Whether they are pressing flowers atop a custom-made mud pie, leaving trinkets for the flower fairies or making daisy chains, flowers just seem to speak to little girls. Indulge this fascination with flowers and treat your special little girl to a birthday party overflowing in a riot of a springtime color.
As the hostess at a recent flower party of my own, I can attest to the fact that blossoms and blooms are perfectly suited to a little girl's party. The girls loved the flower-themed crafts and games, making the pre-party preparation completely worthwhile.
There are some great flowery fun ideas: yummy cupcake bouquets, giant tissue paper flowers (and mini ones, too!), a posy patch and blossom-strewn thumbprint tees. With a bevy of blossoms sure to delight the birthday girl and her friends, I think you'll agree: this party offers up a bloomin' good time.
This is not your garden-variety birthday invitation! Just like real flowers, these blossoms open up one petal at a time. With these flowers, though, the fun is in the details; party information is written on each petal.
Colored cardstock for petals (minimum 12" x 12" for each invitation)
Smaller pieces of cardstock for stem and flower centre
Brass paper fastener
Marker for writing party information
1. Trace the plate onto the cardstock.
2. Cut out circle.
3. Fold the circle in half, and then in half twice more. Unfold; the circle will be divided into eight even wedges.
4. Cut the wedges apart.
5. Stack them together, four at a time, and trim into petal shape.
6. Punch holes in petals at the narrow end.
7. Cut 6" stem from green cardstock, adding a leaf if you'd like. Punch a hole at the top of the stem.
8. Cut a 2" diameter circle for the centre; hole punch in the middle.
9. Sandwich petals between centre and stem and secure with brass fastener.
10. Open up flower and write party details on the petals.
The girls knew for sure that they'd arrived at a special party indeed when they got a glimpse of these bold beauties. Made from full sized sheets of tissue paper, these over-sized blossoms rivaled even the snazziest blooms on the block. Scatter some across your lawn or place a giant bouquet near the door for instant springtime color.
Large sheets of tissue paper (we used a combination of 20" x 20" and 20" x 30" sheets)
(2) 6' lengths of green crepe paper
4' bamboo garden stakes
1. Stack six sheets of tissue paper together, using several different colors. Fold paper accordion-style from the narrow end, making each fold about an inch and a quarter wide, until entire stack is folded in this manner.
2. Twist a pipe cleaner around the folded paper at the centre.
3. Round off both ends of the folded paper with scissors.
4. To open up flower, fan out tissue paper. Beginning with the top layer of tissue, gently lift tissue paper, separating each layer and working from the rounded edge on each side toward the centre.
5. Once all layers are separated, add green crepe paper leaves. Fold each length of crepe paper in half, trim ends into a leaf shape and twist the pipe cleaner around the centre of the crepe paper streamers.
6. Tape flower to bamboo pole.
Grouped together on a platter, these cupcake bouquets were a gorgeous - and edible - flower arrangement. Topped with easy to make candy blossoms, the girls were drawn to these sweet treats like, well, bees to flowers. Tuck birthday candles among the flowers for the traditional Happy Birthday song.
Flat-bottomed ice cream cones
Sunkist Fruit Gems (one 14oz. bag can decorate five cupcakes)
1. Prepare cake batter as directed on box.
2. Fill cones with cake batter up to the bottom of the wide ring. Set on baking sheet and carefully transfer to oven.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake should come out clean. Cool and frost.
4. Set green fruit gems aside. Cut six pie-shaped wedges from the edge of each of the other colors. Cut green gems into four or five slices for leaves. Use the removed bits of candy as flower centres; just press onto the middle of cut flowers.
5. Put three flowers and three leaves onto the top of each frosted cone.
A simple cookie cutter adds a floral twist to the humble P B & J. A surprise hole for the centre of the flower gives guests a sneak peek at the filling.
Jelly or jam
Flower shaped cookie cutter
A clean cap from a plastic water bottle
1. Cut slices of bread into flower shapes using the cookie cutter.
2. Cut holes in half of the flower shaped bread slices by pressing the water bottle cap into the centre of the flower. Twist to make a hole.
3. Spread the bottom slices of bread with peanut butter and then with jelly or jam.
4. Place the slices of bread with holes onto the jelly.
In keeping with the flower theme, have a little fun with your fruit. Slice oranges, apples or melons into wedges. Arrange fruit wedges in the shape of flowers on a platter. Add strawberry centres and kiwi fruit leaves and watch as party guests gobble up the fruity flowers.
The girls will think they've been transported directly to the flower garden when you pour their drinks from a plastic watering can (wash thoroughly with hot, soapy water before filling with juice). With this kind of service, you might even be able to convince them that their drinks are made of freshly harvested flower nectar.
