No Toy Gets Left Behind: Toy Story Party!

As my daugh­ter, Anabelle’s fifth birth­day was approach­ing, we were throw­ing around ideas of the theme of this year’s party. We tra­di­tion­ally try to find a theme that is gen­der neu­tral, espe­cially due to the num­ber of lit­tle broth­ers there are in our gang, as we did last year in her Find­ing Nev­er­land party. Though Anabelle is a girly girl through and through, she can def­i­nitely hang with the boys! She adores the Dis­ney “Toy Story” series and when the idea came up, she was dead set on hav­ing a Toy Story-themed party to ring in the big FIVE!

The chal­lenge on my end would be to exe­cute the theme, while avoid­ing mak­ing it overly com­mer­cial. With the three dif­fer­ent movies and sto­ry­lines, the pos­si­bil­i­ties were end­less, but also a bit over­whelm­ing! So, in talk­ing with Anabelle, we decided to focus on the lat­est movie where the toys’ owner, Andy, is pack­ing up and leav­ing for col­lege and they are mis­tak­enly donated to Sun­ny­side Day­care. I wanted to play up the use of card­board boxes to rep­re­sent the toys being boxed up, as well as through­out the decor. I also thought the use of color was really impor­tant to cap­ture the vibe of a school, while also cor­re­spond­ing to the rain­bow logo of Sunnyside.

Leave no toy behind with this Toy Story party inspired by the third movie in the ani­mated movie series with DIY projects and inspiration!

The invi­ta­tions set the mood for the party and when I envi­sioned them com­ing out of card­board boxes, I knew I had to enlist the help of the incred­i­bly tal­ented Do from Piggy Bank Par­ties, who designs the most fab­u­lous and cre­ative print­a­bles and espe­cially favor boxes! She made my dreams come true when she cre­ated these amaz­ing box envelopes (with editable text!) for both the invites, as well as labels through­out the party! Too cute, right?! I found the most adorable illus­tra­tion of a lit­tle girl (resem­bling Anabelle) dressed up as her favorite Toy Story char­ac­ter, Jessie, by the artist Car­olyne Tillery in her Etsy shop oh hello dear! I uti­lized it in the design of the invi­ta­tion, along with addi­tional graph­ics from Kika Esteves.

The guests were greeted with giant “mag­net” let­ters read­ing “NEW TOYS”, as the char­ac­ters heard when they arrived at Sun­ny­side Day­care. I wanted the kids to feel like they were toys them­selves and the over­sized let­ters and alpha­bet blocks were per­fect! I enlisted the help of my father, who did such an amaz­ing job with the blocks with the use of wood/paper mache let­ters, mask­ing tape and paint! Oh, and my mother helped, too! I just adore how the blocks turned out!
The back­drop for the dessert table was built out of card­board boxes and filled with the Toy Story toys pop­ping out of them, while the ban­ner was strung with alpha­bet block letters.
The main attrac­tion on the table was the cup­cake dis­play made out of smaller boxes. I made fon­dant top­pers of the main char­ac­ters and placed them on cup­cakes in indi­vid­ual boxes. I also printed out addi­tional block let­ters, rain­bows (from Kelly Med­ina Stu­dios) and addi­tional char­ac­ters (found at the Dis­ney Fam­ily site) for the rest of the cup­cakes dis­played on the table and inside plas­tic Slinkies.

Also included on the table were dif­fer­ent types of candy, as we wanted to steer clear of any choco­late in the unusu­ally hot weather of 95* that day! They were dis­played inside clear paint cans and, as you can see below, in per­fect arm’s reach for the kiddos!

Instead of a table­cloth, the kids’ table was lined with draw­ing paper from a table­top paper holder from Ikea and all the toys… I mean, kids, had their own Sun­ny­side lunch box, to which I attached a graphic and a coor­di­nat­ing tag!

I wanted the kids’ food to be exactly what a tod­dler would find in a packed lunch with a sand­wich, apple slices, rain­bow gold­fish crack­ers, fruit snacks and juice. I found the Toy Story sand­wich boxes, as well as the themed snack bags and tis­sues at the 99c Only Store, which were just perfect!

One of the char­ac­ters in “Toy Story 3″ is Lotso Hug­gin’ Bear, who {spoiler alert} turns out to be bad, but once we saw this humon­gous, hug­gable stuffed bear at a Costco store, we just couldn’t resist! Anabelle’s great-grandmother bought it for her and it is indeed a hugger!

We set up an art area with easels, col­or­ing pages and Sun­ny­side art boxes for the kids. Draw­ings from Andy’s room (printed from Pixar Planet Forums)were pinned across a string, while a blow-up book­worm from Ori­en­tal Trad­ing wel­comed the toys/kids.

I found the fun and col­or­ful art boxes at the 99c Only Store and attached the Sun­ny­side label to them with Mod Podge. Inside, the kids found a box of Toy Story crayons, char­ac­ter erasers and crayon bubbles.
Some of the activ­i­ties we had in store were kept in these numeric mesh con­tain­ers from Ikea and labeled with the box cards. The col­or­ful para­troop­ers from Ori­en­tal Trad­ing were a huge suc­cess! The kids also had fun with the trash bag races and sav­ing char­ac­ters that I cut out out of card­stock with a grab­ber = the claw!
We laid out empty boxes with an over­sized post-it note for guests to “donate” their gifts to Anabelle!
The adult food was dis­played sep­a­rately in the “Par­ent Cafe­te­ria” sec­tion. The col­or­ful plates, cups and plas­ticware also came from Ikea, while the other con­tain­ers were pur­chased as the 99c Only Store.

We were so incred­i­bly pleased when we hired Ms. Louisa last year to lead the chil­dren in activ­i­ties that we con­tacted Soul­fire Stu­dios to have her back again this year! I can­not praise Ms. Louisa enough with her abil­ity to cap­ture the kids’ atten­tion and bring so much joy in their imag­i­na­tive play! We received such great feed­back from not only the kids, but the par­ents who enjoyed watch­ing their kids play, rather than run after them the entire time! She read them the Toy Story 3 book, warmed them up and dressed them in cos­tumes that she brought.

West­ern dance to “You’ve Got a Friend In Me”! Yee haw!

Ken’s fash­ion show… walk­ing down the run­way to “Freak Out”!

Rockin’ the mara­cas and som­breros to “Ay Un Amigo En Mi”!

For Anabelle’s sec­ond birth­day, we hired Bal­loons With a Twist to cre­ate bal­loon ani­mals and when they were hold­ing a photo con­test last year, we sub­mit­ted a photo of her wear­ing an elab­o­rate bal­loon crown the artist had cre­ated at the party. We were so super excited when we won the con­test and redeemed our prize with face paint­ing, per Anabelle’s request! We were so happy and thank­ful and the kids just loved it!
The kids had a fun time with the Toy Story col­or­ing pages and seri­ously… do bub­bles ever get old?! Ummm, no! 😉
This Toy Story party had such a dif­fer­ent vibe from last year’s theme, but the con­stant was the amount of fun had by the birth­day girl and her friends and that was truly THE most impor­tant thing to me. The kid­dos had a fab­u­lous time at Sun­ny­side with the rest of the toys cel­e­brat­ing Anabelle’s fifth birth­day! And a spe­cial shout out to my fam­ily and my friends (Har­riet and Do) with­out whom I could not have done it all!
The favors were hid­ing in these “TOYS TO DONATE” boxes…

The kids went home with a set of Toy Story char­ac­ters and the note quot­ing Andy in the movie, who just donated his toys to a deserv­ing lit­tle girl as he departs for college:

Now you gotta promise to take good care of these guys. They mean a lot to me.” So long, part­ner. ♥ Anabelle

Toy Story 3 party ideas ~ Lynlee's

Merci Beau­coup!

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  1. OH MY WORD! This looks like the funnest party EVER! You thought of every­thing! AMAZING. Love the Ken’s fash­ion show walk — so clever! Your fon­dant mas­ter­pieces are so stink­ing per­fect! Anabelle looks like she had a blast! FAB job, mama!

  2. Ahh­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­hhh, this is unf­reakin’ believ­able! What a great way spin off of the Toy Story char­ac­ters and theme. You KNOW I love the boxes and you prob­a­bly have as many at your house as I do right now. I love the whim­si­cal vibe and it looks like a super FUN day!

  3. You are amaz­ing lady!! What a fan­tasy of a back­drop and dessert table! My favorite pic­ture is Anabelle blow­ing her can­dle, she’s so beau­ti­ful; happy birthday!!

