Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Throw a Barbie Birthday Party at Home

We celebrated Michaela Byrd's 5th birthday with a Barbie Party here at home on Saturday. I wanted to share some pictures and fun party ideas with you all today. The parties I put together for my girls are simple and budget-friendly. I hope you find some inspiration here that you can try at home!
How to Throw a Barbie Birthday Party at Home, from Serenity Now

I've learned over the years that making decorations yourself isn't always cheaper than purchasing items from The Dollar Tree, Target, or the party store. I do a mix of homemade decorations and store-bought...it saves me time, and I also enjoy creating. 

TIP: My girls and I usually decide on a party theme early on in the year, and I keep an eye out for goody bag items and decorations throughout the year. 

The sideboard in my kitchen was the party hub. I covered it with a store-bought pink vinyl (always pink around here!) table cloth from the local party store, and embellished it with crepe paper streamers. This was the spot for goodie bags, the cake, paper goods, juice boxes, and our "Barbie Lounge."

Goody bags were sparkly pink boxes from Target's Dollar Spot (last year) and filled with pink and silver Dove chocolates, a Barbie tattoo, Barbie pencil and sharpener in the shape of a Barbie shoe, Barbie stickers, and a Barbie puzzle (Dollar Tree!). 
Barbie Birthday Party Goody Bag Ideas, from Serenity Now

Cake was store-bought this year from a local grocery store. It was delicious! I thought about ordering a Barbie topper, but it would have been an extra $6 and the Barbie-themed candles at the party store were not cute at all. Guess what? The kids could have cared less that there was no Barbie on top of the cake or that I didn't order it from a specialty baker. It tasted good, had pretty Barbie-ish colors, and that's all that mattered!
Barbie Party Cake, from Serenity Now blog

I came up with the Barbie Lounge idea after I remembered that the guests would be bringing their Barbies for a Fashion Show and we didn't have a place to corral them all during the party. It was a quick fix: I grabbed some furniture from the girls' dollhouse and set up a little seating area:
Barbie "Lounge" for Barbie Themed Birthday Party, from Serenity Now
Create a Barbie Lounge for Dolls at the Party! from Serenity Now

The "garland" was white curling ribbon, clothespins, and dresses from Natalie and Michaela Byrd's stash. I inked the clothespins in pink before adding them to the line:
Make a Party Garland out of Barbie Dresses, from Serenity Now
Barbie Birthday Party Decorations, Serenity Now blog

The other kitchen decorations were a mix of party store goods and clearance decorations. Michaela Byrd loved the pink chandelier I bought on clearance at WalMart!
Barbie Birthday Party Decorations, from Serenity Now blog
Barbie Birthday Party Decorations, from Serenity Now blog
Barbie Birthday Party Decorations, from Serenity Now blog

I toyed with the idea of purchasing or making a Barbie-themed centerpiece, but I knew it wouldn't be used again, so I opted for pink and white carnations in one of my square containers:
Barbie Birthday Party Decorations, from Serenity Now blog

I set up the dining room with some crayons and homemade Barbie coloring pages for the girls to work on while we waited for all the guests to arrive. We had two guests cancel the night before (flu! yuck!), so it was a more "intimate" setting...I didn't mind because it meant a slightly more quiet room!
Barbie Birthday Party Ideas, from Serenity Now blog
Barbie Birthday Party Ideas, from Serenity Now blog

And everyone loves tissue paper pom poms!
Barbie Birthday Party Ideas, from Serenity Now

The highlight of the party activities was a Fashion Show Puppet Theater that T cut out of a mattress box for me. I decorated it with leftover party supplies, and the girls had a blast. They also played Pin the Sunglasses on Barbie and "Pass the Barbie" (our version of Hot Potato). 
DIY Barbie Fashion Show Puppet Theater, from Serenity Now
DIY Barbie Fashion Show Puppet Theater, from Serenity Now
DIY Barbie Fashion Show Puppet Theater, from Serenity Now
Barbie Birthday Party Ideas, from Serenity Now

Presents and cake are always a crowd-pleaser....
Barbie Birthday Party Ideas, from Serenity Now
Barbie Birthday Party Ideas, from Serenity Now
Barbie Birthday Party Ideas, from Serenity Now
Barbie Birthday Party Ideas, from Serenity Now
Barbie Birthday Party Ideas, from Serenity Now
Barbie Birthday Party Ideas, from Serenity Now

I love scouring my Pinterest boards for ideas, but at the end of the day it's more about making special memories for my kids than impressing readers, other moms, or outdoing myself. I spotted all sorts of beautifully coordinating Barbie parties online during my planning, most notably that gorgeous vintage Barbie silhouette theme. I decided against using it because I showed it to Michaela and she had no idea what it was. The cartoony Barbie isn't really my style, but that's not what's important, is it? 
At the end of the party, my newly five year old said, "Wow, Mommy, you are the bestest Mommy in the world, and this was the bestest party!" 

