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REAL PARTIES: Fiesta 40 Birthday Party

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Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

LOVING this ultra-colorful “Fiesta 40” Birthday Party from Anneliese of Aesthetic Nest… what a fun way to celebrate your 40th! Added bonus for the rest of us: there are tons of great DIY projects and creative ideas to be found here to help inspire fiestas of all occasions. =)

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

Read on for lots of pics and all the festive details, as told by Anneliese

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

We used my fortieth birthday as the excuse to host a party we’d been thinking about for a few years, with street taco vending, live Mexican music, good friends and family and lots of bright decorations.

Here is the report on my FIESTA FORTY! starting with a photo of my little Scarlett in her fiesta skirt and blouse and me in my maternity Mexican peasant blouse–hooray for variety in pregnancy wear! It was fun to dress the part for this party.

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

As you can see, I jumped on the tissue paper pom-pom bandwagon for this party. Loved the idea of brightly colored clusters of these hanging from the trees. I used a mixture of rounded and pointed petal poms in bright pink, turquoise, yellow, white and orange.

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

We set up guest tables in our backyard topped with chartreuse green table covers, then yellow paper cloths hand-cut to resemble Papel Picado banners, then my oilcloth Fiesta Tablecloths, and finally the Fiesta Flower Bouquets I had been making in the wee hours these past weeks.

So fun to see these ideas come together! I typically don’t like using paper but it seemed the right thing for this casual fiesta–plus I love the Mexican paper crafting traditions of banners, flowers and tissue covered pinatas.

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

The serving tables were set with yellow table skirts, white hand-cut paper tablecloths, and over sized yellow tissue Papel Picado banners. I wish I’d taken better photos of the banners because they turned out really fun and were a big part of the original concept for this party, including the invitations (pictured at top).

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

I used a different variety of paper flower bouquets on the serving tables. It was so much fun iterating on this theme! On one table I had over-sized arrangements with a mix of rounded and pointy “blooms” in 36″ tall vases. (See image #1 at the very top.) I used paper dinner napkins to make these blooms and long dowels purchased at a craft store.

On another serving table I made tight, low arrangements of pointy blooms in bright pink with one yellow accent flower. Had I not had a deadline it would have been fun to keep experimenting!

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

Other serving table details included delicious Jarritos sodas in lime, mandarin, mango, guava and mandarin. These are good and so sweet so one needs a party as an excuse to drink them!

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

We also served “Mexican Coke” (the stuff made with cane sugar instead of corn syrup–yum!) but the Jarritos were the first to go! I found some bright turquoise metal bottle openers at a local restaurant supply and tied them to the drink coolers.

We used tinfoil takeout containers lined with brightly color napkins, metal baskets lined with napkins for the utensils, and lucky me, IKEA had straws in all the right colors.

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

But the food is the real story! It was the real deal: carnitas, carne asada and pollo street tacos with grilled onions and pico de gallo (catered by a great local authentic restaurant); chips, my husband’s guacamole and a variety of salsas; my Fiesta Salad; and churros made-to-order (the only way to eat them!) with chocolate or sweetened condensed milk to top.

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

I loved the idea of the guests ordering just what they wanted and moving around from the taco tent to the serving tables while visiting with each other. It worked perfectly! So much fun!

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

And, of course… the birthday cake! I made Tres Leches Cake, four of them actually (recipe here). I topped each with a bright pink flower and ten candles… a bit less overwhelming to spread them out in tens rather than have forty on one cake!

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

We had two guitarists playing Ranchero music. They were so great – played a good variety at the right volume and really added to the fiesta flavor!

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

It wouldn’t have been a party without the people. I love the chance to bring together family and friends from different stages in my life. I was lucky to have friends at the party from high school in addition to those I’ve made more recently.

Can’t think of a better way to celebrate! And thank goodness I had some help blowing out the candles! (Wish you could hear our friend, Charlie, playing his guitar and singing ¡Feliz cumpleaños a tí!)”

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas




  1. Vicky August 6, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Yay! Anneliese did such a lovely job with this party- so glad to see it featured:)

  2. AlysMama August 6, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    I love it! I just made a suggestion early this week about wanting ideas for a Fiesta!Great inspiration!

  3. Joyce August 6, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Wow! I had fun just looking at the photos! Love the bright bold colors!

  4. Amy @ Blowout Party! August 6, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    The food looks amazing! I’m hungry.
    Love the colors.

  5. Elisha Akram August 6, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    love it nice and colorful!

  6. Jackie August 6, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    I really love this!! The poms are amazing – I love how they are put in vases as the centerpieces on the table…. and the food – I am drooling!

  7. susan@pocacosas August 7, 2010 at 6:48 am

    what a great party-looks like so much fun!

  8. Anne @ the doctor takes a wife August 7, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    I love all these colors!! Fiestas are always such fun themes :)

  9. Bird August 8, 2010 at 6:22 am

    Love the colours! ;)

  10. Jen @ Passion-for-Parties.com August 8, 2010 at 8:45 am

    The colors she used are so fun and vibrant…I LOVE them! The cut-out details on the tablecloths make a really fun touch, and I’m really digging the pom-pom centerpieces. What a great party! :)

  11. A Bit Of Mayhem August 8, 2010 at 9:04 am

    I love the bright colors and theme! Very nice, I love to see different adult party ideas. Wish there were more to see.

  12. Heidi August 9, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Gorgeous! And yummy looking!

  13. Courtney @ Pizzazzerie August 9, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I love the pom poms!!! wait.. I love it ALL!

  14. nicole August 9, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    AWESOME!! I’m doing an “Adios Dos” birthday party for my soon to be 3 year old.. can’t wait to use some of these ideas!

  15. Dio August 11, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Everything looks beautiful and festive! Paper pom-poms are my favorite, they liven up any event.

  16. Kandice August 17, 2010 at 10:11 am

    The food looks delicious! I also love the detail of using the aluminum “to go” tins as plates! What an easy idea (with quick clean-up).

  17. verenice August 27, 2010 at 2:40 pm


    I’m mexican and really know about our traditions and how we throw parties… and when I saw your photos… It makes me a big smile, really!!!
    everything looks so fresh and vibrant!!!

    best regards from MEXICO!!!

  18. Bettijo August 31, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Genius to put the pom poms on the sticks — I was recently brainstorming for a way to use the tissue paper pom poms at a venue where we couldn’t hang anything. This is the perfect solution.

  19. lea September 15, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    I love this idea! ANyone have any idea where I can purchase those vases? The holes in the top are fantastic!

  20. Tonya September 16, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Love the paper flowers!

  21. tonya September 16, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Love the colorful paper flowers!

  22. Cindy September 21, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    You are amazing. I am utterly inspired. I want to have a fiesta NOW! I want to use these ideas for a Bible Study I do with 8th grade girls. Thank you!

  23. Lacie Harris September 26, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    LOVE IT! Can’t wait to make those poms! :)

  24. Suzanne September 27, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    I have been searching for the vases with the metal top with holes–any websites that sell them or something similar? I would love them for large lollipops for a baby shower. Thanks!

  25. Nike October 20, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    This page, actually this whole site, is so inspiring. what wonderful entertaning resource full of exciting and original ideas that won’t break the bank either. I love it.

  26. Nikola @ Platinum Touch Events November 12, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    I love the paper pom-pom centerpieces…absolutely fabulous idea!

  27. Jeannette February 12, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Where can I find invitations like those? I am planning my daughter’s 1st b-day and we have a photo session scheduled where she’ll wear a white Mexican cotton dress and I would love to be able to incorporate her picture with the invite.

  28. Brooke Hansen April 7, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Great party! I am doing a fiesta for my Daughters 1st birthday!
    How did you attach the dowles to the pom poms?

  29. stickyheels May 4, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Any changes you have a source for those aluminum take-out containers? I LOVE the idea but I can only find them in quantities of 500!!

  30. stickyheels May 4, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    *any CHANCES

  31. Jessika @ Secret Pie Shoppe June 6, 2011 at 5:04 am

    What a great party! I was inspired by it and just threw a surprise Fiesta Fifty party. It turned out great! (photos are in my blog if anyone is curious)

  32. Brook May 8, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Where can I order the “Fiesta 40” signs? Great decorations!

  33. blovelyevents April 29, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    I love the tissue paper pom poms as a centerpiece. So creative and so simple at the same time!

  34. Mia Banks September 2, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    I LOVE these!!! Can you tell me how you attached the sticks at the end of the pom pom flowers? I am having a giant party and this is EXACTLY what I need! They are gorgeous and so fun! But I need to figure out how to get them to stand up straight at the end of the stick!! Thanks!

  35. Amber Quintana April 23, 2014 at 4:49 am

    What did you use for the large hanging flowers a

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