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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mary’s best snow queen expression (actually she’s saying, “Don’t take pictures, I need to go set up the games!”)
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
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).
It gets pretty silly.
Huddling to figure out the names of the last two hold outs.
Marshmallow spoon game. Mary made up an entirely new set of rules. You can too.
Everyone loves pin-the-nose-on-Olaf.
Time to eat!
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.
Helping Gracie fill her plate.
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.
We filled the boxes with blank white cards where the girls can write notes or prayers or draw pictures.
Everyone wanted to pose with their creations.
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.
A few photos after the sun set. Magic!
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.