I was driving Kayla to school the other day and found myself in a fit of giggles as I listened to Kayla singing along (loudly and out of tune) to Justin Timberlake’s Suit & Tie. It was one of those songs that sort of creeps up on you and without actually ackowledging that you like it you suddenly wake up one day, turn the radio on in the car and realize you know every word straight down to the timing of the dramatic pauses. Or in my case that would be me and my sponge of a 4 year old who has mastered the chorus.
Since sometimes it feels like I live under a rock (a rock made of Legos, princess dolls and board games) I didn’t know that Mr. Timberlake’s new album The 20/20 Experience was coming out so soon – March 19th. I’m not a huge music purchaser since I listen to the radio a lot. BUT I had heard through the blogger grapevine that you could pre-order the album for only $7!
So I ordered one for Kayla since I’d rather hear her singing these lyrics than some of the less wholesome ones we manage to find on the radio and If I have to listen to the Dora CD one more time I just might lose the bit of sanity I have left.
Then, because I’ve had some friends and readers say they’d like to see some more things for older siblings and the big kid crowd I came up with this black and white bow tie themed party that makes the perfect setup for a teen or tween slumber party.
You can’t have a party without invitations! Well okay, you can but seriously, what kid (even if they are hip and cool) doesn’t want to get mail? I made these simple invites meant to look like the charts they use for eye exams since it paid homage to the Justin on The 20/20 Experience album cover and they take just a couple minutes to make in a word processing program.
After that I made some crepe paper bow ties. I’ve been using crepe paper a lot (hint some cute crafts coming) and I love that it’s a very forgiving medium and pretty much flexes and stretches as you want it to. They came out looking so cute that I might have made a whole bunch! You can see the tutorial on those here.
After turning out a few bow ties my mind immediately turned to tissue paper topiaries. I know, not a normal thing to have your mind leap to but my aunt has been making tissue paper flowers and topiaries since I was a little kid. Wayyy before Martha made all that stuff seem chic. However, her perfectionist version of a topiary involves making about 100 big tissue paper flowers before even starting the topiary and quite frankly I don’t have that kind of patience.
Instead I made this simple version that still looks great but can be made in about 45 minutes or less. Rather than twisting individual flowers and putting them on floral wire I came up with a short cut. With something eye catching like these you don’t have to worry about tons of other decor and since they are primarily tissue paper and crepe paper they’re inexpensive too! Each one only cost me about $8 to make. If you’re curious, you can check out the tutorial on that here.
I’ll give credit where credit is due because months ago I had pinned a photo of some jeweled plastic silverware to one of my party boards on Pinterest. I had completely forgotten about it until I was cruising the party aisle at Walmart and went to grab these spoons. When I turned around and looked at the other side of the aisle I saw some stick on gems for a dollar in the scrapbooking section and knew this had to happen.
The original pinner had gone and hot glued rhinestones to each spoon which made her a better mother than me, but sounds painful and time consuming, plus I can’t stand those little strings hot glue leaves behind… so stick on gems it was.
And then those fancy spoons needed a home. So I took some black paper cups taped a strip of white paper around them and stuck on a crepe paper bow tie for a little penguin suit effect. Again, a dollar package of cups from Walmart but they looked pretty sweet after!
Why was I so focused on decor? Because if you’re having a black and white party for kids it’s really hard to keep all the food black and white. Try explaining to a ten year old that they have to eat turkey on pumpernickel because it goes with the theme. I vote that you order in or make your own pizza or something easy and universally accepted, serve it on black or white plates and then make some black and white desserts or snacks.
So I just popped some popcorn and threw in my mom’s most favorite movie theater snack Snowcaps. Let’s just say that Kayla’s mind was blown…clearly she never envisioned chocolate and popcorn in the same container.
I set out a bowl of black and white chocolate covered pretzels and some black and white ice cream toppings and that was it. I love seeing those big candy tables that look amazing and are filled with an overabundance of treats, but do you really want a group of children running around who have been allowed to consume that much sugar?
For some extra fun I made some photo booth props. These glasses I had actually gotten at a special event a while back and saved them for a rainy day…yippee! I taped some more of those bow ties to bamboo skewers with the pointy tips cut off.
I also used the little graphic I had made with the album release date. You can easily swap out the name and date to your child’s name and the party date for a very custom feeling prop.
And that backdrop you see from the party table, it doubles as a step & repeat if you have a little starlet on your hands who just needs some more limelight. You can move it by the front door and snap some photos of your party guests arriving.
Have any other great black and white party ideas? I would love to hear them! And since I wouldn’t want anyone else to miss out on that killer deal for JT’s The 20/20 Experience album I’ll let you know that it’s available at that $7 price for pre-order right now here and you’ll be able to get it in Walmart stores from 3/19 to 3/24 at that crazy awesome price. Sounds like it might need to make its way into some Easter baskets, don’t you think?
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