Ballerina Princess Party (5&3yr) Tutus and Tiaras
Shannon in Yadkinville, North Carolina, US
I had so much fun creating this party for my little girls who turned 5 and 3 this year! They have birthdays close enough together that we usually combine them. I am a crafty stay at home Mom and Marine wife, so I usually try to make by hand as much as possible to keep costs down. This year the girls decided they wanted a Ballerina Princess party. Their birthdays are around Halloween, so we usually try to come up with fun themes where the kids can wear their Halloween costumes (or at least old ones). The girls love dressing up and were really excited to wear their tutus and party shoes. The tiaras were an added bonus! Since we knew there would be more kids attending this party than there had been in the past (since we are a military family, this is the first year we had been at home and could invite all the cousins who are close in age). Also, this year my husband was honorably discharged from the Marines after 13 years of service, so we had to do the party on a tight budget. Our one real splurge was renting out a local community building. Due to Hurricane Sandy coming through, we had to have an indoor space that was big enough to hold everyone. This was $75, but for the historical space with a large kitchen and meeting room, it was well worth the cost.
INVITATIONS: The invitations were given by word-of-mouth and social media. Most of our family and friends live very close to each other and we see each other on a regular basis, so traditional invitations are not generally used except for weddings. I created an event on Facebook and made sure to let everyone know to dress their little girls in tutus or princess dresses, and let the parents of the boys know they could wear their Halloween costumes if they wanted.
COSTUMES: My little girls love playing dress up and dancing like ballerinas, so I wanted to find them ballet outfits for their costumes. I bought the girls' handmade tutus from another Marine wife for $5 each and their leotards from Target were on clearance for $9 each. The girls want to start dance lessons, so these will be used again for that. More than one use is ALWAYS a plus! Their pink tights came from the dollar store in their Halloween section. I also bought breast plates and knight's helmets for the boys to wear from the dollar store. I bought pink glitter tiaras for all the girls and foam swords for the boys from Michael's. The boys absolutely LOVED their costumes (mostly the swords) and the girls loved playing Princess with their tiaras.
DECORATIONS: The girls wanted girly and glittery, but I knew I didn't have a huge budget for decorations. The colors were pink, purple and gold. I kept the room decorations fairly minimal to save money for the food and cake/cupcake decorations. I bought table covers, plates, napkins and cups in pink and purple from the dollar store. I also bought little disposable plastic goblets. Since the goblets were pretty plain, I purchased some gold glitter ribbon and pink glitter paper from Michael's. I wrapped a piece of the gold glitter ribbon around the stem of each goblet and stapled it with a mini stapler. Then I cut little stars from the pink glitter paper and, using some jute twine I already had, tied each star to the stem along with the ribbon. They were perfect for the little princesses and a hit with all the parents. My Mom wouldn't even let me throw them away afterwards because they were just too cute (some of the girls even took theirs home for make believe play)! I bought a pack each of pink, purple and gold balloons from the grocery store and they blew them up for free. I purchased two weights and wound the balloons together to mix the colors. After tying the weights on, I put the balloons on the table behind the cake/cupcakes. They were a lovely addition to the table and I didn't even need any other table décor.
CAKE/CUPCAKES: My oldest wanted a chocolate cake and my 3 year old wanted strawberry cupcakes. For the chocolate cake, I made a two-layer Devil's Food cake with milk chocolate frosting and covered it with crystal and gold sprinkles (found at the grocery store). My Mom had one of my plastic ballerina cake toppers from when I was a little girl, so I added purple glitter to her tutu and gold glitter to her crown and shoes and used this as a topper. I also cut little stars from gold glitter paper and taped them to toothpicks. I put five of these in a semi-circle behind the ballerina, one in front and then added her number 5 candle beside the ballerina. For the strawberry cupcakes, I got cream cheese icing, dyed it pink with cake dye (from Michael's) and topped with more crystal clear and gold sprinkles. I wanted to top these with the mini ballerinas, but apparently those are only sold online now. Since I didn't find this out in time to order them, I had to change my plans. Instead, I tied pink ribbon into bows around 11 toothpicks and made flags for the other 11 using gold glitter paper, which I cut into flags and stapled around the toothpicks. With the other two cupcakes, I found another plastic ballerina at a cake maker's supply store (the only place within 100 miles that had even one and it was the larger size!), added pink and gold glitter and put her on one - I put her number 3 candle on the other.
To display all the candies and food, I bought several of the silver metal trays from the dollar store and several glass candle sticks. Using an idea I found on Pinterest, I glued the candlesticks and trays together to make cake pedestals. The tutorial I found said to use silicone adhesive for this, but that didn't hold perfectly. It was serviceable and they held together for the party, but if you want to do this, I suggest asking someone at a home improvement store for a better adhesive. I made two tall ones and two short ones for the cupcakes; I put the cake on a tray without a stand and used two oval trays for other treats. I also bought several plastic bowls and trays that looked like cut glass from the dollar store for other foods.
FOOD: I already mentioned what I did for the cakes and cupcakes. For the rest of the food, I made chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate covered strawberries/raspberries/pineapple, and mini ham and Swiss sandwiches. I bought some frozen pigs in blankets and pizza rolls from Sam's for the kids. Everyone thought I hand made the pigs in blankets - there were none left out of a huge box! I also served different types of chips along with store-bought potato salad, chicken salad and club crackers. For the punch, I made Perfect Princess Punch (also from Pinterest). You mix 1 container of raspberry sherbet, a small jug of Simply Lemonade with raspberry (recipe called for frozen pink lemonade, but I couldn't find that at the grocery store), a large can of pineapple juice and (3) 2 liters of Sprite (I used diet ginger ale instead). You mix this together and then add a container of fresh raspberries. This was delicious! There was just enough food for all the guests - not too little and not a whole lot of waste.
ACTIVITIES/FAVORS: I had bought a little bracelet making kit from Michael's for the girls to make bracelets ($12 for a package that was supposed to make 16 charm bracelets). I measured the elastic by my oldest daughter's wrist and then divided the beads, charms and elastic pieces into 12 small baggies (for the 12 girls that were invited) and put one at each place setting with their crowns and favor bags. In each favor bag I put pixie sticks, Ring Pops and a little plastic ring ($1 for a pack of 10 at the dollar store). Unfortunately, we didn't get to the bracelet-making portion of the party, so the girls took these home with their other favors. I had wanted to include several activities for the kids, but with time and budget constraints, it just didn't work out. Luckily, the community building also had a little playground, so the kids were able to go outside during a break in the wind and play. They didn't even notice what was left out!
Overall, this was the most fun I have had at a party in a long time. Everyone that came went on and on about all the little details and really had a good time. Even though we didn't get to all the things I had wanted, the girls had an awesome time and keep asking for another birthday party. I don't even think they've realized yet that Halloween is in a couple days! Thank you to all who have posted on this site. I spent weeks (literally) combing through the previous posts and taking notes. I already have ideas for my 3rd daughter's 1st birthday next May and more parties after that! Between this site and Pinterest I have many more ideas than chances to use them!
BirthdayPartyIdeas.com - Birthday party ideas to help you plan your kids birthday party celebration.
NutcrackerBallet.net - Nutcracker information, performance directory and ballet reviews.
FreeParkConcerts.com - Find the best summer concert in the park near you!