Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Top 5 Pirate Cakes

So, I'm hoping you have all read through my blog that revealed my top 5 fairy cakes! Today, I am going to share you with my top 5 Pirate Cakes- involving any thing from a huge showstopper or just miniature cupcakes, I want these cakes to give you some inspiration when planning your child's big day, or if you like the look of any of these cakes but your feeling a little lazy, you can contact Once Upon A Time parties to bring you along something similar. 

At number 5 we have this 'Arrrrrr'mazing Layered Cake
To make this cake you need a little skill but why not give something similar a go. Decorating the cake is always the fun part so once you've baked the cake and put on the icing, try some pirate patterns such as the skull and crossbones. Like the decorations on this cake, the red and black balls reflect jewellery/treasure from a treasure chest- Try it!

Number 4
     This cake clearly represents the theme of the party! However it is very difficult to replicate- However once you've baked the cake and done the king, you simply need to cut out hard icing of different colours and make the pirate face! Along with that you want to add dots of icing for the stubble and of course chocolate gold coins to finish this masterpiece off.
Your little one would be more than happy to show this off to all of their friends.

Number 3- Cupcakes!

Cupcakes are a winner, this is because they are easy to just hand out to everyone! Theres no need of cutting through a magnificent looking cake that you don't want to ruin. Whats better than making individual showstoppers that look the part and taste delicious? Once baked, decorate with them with pirate themed toppings such as an anchor, a treasure chest, a pirate of skull and crossbones. These are very fun to look at and the children will absolutely love them.

Number 2- Wow!

Yes, this is a treasure Chest made out of ACTUAL chocolate. 

Filled with golden coins and other sweet treats, this looks incredible to eat! I'm not entirely sure how you would eat the actual chocolate chest covered in golden icing, but it is very impressive.
If you don't want to have a go at actually creating a chocolate chest, then simply buy or use an old box, and fill it with golden coins and anything else including chocolate dust to resemble sand.

At number 1 I had to give to give it to this pirate ship made out of chocolate. The detail given to this cake as well as the amount of work given to make the actual ship is amazing.
To add to the detail create an edible flag, however don't let the children eat the plastic pirates or the canyon. 

If you don't' feel like you could recreate this, try and make a smaller pirate ship cake and if it goes well, eventually make it bigger and bigger until you are happy!

I hope you take some inspiration from my top 5 pirate cakes- they may look difficult to make, but give it a go! Remember, you can always contact me and we can organise one to come to your little one's party.


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The Pirate Party - Fun Craft Ideas!

If you are hosting a Pirate Party for your little ones big day, a great activity to keep the guests entertained is crafts!  Not only does it let everyone get involved, children of all ages, boys and girls, get to take home something they are proud of, and add a competition for the 'most sparkling treasure chest', or for the 'ugliest pirate mask' are fun and light hearted.  Read on for some fab ideas:

Homemade Treasure Chest

  • You will need: paint, craft glue, egg cartons, beads, sequins, coloured feathers, novelty jewellery,  gold chocolate coins
  • Give each child an egg carton and tell them to paint their pirate treasure chest! You could try doing this at the beginning of the party while guests are still arriving as an ice breaker, and to allow time for the cartons to dry while you run other activities.
  • After the egg cartons are dry, tell the children to decorate and fill up their treasure chest! Stick gold coins, novelty necklaces and rings, feathers, sequins and sparkles to make it as tantalising as possible!
  • Put the finished treasure chests on display for the children to proudly show off their creativity!

Pirate Mask 

  • You will need: paper plates, craft paint, stick on goggley eyes, felt tip pens, material for a bandana, craft glue, stick on eyebrows, glitter pens, sequins, thick cardboard cut into rectangles (to make into handles)
  • Give each child a paper plate and tell them they are going to make a pirate face! They can opt for ugly, scary, funny, silly or even a pretty pirate and they can use the items supplied.  This will keep them well amused but parents will have to be on stand by to help with the tricky bits such as sticking on material bandanas and cutting things out.
  • Once all the children have finished their masks, award the best (or worst!) ones with a prize!
  • Get the children all together to take some hilarious snaps of them holding their masks in front of their faces.

