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Butterfly birthday cakeMy youngest daughter turned six last week. Good thing she’s such a delightful six-year-old or I would be having more trouble with the fact that my baby is definitely not a baby anymore. She asked for a “spring” theme for her birthday party, and that morphed (butterfly pun intended) into a butterfly theme. So this weekend we had a houseful of 13 kids and 15 adults for a pool party and barbecue, kicked off with butterfly-themed crafts that appealed to girls and boys ages 4-13.

First each child decorated his or her own party favor bag (three for a dollar at Dollar Tree; I chose pink, yellow and orange). The kids used glitter glue ($1 pack from Dollar Tree) and permanent markers to draw pictures or write their names on their bags.

My 9-year-old stuck with the butterfly theme for her party favor bag.

My 9-year-old stuck with the butterfly theme for her party favor bag.

Then each child got to select a small wooden picture frame (in the shape of a butterfly, sun or flower, $1 each at Target) to decorate with Sharpies and/or stickers.

More of my 9-year-old's handiwork, just waiting for a picture to put in the frame.

More of my 9-year-old’s handiwork, just waiting for a picture to put in the frame.

Then came the most fun project: making milk carton butterflies to hang on the windows with suction cup hooks.

milk jug butterfly window craft

Supplies: rinsed clear plastic milk jugs, Sharpies of all colors, pipe cleaners cut in half, assorted beads, and suction cup hooks (pack of 12 for $1 at Dollar Tree). I followed the directions from AlphaMom for these Milk Jug Decorative Window Crafts and printed the free butterfly template from that page. The kids did surprisingly well with little assistance needed from me. Even my 6-year-old liked to cut out around the butterfly when she was done. And here are the finished products mounted on our butterfly wall:

My 12-year-old made butterfly decorations for the party and the kids added their milk jug butterflies during the party!

My 12-year-old made butterfly decorations for the party and the kids added their milk jug butterflies during the party!

After swimming and dinner, we finished the party with the beautiful butterfly cake below (I can call it beautiful without bragging because I didn’t make it — my husband and my 6-year-old baked and decorated the cake themselves!)

Butterfly birthday cake

To make the cake they followed the instructions from this How to Make a Butterfly Cake tutorial by Betty Crocker, but they used this DC Cupcakes vanilla cupcake recipe for the cake mix and frosting. The rainbow-colored candy sticks for the body of the butterfly were $4.99 for a pack of 25 from Party City.

So, with a little advance planning and shopping, we had a lot of fun with the butterfly theme!

Do you have a favorite birthday memory? My favorite birthday theme was an angel-themed party complete with angel wings, gold halos and an angel birthday cake with tiny silver decorative balls on it!

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