Princess Merida Brave Party Ideas

Disney's Brave Princess Merida party suppliesLet’s hear it for the girls! Especially the brave ones. Pixar introduces its first female lead on June 20 with the release of the movie Brave.

The movie tells the tale of Scottish princess Merida, who flaunts customs and unwittingly turns the kingdom upside-down. When the princess turns to a witch for help, she’s cursed and must find a way to turn things around in the nick of time. The lush scenery, tartans and Scottish traditions make for an epic party! Let’s get started.

Princess Merida Party Packs are Available!

Luckily for busy parents (work, anyone? Oh, and after school soccer, dance and chess club?), Disney has authorized some uber-cool Brave party accessories. The party pack has everything you need, including a tablecloth, napkins, plates and cups, and some fun goodies for the guests. Check it out.

Party Decor Ideas to Recreate the Scottish Highlands

Of course, as much as I love party packs, I can never stop there (as any regular reader of the Themeaparty.com blog knows). If you’re good with the official party pack, your guests will be too.  I mean honestly, it looks awesome.

But as I recently found out through a cool business analysis quiz (don’t ask), I am a “tinkerer.” And as a true tinkerer, I just love to play around with ideas. So here you go with a few fun decor ideas for your Brave party:

King Fergus and his Tartan

King Fergus … and his Tartan!

Think Tartan!

Think tartan! Officially, every family of Scotland has its own tartan (plaid) pattern. If you have any Scottish family history, look yours up. If not, find a pattern you like and look for something similar when buying or creating decor.

Tartan patterned items look great draped over chairs, in squares framed with dollar-store frames, and on your child for her party (as a hat, a sash, etc.). You can tie plaid ribbons around your child’s wrapped gifts, too.

Scottish thistle

Scottish thistle

Bring “Wild” Scotland Indoors

Brave will showcase the beauty of Scotland, so bring the outdoors indoors. Famous flora of Scotland includes the thistle (of course), heather, myrtle, trees, ferns, bluebells and much more. Google for ideas. Scotland in bloom is gorgeous to behold and Disney promises to up the ante with breath-taking scenes for the movie, so use plenty of color.

You can either ask at your local flower shop for some of these species, or find faux replicas at Walmart, Target or your local Dollar Store. For a really natural look, toss the flowers, faux or real, onto the table as a wild, gorgeous centerpiece. You may also want to tie a few flowers to chairs at the party and have the guest of honor wear something pretty, floral and very Scottish in her hair.

Rocks will look great around the party area too. If you live in an area where you can scavenge a few rocks 6″ or larger (not too large or you won’t be able to carry them!), bring some home and glue craft moss along the tops. Place them in corners of the party room.

Make a Scottish Stone Circle Decoration

Callanishhi stone circle

Callanishhi stone circle, Isle of Lewis

A sneak peak at movie stills shows us that Stonehenge-like rock creations and stone circleswill figure into the plot. (So cool!) Here’s a quick tutorial on building your own Scottish “henge” to place on the party table or on the floor as decor:

  • Pick up some cheap Styrofoam, 1/4-1/2″ thick, in any size you want your henge stones to be, or buy a large sheet to cut into “stones.”
  • Buy spray paint that gives a stonelike color/texture.
  • Buy glue that’s safe for Styrofoam, as certain types will “melt” and warp the foam.
  • Use an Exacto knife to cut the Styrofoam. DO NOT let your kids help with this. I’ve done a job on my own fingers with this and I’m an adult! Go slowly when cutting and wear thick gardening gloves just in case.
  • Place the Styrofoam over a thick piece of cardboard to protect your surface or better yet, cut on the garage floor or outside. Cut out rectangular pieces from the foam, keeping in mind the finished henge you want to create.
  • Take the cut pieces outside and spray LIGHTLY with the spray paint. The spray paint will melt and pit the Styrofoam slightly. If you use a heavy hand, you’ll get too much pitting. But a light and slightly uneven spray will pit the foam just enough to make the pieces look like real, weathered stone. It’s an amazing effect. Practice on a few pieces of scrap Styrofoam if you’d like before spraying the real deal.
  • Allow the spray paint to dry completely (keep outdoors or in the garage while the paint is drying). When the pieces are dry, glue them together into your henge shape. Place in the party area.

A Wee Bit o’Tea, Darlin’? Foods and Drink for a Brave Party

Um. May we suggest bear claw pastries instead? (haggis; Credit: konch, flickr.com)

Scottish party snacks, anyone? It’s true that your child’s guests almost certainly won’t dive into colcannon, herring in oatmeal or haggis (unless it’s for the gross-out factor for kids … “Okay, who wants sheep stomach and guts?”). But there are plenty of great party food ideas that tie into a Brave party theme.

