Spring Has Sprung! Birthday Party Theme

My daughter has a January birthday which is smack dab in the middle of our harsh Manitoba winter. So, when we decided to do a “spring theme” for her 6th birthday party, it was much more about creating optimism in the middle of a cold winter than actually about celebrating the onset of spring. Having said that, it was a really fun party to plan and pull together.


I made this invitation long before I was into card making, so it was done on the computer using a really cute “spring/flower” font and some free clip art. I tried to find the one I used, but can’t find it. If you go to dafont or font space you will be able to find something adorable to work with the theme. I actually tried to make the invitation Rebus style by embedding both a butterfly and a bee into the text. (I had a total mind cramp trying to remember the word Rebus for this post and it almost drove me mad!) The photos below are taken of the extra invitation I printed for Eden’s scrapbook. Sometimes when I did this, I would shrink the original so that I could fit it into my layout. These aren’t the best pictures, but it gives you an idea. I made the invitation post card style, so the two photos represent each side of it.

Spring Party Invitation

Spring Party Invitation


I can’t say that the decorations for this party were anything too fabulous. I painted our “picture window” in our dining room with a spring theme and had made some grass/flowers along the half walls between the living room and the dining room. I also painted black stripes on yellow balloons and then attached antennae and yellow cellophane wings. I also hung up several hand painted butterflies that I had kept from Eden’s second birthday party. To add to the theme, the birthday girl was also dressed up like a butterfly!

Activities and Games:

It is funny how each party has its highlight. Sometimes it is the decorations, other times it’s the cake, but for this party I thought the activities were the big hit. I can’t take credit for most of these ideas as I know I would have relied on party planning sites to get me started. Here are some of the fun things we did:

  • Butterfly Bowling ~ I filled 6 empty water bottles with tap water and food colouring to make them nice and bright. I then secured tissue paper “wings to them” and they  became the bowling pins.
  • Pin the Spot on the Lady Bug ~ I made a large poster board sized lady bug on red tag board. The kids were blind folded and given an open Oreo half (with the icing). Their job was to lick the icing and attempt to “stick the spot” on the lady bug while blind folded. They got to eat the other half.
  • Fly Swatter Relay ~ This was so fun and hilarious to watch. The kids were divided into teams and given a fly swatter with plastic flies on it. They had to walk across the room balancing the flies and then turn around and come back without spilling the flies! When the reached the starting line, they had to carefully pass the fly swatter full of flies on to the next person in line, so the relay could continue until everyone had a turn.
  • The kids used homemade whoopie pie cookies, licorice and icing to make their own insect cookies by adding legs and spots. Of course, they got to eat these.
  • The girls also had their faces painted with insects and/or flowers when they arrived.
  • I pre-printed on foam door hangers before the party. They could choose “Buzz off” or “Don’t BUG me!” and then proceed to decorate their hanger.
  • Pass the Present ~ I got this idea from my friend Michelle.  Basically, you wrap a little gift/surprise item in a box.  You then proceed to add layers of wrapping paper on the outside equal to the number of kids, so that each child will get a turn to unwrap the present.  You pass the present around the circle to music and when the music stops, the person holding the present gets to unwrap a layer.  The person to unwrap the final layer gets to keep the prize inside.  The kids love this! I can’t remember what the present was, but I am sure it was probably theme related.


I always plan my parties for no more than 2 hours and keep a pretty tight schedule. It is because of this that food is not ever a huge part of the party. For this party, I put out a store bought “spring” table-cloth, plates and napkins. I also used my butterfly serving tray for snacks. For the most part the food was not theme related, but I did make small “caterpillar” fruit skewers using purple grapes and those fancy puffy toothpicks for the head. I added florist wire to the puffy head for antennae.

Snack Table

Here is Shay at the snack table. If you look closely you can see the caterpillar grape skewers.

Cupcakes and Ice Cream:

For this party, I decide to create a flower pot of cupcakes as well as an extra plate of cupcakes with a variety of embellishments on them. I loved the little birds ~ an idea from Martha Stewart.

I don’t seem to have a photo of this, but for the ice cream, I bought a carton of vanilla ice cream and made slices that were about 3/4″ thick. I used a butterfly cookie cutter to pre-cut butterfly ice cream shapes. I then sprinkled them with coloured sugar crystals and re-froze them on a cookie sheet lined with plastic wrap, so that they were ready to serve.

