Tuesday, September 20, 2011

THE Party of the Year

Last week our beautiful Snapper turned 9. Because she didn't get to have a party last year, we had a special party this year. She invited 10 special friends, all of whom are testimony of God's goodness to Snapper. She has the sweetest friends. We took the girls on a trip around the world...without ever leaving our house. This party was a tremendous success. In case you want to duplicate it, I will post my supplies list and estimated cost.

I created a plane ticket invitation using my digital scrapbook supplies and Photoshop, and printed it on white card stock. I have the template if you want it, and I am happy to share.
Total Cost of invitations (including envelopes and postage): $7

Check-in for the trip
I made a passport for each girl using navy blue poster board, white card stock, and a gold marker. The girls signed their passports when they checked in on arrival at the party. I created the passport pages using my digital scrapbook supplies and Photoshop, and printed them at home. Email me if you want the template. I copied the emblem from the front of my real passport using a gold pen.

 For each country, I created  passport "stamps" for each country, and printed them onto stickers. The stickers I used were Avery 8293 labels. I already had these, so they aren't counted in the cost. The girls collected a stamp in their passport at each new country they visited.

Total Cost of check-in: $4

Stop 1: China

Decorations: I made a Chinese flag our of poster board. The table was spread with a white sheet. I hung red paper lanterns from the ceiling. The lanterns were purchased 3/$5 at Party City. Snapper found a Chinese calendar somewhere, and she added that to our decor, too. A few traditional Chinese songs downloaded from iTunes onto my iPod set the mood perfectly.

Activities: First, the girls decorated lunch bags with markers and travel stickers. They all very creatively decided to make their bags into suitcases for the trip. I love that they came up with that! 

Our other activity in China was fishing. The girls raced to pick up Swedish Fish using chopsticks and dropping them into a Chinese takeout carton. The Chinese takeout cartons were super cheap at the local Chinese restaurant. The girls got a kick out of this game.

 Favor: Takeout carton and Swedish Fish
Total cost of China: $23

 Stop 2: Ireland

Decorations:  I made an Irish flag out of poster board, and hung it over the television in the living room. I cut a big shamrock out of the leftover green poster board and taped it to the side of the television. I hung strips of orange and green streamers from the ceiling for an extra splash of color. 

Activities: Matt connected my laptop to the television and showed Irish dance videos off YouTube. The girls were enthralled, and had fun trying to imitate the moves of the Irish dancers. While they watched, I had two other moms help me do the girls' hair. We did two French braids halfway down, and tied the braids together in the back with orange and green ribbon. Then we curled the hair that was hanging down.

Favor: Hair ribbons
Total Cost of Ireland: $6

Stop 3: Italy

Decorations: I made an Italian flag out of poster board, put a red, plastic, Dollar Tree tablecloth on the table, and twisted red and white streamers over the table. I found an Italian flag centerpiece at Goodwill for $1. I later saw the same centerpiece at Party City for $5. I had Italian music--Il Volo and Josh Groban--playing in the background.

Activities: The girls made their own pizzas on individual flatbreads. While the pizzas were cooking, they had salad. Drinks were their choice of sweet tea or water.

Total Cost of Italy (mainly for food): $40

Stop 4: France

Decorations: I made a French flag out of poster board, and covered the table with a blue, plastic, Dollar Tree tablecloth. The soundtrack from Ratatouille--which we already had--provided nice background music. I borrowed an Eiffel Tower statue from a friend to round out the decor.

Activities: I purchased a pad of Acrylic paper at the craft store. I drew a large circle (~6 in. diameter) on each paper. I made artists' pallets out of white paper plates, and put a dollop of 7 different colors of acrylic paint on each pallet. I gave the girls plastic cups of water and a variety of paintbrushes (which I already had), and asked them to use the paint fill their circle with a colorful design. I will be mod-podging their beautiful, creative artwork onto a canvas to hang in Snapper's room.

While the girls were painting, the other moms and I gave the girls French manicures, using $1 bottles of white and clear nail polish from Walgreens. Tip: Wait 1 minute after finishing the nail paint, then dip the fingers in a bowl of ice water for 30 seconds. It causes the nail polish to harden quickly.

Favor: Tube of lip gloss
Total Cost of France: $14

Stop 5: Mexico

Decorations: I made a Mexican flag out of poster board, and spread our two Mexican blankets on the lawn for the girls to sit on. I found a pinata at a local discount store for less than half the cost of the same pinata at Party City. I got all the pinata candy at Dollar Tree.

Activities: Pinata! While Matt helped the girls with pinata, I made tropical drinks to carry out to them. For the drinks, I used a 50/50 mix of generic lemon-lime soda and fruit punch from Dollar Tree. I got the little umbrellas to put in the drinks from Dollar Tree also. Pineapple slices were a nice finishing touch in the drinks, too.

Favor: Candy and little umbrella
 Total Cost of Mexico: $22

Stop 6: USA

Decorations: I covered the table with a blue, plastic Dollar Tree tablecloth. I left up the red and white streamers from when this room was Italy. I removed the Italian centerpiece, and replaced it with an American flag, also from Dollar Tree. I got lucky and found red star confetti in the clearance bin at Party City. 

Activities: Cake, presents, and dancing. I downloaded some popular kids' dance music from iTunes, and it was a great hit. As soon as Party in the U.S.A.  by Miley Cyrus came on, the girls burst into song. I was lucky enough to get it on video. I absolutely love 9-year-old girls!

Cake: Snapper wanted two kinds of cupcakes, so that's what I made. I borrowed a friend's cake decorating set and put swirly buttercream frosting on the cupcakes. I topped the chocolate cupcakes with blue sprinkles, and the confetti cupcakes with red sprinkles. I looked everywhere for flags of the nations toothpicks, but I couldn't justify spending $5 on shipping for the $1.99 picks from Oriental Trading Company. I ended up making flag picks to go in the cupcakes, using flag images from the internet, printed on card stock and glued to toothpicks. 

Cha Cha Slide by Mr. C
Cupid Shuffle by Electric Slide Dance Party DJ's
Party in the U.S.A. by Miley Cyrus
I Like to Move It by Party Cats
Who Let the Dogs Out by Party Cats
Chicken Dance by DJ's Choice
YMCA by Party Cats
I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas
Rods and Cones by Blue Man Group
I Speak No Americano by Yolando Be Cool and Dcup

Favor: Flag pick, Passport
Total cost of U.S.A. (including cake ingredients): $12

Here's Snapper with her BFF, S, at the end of the party.

I don't have enough great things to say about this party. All week long I have received emails from moms telling me how their girls are still raving about the party. Snapper comes home from school telling me that her friends keep thanking her for the party. I think I have shared enough here to help you duplicate the party if you so desire. It was a blast, and I know Snapper has a wonderful store of memories from it to stash away.


Tara said...

Now THAT was an awesome party! It looks like a lot of hard work but I know you could feel the appreciation from Snapper and her friends!

Happy Belated Birthday, Snapper!!

RachelRuelas said...

"party of the year" is an UNDERSTATEMENT! Girl. You ROCKED IT! Snapper will remember this for the rest of her life!!

www.thingswelovetohate.com said...

great instructions/information shared! i'll keep this post link so i can check it out again when we i look for party ideas :D

great job!

Smarshie said...

I wish I was 9 and could go to that birthday party! =) Seriously, all those ideas, decorations, activities, food, etc. are so creative! Great job, Emily!! I'm sure Snapper will never forget it.