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 can all be found at Toys”R”Us. This was my first time designing a Barbie theme, but I’m definitely not one to shy away from a good excuse for glittery fun and DIY! So, I set out to come up with a fresh, Barbie-inspired look that felt happy and fashion-forward – incorporating bright pops of yellow and aqua with the traditional pink, black, and white Barbie colors. I just wanted it to feel like pure girlie FUN…
As always, paper designs played a huge role in the look of the party. You can download the new Colorful Barbie Birthday Collection that I designed for this party right here… and for FREE. :)
WHAT YOU’LL FIND IN THIS POST:
Because there is LOTS of info to convey within this one post, I’m going to do my best to be SUPER organized with the ideas so that they really live up to their purpose of serving as helpful inspiration! I’m dividing this post into sections by idea and am going to let the images do a lot of the talking. I’ll keep the tips as streamlined as possible – however, please feel free to ask questions in the comments section. I will also be co-hosting a #TRUBestBirthday Twitter party this Thursday, April 23rd at 2pm EST and can answer questions then as well!
Here’s how the post is divided up, in order:
1. General Look & Feel (intro images)
2. Beauty Bar
3. Kids Table
4. STYLE Station
5. Photo Booth
6. Fashion Designer Activity
7. Dessert Table
8. Play Time
9. Party Favors
10. Sweepstakes Entry
• • • • • T H E B E A U T Y B A R • • • • •
The party guests (my daughters and some preschool friends) were treated to mini glam sessions at the “Beauty Bar” right when they arrived. Everything was kept very light and fun… little glittery hearts and rhinestones on their faces, lip gloss, hair bows from the Barbie TuTu Cute Bun Kit, etc. They loved this – especially my youngest daughter, Rylie, who is pictured above in the pink dress.
Make sure to have a mirror nearby that the girls can use to check out their mini makeovers. It was really cute to watch their reactions!
• • • • • T H E K I D S T A B L E • • • • •
I had so much fun designing the kids table! I wanted it to have kind of a “Malibu Barbie” vibe. The key elements were:
– DIY Plastic Plates with printable plate liners (part of the free printables)
– Glitter Tape Forks (see my DIY tutorial here)
– Plastic cups embellished with washi tape and mini bows
– Paper garland “table runner” made from paper circles sewn together
– Plastic palm trees (purchased at Michaels) spray painted pink & silver
– Pink Paper Chandelier hanging overhead… just like in the Barbie Malibu House!
– Mini sunglasses on the chair backs… I found some cute laser-cut wooden glasses in the scrapbook section at Michaels, then painted them & filled with patterned paper and rhinestone ribbon
• • • • • T H E S T Y L E S T A T I O N • • • • •
What Barbie party would be complete without a little dress up, right?! Accessories are so much fun for the kids and also one of the easiest stations to set up. Just set out some fashionista sunglasses, beaded necklaces, Barbie rings, etc, and create a little accessories buffet for guests to help themselves.
We also hot glued mini bows to cheap beaded costume necklaces to give them a little more Barbie flair!
You also might have noticed the marquee “STYLE” letters at the beginning of the post – which were also part of the Style Station. These are made from the Heidi Swapp Marquee Love Letter Kits from Michaels + spray paint and patterned paper from the printables. So fun!
• • • • • T H E P H O T O B O O T H • • • • •
Once the guests are all styled up, it’s time to strike a pose! I used black and white striped fabric from Ikea and paper garlands for this “photo booth” – which is basically a designated photo area with a fun backdrop.
We also made DIY tissue fringe hearts to use as photo props. The smaller ones had glittered letters that spelled out “BFF” …or just “BF” depending on how many girls were using them! ;)
• • • • • F A S H I O N D E S I G N E R A C T I V I T Y • • • • •
The Barbie Be a Real Fashion Designer kit pulled triple duty at the party as an adorable themed decoration, a party activity, AND a take-home party favor! I used the dresses (from 2 sets) to create the little fashionista dress garland, and then the girls actually decorated the dresses as a party activity.
