My oldest daughter, Emma, just turned 11. Eleven!! I am still wrapping my brain around that. I just can't believe how fast 11 years has flown by. Makes me want to grab onto each day a little tighter and not waste a single moment. Before I know it she will be all grown up and out in this crazy world living out her own amazing story. Sigh... It's enough to overwhelm this mama's heart with all sorts of emotions as I think about how fast my baby is growing up.
In between all those crazy emotions last week, I somehow managed to plan a fun party to celebrate her special day. Emma picked the party theme: Frozen! Big surprise there...it's only like the newest favorite movie around here. And we've only listened to the soundtrack, oh, probably at least a hundred times...the girls have all the lyrics memorized. (Ok, so maybe Mark and I have them memorized too ;) ).
I was actually excited when she picked this theme, because there are so many great ideas out there right now, and I knew that I could pull it off without it costing a lot of money. Because Emma is getting older, I wanted to give the party a more grown-up girl feel (less "character" heavy, and more focused on just the snowy/wintery look and feel). And even though it ended up raining all day long on party day, I think we pulled it all together and it ended up being a fun (albeit very loud ;) ) night with a house full of pre-teens.
I love planning parties for my girls - it's one of my favorite things. I enjoy making homemade decorations and adding extra details to make the celebration extra special. I think it might be some kind of disease or something, but I just can't help it...when I'm planning a party, I tend to get a little carried away in the details. But it is so much fun to me.
I put quite a bit of time into gathering ideas and creating graphics so that I could create the look that I had envisioned. And I wanted to share these ideas and graphics here, in case any of you moms out there could use a little help in pulling together a party like this. But there are TONS of ideas out there...there are so many people who have done this theme way better than me. So I encourage you to search Pinterest or Google, and put together your favorite ideas to create your own "perfect" party. But maybe some of these ideas will help you along the way:
One great idea when planning a party is to consider focusing your decorations into one main area. (This helps keep decorating costs low, and saves time when setting up.) I decided to focus my decorating attention on the food table area. I put together this table very inexpensively. Most of my supplies were things like plastic tablecloths, tissue paper, cotton balls, streamers, and coffee filters (cheap, cheap supplies!) Here's what I did:
- For the backdrop, I taped up two (super cheap, $1 ea) white plastic tablecloths. Then I cut strips up the length of each one, and then cut little slits all down each strip (the idea was to kinda give it the look of "icicles"...I don't know if it really did that, but I do like the texture that it added to the backdrop).
- Then, I cut white crepe paper streamers into long lengths and hung them in front of the tablecloths. (I used one roll of streamers, $1)
- Then, I layered on a few strips of sparkly tulle. I got this at Hobby Lobby (it was actually wide tulle ribbon, it comes on a big roll), it was 50% off when I bought it so I only paid $2.50 per roll. (I used two rolls. But you could easily not use the tulle and just add some extra streamers and still get a very similar look for even less).
- I designed and printed my own "Happy Birthday" banner and strung it up with some twine. (You can download the printable at the bottom of this post). Then I added some tissue paper garland ($1.50 from Hobby Lobby), and some white beaded garland (from the wedding section in Hobby Lobby, it was 50% off).
- For the table, I just put a cheap white tablecloth on the table. Then I used cotton balls and leftover fake snow from Christmas to sprinkle on the cotton balls. I also punched a few paper snowflakes out of cardstock and used it as confetti on the table. (I used a snowflake punch I already had, but you can get one at a craft store).
- To finish off the whole look, I hung some large plastic snowflakes from the ceiling, and strung up some twinkle lights. I also cut a bunch of snowflakes out of coffee filters and hung them from the ceiling as well. In fact, I could have just done the coffee filter snowflakes and not worried about the plastic ones...but I already had them, so I used them. But just a bunch of coffee filter snowflakes would do the trick (and talk about cheap! They are only like $1 a pack and you can make a TON of snowflakes from them!!).
