How To Plan a Fairy Party for Less Than Fifty Dollars
Imagination trumps the dollar in this party plan for 10 girls!
Your little girl loves fairies -- and you'd love to give her a magical, fairy-themed birthday party, but the cost of putting together an enchanting soiree for 10 little girls is starting to look scarier than the path through Goblin Woods...
Don't get discouraged. It's possible to stage an adorable fairy party that little girls will never forget -- and you won't need a drop of pixie dust to implement these magically cost-effective ideas. At less than $50, this party plan for 10 could well wind up costing you less than a tank or two of gas!
TABLETOP TRICKS: Sure, those pretty paper plates and cups with fairy designs make the table look beautiful, but this is an excellent place to shave dollars from the cost of your party. Skip the patterned plates in favor of solid-colored versions from the dollar store. You'll pay just $1 per package for cups, plates and napkins, and $1 for a solid color plastic tablecloth.
Now that you have your solid color tableware in hand for less than $5, it's time to add a little fairy flair to the table -- and this is where imagination really trumps the dollar. Start with a centerpiece. Simply place a large, clear vase in the center of the table (if you don't have one, try a coffee can with the paper label scrubbed off or even a tall glass mug) and leave it empty for the girls to fill during the party.
Next, create a placemat for each little fairy. Take a piece of construction paper, or tear a brown paper grocery bag into a placemat. Trace a circle around the dessert plate that you purchased from the dollar store, to show where the plate will sit on the placemat.
When the little fairies arrive, explain to them that fairies in the wild decorate tables for fairy parties by scavenging the forest floor for beautiful blooms, branches and treasures. Help them do the same, filling the vase with branches and blooms and scattering treasures such as petals, acorns, bits of moss or pebbles around its base. Next, hand out glue and encourage them to create their own delightfully imaginative placemats with more natural treasures. Be sure not to glue anything in the circles where the plates will sit! The idea is to surround the solid color paper plate with an individual work of art. Leave the placemats on the table to dry while the fairies move on to other activities.
Total party price so far, including a couple of bottles of glue and a pad of construction paper: under $10.
ACTIVITIES: This is another area in which costs can easily be contained for a fairy-themed party. Fairy dancing is the easiest and most cost-effective means of entertaining 10 little girls for 30 to 45 minutes, especially if you add a few fairy games into the mix. You don't need to be particularly footloose to frolic like the fairies do; it's more about a flight of fancy than a truly graceful performance. Form a ring, hold hands and move to the music. Put one of the fairies into the ring, and ask her to demonstrate her finest set of whirls and twirls. Everyone else follows the leader. When the fairy in the center comes out, link hands and form the ring again, move in a big circle, choose another fairy to go into the center, and so forth. Fairies also happen to be cheerful and fun-loving ttle folk who adore games such as Red Rover, Ring Around the Rosy and Statues. No fairy music at your house? Download a few Gary Stadler fairy songs for just a couple of dollars.
And here's a great idea for preschoolers: the Itty Bitty Fairy Olympics, with tiny wind and cloud races and miniature javelin (straw) races. I can't claim credit for this one; I discovered it at another site offering ideas for preschoolers. But as soon as I read it, I thought it would be the perfect (and very inexpensive) activity for a fairy party activity.
Here's a link to the site if you'd like to read details about this simple and inexpensive activity and see the pictures: http://lets-explore.typepad.com/weblog/2008/08/itty-bitty-olympics.html.
Total cost for music, straws, cotton balls and other items needed for fairy activities: around $6. Your entire party price at this point is less than $16.
COSTUMING: There's no doubt about it. Wearing fairy wings is part and parcel of the attraction to a fairy-themed party for a child. While it is definitely possible to find wings for $1 per pair at the dollar store, it's entirely likely that the dollar store will be sold out on the day you show up -- or worse, that there will be only 6 pairs of wings left, when you need 10. By all means, keep an eye out for dollar store wings, but be prepared to make your own inexpensive wings if necessary.
Fairy wings are quite fragile, so yours can be made from some very fragile (and therefore inexpensive) materials, including wax paper, tissue paper and cellophane paper. Simply create a pattern and cut, then fasten the wings onto the child's clothing. One of the easiest ways to wear tissue wings is to create a fairy wing necklace held around the child's neck by string. The necklace is simply worn backward.
