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Special Birthday Plate

Special Birthday Plate

Birthday Plate

Who doesn’t want to have their special day be a huge celebration? Sometimes even the smallest things are what is remembered and huge in a kids mind. Eating on a special “birthday” plate is one of those small details. If you search “special birthday plate” you’ll find a myriad of styles that you might love. Bring it out for the birthday party alone or bring it out all week!

I have to be honest……we received a plate to use for such an occasion and I think we’ve used it maybe twice…….I know, I’m a bad mom. I vow from this point forward to bring the darn thing out. Right now I’m making a reminder on my calendar so I don’t forget! It will be a special day. One that no one forgets!

Make Your own Spa Party Invitations

Spa Party Invitation

Finished Invitation

Whenever I have the time and the inspiration strikes me, I love to make home made invitations for parties. They can be time consuming but so rewarding! This one was no exception. I had mom’s tell me that they hung this on the fridge and it was just a pleasure to walk by and see it. That will make anyone excited about attending your party. Evites and emails are easy but are also easily forgotten.

Starting the Organza Surround

Supplies for 1st Step

For my daughter’s 12 birthday we decided to do it up big and we traveled to a hot springs bath and really exposed these girls to things that I didn’t have the opportunity to do until I was an adult! But they had a blast. And I had a blast making the invitations and planning it. They really were simple to make and with items that can be found at any craft supply store.

Gather & Glue

Gather & Glue

The very first thing you’ll want to do is to print the invitation on the back of the small size scrapbooking sheets. Insure that it’s centered and will fit within the mask template (found below) so that you don’t cut off any of the words. Take the below template and cut out your mask.

Cut (2) 2′ lengths of ribbon for the tie on the mask. Cut one end at a diagonal and the other straight across. On the straight across end, fold over a small amount and glue to the front of the invitation on each side far enough in that the organza will cover it. Secure with a clothespin so you don’t have to hold it forever.

Adding Eyelashes

Add your Eyelashes

Making the organza ready to apply to the mask is easier with a sewing machine. You can gather the organza by hand with a needle and thread. Simply run a line of thread down the center of the organza and gather it…..but it’s much easier to gather and makes a nicer final product if you use a gathering stitch on a sewing machine. On the invitation shown here, I ran the thread only 1″ on one side. I think the one I liked best, I ran the gathering thread 2″ in on one side. I used about 2 1/2 to 3 yards of organza per invitation. After you run the gathering thread, gather down the invitation until it is the fullness that you prefer. Better to make the first one long and have to cut some off than make it too short! Tie off only one end of your threads. This will allow you to fit the gathers to the mask at the end and cut off where you need it to.

It's all Done

Completed Spa Invitation

Apply a bead of glue for a few inches and place the gathers securing with some clothespins. Work your way all the way around and once you are at the end, now you can tie your thread and cut off any extra organza. Be sure to start in an inconspicuous spot. I chose one of the sides where the ribbon was.

After the organza is dry, add your eyelashes. I just placed them when they looked good. No need for additional glue, they are already sticky!

You now have your finished Spa Party Mask Invitation. Because my daughter was hand delivering them to school, we put them in nondescript manila envelopes so that she would not be announcing who was invited and who wasn’t. Because she is now in a bigger school and folks live all over the city, it’s harder to hand delivery them. Have fun with your mask and show me how they turn out!

Mask Template:

Spa Mask Invitation Template

Invitation Supplies

Invitation Supplies

Supplies:

Roll of Organza Ribbon – 5″ x 18′ – I used the Nicole Brand
Roll of Ribbon for Ties – I used Pure Color Expressions – Sugar Dots Ribbon 7/8″ wide
Scrapbooking paper
Fake Eyelashes – Any brand will work
Glue
Sewing Machine and Thread to match Organza
Clothespins

Spa Party Printed Invitation

Spa Party Invitation

Girls love a party and what more do they love besides a party than getting their nails done!!! This party was a line of girls all set up in this spa all getting their toes done at the same time. What fun!

They were all prepared for the event when this invitation came in the mail.

