Idea No.


Oriental Party



May 2003



Special Mention


I wanted to give my daughter a girly girl party so we decided on an Oriental Themed party.  First, I went shopping for ideas, my first stop was Oriental Trading and I found most of the decorations and prizes for her party, do note, it takes about 10 days or so to get an order in so plan ahead.  I ordered paper lanterns, paper fans-two different types (neon and traditional), paper hibisicus mini umbrellas (144 in a box), ladybug picture frame kits for crafting, chinese bowl sets(cheap and I use them now in the kitchen), chop sticks, chinese yo-yo's, chinese jumpropes, streamers(pink, blue, yellow, lt green), balloons(matching colors) and invitations shaped like kimonos(cute).  The girls got a kick out of receiving these unique invites.  First, in preparing for the party, we took the legs off of a rectangle table and set it on milk crates (or any other hard box), this got the table about a foot or so off of the floor (have your child sit down on a  pillow to see if that is the right height, you can add wood or books to make it higher) and place large pillows (couch) around the whole table.  We then hung the lanterns and fans from the ceiling using twine and clear pushpins at varying heights all over.  The lanterns and fans were packaged by the dozen for $3, I bought three packages of each just for decorating.  I liked the neon ones since they match the streamers/balloons and the girls loved the bright colors. We also, stewn streamers across the ceiling at different heights to give more color and depth.  The fans and lanterns really stood out since they hung below the streamers. I then placed the chinese bowls/spoons, addition fans, chop sticks and mini umbrellas out on the low table and placed a dragon (stuffed) in the middle and tied some Happy Birthday mylar balloons to it with curling ribbons that match all the colors that we used. We put out rainbow colored Goldfish in additional oriental bowls along with fortune cookies to be given later. In the kitchen, we decorated the light fixtures with additional fans and again hung lanterns from the ceiling, this is where we did the ladybug craft kits.  There were all kinds of craft kits offered by Oriental Trading like beaded butterflys/dragonflys, hair crafts etc that would fit into this theme very well.  I actually bought several kits (packaged by the dozen for about $3) and let the girls choose.  Now for the fun, the first things the girls did were the ladybug frames (so they can dry), then we moved into the living room for the games.  The first game was trying to place beans in the bowls with chopped sticks.  We timed them for a minute and the girl with the most won a prize.  I placed alot of little prizes in a basket like pencils, pens, small balls, yo yo's, hair clips etc, the winner picked one out of the basket.  We played this several times with the beans and then with the goldfish.  Another game is "hot potato" but use a theme idea instead, in our case, it was a small stuffed butterfly.  Then it was onto cake and tea (oriental cups of course), now my daugther wanted a purple/pink cake so I decorated it with butterfly's but here you can make a dagon (or have a store do it), ladybug, butterfly or maybe even have one made to look like a fortune cookie.  The girls also enjoyed the fortune cookies that were on the table.  For the goody bags, we supplied take-out boxes (can get these from a resturant or order online), each one got a fan, lantern, chopsticks, chinese yo-yo, chinese jumprope, balloon, butterfly hairclips (bought these on ebay-cheap), Glowstick that matched the fan color, chocolate coins (Barbie), pencils and erasers.  I will say, the girls had alot of fun with this idea.  You could adapt this to be a Mulan party with just adding more of the characters into the decorations. If you like, you could go with the more traditional colors of red/black. I chose the neon because the colors were bright (pink, yellow, blue, green, purple) and the girls really liked the fans matching the lanterns but for a more traditional look use more of the traditional fans to decorate.  The whole party cost less than $50 including the cake.   We live in a small area but renting Kimonos is another great idea, I did also run across a site that rented them out for about $7/child and that included the shipping back and forth.  Also, Oriental trading had the large umbrellas that would make great decorations and could also be given as prizes but they were alittle more pricey (might find something at a garage sale/second-hand shop if you are thinking way ahead).  Good luck and remember to have fun!

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