Shirley's party advice part 6 - don't be afraid to interrupt us!

(1000 Posts)

Okay, this is shirley's party advice part 6. Shirley ducked out a while ago and you'll notice us chatting about all kinds of stuff whilst we wait for party planners to barge in.

So, don't lurk, jump in and chat. We'll give you any advice on parties from costumes to cakes....

FasterStronger Sun 09-Jun-13 17:27:29

thank you DW46

hello party experts. i need advice for a BBQ for 50-100 people (not sure of numbers yet).

i am veggie but am ok with providing organic meat. we have a very large garden.

>>>>> but i am a complete novice. please let me have the benefit of your experience. grin

don't hold back. all info very welcome!

Right i've done a bbq this size before and it was surprisingly easy. Are u cooking yourselves or getting a bbq firm in?

If your doing it yourselves borrow an extra bbq from a friend as it really will make all the difference. If you can beg borrow or steal an extra fridge because for that many people you may want to chill and replenish food stocks.

Keep beers in empty bins/buckets of water and ice dont waste fridge room chilling drinks. We also borrowed two gazebos and extra garden furniture sets as you cant really expect that many people to perch here and there.

For food we bought ready marinated meats from a really good butcher, by ordering in advance we agreed a fixed price for the 100 people and he prepared marinated cuts/kebabs/chicken etc for me so that we literally put it on the barbie. I made salads, rice, rolls, quiche and bananas/corn etc too. This was for my dh's 30th.

If you tell us more about the occassion and who's doing the work i'll help more.(excuse typos im passenger in car on a 2.5hr journey and its bumpy!)

Marking my place cos you can't follow links within the android app sad.

Where were we?

- superheroes for nonsense
- recap of dragon party and offloading of dragon supplies for Blathers
- monster barbecues

Anything else?


I am looking at doing a joint birthday party for my youngest 2 (they will be 5 and 3) but have very limited funds. Would it be acceptable to hire a room in a local pub (used to be a social club and they have a couple of function rooms) and just let the DC play in the little park with maybe a couple of party games?

As it is a joint party there will be about 20 DC invited and all organised parties are well over £100!

Thank you smile

RhondaJean Sun 09-Jun-13 19:16:21

Marking place shamelessly! Need graduation party help but can't post right now.

More than acceptable, threedaughters. If you want to make an "economy" party more memorable, it's often helpful to go for a theme of some sort - rainbows have been a popular option round here lately (see previous threads smile)

Blathers - my phone battery is about to die, but I did dragon themed team games (dragon hoopla, dragon tail relay, dragon egg and spoon), pin the fire on the dragon, splat the knight, and 'dragon says' (DS and his bossy hand puppet dragon), dragon's footsteps (with DB2's huge cuddly dragon), and pass the parcel. Crafts were colour in flying dragons from Oriental Trading and colouring sheets.

I have various things left over - I will check exactly what and let you know

Mckayz Sun 09-Jun-13 19:28:20

I need some cake ideas. DD will be 1 on the 20th and just having a little tea for family. I am going for the Very Hungry Caterpillar theme.
I am not sure if I should make a normal sponge cake and make a caterpillar to put on it, to try and make a caterpillar shaped cake or make cupcakes and arrange them into a caterpillar shape?

Which would you go for?

Mckayz - I can't link to it right now, but I have done a VHC cake, and Blathers did an allergy friendly one. I will link later - both were caterpillar shaped, although I also found some cool 2D ones when I was looking for inspiration.

Blatherskite Sun 09-Jun-13 20:37:36

Stealth has done an amazing VHC cake too. Will post a pic of mine if I can find one on my netbook.

Blatherskite Sun 09-Jun-13 20:38:28

Sorry, for some reason I though that was DW posting. I think Juneathon is beginning to affect my brain!

Blatherskite Sun 09-Jun-13 20:40:29


Blatherskite Sun 09-Jun-13 20:41:48

<sobs> I can't even find 'Mymumsnet' to upload the photo.

RhondaJean Sun 09-Jun-13 20:46:33

Right he's popped out.

Dh is graduating next month. Ie arranged a surprise party for him in a local pub.

I've been through his FB contacts to write an invite list.

Pub is doing buffet.
I've spoken to balloon people about decs.
I've got a banner.
Friend is doing cake.

What have I forgotten?
I've never done a party before and I'm stressed and scared noone turns up.

Mckayz Sun 09-Jun-13 20:49:37

Blathers, the cakes on your profile are amazing.

Blatherskite Sun 09-Jun-13 21:06:44

Wait until you see Stealth's cakes....!

Mckayz Sun 09-Jun-13 21:17:53

I'd love to be able to make good cakes. My best one was an airplane.

Blatherskite Sun 09-Jun-13 21:36:34

I found My Mumsnet so the caterpillar cake pic is up.

The aeroplane looks great Mckayz.

Rhondajean - music?

Mckayz Sun 09-Jun-13 21:45:36

That is really good Blathers, thank you for sharing.

this is a very effective 2D one.

this is mine, and if you scroll back and forth in the 'cakes' set you can see others.

Right I have had an idea!

DD2 loves drawing and painting so I am going to do a craft party. DD3 will have friends there but not as many so they can join in as well.

I was thinking of something along the lines of:

Arrive and play a couple of party games
Sit at tables and paint a canvas, that they then take home with them instead of a party bag full of tat.
Party lunch
Ending with a scavenger hunt type thing. I was thinking of putting up laminated pictures everywhere and for every picture they have to write a number on a sheet. When they have it filled in they can collect a little bag of sweets
If time left they can play in the little park.

Does that sound ok? Also DD2 wants to invite a girl from her class who uses a walker, would this be suitable?

The girls don't really love the same thing at the moment (DD2 love Hello Kitty and DD3 seems to think she is George from Peppa Pig) so I was thinking a more neutral theme or is crafts enough of a theme on its own?

I was thinking of trying to make a cake (I am rubbish at cakes) in the shape of a canvas and using food colouring to paint a picture on it, does that sound ok?

I don't know why I am getting so carried away now the party isn't until August grin

Lol i start a new thread and everyone comes rushing in.

threedaughters a joint party is fine. We tend to recommend themes because its far easier to piece a day together than trying to cram odd ideas in. I went to a 4/5 joint party today that was heros and princesses, rainbow theme i did and worked well, ive done a gruffalo party before but julia donaldson would be a wider idea and loads of ideas on the gruffalo website based on other books. For 100.00 you could do tons. If you do want to go with a theme come back and tell us and we'll theme your food/games/cake/decorations around it for you.

rhondajean if your at all crafty balloons are piss easy to do yourself if you wanted to save the money for drink/food. Music you'll need. You dont mention what he graduated in, however, my dh graduated yesterday. Because he did his course over years and wasnt in a class both he and his mum commented that he didnt have anyone to do that "chucking your hats in the air" photo. You return your cap/gown after the graduation ceremony so could you maybe get mortar boards for a mock photo or something with his closest peers/family if he's in the same boat?

Cross posts threedaughters craft party is perfect but i reckon we can get you a more impressive easy cake idea than that.

Where do you live in the country because i live near the worlds cheapest bestest craft for kids shop in the universe which will be ideal for this. Ive gotta go cos my dd is having a night terror waking the baby one but the others will be along again soon im sure.

Blatherskite Sun 09-Jun-13 22:10:18

That dragon party for my DD we were talking about above's in December. August isn't that far away wink

Craft would be enough of a theme by itself I think and the cake sounds really good. DW has a shop near her that sells mega cheap aprons which you could give out as part of a cheap party bag.

I'll see if I can come up with some craft themed food for you.

Threedaughters - at 5 and 3, I would be inclined to simplify the scavenger hunt a bit, TBH. DD has done a couple at school things where they have cut out shapes (or you could buy cut outs from ebay), and then each child gets a card with pictures of all the shapes they have to collect. The beauty of it is that no one has to be able to read, and you can have multiple age groups - so the shapes which DD3 and her friends need to collect can be hidden in plain view, but won't get snaffled by the older ones, because they are not on their sheets, IYSWIM. You can have some extras in a pocket to drop strategically for anyone who is struggling.

You could do craft themed shapes (paintbrush, pot, pencil, easel....)

Would a rainbow craft theme work?

I was going to get them these

with some acrylic paint and maybe some glue and bits to stick on as well. There will probably approximately 6 x 2 and 3 year olds, 10 x 5 year olds and another 7 between 6 and 11. Out of those there will be 5 boys.

I thought I could do a cake similar to the canvas in the link.

How old is DD1? Could she be appointed to help the little girl with the walker if she wants /needs it?

I can't follow your link, but one of the bargain shops had some great mini canvases with easels for 99p each which I was seriously tempted to buy and stockpile (name of shop will come back to me in a moment)

The Works.

I have to say my cakes are pretty awful! Could I cheat and buy a cheap plan white iced cake and just decorate it myself?

I live in Plymouth so pretty much as far away from civilised society as possible grin we are getting hobby craft at some point but don't imagine they will be cheap.

Yes the aprons to use and then to take home is a good idea. DD2 went to a party last year where the parents put a load of craft stuff in the garden so the DC could make stuff and she got to keep her apron.

I'm getting excited now smile

DD1 is 12 in December, maybe I should start planning her party as well grin

I'm back.

Personally if you make it a craft party i'd leave the scavenger hunt, esp if they vary in ages. I'd give more time over to actual crafts. At my dd1's rapunzel party we had different stations so kids could move around to different activities otherwise you'll have all them kids wanting to paint at one time.

*So a colouring/drawing table printed sheets for littlies and plain paper for older kids.

*Playdoh/airdry clay/salt dough sculpting option

*cake/biscuit decorating

*fabric pens - decorate a mini tote bag to use as their party bag?

Im just thinking of ways you can spread the ages/abilities without having to play formal games other than the usual musical statues/pass the parcel. For my dd's birthday i got some great lantern kits from bakerross on clearance so have a look to see if you can get any kits.

My partybags were tiny canvas/easel packs from the works and a mini paint pallette so rather than using it as an activity you could use your canvas idea as your giveaway item.

DD1 is 11 but has been hinting that she wants to invite her friend who also has to use a walker but is a lot older. She would definitely love to help both of them.

I think we have a works in town so I might try and make a trip into town when I can to have a look, thank you.

mini canvas and easel

Baker ross have lots on clearance like colouring sun catcher sets/stained glass/finger puppets.

Your canvas idea would work really well with a bought cake. Get gel colours, if you can, and use vodka to clean brushes, and try not to get it too wet, or the colours will run. Other than that, you are just painting a picture smile

Thank you for you advice and the link for the canvas, I will take a look now.

I will be back soon for other advice on things like food.

Oooor now hear me can buy food colouring pens proper ones that are like felt tips, what if you let the older dd and friends draw/paint all over the cake as their activity. Could they be trusted to do it nicely as its shared?

I have not had great experience with those pens, TBH.

DD1 isn't the most artistic person I have met plus a little on the clumsy side so not sure I would trust her with a cake to be honest. I was just thinking of something very basic like a house scene. I have to admit I would normally just go to Asda or pay somebody else to make one. blush

Found you!

Another random panic!
So as DS will be 4, he will have a superhero party, but to tie in for DD who will be 1, I would like to do her a superheroes in training party.
What can I do to go with that? To be fair, she's not really going to have any friends there for her, they will mostly be mutual and older so I don't want to go mad, but if I do superhero only I feel like it looks as if we aren't really trying to tailor any of it to her. She deserves her own party-lite I feel!

I was going to do masks as invites. Could I still do those for the in training aspect? What if there are siblings who factor in both groups? Two invites?
Should I just stick to superheroes only?
I feel that it is late and I am tired and not making any sense.

Haven't looked at the cakes yet, but could you do individual round cakes, iced in the correct colours as the actual caterpillar?

Looks like I'm talking rubbish about the cake!!!! shock

Nonsense - you could make /buy DD's costume (as previously discussed smile) in advance, or indeed just "borrow" a picture of JackJack Incredible, and make the invitation for "superheroes and miniheroes" to make it clear? That, and her own cake for photo opps, should cover it IMHO.

Plopsicle Mon 10-Jun-13 11:07:19

Good morning party experts

I'm looking for ideas for the contents of party food boxes for DD's 5th birthday party, its 2-4pm so not really covering a main meal time.

What tends to go down well? I've only ever done soft play parties with food included in the past.


Hi plopsicle can i call you plops cos it makes me laugh?

I did food boxes for my dd's 4th. I put a sandwich (jam and ham were most requested) a pot of grapes, a babybel, a few mini party rings, a jelly pot (it may have been a frube actually) and a fairycake that i'd decorated with their initial. I then put big bowls of crisps out. I got fruit shoot style drinks from morrisons as they dont contain aspartme which puts some people off them.

Blathers will tell you to do pizza slices instead of sandwiches and in hindsight i wish i had as less work chucking a slice of that than making sandwiches. There was very very very little wastage.

That's a good idea Stealth. I am totally making her costume! (SIL's LO is having a Cinderella party this month and I can't get a baby costume anywhere so I am having a practice run for this) wink

I agree with DW for party boxes. TBH, I never do sandwiches as they are always wasted at my parties, so I would just do snack items. Cocktail sausages are always first to go but I'm not sure if that would work in a box. Helpful, aren't I?

Plopsicle Mon 10-Jun-13 16:13:44

Do you think I could get away with not doing sandwiches? I'd rather just chuck a load of little snacky bits in (I'm a lazy sod aren't I!) my kids ae not sandwich fans at all and never touch them at parties.

Those all sound like great suggestions Thedoctorswife

Absolutely - no one will miss sandwiches, especially as it is timed to be party tea, rather than a "real" meal

MissLurkalot Mon 10-Jun-13 18:06:45

We're hosting a Christening party at home in a couple of weeks.
It's a mega joint Christening for our four children, two girls and two boys.
We're at the church for 12.30pm for an hour roughly, then back home foe lunch for 30 Adults and 10 children.
I keep going around in circles really.... I just can't decide what to do food wise.. I keep on changing my mind. (Had our last baby 2 weeks ago!)
I was thinking lasagne, garlic bread and green salad... Do I buy paper plates and plastic knives and forks? Homemade Pavlovas and cheesecakes for pudding, and ice cream for kids.
Or, do we go for the buffet alternative?
Any ideas?

Kids lunchboxes i did put cocktail sausages in. I bought little 4oz pots/lids from ebay to decant stuff into.


For mass catering we've often called upon shirleys pulled pork idea. Blathers will link to a recipe in a moment im sure but if you can borrow some slow cookers get pork shoulder joints cooking then you shred them up in bbq sauce that uts cooked in. Serve in rolls or with with jacket potatoes, wedges, rice, salads anything you like.

We have suggested this is a cheap way if doing a hog roast type thing, instead if the bbq sauce if you do plain pork shoulder and maybe some gammon serve with apple sauce and stuffing in rolls.

Lasagnes work well but you need the oven space, curries in slow cookers work well too with varying accompaniments which you can buy ready made for the oven etc. or as you say a buffet!

If you go for the pork/curry slow cooker options you can def use paper plates as all scoopable whereas lasagne needs a but more sitting down and cutting into.

Personally I would endorse lasagne for mass catering - buy cheap veg from the market and make meat and veggie versions. I have done it for house parties. The advantage is that all the mess of cooking is over and done with and you could leave them in the oven on a timer while you are at church - you can get easily enough for those numbers into a normal oven. All you need then is green salad and garlic bread. Ice cream and pavlovas would be the perfect pud, especially if you are having cake as well?

RhondaJean Mon 10-Jun-13 20:30:17

Music - the venue will have a Dj.

Ok so I could do balloons myself? Does anyone have decoration ideas for a grad party? What and how do I do them? HELP

I'm making choc lollies for presents for everyone there, almost forgot that.

Do I need to get prosecco for everyone or would people be okay just buying their own drinks? Really can't afford an open bar - if it was a sit down meal I'd probably get wine for the table but because it's an evening party I don't know!

Get someone with a Costco card to get you their polystyrene plates and plastic forks - more than up to the job of lasagne.

RhondaJean Mon 10-Jun-13 20:31:43

Sorry that's all in reply to much realiser comments about the graduation party for DH!

Rhondajean - glass or two of prosecco or orange juice, and then a cash bar? Or save fizz for toasts.

RhondaJean Mon 10-Jun-13 20:39:00

If I save on the decorations I can use the money for some bottles of fizz eh. Or oj.

DW is master of pinterest. She will find you graduation party decorations [copout]

RhondaJean Mon 10-Jun-13 21:04:29

Hooray thank you!

I'll have a look for decoration ideas but balloons are so easy. Buy helium from somewhere like partyrama, a reel of curling ribbon and balloon weights. Ive done balloons for christenings and even made a rainbow balloon arch for my dd's birthday. Make table decorations of either three or five balloons tie to balloon weight on each table. To do a balloon arch you thread cotton or fishing line through the neck of each balloon neck being careful not to pop the balloon.

Personally, I am going to pinch the pulled pork idea for myself smile but as a guest, I would appreciate lasagne. It feels like more of an effort has been made iykwim?
Also, hats off for doing it all after having your 4th! Don't think I'd know my own name if it were me!

I like these for a graduation party.

Yes i admit i love lasagne the most!

Rhondajean im looking for graduation decor, the most obvious is a black and white theme which works great with mortarboard and diploma etc unless your dh has different colour robes? It should tell you on his hire details what colours he will be having.

and this

RhondaJean Mon 10-Jun-13 22:12:45

That table is beautiful but it's too much for me to manage.

I like the jam jar tea lights. Even if I don't use them for this, I will definitely use that idea. So simple and so effective.

RhondaJean Mon 10-Jun-13 22:21:00

These are amazing

I should have mentioned anything would need to be easy for me to be able to pull it off! Plus it's a surprised party so I can't spend too much time making things without raising suspicion.

RhondaJean Mon 10-Jun-13 22:26:27

Confetti I have, plain black caps, hopefully to match the cake my friend will make.

The choc lollies are caps and scrolls I think it's this mould

And I could print up little labels for the bags?

What is the venue like? Would black a white bunting go well with balloons?

RhondaJean Mon 10-Jun-13 22:48:25

It's in a pub - there is a raised area with brass railings, and a bar, which I think would be nice with bunting. I'd like a centrepiece for the buffet table, I'm thinking the jars with the book pages in and the candles for the other tables, is that just jam jars?

And a couple of small balloon bouquet things to tie to the brass railings either side of the steps up to the raised bit?

RhondaJean Mon 10-Jun-13 22:49:50

Numbers - I've invited about 80, expecting about half to turn up?

Hello. I think I am going to go in today and try to book the venue. DD3s birthday is in the middle of August but DD2s is not until right at the end.

She is in reception and I was thinking organising the party for before they break up from school in July. The main reason for this I'd that DD2s best friend is from Germany and I think she normally goes home for the holidays.

Would having a party more than a month before the actual birthday be ok? I would then probably take her out for lunch on the actual day.

FasterStronger Tue 11-Jun-13 07:55:12

thank you DW46, I will start planning and get back to you with more questions soon.

Badvoc Tue 11-Jun-13 07:59:44

Not sure whether you can help me, but here goes!
It's been an awful few months for us health parents, dc, and me.
Ds2 was in hospital ask week and I was rushed in yesterday and am still feeling very tired.
It's ds1s b day on Thursday and he has requested a family b day tea (both my boys like this)
We have a big extended family so there will be -0 of us.
Checked weather and its looking grim here sad what can I so with the 7 dc who will be here?
Grocery del booked for thurs morning.
Cake and topper in cupboard.
Balloons and poppers in cupboard
Card in cupboard
Party treats on cupboard
I am doing buffet food...quiches, salad, jersey royals, wedges, goujons, the usual. Have a few deserts...including cake and ice cream and cheese and biscs.
Is there anything I have forgotten?
What can I do to make it easier in me?
I have never felt less like a party sad
My ds1 will be 10 btw and is getting a new bike smile

Badvoc Tue 11-Jun-13 08:01:56

Sorry...that should read there will be 20 of us inc 7 dc

Badvoc - what are the ages of the 7 DC, and what resources do you have at your disposal - for example, if they are mostly around DS1's age, could you have a {insert games console of your choice} tournament, or a board games session if you are not into consoles? Clearly if they are mostly little that won't work so well....

