Thursday, May 21, 2015

It's a Circus Birthday Party!

Welcome to the "Greatest Birthday Show on Earth!" It's always a circus at our house, and this DIY Circus Themed Birthday Party on a budget for grand-kids Mia and Alex gave us a chance to prove it! Enjoy the cupcakes with picks, "Big Top" Centerpiece, Face Painting, Balloon Art, Clown Craft, Door Decoration, Lego Circus Tent, etc. And now, let the show begin!!!

Birthday parties can really be expensive! This "Greatest Birthday Show on Earth!" party is proof that you can do a great party on a budget when you  -  
Do It Yourself!!

Before the Party...

We couldn't find party plates, etc., in the circus theme locally, so we decided to buy tableware items with balloon accents (Dollar General and Dollar Tree).

We wanted a centerpiece for the cupcake tower, and this Circus Tent Printable for the "Big-top" cutout was the perfect start. Since I had the added materials for this project, my cost was $0.00!

For complete directions , click on the Circus "Big-Top" Centerpiece link at the bottom of this post.

Another table decoration: Big Brother Noah designed this unique circus tent from Legos. 

 Lego Circus Tent designed by Noah

Cupcake Party Picks

Heejin downloaded the Cupcake Picks from a free party website and printed them on Round Label sheets. 

I used my Uchida Clever Lever Mega Craft Punch to cut the Scalloped Circles.
I then applied the stickers to the scalloped circles and used my glue gun to adhere colorful party forks from Dollar Tree to the backs.

Clown Craft

Of course, we needed a craft. I found the image for the Clown craft but no directions, so Mia and I came up with our own.  For complete directions for the Pom Pom Clown Craft, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

The Pinata

Daddy and big brother Noah helped Mia and Alex fill the purchased Clown Pinata with a variety of candy. The candy was first poured into a dishpan and "mixed up" to make this job easier!

Door Decoration

We wanted to turn the door in our foyer into a circus tent to welcome everyone and get them into a festive mood. Sounds easy, right? Wrong!! I pondered how I would do this for 2 weeks with no definite plan   -   until the day of the party!t

I didn't want to put holes in the wall, so I was unsure how to hang this large decoration. When I removed the picture that usually hangs above the door and saw the existing nails, however, it was definitely a "light-bulb" moment!! I cut 2-18" pieces of narrow ribbon. I tied one end of each ribbon to a 3" plastic bangle ring. (The "bangle" came with a scarf, but a bracelet could be used in its place.) I tied the other end of the ribbon to a medium binder clip. 

I then tied the ribbon to the existing nails, adjusting so the binder clip ribbon was slightly longer than the other side. (See photo below.)

I then attached the binder clips to a navy sheet, letting the fabric "drape".

Next, I "threaded" a piece of striped fabric through the bangle rings and draped it softly in the middle.

To make the sign, I first folded a piece of poster board and cut out a scalloped shape. I used Sharpie markers for the wording and embellishments. It was easily attached to the sheet with 2 pins.

Fortunately, no walls were damaged with this decoration!

Clown Poster

We also planned to have a freestanding clown to welcome our guests. Mia said the clown had to be a girl (of course). I wanted to create a reusable board to hold the poster, so I first trimmed a piece of posterboard to fit a piece of foam core board that I purchased at Dollar Tree for $1.00.

I "googled" clown images, and Mia liked this one best. I quickly sketched the girl clown onto posterboard and traced it with a Sharpie Marker. 

Mia colored the design with crayons and water-color markers. Finally, the cardboard snugly fit on the foam board, making it freestanding! I can now use this board for displaying posters at other parties.

For complete directions, click on the Freestanding Foam Core Clown Poster link at the bottom of this post.

Artist Mia and her masterpiece!!

Food Prep

I used frosting to "glue" animal crackers to cut pieces of graham crackers to place around the "Big Top". Gum balls added the perfect realistic touch!

Heejin iced some of the cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting and added party sprinkles. She made 2 batches of cupcakes (1 batch French Vanilla and 1 batch Chocolate) to allow for different tastes!

