Dia De Los Muertos Birthday Celebration

Dia de la "Emme"

Our spin on a "Dia de los Muertos" themed birthday celebration for this sweet 10 year old who I have known most her life was nothing short of awesome.  While brainstorming themes for this birthday party, I thought about everything that I associate with her: puppies, rainbows, unicorns, and sugar.  Seeing as her birthday is in November, I put the idea of sugar skulls and Dia de los Muertos to work.  It encompassed the rainbows and sugar, so I took the ball running.

The party ended up being a colorfully picturesque party with candy, face-painting, a rainbow birthday cake, games, and a piñata.

I began with the invitations. I incorporated a sugar skull and some Mexican floral design with mention of the fun that would ensue.  On a budget these we easy and vibrant to appeal to her friends to join in the festivity.

In looking for decor I knew that the more colorful the better. I figured we would need traditional colorful table clothes and backdrops: red, turquoise, yellow, and green. I borrowed some serape table runners to tie the colors together. I spray painted a few sombreros as well in keeping with the theme. We found some beautiful sugar skull decor and figurines as well. Additionally I borrowed some small donkey piñatas for the table decor too.

For favors, I made some floral head wreathes.  I used silk flowers, pipe cleaners and floral tape for this. I cut down the floral stems first. Using the pipe cleaners I wove the them around the base and pulled them together to form an arc. Then adding more in a braided shape I completed the circle. My final step was to take floral tape and wind it around the pipe cleaners to cover them and the base of the flowers. My thought was that these would complete the look after face paint was added. The sweet party goers would look beautiful with these to adorn their sweet painted faces.

The cake was a blast to make. I used a tie dye cake mix and had fun making the design as I wanted. I could not wait to slice into it to see what each piece was going to look like. I used to two rounds to make the layers and white frosting. Using a serrated knife I cut around the edge of the cake to exposed the colors. I added flowers to the top of the cake as well along with some gummy sugar skulls that we picked up at Michael's for the event. I also enjoyed using giant marshmallows and kebob sticks to make sugar skull lollipops with candy decorating markers.

We had to be sure that Emme had a perfectly coordinated outfit.  We picked bright pants and a bright shirt.  We added an iron to her shirt and to her shoes to help tie it all together.

For activities for kids we decided to go with a few games: cupcake wars (a cupcake decorating contest judges by the birthday girls dad), pin the nose on the sugar skull, make your own sugar skull mask, skull balloon races, and of course face painting.

The kids jumped at the opportunity to decorate their cupcakes. The winners designs ranged from punk rock hair, to sugar skulls, to grimy gummy crawlers. They were all very original and unique.

The face painting was entertaining too! Every eager face that sat before me carefully chose their colors that they wanted to add. Some had swirls, some mustaches, some squiggles, hearts and more. As I had planned the floral wreathes gave a great finishing touch.

Pin the nose on the sugar skull had a long line cause so many wanted a chance to win a prize. I drew a giant skull on a poster board and omitted the nose. We pinned it to the fence and using a bandana blind gold and some stickers we had an incredible time. A few spins and point the contestant in the right direction. This play on pin the tail on the donkey was fun.

For the balloon races, we took white balloons and a sharpie and drew some skulls on them. The kids had races with the balloons between their knees. The hopping and jumping across the grass was too funny to watch as they tried to grip the balloon between their knees.

For those who wanted to, we had printed some skulls we found online (here) and cut their shapes and taped tongue depressors to them. We set them out with markers for the guests to color and use to their delight.

For sustenance, we had chips and queso, a colorful candy bar, chips galore, and cake and cupcakes. The candy bar was set up outside with chocolate, skittles (because the birthday girl loves rainbows), gummy worms, eyeball gum balls,and twizzlers. We used a mixture of apothecary jars and the sombreros to hold the candy. We used the gum balls to have a "guess how many are in the jar" contest as well. We revealed the winner at the close of the party and her prize was the jar of eyes.

All in all the birthday girl enjoyed her candy filled, rainbow colored, fun-filled celebration that was a great representation of her joyous and sweet personality. It is sure to be one that she will not forget. I am more than thankful that I got to be a part of it and help to make the day special for her. I loved the way she paused before she blew out the candles to make her perfect wish.  I hope that her special day will be a memory that she cherishes.  I was thankful to be surrounded by family and friends, to have lots of help, and to have a happy birthday girl!

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