Threeedaughters - under the circumstances, I think it is fine to separate the party from the actual birthday - otherwise you will struggle as people will be away and DD2 may feel a little forgotten - whereas if you can fit it in amongst the end-of-term stuff, they will all be in party mode anyway grin

Badvoc Tue 11-Jun-13 08:11:47

They are aged 10y to 20 m stealth. 6 boys and 1 girl toddler.
We have a wii in the moan room and and ps3 in the play room.
We also have a decent sized garden with a trampoline and football goalpost. Also have a badminton kit etc but of course that's all weather dependant.
Party 4pm til whenever.
Feeling a bit panicky about it now....just want ds1 to have a good time.
(He is also meeting up with his school friends on Saturday morning for a nerf battle...dont ask!!)

Thank you. I had originally thought of doing the party in September but it would probably mean I would have to give the invitations out 6 weeks before and risk people forgetting or at very short notice and risk people not being able to make it.

So I have approximately 5 weeks to plans the party and no money, that should be do-able right grin

No problem, threedaughters grin

Badvoc - OK, so it needs to be all about DS1 and minimum effort for you. Does he have a favourite game (PS3 would be best, I guess, as it would leave the main room console-free for everyone not involved)? If so, could you get him to draw up a knock-out contest for all the DC capable plus as many adults as are willing? He could draw it up on a big sheet of paper in this sort of style. I think toddler girl will have to amuse herself keeping the uninvolved adults busy though...

Badvoc Tue 11-Jun-13 09:49:57

Oh I will put a cd in for the toddler..she loves to dance! smile
That's a good idea, thank you.

As for what else you may have forgotten, maybe you should ask DS1 what the essential ingredients for a birthday tea are? I know my DC have a long list (biscuits in the number of their age, mars bar krispie cake, sandwiches, ......) and that way you get to check whether you are going to meet his expectations.

If you are missing something, then you could ask one of the guests to bring it. Given that they are family, and you have all had such a bad time, I am sure they (or at least some of them) are desperate to help - so a "DS1 really wants XYZ for his birthday tea, could you bring that?" would keep everyone happy.

Badvoc Tue 11-Jun-13 10:11:30

There are one or two things dh can pick up from the local co op...cream etc.
(Had a bit of an issue a couple of times with ocado with the cream bursting!)
We have banner (it's like bunting really) that gets used each year.
And balloons.
And poppers
Oh! Need to get some chocs for his school class!
Knew I'd forgotten something!

If there are 25 kids invited how many activities would be enough?

I was thinking of the following

-- decorating a little mug to take home

-- decorating a t-shirt, would I need a few different sizes?

-- glass sun catcher painting

-- mosaic making maybe?

Also would I need enough so they could do all do one of everything?

Do I need to get a few helpers? The younger ones will probably have their mum staying but the school age probably won't.

Those sound lovely, but expensive. There are cheaper options (on Baker Ross) that they would be happy with, and which would mean that you could have enough for them all to do everything.

Also - T shirt painting and mug painting involve permanent pens/paints, which I am really paranoid about with other people's DC, so if it were me I would want as many helpers as possible.

The mugs were on special offer from the baker Ross website, £1 something each I think.

Ok so no t-shirt painting. Any other suggestions?

Could they cope with any of the little sewing kits, maybe?

Evening smile

I have had a look on baker Ross and was thinking of doing the following activities

-- decorate a foam bookmark with foam stickers

-- decorate a foam key ring with small form shapes

-- decorate a mini mug using pens

-- paint animal sun catchers using glass pens

I was hoping that each activity could be limited to approximately 15 minutes. So they would have 60 minutes of craft 20 minutes for eating / cake, 30 minutes of games and 10 minutes of sorting out before going home.

Does that sound ok?

Sorry I did reply earlier stealth but it seems to have disappeared!

I think most might be a bit young for sewing.

Threedaughters - sounds good to me. It might be a good idea to have colouring on hand in case they finish something quickly and/or refuse to engage in something.

You will also need party bags (paper carrier bags from ebay would be ideal) named and ready to put things in as they finish them - perhaps they could decorate their own while you wait for everyone to arrive?

LatinForTelly Wed 12-Jun-13 09:58:37

Hi, I am in a complete panic about DD's birthday party next Saturday. <wails>. In my head I'd thought we'd go bowling, but then spurred on by the nice weather we'd been having, I thought, woodland/fairy garden type party. The invites are not even out.

DD is going to be 8. Thinking 8 - 10 guests. We live in the country, on the edge of woodland. We're Scotland so it's more than likely to be raining!

Kids are quite outdoorsy, though one has some mobility issues (would struggle with very rough ground or a long yomp).

So, I was thinking, small scavenger/treasure hunt, then planting a fairy garden, then barbecue (not fancy, burgers in buns), then toasting marshmallows.

In my perfectionist head, I was imagining bunting, straw bales to sit on, etc etc but I have 10 days to organise. Am panicking.

If it's raining, girls are hardy enough to do scavenger hunt in the rain, as long as they can come in and dry out. We have big kitchen so I could just about manage planting fairy gardens in there, with a lot of hoovering afterwards. Decent size garage too (but quite full of crap) to barbecue in, if raining.

Do I sack off the scavenger hunt and just do fairy gardens? How do I do them without costing an arm and a leg? I think B&Q have decent value planters, compost, small plants. We've got stones/gravel, but fairy houses on amazon are £££, I think i don't have time to make 8 - 10 houses in clay before.

Gaahhh. What do I do - the least effort for max rustic but festive effect. Pinterest panics me.

Thanks so much for any help you can give! Sorry for novel-length post.

Latin - do you have /could you borrow a gazebo or something equivalent? That way you could try and keep fairy gardens outside, barring strong winds?

DW will have a brilliant solution to fairy houses, I am sure.

LatinForTelly Wed 12-Jun-13 10:08:05

I might be able to borrow one - yes I'll try. Do I try and decorate it or not?!

If you have got the bunting etc then you could wait until the day to decide if it goes on gazebo or kitchen? Straw bales would be cool, though

There is a fairy house mould on ebay - I can't link just now, but you could cast them in resin and let them decorate their own?

I'm having a bit of a uncertain moment!

I have asked a friend if he could help on one of the craft tables and he looked at me like thisconfused and said it sounds like a lot of work and when he did his DC birthday that hired a room with soft play stuff and I could just get in pizza.

Am I being really stupid? I hate self doubt!

The required answer which you can't actually say is "and that's why no one remembers your parties-- grin

LatinForTelly Wed 12-Jun-13 11:49:36

Cool - mould sounds good. And can I buy resin? Or that stuff you get in craft kits which you add water to and it sets - white stuff, can't think what it's called.

I agree with Stealth, ThreeDaughters! I think your party sounds fab and it's not really hard work. You're not asking HIM to decorate a mug! You just need help with supervising them so that they don't get pen in their eye/up their nose/on eachother!
What I love about these threads is that people on here are making an effort for a loved one. When my DH looks at me like I'm mad and making too much work for myself and makes me doubt my plans, I come on here and get inspiration from likeminded people. We choose to make a "lot of hard work" for ourselves because we want to make really good memories for people and ourselves! So screw him and ask someone else for help!

I also think the decorate your own bag is a must!
What about decorate your own cupcake to go in the bag too? I might be taking things too far here.

Thank you. He has said that if his DDs are able to come he can help but it did make me have a couple of doubts.

Right back on track now. I think I'm going to have to ask a friend to bake a cake for me. I had a look online and the only ones I could see were from M&S costing at least £35!

Yes I was going to get some paper bags for them to take their things home in though hasn't thought to get them to decorate it blush

Thank you for the replies, I wish I could be more helpful to others sad

Latin you can buy plaster of paris for ebay, would that be any good?

Something like

Not sure how much would be needed but looks fairly cheap.

Blatherskite Wed 12-Jun-13 14:35:39

ThreeDaughters ignore that man! NonsenseTalker is not talking nonsense this time, she's right, we make the effort because we want our loved ones to have a lovely and memorable day. DS went to 3 water park parties in a row last summer and very quickly couldn't remember who's was who's.

On the other hand - DD's rainbow party went down so well that it's about to be copied for a second time and DS's pizza making party is regularly called 'the best party she's ever been to' by a friend of mine. I'm sure stealth has told stories before of people exclaiming "Oooh, a ministealth party, this'll be good" when they get their invites too grin

Latin, I know you find pinterest scary, but I saw this via a FB link today

this stuff seems to be the modern equivalent of plaster of Paris - easier to use and sets harder.

this is the mould I was looking at

LatinForTelly Wed 12-Jun-13 22:24:10

Thanks, ThreeDaughters, that looks great. I'll use that if I go down the mould route.

At the moment I'm thinking about using mini logs as the body of the house and some sort of roofing material confused! I'm slightly trying to go down a 'low effort' route, but want a decent effect.

Your craft party sounds great, by the way. I sometimes have the doubts your guest's father voiced (ie I get the irony of me getting ultra-stressed to give them the perfect party grin - not that you sound at all stressed.) But I do think they remember their parties. I still remember some of my parties and I am as old as the hills!

I have told this story before, but at DS's last party hid friends sat round at their (terribly grown up and sensible) lunch at reminisced about all DS's other parties. They remembered every detail, right back to when they were all 4 shock grin. I nearly blubbed but DS would have killed me

his, not hid

LatinForTelly Wed 12-Jun-13 22:35:04

Thanks stealth. Now why didn't I get that many pictures when I searched Pinterest?! They are great, they just set off my perfectionist jitters! But great for ideas - thanks.

I've got my eye on those bird houses too - quite cheap on yellow moon, but worried they'd be too big for the planters I'm planning on.

That mould looks perfect - just might end up being quite expensive with postage. I'll keep an eye on the bidding and maybe sneak in. <whispers> I've never used Ebay. Do I have to preregister to bid/buy?

You do have to register, but it's not a huge hassle IIRC. You could search elsewhere for the mould, of course.

There are cheaper moulds for fairy doors - would those be any good (can you tell I am not well versed in fairy stuff)?

Hello all. Im so sorry ive had to just skim read to catch up as we've been having major major problems with dd1 at bigschool intro days and well frankly i'm all parented out! She hates the place but now really insisting on a mermaid bloody disco for her next birthday. More on that later.

For fairy houses i've seen numerous people decorate the mini bird houses and it does work really well for kids. The woman on the imagination tree did a fairy party albeit for tenny toddlers but some basics there to be stolen for a short notice party. here

ideas and makes on here

In the works the other day i saw colour in castles etc that could easily be made into a fairy castle with group effort

chestnut100 Thu 13-Jun-13 14:04:36

Hi everyone, I wondered if anyone had any inspiration/experience of a toy story themed party. My soon to be 3 dd has chosen this and I am at a little bit of a loss!....

What's up with big school, DW sad?

Toy Story - combination of cowboy stuff and spaceman stuff? Does she have a favourite character?

chestnut100 Thu 13-Jun-13 14:48:50

That is more or less what I was thinking....she's a Jessie fan! Trying to think of themed games with no success!

Oooh love toy story too errmmm thinking...

Stealth - screaming blue murder. First day they left her to cry for two hours(i was on site but in a class about phonics) and no-one came to get me. So then dhe was petrified. This time they let me stay but if anything she was worse and the head had to carry her kicking/screaming into another room. I burst into tears from sheer embarrassment as it was a completely different child to the one at home. Luckily her nursery teacher was there with some other kids and next week they've suggested taking her instead. Shes refusing to swim now too and today cried if her key worker went off at playschool. Sighhhhhh.

If its three year olds what about mr potato head activity? Make laminate potato head placemats and tons of eyes/nose/glasses etc that be blu-tac'd on etc. you can actuslly get mr potato heads cheap. How many are coming could we souce them as your party bag giveaway?

Im trying to think how you could do a lucky dip style game like "ooohhh the claw you are the chosen one"

Maybe do a lucky dip with alien pictures on string and one woody. Who draws woody is the winner.

Its hard to think with dr ranj singing at me..

Or if you have a magnetic fishing game put paperclips on and fish for them.

Hmmm i cant find cheap tata heads. I got loads two years ago for a few quid each but not now. On ebay you can buy them and tons of bits so if you have time you could buy a selection if you didnt want to do laminate version.

You def need to serve pizza from pizza planet!

Blatherskite Thu 13-Jun-13 17:07:56

I commented earlier but it's disappeared!?

I suggested 'Pin the plait on Jessie' as a party game...

Or the tail on bullseye...

I feel a need to watch the film again. I am sure there are games which are part of the story, as it were...

Toy soldiers would be good party bag fillers but not, I guess, if a fair proportion of the guests are under 3.

If you had enough space you could do straw bales and red gingham tablecloths and picnic like in the bit where Jessie is remembering her first owner.

And star command for buzz.

Or maybe a game where you have to piece them back together again ready to be sold to a toy dealer.. Like a jigsaw.

I think we may be over engineering this party, considering birthday girl will be 3 grin

Good point. You know the problem; its something new for us we're getting carried away.

I know it's expensive, but how cool would it be to have this for them to have their photos taken with?

chestnut100 Thu 13-Jun-13 21:45:15

Wow! So much help! Amazing! I'm feeling slightly daunted but loving some of your ideas!

Mckayz Fri 14-Jun-13 10:29:27

I have an emergency that I think you can help me with.

My Mum is 50 next weekend and my bloody step-dad has just announced that he hasn't sorted anything yet. So I am booking a restaurant tonight for next Saturday and he is contacting friends and family to see if they can come at short notice.

But I have been left in charge of the cake. I don't have time to make one as I need to make DDs as well for next week. I can buy one that is iced for me to decorate. But I have no idea really what to do.

She loves pigs so I was wondering about getting a chocolate sponge cake. Covering the top with green buttercream and either cutting a bit off the top to show the cake to make a mud pool or using chocolate buttercream to make the pool. Then make (I'm not good at models) some pigs to play in the pool etc.

Is that awful and can anyone help me A) stop panicking and B) think of ways to kill step-dad?

My Mum got him a brilliant cake made last year for his 50th and I don't want her to be disappointed sad

Blatherskite Fri 14-Jun-13 11:17:36

I know it's a total cheat but why not just order [[ this one] from Marks and Spencers? You can have them personalised and it'll mean one less thing to worry about...?

We've had cakes from M&S before and they're always nice.

Blatherskite Fri 14-Jun-13 14:33:13

Another vote for buying one - you will need to order it today, though.

Having got that off the list, you could spend some more of stepdad's money on helium balloons and/or flowers to make the table look really special (hit him where it hurts - killing him would cast a shadow over your DM's birthday)

Mckayz Sun 16-Jun-13 08:36:44

Thanks both of you. It was no good though as I can't get to an M&S as I don't drive and everyone is busy except my Mum. I also didn't fancy the 20 mile bus ride with the cake.

I think I have it under control though.

Are you going for your piggy idea? It sounds lovely, BTW. I was trying to think where you could get ready made piggies, if that is the scary bit, but I think most options are going to be less accessible than M&S. If you google I am sure you will find lots of tutorials on making them.

Mckayz Sun 16-Jun-13 10:34:29

I am going to try and make them. I did find this so I might try that one.

Mckayz Sun 16-Jun-13 10:36:10

I am in awe of anyone that makes cakes for a living. I love baking and doing cakes. I'm not good at it and I do one decorated one once in a blue moon.

Having to do 2 this week is scary.

The piggy mudbath is a brilliant idea. Are you going for that? It is really effective with chocolate finger biscuits, too, if you prefer those to kitkats.

Mckayz Sun 16-Jun-13 11:44:52

Yeah I am going to do that one. There are 18 people going but one of them is my 1 year old so I'm hoping there will be enough cake.

I think the chocolate fingers sound nicer actually. Thanks.

I was thinking of that cake whilst catching up with the posts!!

Mckayz Tue 18-Jun-13 09:49:44

I can't find any 50th Birthday banners in this small town or number 1 candles for DD. Everywhere seems to have mountains of number 8.

I can't wait for Sunday!

Plenty online - like this

moshmoshi Tue 18-Jun-13 10:42:23

Hi does anyone have any good ideas for a beach party?

My DD will be 8 in July, the beach a were thinking about has a small play park behind and some woods.She wants to invite 15-20 .

I was thinking about a play in the park, some games in the woods(don't know what games though),a sandcastle competition and a picnic.

How does that sound or is it a bad idea cos of the risk our bad weather

Mckayz Tue 18-Jun-13 11:14:35

Thanks Stealth, have ordered them. Fingers crossed they get here.

MoshMoshi - much as I whinge about only being able to do winter parties for my DC, you have my sympathy, because summer parties unfortunately need a "plan B". If you have access to a beach, it seems a shame not to use it, but realistically you need some sort of plan for if it pours with rain.

Sandcastle building sounds great, BTW, and could absorb 8yos for ages. Is there room for beach cricket as well envy?

moshmoshi Tue 18-Jun-13 13:04:21

Think I might have to limit numbers - plan B will have to be our quite small house! Beach cricket great idea thanks

So you want largest number you can fit in the house, so that you still have enough for a decent game of beach cricket...

The alternative, I guess, would be to make the whole thing weather dependent - so actually put on the invitations something to the effect of "please let me have a mobile number that I can contact you on - if the weather is too bad we will reschedule" - you would have to make the decision (say) 24 hours in advance though, I would think - is that practicable at all?

moshmoshi Tue 18-Jun-13 21:28:17

The note on the invitation would be a good idea, I would only cancel if it was horrendous.

o you have any ideas about games I could play in the wooded area, I was thinking of what's the time Mr wolf? and hide and seek. Don't know if they'd be too babyish. MY dd would love them but don't want her friends making fun of her, you know what some kids are like.

moshmoshi Tue 18-Jun-13 21:29:33

Do not o obviously!

Planning ds's 4th birthday party. He wants a Madagascar party. There will be a max 24 (as have already got jungle pencil cases, note pads and finger puppets from baker ross). There will be 8 yr2-yr5 'helpers', so around 16 3/4 yr olds.

My plan so far after trawling the internet is to base it around the different countries, give them mini passports at the begining and give stickers for each country as we 'go' there. I am going to make a faceless cut out picture on cardboard of the four main characters and get the children to put their faces through for pictures, then use the same thing to throw beanbags through for the first stop at NY zoo.

Second stop is Madagascar - was thinking obstacle course - limbo under vines, crawl through jungle - not sure how to do this ?camouflage net (although might need to use blanket or tunnels as have them, and need to save money for wigs) jump over crocodile swamps ?something to do with fousza? Then put the hairband ring on the lemur.

Third stop Kenya - What's the time Mr Alex, maybe monkey screaching, lion roaring contest and sleeping lions. (Depending on how time is)

Monaco- human one arm bandit with three helpers choosing pictures at random and then little ones pull the arm and get 1 2 or 3 sweets depending on how many match. Will have two simultaneously so they don't need to wait so long.

Switzerland - I really fancy doing a clown relay where they have to put on a multicoloured clown wig and big shoes (would need 3/4 teams and cheapest wigs are about £3 each so trying to justify the cost) also need something for them to transport.

London- running out of ideas so thought maybe coloured pictures of landmarks from the different countries as souveniers for them to pick up and sort in a corners type game plus pass the parcel.

Food will be my standard selection and think will need to buy some figures for cake as party end of Sept and have mad work commitments just before. I need to prepare as much as I can now so I don't need to panic in Sept.

So- any ideas for obstacle course, clown relay, London, circus, any other cool ideas that I can steal incorporate. He will be starting a new preschool at the girl's school in Sept so quite a few of the children will be random invitees that he only knows a little bit from his year group. I know quite a few of the parents in passing as they have children in the school. Hoping it will help him to make some new friends. He is determined to have a proper party and that it be a Madagascar party.

As a footnote looking at your discussions of blue jelly, I just mix yellow& green and add some blue food colouring paste while still hot before adding lemonade. Fizzy rainbow jelly has become obligitory at our parties.

I am confused by the Switzerland /clown connection grin

Party sounds fantastic though. Where are you? I have a large camouflage net...

