Planning a Character-Themed Birthday Party
Well, we're two months away from B's birthday, and I've come to terms with the fact that it will absolutely, positively be a character birthday. And not just any character... The one and only Elmo :). B is obsessed with Elmo, and nothing will make her happier than seeing Elmo absolutely everywhere on her second birthday. That being said, as much as we love Sesame Street (seriously, it's a classic and HBO is doing it right these days!) I don't just love all the licensed Elmo party decor out there, and it's a lot pricier to buy Elmo everything. So I started pinning ideas from other moms who did character birthdays in really creative ways, and I've figured out some key ingredients each one had that can make any character-themed party a little more sophisticated and unique.
Pick a Color Scheme
If you're doing Spiderman, consider a bright blue + pops of red with an overall white and black monochrome scheme. For a Trolls party, a pastel rainbow color scheme would be really fun and easy to coordinate with other trending rainbow party supplies. I'm still nailing down B's party scheme (mainly because her other favorite characters on Sesame Street are constantly evolving) but the main color will definitely be red for Elmo with pops of other bright and girly colors like coral and light pink. The example photo above is from an Olivia the Pig party (linked here!) The details all incorporate Olivia elements, but the color scheme sets the overall tone of the character without needing the character's face everywhere.
Creative & On-Theme Treats
Cotton candy that represents Troll hair is SO cute, and would be really easy to do (this modern Trolls party has even more adorable inspo here). It can also be as easy as adding simple details to plain vanilla cupcakes bought at the store (Bob the Builder could easily be tiny bulldozers, or miniature tigers for a Daniel Tiger theme). I also LOVE how Oh Happy Day! did their food for a Minecraft party (it's probably the easiest I've seen!). My hope is to find a local donut shop that will recreate Elmo's face in donut form, and purchase some other non-custom donuts and donut holes to mix in on a platter. If that doesn't pan out, I have a few other ideas to make Elmo and his friends come to life in dessert form. Treats are a fun way to incorporate the theme without getting that a cookie-cutter look that licensed material usually has.
Party Favors & Activities
While party favors aren't necessarily expected, they definitely add another level of celebration if you've got a lot of kids attending. These superhero capes are so epic (linked here with the cutest superhero party), but even something as simple as silly string spray (done so cute in this Spiderman party) is adorable. I also love the glitter station and other crafts at this My Little Pony party.
Consider a Sub-Theme
I love this Minnie Mouse tea party by Courtney at 12th and White! Choosing a theme that's about more than just the character allows you to branch outside of licensed material. For example, Larry Boy from Veggietales could work with a space theme with elements like these adorable party goods from Love of Character. There's quite a few princess and girly characters (Sophia the First, for example) that would also be adorable with a tea party theme. If your child has a favorite character, chances are you already know quite a bit about them. The key is linking that character with something "on trend" that's easy to find inspiration and party goods for.
If you geek out on planning parties like I do, this is a challenge to be embraced. If it totally overwhelms you, don't fret - the important thing is just to have fun with it. I've included some links below of truly ADORABLE kids' parties with character themes for you to look through and be inspired by. And wish me luck with Elmo! ;)
Minnie Mouse Tea Party
Olivia the Pig
My Little Pony
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles