Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Rockin' Kids' Parties Part I: Invitations!

My little Starlet on her second birthday last year

Note: From now on, my little girl will be referred to as "Starlet" and my son will be "Monkey". I've seen moms give kids code names on their blogs, and I'm getting tired avoiding their real names, so I thought nicknames would help. :-)

I've been hard at work this week planning Starlet's party (well okay, I haven't actually started yet) and I wanted to share a few of my past invitation ideas for you. Since her party is going to be fairly small (only 3 families invited) I decided to keep it simple and just make phone calls this year rather than sending out formal invitations. 

I think that the most important factor in planning an awesome kids' party is to have a theme. That way, you have a jumping-off point for the invitations, decorations, party favors, games, and cake. The invitation becomes very important to your theme because it gives your guests an idea of what to expect when they arrive. Hastily scribbled invite= thrown-together party. Fun and unique invite= fun and exciting party! Here's an invitation I made for Monkey's tools-themed party 2 years ago:

The text reads, "We're building a party to celebrate Monkey's 3rd birthday! We've hammered out the details and nailed down a date....We sure 'wood' like 'tool' see you there!"

Cheesy? Yes. But fun? Absolutely! To make this invitation, all I used was some cardstock- black, white, and orangey-yellow, some tool stickers from the craft store, a sheet of faux wood grain paper from the craft store that I cut into "boards", and some metal brads. I used my computer to print up the lettering and the "CAUTION: PARTY ZONE!" tape onto the cardstock, and I used a silver paint marker to add "nails" to the boards.

I got a lot of really nice compliments about the invitations, and the little boys who attended were really excited. A few even showed up in their own construction gear!

I got another fun idea for a construction-themed party invitation from a friend of mine- she cut actual pieces of lumber into short lengths and then wrote the invitation on them with a black Sharpie marker- unexpected, and hard to misplace!

As I said before, Starlet's party this year is fairly small, which is the norm for her because her birthday is in the winter, so we have to keep everyone inside and our house just doesn't have the room for a lot of people! When she turned one, however, I did send out a First Birthday announcement:

The text reads, "Pretty little princess, sweet, silly, and fun, Miss Starlet Star is turning one!"

This announcement was easy- I just made up a poem, which many people think is so hard, but really it is so simple- and printed it onto paper which I mounted on a square of cardstock, then mounted that onto a piece of patterned paper which I backed with more cardstock. I used photo corners for her photo so that the photo could be attached without adhesive and therefore easily removed from the card by the recipient. Then I just added some brads and ribbon for embellishment, and voila! Cuteness.

To write your own poem, the easiest method I've found is to come up with a first line, then go from there. "Roses are red" is a good pattern to follow- for example: Poems are easy, Poems are fun. One little rhyme and now I am done! With some practice, anyone can do it. ;-) For my son's second birthday, he had an Elmo theme, so I had the poem, "Elmo is red, Grover is blue. Let's have a party, 'cause Monkey's turning two!"

The last invite I'll show you is from Monkey's birthday party last year- he wanted a Thomas the Tank Engine party (he ADORES Thomas) so I designed a train ticket invitation after an image of a real train ticket I found online (just did a Google image search for "train ticket):

Ticket includes Class (Monkey's Party), Departure Time (1200), Adult (1-2), Child (1-3), Date, Number (00000004), Departing From (Tross House Station), Arrival At (FUN!)

This invite took a little bit of time on the computer adding the Thomas watermark image in the background and getting the fonts and spacing the way I wanted it, but once I got them printed off onto white cardstock, all I had to do was cut and staple the "ticket" to a piece of "Thomas blue" cardstock with rounded edges. For an added touch, I punched a "T" with a small hole punch. 

The most important thing to remember with your invitations is to think outside the box, so that your little guests will see the invitation not just as something to hand over to Mom and Dad, but as a ticket to a fantastical adventure that will get their little imaginations going! I think that the best inspiration is to search online- just Google the kind of party you're doing and see what kinds of invitations are out there, then make your own!

This is what I'm talking about this Tuesday! How about you? Check out the Lazy Organizer's Talk About Tuesday to see what others are talking about today! 

Do you have any fun birthday invitation ideas? Leave a comment and share!


  1. I like to stamp cards so for my son's pool party, I cut out the invite in the shape of swim trunks and there was a ribbon tie on the front. That's the most creative invite I've done.

  2. Wow!! My kids wish they had such a fun mom!!

  3. I am in the midst of birthday central this week, too! A jungle safari theme and I tend to go a little overboard! Anyhow, I read your article at moneysavingmom and noticed we're practically neighbors! Looking forward to checking out your blog!


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