Switzerland is the bit when they stop in the alps in madagascar 3 and practise circus skills. I'm in kent. Have looked online and just not sure if I can justify cost of the net. Have you used yours again? Did see a camouflage tarpaulin for a tenner which I could tell dh was for camping too!!

Could do oranges and lemons for London. When I google london and games I just get olympics.

Ah - I obviously wasn't paying enough attention to that film smile.
Ours hasn't been used much. We are a long way away - I could weigh it and work out the postage to lend it to you ? FWIW I went to an army surplus store and asked (and then haggled) for any "unsaleable" net they had. I got a huge bit for way less than any price I saw online, and it turned out to be dusty and a bit tangled - 10 minutes untangling and a day on the washing line in the rain was all it took.

That's a good tip about the army surplus. I do wonder if we'll ever use it again ds is more of a book and computer nerd at the moment. I did ask the scout leader but he said he just makes his own camouflage. Do you think a camouflage tarpaulin will look ok? That was less than a tenner for 3x2m and we could use it again. Probably less of a challenge but they are only little so maybe easy is better. Will maybe see if any of my 'mother of outdoor boys' friends have a net first.

Any idea about what they can carry in the clown relay? Red noses are too expensive. Would popcorn in a cup work?

I think if the tarpaulin is easier to justify, then go for it - less children getting tangled up in it, anyway smile. I got a special offer from a school supplier this morning on camo nets and fabric - but their nets were still £27 ex VAT.

I've just thoroughly depressed myself by googling 'superhero cakes' sad
If I did happen to be crazy clever enough to make a tiered cake, how far in advance could I make and decorate them and how far in advance could I 'build' the cake? I don't want to spend the morning of the party finishing the cake, when I will have so much more to do!
Usually, I just buy ready made cakes and re ice them and decorate them. I would like to do a proper job this time though. Even if its just coloured cakes with plastic figures and a bit of piped icing.
Am I making any sense?

So like this not that I'd ever be able to, but could I make the two cakes, store them, make the decorations, store them, then put the whole thing together, with piping and details a couple of days before and store it?

Nonsense you could easily make two cakes but put the top one on a card card(thinner smaller than an actual cake board. Then put dowels into the bottom cake when its done, then at the venue just rest the top cake on the top one. If you get a card smaller than the cake diameter it wont show between the cakes. Stealth'll give you exact days between making/decorating/party but i always have my cake sorted the day before the party at least so it can dry out etc.

I do use dowels and card ( stupidly never a smaller diameter though......) but I build the cake the day before as all I do is re do the icing and put something on top, but this time the day before is their actual birthday so I don't want to spend the day messing up a cake!

Inspiration hit during messy play just now! We had green jelli baff and I was thinking of hiding those plastic superman rings in a tray of jelli baff and getting the 'heroes' to find them. Or something along those lines!
Perhaps a treasure map of sorts to find where the baddie has hidden something. I'll keep thinking but it'd be great to use it as a game.

Make decorations: whenever you want. They will last for weeks quite happily as long as you keep them somewhere dry (not in the fridge, or they will 'sweat').

Make cakes and ice them: easily a few days before the party. I get the cake done and out of the way before I start on the rest of the food. The critical time is from baking to icing - once they are sealed inside the icing they will last 10 days easily (slightly denser sponge - madiera, or inmates chocolate cake, or Nigella's buttermilk cake last better).

If you are having the party at home then as long as you use dowels and a board (like DW says, same size or marginally smaller than the cake, so you ice over the board - just stand it on an upturned basin or something to do it), you can assemble them there and then - put a circle of baking parchment between the icing of the bottom cake and the board of the top cake to keep it from seeping into the board. If you are partying somewhere else, keep the two cakes separate until you get there - tiered cakes do not travel well once assembled. In that case no need for the baking parchment as they won't be together for long enough for the board to get soggy.

Oops. That was a very long answer to a very simple question. Sorry.

That was a great answer, i learned from that stealth!

Thanks so much!
Thing is, I'm hoping to make something like this why oh why so can I make the badges etc days/weeks before and still get them to curve around the cake or will they crack and break?

Ah. Trickier. No. You need to dry them curved. The outside of the tin that you plan to make the cake in should be about the right curvature as long as you don't make the icing too thick - so badges can dry draped over the tin (on top of baking parchment) then take them off once they are dry enough to hold their shape.

zouise Thu 20-Jun-13 10:48:15

hello I have a couple of questions i would like my fellow party discussion'ers to consider and comment on smile

How much does the average birthday party cost?
How much does a parent spend on their childs birthday?

Ive been looking around and birthday parties these days can cost a fortune!! Our local play center charges 8.99 a head for rubbish frozen food, pathetic party bags and no games - just an hour and half in the soft play. Soft play center's are great when its raining or on a cold day but i find the birthday parties very impersonal.

Would parents pay to have a party DIY package prepared specific to their child? Everything you need to throw your own childs party.... themed party bags, plates, cups, napkins, decorations, hats, blowers, games, prizes..and the list goes on -
Would you pay for the convenience to have the buffet made for you, catering for your little guests?
If you ordered in your party food would you chose - finger buffet? Individual food boxes

I kinda like the idea of everything prepared for me...what do you think?? Is it lazy?

Blatherskite Thu 20-Jun-13 10:58:17

Looks like I might be breaking out the white icing again. DS's friend wants a party just like DS's and I've said I'd help with the cake.

Me being me, I'm not keen on the thought of making another 6 shaped ski slope though. What shall I do this time?

zouise I think you may be addressing the wrong audience. Personally, I am way too much of a control freak particular to pay a premium for someone else to do all the fun bit of finding the perfect components, let alone doing the food.

If you are in West London, you may have a business opportunity there. Otherwise, I wouldn't bet on it. As for average spend - how long is a piece of string? You spend what you can afford.

Agree, Blathers, you can't do a carbon copy of DS's cake. Is friend in question also a Lego geek? If not, then I would take the lego out of the equation, and maybe make a flat 6 and cover it in penguins - fishing, in an igloo, cross-country skiing....

I may be slightly penguin obsessed

Jesus Stealth, you're a bit of a freakin genius!!
I am now thinking that its do-able wink

Blatherskite Thu 20-Jun-13 14:16:30

Oh no Stealth, friend is as Lego bonkers as DS. I'd be better off dropping the sledging angle than the lego one!

Ah. A '6' made of lego bricks?

(my imaginary penguins are sulking now)

grin nonsense.

You're hooked.

Blatherskite Thu 20-Jun-13 14:23:44

Maybe... I've only tried bricks once and it wasn't fantastic.

The blocky edges would be a nightmare!

Blatherskite Thu 20-Jun-13 14:26:07

Maybe this upside down?

Blatherskite Thu 20-Jun-13 14:26:35

You would need one of these for lego 6

Or indeed for the one you linked to grin

Blatherskite Thu 20-Jun-13 14:38:28

Do you think you could mold sugarpaste by just pressing it into one of those trays?

Yes. Absolutely. You might need to add some sugarcel, and chill it a bit before you take it out, but I have used silicone ice trays as moulds (we have an R2D2 one grin)

Blatherskite Thu 20-Jun-13 14:42:36

I'd better see if his Mum likes the idea before getting too carried away grin

S'pose so wink

Given that you don't like fondant, you could also make bricks out of chocolate, or candy melts.

zouise Thu 20-Jun-13 14:51:11

oh ok, thanks stelthsquiggle.
if you dont mind me asking whats the general line of topic in this group??

Blatherskite Thu 20-Jun-13 14:51:56

Candy melts are all fairly pastel though aren't they? This needs to be bright.

Blatherskite Thu 20-Jun-13 14:54:35

zouise we spend most of our time discussing the party details that you're talking about taking over - the cakes, balloons, party bags, food, games, activities.

None of us are really the type of people who would pay someone else to do the fun bits.

Not at all - candy melts come in really satisfactorily lego like colours. I have some grin

zouise Thu 20-Jun-13 15:17:39

thanks blatherskite. Thats just what i wanted your opinion on, its a discussion board, right??
Im new to this site so just finding my feet ... im not trying to put forward a sales pitch, I just want some honest comments on some ideas i have regarding parties and everything that goes with it.

Are you professional cake makers ect or a mum like myself...who loves baking and going over the top with my children's parties

Zouise, we're all mums discussing mum stuff. If you look at the top of this thread you'll see its the topic for parties/celebrations. But withinnthat we have our own thread where people come in and iut and bounce ideas off us. We help them source everything to do with their specific parties, purely because we love parties ourselves and whilst we're not manically planning our own we'll readily discuss everyone elses!

I suggest you post a new thread within parties if you want to gauge feeling. But most people come on here because they are mums trying to do diy parties themselves for the pleasure of it.

Blatherskite Thu 20-Jun-13 16:17:19

I might have to have a look if his mum agrees to my plan grin

It did sound very sales-pitch-y zouise if Im' honest and people tend to be wary of answering those sort of questions on here as things like that are supposed to be paid for on MN.

As far as I know, we have no professional cake makers on this thread, although some of stealth's cakes are way better than some professionals I've seen anyway. We're all just crafty types who like going a bit over the top with our children's birthdays and helping others to do the same. I love spending hours finding the perfect bits to make my children's parties special and have been copied a few times so I think I'm getting it right most of the time. I've been known to supply party bags for a party where the venue supplied bags too just because I hate the generic plastic tat type bags and couldn't bear the thought of giving those out. I personally wouldn't pay someone to do it all for me but I know other Mums who have/would and could easily find a local company that would do the majority of the work for me just by asking for some recommendations on Facebook.

If you want answers to some specific questions, you might be better off starting your own thread in this section. This is a discussion board but leaping onto an ongoing discussion thread and derailing it for your own purposes is seen as rude. If you'd like to help us plan some parties then feel free to stick around and join in smile

Blathers you need to do the lego construction cake they are soooo brilliant. Fondant is easy! More forgiving that buttercream etc get to it!!

wannabeawallaby Thu 20-Jun-13 16:59:31

Hi everyone! Can I get thoughts on a grown up party please?

Am throwing a party following me and DP getting married on our own for friends and family. (Not a traditional reception, not our style) Have thought we'd hire a pub or something but not sure what to do to make it a bit special! Was thinking drinks and food. Like the idea of doing cheese but not sure what else. Should we decorate if so with what? Is a pub even a good idea? We don't have a budget for a band or DJ really. Should we do other entertainment? So does anyone have any ideas please? smile (I started a thread for this in chat but only had a few replies)

wannabeawallaby Thu 20-Jun-13 17:03:30

Oh and should we post invites or is that too formal? And do we explicitly say 'no presents please, your company is all we want'.

We'd like it to be classy but fun. The pubs I have it mind are nice pretty ones!r

Blatherskite Thu 20-Jun-13 17:04:46

Ooh ooh ooh, do a Cheese Wheel wedding cake! Get 3 or 4 whole wheels of your favourite cheeses, stack and decorate with flowers and grapes and serve with crackers/bread.

Wallaby, people will want to bring presents, so if you really don't want them to, and depending how much cheese you can face, you could send invitations and ask them to bring their favourite cheese. Then you lay out a huge collective cheeseboard with blank labels for everyone to label their cheese and say why they chose it - then you and DP keep all the labels as an alternative guest book?

Blatherskite Thu 20-Jun-13 17:33:44

Do you want to supply all of the food wannabe?

I heard of the most romantic wedding breakfast idea once where everyone was asked to bring a dish instead of a gift and also given a special sheet to write the recipe on. The sheets were then all compiled into a book for the Bride and Groom to keep as a memory of their reception and the best buffet recipe book they could ever get too smile

Obviously, you'd need to do a bit of organising so you didn't end up with 46 bowls of pasta salad but I thought it was a lovely idea.

Wallaby I might be way off, but I have an image of a country pub with loads of wildflowers in jam jars as decorations - what time of year?

wannabeawallaby Thu 20-Jun-13 17:43:12

Love the sound of a cheese wheel!

Our friends aren't really the 'bring a plate' sort of people - we would definitely get lots of pasta despite my efforts! wink

Stealth - that sounds lovely but the pub will more likely be in London. Would love some flowers to make it a bit more weddingy. We're thinking sometime between November and February probably.

Blatherskite Thu 20-Jun-13 17:48:58

Googling "cheese wedding cake" brings up loads of images

Loads of places do them pre-made. They're not cheap but then neither are normal wedding cakes.

If your friends aren't foodies you could still do 'bring a cheese' - you would get everything from poncey fromagerie cheese to laughing cow grin.

wannabeawallaby Thu 20-Jun-13 18:51:43

And probably some dairilea triangles! grin

I had one if those wedding cakes!!!!!

I had a real one, fruit cake and choc orange sponge and a lemon sponge but then at night time i had a cake of cheeeeeesee. Everyone loved it.

The best wedding i ever went to was a country do in a marquee but the desserts were traditional family puddings that the bride and grooms family made so "grannys trifle" "mums tiramisu" and they had written the recipes out for us to read. It was lovely having a glimpse into their favourite family fare.

What else are you both into, Wallaby? Flowers could be expensive in winter, but we have found some gorgeous upcycled book flowers in the past (in fact, we had a whole fantasy book themed party planned to the extent that I think we scared someone off), and there are always my favourite paper lantern suppliers (who I have never actually used but I drool over all their FB posts blush)

Blatherskite Thu 20-Jun-13 21:07:49

DSis had a Cheese Wheel cake and a real cake too smile

I just had a cake-y cake. I made it myself then lost my nerve when it came to icing it and paid a professional £250 just to ice it! shock

wannabeawallaby Thu 20-Jun-13 21:10:10

Is this what you mean by book flowers stealth?

As for what we're into: we don't have any hobbies really except for seeing friends, eating, drinking, current affairs... We like films and music. God we sound dull! We both really like design and things to look good - pride in our home etc - so although we have a teeny budget I'd like our party to look good! I like the thought of loads of candles or lights, if we can decorate somewhere. What are these lanterns?

Yes, like those (the book flowers). I think they would look amazing in garlands.

I will link to the paper lantern people.

Just to add in that i've done my own flowers loads of times and for my dd's christening i did 12 table arrangements and an alter spray myself for 150.00 so dont rule out flowers at all if you want them. No-one thought my flowers werent florist made. I bought enamel buckets/planter, oasis and ribbon from an online florist suppliers, then i went to the florist and was honest that i wanted to do it myself. Pick a main colour, buy the "nicer" flowers in that then you pack round it with filler flowers. I can post a pic on my profile tomorrow if you want to see?

Those lanterns look really striking. Whats your function riom like cos they may not be as good in a ye olde worlde oak pannelled room?

wannabeawallaby Thu 20-Jun-13 21:48:23

Love the lanterns!

No venue yet so would have to see if they fit. (we really haven't made any plans yet!)

Thanks for the tip about flowers. I think I could do something like that myself

With those lanterns, and/or jam jar lanterns (I will find you some examples), you need LED tealights. If you order them in advance, there are sellers on ebay for bulk ones from China at a fraction of the price you pay in the UK. I got them for a party when we made shadow lanterns and they were great.

Bother. Can't find them now.

wannabeawallaby Thu 20-Jun-13 22:19:09


And yes to the photo please Doctors! smile

wannabeawallaby Sat 22-Jun-13 12:14:24

Anyone advice on wording for the invite please? Was talking to sister about this and just didn't 'get' that there wouldn't be a sit down meal and it would only be an evening thing with minimal entertainment!

Wannabe I tried to add a pic to profile off iPad but it keeps going wrong. I think I've managed to get one table arrangement on there.

For the wording I think if you say "party" rather than a reception then it's obvious there's no sit down meal.

Mr & mrs wannabe request the pleasure of your company at a party to celebrate their marriage.

Bother. Dropped off my active threads. I was thinking along the same lines "a party to celebrate...." makes it clear that it's not a wedding breakfast or anything close. You could go into more detail on how back to explain no presents, just BYO cheese

How is the venue search going?

Could you make a playlist? Also, within the invitation (I am presuming you will require an RSVP)? You could ask them for two/three song choices: a romantic song, a song they choose just for you, a favourite song, a party song, a 'guaranteed to dance' song - depending on the type of evening you are hoping for.

How do I do superhero invitations?
I was hoping to do a mask that they bring with them (which, when combined with the capes, means no dress up is necessary) but what do I make them from and how do I get the wording on them?
Should I attach a 'note' to the mask with all of the details on? How do I glam the note up, superhero style?

Should I just make steal from google a superhero invite and attach a mask?

I'm leaving the invite idea up to stealth because she has had some cracking novel ideas before.

I need help, cake help, i want to make this for dh cake but my buttercream may be too slack for that level of piping. Whats best recipe to withstand it?

Blatherskite Mon 24-Jun-13 15:36:41

How's your drawing? Could you make a comic strip invite?

OK, easy one first.

DW - are you up for a small investment? I would do your (exceptionally cute) hairy monster with fondant and one of these (there are cheaper ones on Amazon, but this is the one I have and I know it works). You get the fondant really soft (knead in Trex) and it makes great hair - useful for loads of other things as well - I use it for almost every cake.

Superhero invitations - the note bit is easy - you just need a "POW" type image (like this) and then put the details in a similar shape on the back. I would be tempted to do that separately and just attach the mask. If you want the masks to last you could make them out of card or foam sheets, with eyelets for the elastic - or you make them less durable and accept that a number of them will have died before the party and they will need replacements.

NorkyButNice Mon 24-Jun-13 16:07:33

Afternoon all, may I ask for some help planning DS2s 3rd birthday party? I was thinking of hiring a bouncy castle for the garden, and getting a gazebo from somewhere for the children to eat under, but otherwise I have no idea!

There will probably be 12 or so 2-3 year old, so nothing too taxing or difficult for them . what kind of food will I need to do?

The party is July 14th so not that far away.


Can I draw?? No. But a comic strip would be amazing.
Good idea about the pow. I was actually thinking because I am mad of doing the masks in felt so that they are comfortable enough to be worn as I have no doubt they will be worn for less than 2 minutes! Also, by doing that, I could maybe jazz them up a bit with gold stitching sewing machine still unopened and make them a bit more unique. Or is that just ridiculous?

Norky, does DS have a favourite colour/book/character? You could do a theme, or you could just do anything really! As its at hoe you could definitely do ice cream. Wraps instead of sandwiches? The usual snacky things like crisps along with bowls of cucumber sticks, cherry tomatoes etc. for DS2 2nd birthday in January I did 'colourful' and used different coloured pare plates, napkins and cups. I also made 'sparklers' which were breadsticks half covered in chocolate and then sprinkled with 100s and 1000s. They were a huge hit.

As its at hoMe, not hoe and I had paper plates instead of pare ones!!!

Nonsense you are in the wrong place if you want us to tell you ideas are OTT grin

Felt masks could work. You could either sew elastic on, or put eyelets in (ones with washers otherwise they would be too scratchy). I think you need to try one out on your small superhero to see how long they will tolerate them for (unpack the sewing machine, woman wink)

I nearly bought an extruder actually as ive wanted one forever but all the monster cakes i checked were all buttercream and i thought damn it im gonna have to pipe this thing. I love fondant i hate buttercream to work with.

I think i may attempt to pipe it as ive got the multi/grass nozzle but im still getting an extruder then as thats how i wanted to do it in the first place. Hmmph. My friend borrowed my cake stuff saying she wanted to make a cake last week but now it turns out shes doing it this week the day i want to make dh's sad

Americans don't really "get" fondant (my SIL's niece christened it "English Frosting" grin) so lots of cakes will come up as being buttercream, but there is no way I would do that monster in buttercream cos I am rubbish at piping

Boo Hiss to friend annexing cake stuff. I don't think anyone would dare ask to borrow mine grin.

Ordered it! On express delivery.

Now would you crumb coat the cake and stick the fondant hair to the buttercream coat or fondant the cake and stick the fondant to the fondant?

Am i making sense?

crumb coat and stick hair to buttercream, otherwise it will be too much fondant.

I must admit it was galling me to loan it out but shes becoming a good mum friend in the village so im taking a punt.

Yes, well, if I were to have such a thing as a good friend in the village (Mum or otherwise) I might do the same, if they were to be brave enough to ask...

For the extruder - you need the fondant really soft. Softer than you would imagine.

