Bonjour! I’m so excited to share the sweet details of this adorable MADELINE Themed Birthday Party with you today… Lydia of The Party Wagon created this darling celebration for her daughter’s 8th birthday, and with creative elements like mini fondant Madelines, hats and capelets for each “mademoiselle”, and mini suitcase favor boxes – in addition to clever themed activities like Madeline’s Hat Parade, “Lessons at the Louvre”, and storytime with “Miss Clavel” – I’d say she gets an A+ on all accounts!
It’s obvious that a lot of thought and effort went into this birthday party, and after reading the first sentence of Lydia’s party description, I couldn’t help but smile… She said, “Having always loved Madeline and having saved the books with hopes of one day reading them to my own daughter, I was thrilled to plan this party for my daughter, Camille.” Amazing job, Lydia! :)
Read on for lots more sweet pics + all the creative party details….
PARTY DETAILS, as told by Lydia…
“Having always loved Madeline and having saved the books with hopes of one day reading them to my own daughter, I was thrilled to plan this party for my daughter, Camille.
The guests were sent invitations (designed by Loralee Lewis) inviting them to “Paris” for a Madeline Party. I asked Loralee to add the quote: “…In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines…Miss Clavel said, “It’s Party Time!“. She designed a beautiful band that wrapped around the invitation with the quote printed on it.
Invitations were addressed to each “mademoiselle”- and then slipped inside of a felt pouch made to resemble Madeline’s blue jacket. The felt invitation pouch was custom-designed by Teresa of Stell and Livi! There were 31 guests at the party. 30 girls and one boy – my son. You will notice there was one blue suitcase!
The guests were greeted by “Miss Clavel” at the old house in Paris. The old house was drawn by my mother. My mother, my daughter, and I painted it with watercolors. Camille loved being a part of making “the old house”! Miss Clavel was my daughter’s (now-retired) kindergarten teacher. It was a special surprise for Camille to have one of her favorite teachers play the part of “Miss Clavel”- she thought I was going to be the one dressed up! I kept it a secret from her until just before the party when her teacher arrived. My role was to be the “American Tour Guide”.
Upon arrival, the children were given their suitcases with luggage tags, fitted into their “uniforms”- (the capelets designed by Kate Landers and used with her blessings), and then Miss Clavel read Madeline’s Rescue (Camille’s favorite Madeline book) to them.
MADELINE’S HAT PARADE
After the story was over, the girls went to Madeline’s Hat Parade. The girls paired up and paraded in a circle to the music of Madeline. There were numbers on the floor and each number had its french equivalent under it. When the music stopped, a number was called and the girls on that number were to choose a hat to wear and then go to the Sweet Shoppe and Patisserie. The hats were straw hats that I wrapped with satin ribbon. I secured the ribbon with glue dots. One of Camille’s requests was to have lots and lots of red bows! She liked the hats better with red although the girls in the books have black ribbons on their hats. I carried the red bow theme throughout the party as often as I could!
SWEET SHOPPE & PATISSERIE
Guests were given blue and white striped bags for their candy and asked to put it in their suitcases to take with them on the flight home. They were then seated at the cafe or they picnicked on the “lawn”. The tables were topped with a red and white cloth and a simple sunflower was placed in the middle of the table.
At the Patisserie, the girls could choose from berries in individual pastry shells with gorgeous toppers that said Bonjour!, 8, and Camille’s Birthday, ham and cheese croissants, cheese, crackers, and more fruit. Also, there were freshly baked chocolate, raspberry, and pistachio macaroons.
LESSONS AT THE LOUVRE
After the girls finished their snack, they headed to the Louvre for “Lessons at the Louvre”. And they went to the Louvre in 2 straight lines guided by Miss Clavel! At the Louvre, they were met by the girls’ wonderful art teacher from their school! She taught a beautiful art lesson for them and they each went home with a painted masterpiece! As a backdrop at the Louvre, I used a folding screen to hang framed artwork by Camille. Mrs. Lilliston, the art teacher, told the guests they were in the “Camille Gallery” of the Louvre and that she was the featured artist in this gallery! Having my daughter’s artwork hanging as an art gallery was one of my favorite details! It served as a fabulous and backdrop!
