Barbie Spa Party Ideas

Welcome to my daughter's 6th birthday party...a "Barbie Spa" inspired theme!
I made the front door wreath above with 2 rolls of Fringe Garland (1 turquoise and 1 hot pink roll) wrapped around and around (and around) a large straw wreath from the craft store.  I made a mistake on a few of the Barbie fill-in invitations, so I hot glued one of them to the wreath at the last minute...voila!  She invited a few friends from school who had never been to our house, so I wanted them to be sure they had the right place for the "Barbie Spa" party.  You can make your own DIY Fringe Garland Wreath in any colors - we have 12 festooning colors in stock.
We asked all the girls to "BYO Barbie" on the invitations too!

When I'm prepping for a party, I usually bring EVERYTHING from around the house that could possibly match, fit the theme, or coordinate to the dining room table.  Then I lay down my fabrics (runner or placemats or tablecloth) on the cleared-off buffet and start adding in party "elements".  I love to shop the house FIRST and with a "Barbie Spa" theme, I headed straight for the girls' playroom!
Then after setting up all the bottles of nail polish, lip gloss, eye shadow, mini tiaras, hair beads and curlers, I realized that it is most important to me that the little girls know that FIRST they are BEAUTIFUL INSIDE so I made a little poster (free Barbie poster printable - download here).  Frame is from Hobby Lobby.  Play beauty shop toy is for Bratz (I think?), but my girls use with their Barbie dolls.  I also decorated with a make-up vanity dresser and a Barbie bathtub.

My daughter was very particular about her party colors - hot pink and turquoise - as you can see!  I had these 2 cupcake/cake stands at home, so I stacked them to add a little height to the party table.  I filled one layer with bath spa loofah's from the Dollar Tree (2 per pack) and her Barbie doll sat on top by the toy vanity dresser.

I covered the pink Dollar Tree hair spray bottle with a homemade wrapper and stocked up on $1 bags of pink sponge curlers while I was there too!  The water spray bottles came in VERY handy when we were styling and braiding the little girls' hair before adding their mini comb tiaras!
Beauty Stations Tip:  My sister is a preschool teacher and came over the day before the party so I could show her everything.  Her head started to spin a little bit, but then she gave me the BEST advice:  Set up STATIONS for the girls to rotate too!  So we set up these "centers" to keep the girls moving:
  1.  Barbie Spa Snack Bar - Yogurt Parfaits (in pink plastic wine glasses) with strawberries and crushed graham crackers that the girls made themselves.
  2.  "Pin the Cucumber" Game - My oldest daughter drew a Barbie head on white posterboard and I punched out green paper "cucumbers" with my 2" scallop punch.  Each girl was blindfolded and tried to "pin the cucumber"  with her name on it as close as she could to Barbie's eye, just like a spa treatment!
  3. Hair Styling Station - My neighbor and I sprayed the girls' hair with water, then added beads, braids or curlers.  We even styled their Barbie dolls' hair!
  4. Make-up Station - My mother-in-law stepped right in and made the girls pretty with light eye shadow and lip gloss.  We set up a make-up mirror and some party favor "loccer mirrors" that were $0.98 at Walmart!
  5. Manicure Station - I hired 2 middle school neighbors (our favorite babysitters) to work the manicure station  and they were FABULOUS!  The girls helped me with cake & ice cream, presents and even cleaned up after the party.  I highly recommend asking for help and babysitters (that your kids love) are a bonus!
  6. Dance Party Station - My daughter got the "KidzBop" CD for her birthday, so that was blasting on her Hello Kitty boombox in the living room.  I set up simple full-length mirrors (from her bedroom) and set out a "bucket of feather boas" for the girls to dress-up, look in the mirror and DANCE!

For party favors, I actually filled a BIG basket with all the goodies and it was kind of like trick-or-treating!  We premade the bags (with more of my messed up invitations hot glued on the front) and then let them fill them up with all the goodies including Barbie rings, giant jewel rings, bath loofah sponges, curlers, tiny hair clips for the Barbies, mini tiaras, a Walmart loccer mirror, a Barbie wristlet filled with gumballs ($0.74 clearance at Party City) and this Petite Plastic Favor Bottle with a handmade sticker and filled with our 1" by-the-color Gumballs (that's a lot of gumballs)!

I also wanted to show you (really quick) how I made the fabric backdrop panels.
Start with $2.99 white foam core boards from Michael's and 1 yard of fabric (I had 1 yard each of two different fabrics).  Open up your yard of fabric and lay the foam core on top.  You should be able to fit 1 board on 1/2 yard of fabric.  Cut your fabric in half right down the middle so you can cover TWO boards with ONE YARD of fabric.  I had one 1/2 yard left of the hot pink polka dots fabric (since I only covered 1 panel), so I folded 3 sides and sewed them down for a table topper (the back side was hidden).
After you cut your yard of fabric in half, go ahead and iron each piece.  Now bring it back to your clean kitchen table and lay the fabric down (back side UP) and then lay your foam core right in the middle.  I have lots of packing tape, so that is what I used to pull the fabric back and tape it on the back of the foam core.  Triangle fold your corners (like you are wrapping a present) and tape down.  Repeat taping all the way around the foam core and then repeat with your next 1/2 yard fabric panel on the next foam core board.  You can make as many boards as you need!

