Poodles, Pirates, and Paint! 3 Really Fun Birthday Ideas

Our no-stress party guide is packed with groovy goody bags, way-cool crafts, and easy cakes every busy mom can make.

Pretty Pretty Poodles

Pretty Pretty Poodles Birthday Party

Your little girl and her pals will love dressing up as fancy French poodles.

INVITATION

A paw-printed doghouse gives the scoop on your poochy-keen bash.

What you'll need: Computer, color printer, doghouse template (below), two sheets of pink card stock (one light and one dark), paw-print rubber stamp, ink pad, ribbon, glue stick, scissors, pencil

Pretty Pretty Poodles Birthday Invitation

Make it: Type up invitation details on your computer and print out on the light pink card stock. Enlarge the door and house templates as directed and cut out both. Trace the door around the printed text and cut out. Trace the doghouse template onto dark pink card stock; cut out.
Glue the door onto the front of the house and stamp on a few paw prints. Cut a length of ribbon, tie into a bow, and glue onto the front of the house.

ACTIVITIES

As your guests arrive, pass out homemade poodle-ear headbands, and have the guests paint on noses and whiskers. Every glam dog needs a collar and cuffs, so let the girls decorate strips of pink felt and craft foam with jewels and pom-poms.

Poodle Cuffs

What you'll need: One 9-x-12-inch sheet of felt for each set of cuffs, craft glue, rhinestones, pom-poms, scissors, sticky-back Velcro coins

Pretty Pretty Poodles Goody Bag

Make it: Run a line of glue around the edge of the entire piece of felt. Fold the long edges in, lengthwise, so they meet in the middle. Press down firmly to secure. Cut along the seam where the felt edges meet, making two double-layer cuffs. When guests arrive, have them glue on pom-poms and rhinestones. Apply sticky-back Velcro coins to cuff ends to close.

Poodle Collars

What you'll need: 9-x-12-inch sheets of pink craft foam, scissors, ruler, pencil, rhinestones, foam shapes, craft glue, 1/8-inch hole punch, key tags, mini alphabet stamps, ink pad, markers, sticky-back Velcro coins

Girls at Pretty Pretty Poodles Birthday Party

Make it: For each collar, cut a 1-1/2-x-12-inch strip of foam. Punch a hole at the bottom center of each strip, and thread a key tag through the hole. When guests arrive, have them glue on rhinestones and foam shapes. Then, have them write out their names on the key tags, using stamps or markers. Apply sticky-back Velcro coins to collar ends to close.

Poodle Ears

What you'll need: Poodle-ear template (below), plain headband, pink and white boucle yarn, felt, ribbon, fabric glue, scissors, pencil

Girls Making Crafts at Pretty Pretty Poodles Birthday Party

Make it: Glue an end of a piece of yarn to the bottom of one end of headband; let it dry. Wrap yarn around headband in a single layer; glue loose end to the other side. Glue another end of yarn to the middle of headband and wrap around, layering the yarn more in the center than on sides. Glue loose end to headband to secure. Enlarge the poodle-ear template as directed and cut out. Trace ears onto felt twice; cut out. Glue yarn to the bottom front of each ear, making small loops as you go, covering half of the ear. Then, glue one ear to each side of the headband. Make two bows from ribbon, and glue one to the top of each ear.

CUPCAKES

Pretty Pretty Poodles Cupcakes

Fluffy, mini-marshmallow-covered cupcakes are doggone delicious. Love the ears? They're made from marshmallow peanuts.

1 box cake mix (18.25 oz.)
2 cans (12 oz. each) whipped vanilla frosting
Pink icing color
24 pink marshmallow peanuts
Mini pink marshmallows
1 tube brown decorating icing
Red Hot candies

1. Prepare cake mix according to directions for 16 standard cupcakes and 16 mini cupcakes, using paper liners. Bake mini cupcakes 15 to 20 minutes and standard cupcakes for 25 to 28 minutes. Let cool completely.

2. Combine cans of frosting and tint pink. Frost all cupcakes. Cut 16 of the marshmallow peanuts in half lengthwise. Cut remaining 8 marshmallow peanuts in half crosswise, and shape into cones for noses. Place one cone shape close to edge of each mini cupcake. Arrange lengthwise marshmallow halves on either side of the mini cupcakes for ears. Cut mini marshmallows in half and arrange around peanut marshmallows. Pipe two eyes, using tubed icing; attach Red Hot at tip of each nose, using pink frosting. Place mini cupcakes on their sides on top of larger cupcakes. Fill in puppy bodies with cut mini marshmallows.

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