Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Paper Doll Birthday Party

Lilly turned 4 at the end of June, and so a sweet, girly, party was in order.
We went with paper dolls.
I got the idea ages ago, but aside from creating a small pin board with ideas, I didn't do a thing until the last minute.
The very last minute.
I read some blogs where the authors talked of prepping party stuff for weeks before the party.
I just can't do that.
Weeks before a party, I am working on some other project, and thinking that I still have tons of time to prep for the party.
And that's why I generally get 2 or 3 hours of sleep before any party I throw.
But it always works out.
This time was no different.
Lilly's paper doll party was a sweet success, and just as cute and girly as I hoped it would be.
I love planning parties for the boys, but let me tell you, these girl parties are pretty fun.

Here's what I came up with for the Paper Doll Birthday Party.
These paper dolls were my inspiration for the party.
I saw them first on this fabulous blog, and then found the whole set here.
You can download and print them for free!
The night before the party I was cutting out lots and lots and lots of these dolls.
They made a very sweet garland.
I just used double sided tape to tape them to some pink sting.  Easy as pie.
I didn't go with any themes for the food--little, doll housy, or any other theme that "goes" with paper dolls.
I try to steer away from that because it usually means more work than I have time for.
Instead I just let the guest of honor choose some favorite things he or she wants to serve at the party.
Lilly went with lots of pink things: pink lemonade, pink cupcakes (these strawberry ones are the best ever and worth every bit of effort it takes to make homemade cupcakes.  which I did.  at 1 AM), strawberries and watermelon, and Pirates Booty.
I hate Pirate's Booty, but she loves it, so her wish trumped my distaste.
I also made some fresh zucchini bread for the grownups.
That's it.
Not a lot, but it was an afternoon party, and the kids didn't really need to eat that much.
I do love the way the table looked with all the pink and the paper doll garlands stung above it.
Target now sells paper straws.
Target, I love and hate you at the same time.
We had to have pink, polka dot, paper straws for the party.
I love a party with a good craft.
We're pretty into art parties around here.
For the paper doll party, I had the girls decorate their own paper dolls.
Aaron drew 2 different paper doll shapes for me and I cut them out on card stock.
I used card stock rather than regular paper so it would have some weight to it and hold up to glue, sequins and the like.
One of the dolls was a ballerina, and the other was just a little girl with pigtails.
I set out colored pencils (these ones with erasers were a big hit), tiny fake flowers, sequins, little jewels, scissors and colored paper to use for making clothes, and cupcake liners to use for frilly skirts.
Every girl made at least one, and most made more.
Even the littlest girls had fun gluing, and drawing faces on their dolls.
The dolls came out so great.
Each one was different and had such personality.
I loved them all.
Here are a few I was able to get shots of.

Don't you just love them all?
Besides making paper dolls, Lilly wanted everyone to get their nails painted.
I had no idea what a hit that would be!
I wish I had pictures, but as I was the one running the nail salon, I don't have a single one.
I highly recommend adding nail painting to a little girl party if you can.
They all loved it.

When the girls grew tired of making paper dolls and their nails were all painted up, I had other spots for them to engage in self directed play.
Now that we have a backyard that has room for all kinds of play, I like to allow time for it at parties.
When there are too many activities scheduled, I get a little frazzled and don't enjoy the party as much.
Maybe the kids don't either.
There was a library spot on top of the playhouse with comfy pillows and a blanket to sit on.
There was lots of chalk for chalkboard drawing.
We sat out all of Lilly's dress up clothes for the girls to wear.
Most of them dressed up and it was so fun to see them climbing the tree, riding the swing, or sliding down the slide in their poofy dresses.
You can see in this picture how sweet they all looked in their tulle.
Lilly's only cake request was pink cupcakes with pink frosting.
I made the same fresh strawberry cupcakes  made last year.
They are so amazingly delicious.
For the frosting this time I did puree the strawberries, but I added too much puree to the frosting and so it got a little (lot) runny. 
It still tasted delicious though.
I used a regular butter cream frosting recipe (this one is really good) and added 1 cup of fresh strawberry puree.
Next time I'll use half a cup.
The party ended with Lilly and her cousin Lizzy blowing out the candle together.
Their birthdays are a week apart and since they are often mistaken for twins, it was perfect for them to share the birthday candle.
I sent the girls home with a simple gift bag decorated with a paper doll.
I bought a package of plain white gift bags from Michael's, and attached a paper doll to it with spray adhesive.
Spray adhesive is my new best friend.

Inside I put 2 more paper dolls and some outfits for her to wear, a "bracelet cuff" of candy buttons and some Mary Jane candies.
Those seemed like appropriate candies for a paper doll party--and you just have to have a little bit of candy at a birthday party, right?

Even though this party was thrown together at the last minute, it still turned out to be sweet and fun, and just as I had hoped it would be for my little girl.
Check back soon for a mini tutorial on how I made the printed out paper dolls for the goodie bags.
And if you're in the mood for more fresh strawberry baked goods, check out my last post on fresh strawberry scones.
Love from,


Unknown said...

I think it turned out perfect! <3

hennymats said...

absolutely wonderful! Makes me want to have a girl. Oh and maybe I'll start throwing together parties at the last minute, too, if they turn out so perfectly! You did a really great job and all the time in the world could not have made it any better.

Cailan said...

Oh Greta! This is so precious! I will def be tucking this party idea away : )

mygirl said...

it was so much fun and so cute. avery loved all the paper dolls and wanted more. thanks for the sharing the link for the whole set, we will be printing them out sometime soon. xoxo, christina