Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Surprise Princess Party for my sister

So I always wanted to do a princess party, and since I have 4 boys, I realized it just ain't gonna happen. So I decided to do a surprise princess party for my oldest sister. I loved spending almost 3 months in planning, but it was hard not sharing all the good deals I was finding with her. As the party got closer, it was much harder to make sure she didn't find out. I think she was really surprised, and it turned out exactly as I had pictured it. A special shoutout to Jenn for her awesome catering skills-be sure to see all the fun goodies she made for the luncheon!

INVITATIONS: I made scroll invitations. I lucked out and found 24 wooden candle holders at our local thrift store, then I bought dowels to fit into them. I glued them together and then spray painted them gold. I printed the invitations on clear vellum paper. It read:
“By royal summons of the kingdom of Cedar, (the town we live in I had this next to a fancy letter C) Princess Stephanie Lynn Harris of Westview (Example name ) your presence is requested at the royal banquet hall on DATE for a royal surprise celebration in honor of Princess Clarissa Jane Jones of Lake Mountain, the royal chariot will pick you up at TIME. (I arranged for a limo to pick up each of the 12 guests) Please come dressed in you finest regal attire. Your crown and jewels will be sent to you. (More on this in costumes) Please acknowledge your acceptance by calling PHONE NUMBER.”
I personalized eac invitation with the names for each lady who was invited, the older ladies were queens and the younger ladies were princesses, and they were the princess of the street they lived on.
I cut the dowels to 12” and glued the wooden candle holders on each end. Then I taped the paper invitation across the top and rolled it around the dowel. I tied it with a pink ribbon. My husband dressed up in a tux complete with cumber-band and bow tie, and we hand delivered the ones we could and mailed the rest.
This pic has has the personal info changed.
I made a separate invitation for the birthday girl, it read:
“Princess Clarissa Jane Jones of Lake Mountain, (example name)
Your presence is hereby requested
at the royal banquet hall,
for a royal birthday celebration
in your honor.
The Royal driver will pick you up at
Approximately 1:30 PM

COSTUMES: Each princess was to come dressed up. I had sent "save the date" emails a month earlier so they could start looking for a dress. I wanted every princess to have a crown tiara, rhinestone necklace and bracelet, earrings, and a large rhinestone ring. I bought all of them on eBay. The tiaras I got were real, not the kid party kind and they were cheaper too. (under $3 each)
I went to the shoe-store and got kid size shoe boxes, spray painted them gold and glued jewels on them. I cut some foam to fit the box and covered it in  red velvet material. I placed the jewelry inside the box, on the velvet, and made a label with each princess’s name on the top of the box. I forgot to take a picture of the inside with the jewelry.
DECORATIONS: I wanted this to be super fancy. We have a dance studio, and we had our “royal banquet hall” here. We had 2 large banquet tables. I covered them with white satin tablecloths and used pink squares and cloth napkins. I used my china with gold rim- plates and cups. Silver platters and tiers held the food. I draped pink fabric (bought pink sheer curtains from the thrift store) from the ceiling. I had some other pink fabric with flowers on it that we draped as well. I bought diamond confetti (1000 pieces for $1.45 and free shipping on eBay) and sprinkled them all over the table. We had a throne at the end of the table for the birthday girl. We got an old chair at the thrift store. It had intricate designs all over the wood back. We spray painted it gold, then sprayed gold glitter on it, then glued rhinestones (I bought lots of rhinestones from eBay for 1.50) all over. We took the cushion off and covered it in gold material. It looked real nice.
PICKUP OF PRINCESSES: As this was a surprise party for an adult, we didn’t play games, but we wanted each lady to feel like a princess. One hour before the party, I had my son and husband, again dressed up, deliver the invitation scroll to the birthday girl. We gave her a dress, shoes, and jewelry so she could get ready. Of course my memory card was full so I missed a perfect picture opportunity. My sister was so surprised! Right after we pulled away I got a call from her wondering what was going on. We had a limousine pick-up each princess at her home.
Each princess was dressed as a real princess. We took pictures of each princess and my husband handed them their jewelry box.
The limo pulled up to the “castle.’ I had a large sign printed with the Cedar Crest I created and it read, “The Kingdom of Cedar.” We hung it on the side of the building. I had a red carpet leading from the front door to the parking lot.
My husband ran our speakers out the front door. We downloaded the royal fanfare onto his iphone and he played the music loudly and announced each princess, "Princess Stephanie Lynn Harris of Westview," as they walked the red carpet. We had some family there to take pictures.

