Irene Hoofs, a.k.a. Bloesem, is the author of the design blogs Bloesem and Bkids. Irene was born and raised in Amsterdam. After roaming the globe she and her family settled down in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. From her home office, which overlooks a bamboo garden, she aspires to bring out-of-the-box daily finds to her readers…with an admitted preference for Dutch design.
Can there be anything more stressful for a mom than organizing a birthday party for a 4-year-old? Of course, I can think of many things more serious to worry about, but I have to admit that I lost some sleep trying to create an unforgettable day for my eldest son just last weekend. Celebrating his “I am a big boy now” birthday with his friends and my co-moms was great fun, and as you might have expected, most of what I had carefully planned turned out quite differently. No matter. Because I got one thing right: the birthday theme that successfully contributed to the fun (and chaos?) of playing, running and sometimes fighting 4-year-olds.
Naturally I used Etsy for finding inspiration and getting pirate themed items to spruce up the decor.
According to my husband it was a no-brainer. Obviously, boys want to be pirates and fight over treasure and chase after princesses. So, pirates it was then! Using lovely edible fondant sugar cake toppers like these by EnticingIcing bring more color to an often strictly black, red and white pirate color palette. I found these black ‘Flying Dutchman’ cake decoration ships from TheBirthdayHouse which go very well with red candles, and the ships become instant trophies for the boys (even more sought after than princesses).
Photo from Irene’s son’s pirate birthday party
Wearing a skull sign, having one eye or a wooden leg (or both if you want to be “the leader” according to my son) are the basic requirements for any pirate. These items will get you a long way to satisfy even the most demanding of 4-year-old pirates. Plumzestypaper‘s skulls, black eye covers and red handkerchief hats are all made out of user-friendly paper molds (and are easy to reproduce as a DIY project). Wooden coins with treasure map symbols double as a beautifully handmade memory game made by lovemonkey — surely you’ll find these coins hidden in the couch and beds for years to come.
A great idea for decoration is this Pirate wall decal by FreckledHound that you can attach anywhere you like, at the entrance, in the party room or on a window. No pirate party is complete without proper attire. These iron-on patch printable PDFs by HomemadeHappinessNL can easily turn your little guests’ T-shirts into costumes.
As a mom of only boys I had to ask my friends what kind of themes their girls loved best…princesses was the unanimous answer. Why not give this theme a little twist, keeping it girly but not overdoing it? Searching for an English High Tea motif here on Etsy brought me to the most wonderful party decorations imaginable.
Edible mini teapots by KidsCakes are wonderfully delicate, designed with an eye for detail, and remind me of Alice in Wonderland. Crayons shaped as crowns and castles can be used during the party for coloring, by TheMoongladeGarden. Giving the girls fairytale-inspired handmade hats by CosaBello will bring instant imagination to the party. I’ve always loved pinwheels, but these by CupcakeSocial are especially cute and match perfectly for the High Tea theme. I would use the “cute little faces” cupcake toppers by EgoVertoPaper for a garland. A tea-themed party without a two-tier cake plate is unthinkable, so why don’t you get yourself one of these cute dotted displays from teaspoonvintageshop? And to finish in style use uniquely decorated cupcake wrappers, such as these little marching children by thecupcakewrapperco or brightly colored options by CupcakeSocial.
An absolute favorite theme of mine would be a vintage inspired birthday, where games from the old days bring joy to a new generation and simultaneously fill the parents with a sense of nostalgia. I am somewhat of a gatherer and have a modest collection of old games with fading handmade illustrations. But this donkey game from LittleMe123 and bingo from vintagebutterfly94 are still missing on my list and would come in very handy when organizing a vintage themed party. It wasn’t hard finding intact old streamers that you can also use as a tablerunner, from TinselandTrinkets. 30one‘s Vintage playing cards are perfect to use for garlands or wall decoration. Perhaps the Mickey Mouse Birthday Book can give you more ideas on how to throw the perfect vintage party, from recyclarama. I am not a big fan of kids running around with lollipops in their mouths, but would love to make an exception for these colorful and tasty-looking “originals” on paperbased sticks by VintageConfections.
I hope you found some inspiration and the right shops for you to throw a unique and fun birthday party for your little one!
Thanks to Irene for sharing her son’s successful pirate-themed birthday and her inspiration for other delightful ideas. Have you thrown a child’s birthday party lately? What was your theme?