10 Tips for Creating a Theme Birthday Party

7. The Party Table

The party table often serves as the focal point of your event space. Consider simple, yet visually appealing ways to use the party table to reflect the theme. Think: cowboy hats slung over the backs of chairs for a western theme, a treasure chest as the centerpiece for a pirate party table, hay bale seating for a harvest party or a table made up to look like a bed for a slumber party.

8. The Menu

There’s little doubt that the cookie cutter is a valuable tool for planning a theme party menu. You can use these to shape not only cookies, but things like sandwiches, brownies and even personal sized pizzas to fit your theme.

Colored foods are another way to tie into the theme. For instance, pink foods will complement a princess party menu while yellow and black menu items create an edible color scheme for a bee party food table.

Another fun way to bring the theme to the menu is through the serving pieces. Overturned plastic fire helmets make fun bowls from which to serve chips, dips and even pasta dishes at a firefighter party or line the tiers of a cupcake tower with gold coins for a pirate party.

A backdrop for the food table also conveys the theme in a decorative manner, such as a large chalkboard menu that lists some of the fun themed names you’ve given to your menu selections.

9. The Birthday Cake

Yes, the birthday child is the star of the party. But we all know the cake is the first runner-up. Most of us want a cake that not only matches the party theme, but can also elicit a few oohs-and-aahs before candle time.

If you suffer from FOF (fear of fondant), don’t fret! Most kids don’t care if their birthday cake has smooth lines or a face made out of gum paste. If you want to save the small fortune it costs to order a fancy cake from a professional, think inside the box. The box of cake mix, that is. The truth is, many theme cakes can be made from a simple mix and decorated with colored frosting and store-bought candy as embellishments. Several textures can be made from edible sweets, such as crushed graham crackers for sand or shredded coconut for snow.

With so many varieties of cookies on the grocery store shelves, it’s easy to find a shape and size to make things like those puppy’s ears, garden fencing or a pirate’s eye patch. Before you order that specialty character cake, take a trip to the market and browse the aisles for some alternative, creative DIY options.

10. Favors

When the parting gift matches the theme of the party, it does more than just say thank you for coming; it also gives guests a keepsake by which to remember the day. If you want to stick with your theme without breaking the budget on party favors, consider trinkets such as homemade princess wands for a princess party or mini pumpkins for a harvest party. Even brown paper lunch bags can be transformed to suit your theme using decorative embellishments such as rubber stamps, stickers or glued-on images. Fill them with trinkets that the kids may use up and then refill their decorated bags with other treasures throughout the year.