Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hello Kitty Birthday Party {Parties on a Budget}

My son turned 3 years old yesterday, and we are throwing him a Buzz Lightyear party on Saturday (per his request). I've been doing a lot of the decorating and party prep today and that got me to thinking about previous parties. 

I love party planning! Over the past 5 1/2 years of parenting, I've thrown plenty of themed birthdays. And a while back I shared with you the airplane-themed baby shower for my sister-in-law. But I've always been careful to keep it in a reasonable budget. Being creative with what I've got energizes me and makes me put off the other important things like housework and stuff....

I've got some tips on how to throw a great kids party without going overboard, and I have a whole post in the works on that subject. Today I'm sharing the Hello Kitty party (parties) I hosted for my daughter's 5th birthday in October last year.

We decided to have two separate parties this time around - a friend party and a family party, simply because both sides of our family live in town and when we all get together, it's just about to burst the seams of our house. Adding 5+ friends would have been over-the-top crazy!

The friend party was a lunch party with Hello Kitty-shaped peanut butter and honey sandwiches. The nose is cheese, the eyes are halved grapes, and the bows are made from 2 quarters (approximately) of a strawberry. The girls thought the sandwiches were just pretty darn cute. :-)

We also had additional strawberries, cheese cubes, grapes, and strawberry swiss rolls. Also in this picture you can see some of the other decorations that Riley and I worked together on. We printed out the Hello Kitty clipart on post card paper and then used various colors of markers to give each one a different bow color. We scattered them on the table and hung them from the light fixture. 

Riley (my daughter) is in the green. That other little girl is one of her dear friends and
daughter of one of our lovely, faithful blog-readers. :-)
Here's another decoration we worked on together. White balloons with HK face and whiskers drawn on. Cardstock triangle ears and Riley-colored bow. There were several of these scattered throughout the party area. (UPDATE: Check out the follow-up post with FREE printable invites, decorations, and thank you cards!)

After eating, we did our first activity - face painting! I had face paint crayons from last year's Halloween stuff, and the girls all decided they wanted just HK face on their cheeks, not a whole cat face. 

Girl has got attitude and photographability!
(Oh, and for the record, I was a good 10 pounds heavier in these pictures than I am now - yay!!)

Once the girls had their face paint, we went back to the table for our dessert — which for some reason, there is no good picture of.  :-(  But you can kind of see in the corner of this picture that we had Hello Kitty sugar cookies. I drew the outline and face with melted baker's chocolate and added those cute edible flowers in the signature bow position.

Sara was super sweet to show us her face. :-)
Speaking of the bow position, we moved on to our next activity — pin the bow on Hello Kitty! I just drew a large HK head on a 1/2 sheet of poster board and then printed and cut out little bows. We used a pink (of course) bandana to cover their eyes, spun them around and then had them tape the bow where they thought it should be (always over her left ear).

They were sooooo cute, trying to help each other and rolling with laughter the whole time!

We had a quick gift time. Here you can see the girls all sporting their very own Hello Kitty bows. These were super simple to make from materials I already had on hand (alligator hair clips, red ribbon, and hot glue), and they were the favors we sent home with the girls. (Several moms said they appreciated the lack of candy and junky toys...noted.)

Gift from Mom and Dad...

Oh, my! What could make my sweet girl so excited???

I LOOOOVVEEE this shot! I made sure hubster was standing ready with that camera to get this reaction. :-)

Why a big-girl Hello Kitty bicycle, of course!!

 "Thanks, Mom and Dad!"

The main addition to our family party was a fabulous cake made and decorated by my incredibly talented sister and owner of Cakes by EM. She captured the vision perfectly, and we all loved it!

What's your take on kid birthday parties? Got any tips of your own? What's your favorite party you've thrown or attended? Stay tuned for more parties and party tips!

Linking up to Mom on Timeout.


  1. Awesome party! My daughter would LOVE this! :)

  2. aw I love how excited she looks when she got her bike!

  3. What a great party! I really like the idea of a separate friend party. Reece's birthday is at the end of the month and I'm trying to figure out who to invite because our family is so big. Maybe I should just have a separate party for friends. Thanks so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout!

  4. Thansk for sharing your great ideas! We did a Hello Kitty party for Princess Smiles-A-Lot's 8th birthday. I cheated and got the cake from Sam's Club. For games we did a pin the bow on Hello Kitty as well. Since I have no drawing talent, I taped a piece of posterboard on the wall and then traced one of those online coloring pages onto the posterboard using a borrowed projector. It worked perfectly! We also played Pass the Yarn (Hot Potato with a ball of yarn).