Blatherskite Mon 24-Jun-13 21:18:48

Extruding fondant sounds like fun!

<makes notes never to ask to borrow equipment from DW and stealth>

It's an essential life skill, Blathers.

..and you can borrow stuff anytime. That's different, because if I needed it back I would just tell you.

I am going to be making a puffin-themed cake in a hurry on Friday night/ Saturday. I had ideas about puffins on wires flying, but they need time to dry and I won't be home until Thursday night..

Blatherskite Mon 24-Jun-13 21:44:26

Where are you at the moment?

Cant you do them as cake pops and plunge the sticks in?

DW - I could do sitting puffins as cake pops, but flying puffins need outstretched wings which would need to dry.

I am in Copenhagen, obviously wink

You could make them flying cake pops...oreos take the tops off cut in half stick eitherside. Look, i apprectaite you wanna make them properly like me creating lilliput lane forcrapunzel.( im leaving that typo as its made me laugh!)
But you cant be debbie brown, lindy smith...jane asher! And flying about the world.

There are compromises and compromises, though. It's for my father, who incredibly sweetly made me a birthday cake when I was one handed, and who has spent the last week sitting on a rock on some Scottish island photographing puffins. I can compromise on sitting puffins, but not oreo ones grin.

LOL that's the puffin I was looking at. Do you reckon he would dry in 24 hours (I suppose he could have 48 if I do him Thursday night...)

If u used gumpaste yeah cos that goes off so fast when i did the boottees they were dry the next day and they were quite thick and the crapunzel house actually.

Have you got a warm conservatory?

Blatherskite Tue 25-Jun-13 13:11:54

How cute is this

Need to get on with DD's bedroom make over and make this to go on her bed smile

But it doesn't have a dragon on....

Blatherskite Tue 25-Jun-13 13:50:06

It could do.... wink

Ok, DW, I will attempt puffins on Thursday and hope they are dry enough to paint by Saturday. Fortunately I don't think it will need to travel as they are coming to us.

The extruder has arrived. Judging by the tiny holes this may take a while!!

Im gonna cheat with a cake mix for the actual baking.

Does it only have one disk confused? Mine had at least 2 sizes of 'hair'

Yeah they have tons of disks but the holes look like they are gonna make fine fine spaghetti which may take a while making a big monster?

Mine has a moderate spaghetti and also a single strand hole as well as the fine spaghetti (which is good for hair on figures but no good for monster hair IMO)

So if you made say a 20cm sandwich tin cake which would you use to create a muppet looking monster? And im debating whether to pump out lots of shorter chunks or huge long wiggly spaghetti and cut it to size/layer it on

I think I would use the single hole, for the shaggy rug look, but maybe the medium one if you want a sleeker monster? Personally I find it easier to attach it as I go along rather than handling it too much - you can always give him a haircut (with scissors rather than knife) afterwards.

If i use a single hole its gonna take years cos i want that multiple layer look. My bloomin' nozzle hasnt arrived so i cant do buttercream even if i want to.

Medium one, then. Can you colour the crumb coat buttercream so that if any bits do show through it won't be so noticeable?

Let's face it, it is going to take a long time whichever way you do it. It will be worth it, though.

Bingo stingo this woman has used fondant but shes used a potato ricer. Thats the look i want and my gun's spaghetti looks like its gonna make too fine a fur. <hark at me!>

She makes strips of fringing and then attaches them confused. That seems uneccesarily complicated to me - I would just apply hair direct to monster (except that she is doing stripy monster, which is harder). The potato ricer is a good call for mass production of hair, though.

Blatherskite Wed 26-Jun-13 18:52:40

Why not get a playdoh extruder thingy from Craftplay? It'd be dirt cheap and might get a similar effect. I bought a set of 4 for next to nothing when in there once

I've got a mouli you could borrow but I'm not sure it'd be thick enough for what you want and the way it forces the food through might mean that your hair would break apart easily.

Because i just spent money on this gun damn it!

I think i have a playdoh thing with bigger holes. Humph i wanna use my new gadget but i think its too fine for the scale of monster. And my friend is making her cake tomorrow..with my kit. I want my kit sob.

Do you actually own a potato ricer, DW?

I was thinking (in the 4 hours in which I was trying to sleep last night before a very scary presentation this morning) that if you do, you could get approximate hairy coverage on your monster using that, and then give him a 'top knot' or complete top coat if you get carried away of thicker strands with the extruder?

No i used to but i chucked it.

Mil offered me one a couple of months back and i laughed at her as she cant cook a potato let alone rice one. Its almost an hour to hers and i always ice a cake board but my friend has my smoother!

I'll make the actual cake and crumb coat it, then move on to the fondant worries not to mention cracking open the cake pop maker.

Maybe the friend who has your smoother has a potato ricer you could borrow?

Board - ice it anyway in green fondant and texture it into grass with a (clean) scrubbing brush - much more appropriate for a monster than perfect smoothness anyway. Any major flaws can be disguised with strategically placed rocks later.

Blatherskite Thu 27-Jun-13 09:28:27

Or, I'll bring you my smoother when I come over on Saturday?

I don't have a ricer but you're welcome to try the mouli...

Arghhhh why didnt i read your board tip earlier stealth!

The monster is half made. Cake pops need dipping/decorating im nervous about those. Stealths extruder is making some nice hair/fur not quite ricer chunkiness but its good and not as time consuming as i feared but because its so fine i iced the whole cake but thinly and sticking the fur to that.

I put him on a chopping board because its you know, only dh, and you can see the cake card cos once i thought its only dh then i let things go but ive enjoyed making this one the most purely because there's no pressure for it to be perfect.

Thanks for the offer of tool blathers. Isnt it weird that a stranger from the internet ends up at my childs school fair. If dh is with me he'll be like this confused if i say this is blathers you know my party friend lol.

Blatherskite Fri 28-Jun-13 19:50:52

That's me. A stranger from the internet grin

I should be there at 12-ish. I'm Parkrun-ning before I come up.

Did you both have fun?

I have broken a puffin and undercooked a rock. Not a great afternoon.

Blatherskite Sat 29-Jun-13 21:44:29

It was a very quick catch up. We talk so much on here, there's not a lot to say wink

Sorry to hear about the the busted bird sad

'twas my fault. I dropped him trying to paint the underside of his wings. Replacement puffin (it had to be the flying one, so no chance of repair) is now drying and cake number 2 is in the oven.

Yeah i'd spent an hour leaving dh in his own whilst i got to know the new mums for dd's class so by the time blathers came i didnt really dare leave him much longer without rebellion!

But i'd already met one of blaths sisters now ive seen the whole lot, stealth they all look the same but with different colouring/build it was uncanny!


I have finally booked the party venue and party is on 21st July, eek!

Now just to organised the activities, games, food and cake!

Where do I even begin!

"all of Blathers' sisters" ? How many are there shock?

3 daughters - that's good. Something sooner than October for us all to focus on. I do have DH's birthday, end of term presents for teachers which I am half way through making, and the village fete. Other than that and the minor irritation of work, I'm all yours wink

Three daughters we last left you in self doubt over baker Ross craft activities, so are you having a theme and have you bought any craft kits?

Stealth: blathers has 2 sisters and a brother all with the same face but different hairstyles or glasses. grin

Blatherskite Sun 30-Jun-13 22:16:22

Blathers has also now completed Juneathon. I'm off to bed. Zzzzzz

The grand total of my effort so far has been to book the room, which I did today blush

DD2s end of reception school report said she LOVES craft stuff so I am definitely going with that but think it might be better if I simplify it?

Maybe one craft activity for everyone plus games and food?

I asked DD3 who she wanted to invite and she said Peppa Pig, that might be a bit tricky grin

Night night Blathers

I am sure Peppa likes craft stuff too grin

Right I am going to plan the party tonight and have a few questions.

1. I have decided on doing 3 craft activities. I am going to buy some white paper bags and have the first activity decorating them their party bags. The second activity will be decorating crowns to wear as party hats. Which do you think would be best out of suncatchers and photo frames as the last activity?

2. How long should I gibe for each activity or should I just let them sit at the table and do whatever they want?

3. I am also going to do 3 games between the activities and was thinking of doing pass the parcel, musical bumps and stick the tail on the peppa pig/Hello Kitty. I was thinking of doing one lot of each for the older and younger children so the young ones have a chance of winning something. Not sure these really stick to the craft theme though?!

4. Would this and this be ok for party bag gifts plus the things they made and some sweets "won" in the games?

5. Should they have a cake each or as they are siblings will one to share for their party and then small individual cakes each on their actual birthday be ok? I was thinking of something like this or this

I think that is it for now, I will be back with questions about food soon grin

1. Photoframes. Have you got a printer? Ideal would be take a photo of them in their decorated hat and then print photos out to slot into their frame.

2. Put all the activities out and let them go round in a circuit. I allocated the first hour of my dd's party for craft activities (they made lanterns, got hair braided, coloured sheets and something else ive forgotten). So if you split them up you wont get all of then beelining for one popular activity, they all get a turn and those that finish one thing quicker than others can move on. Just make sure you've got a helper per table or you'll be like me yelling hold on i'm just sticking this for x, then gluing that for y!

3. Right do one set of games for the kids but possibly a younger parcel for the littler kids or choose a generic prize like pencil crayons or similar so it spans the age ranges, crayola do some great art sets that are cheap but ok for all ages. My biggest tip tho is get some stickers. When a person is out in musical bumps for example then kids just keep on playing! So you're screwed trying to work out whos in still. All the parties ive been to give sweets when your out so everyone wind but kids eat the sweets and come back in! Stickers!!

4. Those are lovely for party bag but as you've got plenty of '"makes" i wouldnt feel pressured to buy more, the activity items, sweets and cake should be plenty.

5. Tricky, you know your kids best as to how important it is to them to have their own cake. Get both names put on the cake/board and candles for each to blow put but stealth, blathers and i all like making the cake the best so im pretty sure we'd all make each kid their own but thats just our "thing". If they'd get a cake each on their birthday anyway i'd do it the other way round, share at a family tea on the actual day but a cake each and singing from all your friends at your party. Thats the glory moment for kids i find.

When DD's friends who are twins have a joint party they have a cake each and there are 2 renditions of happy birthday.

AugustaProdworthy Tue 02-Jul-13 12:52:23

Hi, would love some practical advice with this one... we are having a Baptism which will be followed by a party as is usual but its also my DD's birthdat 3 days later so thought it wise to have a party to celebrate both these events in her life.
How can I word the invitation? I don't want anyone to think we are after two sets of gifts for her and would prefer people just came along to celebrate than did gifts anyway. How can I word this and how to explain succinctly that it is a celebration for two events?

Is it her first birthday?

Either make it lighthearted from
Her like " please come to my baptismal birthday bash!"

Or from you parents, x and y request the pleasure of your company at the baptism of baby augusta at x church
Followed by birthday celebrations at x reception venue.

Or x and y request the pleasure of your company at the baptism and birthday celebration of babyaugusta at x venue

How about "please join us to celebrate DD's first year, and her baptism?"

AugustaProdworthy Tue 02-Jul-13 15:40:36

That sounds great thanks. How can I word the present issue? I really don't want to look like we are after Baptism and birthday gifts!

Dont mention presents then it looks like you're not bothered and people can decide for themselves.

What i mean is on a baptism you wouldnt mention presents nor for a birthday invite the polite thing is to wait and see. If its a first birthday most people will buy her one special memorable item i should think.

I think if it is firmly one celebration for 2 reasons, people will bring one present - I know I would.

AugustaProdworthy Tue 02-Jul-13 21:48:28

Thank you!

NonsenseTalker - I saw this and thought of you - tutorial on superhero cupcakes, plus lots of sugar plaques and other useful stuff.

jetstar Sun 07-Jul-13 22:04:54

Hi, I'm back and am thinking about DD's 4th Fairies & Pirates party smile
Instead of party bags I'm thinking of doing books - Rainbow Fairy ones for the girls and the same pirate story for the boys - this is because they are very reasonably priced at The Book People!
Good or bad idea?

(I'm still catching up with reading this thread - I'm on 20th June)

jetstar Mon 08-Jul-13 07:27:22

Up to date now! I always learn a few tricks when I read these threads grin

Books good idea for fairies and pirates - but what do you give the female pirates?

Pirates are very handy. They seem to get combined with all sorts (we did princesses and pirates), but there are always, IME, plenty of girl pirates.

jetstar Mon 08-Jul-13 12:04:06

You are quite right. And whilst I had thought that the girls might come as pirates and the boys as fairies if they wanted to - I had'nt transferred that thought over to the party bag situation!
So you think that a girl who came dressed as a pirate would NOT like a fairy book? Cos I will have to buy the right number of pirate books in advance... The fairy books come as a pack of 16 so I'll have plenty. Would a boy dressed as a fairy want a fairy book? But if I was doing party bags then I would make them fairy and pirate too and buy the right number in advance... confused

Tricky. DD might well have gone as a pirate, but would be quite happy with the fairy book, so I guess unless you know of any hard core tomboys amongst your invitees you would probably be ok with party bags by gender.

jetstar Mon 08-Jul-13 21:54:48

stealth no hardcore tomboys that I know of...

Basically - DD1 wants a fairy party. But wants to invite some boys. Hence I thought of adding pirates and she was happy with that idea. Am I going to run into all sorts of issues here??? Now I am feeling paranoid. Wanted to make everything as themed as possible but now even my idea for a pass the parcel prize seems wrong sad


Last year I made my own invitations on publisher and was quite pleased with them. Trying to do the same for Fairies & Pirates and not happy with results. Any thoughts on combined invitations? Or else I have found separate fairy / pirate invites that I can buy and send, but then I have the gender issue again! Bah! I didn't think I would run into these kind of problems - the kids are only 3 & 4.

Too much self doubt (and I can't even eat chocolate as I am dieting) better go to bed.

If the PtheP prize is girly, just for it so that a girl wins. Sorted. grin.

I did a princess invitation with a sneaky pirate peeping in the the bottom.

Don't worry about the gender politics - if your DD wants a fairy party, she should have a fairy party. The DC won't care, honestly.

I would scan my invitation for you, but I'm not home and not sure it's on my laptop.

fix the PtheP

<<slaps phone >>

jetstar Tue 09-Jul-13 07:35:05

Thanks! I will plough on. Party not til 1st Sept anyway!

It was on my laptop - now on my MN photos, hopefully.

jetstar Tue 09-Jul-13 12:13:40

Aha! That's great thanks, it gives me a bit of an idea how to lay it out - my only other thought was buying some pirate stickers to stick on.
So I presume it was your DD who had a princess & pirate party - and I have to ask, did she go as a princess or a pirate??

She went as a princess (it was her 3rd birthday) but since then she has opted for pirate, although those have been pirate and princess rather than princess and pirate (birthday children in question were boys)

DD has a dressing up dress which is reversible - princess on one side, pirate on the other - very handy grin

jetstar Tue 09-Jul-13 12:43:41


Hi all, just off to catch up on the thread as not been on for a bit.

Blatherskite Tue 09-Jul-13 21:13:37

PANIC!!! DSis asked me late last week to do DNiece's birthday cake for this Saturday. I said yes and then promptly forgot about it!

I need ideas for a music man/dinosaur themed cake I can make quickly and easily quick...!


Dinosaurs in a mud pool, like that piggy cake? You could add big primeval forest leaves to chocolate fingers up the sides?

What sort of music man? A drum? How old is DN?

Blatherskite Tue 09-Jul-13 21:32:18

DN will be 3. I've got to make the cake as smaller DN will be eating it too and she's the dairy allergic one so I can't just buy one and decorate it to the decoration has to be easy!

Music Man is a toddler group style singing and dancing with easy instruments type. Party is mostly themed around him but DN loves Dinosaurs - and cars - too

Blatherskite Tue 09-Jul-13 21:32:31

A drum could work....

Blatherskite Tue 09-Jul-13 21:35:55

Something like this

or this

or this

Ideas on how...?

Yes, like those.

Is DN2 ok with fondant? If so, it's pretty easy, really especially if you borrow an extruder

Blatherskite Wed 10-Jul-13 10:39:46

I think fondant is dairy free. Better check....

Fondant is dairy free i just checked the packet..cant believe shes 3!

The extruder probably a bit thin even on the biggest hole. If you use a cake smoother to roll icing into a sausage you get a much smoother uniform "rope" than rolling with your hands. Use a pizza cutter to cut all your shapes out cleanly and then stick all your "sausages" on as edging. A drum like that is easy. Esp if you cover something for the beaters like dowel or lollies rather than trying to make them.

But i know your not mad on fondant.

Blatherskite Wed 10-Jul-13 18:01:52

I saw loads that had just used lollies as beaters <lazy>

Just phoned DSis who is happy with a drum cake so we're good to go. It's going to need to be big though as there are 17 kids plus adults!!

I'm thinking nice, safe, dairy-free cake for the kids.....and something off the shelf in M&S for the adults!

I love those cheap choc traybakes that are littered with sweets for kids hmmmmm but im sure you want something refined.

Im off to the isle of wight again for two weeks on sat, was meant to be a week with mil and dh's nan having the second week but now nan is too poorly so we're having their week too yippeeeee (not yippeee for nan tho!)

WouldBeHarrietVane Wed 10-Jul-13 23:10:47


Panicking re food - party now very soon and doing online shop tonight. Does the following sound ok for 2 year olds plus some smaller/bigger siblings?

Hula hoops
Party rings
Chocolate fingers
Sandwiches (ham and cheese)
Carrot sticks
Cucumber sticks
Hummus to dip sticks into
Birthday cake (to my shame I'm buying this)
Orange squash or water to drink

I've never done a party before - is there anything I've missed?

Harriet - cocktail sausages.

My DC go hmm at hummus because chick peas on any form are banned from our house by me but I might aware that it is a party staple in many places (not here).

WouldBeHarrietVane Thu 11-Jul-13 06:07:43

Added, thank you stealth smile

My worry about the hummus myself is that it's very messy - I may leave it out actually.

No hummus at out parties!

You might want to put little fairy cakes out, kids seem to love them the most.

FWIW I generally do a choice of pink squash (very weak ribena), orange squash or water. Then, the next year, I throw away 80% full bottles of squash and ribera and buy more since my DC don't drink it (well, DD does very occasionally, but DS hates it)

(to be clear, I only throw squash out because it goes off, not for the sake of it)

WouldBeHarrietVane Thu 11-Jul-13 09:19:56

Thank you!!

That is a very good idea about ribena and also fairy cakes. Should the fairy cakes be iced or not? Have taken the hummus out and added sausages smile

LOL at hummus variations. My DC went to a party in Cambridge (friends' DC) and I am not sure who was more hmm - DC at being presented with veg sticks and hummus or all the Cambridge yummy mummies at the fact that they didn't know what hummus was smile

WouldBeHarrietVane Thu 11-Jul-13 12:56:24

Stealth blush I fear that may be the kind of party we've been frequenting

Tesco do iced fairy cakes for pence!

I think its the paper kids love to peel the paper cases off cakes. Weird.

Nothing wrong with those parties, Harriet, it was just an entertaining culture clash for my DC. Feed them whatever you think they will eat and enjoy without giving the parents heart attacks. Friend followed veg sticks and hummus with huge amounts of rocky road grin

I'm shattered. It's too hot for baking. Fruit cakes * 2, buttermilk cakes * 2, krispie cake & mars bar krispie done and wrapped. Half of ice cream cone cakes baked, still to be iced and packed and the other hand, plus a couple of chocolate sandwich cakes and then I give up. (well, I have given up for this morning already as I am working - start again this evening and hope it is a bit cooler than when I was trying to pack up melting mars bar krispie at 11pm last night)

Hand? confused half.

WouldBeHarrietVane Fri 12-Jul-13 10:33:33

Stealth, I am in awe of your baking prowess smile sounds lovely!

Village fête, Harriet. This and 2 DC's birthdays are my 3 baking frenzies of the year. We need more icing sugar, though - I knew I would run out of something hmm.

Blatherskite Fri 12-Jul-13 10:51:54

I have to make DN's birthday cake today and I am totally not in the mood sad

Blathers - it's one time I am glad my DC have autumn birthdays - baking in general and icing in particular behave very strangely in hot weather. Ice cream cone cakes baked strangely this morning, which is annoying because I don't have enough cones to start again.

