So I went a little overboard for my son’s 4th birthday party. We had never thrown a party for him before and I’m never one to pass up a theme, so I went a little nuts. It was so much fun though and the party turned out great. Here a few ways I organized for the party beforehand and then I’ll share a few party pics because I can’t help myself! The theme for the party was Dr. Seuss so the possibilities were endless!
1) Lists, lists, lists – I love making lists and have a tendency to have too many flowing around. But I tried to streamline a little for the party so I could keep a handle on what tasks were left. First I made a spreadsheet and just did some brainstorming. I used separate tabs at the bottom of the sheet so I could split up my thoughts into categories: decorations, food, invite list, favor ideas, etc. Then as the party got closer, I used the Listo app on my ipad (recommended by Thea over at Time With Thea). This is such an efficient and easy app to use and I’m pretty much obsessed. On Listo, I had a list for Party Tasks and another one for my grocery list.
2) Assess – I searched my house for what I already had and what I would need to buy. I wanted to do all of the decorations as cheaply as possible so there was a lot of DIY and a lot of Pinterest involved here. After I got a little creative with what I had, I bought or ordered the rest of the decorations, favors, etc. Most projects were a combination of purchasing and DIY. For example, I made Truffula Tree decorations for the kids table. To hold the trees, I used cans I had saved ( I told my husband I would use them someday!) and covered them with printed paper. I painted some cheap dowels and bought some small styrofoam pieces and round sponges from the dollar store. I ended up buying the feather boas from an online party store because it was cheaper. Here is the finished product!
For the favor bags, we bought candy and a bag of little toys, but then I made a bookmark and activity book with coloring pages, connect the dots, etc. I laminated the bookmarks and put the favors in cheap plastic bags I bought at the dollar store.
I also did a lot of other print outs to use as decorations, table signs, etc. I even made some cutouts for a little photo booth wall we had set up.
I laminated all of the signs because I knew they would hold up better, look nicer and could be reused. I happen to know of another upcoming Dr. Seuss party, so some of these can be passed on. And several are going in the scrapbook!
3) Recruit help – I had several people lending me chairs, tables and decorations so I picked up those things early in the week before the party. I even had to borrow a camera because mine broke with the party just several days away. I was so worried, but I ended up having 3 people offer to lend me cameras! I also had 2 friends agree to come early the day of the party to set up and do all of those last minute things. It was great to have the help. I never would have finished cutting out all my Dr. Seuss Lorax Mustaches without them! My friend Roni drew the Cat in the Hat for our ‘Pin the Hat on the Cat’ Game and Deb made an amazing cake!
3) Grocery Shop – I did a preliminary shopping trip a few weeks before hand to get all of the non perishable items and also all of the paper plates, plastic silverware, tablecloths, etc. I wanted to get some of this stuff purchased so I didn’t have to get everything all at once right before the party. Then the day before the party was the big trip for the fruit and veggies, drinks, meats, etc. I normally don’t take my ipad to the grocery store with me, but in this case it was perfect. I usually categorize my grocery list by store section so it’s easy to shop. But for the party, I was just jotting down items as they came to me so the list was all out of order. With the Listo app, you can cross off items and they automatically move to the bottom of the list. It was a really easy way to shop actually. If I had an iphone, that would make more sense to do on a regular basis, but for now I don’t have one.
4) Set up – Party set up was going on the whole week as I slowly transformed our house into Seussville. I knew that if I waited until the day of the party, I would be a frantic mess. So I did a little each day and crossed items off my list a bit at a time. I tried to get decorations up, chop veggies, and make a list of items I realized I had missed in my previous 400 lists.
5) Let it go – This was the most important for me. Even with all of the planning, there were still many things I didn’t get done that I originally wanted to do. I didn’t have a cute sign on my front door, I didn’t finish the backdrop behind the drink table, I didn’t make signs for all of the snacks. And the list goes on. But no one came in and asked me where my front door sign was. And no one came up to me with a confused look on their face because the pretzels weren’t labeled with a cute Dr. Seuss inspired name. And no one left the party because there wasn’t a decorative backdrop behind the drinks. In the end, the party went great because I focused on my 4 year old boy and all of his friends at the party.
If you want to see my crazy Pinspiration board for this party, take a look-see here.
And here a few pics from our party:
Happy Birthday Evan!!!!!