Shortbread cookies are delish, and will get snapped right up (think Girl Scout shortbread cookies). The Girl Scouts still don’t sell their cookies online (arghhhh!), but you can find varieties of yummy shortbread on store shelves, such as Pecan Sandies. If you’re a kitchen whiz, you might also try your hand at a great recipe. Try foodnetwork.com, as recipes there are graded by actual users.

Now *this* is somethin' like! Shortbread cookies…yum. (Credit: Chris Campbell, flickr.com)

Another fun pastry for a Brave party is: bear claws! Yum. No, these aren’t Scottish per se. However, the Brave imagery on the trailers and on posters suggests bears will play a big part in this movie. Kids love bear claws — don’t you? Buy them fresh from your local bakery or order a mini batch from your caterer if you can get a good deal.

Pancakes are very Scottish, and kids love them. In Scotland they aren’t — or weren’t — served with syrup as we eat them today; they were garnished with blackberries, strawberries and raspberries. However, instead of laying thick the high fructose corn syrup, try a fruit compote instead! I know strictly make this whenever I have pancakes or waffles.

Fruit Compote

  • 1 cup of fruit, chopped in a food processor (fresh strawberries, blueberries, or any other fruit you wish!) Or, from frozen, defrost in a microwave then chop in a food processor
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup water

Mix all in a saucepan, stir on medium heat for 20 minutes or until thickened. Pour on! Refrigerate unused portions.

Have a “pancake stand” on your kitchen table or outdoors where kids can grab a pancake on a plate and go from bowl to bowl, garnishing their snack. Try whipped cream, M&Ms, nuts, chocolate or butterscotch sauce and berry flavored syrups.

One more idea: make oatmeal raisin cookies. These are the yum, most kids seem to love them, and they’re a nod to Scottish porridge in flavor. Make them yourself if you have time; fresher is always better.

Giddyup and Give Your Lass a Whirl

No, we’re not being sassy and yes, that was English. Get guests up and grooving during your party — nobody likes a get together with lots of sitting and long faces! Here are some fun ideas to get things goin':
Brave bow and arrow set

    • Find some cool Celtic music for your party. (Remember, the C in “Celtic” is pronounced like a hard K. We’re not playing Basketball!) For girls, try something romantic and fascinating, like the group Celtic Woman or the artist Enya (who is sort of a music fusion — you’ll know her when you hear her).
    • If grown-ups will be attending your party, make the music faster…and funnier. Give a wink to our dear artists across the pond by playing some Bay City Rollers, the 70s band AWB (Average White Band), Simple Minds from the 80s, Primal Scream or AC/DC. Yes, they’re all Scottish, except AC/DC, at least geographically (but admit it, those bagpipes and kilts really get guests grooving, so include this famous band anyway).

Brave Princess Merida toy bow and arrow set

  • Have an archery contest! Use safety arrows, either Nerf or a knockoff; and yes, there is an official Brave bow and arrow set! I find it a bit expensive, so I’d go for something like this set looks great.
  • Play Celtic Create-a-Tale. Line guests up and give the first guest a sentence or phrase that sounds faraway and very fairytale, such as “Once upon a time, on a great mountain…” The first person adds on a phrase, remembering the first phrase as well — for example,”Once upon a time, on a great mountain…lived a tiny elf.” The next person in line adds to that, and so on. This hilarious game will result in some bad remembering and a whole lot of laughs.
  • Buy marbles and have guests play “bools.”  This is a famous Scottish game for children and will be loads of fun for guests.
  • Play British Bulldog. One person is the Bulldog. All the other players line up on one side of a room, or on a chalk line drawn outdoors. At the word “Bulldog!” the Bulldog runs toward the players, who run toward the opposite side from where they started, which is “base.” If the Bulldog tags someone on his or her way to base, the tagged person is the next Bulldog, and so on.
  • Have a stone throwing contest. Feats of strength are famous among true-blooded Scots, but you can make this a safety game by using a beanbag as the stone. Play this outdoors and mark the spot where the beanbag lands with chalk, a small rock or another marker. The player who throws the farthest wins.
  • Play golf! I’ve found plastic golf sets at Dollar Tree, so you can have these on the cheap if you don’t mind looking around.

 

Whether you send guests home with goody bags is up to you. We suggest giving the marbles the kids played bools with to them in a bag as a take-home token. The guests can even decorate their own paper bags with markers and crayons; suggest a plaid motif, of course. Add a couple of home baked shortbread cookies and a few Hershey kisses and you’re good to go!

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