A YouTube Video was very helpful for making the Popcorn Cupcakes. Heejin used mini-marshmallows and yellow food coloring spray from Hobby Lobby for these creations.  The Cupcake Popcorn Wrappers were a free download. She then printed, cut, and assembled them.

The cupcakes and Circus Big-Top Centerpiece look great on the Wilton 4-Tier Stacked Cupcake and Dessert Tower.

The tickets added to the circus atmosphere!

Tickets, get your tickets here!!

Hang the helium balloons on the mailbox, hang the banner, and we are ready for... 



Is it party time??
It's Party Time!!

My husband Charlie and I dressed for the occasion!
 (It's okay, we're grandparents!!)

Fun and Games

The weather was absolutely beautiful, and that allowed for lots of fun, outdoor activities. Along with the Face Painting and Fun Jump, the kids enjoyed games such as Frisbees, a Cone Game with Rings and Electro Darts. 


Heejin did an amazing job of face-painting. She ordered the supplies online and practiced face-painting on Mia, Noah, and Alex before the party. When she finished their faces, she took pictures and displayed the designs on a Clothesline Frame for the kids to choose from.  

Heejin paints a beautiful butterfly on Mia's face!

The most requested painting was... you guessed it... 


Inside activities included the Balloon Art, Wii Just Dance Kids, and the Clown Craft.

The Clown Craft was a very popular activity for all the kids. Even the very young kids were able to create a masterpiece to take home!

The supplies for the Clown Craft were packaged as a kit in a Ziploc bag, and this allowed kids to take a craft home to create if they didn't have time to make one at the party.

Clown Craft to go!!

Balloon Art

I discovered it is possible to watch a YouTube video 3 times and become "almost a pro" at balloon art! My specialties were the Balloon Flower Bracelet and the Balloon Dog, but I also made Balloon Swords and Microphones! Some of the older kids created their own balloon art!

Balloon kits containing a pump and 20 balloons can be purchased for about $5.00 at Walmart and craft stores. Additional balloons can be purchased at craft stores and online.

Balloon Flower Bracelet

Dogs, bracelet, and a microphone
Happy kids with balloon puppies!

Get your Cotton Candy, Popcorn, and Animal Crackers here! I rolled sheets of white card stock into cones which were then stapled and trimmed. I filled the cones with Cotton Candy (from Dollar Tree) just before the party.

The Pop Corn boxes were from Dollar General (6/$1.00). The Animal Crackers were from Dollar Tree.

Thanks to Charlie for popping
the delicious popcorn!

Save room for the yummy pizza!!

We also served an assortment of chips and cold drinks.

1, 2, 3!!  Blow out the Candles!! It's time for cupcakes and ice cream!!

F-I-N-A-L-L-Y!!  It's Time to Open Presents!!

There were lots of presents for Mia and Alex to open, and there were many "oohs" and "aaahs".  "Thank You" for all the gifts!!

Alex (with Mario mustache) loves his Mario shirt!

Mia said she has always wanted a
Mega Bloks Barbie Dream house!

The Clown Pinata

Breaking the Clown Pinata proved to be quite a challenge, even for these super strong kids! Everyone had a turn to "whack" the clown...

...and another turn... 

               ...and another turn.... 


the Clown Pinata broke open!

The kids quickly grabbed the candy and goodies and stuffed it in their "Circus Party Bags". These bags had been prefilled with an assortment of bubbles, party blowouts, activity books, pads & pens, and various toys.  The kids shared the candy, and everyone had plenty of "Party Loot" to take home!!

Nancy's Notes:
  • Heejin and I agreed that this was the best birthday party that we have done together! (I will admit, we have said that before!)
  • Check out other birthday parties on my blog! (They were the best parties, too!)
  • This is one of the sites I used for inspiration:
  • You may also like Ms. Nancy's Nook  Parties Pinterest Page
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Thanks for coming to the Greatest Birthday Show on Earth!!