POPSUGAR Celebrity

Abracadabra! A Marvelous Magic Birthday Party

Jul 12 2013 - 9:37am

Gretchen Brittain, mom of three and the creator of adorable party printables shop Three Little Monkeys [1], is all about turning her kids' greatest loves into awesome birthday party themes (remember her son's amazing fossil hunter birthday party [2]?). So when her daughter Reese decided she wanted to become a magician, a magic-themed birthday party was definitely in order!

"One night we went out for pizza, and they happened to have a magician there," Gretchen says. "That night, a new obsession began for all things magic. She began saving her tooth fairy money and spent it on magic tricks. She can now make a mean balloon animal!" Of course, a magician made a stop at Reese's seventh birthday party, but Gretchen also incorporated the theme into sweet treats (disappearing-bunny popcorn, magic-wand cake pops), a cool marquee-light backdrop, and more party fun. Keep clicking for all the magical details!

Source: Three Little Monkeys Studio [3]


"Reese is a mini party planner at heart and was very specific about the colors and patterns she wanted," Gretchen says. "So with Reese’s help, I designed a magic collection [4] for her and did my best to bring her vision to life."

"The primary colors were pinks and purples with touches of black and gold. Graphics included a vintage magician, top hat, and bunny, accented by fun vintage-inspired fonts. To give the invitation envelopes some extra wow factor, I created wraparound mailing labels and ordered custom stamps with a magician on them."

Source: Three Little Monkeys Studio [5]


"I made marquee lights out of papier-maché letters from the hobby store, globe string lights, and loads of gold and gold-glitter spray paint," Gretchen says. "They added that wow factor to the party and really helped complement the vintage magic-show vibe I was going for. I hung them using fishing line strung from the backdrop stand — definitely a two-person job.

"The backdrop was made out of four inexpensive satin tablecloths from Amazon.com [6] that were much cheaper than fabric. I used clamps from the hardware store to attach them to an old photography backdrop stand and draped them to resemble a stage curtain. Warning: a steamer will be your new best friend. Wrinkles. Oh, the wrinkles."

Source: Three Little Monkeys Studio [7]

Vintage Vibe

"I am a flea-market junkie and have been collecting old trunks and crates for years," Gretchen says. "They come in handy at events like this. I stack them in various configurations and use them to hold party items and add some visual interest. For this party, I also used a couple of vintage magic tricks and props I picked up recently from the flea market. I tried to create the feeling that we were backstage at one of Kellar's or Houdini's magic shows looking through their magic props."

Source: Three Little Monkeys Studio [8]


"Reese adores fondant, and one of her favorite parts of planning a party is contacting Brittany of Edible Details [9] to see what we can dream up," Gretchen says. "This year, Brittany made an adorable magic-bunny-and-top-hat cake topper using Reese's favorite colors and lots of glitter per the birthday girl's request. I used it to top off an undecorated grocery-store cake."

Source: Three Little Monkeys Studio [10]

Disappearing Bunny Popcorn

"Brittany of Edible Details [11] also made fondant bunny ears, feet, and tails that I used to decorate boxes of cheddar popcorn, so it looked like the bunnies were diving into the yummy popcorn," Gretchen says. "I think it was my favorite touch. I made little food flags that said, 'Now you see it, now you don't!' and 'Disappearing act,' which I clipped to the popcorn boxes with miniclothespins. The popcorn was the first thing gone!"

Source: Three Little Monkeys Studio [12]

Magic Cookies

"Krista of Cookies With Character [13] made adorable bunny, top hat, magic wand, and star cookies," Gretchen says. "She is always a joy to work with, and in every order, there is always a special birthday cookie that the kids love. She even used some kind of treatment along the edges to give it a vintage look."

Source: Three Little Monkeys Studio [14]


"I decorated grocery-store cupcakes with cupcake toppers from the magic collection [15]," Gretchen says. "I also added mini gold-star sprinkles to the cupcakes to give them some extra pizzazz."

Source: Three Little Monkeys Studio [16]

Cake Pops

"My kids are crazy for cake pops, and my favorite cake-pop gal is Audrey of Sweet Cheeks Tasty Treats [17]," Gretchen says. "She made shimmery purple cake pops. They were gorgeous! I used a star craft punch and glitter card stock to make shiny stars to attach to the top of the sticks to add some extra fun."

Source: Three Little Monkeys Studio [18]

Chocolate Star Pops

"Audrey of Sweet Cheeks Tasty Treats [19] also made gold glittered white chocolate star pops that were so pretty. Almost too pretty to eat — almost," Gretchen says.

Source: Three Little Monkeys Studio [20]

Shirley Temples

"For beverages, our little guests drank homemade Shirley Temples," Gretchen says. "The bottle labels were personalized with Reese's name, and the straw flags had 'Hocus Pocus,' 'Abracadabra,' 'Birthday Magic,' and a bunny graphic on them. They were propped up on an old Coca-Cola crate that my grandfather used to store some of his woodworking supplies. I always try to work that crate into my parties somehow so he can still be with us."

Source: Three Little Monkeys Studio [21]

Party Favors

"For party favors, our little guests took home adorable favor boxes from Piggy Bank Parties [22] stuffed with a sweet treat," Gretchen says. "I bedazzled them with some of my beloved glitter tape as an extra sparkly touch."

Source: Three Little Monkeys Studio [23]

Top-Hat Pinata

The guests loved smashing a custom piñata crafted by the Piñata Queen [24]. "It was stuffed with small magic tricks instead of candy; that was a big surprise for the kids!" Gretchen says.

Source: Three Little Monkeys Studio [25]

Magician's Cape

"My mother made the birthday girl a ruffled tuxedo shirt, which perfectly matched the custom magician’s cape made by Kid Kapers [26]," Gretchen says.

Source: Three Little Monkeys Studio [27]

Magician's Assistant

"Reese's favorite part was definitely the magic show from magician Magic Scott [28]," Gretchen says. "She levitated and got to be his assistant. Reese and her best friend also got a private magic lesson before the show."

Source: Three Little Monkeys Studio [29]

Birthday Magic

Happy birthday, Reese!

Source: Three Little Monkeys Studio [30]

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