Masquerade Ball -6yr- Beads & Masks
Marinda in Indianapolis, IN USA
As she was turning six, my daughter requested a Masquerade Ball for her party. (I am pretty sure this had to do with the new American Girl doll that had just come out in late 2011, who goes to a Masquerade Ball herself!) So I set about planning a ball for six year olds! I decided that this was a great opportunity to combine her birthday party with an old fashioned Father/Daughter dance!
INVITATIONS: I purchased jewel toned 12x12 card stock on sale from a local craft store. The burgundy paper was used to cut out mask shapes. The gold paper was cut in half and then folded to make the base of the card. My Cricut cutting machine was used to cut out the letters MASQUERADE in teal, which were glued to the front of the card along with the mask shape. My daughter then helped me decorate the masks by adding glitter, sequins, ribbons, and feathers. Inside the folded card, a sheet of shiny white card stock was glued on. It read: You are cordially invited to a Masquerade Ball to celebrate Camille’s sixth birthday. Saturday, January 21, 2011 - address:_____________(in a new paragraph---) Please arrive at 3:00 for the Pre Ball Primping Party. Be sure to bring your fanciest ball attire! (in a new paragraph---) It wouldn’t be a ball without dancing, and to dance a lady must have a date! So please invite a special guest to attend the Maquerade Ball with you! Your guest should arrive at 4:30 PM. (In smaller font at the bottom, it read If your special guest cannot attend, please do not let this keep you from coming!) When the parents started to RSVP, I gave them more information: suggestions on what to wear (anything from Halloween costumes to Easter dresses), information on the dates when the dates should be there, what they should wear (whatever they were comfortable in, though most were going business casual to dressy), etc.
DECORATIONS: My daugther’s birthday is in January, so my planning was during the holiday season. I kept an eye open during the holiday sales and post sales for anything that glittered! The more gold the better seemed to be the decorating them for this Masquerade ball. I covered all table tops with gold tablecloths, and had jewel colored beads strewn about for added color. My daughter and I made a giant Masquerade mask to hang on the door to welcome the guests. My husband hung gold mesh (also an after Christmas find) from the ceiling) in long swoops, and covered all pillars and rails with white lights. Since the party was in January, dollar stores were starting to get out their Mardi Gras decorations, so I purchased tons of sequined masks from the dollar store. They sat on tables, on the fire place, and alongside the food to add pops of color and glitter!
COSTUMES: As I was shopping, I found many clearance Masquerade masks. (who knew that Christmas was such a time for masks!!) I purchased these fancy masks for all the ladies I knew would be at the party either as guests (grandma and aunt) or as helpers!
ACTIVITIES: As the girls arrived at the party, they were greeted and taken upstairs to the Pre Ball Primping Room. While we waiting for everyone to arrive, they made scratch off mask crafts from Oriental Trading (four dollars for 24). Once all the girls were there, it was time to make the masks they would really wear for the party. Remember the masks I used for decorations those glitter ones I had found at the dollar store? I had also purchased enough of these for the girls to each get their own. They spent the next fifteen minutes adding even more sequins, glitters and feathers. These would be the masks they would later wear to the Ball. As the masks dried, the primping began. My helpers (dear friends who I owe big time!) helped me do simple make-up and hair for each girl. Since there were two of us doing hair and two of us doing make-up, this went fairly quickly. After the girls were primped, they got dressed in their gowns. We then took time to model for each other and take a few photos!
We decided to do presents before the Ball started so that once the dates were there, we could just worry about dancing and having fun! So we spent the next few minutes opening gifts. As with all of our parties, I took my daughter’s picture with the guest who gave her a present: one as a memento, but also to help with writing thank you cards later on! Present time can get so chaotic and it is often hard to remember who gave what! It was almost time for the daddies/dates to arrive, so the girls hurried back up to the Pre Ball Primping room, where they would wait until they were called down. Lucky for us, the clubhouse we had rented had a spiral staircase, so it made a neat entryway for the girls when they came down to meet their dates! When the daddies got to the ball, they were given a corsage to give to their girl. This was really a flower hair barrette which had been clipped onto a hair band. The girls would later get to take it home and use it as a new hair accessory, but for the night it looked like a nice corsage! These were made out of a bouquet of flowers from the local craft store, a box of hair barrettes, and some hot glue total cost less than 8 dollars!
Once everyone had paired up with their date (yes, everyone had someone--- even a mom came!), I welcomed them all and told them to make themselves at home. I explained the stations my daughter had requested for them for the night (explained below) and welcomed them to the food table, as well.
Stations: (she is a kindergartener and LOVES stations! These were they kind you could go to whenever you wanted not when the teacher said you had to! Her guests were free to roam!) Bingo a teenage daughter of a friend led the bingo table. The winner of each round got a bracelet, but each girl player got a small jar of bubbles (wedding bubbles from the dollar store 12 for $1.00) Crafts decorate a frame. My husband had spray painted wooden frames gold. The girls and their fathers could decorate them with self-stick jewels. (frames= $1 each, jewels= $1 per package) Pin the mask on the Lady Self Made, Free. All participants received a beaded necklace for playing (12 for $1 at the dollar store) Dancing My daughter and I made a list of her favorite songs. A friend burned those songs onto a CD for the party. This was playing during the Ball so the girls and their dates could dance. Some songs were fast, some were slow. The friend who made this CD even made a copy for each girl to take home in her goody bag! This was her gift to my daughter!
Famous Portrait I convinced my BFF to draw caricatures of the girls which I was sure was a very Masquerade-like activity! She was worried because she isn’t an artist! We played it up like we had a famous artist from Venice with us and that they would all need to stop by to have a portrait done, in order to remember the special night. Her drawings were more like glamourized stick figures. We thought this would be a huge joke and that they would giggle when they saw that she wasn’t so famous but no! They loved it! I think they really believed that she was! I guess beauty really is in the eye of the beholder! Popcorn she really wanted a popcorn station. The only thing this station had was bags of pre-popped popcorn, but amazingly it was a big hit with the six year old crowd! (enough popcorn for 20 bags=$5.60)
FOOD: We had snacky food for the dates we had to somehow thank them for being there! Ham and Turkey Sliders, Beer Bread and Dip, Chex Mix, Veggies and Dip. For dessert (besides the cake) we had a small chocolate fountain with strawberries, pound cake, bananas, pineapples, and marshmallows. We also had gold wrapped candy scattered about the party.
CAKE: At some point during the ball we took a break to cut the cake, but basically the girls and their daddies just partied hard all night! There was a lot of dancing, Bingo, eating and crafts! The cake was a round cake decorated in jewel tones. I had given the cake lady a mask and some feathers/sequined decorations found at an after Christmas sale. She used them beautifully!
FAVORS: The girls goodie bags contained their mask (that they had made), the hair bow (that had doubled as a corsage), a frame (that they made with their date) and an American Girl chapter book about Marie Grace. I was able to use my teacher discount to purchase these books and get them for around 4.50 each. The teacher in me decided that I would much rather spend that money on a good book than on fruit snacks, glow sticks, and other things that usually go in into a goody bag! We followed up the party with thank you notes made out of photos of the girls and their dates. These personalized cards are easy to make by downloading (uploading?) photos onto your favorite store’s website and plugging them into a premade card. The cost is usually around 40 cents per card. Plus, you can add your own personal message. Since my daughter is still just learning to write, I let her dictate and I type! Even the thank yous were a big hit!
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