Manis, pedis, cake and more….
What else could a girl ask for??

Nothing else was needed to be said except for the details of the day and who to reply to.

There are so many cute cute invitations out there. Sometimes you can’t find them in your hometown. Online has become a great way to find these out of the box invitations. Don’t wait til the last minute though. If you want someone else to print them, it may take a little time. Depending on what type of party you are having, you’ll want to give two weeks notice to mom’s to plan around a party.

Spa Party Invitation Wording

Spa Party Invitation

Invitation Wording

When you are trying to crunch through the details for a birthday party, sometimes it’s tough to get just the right wording. For me it can come in the shower. Sometimes the words come when I’m pushed. And then other times, if I’ve got too much on my mind (like work) the creative words don’t come at all. That’s why I like to share whenever I see invitation wording that’d creative and fun.

For my daughter’s spa birthday party, we took all the girls out of town to a special hot springs. I had already cleared with all the moms the date and that we’d be going out of town so they already knew that it was coming up. We still wanted the invitation to have all the details.

It read:
It’s 2015 as we celebrate Anne’s 12th Birthday.
You will be pampered like you are on holiday!

A drive to Hot Springs to enjoy a Mineral Bath.
Then back to Knoxville along the same path.

A Quick stop downtown for a cleansing facial.
You will return looking & feeling glacial!

Saturday, Nov 14 9:00AM Drop off
Leaving from the Eddins’ Home
We will return the girls to your home around 3:30.
Bring a swimsuit and change of clothes. No need to look fancy!
RSVP!

Spa Party Ideas

SpaWhen considering my daughter’s spa themed birthday party, all kinds of ideas ran through my head. She was new to middle school and was turning “12” and I wanted to do something special for this pivotal time. She had gone to a small elementary school and I knew all the girls she was friends with and their parents and all their siblings. So when time came to attend middle school and I didn’t know anyone, I was put a little off balance. In my desire to get to know her new friends, I thought this would be a great time to spend with them in the car to get to know them.

Birthday Facial

Birthday Facial

For my daughter’s spa party, we decided to take a road trip! Who doesn’t love a road trip with girlfriends? We live in Knoxville, TN and decided to take a small group to Hot Springs, NC to have a hot springs bath. Sounds great right? It actually was. In addition to everyone having a phone and being attached to it, I thought I’d throw in a few things that they could do during the ride.

I bought some tween magazines for them to read…..making sure there were enough to go around. And then so that they could get to know each other better, I put together a 1 page questionaire.  Thinks like sibling information, favorite boy band and such.  Your daughter can help with some of the fun questions.

After the hot springs bath, we headed back home and the girls all had facials and to top it off the salon offered to give each of the girls an age appropriate lesson on applying makeup.  It was a girls day through and through and the kind of birthday I would love……even at my age…..and we’ll keep that number to myself!

Fingernail Painting

Pedicures

Birthday Pedicures

Every time I look at this picture, I think of the song, Little girls, little girls. Now I know that these girls aren’t exactly little girls, but really we could all be called little girls. Maybe. I diverge.

What is the first thing girls think of when they get a spa party invitation? Getting their nails done! And I don’t know about you but it’s so much more fun when I go with a friend to get my nails done. Why should our daughters feel any different?

Manicures

Birthday Manicures

At this birthday party, the girls had a full set of nails done…their fingers and their toes. If I remember correctly, they all decided to have polka dots drawn on their fingernails and toenails. Not sure how long that lasted but they were all cute when they were done. This salon blocked off 8 back chairs and had a dedicated staff to working with the girls. Then they were able to have cake and ice cream in the back.

Doing nails is a great time filler for an activity at a birthday party. Even when you have a little bitty girl party at home and decide to do nails, not only do they love it but it is a reason that they buy into to be still and calm! No crazy business is allowed when fingernail polish is involved. And when doing nails they go home and remember that they were done at their BFF’s birthday party which brings back great memories.

Honestly, as an adult, I think that would be a great way to celebrate a birthday with my besties!

