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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Donut birthday party

So last weekend was Dylan, Jake and Emma's 4th birthday party.  The fact that they are 4 years old blows me away.  I feel like I was just lying on the couch watching all the seasons of "24" while trying to stay pregnant and here we are 4 years later with three beautiful, perfect, healthy and happy kids (not babies anymore!), and I get to watch 24 on the couch again without 3 babies in my belly...

Well, I love throwing parties and as all my friends know I was thinking about this year’s theme for a while and we finally decided on a donut theme. Their party was at My Gym  and it was a morning party so a donut theme seemed easy and fun. I had the best time planning all the little details from the decorations and food, to the party favors, and even their adorable shirts!  The best part of all was seeing the kids having an amazing time. They each had a huge smile on their face the entire time. See below for all the details from the donut extravaganza.
The Invitations

The colors were easy to pick. Emma's favorite color is pink, Dylan's is blue and Jake's is orange.  Those colors look so cute together especially for a summer party!  Once I decided on the colors, I found an adorable, and reasonably priced invitation on Etsy by Katie at TheButterflyPress.  She customized it for me to match our party colors and worded it the way I chose.  They came out so cute and she even did a matching thank you note and thank you labels that I was able to print at home. She was wonderful to work with as well!
The Decorations
The decorations were so much fun to make for this party. I had been planning the theme for months (yes, I'm crazy!) so I had plenty of time to work on things here and there.


These giant donuts are made from large cardboard box cut outs.  They were easy to make. I used a large platter to trace the circle and then used an Exacto knife to cut them out. I used a smaller round bowl to trace the center for the hole for the donut and cut that out as well. For the "frosting" I used large pink and white poster boards and cut them out to fit on top of the circle and then used a glue stick to attach them.  White glue made it look too bumpy.  For the sprinkles I used puffy paint in our party colors and it worked perfectly. I originally thought I would hang them on the wall, but I decided to use 2 of them for our birthday bunting banner and the rest to stand up on the tables. I backed them with more recycled cardboard pieces and tape.  They stood up perfectly and looked great on the tables at the party.
Happy Birthday Bunting Banner

Two of the large donuts I made I ended up using as the end pieces to attach a Happy Birthday bunting banner. I cut out triangles using a template on beautiful glitter paper I picked up on sale at Joann's. I had extra round label stickers left over from the thank you note labels so I printed individual letters onto round 2.5" labels and stuck them onto each triangle. I then attached the triangles using tape (instead of stringing them, which you could do too) to colored twine. I had 4 rows and I attached each row to the giant donuts which made for the perfect happy Birthday sign at the party!  It was very easy and inexpensive to make too!


For the table cloths I used plain white, because I wanted everything else to stand out, and when I saw these adorable donut cut outs on this site, I thought it would be so festive to scatter them on the table for a little extra donut décor.  (Thank you to my brothers amazing girlfriend for cutting out some extra donuts last minute too!) I also used these cute donut print outs on the donut hole boxes.  I glued one on each side of the boxes and they turned out adorably!  You'll see more on these later on.
Cake toppers

Since I wasn't doing an actual cake this year, I was just doing donut cake tiers for each kid, I wanted to make something special to put on top of each one.  I saw this adorable idea on etsy for a mini Happy Birthday bunting banner to put on a cake.  I was going to buy it, but I needed 3 and I had plenty of time so I decided to make my own. I found most of the supplies at Target in the dollar bins, except for the paper, that I found inexpensively at Michaels. The only thing I ordered was a 1.5" triangle paper punch online. I paper punched all the triangles out for each Happy Birthday bunting cake topper. Then I used the mini alphabet stickers to spell everything out for each cake topper. The hardest part was poking 2 holes in the top of each triangle so I could thread the colored twine through. You could use a little sewing needle for this.  Once the holes are done thread colored string or twine through and attach each side to a colored paper straw. These were fun to make and so cute!  They were the perfect topper for the donut cakes!
Donut Garland


I also found this adorable DIY donut garland from Lilyshop that has a free printable template on the website.  I ended up not being able to use it because I wasn't able to hang stuff on the walls where we were having the party, but it's so cute I couldn't resist posting!

For the party I used solid colored paper plates, napkins and cups that I ordered online in our 3 party colors (blue, orange and pink). To make it more festive I ordered polka dot straws from BloomDesignsOnline in these colors, and I displayed everything in mason jars that were tied with colored twine.  All of the straws, clear plastic wear, coffee stirrers and sugars for the coffee were put in mason jars.
The shirts

My friend Stacey, from PbnJdesign, is amazingly creative. I asked her to design donut shirts for them using their signature party colors and she came up with the cutest designs. Emma's donut sprinkles even had glitter ribbon!  Seriously, the shirts were the talk of the party!  Everyone wanted to know who made them and where they could get one!  She has so many other great designs so be sure to check out her etsy shop, website and her facebook page too!

