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Fairy Tale Party

Make your daughter's birthday a celebration fit for a princess with these regal ideas.

Royal Tidings

Draw up a proclamation: "Hear ye, hear ye! Come to Julie's Castle to celebrate her birthday" and include the party details. Photocopy on parchment-like paper, roll up into a scroll and tie with a royal blue ribbon.

Decorations

  • For pennants, cut out rectangles from colorful felt, paper, or cloth, then cut notches at one end and suspend them with string around the party area.
  • Make cardboard swords, covered with aluminum foil, and cross them over doorways.
  • Drape royal blue and gold star garlands along the table and sprinkle fake jewels around.
  • Decorate a big chair with foil and streamers for the birthday child's "throne."

Crowns and Hats

Purchase paper crowns and cone-shaped party hats at a party store. Have the kids decorate them.

Reader's Tip: The Enchanted Castle

For my daughter's second birthday, I created an enchanted castle using a refrigerator and stove box from our local home center. At home, I put the boxes together and cut out windows and a drawbridge. I used rope to tie the tops of the drawbridge to holes on the side of the box opening, allowing for loops so kids could raise and lower the drawbridge from the inside of the box. I spray painted the box silver and black to look like stone, and I used a marker to add details like turrets. I also stapled fabric remnants for curtains and made a "magic mirror" with foil and a marker. I have never seen kids have so much fun. The best part was the cost -- $2.00 for spray paint. -- Joy

Start with a double-layer square cake. (Avoid a recipe with pudding, so that you won't need to refrigerate this lofty project.) Ice the cake with white or stone-colored icing. Then, using decorator icing squeezed from tubes, adhere ice cream cone towers and turrets, mini marshmallows, cookie and candy details, and outline windows. Graham crackers and string licorice make a great drawbridge! Before the icing sets completely, sprinkle on multicolored sugar crystals for a magical touch. Glue paper pennants on toothpicks and insert these at the highest points.

Adapted from The Parents Party Book: Fun and Fabulous Theme Birthday Parties for Children 2 to 8 Years Old by the Editors of Parents Magazine. Golden Books, New York.