Throw a Summer Birthday Party with Sunshine and Sprinkles

summer party table set

Whether it’s a festive blowout or tiny celebration…whether it’s for a group of girlfriends or a baby’s first…whether you’re gathered around a kitchen table or out on the patio…besides your favorite people, the best part of a summer birthday party is cake and ice cream. Because we’re all kids at heart, right?

We’ve put together everything you need for a birthday party with all the sprinkles. Hallmark Designer Kelly Castor has created the invitations, menus, banner, and virtual party backgrounds featured below. Check out craft tutorials on our blog Think.Make.Share for instructions on how to make the treat boxes and cake toppers.

And Kelly’s got a few suggestions for making the decorations and food as festive as the cake, ice cream and people you’re celebrating with.

Inspired? Create and share by tagging @think.make.share and @hallmark.

Welcome guests to your summer birthday party  

summer party detail


A few personal touches help get your family and friends in the party mood.


summer party invites

Send Handwritten Invitations

Our free printable invitations make it easy to get the important info to your pals—whether they live in your house or across town. They’re easy to put together.

supplies you need

Step One

Print the page with the ice-cream sundae on white card stock and the page with the party info on color card stock. Follow the cut-lines on the template to cut them out with a ruler and craft knife, paper cutter or scissors. Using a ruler and the craft knife or scissors, run the tip of the blade gently across the bottom of the striped border to score it for easy folding.

applying glue to invites

Step Two

Fill out the information. Use a glue stick to apply glue across the top of the back of the sundae page—right behind the stripes.

folding invites

Step Three

Center that page on the top of the card stock and stick it down.

Hand deliver—or slip into a standard 5×7 invitation envelope and pop your invitations in the mail.

Give them some goodies. See how Kelly turned simple craft paper boxes into DIY smiley face treat carriers. Or use colorful treat bags to send them home with sweet snacks. Don’t forget to add a little card to thank them for sharing your day (like this one or this one or this one).

Pro tip: Still not ready to party face-to-face? Here are a few tips for your online summer birthday party:

Decorating for your celebration  

summer party gifts and gift table

Wherever you are, fill it with sprinkle-inspired colors. We used bright pastels: pink, blue, yellow and lavender. A few things to try:

Tie-dyed backdrop, napkins and table runner. Cotton fabric or sheets tie-dyed with our theme colors pull the space together. You can order a tie-dye kit from a craft store or follow these simple steps using Crayola® Washable Markers.

Pro tip: For extra fun, make tie-dying a t-shirt or bandana a summer birthday party activity.

Sprinkles 4Ever banner. Download our free printable letters to say “Sprinkles 4Ever” or use our alphabet to say whatever you’d like. Print the letters on multicolored card stock, punch two holes at the top of each letter (about a half-inch from the top and either side) and string them on twine, yarn—even dental floss.

Pro tip: Hang the banner over an empty surface and make it your designated card and gift table…or use it to set out your goodie bags.

Colorful flatware. Kelly wrapped bits of brightly colored washi tape around eco-friendly bamboo cutlery. Super-easy and adorable.

Pro tip: You could also try this trick on your everyday cutlery to spruce it up.

Creating a colorful menu  

summer party table setting

Coordinate the colors as much as you’d like—Kelly got inspiration from our simple color palette.

Start with the cake, obviously. You can bake one yourself or pick one up at the bakery. Then follow these easy instructions on our creative blog, Think. Make. Share., to make our DIY Sunshine Cake Topper using Crayola® Model Magic and treat sticks.

Choose your favorite ice cream. Grab a mix of neon-bright sherbet, a gallon of yummy vanilla or hit up your local ice-cream shop for one of their specialties.

sprinkles on a table for party

Pro tip: There’s no better centerpiece than a cake. At this summer birthday party, the treats are all the table décor you need.

Dish out the sprinkles. Go a little nuts with sugar, jimmies and dragees from a grocery store or the bakers’ section in a craft store. Or visit a sprinkle-focused online store for some extra-festive goodies. Don’t stop there—add whipped topping, ice-cream sauces, cherries, marshmallows, nuts and fruity cereal.

Pro tip: Find fun tiny dishes at thrift stores or around the house for the individual toppings. Mix and match trays to make them easy to pass.

summer party invite with plate and flatware

Personalize some menus. Download our free printable menus and use your Crayola® markers to fill them with your selections. Kelly used these as individual place settings—just pop on top of everyone’s plate and napkin.

Bring on the fizzy drinks. Try sparkly sodas in bright colors or fruit-flavored water in colorful cans.