3 Pinterest Party Planning Pitfalls to Avoid

Let’s talk about Pinterest. For a creative type like myself, Pinterest is a visual smorgasbord of limitless, inspiring possibilities.  Too many it seems when it comes to me and party planning. We had a wonderful time at Immy’s recent five year old mermaid party but I must admit to learning some rather important lessons from this, my first party in the age of Pinterest.

Lesson #1. Choose wisely
Look at all of the wonderful, inspiring ideas that you would love to recreate. List them, tally them up and then halve (or even quarter) the list! Recognise that many of the beautiful, inspiring parties that you see involve professional event planners, bakers, caterers or decorators. Oh, and they probably have big budgets too.

mermaid tails

Lesson #2. Consider the time you have available
Be realistic about how much lead time you have for planning and preparation. Avoid committing to any last minute projects that you probably don’t really have time for, no matter how wonderful they look. Otherwise you might just find yourself crazily cutting out and sewing eleven mermaid and merman tails with a nine month old hanging off your left leg at a time when you should actually be preparing food or hanging decorations or wrapping the pass the parcel!

mermaid party food

Lesson #3. Even little expenses quickly add up
Before you even hit enter on the Pinterest search bar for your chosen party theme, decide on a budget for everything – invitations, food, table settings, decorations, activities, party favours… and then stick to it. Replicating Pinterest-ing ideas is fabulous but with that little trip to Spotlight here, an outing to Bunnings there and a stop off at the $2 shop on the way home, costs quickly add up.

I am extremely fortunate to have wonderful friends who helped with everything from hand sewing the elastic waists of mermaid tails to hanging with my girls as I tried to get organised, from hanging decorations to cutting out the teeth of a watermelon shark, even taking photos on the day whilst I ran around finishing off things that weren’t quite finished. But you know what, despite my running around, there was PLENTY on my list that didn’t get finished (or didn’t turn out the way I had planned – don’t even ask me about the white chocolate covered marshmellow octopops!) And the biggest lesson I learnt, it really didn’t matter.  The kids had a fabulous time running around together being kids.

As much as I was inspired to throw my wonderful five year old a memorable, Pinteriffic party, all kids really care about is having fun with their friends – blowing out candles, eating cake, playing pass the parcel – these are the rites of passage of childhood birthday parties and these are the things they will remember.

Everything else is just a bonus.

Have you ever found yourself caught up in the excitement of too many wonderful possibilities when it comes to birthday party planning?


  1. ah that last tip is the best of all….

    I have been collecting ideas on pinterest for a party for my big boy for ages (he’s never had a party so I am prepared to be a little special for his 6th birthday) but when I sit down and look at everything I’d like to do… it’s going to cost me a small fortune! LOL

  2. I found your blog via Pinterest and I’m way excited to look around. I’d say it looks like your party turned out great, despite whatever happened to your octopops. You could always send them in to Pinstrosity!

  3. I am smack dab in the middle of this right now, planning my daughter’s 5th birthday party. It is overwhelming, but am thankful for your post to remind me to prioritize and budget well.

    Looking forward to a wonderful tea party birthday. 🙂

  4. Yes!! My boys’ birthdays are about 6 months apart so it feels like I’m constantly planning a party. I have a tough time getting the theme together but from there, I love the crafting and getting the kids involved. The look on their faces is so worth it in the end!!

  5. Thanks for the timely reminder! I am also in the throes of organising a mermaid party for Rebekah (must be something about the age!) and have found all the “pinspiration” a little overwhelming! I am just trying to remember to KISS 😉

    But as a side note, where did you get the shells and starfish from that are on your buffet table? I’ve been trying to find some… xx

  6. Great post Christie…i love organising kid’s Birthday parties but get a little overwhelmed when i look at some of the ones on pinterest now! I stick to the basics of some fun food, take home bags and the classic games….that $2 shop visit is usually the one that breaks my budget…and i am never quite sure how it happened!

  7. A very timely reminder for me! I’m deep in the land of Pinterest right now with Bella’s birthday just around the corner. We’ll see how much restraint I manage to show! ha ha

  8. I found your blog – via Pinterest 😉 when I was doing my research for my daughters mermaid party.
    So far this has been the best contribution.

  9. Great post Christine – how right you are! Here I am planning a fancy pinterest-inspired party when my daughter would be entirely happy with a table of junk food and a bunch of balloons. I can’t help myself though, I think I’m still going to go ahead with it ha ha.

  10. What font did you use for writing the title? Pinterest Party Planning Pitfalls? I’m guessing the P in Pinterest is different than the rest…Thanks!

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