This post is part of Microsoft’s #WorkWonders program.
We’ve celebrated her birthdays with regular fairies, mermaids and Rainbow Magic fairies, and this year my imaginative girl chose Fairy Tales as the theme for her birthday celebration…can anyone else see a common thread here??! We’re on a bit of a tight budget right now so once again it was a party at home and to save money I had to really stick to the budget and get creative with food and activities, choosing simple ideas that I could make at home. You’ll find a copy of the handy Party Budget Planner I made in Excel to track expenses below – feel free to download a copy to use for your next party.
Here’s a peek at how our Fairy Tales themed birthday party turned out…
If you missed the homemade birthday invitations featuring our very own Little Red Riding Immy, you can see details of how I made them here. It was so simple to do in PowerPoint, and I love how they turned out.
Games & Activities
Being at home I knew Immy and her friends would enjoy spending some of the time just playing together and so I decided to create some fun, simple spaces for free play. It was simple to transform our cubby house into the house of the witch in Hansel & Gretel with some brightly painted cardboard sweets.
A corner of our playroom became a castle where lots of capturing and rescuing princesses took place.
There was a sand box diamond mine for the seven dwarves, which the big kids enjoyed and the smaller brothers and sisters loved.
And the seven dwarves also made an appearance in our ring toss game. You can find the instructions for making your own here.
The ‘Sink Hook’s Ship’ pom pom shooter game was lots of fun. I drew the ship onto some thick, box cardboard and painted it. Then cut three holes to fit the paper coffee cups. It was pretty tricky to shoot the pom poms into the holes! The pom pom shooters were made from very strong cardboard rings that I had collected from somewhere (you could also use a piece of PVC pipe). Cut the top off a balloon and stretch the bottom of the balloon over your ring and tape into place with electrical tape.
Party guests were invited to make a set of fairy tale story stones to take home. We had spray painted a heap of river stones before the party and I ordered some fairy tale themed sticker books online – The Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk and Cinderella.
I also found some small paper mache boxes on sale online that were perfect as little treasure boxes for the guests to make and take home. We pre-painted the lids and raided our craft supplies for glittery sequins, fake jewels and sparkly mosaic stickers.
For organised games we played Pin the Glass Slipper on Cinderella, Pass the Poison Apple (so much fun we had to play twice!) and we had a Three Little Pigs Treasure Hunt. The children each found their own set of three little pigs characters that could double as story cards. I encouraged the big kids to take them home to use as a prompt to tell their younger siblings the story of the Three Little Pigs.
Most of our party foods were simply a fairy tale twist on a classic!
The one party food that Immy really wanted was Cinderella slipper cookies and these were the one thing I outsourced (I know my limits!) We also served…
mushroom mini cupcakes,
a 3 Pigs snack mix of French Fries crisps, pretzel sticks and squares of chocolate,
and Frog Prince jelly. Once the jelly had cooled but not set I added a Cool Mint lolly to each cup to be the princess’ ball that fell into the water.
There was also savoury Rapunzel plaits with pizza fillings, fairy tale shaped sandwiches (these Fairy Tale Cookie Cutters are awesome), star shaped fairy bread and cinnamon-sugar sprinkled crown chips made by brushing tortillas with a little butter, sprinkling on the cinnamon sugar topping and baking for a few minutes.
And finally, jelly oranges and princess popcorn – yum!
The Birthday Cake
I was quoted $120 to make a simple slab cake decorated to look like a fairy tale book. Needless to say, that wasn’t in the budget. So with the help of a very good friend I had my first go at icing a cake with fondant and I think we did a great job – especially as neither of us had ever worked with fondant before! The birthday girl was certainly happy with it 🙂
So that was our fairy tale themed party. So much fun! And to help me keep track of expenses I developed a simple Party Budget Planner tool that works in Microsoft Office’s Excel program. You can download a copy to your own computer from OneDrive using this link.
To use the planner, open the file in Excel and enter your party details. There is room to enter budget details for each item, estimates or quotations and actual expenses.
As you enter the information, the spreadsheet automatically calculates the difference between your budget and your actual expenses for each category, and for your overall event budget.
Handy, right? Who’s birthday is next in your family? Are you planning a party?