My Girls’ Storybook Princess Party

Just so you know…This is a LONGG post LOADED with DIY ideas
and Fun Party Details. You’ve been warned. :)

My Girls recently turned 1 and 3! (ahh! still in shock.)
I love putting together their birthday parties and making it a special day full of fun memories.
One of the best parts of being a mommy has got to be
seeing their faces when I put together fun things like this. They are so sweet!
Sophia wanted a princess party but was also in love with anything mermaids!
So I took the basic Princess Party Theme and
turned it into a Storybook Princess Party!

It started with the invite..I made fun DIY Pop-Up invites!
I wanted them to look like a children’s book! Check out my easy tutorial here.

“To get to their Castle you must travel through the butterfly garden, past the mermaid candy cove and the pirate ship of captain bubbles.  Go deep into the cookie forest and there you’ll find it…Just under the rainbow!”
Each Guest received a map that showed
all the fun things in store at the party!
I was told by the friends that their kids made them read them the invite and map 10+ times a day ;) sorry parents..but yay that is exactly what I wanted them to do! ;)

Each place on the map matched up with a station at the party!
I love interactive play stations at parties!
I used budget friendly DIY projects to add special and fun touches…
I’ll be adding tutorials for all of these soon!
(let me know which one you are wanting to learn more about and i’ll try and post it first!)

Princess Sophia and Sienna’s Cardboard Castle -
I asked my dollar store if they had any leftover boxes..and I hit the jackpot!
They took me in the back to pick out sizes I wanted! Sophia was thrilled with the whole experience. ;)
For Their Sweet Shoppe Party last year I created a Sweetopia Village using free boxes
from Home Depot..(you just have to go out and ask!)

Supplies & Cost of Castle
Paint…FREE (mixed white and pink leftovers)
Banner Garlands…FREE (Designed/Printed on Cardstock and Sewn together.)
Drawbridge(working!)…FREE (used string from old project)
Zip Ties…Target (Home Depot has a 100 Pack – $4…LOTS leftover.)


I think one of my favorite touches is the clouds!

I made them from bunting material.. (I’ll share the easy Tutorial soon.)
I think they would look so cute in a nursery or for a Toy Story Party Theme!

Inside the castle was a coloring station..
I printed out coloring pages that matched the invitation.
I had dress up clothes and crowns for all the girls.
There was also a play kitchen, crib and a little table for playing house.

Mermaid Candy Cove -
I used discounted fabric from Joann’s, crumpled up packaging paper, and things from around the house/dollar store to make this area come to life.
I had fun crumpling up the paper and taping it up to the ceiling..
it made a big impact for almost nothing! I wrapped some blue and green ribbons around it too.
I used our Ikea Canopy and tied it to the ceiling..slanting it a bit.
Sophia kept calling it a mermaid castle! ;)
I covered her Ikea Easel with blue fabric..
hot glue gunned clear plastic rock/gems?! to fishing line and strung around to add some sparkle!
Fake plant from Michael’s..Nice cashier gave me a discount. be nice to cashiers. :)
 I put a blanket in the inside of the canopy and loaded it with pillows from around the house. 
Dollar store sea shells were the final touch!

Dessert Table – I made up a birthday banner(just print/cut/sew!) and cupcake toppers.
Baked up some little cupcakes..and used my dishes and leftover paper straws and lollipop sticks. I printed out little flags, wrapped them around lollipop sticks and taped! Turned out to be one of my favorite details of the party! Glad I grabbed up the striped paper cups from Target when I saw them.
I loveee yellow and white stripes..(a color pattern throughout the party) 
KEEPING IT REAL…..I was making a castle cake….but we have no ac..and it was the hottest day of the year…it melted. we were laughing that it looked like the pirates got to it. haha. The hubby saved the day and ran to Giant Eagle for 2 cakes. go with it! :)

Captain Bubbles Pirate Ship -
I used the leftover red and white ikea striped fabric
(used for sophia’s sweet shoppe party last year) to make a pirate bunting and sashes.
I made eye patches with felt and black headbands.
(Was going to have knights but ran out of time! so..pirates only.)
I filled up our sandbox with treasure and coins from the dollar store. Huge hit!
Captain Bubbles also left some Dollar Store bubbles for all the kiddos to play with!

Cookie Forest – I LOVED this project.
I made faux birch stands from a cement tube.(I’ll post the tutorial soon. you could use this idea for so many different dessert tables..paint to match you color scheme or wrap with patterned paper..etc..)
I covered boxes from around the house with packing paper. (I use this stuff for everything..totally budget friendly..have rolls of it!) I put the cookies around on different layers..Some homemade some store bought! I put out my ikea plants/pots.. and the back of the table I taped up fake branches I bought at JoAnns in the clearance bin. I picked up 2 mums from Home Depot and broke them up and placed around..I wanted a colorful forest but flowers can be pricey! I printed out signs for each of the stations..and also a pirate and mermaid graphic that I blew up by taping multiple pages together

Butterfly Garden – I used a Butterfly Craft Punch and
Scrapbook Paper that I bought at JoAnns on sale..with coupons.. Sewed together different lengths of garland and strung up. I think this was Sienna’s favorite thing!

