Do you think she might like Hello Kitty? Geesh! Hello Kitty heaven!
First off, there's a lot of Hello Kitty stuff out there, but it's not very creative. I'm not big into characters either. I like to work around a theme/character, but I don't like giving in to buying all the character plates, cups, games, favors, etc. To me that's generic, and boring. And expensive.
So here's what I did...
Event: Noelle's 3rd Birthday Party
Theme: Hello Kitty!
Guests: 15 adults, 14 kids
Location: Larkin Dance Studio
Decor: First, use what you have. We have a bunch of Hello Kitty stuff, like toys, plush, placemats, etc. and I used them all for decor. I also had leftover pink streamers from past years party which I used, some dollar store balloons, and some other Hello Kitty decor from the party store and Wal-Mart. I shopped around for months beforehand to get the greatest bargains. I wanted a splash of Hello Kitty tableware, but not all Hello Kitty so I alternated between Hello Kitty decor and solid color tableware. I picked teal and hot pink - looked so cute.
All the paper and plastic products I got from Wal-Mart. Absolutely the best value - even cheaper than the dollar store.
I purchased tins (at Target and Wal-Mart) to put treats in!
Along with Hello Kitty pinata candy, I got Hello Kitty fruit snacks.
I purchased the backdrop and decorations from Party City.
Signs: I made these bad boys. It was SO easy. First I got some old picture frames that we were no longer using from the garage and had Noelle paint them white for me. There was no way she could mess up. It was easy for both of us. Then I used the frames along with some signs that I made on my laptop, and printed them out and voila! Signs.
Here's my buttercup happily painting the frames for me.
To create these signs I found images of Hello Kitty online and then copied them into a word document program. Then I typed what I wanted, and printed them out. The Hello Kitty Beauty Spa image is actually the logo from the real life Hello Kitty spa!
Printables: I'm kind of crafty, but not crafty enough to know how to make all my own printables. The signs I made were easy, but I wasn't sure where to begin with water bottle labels. I knew I wanted them too because they are just too cute. They kind of bring in an element of sophistication at a kid's party. So I went searching online for them and found many at etsy.com, but ended up using these because they were free! Not only were they free but they were in the colors I had decided to work with - pink and teal! It was meant to be. Get the water bottle labels here. (You could also wrap these around juice boxes!)
Other free printables:
Pink flower Hello Kitty cupcake toppers.
Pink and red circle Hello Kitty cupcake toppers.
Square pink and white striped Hello Kitty cupcake toppers.
Hello Kitty cupcake toppers and matching Welcome sign, pink striped.
An AWESOME complete free printable set - toppers, labels, banners, etc.
Dinner: Easy peasy AND affordable. I was originally going to go with Little Caesar's take out pizzas (who can beat $5 per pizza?) however I ran out of time to pick them up so I ended up ordering Domino's delivery. It was twice as much as I wanted to spend, but it did save me a considerable amount of time. Lesson? Have someone else pick up food! For drinks I had the bottled water and fruit punch. (Much cheaper than providing individual soda or juice boxes.)
Is it wrong that out of EVERYTHING the water bottles were my favorite? Lol.
Desserts: Cupcakes from Wal-Mart, homemade marshmallow treats (marshmallows dipped in melted chocolate, rolled in sprinkles), a variety of home baked cookies, and Hello Kitty fruit snacks! This was by far the most affordable meal I've provided at a birthday party! The three different cookies I made were: hot pink and purple chocolate chip cookies (just add food coloring), sugar cookies with purple frosting, sprinkles, and Hello Kitty sugar toppers, and Hello Kitty cut out sugar cookies. I also got Hello Kitty candy at Wal-Mart. It was cheaper than from Oriental Trading (the only other place that has Hello Kitty bagged pinata candy.)
Behind the scenes look at the baking from Friday morning:
Noelle helping me...Get this cookie cutter set at Wal-Mart for only $2.29!
Here are my chocolate dipped marshmallows drying/hardening. These turned out so pretty! (So much better than the Hello Kitty cookies, lol.)
They weren't the prettiest, but they were delicious!
Meow Makeovers! This was so easy and I knew she would love it. I just set up a table with little mirrors, nail polish, and some glitter hairspray for the kids to have a little beauty bar (with assistance from her older cousins). Noelle LOVEs getting her nails done and likes to get glam, so this was an element to the party that reflects on her diva ways. To incorporate the boys, I also provided more masculine things to the table, such as tattoos, and also face makeup to create cat whiskers.
I got the mirrors at the dollar store, the glitter spray from Wal-Mart, and used all of our nail polish and makeup from home!
Yes, diva Noelle already had some Hello Kitty toe separators! Lol.
