My little ones have a birthday about 2 and a half week apart. Before my daughter’s first birthday, Daddy asked if I was having a combined party. I hadn’t planned on it. I didn’t want them to feel like I was doing more for one than the other or feeling like their day wasn’t special enough if they shared, but after thinking about it, it just made more sense to combine their party.
And you know what? I think it’s the only time he’s been right about something, teehee. 😉 Just kidding. Since having a combination birthday with both of them family only has to travel to our place once. And most of our family does not live close by. So, we’ve been blessed that they’ve been more likely to and able to come because we have it together. They don’t have to come to one and then less than three weeks later come to the other or pick and choose which one they can attend. We only have to buy enough food to feed everyone once. I only have to cook, clean, and decorate once. It really has been a blessing. I think as long as I throw parties for them, it will be combined. On the day of their actual birthday, I do special things to make them feel like it’s just their day we’re celebrating and I think they’ve not only come to know what I’m going to do, but they love it, too.
So, back to the Sweet Shoppe Party. Sometimes, I have had themes that can include both a boy and a girl, but most of the time I haven’t…or I have had to find a way to blend them together. For example, the fairy princess and pirate party. And one year my son was really into Scooby and my daughter was really into Dora. It worked out that year because they were both cartoon characters and most of the decorations for them that year just so happened to have hibiscus flowers, so I made that the common theme! Now, back to the Sweet Shoppe Party, I promise! 😀
I fell IN LOVE with these plates. I don’t know if it was the polka dots, the squiggles, the bright array of colors…probably all of it! I just love them. Still do. And I loved them so much, I thought, boy…I’ll just do this theme every year! Which is why there is SO.MUCH.STUFF.
By the way, I had gotten these plates at Party City and it was about 3 years ago, so I am sure they aren’t carried anymore. Let me know if you find them, lol.
A lot of my decorations I make myself. And I make a lot of them to be “birthday universal.” As in, I make it without so much of a theme so that I can still use them multiple times. I pull this birthday topiary out every year on their birth day as one of those things to make them feel special because it only comes out that day. After the Sweet Shoppe party, that is. I made it by cutting ribbon of all different kinds of colors into length of about 2 inches. Fold them over and hot glue the tips with a toothpick between it. Insert the toothpick into the styrofoam ball. I painted a short dowel to match the polka dot theme on the paper plates. I ended up doing polka dots on a lot of the decor. Obsessed. 🙂 Then I put it down in a flower pot I painted, and filled the pot with plaster of paris (mixed with the water). I used clothespins to hold it centered and upright until it was dry.
Here is a better picture of the birthday topiary. I also found a birthday towel that matched and used a charm from something I had already purchased to put on the soap dispenser, so making that match didn’t cost anything. 😉
This is just a table centerpiece I made with the wooden dowels, some wooden cutout letters, ribbon, and mini flower pots. Paint everything and glue on. 🙂 On the little flower pots, I painted some sweets to go with the theme.
Next, I made some pinata-like numbers for just another table-top decoration. I used cereal boxes, cut out the number shape I needed (2, one for front and one for the back), and cut about a 2 inch strip to be the edges all the way around. Used my side-kick: the glue gun! Then cut lots and lots and lots of strips of tissue paper to glue on. A little time consuming (which is probably why I haven’t done it again), but cute. It’s especially cute in pictures with them (not with a picture 😉 ).
Here is another craft that I made that comes out every year for their birth day: polymer clay sweets on a tree. I don’t know why, but those cute little faces make me happy. I absolutely love Kawaii things. I saw some on online shops, but I am one of those people who think if I can make it (and spend twice as much on supplies because hey, I will keep doing it) then why buy it…and I also think I can make anything. Gets me into trouble sometimes. 😉
I started with just making every sweet I could think of. Then I baked them and painted them when they cooled. I put mod podge on them, thinking it would seal them. It didn’t. I bought a spray that was a sealant. Still left them sticky like the mod podge. Finally, just a couple of months ago, I was in Target and found something on clearance that said it was a sealant for crafts, dries clear, and won’t leave it sticky. I though, well, can’t hurt. It worked! I am thrilled that they finally aren’t sticky to the touch. The only thing now is that they have marks and chips on them from being stored in different ways because the first year they stuck together.
I saw this next idea on Pinterest, but it wasn’t exactly a party decoration and I couldn’t make one for every single guest, so I decided to make one and it would be a prize for whoever guessed the right amount of something in a jar. It’s a loofah and in the inside in a sandwich baggie are bath salts. Of course, all before the bath salt weirdness.
In addition to making the prize, I made some hair bows for all the girls coming to the party and I made a headband for my daughter to wear at the party.
The party favors were all sweet things! Some erasers and pencils, lip gloss, bubbles, play dough inside the cupcake containers, sidewalk chalk wrapped in tissue paper to look like candy, and sweet shoppe bags (from Dollar Tree).