Imagination is the most cost-effective tool you can use, so don't worry so much about having perfect wings. If you are doing everything else right, and creating a solid structure for a little girl's imagination to blossom, the crinkle of tissue paper against a little girl's back and shoulders will transform itself into the whispery kiss of ethereal fairy wings. No pixie dust will be necessary; this magic trick just occurs on its own when a little girl's imagination is properly fed!
FOOD COSTS: Speaking of food, one of the single largest costs for any child's birthday party is the cake. If you purchase a custom cake you'll blow your $50 party budget in one buy. And for what?!? Children don't like cake; adults do. Children prefer the icing to the cake.
A fairy-themed party more than any other is the perfect venue for cupcakes (dubbed "fairy cakes," of course) that you can make yourself for only a few dollars. Dress them up, if you are so inclined, with fancy chocolate flowers, or gold-wrapped chocolate coins and costume rings.
Since everything at a fairy party should be tiny and natural, it would be in keeping with the theme to use the remainder of your $50 budget (and you should have about $24 left at this point) to purchase assorted nuts, sunflower seeds and fruit to serve along with the fairy cakes. After all, this is exactly what fairies eat in the wild! Little girls just adore tasting true fairy food; it adds such a rich layer of authenticity to the whole experience of becoming a fairy. Keep portions small; one strawberry per guest, a tiny serving of sunflower seeds, a few almonds. Explain that fairies forage for their food, and these strawberries were grown in the Fairy Queen's own small garden, which yields the finest fruits but in tiny fairy-sized quantities. When food is parceled out in this manner a truly magical thing often happens. The single strawberry suddenly becomes the sweetest, ripest, most delicious fruit on earth, and the memory of it will linger long after the party in the memory of the little guests. Remember that with each food item, the idea is to sample several different types of authentic fairy food and not to feast. In this manner you will be able to stretch expensive items such as a small container of mixed nuts or a pint of strawberries to feed all the children at the party.
Following this guideline -- or most of it, anyway -- will create a fun, fabulous and fairly inexpensive day of fairy frivolity, and perhaps even leave enough in your bank account for a special, keepsake gift for the birthday child. Need some ideas? Read on for two of my favorites, priced less than $20 each.
Jewelry Box or Fairy Bracelet
This Sterling Silver 7-inch bracelet from Silvery Insanity features a ring of dancing fairies -- perfect for enchanting fairy-loving birthday girls. Please note that a 7-inch bracelet will be too large for very young fairy-lovers. She could grow into it, of course, but you might consider a different piece of fairy jewelry for a 3 or 4-year-old fairy.
Here are a few keepsake gift suggestions for the fairy-loving birthday girl (all under $20)
How about a pretty little fairy jewelry box? Wrap it up and present it empty, to hold all the treasures your little fairy has already collected, during the gift opening. Or fill it with treasures and make a treasure hunt to find the jewelry box during the party. Fill it with pieces of silver and gold (individually wrapped silver foil chocolate kisses and gold foil Rollos) that can be divided among the guests, and let the birthday girl keep the jewelry box. Schylling makes a nice one, featured in the Amazon ad at right, for around $15. Not a bad price for a keepsake gift.
Or, how about a pretty, silver bracelet featuring a ring of dancing fairies? Perhaps it could be delivered in the evening, once the guests have gone home, when the party table has been cleared and the gift wrap has been carted away in the trash, and the magic of the party has begun to fade...This is the perfect time for a mysterious visitor to ring the doorbell and then disappear, leaving nothing behind but a small, wrapped jewelry box. Imagine your little fairy's delight when she opens it to discover a pretty fairy bracelet! You might consider including a note from the Fairy Queen herself, saying something like, "The fairies and I thought you and your friends made such beautiful fairies today that we wanted you to have this special gift, forged of silver moonbeams and magical memories, to welcome you to our sisterhood as an honorary fairy. Each dancing fairy on this bracelet holds a special wish in her heart for you -- for happiness, friendship, love, laughter and more. Enjoy your gift...The Fairy Queen." What little girl wouldn't want to receive such a gift after her special fairy party? And at $20, it's not a bad price for a very magical birthday gift after an inexpensive party. Take a closer look at the one in the Amazon ad above right to see whether you like it.
Be sure to note that the bracelet is 7 inches, and will be too long for tiny wrists -- but the idea can be used on a smaller bracelet. I'm searching online now for other pieces of fairy jewelry that could be used, and will add links to those sites soon. Many pieces of fairy jewelry, however, feature fairies that look a bit too seductive for little girls, so it's taking a while to find viable ones.
This hub was contributed by The Party Fairy, serving the Richmond VA market with birthday parties and special events.
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