Loot Bags:

This party was 6 years ago and I actually am a little miffed that I can’t find a picture of the loot baskets or an outline of my party plans. I am basically piecing this post together from memory and photos. The loot baskets were small “purse” like bags with two handles and some flowers stitched on the side. They were lined with hot pink fabric and very cute. I don’t remember exactly what I put in the bags, but I do remember that I made each of the girls a bug jar with a screen inserted in the top and a handle added. I made these for each of the girls, but don’t seem to have a picture of the jars either. I also made them each a large homemade sugar cookie on a stick. All that I can remember is the basket, a bug jar, a large cookie and a door hanger, but I really don’t remember what else was in them.

Homemade sugar cookie

The only picture of the loot I could find!

This was a really fun party and could be tweaked for girls or boys. For more great party ideas, visit my other posts:

Birthday Party Planning

Birthday Cake Montage

Super Easy Glow Bowling Party

Sleepover Party Invitation

Winter/Snowflake Birthday

Birthday Cake Pancakes

Snowman Birthday Party

Disco Birthday Party

Winnipeg Jets Birthday Party

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

Hawaiian Birthday Bash

Pirate Birthday Party

Simple Party Pennant Banner

Snowman Birthday Party

Well, it’s January and with it brings Eden’s 12th birthday. I can’t believe it….she is already booked for her first babysitting job. Now that the kids are getting older, they aren’t very interested in the “over-the-top” theme parties that I used to do. I still like to make a nice invitation and cake, but the theme related games, decorations and activities seem like they are becoming nothing more than a distant memory. How sad! I used to love pulling those parties together ~ maybe I’ll be a Party Planner in my next stage of life? We hope to finalize some plans and pull things together for finalizing her plans for this year, but I know that my role is progressively becoming less significant as the girls are quite happy just to hang-out and amuse themselves, but in honour of her January birthday I thought I would share some ideas from one of her past parties.

Snowman Birthday Party

I need to begin by saying that this was early on in my birthday party planning craze and I was not yet adept at making sure every single detail was taken care of. She didn’t have a birthday party with friends until she started pre-school. Because the party was primarily adults,  there weren’t any games, activities or loot bags.  I have included some of the ideas I used for Eden’s party, but have also included several others that I either thought of or found on the web. This party was back in the “olden days”, pre-digital camera and I couldn’t find the negatives anywhere. I am embarrassed to say that the pictures I am sharing are photos of photos. How tacky!  Anyway, no other choice. I was also quite surprised to learn that I don’t even have a full picture of the birthday banner. I think I got better at taking photos of everything, as I did more parties.

As shared in my previous post on the basics of planning a birthday party, I always consider 6 main areas when pulling a party together:

  • invitations
  • decorations
  • activities/games
  • food/snacks
  • cake(s) ~ plan, design and bake a cake/cupcakes (or save the hassle and order one)
  • loot bags

Snowman Party Invitations:

snowman birthday invitationThere really is nothing fabulous about the invitations I did for Eden’s party. I was not yet into card making and thought I was brilliant because I scanned the napkin so that the invitations matched the napkins. They were fine, but nothing special. I would do something totally different now that I am into scrapbooking and card making. If you simply google “snowman birthday invitations” under images, you will see hundreds of great ideas. You can also refine your search to “homemade snowman birthday invitations” for even more ideas. I often search the web for ideas before coming up with my own.

Snowman Party Decorations:

Again, I don’t seem to have great pictures from the party, but below are a few of my favourite party ideas from her snowman themed party. I always make a huge hand-painted birthday banner that is theme related. This might have been the first year I started this tradition! I don’t have a picture of the whole banner, but I remember it was on black with both light blue and white paint. My favourite part was the snowman family in the bottom left corner. Each member of our family made a footprint and then I added the details to make them into snowmen for the banner. Of course, there were snowflakes painted on the banner as well. After the party, I cut-out Eden’s footprint and included it in the scrapbook layout from her 3rd birthday party. The foot print is a great memory in itself. I did something similar for Shay’s pirate birthday with a hand print parrot on his banner.

