Oli had picked his theme for his 5th birthday by the first week of December 2016. His request – a magic party with a magician! Happy to oblige, I set about creating a Pinterest board – always my first port of call for saving all my ideas in one spot when it comes to planning or conceptualising.
We live in a freestanding cluster, so, while not a lot of space, it’s fine for a small party. For me, throwing a party in the comfort of my own home is always easier than at a venue. Although the space is limited, I can start setting up the night before and there are no parameters to the planning.
Looking for a magician was easy – I read countless reviews on JoziKids and with Oli’s input, decided on Stevie and His Big Red Box of Magic. Stevie ticked all the boxes according to the birthday boy’s wishes.
I designed all the creative elements myself – from the invite, to the food labels, water bottles and party packs.
I love the use of brown paper packets as party packs – cheap as chips at Westpak – and decided to print directly onto them this year, such an easy way to personalise them. The local print shop did them for me at R1 a bag! I tried to fill the party packs with fun things that tied in with the theme, and not just sweeties as there was enough of these on offer at the actual party.
I always like to customise water bottles for the kids’ parties – such a simple way to tie in the theme.
When it comes to catering for the party, I like to do as much of it myself as possible. I am by no means a professional baker but I genuinely get such satisfaction making my kids’ birthday creations myself. With inspiration from Pinterest, I made the sweetest little fondant bunny and top hat toppers for chocolate cupcakes, with red buttercream icing. The fondant toppers are pretty fiddly so I only made these for the kids, and for the adults substituted these for a miniature playing card.
I decided to try my hand at icing the sugar cookies this year and was pleasantly surprised how easy it was once I got the hang of it. I got a delicious sugar cookie recipe online a while ago – save it, it’s such a fun bake to do with the kids and makes loads!
Other elements to the kiddies table were little jelly cups (I find these are such a hit at all the parties), dipped pretzel wands, miniature peanut butter star sandwiches, gold-dusted meringues and popcorn top hats.
Every year I save all my UCount Rewards points up and then go to Makro to buy the party snacks and refreshments without having to spend a cent. All the sweeties were chosen with the theme in mind and labelled – baby white marshmallows became ‘Bunny Tails’, gold chocolate coins became ‘Coin Tricks’, Ghost Pops became ‘Levitating Balls’ and jars of jelly beans became ‘Magic Beans’. I tried to add in some healthier elements too – a platter of ‘Voila Veggies’ with a feta and herb dip and a plate of juicy strawberries.
Simple décor tied the theme together, with repurposed coffee jars sprayed gold and filled with red roses, scattered stars and dice, little porcelain bunnies and some light up letters from Typo.
My sweet husband lovingly constructed a pyramid out of giant playing cards to go on the table, which Oli thought was fantastic, and I ordered some clear balloons with gold confetti to flank the table.
Oli has a Gogo with the most amazing sewing skills, who lovingly made him a magician’s cape to wear to his party. Seriously, how amazing?! I’m trying to convince her that there’s a huge untapped market for these kind of things. Glynn has done a few printing jobs for me already (thanks to Natalie for being the go-between) and printed Oli’s ‘Abracadabra, Alakazam’ shirt to go under his cape on a plain long sleeve t-shirt I supplied him (bargain at PEP).
The party was a huge success, with Oli exclaiming this was “the best party he’s ever had” – all the confirmation I needed.
List of suppliers:
Top hats, bunny ears, magic wands, hanging stars, red roses, popcorn cups – Party Spot, Northgate
Giant and Miniature Playing Cards, plates, serviettes, straws and jelly cups – Home Stuff, Brightwater Commons
Baking supplies (cookie cutters, fondant, gel colourants etc.) – Jodees, Strijdom Park
Balloons – Balloon Fusion, Boskruin
Chair hire – Little Lees Parties, Bromhof
Shirt – Glynn – firstname.lastname@example.org or 083 651 2066