Friday, February 1, 2013

Making a Princess Theme Work for Girls and Boys

For my daughter's 4th birthday, she asked for a Princess-themed party, which is lovely and all, but what about her little boy friends?  I tried to think of a way to make that theme work for both genders and came up with...  A Royal Ball!  Instead of girly pinks, we went with a jewel tone palette to please the princess and her princes.  Vibrant blues and purples and golds struck just the right regal tone.

All the little lords and ladies adorned themselves with handmade capes (thanks, mom!).

We had a station set up to decorate foam crowns and tiaras.  When ordering the supplies, I found a set at Oriental Trading Company that contained blue, green, and yellow to work for boys.  Also found some great self-adhesive jewels at OTC - it was nice to not have to fiddle with glue and drying time.

Guests were allowed to select their very own magic wands.  The boys used them to duel and the girls used them when they danced about to baroque music.

The centerpiece of the whole event was a cardboard castle that I made and painted myself.  I loosely followed the tutorial here:  Mr. McGroovys's Fantastic Cardboard Rivets  Unfortunately, I found Mr. McGroovy too late and I didn't have time to order the rivets, so I modified the design so that I didn't need them or any other fasteners (I did take his advice for painting it and it was amazing - definitely check it out- it's so easy).  The center arch of the castle is held in place by slits that I cut into each tower.  One advantage to this approach is that I was able to break it down and fold it flat before and after the party.  We kept it to play with for a long while after the party and the kids loved it.  We wouldn't have been able to do that if it wasn't collapsible.

My mom had the brilliant idea to fancy it up with the Dollar Store shield, silk flowers and ferns, and curtains for the windows and entry.  The kids had so much fun bursting through the curtain to dance or fight or whatever else they were pretending to do.

We decorated a plain white arch to serve as the entry to the yard - hot glued flowers and ribbons.  And mom whipped up a game of pin the tail on the unicorn out of felt and silky fringe (she is so talented). 

She also made the felt banners you see here and there in the yard.  All in our jewel tone palette and featuring images specific to my daughter's interests at the time.  We mounted them on bamboo tiki torch poles that she had painted gold.  (In retrospect, an awl might have been helpful to dig the poles a little deeper into the ground.  By the end of the day, they were listing dangerously.)

Mom also revamped a thrift store chair with teal velvet and rhinestones - Voila!  A throne for gift opening or photo ops!  Mental note:  Next time do not put photo op throne in direct sun...

This was also the party with the infamous Sacked-By-The-Huns-Castle-Cake.  Good times!

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