Blatherskite Fri 12-Jul-13 11:23:35

This cake is another dairy free one which I'm still not confident with. The mix looked far too runny when I put it in.

Fingers crossed...

I need to change recipes for second batch of ice cream cones. Mary Berry's fairy cakes are too eggy. I usually use the hummingbird one but they ruse flat and I want domed tops on these ones. DS wanted to make chocolate ones.

Blatherskite Fri 12-Jul-13 11:41:20

I'm going to be making 3 layers I think. I've used a 6"/24cm cake tin rather than a 20cm one to make it a bit larger but I still need it to be tall-ish.

Need to go and get the icing and the cake board when I go and get DD from pre school.

I'm facepainting at the school fete between 6 and 9 which I could do without. This may be a long night!

Agreed - shallow drum would look strange.

I now have a full drum kit in my office (hmm - DS's, borrowed from school for the summer) if you need any photos to work from.

WouldBeHarrietVane Fri 12-Jul-13 14:12:54

Stupid question - presume I cut strawberries up for toddlers?? Some are huge!

WouldBeHarrietVane Fri 12-Jul-13 14:31:52

Another stupid question - I know they normally say don't feed adults, but some people coming are old friends with a long drive home and the party is quite late afternoon. Also lots of family coming without kids. Seems inhospitable not rigid them anything. I've ordered sone quiche and have crisps and biscuits. Baguette with something as well??

WouldBeHarrietVane Fri 12-Jul-13 14:32:36

To feed the adults - older family members and friends from miles away are coming - baguette with something? Strawberries?

WouldBeHarrietVane Fri 12-Jul-13 14:44:31

X posted as MN ate a post and then posted all of them blush

Harriet - yes to cutting up strawberries, and if you are anything like the rest of then you will have massively over catered for the DC and the adults will graze on that especially the sweet stuff. However, quiche and baguettes sound good too.

WouldBeHarrietVane Fri 12-Jul-13 17:35:56

Thanks stealth - yes I'm sure I will have done way too much food for the toddlers grin

slices of cheese on the adult baguette or is that too boring?! Pâté? confused

landrover Fri 12-Jul-13 20:56:04

Ok, have posted on prim ed but suspect I may get more help here. We are planning yr 6 leavers do (a year away). So theme ideas, but they still want to dress up, travel plans like limo but cheaper (anyone used a bus?). £15 budget for each leaving present. Any ideas for presses? Do we price family tickets or individual? Help needed xxxx


Just home from village fete. Our village nows how to party. We only left because we had to go while the DC were still fit to walk home, since we couldn't drive. My car gets a night at the farm.

Nows? confused Knows.

jetstar Sun 14-Jul-13 09:12:57

landrover what about Red Carpet party, like the Oscars - dress to impress - awards ceremony etc

gleegeek Sun 14-Jul-13 16:53:25

May I barge in and beg some help please?smilesmile

We've got a swimming party booked for 20 10year olds. Only problem is the only slot we could book is 7-9pm. Parents are fine with it but I've gone into a bit of a panic and would love some sanity help please.

They will swim for an hour and then we've got an hour to get changed and have some food. Presumably they will have eaten tea before they come, but will be hungry after the swimming?? We can't order pizza so what shall we do for them? Ordinary party food? Sandwiches, crisps, cocktail sausages etc or something different?

Also I think I should probably have an activity up my sleeve incase they eat really quickly and we have time to kill trapped in the party room before they are picked up. Any ideas? There is a cd player... Dancing? or bracelet making or....

thanks in advance!

Blatherskite Sun 14-Jul-13 17:27:12

stealth, DW you're needed over here

Blatherskite Sun 14-Jul-13 17:31:37

gleegeek I think at that time of night, I wouldn't be feeding them much as yes, they will probably have already eaten and will also probably be off to bed not long after they get home. They will likely be hungry after swimming though.

I'd say just give cake bust some parents might not be impressed with you getting their kids all sugar-ed up right before bed. How about some bowls of crisps and some fruit? Maybe tortilla chips and dips?

Easy activity? Could you get Twister maybe? Easy to do and can be made to last as long/short as you need. You might need to split them into teams if there's 20 of them though.

Landrover, sorry we missed you off. I agree an awards ceremony would fit perfectly especially if you could specific awards for things that the kids have voted for themselves like hardest trier, kindest, etc etc.

For a gift each i know it sounds boring but can you give them a classic book with an inscription inside, i still have a copy of the lion the witch and the wardrobe that i treasure from my primary school. With regards to tickets i think i'd price individually that way you'll make money on any siblings but in the same vein people may leave siblings behind to focus solely on the "leaver"

I agree with books - really special books will get treasured for far longer than most other things. Alternatively (or as well), do they already get given leavers sweatshirts /hoodies with their names on? Those are universally loved by the Y8 leavers from DC's school.

If you go with the awards ceremony theme then there would be plenty of ideas and supplies available online. You can also get nice minibuses (if it's good enough for the royal wedding it's good enough for Y6 leavers wink)

twinteresting Sun 14-Jul-13 20:19:49

Right Party Goddesses

I am looking for inspiration for a party for around people
We have a medium sized garden but looking at first w/e in Sept and am anxious about weather.

We are looking to have a hog roast and cocktails (vague hawaiian theme)

Do you think if you have cocktails you need beer and wine?

huge thanks in advance

gleegeek Mon 15-Jul-13 09:51:46

Thanks Blatherskite!

Dd has vetoed Twister I'm afraid - apparently there were big arguments about it when she went to someone's to play! I suggested we just do chips and dips type food but she thinks we need to do more than that.... aaaaagh!

I have just ordered some alphabet beads and they can make up bracelets if there's time after. if not then dd can make them in the holidays and do them as friendship bracelets.

20 10yo's at that time of the evening rather you than me could be interesting.

Food. I take it there are no facilities at all? If it were at home I would do toasties. Since it's not, I think I would go with what DD wants and do more or less normal party tea, but dial down the sugar a bit. IME 10yo's are bottomless pits and it won't matter that they ate before they came.

Games. Hmm. Chinese whispers? I will ask DS for other ideas.

Hawaiian party - you missed out the number! I think you need beers and soft drinks in tubs of ice, but I wouldn't both with wine. Theming the garden could be really fun - I will have a hunt later - but what is your wet weather plan? Lots of gazebos?

gleegeek Mon 15-Jul-13 10:51:42

Yes I know, we're mad! Will need lots of wine after for sure!

Ah yes, I hadn't thought about Chinese Whispers. Good idea, will hopefully calm things down a bit. I'll definitely tone down the sugar a bit, send cake home with them etc. I imagine crisps would get eaten, might not bother with sandwiches...

Crisps, cocktail sausages, cold pizza, cheese straws. DS would eat sandwiches too but he's probably not a good measure for typical 10yo's because he will eat pretty much anything and everything

Could you ask DD to write a menu (with no promises attached)?

Hawaiian cupcakes - so pretty.

party lanterns and there are loads of listings for leis on ebay too. Other than that it looks like tissue paper flowers and paper lanterns (and loud shirts, of course) are the order of the day for Hawaiian party.

twinteresting Mon 15-Jul-13 21:47:00

Oh wow those cupcakes are indeed V pretty
<wondering whether I can ice that well or that many>

blushblushblushblush at not putting number
I reckon about 75
AND NO - haven't really got a wet weather plan

Have 4 reception rooms which all interlink with the kitchen in the middle - does that sound enough for 70 people?!?

Is the hog roast a full service deal? If so, they presumably have a gazebo of some sort? If you could borrow a couple more so that food could be outside then I reckon if you moved as much furniture as possible upstairs you would be ok inside. Lanterns and paper flowers would work equally well inside.

I reckon with a bit of practice those cupcakes would be pretty quick - flowers could be made in advance or bought.

Hello - can I join? smile My older 2 children (nearly 6 and nearly 8) have birthdays one day after another, so I need to be a little bit organised and have today started booking and ordering a few things based on the quite firm ideas they each have about parties.

My specific question for now is whether anyone has any ideas for a slightly more "grown up" little girls cake - given I am not an expert baker. My usual birthday cakes are tray bakes with chocolate icing, decorated with small toys which I use as toppers blush and sprinkles etc. used to create soil or grass or whatever is appropriate to the "theme". After a disastrous home made Thomas the Tank cake for DS1's 2nd birthday I decided to keep it simple smile But DD is a bit old this year for a cake with a toy unicorn (she has been collecting the Schleich figures so I usually use those) or whatever, and also for a tray bake covered in smarties grin

Any ideas on a slightly more grown up, but still easy to make, birthday cake for an 8 year old girl. We live in a country where ready made birthday cakes are not sold in supermarkets and the bakeries who do them charge a fortune, so that's out unfortunately. She is having a perfume making party, which is a work in progress but I have ordered some supplies... There will be about 10 children.

MrTumbles - I will refrain from perfume-related cake ideas as hey would all be complicated, but 8 is a convenient age as it is a relatively easy shape to make from round cakes (even better if you have a gugelhupf type tin) - cover with sweets in pretty patterns, maybe?

Ah now that's a good idea stealth, thank you - simple without being babyish smile I think that may very well be what I do! Do you all ice with that ready to roll type icing that looks all professional? I've never used it and just used butter icing up til now! Should I try ordering rolling fondant (if that's what its called?) or is that difficult (esp on a non square cake...)

On a number 8 if you're not a skilled cake maker do buttercream (or blathers new Trex frosting revelation) it would be tricky trying to fondant an 8 if you're not used to it. Buttercream, the sweets you favour, jobs a good'n.

For my 8th birthday my mum made me a record cake. I doubt many 8 year olds would know when a vinyl record cake is now.

*blathers you're awfully quiet for someone who was rishing off to make a drum cake?


Thanks thedoctorswife , buttercream it is - I'd be beyond stunned if the other product you mention can be bought where I live smile

You can make it but i wont confuse matters wink

You are quite right thedoctor keep it simple for me if its regarding baking smile I have a cake plan now, how lovely to ask on MN and have the solution offered :D

Trying to give something back to the thread now (I am sure I will be after more help for the rest of the party as it gets closer and I have to make more concrete plans than the vague ones I have so far).

gleegeek for your 20 x 10 year olds trapped in a party room late in the evening after swimming shock Could you do an adult led spin the bottle? Bottle spinning as is traditional (but with a plastic lemonade type bottle not a beer bottle obviously grin ) but the key thing being the "challenges" should be pre-written by you/ you and DD/ DD with you vetting (to be silly, amusing etc. but absolutely age appropriate). Things like "kiss 2 bare arms, 4 bare legs and 1 bare bottom" (and stopping them if they don't work out its a riddle and the answer is a chair grin ) spring to mind, but also straight forward slightly tricky physical things like rubbing your tummy and patting your head, tongue twisters etc. My DD has done something similar at an 8th birthday party, though with about half the number of children... I think it could work well (and be as long or short as you want) for the age as long as it is under adult control. There are also options like wink murder (somebody already suggested chineese whispers - make sure you are in the circle to innocently mishear anything that might have been deliberately changed to be mean or too rude and edit it as you pass it on).

Blathers is poorly sick sad - but she finished the drum first.

Is she?

Can u message her for me stealth that i was asking about cake/health? Im in the isle if wight with no phone signal but i do have wifi! I really want to move here foreveeerrrrr except dd keeps getting in my bed and im too hot for a limpet child.

Blatherskite Tue 16-Jul-13 22:01:47

Yup. Blathers got food poisoning at a pub not too far away from you DW. 3 days later and I'm still puking sad

Blatherskite Tue 16-Jul-13 22:09:59

I've uploaded a pic of the drum cake. It's not a great one but it's the only one I could get to on my netbook. I'd have texted a better one but there's not much point if you don't have any signal

Glad you are having a good holiday, DW. You will be able to tell when we go away, as I shall disappear entirely for 3 weeks. Separating Mummy and Daddy from their phones is an important feature of holidays for our DC.

I hope you are feeling a bit better, Blathers.

By way of distraction - do you have any clipart from DD's teddy bear picnic party? One of DD's friends is having one and I am trying to design her bag. I have a really strong image in my mind of the teddy bear shapes I want (so much so that I must have seen them somewhere) but I can't find them.

Blatherskite Wed 17-Jul-13 15:56:52

I think I bought DD's TBP invites rather than made them blush so I'm not sure I've got any clip art.

I remember having a definite shape in mind too though and it being really hard to find what I wanted. Have you raided my FB photo album to see if there is anything in there?

I had a look - nothing obvious. I wish I could think where I saw the bears that I have on Monday, but I have some compromise bears now (and another bag to finish first).

Childers or crown blathers? Hope your feeling better x
That drum looks excellent!

Dd has been sick everywhere and complaining of a headache but refusing to drink anything. Arghhh. I should add that ive not had my phone whilst out and about just using it off wifi when the kids are watching mickey mouse clubhouse as this place had sky and we dont!

Blatherskite Wed 17-Jul-13 19:39:55

Childers. Today is the first time I've not felt nauseous all day. I managed half a hot dog for dinner too.

Ah well, at least it's good for the diet hmm

I really thought you were gonna say welby! I go to the childers a lot cos of the playground. And its just been done out. Was it just you afflicted. Bless ya, you'll save me money now though because when dd asks to go to the playground pub i'll say no it nearly killed blathers!

Blatherskite Wed 17-Jul-13 22:17:18

The playground bit was ace. The kids loved it. No-one but me was ill thankfully but I was very, very ill. I've spoken to the manager who seemed to take it very seriously and was very apologetic. He said he'd send vouchers but I haven't had anything yet. It'll be a long time before I eat chicken again that's for sure!

God, i can imagine. On the occasions when i've had norovirus or food poisoning I've cried on dh like a baby as im scared to be that ill. All family visits should be on your turf for a while methinks!

The phone comment wasn't intended as a dig, DW blush. It's a sad reflection on us that DH and I are so firmly glued to our phones for work that our DC's idea of a holiday is to get us away from them blush.

Oh no I didn't think it was a dig I just didn't want you to think I'm sat mumsnetting whilst the kids are getting heatstroke grin

On my shopping list for today: drain unblocker, butter, cider vinegar and teddy bear coloured felt grin. I really must get started on this bag, cos in my head it's a sort of picture quilt made into a duffel bag confused and I have no idea if I can do it. I do need to finish the one I was doing last night, though - it is a long overdue present for someone, but I want to enter it in the local country show before I hand it over.

I really ough to book a hall for DD's party too, as I can't make invitations until I have a venue.


Not sure if you remember me, I was supposed to be doing a craft party for my DDs this weekend.

The party has been put back until September due to lack of numbers.

So far I have booked the venue, organised somebody to face paint (for cider and chocolate), organised somebody to take photos (for Jack Daniels), sent invites to most guests through school and nursery.

The plan is to take a photo of the children as soon as they have had their faces done and they will be decorating a photo frame to put the picture in. They will also decorate a party bag and play games to "win" sweets and a few art things.

Are there any suggestions for food? There will be about 30 children invited so was thinking of party boxes with a few extras on the table that they and adults can help themselves to, does that sound ok?

Get well soon blathers!

Of course I remember, 3daughters.

Boxes sound like a good way of limiting the overcatering foe that sort of number.

One thing I found - get the face painter to keep a list rather than have them queuing - so they put their names on the list and she/he works their way through. Small people don't do queuing well IME and it generally ends in tears.

Just discovered that I can no longer book the hall I want by email sad. I don't like phoning people that I don't know (in view of the job I do, this is ridiculous, but nonetheless true).

Thank you for suggesting a list for face painting, I think that will work better than all piling in.

You have my sympathies having to call and not email, I avoid having to actually speak to people if I don't need to.

Stealth i used to be a manager for BT and it gave me a fear of the phone!

I have finished my picture quilt and am now turning it into a bag - watch out for the tears when putting eyelets in goes wrong.....

groovejet Mon 22-Jul-13 13:38:15

Need some inspiration in planning dd1s party, she will be 9.

Party will be at home and will be 10 children total. She has mentioned a build a bear at home or she is eyeing up a Luau kind of party.

Bear party seems an easier choice, get the kits get them to decorate some t shirts for bears just worried at this age some kids maybe a bit bored with it?

Luau seems more fun but she wants to do something craft related that her friends can take home and am struggling to find something. Have seen on American sites decorating paper parasols but can't seem to find anything like that cheap enough? Also worried that this kind of party is much better outside and relying on weather is a concern.

Please if anyone can give me any ideas or help would be appreciated before I give in and just book somewhere for her.

HannahDancer Tue 23-Jul-13 00:58:52

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Blatherskite Tue 23-Jul-13 09:29:18

I'm sorry Hannah but you have to pay for advertising on MN so I have reported your post.

jetstar Tue 23-Jul-13 11:11:06

Happy Tuesday everyone!

I'm party planning in earnest for DD1's 4th Fairy & Pirate Party at the end of August. Invites are sent out - if everyone comes there could be 20 children to entertain. Age range 0 - 4. Hall booked. 2.30 - 5pm is party time

Ideas so far...
set out toys / activites to get on with when they arrive e.g. sparkly play doh, colouring sheets etc
decorate fairy / pirate biscuits (then eat them!)
Pass the parcel (20 layers sounds a lot, can you do ptp with 2 parcels?)
Pirate song (When I was 1...) & Fairy Dance Song
maybe 1 more game / craft activity...?
Books instead of party bags (age 3-4 appropriate)

Party tea
Fairy bread
Fairy cakes
Pirate cupcakes
fairy jelly in shot glasses?
sausages / crisps / crudites...

Fairy Birthday cake

running out of steam grin any more ideas?

Anyone know a fairy/pirate story I could use?
Alternatives to party bags for toddlers?


Jetstar and groovejet (do we have a theme going on there) I am not ignoring you - flat out juggling work and DC and sewing (ok, that bit I brought on myself [smile) - hopefully tonight I will get to sit down and can answer properly (including tips on 2 parcel PtP)

jetstar Tue 23-Jul-13 19:04:28

Hi groovejet

I agree that a Luau party could be quite weather dependent, but an indoor one could be fun too! You could make it a bit beach themed and do a craft with shells maybe?
Dressing up would be fun and trying to dance the hula!! Dancing competition maybe?
themed game ideas here

I did a teddy themed party for DD1 but she was 3, a teddy bears picnic tea is fun on the food front - pombears, teddy shaped sandwiches / biscuits, cake in the shape of a teddy etc

Will keep on thinking smile

GherkinsAreAce Tue 23-Jul-13 22:01:54

I've nc but just popping back to say thank you so much for the party advice! You are all lovely and were right about everything smile

Glad to hear it, gherkins no idea which party grin

Right - luau party - if you type exactly that into pinterest then there are loads of lovely ideas which come up, most of which would work indoors. the thing that would concern me would be that you would have to make the call fairly early, to clear indoor spaces and do the decor. Pink paper lanterns (yes I am obsessed, no I don't have shares) and possible a scene setter would help with the indoor ambience.

Indoors or out, you have to do these grin

Jetstar - how many 0-3's and how many 3-4's? Only I was thinking that you need another activity, possibly, maybe decorating pirate hats/wands/tiaras, but that would probably involve stick on jewels and if any significant proportion of the guests are at the putting things in their mouths stage then that wouldn't work.

PtP - 2 parcels - you need lots of sharp eyed adult spotters, and stickers in the layers which you encourage them to wear as they get them so that you can see who has had a turn. At that age you can be pretty unsubtle about fixing it - I generally direct DH (who works the music) until everyone has had a turn, and then let him loose to decide the winners!

jetstar Wed 24-Jul-13 20:59:14

Maximum 19 3-4 year olds, 3 two year olds and 5 baby/toddlers (I will be amazed if they all turn up!)

Will do 2 ptp then - maybe get adults to stick on stickers to those who have had a turn!

Make your own party hat could be an ok activity - choice of crowns / pirate hats / tiaras - I will need adult helpers won't I - or maybe parents will do them with their child - I am expecting parents to stay.

