My daughter E just turned 4 last week, and has been excited about her birthday party for MONTHS. She ran through many different party theme ideas, and finally settled on her new favorite, Elena of Avalor. Only five episodes have aired so far, and we know them – and the songs within each episode – by heart.
The city of Avalor – and Elena’s culture – is influenced by diverse Latin and Hispanic cultures, so we decided our party would have a fiesta-type atmosphere showcasing vibrant colors.
My coworker donated some leftover tissue paper flowers from a party she’d thrown – we used them on the windows, and at each corner of our big chalkboard. Check out how easy & affordable it is to make these colorful decorations here.
I found some cute pom pom fringe ribbon in the Target dollar section; we (I have amazing family that is awesome at helping decorate, especially my MIL!) used that to drape along the arms of our chandelier, to trim out our lamps and side table, and to add some charm to the chalkboard. The “Celebrate” felt banner is also from the Target dollar section (I kinda love Target. A
We used a lot of streamers in a variety of colors, and tons of colorful balloons, too – cheap & effective additions for creating a perfect party atmosphere.
Another easy thing to add to atmosphere is buying fresh flowers. Our local supermarket has them for $5 a bunch, and they really provide great color, don’t you think? We put a vase on the party table (as you can see in a pic above), and on the bar alongside party favors, too (I’ll get to party favors in just a bit).
Let’s talk cake: E told me she really wanted Elena on her cake, which led to more creativity. I love to make the kids’ cakes for their parties. It’s just something I have fun with, and it’s always a lot cheaper than buying them from a bakery. I decided for this Elena of Avalor cake I’d try a frozen buttercream transfer.
Friends, I am in love with this decorating method, and want to practice with it to get better at it. Even for my first attempt, though, I’m really happy with how it turned out. For those of you who aren’t artistic: If you can trace, you’ve got this.
I will say that I picked a pretty intricate design to replicate, but Elena coloring sheets are hard to find right now so my options were limited. You could pick a much simpler design (I will next time I do this!) and it’ll be easy.
Start with printing out your design. If you’re including words, or want your art to face a particular way, you’ll want to print it backwards, because eventually you’ll flip your design over to be on the top of your cake.
Tape the printout to a sturdy surface (I used a cardboard cake round). Then tape parchment paper over top of the printout, and you’re all set to get started. Make black buttercream frosting (I use the Wilton recipe) and put it into a piping bag with a #3 tip.
In certain places, like on her face, I used a toothpick to thin out the lines a little more. Once I finished outlining everything I froze this for about 15 minutes just to make sure it was nice and solid.
In the meantime, I mixed other colors of frosting to have ready. I looked at an Elena picture, and decided to make red, green, medium brown, dark brown, gold/yellow, turquoise blue, and then I kept some icing white, too.
First I piped in all the skin toned color, using a #4 tip. I wanted it to be narrow enough that it would be easy to fill in smaller areas. I followed with filling in her hair, and then her dress, and then various other elements.
Between each color I put the piece in the freezer to help protect everything I had filled in so far.
Once I was done with all the colors, I filled white in all of the negative spaces, and around the edges of the design. When I do this again, I’ll pipe white out to the full diameter of the cake size to make it even easier when it’s applied to the cake top.
I created all of this several days before I actually decorated E’s cake, which is another reason to love this method – you can get all of the more intricate design work done beforehand!
As you can see, the bottom right photo shows the design transferred on to the cake top. Make sure you freeze your design at least a few hours, and transfer it immediately to your cake upon removing it from the freezer. Carefully peel up the parchment paper and your design will be revealed!
I waited about 10 minutes for the design to thaw and soften, and then got to work blending the edges of the design. I didn’t give myself much to work with in some parts, which is why I wish I’d extended the white out farther. But hey, you can learn from my mistake so it’s easier for you when you make your cake.
Here’s what the cake looked like after I did a little blending. It isn’t as smooth as I would’ve liked, but E was thrilled with it – and in the end, that’s all that really matters. For the sides of the cake I took handfuls of colorful sprinkles and pressed them in to the buttercream. It looks colorful and festive, and it takes the pressure off trying to have nice smooth sides to your cake – win win!
We have little black salsa bowls I got at Walmart a while back for just 99 cents each, and I put m&m’s and Skittles in these for some added color. We had little individual plastic cups like these that kids could put candy in, and they had lids so it was easy to send some home with them. You can see in the pic above that I got colorful plasticware, and I got a variety of colors of plates and napkins, too. Walmart has a ton of colors to choose from for just 99 cents per package, and then I mixed them all together.
For activities, we blew up a bounce house and slide in the back yard, but most of the kids just wanted to play with E’s toys. We played Elena episodes on repeat in the living room, too. We didn’t break a pinata at our party, but that would be fun to include.
Last but not least – party favors:
I found these free printable Elena of Avalor tiaras on the Disney Movie Rewards site. I just had to sign up for a free membership, and I gained access to the tiaras, a poster, a table runner, bunting, and little jacquin paper models. Really cute! You can print the tiaras on a regular printer because they print on two pages, and then you cut them out and tape them together (or your mom does it for you – thanks, mom!). We printed ours on card stock so they’d be sturdier. These were a hit with the kids, boys & girls alike!
You might have noticed the next party favor in the photo above – we made Elena of Avalor bottlecap necklaces. It was SUPER easy – I just printed out 1″ circular pictures of Elena characters, we cut them out, hot glued them to the bottle caps, and put epoxy stickers over them. We used supplies from Michaels, but you can get a kit with all the pieces (aside from the pics, of course) here.
Brian had the genius idea to hang the necklaces from our pasta drying rack (if you remember, we love making pasta at home). We just put one rod in and it was perfect to display the necklaces and keep them from getting tangled!
Our last party favor was candy – E loves candy and really wanted her friends to have some to take home. I thought Mambas would be perfect since they’re colorful, and you get a lot of candy in each package (24 pieces). I placed them in a pretty glass container:
I hope these ideas will help you in planning an Elena party!