Rainbow Birthday Party

Rainbow Birthday Party

Since before I had kids, I had always wanted to throw a Candyland theme party for a little girl.  Only one problem.  Now that I’m older and wiser, I wasn’t so keen on the candy part.  It doesn’t quite fit into my real food philosophy.

So I let go of my dream theme and decided to let Allison choose what she wanted for her 3rd birthday party.  Except she’s 2.  And very little help.  All she could articulate was that she wanted a strawberry cake.

When I mentioned my lack of inspiration to a friend, she was quick to suggest a rainbow party. 

Now I know that the rainbow theme is EVERYWHERE right now and I have a tendency to run away from anything trendy.  (Except for salted caramel.  That is one fad that I. am. all. over.)  But the more I thought about it, it all just began to fall into place…

Allison would get her strawberry cake.  And orange cake.  And pineapple cake.  And tons of bright balloons.  And maybe even a little candy.

And I would get a theme that I could go so crazy with, I’d have to be committed when it was all over.

The birthday girl.  I ordered the embroidered rainbow shirt from K. Mae Designs and made that rainbow tutu in 30 minutes for $3.  She even kept in on for the ENTIRE party.  It was a birthday miracle.

I LOVE how the decorations turned out.  And all I had to do was spend $112 in assorted balloon packs because each bag was short one. freakin. color.  I went to Hobby Lobby so many times, I had to have an intervention.  True story.

We had hoped to set up the party outside since it was a rare 80º in March, but the ground was a little soggy since it had been raining for two days.  We were lucky that things dried out enough for us to move the festivities outside, but it was a last-minute decision.  So sorry to all the people who stepped in dog poop since we didn’t clean up the back yard.

The secret to a successful party is a piñata.  Apparently, beating things up with the payoff of candy is all that kids need to have fun.  Way better rate of return than the rainbow parachute, which occupied their attention for 10 minutes.  Which is highly unfortunate because I actually purchased two.  One from Amazon and a second one from Party City that was $7 cheaper.  I was going to return the Amazon one until I saw it costs $5 to ship it back, somewhat negating my initial cost savings.  I. just. can’t. win.

But a birthday party is all about obsessing over the details, isn’t it?  That’s why I spent 42 hours planning these bath-themed favors, including homemade rainbow soap, and served sandwiches for dinner.  Because favors live on forever.  Food is a distant memory within 36 hours.  Unless it’s leftovers in my house.  Because I still have fruit sauces in my fridge.

Which brings me to the cake.  Or should I start with the cupcakes?  The 12 DOZEN mini cupcakes that I baked in rainbow flavors, that pretty much all tasted like vanilla.  At least the orange and pineapple did.  The strawberry, blueberry, and green banana actually turned out pretty well.  I won’t even talk about the grape. 

What started as an innocent suggestion from my toddler, turned into an obsession.  While it may not have been worth the effort of spending two days recipe testing and baking more cupcakes than I could ever use for the sake of keeping manageable ingredient measurements, it looked damn cute.  And she got her strawberry cake.  So I have to say I’m pretty proud of the effort.

But the round cake was a masterpiece.  Because six icing colors and two decorating tip couplers did not make this a simple task.  But totally worth it.  I mean, check out those cake-writing skillz!  So much better than my first attempt.

I know all of this was more for me than it was for her, but I’m pretty sure she had a blast.  Look at that face!

Happy 3rd birthday, my sweet girl.  I love you more than words can say.

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6 Responses to Rainbow Birthday Party

  1. […] see, the combination of trying out a new banking system and going EXTREMELY over budget with Allison’s birthday kinda screwed me up.  We abandoned the cash system because I hadn’t budgeted appropriately […]

  2. Cate says:

    Okay, you are officially awesome in my book! I was actually thinking about doing a rainbow-themed birthday party for my three-year-old this year (we’ll see). I love your balloon displays, the colored buckets, the rainbow fruit tray, and the cake! So cute. And the tutu! I die.

    • Jen says:

      Aw, I’m honored! It really was a fun theme. My advice? Buy individual packs of balloons. It costs more, but totally worth saving your sanity because I bought 3 variety packs that were each short a color, however, none of them had enough to match up. Argh. I should sell rainbow party packs because between the balloons and the plates/napkins, I really had a hard time finding what I wanted for less than a million dollars.

      Oh, and the buckets came from Party City. I had searched for weeks and we stumbled on these the day before I was about to buy mesh to sew gift bags. Which I still think would’ve been darn cute, but my husband intervened and I’m (mostly) glad he did. Because there wouldn’t have been time what with me attempting to make rainbow side dishes/dips from scratch for 30 people. Next year no food. Only cake.

  3. Jodie Meigio says:

    Love it! Planning a rainbow party for my soon to be 6 yr old. Do you mind my asking how you made the rainbow tutu? Would love to surprise her with a rainbow birthday outfit! :)

    • Jen says:

      I started with a tutorial from Pinterest (it’s on my Crafty board if you find me on Pinterest), but ended up winging it because I bought tulle by the yard instead of on a spool. Basically, I just cut 4″ wide strips of tulle by winding the fabric around a piece of scrap wood so I could cut them all at once. The length of the fabric ended up being perfect if I cut each of those strips in half, but with a 6yo, I’d imagine you might have to use the full length. Then with double thickness, I just looped the tulle behind a ribbon waistband and pulled the open end through to secure. I realize this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense without visuals, so my apologies. Maybe someday I’ll do a photo-tutorial! :)

  4. Andrea says:

    Love this post – I’ve pretty much settled on a rainbow party for my little girl’s 3rd bday, ran across your blog in my crazy search for ideas :) Can relate to all your feelings about party planning. Looks like your daughter had a wonderful time!