** If you are planning a Pirate Party for your child's next Birthday Party and live in London, Hampshire or Surrey, contact and we will do are best to get one of our Pirate friends to sail to your venue and teach some new Pirates how to have fun!!

Or call Emma on 07969 841770

Sunday, 15 September 2013

The Pirate Party- Food

The food at the party is always looked forward to by the children! The time in which they can stuff their faces with their favourite treats and snacks. However to make your little one's party even more special and memorable, be creative and change the food to make it fit in with the pirate theme! Even if its something simple such as putting little flag skewers into the party sausages, everyone is sure to love it- these are pictured to the right..

The Hot Seadogs!

Secondly, similarly to the sausages and the flag picks, why not re-create a pirate ship from a hot dog and the same sort of idea. Simply use straws to poke through the sausages and cut out 10-15 black cards and stick a pirate sign onto it. As you can see from the picture to the left, it resembles a pirate ship- the kids will certainly be drawn to this tasty treat during the party food! 

The Treasure Chest 
Another idea, to not only add a easy treat to the party, but also a relatively healthy one is this little creative masterpiece! The wooden chest really does fit in with the theme of pirates, and simply fill it with either sweets to resemble treasure or fruit such as strawberries and raspberries! Furthermore decorate marshmallows by drawing pirate faces onto them and decorate with sugar icing to make them look even more spectacular!

If your not feeling too creative, why not buy some salty snacks- Ahoy!
  • ‘Pizzas’ of Eight: let the rascals have fun making or decorating their own pizzas
  • Fish fingers/chicken ‘gold’ nuggets with little buckets of dip
  • Hula hoop gold rings
  • Cherry tomato cannonballs (warning: these may be launched at passing enemy ships…)
  • Sandwiches cut into shark fins, palm trees
  • Crossbones: bake a batch of sticky-glazed ribs in the oven (and provide PLENTY of kitchen paper)
And for the sweet snacks
  • Orange segment ‘boats’ with pirate flags in. Or set jelly in hollow orange halves and slice into segments when set.
  • Skewers of fruit and veg
  • Chocolate coins
  • Chocolate wafer scrolls
  • A hollowed-out watermelon galleon filled with a fruit salad
  • Buried treasure jellies: set little pirate tubs of jelly with fruit goodies or a chocolate coin at the bottom for kids to find
I hope this has given you some inspiration on foods to have at your little'uns pirate party! Be sure to check out more blogs giving you tips about this particular theme


The Pirate Party - Decoration Ideas!

One of the most fun parts of a Kid's Birthday Party is decorating the venue to match the theme! Now is not the time for subtlety and a Pirate theme is one of the best for decorating! Think underwater, think pirate flags and of course, pirate ship!

A simple way to transform the venue to a Pirate wonderland is to hang blue and silver steamers from the ceiling of the room and to drape blue ribbon or crepe paper along the ceiling to make the waves of the sea.  Try hanging blue balloons from the ceiling and even some cut out and painted fish, octopus and other underwater creatures! Getting the children involved will make the party even more special to them and they will be sure to enjoy painting fish and hanging them up!

Next, hang skull and cross bone flags on the walls - you can pick these up from any good fancy dress or party store - to bring the theme to life!

At the main table, cover it in a green table cloth and a fun idea is to fill a treasure chest with sweets and other goodies and make this the centrepiece.  Place chocolate coins on the table and around the table, think about adding some cut out palm trees to make this area into 'land'.

Try adding nets to the table and make sure to use pirate bunting and lots of stripes to decorate in a pirate style!!

I hope that this gives you a few ideas to get started with the Pirate theme! Keep on reading for lots more ideas on decorations, cakes, food, games, crafts and take home gifts in the Pirate theme!!

Don't forget - if you are planning a child's party please contact us at Once Upon A Time Parties for entertainers and party planning services...

Thanks for reading :)

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Theme 2: The Pirate Party - Invitations

Carrying on from my recent blogs, I want to introduce my 
second theme which is distinctively different to the Fairy Party. This party theme is perfect for your child's party (mainly the boys!) , of course it can only be the Pirate Party.
From walking the plank, (not literally) to pinning the patch on the pirate, the children are sure to have a fun packed and unforgettable time- so get planning!