For this party, I wanted to have an indoor snowman for photo opps. I purchased a large white Christmas tree bag over the holidays and then we stuffed it with shredded paper. It worked fine, but it was quite a bit of work collecting enough paper and you really had to have white or it showed through. If I were doing it again, I would use some of the other great ideas I found on Pinterest for making indoor snowmen. When I think back to the planning of her party 9 years ago, I realize how much has changed in terms of technology. I did find some ideas on line back then, but the ideas (especially the images) were quite limited. Social media sites like Pinterest have made it so much easier to share great ideas.

For the centrepiece on the table, I made a snowman ice sculpture. I froze water in balloons (with varying amounts of water in each) and then melted the flat side slightly so that the balls would adhere to one another. This worked perfectly. I added the embellishments the same way…..I slightly melted the area I wanted to adhere the eyes and then attached them. I did prepare the snowman ahead and re-froze him on my steps. Very cute!

I really don’t have a picture of them, but I had also used plain white balloons that I decorated with a face and hat so that they all looked like snowmen. They also turned out well.

Here are a few pictures from Eden’s Snowman Party.

When preparing for this post, I found so many other great ideas. If I were doing another Snowman party, I might consider including some of these great ideas.

For more creative indoor snowman ideas, visit Amazing Interior Design.

Snowman Party Activities and Games:

As mentioned earlier in the post, I didn’t plan anything for our party as Eden was only 3 and it consisted primarily of adults and older kids. However, being a teacher, I can tell you that there are many great ideas based on a winter/snow/snowman theme. Pinterest is always a great source, but here are a few that I came up with quite quickly. Of course, you would need to pick activities that are age appropriate.

  • pin the carrot on the snowman (you could even use the refrigerator for this as shown in the pictures above)
  • make your own snowman using cornstarch and shaving cream
  • snowman bowling
  • Snowman Game using toilet paper and accessories to dress each other up like snowmen. Check this and other great snowmen ideas out at Fun on a Dime!
  • make snow globes
  • go sledding
  • in a perfect world you could actually go outside and build a snowman with the freshly fallen sticky snow (Ha! Ha!)
  • marshmallow snowman (lick and stick the marshmallows on paper to make a snowman picture)

There are so many fabulous ideas for this theme, I could go on forever, but I am becoming deeply saddened that I will probably never get to plan another snowman party again. Rats! I would do it SOOOO much better if I had another chance.

Snowman Party Foods:

Snowman Cake and Cupcakes:

For Eden’s party, I opted for a 3D snowman cake. I wanted a really bright white icing and so I used my mom’s recipe for 7-Minute Frosting. I find it a bit sweet now, but it was my favourite when I was a kid. Again, you can search for all kinds of great cake and cupcake ideas, but here is a picture of Eden’s cake. I actually can’t totally remember what I made the hat out of, but I want to say a “wagon wheel”  with chocolate cookies stacked on top??  The hat is very dark in all of the pictures and I made this cake 9 years ago, so I don’t exactly remember. I still have the print out of the recipe and directions, but I know I did a bit of my own thing as well. I tried to find the link, but the page is no longer there. Sorry! Again, this is certainly not one of my better cakes, but I guess it illustrates my growth and development….let’s celebrate that! What drives me the most crazy is that I actually left the finished snowman displayed on a messy plate. I can’t believe I wouldn’t have cleaned-up the icing drips and crumbs ~ what was I thinking?

Loot Bags:

I didn’t hand-out any loot bags at the family party we had, but here are a few ideas:

  • a snowman cookie in a cellophane bag (I have made those melted snowman cookies before and they are so cute!)
  • snowman kit (I’ve included the link to mine, but you could make a much simpler version if you had lots to make.)
  • crazy carpet
  • snowman or winter book
  • snowman soup (hot chocolate, marshmallows, candy stick (candy cane), chocolate kisses). There is a little poem to go with this, but it is a bit more geared to Christmas. I am sure it could be modified. I have sometimes made these as little Christmas gifts.
  • the crafts the kids make at the party will be taken home as well (example – a snow globe)
  • you could even put all of the loot in a “snowman’s” hat in lieu of a bag

This is theme is so much fun and the ideas are literally endless. So, if you have a winter birthday party to plan why not plan your own snowman party?