Just under the Rainbow…Balloon Rainbow – 
I wanted to make up a rainbow with big impact but little cost.. Picked up some balloons for cheap at Target and had some twine in my sewing box. My cousins came over and threw this baby together in no time! ;) Tutorial here. This stayed up for a month or more..haha.
(Ben blew up the balloons..and wanted to see how long his hot air would last.)
I also put up a sign on the bathroom door…the hubby was disappointed that I missed a perfect chance to call it the royal throne…i just couldn’t do it.

Birthday Cake and Presents Time -
Sophia was all about this..Sienna was more interested in eating her watermelon.
we had to dip the watermelon in the cake to get it going. hehe.

Favors – I Designed and printed up favor tags..
Filled Clear bags with dollar store goodies.
All favorites of the royals. ;)

The party might be over..
but the mermaid cove and castle stayed up for a while..
we had story time and snack time in there.. :)

Thanks for checking out my
Girls’ Storybook Princess Party..
Hope you’ve found some inspiration for your party planning..
A few DIY details..big or small.. can go a long way!
Tutorials coming soon..and I might be adding some of these printables
to my Etsy ShopPretty Paperie Printables

The Busy Budgeting Mama

41 Comments on My Girls’ Storybook Princess Party

  1. MrsKinne
    November 16, 2011 at 7:23 pm (4 years ago)

    Wow! Everything looks amazing, and I cannot get over how much you did on a budget. :)

  2. Stevie @ MooreBabies
    November 16, 2011 at 8:12 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh. My. Adorable!!! I am so pinning this. Everything is awesome :) My to-be 3 year old keeps saying she wants a princess party.. if we do go down that path, I hope mine turns out half a cute as yours!!

    Moore babies

  3. AaReAn
    November 16, 2011 at 8:58 pm (4 years ago)

    OOOOH MY Gosh this is so fantastic I can hardly stand it! What a perfect party for a little princess! Thanks for the inspiration!


    p.s. come check out my fun giveaway…a little personal stamped necklace. I think you’d love it indeed!

  4. LB's mom
    November 16, 2011 at 10:07 pm (4 years ago)

    Natalie- you know I’m already a huge fan, but this is INCREDIBLE!!!!!!! Those clouds!!! The butterfly garlands! Obviously the castle! Those yummy faces of your kids! What I love the most is that the love for your girls shows through in all the hard work that it must have taken to put this together!
    Can’t wait for next year! btw- where did you get their dresses? So beautiful!
    Alex :)

  5. Baby shower gifts
    November 17, 2011 at 4:52 am (4 years ago)

    Excellent picture really nice. I love this photo provide baby with it’s gift.

  6. Krista
    November 17, 2011 at 1:25 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh my goodness, I can’t get over all the details! So much to see! You did a really great job and I’m sure the girls had a ball :) Sienna is really looking like you…fun to have a mini me huh?

  7. Laura@Cowboy Boots
    November 18, 2011 at 9:14 pm (4 years ago)

    i missed our invite in the mail (hee hee)

    totally loved this theme. you went to a lot of work and it turned out amazing!

    little girls dreamland party!

  8. Tracey @ My House of Giggles
    December 2, 2011 at 12:40 am (3 years ago)

    Natalie….this party blew me away!!! I can’t even begin to mention everything that I loved about it, because it’s all so amazing! You did such a fab job!! Isn’t it fun, tho? :) I love getting ready for a kids party…..all the little details. You are so creative, though! That castle is simply unbelievable! It’s HUGE! I can just imagine your girls’ faces when they walked into the room and saw it :) Your babies are so, so adorable. I love seeing all their cute little expressions in this pics. xo

  9. April
    December 2, 2011 at 6:12 pm (3 years ago)

    This is amazing!

  10. Cassandra Caruso
    January 17, 2012 at 4:33 pm (3 years ago)

    This party is absolutely amazing!! I would really love it, if you have a tutorial on the castle! :D Thanx so much for sharing & what beautiful lil girls you have!

  11. Jessica
    January 28, 2012 at 12:01 am (3 years ago)

    yes! the castle tutorial is a must! i have two weeks until our princess party and this would be AWESOME! so beautifully done!

  12. Anonymous
    February 12, 2012 at 6:19 pm (3 years ago)

    Will the castle tutorial be up soon? Thanks!

  13. Jennifer @ Ellison Lane Quilts
    March 27, 2012 at 8:26 am (3 years ago)

    This is really amazing. Thanks for sharing it all. My soon to be 4 year old wants a princess party so I think that castle might be the way go to. Thanks for the great tutorial. (PS: Found you through Pinterest!)

