The Rainbow Party

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Because I have about a million kids I don’t do birthday parties very often. We have birthdays just about every month from December-June and I get pretty birthday-ed out. Plus it’s really expensive. Poor little Adelaide turned six this year and has never had a party so we figured it was her turn. I’ve gotten a little tired of all the fancy parties we’ve been to lately (not going to talk about the party she went to last Saturday where the girls were driven to mini golf downtown in a limo*). So I decided to do a nice party at home (How quaint!). Ada isn’t princess-y or frilly so we settled on a rainbow theme. It turned out to be a great idea since you can get rainbow stuff everywhere.

Karina from JustClickPrint designed the invites and I printed them up myself.

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I decided to make a rainbow tablecloth for the treat table. It ended up only costing about $15 since it’s inexpensive quilting fabric. Not too bad until you factor in the labor costs. You guys, I’m good at sewing but this thing was a pain. Not really difficult, but it takes a lot of time (about ten hours and I knew what I was doing). I started out making a tutorial to show you how to make one yourselves, but by the fourth step all I could think was “don’t make this!”. It’s pretty cute but is seriously not worth the trouble. (Instead you can beg me to loan mine to you.)

In the goodie category we decided to go straight for the sugar. Who wants pizza and fruit when there is candy? Giant lollipops, jellybeans, white chocolate covered Oreos, birthday cake (made by me. Because the tablecloth wasn’t enough work. And because I’m a cake snob) . . .

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. . . gumballs, licorice and white-chocolate covered pretzels.

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I let each girl have an Oreo and a few pieces of licorice when she came in. Other than that the only food we ate at the party was cake and ice cream. When it was time to leave I gave each guest a bag to load up with handfuls of candy (including the giant sucker. I got them at Michael’s for $1.49 each. Giant suckers are a great goodie bag treat because kids adore them and they’re pretty cheap. A lot of bang for the buck.)

Tissue paper flowers are an inexpensive, fun way to decorate. Plus they don’t go flat like balloons so you can make them way ahead of time for your party.

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Ada loves crafts so we made Shrinky-Dink necklaces at the party. I traced all the designs the day before and had the girls color them as they arrived. Since the guests were mostly in the 5-6 year range and not very good with scissors I hired India and her friend to cut out the Shrinky Dinks, bake them and assemble the necklaces. Teenage girls are an excellent resource to have on hand at a party. They make great behind-the-scenes helpers.

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(That’s supposed to be an owl with a rainbow in the background. I drew it free-hand, OK?)

We also did another craft using big posterboards which had been cut into a rainbow and cloud shape (I had Arabella to cut them all out for me. Having six minions kids does have its rewards). The guests painted them with watercolors and glued cotton balls on the clouds.

Even with all the crafts the girls still managed to get a little wild.

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Ada was especially happy that her favorite cousin, Daphne, could be visiting from Utah when she had her party.

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And because I got a little carried away with the rainbow theme . . .

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The party was a great success and all fourteen guests had fun (me, on the other hand? Notsomuch. I was terribly exhausted by the end and when Mister suggested we go out to dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant afterwards I was thrilled. Little did I know that he’d planned a surprise dinner for my birthday** and that a bunch of my friends were there. What a shame that I was too worn out to look excited. Even though I was.)

*The theme of said party was “Six in the City”. No lie. I doubt any of the six-year-olds got the reference. At least I hope not.

**Try not to have a baby within a week of your own birthday. It will forever mess things up for you.

18 thoughts on “The Rainbow Party

  1. I am a big fan of the low key home birthday party. I'm not doing it to impress adults. Kids just want to run around and eat candy. Done.

    Golfing and a limo? Get serious, people.

  2. All of our birthday parties were at home, and I don't think any of our kids felt badly about that. It was great being unique.

    And I love the rainbow theme! Too bad we're done with kid parties now. I'll just have to keep it in mind for some other occasion.

  3. What a great party! I wish that we could be done with the whole party thing, but Dad is the big obstacle. I too have one by my birthday. I don't celebrate my birthday though, so no biggie. Seems everyone always forgets it too. Oh well! How nice of your hubby to surprise you like that!

  4. What a great idea for a theme. I'm remembering this for our next round of parties (I have two whole years before I need to plan another party!)

  5. Where has your blog been hiding? How come I've never been here before?? The Rainbow theme party is over the top fabulous!! Darling. And I think I need your help with food storage. I'll be checking in often.

  6. Despite actually being there and seeing those owl shrinky dinks, I stared at that monkey head on the rainbow for a good 10 seconds trying to figure out why I couldn't remember the kids coloring monkey head shrinky dinks.

    Derrrrr.

  7. What a fun party!! I want to do something low key for my daughter's first, but since our place is so small it will have to be outside. But since it's in July it'll have to be near water.

    Can I borrow that table cloth too? hehe. I can't believe you MADE that! wow!! You crack me up "don't make this!!"

  8. Why was I not invited to Six in the City.
    My daughter is having her "Rock Star, Makeup, Princess, Wedding, Kung Fu" 5th bday party and you are totally invited.

  9. I showed this to Avery and she just about died. She loves rainbows like crazy and was upset that she couldn't be there. She just doesn't get that Texas and Oregon are really far apart!

  10. Beautiful party, how much would you charge to make that tablecloth and send it to a fellow party planner? Also I know how you feel about the having a baby in your month deal, I’m going through that right now. My youngest daughter’s birthday is coming up and her birthday is 3 days before mine.

  11. I need some pointers on how to make one of these ruffled tablecloths…please!

    Wondering what you used for the top of it and how much fabric was needed for each strip.

    Any tips you can give would be greatly appreciated.

    1. OK, it’s pretty complicated but I’ll help the best I can without writing a novel. I used a pale blue twin sheet for the top/sides. I let about a foot hang down the back of the table and then sewed up the sides (where the legs are) so the sides and front of the sheet were flat. Then measure the distance of two sides of the table plus the front. Double it. That will give you the length of fabric you need. (My table was 24″ deep and 40″ wide so I added 24+24+40=80″. Then I doubled it which told me that each ruffle needed to be 160″ wide.)
      Then you need to figure out the drop of the table (26″ in my case). If you want to use six colors of fabric, divide the drop measurement by six (26 diveded by 6=4.3) Each ruffle needs about 4″ of fabric added to allow for gathering and a hem. So each ruffle will be cut at about 8-8.5″ wide.
      This is where it gets super mathy and complicated: The fabric I used (cheapo quilting poly/cotton) was 44″ wide. So I had to figure out how many widths of 44″ I needed to make 160″. 44×4=176. I figured that was close enough (better to have fuller ruffles than wimpier ruffels.) So 8×4=32″ which is almost a yard. I bought one yard, cut it in 4 lengths of 8″ each and sewed them all into one big strip.
      I gathered it and then repeated with each color.
      I pinned the top ruffle in place to ensure the ruffling was the right length (it covered both sides and the front. No ruffles in the back.) I sewed the top ruffle in place.
      With the additional ruffles you can either sew them in place or just hot glue them. It depends on how lazy you’re feeling. By the time I finished this tablecloth I was in no mood to sew.
      I realize these directions are super complicated and unclear. This is not the easiest project. But it turned out super cute so it was worth it. Let me know how it goes!

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