Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Party Chronicles- Episode 1: The Wizard of Oz

I love to throw parties. I'm always looking for an excuse to celebrate! 
So, I'm thinking that every once in a while I will go through my files and pull out some pictures of parties I have thrown in the last little while and do a little bloggity blogging about them. (Please keep in mind these are old pictures... taken before I really knew how to use a camera. ) 
I'll take you step by step through the planning process. If there's something you want me to do a more in-depth tutorial on, let me know and I'd be happy to help.
 I'll also tell you how much money I spent on the party. I don't know about you, but I often find these beautiful extravagant parties online that I'd love to copy, except for one tiny detail- we're college students! We're not exactly rolling in money. Even if I did have an extra thousand sitting in my wallet I can think of at least a thousand places that money needs to go. But I have found that you don't need a lot of money to throw your child a memorable birthday party. It CAN be done! 
So let's begin!
The Party Chronicles- Episode 1

Meet my oldest Daughter Addison. I know. She's adorable right?!
(For the record I did NOT tell her to pose like this. This is what she does EVERY time I pull out the camera.)

For Addison's 3rd birthday she kept telling me she wanted a "yellow birthday". I was like "Okay... sure. Yellow. We can do that."  Then a few weeks before her birthday she said she wanted a "Yellow Brick Road" party... Oh! That makes MUCH more sense! 

I was in party planning heaven! The Wizard of Oz was a childhood favorite of mine. There were three people I always wanted to be growing up- Annie, Shirley Temple, and Dorothy. It makes me smile to see Addie in love with the same timeless movies I loved as a kid.

FIRST and foremost

Here she is singing "follow the yellow brick road"... which is what she did for a full hour as she tried to wait patiently for her guests to arrive. I love this girl! She just makes me happy!

 I said "Show me your ruby slippers!" And this is how she insisted on posing. I kept wondering where in the world she learned how to stand like that until I realized that she was coping what Dorothy does in the movie when Glinda puts the ruby slippers on her for the first time. I tell ya, this girl has a serious knack for memorization. She notices and remembers every little detail! Looks pretty fun with a little digital scrapbooking magic. I bought this kit online a few years ago, I haven't been able to find it again. Let me know if you come across it!

The fabric for the dress cost me a whopping $1.03 at Walmart. Sweet! If anyone would like a tutorial on how I made it, just let me know. It was insanely easy. Even those of us who are a little challenged in the sewing area can figure it out. Trust me.  

I picked up these shoes for 50 cents at a garage sale. They were pretty sad looking, but after some spray glue and a healthy sprinkling of glitter they were the perfect little ruby slippers. Make sure you use a good sealer on top to keep them from leaving little glitter trails through your house. 

You can't tell in the picture, but these had yellow food dye in them to make them extra yellow-y

Yummm! Melted Wicked Witch Juice! (Also known as limeade) And of course, what's a melted witch without her hat? I just cut little hats out of felt and attached them to the straws.

"Poppies! YES! Poppies will make them sleeeeeeep!" Thanks to the Wicked Witch of the West Addie wouldn't eat these. She kept telling me that she didn't want to fall asleep and miss her party.
Party Food Rule #1: 
Using a cookie cutter or sticking something on a lollipop stick ups the cute factor by approximately 80%

Scarecrow's STRAW-berry salad. YUM! 
Party Food Rule #2: Labels!  
They are such an easy way to add fun pops of color to your food table. They also make it easy to pull your theme into your menu items. It took me a total of 10 minutes to make these labels. But let's be honest, we're all busy women here... so I made these simple labels available to download at the end of this post. One less thing you have to do! You're welcome. :) 

Party Food Rules #3: Presentation! 
(Which you have to ignore in the bottom picture. I didn't have anything big enough for the curry other than that huge not-so-festive pot.) Giving a little thought into how you're going to present your food goes a long way. Think: mason jars, popsicle sticks, lollipop sticks, skewers, pretty plates...etc. Like with this fruit salad. I could have just thrown it in a bowl, but making into a rainbow is just so much cuter! 

Next up we have The Cowardly Lion's "CHICKEN" Curry. Get it? Cause he was a CHICKEN. He didn't have any courage! Get it?! Okay so this one was a bit of a stretch but I absolutely love my sister in law's curry, so I asked her to help me make it and then I had to figure out a way to make it "theme-y" Which brings me to ...
Party Food Rule #4- With a little imagination, or a simple play on words, you can make any food fit into your party theme. 

I see a lot of ideas for cutesy ideas for party food, which I am a huge fan of. However I think it's also important to make sure your food is not only aesthetically pleasing, but actually tastes good too! I also like to make sure I have more than just desserts on the food table. I have a love affair with great food, and I figure if I'm going to go through the trouble of making it I want to enjoy it! 


Please ignore the fact that my Emerald City looks like a family of chubby cucumbers. This was my first experience working with fondant and I still had much to learn. All in all it was pretty easy to do. I used green frosting for the base coat, and my favorite marshmallow fondant for the details. 

The inside was rainbow... of course! Somewhere Over the Rainbow!

It was such an awesome evening! I don't know that I've ever seen Addie more excited for anything before. This was just a casual dinner party. The kids pretty much ran wild in the backyard the whole time, which was fine by me! But I think you could come up with a lot of fun Wizard of Oz themed games if you wanted to! Like a game of tag except the people who are "It" would have to pretend to be flying monkeys. Or maybe we'd play Pin the Ruby Slippers on Dorothy or Pin the Heart on the Tin-Man. I'm sure once you get your creative juices flowing you could think of A LOT of fun things to add to this party, but I hope I was able to give you a good starting point.

Here's the $$ breakdown

Shoes: $.50
Glitter: $1.99
Spray glue and sealer: Already had from a previous project
2 cake mixes: $2.00
Fondant: $2.50 (Fondant is so cheap to make!) 
Curry: My sister in law provided
Salad: $5.00
Fruit Salad and Melons: Apx $10.00
Limeade: $.50
Felt for Witches hats: $.25
Rice Krispies: Apx $2.50

Party Total: $26.27
Guests: 20 adults and 6 kids

LABEL TEMPLATES: Just right click on the images, save them, and bring them into word or photoshop to add your text. OR if you have awesome handwriting- which I don't- just size them down and print them as they are and you can handwrite your labels.  


  1. this is do dang cute. You've inspired me. I wouldn't have guessed you could do it for so cheap! Um, I officially request the recipe for the curry and bread that goes with it!!

  2. I am so impressed! Not just with your wonderful ideas (which are AMAZING) but also that you were able to do it within such a small budget. You are so talented! Thanks for sharing. :)



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