I have been teasing you with the invitation to transport you to Never Never Land for a couple of months now... and now I am finally keeping up my promise! I was beyond thrilled when the party for my daughter, Anabelle, was featured on the fabulous Hostess with the Mostess a few days ago! I am now sharing some new details and photos of the party, which I will break up into two posts due to the numerous images and descriptions! So gather up some pixie dust and enjoy your flight!!!
Anabelle was turning four this year and when we were deciding on a theme for the celebration, we wanted to find one that appealed to her and also would work for a co-ed party since many of her friends and their siblings are boys! Thus, we finally settled on a Neverland premise, which would appeal to all the guests – male or female… young or old! The Peter Pan story provided so many ideas, but also required a little bit of narrowing because of the vast array of possibilities! To aid me in focusing my thoughts, I drew inspiration from one of my favorite movies: “Finding Neverland”. The movie follows Peter Pan’s author, J.M. Barrie, as events in his life in the Victorian era motivate him to write the enchanting play. From there, I concentrated on the overall Victorian feel with ornate, black décor in the Darling children’s nursery, contrasted with nature and trees at the party’s location to represent their journey to Neverland. I also utilized numerous silhouettes, corresponding to this time period, and also representing Peter Pan’s search for his shadow. I wanted the children to feel as if they were being transported to this magical land and encourage them to believe…In creating the invitations, I utilized a scrapbook paper background that depicted London’s landmarks (most notably Big Ben) and added a silhouette of Peter Pan flying, along with the word “believe”. The images and green, black and cream colors set the mood for the party, while the wording inside invited guests to “…come with us where dreams are born and time is never planned… just think of happy things and your heart will fly on wings forever in Never Never Land.”
The party took place at a local park and the focal point included two “beds”, anchored by a dresser, to set the mood of the Darling’s nursery. The beds were actually kids tables where they would dine and inspired by none other than Jenn from Hostess with the Mostess! The fabrics came from Joann Fabric and Craft Stores and I tried to pick patterns that complimented the time period, but also conveyed a natural, outdoor feel to make both environments come together.
The beds were made to look like they belonged to the Darling boys, John and Michael, and both the décor on the bed and the respective nightstands corresponded to their accessories and roles in the story. I found the black shades in the clearance section at Ikea and paired it with a low-priced base to make the lamps. They didn't really fit together, so I hot glued them together and adorned the shade with an adhesive embroidered letter (also found at Joann's), as well as the green and gold butterflies seen throughout the decor.
The small chairs were dressed up with black and green tulle with a Peter Pan silhouette. My mother was a tremendous help with her remarkable sewing skills! I was only able to find stark white children's chairs to rent and since the color scheme included more beige/off-white shades, I wanted something that would mask the brightness. I had already purchased green and black tulle in attempt to make my own tutus for the girls, but after failing, I was able to make myself feel better by finding an alternative use for it!
At the beds, the young guests were offered green pixie juice in vases from Ikea, as well as a lunch served in kraft gable boxes from Whispering Pines, including small sandwiches, cheese sticks, green grapes and of course, some Pirate’s Booty popcorn! The boxes on the children's table were dressed up with a quote from the story warning of the inevitability of the passing of time and again, combined a more formal "frame" with a piece of nature.We had additional lunch boxes and pixie juice for the adults at a separate table, but the offerings were exactly the same as the meals offered to the children. After all, the entire party was meant to bring them back to their childhood and encourage everyone to fly!
The anchor of the "outdoor nursery" was a dresser that came from my home and included the dessert, as well as decorations, including silhouette cut-outs of Anabelle, my husband and myself that we had done at a trip to Disneyland! Some other pieces included a period alarm clock (actually found at Ikea!), small Victorian chairs, ornate number "4"s and of course, Tinkerbell's lantern!
I debated on an entire dessert table selection, but decided to focus on my specialty: cupcakes! The chocolate and vanilla cupcakes were garnished with fondant toppers representing all the roles from Peter Pan. They also mirrored decorations found throughout the party, all referencing the symbols for each character without actually portraying their actual images. I intentionally avoided Peter Pan and Tinkerbell and Captain Hook illustrations to encourage imaginative play.
Above the dresser was an ever-so-popular party frame from Ikea posing the question to all the guests, young and old: “Do you believe?”.
Well, do you?! Whether you do believe or not (yet!), please stay tuned for Part II to see additional party decor and favors, magical activities, and our photo booth!