I am going to start from the beginning and my upcoming blogs will help you plan the perfect pirate party, but today I am going to talk you through the all important invitations. 

Pirate Invitation

1) My idea fits very well with the theme but also contains a rather fun element to it too- when I think of Pirates I often think of treasure and treasure maps which is I believe can be fitted in to the invitation.

2)To make the map, just use a blank marker to draw some white copy paper. Have some fun and keep it loose and graphic. Make a big island with jagged shores. 

3) Put a giant 'X' to mark the spot of the party whilst adding to it the address of where the party is going to be held. 

4) Make a bold, curving, dashed line for a path around the island and put several obstacles or landmarks along the way, each one giving a clue to the party ( time, date, whether its fancy dress or not, etc)

What to include in the invitation

  • The Date
  • The Venue
  • The times of the party 
  • Dress Code
  • Theme ( You could introduce the party as  Pirates of the Carribean themed)
  • RSVP
Similarly to my tips posted in the Fairy Invitations Post, I always think that adding a sentence that will go along with the theme adds a little fun to the invite! Some examples are below...

- You could use Pirate language such as 'Ahoy Mates' 
- 'aarrrrggghh you ready to have a good time mateys?'
- Call your guest lists 'ship mates'

To be more creative, how about some rhymes...

-'You are invited to an afternoon of fun, for this little pirate is turning one!'

-'Aidan is turning five years old!  And in his backyard there is a treasure I’m told, so on (June 14th,) he wants you to come round…and no one can leave until the treasure is found.' 

I hope this has inspired you to start planning a Pirate party for your little'un- Check out my upcoming blogs that will give you some more tips on how to create a party for your child to remember. 
You can of course contact us, (Once Upon A Time Parties) if your feeling a little lazy- we are more than happy to come entertain your child bringing along this theme! 

Thank you 

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The Fairy Party - Cupcake Competition

After all the initial excitement of arriving to the party, why not let the children have some calm time (and some time for the parents to sit back and relax) by allowing them to bring out their creative sides! Decorating already baked cupcakes is not only fun for the children but they also get the pleasure of tucking into their masterpieces after making them! 

Furthermore, you can make this little party activity a fun and friendly competition by offering a prize to the best cake decorator! 

Getting prepared...

*Pop down to a nearby shop (Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsburys) and find your way to the cake and bakery aisle! 
*Buy decorative icing that the children can easily squirt onto the firm cupcakes
*To keep in with the Fairy theme, look for all things sparkly, such as edible glitter, hundreds and thousands, and of course, everyones favourite, silver balls! 

Allow the children to get messy and have some fun with this activity- it is a chance for them to explore their creative side!
Give the children some ideas when decorating such as making pictures such as the letter of their first name (E for Emma) or a love heart, flower and any other simple patterns. 
Maybe even provide them with little aprons so they don't ruin their fairy outfits. You never know this may inspire them to become little chefs when they grow up! 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Fairy Party- Makeover

Every little girl wants to grow up fast, start wearing make up and girly clothes.. so why not give them a taste of this with a fairy makeover during the party? 

The party girl would go first of course and get her hair and make up done whilst the other children are occupied with food, music and games. To reduce costs you could always ask the children to come in fancy dress (Fairy outfits) and highlight that whichever child has the prettiest fairy costume will win a small prize. 

            The Fairy Makeover could consist of a catwalk, where at the end of the party all of the children walk down the 'magical catwalk' wearing the outfits that they came in but with their hair and make up styled. The winner again will win a small prize! The children would be sure to love this fun and friendly competition with their friends. 

Now to the important part- the Makeover itself

*Pop down to your local Claire's accessories and buy some  sparkly eyeshadows, glitter, glittery mascaras and some lipgloss- Maybe even some face paint too!

             * As shown in the picture to the right you could use your face paint to create patterns such as this butterfly with bright, girly colours such as pinks and whites. This will sure to make the girls feel more fairy- like and pretty! 

