Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Adventures in Party Planning: Insect Party

As a follow-up to my insect Easter, here are some ideas for an insect party, three ways . . . .

For girls, a butterfly party. Idea board #1 (clockwise from top left):

Martha Stewart for Grandin Road butterfly wreath: They have a matching garland, too. Neither comes cheap - $80 and up – but they are pretty darned cute.

Butterfly-studded paper lanterns: Also courtesy of the divine Miss M. She cut her butterflies out of paper, if memory serves, but I would just buy feather or paper butterflies (both can be purchased off of the Pearl River Trading Web site) and break out the glue gun.

Butterfly straws: Martha again, and also cut from paper (with a slit in the center for the straw to go through). You could make these out of scrapbook paper – or, if you have purchased butterflies left over from the lanterns, attach them to straws with glue dots.

Paper butterfly accordions: From Pearl River, these are a steal at $1.50 each and would make great favors.

Butterfly-print oilcloth: $12.50 a yard from Pearl River, three colorways, and 48” wide, so three yards would get you two 48” square tablecloths (for card table toppers) plus a 12” table runner for a refreshment table.

Idea board #2:

Scalloped cupcake toppers: These come from Mary Had a Little Party’s Etsy site. Another option would be to top a cake or cupcakes with edible paper butterflies, available from a variety of Etsy sellers.

Butterfly fabric: This print is from Michael Miller and would look so cute covering little tin pails for favors. A rectangle of fabric (or patches of several coordinating fabrics), a little Mod Podge – done. A little ball fringe glued around the top would finish things off nicely.

Butterfly kite: From GZ International. Their Web site has both paper and nylon kites, starting at $1.50. Any of them would look adorable hung over a party table, and they would make great favors, too.

Polka dot cupcake liners: $5 for 12 from Holiday Home Keepsakes on Etsy.

Other ideas:

Garlands made from origami butterflies strung on twine, or paper butterfly cutouts clothes-pinned (for bodies) to ribbon.

Butterflies glued to party hats.

Antenna headbands (plastic headbands, wire springs and pom poms) for each guests.

A “decorate-your-own-wings” craft (nylon wings, available from party supply retailers, set out with fabric paint, pom poms, buttons and other add-ons, and bottles of craft glue).

I have been carrying around a picture of these favor bags (Martha YET AGAIN!) for eons. Couldn’t be easier – white paper bag, scrapbook paper grass – and, in lieu of butterflies, you could glue on any rubber insect of your choice, thus making this a design that could also be used for . . .

. . . the boy party:

Dragonfly and spider notecards: From Good Indian Girls on Etsy. Silkscreened and graphically cool, not cutesy – perfect for boys. 8 for $20, and other designs are available, as are assortment packs.

Fondant toppers: Kids Cakes (Etsy again) sells these a la carte and also packaged with polka dot cupcake liners in coordinating colors.

Specimen box party favors: STILL MORE MARTHA. Boxes can be obtained from bigger craft retailers, and Martha coated hers with rubber cement and then affixed wrapping paper to the sides, using a craft knife to cut off excess. From there, it’s just a matter of attaching toy bugs to the inside of the box, using glue dots.

Other ideas:

As a centerpiece, a cluster of mason jars filled with dirt and plugs of grass, topped with toy bugs.

Cupcakes topped with green icing (applied with a “grass” tip); let the kids add bugs using candy (Twizzler and licorice whip segments could form a stick insect, those spearmint gumdrop leaves could be wings, etc.).

Chocolate ice cream served in clear plastic cups, topped with Oreo cookie crumbs and a gummi worm or spider.

Magnifying glasses and plastic shovels as party favors, so kids can dig for critters at home.

The final variation of the bug party – a “Very Hungry Caterpillar” theme for the little ones:

Clockwise from left, you have:

Caterpillar toppers: From Adora Belle Designs. (Cute butterfly toppers are available on the same site.) I love the chew holes!

Name banner and confetti: Both come courtesy of Lillian Harper Events. The confetti is flippin’ adorable, and a bargain at $3.50 (free shipping with another item!).  Enlarge the picture if you're confused, or I'll just tell you - it's comprised of paper caterpillar parts (legs and body segments), so the kids can assemble their own caterpillars.

Felt caterpillar crown: How cute is this? $25 from Better Than Normal’s Etsy site.

Insect crayons: These come 9 for $9.95, courtesy of Etsy seller Lil Doodlers. I have also seen candy molds shaped like insects (I’ve seen them in my house, actually - not sure of their current whereabouts), and you could melt down your kids’ broken crayons and make your own critter colors.

Finally, I found this hungry caterpillar pull-apart cake on the The Teaching Heart Web site.  This would be great for a first birthday, because the caterpillar’s head (covered in red fondant) is an ideal “smash cake,” and the cupcakes could be served to the guests.  You can also find instructions for this caterpillar (made of segments of Bundt cake!) through The Teaching Heart:

The cupcake cake is from Coco Cake Cupcakes, a Vancouver, BC-based business.  One of my favorite cities in the world, and now I have another reason to visit!  Check out their blog (roll over the name above for the link) - the Angry Birds cake made me laugh out loud.

Caterpillars probably don't think birds are funny, come to think of it.

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