Monday, September 21, 2009

Paper Doll/Old Fashioned Birthday Party

What a whirlwind! I find that I work hard & get all anxious & excited for the parties to arrive & then they're here & gone & next....*insert deflating balloon sound*.
This party was a different one for Zoey--& for me as well. It was her first "friends" party. I sorta felt like I was the director at a fun little summer camp, leading the girls from project, to activity, to game, to snacks, etc. I loved it!! One thing I would change next party: Get. Help. There were 7 girls total, which isn't overwhelming at all, but I just wish I had more hands to help so I could snap some more fun photos!

Well, let's get to it!
The party theme started out as "paper dolls", but it kinda morphed into something different as I planned along & I was very happy with the outcome.

HERE are the paper doll party invites. Love.

I had a lovely morning before the party at the Farmer's Market gathering some sweet eats for the foodie table at the celebration. The party was from 10-noon, so it's not like I had to serve a meal, but I always like to have some munchy type stuff anyway. Golden raspberries, asian pears, the sweetest most tastiest grapes I've ever had, a caramel apple ring pastry, blueberry bread & cheddar cheese cubes.

One of my favorite things at the party was this little pedestal holding some mini cupcakes. You can also see some paper doll chains I taped to the window.

When the little party people arrived I gave them each a handmade party crown. I painted alternating stripes in pink (with spray paint) & yellow (watered down acrylic paint for a washed look rather then solid color).

It wasn't a sunny day, but it was a perfect temperature, so we set up tables outside where the girls worked on some projects.

The first project we made were these spinners. A lovely blog reader sent me the neatest link HERE for these & other paper toys.

And then I showed the girls how to make paper doll chains from newspaper. They were so creative with their cutting. Some even made heart chains & bunnies. They all seemed to have a fun time. I even made a cupcake one! (not pictured)

Next were the games!
I think I found the idea for this String Hunt game in one of my vintage kid's party books. Before the party, I hid 50 pieces of varying lengths of string around the backyard. The girls had to hunt for as many strings as they could find. The winner wasn't the person who had the most string: The girls each took their own strings & connected 'em from end-to-end. Whoever's strings were the longest was the winner!

 For the pillowcase race, I purchased very inexpensive pillowcases at the thrift store & the girls hoppity-hopped their hearts out! I would have loved to have found some burlap bags for a traditional gunnysack race, but I made do.

I made 2 badges for the winners of each game. BUT, it was my first time experiencing an upset child due to the fact that they "didn't win". I just thought that at this age they'd be fine with winners vs. non-winners. Maybe I'm wrong. Party foul.
You can see one of the party guests wearing her winning badge in this photo:

Cupcake time! I have SO many cupcake photos but I don't want to bore you with sweetness overload. So I'm dedicating a complete separate post to my cupcakes. haha! (I'm serious.)
I used the same vintage paper doll graphics from the birthday invitations for the cupcake picks. I was bummed that I didn't get a nice close-up shot of the cupcakes all adorned with their handmade picks.

Mr. WhiMSy love is so funny. I really could do without the mylar balloons in every shape & size AND the tacky "7" candle. But that's HIS thing & he loves doing it every year for the girls' birthdays.

We even had Mrs. Moth stop by to check out the cupcakes. She has good taste.

 Piñata anyone?! We bought this piñata at Walmart. I love the shape of it.

I had to run inside during the piñata portion of the show to deal with the birthday girl's fussy 5 year old sister. So, I missed out on that super fun busted pinata photo. Darn.

The girls quickly gathered toys & candies & stuffed it all in their bags. I made the bags the night before. They are simple brown paper lunch bags. I snipped off some of the paper dolls from the chains I have been cutting for the past 3 weeks & laid one on top of each bag. I sprayed the edges with white paint to create this effect.

Oh, & we discovered the piñata was like a 2-fer deal. The pointy parts of it made really kooky party headgear.

OK. Now for my favorite part: The Goodie Bags!!! I added only one personal touch to the goodies inside the bags & they were these hair bobbies I made with my button machine. I LOVE how they turned out. All made with vintage fabric.

The goodies included: stickers, a loopy straw, a candy watch, a girly lollipop, a whistle toy, faux ring bling &  handmade hair bobbies.

The goodies were all tossed in these bags that I already had on hand, a purchase made last year from Etsy. I punched holes at the top & tied them off with polka dotted pink ribbon. The girls also took home a sheet of paper dolls in the same style as the invitations & the cupcake picks.

While the girls & I waited for their parents to pick them up, we drew chalk portraits. The girls didn't get finished though because the mommies & daddies started arriving shortly after we began. My friend Julie commented on the lovely "murder art" as she picked up her girls. HAHA!

Hoory for parties! With friends!

And yay for mommies who get to play along!

That's all folks!


  1. your girls are the luckiest girls in the world nik! another amazing party -yay you ! i wanna come jump off that little bench with you!

  2. Love it! The paper dolls theme is super cute! Gotta love vintage!

  3. looks like you all had a wonderful time! i love the string game idea. I am going to file that away!

  4. Lovely party! Love all the little touches - the invites, the crowns, the activities, the treats, to the cupcakes... did I get it all! :) Great photos, too! A+, mom!!

  5. Will you be my mommy for my next birthday party? I'll be turning 39!

    The whole party looked amazing. I loved the vintage feel to it. Great theme! And your foodie table was gorgeous. Nice job.

  6. Wow! I want to come to your kids parties! LOL! That is amazing! And your perfect goody bags! Seriously?! I want one! LOL! Great job on everything!

  7. I bet that party was a blast! I loved every little bit of it! Happy Birthday (again) Zoey!

  8. Oh how fun! We had my daughter's birthday this weekend as well and just had her invite one friend to Chuck E. Cheese. I kind of missed the at-home party with all the kids...

  9. I LOVE your whole vintage vibe of the party. Kids really do like the simple things, don't they. sometimes adults have to make things so complicated.

    About the winner?non-winner: I always make EVERYONE a winner. It is a prize that comes from their favor bags. Things go a lot smoother that way :)

    Super, super job! Looks like everyone had a great time!

  10. BTW- where did you get your hair pins? I would to make some for my daughter. :)

  11. What a fun party..I bet they had a blast....

  12. What a wonderful party that turned out to be!! I wish that I could've been that lucky birthday girl!
    Happy day!!!

  13. wow. super duper party. thanks for sharing.

  14. wow, that's a pretty impressive party! I can't imagine how long it too you to prepare for it! your kids are super duper lucky!

  15. Looks like a loverly party! I hear you on needing someone to help with pics while you are running the party activities...I have the same trouble at my house.

  16. What a great birthday gift Nikki,
    Love, Grandma Starla

  17. I adore paper dolls, especially the vintage ones like Betsy McCall. The party looks like so much fun. It almost makes me wish I were little again!

  18. LOVE the party ideas!! So girlie and festive- good ol'd fashioned fun!!

  19. So Amazing! I will use ideas for my third grade class art lessons!!! Thank you!

  20. You throw some awesome parties!

  21. What a wonderfully creative party! Every detail is sweet, whimsical and inspiring. I love the crowns, the spinner craft, and the invitations most of all.

    So glad I saw your post pinned on Jac o' lyn Murphy's board over at Pinterest!

    New follower,
    Jenn/Rook No. 17


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