Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Gruffalo Party.

A Gruffalo? What's a Gruffalo?

A Gruffalo! Why, didn't you know?

He has knobbly knees and turned out toes and a poisonous wart at the end of his nose...

Go get the book to hear the rest of this darling story by Julia Donaldson. It originated in England and Nana Judie brought it back for the boys after her trip there a couple of years ago. It's been a favorite ever since. I love doing parties based on children's books. So easy to come up with fun and unique ideas (and by come up with ideas, of course I mean search Pinterest).

The Invitation:

I used to create these. I have zero graphic design skills let alone any software to do it in. So this is my own way around that. Copy and paste images from google onto a white background, upload that to picmonkey and add whatever writing you want in one of their adorable fonts, then print it out onto cardstock. I know I'm reinventing the wheel here. I just have no clue how to do it any other way and this is pretty darn simple. (Please share if there's some kind of free site for this sort of thing!!)

Last year was the first year Bennett had a "friends" party and I asked you guys what in the world you do when you have lots of family in town and don't necessarily want to combine the two parties. Last year we did parties on two separate weekends but that was way too much work. This year I decided to have his friends over in the afternoon, leave an hour gap and then have our family over. It worked really well. I kept the first party to an hour and a half so we weren't totally burnt out by the end of the day.

We started the first party by letting them watch The Gruffalo on DVD. It's only about 35 min. so it was perfect and kept those crazies contained and quiet for a bit :) Have you had six 6 and 7 year old boys in your house at once before without their parents nearby? Holy cow. The volume was cranked and the potty jokes were rolling. I was thankful I only had to listen to them for an hour. (I used to think I would have made a great Elementary school teacher. This hour alone changed my mind on that. Ok...I'm mostly kidding. Mostly.)
This would all make a lot more sense to you if you've read the book, but nevertheless, Scrambled Snake cupcakes for the first party (made by Judie. That's a recurring theme here.) She and I did all the signs together.We got the fonts from and then just copied and pasted everything in Microsoft Publisher and printed on cardstock. Email me if you want my ridiculous, figure-it-out-as-I-go-along step-by-step instructions. Or don't. 
 A bowl of poisonous warts on the left:
 Applesauce with granola on top for Gruffalo Crumble (similar idea here):
We kept it nice and simple for the first party. The Owl Ice Cream supplies were on the left. Birch tree background painted on brown kraft paper by Judie. Scrapbook paper bunting is my favorite party decoration. Super easy and so fun to customize for whatever the theme. Throw in some logs from our log pile and a little moss for the finishing touch:

By the look on Bennett's face, you'd think this was a Rolex watch. Nope. A spinbrush. Score.
The thought of running organized games at a party makes me want to cry for some reason. So we stuck with craft time instead. Surprisingly, they got really in to the Gruffalo puppet making. (Phew...that was a risky choice with this bunch.)
"His eyes are orange, his tongue is black, he's got purple prickles all over his back..."
For the second party, we switched out the cupcakes for this adorable tree log cake (again, made by Judie): 

We did dinner for the family party. In true British fashion, sausage rolls became our Scrambled Snake (idea from here):
We kept it super simple with hot dogs and potato chips and carrots and dip. I just did not have much prep time at all for this party (we were out of town the week before) and even though I always want to make homemade sides, time did not permit. I was very thankful I let it go and took the easy way out. It was a big weight lifted.

My adorable niece, Piper, showing off the Owl Ice Cream:

We didn't watch the movie at the second party so Nana read the story to this enraptured bunch. I always do story time at their parties. Again, its my copout so I don't have to plan any games. 
Aside from the candy (from here), it was a little difficult to come up with stuff for the goodie bags that fit the theme (at least that I could find at Target a couple days before...). So just go with it:
Again, goodie bag "labels" made with a combo of Picmonkey and Publisher, all just printed on cardstock and cut out and glued on:

My niece, Quinn:
A gigantic THANK-YOU to my mother-in-law, Judie, who put in so. much. work. for his party this year. She is such a blessing to me and never would I ever be able to pull off such cute parties without her!
For past parties I've done, start here.


  1. so cute!! Yay for a wonderful and talented MIL!

  2. as i've said before ... you have the coolest, most creative parties!! the cupcake snake and owl cones are my favorite : ). we adore this book, too -- my 4-year old chooses it to read nearly every night! i loved the spinbrush expression!!

  3. Amazing! I LOVE that tree background, the log cake (with tiny mushrooms), your craft idea, all of it is SO cute!

  4. ADORABLE party!! You always do such an awesome job!! What a great idea to separate the friends and families party like you did!! Everything looks awesome!! Happy happy birthday Bennett!! :)

  5. What an amazing party! You went all out and I love it!!! So fun!

  6. My son LOVES The Gruffalo, too.Do you happen to remember the names of the fonts that you used on the food placards and treat bags?
    Absolutely adorable party!

  7. Olivia, I have absolutely no idea if you'll see this (I really hope you do!) but I have no way to reply back to you! I used a web site called to make those and the font is called Amatic Small Caps. It's at the very bottom of all of their fonts. Hope you see this! :(

  8. I truly love your parties! This Gruffalo party was the best among all. The decorations and other arrangements are very inspiring. Our son’s birthday is coming and I was finding theme idea and this one is pretty nice. I would like to book some outdoor San Francisco event venues for this bash.


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