How to plan a fashion-themed birthday party

I have a tendency to go a little overboard with birthdays and birthday parties. So, this year, I told my kids we would be celebrating as simply as possible. No renting out bouncy places or bowling alleys or anything like that. Just a few friends at home.

Alayna’s birthday was on Friday, and we both agreed that she should have a “fashion” birthday party. Like her momma, this girl really loves all things fashion. She loves painting her nails, getting feathers in her hair and dressing up. I thought this would be a really fun and easy idea for her eight birthday. We would invite just a few friends and use nail polish and accessories we already owned.

Well… I did pretty much stick to my main objective of throwing a low-budget party. But once things got started, I couldn’t help myself! This party took over my life for a solid week! I’m pretty sure I had just as much fun planning and decorating for this party as the girls did with all of our glamorous activities!

As we were looking for ideas for a “fashion party” I really didn’t find a whole lot out there. So, if anyone else is looking for an idea for a way to celebrate their daughter in style, here’s what we did.

How to plan a fashion-themed birthday party

I seriously planned to only invite people via an e-mail or e-vite. But then… I saw a big pad of animal skin scrapbooking paper at Hobby Lobby, and I couldn’t resist. That big pad of paper, (which was 50 percent off, by the way), turned out to be the one thing that transformed our party from plain and simple to fun and fashionable (in my humble opinion).
We folded one sheet of 12×12 paper to make these invitations. I found a roll of zebra print ribbon to complete the look and closed it with a little velcro square. On the invitation, we asked the girls to come dressed in their “favorite outfit.” We couldn’t believe all of the glittery shirts and dresses that came walking in the door!

I used that same pad of paper to make banners for the front door, the kitchen and to mark the different activity stations we had going around the house.

I also used two of my jewelry holder dolls as decor on the food table. I found nearly all of the decor at WalMart, which was awesome! They had a large selection of plates, plastic table cloths, and party favors in animal print, and almost everything I bought was around $1. I love mixing the zebra stripes with plain solid colors for the plates, napkins and balloons to make the table pretty without spending a fortune at the party store.

The food was so simple, but the girls loved it. The main course was “Paparazzi pizza” (a cheese pizza cut into bit-size squares) and “Glamwiches” (French bread baked in my Pampered Chef bread pan so I could cut it into flower shapes and then topped with strawberry cream cheese). I also served pretzels, grapes and veggies in zebra-striped cupcake holders to make them look special. We had apple slices covered in zebra-striped chocolate, and I attempted to cover marshmallows in colored decorating sugar. (This would have been cute, but I didn’t have the right colors on hand, so you are just seeing plain marshmallows in the photo.)

The food was so, so simple, but I think the girls thought it was special to eat everything in those little cupcake cups. I thought it was adorable when one girl told me how much she loved the food.

I tried making a zebra cake using an idea I found on Pinterest. I used a strawberry and chocolate cake mix to create a pink and brown stripe. This didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped because I forgot that the directions said I should decrease the amount of water I used with each mix. 🙂 The cake tasted great though!

I found a “cake tattoo” at WalMart, which was the perfect and super easy way to take this cake from plain and simple to fabulously fashionable.

We had four activity stations for the girls to complete around the house. First the girls got to decorate a “skirt purse” with glitter paint and jewels. I found the purses at Walmart. At first, I was going to try to sew a purse for them to decorate. But then I found these skirt purses in a 3-pack for just $6.

This activity took some time, so while the girls were waiting, they got to use a sticker book to create a “fashion face.” I think some of the girls thought they were too old for this at first, but once they got into it they all seemed to really have fun with it.

The next activity was to get a manicure with all of my nail polish. I was soooooo thankful that I had recruited a good family friend to be my junior party helper. She was awesome at helping me paint the nails. Most of the girls wanted glitter polish, and we also had some nail stencils that we used.

While they were waiting to get their nails done, the girls could make a “pop art” ring. We used the same scrapbooking paper for the rings. They simply cut out a circle with their favorite pattern and glued it to the back of their clear stone and then glued it to the adjustable ring. I found this activity kit for about $5 at Learning Express. The girls really enjoyed making the rings.

After that, they each got to pick out a colored braid to put in their hair. I thought it was adorable that when we got to this part of the party, one of the girls looked at me and said, “I LOVE this party!!” I looked everywhere to find a way we could do hair feathers, tinsels or hair chalking and finally grabbed these colored braids at Walmart. They were $2 for a pack of four! That was a seriously great deal!

All of the girls got to go home with their skirt purse, ring, hair braid, plus a box of candy. I bought boxes of Bottle Caps at WalMart and covered them in the scrapbooking paper to make a parting gift.

Our final activity of the evening was the fashion show. I let the girls use my scarves and other dress-up items to create their own fashions and then do a catwalk while I took their photos. OK. I was worried the girls would be reluctant about this activity. But after about the fifth wardrobe change, I finally had to break the news that we needed to eat the cake. They had a great time doing the fashion show!

The whole party turned out to be a blast. The girls were all wonderful! I have to admit though that I was secretly wishing I could throw a fashion party with all of MY friends! Who’s in?


  1. What a great party! Very creative and FUN!!! I want to come to your fashion party, but I’ll just sit back and watch in my torn jeans and hoodie sweatshirt!

  2. I am SO impressed! Love all of your ideas and I can only imagine how much fun everyone had.
    PS- I’m in! I would totally come to your fashion party!
    Happy Birthday, Alayna!

  3. Thanks so much for posting all these ideas. I used many of them for my daughter’s 9th party today. It was so fun and so exhausting but the girls had a blast! You definitely had the right idea having activities for them while they were waiting. We had lots of “down time” because there were 14 girls and lots to do. I heard lots of “can we do this now”? Definitely could have used more helpers to speed things up with so many guests. But overall it was a huge hit and your ideas helped me plan it quickly!!

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