Caution: Overly Photoey post ahead with many vague Tangled references that only a Mom who has been forced to watch it 876 times would understand.

I am not a crafty person.

(Mainly because I’m an extremely lazy person.)

But you better believe that when I do get a crafty spark, you’re absolutely going to hear about it right here.

I put it off for weeks. But when I finally worked up the courage to pop the birthday party question, Ali’s answer was,

“I just want to have a couple of friends over to our house.”

I almost cried with gratitude.

Home… a couple of friends… this I could handle.

But my outpouring of appreciation for my daughter’s ungrand plans birthed a baby of craftiness within my soul.

(Ironic, really.)

She wanted a Tangled party. And, since she and I had just painted Rapunzel’s “floating lanterns” picture, I used it as a wall-hanging for the party and my muse a la décor.


I wanted to make her and her guests Rapunzel hair. I looked on Pinterest and Etsy for ideas, but couldn’t find anything easy enough for my lazy self to undertake. So I decided to design my own, using some leftover yarn from our Treasure Heads project.

I measured it out, thanks to Noah for the use of his pack n’ play:


I cut it all off at one corner, leaving about 25 really long strands. I found the middle and knotted it.


I started braiding from each side of the knot until it fit around Ali’s head (with the knot in the middle kinda like a hairy crown), then combined the two sets of the yarn and braided them together into a big center braid reaching to the floor:


But then I was so happy with my braids that I actually wanted to keep crafting.

So craft I did.

I found a great pattern for the bunting in the Tangled city scene made by Paging Supermom. I printed off a bunch and let Ali string them using leftover Christmas ribbon.


“Daddy!!! Come see my BUNTING!!!!”


(Bunting is a great vocabulary word, by the way.)

Well, then I realized – if we were going to have bunting, we needed some floating lanterns.

So I found a tutorial for making lanterns out of scrapbook paper, of which I happened to have a ton of from the whole mod podge frame era.

We made twenty lanterns, and then I let Ali glitter-glue them to her heart’s content.



I didn’t want to hang them all individually (remember – lazy), so I strung some elastic beading string across the living room, then cut slits on each side of the lanterns like so…


then inserted them onto our (nearly) invisible string.


The crafty ball was rollin’ and I couldn’t stop it.

I then got the idea of having Flynn’s satchels as goody bags. I found a roll of parcel paper hidden deep in the closet and put all of my Project Runway watching skills to good use.


But after using too many kid-unfriendly staples in my first satchel and taking an entire morning to make another one without sharp metal objects holding it together, I decided that those kids weren’t getting the fruit of my labor.

Instead, I decided that I would be the lone satchel carrier, and what better thing to put in the satchel than crowns to hand out?


But then there was the issue of boys.

One boy was on Ali’s short guest list, and two more male siblings of guests would be in attendance. I didn’t want them to feel morose about attending a princess party, so I began devising schemes in which I could assist them with manly feelings.

(Is there such as thing as manly feelings? I digress.)

Swords instead of braids and crowns – check.

Ooh – how about a wanted poster?

I found an image online of the Flynn poster, got their moms to send me a picture of their sons looking especially arrogant, then Photoshopped their photos onto the poster and used the coloring book technique plus a sepia wash to make the photos look like drawings:



My grand total for my projects: $3.99. Who knew I didn’t have a one-hole punch?

At 10:00 pm the night before the party, I finally finished all of my preparations and fell in a heap on the couch, wondering how I’d ever amped myself up for all of this un-laziness.

Chris came and sat with me with a thoughtful look on his face.

“Hey…you know that dress you have that you used to wear for Mardi Gras balls before we had kids?”


“It’d make a perfect Mother Gothel dress.”

“You’re right…it would.

…But I couldn’t….all the Mommies would totally think I was crazy!!”

“Yes, but Ali — Ali would think you were magnificent!! And it is her Birthday, after all.”

So with that heaping pile of guilt, I thought about it. I weighed my dignity versus the birthday thrill of my only little girl.

And I went for it. Red pointy shoes and all, I greeted everyone at the door as an Evil Disney Kidnapper.


