IT’S LALALOOPSY TIME! I am a HUGE Lalaloopsy fan so when I was trying to come up with a theme for my Girl Scout Troop’s Mommy & Me event this year, I jumped at the chance to incorporate these cute dolls into my theme: “Cute As A Button!” Mommy & Me Playdate. Our Lalaloopsy inspired “Cute As A Button!” party printables are NOW AVAILABLE FOR SALE! Click here to check out the full collection.
Character parties can sometimes be cheesy and overdone…but here, I’ll show you how to pull off a custom, high-end looking character party without buying one character party supply AND without breaking any copyright laws by using these 7 simple steps!
Step #1: Find an element that is unique to the character and make that your design focal point
It could be a color, an activity, a symbol or a pattern or fabric. With Lalaloopsy, they obviously have sewing as a theme and buttons! So, I decided to create a whimsical design plan focusing on buttons and sewing elements like denim fabric, yarn, ribbon and crochet. Buttons were my main design focus and you can see I used them to embellish many items as well as created this HUGE “Button Wall” backdrop out of what? PAPER PLATES!!! For all the details on how to create this “Button Wall” backdrop, click here to see my latest guest post for Hostess With The Mostess. Thanks to Piggy Bank Parties, the inventor of the paper plate backdrop trend, for inspiring me to create this backdrop…I honestly would NEVER have thought of putting paper plates on the wall!
Step #2: Don’t buy any of the commercial character party supplies!
Here you can see how I used custom elements on my main dining table instead of using character printed party supplies. I used denim pockets with a custom button with each guest’s name on them as place cards on top of a plain paper plate. I first saw a friend of mine use the denim pocket place card idea a while ago and always thought it was so clever! Thanks Jeanette for the inspiration! I know you’re wondering how in the world did I get all those denim pockets…well…YES…I did have to cut all of them out of kid’s jeans…and NO…they weren’t new jeans so you don’t have to break the bank. I kept my daughter’s jeans once they got ripped knees and then scored finding other parents with the same problem and asked them for their kid’s old jeans too. I finally had enough to make 16 jean pockets out of 8 pairs of old jeans. I MUST ADMIT…I did cut up 2 pairs of my own maternity jeans to get some of the pockets! WOW…WAS THAT THERAPEUTIC! I digress…
Step #3: Use a printable package that “matches” your character!
As a printables designer, this step is important! It is ILLEGAL for printable companies to SELL printables with licensed characters on them without a licensing agreement. Trust me…licensing agreements are VERY HARD to get and most printable companies on Etsy and Ebay do not have them. Yet, they sell character printables anyway. ME? I prefer to NOT break the law and get sued! So, I design my own custom line of printables that MATCH a character party without using the characters actually on them. Here you can see our “Cute As A Button” printables design package used throughout the party that matches Lalaloopsy perfectly!
Step #4: Use actual character toys, posters, favors or fabrics to bring the character into the party design!
This step should be super easy if your guest of honor is a fan already of the character. I’m sure you already have LOTS of toys around the house like I did to use them as decor. For this event, I focused on using only the Lalaloopsy dolls. Lucky for me, I had quite a few Lalaloopsy dolls around my house as my girls LOVE them just as much as I do. A quick trip to Michaels to get doll stands and now I can use them all around my party space. If you don’t have the character toys already, I suggest buying some, using them in the party decor and then giving them to the birthday boy/girl after the party is over. I do this ALOT!
PRO TIP: Fellow party planners…to keep your inventory in check, bill the cost of the toys into your client’s fee and then give the toys to the client at the end of the event. That way, your client and birthday boy/girl have smiles on their faces when the party is over, you look like a rock star AND you don’t have bins of character items that you may not ever use again.
5. Design a sweets table that incorporates sweets that compliment the character
Creating a character themed sweets table is so much fun! Using the FABULOUS “Button Wall” backdrop as my focal point for this Lalaloopsy Sweets Table, I asked Kristy from The Purple Pug to hand-make me a colorful wall banner that said “SWEETS” that matched the party colors perfectly! I have to say my favorite element of THE ENTIRE PARTY is this ribbon garland that my friend Nancy from A to Zebra Celebrations hand makes! You can give her your party colors and theme and she will create you some ribbon FABULOUSNESS that totally gives your table front an awesome look. Here I asked her to incorporate multiple trims, colors and patterns to go with the whimsy Lalaloopsy theme. I added the buttons to the trim and WOW…a one-of-a-kind ribbon garland that totally ROCKS!!
Next I called on my custom sweets designers to create desserts that would match the theme. The Gourmet POP made these awesome whimsical cake pops and chocolate covered oreos. Edible Details created these button fondant toppers that I used to embellish some store-bought sweets: cupcakes (frosted with icing in my colors) and Rice Krispie Treats that already had specs of cool colors in them! Last but least I used rainbow colored Twizzlers that matched the party colors (I thought they looked like twisted yarn) topped them with a custom printable and made custom candy bags!
Step #6: Don’t buy pre-packaged character favors!
Instead…offer more high-end looking favors that you customize to your theme with printables or character stickers. For example, I bought these candy necklace kits and glued an actual button to the front of them and now it looks like a custom favor! Or..offer favors that work with your theme’s decor elements…Here I offered denim bags, crocheted hats and tutus! You could further personalize these with a printable tag.
Step #7: Create activities that compliment the character
Carry out the character’s theme by offering activities that match the character. Here I created a scrapbook bar with bright stickers, embellishments, ribbons, etc for the girls to do with their moms. The girls took pictures with their moms at the photo booth area and then used those pics to create a scrapbook page to capture the day. Another activity that the girls LOVED was creating ribbon tutu belts to wear with their tutu favors.
This event was so much fun to put together and I hope I’ve challenged you to create a custom, high-end looking character based party for your next event. Step outside of the party supply section!!!! You can do it…just use my 7 step strategy and your done!!!
Questions? Ask away! This IS the “Girlfriends’s Guide to Party Planning” after all! Place a question in the comments area below and I will answer them all. AND don’t forget to follow us on Facebook where we share LOTS daily! Thanks so much!
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this post where I share with you some of the DIY elements from this party.
Event Styling & Design: Soiree Event Design
Printables: “Cute As A Button” Collection from Soiree Event Design (available in our shop SOON!)
Photography: Tonya Coleman
Ribbon garland: A to Zebra Celebrations
Button fondant cupcake toppers: Edible Details
Cake pops & chocolate covered oreos: The Gourmet Pop
“Sweets” banner: The Purple Pug
Lalaloopsy doll holder boxes: Blumebox
Supplies for the “Button Wall” backdrop: Target