The party guests spent some time in the Posy Patch with this new twist on an old time favorite. As each of the girls stretched to reach the appropriate colored flower, the mat quickly became a tangle of limbs. The giggling, rosy-cheeked girls couldn't get enough, asking to play again and again.
Making the game:
An inexpensive, rectangular cotton tablecloth (a vinyl tablecloth would work as well)
Colored construction paper to match painted flowers
Flower shaped cookie cutter
1. Lay tablecloth flat. Draw evenly spaced circles on the cloth by tracing around the dinner plate with a pencil.
2. Using a petal from the party invitations as a guide, trace a petal onto four sponges (one for each flower color) and cut out. To make the petals fit neatly around the flower centre, snip about 1" of the pointed tip from the petal. From another sponge, cut a 2" circle for the flower centre.
3. With yellow paint, stamp a circle in the middle of each plate shape on the tablecloth. Create flowers, using four different colors, by painting six to eight petals around each yellow centre. Arrange flowers in a repeating pattern; if row one is red, pink, orange, purple then row two should be pink, orange, purple, red. Continue in this manner until all rows are painted. Allow to dry.
4. Fold construction paper into fourths. Trace cookie cutter onto folded paper and cut out. You will need to have four flowers of each color to match the flowers on the mat. Separate flowers by color. Starting with one color, write a different instruction on each: left hand, right hand, left foot, right foot. Repeat with the rest of the colors.
To go posy picking:
Put all of the paper flowers into a pretty gift bag or bowl. For each new move, pick out a flower and give the appropriate instruction. For instance, “pick a red flower with your left hand.” Players are out if they fall; the last remaining player is the winner.
All decked out in ribbon, the beanbags for this game are a snap to make. With a basketful at the ready, guests test their accuracy and skill as they work their way around a flower made of clay pots. Ready, aim, toss!
Cotton fabrics (1/4 yard will make four or five bean bags)
7 - 6" clay flowerpots (plastic pots would work just as well)
1 - 8" clay flowerpot
8 large rocks to anchor the pots
Making the beanbags:
1. Trace dinner plate onto fabric.
2. Cut out circle.
3. Fold circle into 1/16ths and trim the wide end of wedge into a rounded shape.
4. Open fabric and lay flat. Put a little less than a quarter cup of beans in the centre of the circle.
5. Gather up edges and tie securely with green ribbon. A dab of glue on the knot will prevent it from coming undone.
To play the game:
Arrange seven 6" flowerpots in a circle around the 8" pot, creating a flower pattern. Leave 6 to 12" of space between the pots.
Place a small construction paper flower (the flowers from the Posy Patch game, placed upside down, work well) on the ground about 4' from the starting pot. Working around the circle, place a paper flower on the ground for every pot, moving farther away with each consecutive pot. The difficulty increases as the girls move around the circle. Players toss until they miss, then the next in line gets to try. At each turn, players start from where they last missed. The first girl to make it all the way around the flower and finally into the centre pot, wins.
Mark a line six feet from the nearest flowerpot. Each player tries to get one beanbag in each pot. The player with the most wins.
Making their own T-shirts was one of the girls' favorite projects. After all, it's double the fun - not only did they get to do a fun craft project with their friends, but once the flower blossoms have wilted and the cupcakes are all gone, they'll still have a cool shirt to wear. Painting the T-shirts early in the day will give them a chance to dry before the trip home.
Fabric paints (we used Scribbles, available at fabric stores)
Fabric marker (we used FabricMate from Ysutom, available at fabric stores)
1. Cut a piece of cardboard to fit snugly inside each shirt. The shirt should stretch a bit as it is pulled over the cardboard. This makes writing on the shirt easier.
2. Squirt out small puddles of fabric paint onto a plate. You may need more than one palette, depending upon the number of guests.
3. Dip finger or thumb into paint and press onto T-shirt to make flower centre and each petal. Avoid getting paint on clothes.
4. Use marker to make stems and leaves.
5. To make the shirts a special keepsake, ask each guest to write her name on the other girls' shirts with the fabric marker.
6. Leave cardboard inside the shirts and allow them to dry. Check fabric paint bottle for special laundering instructions.
Miniature versions of the eye-popping giant tissue paper flowers, these blooms are pretty and versatile. Worn in the girls' hair, they had a Polynesian feel; on their wrists, they were more suited to a formal event. One of the guests even slipped one onto her ankle!
Tissue paper, cut into 3" x 6" rectangles
1. Lay four small sheets of tissue paper together and accordion fold from the narrow end.
2. Tie it in the middle, knotting the ribbon so that it just hugs the tissue. If the ribbon is too tight around the tissue paper, the small flowers will be difficult to open.
3. Trim and open the flowers, following instructions for big tissue paper flowers.
4. Tie onto ponytail holder.
Kris’s latest book is Great Colonial American Projects You Can Build Yourself (Nomad Press, 2006). Her website is krisbordessa.com.
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