How To Design a Picture Perfect Birthday Party for a Little Princess

Planning

I naively thought that I could dreamily plan out my daughter’s birthday parties for at least the first 5 years of her life. Anyone who knows me knows I love planning parties and knows that I find any random excuse to celebrate.  Kids’ White party to celebrate the end of summer, anyone??  So here I am with carefully thought-through party ideas for her 1st through 5th birthday parties..not kidding check out my Pinterest page…and then my precocious, soon-to-be 4 year old daughter throws a wrench in my plans and independently comes up with her own ideas.  Princess Party!

And boy was she specific!

  • “princess theme with pink”
  • “I want it to be a tea party”
  • “I want to sit in a queen’s chair!”
  • “I want a princess cake like Olivia’s (referencing a Barbie cake)”
  • “lots of CANDY!”
  • only 4 guests” (tells me exactly who to invite and that this year it has to be a small party)
  • “I want to set the table!”

OK OK!  I get it. You want to be a princess!  So back to the drawing board I went and through our collaborative research/discussion and approval phase, we came up with a non-Disney-specific, princess tea party with pink, white and metallic colors running throughout.  Here’s how I transformed our NY apartment into a picture-perfect party palace and here are tips on how you can design yours on a budget too:

Backdrop

We have a large white, blank wall currently devoid of art, or frames which not only gives our living room, a clean minimalistic feel but also allows me to easily transform the space each holiday or for any celebration.  I turned this wall into a beautiful photo backdrop with my 1 splurge piece, this beautifully printed banner from Iconica Design.  The large scale immediately brightened up the room and carried the colors throughout the space.  What do you think?

Since I’m all about the photo opp, I imagined getting a group shot with the girls all jumping on my couch with balloons in the air, waving them around like they just didn’t care…  and I loved when my vision came to life!

Balloons

Balloon garlands and installations if professionally done are super pricey.  But you can go the DIY route if you have a lot of patience and can spare some time (and by “some” I mean double the time you think it takes).  To stay within budget, I blew all these balloons up myself (bought wholesale), taped them to my mirror with packing tape, prayed they would stay on but still had to repeat this process 10x cuz so many popped or wouldn’t stay up, then added mirrored Christmas garland, and finally inserted silk flowers in between for a unique, girly look.  It was well worth the effort in the end, I think, don’t you?

It perfectly echoed the banner across the way and was a major conversation piece that night!

I also did a balloon makeover on an enormous balloon that I brought home one day from the Live Clean blogger brunch.  By adding my own coordinating pom pom string, tulle and paper garland, it became a one-of-a-kind photo prop!

Her feather crown can be purchased wholesale here.

Desserts

She mentioned she wanted sweets.  So I made and formed rice krispy stars, added frosting, gold glitter and a gold straw to create magic wands!

Pink rock candy sticks, jellybeans, and mini cupcakes also contributed to the sugar high.  And pink, gold and silver Hershey kisses hid in crown favor boxes while candy awaited our guests in the form of pretty pink purses.

Vendors

  • Happy Birthday sign is actually a cake topper that I bought wholesale here.
  • Crown favor boxes can be bought wholesale here
  • Pink purse favor boxes found wholesale here
  • The most royal of desserts however, was the princess cake!  Straight out of our dreams, was this glorious Barbie cake, dress, hat and present designed to match our party decor, from Baked by Tal.  AMAZING!

Besides giving the sweets the royal treatment, I picked out the prettiest princess-y paper goods that I could find while perfectly matching her color theme.  By printing, cutting and assembling on my own, I was able to cut costs as well.  The banner, cupcake toppers, invite, thank you card and other event signs and notes can be found here.

Menu

Tea party menu included: crown shaped PB&J princess sandwiches, 2 kinds of salad, pasta, chicken and rice, asparagus, fruit and of course, tea which I added pink edible rosebuds to.  Here’s a shot of the sandwiches that I cut using crown-shaped cookie cutters.

Gold glitter wall

If you want a picture -perfect party, you MUST think about pretty backdrops!  These princesses were expert posers and I knew I had to have a special spot for them to pick a prop and pose.  Here, I re-used my fold-up backdrop holder and created a shimmery backdrop with a friend’s borrowed gold linen, some pom pom, xmas trim and some leftover plastic tablecloth previously used at a past party.  Everything was simply taped on with packing tape on the back and cost me nothing ‘cuz I just used what I had.  It’s amazing what you can find for your party at the local dollar store!  The shredded pink tablecloth turned garland here was a dollar each and I hand-cut it.  The gold circle confetti was also from the dollar store and I filled my wholesale balloons at the dollar store with helium!

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Tablescape

For a sophisticated kids’ tablescape I mixed in paper plates with real plates, bought coordinating teacups on sale on ebay, and found the perfect pink, white and gold paper goods at wholesale prices! 

I really wanted a luxe linen but couldn’t afford the rental prices from my favorite linen supplier, Wildflower Linen so I made my own by buying wholesale, 1 yard of glittery mesh fabric from NY’s garment district and adding my own white ruffle trim.  I then sprinkled some diamond confetti pieces (found at Target) all over the table as shown here – majorly upgraded look from the usual child’s plastic table cover, right?