(Yes, I know my hair isn’t nearly curly enough. But I tried…I really tried.)

We had Princesses,


Manly knights,


(Do you see that glimmer of crush in her eyes? She tells me daily that she wants to marry him.)

Tomboy Princesses,


And even a Pascal.


We decorated Kingdom Flags (template found here),


Had cake (that I was not anywhere near brave enough to try to create),



Took 150 rapid fire shots to get this one surprisingly good group photo,


And, instead of a Satchel filled with goodies, I gave them all slightly-off-theme leftover-from-Christmas Angry Birds Treasure Heads.


…which makes a glorious mess.


But in the end, the guys were upset at how their noses were drawn,


And the Princesses came to terms with Mother Gothel and their incarceration.


Well, kinda. Until they all ran away as quickly as they could.

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46 thoughts on “Tangled With Party Spirit.

  1. goodGOLLYmissmolly you are crafty. And kudos on your 3.99 total. And for the record, I am one of THOSE moms so I got every single reference. Happy birthday to Miss Ali!!!

  2. What a wonderful mom you are. I love your creative ideas for the party…very cute. What moms (and dads) won’t do for our kids.

    PS- I applaud you for even trying to make a Flynn satchel.

  3. Wow! It looks like a great party and I am totally impressed you did it all without having to spend to much money. I love the dress by the way glad you decided to wear it.

  4. Oh what a fabulous party!!! So many parents go so incredibly WAY overboard on birthday parties (IMO) and this was the perfect balance of creativity, fun, and reason! :) (which goes to show you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to make a party cute and for everyone to have a good time) Love it!!

  5. I am now officially sad that my daughter is 16 and too old for this. But the main thing that struck me about your post was the comment “You know that dress … before we had kids?” seriously? My before kids clothes are enshrined in my closet with the beam of light and angel chorus. “see kids, that’s how skinny Grandma used to be” So congrats on your diet success!!! Not implying you ever needed to diet, just recalling some of your posts.:) Now I am off to talk to my daughter about her 17th party. Maybe if I bribe her with the use of glitter……

    1. Well, I bought that dress during a four year period of my life in which I was much bigger than I am now or have ever been in my life, thanks to birth control pills and other medication. Now that I’m off of all of that, it was a lot easier for me to get back down to and maintain my “natural” weight.

      And glitter and a 17th birthday??? Definitely!!

  6. Love the memories and the pictures. The boys are still enthralled with their wanted posters and feel the need to show them to everyone! Thanks for the good times :)

  7. Brava!! I have def seen Tangled enough times to love & appreciate this! Great job & so glad u wore that dress- mothahhh knows best ;)

  8. Wow, good for you! As others have said, I’m sure she’ll look back on this party and feel loved and amazed at what a cool mum (mom) she has. (Eventually, once she’s past the 14 year old horrors). I still have vague happy memories of my pirate-themed party as a four year old, and the pinata and cute caterpillar cake that Mum made.

    You look beautiful in that dress, too. :)

  9. Wow! Awesome party! Not crafty my foot! Loved all the details, especially the bunting and lanterns! Everything was so cute and it looks like she had a great time! I’m sure it will be a party she will always remember!

  10. Wow, Rachel! You really rocked this party! I’m stressing with coming up with Eli’s 2nd birthday shindig in a month and a half… come here and help me PULLEEEZ?!! I loved the posters and the lanterns. I have yet to see Tangled, but I’m impressed just the same. Happy birthday, Ali!

  11. you’re so genius! I’m usually too lazy to be crafty, too. I’m not letting Eden see any of these pictures because I’m certain she’ll ask me to recreate it all!

  12. I’ve never seen Tangled, but now I really want to :)

    Love the braids (am totally going to steal this idea). I am beyond impressed by the creativity. Not to mention the actually pulling off all those ideas! Wow!

  13. I’m in love with this party!! And will be stealing several ideas for my daughter’s fifth in August. Where did you get the cake though? I am not feeling ambitious about attempting one, and the only DIY I’ve seen have been donut towers. Lol

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