The limo picked up the birthday girl last. It brought her back to the royal banquet hall. All of the other princesses (guests) were there lining the red carpet as she was announced and walked the red carpet.

The princesses then went into the royal banquet hall. We took pictures with the birthday girl.
FOOD: Our party started at 1 PM, so we had a luncheon. We had chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate eclairs, cream puffs, chicken salad croissants, chips and ranch salsa from Chili’s, bacon and cream cheese pinwheels, and cream filled cupcakes with a pink chocolate butterfly on top. This was set up right before we picked up the princesses so it was ready when they got there. The food was made by my totally awesome cousins’ wife, Jennifer, who should be a caterer. She really outdid herself!

Chicken Salad Croissants
Bacon and Cream Cheese Pinwheels
Jennifer made these chocolate butterflies by hand.
The cupcakes had a Delicious frosting and were filled with white chocolate.

Look at these chocolate covered strawberries. YUM!
Paper Flower centerpieces

Diamond Confetti

GOODY BAGS: I bought satin organza drawstring bags for each princess to take home and filled them with real rings, earrings, necklaces. (I got 50 assorted rhinestone rings for $8 and necklace/earring sets for $1.25 each)  I ordered several lots of jewelry off eBay. Each princess was able to choose the rings she wanted and I had enough for them to have several. I bought 12 little crown pendants that said “princess” on them (.99 cents) and a chain for them to go on (2.33 for 30) rolo candy, and candy bracelets, rings, and necklaces from the dollar store. I placed the goody bags on the plate along with name tags.
The princesses opened these before we ate.
We just visited while we ate and then the birthday girl opened her presents.
 Each princess got the royal treatment! (Surprising note: Of all 12 princesses who came 7 of the guests had never ridden in a limo before, so it made it extra special)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

SpongeBob Party

This was the party we did for my son's 5th birthday. We did it in August, so we had a party with water games. The kids were asked to come in there swimsuits.

INVITATIONS: I made these invitations on my computer on Scrapbook Max.

I bought message in a bottle invites from They came with an invite(which I threw away) sand, little shells, little sunglasses, and a small umbrella. I put this invitation inside the bottle.

 I printed this on sticker paper and put in in the bottle.

We bought blue plastic tablecloths at the $ store and stapled them along the whole front of our carport. We slit them into strips so it was like the kids were walking into the water, or under the sea. I had purchased a lot of Spongebob toys on Ebay and we used these to decorate with. I also found some Spongebob and Patrick stuffed toys at the DI that we hung around the carport. I bought fish and crabs cutouts from the party store. We used blue tablecloths on the table. I bought real colored starfish from oriental trading and we used the small ones as confetti on the table, along with seashells I got at the $store. We hung fishing nets from the ceiling. We downloaded a Spongebob music cd from and we had it playing throughout the party.


PATRICK’S DOORPRIZE: Upon arrival I had the kids write their name on a piece of paper and put it in for a door prize drawing. I had a basket of toys from the $store that they could choose from.

SPONGEBOB PASS: I bought some cheap sponges at the dollar store. I had a bucket of water. The kids are in a line, the one at the front of the line dips the sponges into the bucket and passes it over their head and hands it to the child behind them. The next child passes it through their legs and passes it to the next child. We had music playing. The object is to not be holding the sponge when the music stops.

MR. KRABS TUG of MONEY: I got a piece of rope. I printed a large dollar bill and laminated it and then hooked it to the rope. The kids were divided into 2 teams. The game is played like Tug of War and they try to bring the dollar bill that was hanging on it, to their side. In the middle, there was a kiddie pool filled with water.