Seeing her smile was confirmation that the "perfect" party isn't always the one you see making the rounds on Pinterest. Sometimes the perfect party is the one that brings the most joy, whether you spent $50 or $500 to make it happen!

What was the best birthday party you've ever attended or hosted?

If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, I hope you'll click your "Pin It" button to add this post to Pinterest, or a +1 for Google+. 


Simply LKJ said...

So cute! And you are so right, with a little imagination and thrifty shopping you can throw a wonderful party inexpensively.

Richella Parham said...

LOVE this post, Amanda! When my boys were little, most of their friends had birthday parties at a place (read: an expensive venue). We had ours at home. My boys always told me that the venues were fun, but they never had time to play with their friends, which is what they really wanted. So instead of spending money on a place for the party, we spent money on the favors--not a lot of money, mind you, but my guys always wanted to give their guests something to take home. Our favorites over the years? A cowboy party, a helicopter party, a snake party, a SpongeBob party, and a LEGO party (of course!).

Looks like Michaela had a wonderful time!

Tys said...

I think it looks just right, creative, and fun! That's all these kids need, I think going over the top for every single things with kids is getting a little out of hand these days. Pinterest is amazing for ideas and eye candy, but it can leave one feeling a little overwhelmed! I think it's great for kids to see that you can't just BUY everything. Even better for them to be a part of the process and see what really goes into things! I did a Pirate Party (http://hfamilyhappenings.blogspot.com/2011/12/h-boys-pirate-birthday-bash.html) for when my boys turned 5 & 3 last year. So this year was just a family thing and maybe next year they'll have another friends party (I better start brainstorming now!). Oh and love the Barbie Lounge idea! I would of been tickled pink when I was 5 to go to a party like this!

Amanda said...

The party was adorable! I love the Barbie Fashion show idea!! I know that the girls loved it.

Jenny@daysofchalkandchocolate said...

That is adorable!! Your daughter is so pretty and looked like she had a great time! I think the Barbie dress garland is genius, by the way.

Catie @ Catie's Corner said...

Looks like fun Amanda! That Barbie theatre is awesome! What a great idea. I totally prefer small parties at home too. I don't think the kids mind either. Like you said, they just care that their friends are there and they can play. Happy 5th to Birdie!! =)

~ Catie

Paula@SweetPea said...

What a fun party theme! You can tell by the expressions on the faces of the girls that they are having a ball.

Lee said...

I love your party style. That's so many... fun, colorful, kid-friendly, and absolutely on budget. This is real life and the direction I always try to go in. Very cute. I love the colors and so glad your little one had a great day.

Kelli W said...

What a cute party! I love the Barbie clothes on the line! Such a smart idea! And the fashion show looks like it was a blast!

Beverly {Flamingo Toes} said...

Oh my goodness the "Barbie Lounge" is killing me - too cute! I love the little garland of clothes you did too! What a cute party!

Audra @ Renewed Projects said...

What a fun party idea! My daughter us turning 5 and wants a My Little Pony party. Too bad they don't wear cute dresses to make garland from! (super cute idea, love how yours turned out)

Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} said...

Oh my gosh, Amanda, I *love* the idea of the Barbie fashion show! That is SO fun!! You have so many fun ideas here. I love them all!

Martha said...

Wow, I adore it. Great ideas. My daughter and I have been waiting for her Barbie birthday theme, thanks for posting these beautiful pictures. Greetings from Guatemala.

Shelley said...

I'm givimg my cute 7 year old a Barbie party this Friday! Thanks so much for sharing , hope you don't mind me using a couple ideas ! Thanks again :) happy birthday !

Sarah Rudell Beach said...

Thanks for these fantastic ideas! I love the hot potato/barbie idea. We are having a Barbie party for my daughter tomorrow and these will be so helpful. And such gorgeous decorations - I LOVE the dresses and clothespins!

Carissa Diniz said...

Thanks for this! I am planning a Barbie birthday for me daughter & I do not want to use the black silhouette theme either!

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