There is nothing sweeter in the summer than a cold glass of lemonade, some candy and a summer birthday. No really, there’s not.

Our sweet Clare Bear turned five last month and we had a grand time planning and partying for her birthday. Last November (yes, I really do plan that far ahead), one of my favorite party printable companies, The TomKat Studio, put all her party collections on 50% off. I. Could. Not. Resist. When I saw the lollipop party, I knew it had Clare written all over it.

I got to stalking Pinterest and Google, asked Clare what would be fun and away we went. It didn’t hurt that I spent a little time with THE Amy Atlas just a week before the big event at her book signing in Austin. Amy shared so many great ideas and I was inspired for Clare’s birthday – and all the other events to come this fall. Again, we hosted this one in the backyard and opted for an early morning slot. It was only 90, practically sweater weather in Texas for the month of June!

The Invitations
The printable set came with the personalized circle and the striped paper, so I just paired it with some old scrapbook paper and ribbon I had and then purchased the sucker sticks. It took me a few tries to get the hang of the circle cutter, but the Aggie in me finally persevered. I used some foam dots under that last circle so the sucker stick wouldn’t bend around it – a tip from TomKat’s files.

Snack/Dessert Table
For this party, I decided to give the dessert/munchie table a try; blame it on Amy Atlas. Because it was warm-ish outside, I set it up in the house and just used our existing shelf as part of the decor. I had popcorn and raspberry lemonade for the girls to munch on. The cookies, candy and yogurt-covered pretzels were all for the party favors. More on that in a bit. The cake platters were a $20 purchase from Costco about a year ago and I have used those so much. I just stack them, but you can definitely use them separately. My favorite pic from below? Clare wearing her half of the “Best Friend” necklace from our next door neighbor. She insisted on wearing it. I think it makes the outfit, don’t you? Those lollipop and number “5” cookies were gems from Polkadots. Olga never disappoints. The best part about getting treats from her is that we’re supporting a local business. It makes my heart happy.

You know I’m a stickler for beauty and fun, so I set up four stations for the girls to enjoy.  First up, Make-Your-Own Candy Necklaces! There was only one down-side to the printables; they didn’t include station signs. Their policy is not to share their font names (too many copycats), but because I’m a sneaky designer, I know how to hunt down a font. Problem? It cost too much money to purchase it. So, I scoured my own font files and came up with a close match. I’m pretty sure I’m the only one that noticed…and now you do, too, I guess :). For this station I just cut apart each candy necklace, dropped it into a clear bag with a string and then tied it with ribbon. Those colored buckets were my $1 find at Hobby Lobby last summer for Anna-Laura’s art party and boy, have they gotten some use!

After getting beautified, the girls headed over to – wait for it – Pin the Cherry on the Cupcake. I told you it was a party favorite, remember my advice from Paris? This time, I got smart and used foam core, painted the cupcake using some acrylic craft paint and then used ribbon to hang it over the fence. Those station markers might’ve been my favorite decorating idea from the party. They were just 2′ yard stakes from the Home Depot painted different colors. The hubster stapled the balloons and markers to the stake. Even smarter? I’ve kept them for the next party. The girls loved this station, giggling the whole time, and Luke even got in on the action. A-dorable.

Then, it was off to Candy Bean Bag Toss. I spotted these bean bags on Google and knew I could make them cheaper. Well, I knew my MOM could make them cheaper. It was supposed to be a fun Nana-Mom-Granddaughter activity, but the littlest got sick so I handed off the fabric and beans to my  mom and she made the magic happen. Y’all, this project was super easy. I used a bowl to make the circle, a square basket (turned to form a triangle) for the ends, cut it out and my mom stitched it together. Before filling it with beans, she stitched across the ends and then I tied them with ribbon – all for less than $7. This was definitely Luke’s favorite game.

After a few rounds of bean bag tossing it was time for the all-around party favorite, the Hula Hoop Contest. They shook it out to Willy Wonka’s “Good Ship Lollipop” while we laughed and rooted them on. I even convinced a “too cool” big brother to show off his stuff. That boy could enter a contest. And, yes, he even sported a candy necklace in honor of the birthday girl. Way to take one for the team, big guy.

The girls sang big and proud for the birthday girl and she loved every minute. She even “suggested” to one of her friends, “You’re ‘posed to tell me Happy Birthday.” Oh, Clare, you are my daughter. That birthday plate, if you’re wondering, was a gift from the Easter Bunny. Word on the street is he gets his stuff from Olliegraphic.

We ended the party by filling the favor boxes with candy and toothbrushes (thank you, HEB!) Hey, I didn’t want to pay the dentist bill. These girls are super precious and every single one of them is a neighbor. I feel blessed to also call them friends.

Clare relished in the attention, loved that the color purple was everywhere and had a blast celebrating with her friends. I’d say that was a success.

12 Comments

  1. Dianna Kennedy on July 10, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Well … I think you need to do a tutorial on how to host a party like that in a small house …. you’ve inspired me to get to working on the kids parties for next year. How did you know there was a sale at TomKat?

    And …. I still think you need to write some photography tips. 😉

    • Kathryn on July 10, 2012 at 10:31 pm

      Thanks for the reminder. Totally forgot.

  2. Jennifer @ Conversion Diary on July 10, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    WOW. Wow.

    And now, you’ll get to see a birthday party Fulwiler style this weekend. 😉

    • Kathryn on July 10, 2012 at 10:30 pm

      You know we are looking forward to it. I love birthdays!!

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