I printed out some sweets and glued them onto ribbon, which I attached to a bead wreath. I put it on our door and on the right are some magnets I made with the polymer clay when I did the sweets ornaments. I was running out of ideas on what to do with all that clay! 😀
Another idea I saw on Pinterest (isn’t it the best internet site created ever – ok and Google, too? lol) is this adorable “ice cream” balloon centerpiece. I used one of those plastic ice cream cone dishes (like the one I used for the bath salt prize) and wrapped it in butcher paper (had drawn diagonals on it with just a marker before taping it on). Air up your balloons, 2 large and 1 small red “cherry.” I used an adhesive to glue it all together, but NOT the glue gun, lol. It was a fix-it-all glue from Dollar Tree, I believe. I spray painted some styrofoam peanuts and used the glue to cover how the balloons look when they sit on top of the other.
I bought these very large wall decorations from Party City. I figured since it’s more of a “birthday” theme vs Sweet Shoppe that I could use it yearly. 😀
Now, I know from this picture and this angle, these balloons and tablecloths look strange, but in reality it looked pretty cool! I cut some plastic tablecloths into strips and folded an end over a mini hula hoop. Repeat with the strips. Place the hula hoop over the light fixture and attach. I used curling ribbon to “hang” it from the dining chandelier. Then just tape the other ends of the tablecloths to the ceiling. I added the balloons after that.
This posterboard doubles as a cute decoration and a game! I painted this scene on posterboard with acrylic paint. Then I cut out the same size cherries as the one on the board from foam squares. I used a marker to write the children’s name on a cherry and used double sided tape to stick them on the board and cherry. Did you notice it’s the same design as the plates? 😀
While I had my acrylic paint and posterboards out, I cut one poster down to size for little feet. 🙂 I drew then painted these sweet treats for a “cake walk.” Traditionally, when you win, you get a cupcake or cake, but I let the little ones pick a prize from the prize box. I record music ahead of time that goes with the party theme. Play the music and the game is like musical chairs…when the music stops, you draw a card (I made little mini cards with the same pics) and that child wins the round.
I taped them down to the floor so they wouldn’t fly everywhere!
One thing that has always been a hit and huge help is to have a craft station for the little ones as they arrive or during the party so that I don’t have to constantly entertain. If you have small choking hazards either place them out of reach or let the parents know to watch their little ones while at the table. I try to put out items that don’t require a lot of help. Here I have coloring pages that I got free online, the party blowers, and foam notebooks and stickers.
Here is another table decoration idea. The taller balloon is supposed to be a lollipop. I attached the balloon to an empty wrapping paper roll and covered it with cellophane. The smaller one is similar to the large one and I used a marker to draw on chocolate chips (like mint chocolate chip ice cream 😉 ). This is the prize table. I had it set near the games, but out of the way. The children can head over here to pick their prize when they win (and I designated my mother-in-law to control the prize box, lol).
One cheap trick I thought of years ago for water bottles is to use duct tape and coordinate stickers for the party theme..boom! No papers to print, no ink getting smudged from chilled bottles. Don’t forget to put a marker with the drink station so guests can label their cups and bottles.
I used paint chip samples and cut hundreds of circles for decor to tie in the theme of the stripes and polka dots on some of the Sweet Shoppe decorations. I don’t recommend it, lol. It took me a long time. I’m thankful I plan their party a year in advance every year.
Their “cakes” were simple, thankfully. I made lots of cupcakes and just placed them in a line and took the photo from above. I had plenty of other treats so I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on the cake this year. My daughter was NOT happy about it, haha. She told me next year she wants an actual cake and it to be all hers. Hmmm. 1st world problems.
Now to the sweets table!!
Here are some of the goodies: cupcakes…
chocolate wafers (my children love these things), sixlets, suckers, and cupcake flavored and shaped marshmallows (I lucked out with my theme this year because the store had just came out with these marshmallows!), chocolate covered pretzel sticks (these went fast), and cotton candy (another of their favorites). A tip on cotton candy…package them in plastic…they drip quickly. Live and learn. 😀
…cupcake shaped cake pops. I make them the night before and they stay good in the fridge til party time.
Popsicle shaped rice krispy treats. 🙂 I made one to look like it had a bite taken out because I thought it would look more authentic and cute, but it was so time consuming and I had to hurry to shape the rest, so they didn’t get the special treatment, lol!
I painted all the wooden boxes white and used a pencil eraser to make the pastel dots to match the theme. I still use them for other parties because I think it matches almost everything. ❤
I cut the ice cream sandwiches in half, rolled them in sprinkles, and then slid a popsicle stick inside and placed them back in the freezer until party time.
I made loft house style cookie dough a few days in advance and made the cookies the day before the party. I have ice cream and cupcake shapes…and it was very time consuming also, but I found out I really love decorating with icing. Especially when I get to make whimsical, fun art!
I painted little blocks and popsicle sticks in pastel colors and dots to use. I glued labels on them for the “signs.”
Here is a view of the dining room from our kitchen door where guests came in.
Here is a view of the living room as you come from the dining room…
Our game and prize area… 🙂
The view of the dining room again, but from the living room…
Our fireplace mantle decorations
That’s pretty much all of the food, decor, decorations, games, and ideas for a Sweet Shoppe party!! I hope it’s inspired you to create one for your little one(s). We loved it and had a fun time. It’s the perfect theme for a young boy and young girl party.
Now…go start crafting. 😀