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A Magical Medieval Dragon Birthday Party for Izzy

A Magical Medieval Dragon Birthday Party for Izzy

Knights, fair ladies, and fire-breathers unite! From gilded invitations to a faire-worthy feast, see how Kristy Rice of Momental Designs planned a rennaissance-inspired bash for her son Izzy's second birthday. 

Once Upon A Time

Some might say it was a "like father, like son" story.

"My husband is a tad obsessed with all things renaissance," Rice explains. "So Izzy's nickname, 'baby dragon', just sort of happened." Then, during a recent family adventure to Scotland, Izzy fell in love with a touch-and-feel book about the Loch Ness Monster (which he thought was a dragon). When it came time to play his second birthday, the party theme was a no-brainer: "It only seemed fitting we plan a dragon party."

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

Inspired by Izzy’s love for all touch-and-feel books, Rice thought it only right to create custom kids’ board books for the party invites. As a watercolor painter, she crafted the illustrations for each page, mixing several dyes to craft special cuts for each page’s windows and flaps.

 

At first, Rice admits she and her team wondered how in the world they would pull off making a book. "Eventually we did! And all assembly and finishings were done in house," she says. For extra special flair, each book edge and printed cover was hand gilded with gold foil.

The Dragon's Lair

To recreate a Middle Ages mystic, Rice looked to classic renaissance feast tables for decoration inspiration. She also made sure to keep in mind the event’s tinier attendees when setting up. "Big flower arrangements didn’t seem to make sense for a toddler party," she says. "Instead, I opted for towers of clementines and platters of pears adorned with watercolor leaves."


 
For each place setting, menus were made out of shiny mirror paper cut out in the shape of shields. And for the place cards? Mini swords, of course! To add a hint more of royal sparkle, each sword was wrapped in gold threaded baker’s twine (one of Rice’s favorite decorating details). 

The fruit displays were not only kid-friendly (shatter and spill-free!) accents, but also doubled as party favors for guests to take home afterwards. “"Individually painted watercolor leaves also added style and whimsy to an otherwise ordinary collection of fruit."

 

Another personal touch included the table number cards: playful watercolor illustration cut-outs, inspired by Izzy'z favorite stuffed animal, Zi (short for Zion!).

Put a Crown On It

Upon arrival, guests were encouraged to — as happily dictated by the corresponding sign — "put a crown on it." A circular table displayed a treasure trove of gold paper crowns, beside a dish of hair pins for extra-secure fastening.

A Magical Maze

What's a medieval party without a castle? To keep kids entertained — and let the adults enjoy the party too, worry-free — Rice and her team built a medieval playland, complete with a cozy faux fire pit. “We began with a hedge maze created from spray painted cardboard boxes. Huge leaf shapes were also painted with watercolors and inks to create a whimsical applique for the boxes.” 

For the castle, Rice picked up a pop-up tent from Walmart and made it her own with this nifty trick: "We used a product by Daniel Smith called 'Watercolor Ground' which is essentially a primer that can be applied to any surface. When it's dry, it makes any surface perfect for watercolor paint." Lastly, kids could let their imaginations run wild with an assortment of dress-up accessories from The Land of Nod: a crown, magic want, felted bow and arrow, light-up torches, and dragon wings. 

A Fine Faire Feast

Wanting to serve something for everyone, Rice decided on a buffet of creative bites that both kids and adults could enjoy. From mini hot dogs decked out in toppings to coconut shrimp, perfect for dipping into an apricot sauce, each dish was a finger-food fit for hands of all sizes. In theme with the fruit-filled dining tables, food platters were also trimmed with a bounty of colorful clementines, papaya, pomegranates, and Italian ruscus. 

  • Corn cakes with salsa and creme fraiche
    Corn cakes with salsa and creme fraiche
  • Grilled cheese with tomato soup shots
    Grilled cheese with tomato soup shots
  • Mini Cheesesteaks
    Mini Cheesesteaks
  •  Caesar salads in mini Parmesan cups
     Caesar salads in mini Parmesan cups

Sweet Victories

From a dessert display with both exotic and familiar treats, to a venue with plenty of space for play (and dragon-slaying), the party was a place desgined to be both kid and adult-friendly. "Most importantly, we paid attention to safety," says Rice. "If the kiddos couldn't run free without fear of getting into trouble, parents wouldn't have fun [either]! We made sure to set a safe space for kids to roam and for parents to chill."

Credits

Photography | Kim Spath Photography

Styling | Kristy Rice

Paper Decorations & Invitations |  Momental Designs

Calligraphy |  Flourish Grace

Food | The Epicurean Delight

Venue | Gather at Textile

Vintage Rentals | Forget Me Not Vintage Rentals

Linens | LaTavola Linens