party Time: A Princess Tea Party inspired by Dora

We were delighted and fortunate to help Selina celebrate her 3rd birthday with a Princess Dora-inspired tea party. The party was to be held at Gymboree, so we decided to coordinate with their “Princess Playhouse Party” theme. The party itself was led by Gymboree’s own wonderful Nicole, who led the royal guests through songs and fun activities.

We had our work cut out for us in trying to transform the space into a royal venue for Princess Selina, but we managed to turn this:

Into this:

We took streamers and made a curtain to cover the sink area.

Paper flowers hung from the ceiling and we used a garland, more paper flowers, and lanterns to create a little sitting area for parents.

Real Green Toys tea sets were used along with safe LED tea lights to set the mood for a “royal garden tea party among the columns of the castle.”

Bloquets stood in for real flowers on the table for double duty as party horns and decoration. Dora made a small appearance on the table in the form of a ring used as a napkin ring.

We made a simple banner with satin ribbon and beautiful handmade paper to decorate the dessert table, which was filled with both treats to eat and celebrate. A large 3 balloon left no question as to how old the princess would be for her birthday!

The petit fours were from Dragonfly Cakes and just delightful dusted with a pearl luster. We also found chocolate and yogurt star cookies that would have made Dora happy and fit perfectly with the theme.

You may be wondering where Dora is in all of this. Selina’s mom wanted the essence of a Dora party, so we decided to use “Dora colors” to represent Dora, Boots and royalty. Dora did make an appearance on the invitations and in the goodie bags in the form of a doll.

The envelope also held a crown for the princess sealed with royal sealing wax.

We also based activities around making flower “Dora” bead bracelets and royal jeweled maracas as children arrived and before the actual party started.

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All About the Packaging: Circle Garland

We whipped up these garlands for a holiday party. Super easy and super simple.  We made them with 5-inch circles, but you could make them in any shape or size. We used leftover paper to make rectangular ones. Smaller ones could be use for gift wrapping.

All you need for this project are:

-cardstock
-ribbon
-glue

 We used our Silhouette machine to cut out our 5-inch circles, but a circle cutter works just as well.  Apply glue to one circle and place the ribbon on top.

Place a second circle on top to sandwich the ribbon.  Continue along the ribbon about three inches apart for as long as you need the garland to be.

Cut the ribbon and hang. You could make the circles as large or as small.  The small garlands could also be used for gift wrapping.

All About the Packaging: Puppy Centerpiece Tutorial

We helped throw a surprise party for a dog lover and decided to make these centerpieces to use in the restaurant. All it took was floral foam, flowers, greenery and a water dish.

We used spider mums and carnations. Regular mums work well, too. All of them last for 3-5 days. Longer if kept cool and watered. And while hydrangea look fantastic, they last maybe a day. You’ll need three spider mums and one bunch of carnations. You’ll also need three small black silk roses for the nose and pupils. We actually used a Sharpie to color in blue ones. You can also use the center of black-eyed Susans.

First, take your flowers and cut off all but three inches of the stem. Place in water while you get set up. Then take your floral foam and carve a rough head and snout. After soaking in water, place in the dog dish. Using a skewer, poke some holes to allow easier insertion of the flowers.

Now you can start inserting the flowers. Start with the spider mums. Place two of them towards the side of the head in the position of the ears and one in the center for the snout. Then place two carnations for the eyes, and two columns of three down the front for the legs. Place the black silk roses in the center of the two carnations you inserted for the eyes and in the spider mum on the snout. You may have to play around with placement to make your dog look just right.

Now you can fill in the rest of the dog with flowers. Just leave the space between the legs open. This will be filled in with the greenery.

Once you’re finished, add the greenery around the base of the dog and between its front legs and you’re finished!

Party Time: An Unbirthday Tea Party (UPDATED)

UPDATED: We’ve added pictures from Bellamy Blue and more details.

Our next celebration was an “unbirthday” tea party for Parker’s 5th birthday.  

We decided to send invitations via Paperless Post. We love that you can upload your own logo and personalize your stationery. We asked all the guests to come dressed as their versions of Alice for girls and the Mad Hatter for boys.

We started with the elevator so guests would be transported immediately to Wonderland. We made crepe paper flowers a la Martha Stewart and strung them up in the elevator.  


The room was decorated with “Alice” blue, white and black lanterns, playing cards and luminaria. 

We made “playing card” tea sandwiches using wheat and white bread using mini cookie cutters and had apple juice “tea.” 

We served the “tea” with lovely striped paper straws from Fish’s Eddy. Emily and Stephanie were wonderful enough to cut and attach the “Drink Me” flags.

And there was a lovely table full of treats to snack from. We found gummy butterflies from Economy Candy and lollipops from Vintage Confections.

We tried to stick with a blue and white theme to compliment Alice’s dress, so white gumballs, blue M&Ms, vanilla taffy and yogurt pretzels helped fill the table.  We also had little chocolate and strawberry candy mushrooms as Alice ate them in the story.

To add another layer to the table, we used beautiful glass bottles filled with tinted water with “Drink Me” tags attached and a variety of teapots. 

For an activity, the children made their own fruit tarts. We used phyllo shells filled with vanilla pudding and the children topped them with all sorts of berries. As the children ate, the Mad Hatter read them the story of Alice in Wonderland.

The Mad Hatter also brought a very large teapot piñata. Small pails
with “Fill Me” flags were handed out to hold the treats of sweets and
tea cup and cake erasers that fell from out of the pinata.

At the end, goodie bags containing a skeleton heart key charm on a ribbon from Simpson Studios, a pocket watch, an “Alice” headband for girls and a “Tweedle Dee” propeller beanie for the boys as well as a ribbon wand and a wishing “drink me” bottle from Steampunk Asunder were handed out to make sure that each child had a bit of Wonderland to take home with them. 

Party Time: Maddie-licious

For Maddie’s 9th birthday, she decided she wanted a candy party. And so the wheels were set in motion for a Maddie-licious party.First thing was to get the invitation out. We decided to make one that looks like a stick of chewing gum.  Maddie loves green, so we went with spearmint. After printing and cutting the invitations, they were put in a baggie with sticks of spearmint gum for a couple days to pick up the scent. It worked perfectly!

For decorations, we used the balloon lollipop idea from Parents.com as the starting point. Instead of painting the tubes, we just ordered a dozen white mailing tubes from Staples. We also wrapped red tape around the tubes to create candy cane sticks. We used the remaining balloons and cellophane to create giant candies, some of which were then taped to fishing line to create a garland. Giant kisses made out of foil and ribbon added to the party.

A cellophane basket gift bag, flower balloons, poster board and lettering and circles cut on the Silhouette HD made up our candy bag birthday “banner.”

Another decoration that also doubled as an activity was the Candy Trivia Punch Box. Click for our tutorial. Inspired by the Punch A Box game over at Shannon Makes Stuff, ours was made out of poster board, tissue paper and paper bags. It added an extra pop of color to the room.

We set up a craft activity to calm things down about. Sweet jewelry was the theme and we laid out the table with all sorts of beads, cabochons and findings that we found on Etsy*.

Finally, we put together a treats table where the guest to fill their goodie bags before they left. We decided to include non-candy items that also fit with the candy theme, so we had candy scented nail polish, lip gloss and candy colored clip-on braids. All of this was under a red and white striped awning inspired by the one in Noelle’s French Cafe Party over at Pink Peach Cakes. It was made from wrapping paper, double-sided tape and dowels that we hung using mini 3M Command hooks.

The kids had a great time with all the activities. The Gumball Obstacle Course was so much fun and trickier because if you knocked anything over, you had to start over from the beginning.

The Lifesaver Pass and the Pixie Stick Drop were also big hits.

After ice cream sundaes and cupcakes,

it was time for Candy Button Trivia. Each child was given a candy trivia question and got to punch a dot and get a prize if s/he answered correctly.

Finally, everyone helped clear out the treats table.

——————————–
*We purchased most of the items for the craft table from:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/wiino

http://www.etsy.com/shop/snapcrafty

http://www.etsy.com/shop/EdenGlitters

http://www.etsy.com/shop/GemJunkie

http://www.etsy.com/shop/twpmango

http://www.etsy.com/shop/BottleCapSupply

http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheCraftyDragonfly

http://www.etsy.com/shop/JuliesBeadStore

Party Time: An Unbirthday Tea Party

Our next celebration was an “unbirthday” tea party for P’s 5th birthday.  We started with the elevator so guests would be transported immediately to Wonderland.

We made “playing card” tea sandwiches and had apple juice “tea.”
We served the “tea” with lovely striped paper straws from Fish’s Eddy. Emily and Stephanie were kind enough to work their hands off cutting and attaching the “Drink Me” flags.
Photo: Bellamy Blue Photography

And there was a lovely table full of treats to snack from. We found gummy butterflies from Economy Candy and lollipops from Vintage Confections.

For an activity, the children made their own fruit tarts. We used phyllo shells filled with vanilla pudding and the children topped them with all sorts of berries.

At the end, goodie bags containing a skeleton heart key charm on a ribbon from Simpson Studios, a pocket watch, an “Alice” headband for girls and a “Tweedle Dee” propeller beanie for the boys as well as a ribbon wand and a wishing “drink me” bottle from Steampunk Asunder were handed out to make sure that each child had a bit of Wonderland to take home with them.

Party Time: Subway Theme Party

We just threw our first party together! Okay, it was for one of our own kids, but who better to test things out on than your own family?

Before the party plans even got started, Melanie made up some amazing invitations that look exactly like the service notices on the platforms.

On the day of the party, we gathered up all our things, hopped in Paula’s car and headed to the NY Transit Museum to set up for Elliott’s 5th birthday bash.
Everything went smoothly and the staff was so helpful. We were pretty happy with the end result, even if we had to change things on the fly.
We had construction hats and safety vests from SafetyDepot.com for the kids to wear while on the “Great Subway Search” scavenger hunt.

They loved exploring all the vintage subway cars on the platform.

Then it was time for pizza and drinks.And.of course, cake. Elsa made a delicious chocolate cake with vanilla butter-cream frosting. Since candles aren’t allowed at the museum, we went with a lollipop from Vintage Confections. Instead of blowing out a candle, Elliott just licked the lolly.

After all the food was finished, we sent everyone home with their hats, vests and a goody bag filled with a flashlight, a measuring tape, a “5” tin of M&Ms and a thank you note.