don’t forget your mittens– it’s a FROZEN party!

I won’t lie. I plan Mary’s birthday parties for myself as much as for her. My creative wheels spin as I gather and imagine and brainstorm. Cutting out snowflakes and hanging tulle from the chandelier puts my in my happy place.

 photo EI3C0473copy_zpsdf575176.jpg

I believe in lavish, yet simple parties. You won’t find me slaving over intricately decorated cookies or handmade favors. Kids really don’t care if you’ve spent an hour or a minute decorating their cupcakes– they just hope it’s sweet.
Since FROZEN parties seem to be all the rage (and for good reason) I’ll be a little more specific than usual. As I’ve said before, my favorite, inexpensive party decorations are paper, candy, crepe paper and tulle. Also, things-I-already-have-around-the-house and even better– things-my-friends-have-around-their-houses. From my friend Lisa: her gorgeous red snowflake bowls, from Kit: the lighted trees, from Kim: a pin-the-nose-on-the-Olaf game and a giant Olaf balloon.

 photo EI3C0631copy_zps3c0e8a85.jpg

Since we decided on a FROZEN party right after Christmas, I simply kept out much of our holiday decor and then haunted the sale aisles at JoAnn’s for everything snowflake themed on sale. The paper rosettes are from Martha Stewart Crafts, as is the garland (which seems to be completely sold out, but you can borrow mine). I used two snowflake craft punches: Arctic Snowflake and Himalayan Snowflake to embellish the invitation, decorate the table and our crafts. That’s the beauty of a FROZEN party, you don’t need the Disney store, just look for snowflakes and icicles and bags of marshmallows at the grocer.

 photo EI3C0292copy_zps8700324f.jpg
And since we love any opportunity to dress up, we also created an Elsa costume. It’s really simple. We made a tutu just like our fairy tutus from Halloween out of six inch tulle (this seller on ebay has fantastic prices and lightning fast shipping. I also ordered rhinestone stickers from her.).  Nothing could be easier than this form of tutu– you simply get a piece of elastic, sew or safety pin the ends together, then knot tulle around the elastic. We used two full rolls or about fifty yards of tulle.

 photo EI3C0219copy_zpsc9e612d6.jpg

Using glitter tulle from JoAnn’s we made a cape and wrapped a blue segment around the bodice of Mary’s dance leotard. We also added a rhinestone snowflake button. JoAnn’s always has some sort of 50% off coupon.

 photo EI3C0333copy_zpsfd337ba3.jpg

We were even more impressed by Eden, Ryn and Elle who put together costumes Sunday night just with things they had around the house. Both Ryn and Elle are wearing their mom’s denim skirts, creatively layered shirts and super girl capes turned inside out.

 photo EI3C0343copy_zps79dc2a82.jpg

 photo EI3C0260copy_zpsf868f456.jpg

Mary’s best snow queen expression (actually she’s saying, “Don’t take pictures, I need to go set up the games!”)

 photo EI3C0518copy_zps6231b127.jpg
Covering the couches and floor with white sheets and blankets was Mary’s idea, as was FROZEN bingo. You can easily make your own bingo cards.

 photo EI3C2142copy_zpsf4e74671.jpg

Next, the name game. Everyone writes a name on a slip of paper and places it in a bowl and everyone tries to guess who wrote down what. Incredibly simple; amazingly fun (we play this game all the time with all kinds of different groups: teenagers, families, adult parties).

 photo EI3C0522copy_zps9206688a.jpg
It gets pretty silly.

 photo EI3C0531copy_zps474d4ee1.jpg
Huddling to figure out the names of the last two hold outs.

 photo EI3C0602copy_zpsfed6d7e8.jpg
 photo EI3C0953copy_zps73b389b0.jpg
Marshmallow spoon game. Mary made up an entirely new set of rules. You can too.

 photo EI3C1029copy_zps19faa97f.jpg

Everyone loves pin-the-nose-on-Olaf.

 photo EI3C1015copy_zpsa81ad100.jpg
 photo EI3C1022copy_zps11b928f4.jpg
Time to eat!

 photo EI3C0306copy_zpsc238feb3.jpg

The movie FROZEN really only mentions three foods: chocolate, carrots and sandwiches. We added mini marshmallows, meringues and creampuffs because they resemble snowballs, and grapes because they are delicious.

 photo EI3C0494copy_zps4aa58a44.jpg
cake stand

 photo EI3C2052copy_zpsd1ce7c6d.jpg

 photo EI3C0646copy_zpse95f4814.jpg
 photo EI3C0670copy_zps4df6c898.jpg
 photo EI3C0691copy_zpsc4e0d170.jpg
 photo EI3C0739copy_zpsb356c8b1.jpg
 photo EI3C0767copy_zps58b24ff0.jpg
Helping Gracie fill her plate.

 photo EI3C0836copy_zps14d85e37.jpg

Next, our craft. I bought these little tin boxes before Christmas intending to make presents (and never did quite get to them). The girls LOVED adorning the boxes with snowflakes sparkles and their initials.

 photo EI3C0827copy_zps4e2a444e.jpg
 photo EI3C0840copy_zps39ef793f.jpg
We filled the boxes with blank white cards where the girls can write notes or prayers or draw pictures.

 photo EI3C0848copy_zpsdd92b68a.jpg
 photo EI3C0856copy_zps929d335d.jpg
Everyone wanted to pose with their creations.

