Handmade Parties: Crafting a Butterfly Birthday

Butterfly Birthday party, handmade parties, party planning for kidsOur theme this month has been so packed full of brilliant ideas for your business and your creativity! I had a hard time fitting in this post about my oldest daughter’s 7th (ACK!) birthday party. It is a wet dreary weekend here in Halifax and I know many people out here are snowed or rained in. So I thought today we should step back in time just a few weeks. Ila’s party was on October 8th- it was unseasonably warm and gloriously sunny, she had chosen a butterfly birthday as her theme (to go with her new room, she is so my kid) and it seemed like even the weather conspired to make it a perfect day.

I go a little crazy for birthdays and this year was no different! I had spent the weeks up until the party making butterfly wands, little wooden butterfly girl dolls, the glittery birthday banner and cutting out hundreds (or maybe thousands!) of paper butterflies as decorations and confetti for the pinata. I also printed out Bridgett’s handy party planning checklist and started ordering goodies. For the full list of sources and tutorials see the bottom of this post.

Butterfly Birthday party, handmade parties, party planning for kids

Two days before I made a crazy amount of butterfly sugar cookies and since I had never decorated them before I read a gazillion tutorials on how to ice them. We jazzed up some biodegradable cups with washi tape triangle bunting and paper straws from Pippi & Scout.

We transformed the back deck into a play space by clearing everything off and setting up stations for face painting, butterfly art, a low budget photo booth, a flower beanbag toss and musical instruments. We used a roll of floor sheathing which is basically heavy kraft paper available at building supply stores to create a mural backdrop with frames of washi tape. The art the kids made is my favourite part:

Butterfly Birthday party, handmade parties, party planning for kids

“I love you everyone” is a note from Ila to her friends-it just melted my heart! I also couldn’t resist getting a picture of my littlest Sela looking so sweet. After the party we cut out around our frames and Ila put them up in her room.

Speaking of frames who knew a quickly painted frame could become the hit of the party? My dad was visiting from BC and I enlisted him to help photograph the kids in our makeshift photo booth and do before/afters of their painted faces. I love the quirky/candid results! We printed them up to send out as thank you’s to all our guests.

Butterfly Birthday party, handmade parties, party planning for kids

For the treat bags I bought muslin butterfly bags from Perideau Designs to match our theme and filled them with treats in paper bags sealed up with some washi tape all from the lovely Marisa of Omiyage. Ila had a grand time handing out the butterfly wands and dolls to each guest at the end of the party.

Butterfly Birthday party, handmade parties, party planning for kids

As you can see all the goodies were well received. And were worth staying up until unspeakable hours and getting so far behind on all my “real” work.

But wait, there’s MORE!

Butterfly Birthday party, handmade parties, party planning for kids

Let’s not forget that I had this last minute crazy idea to make beanbags from a tupperware full of flax and lavender I had sitting around. So I sewed & filled (with more help from the family) 20 beanbags that didn’t have any beans in them at all but smelled glorious! 4am the night before the party found the man and I gluing tissue paper petals onto a painted piece of foam core to throw the beanbags into. It held up surprisingly well and got extra use when the kids wanted to take pictures in it. So cute!

The party ended with a bang and a pinata filled with butterfly confetti and organic natural juice lollipops (an apology to the parents for packing their kids full of sugar). After each kid had 3 turns whacking it with no end in sight I took a turn…let us just say that hitting a pinata is the best way to end three weeks of party preparations-butterflies flew!


butterfly birthday party shopping listWant to plan your own butterfly extravaganza? Here is what I ordered and the tutorials I used (for anything not listed I just winged it & challenged my own creativity):

Butterfly muslin goodie bags from Perideau Designs

Washi tape, bakers twine + paper treat bags from Omiyage

    • Washi tape was used for the mural, party cups and to seal up the paper treat bags.
    • Divine Twine was used for the birthday banner

For the Happy Birthday banner I used this tutorial and printed out my letters using this font at 300pt onto heavy cardstock. I then made them all glittery with two colours of fine glitter and sprayed them with a fixative (okay, I only used hairspray…because that’s what I had).

Purple striped paper straws and flower fairy cupcake liners/toppers from Pippi & Scout

Felt (for the butterflies & doll wings) from Felt on The Fly and Mercurius 

To make the butterfly wands I painted wooden doweling with umpteen coats of fine glitter mixed with modge podge and made/traced this template onto wool felt. A few strands of super skinny ribbon and we were good to go. 

Wooden dolls from Goose Grease Undone I primed the dolls with white latex and then painted the faces/hair with acrylics. The glittery dresses are the same glue/glitter mixture as the wands + some teeny tiny felt wings. 

2 sizes of Martha Stewart butterfly punches for butterfly confetti, art table and random throwing at the birthday girl. 

For the sugar cookies I referenced this tutorial (among others) and this recipe.

I hope you enjoyed reading about our handmade butterfly birthday! Nothing makes me more broody and crafty then one of my little girls growing older-it is so bittersweet. I want each birthday to be a celebration of the year that came and the one just unfolding, Ila said it was the very bestest day of her entire life-which is the very bestest thing I can imagine.

How do you celebrate birthdays in your family? I would love to know!


  1. Joy says:

    Aaaah! How fun! It looks like the girls had such a wonderful time… I may have to ask for a butterfly party for my next birthday 🙂

    Thanks for sharing how you made all the cool decorations and especially the adorable pictures! You rock, Mama!

  2. Marisa says:

    What a lucky little butterfly you have! Gorgeous party – all the handmade touches just make it so very special.

    The banner is so very lovely – I’ve been coveting one of my own. Perhaps I need to glitter up a Christmas one!

    And the butterfly dolls have stolen my hear. Love!

    • Jessika says:

      Thanks everyone!
      @Marisa I had forgotten just how much I love glitter-it’s a weakness! Im planning a party with a silver & gold theme and can’t wait to bust out the metallic glitter. I hope you do make a Christmas banner-I would love to see it!
      Also-I have a new obsession with all things washi thanks to you. Look out for more orders coming soon; )

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