We already know Jen Carver of Banner Events is a party genius… but she never ceases to wow me with her incredible theme exploration and DIY creativity! For her daughter’s 8th birthday she took her mini party guests to Ancient Egypt to discover manuicures, facials and more spa style party treatment. :) Her “Jewel of the Nile” Egyptian Spa Party is a dazzling wonder with it’s gold + jewel tone tablescape, Anders Ruff printables, hieroglyphic inspired desserts and gorgeous outfits that would have made Cleopatra proud!
PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:
- “Great Pyramid” birthday cake by 4 Kids Cakes, Nile Water and Tut’s Treats
- DIY Egytpian style columns for the dessert table + DIY Peacock Chandelier
- Glamorous beauty stations like “Hatshepsut’s Hairstyling”, “Pharaoh’s Facials” & “Nefertiti’s Nails”
- Egyptian Tunic Costumes in Cleopatra’s Closet
- Amazing 3D pyramid and sarcophagus favor boxes by Piggy Bank Parties
PARTY DETAILS, as told by Jen…
Our “Jewel of the Nile” recently turned 8 and invited her friends to come celebrate– Egyptian style. I have to admit, I was thrilled when Kaylee asked for an Egyptian spa theme. She’s the 3rd in a line of women who are obsessed with all things Ancient Egypt. (I did a study abroad there while in college and have longed for the day when some of my ‘ancient’ souvenirs could be unearthed from the depths of storage boxes for a fun purpose!) She was a gorgeous Cleopatra for Halloween earlier this year, and her costume was a natural springboard for the color palette for this celebration.
As you can imagine, finding party ideas and/or premade/packaged decor for an Egyptian spa party was beyond difficult. Pinterest, generally a collective wealth of brilliant ideas from talented curators, left me grasping at straws (more like Papyrus reeds). I basically had to start from scratch, but Anders Ruff was there once again to save the day and designed something amazing for my daughter’s unique celebration.
So how do you plan a unique party theme when there isn’t much to inspire you? Here are five tips I learned along the way.
Thankfully, I had a little background knowledge of Ancient Egypt I could withdraw from my memory banks from both my study abroad experience in Egypt and my 3 years of teaching about Ancient Egypt as part of our World History class as a 6th grade teacher. But, a refresher course was fantastic for helping me think of clever wording for the invitation & activity stations, deriving an appropriate event color palette & design scheme, and dreaming up creative treats, decorations & favors. Kaylee and I had fun looking at books from our bookshelf, DIY make it/take it books from my teaching resources & scouring the internet for inspiration.
Just one example of how our research paid off and was incorporated into our party design: we discovered that the peacock feather had significance in Ancient Egyptian history, so we used it as the basis for our color palette and incorporated it throughout our party space. Our peacock feathers came from Wholesale Event Solutions (you can order in bulk).
#2 THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX (or should we say pyramid?)
If money were no object, I would’ve booked a flight for 8 little girls to Cairo, Egypt. We would’ve caravanned via camel to the base of the Sphinx or an ancient step pyramid or perhaps even traveled a little farther to the Valley of the Kings and set up our party at the foot of King Tut’s tomb. But because money is an object and taking our ‘jewel’ and her friends to see ancient Egyptian antiquities in their country of origin was not an option, I brainstormed ways to bring the ‘ancient’ antiquities to them.
One of my favorite ways we accomplished this was by bringing in costumes for the girls to wear (which also doubled as a take-home favor). I found an Ebay seller (see vendor credits) that would give me a bulk rate discount on Cleopatra costumes. (See below for details on “Cleopatra’s Closet”.)
#3 DON’T BE AFRAID OF A LITTLE DIY WORK
So, 6 ft. Egyptian columns aren’t in your price range? Make your own at a fraction of the cost! (The columns I looked at were several hundred dollars a piece without shipping costs factored in.) You already did step #2, right? You thought outside the box; now you’re ready to work!
I knew I wanted tall Egyptian style columns as a part of my daughter’s dessert table display. A quick trip to Home Depot & the Dollar Store later, about 30 minutes worth of time, and about $16 in materials and I had some Egyptian columns! I made mine from cardboard cement forms (round tubes that come in several diameters), some black insulation tubing (that already had double sided adhesive), gold spray paint, a roll of wrapping paper (Dollar Tree) and some cheap gold chargers. Easy peasy.
Another DIY project was the chandelier that hung above the dining table. Now this was really inexpensive and easy to make. Materials included: two different sized embroidery hoops, leftover gold spray paint, scrapbook paper punched circles, fishing line, gold ribbon & peacock feathers (Wholesale Event Solutions). Believe it or not, I assigned the task of contstructing the chandelier’s frame to my husband. He whipped it out in a matter of minutes, and then I just got to embellish it! I think it adds so much to the decor.
#4 USE FOOD & DESSERTS TO TIE IN THE THEME
One of the best parts of my job is becoming acquainted with brilliant, talented dessert artists. And when I call them artists, I mean it in every sense of the word. I mean, check out their work below!
