making a magic themed birthday party

magic quotation roald dahl magic theme birthday party

before i get into it, i just want to admit something. (if you’re here for the how-to, feel free to skip down to the photos below. poof. magic.)

i have an inner struggle with themed parties. which may be surprising, because almost all of my kids’ parties have had one theme or another. but the thought of themes makes me a bit uneasy to be honest. they are campy, and often predictable. they’re like matching your shoes to your purse to your belt.

but if you’ve ever thrown a themed party, you’ll know that they are fun to do. no really. they are ridiculously good times. it’s like a free pass for doing all kinds of silly stuff, all under the guise of “what? i’m just throwing a party for the kids.” i get all giddy preparing and scheming, one thing leads to another and my house transforms into a tripped out, theme-tastic, cliché emporium.

it all began for me at my daughter’s first birthday party. she loved ducks. although i don’t remember the exact sequence of events, i imagine my planning went something like this… “i know! i’ll bake her a cake with some ducks on it.” next thing i knew, the party evolved into a duck-themed quack-fest complete with ducky decorations and hors d’oeuvres, every ducky detail planned out right down to the duck candles swimming on her cake and duckwiches carved carefully by hand. sleep deprived new mom manic grin? check and check!

every year, and with each subsequent child, i make the same promise to myself : don’t get carried away like you did with the ducks. it’s a lot of work, and it makes people uncomfortable. i imagine the hushed whispers, “ana really needs to get out of the house,” and “seriously, who has time for this?” and “these duckwiches are delicious and so clever, ana is clearly a birthday party theme GENIUS.” my ego always wins in the end. so do you see my dilemma?

and while i don’t think i’ve ever been able to recreate the duck-party extravaganza (having more children doesn’t mean getting better at doing things, it means getting by with doing less. just ask my youngest, who is the only one of my three without his “first year” scrapbook. he’s 4 and a half now…), i do still have a lot of fun with themes.


here are some details from our magic themed party…

first of all, a sign is helpful in case there is any doubt as to what this party is gonna be all about.

magic birthday party theme

next comes tangible treats and ways to pass the time. we set up a teach-yourself-magic table, with books on magic (thanks to our library) and a few magic-making props… hats, cards, coins, and of course, magic wands.

how i made the magic wands…

how i made magic wands for magic theme birthday party

i got some plain wood doweling from the dollar store and spray-painted them black. i used a black sharpie to touch up the spots i missed. normal black latex paint would work just fine i’m sure.

i put a thin layer of glue on the ends.

making magic wands magic theme birthday party

then, i broke my own no-glitter-in-this-house-ever! rule and dipped the sticky end of the doweling into the glitter.

dipping into glitter magic wands birthday party theme

i disposed the remaining glitter into the garbage, lest it fall into the wrong hands. really, anyone’s hands is the wrong hands. glitter is impossible to get rid of. it’s like a universal law of physics, “e=mc². oh, and glitter can not be destroyed.” i still have rogue red glitter that appears randomly on my face from an ill-chosen set of christmas cards i wrote…3 years ago.

let it dry and tap the extra glitter off, and that’s it. magic!

making magic wands magic theme birthday party

i also made a cake:

magic theme birthday party cake

it’s hard to see, but the white thing on the left is a couple of playing cards made from melted white chocolate poured into candy moulds. i found the moulds at the local bulk barn. the magic wand is a black liquorice stick with two small white marshmallows pierced onto the top with a toothpick.

birthday party theme cake details magic wand, playing cards

i also had a bit of fun with some cupcakes…

magic theme birthday party cupcakes

and scattered a few magic quotations around the room…

magic theme birthday party magic quotation

magic theme birthday party quotation jk rowling

that was it. what really brought the theme to life though was… the guests. they all came with a trick or two, or were willing to learn and share some magic with the birthday boy.

and then, the clean-up.

while it turns out to be infinitely easier to clean up than glitter, i’m still finding a bit of magic scattered here and there.

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12 Responses to making a magic themed birthday party

  1. Tara Benwell says:

    I love it! How I wish you had been around to help me plan a duck themed party for my daughter’s first birthday! “Ducky” was her first word (she did not take a soother, she took a rubber ducky). Your magic party idea is amazing! The wands are fantastic. I’m thinking they might be fun for a PD day craft tomorrow.

    I love theme birthday parties because they are so much easier to plan. Last year we did a Crazy 8 party, and all of the kids dressed in crazy outfits and brought a trick, and I made a YouTube playlist with songs that had the word crazy for the dance party. We also had an army party where they all came in camo and we played capture the flag and had army dog tags and black face paint. The loot bags were in water bottles. This year we did a soccer party. All of the kids wore their soccer jerseys and we played a huge game of soccer at the park – kids against parents. It was great fun! I’ll be sad when the kids don’t want these kinds of parties anymore!

    • imadeitso says:

      well, we’ll just have to find excuses to have those kinds of parties anyway. funny that your daughter’s first party was ducky too! i can just see her soothing on a rubber ducky, cute. your crazy 8 party sounds like a fun time, never heard of that before.

  2. Van says:

    I love the sweet magic quotes, and all that food looks goooood. :D Maybe it’s because I’m Hispanic but my parents threw epic birthday parties for us. ALL the neighborhood kids attended, there was loud music and streamers everywhere and always a giant homemade pinata with a long line of kids eager to demolish it and get to the candy. Always frugal and fun. Your post bought back the memories :)

  3. How wonderful! Just think of any glitter that might turn up over the years as pixie dust that will help you fly through your day :)

  4. Beetree says:

    Everything came out so great, Ana! Good call on the glitter- so pretty! And I’m totally in agreement- themes make it sooo much easier, just take an idea and run as far as you can with it! I think I’d feel a bit lost without a theme, honestly!

  5. Anna says:

    Loved your post and understand your mission completely. glad to know there are people out there like me. my son is 9 and I have organised a themed party for him every year complete with themed cake, themed games and a themed treasure hunt leading to his present. this year is special hope i can make it magical for him. thanks a lot for the ideas…

  6. Loved the glitter wands and the magic word cupcakes! I don’t think even a Dyson will get all the glitter out of the house, but like you said, then you get to find little bits of magic everywhere!

    I know I’m biased (I’m a kid’s magician!) but I think every kids should have a magic-themed birthday party at least once in their life.

    Don’t worry about “getting carried away.” All the work give you an outlet for your creativity, and years down the road, your little ones will look back at the pictures and remember how much you did for them:)

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