As soon as my husband and I knew we were going to Hawaii, the theme for my daughter's next birthday party was set. So my daughter and I planned for this party for about six months. I had done several Luaus before, so I already had a lot of decorations. We just had to pray for good weather (end of Sept. party) and come up with the final plan.
Stauney knew she wanted flip-flop invitations, so we searched the internet for ideas. We found some really cute ideas, but ended up liking wide chunky flip-flops the best. I found some cute ribbon first then got craft foam to match. I drew a pattern on some paper in the size I wanted, then scanned it and used that image to fit my text into. I printed them on cardstock with some hibiscus flowers in light pink rotated different directions in the background.
Then I made the foam pattern just a little bigger and ran it through my paper crimper so the foam had a wavy 'tread' to it. You can't see that in the photo, but it made them so cute. They turned out to be about the same size as real flip-flops. (Yes, Stauney tried putting them on her feet, but they were all left-footed.)
I had so much fun decorating. I pulled out all my supplies and went wild. My sister even had some palm tree cutouts that she had made for a Primary activity that we used outside to tie a towel line between, and inside around the table along the walls. I hung a parrot and paper lanterns from the chandelier over the dining room table.
We found some flip-flop napkins and cups at a party store and used the colors in them for the rest of the tableware - plates, tablecloth, and placemats. We sprinkled goldfish crackers in the fishnet on the table and put a seashell necklace that I bought in Hawaii next to each plate. We were going to give them to the girls when they first showed up, but decided to wait so they wouldn't get broken during the games. We handed out plastic leis instead. The centerpiece flowers were from the dollar store.
We kept seeing the word 'pupu' all over Hawaii, but didn't know what it meant. So on our way to the airport we asked our chatty shuttle driver and he told us it meant finger food. So we had pupu to eat at the party. My amazing and wonderful niece Laci came and helped me out with the party. I gave her a ton of directions and she saved me by getting all the food ready while I was outside running the games. (I sent my husband away with the boys.) Thanks Laci!!! She cut and assembled the food for me. We served fruit kebabs (pineapple, grapes, apples, bananas, melon) with fruit dip, pineapple with plum powder, mini eggrolls, cheese cubes, chicken nuggets with three sauces, Hawaiian kettle chips, Hawaiian coleslaw, and Hawaii's Own fruit juice to drink. I made fruit shaped ice cubes out of more of the juice and the girls died over them!
I covered the bar with some floral fabric, and used cake pans underneath to add height. (I blurred out my messy sink full of dishes in the background.) We had mellow Hawaiian music playing in the background. Stauney was limited to inviting only 11 guests because I could only fit 12 at my table. This was really hard for her, she started with a list of about 18 girls!
I made a CD of upbeat Hawaiian songs for the games. First we had a hula hoop contest. Some of the girls were really good, so we had them walking around, crouching, etc. to make it harder for them. The second game we played was musical beach towels. This was so fun! The girls were diving onto their towels when the music stopped and I got a little worried about injuries, but they survived. Then we split into two teams for hula hoop passing relays. They had to link hands and pass the hoops around the circle without breaking apart.
You can see the palm tree towel line in the background of this photo. And finally we did the limbo. The winners of each of the games got bags of Swedish fish to take home, but then we gave handfuls to everyone else later.
I invested in Drew's Famous Luau Dance Party Favorites CD years ago, so some of these songs are on there. I also have the Beach Boys Greatest Hits CD, and the 50 First Dates soundtrack.
Other songs I either had, or downloaded.
I Can't Help Fallin in Love, I Can See Clearly Now, Kokomo, Good Vibrations, Caribbean Blue, Wouldn't it Be Nice, Don't Worry Be Happy, New Soul, This is What Dreams Are Made Of, I'm Yours, Upside Down (A*Teens and Jack Johnson versions), Pocket Full of Sunshine, Humuhumunukunuku..., Mambo #5, The Sweet Escape, Tiki Room, Hawaiian War Chant, Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride, Me Helo No Lilo, Walkin' On the Sun, Copacabana, The Tide Is High, Aloha Oe, Wipe Out, Escape, Hawaii Five-O, Surfin' U.S.A., Over the Rainbow (by Iz), Hands Up - and many many more!
We found many cute flip-flop cake ideas on the internet, but this one was my daughter's favorite. I made two rectangle cakes, one for the base and one for the flip-flops (but you only use half of it). I used yellow cake mixes, but used pineapple juice in place of the water for a great flavor. The sand is crushed vanilla creme cookies, which should have been ground in the food processor, but were just smashed with a rolling pin in a bag since I was short on time. The straps are red Fruit Roll-Ups and the candies on the sides are sprinkles from Wilton. I think the candles really made it cute and were found at the party store. The only problem we had with the cake was that all the girls wanted to eat part of a flip-flop and some had to settle for beach and ocean pieces. They LOVED the cake design.
I got the idea for treat leis when I was in Hawaii. I saw some in a store like this with taffy inside. Stauney and I had a lot of fun finding little things to put in them. We had tropical gum, fruity Tootsie Rolls, tropical Smarties, hair ponytails with jewel flowers on them, lip gloss, powdered candy in plastic fruit shapes, and flip-flop erasers. I bought two flower leis that we cut apart for the flowers. Then we just spread out a long piece of plastic wrap, put the treats on, rolled it up, and tied between with yarn and the flowers. We gave one to each of the girls as they left along with the Hawaiian seashell necklaces that were on the table.
It was a very fun party to plan. The invitations were a bit time consuming, but since I already had a lot of decorations, lots of time to plan, and Laci to help, it went pretty smoothly. Hope you enjoyed it!