Thursday, February 6, 2014

Circus Birthday Party Ideas

This post is going to be a long one, but I promise it will be worth it to see everything.  :)

Last weekend was my nephew's 1st birthday party and I was in charge of decor.  At Christmas time I got a request for a circus theme from his mom.  And then the work began!  
I used a LOT of Stampin' Up! products for my creations, but my 'go to' was definitely MDS - the digital design software.  I made these super adorable invitations, you can check out all the details in a previous post HERE.

Before guests even entered the party they knew they were in for a fun afternoon.  This big circus tent covered the whole entrance to the house.  My stepdad constructed the framework and I had a lot of help with sewing the plastic tent.  It turned out totally amazing, I just wish this picture would do it justice.
The backdrop for the food table was a circus tent made from plastic table cloths that had been sewn together and suspended from the ceiling.  I also sewed probably over 100 feet of paper circle banners.  I think they really give everything a circus vibe.  
Much of the food was not yet on the table when these pictures were taken, but you can see all the cute little punched out tickets scattered about and some cute decor pieces I put together.  
No birthday party is complete without a custom banner.  This one is made of paper pennants that have been stamped tone on tone.  I cut the letters out with my Big Shot and mounted them on white 2 ½" circles.
I especially love the fabric, ribbon, and gold sequin trim accents between each letter.
To make these circus animal cages I bought some bird cages at a local store and spray painted them.  Then I added a bunch of plastic animals from the dollar store. 
My favourite part of this little display was the gold sequin balls!  I enlisted the help of my cousin Jessica and we took the sequins from the gold sequin trim off the threads and then she glued each individual one on the styrofoam balls.  She is my hero.  :)
You can't have a circus party without lots of circus food!  I found these miniature solo cups a long time ago and I finally put them to good use!  The kids LOVED the cotton candy, but I don't think I was popular with the parents.  Hahaha!
There was food and candy on almost every surface of the house.  I also placed these cute decor frames in several locations as well.  I used MDS to create a fun piece of subway art and several other little posters I put in a selection of frames spray painted in the party colours.  
I also printed out the same piece of MDS subway art out several times and cut it into 2x3 inch pieces to create these soda bottle labels.
The cupcakes were a HUGE hit.  Super tedious to make all the marshmallow popcorn for the tops as each piece was cut and then hand painted, but so worth it.  
Begin by placing a few small cuts in each mini marshmallow.
Using a small brush and some powdered yellow food colouring, paint the inside of each cut yellow.
It took 2 people about 3 hours to make all the popcorn for 36 cupcakes.  So not a job to tackle if you don't have any help.
One of the very first things I decided I wanted at the party was a photo booth.  
I found some great wood props at a selection of stores and went to work painting them.  They turned out great!  The kids had an awesome time playing with them all and getting their picture taken.
My favourite photo of the day is this one of the birthday boy and his parents.  Aren't they just the cutest little family ever?!?
If you're having a circus theme party with little ones I totally recommend purchasing these mini tents from Ikea.  The kids played in them all afternoon!
Last but certainly not least is the goodie bags.  I found these popcorn buckets at the dollar store and filled them with circus themed snacks and toys.  
All wrapped up and ready to take home!  

A HUGE thank you to everyone for their help!  My Mom, Bob, my Dad, Janice, Jessica, Jen, Reno, Maria, and many more!  And a great big thank you to my brother and his wife for allowing me to take over their son's first birthday (and put a few nails in the ceiling and walls too ;)

Thank you for reading my longest blog post ever!!!!  I promise to be back tomorrow with something MUCH MUCH shorter!

Happy Stampin'


  1. I'm totally speechless - this is unreal! Fabulous job!

  2. I love the banner in the background of the photo booth station. Where can I get it? Or if it’s diy, can you make instructions for how to make one?