Princess had her birthday party last week, and we decided to make it a spa experience. We looked at the local birthday party places, and they were all too much money. So do-it-yourself is what we went with. It was actually pretty fun, and I enjoyed giving pedicures to all the girls. I only wish I had more time, because we didn't get to the manicures. They opted to put on makeup and do a photo shoot instead, which is just fine with me. I set up the camera on the tripod, and they went to town.
I decorated the dining room table with green and purple sheets we had in the closet, with a feather boa on top. I got these battery-powered tea lights and put them under the boa. The lights were fun, because my kids always want candles but I'm a safety freak. I had this post-card frame, and put the menu in it. I also did a "spa services" menu for the spa area of the living room. I downloaded spa music for ambiance, and had magazines out for them to look at while I pampered their feet. I also checked out some tween fashion books at the library. We made bandanna flip-flops, which I first saw at this website (check it out ... she has some adorable shoes). The girls had a lot of fun tying little strips of fabric on their flips and it kept them busy while I pedicured.
I found the flip-flops at Target Dollar-Spot, along with a pedicure pack (file, cuticle stick and toe-separator). I got a pedicure pack for each of the girls because I didn't want them to share feet germs (yes, I am a germ freak in addition to being a safety freak). I found the plastic baskets at Target for 6 cents each (yes, you heard me right!). Princess decorated water bottles and put names on them (I didn't think this was necessary but it was a fabulous idea because there were water bottles everywhere and they didn't get mixed up), and we tied my towels with fabric strips. I bought a bottle of green face mask and sliced up cucumbers so they could give themselves facials. They were so cute!
(In case you wonder why sometimes my pictures have stars on them, I am also internet-paranoid so I change the photos to protect the innocent.)
The last 2 things in the photo we didn't have time to do. If we run out of time and things get too crazy, it is important to alter the plans and not get too wrapped up in having the Perfect Party. My daughter is a mini-Martha Stewart so I have had to coach her on this issue. She lets the planning get in the way sometimes (she learned this from me), and enjoying your guests and being flexible are much more important when entertaining. But in case you're interested, we were going to make bath salts with epsom salt and store them in Crystal Light containers, and also make a paper sack scrapbook for each girl and let them decorate that.
So here is my great idea: Instead of making the scrapbook, we are making a paper sack thank you card, and will give each girl a cd with their photo shoot pictures. I didn't want to spend the money to make photo shoot prints for each guest, and we have a mega-pack of cds from our favorite warehouse store. In case you don't know how to make a paper sack scrapbook, this is what we are doing for the thank you card: Take a brown or white paper sack (Target has red ones now too!), and fold it in half. Either sew down the left side (to make a binding) or punch holes and tie ribbons on the left side. Decorate with paper. Insert photo cd in the opening, punch a hole on the right side and tie a ribbon so the cd doesn't fall out. When we are done, I will share a picture with you.
I think this is a pretty economical thank you card, and I think the party was pretty economical as well. I love to be creative and save money at the same time. It is just important to remember not to get carried away with all the details. If you want to see another birthday party idea, check out Sandy's blog, For Reluctant Entertainers. She shares wonderful ideas and advice for gracious entertaining.
In planning for the party, I found this great spa book for kids. It is called The Girls' Spa Book by Mary Wallace and Jessica Wallace. It has a lot of recipes for beauty products that they can make with things from the kitchen.