            *You can ask the girls what colours they would like when doing their make up such as pink eyeshadow or blue glittery mascara! After all they will want to look the best fairy there!

Finally, when applying hairstyles on the little ones, make sure you have a relatively quick and easy style, but also one that is comfortable for the children.  Whether they want a plait, left down or up in a bun you can always make them look even more fabulous with decorative headbands such as the ones in the pictures below! 
 I hope that you find the tips on this blog helpful and will apply them to your own littles one's party! Or if you want OnceUponATimeParties to do it, we are sure to include them in our hour long parties! Book now for our special deal of £99

Monday, 9 September 2013

My Top 5 Fairy Cakes

On a horrible rainy day, what is better than looking at some very impressive Fairy Cakes in which you can take a lot of inspiration from when planning your little one's party? A Fairy party isn't all about the savoury snacks, the sausage rolls and crisps, so why not have a go at making a cake to make your child's day even more special. My top 5 cakes might look extremely complicated, but why not have a go at something more simple, you don't need advanced culinary skills- all you need is some creativity and a little spare time. 

At number 5 we have this showstopper- 
What would please your little girl more than having a birthday cake themed like a fairy castle? This cake really caught my eye- the different sized layers and the detailed decorating is more than impressive- However, if you want to re- create this why not try a more simple version but keep the idea of a fairy castle! Some different coloured icing and some edible fairies will more than likely put a huge smile upon your little angel's face!

This next cake certainly made me hungry! At number 4, check this out...

This woodland style cake decorated with edible flowers and a detailed icing patterned around it would definitely impress the children and parents at the party!  Named the Flower Pot Fairy Cake, this cake is made up of red velvet layers with a cream cheese icing- sounds tasty doesn't it? Take some inspiration and try it out yourself!

At number 3 is this masterpiece..
This is the Garden Fairy Cake decorated with pink and green to reinforce the idea of fairies and the woodland! It's not only stunning looking, but also looks incredibly nice to eat. If you don't believe you could even attempt to re-do this, why not book one to be delivered for your little ones party? Or even use Once Upon A Time Parties to business to bring along one similar at a special request?

Number 2 really is an impressive Fairy Cake!

This is one impressive piece of work and whoever has made this certainly is a culinary genius! However, don't give up without even trying- why not invent a cake that is based on a Fairy book theme but a little easier? Your child would absolutely love this magical idea! I had to put this at number 2- it really is very eye catching, it doesn't even look like a cake, don't you agree?

My number 1 may surprise you a little, but it's something you party planners may find a little easier- but it still looks a treat!

An alternative to the large fairy cakes, these small cupcakes are easy to eat and take a little less time and effort. One for every child at the party- they will love to choose which fairy belongs to them! Make sure you include the magical fairy wands and maybe even add some edible glitter too! May not be the most healthiest treat, but who cares! Your little one will only have this Fairy Party once, make it special and one to remember.

Monday, 2 September 2013

The Fairy Party - Take Home Gift

After all the carefully worded invites, the tastefully decorated party venue, the (hopefully) tastier food and the entertainment itself there is just one more hurdle to cross - the take home gift!

Now it is very very easy to go to a local party or pound store and stock up on plastic yoyo's, toys and other 5 minute wonders, but why not finish off the party in style with some of my top fairy party take home gifts:

1) Pop to your local Claire's accessories and pick out some child friendly pretty pastel nail polishes for each of the children.  Add to this a homemade glitter dust vial and this is a fantastically fairy way to polish off the party!  (Tip: See my earlier blog post on how to make a glitter dust pouch!)

2) For a magical way to end the party, give each child some fairy wings and a wand to take home!

3) For a really personalised memory of the day, take a picture of each guest with the birthday child when they arrive at the party (or a big group one!) and get them developed whilst the party is taking place.  Put each one in a pink or sparkly photo frame and send them home with a lasting memory.

4) Another personalised present, as well as a great way to get the birthday child involved prior to the party, is to make homemade jewellery.

