When my twin girls were about to turn 11, they couldn’t agree on a joint party theme … like, at. all. But, I discovered there was one activity they could agree on. Apparently, it was very fun to swipe my phone and take selfies. I’d be looking for a photo, and all of a sudden, there would be an image of the girls sticking their tongues out at me and giggling. Their other favorite activity was having lunch in our cute little downtown and shopping. Finally, my party planner brain kicked in and I came up with the idea for a Selfie Scavenger Hunt birthday party.
Here’s how the party worked.
- Guests were dropped off at our subdivision clubhouse and took selfies in our photo booth with emoji and hashtag photo props.
- We divided into Team Meg and Team Grace, distributed the scavenger hunt target list/instructions, and put on emoji hats. The hats were mainly about making sure the other chaperones and I could easily spot the girls during the scavenger hunt.
- We caravanned to our little town’s downtown retail district. (It’s soooo cute!) As the teams found each item, they had to take a selfie with it, then post the image with our party hashtag.
- After the hunt, we went back to the clubhouse for the dessert table and opening presents.
Printables, Colors and Style
I found free Instagram scavenger hunt printables from The Dating Divas, and modified those using Pic Monkey. I used those for place cards, dessert table labels and my scavenger hunt instructions. I also found AndersRuff’s InstaParty printables, and the girls liked those but wanted Instagram’s then-colors of red, yellow, spring green, aqua, brown and black.
The printables established our party style as modern, so I used clean lines and simple shapes like rounded-corner squares and circles. Selfies and Instagram made me think about making silly faces, emojis, hashtags, the blue app frame, the Instagram logo, square photos and red hearts, and I worked all those elements into the party.
The photo booth is just this clothing rack from WalMart hung with white curtains (also from WalMart). We safety pinned loads of garlands and honeycomb balls to the curtains. We also had an oversized Instagram frame, emojis and hashtags for the girls to pose with.
The Scavenger Hunt
The scavenger hunt was super-fun. I took a little field trip to downtown before the party to figure out all the clues, then I created our hunt instructions. The clues were hyper-specific to our downtown, like “Bronze Gobbler.” Yes, we have a statue of our town turkey. Long story. But here are some of our ideas that you could use for your scavenger hunt:
- Find the first initial of your child’s name in a sign.
- Street number of a landmark.
- Name rhymes with ___. (Our clue was Eye Car, so the girls had to find Pie Bar.)
- Find the other group.
- Take a photo with a shopper.
- Find information.
- Find the barber pole.
- If you have a store named after the owner: Whose store?
- Where do you mail a package?
If you don’t have a cute little downtown, try going to the mall or even having a scavenger hunt on your street.
We also had these safety rules on our clues sheet:
- Stay with your group.
- Listen to your leader.
- Keep your hat on so your leader can see you.
- Cross the street with the signal.
- There is nothing past Pie Bar.
- There is nothing past Information.
- Stay on the TLP side of the street.
- Do not go in stores.
- Do not run or scream like crazy people.
- When your leader says it’s time to go, go.
The Dessert Table
Our dessert table design was intended to be modern and simple, but it turned out a little simpler than expected. I’d ordered four different emoji balloons so we’d have two on either side of the oversized Instagram frame. I had really cute tissue tassels in our party colors to hang from each balloon. But, the balloons weren’t working out, so we just had to let that idea go.
I do love how simple fabric layered over the white tablecloth worked out, mimicking the (old) Instagram colors. I added a printable Happy Birthday banner, and called it done.
I kept our dessert table very simple and did not make a thing. So easy. Totally the way to go if you are also doing an away-from-home party. All our treats were either Instagram or emoji-inspired.
- Instagram camera cake, which was so cute and no one got a photo of. Much sadness.
- Red glitter heart cakepops.
- Brownies frosted with the colors of Instagram.
- Emoji, Instagram logo and hashtag cookies.
The Dining Table
We pushed several tables together to form a square dining table. Down the center of the table, I ran a 44″ wide length of yellow cotton fabric (just $2.97 a yard at WalMart). For the centerpieces, I used dollar store vases and wrapped them in duct tape. Then we used oversized flowers from Hobby Lobby. My husband cut off most of the stems so they’d fit. We also used placecard holders to hold square photos of the girls with their friends.
Each place setting had:
- Black melamine dinner plates used as chargers.
- Create UR Plate smily emoji plates.
- White fabric napkins with heart napkin rings that the girls and I made.
- Bamboo fork with # vinyl accent that I made with my Silhouette Cameo.
- Izze Soda wrapped with printables from Anders Ruff. Black and white straws were attached with yellow washi tape.
- Each place setting had a place card that I made from the Dating Divas printables and then set on mini easels.
I love a chiavari chair and couldn’t resist renting them for this party. They are too cute to disguise, but I did accent each chair with a ribbon in our party colors. The birthday girls’ chairs also had emoji pillows.
Dressing Up the Mantle
Since I positioned our dining table in front of the mantle, I wanted to dress it up, too. I enlarged a photo of the girls that I took on their actual birthday and popped it in a black frame from Hobby Lobby. To one side of the frame, I painted their birthday numbers. In the front, I wrapped more dollar store vases in duct tape and popped in faux flowers. Finally, I made a bunting in our party colors and hung that from the mantle.
I bought square craft frames and the girls helped me paint them to look like the Instagram camera logo. (Instagram changed its colors and logo right after we hosted this party.) At the bottom of each frame, I added a vinyl #Friends that I cut out with my Silhouette Cameo. Where the photo would go, we added a thank you tag from the printables set.
Across the bottom of the party favors table, I made a simple bunting out of duct tape.
This party turned out to be a great solution for twins and tweens. Do you have other tween party ideas? Please share them in the comments below!
- Party styling – The Party Teacher
- Photography – Kim Craig Ali Photography
- Invitation, soda, banner, and thank you printables – Anders Ruff
- Free printables – The Dating Divas
- Black glitter selfie garland – Chevron Clubhouse
- Felt pom garland – Simple Details Design
- Felt heart garland – A Felt Affair
- Instagram photo booth and dessert table frames – Social Cutouts
- Emoji photo props – Glitz and Bows by Jackie
- Hashtag photo props and fork # – Made with my Silhouette Cameo
- Instagram cake – Smallcakes Woodstock
- Hashtag, Instagram logo and emoji cookies – Guilty Confections
- Heart cake pops – Shorty’s Cupcakes
- Emoji plates – Create UR Plate
- Black melamine plates – Target
- Wood hearts used in napkin rings – Michaels
- Square frames – Michaels
- Bamboo forks – Amazon
- Vases – Dollar Tree
- Mini easels – Tuesday Morning
- Honeycomb tissue balls – Shop Sweet Lulu