Each guest started with an 8 x 10 blank canvas. They were told to use chalk to draw a line and that would be the table. Next, they were instructed to draw a vase and then flowers in the vase (all with chalk). After they were satisfied with their picture, they used tempera paint and paint brushes to bring the picture to life! There were paint palettes and water set out for them. Each canvas was placed on a photo stand (used as an easel) so that the girls could paint upright. When each guest was finished with their painting, we put beautiful labels designed by Loralee Lewis on the back of each canvas that said, ” Mademoiselle __________’s Masterpiece 2011“. Each child’s name was lovingly printed on their own label by Loralee Lewis. By the end of the party, each child could take home their masterpiece!
Next, the children were led to the gorgeous cake to sing Happy Birthday! The cake was 3 tiers. The top was yellow tufted fondant with tiny white accents and fabulous fondant toppers made by Edible Details! Brittany from Edible Details handmade Madeline and Genevieve to go on top! The second tier was white fondant with dainty red flowers. The third layer was white fondant with a lovely blue stripe with tiny yellow dots on the sides of each stripe. Of course, there was a red fondant bow around the cake as requested by the birthday girl! Chef Patrick of Athens Country Club did a fantastic job with the cake!
The guests were seated at a very long table to resemble the table in the storybooks. Each child had a place card with Mademoiselle __________ printed on it. Edible Details also made 30 small, fondant Madelines so that each girl could have something special at her place. Needless to say, many of those little Madelines were packed into the suitcases to save. They were precious!
Each girl also had a special straw for her glass. The straw flags were made by Loralee Lewis and said, Camille is 8! and Happy Birthday! They were a big hit!
THE HUNT FOR GENEVIEVE (ACTIVITY)
The last activity that was planned was to go on a hunt for Genevieve- as in the book. There were clues and questions for the girls to answer at each stop along the way. This was my way of teaching a little bit of french to them and a little bit about Paris.
They started at the Louvre, where they didn’t find Genevieve but before they could have the next clue, they had to name 2 famous french artists and tell who painted the painting “Camille’s Sunflowers”.
Next, they were to go to the Eiffel Tower. (The Eiffel Tower was drawn by another art teacher at the school.) I incorporated storylines in the search and narrated the search. At the tower, they didn’t find Genevieve but had to see who could guess the closest to the height of the Eifle Tower and to guess who built it.
Next, they were told to go to the Gendarmes. They were asked to tell what gendarmes are (the art teacher also drew those for us).
Lastly, they were told that we must need to speak french for Genevieve to understand and so we learned a few basic phrases: Hello, Goodbye, Please, and Thank You Very Much. And, finally, Miss Clavel saw that there was enough hound to go all around! There was a basket with a plush toy Genevieve and plush puppies for everyone! With red bows and dog tags for each. Each pup was given a french name to go on her doggie tag. The dog tags were beautifully made by Loralee Lewis.
BOOKS & PARTY FAVORS
As the girls got ready to leave for their trip back to the United States, they stopped by the “book store” to pick up a copy of the latest Madeline book to read on the plane home. Madeline at the White House was a perfect choice for these american travelers! A bookplate was on the inside of each book so that the children could have a memory of their birthday trip.
On the table as the guests left, there was a bag of homemade madeline cookies with a tag saying “Merci Beaucoup! Madelines for you!”. There was aslo a quote from the book that is the last line in so many of the Madeline books…“that’s all there is; there isn’t anymore.”
P.S. A HUGE thanks to Betsy Lilliston for teaching the art lesson and to Jane Inscoe for playing the part of Miss Clavel!“
- Paper Details (customized signs, invitations, banner, table tents, place cards, luggage tags, doggie tags, favor tags, straw flags, labels, notecards): Loralee Lewis
- Felt Capelets and Invitation Jackets: Stell and Livi
- Fondant Cake Toppers and Madelines: Edible Details
- Photography: Zoomworks
- Cake and Food: Chef Patrick at Athens Country Club
- “Eiffel Tower” and “Gendarmes” pictures – drawn by Mary Presnell and painted by Linda Johnson
- “Old House” picture – drawn by grandmother of the birthday girl
- Art Supplies and Ribbon: Hobby Lobby and Michael’s