Follow my blog series on the biggest party trends for 2017. This week: Dinosaur Parties. What you'll need to make yours cooler than a Camptosauras chilling in the Crustaceaus period.
Dinosaur parties are big right now, and to be fair, what's not to like? They are cute but a bit edgy, fun and they have a wide appeal (I mean, who doesn't like a Stegosauras?). But making yours really stand out from the crowd can be tricky- especially if (like me), you really want to bypass all the...well....tat. And how do you get it to all work together to look amazing rather than a pile of hot Jurassic mess? Well, I have the answers for you here!!
I've scoured the wonderful web and I offer up my top 10 Dino party buys to make your birthday truly ROARSOME (anyone....no....*ahem*). So sit back, relax and let's Diplo-DO THIS!!!!
Sorry. I'll stop now. Promise.
1. Dinosaur Balloons
I'll say it now and I'm not even sorry: no party is complete without balloons. And Dinosaur balloons are pretty brilliant. These balloons are strong enough to support helium, the pattern on them is fun but also accurate (be careful going to 'cutesy' on the Dino front, especially if you're catering to older children: they won't thank you for it), and they come in a cool range of colours. PLUS they won't break the bank like their foil cousins (if you are looking for foil Dinosaurs you're looking at over £7.50 PER BALLOON. And that's before you've had them filled up).
Tie in bunches and place on party tables for maximum effect.
Dinosaur Print Balloons, £2.99 for 10 from essacosa14 on eBay
2. Tablecloths- Jurassic style
Now, I don't often feel the green eye of envy, but when I do I will hold my hands up and admit it. This is one of those rare moments I literally gasped at the sheer simplicity, genius and style of these two wonderful ladies, http://www.twobusyblondes.com. I stumbled across this looking for tablecloths for a Dino party, and boy did they deliver. Not only is this SUPER easy (which we all love), SUPER cheap (you can buy plastic green tablecloths on eBay for about £1.70), it just looks fantastic. And it's as simple as it looks: get a tablecloth, cut it at the bottom, lay it on table. Don't fall for the temptation of going all out on an over-decorated tablecloth- keep it simple and the rest of the tableware can make everything pop. This is just wonderful. I love these ladies. I....I just can't.
I think I might need a lie down now.
'How to' and more craft ideas at http://www.twobusyblondes.com
3. Funky Food Boxes
By all rights I shouldn't like these. They have a proper picture of a Dinosaur on them, they could be seen as tacky, they're full on colours. But there's something about the way the dinosaurs are drawn, the colours they've used, that I really like about them- I'm not sure whether it's that they're so cheesy they've done full circle and gone into kitsch again, or that at least by drawing realistic Dino's they haven't gone into the realm of horrible cutesy-pie, but I think they're pretty cool! Added to the fact that they're retailing at 40p per box, and you're on to a winner.
I love food boxes at a party; a really easy way for you to pre-prepare all the sarnies and kids love them.
Plus they look great on the tables.
Dino Food boxes, 40p each or 8 for £2.99 at www.partypieces.co.uk
4. Cuptaceous period
Maybe a bit obvious but a total thumbs up from me here. These Dino Dig cups from WeBringTheParty are everything I love in party tableware; they've got a nice design without being ostentatious, the colour scheme works with everything and they are fun without being patronising about it. They'll look great on the table with everything else without being too over the top, and I can guarantee the other parents will be eyeing them up too.
Snap these up from Etsy and you'll be the Dino master of ceremonies.
Dino Dig paper cups, £2.30 for 8 at etsy.com
Straws are a luxury item in the party world, but again I have to say I love them; not least because they lessen the chances of your younger guests spilling juice all over themselves. If you want to really go all out, check out these paper straws, again from Etsy (HillTopCraftsShop): the little dinosaurs add a real attention to detail element, the colours are great plus the fact that they're paper and not plastic means you can at least chuck them in the recycling afterwards. You'll just have a job on your hands getting the other parents not to use them...
Put these in the cups right at the start of the party
to really make your table dazzle.
Dinosaur Straws, 12 for £3.99, etsy.com
6. Natty Napkins
You ALWAYS need napkins at a child's birthday; it's just a fact of life. But if you have to have them, why not have a bit of fun with them too? These napkins from Meri Meri's Dinosaur Party range are not only fun, but educational too; whilst your little one is wiping away sausage roll debris from their chin, they can also learn about the largest beasts ever to roam the earth. The contemporary design is pretty awesome, and they come with a range of dinosaurs to choose from.
Matched with your green tablecloth, these will really stand out and make an impression.
Dinosaur Napkins; £3.20 for 20 at partybits2go.co.uk
7. Confetti Rex
As far as I'm concerned, if one ever has an excuse to use confetti (in any aspect of life), one must take the opportunity with both hands. This is no less true of children's parties, and I have to say I think confetti could be used a lot more than it is being at the moment. So get on board with the trend and sprinkle this Dinosaur confetti on your party table; it really adds a sophisticated element but stays fun at the same time. The kids will love it and you can give yourself a pat on the back for being so ahead of the curve.
I really like this selection from the Card factory, which adds a little bit of shimmer and shine to proceedings,
with a tidy little price of 99p.
Dinosaur Confetti, 99p for one a 14g pack, card factory
Interestingly, I don't like entertainers wearing masks (we'll touch on this another time), but I think masks for children are a lovely way to really get everyone involved in the party. They also act as a great 'giveaway' which they can enjoy then and there, which means you then don't have to overfill the party bags with rubbish when they leave. These sets from Sainsbury's conveniently kill two birds (or Pterodactyls) with one stone, as not only do they include funky foam masks, but also erasers, notebooks and stickers; perfect for party favours when your guests leave.
Add over napkins on the party table or hang from the back of chairs.
Sainsbury's Dinosaur Dress up, £4.00 for 5 masks, erasers, notebooks and stickers
9. Green Machine
Even though we're on the Dino theme, there is such a thing as being as subtle as a sledgehammer when it comes to decorating; covering every available surface in Dinosaur stuff will just make it look a bit over the top and tacky. Instead, get these gorgeous paper garlands from Pearl and Earl and string across the room for a Jurassic Jungle look. Not only will this add colour, but it's a great way to draw a room in and create a more finished, intimate feel.
Add cut outs of Dinosaurs on to the garlands if you want to bring the room in a little further.
Lime green paper garland, £4.00 from pearlandearl.com
10. Attack of the Cake
No party would be complete without the birthday cake, but how do you create something that looks cool and the kids will love? Well, this cake topper from glowingoccasion is a great place to start; the Dino skeleton is super fun, plus it can be personalised for any name with up to 8 characters. Add on to a Chocolate cake or a cake with green icing for ultimate Dino kudos.
Pop some small plastic Dinosaur toys around the bottom of your cake for a truly 'Jurassic Park' feel.
Personalised Dinosaur Cake Topper, etsy.com
Hopefully this will give you a starting point to create a truly spectacular Dinosaur extravaganza, but this can just be the beginning of your gorgeous room! Just remember the golden rule: create statement areas, don't just throw everything in there and you can always buy more if you need to!
Like this post? Don't forget to follow the blog for more party ideas and my top party picks. Next time: Mermaid Party. Let me take you on an underwater adventure and help you create the perfect palace for your little mermaid!