No party is complete without decorations, and for little girls who love Barbie, pink is the obvious color choice. For Carson Collier's birthday party, Martha prepares table decorations that are simple, durable enough to withstand a group of young children, and so pretty they will not soon be forgotten. Everything used on the table, from the tablecloth to the party favors, are in shades of pink, keeping with the Barbie theme. Made of crepe paper and inexpensive plastic flame-retardant fabric (about $9 for a 40-yard roll), the decorations are practical and disposable -- which will help ease the after-party cleanup.
Trimming the Table
Tools and Materials
Plastic flame-retardant fabric, dark pink and light pink
Bright pink crepe paper
Safety pins, diaper size
17-inch square of kraft paper or newspaper (for place mat template)
Trimming the Table How-To
1. For a waterproof undercloth, measure out a length of dark-pink plastic fabric to fit your table. Cut fabric straight across by holding end firmly and quickly drawing scissors across the fabric.
2. Make three table runners using the crepe paper. Run one length of paper down the center of the table. For each of the side runners, trim one side into a scalloped border. To do this, remove the crepe-paper runner from its package, but do not unfold. With scissors, cut a curve at one end of the folded crepe paper (you can trace a curved shape using a bowl or small plate, or cut freehand). Unfold paper to reveal perfectly scalloped edging. Place runners on table so a little bit of the darker undercloth peeks out, and secure with double-sided tape.
3. Make corner bows for the table using dark- and light-pink plastic fabric. To determine the length of fabric needed for each bow, measure the length from floor to tabletop, double that, and add 4 feet. Cut the fabric about 20 inches wide for a nice full bow. Holding a piece of both light- and dark-pink fabric together in your hands, form two loops, and tie around each other to form a bow; fluff it out so that both colors show. Make four bows, and pin them to each of the corners of the table using diaper-size safety pins.
4. Make flower-shaped place mats using the dark-pink plastic fabric. Make a template with the 17-inch square of kraft paper or newspaper. Fold it diagonally in half, again into quarters, and again into eighths. With the paper still folded, draw a curve at the top, so that the point and the curve resemble an ice-cream cone. Cut around the curve, and open; you will have an eight-petal flower template. Make a stack of dark-pink plastic-fabric squares, larger than the template, one per guest. Pin the template securely to the tops of the squares, and trim around the template with scissors to create place mats.
Making Favor Bags
Tools and Materials
Striped cellophane bags
Favors (Kelly-doll clothes, sunglasses, Barbie notepads, pens, jewelry)
Ribbon, in three or four different colors
Polka-dot paper outer bags
White stickers, for name tags
Fiskars scalloped paper edger, to edge name tags
Pink marker, to write guests' names
Making Favors How-To
Fill the cellophane bags with favors, and tie the tops with two or three colors of ribbon. Trim the polka-dot bags so they are a few inches shorter than the plastic bags, and insert the cellophane bag into the paper bag (the paper will hide the contents of the bags, making them a surprise). Write guests' names on the stickers, trim the edges with the scalloped paper edger, and stick them on the bags.
Setting the Table
Tools and Materials
Flower place mats (see above)
Spoons and forks
Plates, two colors
Napkins, two colors, layered
Barbie party blowers
Favor bags (see above)
Setting the Table How-To
Set out place mats, and put plates on top, alternating colors. Layer cocktail and lunch napkins, and fold diagonally; place atop plates, alternating colors. Hang blower and crazy straw inside each cup, and put a favor bag at each child's place.