From Rae: I am thrilled that Jessica Levitt of Juicy Bits is here as today’s guest blogger. Some of you may already be familiar with Jessica as the designer of the new fabric line Timber, which debuted at Quilt Market last fall (and which, incidentally, has many great boy-friendly fabrics, this one being my personal fave). Right after she left her career as an engineer (she has a degree in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke) she worked as a professional event planner, mostly for weddings. Now she puts that experience to good use designing the most fantastic parties for her children, Aurora and Theo. She’s here to share a little of her amazing creativity and give us some pointers on how to throw a great party for our boys.
Hi guys. So glad to be here celebrating the boy this month.
I’m here to talk parties. As Rae may have mentioned I have both a boy and girl. And, yes, just like other moms I find it so much easier to find cute crafts for my daughter. But I don’t know if that really applies to parties. Sure, pink princess or fairy parties have a high cute-ness factor right off the bat, but with a little planning a boy’s birthday bash can be just as adorable. Think of all the theme possibilities: space, puppies, race cars, sailboats, trains, robots, jungle, camping, zoo, and so on. And the best part is that most “boy” parties tend to be gender-neutral and since I’ve always invited both boys and girls to my kids parties, I find this very useful.
So while I’m here I’ll share some quick tips for a stylish (and fun!) event:
1. Stay away from commercial characters. If you want a more polished look, it’s best to be generic. So if your son loves Thomas the Tank Engine, just goes with trains. Bob the Builder = construction. You get the idea. Even if the whole theme is centered around a character, like say, Indiana Jones, think of more general details to go with it. For example, cool treasure maps, hat, even whips? But not so much with the giant logo banners.
2. Color is key. Use it everywhere. Of course there are millions of combinations, so start by looking at something you like the look of: a book, piece of clothing, etc. and focus on 2 to 4 colors. Try to repeat them all over the place, from the food table to the games and activities.
3. A theme can equal high impact. Just like color, the more you repeat an idea, the more impact it has. So think of adding details to things like drinking cups or even coloring pages.
4. Homemade is from the heart. I get how much time it takes to make stuff on your own, believe me, but I know those details are always the most appreciated. And even if it’s not something you made, try to think of different ways to use regular stuff. For a construction party, nuts and bolts or traffic cones make better balloon weights than store bought ones.
5. Remember your audience. Think about what your child loves and use that to guide you. Aim your activities to the age group you’re having and they’ll have a blast.
6. Keep it small. Or as small as you can stand. Your child will probably be happier and less overwhelmed and you’ll have more money and time to spend on each guest. For example, if you only have 5 children come over, you could possible make them each their own softie (like I did for my daughter’s monster party). With 25 kids, not so much.
Here a few pictures from my daughter’s monster party, which was very gender-neutral:
I hope these pointers help you celebrate the birthdays of all the boys in your life with flair!
**All photos are by Christianne Ebel.
Thanks so much Jess! I am so impressed with all the little details that went into these parties. What wonderful memories for you and your family!
Have you seen the President’s Day t-shirts yet? Dana always has something new and exciting over at MADE today, go check it out: