Thursday, September 11, 2014

Our More Fun, Less To Craft, My Little Pony Party

My daughter recently turned 5 and asked if we could do a My Little Pony theme for her birthday.  To say she's obsessed with My Little Pony is an understatement, so it wasn't a big surprise.  And I'll be honest, I was relieved it was something I could easily find party gear for around our house and at most party supply stores.  For the past 4 years I went into crazy mommy crafter mode for each birthday.  I'd come up with themes that required elaborate DIY'd decorations, fanciful favors, making the cake myself and sewn-by-me matching birthday attire (you can click on any of them to see the level of insanity detail I went to):


Sure the planning was fun and it felt great to say I'd made it all, but it also meant I had to make it all.  And that was exhausting.  Truthfully, kids don't notice - or care - that you spent hours handcrafting an entire party.  Most of the adults attending don't either.  Have some general party decor, a cake & some activities and they're happy.  Usually it's just other crafters who really notice all the small, labor intensive details, so who are you really killing yourself for in DIY-ing a party?  Complete strangers? That's CRAZY.  

So I vowed this year would be fun to put together & not require weeks of preparation. As I mentioned in last week's confessional post, in an effort to be less stressed and more fun, I've been scaling back my crafting & blogging efforts.  Trying to keep things more real life and enjoyable and less of the popular "look at how magazine perfect what I'm doing looks, despite killing myself while pretending it's effortless" blog style. Let's get real - who's got spare time to maintain that faux perfection ?  I know I certainly don't!

Now my "Keep it Fun, Not Crazy" party strategy:

Since ours was just an extended family party, emailing invitations was cheap, easy to send and didn't require my horrible handwriting to be on display (seriously - even when I try to write neatly it looks atrocious and illegible).  I did a quick online search for some My Little Pony images with a transparent background and used those + a free Equestria font download to make this digital invite with PicMonkey in about an hour and for free:   

Decorating-wise, I let the party store do most of the work - there were tons of MLP-themed and matching solid colored paper products.  I didn't spend hours picking stuff out either - just grabbed it all in one go.  I've seen a lot of custom My Little Pony parties online, but kind of scratch my head at why you'd spend hours of time hand-adding pony cutouts or stickers to paper products or pay $$$ for custom printables when there's tons of cute MLP stuff already available for just a couple of bucks at every party place.  Add in a yard of MLP-themed cotton I'd found at Jo-Ann Stores (but hadn't used yet), and we were fine for table decor:

Our big splurge was ordering a couple of themed standees from an online party place.  I was just going to get one, but the husband convinced me to get both Princess Celestia (her fave) and the Canterlot Castle.  I did have a coupon code to keep it reasonable and since the kids play ponies around here on a daily basis, it's not like they'd only get the one-time use.  My daughter actually gasped in awe when she saw them outside.  Since the party, we've flattened the stands on the back so they fit against the wall in her room for double decorating duty.  She loves having them next to her bed.  Tacking the $7 pin-the-cutie-mark game poster to some cardboard on an easel added extra big scale pony flair with minimal price/effort too:

My little miss picked out her ensemble from her already accumulated pony-themed attire. Even her footwear was pony-tastic (the My Little Pony socks were found in the $1 bin at Michael's, shoes we found at Journey's Kidz months ago for under $25):

I'd made her some pony bows last year, so those topped off her all-My Little Pony appearance without me having to put anything new together:

I'd always made her special occasion cakes/cupcakes, so I figured I'd treat us both to the ease and loveliness of a local bakery cake this time around.  It made turning 5 a little more special:  

Cake by Sorella's Bakery, MI

I covered a cardboard box in pink wrapping paper about 15 minutes before the party to make a quick stand for the cake.  This also meant cutting the cake was less messy since I could just toss the paper out after and added the bonus of not getting frosting all over our pony fabric.  I told the bakery we wanted two layers, a rainbow and some flowers & clouds and they came up with this beautiful design.  It was a delicious as it looked too:

I will take credit for the idea of using some of her mini figure collection as pony props on the cake. The bakery sprayed them with a bit of shimmer to make them look more magical and also added some surprise hard sugar butterflies to the sides:

Normally I'd be freaking out about trying to perfectly decorate a cake hours before the party, so it was nice to be able to just unveil it and enjoy how great it tasted.  