  • You will need the following: ribbon or thread, beads with letters, colourful beads.
  • Simply pierce the beads through the ribbon or thread to spell the name of each guest. Be sure to add pretty coloured and shaped beads and gems to the bracelet and tie a know at each end to secure the beads.  Ensure that there is enough ribbon / thread left over to tie the bracelet into a bow on the child's wrist.
5) Send home each child with a fairy book (Flower Fairies, Tinkerbell, Peter Pan etc). You can find many great deals on websites such as amazon, and the parents will be grateful that you are not sending them home with a bag of 'E' numbers but a good excuse for a lovely bed time story.
I hope you will find these take home gift ideas useful and I would love to hear some of your ideas to!

Please keep reading my blog as the next theme I am going to cover is Pirate and Mermaid Parties! 

Once Upon A Time Parties x

Please follow me :)

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Fairy Party - Food

Being a bit of a foody myself, the party food is one of the best things to me about having a birthday party! But all to often it is just to easy to bulk buy crisps and sausage rolls from Tesco and call it a Birthday tea... But no more! Here are some fantastical fairy-like food ideas for your child's party.

Firstly work out where you are going to set up the party tea.  Opt for the traditional long tables and chairs and decorate these with fairy themed table cloths and bows. Or for something a little more exciting, set up a fairy woodland space and have a picnic / tea party sitting on toadstools or rugs and surrounded by trees (real ones or cardboard cut outs), fairy lights and streamers. If you are blessed with  good weather, try adding canopies and bows to trees to create a lovely backdrop to the fairy tea party.  

Now for the food... Personally when I think of a fairy tea party, I think of old fashioned English afternoon tea (think cucumber finger sandwiches and scones) mixed with a good handful of sparkles and magic (pink jelly, cupcakes with glitter and cute cakes).  Don't forget fairies love colour, so firstly I would make sure to add lots of vegetable crudites and a big fruit salad to add a splash of rainbow to the day.  

* Use cookie cutters to turn sandwiches, cookies and cakes into the shape of fairies, wings, butterflies and hearts
* Cut star shapes out of fruit and vegetables and put onto skewers to make fairy wands
* Sprinkle cupcakes with edible glitter
* Make a fruit punch bowl and float flower petals on the top
* Freeze orange, apple, cranberry and blackcurrant juice in an ice tray and add to the fruit punch to make floating jewels.
* Fill meringues with berries and a bit of cream for a different dessert idea
* Use a skewer and alternate ripe red strawberries with fluffy white marshmallows
* Make or buy mini quiches and vol-auvents, scones and savoury wraps
* Try adding jars filled with jelly sweets for a colourful and tasty table centrepiece
* Finally, use vintage looking tea cups, plates and pots to make a truly fairy like magical tea!

Try serving the food on layered cake stands and be sure to add ribbons and table decorations, flowers and streamers... Add edible glitter, cupcakes and teeny tiny sandwiches and you have got yourself a perfect party tea!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The Fairy Party - Decorations

Hello Readers!

You have come to the right place for so more fantastically frivolous fancy fairy party ideas!  Today's blog is following on from the all important invitation to home-made decorations that are kid friendly so I hope it gives you some inspiration...

It doesn't have to cost a wing and a wand to create some beautiful decorations for the fairy party theme.  To make the venue look like a fairy kingdom, the first step is to choose a colour theme and stick with it.  Popular colours are pastel pink, lilac and cream and try these ideas:

- Buy ribbon in your chosen colour choice, cut the ribbon into streamers and hang around the venue.  To brighten up the outside area hang them on trees to create a magical effect when the wind blows them softly in the breeze.
- Recycle twinkly lights that you use at Christmas time and decorate your venue with a splash of sparkle
- Should the party fall in Autumn, get your child(ren) to collect leaves that have fallen off trees and spread these around the side of the main space.  Place gems, or other sparkly trinkets onto the leaves to make a magical fairy garden.
- Cut out cardboard shapes into toadstools, trees, castle shapes and stars and paint them to create a fantastic backdrop for the party.  The children will love this task!
- Spread glitter and artificial flowers across the main table
- Use household items such as chintzy cups and saucers and side plates to decorate the table. Add ribbon bows to create a party atmosphere.
- Invest in some bunting - perfect for a fairy party and reusable at lots of events and occasions.  Hang on the table, around a tree, pin to the wall... the choices are endless!
- Or make your own bunting! Follow my tips to create REALLY easy bunting perfect for a boho fairy party:

