I first heard about Junie B. Jones books by Barbara Parks from my friend Elizabeth, who asked what I thought of them. Was Junie B. a bad influence? Meg and Grace had been given some Junie B. books, so I started reading them out-loud to the girls while they were in the tub. Pretty soon, nothing was getting washed and we were all laughing hysterically. They loved hearing about all Junie B.’s … shall we say … impulse control issues. How could I not style a Junie B. Jones birthday party with all that creative inspiration?
Make planning your Junie B. Jones birthday party easy — buy the party plan.
Since so many of Junie B.’s adventures are set at school, I decided to create a school day in Room One for our guests. Black boards and primary colors and polka dots, oh my! We welcomed guests with our little chalkboard and a giant polka dot balloon. You can’t see it well here, but the banner letters are attached to ribbon with bright yellow paper clips.
I immediately thought of Catherine from See Jane Design (formerly Serendipity Soiree) for creating a Junie B.-inspired illustration and printables collection. I adore how she incorporated black boards and the checkerboard book border! (Catherine has closed her shop, so contact her through the Instagram link to find the printables.)
Decorating the Dessert Table
I turned my dining room mirror into a black board using fadeless bulletin board paper and polka dot borders. (Shop your local school supply store; I could have bought the place out! Who knew you could find giant pencils?) Other touches included:
- A Junie B illustration made to look like it had been drawn on the black board.
- Two of Junie B.’s favorite friends, Phillip Johnny Bob and Raggedy Ruth, complete with party hats.
- Throughout the party, I added stacks and stacks of Junie B. books: to raise up desserts and to hide a UGA logo on the red lunchbox.
On the dessert table, I kept the colors to red, yellow and blue. It’s kind of a riot, but that’s how I think Junie B. would like it.
- I used school locker-style drawers to display cake pops from Cake Pop Fusion. The pops are made to look like little ABC, 123 books — and they were so good! (I adore the little straw flags with Junie B.’s favorite exclamations!)
- The monogram cookies are from CookieXchange, because Junie loves her B.
- Peeps cupcakes were inspired by Junie B. Jones Has a Peep in Her Pocket with fondant “peeps” by Scrumdiddlyumptious Bakery.
- Our birthday cake was Junie B’s favorite chocolate cake with white icing and strawberry ice cream. I love dressing up a simple cake with an amazing fondant topper from Brittany at Edible Details. Her little first grader is holding an elephant like Phillip Johnny Bob, Junie B.’s stuffed friend.
Decorating the Dining Table
The dining table decor starts with the chandelier: I hung more books from it, then placed our centerpiece right underneath. The centerpiece are simple yellow grocery store flowers sitting on a doll’s school desk.
- I dressed each place setting with a cafeteria-style tray, plus lunch in a yellow paper sack, closed with a yellow paper clip. Utensils and napkins were stored in pencil cases. At each place was a nameplate with the guest’s first name and middle initial.
- Each place also had a “first grade journal,” which was a great filler activity during the party. If you need time to get an activity ready, just tell you guests to write beginning with “Dear First Grade Journal…”
- I like to have any craft activities set up before the party, so each place had everything we needed for our party hat decorating craft.
- I used covers from my shop to decorate each chair.
Wrapping paper made for an inexpensive table runner, used on the dining room table and dessert table. An American Girl doll school desk held a simple floral arrangement of yellow mums.
I kept lunch simple with PB&J, juice boxes, carrot sticks and applesauce.
I asked our guests to come dressed in mixed up clothes like Junie B. The girls turned out in vests, big hair bows, Peter Pan collars and knee highs — perfect for Picture Day. (I got to dress up as Mrs. Having a role as a the hostess can help you pull off a theme party. I welcomed the girls to their school day and told them they needed to raise their hands when they had questions, which they found hysterical.)
Our crafts and activities followed a typical school day.
- Art: Decorate your own party hat (see the cupcake topper tutorial here)
- Health: Guests read an eye chart and received hand-painted purple glasses, just like Junie B. in Junie B. Jones, First Grader (At Last!)
- Reading: Quiz of Junie B. trivia
- Specials: Picture day like in Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed. We were sure to take pictures when the girls “weren’t ready” – just like Junie B.
- Recess: jump rope, homemade sidewalk chalk paint, hopscotch, four square, punch balls
- Math: guess the number of gumballs
At the end of the party, we handed out report cards that I designed in library card pockets.
The girls went home with party favors: a Junie B. Jones book with a bookplate designed by Serendipity Soiree, packaged in brown paper lunch sacks, topped with a thank you tag and red-painted clothespin.
And don’t forget, if you’re planning a Junie B. Jones birthday party, check out my Junie B. Jones birthday party plan.
- Party styling and party plan: The Party Teacher
- Photography: Viridian Images Photography
- Printables illustration and design: See Jane Design
- Fondant cake topper: Edible Details
- “Peeps” toppers: Scrumdiddlyumptious Bakery
- Cake pops: Cake Pop Fusion
- Cookies: CookieXchange
- Gumballs, fringe and balloons: Polka Dot Market
- Picture day chalkboard: Tickled Peach Studio
- Red and orange bow headbands: Little Boo Creations