Craft Table. I wanted to have an activity at her party that the kids could get involved in. At her previous parties the kids were much too young for organized activities, but at this age, they are perfect for some easy crafts. I got a Hello Kitty coloring book for the kids to color (dollar section at Target), as well as made a bunch of Hello Kitty ear "party hats" for the kids to decorate! This was awesome because it provided an activity, a favor to take home, and also something for them to wear at the party! And it was so easy and affordable. I made the hats myself from .33 cent board paper from Wal-Mart, then I printed out tons of different hat topper templates (such as cowboy hats, pirate hats, the Hello Kitty bow, flowers, etc.). The kids could choose to decorate the hats however they wanted! It was so cute, and made an awesome photo prop. It looks impressive, but it cost me $1.65 to make 16 hats! I also got Hello Kitty stickers from the dollar section at Target.
You can find any templates you want online by searching images, and you can create these hats yourself with cardboard paper. I luckily had a hat on hand of Pete the Cat that Noelle had received at a story time, so I used that to trace my hats. That was the easy part...cutting 16 hats out, that was the harder part!
The craft table came out so cute.
Dance: Kids like to run around and let out some energy, no matter what age they are. At every party I've ever done, the kids go wild over balloons. So I used one of the dance rooms and filled it up with balloons and had some of the older kids play DJ. They played a lot of fun songs, like "Shake it Off" and the kids ran around like crazy.
Favors: First off I made these Hello Kitty bags, that I am obsessed with. It was so easy, but that's besides the point - They are so stinkin' cute! This was one of the reasons why I ended up loving planning this party! I had searched for weeks to find a way to make something at the party directed at the boys and realized I could turn the kitty into a boy by adding a bowtie instead of the traditional bow Hello Kitty wears. From that point, I had found some ideas on Pinterest on making Hello Kitty favor bags, and decided to use the bowties on the favor bags to differentiate the gifts in side them!
These bags were so easy. First tip though, get the white lunch bags because they are the cheapest. I could not find them anywhere at first. You wouldn't think it, but it's hard to find white bags! They are almost always brown! I didn't realize that until I went on my hunt. Then I splurged and got nice white gift bags. Those were spendy and I was kind of sad about it. Luckily I kept my eyes open and I ended up finding the white lunch bags at Wal-Mart tucked behind the brown ones - totally hidden in the back! I was thrilled, and returned the expensive bags! I saved lots of money on these bags, and they came in a pack of 50 so I didn't feel bad if I screwed up drawing on one of them!
Instead of drawing the bows myself (I didn't think I was THAT good of an artist) I printed off the bow template and then colored the bows in with marker. Then I cut them out and pasted them on the bags. Easy peasy, and cute!! I love these bags!
I totally lucked out and found adorable little Hello Kitty dolls at the dollar store and bought each girl guest one of those to tuck in the bags. I bought the boys wind up monster trucks instead of the dolls. I also bought each guest an additional gift (either a Hello Kitty necklace, bracelet, pair of socks, etc.) to stuff in the bags. To fill up the bags more, I gave guests left over party favors from last year, and also Hello Kitty candy!
Here's one of the little dolls I found! They are made by TY (the company that makes Beanie Babies and the dolls are called Lil Ones! They make ones with other licensed characters too!)
Picture Station: This was a fun station set up at the party for the guests to take pictures! I set up Noelle's pink arm chair, a few Hello Kitty toys, a backdrop from the party store, and ordered Hello Kitty balloons! It was adorable.
I had planned to use the giant Airwalker Hello Kitty balloon as a photo prop too, but the kids had too much fun playing with it, hugging it, dancing with it, and in one guests case...kissing it, lol. So I ended up letting the balloon roam free! It was so fun because the balloon is larger than your average 3 year old! This balloon just FYI is hella expensive. It costs $30 at the party store and doesn't go very much cheaper at any of the other stores (Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon, etc.). The only way to get a deal is to find a wholesale site, order it online, then find your own place to fill it with helium. I found the balloon cheapest through Ziggos.com, and then had it filled at the party store. I saved $15 (half the cost) doing it this way.
Guestbook: Each year I always get Noelle some type of birthday book, and it only seems fitting that the guests sign it! It makes for a memorable gift that she can keep, and it is a reminder of what themed party she had! (For example for her first birthday we did Eric Carle, so I had everyone sign "The Secret Birthday Message.") This year I got her "Hello Kitty And Me: Happy Birthday!"
I found a lot of fabulous ideas on my all time favorite...Pinterest. Here's a link to my Hello Kitty board, where I have tons of great ideas. I had been gathering ideas for months and did use a lot of ideas! If I didn't use them, I was still super inspired by them! Check it out if you are planning a Hello Kitty party!
To see all the pictures from the party, please click here.