Inspired by her daughter Ella's love for the newest Disney film Brave, Hana Lynch, a mom, blogger , and photographer , created a whimsical fifth birthday party that appeals to the inner rebel-princess in all of us. "I wanted the party table to evoke a sense of being within the enchanting forest that Merida encounters during her adventure," Hana says. "I created this feeling using natural elements like moss and tree stumps to display the food. The light-up 'wisps' gave it a magical touch." Add in an incredible cake; gender-neutral activities including a "haggis" toss, archery, and design-your-own coats of arms; and one adorable birthday girl, and you have one adventurous birthday bash! Keep clicking for all the incredible details.
"The frame art above the table was a simple project created by spray painting an Ikea frame (I think they actually come in white now) and then cutting sheet moss to fit," Hana says. "Then I simply cut letters from felt to spell out the party message and placed them on the moss — no glue needed. The felt and moss naturally stick together. This is great because you can easily change things up!"
"The amazing cake was definitely one of my favorite parts of this display. It was created by Rachel , a talented friend of mine who makes all my party cakes," Hana says.
"Perfect detailing right down to the wood grain in the bow and arrow and the leather-like wrapping on the bow handle! Amazing!" Hana says. "We cut the cake to reveal a delicious red velvet cake that mimicked Merida's red locks!"
Bear Paw Cookies
"Delicious bear paw cookies were made from whole wheat, raw sugar, and baking chocolate," Hana says. "These were yummy and a superfun way to incorporate the bear aspect into the party table!"
Trail Mix and Wisps
A moss base surrounded the snacks, including trail mix cups filled with organic dried fruit, nuts, and bits of chocolate, and included a hidden treat.
"'Wisps' were hidden within the moss," Hana says. "They continually lit up and then went out in a varied pattern in the moss across the table. This made the table more interactive and kept your eye following them as the light pattern moved."
Clan Crest Drinks
"I wanted to keep the drink a neutral color that blended well with the earthy color palette, so I just filled this decanter with organic unfiltered apple juice," Hana says. "The color was perfect with the neutral-colored theme, and it was definitely a kid-friendly beverage. I created a plaid sash pinned with Merida's clan crest to help tie it all together!"
"I made this cute Merida-style crown using a template I found here ," Hana says.
Coat of Arms
"One of the activities I planned for the party was letting each of the guests create a coat of arms," Hana says. "This required quite a bit of prep work because of the age of the kids. I had to precut all the shields, shapes, and banners in order to make this a craft that was suitable for young children and wouldn't require too much parental help. All they needed were some markers and glue sticks to complete their art piece!"
Ella's Coat of Arms
Ella's coat of arms. Get the template to create your own here .
"In the backyard, I wanted to create a mini version of the Highland Games, so the kids would have some activities to keep them busy," Hana says. "I hand-painted a board to create a fun bean-bag type game using nylons filled with beans as the 'haggis'! I used a board I had in my garage and freehanded the characters and stenciled the letters and numbers. Then I used a hand saw to cut out the holes. It was a hit with the guests."
"I created a target using a wreath form and some canvas fabric," Hana says. "I painted the blue ring onto the canvas and then glued it to the wreath form. I then added a red piece of cotton to the inside to create a large bull's-eye for the kids to aim for. They had a lot of fun shooting the bow and arrows!"
Happy Birthday, Ella!
"She was so cute as she listened to everyone sing happy birthday to her! She loves attention, this one," Hana says. "Ella came to me afterwards and said 'Mommy, my party was awesome!' That is the best compliment I could get!"