I love a good birthday party and this bright, donut bar birthday party just may be my favorite yet! I’m sharing all the details today!
If you’ve hung around A Kreative Whim you know I love a good party! And you may have heard me say that birthday parties are at least 30% of the reason I have kids… There is a lot of truth in that statement. I love parties THAT MUCH!
Saturday, my middlest (Bee/Bradlee/the little Lee) turned 2 (Yes, she was born on April Fools). For a few months I have gone over party themes in my head and tested a few out with her but none of them seemed to be the right fit. Bee is my hardest child to buy/plan for because she is so high on life. This girl literally bounces when she walks, finds excitement in the very simplest moments, and has a song in her little heart (and coming out her mouth) all the time. She is a living picture of joy. So that’s all great, right?
Well, it is until you want to plan the perfect party but cannot come up with a single theme that really gets her (or me) excited. Her sister loves very specific characters and activities so gifts, clothes, and parties for Whit are always easy. There is always a favorite. Not Bee! Life is Bee’s favorite.
Finally I asked Bee what kind of birthday party she wanted and she said “Donuts”. Okaaaaayyy… we can eat donuts but do you want donuts and dinosaurs or donuts and Dory??? And every time I asked she just said “Donuts”.
Well honey, if you ask for a donut party in this house you are getting aDonut Bar Birthday Party!
I’m pretty sure I say this after each party- but THIS party really was my favorite. The simplicity of the decorations and the bright colors just spoke to my heart. I was so sad to pack these cheerful decorations away.
How to Throw a Donut Bar Birthday Party
Since I am officially the mom of 2 toddlers and an infant I knew time would be short so my goals for this party were: simple and stress-free. My husband would argue I can’t “do simple” but in comparison to other events I think I did pretty well this time around!
So how does one throw a Donut Bar Birthday Party? Well, I’m no expert but I’ll tell you what we did because it turned out FANTASTIC!
Who wants to eat donuts in their clothes? Pajamas are a must for this morning shindig. My sister-in-law even found these amazing donut “jam jams” at Gap for the birthday girl!
Love these No Sew Rainbow Curtains? Check out the tutorial here!
2- Pillowcase Decorating
We don’t have the greatest yard and who knows what the weather will do in Georgia during early spring- it could be snowing, there could be tornadoes, or we could be in the pool. So unpredictable! So I always have simple activities available in case the kids need something a little more structured than “go play”.
I found these pillowcases in bulk and these fabric markers for mega-cheap. I wasn’t sure how giving a blank pillow and a handful of markers to toddlers would go so I finagled my friend Allison into helping me put names on each pillow with her iron-on vinyl and heat press. Then I drew very rudimentary characters and designs on each pillow case to get the creative juices flowing.
Can I tell you the truth? I figured kids would spend 5 minutes coloring and move on. I was wrong! This activity was a massive hit! Check out how cute these kids are decorating their pillow cases!
Even better? Everyone left with a party favor that I spent minimal time on, it’s not simply more junk to clutter up your house, and I spent a whopping $2 per kid!
3- Book Exchange
The Walton house does not have a playroom. In fact there isn’t even an empty closet to hold toys so we forego the birthday present thing at our parties. Typically we offer an “in lieu of gifts” option and have collected clothes for our church clothing drive, school supplies for low-income schools, and books and stuffed animals for kids in our local foster care program. This year we added a new tradition I think we will keep. A book exchange!
Guests were asked to bring a wrapped book for each party guest in their family. We gathered all the kids around and put the presents in the middle. Every kid got to unwrap a book AND they got to take it home! There was some confusion from the guests about where Bee’s gifts were and wasn’t she sad she didn’t have any gifts.
I actually get asked this question a lot.
How do my kids feel about no gifts at their party? My kids are still very young but going without gifts has not been a problem thus far. There are always a few guests that still bring presents (and this is fine, we let the Lees keep them!) and the Lees also get big gifts from both sets of grandparents so they definitely do not feel deprived. It is my hope in the future they will see their birthdays as an opportunity to give rather than take, and find joy in their friendships and experiences over the presents.
