Our Eva girl turned four this past weekend! We are so lucky to have her – she’s smart, funny, kind, compassionate, and the best big sister. We had so much fun celebrating her with family and friends – a super simple gathering that was easy to put together and enjoyable for the whole crowd.
The birthday girl requested a rainbow birthday party and we made it happen! I didn’t want to fuss with a ton of decor so I made the food into our main tablescape & decor, then added some fresh floral arrangements here and there. Which brings me to Hack #1:
Use your food as decor
Instead of tossing food into traditional servers consider making your spread into a grazing table. Think charcuterie on steroids – an entire table full of snacks and munchies for guests to nibble on throughout the party.
We made our grazing table into a rainbow a la our chosen theme. It would be so fun to do a separate table just for kids with treats just for them: apple slices, watermelon, pretzels, goldfish, string cheese, and everything else kids love.
Use a kraft paper table runner
Please let me espouse my love of kraft paper for you again. Christmas presents to wrap? Kraft paper! Need to make a poster? Kraft paper! Want to run a 30 foot long piece of paper down your hallway for your kids to draw roads on and race their trains on a rainy day so that you can have a half hour of quiet for yourself? KRAFT PAPER! But my favorite use by far is turning it into a table runner for a grazing table.
Just lay it down your table and then line the top with some wax paper. The wax paper keeps your paper from getting soggy – especially if you have fresh fruit on display. You can use a sharpie to mark your components or write ‘Kids only’ on your children’s table. The best part is when you’re done, you can roll it up and toss it in the recycling. Done!
This sounds about as obvious as can be, but do as much as you can in advance. I’m committed to not prepping food the day of unless I absolutely have to. One thing I love making waaaay ahead of time? Cake!
You can make cake and freeze the layers separately for months in advance. A fully frosted cake can be frozen in advance, too! I prepped Eva’s cake two weeks in advance of her birthday, then moved it from the freezer to the fridge the night beforehand. On the morning of the party, take your cake from the fridge and let it come up to room temperature so it’s easy to slice through and eat at the party.
Get flexible with decor
I’m not about to drop loads of money on sparkly unicorn tablecloth that we won’t be able to use again after. Instead, I try to make our decor on-theme but flexible enough to be used for other occasions.
Fresh flowers are definitely the most versatile: use them for your party, then give them to co-hosts as parting gifts or to make your own home cheery and fresh.
Our paper goods were all cute but not so childish that they couldn’t be used for a cookout or Mother’s Day brunch later on. I love to pick up pretty plates and napkins when I see them at a good price and have a little stash for any get-together.
Outsource what you can
Another obvious tip that somehow gets overlooked every time: outsource difficult, annoying or time-sucking tasks. This looks different for everyone. I find a lot of joy in making special cakes from scratch, but if that’s not your thing then let a baker handle it and use your time doing something you actually care about. For me, I utilize grocery pick up or delivery to save time leading up to the party.
I hope this saves you some stress when hosting your next party! I just love getting friends and family together to celebrate – we had so much fun at Eva’s party! I’ll be sharing some more related posts soon – stay tuned for some cake details and my favorite tools to create your own, great gifts for kids, and lots of other exciting things!