Spa Gift Bag Ideas

Presenting the Gift Bags

Gift Bag Presentation

No matter the type of party, kids love to see gift bags all lined up in a row. It’s the unknown. The anticipation! When you are inviting a number of kids to a birthday party, giving a gift bag full of treats may be the only way to go. When you are thinking of a Spa themed birthday party, having a gift bag full of treats is simple and rewarding!

Spa Gift Bag Contents

Spa Gift Bag Contents

Girls always love having their “own” grooming kits. They don’t like to always use their moms stuff but loving having things on their own. Cosmetic companies are in on it. They know that young girls are looking in the stores and have started making items with lots of glitz to attract those young buyers. Here in this gift bag, my daughter was greeted with fingernail emery boards, polish and polish remover, lip gloss and a facial mask!

Bag Decoration

Bag Decoration

Don’t forget the details! I love it when a hostess goes over and beyond. Don’t just buy a gift bag and throw things in it! Make it creative. Here the hostess printed off these adorable stickers to place on the bags and punched holes and tied ribbon on the top.  What girls young or old wouldn’t love to have a surprise bag like this?

Spa Party Table Decorations

Ribbon Runner

Ribbon Runner

Sometimes, well…..most of the time the spas we go to are very stark. I guess that is the upper end look or it’s to keep everything looking clean and sanitary. For whatever reason it is, it makes for a bla background for a birthday party.

The family throwing this party is anything but bla and the mom brought in some wonderful colors to punch up not only the serving table talked about in another post but the eating table as well. Does pink and green ever go out of style? Or does it just come in and out? Or maybe it’s a Southern thing? I don’t know, but it made this party.

Simple Centerpieces

Simple Centerpieces

Nothing makes you feel better than the walk into a space that is filled with color. So, I guess having it at a spa with neutral colors was a good thing. It allows you as a hostess to do whatever you like and you know that it won’t clash with what is already there. Here, my friend, added a simple ribbon down the center of the tables. Bought colorful cans and some pink flowers and voila you have a beautiful table!

Spa Party Serving Table

Spa Party Serving Table

SPA Party Serving Table

If you are having your SPA birthday party in a true SPA, it’s great because most have a neutral color scheme allowing you to be as creative as you want to be. This birthday girl loves pink….and the mom does too. As a result, they infused the party with lots of pink and green colors. It worked perfectly at this nail salon because all the walls were gray and the pink really popped!

Colorful Straws

Colorful Straws

Color for girls really is a draw. So anything you and do by adding color and sparkle and glitz will make their eyes light up!  On the serving table itself, there were cups, plates, napkins and even the straws that carried out the theme.

The other thing to think about in a nail salon or spa, is that the ceilings tend to be high.  And the last thing you want is to have a cold atmosphere.  Make it cozy by adding some balloons or tall flowers or something to “anchor” the seating area.  Here the pink and green balloons worked perfectly!  It’s all in the details!

Spa Party Lunch

Food for the Spa

Spa Spread

For my daughter’s spa birthday party, we were taking a trip to a hot springs and I knew the girls would be hungry! Rather than plan a big meal or have pizza, we decided to go with the theme and make it a bit more….well…..spa like. I took with us two picnic baskets full of goodies.

Sparkling cider was a hit! I bought plastic champagne glasses at Party City. They come in an 8 pack. Then for 4 girls I took two bottles of cider. They had so much fun with their flutes! On this one it’s better to have too much than not enough. Believe it or not 4 girls drank all of 2 bottles….well, maybe I had a little.

For the “meal” I had fancy cheeses, sausages, fruit, crackers, bread…..any finger food that they don’t normally get in their lunch at school if fancy. This really was the easy part. Pack a cutting board and some grocery bags from the local grocery cheese shop and I prepared it all on location. Oh my. Easy. Threw it all back in my bag after we left and we were set!

As kids get older, they do appreciate having a nice meal. Don’t cop out by just ordering pizza. Although, they sill love it. Make your child’s birthday party and especially a spa party special with some fancy food as well.