Easy Bunting

You will need:
 - Thin rope
 - Clothes pegs
 - Photos / flowers / postcards

To do this:

 - Cut a long piece of the thin rope
 - Let your child pick out some pretty postcards, artificial flowers or photos in a fairy theme or of the guests attending the party
 - Using the clothes pegs, attach the materials you choose to the thin rope
 - Use pins or knots to tie or hang the bunting

Top tip: The bunting will look best if the pictures are of a similar size and colour scheme with dashes of colour using flowers.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Theme 1: The Fairy Party - Invitations

So I thought it would be a great help to my readers to give some tips and advice theme by theme and topic by topic, starting with my favourite theme of the fairy party!

Appealing to children of all ages, the glittery, pretty, fantastical fairy party is a timeless hit that never gets boring. From fairy tea parties to fancy dress to makeovers to baking, there are literally hundreds of ideas on how to get the fairy party started!

Today I am going to start at the very beginning: the all important party invitation!

Fairy themed party invitations can be really easy to make, and your little one will enjoy getting involved with the card making activities.

Fairy Wand Invitation 

1) Cut out a star shape from coloured card

2) Either print invitation onto card, or handwrite using pen (try metallic or glitter pens to make it more fun) or paint. You can also use tags and attach to the wand.

3) On the back of the card, attach either a skewer or straw to make the 'wand' using sticky tape.

4) Add streamers or ribbons to the base of the wand

5) Decorate the wand with glitter, stick on sequins, dried flowers, feathers and whatever else you can get your hands on!

What to put in the invitation?

- Date and time
- Age, name of child
- Location
- Activity and theme
- Dress Code

To put some fun into your invite, try making up a little rhyme to go along with the theme! Some examples are below:

  • You are invited to an afternoon of fun, this little fairy is turning one!
  • Fairies slip on your dancing shoes, For Fairy Roxanna is turning two!
  • Come one come all to this fairy tea, Fairy Emma is going to be three!
  • To enter fairy land: Knock knock knock on our fairy door, As little Tanya is turning four!
  • Fairies, Pirates, Pixies and Elves, All come together and jive! For this is no ordinary party as Dexter is now turning five!
  • Fairy dust, spells and magical tricks, What are you waiting for? Leona will be six!
I hope this has inspired you to get to work on your home-made fairy wands!

Check back for my next post on decorations to create a magical fairy setting for your child's birthday party!

Once Upon A Time Parties x

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Recipe 2: Fruit Stick Ideas

Chocolate, sweets, ice and candy-floss ALL taste better on a stick (according to children anyway!) so why not choose fruit stick recipes to make with the children, either at a party or in my recipe take home gift book that I discussed a few blogs back!

Not only is fruit super healthy, the array of colours, shapes and sizes make fruit a kid friendly ingredient and there is no need to do any actual 'cooking'! I hope you will find joy in the recipes below:

Blingy Bananas

Ban boring bananas from the kitchen and instead jazz them up with some colourful sprinkles and all round yumminess...  Simply freeze some bananas on a lolly stick and then let the kids decorate them by rolling the frozen banana in their favourite chocolate sauce, sprinkles and nuts!  

Frozen Fruit Kebabs 

Fresh, sweet, juicy and refreshing... Get with the frozen fruit trend NOW! These frozen fruit kebabs are a proven hit with kids and so easy and healthy.

Use any fruit but a favourite of many is frozen grape and frozen berries.  Simply pierce fruit onto the skewer (cut the ends to make them child friendly and not to sharp) and freeze for a couple of hours - perfect for Summer days!

Chocoholic Fruity Treat

One sure way to get kids to eat more fruit is to add chocolate to the mix! Simply cut up an array of tasty fruit, add yummy chocolate sauce, a couple of skewers and get dipping! Children and adults alike will love this treat, and there won't be a single piece of fruit left over!