I could tell the girls really enjoyed this activity because they actually sat still and concentrated on it for a while, which was amazing given how much energy they were generating together. ;)
• • • • • B A R B I E D E S S E R T T A B L E • • • •
And now for the dessert table! I went for a more streamlined look here that’s still really fun & playful, but not overdone.
It took me forever to settle on a DIY backdrop idea, but I’m so happy with the where it landed! And it’s surprisingly easy to recreate… promise! I’ll do a more in depth tutorial later, but this project is basically printable paper silhouettes (part of the free printables) glued to blank artist canvases that are wrapped in fabric. I set the printables up in pieces so that they can easily be printed at home using standard 8.5×11 paper.
Since there are already a lot of Barbie “dress cakes” all over, I decided to just use a Barbie Fashionista Doll as a cake topper in the traditional sense (SO EASY!), then added a glittered wood “5” and a party flag to customize the design a bit. You’ll need a doll stand to keep Barbie upright and frosting-free. I used these doll stands here and throughout the rest of the party. The cake itself is from the bakery in my local grocery store. I asked for a plain, 2-tier cake, added some sixlets and the doll topper, and done!
A large white picture frame that I owned also served as a makeshift “tray” for the candy heart containers, which were embellished with ribbon and filled with Sixlets.
Two unfinished wooden heart frames from Michaels were given a glittery makeover and used as bookends for the table, along with more of the spray painted palm trees.
These “Fashion Cookies” are another semi-DIY treat. I bought black and white cookies from my grocery store, then used Wilton Candy Melts in pink and yellow to make hearts for the top. To make the hearts, you just pipe the melted candy into a heart candy mold, chill them in the fridge for a bit, then pop them out.
Last but not least is the treat that was definitely the hit of the dessert table… little DIY treat bag “purses” filled with “Posh Popcorn”, which is essentially kettle corn tossed with pink candy melts, then sprinkled with nonpareils and clear sanding sugar for sparkle. (DIY on the treat bags coming soon!)
• • • • • P L A Y T I M E • • • • •
Setting up a play area is another great way to both pretty up the party and keep the little ones entertained. I set toys out on a small side table and designed a “LET’S PLAY!” Barbie banner to hang overhead. (This banner is also available for free download.)
The girls especially enjoyed playing with the Barbie Color Me Cute Dolls, where you use ice cold water to make the doll clothes and pets magically change colors. They also loved the Bubble-Tastic Mermaid Doll, which has a tail that gets dipped into bubble solution and blows bubbles when you pull a string to spin it.
The Barbie Malibu House was definitely the highlight of the toy area though and got played with the most. It’s exclusive to Toys R Us and ended up making for a fun impromptu “photo prop” as well! Here’s my youngest daughter peeking through. ;)
Coloring is always a great go-to activity in a pinch… I love to have crayons and themed coloring books or sheets on hand when younger kids are around!
• • • • • P A R T Y F A V O R S • • • • •
The party favors were simple and fun… heart pastries in paper bags embellished with scrapbook stickers. They’re inspired by and were displayed next to the Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse Cafe and Doll Playset.
• • • • • T H E E N D ! + S W E E P S T A K E S • • • • •
Phew! I’m pretty sure I just broke my own record for the longest post ever! Thanks for sticking with me to the end… I hope you found some useful ideas in here. Don’t forget to enter our Barbie Birthday Sweepstakes before you go! The prize includes an awesome Barbie Bike, $100 Gift Card to Toys”R”Us where you can find tons of awesome gifts, and $100 Gift Certificate to Hostess Ink for custom-printed, designer party supplies!
The sweepstakes starts today and ends Wednesday, April 22, 2015 and midnight PST. The winner will be announced during the Twitter Party on Thursday, April 23, 2015 and contacted directly after. Good luck! :)