I’m happy to report that despite the two weeks I had to put this party together, my daughter’s 4th birthday was a smashing success! We invited some friends over to decorate candy houses. Here’s the invitation.
I decorated the doors with paper medallions turned wrapped candy and made lollipops out of twisty balloons for the planters.
Inside, we set the scene with a candy house village made from cardboard gift boxes and decorated with candy.
I made the banner using scrapbook paper backed with felt and strung on candy necklaces. It read, “Happy 4th Sweet Caroline.”
Now, goodness knows I am inclined to try some ridiculous things for party’s sake, but I know my limits. There was no way I was going to attempt to make 20 some odd gingerbread or graham cracker houses to decorate. No. Way. That is precisely the sort of effort that would have me in tears at 2 a.m. and wanting to pull my hair out. Not gonna do it.
I bought these gable boxes from the bakery section at Michael’s, added a roof and lined the window with yellow tissue paper. Lauren put them together for me, God bless her. She adhered them to 10 inch cake bases decorated with Washi tape in our party colors—radish red, pale pink, lime green and sky blue–and she added silver pipe cleaner trim to the cardboard base. I thought they looked pretty cute even without the candy! Having never worked with Washi tape before, I was thrilled with its ability to be repositioned and the ease of use. I can’t wait to figure out other party applications! I ordered mine from leboxboutique on Etsy.
Each kiddo got their own bottle of royal icing, or as we called it Sugar cement.
There was an assortment of candy on each table. I tried to avoid overuse of Christmas colors because my daughter was born on Dec 27, so I try to be sure and make her birthday feel like a separate event. Given the time of year, I was able to find lots of candy in red and green. I added some pink and blue to the mix. We used M&Ms, holiday Lifesavers, pastel Starlight mints, pink and green peppermint sticks, spice drops, sugar wafers in vanilla, strawberry and chocolate, milk chocolate rocks, fruit loops, mini Nilla wafers, marshmallow ropes, lollipops, Hershey bars, gingerbread snowmen and trees, and even some gummy penguins!
Here’s the birthday girl hard at work on her candy house masterpiece!
If I ever host this event again, I’d either buy mini gumdrops or skip them altogether. They were heavy and wanted to slide off before the icing set. I’d also buy more sugar wafers. Lots more! The kids were funny. They’d each chosen their materials and then it was madness if they couldn’t finish that wall, door or rooftop like they’d started it. Here’s some of the kids’ handiwork.
They were all very proud of their work!
After they’d finished their masterpieces (and eaten way too much candy), we put the candy house aside to give them time to set up before our guests left. Then, we broke out the real food.
I am a fool for brunch foods, and since it was early on a Saturday, we did ChicFila chicken minis, sausage balls, pinwheels, mini cinnamon rolls, yogurt covered snowflake pretzels, sweet breads, and fresh fruit. We served coffee and, for the kids, a frothy pink punch made with raspberry sorbet, cranberry juice and gingerale.
Candy bracelet napkin rings!
These cups are my new go-to for beverage service.
Nothing Earth-shattering, but I think they are versatile for any theme, easy to dress up with straws like these I used from Shop Sweet Lulu or a themed cup wrap, and the lids makes them great for kids. It’s also fun to do a straw flag for guests to write their names on so drinks don’t get mixed up.
And then it was time for cupcakes! I ordered half chocolate and half vanilla from a local bakery, Cakes and Candles, and added these adorable fondant toppers from Edible Details. Brittany did an assortment of color combinations based on our party scheme. Love!
It was a great time! Everyone really did seem to have fun, and it made me smile to see how tickled each child was with his/her candy house creation! If you’ve always wanted to host a gingerbread house party but were hesitant to bake or buy all those houses, I highly recommend this fun and easy alternative. Happy 4th Sweet Caroline!