They say rules are made for breaking. This year was supposed to be a no party year. For my children I do an alternating year for birthday parties, one year my son will get one and the next my daughter. However, this year my daughter is turning 6 and she has been talking about having a birthday party for MONTHS, literally. So I gave in and said we would have just a few friends and family come and we decided on a Butterfly theme.
Butterflies are a perfect theme for those looking to cost save on a birthday party as well as have a large selection of paraphernalia to choose from. For my daughter’s party we purchased a few things like hanging streamers and edible butterfly wafer paper for the cake but otherwise many things were hand-made. My son spent hours working on painting his own designed giant cardboard butterfly and it was a perfect decoration. For some people looking for inspiration for a butterfly party, I have included some pictures and ideas below. To give your creativity a nudge, check out Pinterest which has a ton of helpful resources.
Some ideas for the party:
- butterfly nets/catchers
- butterfly wings
- butterfly wall & window stickers
- strings with paper butterflies attached to “catch” with nets
- fruit platter in the shape of a butterfly
- “butterfly food” labels on snacks
- napkins folded into butterflies
- napkins and forks tied together to look like a butterfly
- for lots of ideas, check out my Pinterest Board: Butterfly Birthday Party.
For party favours, try easy diy butterfly candy bags (see pictures below), butterfly wands or headbands (check out Amazon’s party pack), butterfly nets or wings to take home and even butterfly glow sticks (found at most Dollar stores or Amazon).
Last but not least, the cake. Pinterest has SOO many good examples of what you can do to make a butterfly cake. You can even make a butterfly shape out of cupcakes and save yourself a great deal of precious time. Keep in mind that kids will not usually eat very much cake at a birthday party and always try to choose flavour over design. Packaged fondant gives your cake a sleek look but nobody really likes the taste of it.
I opted for a simple but unique cake design. The layers are made with boxed french vanilla cake mixes with some strawberry jello and/or food colouring mixed in for flavour and colour. The icing is a simple buttercream icing: butter, icing sugar and heavy cream. For added flavour you can add a tablespoon of fruit reduction to buttercream icing once it has been whipped. In my cake I added a raspberry reduction to the middle layer giving it a refreshing taste and a natural pink colour.
*A tip when you are adding fruit reduction to buttercream icing is to make sure you have very little water in your fruit puree, you want to boil down your fruit puree by at least half the amount of sugar, water and fruit you started with. Too much water in your fruit reduction can separate your buttercream icing.
The exterior of the cake has a crumb coat of buttercream icing and a second coat of icing which is smoothed down as much as possible.
For the butterfly decoration, I chose edible wafer paper butterflies. Amazon really let me down on this one and my order is due to arrive several months after my daughter’s party! Luckily a friend with an edible ink printer saved the day and ran off a sheet of perfect wafer paper butterflies for me. We used a small crafting knife to cut out the butterflies and folded them twice just off centre to give a realistic design.
*A tip for attaching wafer paper or edible paper to a cake is to use a decorating brush to apply a small coat of corn syrup on the back of the paper before applying to your cake. The corn syrup is thin enough to not show through the paper and sticky enough to adhere to fondant or buttercream icing.
I was very happy with the way the butterfly cake turned out. Never sell yourself short for attempting to make your own cake; a homemade cake LOOKS homemade because it TASTES homemade.
Happy Party Planning!