From the jaw dropping Egyptian pyramid cake with cartouche & hieroglyphic detailing (4 Kids Cakes) to exquisitely detailed fondant cupcake toppers (Sugar High, Inc.), to intricate lotus cake pops (Maskipops by Adri) & shimmering macarons (Felt & Flour) to scrumptious cookies (Sugary Sweet Cupcakes & Treats) & gorgeous pharaoh & eye of Horus chocolate covered Oreos (Love & Sugar Kisses), plus Pharaoh pretzel rods (Berry Delish), all our desserts tied in with the Egyptian theme.
#5 COORDINATE PARTY ACTIVITIES & FAVORS WITH YOUR THEME
Most children love to get ‘dressed up’ in character, if a party lends itself to that opportunity. Upon arrival, Kaylee’s friends made a quick stop at “Cleopatra’s Closet” where they picked out a beautiful Egyptian tunic & accessories carefully hung on gold hangers to change into. We tried to make this shopping experience authentic with fun clothing tags on each dress & a store sign made to coordinate by Anders Ruff.
I also used the talents of Anders Ruff to bring in a little more Egyptian flair to both the dessert table and the dining tables. Some of the fun details included an oversized backdrop sign turned into a large scroll banner, a flag bunting designed to look like Egyptian cartouches spelling out “Kaylee” in hieroglyphics. Ornate glass bottles (Via Blossom) were glammed up with Nile Water beverage wraps, gold tassels and metallic gold straws (Little Ink) and drink flags. Place cards were also made to look like cartouches with the girls initials in hieroglyphics. Sucre Shop designed some fresh new patterns on their eco-friendly utensils, perfect for our event.
After the girls had dressed the part, they were whisked away to Kaylee’s beautiful Desert Oasis & Spa where they received the royal treatment. Clever Egypt inspired names were used at each of the spa stations. Fun and child friendly spa products from Moodylicious Children’s Spa were used by each of the guests. I loved the darling labels Anders Ruff created to personalize each of these products. They had facials at “Pharaoh’s Facials,” manicures at “Nefertiti’s Nails,” makeup applied at “Mummy’s Makeup” and hair fixed at “Hatshepsut’s Hairstyling”.
In addition to all of the fun spa activities, we provided some other fun Egyptian themed appropriate activities for the girls.
‘JEWELRY’ OF THE NILE
Almost every girl I know loves jewelry! Since Kaylee and her friends are often found beading their own necklaces, we thought a “Jewel”ry of the Nile station would be perfect! Do and J of Piggy Bank Parties created the most perfect favor boxes to house the treasured jewelry making essentials. I seriously gasped when I saw the incredible detail work on these King Tut sarcophagus favor boxes. What a fun way to tie in the theme, right? The favor boxes had little gold sachet bags with jewelry elastic, fasteners, beautiful beads and a Nefertiti charm.
At the crafting table, we made a special place for each girl, which included a fun activity coloring page, coordinating crayons & a cartouche image on authentic papyrus for them to add hieroglyphics to using an Egyptian stamp set. The girls loved learning about ancient Eyptian writing and had fun recreating their names.
The fun of attending a party is leaving with some fun favors! Favors don’t have to be complex or expensive. We filled some Egyptian pyramid favor boxes, masterfully designed by Piggy Bank Parties with some gumballs from SmashCake Studio. We also sent the girls home with some treats from King Tut, dressed up with some cute treat bag toppers by Anders Ruff.
And finally, so the girls could recreate their spa experience at home, we sent them each home with a personal spa kit (I found the aqua bowls on clearance 2/$1 at Walmart!) full of Moodylicious Children’s Spa products, a cosmetic bag (Dollar Tree), and manicure set (Michaels on sale).
- Event Concept & Styling: Jen Carver, Banner Events
- Photographer: A Fresh Take Photography
- Printable Suite & Invitation: Anders Ruff Custom Designs
- Printable 3-D Egyptian pyramid & sarcophagus favor boxes: Piggy Bank Parties
- Cake: 4 Kids Cakes
- Custom fondant cupcake toppers: Sugar High, Inc.
- Custom sugar cookies: Sugary Sweet Cupcakes & Treats
- Custom fondant chocolate covered Oreos: Love & Sugar Kisses
- Custom cake pops: Maskipops by Adri
- Custom chocolate dipped pretzels: Berry Delish
- Custom macarons: Felt & Flour
- Rock candy: Bulkcandynuts.com
- Gold satin tablecloths, gold satin napkins, peacock feathers & drabs: Wholesale Event Solutions
- Shimmer gumballs (white & blue used in pyramid party favors): SmashCake Studio
- Custom eco-friendly wooden utensils: Sucre Shop
- Gold cupcake wrappers, petite gold cups, vintage glass bottles: Via Blossom
- Gold striped straws: Little Ink
- Cherry lip gloss, musk gold glitter lotion, gold glitter musk perfume, gold glitter chocolate mani-pedi sugar scrub, chocolate masks, gold glitter mani-pedi sugar scrub: Moodylicious Children’s Spa
- Cleopatra costumes: Ebay Seller fnfcostumes