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:
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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)
In the end, everyone had such a blast that they overstayed 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!