10 Mar

REAL PARTIES: Bedtime Stories Birthday

bedtime stories birthday party ideas

I have to admit that today’s Real Party feature makes me extra-happy… because it was inspired by a theme found right here at HWTM! Jennifer Gentry took our Bedtime Stories Baby Shower and spun it into a seriously fabulous birthday party for her son!

There are so many clever elements to this party… from the “story book” style invitations and ultra-creative thank you notes to a ridiculously adorable fondant bedcomplete with pillows, books, teddy bear, and flashlight nonetheless!

bedtime stories birthday party ideas

Read on for lots more images & all the party details, as told by Jennifer


I fell in LOVE when I saw the Bedtime Stories theme on HWTM! I knew right away that is what I wanted to do, and Connor’s favorite thing is reading books with us, so even he got excited!

When I told my friend about the theme she gave me the idea to do “books” for invites. Since I am a photographer, the invites were my favorite part, and I had so much fun putting them together.  I made little “books” written from Connor’s point of view about turning 3 and his party. They were a huge hit!

bedtime stories birthday party ideas

I LOVED the idea from HWTM about making the table a bed, so I knew that was a must.

Since we had all the main food on the island in the kitchen, I decided to make the dessert “bed” the prettiest one.  I got the duvet cover & pillowcase from Ikea for only $19.99, and found little blue pillows for only $2. I wrapped orange string around the blue pillows to make them a little prettier.

bedtime stories birthday party ideas

The bed canopies were from Ikea too (only 9.99 each!), as well as the throw blankets (just $7.99). I set everything up on the table, along with stacks of books that I’d covered with decorative paper so that they would match well.

I also covered glass cylinders with the same paper used on the books, embellished them with alphabet stickers, and filled them with orange flowers.

bedtime stories birthday party ideas

I decorated the ceiling of the kids play room with strings of tissue paper poms and hung paper lanterns all over the house.

bedtime stories birthday party ideas

For the food labels, I punched out moon and star shapes with a craft punch, then used toothpicks to stick them in little fondant books that I’d made.

bedtime stories birthday party ideas

I hung another bed canopy above the kids table, covered the table with matching fabrics, and added plastic buckets filled with party toys.

bedtime stories birthday party ideas

bedtime stories birthday party ideas

The Menu
Although I didn’t get many photos of the main food set-up, there was a lot of it! In addition to trays of trays of cheese, vegetables, crackers, and fruit, I made parfait cups, caprese skewers, ham & cheese skewers, turkey wraps, mini twice baked potatoes, lil smokies, and pigs in a blanket.

bedtime stories birthday party ideas

For dessert I made cream-filled strawberries, mini brownies, marshmallow pops, lemon cupcakes with fondant decorations, and these AMAZING Chocolate and Strawberry Cupcakes!

The cupcakes were a HUGE hit, and the only change I made was swapping out the cream cheese frosting from chocolate-flavored to regular so that I could dye it to match the party.

bedtime stories birthday party ideas

bedtime stories birthday party ideas

For the top of the desert stand I made a fondant bed with a little teddy bear, flashlight, and books. It looked so cute! We also had an ice cream bar set up on the counter top.

bedtime stories birthday party ideas

I had all the kids come in their pajamas to stick with the theme, and since they were too small for “real” activities, I just made the play room baby-friendly and set all of Connor’s toys out for play.

The kids played great together and the adults enjoyed lots of chatting time over great food. Since there were no set “projects” for the kids, it made it easy for the adults to just relax and socialize.

Party Favors
I found cute little book bags at the party store and made little hang tags for them that matched the food labels. In the favor bags for the babies I put in a little stuffed bear and an Elmo bedtime book.  Toddlers received glow bracelets, suckers, fairytale finger puppets, sticker books, a coloring book, and crayons.  They looked really cute!

bedtime stories birthday party ideas

Thank You Notes
Since there were so many people & kids that attended, we decided not to open presents at the party.  I had Connor open them the next day, and I took pictures of him opening each one, then I made storyboards for each guest with the photos of him opening the present that they gave him.

Everybody loved them, and it was great because they still got to see him open their present, but without the chaos of the party!”

bedtime stories birthday party ideas


Thanks again to Jennifer for sharing this with us!

Leave a Comment


Ebony Sparkes SAYS:

Very cute! Love the fondant bed!!!

Reply March 10, 2010 at 8:46 pm


Holy cow! Love the strawberries, the cupcakes sound wonderful…and the thank you’s are so creative!

Reply March 10, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Elisha Akram SAYS:

So very cute! Love the desert bed table.

Reply March 10, 2010 at 9:01 pm

may SAYS:

very cute

Reply March 10, 2010 at 9:26 pm

Kendal SAYS:

Awesome!!! You did a great job! Thanks for sharing.

Reply March 10, 2010 at 9:26 pm

Cammi SAYS:

Wow! This party looks amazing! I love the dessert table, as well as all the decor, invites and thank you notes. Oh, geesh, I love it all. Fabulous job!

Reply March 10, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Jen Gentry SAYS:

YAY! I’m so excited to be on your blog, thanks for inviting me over :) And thanks for all the love everyone! Here’s the link to those strawberries too – http://www.marthastewart.com/article/filled-strawberries?comments_page=1 YUMMY!!

Reply March 10, 2010 at 10:53 pm

olivia s. SAYS:

this is so cute! Where are the kiwi and grapefruit lollipops from??? I love them!

Reply March 11, 2010 at 1:32 am

suzi SAYS:

Wow, they look amazing…

Reply March 11, 2010 at 5:05 am

TidyMom SAYS:

Jen did a FABULOUS job……..makes me wish my kids were still little!

Reply March 11, 2010 at 5:08 am


Super cute!! I am craving the strawberries and cream though!

Kim @ http://frostmeblog.blogspot.com
party inspiration

Reply March 11, 2010 at 6:24 am

Rowaida Flayhan SAYS:

Your blog is wonderful Jenn, it is always a great pleasure checking it. Lots of inspirations and great ideas
Thank you

Reply March 11, 2010 at 6:56 am

Ashley SAYS:

I love this! I loved the theme when I originally saw it on HWTM and these additions/twist make it special. I love the thank you cards & invites.. do you have a close up picture? Also, how did you make them so that they were customized to the person’s name & gift? Thanks!

Reply March 11, 2010 at 7:03 am

Gray SAYS:

So Cute! I am currently planning a slumber party…what great ideas to get my creative juices flowing!!

Reply March 11, 2010 at 8:32 am

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