After Christmas, I usually start thinking about my daughters birthdays and planning out their theme. This allows me to spread out the cost, and also have time to buy things at the best price. I hardly ever spend over $100 by doing it this way. However, this year, my oldest told me she didn’t want a birthday party, she just wanted to go to the movies with a few friends. And my youngest? Well… my youngest decided to challenge my party game. She wanted a cheetah party AND an Elsa/ Frozen party.
Now throwing two parties was definitely out of the question, so the only options were to deny her this dream (I seriously tried to convince her of just about every other theme under the planet!) or somehow mash the two together to form a coherent party look. A quick search of google, pinterest, AND etsy came back empty handed for anything involving both Elsa and cheetah/leopard print. I really had no idea how I would ever pull it off, but I was determined to create something that would be, at the very least, memorable!
I started where I often start when planning parties – with the graphics. When using a theme that involves a licensed character (such as Elsa), I don’t like to use exact replicas. That’s why my Lalaloopsy and Minnie parties never featured exact characters – Minnie was a silhouette and the Lalaloopsy dolls were created by graphic designers. I think it keeps things fresh this way.
The clip art set I decided to use for this party was from Super Clip Art on Etsy. I liked that it had the little girl version of Elsa, and decided to use that as the party focus, instead of the Elsa everyone sees in her transformed ice blue dress. I also decided to fancy it up a bit by changing her headband, belt, and shoes to a leopard print pattern.
To create the invitation, I manipulated the image and text in GIMP (font: Reklame). I had them printed at Staples, and then I matted them onto WOW! Glittered Cardstock (from American Crafts) in a brown leopard print. On the front, I lined the edges with Duck brand washi tape in the leopard print. The envelopes were created using the We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board and plain kraft cardstock. The same clipart was used to create a label sticker for the guests names.
It was a mid afterrnoon party, so we kept in simple for the food. Ice cream sundaes, cake, and popcorn were all we ate. The wind was blowing like crazy, and all of my decor wouldn’t stay in place, but here is a general idea of how to food table looked. A vinyl tablecloth from Hobby Lobby created the background, and a tassel banner was created out of tissue paper and the Duck washi tape (I created it using my new favorite crafting tool – look for a tutorial coming soon!). The tablecloth is actually an aqua polka dotted bed sheet from the Martha Stewart Whim collection (available at Macy’s). I never use flat sheets, so as soon as I buy a new pack of sheets, I put the flat one away to use as a table covering for parties! Under the tablecloth was a tulle table skirt in aqua and white – I created it for under $10 buy buying spools of tulle on sale at Hobby Lobby! You can see it in a photo further down this post.
The ice cream sundaes were served in cute plastic martini glasses, and guests could add their choice of blue candy toppings. There was also whipped cream (wrapped in a leopard printed Duck Tape Sheet!) and caramel sauce. I used the leopard printed Duck tapes and the graphics to tie everything together.
I love decorating water bottles – I always say it is my favourite part of a party! Something about that little extra step just pulls it all together for me. We also served popcorn in striped blue party favor bags, even though it wouldn’t stay on the stand because the wind kept blowing the bags off!
The cake was also really easy to decorate. I baked the cake in a bundt pan (my fave because it is so easy to slice) and then made a cream cheese frosting by mixing cream cheese and icing sugar. Once it set in the fridge, I created two shades (a dark blue and white) and created an ombre effect by gradually mixing one color in with the other. Then, I sprinkled white nonpareils with a few snowflake sprinkles around the base.
The cake topper is made of snowflake ornaments that I cut the tip off of and hot glued together. I then glued them to two leopard printed straws and stuck it in the cake. I added gold scrapbooking stickers to spell her name on the snowflakes as well. As for the candles, we found the perfect ice blue candles at the store, and I took a boring old five candle and filled it with blue glitter glue to create a sparkling 5 candle.
My daughter really wanted a pinata at her party, which was a struggle for me, because usually they are filled to the brim with candy and junk. It wasn’t realistic for me to fill it with real goodies and do a party favor, so I decided to combine the two. First I made the pinata with a cardboard box, cheetah printed streamers from Hobby Lobby, and a Frozen poster (a tutorial on this should be up soon too!). Then, I set about deciding how to combine a pinata filling with party favors, which you will see in more detail further down in this post.
I used an old dresser as the welcome station, where kids dropped their gifts and bags and picked up a bag to fill at the bursting of the pinata. I reused the Frozen Tutu Easter Basket that I had created and had it hold the empty favor bags until it was pinata time. I tied some balloons onto it, because the helium tank I purchased didn’t work! Grr!
For the favor bags, I used plain white paper bags that were on clearance at Michaels for 29 cents. I created labels using the graphics and printed them onto the bags. Then, I punched holes for handles and created them by folding pieces of the mini rolls of Duck Tape. I wrapped ugly pencils in the washi tape, covered the notebooks with Duck Tape (and created a binding edge with American Crafts Glitter Tape), and threw in a mini roll for the kids to use at home.
I stuck a frozen sticker on a ring pop and play doh egg to make them match the theme, cut up large sheets of Frozen tattoos, and made a cute little hairclip by hot gluing these paper flowers from the Michaels dollar section to snap clips that I had in my craft room since before Stella was born. It was time to get rid of them!
These notebooks were super boring before – but thanks to Duck Tape, now they are fabulous, don’t you think? I ended up cutting out each girls name in white vinyl too but I didn’t grab a picture of that.
Another goodie for the treat bags were these hair bands. I used Project Life cards for the backing, and cut pieces of elastic which were tied to create hairbands. I already owned all of the elastic except the cheetah print, which I bought on sale at Hobby Lobby for under $2. I created little sticker labels to finish them off.
Once the girls broke open the pinata, they used the little checklist that was inside their favor bags to find one of every item listed. This way, I was sure everyone got a full favor bag (minus the ridiculous amount of candy) and still had the fun of breaking open the pinata and gathering the goodies.
For the activities, the girls decorated paper crowns with markers, stickers, and glitter, which they loved! We also made Frozen puppets from washi tape covered popsicle sticks and Frozen coloring pages. One mom told me they had to act out the entire story of Frozen with the puppets over and over the next day! That’s the kind of thing I love to hear!
I seriously had no idea how this was ever going to come together when I started, but I have to say, I am pretty pleased with the results! It was a lot of fun, and everyone loved it! It also made me realize that it’s okay to mix it up when it comes to parties and do something that might not seem to make sense at all – if you take a chance, you might just be amazed!