Do I need lanterns? wink

I am sure you do need lanterns - I just can't quite work out why wink

Bag for teddy bears picnic - finally done

Thanks for that link Stealth - I love it already!!
Still catching up on posts so will be back tomorrow

Wow - I have missed loads!!

Please please please help me!

I am going to make a 2 tier cake, I would like it quite big so maybe I need 3 layers per cake? Does anyone have an idiot guide with regards to tin sizes and cake recipes?

Games - we are doing an assault course, 'vaporise a villain' (helium filled balloons that get sprayed with silly string/water gun), find the bomb (hide 5 'bombs' around the place to be found, pass the bomb (ptp), and musical superheroes. The assault course is going to be a bit involved so I'm hoping to use musical superheroes bumps as a back-up time filler.
My 'prizes' for these ages are sweet tattreats and I really hate this.
My party favours were going to be capes and masks but dh kindly I want to throttle him pointed out last night that 4 year olds will need party bags. So now I find myself hunting for trashy party bag fillers and I am nt that kind of party thrower!! party snob

The theme is a 'superhero training programme' the invites were awesome (how modest) and they will get a graduating certificate in their party bag.

I feel like I'm missing something a lot ....................

Food s just going to be every day party food with superhero labels.

I have 17 days, 19 children guaranteed, possibly 25, ranging from 1 yr to 5yrs.

Help. Me.

Oh. It's also DD's 1st birthday so I need to try to focus on her somehow.
I would like to make a number 1 cake if I can hire the tin but I don't know how to make any of the superhero stuff 1yo girl friendly.


Take a deep breath.

Have a cup of tea.

It sounds fantastic. Your DH is wrong, BTW - what 4yos need is something to take home. Not tat. IIWY I would get some white paper carrier bags (small ones) from ebay (like this), put a "pow" or some other artwork from the invititations and the childs name on each, and put in a mini bag of buttons/a mini box of smarties, a piece of cake, and their masks/capes if they abandon them during the party. They will be more than happy.

Cake guide - not to hand, but you could ask on the baking thread. What size tins do you have? A 4 egg sponge comes up nice and deep in 2 just under 8" tins - I have books which will scale recipes up and down, just not to hand - if you let me know what sizes you need and what sort of cake, I can look it up tonight.

Thats what I thought! With their game prizes too, they will actually be getting a party bag!!

Cake. I recently made a cake for dh. I have one 24cm tin. It sank. So much that when I cut it in half, the top layer looked like a doughnut because it had such a big hole shock blush

I don't have any tins. I was hoping to find a recipe and then buy the tins to match. I wonder if I should bake in batches, use sandwich tins and make individual layers rather than big cakes that need slicing....?
I am scared by long cooking times for cakes.

I seem to have that problem lately. Especially with deep sponge cakes. sad

Sandwich tins are definitely easier (well, deepish straight-sided ones to make one layer at a time - not the very shallow ones). Let me do some sums later tonight and get back to you.

And should it be Madeira cake? Or you mentioned a Nigella recipe?
This is going to cost a fortune in practice runs!

I use Nigella's buttermilk birthday cake recipe, which I like because it is moist but firm enough to support icing (just about), but it does have quite a dense crust. On the baking threads there are links to some other people's "go to" recipes.

jetstar Fri 26-Jul-13 08:42:01

Are fairy snap cards & pirate snap cards a bit naff for ptp prizes? At first I thought it was a great idea (as I had found something themed) but then I thought maybe the children wouldn't like them...?

Jetstar my two both loved snap and would probably still play it - I think it's a great idea.

jetstar Fri 26-Jul-13 09:09:45

Oh great grin I am second guessing myself on EVERYTHING!

I am now officially jealous of people with summer party excuses (even given the need for wet weather plans and the like). DD has just been to the teddy bears picnic and they all had a glorious time running around under the trees in the garden of a tea room, playing suitably themed relay race games and then having a picnic with their bears - and she is really chuffed with her bear ears on a headband (clearly made by party host). So much less fraught without the noise of 20+ children and their chattering parents being contained in an echoey hall. envy

I went to the pound shop today and bought loooads of superman and batman things! Colouring books and pencils of each for ptp prizes, lucky bag and activity bag, sticker book, Avengers bubble wand and slingshot gliders (whatever they are) and a pack of superman crayons to have out with some colouring sheets for when they arrive.
I'm not entirely sure I have enough games to match prizes now........

Cake - still none the wiser with regards to size. I have found a recipe and I reckon can convert the quantities of ingredients but what do we think would be a good size for a 2 tier cake?

Remind me of your numbers, Nonsense? I was thinking 9" bottom tier and 6" top tier.

Must admit stealth, that I do prefer the August birthday (even though it is now shared) to the January birthday. There is no chance of being outside at all in January and while you can adapt and the kids don't really care, it's lovely to hire a hall and ave the option of using the outside. And last years Gruffalo party (still talked about by DS) was a huge success being outside.
still refuse to be beaten by the Winter birthday though

I'll need it to (generously) feed just under 60 but I'd like some to take home and I'm more interested in it looking good and don't care about having too much grin

12" and 8" then, maybe?

twinteresting Sat 27-Jul-13 17:43:51

Groovejet - Im looking to do hawaiian but for adults!

I am not sure I can do the hog roast - the man we were going to book is busy on the date but I dno't know what else to eat instead.

Am debating changing the date so he CAN do it

WHat sort of notice do you think you need to give for a sat night adults only party?

Am angsting about it all and want it to be fun

Are there no alternative hog roasters? sad

stealth I reeeeally need your help again re cake.

I have found this recipe, but how do I convert it to make it in 3 x 12" and 3 x 8" tins? And how long do I cook it for? I thought I could work it out but I'm getting really confused and angry

OK, Nonsense. I have looked at that recipe, and it doesn't actually say that you slice it to put layers in, but that is the implication.

So... I would split it between 2 shallower (not too shallow) 8" tins and that should be fine - cooked for a bit less (until it springs back when you press it gently in the middle).

For the 12" - I work on surface area for cake scaling, which means the proportions are those of radius squared (you knew the maths would come in handy one day...)

Apologies if I am teaching you to suck eggs here - but if 8" cake (4" radius) needs 5 eggs then for a 12" cakes you say 6" radius - square is 36, divided by 16 , is near enough to 2 to make no difference, so for 2 shallowish 12" tins you would double the recipe.

IIWY I would make one pair of each size and see if they are deep enough, bearing in mind that the filling will add a bit of depth as well. If not, make another pair of each and choose the best 3 - the remaining ones becoming what my DS lovingly refers to as "spare cake" (his favourite kind of cake) You can make them whenever and freeze them (probably before the syrup stage, although I guess after would be OK too) until you are ready, to take the pressure off a bit.

Does that make any sense at all?

these sort of tins would be my choice, although they can be had more cheaply from supermarkets IME.

PoppyT Sun 28-Jul-13 19:45:41

Can I ask some advice on party food please? Party is for approximately 25 children ages between 18 months to 5 years.

The party is in local hall from 11.30 to 1.30 & we have an entertainer for the 2 hours with a 20 minute break for lunch.

The hall has no kitchen facilities so I will be preparing all the food beforehand & just wanted advice on how to package food & keep fresh - this is my first kids party so no experience!

I've decided to do all the plates ready made up to save time, each plate will have cheese & ham sandwich, crisps, carrot sticks, cucumber, cocktail sausages, grapes, strawberries & chocolate mini roll (or slight variation depending on my mood when I'm shopping)

I'm just really unsure how I can keep all food fresh. If I prepare all plates in morning then cover in cling film will this be ok? Food will be served about 12.30ish so possibly be on plates covered up for 2 hours.

Any advice greatly appreciated.

That makes loads of sense now! Thank you so so much!!

I had a look today for some tins but they were very expensive so I will keep looking. I keep reading to make the cakes 3 days prior. I want them on the Sunday, so should I make them Thursday, fill and ice them Saturday and decorate them Sunday, or should I make them Friday, ice Saturday, decorate Sunday?

Poppy, personally I wouldn't put everything onto the plates because I'm weird in case cucumber makes the sandwiches soggy or strawberries get squashed.
However, with no kitchen facilities I am at a loss as to what advice I can offer!
No help at all, am I?
Are they paper plates? Will they fold on themselves under the weight of the food?

To be fair, children don't care about the food prep as long as they get some so I think you'll be safe if you stick with your plan.
Perhaps keep sweet things in separate containers so that you can bring out a 'pudding' but like I said, I am weird and like to make things difficult for myself!

PoppyT - I think if you want to put everything out (which I get the logic of), boxes (like these) might be a better bet than plates. That way, you can wrap things / put them in little tubs (ebay pointer, please, DW!) and pack the boxes - then just keep them somewhere cool. If there is something in there that really doesn't want to get warm then you could pop it in at the last minute as you put them out.

You could do it on polystrene plates, but then how would you stack them - without stacking that many plates would take up a huge amount of space and be a nightmare to transport.

PoppyT Sun 28-Jul-13 20:45:41

Thanks. I did consider party boxes but then thought I'd have to buy all the extra packaging & pots for everything so thought a plate was easier. I bought some cheap spare paper plates so was going to cover food in cling film then put another plate over top to protect it whilst transporting to venue. Haven't got lots of cash so worried that party boxes plus sandwich bags, pots for fruit & veg sticks will get expensive. Plus I didn't want loads of packaging for the kids to undo, parents will be staying at party but just trying to do it as simple as possible.

Nonsense - I would bring that all forward - make them on Wednesday (unless you opt for make and freeze, in which case make them any time) and have it all done by Saturday. The cake will keep absolutely fine, will benefit from some time for the icing to dry, and it will leave you to rescue your house from under the layer of icing sugar sort everything else out.

In that case, and taking the point about simple wrapping, I would pack everything separately (plate of sandwiches, bowl of sausages, etc) and plate it up (or, ideally, delegate and get someone else to if you tell them portions) at the venue. I think having it all plated up all morning, and transporting made up plates, has too much potential for disaster for my taste, personally.

That's what I was thinking, but its their actual birthday Saturday, so I'm sure I will be doing loads of other party prep Saturday night.
I am going to do a trial run of the cake so if it comes out well during a trial, I will freeze it and quit while I'm ahead. I am, a bit negatively, presuming it will all go wrong until the final go on the Wednesday!!

So bake (or defrost) Wednesday, fill and ice Thursday, decorate Friday and build it Sunday? That suits my week better really. Dh can do the other stuff that will need doing.

Also, am thinking of baking a '1' cake for DD so that she has her own cake. I feel like I'm giving myself too much to do, seeing as I don't bloody bake, but I'm going to this effort for the 'main' DS cake that the guilt will never leave me if I don't do the same for her. Am I totally bonkers?
I just don't want to look back at photos and say "this is the cake I slaved over for him and this is the cake I bought from the supermarket for her." The whole thing is very much DS orientated as it is so I want something special for her. Would a '1' cake really be much harder to make/decorate than a round one?

'1' cake would be as easy as a round one, and much better for the photos IMHO. Also, DS's cake would be fine finished on Friday if that is easier.

FWIW I always finish the cake before I start on the rest of the party catering, and I have yet to serve stale cake grin

Oh that's good to know, thank you. That will really reduce who am I kidding? my stress levels! grin

PoppyT Mon 29-Jul-13 07:28:17

Thanks for advice. I think I need to rethink as dont want to spend half the party plating up & my 2 friends will both be heavily pregnant so can't really ask them. There's a small office that I can use to plate up food but it's tiny so can only fit one possibly two small people in.
Don't really know a lot of parents apart from to say hello at drop off so maybe one of them will take pity on me so I don't miss too much of the party. Has anyone done buffet style for young children? Don't want to do that as seems too messy & could take ages with them picking food & eating when we've only got 20 minutes. Do you just put all plates/bowls of food in centre of table & leave them to it? There are small childrens tables & chairs so there will be a party table set up for them all to sit round together. Any ideas if that will work or does it sound like a disaster?

Poppy - what age? Food on the table works fine from 5 up. Also - what is the norm on parents staying? Most will help make sure all DC are eating if they are there, IME.

Agree with Stealth - parents will ensure kids eat more food than just chocolate grin and will help keep it tidy.

I tend to do a buffet table of food and let the parents plate up their child's choices and then supervise them while they eat. I do this at every party, from 1 upwards. But my parties are full of family, so I cater for everyone, not just DC.
And most mothers will offer help, even if its just to be polite, so take them up on their offer!

DN had her party last month with lunch in boxes and it was such a faff. There were 3 of them in the kitchen filling the boxes and sorting the containers. Then there was all of the mess that went with it!
But I love the boxes idea and I'm sure it can be done much better and easier than in this scenario!
Everything in it's own bowl/server, paper plates and napkins is a much quicker, cleaner way IMO and leaves you out the front overseeing things and taking photos. (Plus parens can eat leftovers so you're not having to take it all home or throw it all out).

In other news: I purchased a No.1 cake tin from eBay last night.
Turns out its in China and will arrive at the end if the month! blush cheaper is not better.

Oops. Can you cancel it, Nonsense? If you contact the seller quickly they will usually be helpful. If you can find any sort of sugarcraft shop locally, they will generally hire tins out for about £3 (plus deposit)

PoppyT Mon 29-Jul-13 09:33:37

DC are mainly under 3 with a couple of older ones.

I've only been to a few kids parties so struggling to see how it will work. So are you saying if I put everything on platters & in bowls on a table at side of room & let the adults get food for their kids? Is it worth having a table for kids to sit at or just letting them sit with parents/on floor/wherever they want...

Sorry I sound so pathetic, not the greatest at catering & tend to overthink & panic if I can't picture stuff in my head.

I feel your pain Poppy - as you can probably tell from my frantic posts about cake!! grin

Personally, I would do as you just said, I call it a 'food table' and I do have tables and chairs for the DC to eat together - it's nice and social and makes for good photos. The cake is the centrepiece of the food table for me.
The parents hang around the DC, ensuring they eat and don't make a mess and embarrass them! hehe Then everything is contained as it possibly can be and tidying is easier than just having them eat wherever.

I have been to parties where the platters are put in front of the children, but IME some DC can be 'excited' and grab too much food and not eat it and it makes a mess too.

Can't cancel it as it's been despatched! That's the reason I checked, I ordered it at 11pm and had an email early hours saying it had been sent. So I thought 'hang on a minute.........' and yes, it's from China. I am a genius!
I can't find a cake supply shop near me! How terrible is that?

I've just done the maths (not my strong point so I could be wrong) but capes for 19 and masks for 21 children comes to @£1.50 each!!!
I just need to find the material now......... lol
I'm making I hope some nicer capes for DSs so I still have bits to get for those but I think that's really good going for me! Now some paper bags to decorate and the cake and party bags are done!

I am refusing to acknowledge that I actually need to make the capes and masks yet

PoppyT Mon 29-Jul-13 10:04:04

Thanks for replying Nonsense especially when you've to so much to organise. I'm luckily having cake made by a friend.

I just imagine the food table to be like a scrum with 25 adults & 25 kids all trying to get the food & eat it in the 20 minutes so I can just see it being wasted & like a food version of a jumble sale.

I was hoping we'd have a few parties before ours so I could pinch some ideas but ours has fallen first so worried we'll be the chaos & disaster that everyone chooses not to copy grin

PoppyT Mon 29-Jul-13 10:05:15

Capes & masks sound fab! Might have to work my way up to something so adventurous in next few years!

Poppy - just split things onto smaller plates and put them at intervals along the table - so 4 small plates of sandwiches instead of 1 large one. It will be fine, and is the norm for parties round here.

It's hard going first grin.

Sorry - x-posted and hadn't seen your last post, Poppy. For under 3's yes., a side table - just say cheerily to parents "you know what your DC will eat, so I will leave you to sort them out"

In truth, most of them probably won't eat much at all at that age. Somewhere between 5 and 7 they go straight from eating hardly anything at parties to being a swarm of locusts.

PoppyT Mon 29-Jul-13 10:32:14

Thanks again. I feel like I'm being thick because I can't get my head around it!!

Just had email confirming we can have access to hall for 40 minutes before party (was originally 15) so will prepare all food at home & transport it in boxes/tubs then can plate it up before party starts while DH sets up room. I've drawn him a plan so no excuses for getting it wrong while I'm not able to supervise.

I like the idea of smaller plates of everything then I could dot it all over the table & just let them help themselves. I know my DC would just sit there looking helpless.

A friend has given me some little plastic pots with lids today so tempted to fill them with fruit & veg sticks and do enough for each child then they can help themselves to sandwiches, crisps & biscuits.

My mind is spinning & keep changing my plan every few seconds so with 2 weeks before this party I could be doing a roast dinner by then grin

I'll let you know how I get on.... Thanks again.

Nonsense you could always resell it smile.

Poppy - deep breaths and tea are called for. I will come back to this later - flat out with work panic today.

Poppy, your plan sounds perfect and exactly the type of thing I have been to and I provide. My food table is usually quite big as I feed so many but it's only 6 dishes on repeat! The fruit & veg sounds like a good idea as it also keeps it a bit fresher.
Honestly, the DC won't have a clue what to do, but the parents will have been to plenty of functions where they form an orderly queue at the table to get their food.

With regards to your mind spinning and your plan changing; welcome to my world! grin I don't think that will ever change for me either. I always second guess myself and am in search of something 'better' than what I have come up with so far.
Last year I planned a Gruffalo party, outside, whilst pregnant with my third. I had my DD 10 days late, on her brothers 3rd birthday, and we all went to the party the following day and the DC are still talking about it now. It's all down to the planning. And a great DH in my case!

Just thought - If you now have your hands on some pots for the fruit & veg, could the lunchboxes now be do-able? All you would need is sandwich bags which are super cheap (I don't know what else you are planning on feeding them) but a tube-type yogurt would be perfect and I can't see littlies eating much more than that tbh. You could put in a packet of crisps for the older ones (SIL gets a huge amount of 'snax' I think they're called from a 99p store).
Then you can do the boxes at home and spend the whole 45 minutes making the place look gorgeous! Hand out the mini rolls at the end and voila - party food is done!

SayHelloToMyLittleFriend Mon 29-Jul-13 16:44:57

I left a message a few weeks ago to say I was thinking about having a rainbow theme party for my daughters joint party in September. I have the hall and bouncy castle booked but my eldest daughter now has her heart set on a despicable me / minion party so any suggestions would be so helpful.

My friend is going to make cakes so I've been googling ideas for that. I also found someone online who made party bags out of plain yellow paper bags, blue card for clothes and printed out pictures of the eyes so I thought something like that would be good. Other than this though, I'm stuck.

Poppy, the party I did for my daughters last year was just like what you're planning. We had the one, long table and I just set out a plate and a drink at each space then had all the plates and bowls of food spread up the table so they could help themselves.

Sayhello - my Pinterest feeds are full of Despicable Me party ideas at the moment - I will link to some. I was discussing with DS this morning (as you do) how the absolute definition of OTT party would be to make mini minions out of tic tacs grin

Who is planning Hawaiian parties? I have lost track, but I saw this table skirt and thought of you..

PoppyT Mon 29-Jul-13 17:46:14

Of course, why didn't I realise that the party boxes are do-able now, that's great idea & makes more sense to me. Thank you so much, you have all been amazing help!

Just off to buy sandwich bags & party food boxes now & I'm all sorted.

I feel loads happier now that's decided & I've even managed to buy party outfits for the DC's today so everything coming together nicely.

Got a feeling I might be back for more advice in next 2 weeks, I'm sure I'll suddenly panic over something silly!

flowers to everyone for helping

sayhello - your friend who is doing the cake - how good is she/he? Only I have somewhere a mail from with a roundup of their favourite despicable me cakes.... [evil grin]

SayHelloToMyLittleFriend Mon 29-Jul-13 18:00:25

Thank you so much for these, I was struggling and thinking about watching the film again for more ideas. I especially love the bowling, hats and the box of shame!! Would never have thought of any of that.

I think she's pretty good at cakes, I'm seeing her this week and was going to go over ideas with her so if you have any photos / ideas then that would be brilliant smile

Poppy - looking forward to hearing the plans as they develop.

