Hollywood Dance Party (4 & 7yr) Red Velvet Cupcakes
Dawn in Marysville, WA, USA
For my two boys, who turned 4 and 7, I decided to throw them a joint birthday party. They both love to dance and dress up in costume, and since pretty much all of my 4 year old's friends are siblings of his big brother's friends, it was perfect for both.
INVITATIONS Die Cuts With a View have a Rock Star paper line that is a pad of 4 X 6 paper that I used for invitations. They have various patterns like pink foil skull paper, plaid, embossed foil guitar, etc. I trimmed the paper to mat onto folded black cardstock, and depending on the paper style, added more sequins and glitter to really bling them out. The inside I printed out and added to the cardstock Party Like A Rock Star - This is your VIP invite to the hottest party in town,Hollywood Dance Party 2008 for xxx's 7th and xxx's 4th birthdays. Join us at the Jennings Park Barn and walk the red carpet in costume as your favorite music, movie or TV star! Saturday, June 28, doors open at noon. Secure your reservation by June 21.
DECORATIONS We rented out our local community room with tables, chairs and a full kitchen. I had to black out all the windows, because I wanted a club feel and there was too much sun coming in. I divided the space into two areas, the dance area and the tables for food and crafts. One of the dance area's walls I covered with Christmas lights. Then I draped black plastic tablecloth on the walls in panels, from the ceiling to the floor. It was just one long roll of 100, which I just taped to the ceiling, let drop, and then trimmed at the floor. It took forever to get the panels to overlap, but the effect was a like a starry night. On the second and third walls, I couldn't put up any lights, (no more outlets) so we still covered the walls in black and taped tons of 2 white stars I found in the teacher section at our local dollar store onto the panels. White, because I had a black light to use and wanted them to really glow, but more on that later. I borrowed a disco ball and a pin light that we hung right above the dance floor, then I placed the black light on the counter. The wall between the dance area and the kitchen had a counter cut into it, so that's where we set up the stereo and black light.
I made two mix CD's of the boys favorite dance music, and had group songs like The Cha Cha Slide, Macarena and of course Limbo Rock to rock out too. We also had inflatable guitars and blew up lots of white balloons to scatter all over the room (to glow by the black light of course), and ordered red and black helium balloons to float along the ceiling. We ordered them with long ribbons so they could hang to the floor.
Outside at the front door, we laid out a long red plastic runner that served as our red carpet, complete with a bouncer (my husband in shades with a clipboard) and paparazzi (my step-daughter with a camera). The back of the room we had set up tables for the crafts. I covered them with red and gold plastic tablecloths, and sprinkled black and gold confetti that was shaped like movie clapboards all over the tables. I found foil gold-and-black striped noisemakers at Party City, and had those on the tables as well.
I also tied two Power Ranger foil balloons onto two chairs, I always like to designate the birthday child's seat with special balloons, so no one fights over where they are sitting. The food table I covered with a black plastic tablecloth and used long strands of gold beads (that I use on our Christmas tree) all over it. I found a great cardboard movie placard that had a popcorn box, clapboard and a film reel on it, and used it as a backdrop for the cupcake stand. It was part of a theme set, and I purchased the matching napkins as well.
FOOD TABLE It came out so awesome! So, like I said before it was a black tablecloth with yards of gold beads that I threaded through all the food stuff. I used my Wilton's 18-cupcake stand and sat it on top of a white cake platter for more height, and placed the movie placard was behind it. Extra cupcakes surrounded the stand and the platter on the table. I used another cake platter and tray to hold the star-shaped sandwiches, a flat platter for the fruit kabobs, and a fishbowl with blue shredded tissue on the bottom poured Goldfish crackers over the tissue, to give the illusion of water. Using the movie themed napkins, I alternated them with white napkins and fanned them out on the table next to red paper plates and clear drink tumblers. We had bottles of apple juice and water set out as well. On one end of the table were the goody bags (more on those later).
PARTY FOOD We were serving lunch, so my wonderful helpers made tons of pb&j and turkey sandwiches and cut them into star shapes using a cookie cutter. We stacked each on platters and had a little flag signaling which was which. We had wonderful fruit kabobs on bamboo skewers of apples, cantaloupe, grapes and cheese. We dipped the apples in lemon juice so they wouldn't brown, and sliced up pre-cut cheese sticks (made life so much easier). There was also a tray of Doritos as well as the bowl of Goldfish crackers.
CUPCAKE - The best part was the cupcakes, though. I wanted to make them Red (Carpet) Velvet cupcakes, but I imagined a horrible mess of kids staining their mouths and clothes with the red, so I used strawberry cupcakes and dyed them a darker pink. We baked them in gold foil cupcake liners, then frosted them with white frosting. I found multi-colored sugar crystals at Michael's, (not the fine sugar crystals, these look like little chunks of glass) and sprinkled all over the cupcakes. Using star candy molds, I made chocolate stars and put one on top of each cupcake, then at the party they were all loaded onto the cupcake stand. It was after I set up all the food that I had the gold beads strewn all over the table.
