I’m happy to share my daughter’s 4th birthday Le Petite Ballerine (French for “the little ballerina”) Tea Party. Zoe started ballet/tap lessons last summer, and she especially loves ballet. A ballet party was an easy choice. I wanted to add a unique interpretation to the ballerina theme, as it is such a classic and popular theme amongst little girls. I brought in the French element through the wording on the invitation (designed by Embellished Paper) and party signs. I also added in the tea party component, for something a bit different. The day was simply magical and elegant, just what I wanted for my little ballerina. I hired in a ballerina to facilitate a dance activity for the girls, and she brought along a student assistant to perform a solo dance for the girls. The assistant was also trained on pointe, so that made for a fun photo opportunity for (and with) the girls.
In addition to the standard pink color palette, I wanted to add in some touches of gold, as well vintage elements, which I brought in with some touches of lace, paper doilies and pearls in places. I also purchased a vintage dresser/vanity for the dessert display and rented a host of vintage decorations from Rent My Dust, a local vintage rental business. I found a beautiful pair of vintage pointe shoes on Etsy, which I displayed along with tons of beautiful pink roses. One of my favorite decorative items was the gold glitter hanger with the word “ballerina” bent into the wire, made by Erica at Get Hung Up. I used the hanger with a tutu attached, in lieu of using a traditional door wreath or welcome sign. What’s great is the hanger can later be used as décor in my daughter’s room. I also loved the “ballet studio” we created in my kids’ playroom. We moved out all of the toys and storage cabinets and mirrored the wall using Krabb mirrors from Ikea. My husband built a ballet barre using PVC and painted it pink. It was the perfect addition to Le Studio Ballerine Petits (the little ballerina studio). Wall art in the playroom consisted of my daughter’s first ballet leotard and skirt, which she wore when she was two! So precious and special! I ordered a few dozen pink roses with baby’s breath from Whole Foods, and they arranged them in beautiful boutiques for me using various excess vases I had on hand, as well as pottery pieces I found on clearance at Michael’s. I also displayed beautiful vintage art prints that I purchased from Shawn St. Peter on Etsy.
As each little ballerina arrived, she was provided her very own leotard and tutu to twirl with Zoe. I got a great price on the tutu and leotards over the holidays on Halo Heaven’s website and embellished each tutu with glitter trimmed roses from The Hair Bow Company. I also made each girl her own lace rosette headband. The favors were simple and appropriate for the theme.
As mentioned previously, I purchased a pink vintage dresser/vanity, which served as the dessert table. Due to space constraints, my dessert table selection was limited, which I actually preferred because I’m not crazy about loading up kids with tons of sugar. I ordered a vanilla bean cake with fresh strawberry crème filling, which was covered with rosettes and a very faint pink ombre design. I absolutely ADORE the cake topper. I ordered a vintage cake topper from Eleanor at The Quirky Corn Crib, and when I mentioned the party theme she sent me a picture of a tutu cake topper she started but never finished. I loved it and asked her to make me the tutu topper, instead. Isn’t is perfect?! I supplemented the cake’s smaller size with cupcakes and placed them in real lace cupcake liners from Timberlace Designs. I also offered filigree #4 lollipops and pearl crusted lollipops from Vintage Confections. Beautiful ballet slipper sugar cookies from Baked Perfection were added to the dessert table, hanging from satin ribbon. Finally, I added to the dessert table my daughter’s favorite snack, popcorn, in custom French ballet script popcorn boxes, designed by Amongst Lovely Things. Icing Designs made a precious glitter trimmed banner with Zoe’s name on it. The banner was hung on tulle. The little ballerinas were able to take home extra treats in beautiful custom hand-designed tutu glassine bags designed by Elle at Lovey by Elle.
Tea Party & Bellini “Barre”:
After twirling, the girls sat down and enjoyed a tea party served on vintage china I found at a local antique mall. I was short four place settings, which I rented from Rent My Dust. Each girls’ place setting was labeled with doily name tags attached to larger doilies, and each chair was adorned with tulle and ballet slipper ornaments I found at Hobby Lobby during the holiday season. I placed tea bag cookies in each girls’ tea cup (the cookies were made by Baked Perfection), strung with pink and white baker’s twine with tulle pom ends. The tea party menu consisted of assorted sandwiches, pasta salad and fresh fruit. I added in a special treat for the mommies and created a fun “Ballerine Bellini Barre.” I’m anti-alcohol at kids’ parties, so it was an alcohol-free bellini “barre.” I offered pureed strawberries and peaches, paired with a choice of sparkling grape juice or alcohol-free champagne. I made cute drink stirrers with tulle poms attached to the sticks and used straw flags (with a combo of patterned paper and “Joyeaux Anniversaire” (French for Happy Birthday) flags) at the base of the champagne flutes. So fun!
I was very inspired by this piñata, but wanted to make it my “own” and appropriate for a ballet party, so I decided to make a piñata covered in tulle. OMG…..who knew a piñata could be so difficult to make and so incredibly time consuming?! I botched up several attempts at a homemade paper mache piñata, so I had to buy a “naked” piñata from Nancy at AbitaAchie. I literally spent hours over several weeks decorating the piñata. I was very pleased with the end product, but I think it’s fair to say that I’ve made and decorated my first and last piñata! I decided on a pull string version given the ages of the children. I filled the piñata with prefilled pink organza baggies with fun non-candy treats (lip gloss, play jewelry and stickers). The prefilled baggies were great because there were no tears because one person got more treats than someone else.
Zoe’s Tutu Dress:
Since I was aiming for a French vintage-inspired ballet party, I wanted Zoe’s dress to embody the theme. I found the perfect tutu dress at Bunnies Picnic. The owner is incredibly sweet and even surprised me with the beautiful hair bow Zoe wore. Zoe’s necklace, which was our gift to her, is a beautiful ballerina necklace from Juli at Cookie Lee. This was Zoe’s first piece of “real” jewelry, and she loved it!
Zoe loved her party, and I loved planning every minute of it. I didn’t sleep at all the night before her party (not even a for one second), but it was my labor of love for my beautiful “petite ballerine.” Well worth every moment spent planning.
Paperie: Elise @ Sweet Scarlet Designs
Photography: Captured! Photography by Emily
Other items: see hyperlinks within post