SQUIDWARD'S BALLOON SQUISH: I filled green and orange balloons with water before the party. We put the kids into 2 teams. We tied the green balloons to one team's legs & the orange balloons to the other team's Legs. The teams try to pop the other team's balloons without getting theirs popped. The team with balloons left wins.

JELLYFISH FIELDS: This game was lots of fun. I took pink balloons and filled them with helium. I took pink streamers and taped them down from the balloon to make them look like jellyfish. We tied the balloons to ribbon and different lengths to make them look like they were floating. Once the game begins we turned on the sprinklers around them. The kids were given nets to try and catch the jellyfish.

I printed a large picture of plankton and laminated it and hung up onto a board. I filled small water balloons before the party. Each kid was given 5 water balloons to try to hit Plankton. (if they didn't soak him by the first or second balloon, we let them get closer)

BUBBLE BABIES: We gave each child a small container of bubbles and let them blow bubbles.

PATCHY the PIRATE TREASURE HUNT: For this game I used common nursery rhymes for the clues. I wanted to do easy ones since the kids were young. Here are the Clues I used:

One two buckle my shoe, three, four shut the _______. DOOR

(on the DOOR) Jack & Jill went up the hill to fetch a ____________ of water. PAIL

(on the Pail) Here we go round the mulberry _______________. BUSH

(on the Bush)Baa Baa black sheep have you any wool, yes sir, yes sir, _______ Full. 3 Bags

( on the 3 bags) Rock a bye baby on the ______ top, When the wind blows the cradle will rock. TREE

(I had 3 brown bags that I filled with sand and had hidden)

(on the Tree) Little _____ blue come blow up your horn. The sheep's in the meadow, The cow's in the corn. BOY (I had this clue taped to my older son’s back)

(on the Boy) A little boy with wooden spade Went digging, digging in the ______ (Sand)
This is a lesser known rhyme, but the kids got it right away as we had a large sandbox. I had buried a treasure chest piñata in our sandbox-attached to the piñata was a note from Patchy the Pirate to say, “Arr Mateys, Ye have done it – Ye have found me treasure. ENJOY!"
We then let the kids break it open.

We served pizza, cake, and capri suns to drink.

CAKE: I ordered a “Crabby Patty” Hamburger cake from the local bakery and my husband put the spongebob drink  topper on the front. It was so cute.

Goody Bags: For the door prizes I bought these SpongeBob backpacks from ebay. I filled them with misc. candy, gummy crabby patties, SpongeBob lollipop rings, and real colored starfish from oriental trading (These were Patrick’s friends.) They also put their candy from the pinata in their bags.
We opened presents and I also drew for the door prize .
Here is another game idea, one that I didn’t use, but liked:

Mr Krab’s Money Pit-Put a bunch of pennies/nickels into the sandbox. You can also put some seashells and ONE gold coin. Let the youngest kids go first and set a time limit of 2 minutes to dig for money. The older kids can do this blindfolded. The gets the gold coin can get special prize.

This was a fun water party on a hot August day!
Thanks for reading my party ideas.

Star Wars Party

When my son turned 7, he was a Stars Wars fanatic. We did his room in Star Wars , (I did a post on that,) wanted anything Star Wars,  and he wanted all the movies. I on the other hand, knew absolutely nothing about Stars Wars so I had to do a lot of research. This post is to help other mom's like me.
Invitations: I wanted the invites to look like the movie when the words are rolling across the screen. I made this on Scrapbook Max.

I used a galaxy background and added the words. This is not the actual invite, just a PDF with my personal info removed. The real one looked  better. It was printed on glossy paper and put in business size envelopes.  I made a personal label for each child . (example - "Padawan Derik)

When the kids arrive we have the Star Wars Theme music playing. I made a Jedi Academy Training Poster on a large piece of Science Project cardboard. Once all the kids are all there, we welcomed them. I said, “Welcome to the Jedi Academy. We are grateful that you have all chosen to come and train with us as we are in great need of future Jedi Knights as we have recently felt a disturbance in the force, generated by the dark side. We will have several tasks that we need to accomplish in order to receive your certificate and title of Jedi Knight. In order to train like Jedi’s, however, we need to look like Jedi’s, so each of you must first get a Jedi tunic.”

My Mom made tunics from a light tan material and dark brown sashes. We helped each child get one on. The birthday boy also wore a Jedi robe.

DECORATIONS: My oldest son’s birthday is in the late winter, and because our house is so small, we always enclose our carport in plastic sheeting. This year we used black plastic and painted white stars all over it. It was pitch black in there when the lights were off. We hung some black lights to give it a galactic feel. It was so cool; it really felt like you were in space. I downloaded the Star Wars sound track to play throughout the game. The theme music, imperial march, imperial attack, throne room, and the light-saber music are the most recognizable.

After the kids were all dressed we were going to start the games. I said, “Being a Jedi takes a lot of work. We must work together and we must listen to our instructors as we train. We will now head into a secure galactic domain, where our first challenge awaits.” 
We had them walk into the carport, and they were so excited.

1. ASTEROID TOSS: I said “To begin with we need to test our reflexes as we watch for the giant asteroid” My mom had a large squishy orange ball. Everyone lined up in a circle. We passed the asteroid around like a hot potato game. We had Star wars music playing. I said, “Do not be caught with it as the music stops. The asteroid can drain your energy, so do not hold it for very long.” We played this game for awhile it was real cool because the orange ball fluoresced under the lights.

2. POWER CORE BALLOONS : Next I said, “Good job you have all passed the first challenge so let’s move onto the next. These are the power core. (I had blown up white balloons and added small glow things inside some of them. I got them at the $store. They were 6 in each. I think they were the earring one’s.) “You need to help each other put them out of commission. You can only destroy the ones with the core loose inside them. The rest are decoys. Use whatever means you can to remove the power core.” We then had a loud alarm go off when the last power core is done, (the last balloon was popped.) They have air horns at the $store.

3. LIGHTSABERS: “Great!!! You have completed two challenges so you have now earned the right to a weapon. “This (Show light-saber and start light saber music) is the weapon of a Jedi Knight-It is not as clumsy or random as a blaster, this is an elegant weapon for a more civilized age. Please line up to receive your Light-saber. We handed one to each child and wrote their name on it in black markers. We made light-sabers for every child. We bought pvc insulation – it looks like swim noodles, but is gray. We got the 2 in. thick. We cut it into 3 ft. pieces. We bought a couple of the 3” pvc insulation and cut them into 4 in. handles. We pushed the smaller one into the larger one, using gorilla glue to glue them together. They fit inside pretty snug. We spray painted them in red, blue. I used black electrical tape on the handles. I wrapped the handles in black electrical tape. They look awesome, were safe to hit each other with, and were inexpensive to make. You could use the smaller swim noodles if you get them on clearance after summer. The large one shown was made just for fun out of a swim noodle. It was too big.

4. LIGHTSABER TRAINING: (Light saber music plays again) I said, “We will now have an exercise to train you how to use this weapon. You will need all the training you can get, for who know when we will have to use them against the dark force. Listen carefully as I tell you the rules. You may not hit ANYONE with the sword-only hit sword on sword, unless otherwise instructed to do so. Failure to do so will result in the loss of your weapon- IF there is a time when you must use your weapon against the dark force YOU MAY NOT HIT ABOVE THE NECK- WHICH MEANS NO HITTING IN THE HEAD OR FACE.” (We had blown up lots of 9” balloons so the kids could try and keep them from touching the ground, using their light-saber.) “You need to keep these galactic spheres from ever touching the ground, as they are very sensitive. Use only your light-saber and try not to use your hands.”

5. DESTROY THE DEATH STAR: We had a death star piñata. We bought a soccer ball piñata (any round one will work). We pushed it in to create the crater. We spray painted it silver and added a ring of black electrical tape around the center. We painted it to look like the death star. I said, “USE THE FORCE TO GUIDE YOUR WEAPON. A DIRECT HIT WILL TRIGGER A CHAIN REACTION, AND DESTROY THE DEATH STAR.” We had the imperial Attack music playing, while the kids broke open the piñata. We used my sons real light saber as a piñata stick.