ACTIVITES Since guests were invited to come dressed up, as they walked the red carpet, they would pose for the paparazzi, then check that they were on the guest list with the bouncer. A lot of the kids were nervous, because many of them had never met my husband, and thought they really couldn't get in. My plan was to turn their picture into a postcard and mail it as a thank-you card, but my paparazzi kept turning off the camera instead of taking pictures, so I actually don't have any of the kids walking the red carpet. Big bummer! We had a pretty large group coming, so for the first 20 minutes waiting for everyone to arrive, they danced in the dance area, and played with the balloons and admired their costumes. Then, along with my helpers, we directed them to our crafts tables to work on their craft. Before the party, I cut out the letters of all the guests names from sheets of gold letter stickers and placed each name in its own baggie. I cut out lots of 2 stars out of gold cardstock. I also cut sheets of foam core down to 8 squares and covered each sheet with a piece of black cardstock.
Their craft was to make their own Hollywood Walk of Fame star. I demoed it with my own name, so they glued their gold star on the black side of the foam core, spell out their name with the gold letters, then decorate it with sequins, beads, foamies, and glitter glue, whatever they desired. I had tons of supplies out, and I thought they would be done super fast, but a lot of them took their time and made real masterpieces. As they finished, they could go dance some more to wait for the others. Once everyone was finished, we directed everyone to go ahead and eat. I was expecting everyone to show up around the same time, so I could clear off the craft tables for everyone to have room, but kids were trickling in still and working on their projects, so we had to bring down another table, and there was only room on the dance floor for it, so it made it a little tight. That was ok, because we ended up talking it back down a little later.
GAMES - After everyone had a chance to eat and cool off a bit, we had the kids split into two groups, the 5 and under set and the 6 and over set. Basically, splitting up the little and big kids for them to play their own games. The little set played Pin the Sunglasses on the Star . On a large piece of white poster board I drew a woman with big hair waving to a crowd of people. I found a package of 12 foam sunglasses at our local dollar store and put a piece of tape on the back of each sunglasses. We blindfolded each child, and have them try to put the sunglasses on the star's face. Kids just love Pin the Tail games. Meanwhile, the older kids are playing Who am I? I wrote male and female movie characters like Ariel, Optimus Prime, etc. on label stickers and placed one on each child's back, and they had to go around asking everyone for clues for who they were.
Once again, another great time consumer, and I thought the kids would think it would be too easy but it wasn't. Some of them needed lots of clues, and they were so excited when they figured out who they were. I had a list of my music, and played all the group songs back to back, and they just kept on dancing. Then it was cupcake and ice-cream time. I love cupcakes because they are so easy to work with, no fighting over who got the bigger piece, or the one with the flower on it. We just walked around with the cupcake stands, and my helper was behind me with the ice cream and just dished it out.
We had the kids then sit in a circle while the boys opened their presents. After opening presents, it's like the universal sign for Party's Over although I planned on people staying for another hour, but I didn't realize 2 hours had already passed, because I was so busy running around. Plus, it was a hot day and the room didn't have AC, the kids were sweating in their costumes, and we already had to uncover and open windows,so you could no longer see the disco-ball light reflections or the black light, but that was cool because everyone got a chance to see it earlier.
FAVORS My second favorite thing was the goody bags. I hate to buy the plastic theme bags, because they seem so unoriginal. Mine were real paper popcorn bags, 10 for $1! They are pretty tall, so those fit the girls goodies well. I found plastic purses each with a candy bracelet kit inside, they were too cute, and added a glow stick (15 for $1 at Michael's), a couple of candies, and a sheet of Barbie stickers from the discount bin at Party City. I was going to originally use smaller popcorn bags that I found at Party City for invites, but they didn't turn out the way I wanted, so I used those for the boys bags. I added a cool little camera, that when you clicked it, a little picture popped up in the view finder, glow stick, candy, super hero sticker sheet and a large bouncy ball.
For the little itty bitty kids (under the age of 3), they received a little can of Play-Dough, a plastic toy to use with the Play-Dough and a sheet of stickers. It's crazy what stuff you can find on clearance, everything would have been super pricey. At my local craft store, they have a die-cut of the old-school film reel. I die-cut a bunch out of black cardstock, and wrote each child's name on it in silver pen, then stapled each bag shut with its name tag. Kids just love seeing their personalized bags, and there will be no hurt feelings with anyone losing their bag. A few of our friends stayed and danced after the bulk of kids left, and finally were just too tired and hot to dance anymore.
This party was a lot of work, I started weeks in advance because I wanted to catch as much sale items as possible, and had so many things to make by hand, but it's worth every minute. My boys and the guests had a wonderful time, but next year no joint party. The bigger boys were too wild for the younger crowd, but I had to see if it would even work.