The Food
The food for this party was so easy, but I was also able to have a lot of fun with it!  There were lots of good ideas on Pinterest and I loved being able to make it my own.
Donut Hole Pops  

For the donut hole pops I found these amazing cake pop stands from Blumebox.  They are small colored cardboard boxes that you can add a cake pop insert to so that they stand up. This was genius and they cost next to nothing. I ordered them in orange and hot pink (they didn't make any in blue) for our donut hole pops. I then attached the donut cut outs I mentioned earlier to give them a more "donut" feel and they were perfect!  (They were cute without them too!). I put the rainbow donut holes on the paper straws I ordered from etsy, thinking the kids might want to dunk them in their milk and then use the straw. Then I put cinnamon sugar holes on coffee stirrers with the idea being that the adults would dunk it in their coffee. Once the boxes were filled with the donut hole pops I filled the bottom of the box with Cheerios to cover it and keep with the theme. Rainbow sprinkles would have been cute too!  These were a big hit and so yummy!
Donut Seed Bar

Another big hit at the party was the donut seed bar. I had 4 different flavors of Cheerios that I filled large glass jars with different flavors of Cheerios, but instead of labeling them Cheerios I called them "donut seeds".  I used chalkboard labels on each jar so everyone was clearly able to see what they were eating.  We had rainbow donut seeds, chocolate donut seeds, plain donut seeds, and honey nut donut seeds.  I found cute clear plastic scoopers on amazon that were perfect to scoop the Cheerios. Instead of using a regular cup or bowl, I found these great plastic containers with lids on amazon that came in a pack of 100. I labeled each container with clear stickers that I had printed with "donut seeds". These were perfect since people could eat them there or could take their favorite donut seed mix, put a lid on it and bring it home. Perfect for a kids party!

It was a morning party so we served "healthy" donuts, which were bagels. This was easy, delicious and worked perfectly with the theme.
Nilla Wafer Donuts


I'm probably the proudest of these amazing Nilla wafer donut cookies I created. I saw the idea on the website, Lindsay Ann Bakes, and I thought it would be the perfect addition to our party. Dylan, Jake and Emma loved watching me make these cookies for the party.  To make the hole in each wafer I used a paper straw and slowly wiggled it until it was all the way through. A few wafers broke it the process, but those were the "sample" pieces D, J & E got to taste so they loved that part!  I put them up on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper to make decorating easy.  Once they all had holes on them I decided to do half with white frosting and half with chocolate. I used Wilton's white cookie frosting I had already purchased for the white and it worked perfectly. After I put the frosting on I quickly put on the rainbow sprinkles ensuring they would stick to the frosting.  (I found individual blue, orange, and pink sprinkles so that it would match our party colors!). For the chocolate I melted semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave at 50% power at 30 second intervals until they were melted. Then I poured it into a ziploc bag, cut a tiny piece of the tip off and piped it onto each of the remaining cookies. I spread the chocolate with the back a spoon to give it a smoother look and then I sprinkled them with the rest of the sprinkles and they were finished.  The final product looked incredible and tasted delicious!  So creative and perfect for a donut themed party!

Donut stacked cakes
I initially came up with the donut theme when I realized we were having a morning party and I didn't really want to have cake or cupcakes for breakfast, but everyone eats donuts for breakfast, so I decided to do a stacked donut cake. I ordered dozens of donuts from our local donut shop that we visit often and they were able to do custom sprinkles for us. We ordered pink, white and chocolate iced cake donuts for the donut stacked cakes. I stacked Emma's with a mix of white and pink and I did the boys with a mix of chocolate and white. They came out so cute, especially when topped with the cake toppers!  I also ordered a few dozen other assorted donuts to have as well. They were all delicious.

The party favors

The party favors were creative and fun!  I printed thank you stickers (made by the same person who did the invitations) and attached them to gift bags that I ordered from oriental trading. Each bag contained the book, If you give a dog a donut, which is a great book that D, J and E love and it fit perfectly with our theme!  It also had a "sweets shop" sticker sheet and mat (from oriental trading) that I know my kids loved playing with. But my favorites were the handmade felt donuts that even had rainbow sprinkles that matched our party colors!  The felt donuts were made by, CheapandChicCreation on Etsy, she was wonderful to work with and so reasonable. She even individually wrapped each one for us!  The quality is wonderful. D, J and E have loved playing with theirs in their play kitchen.

The party was so much fun planning and even more fun watching it all come together. Dylan, Jake and Emma are still talking about it!  Now, what to do for their 5th birthday...


  1. Looks like it was an amazing party, loved the decorations and all those donuts. I am also planning for party for my daughter’s birthday next weekend. We had plans to celebrate at my parent’s spacious backyard, but their house is undergoing some renovations. Now I’m looking for a suitable event space for the party.

  2. Where did you get the books for the party favors? Were they in bulk? I only can find them for 9$ a copy. That’s a bit Expesnsive so I was curious to where you got them! Super
    Cute ideas!

  3. We got them from the scholastic website for $1 each!

  4. Kids Birthday Party

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  6. Thank you for such a well written article. It’s full of insightful information and entertaining descriptions. Your point of view is the best among many.