Experiences Make Magical Memories
When I plan a party, I do my best to have all aspects of the party designed to compliment each other and tell the story of the party theme. With every turn, I try to submerge the guests in the theme of the day. Today I’m concluding my recap of my daughter’s Princess Belle inspired party by sharing with you the decor, activities and party favors. I’ve included them all in the same post, as it’s often the case that the decor of the party is part of an activity or a guest favor. For example, for this party, instead of handing out traditional favor bags for the children to take home, I planned two themed activities where the kids received the “favors” as part of an activity. At my daughter’s Princess Belle birthday party we had a total of 12 children attending, eight boys and four girls. The ages of the four girls were four, three and (2) one year old girls, so although the party was for a birthday GIRL, boys ruled most of this day. Needless to say, having a princess tea party wasn’t the best option for this party. I looked to Belle’s dad, Maurice, for some help.
At Maurice’s Workshop each child had the opportunity to build a wooden bird house. At the end of the day, our little guests took home their caddy from this project, complete with safety glasses, magnifying glass, and measuring tape. I purchased the items inexpensively at the dollar store and from the Oriental Trading company magazine. Here’s a look at my son’s finished bird house.
Story time with Princess Belle
How could we have a Princess Belle inspired birthday party without Belle making an appearance to wish the birthday girl a happy birthday? Originally I wasn’t planning this activity, BUT Victoria’s big brother, Gavin announced while planning the party that Belle would “probably show up”. Well, with Victoria hearing those words, she believed it was going to happen. So what was a mom to do? I visited a local costume shop called Taney’s ( http://www.taneyscostumeshop.com/ ) hoping to find Belle two weeks before the party. Score! Even better, when I asked if the owner knew someone who could play Belle for the party, he recommend a local high school theater student named Ally. This was Ally’s first time playing Belle for a birthday party. I’m so happy she agreed! The moment my daughter saw Belle her birthday experience turned into pure magic!
Belle read the story of Beauty and the Beast to the children at the party. When she was done, she presented Victoria with the book. Each of the children attending received a personalized gift from Belle, which was a story book tailored to the child’s interests. Even boys like Belle when she hands out gifts!
Decor that doubles as guest favors
Guests were invited to pull up a chair and grab a book while dining in the “Beast’s Library.” If you’ve seen the animated film, then you know that Belle loves to read. Our local library has used book sales often. I stopped into the library, told them about the party and they helped me find the most wonderful classic books in mint condition. They were exactly what I was looking for to showcase Belle throughout the party, without putting Disney’s animated image of her on everything. Lesson learned: Never underestimate the power of a yard sale find when your planning a party.
Each family attending the party was sent home with one of the small photograph frames you see in the above photo. The frames invited adult guests to browse and take home a few of Beast’s books. Underneath the framed statement was a photograph of the birthday girl in her yellow dress that she wore at the party. Again, these weren’t expensive favors, since I found them for $1 a piece, but they were a simple reminder of Victoria’s special day.
When planning any party, I recommend checking your Dollar store and dollar bins at your favorite stores before purchasing any party supplies. You’ll be amazed at the inspiration you can find.
As the adults gathered up their children at the end of the party, Victoria really enjoyed handing out little chocolate roses in miniature treat boxes. The tags read, “Thank you for being my Guest. Love, Victoria”.
Here’s a tip you may not be aware of: Solid chocolate candy, when kept at a cool temperature, can last a really long time before going bad. I found our chocolate rose candies on clearance after Valentine’s Day. It was the only thing I purchased a head of time! However, the candy was still fresh the day of her party. Talk about a money saver!
Last but not least, if you’re planning a Princess Belle party, here’s a decor tutorial gift for you!
“Be Our Guest” inspired dinner plate garland tutorial
Does your daughter have a Belle tea set? Each set includes saucers. To make this super simple and cute table garland, take one of the saucers to your scanner and scan it. Edit the image by increasing the contrast just a touch so the highlights jump out at you and the colors become more vibrant. Increase the size of the image until the plate almost touches the sides of an 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of white card stock paper. Then print and cut out the plates! I also traced the plates onto a thicker piece of card stock and add it to the pack of the plate. This made it stronger and also allowed me the ability to glue the ribbon for the garland between the back and front of each plate. Talk about a quick and inexpensive way to make the dessert table pop!
I hope this review of the decor, activities and party favors gave you a few new ways to look at designing your parties! One thing that I learned during the party…if it’s Victoria’s birthday party, make sure that the sugar cookie icing is yummy and a successful party is in bag!