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Disco Birthday Party

I haven’t posted a birthday party theme for a while, so I thought I would toss one out today.  This is based on Eden’s 10th birthday.


I made this invitation and envelope for the party.  The invitation was made by printing the actual invitation in a white font on black cardstock.  The words are on the back of the DISCO invitation.  I downloaded a font called “bell bottom”.  I tried to use 60 jargon (very lame, I know).  I honestly don’t remember why there is green in the center, but I am pretty sure I just printed the white font directly onto black paper.invitation
For the outside of the invitation, I actually used some left over fabric from Eden’s 60’s Halloween costume and some old denim. for jeans. The background was already black, but I gently used a embossing tool to make some little circular grooves in the “record”.  The grooves are a bit hard to see, but I have a circle template in my scrapbooking arsenal, so they were easy to trace out.  The word DISCO was typed in another free font I downloaded called Akka.  I printed the word in black ink on purple cardstock and then cut out all of the letters by hand. I often use funky fonts in my scrapbooking and card making.  One of my favourite websites for free fonts is www.dafont.com.  I think that both of these were from there.  The envelopes were made from plain cardstock and I embellished them with the shoe and peace sign which were both made on my Cricut. (Have I told you that I could not survive without my Cricut?)

disco party invitation


I made my standard birthday banner, but didn’t do much more than that. Eden is getting older and isn’t as interested in a whole party theme.
birthday banner
I made the silhouette of the disco dancers with my overhead projector at school. I simply traced the images onto black paper and then cut them out.

Activities and Games:

Again, Eden is getting older and basically wanted to hang-out with her friends.  We did plan two activities and both worked out well.

  1. The girls played Just Dance on the Wii for most of the evening.
  2. Tie Dye Sharpie Scarves

Tie Dye Sharpie Scarves

For this project, I combined the ideas of from two different bloggers.  Basically, I went to the thrift store and bought a few extra-large t-shirts that were white. It didn’t matter if there was a pocket or small logo on the top as they would be cut off. I washed the shirts and then off the bottom seam.  I then cut across the shirt (parallel to the bottom) to create a loop scarf. I don’t remember how wide I cut them, but I think I got all of the scarves from 2 or 3 extra-large shirts (maybe 8″?)  I then stretched each scarf (loop) as much as I possibly could. Each girl received one of these as her scarf.  We then did Sharpie tie dye on the scarves.   This worked really well and the tutorial I followed was very helpful. One caution though, just be aware of the strong fumes from using both Sharpies and rubbing alcohol. It was okay, but I wasn’t really anticipating that and it is certainly something to consider.


I actually can’t find my party plan. I usually save all of my files, but apparently I didn’t save this one. I don’t remember going theme crazy with the food for this party, but I did have fun making the cake. I used my regular icing to generously coat the cake and then homemade marshmallow fondant for decorating.
disco cake

Loot Bags:

Again, I am not remembering everything we gave out at the party, but I do remember that I made each of the girls a denim purse to go with their tie dye scarf. I made these out of old jeans that we had at home. (I had been saving them for this purpose.)
denim purse and scarf

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Hawaiian Birthday Bash

For my daughter’s 7th birthday, we had a Hawaiian themed party.  It was one of my favourite birthday party themes and we had so much fun.  I followed the same structure that I use for most parties, and even duplicated some of the ideas.

  • invitations
  • decorations
  • activities/games
  • snacks and beverages
  • cake(s) ~ plan, design and bake a cake/cupcakes (or save the hassle and order one)
  • loot bags
Hawaiian Birthday

This is Eden all dressed up for her party. All of the girls received similar “costumes” as part of their loot bag. We used this backdrop for many of the birthday photos.

For a complete breakdown of party planning steps and organization, see my Birthday Party Planning post.


At this point, I had not done much card making, so the invitations were made on the computer with cute fonts and clip art.  It was nothing special, but contained all of the information and matched the theme.  I tried to put a sample in the post, but I have changed from Word to Mac, so the format was all off and didn’t look nearly as good as the original.  I normally make an extra invitation to put in the kid’s scrapbooks as well.


