My dear friend Brittany was turning 28 years young this past September, so I decided to throw her an outdoor rainbow birthday party brunch. We definitely wanted to leverage the lovely weather we were having, but this bright and sunny birthday party theme can work all year ’round! I had a blast planning and executing this party in a nearby park, and this Dots & Stripes Party was the perfect theme to showcase Brittany’s bubbly personality. In this blog you will read about my set-up and links to affordable DIY projects to match the party. Don’t forget to download the free rainbow birthday party printables to help you make this party as easy for you as it is fun!
First thing’s first – after I locked down the location, date and time – I had to get the invitations out to our girlfriends. Then the fun part — the party planning begins!
The plates, napkins and cups were an easy set-up and coordinated awesomely with each another. I thought it would be fun to design matching free printable napkin wraps and printable personalized name tents to make the party-goers feel welcomed. So I used a couple rolls of wrapping paper for some corresponding touches. The green roll of wrapping paper served as a table runner on the picnic table (don’t forget tape – winds can kick up any time at outdoor events!) and a blue roll of wrapping paper went around some old soup cans to use as flower jars. These modest additions really helped make the pieces pop off the table!
I wanted to create a dramatic backdrop for the treat table without breaking the bank or having to follow any excessively hard tutorials. So I used white tissue paper and constructed this awesome DIY Tissue Backdrop (courtesy of Lovely Indeed!) for a really nice touch for a relatively low cost, which is always appreciated. I also bought some additional colored tissue paper and made these fun DIY Tissue Fans (courtesy of Domestic Fashionista!). Luckily, the Dots & Stripes Party has a great room decorating kit that is jam-pack full of pieces that can be used in really any way you see fit. I placed a couple of the paper cutouts over the fans, to add some birthday flair. And finally connected the party banner from the tissue backdrop above the picnic table to unify the seating and treat areas.
This was my favorite DIY task by far. I used some of the American Greetings tissue paper I had left over and made these playful DIY Tissue Poms (instructions courtesy of Two Twenty One). In the party aisle, I picked up some crepe paper and put together this DIY Crepe Paper Chandelier (instructions from Polka Dot Prints Studio) which was very easy to assemble and hung beautifully above the picnic table where we feasted!
And what’s a party without all eyes on the guest of honor, right? The birthday girl herself deserves a little flair, too! And this birthday sash was a totally-worth-it purchase. To complement it, I found this cute DIY Tissue Headband tutorial from Studio DIY and put more of my beautiful rainbow of tissue paper to good use as an amazing fascinator. I doubled the free printable personalized tent cards I designed as food labels so everyone knew exactly what they were diving into (a perfect solution to clarify ingredients, too, if you have any guests with food preferences or allergies).
I’d purchased the cupcake decorating kit that included a bunch of cups and decorative picks not knowing I’d end up buying donuts instead of making cupcakes. Fortunately, I was able to use the cups as fruit salad holders and the picks were perfect as mini-utensils. I had a lot of elements left in the room decorating kit, so I used this easy DIY Straw Easel tutorial from Wants and Wishes Design to hold the customizable age sign. It made for a nice decorative element on the treat table.
As a general rule, a party isn’t complete without a cake as we all know! I found this deceptively easy Rainbow Layer Cake Recipe (Parade.com) and substituted in Sprees to match the dots theme. Then topped it with this fun pennant banner cake topper (also a free printable, just for you!) that can be personalized to fit anyone’s name. Perfecto!
Being a birthday brunch and all, I knew this Sparkling Fruit Sangria Recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction was going to be a huge hit. To help keep the jars in their respective hands, I designed these free printable straw & jar labels for the guests to fill out so they could bling out their own beverage. So. Much. Fun. A great time was had by all, and the weather held out for a super-nice day!
If you’re a donut lover in the Cleveland area, you probably know the legendary Brewnuts™! To match the party, I ordered a custom baker’s dozen to fit the theme and they were absolutely delish! I had also bought this cupcake stand before I decided to go with donuts, but it ended up being a perfect centerpiece to showcase these beauties.
As the eating, drinking, and overall merriment was coming to a close, I still wanted to give a little shoutout of thanks to the ladies that came out to celebrate the birthday girl. So I found a delicious looking Cranberry Lime Vodka Recipe from Fancy Napkin Blog I prepared ahead of time, and jarred it so guests could take home a little toast of thanks to them! Cranberries weren’t in season, so I substituted grapes. You can pretty much add any fruit to any vodka, and as it sits in the jar, magic happens regardless of the combo. I then designed free printable thank you labels to spray-mount onto the jars so everyone knew to grab on their way out. What better way to say thanks then a take-home-toast? (I had many good praises on this thank-you gift!)
The birthday brunch was a success! With all the work done easily upfront, we had a great time catching up over tasty treats and beverages while celebrating our amazing friend Brittany. Overall, this rainbow birthday party was a lot of fun to put together — and it was surprisingly easy while also affordable with the help of the do-it-yourself tutorials and the free printables. Needless to say, now that I’ve seen how much the guests enjoyed the event, I can’t wait to throw the next party!
Rainbow Birthday Party Free Printables:
Free Printable Tent Cards (PDF)
Free Printable Napkin Wraps (PDF)
Free Printable Straw & Jar Labels (PDF)
Free Printable Pennant Cake Banner & Topper (PDF)
Free Printable Thank You Labels (PDF)
I hope you enjoy these great party ideas and free printables as much as I enjoyed throwing the party!
About the team:
Rachel is always looking for outlets and ways to help and expand in her field. Currently she is working pro bono on a political campaign in hopes her creative and social media skills can inform the voters and assist in the polls.
Bill is a veteran designer with 14 years in the Licensing department and over 20 years total with American Greetings. In his personal time, he enjoys playing drums, all things Godzilla, doing karate in the garage and watching shark week.
Aside from designing gift bags and wraps, Kathryn is also a talented traditional artist that currently has an art show hung at American Greetings World Headquarters. You can follow her creations at @Kathryn_Heim.
Caroline’s passion is innovation! She’s a self-described Designer of Everything and is all about farmhouse charm, home staging, interior design, and the rustic/recycle/repurpose movement. Follow her on Instagram @buttermilkfarms!