I saw this unicorn sprinkle holder on Amazon and thought it would be fun as a decoration and for the kids & cousins to shake on a little extra pony magic to their cake slices.  I justified to myself that getting it would help lure them to act as helpers more often and, by extension, get me to bake more....the jury's still out on if that'll actually happen, but rainbow unicorn looks cute on my baking stuff shelf:

Activity-wise we did a little pin-the-cutie mark on Pinkie Pie (ready to use from the store). Even the adults participated, but for the sake of staying on speaking terms with my relatives I'm not including those pics:

We also did "Guess how many mini figures?".  I have to say I was a little shocked at how many I counted in here...and that we still had more left even when it was full:

I think the MLP piñata was one of the things I liked best.  We found that in the My Little Pony section of the party store with all the other themed paper products.  I was also very relieved it had pull strings at the bottom instead of the usual bat-the-heck out of it until it breaks way to open it. Assault & battery of one of her favorite ponies would have been more traumatizing than entertaining. 

My husband came up with the clever idea of stringing it through some plastic pipe we had in the garage.  He was able to bob it around a bit for the older kids so it was more of a challenge:

The main "crafty bit" I did for the party was to make some pony soaps for the goody bags using the silicone molds from my DIY Soap Painting post.  Melt & pour soap is ideal because it only takes a few minutes to make - I just had to do a few small batches since I only had 2 pony molds.  I didn't do the detail painting this time, but I did represent the colors of the Mane Six ponies Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Apple Jack and Rarity:

The other goodies were easy mints, tattoos and unicorn horn suckers.  Again, bought with the other stuff in my single visit to the party supply store:

And since she's a mega Celestia fan, we got her the new Rainbow Shimmer™ Princess Celestia snowglobe pony as her main gift.  I'd seen this on a My Little Pony fan site from the big NY toy fair earlier this year and thought it was so cool.  There was no estimate on when it would be available in stores, so I was thrilled to find a prototype for sale on eBay.  I'm usually pretty skeptical about that sort of thing being legit, but I just went for it.  It was definitely worth it - even husband & I were wowed by its sparkle + water-filled interior and it was pretty neat to have something before it was even in stores.  We also got the Princess Luna version but I couldn't wrestle both away from her pony pile for quick photo.  

The funny thing is that is party was just as fun as the ones I slaved over and probably cost about the same. Everyone had a great time and the birthday girl loved her party & all her pony presents.  It felt so good to give her a great party AND be able to enjoy it myself for a change!


  1. I love your crafting & planning of this party. Your My Little Pony birthday girl is a delight as well, Cheryl!

    1. Thanks - it was a lot more fun not trying to do it all myself. One kid birthday down this year, two more to go!

  2. So cute! My daughter loved My Little Pony as a child...this party would have been a big hit. Very creative...thanks for sharing.

    1. My adult sister was a huge fan too, so it was just as fun for the adults as it was for the kids:)

  3. Great party and congratulations!
    En el mes de la patria, celebrando la independencia de Costa Rica el 15 de setiembre, que vivan siempre el trabajo y la paz!

  4. That's actually still more than I usually do for my kids parties... mine are just a cake and a gift, plus some family over for the afternoon. I hope my kids won't be scarred for life by the lack of themed parties.... ;-) Cute though!

    1. If it works, stick with it. That's all I used to do when my oldest son was very small, but as the cousins got older & all the kids got exposed to friends' parties at big party places, so everyone sat around looking bored when there wasn't more going on. Then I went way overboard the past few years, so I tried to land somewhere in the middle this year.

    2. I can understand that... I'm sure that once my kids are interested in having actual parties, I'll have to at least decorate a little and have some games, but luckily they are young enough now that they don't much care. =) I think this was a good in-the-middle party.

  5. Your party turned out so cute! I love the cake.

  6. We had a MLP party on Saturday and I only made a crown and a skirt. The rest I bought and it made it so much easier! I tried to make the cake but had a little baking mishap the night before and we ended up buying one at Super Target the next day. I do wish I had planned something as cute as yours!

    1. Thanks Rebecca and I'm glad yours was mostly stress-free too. I'm grateful there was a lot of cute ready-to-buy themed stuff! Since I wasn't baking like you were it gave me a little more time to round up the other stuff, but I'd have totally gone the Super Target route for the cake too if I'd needed it that quick!

  7. YOU ARE FEATURED! Thanks for linking up at Rhinestone Beagle! Come by and check out our "wanted" post, from sept 10th, for crafters like you to participate in out annual Howl-oween Craftathon. We'd love to have you join in.

  8. This looks so amazing! I love all the little details! Pinned. Thank you for being a part of our party. I hope to see you tonight at 7 pm. We love partying with you!
    Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls


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