Instead of traditional cards, why not send each of your guests a scroll? Simply write your invitations on high quality paper—the kind used for resumes is appropriate—and then roll each one into the shape of a cylinder. Send them in cardboard mailing tubes so they retain their shape.
Be creative with your wording, and turn your invitation into a proclamation. For example: "In honor of his birthday, King Patrick Johnson decrees the 21st of June an official holiday. To celebrate, all knights and princesses are invited to join him for an afternoon of merriment at his castle, 338 Meadow Drive, at the stroke of two."
Here ye, here ye: Although it may sound ambitious, it doesn't take much effort to convert your family room into a medieval fair. You'll need the following materials:
- Large cardboard boxes or pieces of cardboard
- Posters, streamers and ribbons
- Poster paints and felt-tip pens
Paint the boxes with different colors of poster paint and allow them to dry. Cut out holes in the boxes to create booths for carnival-style games. Label your booths to help create the mood ('Maid Marion's Ring Toss,' 'Ye Olde Clothes Pin Drop,' etc.) Swag different colors of crepe paper from the ceiling to the floor and accent your booths with balloons or pictures of swords, dragons and castles.
At each booth, create a simple game of chance or skill to keep everyone in your kingdom occupied. Here are some ideas:
Serve a banquet featuring "Dragon Tail" sandwiches: croissants filled with melted cheese, luncheon meats or other flavorful fillings.
Queen's Treasure Chest
- 1 cake mix, any flavor
- Sheet cake pan (9 by 13 inches)
- Rectangular piece of cardboard covered with gold foil
- 2 cans chocolate frosting
- Assorted colors of frosting tubes with decorator tips
- Chocolate coins covered in gold foil
- Sheet cake pan
How to make it:
- Pour the cake batter into the sheet cake pan and bake according to directions. When it cools, remove it from the pan and place it on the cardboard covered with gold foil.
- Frost the cake.
- Clean the sheet cake pan and set it at a right angle to the cake to look like an open chest lid. Frost the pan with chocolate frosting. Using the frosting tubes, decorate the cake to look like a treasure chest.
- Place chocolate coins on top of the cake. (Very young children won't be able to safely eat the chocolate coins covered in gold foil, so make sure you remove any of them before serving the cake to them.)
Fortunately, you don't need to spend a king's ransom to make a great medieval-themed goody bag. Kids always love pinwheels, which can be purchased inexpensively. And unicorns are so popular that it's easy to find pencils, stickers and other items featuring the mythical beast. For a tasty treat, drop in a few chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil. You can also include homemade certificates for each of your guests, proclaiming them "Jester in Training," "Shiniest Armor," "Best-Mannered Princess," "Knight Most Likely to Stare Down a Dragon," etc.
Before the party, sit down with your birthday boy or girl and make each guest a construction paper crown with his or her name on it and any other personalized decorating touches. When the children depart, your son or daughter can give them their crowns as a keepsake of the day. Now that's what you call getting the royal treatment!
If you do choose to give prizes, favors or both, make sure none of your guests goes home empty-handed. And if the partygoers are very young, make sure none of the items poses a choking threat, or is otherwise a safety hazard.