Hosting Tips

Phoebe’s “Almost Sleepover” Unicorn Birthday Party

It’s every little girl’s dream come true.

By Camille Styles

It’s so hard to believe that Phoebe turned 6 (insert sobbing emoji here), and just like I did at her age, she’s been begging us to let her have her first slumber party. Some of her friends aren’t quite ready to stay all night (and let’s be honest, I’m not ready to give up my beauty sleep quite yet) so we’re easing into the transition with an “almost sleepover” – meaning, everyone’s parents picked them up just as the girls started getting sleepy. I hit up Target and got inspired by all the whimsical designs from Pillowfort’s latest collection – unicorns, dragons, and rainbow everything! It was truly all of Phoebe’s unicorn dreams come to life, and when you added in the sparkly cupcakes, major dance party, and hours of giggling that ensued – it was pretty much my perfect party, too. Scroll on to see how it came together and shop all the pieces including our new kids’ trundle bed I’m obsessed with.

photos by kristen kilpatrick

pictured: You Are Magical Banner from Spritz

Tip #1: Build a kid-friendly cheese board.

I’m a big fan of a cheese board at any party, but I’m making this one a little more kid-friendly with an enchanted forest vibe. Crackers, fruit, and pre-sliced cheese will make sure that they have some healthier snacks to balance out all the birthday sweets.

Here’s what went onto mine:

  • Babybel Cheese
  • white cheddar cubes
  • dried apricots
  • red grapes
  • strawberries
  • blackberries
  • crackers
  • salami

These Rice Krispy treats almost didn’t happen – I somehow forgot the Rice Krispies on my grocery run! Luckily, Shipt delivers from Target now, and my shopper got all the odds and ends I forgot delivered to my house in 2 hours, plenty of time before the party started. Crisis averted.

Speaking of sweets… how insane are these cupcakes?!

Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop in Austin makes the tastiest sweets around, and they have incredible customer service. Best of all, they can create anything. They totally made all of Phoebe’s unicorn cupcake dreams come true.

pictured: Short Flutter Sleeve Midi Dress

With so many cute and colorful disposable tableware options, these cups and plates actually added to the party theme, rather than detracting from it. You just can’t help but feel cheerful eating off of these striped unicorn party plates.

pictured: Scallop Kids Accent Table by Pillowfort and Sparkle Unicorn Party Banner

The girls loved sipping on “Unicorn Tears” all night — it may look fancy, but trust me that it was a total party hack. Pink lemonade + citrus and berries + mint leaves = an enchanted punch fit for a bunch of fairy girls.

pictured: flower print by Ashley Woodson Bailey

I transformed the kids’ playroom into a party-ready wonderland with Pillowfort’s Landry Round Activity Table, an A-Frame Gold Star Tent, and this colorful rug.

Tip #2: Get their creative juices flowing.

Phoebe and her friends love a good art project, so I’m stocking this cute new table and stools with all the makings for DIY fairy wands – we’ve got ribbons, tinsel, and fairy dust (of course.)

You just can’t slumber party without cute PJs. Phoebe and her friends picked out some of the cutest sets that Target offers:


pictured: LED Neon Rainbow Sign

Tip #3: Invest in sleepover-friendly furniture.

A trundle bed is the perfect solution for kids’ rooms since you can roll it out when it’s time for a sleepover. This bed from Pillowfort looks really high end, but the price is really affordable.

When shopping for a bed, we used Target’s “see it in your space” feature which allows you to see furniture in your space before buying it. With that, we’d knew this nook would be the perfect place to tuck a twin-sized daybed.

With Pillowfort’s mix and match bedding options, creating a pattern-filled bed that’s fit for a princess is easier than ever. With the trundle pulled out, I was able to play around with double the amount of fun prints to set up the ultimate sleepover palette.

Tip #4: Pile on the cozy.

When it comes to cozy blankets, fluffy sleeping bags, and cuddly stuffed animals, more is more. We piled on the plushness, and yes, it was basically begging for a pillowfight.

The party favors may well have been the hit of the night, partly due to this epic gift wrap job!

To transform your next wrapped present into a unicorn masterpiece, simply wrap as normal, and leave two corner flaps up to form the “ears.” Then use glue or tape to attach a paper cone to the top of the box, and draw on a sweet face to bring your unicorn to life.

Tip #5: Light the night with the perfect party favors.

These unicorn nightlights are the perfect party favors for our theme. Is it weird that I kinda want one for my own bedroom?`

Creating a kid-friendly space doesn’t have to mean compromising style, and thanks to Pillowfort, it’s easier than ever to plan a party that’s both playful and functional. I’m willing to bet this was Phoebe’s best birthday party so far. I’m just wondering how we could possibly top it next year!