6. ATTACK OF THE DARK SIDE: (We had downloaded some R2D2 beeps that sounded like he was communicating with us, a Darth Vader clip, and had 2 walkie talkies. I had one with the kids, and my husband had the other in the house. The kids were facing away from the door. ) I have a walkie talkie in my hand. The R2D2 beeps come through the walkie talkie. I say “It is an incoming message from R2D2.” I ask R2 what is happening. He responds with a bunch of beeps. I exclaim. “Jedi’s, R2D2 has been monitoring the Sith communications network. He has recovered an important message. We must listen. My husband then says, in a dark voice, "Vader! Yes my Emperor. I sense a disturbance in the force. A rebel force has been discovered on the planet Earth. They have been training young padawans to bring up a resistance against us.” Then my husband plays this recording we found online. It is Darth Vader and he says “Leave them to me; I will deal with them at myself!” (at this point, we have my husband dressed as Darth Vader, and 2 other guy in dark hooded robes and they are walking quietly into the carport) I jump  up and yell “We must prepare immediately. Grab you gear. Jedi Knights- You are in command.” Behind the kids we hear Darth Vader breathing. (The breathing was part of the mask we had) I say, “It is Darth Vader and other members of the dark side, we must stop them-use your training Jedi’s -ATTACK THE BAD GUYS!” The kids then attack the bad guys with their swords. They had so much fun, and their swords didn’t hurt anyone. Once the kids got in a few good hits, the bad guys drop to the floor and I say, “Jedi’s we have defeated the dark side.” The kids loved this!

7. JEDI KNIGHT CEREMONY: We played the Throne room song here. I say, “Young Padawans you have proved yourself worthy to have earned the title of Jedi Knight. You have proven that you can defeat the dark side. Please line up and kneel as we present you with your certificate of training." We used the light-saber to knight them. I had printed Jedi Knight certificates for each child. We presented them with the certificate. “May the force be with you!!!!”

PRESENTS & CUPCAKES: We then open presents and had cupcakes and ice cream cups. I made cupcakes for each child. I ordered little red star wars figures online and put on on each cupcake, so the kids got to had a little character to take home. We made took a round ball and covered it in tinfoil and used electrical tape and a marker to create the look of the death star that we wanted. I took a round tube, a small platter and a larger platter and covered them in a silver holographic gift wrap paper. I glued them together to make a cupcake holder tier. We used my sons star wars figure around it to attack the death star. We hooked 4 little light sticks to the sides that looked like light-sabers. We put the cupcakes on the bottom platter. It looked real neat under the black lights. I think it turned out real cool.

GOODY BAGS: I bought some 5” x 7” canvas drawstring bags on eBay. (I used the ones I had leftover for the Dora/Diego party) I bought some iron-on paper and printed a Yoda picture on them that said, “May the force be with you,” and “Thanks for coming to my party” and ironed them on each bag. They looked so cute. They were filled with misc. candy and toys.

I forgot how fun this party was.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Personalized Family Game - Memory Lane

I wanted to makes something special for my sister for Christmas and I came across this game idea in the Family Fun magazine. I started by going to the DI to find a old game that I could turn into my own personalized game. I found an old army game which was perfect-it came with 3 plastic containers that were fitted for that box. It had cards in there which I just threw away. I put my trivia cards, game pieces, and dice in them. Look for a box with a nice game board and a box that is in good condition. I used pictures of my family, houses, etc, (anything that would jog a memory,) printed it a square, and mod-poged them to the board. I made up  trivia questions for our family. (Example: Name a memory of a family home.I used the picture of the house I grew up in)

I bought 5 different buttons at the craft store. I used sunglasses for relaxation, smiley faces for happiness, cars for wealth, pencils for knowledge, hearts for health.
I bought little craft boxes for each player to collect their items. For the game pieces I bought little 2 craft buttons of each- I glued one to the craft box and the matching other one was used for the game piece.

On the game board box, I took several pictures I had printed and then mod-podged them all over the box.

It was so fun to play as family, and although it was personalized to my immediate family,
we played it with the in-laws and it was neat to hear about their memories
and to get to know them better.