Food is always a part of any party around here. I went with fairly easy foods for this party, and just themed them out using fun "Frozen" names (I must admit, I found my inspiration for all of these foods after scouring Pinterest for ideas. There are lots of ideas out there...these are just the ones we chose):
- Sven's Antlers - pretzel sticks
- Eternal Winter Mix - Muddy Buddy Chex Mix and marshmallows
- Olaf Noses - carrot sticks
- Snowballs - white cheese balls
- "Do You Want To Build A Snowman?" - mini powdered donuts, orange M&Ms, and chocolate chips (kids made a "snowman" using these supplies)
- Beverages: Melted Ice (water) and Arendelle Punch (equal parts Blue Hawaiian Punch and Sprite)
- The Cake - a simple white cake (colored in shades of blue) and homemade buttercream icing. I decorated it with white sprinkles and iced-on snowflakes. The kids said it looked like a wedding cake, but that wasn't really the intention. I just wanted it to look pretty and white...a more "fancy" cake for my growing-up girl.
- Our one big splurge was this: we rented a Sno-Cone machine! And I'm SO glad we did! This was definitely the most favorite thing at the party...the kids LOVED it!!
We had originally planned for the party to be an "Outdoor Movie Night" party. We were going to show the movie Frozen outside on a big screen in the backyard under the stars. But then it rained. All day long. So we had to quickly come up with a back-up plan.
We had the party at my parents' house, and so we converted their den into a "winter wonderland" by hanging up a bunch of snowflakes and twinkle lights from the ceiling, and we watched the movie in there on the big TV. (By the way, I have the most AMAZING parents in the world. They allowed us and almost 20 pre-teens to invade their home for this party...and they let me tape up lights and snowflakes all over their ceilings. They are awesome. Just awesome.) It ended up looking pretty cool, even though it wasn't the original plan. The kids loved it, and Emma had a BLAST...so I'd say the party was a success.
When the kids all went home, we sent them with a little homemade party favor:
We made Rice Krispy Treats shaped into "snowballs", and put them in a half-pint Mason jar. Then we added two pretzel sticks and a chocolate "carrot" (found these at Target in the Easter candies, $1 for 10). (So they basically had all the pieces of a "snowman"). I added a label to the top of each jar and then tied on some white yarn to finish it off. They are very simple favors, and ended up costing less than $2 each...but I really like the way they turned out.
So our Frozen party was a success, although it was probably the loudest party we've ever had, simply because of the natural volume level of 20 pre-teens. Oh my word. They were sweet kids, and we really had a great time with them. But I looked at Mark at one point and just shook my head...we really have no idea what we are doing as we enter this stage of parenting. We have a pre-teen, an almost middle-schooler...and it's a whole new world, that's for sure. My baby is no longer a baby...I see her growing and changing every day. She is becoming the young lady that God made her to be...and I just want to be the kind of mom that will take her, in all her pre-teen hormonal emotional awkwardness, and love her and guide her through it all. So I am just going to embrace this new stage and continue to trust God as He leads us all along this incredible journey.
Are you planning a Frozen-themed party? If you'd like to save yourself a little time and use some of the graphics that I created for your own party, please feel free to download the files below. These are free for personal use (all I ask is that you please don't take them and then sell them as your own...thanks!!).
By the way...these ideas would also work for a fun Family Movie Night! So even if you don't have a birthday coming up, you can still plan a night of Frozen fun with with the ones you love!
This file includes:
- Frozen "Happy Birthday" Banner
- "Do You Want To Build a Snowman" Sign
- "Happy Birthday" Sign
- Food Label Cards
- Water Bottle Labels
- Favor Labels
If you would like to personalize your own favor labels by adding a name to the bottom, here is the jpeg image (click on the image, then just right click and save it) - then just use Word or Photoshop or whatever program you have to add a text on top of the image. If you are putting this label on half-pint jars, you will need to make sure you print the image at 2 inches wide. (You can print it larger for larger lids)
Have fun planning your own Frozen fun!!