I just spent more than I care to admit on rubber stamps for making DD's pottery party invitations. I have a very full basket waiting at Baker Ross for them to send me a better offer than free postage (I think they owe me one given the number of recommendations they get on these threads wink) so you will see me go into my own full on overthinking panic mode in September.

here you go despicable me cakes galore grin

SayHelloToMyLittleFriend Mon 29-Jul-13 18:32:38

LOVE all those minion cakes, I'll show her some photos and see what she says! Think I'll order some plain yellow party bags and start making some minions.

such cute mini minions I suspect they are made from twinkies, but I am sure if you perused the cake aisle in a supermarket you could find something that would work.

Just popping my head in as back from holiday. I'll catch up properly when kids go to bed. Stealth when is dd's party?

Hello, DW. How was the rest of the holiday?

DD's party is mid October but I know when we get back from our holiday, between getting DC back to school and work stuff, September will be gone before I know it.

October, I'd have had the whole lot made and stashed in crates waiting by now so no excuses needed with me buddy!

Oh and MIL came for last 4 days of holiday and totally took the shine off it.

Right I'm all caught up.

Nonsense - what progress you've made!! It's all sounding brilliant but I'm laughing that you have what I always call "cake angst". I agree with stealth get the cake done and decorated before you touch anything else. I get all my decorations/props made and bundled up weeks in advance then party week I make the cake. Party day I make the food and decorate the venue.

PoppyT - I hope you've sorted all your lunchbox problems out. I much much prefer doing lunch boxes but I do get adults looking all doe eyed as there's nothing for them. But my parties are always 22 kids plus usually both parents per child and it bankrupts me.

Anyway my best tip ever which might help both of you is buy a pack of folding crates(I've found tesco the cheapest) then I organise all my decorations into crates weeks before so party bags filled labelled and in one, games/colouring etc all in another. And lunch boxes depending on space I either stack the filled boxes in a crate or the components into a crate all prepped ready for assembly at the table. Then you use the crates to ferry the gifts and props back home again.

And lunch boxes are fine unchilled etc for hours it's no different to a school packed lunch stood for the morning.

And I haven't seen despicable it one I should get for the summer holiday hyperactivity for 4yr old dd?

And where's blathers? Is she still being sick?

Blathers is on holiday with no signal, so only occasional FB updates.

I know (re Oct party) , it should be done by now... Entertainment is outsourced, hall is booked, I have started buying the makings of invitations (clay ones!) and party bags. I am going to do tie dye aprons with names on, so they're not getting fancy bags too - white carrier bags this year.

I wish Baker Ross would send me a 20% off everything voucher, though....

How are are you putting the names on? Printed or embroidered?

Oh and my dd said yesterday "when i have my pizza party..." My friend and i span round and said what?!!! What about mermaid disco?!! She says no cos she'll get pizza this way! Im not going to suggest a disco with pizza oh no.

Just as well you weren't too invested in the mermaid idea grin

I was planning to put names on with 'resist' stuff so that they come up white among the tie dye - which means I can't really do the aprons until I have some idea who is coming sad.

DW - that's a great idea about the crates. Now, do you have a time machine so I can go back in time, buy the crates and get them filled by now??
I have space savers with 'party stuff' in them but its all a bit if everything and a total mess!

So I've bought a big Halloween web to go on a wall, do I leave it as is or try to put something on/in it?
I've seen a spiderman tablecloth that I was thinking of using on a wall (is that naff?) and BIL (who is a manager at toys r us and a total geek) has some huge spider/super/bat man things that I can put up (out of reach of the children of course) wink
With red, blue and yellow balloons - and possibly streamers - what else do I need?
Also, I was thinking of using a pop art type theme for the tableware like this but as nothing else will be in the pop art style, it seems a bit silly.
Shall I do a mix of superhero character plates and napkins even though I'm not keen on that kind of thing or, what? Toyed with the idea of just red, blue and yellow but we did something similar for DS2's party in January.
I am having bottles of water with homemade 'pow' type labels on them, so won't need cups apart from plastic ones for adults. I don't have an idea in my head for anything. We have no banners even!
I am now in 'this party is going to be shit' mode. Usually happens around a week and a alf before sad

Also - feeding the adults

Usually, because I invite adults in their own right, I do food for everyone with children going first but I tend to over cater.
I have 22 DC and 30+ adults.
Party is 11:30 - 3pm (I think) so it's bang on lunchtime.
My original plan was to fill baguettes and put out pickles and crisps but I'm not sure if I can afford this now. Especially as I do tend to go over the top.
Would it be acceptable to do baguettes or rolls and cook sausages so that everyone can have a sausage sandwich? It might not actually cost any less but it's a lot less work.

And what can I make instead of sandwiches? None of the sandwiches et eaten at my parties but I'd like to do something along those lines but I'm thinking pittas or wraps might be too messy. Could they live without sandwiches?
I seem to spend pre-food party time getting the food ready and post-food party time cleaning up the food debris and this time I would actually like to enjoy the party. And I have a starring role, in that of a 'Superhero League training expert', so I need to be out front!

I am babbling, I'm sorry, I'm just reeeally stressed!!!
<goes off to find the kettle --and vodka-->

Nonsense - I think the pop art stuff will be fine. Branded superhero stuff risks DC angsting about having the "wrong" superhero, and leaving anyone who is a homemade superhero (the best kind, IMHO) feeling left out.

If you have streamers and have/could borrow a hula hoop, you could do something like this

Food for adults - sausage sandwiches would be great. If you want a sandwich alternative, how about wraps? Thin layer of filling, roll up and cut into smallish bits?

...or, of course, no sandwiches. They are not compulsory!

Is there anyone you can delegate things to? I now write briefing notes for all adult helpers blush. They laugh at me, but it massively reduces stress (mostly mine) and confusion.

Oh my Gosh! I love that! But I can't reach the ceiling in the hall I have hired hmm
I might just do it at home.........

I have put in the invite that capes and masks will be provided so no dress up is needed. That doesn't mean no-one will come dressed up though! smile
And I really like the pop art stuff so I think I will stick with that.

I might print off 'happy birthday DS & DD' to stick onto the web. Or I might leave it plain. Depends on time.

TBH - I get nothing but offers of help yet when party time comes, everyone disappears! I have one friend who always offers help and the one time I asked her to come early to help out she said "I'm sure you have it covered" and has turned up late ever since! Coincidence?
I will get help with the set up but that's about it. My in-laws aren't here this year otherwise they would help. It'll just be me and DH, both of whom will be involved so I have no idea how it's going to work! It'll all have to be prepped beforehand I guess.

No luck on the pre-party help then, I guess. However, there are generally some people who make vague "anything I can do to help?" noises - what you need is a mental list so that you can say "yes, there is, actually. Could you just...."

This is "do as I say, not as I do" advice, BTW - hence the briefing notes as it is the only way I can force myself to delegate. blush

Im one to grab people in the moment. Weird as it sounds the best ones to ask arent the ones that you know the best but the ones you know the least. They are always the ones sitting there feeling like a chump. I got people gluing kids lanterns, handing out sweets to those who were out in the musical games or operating the music itself.

Loving the resist fabric idea stealth actually! Im really hoping dd means it about the pizza party because i can avoid siblings gategrashing a pizza place do better. She can have a disco next year if she wants but ive found out the PTA disco is usually around her birthday anyway. And im holding out for a science party when she's seven but that does mean recruiting the scientist friend with the double entendré cringe moment.

Feeding adults: four times ive done that hence this year i resorted to lunchboxes. But ive always done a buffet. If blathers was here she'd tell you to ban sandwiches snd get thee to costco for giant pizzas dirt cheap!

Was thinking about pizza but they never really get eaten either. Perhaps I just do too much so the 'normal' food is left out.

Are under 5s too young to manage two PtP at once? I gave this suggestion to DH, including the stickers, and was met with a raised eyebrow. But one doesn't hold their attention for 20+ DC - once they get their sweet they're not interested. Incidentally, what is the acceptable now for sweets in layers? Do I really need to give individual packets of buttons/haribo? Seems a but much to me but I'm being called 'tight' grin

Well I have done 2 parcel PtP with under 5's. It actually helps if you have some tiniest, as they will generally be sitting with/on a parent, and the parents will then help keep the thing going.

I put freddos in PtP, generally, but that's because I buy a big box of them from Costco which does both PtP and party bags.

Tinies, not tiniest.

There's a child who can't eat chocolate....
Which leads me on to my next question: what brightly coloured sweets can I use in a jar for a game of 'how many sweets in this jar'? I'm looking for the effect of M&Ms but can't use chocolate. Unless I rig it so that said child doesn't win shock

Totally missed a load out!
There's a child who can't have chocolate..... But I think a bag of haribo is a bit much and also can't be controlled for the babies who win.

I would go with something like mini flumps for layers of PtP - it would be better if they were individually wrapped, but they are OK-ish for all ages and OK with most allergies.

Come to think of it, you could use those for guessing the number in the jar as well.

I am going to give up baking and stick to sewing. Of my 3 agricultural show entries, the bag won second, the sugarcraft got nothing in a class of 4 (angry blush) and he chocolate sponge came nowhere in a huge entry.

Blatherskite Sat 03-Aug-13 21:50:49

I'm back from holiday! Who missed me? wink

Everyone, of course, Blathers wink

Blatherskite Sat 03-Aug-13 22:52:17

Stealth - you cannot stop baking shock How dare you suggest such a thing!

DNiece is milk allergic and can have flumps. You can get stick ones that would work in a pass the parcel. For sweets in a jar, I'd probably go for Fruit Gums. If you buy the big bags I think they still come in fruit shapes which would look nice. Flumps or Fruit Pastilles would work too if you wanted something less chewy, or maybe foam shapes? Mushrooms maybe? Or how about flying saucers?

onedev Sat 03-Aug-13 23:08:36

Can I ask about adult parties? Or ami barking up the wrong thread tree with this?

It's our 10th wedding anniversary party this year - any recommendations on what would make it fun?

jetstar Sun 04-Aug-13 08:23:33

Hi onedev I'm sure an expert will be along in a minute!
Have you got an idea for a theme? A particular colour you want to go for? What colour theme did you have at your wedding - maybe you could go for that?

I had a practise run of Nigella's Buttermilk Birthday Cake yesterday. Doubled the quantities (good job I have a KitchenAid!) and baked in square tin. Came out pretty well. Cut in half - didn't go so well (may need to buy a tool for this!) Then decided to double the buttercream icing to ice it blush Mistake - there is lots left over (now in freezer) can you tell I'm a bit of a novice!!

Blatherskite Sun 04-Aug-13 08:23:55

4th out of 4 for that one cake Stealth - picked by Delia for another! Everyone has an off day now and again.

We can do adults parties onedev what sort of thing did you fancy doing? Dinner party? Something at home? Hiring somewhere?

onedev Sun 04-Aug-13 08:49:40

I've already arranged a room in a local hotel & have booked a singer (I heard him at Xmas time & he was brill but now I'm not sure if its a bit OTT or just a bit naff to have him) followed by a DJ. The hotel will do food but so far thats it.

I probably just need to decorate the room & organise a cake but really not sure - what else could / should I do? What would make people enjoy themselves? Likely there'll be between 80-100 people although I haven't done invitations yet - still need to do those too!

Blatherskite Sun 04-Aug-13 09:40:10

jetstar There are two ways to halve a cake neatly ime - 1) If it's a loose bottomed tin, put the cake back in it's tin, put something underneath the loose bottom to lift the cake by the height you want to make your cut at and then use the top of the tin to help you gquide the knife. 2) My chosen option, buy one of these It also helps for getting a nice, level top.

Blatherskite Sun 04-Aug-13 09:46:59

onedev The singer sounds lovely. If you enjoyed him then it is likely that your guests will too so it's certainly not naff.

My Mum has hired a hotel reception room for her upcoming birthday and I think organising a party like that is a lot like organising a wedding reception - especially for a wedding anniversary. Is it buffet food or a sit down meal you're having? Maybe look at getting some flowers for the tables and/or some balloons. You could even go the whole hog and make some little favours? Maybe include on your invitation, a request for some music suggestions so that there is something everyone likes? Maybe ask everyone what the first dance at their wedding was or a song that is special to them so that you can have them played and get everyone in a romantic mood. My sister did this at her wedding reception and it went down really well. Start the disco set with your first song, followed maybe by your parents and then let the DJ play the others in an order that flows.

onedev - it sounds fun. We spent the money on ourselves for our 10tg anniversary (dumped small DS on my parents and went away for a couple of days) but we are more likely to forget our 20th completely on current form - PIL delivered a card today and we both remembered anniversary is tomorrow (18th).

If you want to have an excuse to go to town without it being naff, I would definitely consider a theme of some sort. I can't think of a good one right now though sad.

onedev Sun 04-Aug-13 18:53:50

Thanks both - it is a buffet rather than sit down meal. It feels v much like organising a wedding evening do when really I just wanted an excuse to have a big party & I'm not 40 for a while yet so thought our 10th was a good excuse!!

Not sure if I'm making too much of it & I also stress loads when I organise anything so no idea why I've done this to myself grin

I was thinking of having the colours similar to what our colour scheme was on the day (as most of the guests were there although doubt they'd remember what we had at the time!).

Favours sound like a great idea but what would I have & I'm not crafty so would have to buy them! At our wedding we had miniature bottles of Irish whiskey (I'm Irish & got married in England) & sugared almonds so nothing too extravagant.

Thanks again as its nice to be able to talk about it here as my DH isn't too bothered (happy with whatever & going along with it as I wanted it really!) & don't want to bore anyone else with it!

onedev Sun 04-Aug-13 18:54:19

Thanks both - it is a buffet rather than sit down meal. It feels v much like organising a wedding evening do when really I just wanted an excuse to have a big party & I'm not 40 for a while yet so thought our 10th was a good excuse!!

Not sure if I'm making too much of it & I also stress loads when I organise anything so no idea why I've done this to myself grin

I was thinking of having the colours similar to what our colour scheme was on the day (as most of the guests were there although doubt they'd remember what we had at the time!).

Favours sound like a great idea but what would I have & I'm not crafty so would have to buy them! At our wedding we had miniature bottles of Irish whiskey (I'm Irish & got married in England) & sugared almonds so nothing too extravagant.

Thanks again as its nice to be able to talk about it here as my DH isn't too bothered (happy with whatever & going along with it as I wanted it really!) & don't want to bore anyone else with it!

onedev Sun 04-Aug-13 18:54:44

Sorry, don't know why that posted twice!

jetstar Sun 04-Aug-13 22:25:08

Thanks Blathers both good ideas!!

Onedev - ten years anniversary is tin so i'd use that as your theme. So use washed out tins and punch out heart shapes with holes and use them as lanterns/tealight holders through the room. Or get s selection of tins and fill with flowers. Doing your own flowers is mega easy(i think ive got some on my profile?) just use florists foam so that if they knock over they dont spill and the flowers stay put.

If you go with tin you can buy little tin buckets to fill with sweets or use silver as a colour theme to pull it all together more. People will have enough fun so long as theres plenty of food and drink and their not left waiting for it.

tin can vases, decorate with raffia, ribbon or coloured washi tape

tin can lantern tutorial

cheap mini silver buckets or other colours..fill with choc coins? Jelly beans? Or sugared almonds again?

Blathers i missed you. Text me i need you to go to crazy junk shop place

Stealth nothing for the cake - its an outrage what was the theme/criteria could you have missed the mark or something?! He's a lovely little bear

We can give you more ideas if you do go with tin ...

Cake. Do I bake a deep one and hope that a- it rises properly and b- I can actually slice it in half.
Or do I make layers as was my original plan? My tins are 3" deep so is that too deep to do layers? And now I'm being told that it must have 3 layers??
I'm scared....... sad

Blatherskite Mon 05-Aug-13 08:52:46

Layers. Thinner cakes are easier to get right imo

Thank you and exactly what I was thinking. The deep tins will be ok?

Deep tins will be fine.

Why must it have 3 layers? confused

I don't know!!! I was told that 'celebration cakes are 3 layers' end of.

It's in the oven!!! Oh my gosh I am so terrified and excited!! I've never made a cake so huge (10") or so important!!
It curdled like #*@! Even though I added flour after the eggs but was fine after folding in the flour. Just hope I didn't over mix....

I have an hour until I know what's happened eeeeeeek!!!

Incidentally, I copied someone else and doubled the quantity for 10" and even using two tins its a lot of cake. So even if it doesn't rise, I may be able to salvage two layers anyway.
But let's not think like that!!

I am sure it will be fine

<<crosses fingers firmly>>

Baker Ross came through grin - code B32C gives 15% off all arts and crafts, which included everything on my list for DD's party - so it's ordered - and will probably turn up when we are away, but never mind eh.

Oh good, that took them long enough. You should ask them for a loyalty card type of thing!

They're out!! They're cooked (perhaps slightly over cooked but there is a syrup to pour over them) and they've even risen!! Hurrah!!!!

So do I push my luck and bake the 7" later today?
If so, do I freeze them just for tomorrow or do I bring my schedule forward? So bake today, fill and ice Wednesday (or even Tuesday) and apply decorations Wednesday/Thursday?

I didn't have the nerve to ask them for discount based on recommendations grin. If I had time (ha ha) I would start a blog and try and generate some income to subsidise the party obsession that way - but the FT job does tend to get in the way...

I wouldn't bother freezing them, TBH. Let them get properly cold, then put them in a tin / wrap them well and they will be fine. Before you level them off you might want to chill them in the fridge - cake cuts better (neater) when it is cold.

Thanks for that. I'm learning so much!

I don't have a job but I still couldn't find the time! Hats off to you

pinkpetrol Mon 05-Aug-13 17:16:03

Hello all, could i please have some help with a fairies and el ves party that my soon to be 5 daughter wants to have. I can find lots of fairy stuff but not much elf/boy friendly stuff. Also i am thinking i will run it myself rather than get an entertainer . Any help would be much appreciated

It has to be elves, does it? I get the logic, but I think elves could be quite hard to sell to some 5yo boys who will just see them as fairies smile. Fairies can be combined with pirates reasonably legitimately, thanks to Peter Pan....

Blatherskite Mon 05-Aug-13 18:16:33

There's a Cbeebies program with an elf as a main character isn't there? Ben and Holly? I'm sure there will be party stuff connected to that which might be adaptable.

Feeling all proud of myself right now. Super-crafty Sister who makes beautiful, wonderful things just sent me a text to ask where I got the crayons for DD's birthday bags. She'd been looking but couldn't find any with paper wraps on like mine had. I told her I'd made the wraps myself and she said she'd assumed they were professionally done <preen> smile

Blatherskite Mon 05-Aug-13 18:19:45

Ben and Holly party things I love the butterfly straws!

That's cool, Blathers.

I am so out of touch with cbeebies. If most of the guests are 5 already, though, they might consider Ben and Holly to be babyish sad.

Stealth you obviously havent been subjected to much Ben & Holly's magic kingdom.

If thats wheres your dd is taking her inspiration from pink petrol? If so then i'd perhaps highlight than then boys could be king thistle or the wise old elf? Elves def need these

And prob robin hood fancy dress hats can pass at elf hats if you swapped feathers for an oak leaf?

Crossed posts with blathers.

Its not babyish damn it its hilarious. And if it is ben and holly you absolutely have to have a jelly flood.

(Wanna see crayon picture now)

Blatherskite Mon 05-Aug-13 18:29:20

I've put a pic on.

Mine are Disney channel addicts so we don't watch Ben and Holly. Is it really that good?

pinkpetrol Mon 05-Aug-13 18:39:26

Thank you for that brilliant idea but She has flatly refused to allow it to be a fairy and pirate party but has after a lot of discussion will allow it to be a fairy and super hero party! Any ideas on combining the two? Pirates would have been so much easier

pinkpetrol Mon 05-Aug-13 18:48:56

The answer to the question "do you want the boys to be elves like ben in ben and holly? " has just been met with a "nowah ben and holly is for babies". So no ben and holly theme party then! Her sister is much less opinionated. Thanks for the ideas

It may well be hilarious, but there is nowt so judgey as a 5-6yo boy, IME. They could put MNers to shame. DD refused to wear hello kitty pants last term because hello kitty had been declared babyish hmm. I have learned that lesson - no more character pants.