 photo EI3C0859copy_zpsc6dbe9f4.jpg
 photo EI3C0867copy_zps1d3944d0.jpg
 photo EI3C0877copy_zps7d1dab71.jpg
 photo EI3C0894copy_zpsa1ae5aa3.jpg
Finally– the cake. About six boxes of cake mix which I slathered with frosting and fondant snowflakes (using this snowflake cookie cutter set–you could make fabulous cookies with these too). Note I only decorated the front; I also saved the top for her actual birthday the next day because I couldn’t stand the thought of baking one more cake.
 photo EI3C0094copy_zps31ddc4a4.jpg
A few photos after the sun set. Magic!
 photo EI3C0187copy_zpsd18647d2.jpg
 photo EI3C0111copy_zpsd582b5a3.jpg
 photo EI3C0139copy_zps7c7ca756.jpg
 photo EI3C0130copy_zps38ba9278.jpg
 photo EI3C1061copy_zps2b1c266c.jpg
Rather than presents, Mary asked for warm and cozy donations for a Salt Lake City school serving refugees. Her friends brought the most marvelous blankets, gloves, socks, sleeping bags, fuzzy vests and coats. By the time Mary took her gift to the school, this pile had more than doubled. I don’t think any gifts could have pleased her more.

 photo EI3C0146copy_zps48e762b2.jpg

Good night!

January 24, 2014



  1. Laurel C.

    January 28, 2014

    Wow! Just wow. Top to bottom and everything in between… simply amazing.

  2. Kim

    January 28, 2014

    So magical! I love it! I am going to have to commission an Elsa costume from Mary. Sophie is dying to have one!

  3. Chocolate on my Cranium

    January 28, 2014

    So much fun! And magical.

    My girls have been dressing up their American Girl dolls as Elsa and Ana and giving mini Frozen parties for them. I love the innocence of childhood!

  4. ellen

    January 28, 2014

    Can I hire you for my next birthday party?!?

  5. Jen@mysentimentaljamboree

    January 28, 2014

    Absolutely amazing and so very fun.

  6. Marilyn

    January 28, 2014

    Totally and completely beautiful. Thank you for sharing this! And what a sweet birthday request from Mary. She must be a remarkable girl (with a wonderful mom!)

  7. Lisa

    January 28, 2014

    OMG! I think this might be your finest party yet. The photos…the birthday girl…the dress…the theme…everything! I am obsessed with this! Do not ever let my children see this, they’ll think I gave the lamest parties ever.

  8. Tracy

    January 29, 2014

    So awesome!!!! I love your parties. xo

  9. Lizzy

    January 29, 2014

    What a sweetheart Mary is to not ask for her own gifts but gifts to warm others. Very selfless.

  10. Stephanie Selcho

    January 29, 2014

    What a party! Everything is beautiful. I’m pretty sure I need photography classes from you, and party planning, and decorating, and blogging… You are amazing.

  11. Laurel C.

    January 29, 2014

    Oh! Oh! I’m with Stephanie (the comment right above mine). If you ever give photography classes, count me in!

  12. deerhollow

    January 30, 2014

    Loved this post, Michelle. The thoughts from your missionary feed my soul this morning. So much love! Mary’s party was magical! So many fun ideas. Thanks for sharing your little piece of the world with us. Your family is beautiful! And I think I better go so Frozen!

  13. Charity

    January 31, 2014

    Would it be possible for my girls to send some hats and things down for the Salt Lake City school serving refugees as well? They would love that….and so would I.

    You can message me at charityDOTmanwaringATgmailDOTcom.

  14. Jenalyn

    April 1, 2014

    I am wondering what the rules for the name game are? Sounds like so much fun! Thanks for a great post! The photography is stunning and I love the way you decorated!

  15. Tommie Opell

    April 18, 2014

    I’m planning a summer birthday Frozen party. Any suggestions? I think Olaf under an umbrella with snowflakes hanging down would be great! Any others??

  16. Meow Opre

    April 27, 2014

    Hello mother of 5. 🙂 I was a follower since last year. You’ve got amazing posts and honestly I checked on your December/Christmas posts per year and see how your kids grew :)))

    I am planning for my birthday party of my office mate’s daughter. What do you expect? Yeah she wanted a Frozen Birthday Party so I found you blog and very thankful for these wonderful frozen birthday party ideas. If I have found this before my birthday last January, I myself would have wanted one for myself. Lol  Anyway, please allow me to include this in my Pinterest album please? Thanks and good day ahead!

  17. Ana Brasil

    May 19, 2014

    The more beautifull party!

  18. Ana Brasil

    May 19, 2014

    The more beautifull party!

  19. معلمة الحاسب : رؤى

    May 21, 2014

    so…so . nice and beautiful party.. my daughter loved every thing you made .. God bless you

  20. Kendra

    August 15, 2014

    What a sweet sweet daughter you have to forego presents for donations. The party looked magical and beautiful. Did you make the decorations or buy them and where did you get them or how. I love the cake and might have to borrow the idea. Simply gorgeous party.

  21. kelly

    August 27, 2014

    Wow! What an amazing party and gorgeous photography! I would never have thought to add red to the color scheme, but it looked perfect and warmed up the theme a bit and made it your own! I hope you don’t mind if I steal some ideas!

  22. Lynette

    April 10, 2015

    Absolutely magical! I love Mary’s smile. She is adorable!

    I am busy planning my little girls 8th birthday party..

    Theme Frozen of course 🙂

  23. Mary

    October 14, 2015

    I just love the Elsa costume. In fact I am going to try to duplicate it for my granddaughter for Halloween. She turns five in January and your party theme is just what she would like. Absolutely Beautiful!!

Comments are closed.