Spa Party Pies

Pie as a Birthday Cake

Pie as A Birthday Cake

Who ever said that Birthday Cakes always have to be cakes??? Tradition? One thing I’ve learned when planning a birthday party is that tradition should play a part in some ways but in others…..tradition shouldn’t be the end all be all. Like having a cookie cake. When did that become in style? Pies are gaining a come back in a big way. We are in a small town and there are several bakeries selling pies. One store even dedicated to pie only making!

My kids love pie which helps in the decision. My daughter was turning 12 and at her spa birthday party, I could envision them having cake in the hot tub and knew that it would end up being a mess! Pies were much better. I didn’t make them. I know, shame on me. It was December and time was limited so I got several different kinds from our Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop here in town. It worked out perfect. The kids took a cool wooden spoon and tested all the pies. They were yummy, tidy and all I had to do was bring them.

Spa Party Cookie Cake

Birthday Cookie Cake

Cookie Cake!

If you are like me, you think of a traditional, beautifully decorated birthday cake for a child’s birthday. But you know. It just doesn’t have to be that way.  A friend’s daughter had a spa party where the girls went into a boutique and had their toes and finger nails done.  So cute seeing the line of girls there all together.  Anyway, I diverge.  Her daughter wanted a cookie cake and nothing else.

Honestly, its the design and colors that make this so cute.  The folks that are hired by the ice cream shops that decorate cakes and the cookie cake places and other chains really do a great job.  I would encourage you to go and seek those folks out when someone does a great job and give them a cash tip.  I did this once with an ice cream cake and the gal was so surprised.

Don’t feel like you have to make everything fit into a box any longer.  Let your child lead the way and your birthday party can turn out fantastic….spa party or not.

Spa Party Cake

Cake Edited

This may be one of my all time favorite cakes!!!!! It is so stinkin’ cute I just can’t stand it. For your spa themed birthday, there are so many different directions you can go with the cake or dessert. This cake was a bit large for the crowd that attended the party but who cares. It was adorable. The cake was actually commissioned by a friend of mine who had a spa theme party for each of her girls in the same week! One of the girls wanted this cake and it turned out so cute……have I said that yet?

Cucumber Girls Edited

The cake is a white cake with fondant used to make the icing and the girls around the bottom. Attention to detail was taken with the girls having a mud mask and cucumbers on their eyes! This was made by a lady here in town called the cake lady. Well, I’ve deemed her as the cake lady. I don’t want to post her phone number here but if you live in Knoxville, TN and want her to make a cake for you, let me know and I’ll connect the two of you up. Her name is Karen Martin.

Spa Party Gifts

Spa Party Gifts

I’ve gotten to where when we have a party, I just hate it when my daughter comes home with a bunch of junk. You don’t need to spend a ton of money…..especially if you are having a large party…..just don’t spend your money on things that are going to end up in the trash the next day! Even if it’s a few dollars, get party gifts that the kids will at least keep around for a while. My daughter recently went to a swim party where the girls received an EOS lip balm. It doesn’t really follow the theme but their girls all LOVE them right now. So, as a result, they will keep up with it and use the lip balm and when they do they’ll think of the birthday girl every time!
Spa Towel & Flip Flops

For my daughter’s Spa Themed Birthday party, we only were able to invite a few girls as I had to transport them in my car to the party location. Because there were only a few girls we were able to splurge a little on the party gifts…..well spurge a lot. I found these super cool beach towels on Nordstrom’s Website and had them monogrammed with the girl’s initials. I also found the flip flops online. (When your daughter’s birthday is in December it’s tough to find beach towels and flip flops anywhere but online!!!) What I like about this gift is that they girls were able to use them at the party and it’s something they would keep and use other times!

Put some thought into this. Don’t just run around the day before the party trying to gather up what you can find in town as you will most likely settle for sub-par party favors!

