1. Useful Favors
Hallelujah, at last… I’ve been a fan of this for a while and it seems bags of party favors are hopefully leaving us. On trend now is giving one item the party guests can use after the party. Colouring in pens, seeds, socks, a little plant, playdough, hair ties, a drink bottle, home baking. I could go on about all the negatives to party bags. In saying that my kids do get excited about them and love exploring all the little bits but this lasts for about as long as the car ride home. I then spend the next week finding little broken plastic toys rolling around the back of the car stuck to half sucked lollies. So join this trend and save yourself the worry of filling party bags. Choose one item and package it in a little cellophane or paper bag you can buy bulk from most ‘$2 shops.’ Add a cute little thank you label and you will be saving your wallet, the planet, kids teeth and being a stylish party host.
Love this idea of a skipping rope favor. The cute thank you tags are from Welcometomystore Etsy. If you haven’t discovered Etsy it is going to be your new love. So many great things from clever, creative people from all around the world. Especially super for digital products like party invitations. You can chose to shop only through NZ sellers too like Morrisglek from Snells Beach.
Cute deconstructed Olaf favors. Not that useful but a fun activity to do with your kids after the party. You put Olaf back together with some icing. This snowman building set is what I made for Rosebud’s Frozen birthday party. I downloaded the labels from The Purple Pumpkin Blog.
How cute is this idea for an Elmo themed birthday? This image is from The Chickabug Blog.
Gorgeous bright geometric 2nd birthday party from The Little Big Company.
Love this look and can see it incorporated in parties for all ages so well. Babies, toddlers, primary, tweens and teens. There are so many geometric decor objects in the shops that you could find a few key items to be your party centre pieces. Some geometric fabric could be purchased and used for decorations, table runner, a little touch to mini glass milk bottles for kids drinks. Geometric elements could be added to the invitations, party labels, food tents. You could easily make triangle biscuits and sandwiches. DIY paper geometric garlands would be easy and gorgeous too. I was considering using this theme for Rosebud’s next party and had started looking at some ideas. I found these fabulous duvet covers at Kmart which I was thinking of using as the fabric backdrop for the food table or photo booth. It works our cheaper then buying fabric. You could also make all sorts of party decorations from it. Bunting, table cloths, napkins, favor bags…
Some geometric inspiration from 100 Layer Cake-let. I love how they have kept it simple with just a few colours and decor elements to tie together a gorgeous look.
Love these Hexagon Party Plates from Wellington online party supplier Build a Birthday. $12.99 for 12.
How about using these fabulous temporary tattoos as stylish and useful party favors? These are from Pixie Party Supplies online store and shop based in Auckland. $4.50 pack of 2 sheets.
3. Good Old Fashioned Parties
I love Pinterest and being inspired by beautiful images but it also overwhelms me. I want my parties to look like those pictures! Pinterest has contributed to putting pressure on mums like me to host perfectly themed parties with picture perfect settings. Yes, like buying a NZ House and Garden magazine, we all like to admire beautiful images and feel inspired but we also need practical ideas for your everyday busy mum. Part of my reason for starting this website was to provide kiwi mums with a resource of ‘real’ homegrown parties and inspiring ideas. 2016 will see a trend towards simplifying parties yet still ensuring they are gorgeous and create beautiful memories for our kids. The trend is towards ‘using less and simplifying’. Using one gorgeous item as a centre piece and working your party decor and theme around this item. Reusing items, mixing some store bought, handmade, opshop and boutique items. Using a few key elements that draw your party together. Some of my favourite sayings comes to play here; quality not quantity and keep it simple. Your key item could be a toy, book, ornament or home decor object that you could then use to inspire your theme, colour scheme and styling.
My beautiful friend Rachael hosted a ‘good old fashioned party’ for her little construction mad boy Sammie. She had a young baby at the time. I love how she used some of Sammie’s favourite construction toys as decor for her party.
Kate from Picklebums has written a great article on ways to keep birthdays simple. She has some fabulous tips and advice.