I'm not sure yet if I can squeeze all of the party details into one super long post or if I should break it up into multiple posts so bear with me on this one friends...
Rylee's birthday was all the waaaaaay back in January and shortly following her party Addyson approached me and said something along these lines - "Hey, when are you going to start working on my party?" So we started working on her party right then and there. She seemed to know without a doubt that she wanted to have a Cinderella party and over the next 6 months she never once changed her mind (which was a good thing for her!).
I'm not a big fan of character-themed anything - clothing, room decor, party supplies, etc. so I chose to go with a Cinderella inspired theme and tried to minimize the presence of the cartoon/animated princess. Blue, white and silver were the obvious color choices and I tried to subtly incorporate symbols from the movie like glass slippers, wands and pumpkins into the decor. I also used lots of tulle in various ways to keep it frilly and girly. If you missed it I did a full post about my tulle-crazed projects. You can read it here.
All right, so here we go!
I really didn't want anything that had an image of Cinderella on it but instead I was looking for something that featured one of the symbolic items from the movie that I mentioned above. I had a difficult time finding any one shop or person that offered a complete package that wasn't covered with images of Cinderella so I ended up purchasing items from 2 separate Etsy shops. The items from the shops weren't exact matches but they were close enough. The invitations were just what I was looking for and I was able to purchase coordinating cupcake toppers and favor tags from the same shop. You can check out the invitations and other items here. The invitation shown features a photo of the birthday child but I choose not to use a photo on our invitation and the shop owner was very accommodating and easy to work with.
The birthday banner that was hung on our fireplace along with the folded sign cards (which I used as place cards at the kids' table) and the striped paper were purchased from this Etsy shop. Again, the shop owner was very easy to work with and made a few minor adjustments for me. Never be afraid to ask if you don't see exactly what you want! I have found that most Etsy shop owners are very flexible and can customize just about anything to your liking.
In addition to decorating the inside of our house I also added a few small items outside to greet the guests. On our front porch I created a small pumpkin patch using faux pumpkins from our stash of Halloween decor, a wand and some white tulle. The door was adorned with a DIY tutu wreath.
Inside, the fireplace and built-in area adjacent to it were the main focal points. I was so excited to discover that the built-in cabinetry is the perfect place for a dessert display and I definitely plan to utilize it when we have parties from now on!
I pinned a cluster of balloons above the fireplace to add some height to the area, but mainly to hide the big hole in the wall where there apparently used to be a t.v. On the mantle I placed chipboard letters that spelled the word "WISH" along with a wand, some tulle and glass jars filled with candy mallowcreme pumpkins (which are not easy to find in June!). I finished off the fireplace area with the Happy Birthday banner.
For the dessert area I used a large piece of light blue satin fabric as a backdrop and sprinkled silver star confetti all around. To elevate the cake and add some height I glued 3 shoe boxes together and placed them under the fabric. I attempted to make my own cake stand by gluing candlesticks and trays together but the end result was a bit wobbly and I didn't want to risk a falling cake during the party so I opted not to use it (this was DIY project gone bad #1). I was going for an elegant look here a la The Royal Ball so I used "silver" trays from the dollar store to display most of the desserts. I also used fishing wire to hang wands above the dessert area and glued 3 white mini paper fans together to add more interest to the backdrop.
In addition to the cake, the dessert area featured glass slipper petit fours, cupcakes, sugar cookies and pretzel rods dipped in white candy melts and sprinkled with silver glitter sprinkles. My 2nd DIY project gone bad was also a dessert table item - I made marshmallow pops dipped in blue candy melts but decided not to display them because most of them slid right down their sticks. They still tasted good though!
I had several other ideas for dessert offerings - Hershey's kisses (perfect with their silver foil wrappers and blue and white paper flags!), star shaped marshmallows (a July 4th novelty food that would have fit right in with the theme), rice krispie treat "wands" and pumpkin shaped sugar cookies - but due to limited space and time (I made most of the desserts myself) I had to scale back a bit.
We had 2 tables set up for dining - one was our regular dining room table for the adults and the other was a large folding table where Addyson and her preschool friends sat. At both tables I tied tulle bows around the chairs and sprinkled silver star confetti all around, and in the center of each table I placed a frame with a quote from the movie. The kids' table had place cards with each girl's name and a "glass slipper" at their seat.
Thanks to a very special appearance by Cinderella (a family friend in a costume that I ordered online) I was able to keep the games and activities to a minimum, which also kept my stress level down. Trying to entertain 4 year olds can be tricky but thankfully they were so mesmerized by Cinderella that they didn't seem to mind that there were only a few simple activities. After Cinderella's surprise arrival the girls chatted with her for a bit and then we did temporary tattoos (Cinderella ones of course - one of the few items at the party that actually had Cinderella on it). That was followed by a fun game of "Pin the Glass Slipper on the Pillow" (a homemade game that I whipped up myself using cardboard, polyfill, fabric and a glue gun since it's impossible to find a pin-the-anything-on-Cinderella game!). Next the girls did the freeze dance with Cinderella to the song "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo" and then they all sat quietly and listened to the story of Cinderella on a Disney CD that I purchased at Target.
For dinner we served our usual chicken nugget tray from Chick-fil-a (always a big hit with the kids and easy for me!) along with a fruit bowl, veggie tray and chips/munchies. We set up the food in a buffet style on our kitchen bar that was decorated very minimally with a silver table cover and silhouettes of Cinderella (which were not easy to trace and cut out!) strung across the front. For dessert we served cake and cupcakes.
Last but not least - party favors! I had so much fun with this project. I made tutu favor bags for the girls and inside each one was a Cinderella blow-out, silver wand, Cinderella stickers and a personalized "chore chart". This website has tons of FREE stuff like coloring pages and other fun things that make great party favors and/or activities. We also gave each guest a take-out style box to fill with sweets from the dessert area.
So far I think this party might be my favorite of all the ones that I have planned. I loved all of the DIY projects from the tutu wreath to the favor bags to the desserts and everything in between. With each party that I plan I become a little more detail oriented and continue to fine tune and tweak the process. I'm by no means a professional but I sure do love party planning!
I hope that in all of my crazy planning and self-inflicted stress that I am truly doing something that my kids will remember forever (and maybe even appreciate someday).
So there you have it - one super long birthday party post!