Hot! A Modest Mary Poppins Party

There are a lot of great Mary Poppins-themed birthday parties documented on blogs and party sites. This one is beautiful, though very very grand. This one has a great style without being too feminine. This one was put on by a professional party planner who has all her Mary Poppins props for the party. This one had really cute favors. This one is another grand party with some of the elements of the other parties.

Overall, the bar has been set pretty high for a Mary Poppins party. For Penelope's party, I set a few constraints:

  • It needed to be indoors since weather in SF is really temperamental in October.
  • I wanted a color palette that was more "Chim Chim Cheree" and less "Jolly Holiday." Just because this is a girl's birthday, doesn't mean it has to be a pink explosion.
  • I didn't want to buy much of anything and keep the cost under control.
  • Even though I wanted it to be memorable, I didn't want it to feel too precious or "perfect." After all, it's a kid's party!

The main area of the party was our living room, which I transformed into the London skyline with a roll of 48" x 12' black paper.  The illustrations were available online over here. For the chimney sweeps and Mary Poppins silhouettes, I printed out the templates on plain printer paper and then cut them out directly on the black paper. For the skyline, I just used the illustration as a guide and cut them out from sight.

image from farm7.static.flickr.com

The birthday garland was a combination of inkjet printed letters and cardstock. The little silhouette is from a trip to Disneyland when Pen was just one.

image from farm7.static.flickr.com

The tables were simple since 3 and 4 year-olds don't require much in the way of place settings.  I bought these straws from Amazon to use for the centerpieces and for the customized straws for the kids. All the paper I used was from one pack of cardstock I bought from Michaels.

image from farm7.static.flickr.com

The kite garland was also cut from that same pack of cardstock — we mixed and matched the colors and then glued a popsicle stick on the back to reinforce the kite. 

image from farm7.static.flickr.com

The party favors were stored in little wooden crates that I found at SCRAP for $5. I printed out the names of the guests on one side and then a Mary Poppins or a Bert silhouette on the other.

image from farm7.static.flickr.com

Inside the crate was three pieces of sidewalk chalk, a party noise maker, a old-fashion lollipop and little back of birdseed. For the bags of birdseeds, I used scrap muslin in my stash and then stamped "Feed the" and a bird using a pigment ink pad. I filled with about 1 oz of birdseed and then stitched it closed. 

image from farm7.static.flickr.com

image from farm7.static.flickr.com

The doorframe was decorated with letter cut-outs spelling, of course, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

image from farm7.static.flickr.com

For the cupcakes (we got them from Noe Valley Bakery), I made little cupcake toppers featuring two Mary Poppins silhouettes. And, yet again, I found a use for the cardstock.
 
image from farm7.static.flickr.com

To keep the kids entertained, we made bamboo skewers/paper kites that the kids could decorate. The window box in our living room came in quite handy as a decorating spot. To protect the bench, I laid out a long strip of white paper.

image from farm7.static.flickr.com

Here's Penelope and her two buddies she's known since she was only a couple months old.

image from farm7.static.flickr.com

And here we are dressed up in our Mary Poppins finery.

image from farm7.static.flickr.com

Author

Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.

29 Comments

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  1. Rachel Frederick

    Mena it’s all adorable. I can’t believe she’s so big!

  2. Wow, our daughters are almost exactly the same age. we just finished my girls 4th birthday party this evening, and it was nothing like this. i’m impressed, everything looks beautiful.

  3. How sweet! This party looks supercalifragilisticexpealidocious!

  4. Who are you trying to impress? Blog readers, or the kids who just want to have fun? I guess now we know how “the 1%” does it though…

  5. I was actually just trying to impress you, “f,” and I guess I failed. Thankfully, my daughter thought they were pretty cool. So there you go.

  6. Is her birthday today? Because Pen’s is 10/10 — we just held the party yesterday.

  7. I know! I remember when we used to get drinks and Pen was just a glimmer in our eyes!

  8. How beautiful, you are so creative! Love that last photo, and the London skyline!

  9. This is so beautiful and so clever! How wonderful!

  10. Wonderful Party!!! So awesome!!!!
    Ok…I have to ask…Did you make that wonderful outfit for yourself? LOL!!! Cuz, I want you to make me one…LOL!!!!
    I bet everyone had a lovely time!
    Blessings!
    Susan

  11. What a lucky little girl.. I know ,she had a wonderful time ..It was just beautiful.. Happy Birhtday Penelope.

  12. That’s pretty darn awesome.

  13. I love how you’ve gone ‘way out’ with out going nuts. It’s a bit more time and effort than a Macca’s party, but so worth the effort.

  14. Wow, that is lovely! Sounds like jealousy f? Your daughter looks like she had a lovely time. You created a beautiful memory for her.

  15. This is really lovely! I still remember all the special cakes my mum for me for my birthdays – no doubt she’ll remember this very special party!

  16. Wow. Bit jealous perhaps there, ‘f’? You may be reading the wrong blog in that case.
    Mena – love your work, as always! Simply adorable. :-)

  17. How sweet! What a special way to show your girl how much you love her. I have all boys our last party was spiderman… sigh.

  18. I just love this party!

  19. I am such a sucker for a good theme party; I always go way too far for my kids’ birthdays. :) I LOVE Mary Poppins and I think you did a superb job of recreating the feeling. I might have to steal this idea, I like it so much!
    I did Alice in Wonderland (http://underneaththewillow.blogspot.com/2010/10/wonderland.html) two years ago and Dr. Seuss (http://underneaththewillow.blogspot.com/2011/07/this-years-over-top-childrens-party.html) this past year. It’s so nice that both of my girls were born in June and I can just combine into one big party. Thanks for the inspiration for next year!

  20. Ummm….ADORABLE. Pen is perfect, and I love the picture of the two of you together :) Fabulous party!!

  21. So sweet and adorable! You both look great.

  22. You and the utterly amazing Pen are practically perfect in every way. I LOVE this! And you know what? It’s SOOOO clear your girl loved every bit of this. You aren’t just creating a party to impress readers and grownups, you took something your girl LOVES and just made it extra special. Bravo mama! You are doing our fine city proud…..
    xoxox

  23. Your daughter looks like she’s having the best birthday ever. :) Happy birthday to her!
    You did a great job, Mama Mena! It looks every bit as lovely as the parties you linked, for probably loads less money.

  24. Omgosh I love your themed parties for Pen! I’m 21 years old but I would absolutely love to have a party like this :) Haha I love how you unintentionally had two Julie Andrews-themed parties…LOL I wonder if you’re going to do My Fair Lady or another Julie Andrews film next year!

  25. So well done! Thank you so much for posting this. I had been thinking of a Mary Poppins theme for my daughter’s 6th birthday party-it’s one of her favorite movies and CDs. Now I need to get black paper and start cutting!

  26. Was it you, Mena, that once responded to the “You have too much time on your hands” comment with “I make time to do the things that I love to do”? I think it was you, and I know it inspired me. Anyway, this party is amazing, I LOVE that you go all out, and I bet Pen had an fantastic time. Happy birthday to her! :)

  27. You did an awesome job, and I LOVE the red/black/white color scheme! I would leave that skyline up all year – ha! The birdseed bags are so cute, too! =D

  28. I believe “impress” is the wrong assumption here. Mena shares her ideas and creations, all to the tune of ‘Free’ for you in the internet world. I do hope that the assumption that her desire is to somehow make you feel inadequate is instead replaced with appreciation and applause for providing a creative escape from the daily drudgery.
    Mary Poppins rocks.