Welcome to my 31 Days series - 31 Days of Creative Celebrations! I'm going to post every single day for the next 31 days on the topic of Celebrating. And why did I pick that topic? Because in my world, October is back to back parties and special events! And let's face it - we all LOVE a good party! From birthdays, to Halloween, to crafts - I'm jamming it all into this month.
If you've spent much time around me, you'll know that I'm the go-to girl for party ideas. That's my favorite part actually - the planning! Most of my friends know this, and many of them come to me when they're trying to decide what to do for their kids' birthdays. And I have a bit of a rep when it comes to the parties I throw for my own kids. They're all a bit over-the-top ;) I'm not an expert, but I do know what works for me. So I thought I'd walk you through my process, step by step. With Kaitlyn's birthday exactly 2 weeks away I'm doing all the work anyway - may as well blog about it, right?
As with anything creative, it all starts with the inspiration. My daughter is just as into parties as I am (in fact, she planned her first party, for her grandpa when she was just 4 years old!) and basically the day after she has her birthday she starts planning the next one. And surprisingly, once she settles on a theme she doesn't change her mind. This year her theme is Fish. I know - it's kind of off-the-wall for a theme right? But there are a lot of different directions I could go with that theme - fishing, mermaids, under the sea, etc - and that's what makes it a good one.
You don't have to choose a theme before you start searching for inspiration, but it certainly does help to narrow things down. So how do you choose the theme? Well, just pick anything that you can get excited about. Favorite things are a good place to start. If the party is for someone, what is their favorite TV show or movie? Favorite color? Favorite hobby? Favorite food? There are all kinds of themes to be found there from princesses or Spiderman, to black and white polka dot, from baseball, to chocolate - all great themes for a party! The point is that you pick something that not only says something about the guest of honor (or the reason you are having the party if it's for a holiday or a monthly book club or whatever), but to pick something that makes YOU excited to plan the party. You aren't going to enjoy planning a party if it's all about football and you, yourself can't stand the game, right?
I also want to point out that when it comes to kids' parties (or any party really), while I do recommend you ask for your child's input, don't let that tie you into the theme. A lot of times the guest of honor will be thrilled with the party, no matter what theme you choose in the end.
Now, once you have a little bit of direction it's on to gathering ideas - my favorite part! And for this I usually employ the good 'ole internet. (duh) I don't do this all at once, but I spend some time looking around when I have the chance. Part of the fun of planning a party is building it up gradually. This cuts down on the stress levels too.
This is a quick inspiration board I created from some of the things I found on Pinterest (you can see my whole Pin Board here). Pinterest is now my #1 place to search for things like that. Another good one is Google, of course. For a child's party, try places like familyfun.com or birthdayparyideas.com. If the theme is a specific toy, TV show, or a movie, a lot of times you will find party ideas on their websites (NickJr.com, disney.go.com, tonka.com, etc) For terrific party eye candy some of my favorite blogs include Celebrations at Home and Kara's Party Ideas. And if you are a DIYer, there are tons of ideas and tutorials at TipJunkie.com
Now it's your turn to share -how and where do you find inspiration?