  14. Ky
    May 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm (3 years ago)

    This is the first project I have read through on your blog, YOU ARE A DIY-MACHINE! Your daughters are blessed to have such a caring and creative mother. I am so checking over more of your blog. Thanks for sharing :)

  15. sarah
    May 11, 2012 at 5:27 am (3 years ago)

    I would lVe to know where did u get the crowns from?

  16. sarah
    May 11, 2012 at 5:30 am (3 years ago)

    Amazing party

  17. spoiltleo13
    June 2, 2012 at 12:33 am (3 years ago)

    wow!!!! can u be my mommy??!!!!

    your little ones are so lucky to have someone so creative in their lives…. :)

    Love your attention to detail and just the magic you create with the simplest material…. :) great blog great tutorials :)

  18. Tam
    June 24, 2012 at 5:48 pm (3 years ago)

    Wow. That sounds expensive! Or at least looks expensive! And time consuming! I love it though! I’d love to do something similar for my daughter who loves dora…so the map thing would be perfect!

  19. Anonymous
    July 3, 2012 at 11:04 pm (3 years ago)

    I sent you a message in your etsy shop asking if you could create a map for our day – please let me know if this is possible or if there is a better place to send the request. Thanks and I love your blog – you are an inspiration!

  20. Litiquette Boutique
    July 10, 2012 at 9:44 am (3 years ago)

    LOVED the cookie forest and especially the castle. You can really create a dream Birthday Party with a low budget!

  21. Silly Sally
    August 7, 2012 at 4:38 pm (3 years ago)

    What a great party! I have planned a lot of princess parties. Please feel free to check out my website at
    In silliness,

  22. Mayb
    November 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm (3 years ago)

    I must know where you got the crowns from or if you made them how you did it! This is fantastic!!!!!!

  23. Geez on d spot
    November 28, 2012 at 12:32 am (2 years ago)

    My daughter’s 5th birthday is so soon and she wanted to have a princess party theme and I’m on a tight budget. This castle that you’ve made is so awesome. I’m going to try this.

  24. Damian Bathory
    December 12, 2012 at 2:31 am (2 years ago)

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  25. AJ M
    January 10, 2013 at 5:56 am (2 years ago)

    what an imagination you have! Your girls are very lucky. Thanks for all your wonderful ideas.

  26. Curly Girly
    January 26, 2013 at 5:44 pm (2 years ago)

    Wow, that party looked amazing – you are so talented to come up with all of that and make it look so wonderful. Your two beautiful girls are so lucky to have you as a mum!

  27. Princess Characters
    February 22, 2013 at 2:30 am (2 years ago)

    Wow,What an adorable little princess she is !!! Cute party and nice decorations..good job dear..I really liked it

  28. Lindsay Stewart
    April 26, 2013 at 1:34 am (2 years ago)

    Oh I simply love this blog – the party was so fantastic! I am planning my daughters 2nd birthday currently, and I got lots of inspiration!

  29. A Fairytale Come True
    July 31, 2013 at 4:28 pm (2 years ago)

    Wow! You are one awesome, dedicated mommy! I loved your ideas! I actually own a Princess Character company. At A Fairytale Come True, we provide professional princesses who are talented entertainers and character actresses. The princess will host the party and entertain the guests. The fairy tale party will be filled of exciting activities such as musical games, singing, story time, and picture time with the princess.​ It’s very fun and interactive!

  30. Coisas de Irmãs
    March 10, 2014 at 10:58 am (1 year ago)

    Wow !!! Love your ideas and, of course, your beautiful girl!!!!

  31. Tysea
    June 10, 2014 at 3:14 pm (12 months ago)

    I loved, everything you did! I’m having a princess birthday for my girls, who will be 1 and 3, next weekend. I want to make a rainbow and I’m curious, since you left yours up for a month, how much did it deplete? I would like to make it ASAP.

  32. Nina
    June 12, 2014 at 11:35 am (12 months ago)

    Omg, you are incredible! I am throwing a princess party for my 2 year old daughter and can’t wait to incorporate some of these ideas! Thank you so much!

  33. Pauline
    July 17, 2014 at 3:54 pm (10 months ago)

    OH MY GOSH, THANK YOU soooo much!!! My 2 girls have birthdays on the same day and are also turning 1 & 3 and I was STUCK on how to do a princess theme but you totally nailed it..PLUS car repairs require me to keep it on a LOW LOW LOW budget. You are amazing, thank you!!!

  34. Christine
    August 8, 2014 at 9:30 pm (10 months ago)

    Awesome idea of the life size castle, I still can’t believe you only spent $4 for materials!

  35. Jennifer
    September 6, 2014 at 4:59 am (9 months ago)

    Love the castle! I decided with only 9 days left till my daughter turns 3 to do a princess party and I will attempt a cardboard castle!


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