Fairies and superheroes, huh? That should be an interesting fight combination wink

onedev Mon 05-Aug-13 18:53:15

Thanks so much DoctorsWife - that's great inspiration. I love the theme idea - just not sure if I'm up to the challenge of the tin cans & favours as I'm just not crafty. I'm rubbish with that stuff really but it does look great.

I did look up 10years & noticed in the US that's symbolised by diamond jewellery so will need to ensure my DH follows that tradition grin

Blatherskite Mon 05-Aug-13 18:56:47

OK, so Ben and Holly is out.

Right, how to mash Fairies and Superheroes together.....?

Blatherskite Mon 05-Aug-13 18:59:05

Onedev have you no-one you can recruit for help?

Onedev I expect if you hunted on Etsy you could find people who make and sell those sorts of things.

I am having problems getting beyond "who would win - Tinkerbell or Batman?" in my head.


onedev Mon 05-Aug-13 20:50:05

Not really DoctorsWife (although I do have friends, honest!!).

Never heard of Etsy, Stealth - just had a look, fantastic website!!

pinkpetrol Mon 05-Aug-13 21:03:55

Ooo thats a very useful link blathers. Now to transfer that party to a WI hall in November! I am going to run the party myself (gulp) and bribe a few friends to help me. I cant do separate games. I was going to do a few trad games pass. The parcel, musical toadstools etc and then have some crafts and games set up. I thought about decorating fairy lanterns ( inspired by the links to the lantern company), decorating biscuits etc. what would appeal to boys of this age? I cant face them all just charging around the hall . But as this is a reception party some of the children will be only just 4. Am i mad for even thinking about this? Cant believe i am worried about this in August!

groovejet Mon 05-Aug-13 21:53:18

Thanks for the advice regarding a Luau party, we are def going for this theme dd1 has discovered the joys of pininterest so has some things in mind.

Plan is to have a couple of crafts to keep them occupied, making rainbow layered cakes in a jar, and decorating a paper fan which means no need for party bags just going to get some leis.

Games wise a bit of limbo dancing and coconut bowling.

Food haven't thought much of, dd will have a list somewhere, will show her those croissant crabwiches I liked those smile but we will be setting up some kind of ice cream sundae bar for pudding.

Oh yes please do those crabwiches - there were loads of similarly good food ideas on the pinterest board they came from.

Now your DD has discovered pinterest there is no going back grin.

Pinkpetrol - you could do shadow lanterns a bit like [[ this]] (I know this is a very adult version, but if you substitute foam stickers for handout silhouettes then it works for 5yos) - fairy fans could do petals and fairies, and superheroes could do pop art and bat signals?

[[ bother]]

What games can we play? I have:
Pass the bomb (PtP)
Musical Superheroes (musical statues with a superhero pose finish)
Find the bomb (5 hidden balloons) and an
Assault course - zig zag through some small cones, crawl through a tunnel, into a ball pool to find the kryptonite, lift a giant (inflatable) dumbbell, leap a tall building (cardboard boxes) and vapourize a villain (helium filled balloons attached to string stuck to the floor that they attack with silly string).
We have lunch to eat but the party is 3 and a half hours long so I don't think that's enough. I'm sure I had a list somewhere.....

Please try to do the tin cans onedev. It's just a nail and a hammer, no craft at all wink but absolutely follow the diamond tradition!

Pinkpetrol, IME boys of any age will just charge around the hall! Perhaps you could think of a game to let them vent their excited energy but as its a game it's in a more controlled manner? You will probably have more luck with the 4yo's enjoying the craft compared to the older ones!

3.5 hours? what were you thinking? that's interesting grin

Nonsense are they making /decorating their own masks or are you doing them? I think you need some sort of sitting down craft - type thing - you will kill yourself trying to fill the whole time with games.

I know!! Usually, we just have toys/soft play and games and let the DC run wild so the time flies but as DS is 4, I thought a bit more of an effort and some structure might be a good thing. I have 3 spiderman beach balls that they can run around after (instead of balloons) and there is a huge outside area with playground that we can utilise if the weather permits, so maybe I can rope in an adult to play the villain for the heroes to see off grin

I'm doing (done) the masks. I do have some superman crayons and some printed colouring sheets for them to do when they arrive and wait for everyone but I don't have an actual craft activity.

I was thinking of having a tattoo area where they can stick on those horrendous kids tattoos but I decided against it in the end.

Outside area for general rioting sounds great - that would kill half an hour, easily.

Do I need to hire a bouncy castle?

I'm really panicking now!

I wouldn't - too expensive and noisy. A couple of willing adults to play superhero-ball (rules TBC) would be fine.


pinkpetrol Tue 06-Aug-13 18:50:43

Thanks Stealth those shadow lanterns are beautiful - i might have a go at them myself!

I think i will just have to brace myself and accept that the boys will run around. I may get a klaxon to get their attention.

I was thinking of pulling it all together with a story - the fairy has been kidnapped by the evil troll and we work together on a few tasks to get to her and rescue her ( that should appeal to fairies a d superheros shouldnt it? I might adapt going on a bear hunt. We could have an obstacle course, some kind of gathering scavenger hunt ( i really want to spray acorns gold and this gives me an excuse), make the lanterns to see in the deep dark wood. Have you any other ideas for games? Will this work with 30 Reception children?

If DD2 was Tinkerbell in a duel with any Superhero she would win by shouting and screaming so loudly he would give up and go away! She is VERY assertive.

Lol at your DD! grin

DH got the icing today. It's too dark. Can I knead it with the same amount of ready to roll white icing to lighten it? Or do I need to start again?

What colour icing, Nonsense?

What I meant earlier, BTW (sorry for lack of clarity - I was slowly losing the will to live in a meeting) was that I would go with your idea of letting them riot with beach balls rather than bother hiring a bouncy castle. If it is dry they would be better outside and bouncy castles inside are (unless you have a huge venue) deafening.

Oh I see! I thought you had come up with an amazing new game on the spot!!

It's blue. His choices were baby blue or navy and he chose navy. I need something between the two.

Ah. Yes. I know that problem. He probably made the right call. I would mess around with a small bit and see if adding white gives you what you want. Do you have any paste colours if you need to adjust the colour?

I am afraid you are speaking in another language.
What do you mean by 'paste colours'?

PoppyT Tue 06-Aug-13 21:06:09

Thedoctorswife thank you for advice. I love being organised so have finally realised lunch boxes is the right choice! Those folding crates sound perfect, I've got party bags made up but they're all stacked in random boxes so might nip to tesco tomorrow. Getting giddy now & feeling less stressed than before.

Food colours, but super concentrated in a paste, because the liquids change the texture of the icing too much.

If you don't have them, never mind. Just play with combining navy and white and see how close you get to the shade you want.

Haha ok. I have gel colours. My original plan was to just buy white ready to roll and colour myself but hubby wanted me to buy it. Genius!

I am still waiting for the '1' cake tin to arrive!!
But I have now made both the 10" and 7" cakes. With two layers it won't be as deep as I wanted but I'm losing the will to live now so it'll have to do.

Has anyone tried a silver shimmer spray for cakes that comes in a blue can? Will it actually give a soft shimmery sheen to my cake or will it paint it glittery silver?

Oh - I could just dye white icing but I can't see me needing navy blue icing any time soon so was hoping to use it if possible.

Shimmery spray stuff is fab. Do it.

I would still start with the navy, even if you have the colours. Deep colours are quite hard (and the spray will work better on a darker background)

You can get the spray in blue, I think, but if you just want a sheen on top of the colour you have then get the "pearl" one. I will link to some blue cakes I used pearl spray on..

Just found this on a cake site.

If you require a paler shade then just mix a pack of white icing together with the coloured icing to gain the desired shade


I want the shimmer for DDs 1 cake! In pink.
Sorry, I'm even confusing myself!
However, it's now given me an idea for a nighttime scene on the blue tier if it makes it glittery!! smile

shiny blue cakes

You definitely can blend with white - that's not an issue. You just might find that it's not quite the right blue IYSWIM.

If you go from that link to the set that it's in (called cakes), there is a princess in there whose dress was pink icing with pearl spray.

Oh wow. I don't feel at all inadequate, no sir-ee! grin envy

Those dark blue Christmas cakes look lovely. I was hoping to do a nighttime city landscape around the blue so I'm thinking that you wouldn't see the black buildings against the dark dark blue, even with glitter?
Would it still look good if I just did the batman logo onto that? Or should I stick with trying to make a lighter blue? What are people's opinions? I'm trying to get something like this but would it look good the other way?

You had a cake with a number 4 and a flower on it. Was that using the pearl spray and how did you dry the flowers curled?
Also - for next year, I will be picking your brains about the princess castle and the pirate ship! grin

Stealth off subject i just sat looking through your flickr again and saw you've got quite a few "photography" shots like the butterfly, flower and your moon!

Ive been learning to use my camera recently and spent all holiday trying to photograph the moon so what lens/exposure did you use for that fab photo?

In haste, at work...

Nonsense - I am just a few years ahead of you, that's all smile - I started doing cakes when DS was a baby (for him, and family) - he is 10 now.

I agree black skyline wouldn't show up against very dark blue, so more of a royal blue (superman blue?) would work better -you could still make it glittery if you wanted to.

The cake with the flower and the '4' was made in no time flat when I realised that DD expected "birthday tea" on her birthday as well as party cake grin - the flower was left over from the cupcakes which she took to nursery. They were cut out and then left to dry in egg trays/boxes - hence the curve. Yes, the whole cake was liberally sprayed with pearl lustre spray.

DW - the picture of the moon was taken through DS's telescope!

How about the glittery navy with just the batman logo? Is that a cop out?

So the 1 cake tin hasn't shown up. She's sent me another that will come tomorrow but its FILs birthday so we are not here. That leaves me only Friday to finish off everything

Will it be ok to bake and decorate the cake on Friday or should I just do a round cake today so that I can ice it Friday?

Oh. And I forgot to get seedless jam for the superhero cake!! Do I need jam for the filling.....? Lol

Bake Friday morning, decorate Friday afternoon would be ok. And jam is optional.

And yellow logo on sparkly navy would look very cool.

Really?? So all of my unorganised, chaotic, stressful mess might just work out after all?? [shocked]
<stares in disbelief>

Did you see the bear (the cake that says "Harry") on my photos?

That cake (it was a fruit cake) was just cool when I hurled icing onto it, plonked a slightly startled bear on top and shoved it in the car.

Last minute is not ideal but it can work grin


I'm actually <whispers it> feeling quite calm about icing the cake in a minute. I'm sure I'll be whistling a different tune in 20 minutes when I am on here asking panicked questions and waffling on!

Wish me luck......

Ummm, what do I do with the cakes once I've iced them? I've heard cling film is a no but I don't have boxes sad

And, do I spay the blue cake now or when I'm ready to attach the decorations?

Spray it now, or when all decorations are on if you want them sparkly too - not between as it marks easily.

You just want something to keep flies off - a cardboard box turned upside down over it - basically it wants to get as much air as it can. In winter I just leave them on the side in our (freezing cold) dining room.

Once it is dry to the touch you could just drape a clean tea towel over it as an alternative plan.

Oh ok, I will have a box to chuck over it. I just don't have a nice, posh box to house it grin

sad the icing was too hot so it cracked and creased, making holes. So I have only managed to ice the top (red) tier. As I have crumb coated them both I have loosely wrapped the bottom cake in cling film and hope it survives until tomorrow night.

It will be fine. Icing in hot weather is a PITA.

I want a telescope!


How's it going, Nonsense?

SunnyIntervals Fri 09-Aug-13 11:58:14

Don't laugh, but I'm going to start practising for next year now and my da was only 2 eight weeks ago smile

SunnyIntervals Fri 09-Aug-13 11:58:39

DS not Da blush

Sunny - no one on this thread will laugh at you for that, believe me. I think DW and I may well be doing synchronised science parties in 2014...

Yes i think im mentally planned out for nov 2013 pizza party (or mermaid disco) feb 2014 playdough party, nov 2014 prob the disco that i discouraged this year as better idea on school friends as less likely to have hangers on, feb 2015 i may try to steer this to gruffalos child to match the previous gruffalo party! Nov 2015 science party!

The children are unaware of this of course!

The key to this is science party better for a six or seven year old? I think 7?

jetstar Sat 10-Aug-13 07:52:32

I would say older is better for a Science Party smile

Well DD will be 8 for her science party (that she doesn't know she wants yet). I think DS was 7 for his, but he is the youngest in his year where DD is the oldest, so average guest age will be about the same.

pinkpetrol Sun 11-Aug-13 21:52:01

Right have spent the last few days reading all 6 threads! I have learnt a lot about superheros although dd2 still wants a fairy and elf party (imagine whiney voice " well it's moi birfday and i should decide...")

I also NEED to go on a biscuiteers decorating course and i feel inadequate cos i dont have half as many cookie cutters as you ladies.

So much to do and only November to do it by smile

Blatherskite Sun 11-Aug-13 22:00:49

You read 6 threads!! You must be sick of us by now pinky!

Pinky i'm a bit freaked out that it means you've gleaned loads of party advice but you are also now privvy to my in law woes, illnesses and prob the birth of my dd2 lol!

Blathers...drull roll it looks like we really are set for pizza express party so in true style ive started getting sorted!

I've got guest list woes already but im thinking 10 kids inc dd1. Possibly 12.

Aprons - of course and Chocolate pizzas instead of party bags. What did you have in the end? Im gonna try to get dad to source a cutesy pizza chef girl to use on invites etc. and get FIL to print/personalise aprons on his whizzy printer/press thing.

Im debating whether to do the infamous pizza cake or a pizza themed cake with chef style peg dolly.

And the restaurant said they provide invites, balloons and party games. This obviously set me on edge as i want my own invites, i'll stretch to their balloons but im struggling at someone else hosting the party and games. If you tell me they're lame i'll cry!

SunnyIntervals Mon 12-Aug-13 18:53:43

Surely pink is a groupie grin

Haven't got a party to plan for ten months, but when I have some spare time I am going to practice a basic birthday cake. I have an Aga and have never baked in it blush

SunnyIntervals Mon 12-Aug-13 18:54:04

Oh and doctors wife party games are never lame IMHO

Blatherskite Mon 12-Aug-13 21:10:02

They didn't provide anything at ours so I have no idea I'm afraid. All we got was plastic aprons which we obviously didn't use and little paper chefs hats.

I took the pizza cake, we had badge making for our 'games' as there wasn't any room to run about and the party bags which off the top of my head had chocolate pizza, gummy pizza and a pizza sticker book in. We then added a slice of cake, the aprons and the badges they made plus any pizza they didn't eat got boxed up to take home too.

One of my friends still says it was the best party she's ever been to smile

Well they've said they now play" pizzaiolo says..." (Simon says) pin the tash on pizzaiolo and a memory tray. I sense i may be leaping out of my seat yelling "whaaattt, move out the way pizza boy i'm a party guru don't you know!"

Now, where'd you get your party bag stuff? Did you make choc pizza? Gummy ones are in the ye olde worlde sweet shop near me so thats covered.

Blatherskite Tue 13-Aug-13 08:29:39

Choc pizza I made myself. I lined a cake tin with cling film and poured in melted choc and things like maltesers and marshmallows. Pizza sticker books came from The Book Depository as they were cheaper than amazon. I got gummy pizzas from the market. Aprons were from Baker Ross as were the badge kits. Bags were white, paper take out bags from Ebay.

We had a friend who worked for Pizza Express who got me a brand new box to put the cake in to make it look more authentic but I'm sure they'd give you one if you asked if you wanted to make the pizza cake.

If i get aprons for the sublimation printing they're 1.70 each. Im thinking of making mini choc pizzas and putting into white cd mailer boxes. Thanks for linking the sticker books brill! I also found a polly pocket pizza girl on a scooter.

Still cant decide about the cake though..

Blatherskite Tue 13-Aug-13 08:44:12

<prepares to be outdone>


Ive just found playmobil pizza man cheaper than sticker books. Im getting him!!

No no your my inspiration!

Blatherskite Tue 13-Aug-13 09:21:05

I would. Playmobil man will probably get more play.

SunnyIntervals Tue 13-Aug-13 10:01:28

Sounds like a lovely pizza party - I can see myself getting hooked on this thread grin

Blatherskite Tue 13-Aug-13 10:05:39

DW help!! I've not booked anything for DD's birthday party yet and people have been asking me what I'm going to do this year so I'd really better get on with it but DH is pressuring me not to spend any/much money on it and....and....I'm not sure I can be bothered!! shock

I'm sure I will change my mind come December but I really need to get it booked soon or there will be nothing left.

What do I do?

Blatherskite Tue 13-Aug-13 10:05:58

I've lost my party mojo sad

SunnyIntervals Tue 13-Aug-13 10:14:27

How old is dd blathers?

Blatherskite Tue 13-Aug-13 10:26:48

She'll be 4 this time. 17th December.

SunnyIntervals Tue 13-Aug-13 10:32:14

Grown up grin

What does she like best? Activities/tv etc??

<Trying to be helpful, but I know you will have thought through all this!!>

Blatherskite Tue 13-Aug-13 10:35:19

She's very into Jake and the Neverland Pirates at the moment. I had some ideas but I just can't be bothered recently sad

OliviaMMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 13-Aug-13 10:58:37

I went to an amazing J&TNP 4th party at end of last year.

Dad hired a pirate outfit and ran the games
Tey hired a hall which had a stage
Did walk the plank from it
Played Who's in the treasure chest ?
everyone closes their eyes and guesses who's been hidden in a painted cardboard box
Copious gold (chocolate) doubloons
A rowing game where all the kids lined up on the floor like when they used to play "oops upside your head" grin
Mini treasure chest goody bags (from partypieces or similar)

Was a huge hit
Pinterest is your friend and will inspire you Im sure

"Yo ho mateys awaaaaaay.........." wink
I am always reluctant to offer any advice to you pros!

So. Superhero was a HUGE success!!! grin
I am still getting (repeated) texts of thanks and congratulations!
It started at 11:30 and by 1:30 I was panicking that we had too much time on our hands but we actually overran because we couldn't fit it all in. I still have 4 prizes left!
At the end, two (recently acquired) friends came up to me and said that they wouldn't be competing against me for parties! Which made me feel smug a bit sad because it's not about that. But I was happy for the recognition of a great party.

The cakes were delicious and totally homemade looking grin but I had nothing but compliments.

I'm just a bit gutted that I didn't write enough lists or take enough photos. We didn't take the blue sheet to have for the 'flying' photos so now I have to do a totally different thank you card and I didn't take photos of all of the capes or even of the children in the capes!

But it was awesome. A thousand thank yous for all of your advice and words of wisdom and calm.

Blatherskite Tue 13-Aug-13 11:14:32

Crikey! A MNHQer on our thread!

Actually Nonsense has helped a little. I'm concentrating too much on the organising and not enough on the party. DD would love it and those people asking are only doing so because they enjoy coming so much! I just need to get started and it will no doubt alls piral out fo control like it usually does smile

Ah, THERE'S the blathers we know and love wink

Faints at a mnhq bod on here!! Do i have to behave better now?

Nonsense - it all sounds absolutely brilliant. Any chance if a peek at some pictures at all especially of the cake after all the angst?

Blathers - jake and the neverland pirates is soooo easy, look at the amount of pirate parties we have coached people through and theres tons and tons of themed stuff about. I keep wanting someone to make a treasure chest out of the boxes of washing tablets. Dont know if you use them but they have this weirdly satisfying click like a little cardboard chest and each time i chuck one i think this'd be a brilliant treasure chest. You could use it as a pass the parcel pass the chest full of choc coins.

The thing is i know i'd be thinking pirate party has been done to death and i want something new. Is she still in love with dragons? Or can you play on the winterbaby/xmas baby thing and go to the winterwonderland that'll be on near you? Orrrrr the fairytale thing like you want to do her bedroom?

SunnyIntervals Tue 13-Aug-13 13:07:37

Olivia, I really like those ideas!! I suppose you could also do a what shall we do with the drunken pirate game where dad has to do things the guests request?! dangerous!!

But, and this might be just me - those are general pirate party ideas, not jake and the Neverland pirates party ideas confused