I made my traditional happy birthday banner for Eden.  In addition, I made a huge ocean/beach backdrop for photos. I don’t usually buy those decoration sets, but did purchase a few for this particular party.  You can see the Hula Girl and a few other decorations that are not homemade.  Some of the murals/decorations were lent to me for the party, as the grade 2 classes in my school do a big Hawaiian theme.  The colours were very beachy and bright, and we had tiki lights around the room.  We had grass skirts around the buffet in the dining room and a centerpiece that consisted of floating flower candles and scattered sea shells.  We had coconut incense (very mild), flip-flop plates and butterfly and fish serving dishes.  There were beach towels randomly placed around the room, a palm tree with “balloons” for coconuts, and we used the wicker chairs from our outdoor furniture set to add to theme.  I also used decorations from past birthdays such as the homemade butterflies from Eden’s second birthday.  We also dressed up in theme related attire.  Tropical music played in the background and was used for the games.

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Games and Activities:

  • Pin the Coconut on the Tree – We separated Fudgee-O sandwich cookies.  The girls licked the icing and stuck it to the tree.  The cookies were the coconuts!
  • Pineapple Bowling – I made paper maché pineapples from 2 L pop bottles and then we used a real coconut for a bowling ball.  Our long hardwood floor hallway made a great bowling alley.  (These were used later in the year for Shay’s Pirate Party)
  • Musical Beach Towels
  • Hula Dancing and the Limbo (under a pool noodle)
  • Pass the Present – Wrap a little gift/surprise item in a box (in paper that goes with the theme, if possible).  You then proceed to add layers of wrapping paper on the outside equal to the number of kids, so that each child will get a turn to unwrap the present. You pass the present around the circle to music and when the music stops, the person holding the present gets to unwrap a layer.  The person that unwraps the final layer gets to keep the prize inside.
  • Craft:  The girls made bracelets with seashell beads.

Snacks and Beverages:

  • We served fresh fruit, fish crackers and a little plate of fish-shaped jube jubes.
  • Virgin Strawberry Daiquiris were served for the beverage.  The drinks were served with a slice of fresh fruit on the edge, a straw and of course, an umbrella!


Cake and Ice Cream:

I made two cakes.  One for Eden’s Hawaiian Party with her friends and one for the family party.  The Hula Girl cake was served at the party she had with her friends and the flip-flop cake was served later in the evening to family.  The Hula Girl cake was based on the same idea as a Barbie Doll cake.  I just tweaked the idea for the Hawaiian theme.  The flip-flops were easy and didn’t require much prep.  I simply made two sheet cakes and cut them each into a flip-flop shape.  I frosted them and then decorated them with a Fruit Roll-Up. I don’t seem to have a picture of the cake and ice cream being served, but I cut a 2 L box of ice cream into slices and then used a pineapple cookie cutter to make ice cream cut-outs.  I sprinkled yellow coloured sugar on the pineapple and green on for the leaves.  They were then re-frozen on a tray until serving time. Everyone got a piece of pineapple ice cream (vanilla flavoured) with their cake.

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Loot Bags:

Each of the girls received a lei, grass skirt, sunglasses and a flower for their hair as soon as they arrived.  This would all be taken home at the end of the party as part of their loot. They also received flip-flop barrettes, homemade flip-flop cookies and a beach themed discovery bottle.  The discovery bottles were made from recylced water bottles.  We filled them with water, blue food colouring (a bit of oil – I think), some sand, seashells and a few tiny  sea animals (plastic or erasers). To be honest, it was a few years ago and I don’t exactly remember or have a photo of the finished bottles.  Once they have been filled,you simply glue gun the lid closed.  All of their loot was taken home in a canvas bag that had big tropical flowers on it. I have so many great pictures of all of the girls against the backdrop all dressed-up with their umbrella drinks in hand.  So cute, but I didn’t feel I could share photos with anyone else’s children, so you just have to use your imagination.  I absolutely love giving costumes as part of the loot.  The kids not only have fun at the party, but can continue to play dress-up at home after.

This party was so much fun.  We have so many great photos of the party.  I always try to get a few group shots and a picture of the birthday boy/girl with each of their friends, in addition to all of the random snap shots that are taken. A party like this is so much work, but my daughter still remembers it and talks about it. It seems like the days of theme parties are behind us, as the kids have gotten older and just want to hang-out with their friends.  I am so glad I put the extra effort in when they were little!

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