DIY Fabric-Covered Foam Core Backdrop Materials:
  • White Foam Core Board from craft store (thicker than poster board)
  • 1/2 yard of fabric per board
  • Packing tape, duct tape, or hot glue gun to secure fabric to board
  • Iron to press out any wrinkles in your fabric
  • Large clean table to work on
  • Scissors to cut 1 yard of fabric in half

While working on her party, I discovered that there was (now closed) an actual Mattel REAL "Barbie Spa" in Shanghai, China!  Get outta here...did you know this?
I hope you enjoyed the ideas - we had so much fun at her Barbie-inspired Spa Party!
Thank you so much for letting me share with you!  -Sally

The Winners of $50 Gift Cards Are...

(photo courtesy Operation Shower from our recent donation of Yellow Stripe Party Straws)

Congratulations to our five winners from yesterday's $250 Surprise Giveway!  John had a lovely time counting each comment and making sure there were no duplicates.  He asked if he can have that job every. single. day.  It's the little joys in life, right?!

The winners were selected using's random number generator and they are:
  • Annie Kate
  • Tinkbell.21
  • DeliciouslyDarling
  • ThePartiologist and
  • The Little Waffleflower
I will be sending you each an email with your $50.00 Gift Card instructions to shop anytime this year at Polka Dot Market.
Thank you to all who entered to win!  I have a few more surprises up my sleeve this week, so stay close for more fun.
Love ya'!  -Sally

Surprise! $250 Giveaway Celebration

Surprise!  John and I want to say, "Thank You!" for being the best customers and friends.  We will be sending a $50 gift card to shop at Polka Dot Market to FIVE WINNERS today, no strings attached!  Just pure FUN.  A genuine GIFT to you to show you that we just luv ya' a whole lot.

We started Polka Dot Market in 2005 and we've been online ever since.  Each and every day we spend time on the phone and email chatting with you about your party ideas, colors, questions and plans.  We feel so blessed to be packing and shipping your orders, filled with your unique selection of polka dot party decorations. We love to see how you pair our products and every day we see something new, even though we've been doing this for more than 6 years.  You are so creative and we love sending you the party supplies you need to make something special for your guests!

So, leave us a comment below and tell me something that YOU are thankful for today.  I know mine!  It's you.  Thank you so much for 6+ years in business and as we launch our brand new website this week, here's to many, many more.

"I have not stopped giving thanks for you...." (Ephesians 1:16)

We will randomly select five (5) winners tonight at midnight EST. Each winner will receive a $50.00 gift card to shop anytime this year at Polka Dot Market Parties.

One comment per person.  Please note your EMAIL ADDRESS with your comment.

Hugs!  -Sally

Make a Tutu Door Wreath

For Valentine's Day this year, our family decided to host a small neighborhood breakfast.  My daughters are 5- and 7-years-old so I still get to do all the fun and cute party-planning stuff with them!

Guests arrived early Saturday morning to find our door decorated with this Valentine Tulle Wreath inspired by an easy tutorial by Something To Do (found via Pinterest).  Full tutorial below.
During the party we decorated donut baker's hats with stickers and the kids designed their own "Bake Shop" with more stickers (all from Oriental Trading).  I had a teenager craft-helper and the kids even made their own valentine cards.

For breakfast we served donuts, fruit, eggs, bacon, muffins, ice-cold milk, juice and coffee.  I think we'll definitely host this party again!  The leftover heart-shaped donuts from Dunkin' Donuts didn't hurt either....

Here's how I made the Tulle "Tutu Wreath":
  1. Pick your tulle color and cut 16" - 18" long strips (my tulle was from a 6" wide roll).
  2. Find that old embroidery hoop you've been meaning to use (found in the needlepoint crafts section, each hoop is 2 pieces so you can make 2 wreaths).
  3. Sit down on the couch and watch your favorite show or movie.
  4. Loop your first tulle strip under the hoop and tie a knot (ends should match up in length after knot is tied). 
  5. Repeat at least 100 times until you've covered your entire hoop.
  6. You can alternate tulle colors like I did, or make it all one color.  I like the idea of knotting in pieces of your favorite polka dot ribbon or sparkly trims too.
  7. Once covered, take one final tulle strip and make a tiny loop knot at the top/back of your wreath (this will be hidden).
  8. Loop a pretty ribbon through your secret tulle loop for hanging.  Voila!

Here is my source for 6" tulle bulk rolls (100 yards/roll):  Nashville Wraps 

Happy tulle-knotting and I'd love to see your creations!  Email me or post on our Facebook wall.  Your party guests will think you are "tutu-rific"!

Ruffles, Pearls and Polka Dots Party

Today I am so excited that Heidi from Cherry Blossoms is sharing her daughter's "Pink Ruffles & Pearls" with us!  She picked our hot pink polka dot balloons for the photo shoot above (love the pearls).  Let me show you all of the beautiful touches Heidi created for her daughter Elle's special first birthday party:

Heidi set up a beautiful display table for the birthday cake, cupcakes, candies and perfectly selected accents to show off her "Pink Ruffles & Pearls" theme.  She made the ruffled paper streamers (tutorial) and the pink letter "E" studded with pearls too!  Fresh Chick Designs created the sweet cupcake topper and candy tag printables.

Of course, the princess needs some strawberry milk to pair with her theme...such a pretty touch with the glass milk bottles and gray stripe paper straws too.  Did I tell you that Heidi made this gorgeous felt birthday hat too?

Birthday cake and tiny smash cake both designed by In Pockets Bakery of Chandler, Arizona.

Thank you so much for sharing your daughter's special 1st birthday party with us, Heidi!  See lots more beautiful party ideas on her blog every day @ Cherry Blossoms.