Can I just say, what did people do for birthday parties before Pinterest? Disclaimer: much of what we’ve done for parties has been the result of extensive Pinterest searching. I don’t know why, but birthday parties just stress me right out. The planning, and the finding a good date, and the guest list. It all just gets me right wound up. At least I have Pinterest to help me with the decor. I’m not too crafty, so it really helps me to have something to work from.
When I’m picking a party theme, I like to try and think of what represents my boys’ last year, and what they’re currently into. I know that every party won’t be a Disney party, but I’ve really enjoyed what we’ve done up to this point.
So if you’re like me, and you’re looking for party ideas, hopefully you get inspired by one of the parties that we’ve thrown.
Mickey Mouse First Birthday
First off, find something that inspires you. In this case, I was at Party City getting birthday supplies for Cai’s party (three months before Fin’s birthday), and I saw this theme for a first birthday party. Decor-wise, this was super simple. I then used the colour scheme, and found matching balloons. The banner had photos from each month of Finley’s first year, so it added a nice personal touch.
To make these cuties, I purchased Mickey shaped cookie cutters from Amazon, and bought red candy melts from Walmart. I bought a container of M&M’s Minis and just prayed that there were enough yellow! The straws can be found in the party section of most stores. I made a baking sheet-sized batch of Rice Krispies Squares, and then used my cookie cutter to cut out the shape. Take your time and use parchment paper to set your Mickey shaped treats. I then melted the wafers and dipped each one in. Make sure you use a small bowl that is deep enough to dip your Mickey Mouse in. While still wet, pop on the buttons! I made these up the night before the party.
Red velvet cupcakes were perfect with this theme. My mom hand made those Minnie bows out of gum paste. Mini Oreos were the perfect ears. They are fairly simple, but they really looked spectacular.
Everyone showed up in their Mickey-best, and it really made for some nice photo opportunities. It’s a nice way to commemorate the occasion. The balloons framed the table nicely inside, and then we moved them around as needed to be behind us throughout the party (gift opening, birthday cake, family photo).
Two inFINity and Beyond
Birthdays don’t always have to be elaborate. Sometimes it’s just picking a theme and running with it. Fin’s birthday happened to be while his father and I were away in Italy (sorry Fin!), so I went a little more simple since we had just gotten home a week and a half before. Toy Story 4 had just come out, so we snagged some Buzz Lightyear plates, and some green and purple napkins. The cupcakes have purple and green sprinkles, so I only had to make one kind but was able to provide the party colour. I grabbed all of the Buzz Lightyear toys we had at home, including the Buzz bubble wand from Disneyland to decorate the table.
We went to a local spray park, so we brought one of those great long collapsible tables from Costco. I always throw tape in when we are packing for a party, so I just taped down the table cloth, and made sure to cover the legs. This lets you throw anything extra under the table while still looking the way you want it to.
My mom had the brilliant idea to have the kids make Forky. It was simple enough for even the youngest to do, and trendy enough that the older kids wanted to do it. I adapted some DIYs that I saw online to make it easier for the youngsters. Instead of using glue to give Forky’s face a three dimensional look, I used blue and red sharpie. That way they didn’t need to wait for any glue to dry. I packed the kids Ziploc baggies with a plastic spoon, red pipe cleaner, and popsicle stick cut in half. (We looked everywhere and COULD. NOT. FIND. any sporks… so they were “Spoonies”. Meh, What can you do?) Then I had scissors, sharpies, and play dough for them to put it all together.
Peter Pan Third Birthday
When I asked Cai what he wanted for his third birthday, he said a pirate birthday cake. So naturally, that meant Peter Pan. Heidi came in clutch and bought this shirt the morning of the party. I wish that I had bought a Peter Pan costume from the Disney Store after Halloween, but what can you do. We cut up a lime green polo to look like Peter Pan. Cai just loved it. As a party favour, we made Peter Pan hats for all of his guests. My mom found a simple pattern online and bought green felt from Walmart. A little stitching on of the feather, and you’ve got yourself a Peter Pan cap!
I popped out to the dollar store and bought cardboard in the three colours, as well as matching balloons. Then I painstakingly cut out every feather by hand and attached it to string to make the feather banner. I threw it out at the end of the party, but now I wish I had kept it around. It would’ve gone great with his Dino-party this year. Ah, well. I’ve learned my lesson.
My husband is quite the artist, so he drew out Pan’s shadow on black poster board. The balloon arch is also easier than you think. Blow up all the balloons, and then start tying together groups of twos and threes, making sure that you mix up the colours. Then attach those groups to a long piece of butcher’s string, making sure to get those balloons nice and tight together. We attached it to the wall with scotch tape.
The mural was painted by Heidi (I’m surround by talent) for another event, but it was such a perfect background. We snagged some Peter Pan toys to complete the look. On the table runner made of brown wrapping paper (sometimes called kraft paper) I drew a pirate map like the one from the movie.
Caius was adamant that he wanted a pirate ship birthday cake. And let me tell you, did his Auntie Heidi ever deliver! I baked two 9 x 13 pans of chocolate cake from a box (in hindsight, making it from scratch would have made for a sturdier cake). She then carved it into the shape of a ship. Inside was a strawberry layer to help the two layers stick together. We used chocolate melting wafers on parchment paper for the hand rails, and different types of candy for the port holes. Chocolate buttercream finished the exterior off. The sails are skewered pieces of paper.
We’d love to hear from you about how you incorporate Disney into your kids’ birthdays! Let us know in the comments.
Have a magical day!