|Princess Sophia (who's blessed with her mothers beauty :)|
I consider it such an honor and privilege to be writing this guest post for my dear friend Shannon. Aside from the fact that I cannot look at any sort of lace or tartan plaid, without thinking of her and smiling, I must tell you how very much her creative passion, romantic spirit, and appetite for life continues to inspire me....She is a true visionary! Every time I visit her blog, I feel as though I am trapped in time...suspended in a place brimming with such beauty and elegance, that I simply do not want to leave. She has opened her world to me, and invited me to dream with her...to come alive and be daring with her...to breathe the world in with all it's glory and splendor, and allow any worries or burdens to exhale and drift away. I am uplifted, edified and refreshed in every way, and that Sweet Bella's is a treasure to behold. Thank you Shannon, for the gift of your friendship, and the gift of YOU to the world...(Shannon blushing :)
When Shannon asked me to share some of the details of my daughter Sophia's 5th birthday celebration with her readers, I was delighted. I really wanted to create some special memories with my daughter while keeping the budget in check. The goal was to plan a Princess party that had an element of sophistication and panache...sort of a Marie Antoinette/Let Them Eat Cake meets Once Upon A Time. I came across these two photos on Pinterest, which ultimately became the sole inspiration for the design. I fell in love with the color palette, and had the perfect visual to build ideas upon.
|White Market Blog|
Once I had the inspiration, I came across these plates & cupcake holder by Talking Tables on Amazon, and it was just the springboard I needed to start pulling it together. I drew up some ideas and let the rest flow from there!
The key to a smooth operation was doing the necessary prep work long before the party, so that there wasn't as much to do right before hand. The weekend before the party, Sophia painted the paper crowns we would use for her banner, while I glittered and prettied up the princess goblets.
Many of the banners I had seen on Etsy & elsewhere ranged in price from $25-$45 dollars, so instead, we opted for a package of paper crowns ($1.99 for 30 crowns) from hobby lobby. Sophia used basic watercolors alternating pink and blue, and once dried, I used a simple dollar store glitter pen to write the letters, and a hole punch to make the holes. We used the same ribbon to string up the banner that we did for hanging the balloons. When it came to fancifying the glasses, it couldn't have been easier. I bought a 12 pack of goblets from the dollar store, used a paint brush to brush on craft glue that dries clear on the base of the glass, and sprinkled dollar store gold glitter on the bottom. Then, for a little extra pizzaz, I cut a piece of pretty gold ribbon (roll was purchased from hobby lobby) and glue gunned it around the body of the glass with a decorative rose to seal it all together (roses were purchased at hobby lobby, 10 pack for 3.99).
Then, I purchased a pretty paisley/princess duct tape from Quill online ($4.00 plus free shipping), and used that to dress up the water bottles.
Next, we assembled the pink flatware into gold napkins, tied with the same ribbon used for balloons and banner, and used a diamond ring (from Hobby Lobby, $2.99 for a 12 pack) to tie for a little extra sparkle. Gold napkins, gold paper plates and pink plasticware was purchased from Walmart, .99 each (for an 8 or 10 pack on the flatware & plates, the napkins had 20 or 30 in the package - if you have trouble finding the colors you want, you can always check hobby lobby or your local dollar store).
I purchased 3 baby blue rectangle table covers from Hobby Lobby ($1.99 each), two to create a back drop on the wall, one for the table. I contrasted the table cloth with a darker pink table skirt to pretty up the table and make the colors pop. Balloons were hung upside down with ribbon which created a great ambiance, and less expensive than helium balloons from your local Party store (I bought a pkg of gold, blue and pink balloons from Walmart, .99 each for a package of 12.
Vases and flowers were purchased from our local dollar store, and the pearls we had, but you can get white or gold pearls from your local party store or dollar store, generally ranging in price of about .25 each. To really frame in the backdrop, we used a canopy and mini chandelier that used to be part of my daughter's room decor and was sitting in a box. It brought everything together beautifully. I ordered a 12 pack of pastel colored princess crowns from Amazon to set at each place . I ordered a package of filigree pearl paper cupcake wrappers on Amazon to make the presentation of the cupcakes a little more elegant.
Lastly, we set up a table of treats for the little princesses to take home. Star wands, princess bracelets, and cupcake lip gloss. The only splurge item was the Celtic princess bubble wands on Etsy. They came in a 10 pack, complete with a gold sachet and filled bubble container with customizable message for approx $3 a piece. The wand and jewel on the end are completely customizable, they come in any color, I chose gold and a pearl. (http://www.etsy.com/shop/
celticbubblewands?ref=seller_ info). My daughter asked if we could incorporate her princess "squinkies" into the decor, which are the miniature little princess figures, and so we placed them on the gift table and by the games as accent pieces.
We had 5 simple DIY princess games set up with Disney princess themes, including musical chairs (playing "under the sea" from The Little Mermaid"), hot potato (with a Cinderella princess shoe, playing the "Cinderelly" mouse song which made the girls giggle), pin the crown on the princess using a picture Sophia colored of Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty (the picture was a free printable from online, and we used leftover crowns from her banner and just cut them down to pin-able small sizes for the game), a toss game (Princess & The Frog) which we used poster board from the dollar store to create (green for the frog, red for the "kisses") and affix to a box for stability, and from the movie Brave, we had archery lessons (We purchased a suction cup tip bow & arrow set from Walmart for $5.99, and drew a bulls-eye on the sliding back door with dry erase marker, the girls loved it!).
Sophia was such a big help during the preparation, and her participation helped create memories as well as anticipation for the party. My husband and I decorated the night before, and on the morning of I made the cupcakes, dipped the strawberries, and set out the pink table treats, as well as assembled the food. It wasn't stressful and we didn't feel rushed because the preparation was all done. The party flowed wonderfully, the guests were engaged, and the clean up was practically effortless, mostly all throw away items. It was definitely a party to remember!
Whatever theme you choose for your party, don't forget to give yourself permission to HAVE FUN, and as always, Keep Shining Sweet Bella's!!!
Thank you so much Jaime, I think Sophia is one lucky and BEAUTIFUL Princess. Don't forget to check out Jaime's Wonderful blog http://mangia-bella.blogspot.com/ She will make you believe in "Happily Ever Afters :)