This year, for my three children’s annual birthday bash, we decided to do a Dreamworks Trolls inspired theme which meant a lot of rainbows and bright, bold colors.
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I will admit that this year was quite tame in comparison to past parties we’ve done. And by “we” I don’t mean my husband and I, although he always graciously goes along with whatever crazy overboard plans I get in my head and knows better than to tell me to “take it easy.” No, I’m talking about my two sister-in-laws who share my passion and extravagance when it comes to party planning. But in an effort to keep things small this year, I took on the party planning by myself.
And while I didn’t have the luxury of their help this time, I can’t exactly say that I flew solo because my 4 year old had a lot of input and devoted her afternoons to helping me make decorations out of tissue paper.
I must apologize in advance for the poor quality of the photos. I definitely underestimated how busy I would be on the day of the party. In the past we’ve always rented venues and therefore food was taken care of by someone else but this time I decided to cook everything myself and it proved to be quite the task! What can I say – I’m an overachiever!
My quest for the perfect theme party started as it always does – Pinterest. There I found inspiration and tutorials for decorations, food, cakes and games and filled my board with anything that fit the theme. And what actually came together was this…
D E C O R A T I O N S
This rainbow tissue paper tassel garland was tedious and time consuming to make but it had a huge impact and added tons of color throughout the house!
I made the tassels little by little over the span of a few days and was surprised at how many they added up to when they were all hung. In total I did two dozen of each color and was able to create a garland that was roughly 16 feet long and wrapped around my entire dining room!
For a great tutorial on how to make these tissue paper tassels check out The Creative Bag Blog
Of if you’d rather purchase them ready made, check out this Etsy listing by PaperFlowersStore
Of course what’s a rainbow without a few white puffy clouds to dot the ends? I made white tissue paper poms in three different sizes and grouped them in the corners where I hung the garland. Command hooks worked the best to hang both the poms and the garland on the wall and thumbtacks for the ones that were attached to the ceiling.
The other large scale decoration I worked on was this rainbow ceiling canopy made from plastic dollar store tablecloths.
I attached one end of the tablecloths to the ceiling light fixture using a rubber band and some string. Then I spread out and ruffled the other end and stuck it to the wall using double sided tape. There was quite a bit of overhang which I debated leaving in place but ultimately trimmed for a nice, even look. I loved the way it looked so much that it hung in my living room for months after the party.
I stumbled upon these happy birthday letter balloons at the dollar store for $4 for the entire set (which was pricey for the dollar store but a steal regardless)! I was skeptical about the quality because, well, it’s the dollar store but they were as good as any other foil Mylar balloons I’ve used in the past. Turns out they were the perfect size to fit in this little gap at the top of the wall between my living room and kitchen. They were easy to inflate and deflate with a straw and I will definitely use them again!
I found something similar on Amazon
There is a section of our living room (i.e. playroom) wall where I’ve hung two rows of twine and normally hang my children’s artwork up with clothespins. I had initially wanted my children to draw pictures of the trolls and rainbows and other things theme-appropriate to hang up there but they were not thrilled about that idea.
So instead I bought this downloadable clipart package from CariStudio on Etsy.
I inserted different pictures of each Trolls character into a Word document and printed them on card stock at our local Staples Copy & Print Center. They turned out amazing!
G A M E S
The one thing my children asked for this year was a pinata.
And the only one I could find was this small Poppy one. It was a pull string pinata so it was safer to use indoors but we weren’t too familiar with the process. At first we tried to let each child have a turn and pull one string but that didn’t pan out so great so eventually we just made everyone grab one string and pull at once. It worked great and the kids excitedly rushed all over collecting candy just as I imagined, but it was over much too soon and seemed like a lot of effort for a few minutes of fun. Next year, we’ll have to try this again and I’ll attempt to DIY one!
Side note – do not put pixie sticks in your pinata! Because if they burst open during the process you will have white dust come flying out everywhere and guests will wonder where you imported that pinata from…
I downloaded this free printable Trolls bingo game from Best Toys for Kids and it was a huge hit!
We used M&M’s as bingo markers and anyone who got a Bingo got to eat their line! I again trusted my friends at Staples Copy & Print Center to print and laminate it and they did not disappoint! I forgot to specify that it needed to be cut into pieces but they took care of all of that for me and the end result was a very professional looking bingo game that I’m sure we will play over and over again.
Another fun game the kids enjoyed was something we called “pass the present.” It consisted of a gigantic ball of several layers of wrapping paper with a treat under each layer. It was a spin off from the popular shrink wrap ball except with rainbow colored wrapping paper to make it easier on the little kids. The ball was passed around in a circle to music and if the music stopped while you were holding the ball you got to unwrap one layer and claim your prize.
The prizes consisted mostly of boxed candy or chocolate, temporary tattoos, stickers, and other little dollar store prizes. I had written down what I wrapped in each layer in an effort to “rig” the game because there was such a mix of older and younger kids but unsurprisingly lost the list prior to playing the game so it was a complete surprise for everyone and in the end, the kids traded with each other and everyone got what they wanted.
C A K E
Ultimately, the party was a huge success and the kids and guests all had a great time! We played the Dreamworks Trolls Soundtrack in the background and turned it up for a dance party afterwards!
After the party, we donated the decorations to my daughter’s preschool.