Grab your ears, Mouseketeers, and give three cheers for this AMAZING Classic & Crafty Mickey Mouse Birthday Party by Cara McGrady of One Swell Studio! Little Hudson’s 3rd birthday celebration was dotted with DIY Mickey Mouse treats and clever chalkboard party signs with the nostalgic (and original!) 1950’s Mickey Mouse Club inspiration for an “EAR- resistibly good time!”
PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:
– Mickey Mouse inspired dessert table with “Mouse Ear” cake pops & Minnie cupcakes
– “Smile from Ear to Ear” and more clever chalkboard party signs!
– Mouseketeer signature party drink + chevron and washi tape favor bags
– Adorable Mickey Mouse Trouser potted plants
– Vintage inspired Mouse Ear birthday invitation in black, red & yellow
PARTY DETAILS, as told by Cara…
This was the first year my little guy became really involved in the planning process for his birthday party. (Really involved.) As soon as we began discussing theme ideas, my almost-three year old instantly settled on Mickey Mouse. He had an opinion on just about everything from the colors to the food & we did our best to make sure his requests were met in order to make his “Happy Day” extra special.
During the early stages of planning, I decided I wanted to do something a little different for his Mickey party. While I stuck to a traditional color palate of red, yellow & black, I incorporated unexpected neutrals like kraft paper, chalkboards, burlap, & wood throughout the party to give it a bit of a crafty, handmade feel. I also incorporated many nostalgic aspects from the original (1950’s-60’s) Mickey Mouse Club that many of our guests (grandparents, aunts & uncles) instantly recognized. I love it when everyone at the party is “in on” the theme. We used the classic black & white Mickey throughout the decorations. The kids were thrilled that Mickey Mouse was involved, and the adults liked reminiscing about a beloved character they grew up watching.
Hudson’s invitations asked guests to join us for an “EAR- resistibly good time” and featured a custom Mouseketeer hat design that would also be found throughout his party. The invitations were mailed in kraft envelopes with coordinating washi tape & a vintage-inspired return address sticker. The guests’ address labels were designed to look as though they had been created with an old-school label maker.
As they arrived on the big day, our guests were greeted by a hand painted chalkboard sign that read “Hey there, Hi there, Ho there! You’re as welcome as can be!”— lyrics from the original Mickey Mouse Club theme song. Red, yellow & black balloons were tied to the sign using bakers twine instead of curling ribbon—a last minute change that I ended up loving. I made a wreath for our front door using polka dot fabric, felt flowers & a cute pennant bunting. Mason jars filled with fresh flowers from our local farm market were scattered throughout the house & were the perfect little extra to tie in the party colors. Using a reclaimed window from an old barn, my husband & I created a frame to display Instagram pictures of Hudson. Each 4×4” photo was clipped to jute twine using a miniature clothespin. The birthday boy greeted guests wearing a custom embroidered Mickey t-shirt & red shorts to mimic Mickey’s look. Of course, his Mouseketeer ears hat topped off his ensemble.
We had a drink station set up for our guests to enjoy a wide range of beverages. We posted a sign that read “We’ve got Ears- Say Cheers” along with the available drinks—Lemonade Punch, Tutti Fruitti Jarritos, Classic Coke, Old Fashioned Root Beer, Southern Style Sweet Tea, and water. We even included a signature drink called ‘The Mouseketeer’—Classic Coke a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a splash of grenadine syrup & a maraschino cherry on top, (It got rave reviews!)
Hudson made it very clear early on in the planning process that he would be the one choosing the menu. We went with his choices & served hot dogs, French fries (in adorable, coordinating fry boxes from Target), soft pretzel bites, chicken on a stick & Italian pasta salad. Crafty-looking fruit cups were made by placing cut pineapple, strawberries & blackberries into miniature seedling pots tied with baker’s twine. They were almost too cute to eat. Almost. We also had a color-scheme-friendly veggie tray with red & yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes & black olives.
Using a backdrop of kraft paper & quatrefoil wrapping paper, Hudson’s dessert table was the focal point of the room. A framed chalkboard, with the same design used on the invitations, was hung above the table. I used wooden crates & boxes wrapped in kraft paper to give the desserts a bit of a height element. The table featured Hudson’s favorite special treats—lollipops and Oreos.
I created the ‘3’ chocolate lollipops and chocolate covered Oreos using candy molds & Wilton candy melts. I also made Mickey Oreo Pops and that the kids absolutely loved. They were easy to assemble & were made with easy-to-find ingredients. We couldn’t leave Minnie Mouse out of our party details, so I baked miniature chocolate cupcakes, frosted them & added little bows & Oreo Minis for ears. The polka-dot liners were doubled up after baking to give the cupcakes a ruffled effect. I found the red & white twist lollipops at the Dollar Tree. (The kiddos were a little obsessed with them.)
Playing off of the vintage/rustic theme, I baked miniature apple & cherry pies and placed them in the polka dot cupcake wrappers. I used canned pie filling & frozen pie crusts to make this as easy as possible. There was only one pie left by the end of the party!
I made a cake stand to hold Hudson’s cake using a terracotta pot & base. It was a super easy & budget-friendly DIY project that was exactly what I had in mind. I embellished it with some yellow pom-poms for some added color. We ordered a simple rough-iced vanilla cake from our favorite local baker & topped it with some ruffled fabric trim & a clothespin figurine made to resemble the birthday boy himself. (The cake topper was, by far, my favorite party detail.) I really love using a very simple cake & adding something extra to make it fit right into the party. After the candles were blown out, the cake was served. We also enjoyed vanilla ice cream in polka dot cups along with cute & coordinating washi tape covered wooden spoons.
We had photo booth set up with a chalkboard sign that read, “Smile from Ear to Ear” that was displayed along side my vintage Nikon camera. The photo booth backdrop fabric was an incredible thrift shop purchase that only cost a dollar. I made several pairs of felt Mickey & Minnie ears for our guests to wear when they had their pictures taken. Everyone had fun posing & being silly. We later included the photos as black & white 4×4” Instagram prints in their thank you cards.
POPCORN BAR & FAVORS
Before leaving, we made sure our guests filled a bag with popcorn from ‘Hudson’s Happy Day Popcorn Buffet” as a take-along favor. Hudson insisted on having popcorn at the party, and a popcorn buffet sounded like a lot of fun. I got several baskets from our near-by farm supply store to hold the popcorn and attached chalkboard-inspired labels to let guests know which was which. I found cute little scoops at Target & embellished them with coordinating ribbon. We had five different flavors, but the ultimate favorite was the Chocolate Drizzle popcorn. (Huge hit!)
Since the party ended, Hudson has been asking us when he can have another Mickey party, so I ‘m assuming he enjoyed himself quite a bit. :)
VENDOR CREDITS & RESOUCES:
– Event Styling, Printed Items, Photography & Desserts: One Swell Studio
– Custom Mickey Shirt: Carlie Anna Boutique
– Polka Dot Nut Cups: Party Delights
– Candy Molds: Kenilah’s Cake & Candy
– Chevron Favor Bags & Washi Tape: Swig Shoppe
– Cake: Pennie’s Bake Shop & Espresso Bar
– Quatrefoil Wrapping Paper, Popcorn Scoops & French Fry Boxes: Target