How cute is this little jacket from Target?
My goal this year was to have very stress-free party planning and preparation. You may remember that Bradlee’s “‘B’ Our Guest” party was a liiiiiiitttttttllllllleeee stressful. With one more baby in the mix I just don’t have the energy for stress so I wanted decorations that were easy to create and feasible to store until party time. I was wandering aisles at Target and came across some adorable birthday napkins and this garland! EPIPHANY- I knew exactly what this party would look like: bright colors and garlands galore!
Check out the tutorial for these simple rainbow curtains!
I adored all the decorations from Bee’s Donut Bar Birthday Party. Sometimes you picture a party in your mind but the reality falls short. That was not the case this year. The decor far exceeded my vision. If I could convince my husband to live in a rainbow infested donut land I may have left the decorations up all year! (Or at least until the next party).
Froot Loops offered an inexpensive, colorful filler for vases and they even look like donuts! I bought colorful fake daisies for half price at Hobby Lobby instead of using real flowers. I chose to use those fun polka dot napkins but Target has donut napkins here, here, and here! The polka dot noise makers are from Target, too!
The cute donut float and the mini glass milk bottles came from the Dollar Tree and added a festive touch to the mantle!
(I waited until the Lees went to bed to decorate so they woke up to a transformed house! I highly recommend doing this if you have the chance. It’s like getting an extra Christmas morning when they wake up.)
Those decorative party flags from Target sealed the deal on Bradlee’s Donut Bar Birthday party color scheme.
You can’t have a Donut Bar Birthday Party without a ton of toppings- and the best toppings are sugar-filled! Of course, you need something to make the
sugar toppings stick so icing is a must, too. I grabbed some paint squirt bottles on clearance at Hobby Lobby for low-mess decorating. I also used plastic paint pallets on the table to hold sprinkles. I’m almost embarrassed to tell you the Lees basically stood by the Donut Bar table salivating until the party started.
Our donut bar consisted of:
- glazed donuts for decorating**
- sour cream donut holes
- powdered donuts
- mini jellybeans
- gummy lifesavers
- animal crackers
- chewy sweet tarts
- fruit loops
**I opted to buy the glazed donuts on the cheap at Kroger rather than going for the locally owned bakery’s version. I knew most of the donuts would end up left on plates and I would be so sad to throw those delicious goodies away!
(True Story- While setting donut holes out on the tray I dropped one in the floor. Before I could grab it Bee snatched it up saying, “Oh thank you!” Glad my hott husband mopped the floors the night before!)
The crowning glory of the donut bar was this donut hole cake. We have a local bakery, The Sweet Bar, that makes amazing donuts (you know, the ones I knew I couldn’t throw away when they were left sitting mostly in tact on a plate) but this donut hole cake is where it’s at! 5 dozen donut holes glued together with buttercream icing and drizzled with a glaze that I can’t even describe. You may go into a diabetic coma after you eat it but I promise it’s worth it!
Don’t worry- I did serve some
healthier lower sugar options as well.
Flower pots and pizza trays from the Dollar Tree can be repurposed as a tiered serving tray. While I made these for Bradlee’s 1st birthday party, they have been used at Whitlee’s Doc McStuffins party and here they are still kicking at Bee’s Donut Bar Birthday Party. Not bad for $4 each and a can of spray paint!
This was, by far, the simplest food I have offered for a birthday party and I’m kind of digging it. Don’t be surprised if these dishes reappear at all future parties!
Thanks so much for dropping by and checking out Bee’s Donut Bar Birthday Party.
What do you think of our Donut Bar birthday party?
Have you planned a party that just can’t be beat? I would love to hear about it 🙂 (And if you have a link drop it in the comments, please!)
Stay tuned for tutorials on all the decor!
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