Birthday Basics: A Tangled Party
July 2, 2014
As our last birthday theme leaned slightly toward boys, so this week I present a theme with lots of hair, flowers, and art: Rapunzel from the Disney movie Tangled.
We threw this party in a park during the spring for my daughter’s eighth birthday. I find that each theme lends itself to a slightly different focus. Because we love that the movie is so visually stunning, much of our effort went into making the party beautiful. Don’t forget to check out Birthday Basics: Don’t Break the Bank … or Your Brain, for some general party planning tips.
We used the popular picture of the lanterns floating over the city for our invites. It was simple but lovely. The lanterns float away off on side of the image and leave an empty space in the sky to write in the party details. Your printer will definitely take a hit on ink, though.
Most of the other invitation ideas online focus on the artistic elements as well, whether in the shape of a flower, a lantern, or Rapunzel’s tower.
This theme is packed with potential for amazing decorations. We used two canopies. One was the Tower. We covered the canopy with pink tablecloths, so that they draped down over the poles. Then we wrapped green crepe paper, leftover flower Easter decorations, and hundreds of tissue paper flowers made by my friends forced into labor at a park date! I used yellow tablecloths to make a long braid that hung down at the entrance of the Tower. The tissue paper, tablecloths, and crepe paper all came from the Dollar Store.
The other canopy was the Kingdom. We used all purple and yellow. Lanterns hung at varied length from the inside. Gold stars cover the purple tablecloth. Then, I spent way to long making a banner by cutting purple felt into triangles, stenciling the Tangled sun on each with fabric paint, then stringing them onto a yellow ribbon. The banner looked amazing and I justified the time because my daughter would use it as decoration in her room. But I wouldn’t recommend this method. It felt like a lot of work for one party decoration. Especially on top of the tissue paper flower explosion!
As usual, we didn’t go very thematic with food. Although, we did make dough twists to look like Rapunzel’s braid. My favorite part of the food table was that we served everything in pans rather than bowls. We also glued black forks or knives onto the bottom of black plates so that each kids’ plate was a pan. These ended up being used for entertainment more than eating! Several pan duels broke out through the day.
Our cake looked amazing. Using an idea we found online, we put two types of ice cream cones together with cupcakes and skewers to form a tower. After the tower went together, it was simple to pipe on some frosting and flowers. I tried to mold banana Laffy Taffy into a braid which worked well until the temperature rose and it wilted! Ribbon or yarn would have worked better.
You can’t have a Rapunzel party without something to act as hair. The internet is full of idea for yarn wigs, barrettes, and ribbon. I found flower crown with multi-colored ribbons online for less than a dollar each. Rather than spend hour upon hour creating something more “hair-ish,” I figured the girls would love the flowers and flow of these crowns. Done!
For activities, we spread out several crafts on tables for the kids to choose. The Disney website had instructions on how to make Pascal blowers in several colors for each of his moods. I pre-folded more tissue paper and tied it with ribbon so that the girls could make a flower decoration. We had a bubble juice dispenser for them to refill their own cups. And, of course, since no Tangled party is complete without art, they drew all over the park with sidewalk chalk. As they left, each girl was given a watercolor set in the shape of a palette that I just happened to find at, you guessed it, the Dollar Store.
Our piñata had a picture of Flynn Ryder that they beat with a frying pan. This was just fun to watch! Because of the box shape, we had to drastically pre-weaken it so the kids could break through.
My dream would have been to release actual Chinese lanterns but, not only can they be expensive, we live in a high fire danger area. Instead, the girls released yellow balloons and loved watching them float away. Sadly, after this, I learned that this can negatively impact the environment. If I were doing it over, I’d use big bubble makers and send off giant bubbles as “lanterns.”
The Tangled universe has a lot to offer with so many ways to make things entertaining, beautiful, and fun. Just be careful that you don’t spend too much time on small details and drive yourself nuts with them!