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Sweet 16 Party

Sweet 16 Surprise Party - Baby Blue Décor




Tori in Owosso


June 2016 x



For the last three years, my daughter has told me she that wanted a Surprise Sweet 16th birthday party.  I was not exactly sure how to throw a surprise party for someone who wants one but this is what I did:  Theme: I went with Sweet and Sixteen for my themes and the color scheme of black and white patterns with pops of baby blue.  Almost all of the preprinted sweet sixteen products I could find were pink and since my daughter hates all things pink finding decorations was more challenging than I had expected. 

Invitations:  I purchased Wilton Invitation kits at a discount store, a dozen for $1.99! The invitation was white with a black damask border. The invitation kit and my printer did NOT get along but after about 2 hours, I figured out a way to print the invites.  In sky blue it said:  Shhhhh!!  An Awesome Party is Planned And You’re Invited to Show But Don’t tell the Birthday girl, cause she doesn’t know!  Join us for a Surprise Sweet 16th Birthday Party! For (my daughter’s name).  It went on to include the date, time, that it was a slumber party, our address and rsvp info.  I wrote each girl’s name on the outside in sky blue ink.  A few weeks before this party, we had celebrated my son’s high school graduation with an open house party and my younger daughter had used this occasion as an excuse to ask her sister who would she absolutely have to have at her open house and gave me the list to use for this party.  The invitations were hand delivered by myself or one other girl who I had recruited to help me with delivery. 

Decorations:  The plan was to surprise her in our back yard since it was a beautiful June day.  We have a brick patio with a pergola covering one half of it.  The pergola had strands of Edison lights going around the perimeter.  In the center hung a 12 inch black and white patterned paper lantern and on either side hung 10 inch baby blue paper lanterns.  We have a large patio table underneath with wicker chairs.  On the table ran a 12 inch wide table runner made from a roll of baby blue wrapping paper.  I had saved eight spaghetti sauce jars and had removed their labels and washed them.  I then painted the lids black, put a battery operated sparkly blue votive in each lid and put the jars on upside down so that they looked like lanterns.  They were really pretty. Sprinkled around the jar lanterns were pillow mints that said Happy Birthday and iridescent confetti number 16s.  

We have a large wicker storage trunk on the patio, I covered that with a white with black paisley tablecloth and we used that to serve the pizza from.  Next to the trunk was a card table covered in the same style table cloth.  At the back of the table were 24 inch tall homemade number 16 blue piñatas. I had lucked out and made these as part of a 2016 piñata display I had hanging down the stairway in our 2 story foyer for my son’s graduation open house.  I had seen them online and wanted to buy them but couldn’t afford the $280.00 price tag, so I had decided to make them myself.   It cost less than $10 to make them but it took me 36 hours, so needless to say I was very happy to get a second use out of at least half of the numbers!  In front of the big 16 piñatas I had my 5 gallon drink dispenser.  Also on the table were black and white quatrefoil cups, and black and white patterned plates and napkins.  Baby blue plastic forks, knives and spoons were in recycled glass pickle jars that I had tied blue curling ribbon around the mouth of the jars and tied into a bow and partially filled with baby blue shred to raise the height of the plastic ware.

Above the drink table and pizza stand, I hung a chalkboard banner that read, Happy Sweet 16 Josie.  A 6 foot long Sweets table was the focal point of the patio.  It also was covered in a white with black paisley tablecloth and all the food on the table was either black and white or powder blue.  Cake plates and little napkins in a black and white pattern were also on the table.  I will describe everything else in the food section.  Attire:  I had purchased a mint green lace dress and matching tennis shoes that I knew my daughter would love and had nonchalantly given them to her a few days before the party, suggesting that maybe she wear them to church the day of her birthday. (The party was a few days before her birthday, 1. because we were going to be out of town on her actual birthday and 2. to throw her off remember she had been wanting a surprise party!)  Her girlfriend, who was my accomplice, suggested they go out the afternoon of her party and suggested my daughter wear a dress because she was.   

At the party, I also gave my daughter black and white printed shorts, a lacy baby blue cami, a black knitted boho style vest and a baby blue crown that had Happy Birthday on it and I added the number 16.  She ended up changing into this outfit which I expected because most of our activities were more comfortable in shorts. 

Food: The food broke down into 4 catagories: dinner, sweets, snacks and breakfast.  I went very simple for dinner I ordered half a dozen pizzas with a variety of toppings. We served them on big black platters.  For drinks they had Tiffany Blue Punch in the large drink dispenser.  I found the recipe on Pinterest: half Country Time lemonade and half blue Hawaiian Punch.  Simple!  I also had a large galvanized tub filled with ice, mini water bottles and a variety of cans of pop (left over from graduation party).   I did a fun, easy decoration on the water bottles. I removed the labels and replaced them with black and white paisley duct tape that I already had.    

