One of the advantages of being the youngest child in the family is that you get to see and experience life through the eyes of your older siblings.
A few years ago, our youngest daughter got to hang out with her big sister on her birthday when she hosted a “spa” party for her tween-aged friends. Since that day, our youngest has been begging to have a spa birthday party of her own. Each year, I’ve told her “no.” Her friends needed to at least be old enough to sit still long enough to have their nails painted or enjoy the relaxation of a paraffin wax treatment on their feet.
This year, after many persistent requests, I finally agreed that on her eighth birthday, she could host a spa-themed party.
We could have taken the girls to a real spa for pedicures or hosted a princess pamerping party somewhere. Bu, we’ve always loved the parties we’ve hosted at our house the most, and this seemed like a great opportunity to have a birthday party at home.
A quick search of “spa party” on Pinterest will bring up as many spa-themed DIY ideas as nail polish choices at the salon. I often joke that my favorite “hobby” is planning a themed party, and I couldn’t resist the urge to try as many spa party ideas as possible. With our daughter’s birthday on Dec. 1, I came home from a Black Friday shopping trip, not with Christmas gifts, but the ingredients and supplies to make our own neck wraps, bath bombs, lip balm, facial scrub and more.
I love nothing better than a theme and a color scheme, so I immediately started thinking about how we could “brand” our DIY spa products for the party.
I had recently purchased a bracelet at a Fair Trade holiday bazaar that we host each year at our church. It wasn’t just the little bracelet on a leather strap that I loved, it was the cute packaging that I knew I wanted to use for inspiration. The bracelet was one in a series called, “Six Wishes.” Each bracelet included a different “wish” for the receiver.
This inspired me to think about birthday wishes, and the number 8. As I thought about the two circles of the 8, I loved the visual symbol of the “8” in the background of a circular label. Now, we just had to come up with my daughter’s “8 wishes” for her friends. We had tried to keep her guest list as small as possible by limiting it only to friends from school. I didn’t even realize until that moment, that of the girls we invited, it ended up being a list of eight who could attend.
We used the idea of “8 wishes” throughout the party. I created “8 wishes” labels for the homemade spa products that would go in their goodie bags. And each girl made a bracelet with eight beads, representing each of the eight wishes.
When the girls arrived, they each received a “menu” of the spa services available to them.
They got to go to one of three stations, which kept things more manageable by dividing them up into groups of threes. My older daughter and her friend helped with hair, and my husband filled the foot soaking tubs with warm water.
Keeping with our theme of “8 wishes,” we also ended up with eight DIY projects for the party:
We made homemade bath bombs for the party favor bags.
We made our own facial masks that we used during the party. (The girls used clean paintbrushes to paint the masks on their faces.)
We made our own fizzy foot bath station, complete with paraffin wax treatment. (We used the same recipe for the fizzy bath salts as we had used for the bath bombs.) Above is a pic of my older daughter and her friend testing out the foot station before the guests arrived!
I wasn’t sure what my daughter’s friends would think of the party. But several of them declared it was the “Best Party Ever”! They carried around their spa menu, and chatted excitedly about which station they planned to visit next. It also didn’t hurt that we were blessed with nearly 60 degree temps on the first Saturday in December. This allowed the girls to take breaks from all of their pampering to play on the trampoline and run around outside.
The party ended up being a lot of work, but I had a blast putting it all together. My favorite part of the whole party prep was thinking about those wishes for the next year for her and her friends. I would love to make this a tradition in our home for each person in our family to think of a list of birthday wishes for the coming year.
I’m not sure if they will remember any of the “8 wishes” we sent home with them that day. But who knows? Maybe their little bracelets or a fizzy bath will remind them of some of the more important things in life that we hope they get to experience this year!