To say my daughter is a Once Upon a Time fan, would be an understatement. We watch the ABC show religiously on Sunday nights. It’s our one-on-one time with her after her little sisters go to bed. When it went on hiatus just before the holidays until March 6th this year, she was devastated that she would have to wait so long to find out the fate of some of her favorite characters. It’s safe to say she’s ‘hooked’ for the duration of this show.
So, when it came to entering her first year in the double-digits this past summer, we knew this would be the perfect theme. We had such a great time integrating the intricacies of the show into her party. If you’re a fan, you will notice, just by scanning the details.
The Decor: Once Upon a Time Themed Birthday Party
I chose a few key pieces to make this party come together, (full list at the end of the post), one being a life size Evil Queen (Regina) which we used as a part of a photo area for the girls. I hung a black table cloth over our window, used a printable banner which I purchased online, and picked up some red and black balloons to coordinate with the overall theme.
One thing I would do differently is have a thicker black backdrop to keep out more light for photo purposes or stage this in a different area of our home on a plain wall.
The main cake was a Costco Red Velvet cake (because baking is not my deal, just ask my kids) and I simply added a printout from the purchased printable set, which was of the Once Upon a Time show opener, and lined it with icing. I added Emma’s yellow bug with some gold and silver candles. Voila! Done deal.
I had a menu for Granny’s on our family chalkboard which is normally hung in this space.
We had various storyline quotes hung or placed around the space as well, which was a nice touch. This included our treat table with candy bar.
Once Upon a Time Party Treat Table
We had a full candy bar (details below) themed to the various seasons and story lines of the show. The cupcakes had printable character toppers, we included a yellow bug on the big cake, there was ‘wishing well’ water to drink, and I used items around my home for the rest like the apothecary jars, damask table cloth, vases, a clock and faux tree branches to round out the look of the table to match the show.
The damask was reminiscent of Regina’s office, so it was a no brainer for this table. The tree branches reminded me of the forest in the show opener. The apple is of course, the Evil Queen’s poisoned apple for Snow White and the clock is the time connection for the clock tower in Storybrooke. I added the wooden pillar candle holder, cake stands and trivet to bring in some additional texture, height and ‘forest-like’ elements. For lack of a better description.
Once Upon a Time Candy Bar
Apothecary jars are my go-to when displaying candy or other decor items for parties and baby showers. They’re an investment piece that you can re-use for your day-to-day home decor when not in party mode. For this party, they were used to hold and display the following:
- True Loves Kiss – Hershey kisses and chocolate lips
- Rumplestiltskins Gold or you could go with ‘Gold’s Gold’ – Rolos
- Magic Beans – Jelly Beans
- Pixie Dust – blue Pixie Sticks
**I found some ideas on another blog for these, I cannot take full credit. She was so clever. You can find her post linked up in my Pinterest board below.
Just be warned, you will find little piles like this throughout your home…
And, the parents may not like you much for the sugar highs provided at your shindig. Just make sure they brush their teeth at the end of the night.
Once Upon a Time Party Food
Beyond the treats, what should you feed the party crew besides sugar? Take them to Granny’s of course!
Set up a menu so they know what to expect, and as long as you can add a creative spin to the wording, you can really feed the kids anything. We had a sleepover, so I offered up dinner, a treat and breakfast on our menu.
Our Once Upon a Time Granny’s Diner Menu:
- Evil Queen’s Tasty Taco Bar (eat at your own risk).
- Hot Cocoa with Whipped Cream and Cinnamon – Henry’s favorite!
- Prince Charming’s Pancakes – True-ly Love-ly – see what I’m doing there? True Love…get it?
Once Upon a Time Party Games
We continued to take some of those enduring show themes and weave them into our outdoor games and crafts.
You see, in Once Upon a Time, the evil queen (or, Regina as she’s known in Storybrooke) loves to crush or control the hearts of her enemies and her people. So we filled small water balloons with water, and our party crew had to ‘crush’ the hearts. The only rule was they couldn’t actually use their hands. It made for an entertaining game.
I know, I know, a bit morbid, but it’s part of the show, what can I say? We’re die hard fans.
Battling Rumplestiltskin was up next and it was pretty epic.
In the show, Rumplestiltskin aka The Dark One often helps the Evil Queen with her evil plans in the Enchanted Forest to destroy Snow, and anyone else in her way. For some seasons, this is true in Storybrooke as well. With that in mind, we had the girls battle Rumplestiltskin to save their hearts from evil. We decided a water fight was the best way to make this tons of fun. The goal was to capture Rumple’s dagger which would signify the saving of their hearts.
The husband had a wooden dagger (that he was cool enough to craft with his handy-dandy tools) and the hose to spray his attackers with to keep the dagger away from them for as long as possible. But, the girls were formidable opponents.
They were fiercely determined in the battle for good with their own water guns and a bit of ingenuity. It was an EPIC water fight.
Major props to the husband. He gave them a run for their money and everyone got soaked and ran hard. The girls ultimately defeated evil and won their hearts back while stripping Rumplestiltskin aka The Dark One of his dagger and powers. Of course, we know he isn’t without the dagger for very long in the show, but on this day, good won over evil.
Once Upon a Time Party Crafts
Once the battle between good and evil was complete, the girls were free to claim their hearts and fill them with joy and happiness.
We had small glass hearts ($1 at the craft store) and they filled them with a rainbow of colored sand.
Once we were done with the hearts, it was time for the girls to become the authors of their happy ending.
This is a pretty easy and inexpensive craft because the supplies are minimal in cost and the set-up is a cynch. We use more of the colored sand to fill up the ‘quills’ before the girls became ‘The Author’ and penned their Happy Ending. I pre-made paper lunch sack scrapbooks, stocked the table with Washi tape and colored markers. The girls were good to go with very few supplies.
To create the scrapbooks, fold two paper lunch sacks together, staple the ends together for the spine of the book, and the result is the perfect little scrapbook for mere cents.
It was really neat to see what some of the girls wrote for their happy endings. You can check out the slideshow below if you’re interested in reading some of their ‘Happy Endings’. Don’t forget to check out the supply run down below this slideshow for the party goods if you want to replicate the party.
This party was so much fun to put together for my girl. It really tapped into her love of all things Once Upon a Time. The creative elements allowed the girls to take home some lovely keepsakes and the outdoor activities hopefully left them with some epic memories together as a group. I know there was a ton of laughter throughout.
If you’re interested in any of the pieces I picked up for this party, you can find many of the supplies online – easy peasy ordering when you’re short on time. (Disclosure: some of these are affiliate links):
– Customized Once Upon a Time printables – this set comes with a custom invitation, banner, quotes from the show and more.
– Evil Queen – ABC’s Once Upon a Time – Advanced Graphics Life Size Cardboard Standup
– Solid Red Marble Apple with Brass Leaf Accent – the exact red apple I purchased wasn’t available, but this is a close second.
– Die Cast 1967 Volkswagen Classical Beetle car – Yellow.
– Colored Sand 6 Bright Colors 6 oz. each
– 12 Mini Plastic Funnels (PP) for Essential Oils & Sand Art – 27mm/6.4mm
– Fun Express Super Sand Art Pen Toy (12 Pack)
There wasn’t a ton online at the time when I planned this party nearly a year ago, but you can check out my Once Upon a Time Pinterest Board for additional inspiration and ideas. Some of which I did incorporate into our party in some way.
Do you have a Once Upon a Time super fan in your home?
All images: Nicole Hempeck