What would a Sweet 16 party be without a Sweets table?  I had two 3 tier plate holders on each end of the table.  The holders were black, the plates white and I placed black and white damask doilies on each plate.  The holder on the left side of the table held vanilla cupcakes in black with white swirl pattern liners and frosted with sky blue frosting.  The middle top cupcake had blue shimmery number 16 candles in it.  The plate holders on the right side of the table held sugar cookies, iced in white frosting with sky blue 16 written on them, on the top and bottom plates.  The middle plate held Oreo cookie balls dipped in sky blue chocolate. (Super easy recipe: crush up a box of Oreos, mix the crumbs with a block of softened cream cheese, form into balls and dip in your favorite melted chocolate!) In the center of the back of the table, between the plate stands, I had a crystal cake plate that also had a damask doily on it.  In the center I had the number 16 (another recycle from the grad party, except painted from dark blue to black matte). 

Surrounding the 16 were brownie truffles in black and white damask mini cupcake wrappers.  To make brownie truffles, you make or buy your favorite brownies, shape into balls and roll in sugar crystals we used baby blue sugars and they were perfect!  I had wrapped 3 foam blocks in the same color wrapping paper I had used as the table runner.  I used them to hold black and white swirled heart shaped suckers. I glued an iridescent confetti number 16 to the middle of every heart sucker (they were wrapped) and then tied baby blue curling ribbon bows on the stick.  I also had two sky blue platters, one held peppermint patty brownies (brownies with peppermint patties melted and swirled on top), the other held Oreo cookie balls dipped in white chocolate with black chocolate drizzled on top. 

I had a tall cylinder vase holding powder blue gumballs and a square vase holding pillow mints in baby blue wrappers.  Two recycled pickle jars tied with baby blue curling ribbon in a bow and partially filled with baby blue shred held Vortman’s Cookies and Crème wafers in one and black and white swirled peppermint sticks in the other. A few years ago, I won a door prize that included two packs of black and white patterned favor holders.  One pack was mini popcorn boxes with clear cellophane bags and white ribbons.  Those held powder blue Sixlets.  The others were boxes tied with white ribbon that held Lindor Stracciatella white chocolate truffles wrapped in powder blue foils. I was thrilled to have the perfect little treat holders already!  The last treat on the table was an oval crystal bowl that held mini pretzel twists I had dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with black sugar crystals. 

All of the treats had chalkboard place cards labeling what they were. We served Cookies n Cream ice cream with the cupcakes.   Snacks the sleep over part of the party happened in our finished basement.  I have a large counter area in the room and I filled it with big baby blue bowls of potato chips, tortilla chips, queso dip, salsa and some of the leftover sweets from the Sweets table. 

Also on the counter were powder blue tumblers with chalkboard labels adhered to each one with the girls’ names written on them. There was a microwave oven for popcorn and I had the mini-fridge filled with more pop and water bottles.    Breakfast  I had made one of those big breakfast casseroles with eggs, ham, cheese, etc. in it; two loaves of zucchini bread (one with nuts and one without) and cinnamon rolls.  For drinks they chose between milk, TruMoo, Sunny D or apple juice. 


Canvas Memory Board.  I purchased an 11 x 14 canvas and a craft wooden letter J.  I spray painted the J black and, using wood glue, attached it to the canvas.  I had a variety of different colored Sharpie pens and had the girls write a personal message for my daughter.  This is what they did while waiting the 15 mins for her to arrive.   

Photo Op Stand.  I hung a very large picture frame from our wooden swing set (I had also hung it from a tree branch for the grad party).  I attached a chalkboard plaque to it that read:  Josie’s Surprise Sweet Sixteen.  We had a chalkboard easel next to it stating: Smile Grab a Prop and Take a Pic!  We hung a couple of bright blue feather boas on the easel and next to it we had filled two pedestal planters with patio sand.  In the planters were assortments of photo stick props.  Some of the props were birthday themed and some were just silly smiles, glasses, etc.  This was a huge hit and we got an amazing group shot! 

S’mores stand.  We set up our fire pit with some chairs and a small table that held our s’mores supplies.  In a baby blue round divided platter I placed chocolate squares and graham crackers and in a matching bowl was giant marshmallows. 

I also should mention in here that we used a baby blue plant holder to hold a galvanized bucket that we filled with different types of mosquito sprays that I thought the girls would like.   


Scavenger hunt.  We made a list of 50 items that the girls had to find and send us a picture from a cell phone. Each team sent their pictures to a different phone so it was easier to keep track of who was winning.  The rules were they had to stay in our neighborhood; each team member must be in at least one picture; every time they crossed paths with the other team, they had to sing Happy Birthday to my daughter; and once everything was crossed off their lists or the hour was up they needed to meet back at the party. Each girl on the winning team received a bag of Cookies n’ Crème Kisses wrapped in baby blue foils that I had glued a baby blue bow to.  

Volleyball.  We have a large yard so we had a full size volleyball court set up for the girls.  Since a lot of them were high school volleyball players they had a lot of fun.  My husband purchased a glow-in-the-dark volleyball and I had bought a bunch of blue glow in the dark bracelets and necklaces so they were able to play pretty late into the night. 

Ghosts in the Graveyard and Sardines.  Basically, tag and hide-and-seek in the dark.  

Favors:  The girls took home their tumblers and any of the sweets they wanted.

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