Of course, Juliet got to have her throne.  I found that Exceptional Party Rentals had some of the best throne selections with delivery to/from NYC.

Activities

For this princess tea party, our (hired) princess (and Juliet’s babysitter) gave individualized mini-makeovers giving each guest a turn on the throne.  The girls also got to design their own glass slipper, a craft involving stickers and these wholesale favor shoes.

And they enjoyed the shimmer and shine styling station and a “game of thrones” that I made up and had our resident princess lead.  (think musical chairs but with princess music, thrones, and princesses wearing tiaras)

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In the end, everyone had such a blast that they over-stayed by 2 more hours!  Nobody wanted the party to end, including me.  See my Instagram and Twitter for more details and videos!

Juliet is already talking about her next birthday party plans… she says it will be a Frozen themed party with 5 friends when she turns 5!

Click here for 15 fantastic Frozen party ideas!

How To DIY a Galentine’s For Kids in 5 Easy Steps

I love celebrating Valentine’s with Juliet because it’s such a fun girly holiday filled with hearts, pink, red and lots of love.  Every year, we transform our dining area with themed decor, I make my annual pink heart pancakes and break out all our Valentine’s colored fashions.  Another annual tradition we enjoy is hosting a Valentine’s-themed, posh play date.  See last year’s pajamas and pancakes play date, or Wild For you play dates!  This year, I’ll show you how we threw a pink and metallic Galentines for kids.  You can Do It Yourself at home too in 5 easy steps!

  1. Pick a color theme.

    I generally recommend picking and sticking to no more than 3 colors when decorating (with white not counting).  (That is unless you are having a rainbow themed party in which case color explosions would be required).  Because Juliet’s upcoming birthday party decor items were pink and metallic, I decided to make double-use out of items already laying around the house and use what we already had.  The white, pink, silver and gold went well with our home’s neutral color theme, and the shot of baby pink just made things so much sweeter.  To go along with the theme, I asked Juliet’s friends to dress up in those colors which made for super cute coordinated outfits (and photos)! kids valentine's party, how to throw a kids valentine's party, kids valentine's party ideas

  2. Dress the table.

    I like to dress up the dining area for special occasions and holidays and it never takes much money.  The flower centerpiece was actually a gift from a blogger event I had just attended, The pink paper plates were found at the dollar store and set on top of our fancier chargers to elevate the look, the borrowed sequin linen was folded into a runner and I made placemats out of cardstock paper.

    DSC_6753

    I have bought a giant pack of patterned cardstock paper during Michael’s sale and have found them so useful year-round for all sort of crafts, activities and yes, as placemats!  Just throw them out once a mess is made plus they look so cute under the clear chargers, don’t they?  DSC_6737Another tip when dressing your table is to layer.  Notice how the placemats and plates are layered on top of one another with a Valentine’s greeting card on each plate?  Or see how the pom pom ball string was added to each side of the runner?  All these layers add visual interest and elevate your standard dining table setup.

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    Juliet helped me DIY placecards by adhering letter these circular white and gold stickers to each plate, spelling out each child’s name while reinforcing her alphabet recognition.

    3. Get photo ready.

    With each holiday, you’ll want to capture all the cute memories and milestones.  You’ve already asked your guests to come dressed in color theme, so think about the photo opps!  For a simple backdrop, I cut out letters out of the same cardstock used in the placemats and spelled out “Happy Galentine’s,” scotch taped them to the wall for an easy, temporary banner.

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    Then I added xoxo letters to my dining area’s mirror and a love balloon (found at Target) to my other mirror.

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    My selfie station included lip, heart and kiss me photo props with a framed sign encouraging guests to, “pick a prop and pose” (and they did)!

     

     

     

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    4.Plan an Activity

    Every get together needs an entertaining activity.  For a little girls’ Valentine’s get together, I like to have them do some simple decorating of food items like topping their heart-shaped pancakes like in my last Vday party (or for this party), sprinkling sparkly confections onto already frosted cupcakes.  Valentine’s card crafting could be another fun activity for moms and kids to do together but for the sake of time, I find it best to choose just one.  galentines for kids, how to throw a galentine's party, pink and metallic party, valentine's party decor ideas

    You could save time by purchasing store-bought cupcakes but Juliet and I enjoyed preparing for the party by pre-baking our own before the party started.

    DSC_6826(Don’t you just love the shot of chocolate that Max Brenner gave to me as a blogger who attended their event?)  You can inject it into the cupcakes, or just spread it over the top!  The colorful sprinkles and candy toppings were a major hit too!

    cupcake frosting, cupcake making party, valentine's party, valentine's for kidsAnd if you’re hosting a play date, sometimes, it’s fun to plan an activity for the moms as well.  I had prepared this fun get-to-know-you card game given to me by the brand during a toy fair. “Ladies night” it’s so fittingly called; and each card poses an interesting and revealing question, perfect for getting your Galentine’s going! how to host a galentine's, happy valentine's party, valentine's party for kids, ideas for kids valentines DSC_6782Combine this with a little pink champagne or rose’ and you’re all set!

    5. Party!

    Lastly, don’t forget the background music, prepare enough time to set up before your guests arrive and when they do, relax, and party with your girls!  Valentine’s is the perfect time show your girlfriends your love. Happy Galentine’s!

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© 2021 Stylishly Stella