  4. We had a blast hang­ing out at Sun­ny­side! Thanks for invit­ing us! It was magical!

  5. You did a great job of stay­ing true to the theme with­out being com­mer­cial­ized! I adore the expres­sions on their faces dur­ing story time. Looks like a super fun party.

  6. Bril­liant, Sweet Cakes! It just proves that a card­board box is the best thing in the world! Every detail is amaz­ing and the cup­cakes in the boxes…adore. Thanks for let­ting us be a small lil’ part of Anabelle’s spe­cial day! ♥ Honey Ham

  7. total rock­star!!!! love it!

  8. Wow!

  9. oh. my. good­ness. you are amaz­ing! this party was sooo cre­ative, cute, and FUN! i bet the kids had a blast!

  10. What a fan­tas­tic idea! Totally amazing!

  11. so sweet„,everything is adorable„,feliz cumpleanos Anabelle…

  12. Dina - Deliciously Darling Events says:

    SO adorable Lyn­lee!!! So cute, so cre­ative. Totally made me feel like I was there. Amaz­ing job <3

  13. Lyn­lee!!!
    I am dizzy after look­ing at all of the cute­ness. I seri­ously stopped breath­ing when I saw the box envelopes, got in a quick breath, then stopped breath­ing again when I saw the huge blocks & cup­cakes! Lol!!! You are SO stinkin’ tal­ented & your daugh­ter is one lucky petite fille!!! xo

  14. LOVE it — this party was so well thought out & it showed! You did an amaz­ing job my friend! =)

  15. What’s the word.….. hmm­m­m­mmm.…. okay still speech­less!
    Seri­ously girl, OMG. You are amaz­ingly tal­ented and extremely detailed. You really thought of EVERYTHING pos­si­ble and made it work soo well together. I am truly impressed with your party skills. Lucky lit­tle girl you have :) Keep it up my friend, you are a true rockstar!!

  16. OOOO MMMM GGGG! LYNLEE! This party rocks my world. I can­not even han­dle how cre­ative this is. The BOXES! Holy Cow. The “box” labels from Do! Not using a table­cloth and mak­ing it look like a rum­mage sale. I can­not even han­dle this. This party made my whole week. Seriously.

  17. Just gor­geous!

  18. SOOOOOOO Cute!!! Every detail was so beau­ti­fully done! Thank you so much for hav­ing us be a part of Anabelle’s spe­cial day!!

  19. Love, Love , LOVE!!!! OMG Lyn­lee!! Seri­ously what a FUN and AMAZING party. Every detail is beyond per­fect. Annabelle is the CUTEST! She is super duper lucky to have you!! Great job AGAIN!!

  20. What a FUN party!!!

  21. Sim­ply amaz­ing, Lyn­lee. I expected noth­ing less, and this is so much more! Again, your details are incredible!

  22. I seri­ously think this is one of the most cre­ative and orig­i­nal par­ties I have seen in a while. I love every­thing about this party! You are sim­ply amazing!


  23. Holy amaz­ing!!! So orig­i­nal!! loved it Lynlee!!!

  24. I love this party and it looks like every­one had an incred­i­ble time!

  25. what a fab­u­lous and refresh­ing party theme! I love it. Great job!!

  26. I CAN NOT get over how absolutely ADORABLE THIS IS! The love is truly in the details. I love how much fun this looks like for the kids… I love those blocks..I love I love I love!!!


  27. I have always been a “think out­side the box” kinda girl, so this “out of the box” party com­pletely stole my heart! Love, love, LOVE your atten­tion to detail and how it all came together! Anabelle is one lucky lit­tle girl! :)

  28. Anabelle birth­day party looks amaz­ing, I love every sin­gle detail. It was super great the job you and your father did with those big alpha­bet boxes…perfect! :)

  29. It’s really hard to be orig­i­nal these days with so many tal­ented, won­der­ful ladies in the party busi­ness but, girl, YOU HAVE DONE IT! So adorable! So unique! And best of all, it looks like the kids had a blast! Thank you so much for shar­ing your amaz­ing party with us:)

  30. WOW! You really out did your­self! Looks like a lot of work but such a won­der­ful pay­off! The kids look like they had a won­derul time! Every­thing is per­fect! I bet the par­ents were just floored! Great job!

