When Aria told us that she wanted an Encanto party to celebrate her birthday this year I thought that it would be so easy. Of course there would be tons of Encanto decor out, the movie is such a hit! I was very, very wrong. There was nothing. Not a balloon, not a paper plate, not even a serviette.
And then Aria dropped the bomb that not only did she want an Encanto party, but it had to be a Dolores Encanto party. Not Mirabel the main character, no, Dolores who features for maybe 7 minutes of the entire movie.
Since I couldn’t find any Encanto decor, I knew that I was going to have to do a fair amount of DIY, which to be honest I love so I wasn’t too upset about this. The first thing I did was think about how I was going to make Dolores the star of the show. Usually I would use a big foil balloon but this obviously wasn’t an option here. After thinking about it for a while I had the idea to make a big cut out poster… the trick was to keep the cost down, considering I needed an A0 colour print it was going to be a bit of a challenge. After scouring our neighbourhood Facebook group, I came across a company called CDS Stationary and Printing. Oh my gosh, what an absolute pleasure to work with them! I contacted them via email and they were incredibly responsive, giving me all the info I needed. I found an image of Dolores online and got Dan to vectorise it for me so that it could be blown up to A0 print. Less than an hour after sending them my image they sent me a mail back saying that it was ready for collection. The best part though was the price, it only cost me R115, I couldn’t believe it!
The second thing I used to bring through the Dolores vibes was the cake. As always we used Michelle from Purple Whisk, Aria even sent her a drawing of what she wanted and Michelle knocked it out of the park. She made us a rainbow cake with condensed milk filling which was incredible, and it was covered with yellow and red buttercream icing. She also made us the most beautiful biscuits that were replicas of the blue door in Encanto. For the cake topper, I printed a picture of the Encanto characters, laminated it and glue gunned a kebab stick to the back of it. So simple but worked like a charm.
Now that I had my dose of Dolores for the party, it was time to add some other Encanto inspired elements. I decided to go with jewel tone colours and incorporated this with the paper cups, plates and serviettes. This is actually another one of my tips; more often than not, there are always plates, cups, etc left over from parties. If you choose to buy plain colours, these can always be used for future parties, just store them in your birthday party box and the next time you host, you’ll probably use them. Read my other tips and tricks to save money when throwing a party over here.
I also decided to whip up some massive paper flowers to have behind and above the table. They look like they’re a lot of work but they’re pretty simple once you get into it. Two evenings binge watching series and I was done with them and they made such an amazing statement. Below the flowers I decided I wanted some multi-coloured tassles and so I picked up a bunch of them while I was at Evermore, as well as some really cute yellow butterflies which matched our Encanto theme perfectly! Once the party was over, both the tassles and butterflies went straight back into the birthday party box ready to be used for the next celebration. Reuse, reuse, reuse; your bank balance (and the planet) will thank you for it!
Back to the party though; my next challenge was figuring out how I was going to make the big flower garland/stand and also keep the Dolores print upright. We decided to take three long poles and create a square arch for the balloons (again, something that I know we’ll use for all the celebrations going forward). We secured the poles with cable ties and then Dan hammered the legs into the ground when we got to the park where we had the party. The other option if we couldn’t get the pole into the ground was to secure the two legs of the arch to the two legs of the table that goes in front of it. We then tied the flowers onto the arch with cable ties too (string would also work). I wanted the tassles below the flowers and so we simply tied some string between the two arch legs and then popped the tasseles and some yellow paper roses the girls made onto that, so quick and easy.
For dear ol’ Dolores, Dan glue gunned her to a pole as well and then hammered that pole into the ground too so she was propped up and “standing” next to the table. Because she was printed on card, he had to stabalise her a little bit at the back of the print with some kebab sticks and the glue gun. This sounds tricky but really isnt, he did it quickly the night before the party. The arch and Dolores made such a massive impact at the party and cost us R350 odd for all of the supplies, including the giant paper flowers. I’d call that a win, especially because we can reuse so much of what we purchased… Dolores is currently in the girls play area, of course.
Decor, done! Next up I needed to brain storm the party favours. Like I said in the last party blog post, these aren’t something that you absolutely have to do, and they aren’t something that people should expect. I just really enjoy the whole process of putting together a party and so I was happy to do a cost effective party favour.
My initial idea was to buy party boxes in the jewel tones I was using and decorate them with little jewel stickers and then pop some yummy treats into them. It would have been lovely but when I started to add up how much all the food inside the boxes would add up to be, it just didn’t feel like the most cost effective, or fun option. After letting some ideas roll around in my head for a while I came up with the idea of sticking with the flower theme and off to Eckards I went. I picked up some of their tiny terracotta pots and some trays of petunia seedlings. This cost me around R250 for 10 party packs and then I had R75 credit on my Eckards club card so it came in even less, woohoo! When I got home I glue gunned a felt butterfly on each pot and then let the girls decorate them with some jewel stickers that I had picked up at Evermore. They looked so sweet when they were finished and even more lovely once we popped the seedlings in. I loved that Aria could give each of her friends their own little pot plant to take home and care for, so much nicer than a box filled with treats I think.
The last thing to chat about is the food. By now you know I like to keep it simple and fuss free and that’s exactly what I did for Aria’s party. I’ve already mentioned that we got our gorgeous cake and biscuits from Michelle at The Purple Whisk and then I just put together a few other little snacky things:
– Jelly oranges: these were a massive hit and so simple to make
– Berry cups
– Dipped wafer biscuits
– Candy floss: in hindsight I won’t do this again, it goes hard and a bit yuck in the open air. Much better to keep it sealed for party packs if you’re going that route.
– A cheese board with spreads, cold meat and a loaf of ciabatta
– Fruit juice
To be honest, the kids don’t eat much (a lesson I learnt a few parties back) because they’re so busy playing but there was enough food for everyone to snack on and enjoy… and we still took some home.
All in all it was a wonderful party, Aria had the best time running wild with her friends and was thrilled with all the Encanto and Dolores decor that I whipped up. I actually had a great time putting it all together and it was so great to be able to celebrate our big girl with all of our friends.
Girls outfits: Handmade by their Ouma but you can purchase Encanto outfits from Kiddiemajigs
Venue: A local park
Cake: Purple Whisk
Decor: Evermore, CDS Printing
Party favours: Eckards Garden Pavillion
Other party blog posts you might enjoy:
Cake recipes that I love: