For the entire "R" family, who drove 11 hours to come and for JRC who told me to write this.
I really love planning birthdays for my girls. I wrote about a Yellow Birthday Party which was for Daughter #2 and last week had birthday party for Daughter #1, a Princess Butterfly Ball.
I decided that this party would NOT be a luncheon -because I had to focus on the crafts and the decorations more for this one than I did for the Yellow Birthday party.
The kids menu was:
Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting or chocolate ganache frosting
Vanilla cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting or chocolate ganache frosting
I experimented with fondant for the first time. I bought the wiltons, premixed, prepackaged one in pink, and rolled it out and cut tiny stars from it. I would have preferred a crown or a butterfly (to go with my theme) but did not have a chance to find it. It was a nice decorative touch, although I personally find fondant not so delicious. (the kids really liked eating it)
Butterfly Fruit Mosaic
This was made by friend JEL who had promised to make it for me after I helped her with her son's fishing party. Isn't it just gorgeous? (Again, fruit mosaics can take on a number of different forms and ideas...don't be afraid to experiment.)
I had an adult snack table -which COMPLETELY was not used until the end of the party because I had made it a drop-off optional party, and at the last minute, many parents chose to drop off. I'm sure if I had the chance I would have also. Again, I kept it simple, but satisfying. I definitely think it was nice having a separate adult table on which to graze.
Salami and brie cheese and crackers
Guacamole and chips
Crispy Chewy Oatmeal Toffee Chip Cookies
WARNING - What you are about to read next is NOT related to food, but simply about the entire party. I'm perhaps overstepping my bounds here as a food blogger, by describing the entire party, but I've had more than a few requests of people asking me for my ideas. I'm happy to have people take this exact party, pick it up and stick it in their own house - because no one should have to reinvent the wheel.
I do love going overboard and doing things to excess - and I'm really good at it...HA. Daughter #1 wanted an incredibly feminine girly party, so we invited all the girls from her class as well as a few special guests. I decided on this Princess Butterfly Ball theme, mainly because there was a decoration I really wanted to do - and it had butterflies on it. I also thought I might gag from the girliness of a purely princess party, so mixing it up with the bugs helped me relax a bit.
I made my own decorations - with ideas gotten from Martha Stewart. Mind you, I'm not a crafty person but I do enjoy feeling like I am. Therefore, I choose foolproof decoration ideas, so I can make them and feel successfully crafty without feeling like an idiot at the end of it. My point is this, anyone can feel crafty if they choose the right craft. (anyone can do the crafts i have done) Here is the room and how I decorated.
Close up of the decorations - butterfly lanterns and circle streamers (both from Martha Stewart) You will need a circle cutter (a really fun, cool tool) and a small hole punch for the streamers craft. The lanterns only requires you to choose some nice paper, print out the template and attach them to lanterns. Self adhesive dots, or "zots" make this a very simple activity.
I had five main activities planned for this 2 1/2 hour party and this is the order in which I executed. (1-3:30 to avoid the lunch issue.)
1. Make your own goody bags
2. Treasure hunt
3. Jewelry making
4. curtsy line
5. dance party
1. Make your own goody bags
I simply purchased clear bags (but you could easily do this with regular paper bags or plain gift bags) and had the girls cover them with the foam stickers you find at Michaels or JoAnn's Fabrics. They also have a selection available on amazon.com. The girls always love finding the perfect sticker and placing them on their bags. Total time: 15 minutes
2. Treasure hunt
This is actually a great activity because it uses up a lot of time and is just an extra activity that they LOVE. Just think of how much your child likes an easter egg hunt and this has that same feel. Rather that stuffing goody bags before the party, what I do is individually wrap goody bag items, and then use them for the treasure hunt. They kids don't really care what is inside but rather just get excited about the fact that they can hunt for treasure. I also do it as a "fair" treasure hunt where the kids have to bring all their finds back to one central location (me with a box) and then continuing to hunt. Later on in the party, I had my sister in law sort them and then we put them into the goody bags while the kids were eating cake. The treasures this year were fruit rolls, granola bars, boxes of raisins, pencils and erasers. (I had 16 of each of those items.) Total time: 20 minutes
This is a picture of the girls running around looking for treasure. The tended to mob certain areas altogether.
3. Jewelry Making
I am actually thrilled with the way this one turned out. It was an easy craft for me to decide upon, only because I had some of the materials already. But I bought, on sale, over the past few months, beads. I got a huge pink "bead box" for $6 (originally $10 but had a 40% off coupon at Michaels) and that was my foundation. Then I bought a few other small packs of beads - whatever was on sale.
I also bought memory wire, which is sold in coils and just used my cutters to cut them into the appropriate lengths. Then I had the girls string up their beads - and I would help them finish it off. This does require a bit of practice, because you have to be decent at using the jewelry pliers so that the kids don't lose it. Most of the girls had enough patience to finish BOTH a necklace and a bracelet and were all excited to do it. Total time: 45 minutes
These are some of the finished bracelets and necklaces. Aren't they so pretty?
4. Curtsy Line
As this was a princess butterfly ball, I had the idea that kids should curtsy before entering the ballroom (the living room where we were going to dance) I just had the kids line up and I showed them what I wanted them to do, and got them all lined up and each child walked up and curtsied as I announced them into the ball. For some reason, this was SOOO fun to the girls and it was really interesting watching them do their bows and curtsies. Total time: 10 minutes
I simply wanted the girls to dance, but after sitting down and working on their jewelry for so long, they were clearly hyper. More than dancing there was a lot of screaming and jumping up and down - all fun, but REALLY loud. Husband got distressed at this point and quickly put an end to it. I actually think we could have gone for a good 15 minutes on it, but we ended it once there was too much screaming. Total time: 7 minutes.
The final parting gift, along with their goody bags was a CD that I burned with a bunch of princess butterfly songs. It was MUCH more interesting making Daughter #2's yellow CD - which was a selection of songs that had the word yellow in it. The Princess Butterfly Ball CD ended up being a collection of Disney songs, but the kids still loved it.
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