I was compensated by Collective Bias as part of a social shopper amplification campaign, to get creative using Tiny Me. With N’s ‘non-birthday’ party fast approaching, it was the perfect chance to create the perfect party theme. N didn’t have a birthday party in January for several reasons: most of his friends had their parties in January so we’d have all been partied out, and the last 2 years his birthday weekend has been snowed off. So to avoid any risk I decided we’d have a party for him when the weather was warmer.
So it’s almost time for his non-birthday party. The plans were originally to hold it at home in the back garden (praying for dry weather to let the children play outside), but having won the Easter raffle at his nursery, the party is now at his nursery forest school in their tree house. I still want to make it a bit more special and decorations are the way to go.
Most children’s party decorations in the shops are either all about characters that N knows nothing about, or too babyish. So I wanted bright colours that weren’t specific to a children’s birthday party. Unfortunately we’d already sent out some basic party invites at short notice, because there were some gorgeous personalised one on the TinyMe website. However, it was decorations I was after to decorate the venue.
I loved the simplicity of the party range – very British colours of blue, red and white, with simple but effective patterns. As we didn’t need paper plates and cups, I decided that we’d go for a paper chain pack to string from the ceiling. Paper chains are great for children to make, but I’m really lazy and find that cutting uniform strips of paper without a guillotine is a painful and boring. Plus I’d need to cut up the paper while N was out as he’s obsessed with using scissors at the moment – I’d probably end up with tiny cubes of paper, no use for anything. I decided on red as that colour will really show up against the treehouse walls.
There were several methods I’ve used to make my theme work for the party.
N’s never made paper chains before, so we had a bit of fun with it. I debated glue, but wanted to make sure they’d hold as he was sticking them together, so we used some glue dots from my craft stash instead. Much less messy.
The chains look great – and we’ve jazzed them up with some little pom poms made round a salad fork. Just take some wool, wrap it round the prongs of a fork, pull off the fork, tie round the middle to make a ‘bow’. Then cut through all the loops, fluff out and trim to neaten. This cheat’s method is so much quicker and easier than the old way of using cardboard donuts!
I already have some fabric bunting in the right colours that I made a few years ago, so after digging that out, and a bit of an iron, we’ll use this bunting to stick up round the room. If it’s dry weather, I’ll might also hang it from some of the trees in forest school. I think bunting is really good for outdoor based parties as it really gives a great fun feeling, and can be adapted according to the venue or type of party.
My top tip is use cable ties for attaching bunting from tree branches!
How to make bunting
Here’s how I made my bunting.
- Cut out triangles of different fabrics using a basic card template (cereal boxes do the job well). I used pinking shears for extra interest.
- Fold over the top of the triangle to make a space to thread through the ribbon or cord, pin and sew down. I started using a mini sewing machine which then stopped working, so the rest was done by hand…possible, but it just takes a long time if you want a long piece of bunting. Mine’s only single sided bunting but you could back it if you want a more professional finish.
- Feed through the ribbon or cord, making sure all the ‘right’ sides of the bunting pieces are facing the right way.
If you’re in a rush and don’t want to sew, you could make paper bunting – maybe from magazines, wrapping paper or card, the latter will hang straighter. You could either fold over the top and use double sided sticky tape to feed through the cord. Or you could sew yarn through the card itself . If you have nicely patterned paper napkins in your party theme colours, you could make bunting from those too.
Fun food in individual platters
Initially I was going to use children’s ‘takeaway’ boxes for the party lunch as these would work really well for a picnic. I would have had trays of little pots or helpings of nibbly food that the children could help themselves to and put in their pick and mix boxes to take away and eat. As I wanted to stick with the red, blue and white colour theme, I decided to make use of some bento type party plates I’d bought a while back. These probably wouldn’t work well on laps at a picnic, but for a seated lunch, they’ll be great.
The children can still pick and choose what food they want in each section, but they could be decorated in advance with stickers or Sharpies like I’ve done with these, or could be decorated by the children at the party so they know which one is theirs.
Rather than standard party bags, I’ve opted for a longer term toy for the children to take away after the party. After the success of N’s parafoil kite, I’ve got hold of some wholesale so we’re looking forward to handing those out. I ordered this gorgeous personalised mini messenger bag from Tiny Me along with the paper chains. I could choose the colour and image, but the red really stood out and went with our theme. It’s just the right size for N to use afterwards, but for the party we’ll use it to put the kites in and have N hand them out at the end.
N loves the bag and practised putting the kites in and out, so hopefully all will run smoothly at the party and he won’t be possessive about ‘his’ belongings.
The decorations worked out really well; they’re really bold and impactful, so I’m looking forward to seeing them in the tree house setting. The last thing I need to organise is to print out some of the free activity downloads available on the Tiny Me website if you subscribe to receiving news and offers from them.
I’m wondering why we don’t do more themed tea parties at home, as it’s great fun pulling the ideas together, and is a fun way of having family teas.
Do you have informal themed parties at home? What’s your favourite party theme you’ve done or been to?
Disclosure: I’m a member of the Social Fabric Community #CollectiveBias, and received compensation to do a shop with Tiny Me. All ideas and words are my own.