We made the invitations by photographing a big stack of loads of her favorite stories and had them printed as matt postcards. I printed out some plain library book record inserts and wrote the info on there with the date stamped in a good old fashioned stamper. I got 100 of these printed for about £7. It means they can double up as thank you cards and the leftovers are totally usable for Holly as postcards throughout the year.
Decorations were nice and easy for this party theme. We had a few white balloons on old ribbons held down by a few old hard back books, bunting made from a second hand book stapled onto ribbon and some printed out quotes from well known stories and cut out letters dotted around and hung on ribbon. I did get a lot of objection when Holly saw me chopping up a book to make bunting but it was very ethical…a local charity shop had a big basket of second hand childrens books for 30p each. (I picked up a few from here for the party bags – see below) and I selected the ones I thought looked the most shallow and least educational for my cutting up. Turns out the Princess Diaries is not just a bit shallow but also not AT ALL a children’s book despite the princessy name and front cover. I had to take down a few bits of bunting that were discussing birth control and plastic surgery. Glad I got those out of the children’s basket before some unsuspecting young princess fan picked up those and got an early sex ed lesson!
We had fun making a ‘Big Bad Wolf’ pinata to hang in the gazebo above the party table. So long as you can tolerate the kitchen table being covered in newspaper and wallpaper paste for a few days while you’re getting it done its a really nice way to get the children involved in all the planing and ideas. Elijah had a great time scribbling on the big sharp teeth with a marker pen.
The Cake! This was a little more complicated than I’d thought it would be. The 4 rectangles were easy enough. I made 2 pink cakes, 1 chocolate and 1 vanilla white sponge in rectangle tins and chopped down to size. Rolling out the fondant once the colour was mixed was far more tricky. I tried to cheat with the white one when I sent Joel to get me ready rolled sheet. It was round and so I had to squash it and roll it anyway. It took more hours than I’d given myself on my time allocated Things To Do list… so its a good job she loved it!
The Party Bags. I’m not a fan of the typical party bag. My mum tried to persuade me to stand my ground and not do them. I’m not into having 30 upset children at the end of an otherwise successful party so I’ve never gone down that road but I equally don’t see the point of spending my money of pieces of plastic to share out between friends bins. This year they all got… 2 chocolate mice (one white, one pink made in molds from Lakeland) a Russian doll notebook, a pencil and a classic old second hand book. I suddenly got very jealous of all the great stories I had managed to find in charity shops and book stalls that I was about to give away. I almost got Holly onto reading as many as possible before her friends arrived. She is a fast reader but I think getting through Black Beauty, Wind In the Willows, Heidi, Watership Down and about 8 Enid Blyton books in 3 hours was a bit ambitious. I will have to enjoy trying to re find some of those again.