Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A DIY Bubble-licious Birthday Party

I keep saying it, but it's true.  Time is going by TOO FLIPPING FAST!  It seems like just yesterday we were doing this birthday party.  It was actually a month ago.  Yikes. 

My little lady was turning 6 and we wanted to do something that would be fun for both adults & kids and not require hours of hand making items/loads of prep.  Our solution: a Bubble Birthday Party.

I'll admit, I'd planned to arrange things a bit better and more photogenically, but it decided to rain for all but 15 minutes of the party, so just keeping things dry was enough work.  Guess the sky wanted to add rain "bubbles" as its party contribution...

Simple Party Supplies: I'd raided my craft supply stash for a bunch of polka-dotted items like paper straws, bags & party cups that I already had (from past impulse buys at crafty deal sites). Then I planned the rest around those:

Crafter's Confession: I told myself I wasn't going to go overboard on my daughter's birthday party...again.  I've always been a bit over the top with her parties - probably because she's our youngest kid, so it's the last-ever chance for that age birthday.  I also fool myself into thinking I can "do it cheaper" by DIY-ing.  Then crafter's obsession sets in and I make it way more complicated and elaborate than I should.    

You can click on any of these to see the level of insanity, ahem, detail, I have gone to in previous years:


Last year I made it a little easier with a My Little Pony party that didn't require as much DIY detail:

This year I just didn't have the energy or the time to do much and, to be honest, I'm kind of over those perfect, jaw-droppingly detailed, over-styled parties Pinterest loves.  It's stressful, not very realistic for busy moms, nor is it good for the kids to experience annual parties that are more detailed than most weddings.  That's how you end up with entitled kids who don't appreciate the ridiculous amount of work and/or money you've put in.  I've got enough parenting challenges as it is - I don't want to create any more.  

Invitations: I creates an email invitation using the design feature of PicMonkey.  It's free & pretty easy to put together.  Since our get-together was just extended family, it seemed silly to pay for printed invites and postage anyway:

Decorations: I wasn't going to do any printables, but the night before the party my inner craft crazy lady set in and I made some food signs using Google Docs, some free bubble-themed fonts from and card stock and got some basic tablecloths & paper products in matching colors:

Food: we had some "bubble-style" healthy food like a couscous salad with round mozzarella, little tomatoes & olives:

We also did a bubble-shaped fruit salad with grapes, banana slices & berries and somebowls of round candies.  I know the taco salad buffet has nothing bubble-tastic about it, but when you've got some picky eater guests, you go with what works:

For drinks, I did one my personal favorites - Bubble Tea.  The bubbles themselves are big tapioca pearls.  You just cook it right before serving and it's a weirdly fun jelly-like addition to your drink.  I found a fun colorful kind and some jumbo straws to sip them though:

I made a little sign so those who weren't familiar with them would know what to do:

Party Fun: The only thing I really crafted up was the piñata.  Why pay $20+ for something that's literally going to be destroyed in minutes?  I did the old balloon & paste routine, re-inforced it was a bit of pink duck tape, wrapped it in some leftover crepe paper from birthdays past and added some dangling ends and googly eyes to make a jellyfish.  He wasn't fancy, but totally did the job:

After a few good wacks, poor jellyfish was reduced to papery jelly:

And besides the candy contents in the piñata, we had to have some bubble gum to round out the theme:

I was able to get a great assortment of bubble solutions & wands at the party store - being end of summer meant there were loads on sale, so I stuck the various bands in mason jars and had waterproofed candy cups to pour bubble solution into:

Despite the rain, the kids couldn't turn down the chance to blow bubbles:

The birthday girl was especially proud of her multi-bubble ball:

Party Clothes: She wore the ruffled mermaid dress I made her earlier this summer.

Birthday Cake: To tie it all together we had a mermaid with bubbles themed cake.  I had our favorite local bakery make it and just provided one of her favorite dolls as the mermaid's top half:

The pearlized frosting bubbles were especially delicious:

Birthday Presents: I did make two of her gifts - one was a soft toy which I'll be sharing here soon and the other was a knitted lovey blanket with this super soft yarn:

Everyone seemed to have fun, I got to enjoy experiencing the party (rather than just make it & run it) and the birthday girl was really happy.  And all that made this mom happy:)


  1. What a fantastic, cute idea! My idea of a fancy party is a fun tablecloth. It's pretty sad decoration-wise. My little girls love bubbles. I am definitely keeping this one in mind. Stopping by form Grandma Ideas.

  2. Adorable party. We just finished with our mermaid tea party, lots of "bubbles" for us too!


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