On my fourth birthday, my mom planned an extravagant princess party in our church’s fellowship hall. It was the first birthday party that I remembered as a child. Some of the highlights were a cardboard castle, princess hats, a castle cake, and balloons everywhere. Here are a few pictures from my mother’s scrapbook that I was able to scan and share with you.
Since I am a sentimental person and my girls are really into princesses right now, I couldn’t wait to recreate this party for my girls’ 3rd and 4th birthday party.
When you arrived at the party, we had a drawbridge entrance made from cardboard and paper chains. I also added a tissue paper ruffle to hang over the top of the door. For the ruffled garland, I followed this tutorial: DIY giant fringe garland by Oh Happy Day.
Then, when you enter the room, we had a cardboard castle for the kids to play in. Thankfully, my dad works at a hardware store, so he was able to get us a huge box for this project. I used a box cutter to cut out a window, a door, and the top of the castle. I painted it grey with white bricks on the front. It was actually a lot of fun to make and my sister is planning to use it for her kids’ birthday party coming up soon.
My mother-in-law made their beautiful princess dresses. Adelaide’s dress was inspired by Belle and Charlotte’s was inspired by Cinderella. I asked her to make them a little longer so that they can wear them to Disney world next year. I also found the tiara headbands at a Gymboree outlet store for under $3 each.
Even baby Owen was dressed for the occasion.
My girls love to be creative, so I knew that we needed to have a DIY princess hat table. I made the hats from cardstock, then I stapled the tulle and ribbons on. I also cut out swords for the boys and wrapped the bottom with a thick patterned washi tape. We had Do A Dot Art Marker, stickers, stamps, and markers for the kids to decorate with. I also found a sweet mirror at the Dollar Tree, so that they could look at their hats once they were finished.
For the food table, we hung two purple curtains to use as our backdrop and also to hide the kitchen area of our church. The banner is made from gold paper doilies that are hot glued to ribbon. I free-handed an outline of this castle on some cardboard and painted it a light blue and white to use as the main table decoration. To cover the table we used a white tablecloth and added a long strip of pink tablecloth to create the ruffle on the bottom. Also, my mom made a bow out of tulle to add to the center of the table.
Since we were having the party at 3:00 pm, I tried to keep the food simple. My mom found some cute pink candies and lollipops at the party store. I made chocolate dipped strawberries made to look like roses. We also had chocolate kisses, plain strawberries, pink wafer cookies, chips, pretzels, and a vegetable tray. For drinks, we served pink lemonade and regular lemonade.
I found these beautiful Cinderella printables from The Love Nerds. They were perfect and completely free. I used one to make the artwork for the backdrop by simply taking a wooden frame, then I taped wrapping paper to the back, and added the printable in the center.
And of course, just like my 4th birthday, the girls had a castle cake. I used a square pan and a small ramekin, then added ice cream cones, wafers, fondant, and gumdrops to decorate it. It wasn’t perfect but the girls loved it and that’s all that matters!
After every one finished eating, we had a scavenger hunt. The kids had to follow the clues to find the glass slipper. When they reached the treasure box, it was full of bracelets, rings, tiaras, and kaleidoscopes. This was a lot of fun for the variety of ages that we had at the party. The older ones were able to read the clues and the little ones just followed their lead.
The girls had a blast and we all made memories that we will last a lifetime. I love planning birthday parties for my kids, but it’s not about showing how great or creative I am. The truth is that I really do enjoy being creative in this way. Everyone wasn’t made like me and that’s okay, but I personally love going all out for birthdays. Also, I love to save money so I do most of the decorations myself. They are not perfect or even Pinterest worthy but they are made with love from their mom and that’s what I want my kids to remember!
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