inspiration for celebration

Barbie Birthday Party: Styled Play Area & DIY Photo Booth

As much as I love a beautifully styled table and cleverly themed food & drinks, when it comes to kids parties, the most important thing to think about first (for the sake of everyone!) is how to keep the little ones happily entertained throughout the party.

A great compliment – and contrast to – traditional planned crafts and games, is a designated play area that serves as a go-to space for kids to enjoy at any time during the party. I set up a play area at our recent Colorful Barbie Birthday Party, and a little playful styling went a long way as far as making that area feel like a party in itself! Check it out…

Barbie Birthday Party: Styled Play Area & DIY Photo Booth

Pictured above: my youngest daughter having fun with the Barbie Malibu House :)

Barbie Birthday Party: Styled Play Area & DIY Photo Booth

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Derby Style Inspired Kentucky Derby® Party Ideas

In celebration of their new – and super tasty! – Kentucky Derby® Red Blend, which debuted earlier this year, 14 Hands Winery asked me to come up with some ideas for a “Derby Style” Inspired Viewing Party this year. Fun direction for a theme, right?! I thought so too. :)

Style is such a big part of the Kentucky Derby® experience in general, and there are lots of directions you can go with it as far as colors and patterns. I used the wine label as inspiration for the color palette, and decided to stick with versatile & classic patterns like bold stripes, checks, & a floral pattern… featuring roses, of course! I also designed a “Derby girl” silhouette and little wine glass “fascinators” to represent the ladies, alongside neck tie and bow tie elements for the guys. Last but not least, pops of gold and a hint of glitter to add class and fun!

PARTY DETAILS to look out for:

– Wine glasses embellished with DIY Derby Fascinators and printable Neck Ties
– Bourbon-based wine cocktail dubbed the “Twin Spires Sangaree”
– Gold Derby Decals (made from horse stickers & gold spray paint) adorning wood stands & jars
– “Run for the Rose Chips” & Salsa + Mint Julep Fruit Salad
– Neck tie garlands, fabric bow ties, and painted mason jar “Race Horse” table centerpiece
– “Hold Your Horses” napkin toppers + lots more FREE Derby Style Printables

Derby Style Inspired Kentucky Derby® Party Ideas

Before we get too far into the decor, let’s talk about this new Kentucky Derby® Red Blend real quick. It has a core of darker fruit flavors, lots of depth and complexity, and is a great way to enjoy a taste of the Derby at home. As 14 Hands winemaker Keith Kenison explains, “Our goal when crafting this unique wine was to capture the fun yet sophisticated essence of the Kentucky Derby.

Most importantly, it tastes REALLY GOOD! My parents – who really enjoy wine and can be on the “pickier” side about it, shall we say – came to visit while I was working on this project…  After tasting the Derby blend, my dad immediately asked me where he could buy a whole case. Definitely a good sign. ;) By the way – it’s available in most major grocery stores. You can use this online tool to check availability near you.

•  •  •  •  •  T H E  P A R T Y  I D E A S  •  •  •  •  •

And now, onto the creative inspiration! Scroll down for a few more images that will give you a general feel for the theme, followed by organized sections for  the following: Food + Table , Drinks + Desserts, and Accent Decor + Printables.

Instead of doing a full set table like last year’s theme, I decided to just come up with a fun centerpiece for the table and set the food up on a styled buffet. I’m really happy with how this centerpiece turned out! (DIY tutorial coming soon.)

Derby Style Inspired Kentucky Derby® Party Ideas

I’m kind of on a kick with silhouettes right now… so I thought it would be fun to design a “Derby girl” graphic for the party’s printable paper collection, and then also bring similar silhouettes to life in 3D form! I ordered 2 wood cut outs of the silhouette graphic from Ten23 Designs, then used paper for the “outfits” to keep things quick and very budget friendly.

Derby Style Inspired Kentucky Derby® Party Ideas

This Neck Tie Garland is one of my favorite elements from the theme, and could easily translate to other themes too! (DIY Tutorial coming soon.) I used gold horse silhouette stickers to give the neck ties some Derby flair:

Derby Style Inspired Kentucky Derby® Party Ideas

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FREE Kentucky Derby® Party Printables – Derby Style

Our latest {free!} Derby printables are here! Find links to download new Kentucky Derby® Derby Style Party theme below, courtesy of 14 Hands Winery. Inspired by the stylish ladies & gents who attend the Derby and by the new Kentucky Derby® Red Blend, I set out to design a collection that was modern & preppy, yet anything but pretentious. Cheers to trying new wines, winning horses, and free stuff of course! ;)

All the printables below are set up on 8.5×11 templates for easy home printing. Download the high resolution PDFs and click here for inspiration when putting together your party, including food + drink, centerpiece, and decor ideas!

FREE Kentucky Derby® Party Printables – Derby Style

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DIY Tutorial: Barbie Birthday Party Centerpiece Idea

Planning a Barbie themed birthday party? Here’s a fun idea… This Barbie “Birthday Cake” Centerpiece is simple and stylish, and packs a big punch in the decor department! It’s also super versatile; you can easily switch up the patterned paper and colors to customize the look however you’d like. :)

This centerpiece is from the Colorful Barbie Birthday Party that I recently designed for Mattel®. Check out the full party out here. I chose the Barbie Rainbow Hair Doll as my “cake topper” for this design because her outfit perfectly matched the Free Printables that I designed for the party, which made things super easy! You can find both versions of the Rainbow Hair Doll at Toys”R”Us:

DIY Tutorial: Barbie Birthday Party Centerpiece Idea

As far as the DIY materials go, here’s what you’ll need for this project:

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As a mom of 3 and 5 year old girls, I was thrilled when Mattel® recently asked me to design a “Super Style” inspired Barbie Birthday Party filled with creative DIY ideas …and so were my girls, of course! ;) This project is part of the #TRUBestBirthday campaign, and features Barbie® toys and products that […]

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Come on Barbie, let’s go party, ah, ah, ah, ya…. ;) If you’re in the midst of planning a Barbie Birthday Party, this post should come in extra handy! I designed this paper party collection in conjunction with my new Colorful Barbie Birthday Party theme for Mattel. You can download these printables for free by […]

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