When Little Jo turned one, I wanted a birthday theme that would be fun, colorful and classic. I went into her room seeking inspiration and found it in a board game she had recently been given, Candy Land®. What a fun way to decorate for a kid’s party and appropriate for many ages because of its classic appeal! I could see this being a great theme for a kid’s Christmas party as well. Perhaps I should do a Chutes and Ladders theme at some point in the future? But for now, one theme at a time! Once the theme was picked, it was time to start thinking about invitations, decorations, and most importantly, the cake!
When I am having a smaller party, I like to be a little extravagant with making the invitations. And since this was her first birthday party, I wanted to make it even more special for her as well as the guests so I knew I couldn’t just make a standard card. It took a lot of searching but I finally found my starting point. The pieces you use to move around the board in Candy Land® are gingerbread men and there are a lot of things out there that look like gingerbread men, since they are so popular at Christmas time. I found these very cute gingerbread man paper mache boxes on eBay and decided to make them the invitations. At the time, I couldn’t find enough of the large style boxes to use so I had to come up with two designs for the two different sizes.
The large size invitation:
I painted the entire box the same color blue as the back of the Candy Land® board. I then painted the box with a varnish to give it a glossy finish and to seal the paint. When I made these, they sold scrapbook paper with the Candy Land® board on it but since then, the paper has been discontinued. You can sometimes find it on eBay or you can take a picture of the board yourself (or download one from the internet) and print out as many copies as you need. You don’t need the whole board, just a section of it large enough to cover the top of your box. Once you have your game board image printed out, invert the lid of the box on top and trace the outline of the gingerbread man. Cut out the shape and glue it to the box top. At this point, I varnished the top of the box as well just to seal it like the rest. You can then leave the box as is or decorate using Candy Land® stickers. The choice is yours!
For the inside of the box, I measured the area inside the top to see how big I could make the party information. I typed out all of the details on my computer in brightly colored letters and printed it out on vellum paper. I affixed the vellum sheets to the inside of the box lid with candy stickers. I then used white puffy paint to make a gingerbread man on the bottom of the box. At this point, the large invitation is finished except for filling the actual box with assorted candies as a little preview of the sugary goodness to come for your guests!
The small size invitation:
I knew I didn’t have enough room to attach the party information to the inside of the lid so I went with a completely different design scheme for the smaller sized boxes. I painted the bodies and lids (inside and out) different colors to match the pieces in the Candy Land® game. I then coated the boxes with varnish to give them the same look as the larger boxes. Instead of attaching the game board paper to the top, I used white puffy paint to outline the image of a gingerbread man on top of the lid. On the inside, I put some candy and then rolled up the same printed invitation information and stuck it into the box. This invitation is still very cute, just a bit different than the larger one.
I found this great site for all sorts of Candy Land party decorations and tableware, called Celebrate Express. They have everything you can think of for parties, and a wonderful line of Candy Land items! Check out the party set, I like the centerpiece in particular.
You coud make your own adorable banner with our downloadable template that you can customize it to say whatever you want and be as long as you would like.
You can also do a lot with Candy land fabrics that can be found online these days. I really wish they had had them when I planned this party. Think of all the things you could do! Fabric pouches for Candy land treat bags would be great and I could have used some of them as Candy land table cloths! Visit Chica’s simple tutorial for making favor pouches.
I also found these fun Candyland costumes:
This party just had to have candy, candy, candy everywhere to look at and to eat! Decorating with candy is easy, colorful, and delicious! I filled vases I already owned with different types of candy and used sugar sticks and Large Swirl lollipops as “flowers” in the vases. I made sure the kids took home sacks full of the decorative candy after the party and even allowed them to eat the centerpieces during the festivities.
Foam core characters
I wanted to include the characters from the game in the decor so I decided to make large images of them on foam core. This was a fun project and if your kids are older, they can help color in the images once you have them drawn. I am not an artist who can draw well, so I used my laptop and a projector to project the images onto the foam core. I outlined the projected picture with pencil and then used markers to color in the images. I hung the boards on our bookshelf for a great touch (as seen in the picture above). I plan on doing the same thing for my daughter’s Mickey Mouse Clubhouse party next year.
Foam giant lollipops
I thought some giant candy decorations would add some whimsy to the party. For these, I decided to use foam as my medium. I cut 2-inch-wide strips out of 2-inch foam slabs. I spray painted the foam in bright colors (red, yellow, blue green). After the painted foam thoroughly dried, I first sprayed the edges with spray glue and then I rolled the foam up in a flat spiral to look like a giant lollipop (or sucker, depending on where you’re from!). I used a dowel rod that I had I painted white to be the stick. The finishing touch was wrapping it in clear cellophane and tying it at the bottom with ribbon. I made eight of these and lined my walkway with them.
Candy Land® path
You can use brightly colored squares to make a path throughout your living room or up your walkway to mimic the trails on the Candy Land® board. I used the foam floor mats I already owned to make a path along the walkways in our living room. You can even make this into a fun party game for the kids by having them play follow the leader along the path or have them find Candy Land® pictures along the pathway.
Chica decorated the top of the cake with a simplified version of the board and added lots of candy and the plastic playing pieces from the game. I bought a Candy Land® rug to put under the cake on the table instead of using a traditional table cloth.
You could also use a gingerbread man cookie cutter to make individual cookies for everyone and then decorate them with icing and candy.
This one was easy! I bought each child a Candy Land® game to take home. I also found Candy Land® coloring books for a good price so I gave them each one of these. Make sure the kids take home a lot of the candy you used to decorate as well. The giant lollipops were a big hit with the little ones.
We just created this free downloadable template for you to use to make bag tags. It fits on either plastic baggies or brown lunch sacks. Check out our post on these for more information and suggestions for fillers.
I also love these Candy Land favor boxes that you can purchase from Birthday Express either already filled or empty. Or a neat Candy Land T-Shirt would probably also be appreciated. You could get one of these for the birthday boy or girl to wear to the party as well.
For more ideas, look for CandyLand® items on eBay.