  31. Lyn­lee,
    You KNOW I just LOVE your par­ties but this may be one of my favorite to date:)

  32. Salu­dos desde puerto Rico. Sim­ple­mente, ESPECTACULAR, te felic­ito!!!!, No habia visto que alguien se dedicara a com­placer ver­dadera­mente a los ninos!!!! Muchas bendiciones!!!

  33. One of the most clever, stun­ning and absolutely lovely party I’ve seen in w while!! LOVE every detail, and your ADORABLE lit­tle girl is to die for!!

    Way to go on another fab­u­lous party my dear!! Your cre­ative skills and incred­i­ble fon­dant art just put a HUGE smile on this big kid’s face!! :)


  34. So amazing–the details are off the charts–wow, I am speechless!!

  35. Really awe­some party!

  36. Love all the details! The games and activ­i­ties and the lit­tle boxes on the table are just genius! super great job!

    hugs! Kim @ Party Frosting!

  37. Such an incred­i­ble party and the details are just amaz­ing! I hope you don’t mind, but I linked you up to my new Wednes­day link party and I’d love to fea­ture it one day if you’re up for it! :)

  38. How the devil did I miss this amaz­ing story? You did an absolutely amaz­ing job and being the Toy Story series is my all-time favorite, it’s even more spe­cial! Can I link in a future Fiesta Fri­day feature?

  39. I am fea­tur­ing your party today at Cox’s Cor­ner!

  40. This com­ment has been removed by the author.

  41. Tamishia F. says:

    WOW!!! I am start­ing to think you are not human because you cre­ativ­ity and genius is just OUT OF THIS WORLD!!! I clicked a link from another site and was brought to your world and I couldn’t be hap­pier. You are truly amaz­ing and I love every party idea and exe­cu­tion I have seen so far. WOW is all I can say!!!! WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Oh my good­ness, Tamishia!!! I can­not even begin to express how grate­ful and hum­bled I am by your incred­i­bly sweet words! I am so very happy to have you here! Merci beau­coup for your sup­port and gra­cious­ness and I truly hope I can con­tinue to pro­vide inspi­ra­tion! I appre­ci­ate it so very much! ♥

  42. Oh my gosh — this is amaz­ing! My son LOVES Toy Story — we’ve seri­ously watched all three movies more times than I can count. I’ve been think­ing about doing a Toy Story Theme for his next birth­day but since it’s still 7 months away I’m try­ing really hard to not start plan­ning already. :)

    • Thank you so, so much, Cheryl! We are also huge fans of the entire series! Don’t feel bad… we’re already plan­ning my daughter’s next birth­day and it’s 6 months away! Don’t tell any­one I’ve already pur­chased some items! lol! ♥

  43. Hi! Awe­some party idea and dec­o­rat­ing! We’re mak­ing giant ABC blocks for our kid’s Christ­mas play and I was won­der­ing where did you find the boxes? Were they all the same size when you got them or did you build them indi­vid­u­ally? Thank you so much :)

    • Hi! Thanks so much for the sweet words! I actu­ally ordered the boxes online from Home Depot because I needed quite a bit of them for the entire party. They were all the same size and I was specif­i­cally look­ing for square boxes. Hope this helps! :)

      • What size let­ters did you use? I want to use this idea for my friends twins baby shower for the babies names.

        • Lynlee says:

          Ooh, I want to say they were approx­i­mately 12″! I would look at the boxes you are plan­ning to uti­lize and scale it down a bit from that size so that it sits nicely in the cen­ter. Hope this helps! :)

  44. this party is AMAZING!!! my lit­tle girl wants a toy story party too and I am in love with your invites. I’m won­der­ing, did you buy a print of the jessie paint­ing and use it on the invites? or did you have a dig­i­tal version?

    • Thank you so, so much, Laci! I truly appre­ci­ate it! As far as the Jessie illus­tra­tion goes, it is a dig­i­tal ver­sion! If you scroll up to the top of the post, you will find the link to the Etsy shop. Hope this helps! ♥


  1. […] work from Piggy Bank Par­ties! In the past, they designed card­board box envelopes for our No Toy Gets Left Behind party, as well as adorable tiki pop­corn boxes for our Vin­tage Hawai­ian Luau! For this party, […]

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