cotton candy birthday- a spun sugar birthday for our sweet 6 year old

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There’s something about a birthday party happening just when the weather starts to get warmer and happier that really makes my daughter choose the cheeriest themes for her birthday parties. Like last year she straight up wanted a Spring birthday party. This year was no different when she suggested and stuck with a cotton candy birthday theme! It was girly, pink, fun, yummy and unique!

As soon as she was set on a cotton candy birthday party I knew I had a bit of (very thrilling) work ahead of me. I love this stuff, and the more unique the theme is and the bigger the challenge, the more fun it is for me to figure out how to incorporate it into all parts of the party.

And just like every other party, the invitations are my very favorite way to get the ball rolling on the theme, so lets start there!

Cotton Candy Invitations

The birthday girl requested pink and purple cotton candy for her party so obviously the invitations had to be PINK cotton candy. I kind of hate to admit this but also kind of love how easy it made it for me- but I did use Chat GPT to write me a tiny little poem for the top of her invitations. I’ve had a rhyming verse at the top of her invitations each year now and I was having a hard time coming up with something that was actually cute and rhymed with SIX and had to do with cotton candy. So that’s exactly how I prompted AI.

A lot of it was pure garbage, but I did end up picking out one line from what it generated “lost in the sweetness as time quickly ticks” This year our sweet girl Barry is six.

I knew once they were printed I would cut them out into cotton candy on a stick shape. All the kids she delivered her invitations to loved pretending to eat their invitations. Its the little things in life, right??

Cotton Candy Decor

Honestly as extra as these parties might seem I really am quite a cheap ass and hate spending money for a one time use thing, and I hate buying things I know are just going to end up in a landfill so I really really try to limit this kind of waste, both monetary and physical, at the parties we host.

They may not be the most environmentally friendly thing but they are budget friendly – balloons. I will always have a balloon “feature” (I’m not calling it an arch, its not arching) at each of my kids parties. Its such a big impact for just a few dollars to let them feel how special both they and the day are!

I stuck with all pink balloons in various sizes for this cotton candy birthday and popped in a few darker pink ones, added the signature Mylar number 6 balloon and then turned one balloon into a giant cotton candy on a stick!

When I tell you how hard it is to hot glue poly fill onto a balloon you’re going to have to believe me. You need to make sure its not too hot as to pop the balloon, but not cool enough that it no longer sticks to it. I popped three balloons figuring out this timing. Sometimes I hate myself for how my valuable time is spent, hah!

I knew I wanted cotton candy fluffs to be hanging from the ceiling in lots of places. Do you buy faux cotton candy? No, not really. You make it! A little bit of polyester stuffing- Polyfil ($4 bag) , some rubber bands to hold it together (found those in the junk drawer) , some spray paint ($5 a can but I already had these colors left over), a rolled paper cone (printer paper) , and a little hot glue, viola!

I wanted them to look like they were floating so obviously fishing line was the answer. I fished it through the polyfil and knotted it, it was surprisingly easy, and then pinned them to the ceiling.

I tend to use a lot of what I have to decorate with, streamers I’ve had for years and years, drop cloths I once used at drapes in girlies nursery now a tablecloth, rearranging things and finding anything pink from my home to serve as party decor, etc.

cotton candy birthday

food and cake

The party was at 2pm so my hope was that kids likely did not come hungry and expecting lunch so I could serve just snacky foods and cake. It worked but they left not a single thing by the end of the party, kids love snacks.

I bought all the red and pink fruit I could find, the CFA knock off chicken nuggets from Costco – literally always such a crowd pleaser for $17 a bag, croissants that I cut in half and really thought they looked like cotton candy. Until my mom rained on my cotton candy birthday party and told me they looked like piles of dog poop ( love you mom ). I served those with raspberry jam and butter, as well as a big bowl of kettle corn.

Then of course there was cotton candy and cake later on in the party. The cake of course was from Costco, just me saving money and feeding a crowd again. Always scraping off the excess icing and decorating it my own way. Fun fact: the cotton candy on the cake was the only cotton candy that had food dye in it. And I promptly threw it away as soon as the candles were blown out and it was cut into. But I just really wanted that fluffy pink stuff on top of the cake as a decoration rather than the white dye free stuff I bought to serve the kiddos.

I do wish that I added (dye-free) sprinkles to the sides of that cake, the more I look at photos the more I realize I really missed that opportunity to make it extra cute. But man, those party prep days really don’t leave you with much spare time at all to second guess anything!

cotton candy birthday party activities

Our girl is a big on traditions, when it comes to birthdays she likes doing some of the same things each year. When it came to activities for her party she was adamant about three parts cake (obviously) presents (of course) and pass the parcel ( you got it kid). You can see how we did that last year at her spring birthday party too.

But this year since all of her attendees were her age group I knew it would be much less structured as I figured they would end up doing what they wanted to do anyways. So with that in mind I gave them less involved things to do like a photo booth with a Polaroid camera..which I think we still might be a bit too young for because I have a TON of photos of kids mouths and eyeballs.

putting the cotton candy in a cotton candy birthday

Of course another activity was making cotton candy. How could we not when throwing a cotton candy birthday! And it was just Me. Me who would make the cotton candy, not the crazed six year olds who couldn’t handle the Polaroid.

I bought this cute little cotton candy maker and it did its job for the day. I looked into renting a machine but those things are huge and for massive amounts of people, industrial sized and like $150 for the day. Well I got ours on sale for $30, and then I searched high and low for some natural dye free cotton candy sugar to replace the sugar that came in the box. I did use that for the cake topper, so it wasn’t completely wasted.

This thing wasn’t bad to use but I will tell you it was slightly stressful with like 10 sets of little eager eyeballs watching you, and ohhh-ing and ahhh-ing and gasping whenever you made a mistake. By the end of making cotton candy for each guest I feel confident enough to add “cotton candy engineer” to my resume. Or maybe I could work at the next carnival if need be.

(I ended up packaging up the cotton candy maker- that i did not need to own for any more days other than this party, the cotton candy decor made from polyfil, extra balloons and the photo backdrop and sold it as a “cotton candy birthday party bundle” on Facebook marketplace) Now I dont have to store everything for a one time use, I made money back from the machine, and someone else got to enjoy this fun birthday theme instead of me tossing it or storing it away forever.

party favors

I hate party favors. I do. I hate getting them whenever my kids go to a party, I hate that people spend their money to buy things I eventually toss in the trash, I hate that it ends up in the trash, so on and so on. But I am very thankful for our guests and I love to find ways to show some appreciation without contributing to the same problems that I have with party favors. I bought MadeGood birthday cake granola bars and jumbo crayons, tied them together with yarn I have literally had for three years now and have used at three birthday parties in a row, and added a cute thank you note.

These birthday parties seem like they just keep coming faster and faster and I hate that part but I do love going slightly over the top for my children’s birthdays. Here’s to year six, the year of the cotton candy birthday party.

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