Photography: Kelly & Dan Harmer

Most little girls dream of being a ballerina or princess at some stage don’t they? And if my two girls are anything to go by dressing up is pretty high on their list of favourite activities too. Emmie wanted a ballet party for her third birthday party so we created a Swan Lake Soiree fit for any budding ballerina, complete with dancer dress up area and DIY details.

I’m about as excited to share this with you as Emmie was at her party…VERY. So excited I’ve edited over 500 images and turned this post around in a few days and I’m thrilled that Kara’s Party Ideas have chosen to feature this party too!


Normally I’d share the decor details first, but as this party was so centred around dressing up I thought I’d mix things up a little!

We fell in love with Tutu Du Monde dresses but didn’t fall in love with the price tags so I was elated when I found similar dresses here at a fraction of the cost. I actually ordered the grey one for Emmie first but it was way too big so Isla had the grey one and I ordered a smaller size in peachy pink for Emmie. The layers of tulle, flouncy feathers and sparkly jewels in one dress is a little girl’s dream hey?!

Their accessories were provided by the incredible Sesame and Lilly who I’ve admired for a while (as an aside, her dolls are simply the cutest!). Emmie’s sparkly gold headband worked perfectly with the blush dress and Isla’s jewelled hairclips looked beautiful against the grey of hers. Teamed with sparkly wands they had the perfect accessories for any swan lake princess.

My custom made t-shirt was created in collaboration with Noodle and Stitch, an incredible clothing and accessories brand which produces funky slogan tops and sweatshirts. As you can probably tell by this party and our bathroom update I’m a huge fan of Dalmatian dots so this ‘Mama’ t-shirt was the perfect match.

Dancer Dress Up

No Swan Lake Soiree would be complete without a dancer dress up area and an inflatable swan wearing a sparkly crown right?!

Using dainty dalmatian dot fabric courtesy of Pound Fabrics as the backdrop, we then suspended a branch from the ceiling using fishing wire for feather capes and boas and had props for dancers to choose including sparkly wands and sparkly star hair clips courtesy of Sesame and Lilly.

The girls loved sitting in the swan to have their photographs taken and it really brought a fun element to the party.


The tableware and decorations were courtesy of my good friends at Talking Tables, including the gold fringe curtain, cake toppers used in the flowers, incredible swan garlands, swan topped cake stand, pink ombre tablecloth, plates, cups and adorable swan serviettes.

Doesn’t the swan princess toy look adorable on the table?! Emmie had it for her birthday and it’s a wonder she allowed it to be placed on the table for the first half of her party!

We set up a photo backdrop stand and used safety pins to hang the 6x8ft white sequin tablecloth which you can find here. For the tablecloth on the cake table we used pinking shears to cut a piece of the 10m of dalmatian dot fabric from Pound Fabrics.

The chair covers have come in so handy and help to neutralise any space. They looked fabulous at Isla’s Ice Cream and Slime Party and completely wonderful here adorned with sparkly star tutus courtesy of Kids Birthday Bonanza. Even better that all guests got to take a tutu home!


As I’m sure you’ve noticed, all Oh So Kel parties tend to feature DIYs and this one was no exception. Pinterest got me obsessed with floral hoops so I decided to make some (read more here) to suspend from the ceiling and I’m so pleased with how they brought the whole scheme together. I’ve used one in Emmie’s bedroom too and love how it frames her gold ‘E’ on the wall.

Emmie’s first ever party shoes hung inside the cloche was a last minute DIY which I made on the morning of the party using a plastic 2l coke bottle (read more here). It was much more child friendly than a glass one and teamed with a plastic bottle stopper we already had, cost absolutely nothing. The best kind of decoration!

I’d made a donut wall for Isla’s Ice Cream and Slime Party using my favourite party item – wooden pallets (check out our Boho Fiesta and Mermaid Party) – and decided to paint another one at the same time using the same shelves and hooks, but this time landscape to hold the party bags and favours.

Let them eat cake!

Kerry at Angel’s Kitchen created a truly angelic cake that certainly had the wow factor, complete with fine feathery flowers on the base to mimic ballerina tutus, shimmery top to match the backdrop and knockout hoop with gold feathers and pink flower to match the DIY hoops. The little black berries were the perfect detail to pick up the black dalmatian dot fabric too.

Michael and Addo provided the cake topper and it really is the icing on the cake so to speak! I love the gold against the sparkly white cake and backdrop.


I collaborated with Sprinkled Designs for our Mermaid Party, Day of the Dead Halloween Party and Pink Winter Wonderland shoot and love Linda’s designs, so it was wonderful to get our creative brains together again for this one. The printables really pull together the main theme elements and the ‘thanks for swanning by’ favour tags were such a cute touch!

Party Favours

Kids Birthday Bonanza provided the most adorable cloth ballet shoe bags full of classic party treats, plus ballerina charm bracelets in pink organza bags and dreamy white tutus with silver stars that not only acted as gifts for each guest but also as chair decorations for the party table. Emmie has already used her ballet bag and tutu at ballet class and when we turned up another party guest had brought the same. That’s when you know you’ve chosen great party favours!

Party guests also had sparkly star hair clips to complete their swan lake princess look, courtesy of Sesame and Lilly.


The incredible Jess at Secret Garden Flowers in Axbridge completely nailed the party theme by echoing the DIY floral hoops in the stunning garland that hung over the corner of the table backdrop, complete with whimsical feathers and a pop of pink.

My incredible mum made the table showstopper using the gold urn from our Day of the Dead party (who’d have thought we could share a prop from a halloween party at a swan lake soiree?!) plus foliage and flowers from her own garden.


Emmie adores her ballet teacher Miss Emma so nobody else would do for the entertainment. Our swan lake dancers enjoyed games and a ballet lesson that was suitable for everyone, including parents who got dragged up at the end!

This was a third birthday party of epic proportions that left huge smiles on little (and big) faces. Lots of incredibly talented collaborators were involved in this and played a huge part in making the venue and party guests look incredible. Thank you to each and every one, it was a pleasure.

Our family and friends who helped to set up and break down the party are the reason there were no tears, mahoosive stress-outs or tantrums on my part! They’re all legends and when I find the best way to share our time-lapse of the party you’ll see them all beavering (and dancing) away.

If you want to see where the Swan Lake Soiree inspiration came from please follow my Pinterest board:


Please tag @ohsokel and use #OSKinspired if you create something after seeing this post. I’d love to see the results!

Until next time,

OSK xx

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  1. Christy
    January 27, 2022 / 8:00 pm

    Hi Kel, I have scoured the internet trying to find the watercolor swan image that you used for the swan garland, but no no avail. I am hoping you have a link for it. Thank you for your help!

    • ohsokel
      March 23, 2022 / 6:40 pm

      Hi, It’s from Talking Tables. There’s a link to their website in the blog post. I hope this helps!

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