Over the years, our annual party planning ideas contest (“Party Tales Contest”) has become a tradition we eagerly anticipate. In this section, we feature all the winners.
If you’ve ever thrown a cool kid’s theme party, even if it was years ago, please do submit your “Party Tale”. Your ideas are timeless and can inspire others to give it a shot themselves. And, of course, you can win a cool prizes.
Total of $1000 in CASH Prizes
$500 Grand Prize
Our Grand Prize $500 cash winner is Lisa from Texas who threw a joint birthday party for her two boys aged 3 and 7. The two brothers share an obsession for Mario, hence Mom chose a “Mario Brothers Birthday” theme. The party was thrown on a budget and everything was homemade which was a very important factor in our decision-making. It’s a “do-able” party with lots of original party planning ideas. A lot of thought and hours of research were put into keeping with the Mario theme and Lisa (aka, Professor Mario) actually invented real party games based on the virtual Mario Brothers games.
As you’ll see, the writeup is great and I’m sure Lisa’s party planning ideas will inspire many others. Although the pictures themselves do a good job in supporting the writeup and demonstrating the ideas and games, they do not do justice to the party. We decided to overlook this point and base our decision on the essence of the party and not the quality of photos.
We awarded all of the following $100 cash prizes – they all could have easily been Grand Prize winners.
The “Coolest 1st Birthday Party” Award was awarded to Julieanne from South Australia for her “Sesame Street 1st Birthday”. Julieanne invested a lot of time and thought into creating a Sesame Street atmosphere for a large crowd of different-aged guests (always a hard task). This is another very “do-able” party and Julieanne’s excellent writeup describes in detail her party planning ideas, homemade decorations, favors, games and food ideas. If this was a 1st birthday, I can’t imagine to what extent Julieanne will go for little Elijah’s second birthday bash. The photos here did a bit more justice to the party, but not as much as our next award.
After we notified Marissa from Queensland, Australia that her “Tea Party Birthday” was our “Most Artistic” Award winner, she replied, “I never win anything so this is a huge surprise!!! I feel so happy that you liked my ideas so much!!” Marissa’s party is picture-perfect and probably the most artistically crafted party we received this year. The invitations, food table set-up, decorations and accessories are all hand-made and works-of-art. It’s not as “do-able” as the others because Marissa obviously has a special artistic talent that most of us don’t. But it’s still something to strive for and maybe one day I’ll try to incorporate Marissa’s party planning ideas for my three little girls (or maybe I’ll just fly Marissa over :-). The party was planned for outdoors and forced inside last-minute because of bad weather – talk about quickly adapting!
Patty from Chicago is the winner of our “Most Original Theme” Award for her “Yellow Submarine 3rd Birthday Party”. As a Beatles fan myself, it’s so fun to see how timeless their music is and how it continues to influence even today’s younger generation. I would have loved to get one of those beautifully crafted John, Paul, Ringo and George goodie bags. Patty’s writeup is superb and her party planning ideas extremely original – “Pin the glasses on John” (!!)… so cool!
This year we also awarded a “3Rs” Award (Recycle, Reuse, Renew) to Karen from Eugene Oregon for her “Sesame Street 3rd Birthday Party”. (Karen also won our July 2011 Cake of the Month award…). Karen’s party planning ideas, including decorations, invitations and crafts make great use of the three “Rs”. We particularly enjoyed her use of old and broken crayons to reincarnate Sesame Street characters using candy molds! Everything at Karen’s party is homemade and obviously she, too, is very artistic.
Our last prize – the “Multi-Tale” Award was awarded to Lisa from Mesa Arizona for her TWO excellent party submissions – “Lego Star Wars 6th Birthday” and “Soldier Airplane 4th Birthday”. Both party writeups could have won prizes each. They are detailed, the ideas are explained well and the pictures helpful. These are two parties based on very popular themes that will serve to inspire many of our readers.
Thanks to all those who took the time to submit. The magic of your party planning ideas will surely help many Moms and Dads to re-create magical moments for their children too. I wish we could award prizes to everyone, because they are all deserving.