A creative unicorn themed eighth birthday party!

Last week we celebrated my daughters eighth birthday, which of course meant party time!

A few years ago my sister said to me I had made a rod for my own back by creating elaborate birthday parties. She was indeed right! The minute one of my kids is nearing their birthday they begin asking about THE party!! What went the year before has not been forgotten and the anticipation of the party to come is the most exciting thing to talk about. But actually that is the reason I do it… ‘the year before has not been forgotten’. These childhood years are few, they grow up so fast and every party is a lovely celebration of a childhood birthday, most of which they will probably remember for years to come. Of course you can have an equally great time and great memories at a much simpler party…but the truth is I love creating parties. The last couple of years have been even better as the kids have got involved in the preparations, which start at least a few weeks before the party in momentary time slots.

This year the theme remained undecided until we needed to make invites. The favourite thing is still ‘My Little Pony’ which was last years theme, somehow during discussions that evolved into unicorns! The theme was set!

We agreed to keep the numbers small for this party and have more focused activities. By the end of June we had confirmation that everyone invited was coming. We started off by making all the girl guests a floral unicorn crown. I found fabric covered hairbands and bought some synthetic flowers and foliage. I used silver fabric to make the horns, stitching a simple cone shape and stuffing with scraps of wadding. I simply wound a secured piece of thread around the stuffed horn to create the ribbed effect, then stitched this to the hairband along with a selection of flowers.

As there was a couple of hairbands left over (after all the girls were catered for) I made a couple of ‘mummy’ floral hairbands without horns.

The dress just had to be made in Alexander Henry magic rainbow print. I used my tried and tested party dress pattern that I made several years ago. This style is one of the next to be launched for my range of dressmaking patterns. It’s been my ‘go to’ pattern for nearly all of her parties. It is very quick to make, which is super useful when you need time for the rest of the party prep!

The first activity was to make their own bags. I partly prepared a simple shopper style bag for each child. I made and attached the handles just leaving the side seams to sew up. The bags were made from a selection of Rico black and white cotton prints. I bought some fabric pens which could be sealed once ironed. As the party guests arrived they got stuck into colouring in a bag while I helped two kids at a time to sew their bag side seams.

Everyone had a go with the sewing machine. I used two Brother Innovis 10 models which can be slowed right down and used without a foot pedal. These are both great functions for teaching kids and giving me a chance to keep an eye on their sewing.

Even little sisters had a go!

It wasn’t long before everyone had their own bag.

Each child added a name label to their bag in preparation for filling them with goodies throughout the party.

Next we had a bit of messy fun. Bath bomb making. I prepared the base mixture for lavender and orange scented bath bombs. There was dried orange peel and lavender to include before adding water and pressing into a mold. I discovered just before the party that the bath bombs needed to set overnight before being removed from the mold, a slight oversight on my behalf. Luckily they set well and were all delivered to school in little bags the following morning.

All this busy crafting made the revellers ready for their lunches. On the menu was butterfly, star and heart shaped sandwiches, homemade quiche and sausage rolls. A rainbow of fruit, white chocolate dipped strawberry and marshmallow wands.

And the now traditional selection of homemade cupcakes …strawberry cheesecake, gold dusted coffee and walnut and rainbow topped vanilla flavours.

While they munched I (as subtly as possible) hid bags of treasure. They began with the first clue which lead to a bag of treasure and the next clue. Each bag had enough treasures for each child. The final clue lead them to their last activity laid out on the table waiting for them..

….Necklace and bracelet making with an array of beads.

Before cutting the cake there was time for a pinata.

Everyone took a turn until the sweets tumbled out of the broken cardboard shell.

The finishing touch to the party was the birthday cake a rainbow swirl of icing coated the cake topped with sparklers and homemade unicorn bark.

The inside had to be rainbow too.

At the end of the party when tidying up we discovered our carefully created rainbow jelly in the fridge, completely forgotten about…. Guess what’s been for pudding everyday since?

A fun party I think! Everyone enjoyed themselves, especially one little girl who I over heard saying “this is the best party I have ever been to” Happy days!

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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

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