Truck Birthday Party Thank You Notes

Truck Party Thank You Notes

Truck Party Thank You Notes

For my son’s truck and car birthday party, I wanted to carry the theme though to the end. I think by that point, my creativity had run it’s course. I don’t know that I can say it enough. It’s so important for kids to write thank you notes. No matter what their age, they need to learn etiquette and the proper way to say thank you. In a time where they text and their friends get the message in a split second, slowing things down and getting something in the mail is a good thing! And I don’t know about your kids, but mine LOVE to get things in the mail.

The creative part to my endeavor was to help select the clip art for the cards. I know that a lot of you are savvy with your computers, but it just takes me too long to figure it all out sometimes. And for this one, I had my friend who owns Paper Rabbit Designs to create the thank you notes for me.

I’ve talked about in other posts what level of involvement your kids should have in the thank you not process based on age…..really it’s ability. I believe on these, I just had my son write his name and I wrote the rest. Don’t make this too difficult on you or them. Fighting them to write or say more than they are willing/able just makes the letter writing not fun. On a side note. I took this theory with my husband when writing our thank you notes for our wedding. I made him at least write the notes to his family and close friends. I remember we received some steak knives from a friend of his and he thanked them for the knives that we would be able to practice our knife throwing skills with. Whatever! They loved it and they knew that we received the present and all was good.

Have fun with thank you note writing! It doesn’t have to be a chore.

Boys Night Out Movie Birthday Party

Arcade Games

At nine, my son was starting to really develop some core friendships. As I was thinking of a fun theme for the small group that he wanted at his birthday celebration, Boys Night Out just fit. You have to be really careful when not inviting all the boys in a class. The personality of the child determines whether or not this is possible. They can’t talk about it at school as it will make others feel left out and some school even frown upon handing out invitations if the whole class isn’t invited….girls and boys… Luckily my son could handle this. My daughter who is 11 can’t hold it in but he could.

Boys Night Out Shirts

This party was all about what the boys wanted to do. The theaters have party packages that you can take advantage of. But since we were having such a small group, I didn’t feel that that was necessary. I picked the boys up at their homes and we headed to a movie. After the movie, the boys hit the arcade. They had so many tokens to spend. It was interesting how 2 of them were interested in how many tickets they could accumulate for prizes and the other just wanted to play games.

After being crazy, we loaded into a photo booth for candid shots of the boys and off to the food court where they all picked out exactly what cupcake they wanted. Boys Night Out was the perfect, easy, low key party for my son as he was able to spend quality time with his best buds. He really is wise beyond his years. When you have too many kids, it’s fun for the atmosphere but you really don’t get to spend one on one time with your guests as we’ve all learned through the years!

Boys Night Out Invitation

Boys Night Out Invitation Closup

For my son’s boys night out invitation, I wanted to make something home made because I was spending so much on the favors…:) And it was only 2 boys who were getting invitations so it didn’t make any sense to have anything printed. Plus, I always love a new challenge in getting the creative juices flowing. And let me tell you…..this one was a challenge.

Boys Night Out Invitations

My initial vision was to have the invitation wording to swirl like a tornado shape but the closest that I could get with my non-computer graphics experience was to type it in circles. The T-shirt favor was my inspiration on color and circular design. In a word document, you can type anything you want and change the wording to a circle. Once I had two circles done, I drug one on top of the other for a layered effect. I went to YouTube to find a text in a circle tutorial and used one by Trevor Easton. You might check that one out. My 11 year old is learning how to do this in school right now and if she had known how to do this 6 months ago, she would have saved me tons of time!

The lettering around the outside were simple stencil letters and that part was much easier for me! Really, I always simply want to set the tone of the party and kids love to receive things in the mail. Because this one was so big, I hand delivered it but again, since there were only 2 it was pretty easy to do.

Boys Night Out TShirt Party Favor

Boys Night Out T Shirt

If you’ve looked at many posts on this blog, you should see a theme. Whenever possible, I try and give party gifts that can be used and won’t end up in the trash 5 minutes after they get home. I figure even if we were to purchase a bag full of goodies that I would spend a certain amount. So, I just take that as a budget and go and find something more meaningful.

I’ve done several tshirt type party favors but nothing like this. We have this great TShirt store in Knoxville that I believe will be expanding soon. It’s call the Tee Spot and their web address is theteespot.com. You can either go into the store or create your own tshirt yourself online. It doesn’t matter how many you get. You pay for it and go. Generally they are ready in days. It’s great!

I went over budget on this one a bit but we were only inviting 2 other boys and they were my son’s best friends so I went for it. Because of the design being a circle, that also posed me a problem with designing it on my computer myself. No problem, I went into the store off Cedar Bluff and they designed the shirt for me with my direction. I warn you. If you get overwhelmed by decisions, this might be tough. You select, font, size of image, where it should be, what color, what type of shirt, what color, size…….. Lots of questions and small decisions that have to be made.

I selected to add an “H” in the middle of the circle. It’s my son’s first initial. It also happened to be either the first name or last name initial of the other boys invited when was perfect!

I encourage you to think outside the box when selecting party favors. Not only is it more meaningful but the kids will remember the party for much longer than just the day afterwards!

Cupcakes & Icing

Icing

If you like to give personal touches to a birthday party, making your own cupcakes is an excellent way to do it. The cake part is important that it tastes good. But I can’t stand a cupcake that has horrible icing. Now, I know that some cakes use fondant to have cool images and that they don’t all taste good. That isn’t what I’m talking about here. Sometimes you just can’t get away with using anything other than the rolled out icing. What I’m referring to is the icings that come on many of the store bought cupcakes and cakes.
Cupcakes

I LOVE to make my own icing. I have posted the recipe before and you can find it under recipes. You’ll make way more than you need…..no problem. Put the rest in the fridge and it will keep for months! For my son’s outdoor birthday party, I made cupcakes out of a box. Yes, out of a box. It tastes just as good as home made vanilla cake does. I used these reusable cupcake cups. The jury is still out on these as it wasn’t the easiest thing to get the cupcakes out to each them……it just makes you feel good. Then I always, always use food coloring that is in a concentrate. It lasts forever! And you don’t have to mix forever to get the color you wish. If you are still using the liquid kind, switch! Concentrated food coloring is the way to go. I purchased this at Michaels, I believe, but you can get it in most grocery stores that carry cake decorating supplies.

Have fun and enjoy icing!

Silly String Fight

Making Armor

My son has several groups of friends that he wanted to celebrate his birthday with when he turned 9. Not that they wouldn’t get a long but they were small groups and he really wanted to share his special day with them. In comes the mom who can’t say “no.” Luckily we live next door to an empty lot and one of the small groups was comprised of some very special neighbors. So, we just decided to get together, spend some time outside and have a silly string fight!

Armor

There was nothing easier! I simply went to the dollar store and purchased several cans of silly string. Now let me say…..I don’t know if there are varying qualities of silly string, but these cans don’t last long at all. And I mean a few squirts and it’s DONE! Make sure you have multiple cans for each combatant.

Preparation for the “fight” was really very easy. After procuring the silly string and several roles of duck tape from the dollar store, I went next door and purchased coordinating bandanas so that the kids would know what team they were on. Not sure that it mattered that they had teams but it fostered working together when they were constructing their armor and discussing strategies.

Goofy String Fight

For almost an hour before the fight, I let them go with recycled cardboard and duck tape to construct their armor. We have so many stores close to us that receive shipments of boxes, none of them minded sharing some before it hit the recycle bin. I really didn’t want to be saving boxes for months. Getting it free from the stores was great and I could do it the week of the party no problem.

It was funny watching the kids decide on what was important to have. Some made full body armor. Others made huge shields. I really didn’t care. They were using their creativity and there is nothing that goes better together than kids and a cardboard box. We did have to help a bit with the exact knife if things needed to be cut down but that was minimal and it left a lot of time for the adults to enjoy some chat time.

Fight!

After everything was constructed, it was off to the races. We provided some work glasses just as a safety precaution. One team started on one side of the yard and the other team to the opposite side. Once the fight started it was over in a jiffy. But as long as you set some ground rules like no spraying in the face, no personal contact and those basic good sportsman rules, the fight should go off without a hitch!