Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Maren's Donuts and Pajamas Birthday party

Maren's birthday party came right on the heels of the church party that I decorated for, making for one busy week! When we were talking about what kind of party Maren wanted to have, she came up with the idea of a candy party. I seriously love candy, but we couldn't come up with a way to translate that into party games or activities other than, you know, eating candy. I thought about it a little more and hit on the idea of a sprinkle-themed party, but again I couldn't figure out how to translate that to a whole party. Sprinkles led to the idea of donuts, and when I poked around Pinterest looking for inspiration I found an invitation for a 'donuts and pajamas' birthday party. Lucky for me, Maren loved the idea!

I purchased this custom invitation from Etsy (I can't post my own photo because I can't figure out how to blur out all of our personal info) and had the invitations printed at Costco. I didn't have any envelopes large enough and didn't want to go buy any, so we ended up packaging them in a clear cellophane bag with rainbow sprinkles dumped inside like confetti. I sealed the bags with brightly colored washi tape. Wish I could show you a photo because they looked so cute! Since the party guests were supposed to wear their pjs, we held the party from 9:00-11:00 on a Saturday morning.

Instead of a birthday cake, Maren chose to have a donut cake, specifically a glazed donut cake. I poured chocolate and white milk into my vintage glass milk bottles, a detail that was completely lost on a bunch of 9-year-old girls but made me happy. :)
I found fun, brightly colored paper plates on clearance at Target and pulled the pink and white stripey straws from my stash. The plastic 'milk' bottles were a purchase from Groopdealz a few years ago. 
Instead of a tablecloth, I purchased a huge sheet of donut wrapping paper from Paper Source. I am totally in love with the bright colors and illustrations of donuts that look good enough to eat!
Paper Source also had this cool donut garland kit. I had planned to make up my own paper donut garland but the kit was totally worth the money.
The kit came with pre-punched donut shapes and templates to make the icing swirls and fringe paper to cut the sprinkles. Making the garland was a fun activity that Maren and I did together. I love it so much that I confess it's still hanging up in my doorway, three weeks after the party. It's just so cute and happy!
When the guests arrived I had them each make a tag to hang on their goody bag using shipping tags and letter stickers and ribbon scraps. I ran out of time to make the tags myself and needed a little something else to fill some time, so this worked perfectly and I already had all of the materials.

The first big activity was decorating donuts. I purchased four dozen boxed plain cake donuts from my grocery store. They were larger than mini donuts but smaller than the kind they sell individually and very economical at around $2 per dozen. Each girl wrote their name on their paper plate and had four donuts to decorate.
I made up a few different bowls of brightly-colored glaze using powdered sugar and milk with a few drops of food coloring and one bowl of chocolate glaze (just add unsweetened cocoa powder). I set out bowls of pretty sprinkles from my collection and let the girls dip their donuts in glaze and then decorate them.
I anticipated this project being a mess but I was actually really surprised out how pretty the donuts turned out! The photo doesn't really do them justice. My favorites were the gold sanding sugar and the neon pink nonpareils with the aqua and pink glaze. After the girls were finished, we set aside their plates so that the glaze had a chance to set up.

The next activity was making donut charm bracelets. When I was planning the activity, I remembered that I had a bunch of teeny tiny glass bottles. I filled each one with rainbow sprinkles and added a tiny eye hook to the cork. I coated the corks with super glue before I stuck them in the bottles so I hope they hold! I ordered plain charm bracelets from Amazon and used jump rings to attach a sprinkle bottle to each one.

The girls got to make donut charms for their bracelets using Shrinky Dinks inkjet plastic. I designed 4 different cute donuts with faces like this one, then scanned them and printed them out on the white shrink plastic. The girls decorated them with colored Sharpie markers, cut them out and punched holes in the top and then we baked them.

I did run into some problems with this project when I was getting it ready. I've made Shrinky Dinks plenty of times before but I had a terrible problem with these curling up in the oven, then getting stuck together and refusing to flatten back out. I did some Googling and found that if I put a sheet of parchment paper over the plastic it was just enough weight to keep them from curling as they baked. I also found that I couldn't use my usual colored pencils to color the Shrinky Dinks because of the coating on the plastic that makes it possible to put it through the printer. That resulted in a run to JoAnn's to purchase a mega-pack of colored Sharpies. It wasn't ideal and was an added expense I hadn't anticipated, but it was really the only option. And now I have a whole bunch of colored Sharpie markers to use for another project, right?
The girls also got to choose a colored letter monogram charm for their bracelets (letter beads that I have literally had for 10+ years. Pack rat WIN). While we were baking the Shrinky Dinks and attaching them to the bracelets with jump rings, the girls played Just Dance Kids on the Wii. Thank goodness for Andrea and her jump ring skillz! We also took that time to package up the decorated donuts. I purchased small cardboard treat boxes from the Wilton aisle at JoAnn's and we put each girl's donuts inside with a bit of waxed paper to keep them separate, then wrote their names on the top with the Sharpies.
After that, it was time for 'cake' and milk in the cute little bottles...

...and then opening presents. By a stroke of luck I found donut jammies at Gymboree. It was fun to have that little matching detail. I even found a pair of donut jammies for her American Girl doll! And to take my devotion to a theme even further, I found these thank you cards at Paper Source. The description says they're supposed to be confetti, but I thought all of those little colored dots looked an awful lot like rainbow sprinkles!

It was such a fun party and it was nice to have it all over and cleaned up by noon! I hired one of my teenage babysitters to come and be my helper and she was fantastic, and this year again Andrea was a lifesaver (see last year's pinata-in-the-front-room debacle). And we had plenty of leftover donuts, which is never a problem! I loved putting it on for Maren but was awfully glad when it was over. Two parties in one week wore me out!

5 comments:

  1. VERY cute party! Can I have an adult-themed one? ;)

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  2. You are the party master! It looks so fun! Happy Late Birthday Maren!
    I use an app on my phone called Picsart to cover up names and all that. It's a free app and easy to use.

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  3. I'll start the vintage rental business if you will start your party planning business! You do the most fun stuff! LOVE the donut jammies - I bet you did a little happy dance in the store when you spotted those! And, now - I need a donut.

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  4. Great job! The milk in the vintage milk bottles was a great touch even if it was lost on 9 year old girls! Happy belated to Maren

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  5. The donut decorating was genius!! That woud even be fun for a baby shower or bridal shower!

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